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Filling Your Bucket

Grab a cup of coffee and your bible and take some time to be encouraged by Greg Haswell, senior pastor at Northlands Church in Atlanta. What he shares is key for us adoptive and foster parents.

FILLING YOUR BUCKET

Foster parents and parents of adoptees have signed up for a vital ministry, both before God and to their children, and thereby have connected themselves to constant withdrawal from their walk with God and their emotional wholeness.
 
Each one of us has an emotional and spiritual reserve that is both refilled or drained by the lives we lead. Imagine a bucket that has two spouts. One is an input valve which allows for it to be refilled, and one is a drain. People who minister to others need to pay attention to how they refill their emotional and spiritual buckets. Ensuring that we refill what is being drained is vital. 
 
If our output exceeds our input, we will empty our reserves, rendering ourselves of little help to others and in worst cases harmful to them. 
 

FILLING YOUR BUCKET: MEDITATION ON SCRIPTURE

Meditation on Scripture:
This is the practice of taking a portion of scripture and spending time revolving it in your mind. As the scriptures are called the sword of the Spirit, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your meditation. 

Here is how to do it practically.

  • Find a quiet space and get comfortable. Bring something to write / type on.
  • Choose a passage of Scripture to meditate on.
  • Read and re-read the passage, revolve it in your mind (which is what meditation means in the original language) and ponder its meaning.
  • Ask questions of the text, like “What does that mean?” or “How can I do that?” etc 
  • Use your imagination to create a scene in your mind that it describes. Think about it and imagine what it must have felt like to be there and to experience those things. Imagine what tone was used behind the words and what emphasis each word enjoyed.
  • Write down things that intrigue you about the passage, or that spark an interest. 
  • Say it out loud as you think on it (which is the other meaning in the original language as it means to “mutter”). 
  • Pay attention to idioms used or similes. 
  • Search out, via a search engine, answers to specific places or phrases used by the author that you don’t know anything about.
  • Pray about what you have seen, what bothers you or what you don’t yet understand. You’ll be amazed at how creatively the Lord will respond to these prayers. He loves to share His heart with His people.

Many people are amazed at the high yield of spiritual and emotional recharging can occur just by meditating on scripture.

Continue reading Greg's article Meditation on Scripture, as he gives an example from the first few verses of Psalm 40...

FILLING YOUR BUCKET: JOURNALING

Journaling:
The second practice to to refill our ebbing reserves with courage, comfort and refreshing charge is journaling. Many different forms of journaling exist and certainly there are many that have merit. What follows is what I practice. The first practical step is to find a place where you can relax and get quiet. Then take a piece of paper and a pen, or open a fresh page on your computer and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Begin to write and record the continuous string of thoughts that emerge into your mind. Do not let your mind start attacking or qualifying the flow of thoughts. Concentrate on recording them at this stage. The time for measuring them for accuracy will come later. Keep going until you sense the flow of words or thoughts has stopped. Most often these thoughts will come to you in the first person as though Jesus was talking to you. This means that He will speak about you and Himself, often referring to Himself as I.

Still Small Inner Voice:
Let me lay a quick Biblical foundation for this practice. The scriptures declare that anyone who unites themselves with the Lord have become one with Him in Spirit (1 Cor 6:17). It is both our spirit and God’s Spirit respectively, who know each of our deep thoughts (1 Cor 2:11).

Finish reading Greg's thoughts about the Inner Voice, and find out what he has to say about The Truth of Scripture and The Nature of God...

 

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