Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is There a Difference?

Green space. Our dogs love it. It's the term we use for the wide open area of lawn in front of our house, that borders our pond. When we take the dogs into this part of the yard, they're in for a treat. No need to worry about invisible fences. Plenty of grass to roll in. Lots of sticks to gnaw on. And they know we'll play with them and shower them with affection. A virtual paradise.

Yesterday, the puppies lackluster expressions became enthusiastic as I removed their collars and let them run down to the green space. With tails wagging and legs flying, they were beside themselves trying to decide what to do first. A dip in the pond? A roll in the grass? A run around the yard?

Both dogs wanted to interact with me. Precious leaned against me to be cuddled, while Joe brought me his tennis ball knowing I couldn't resist a game of fetch. Within a few minutes, their adorable faces literally beamed their thanks. If you've ever owned a dog, you know the look. It appears like a big grin - stretching from ear to ear. It wasn't hard to tell they were content and very happy!

What a wonderful picture! When I choose to spend time with my Heavenly Father, my countenance also changes. I'm reminded of the story of Moses. Remember when he went up Mount Sinai the second time to receive the ten commandments? Take a look at what happened as a result of spending time with the very God of the universe, "And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him," (Exodus 34:29; KJV).

Aaron and all the children of Israel immediately noticed that something was different about Moses. His face literally glowed! Moses was unaware of it, but time spent in the presence of a holy God had transformed his appearance. And everyone saw it.

Spending time with God has transforming power. My face doesn't literally glow, but others should be able to tell there's something different about me. My actions will reflect the heart of my Father. My life will be characterized by selfless behavior, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality," (Romans 12:10-13).

Just like Moses, I have an opportunity to spend time with the Lord and allow Him to make a difference in my life. My attitude can shift from the daily grind, to an eternal perspective that brings true contentment. As I stay in His presence, He gives me the power to overcome self and reach out to others in a way that will point back to Him. They'll notice a difference and be drawn to the Savior.

You have the same opportunity. Are you willing to shut everything else out and spend time with the Lord? Enough time so others will notice a change in you and be pointed to Him?

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your transforming power. Help me to spend time in Your presence that I'd truly be changed. Not so I'd be noticed, but that I could affectively point others to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Maria, I thank God for your messages. I've been preparing to speak to a group of women this coming weekend, and even though my physical body is weary my spiritual self is strong.


  2. Tamika - Great to see you! Thanks for your words of encouragement. I'll be praying for you as you spend time in the presence of the King! I know He'll give you exactly what your need for this group of women! God bless you, my sister!

  3. Dear Maria, Sis you know how I love it when you use dog stories as analogies for spiritual lessons. Can I just come hang out with you and the dogs-we'd have such fun.
    Thank you for always pointing to Him.
    Love, Noreen

  4. Noreen - You're welcome anytime! Seriously, if you're ever in the Atlanta area, give me a heads-up and we'll get together! Aren't pets a special blessing? God is so good to use them to teach us! Have a beautiful week, friend! God bless!

  5. I love this! So true when I bask in the sun, it changes my appearance, and likewise when I bask in the Son! I love Acts 4:13 that says:
    "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."
    May people take note of us - that we have been with Jesus.
    Blessings to you and yours,

  6. Thanks for this post Maria, I think I 've said it before: your dogs are wonderful! what an inspiration...

  7. Susan - So good to see you! Love your thought, "...when I bask in the sun, it changes my appearance, and likewise when I bask in the Son!" No better place to be, basking in the Son! Have a wonderful week, my friend. God bless!

  8. Marja - Hello, friend! Yes, our dogs provide lots of inspiration for me! I think the fact that they can't talk, helps a lot - I'm more apt to learn from their behavior! Thinking seriously about a doggie devotional - all the lessons I've learned from the pups! Hugs and blessings!

  9. I want my face to glow! :) Great post!

  10. Spending quiet, contemplative time with God brings me inner peace. With my hectic daily routine, I seek out windows of time to pray and meditate on God's word, usually late at night when the house is (finally) still. While this routine facilitates peaceful sleep, I've been aiming to "schedule" my quiet time for the mornings, wondering if this will likewise facilitate more positive, balanced days. I have a hunch it will. ;-)

    Thank you for your post. Be well.

  11. Yes ! Indeed! This is soo good! I was thinking about this some time ago. It occurred to me that the fact Moses covered his face with a veil and then uncovered it when He went back in to the presence of God could be symbolic for us too. We go to the Lord--hiding nothing...bearing all to Him. And we are transformed, renewed, glowing from the inside out. Yet, we need to "cover OUR faces" so that others don't see US directly---but by our actions, they are pointed directly to God. They know where we've been, and don't even see us, or think of us...but are drawn to God. :)
    This was a great post! Thanks!
    tammi :o)

  12. Kathy - Great to see you! We share the same prayer! Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and blessings to you!

  13. Janette - Thanks for stopping by! Quiet time spent with the Lord is great anytime of the day! Look forward to hearing how it impacts your mornings. Have a beautiful weekend full of His blessings!

  14. Tammi - Always love your insightful comments! Great thoughts! Hope you have a wonderful weekend basking in His presence. Hugs and blessings!