What is a Ditch Rider?

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I sometimes get ideas from the strangest places. This one came one Sunday afternoon from watching another old western movie, Red River Valley, starring Gene Autry. Gene and his sidekick Frog set out to find the person or persons causing the accidents at a dam construction site.

During a fight, someone called Gene a ditch rider. Not sure how he meant it. But the light bulb flashed on!

Ditch rider! Hmmm…what is that? Off I went to look it up.

This is too cool. Here’s what a ditch rider does:

*manages and is responsible for delivering water through ditches/channels/canals to farmers for irrigating crops and fields so that the crops produce the necessary harvest
*contacts water users to determine the quantity of water needed
*regulates the head-gates for water flow according to water use and loss
*prepares the ditch/channel/canal for water flow by removing debris
*makes emergency repairs by patching breaks and leaks and filling holes
*patrols assigned area to detect signs of instability, failure, or weak or damaged areas
*monitors right-of-way for trespassing and unauthorized use
*exterminates rodents
*maintains ditch banks and monitors for erosion
*may supervise crew workers cleaning ditches and other maintenance work
*may take annual crop census and make weed and other surveys
*may patrol at night to determine that water is flowing in prescribed volume into user’s ditches

Don’t you find that interesting? I sure do! ‘Course, I’m also a little weird. But don’t you think the Lord is our Ditch Rider? Doesn’t the Holy Spirit ride His chariot along the ditch/channel of our lives, checking on the Living Water supply?

If the Lord is the manager of our lives, then He is responsible for delivering His Living Water through us as channels that the garden/crop/field of our lives produces the necessary harvest.

He keeps in touch with us as His water users and determines how much water each one of us needs. Regulating the gate of our hearts, He adjusts the water flow according to what we can use, what we have lost, or how dry we are.

Water not flowing properly in a water user’s life? He sees to it that any weeds or debris are removed, for if our ditch/channel is full of obstructions, it will be sluggish. The water will be hindered from flowing freely and stagnation can become a problem, resulting in a lack of clean water and power.

As our Ditch Rider, He inspects for signs of instability or failure, patrolling our hearts to detect any leaks, breaks, weak areas, or damage. He checks for any erosion and makes emergency repairs by patching breaks and leaks and filling holes when necessary.

Got any pesky rodents in your life? The Lord will get rid of them and monitor for other trespassers and unauthorized users.

He supervises us as His crew workers as we clean and do other maintenance work. He also appraises the crops we are producing.

The Lord never gives up watching over us, overseeing us during the day and surveying us at night to determine that water is flowing in the amount necessary for our use.

Jesus said, “Have faith in Me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you.” (John 7:38 CEV)

Don’t you find it encouraging that the Lord is your Ditch Rider and is always working for the best flow in your life?

The Lord…our Ditch Rider!

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Are You Suffering from Wilderness Fatigue?

Out of work.
Loss of insurance.
Temperatures soar.
Bankruptcies abound.
Foreclosures proliferate.
Things are drying up all around. Feels like the hot sands of the Sahara sometimes, doesn’t it?
What drives you into the desert? What vehicle takes you for a spin to the backside of the wilderness? No, I don’t mean an SUV, bus, or pickup truck. Circumstances, doubts, fears, and disobedience drive us there. However, some of us use a dump truck!
Moses sinned by killing an Egyptian and fear of death drove him to the wilderness. And for forty years, Moses “kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian.” One day, “he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” (Ex. 3:1 KJV)
Let’s look at that for a moment.
Kept in Hebrew means to shepherd, to tend a flock or pasture it, to graze, to rule, to associate with (as a friend), to be companions, or to be a special friend.
The meaning of ledis to drive forth (a person, an animal, or chariot), lead, carry away, proceed, and so on.
The word wildernessmeans a pasture, open field, desert, uninhabited land, mouth, and speech. Its root word means to arrange, to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, sing, talk, teach, tell, utter, etc.
Mount Horeb is in the Sinai Peninsula. In Hebrew, Horeb means a dry, wasted, and desolate land. So, why did Moses take the flock there to pasture them? And if keptmeans to graze, then there must have been fodder for the flock to feed on.
We know for sure there was a little growth…a bush.
While Moses was there, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in that bush appearing to be on fire. Moses purposely drew near the flare of this non-burning bush. After calling Moses by name, God spoke to him.
Hmmm…in the wilderness, a dry place where God communes. There, God told Moses His plan for him and encouraged him, “I will certainly be with you.” (Ex. 3:12 TLB)
Years later, Moses, speaking of Jacob, said God “found him [Jacob] in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut. 32:10 NKJV)
God met Jacob in the wilderness, encircled him, guarding him from danger, taught him, and watched over him as the little man (reflection) of His eye. And He will do the same for each one of us when we are in our own wilderness, whether self-imposed or otherwise.
* Have your circumstances created your own private wilderness?
* Have you run to the wilderness to escape the consequences of something you’ve done?
* Have you been wondering around in it so long that fatigue and thirst have set in?
* How long has it been? Two weeks, two months, two years? Or maybe it’s been twenty or even forty years like Moses?
* While in that barren place, do you hear the Lord?
* Do you listen to His plan and purpose for your life?
There is a bush burning in the midst of your situation. God’s presence burns to commune with you. Purposely turn aside from your distress and draw near to the Lord. Tune out the frazzled racket of the world to hear those sweet whispers of heaven.
Hidden in that wilderness are the words of comfort you so long to hear. God will give you springs of living water for which you have long been thirsty. He “will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:19 NKJV)
He will encircle you with His love, guard you with His strong arms, teach you, and keep His watchful eye on you, never letting you out of His sight.
That living hope He imparts is greater than your circumstances, greater than your depression, greater than your grief, greater than your debt, greater than your yourself.
The Lord is with you, no matter how dark or how dry your situation becomes.
If you are suffering from wilderness fatigue, I pray you find that peaceful, resting place of encouragement and thirst-quenching in the midst of your circumstances. May you know God’s encircling, His protection, His teaching, and His watchful eye upon you.
Today, I am hooking up with…


The Veiled Lady

~~Thought I’d repost an oldie. Hope you enjoy!~~

An empty water jar balances precariously on her head. Her face is veiled not only to avoid the searing stares of Sychar’s society but also to shield her from the rumors of a ruined reputation.

Too many husbands have drained her nuptial well and now she attempts to fill it with another, an unbetrothed suitor. She must go now to the watering hole, to draw from its depths the water to quench her parched thirst, a thirst that lies deeper than the surface of her tongue.

Slipping through the back streets, she shuffles her way out the city’s gate to fulfill her daily duty. As the sun beats down with its heaving swells of heat, she is forced to come to the well of the ancient fathers at the noon hour. The other women choose to draw water during the cooler hours of the day, coming later to remove their veils, to relax, to laugh, and to gossip, usually about this woman.

The heat of the day diametrically differs from the chill of passion that has penetrated this shunned woman’s being. The empty water jug she now carries on her head parallels the emptiness of her heart.

She hides behind a veil of secrecy, as she tries desperately to become invisible. As she approaches the well, she peers out from behind her veil, and, seeing a man who sits on the well’s edge, their eyes meet. He looks deep into the longing of her soul and sees a parched and depleted well. She sees acceptance beyond anything she has ever experienced.

“Give me a drink,” he asks.

“But you’re a Jew,” she says. “Why do you ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”

“If you only knew. I would satisfy your hollow yearning from a living well, teeming with waters of life that never run dry.”

“Oh, sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

“Call your husband to come here also,” he says.

“But, sir,” she says, “I have no husband.”

This stranger, peering into her lifeless eyes hiding within the veil, now seems to know her so well, as he recounts the depth of her past existence.

“Sir, you must be a prophet,” she says. Yet, she discerns him to be more than a prophet, for there is no hint of judgment or condemnation in his voice, only the love of the ages.

Throwing off the invisible veil over her eyes, she sees this man for who he really is and receives the love for which she has so recklessly searched. She drops her water pot by the well and runs back through the city gate to tell the others of the everlasting love she has found in the man called The Messiah.

Have you dropped all to tell others about the everlasting love you have found in Christ?

“Go…and tell…”


Hungry? Thirsty?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
after righteousness, for they will be filled.”
(Matt. 5:6 NIV)

Continuing in the beatitudes series…

Did you ever feel hungry or thirsty? Fainting? Tired? Need recharging? What did you do? More than likely, you nurtured yourself with food, water, rest, and whatever else your body needed.

David got hungry and thirsty. He said to the Lord, “My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water,” (Ps. 63:1b NLT) and “You constantly satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.” (Ps. 145:16 TLB)

While in the wilderness, Israel hungered and thirsted, as David tells us, “Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. ‘Lord, help!’ they cried in their trouble, and He rescued them from their distress.” (Ps. 107:5-6 NLT)

Just as it is possible to get weary physically, it is equally possible to get weary spiritually.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. No one coming to me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in me will never thirst.” (John 6:35TLB) And “For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.” (John 7:38 TLB)

God “gives food to the hungry” (Ps. 146:7 NKJV) and “turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water. He brings the hungry to settle there.” (Ps. 107:35-36 NLT) But the Lord’s offering of refreshing, spiritual bread and water, is not from without, but from within.

When you become tired from your journey and your weary soul shrivels up, feeling bone-dry, what do you do? When every last drop of spiritual vitality has evaporated, where do you go to fill that lack? Do you reach outside to the world to replenish yourself? Or do you seek solace within to refresh yourself with the Bread of Life and the Living Waters?

When you reach within to draw from the Lord, just as Elijah, He will lead you to drink of the Brook Cherith and command His wings servants to feed you. And when you hunger and thirst after the things of God, you will be filled.

That is God’s promise to you!


Creation’s First Home

Have you every thought about what man’s first home looked like?

God designed an opulent home for earth’s first inhabitants, which I’ll collectively call ‘man.’ God did not assign man to a cozy bungalow or a gold-inlayed palace, but rather He placed him in a gorgeous, prolific garden – all for man’s pleasure.

Starting with the roof, God made a never-ending, sapphire canopy, arrayed with a flaming chandelier of light to warm the man and illumine his path during the day.

Through the windows of heaven blew breezes for natural air conditioning. The tree of life spread out its limbs of shade for a cool respite in the afternoon.

For man’s bedroom, a luxurious carpet of green welcomed him as the first Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress, followed by a visitation of the counting sheep! Fields, overflowing with their harvests of grains and vegetables, all begging to be picked, contained the first outdoor kitchen.

The tree branches bowed to the ground under the ample supply of succulent, ripe fruit. For man’s drinking pleasure, crystalline water gushed forth from the center of the garden, meandering around its perimeter and forming four fluent tributaries, as a continual current of bubbly refreshment.

Saturated with the plentiful riches of the earth – gold, oil, spices, and precious stones – the garden provided man with abundant wealth.

While animals provided man with amusement, only man’s mate could provide him with the warmth of companionship, the arms of comfort, and the readiness to help.

All this provided not only man’s lodging and welfare but also his own personal art gallery. God colored in the canvas of creation with a palette of yellows, reds, greens, and blues, as if painting royal robes around creation’s shoulders.

At day’s end, when twilight hovered, God drew the curtain of darkness shut, poking holes in it for the stars to sparkle through like bazillions of twinkling lights sprinkled across a drape of black velvet. Choreographed like a dance of angels with flashlights and orchestrated by the man in the moon, these nightlights lit the path to the throne of the Creator. It must have been a breathtaking panorama!

God had lovingly clothed His Garden in an eye-popping ensemble of heaven’s finest garments, adorning it as a bride in her wedding finery. Created as a garden filled with joy and pleasure, Eden flourished as a little Patch of Heaven, a pure paradise, for its name means delicate, delight, or pleasure.

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.” (Gen. 2:1 NLT) God’s creation completed. The seeds of His Word had transferred their power, done their job, producing all God had spoken.

Of all the garden’s lovingly created elements, no more precious element existed in the garden than God’s presence. In ancient times, when a Persian king wanted to present a special honor on one of his subjects, he granted the subject the title of “a companion of the garden,” which gave him the privilege of walking in the garden as a special friend and companion of the king.

And man did so unashamedly – for a while.

The garden of creation was God’s kingdom on earth, which contained health, wealth, welfare, safety, prosperity, peace, all God’s plan of salvation.

All that God created speaks of His forethought for benefiting all mankind, “The Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life],” (1 Cor. 8:6 Amp) created all things for the sustainment of life, so man should have The Light of the world, The Living Waters, and The Bread of Life. And “His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3 RGT)

The Father filled the emptiness of earth with His kingdom, and only the kingdom can fulfill man’s emptiness.


Come, Sit by the Well

Did Jesus get weary physically in His travels? Of course, He did. The disciple John relates one such incidence in John 4, “Eventually He came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.” (Verses 5-6 NLT) He sat at the well of the father to rest and recuperate, to quench His thirst.

Did you ever feel like that? Thirsty? Fainting? Tired? Need recharging? Just as it is possible to get weary physically, it is equally possible to get weary spiritually.

David did. He said to the Lord, “My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water,” (Ps. 63:1b NLT) and “I reach out for You. I thirst for You as parched land thirsts for rain.” (Ps 143:6 NLT)

As Jesus thirsted and sat by the well, He spoke of the Living Water to a woman, who also thirsted, and came to the well for water. He said to her, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 NLT)

Not yet recognizing her own spiritual thirst or Jesus’ meaning, she said, “‘Please, sir,’ the woman said, ‘give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again.’” (John 4:15 NLT)

When we, today, read this account in our Bibles, we understand that the Lord’s offering of refreshing, spiritual waters, is not from without, but from within, and satisfies eternally more than an oasis on the backside of the scorched Sahara desert.

As Christians, we have the privilege of sitting by the well of our Father when we crave this Living Water for our arid spirits, lowering our buckets into that well to quench our spiritual thirst, to regain our strength and power, and to rest until every thought of care, confusion, or depression is lifted.

When you become tired from your journey and your weary soul shrivels up, feeling bone-dry, what do you do? When every last drop of spiritual vitality has evaporated, do you take advantage and dip your bucket into a well to replenish your parched spirit and soul? But which well…the world’s well of lifeless drivel or the Father’s well of Living Water?

When in your arid condition, do you hear the Lord whisper His invitation to you, “Come, sit by the well”?

Prayer: Lord, when life’s trials and schedules overwhelm me, remind me to come sit with You by the well of the Father, that I may drink of those thirst-quenching, Living Waters to replenish my soul and spirit. Amen.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

The Old Gold Miner

One day, as I was bewailing a difficult circumstance in my life, the Lord gave me this vision of His working in my life…

With shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, an old gold miner knelt beside a sparkling stream of water, bubbling with life. His weather-beaten hands clutched a sizable sieve like those used years ago for panning gold. On it rested a massive amount of dirt and rocks of all sizes, shapes, and hardness.

Undaunted, he knelt there, concentrating on the debris. Shaking the sieve with vigor, then again with tenderness, he continued his apparent mission, as if on a treasure hunt for some mysterious element. The dirt and smaller pebbles slipped through the holes in the screen, disappearing downstream into waters that appeared to have a life of their own. The remaining larger, coarse rocks on the screen grated against each other, altering their appearance.

Tears began to trickle down his furrowed cheeks and fall upon the transformed rocks, washing away the leftover traces of dirt. An all-knowing smile gradually spread across his aged face. His eyes twinkled, reflecting the anticipated precious treasure, the golden gems now resting on the sieve.

He glanced up and whispered, “My Word is the screen sifting out all the impurities of your life, while the Living Waters wash them away. In My love for you, I am ever at work in your circumstances. As they rub against you, they transform you and rid you of those things that would dirty your life and taint your work for Me. As I remove them, you are made into that precious, golden gem, reflected in My eyes.”

Through this vision, the Lord showed me that, no matter what circumstances occur in my life, no matter how relentlessly they rub against me, He allows them all to be sifted through His Word, His love, and His fingers, changing me into His image and that golden reflection in His eyes.

“This means tremendous joy to you, even though at present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident – it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold…” (1 Peter 1:6-7a Phillips)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~