Wisdom’s promise of maturity

I have taken root in a privileged people, in the Lord’s property, in his inheritance.
I have grown tall as a cedar in Lebanon, as a cypress on Mt. Hermon; I have grown tall as a palm in Engedi, as the rose bushes of Jericho; as a fine olive in the plain, as a plane tree I have grown tall.
Sirach 24:12-14

olivetreejpegAn olive tree in the plain

is cultivated for its important fruit; it is slow to mature, so it requires peaceful conditions to let it grow. Fragrant, with a pleasing odor, is an emblem of prosperity, beauty and regions of privilege.

A responsive prayer:

May I produce important, valuable fruit, be patient with myself and with others, recognizing it takes time and peaceful conditions for my fruit to mature.

What would your response be?

Tomorrow we’ll look at Wisdom’s promise of refreshment.


MM 5/23/15 Oops, I messed up

Well, as has been said, “do as I say, not as I do.” Yesterday, I spoke of remaining faithful and patient in the face of temptation and I did not. Thank goodness God’s mercies are new every morning. Amen. Let’s trust God today for the battle, and remember the war’s been won.

MM 5/23/15 Oops! I blew it from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.

MM 2/5/15 are you married to patience?

What? James says let patience do it’s job. Let is the same word used in old marriage ceremonies, “to have and to hold.” We are to make a vow, a promise to patience; it has a job to do in our life and we are to embrace it’s work. Hang in there! Please pray for me, I have a presentation to do tonight and then I’m home free. I’m running on fumes and have a cold to boot. Love you all. D

MM 2/5/15 the Patience we are married to… from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.

our resource for Hope

Our God is the source of all patience and comfort, the very things we need to maintain hope. Remain connected to God and you’ll have the resources needed for a life of hope. Have a great Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for you! Debby


MM 11/27/14 our resource for Hope from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.

Patient Hope

2 Peter 3:3-15a, 18

…in the last days scoffers will arise… (verse 3)

Scoffers come in many forms. Family members who don’t understand your faith, friends or co-workers who ridicule it; cultural systems that diminish or mock your beliefs. But perhaps the scoffer that is the hardest to handle, is the one that lives within your own head. Can you hear the voice of the scoffer?

  • “You’ve been faithful, where is the answer to your prayer?”
  • “Why keep trusting God’s promises? Things will never change. Today is the same as yesterday, why do you expect tomorrow to be any different?”
  • “Why not just have a little fun, live for today?

Peter reminds us how to address these mocking voices.

Don’t be surprised by their appearance. Your desire to live for the glory of God makes the enemy of God very unhappy. As Peter describes in his first epistle, the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Your righteous life is his appetizer! Your doubts do not necessarily suggest there is something wrong with your faith; they may indicate a space in your heart where God is expanding God’s territory or a space where your trust in God is a threat to the devil’s devices and he is out to get you!

God creates and God re-creates. The Trinity created the universe out of nothing; and when the world was destroyed by a flood because of evil, God re-created the earth. God did not and does not abandon the creation he loves. The scoffing voices may suggest otherwise, but God is powerful and committed to ensuring your complete wholeness. His timing may be different than yours, but remember: “God is not slow, he is thorough.” The apparent delay in the promise being fulfilled is purposeful, founded in love, not neglect.

A day is coming, we are promised, when Jesus will return. He will bring with him complete justice and salvation. We don’t know the day or hour, but we are to live in the hope of his appearance.

Who/what are the scoffers you encounter in your life? Where in your life do you feel God is slow in keeping promises? Peter reminds you of God’s power to create and to re-create according to God’s loving purpose. How does this impact your doubt?

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. (verse 14,15)

 Written for weekly devotional for CBC

Patience when you’re in the Pits?

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog. Psalm 40:1

David, caught in a miry bog and a desolate pit is able to wait patiently for God to relieve him from a sticky and lonely place. Wow. He did not cease crying to God, (I’m assuming for deliverance and help) yet he could patiently remain. That blows my mind.

I transfer the images of a literal pit and miry bog to emotional ones. I see a hole in the ground either so large, I could fall into it and be trapped; or so small and unnoticeable, I could trip into it and lie immobile because of an injury sustained from the fall. I imagine a lake that seems safe, but is in fact quicksand. I am stuck, all my efforts to free myself only end with me sinking deeper in the muck.

I don’t purposely fall into pits or bogs, but sometimes I find myself in a situation or relationship where I feel lonely, abandoned, conflicted or trapped. I long for escape but there is no relief. I remain desolate and in tumult, stranded in an unbearable situation.

David could wait patiently for God’s response. Can I? Can I trust God is aware of and involved in this process? Can I continually voice my desire for rescue without demanding it?

A sense of uselessness and a fear of insignificance is my pit and bog. God, though, is graciously granting me a glimpse of how this trapped-ness is purifying my soul. When I angrily beat my fists, against the wall of my nothingness, God joins me in the pit and reminds me I am his and I am enough. When I accuse myself of being a loser in all things spiritual, God shows me that my standards of success are set higher than his.

I am quieted, I am grateful, I trust this pit is a place of transformation. And when I am delivered, God puts a new song in my mouth. One of praise that points to God’s glory, not my own. Lord, have mercy.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3

With you in the journey,