Are You Refreshed?

The New Testament book, Philemon, is a book that is written by Paul to Philemon concerning a slave named, Onesimus. The book of Philemon consists of only twenty-five verses. It is interesting to note that the man, Philemon, was renowned for his ministry of refreshing. The word “refreshing” has the idea of “rest” and “restoration”. In verse 20, Paul writes, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. Paul’s refreshing from Philemon was based on Philemon receiving, giving freedom to and ministering to Onesimus.

Let us think about the words, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. How can we refresh our hearts, our spirit? What are you doing to receive refreshment in Christ? Our need for spiritual refreshing can be compared to our need for spring after a hard winter. During the winter months, the weather is cold, brutal, icy, snowy and rainy. During the winter months of our spiritual journey, we can find ourselves lacking spiritually.

Spring is a time for newness, a time for a new kind of weather, new colors and even a new outlook. Let’s consider ways that we can “refresh our spirit”, so that we can experience a time of newness in our lives.

-We should understand that we need Jesus. He is holy and we are sinners. When we are faithful to acknowledge our sinfulness to God, we are able to receive forgiveness and restoration.

-We should be mindful of the words we speak. The spoken word is powerful. Our instinct is too often to speak of everything we know. Talking too much, too quick and too cleverly is destructive to the spirit. When we speak, let us follow the instruction of the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

-We should prepare for each day. We need to be mindful that our days are with purpose. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Therefore, we should prepare to spend time in His Word, in prayer and in service for Him. We should also prepare to take time to bless those around us.

-We should put our hands to work. We should participate in the common chores around the house. Embrace the simple things in life by taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, working in the flower beds, mowing the lawn, etc. In doing such work, we are able to embrace genuine humility.

-We should get rest. Take time to enjoy your journey. Rather than having every minute planned, give yourself a break. Take a trip, go for a walk, go fishing, go to the park—get some rest. When we are rested, we can be much more attentive in the presence of God.

As we seek to be “refreshed”, take note of the newness of spring in your life. Refresh your heart in Christ!

Woody

Shall We Dance?

I am in the process of going on a new adventure—beekeeping. Yes, that’s right, beekeeping. My goal is to have one or two hives of bees in my backyard. In preparation, I have identified the location in my yard, I have secured most of the pieces of the hive box and hopefully in a couple of weeks I will get my first “nuc”, which consists of a queen and several thousand bees. I have attended a couple beekeeping meetings and purchased a book that details beekeeping. Beekeeping in the backyard improves pollination and hopefully will reward me with a harvest of delicious honey.

Beehives consist of a queen, drones and worker bees. Each of them is very unique in what they do, but in my attempt to learn about beekeeping, I learned something so interesting about the bees–they know how to communicate. One of the ways that they communicate is through choreography. That’s right, they dance! The foraging worker bees dance when they return to the hive with news of nectar, pollen, or water. The worker bees dance on the comb using precise patterns. Depending on the style of dance, a variety of information is shared with the other honey bees. By this dance, they are able to obtain accurate information about the location and the type of food that has been located.

They will do a round dance or a waggle dance. The round dance communicates that the food source is within 10-80 yards of the hive. If the food source is a greater distance, the worker performs a waggle dance. This dance involves shivering side-to-side, while forming a figure eight. The vigor of the waggle, the number of times it is repeated, the direction of the dance and the sound the bee makes communicates precise information about the location of the food source. The bees even offer the recruits a taste of the goodies that they have brought back to the hive.

We who have been to Jesus, have experienced His grace, tasted of His goodness, received His mercy, and experienced His love—let us take note from the bees. We must go to those around us, communicate to them that we have found the Source of life—Jesus. We need to share Him and point others to Him so that they may experience a life filled with the sweet nectar of God’s love and grace.

Woody