Monday, March 31, 2008

Are You Engaged?

  Papa is good about taking the things in my day to day life and allowing them to speak to me of a magnificent truth.  I love that about Him.  Life doesn’t have to be complicated, hearing Him can be so simple, if I will but take the time to listen and observe.  Today He’s talking to me about my coffee warmer, which actually belongs to my husband.  It sits by my side of the bed most of the time, though.  I use it to keep my tea warm while I sit with Papa and contemplate life. 

       He reminds me of the day I went to take a sip of my “expectant” warmed tea to find it dreadfully cold.  Could it be that my precious mug warmer had seen it’s final day?  A quick assessment caused me to find that the plug was in the extension cord, but not fully engaged.  Though it looked plugged in, it had broken loose from the power.  A little jostling around with the prongs into the cord caused it to once again engage and begin to slowly warm my tea.

      I am amazed at what Papa shows me, at just the right moment, about this picture for my life.  How often am I hooked up to the power source, but not fully engaged?  To the outside it looks like everything is intact, yet life is lukewarm and sometimes dreadfully cold.  It feels like something inside has died.   Somehow I’ve become disengaged from the source of power, limiting it's affects in my life.

      How often do we go through life, plugged in but not engaged?  How easy it is to be tugged just enough to become disengaged and distracted from living life to the full.  How easy it is to unplug and just exist.  When life grows cold we wonder why.  We’re not even aware that we have disconnected, after all we are still attached to the cord. 

      Maybe we choose not to fully engage.  Maybe we like having a little control and self-preservation.  Maybe we hold back from being fully connected for fear of what it might cost us.  If we can just hold people at a level where the appearance is intimate, yet disengage just enough to be safe, then maybe it will be enough.  Maybe no one will notice.  It's not enough.  It leaves life dreadfully cold.  We were meant to be engaged fully in relationship with Papa and with others.  When we're not, life is not as it was meant to be.

      The source of life indwells us.  We house the seed of life, we are the temple, the dwelling of Christ, yet life can can seem so stagnant, empty, lifeless, and cold.  To bear the life of Christ we cannot just be hooked up, we have to be engaged.  Self-preservation keeps part of us withheld under our control.  He doesn’t want part of our hearts.  He wants it all.  He wants us to risk in love, to interlock fully, in order to find that life to the full that He promises us, with Himself and with others.

      Papa asks me, “Jewel, will you engage yourself, all of you, with me?” “Will you set aside all control, all self-protection, independence, performance  and need me?”  “Draw your power from me, not your capabilities.”  “Don’t hold anything back, Jewel.”  “I want it all.”  “It’s then my power will course through you.”  “It’s then you will be alive, fully alive.”  "It's then you will know love, complete, perfect love."  "If you hold back with others, Jewel, you'll rob them, you'll rob yourself and you'll rob me."  Life will never be full."  "Because I bear love through you to others and with others to you."  "There's no need for self-preservation, I've got you."  "Will you trust me to preserve you?"

      A simple cup warmer speaks Papa's heart to me.  He's speaking to you too.  Do you hear Him?  Look around you and consider, what's Papa asking you?

      9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 

   10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd


kmom3 said... Reply to comment

I love how He speaks to us through anything and everything!
I am definitely guilty of being plugged in but not engaged at times. Unsure of giving Him my all, unsure of being totally myself in relationships. What a great post!
I am so glad He calls us to more so tenderly and with so much love. I am so thankful He does not condemn us! I am really trying to stop and see, okay, that is condemnation and that is NOT from God.
Thanks for sharing, Julie! I am always blessed!

mer said... Reply to comment

Another great post, Julie! And timely too. I'm feeling a little cold, and I'm feeling some of my self-preservation tendencies pulling at me. Thank you for reminding me how important it is not only to be plugged in, but fully engaged!


Becoming Me said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful post. I especially like the line "The source of life indwells us. We house the seed of life, we are the temple, the dwelling of Christ, yet life can can seem so stagnant, empty, lifeless, and cold. "

Thank you for sharing the lessons you learn each day. it's such a blessing.

Paula said... Reply to comment

Great insights. Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.

I came over to thank you for your comments on GraceReign. I can't tell you how honored I feel by the beautiful words of encouragement you left me. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that out to speak grace into my day. It was a crazy week with a fair amount of difficulties and stress and your words were so uplifting!

Your children are beautiful. I have a Sam, too! And a niece, Lydia. :o)

amycloud said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is a beautiful analogy and wonderfully written. It reminds me of the story of Mary and Joseph when they were traveling home and they didn't realize that Jesus was not with them or in their company.(He was in the Temple teaching.) God help us all to stay close and connected with Him. Blessings!

Sandy said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie, I think it's hard to be fully engaged if our marriage isn't. A place to start ... you know? Great post!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, my friend! I have finally subscribed to your feed was get so excited when I saw my first devotional from Jewelz Sightings in my inbox! I was at work yesterday when I received it, and unfortunately, my workplaces filters would not let me comment, but let me just say: How well you know a woman's heart! We get so busy, don't we? That we are half plugged in-half unplugged to Jesus. You give such beautiful analogies, Julie! I love to picture you having a cup of tea with "Papa"! But your comments really hit home with me, because I have been battling this very issue. God is telling me to get deep and really connect in my relationships. You are part of His voice today! Thank you, Dear one, for your insights and warm words of encouragement. I wish we could meet face-to-face and really look into one another's faces as we share our love for the Lord!

Shanda said... Reply to comment

Thank you for your encouraging words on my blog. I truly appreciate them! We moved to Portland and I'm already finding the people here very welcoming. I loved your post. Just this morning when I was using my blow dryer the Lord spoke to me. I was realizing how shaggy my hair was getting, unruly from not having my routine visit to my hairdresser because of the move. The Lord asked, "Why do you wait until life becomes unruly before you seek my face?" I love how personal our GOd is that he even uses tea warmers and hair dryers to break into our world and speak to us! Thanks for your post!

Amy said... Reply to comment


I LOVE this word picture! Your writing amazes me. Keep sharing what the Lord gives you!

Lots of love,

Shanda said... Reply to comment

Your prayer for me is exactly what I am searching for: to discover Christ in a more intimate way and to experience true friendship with Him!

To respond to your question... I'm about 45 min north of Nashville in a small town called Portland. It's about 5 miles south of the Kentucky border. Isn't God so amazing that He makes it easy for us to connect with other believers, even on-line! Thanks for your encouragement and I appreciate so much your prayers for me!

Vicki said... Reply to comment

I love your way with words, Jewel. So much truth here. He's gifted you and given you His incredible Life! Thanks for this message, I sorely needed it. So glad to know you and share with you the blessings of Jesus.

I've never been able to call Him Papa, though, and love that you do. I wonder if it has to do with what I called my earthly father? Warmly, I *do* think of Him as Father...Daddy...Abba.

Thanks for visiting and leaving the awesome note. Yep, I've read the Gilhams, too:-) Good stuff there.

Paulette Harris said... Reply to comment

Hi Jewell,

Thanks for the blog note. I am glad to come aboard with you. Your children are gorgeous! I love your blog site and I am having a good time blogging.
Nice to run into you via Tiffany Stuart. A very special lady in Jesus!

My novels aren't published yet, waiting for their new little adoptive homes to pick up the orphans! Please pray for God to publish them.

Love, Blessings, and Hugs,
Paulette Harris

Kysha said... Reply to comment

I just love your comment on HOTM today. Great advice!

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by today and having a 'pot of tea' with me! Never a dull moment around here.
I know were Ellijay is - drive through there when I'm on my way to ATL. Love The Pig Hill of Fame. We've got a pig up there some where from years ago when it was just a shack.
I enjoyed you post greatly. I too see Him in the dailies of life. Do you see my Thankful Thursday post today? That's an example how He speaks to me.
You have a beautiful family. Have you always home schooled? It's a wonderful way of raising our children.
Have a blessed weekend. And thanks for stopping by. I'll be back again, too.

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

Julie, this post felt like you were in my heart. I so relate to hearing from our Papa in everything. He is speaking always. And I so relate to the lukewarm heart sometimes. I love his words to you and I too hear them for me.

I am beyond thrilled to know you hear His voice. So near. So dear.

Wow, thank you for the gift I received from your post today.

Marsha said... Reply to comment

We lived in Marietta from 1989 to 1998 when we moved up here.? We used to come up here 2 weekends a month for 6 years to do ministry opportunities with the Snowbird Cherokees. When we lived in Marietta we went to Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell. One of our daughters went to Kennesaw State for one year before the Lord called her to prepare for missions.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, my dear friend, I'm back to hear your sweet voice and rejoice that God brought you into my bloggy world! I feel God telling me to tell you how beautiful you are. He made you pretty special. You are a blessing to me.

Kay Weathers said... Reply to comment

WOW!!!!! Did you write this just for me? I think the scales were removed today.
Ps As I looked at your picture I can't help but ask do you use Mary Kay? Great skin!!!!!!!