I am aware many who read this column do not go by the name Christian. Also, I am aware many reading this column today do not even like those who call themselves Christians.
Yet today, one who has been involved in a love relationship with her Heavenly Father beginning when she was nine years old writes this column. Because of this event:
· I believe our love relationship was made possible by the substitute death of his son for my sins separating me from His love.
· I believe Christ’s imputed righteousness was placed into my account allowing me to come into His presence.
· I believe His Holy Spirit dwells within me today as my guide and teacher.
This I not only believe, this I have lived through bad days and good days of raising sons, teaching school for 32 years and juggling responsibilities. He has been real to me each step of the way.
Some thirty years ago I prayed, “Lord, be real to me or leave me alone. I know how to talk the talk and walk the walk; I even know how to dress tacky like a preacher’s wife.”
He answered that prayer and, out of this reality, He led me to His purpose for my life. That was before Rick Warren’s, “Purpose Driven Life” and Beth Moore Bible Studies.
This purpose came by way of His personal word for me in the book of John through Billie Buckley’s Bible Study in the 1970’s. In John, I read about bearing fruit. That means when I spend time with Him allowing Him to speak to me through His Word, He uses this garden experience to bring others to Himself. This is just between God and me. No man is involved. It is personal. Some of you know the joy of His Presence. Out of this quiet time the fruit of His Spirit is planted to share with others.
Bearing fruit has one purpose: to bring God and His children together. Simply put, to bring His children Home. So, if this column has brought you closer to God then it is bearing fruit. If it just brought you closer to me and my writing, it has not born fruit.
You may still be wondering how a fruit jar lid and a circle is related to living a life of purpose. It all began for me with the reading of one of my favorite books that helped change my life: “Concentric Circles of Concern” by W. Oscar Thompson, Jr.
That word circle just kept popping up. Then one day I read, “Surely, Jesus never made a list of things to do, but he drew a circle of people to love.”
Right then I found my fruit jar lid and literally started drawing circles with people to pray for and love daily. You as a reader are in my circles for I pray each column will be used to meet needs in your lives.
By every circle for the day is a Bible verse that has reached out and grabbed me by becoming the saying, praying word of God for me to pray personally. How does this work? I pray weekly in my circles for my family, friends, news events, churches we love, those who are lost from His presence and missions. Each grandchild has their own day of the week and the verse I was led to pray for them.
I have a special verse for you for this coming year. It is found in Isaiah 43:18,19. “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing.” The Message paraphrase of the Bible says it like this. “Just forget it. Don’t keep going over old history. Be alert; be present. Now is the time for a wonderful beginning for the future.” (That is certainly a thought to pray after Katrina’s destruction in our country, our state of MS, our town of Petal and our yard on Sunrise Road.)
I believe this because He has called me by name and I am His. He paid a price for me. Therefore I need not be afraid for he will be with me each day as I draw my fruit jar lid circles. I forgot to tell you, in case you don’t know, He knows your name too. For more about praying, click on www.billiebuckley.com. Look under Good Living.
Billie, This is anointed. It comes across not as a litany of beliefs but as a humble, honest presentation of who you are: a living epistle of Christ! Prayer circles--beautiful concept...May God shine through you to draw many to His Light.
Billie, this is so good. Put me, a fellow Mississippian, in your prayer circle too. May God bless you, and this writing is so uplifting. You might just as well go ahead and put all of us at faithwriters within your prayer circle. I am sure everyone will appreciate it. Thanks. Thomas, www.dustonthebible.com