November 2015 Final Issue
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The Naked House

I pass by a beautiful white house daily. It is a majestic, two story, white brick masterpiece situated on a flat two acre lot. We watched the construction process and knew it would be stunning. When it was finished it was gorgeous. But something was missing. It stood naked. Not one iota of landscaping – not a bush, a tree, nor a flower anywhere near the house. No large rock, or bench, or swing-set. No potted plant by the front door. Nothing to give it that feeling of completion; just a four foot white statue in front of the entry. It felt stark - almost cold. It wouldn’t seem too strange to not add shrubbery or decorations for a year, maybe even two, but it’s been that way for a decade. I know people live there because cars are parked in the driveway. Why does this naked house bother me so much? Maybe because all it would take to evoke a smidgen of “life” would be a splash of color in a plant or a toy left outside. It seems to me that they’re living in black and white when they could be living in full technicolor. It reminds me of believer who has stop maturing. He prayed the prayer and now he’s done. He’s saved so why bother to read the Bible, pray, or serve on a consistent basis. I believe there is more to living the Christian life than just praying the prayer. There are components you can cultivate and practice that revitalize and inspire a ‘colorful’ Christian existence. Scripture, listening to God, and serving bring a kaleidoscope of joy into life of a follower of Christ. What happens when we decide to study the Scriptures? We learn the history of the culture at the time of Jesus. Understanding the timeframe helps to figure out meanings behind words and parables Jesus told. This helps us process the Word of God. Then we can let it sink in and change our hearts. What happens when we talk and listen to God more? One way of praying that has been beneficial to me is the ACTS method: Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, and Supplication. Adoration – Tell the Father why you adore Him. Confession – Confess your sins against Him and others. Thankfulness – Thank Him for His provision, love, and care. Supplication - Ask Him for protection and favor in all aspects of your life. What happens when we willing serve the body of Christ? Or serve the community we live in by volunteering at our local schools, towns, hospitals, etc.  We serve those in the sphere of our influence. When one of the teachers asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment, His answer was:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31, NIV). Can you actually give sacrificially in love? Ouch, that one is uncomfortable. Peter reminds us: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8, NIV). And, he follows this with, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV). What does that look like for you? Do you rely on the Holy Spirit to love your neighbor? Serve others? Do you carve out a precious few minutes each day to read the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to whisper His truth to you? Are you unselfish? Some days I rely on the Holy Spirit more than others. There are other days I act completely in my flesh. Studying Scripture, praying, and serving are small things that have produce large changes in my life. God always gives us a choice. Which way do you want to live? Do you want to spend your time here on earth in black and white? Or do you want to experience the full joy and excitement of God’s living, breathing Word in the vibrant hues of the rainbow? I’m certainly not judging the owners of the white house. They may, and probably do love their house and yard just the way it is. However, each time I pass by, it is a reminder to me of the choice I make daily - black and white – or full out, crazy, awesome color in Jesus!
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About Margo Bodishbaugh

Margo Bodishbaugh
Margo is a writer, speaker, and actress. She lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, Matt, of twenty-six years, and has three daughters. Her mission is to encourage women in their relationship with Christ through creative communication. She is passionate about being intentional, and she’s at work on her first novel.

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