The Invitations

Birthdays come no matter how we feel.  Young and energetic, or weary and worn-out, those years add up!  And while we know we should be thankful for every breath that comes our way, if we would be honest, I think each one of us has had a year or two when we just weren’t sure HOW to feel about an upcoming Birthday.

Such was the case for me this summer, as my next Birthday was looming before me.  

Where had this past year gone? 
How could it be time for another Birthday already? 
What direction would I, or should I be moving?

I must admit that I have felt a little like a ship without a mooring, as this journey through chronic illness has kept shifting the pathway in front of me. So when my dear blogging friend, Ifeoma Samuel, for whom I had offered a small bit of editing assistance, let me know the date that the book would be released, I felt a surging of encouragement in my soul:
The release date is today, my Birthday. 

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'”
The very first invitation that Ifeoma shared in her book, 
“The Invitations: 21 Hearty Devotions for your Soul” 
 was the offer that Jesus put forth to the Woman at the Well. You might have read here, about my own travels with that very woman, about the years of portraying her through a drama with my family. If you did, then you know how this particular passage holds such deep meaning for me. So when Ifeoma closed the first chapter with this prayer, I felt the Lord speaking it personally over me:
 “Lord Jesus, the road looks rough and uncertain. Strengthen me for the journey ahead. The world is in despair, but in you, Jesus, there is hope eternal. The world is a dark and lonely place, but in you is the Light. Flood me with your water of refreshing, and let my soul bask in the beauty of your glory in Jesus name. Amen”

SAMUEL, IFEOMA. THE INVITATIONS: 21 Hearty Devotions For Your Soul. (Kindle Locations 178-180). Purposeful and Meaningful. Kindle Edition. 

His Words are eternal, my friend. When He invited that woman to drink of the water that He would give, she could not have known how many people down through the ages would find the refreshing that only HE could bring.

And when “the Spirit and the Bride say come” they are still speaking to you and to me, today, just as much as they were speaking to the Apostle John who penned those words so many years ago.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
Revelation 22:17 

We tend to think that what we are facing today is worse than any other time in history. Perhaps we are, as Jesus, Himself, told us that evil would increase, as the day of HIS returning draws near.

But there is ONE who has not changed,
ONE who still offers us
to draw nearer to His heart.

The ONE who chose the date
of my Birth,
And the ONE who knows the number
of my days,
Sees the days for you, too, my friend.
He has so much 
and so much
for each of us.

Ifeoma has been used by the Lord to speak these invitations so beautifully, again, to us today. I would encourage you to read along with her, and hear in a new setting, 21 Invitations that our Lord has offered through His Word.

His calling still echoes to us 
as He invites us 
to come and be fed by Him.

 “The Invitations: 21 Hearty Devotions for your Soul,” by Ifeoma Samuel

is available now at Amazon
by clicking here. 

18 thoughts on “The Invitations

  1. Dear Ifeoma,
    Oh I do feel the same about you, my sister! I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together through these interwebs! What an encouragement you have been to me also! Thank you for the sweet Birthday wishes! Love and Hugs to you!


  2. I love Ifeoma's heart and wisdom, so I'm sure her book is going to much of the same and more! Praying that it really reaches those who need to read it most! And I'm with you, Bettie! I don't exactly look forward to birthdays anymore, but I hope yours is especially meaningful and joyous! As my friend Andrew said at his blog today (or recently), each day offers opportunities that we should snatch up with gusto! That's a good reason to keep on enjoying every day and year of our lives! Thanks for coming by my visiting my place!


  3. Happy Birthday, Bettie! May God refresh your soul with His living waters! I just added Ifeoma's devotional to my Amazon wish list. It sounds so inspirational. The prayer at the end of the first chapter really resonates in my heart. Blessings and hugs!


  4. Dear Beth,
    It's so good to have you visiting here today! Thank you for your sweet comments. And what a sweet perspective on living–snatching up those opportunities God offers us every day! I hope you are able to read Ifeoma's latest book; I think you will be blessed!


  5. Dear Trudy,
    Thank you for you beautiful Birthday thoughts! I am so grateful that these words here resonated in your heart today; I do think you would be so blessed by Ifeoma's book. When we look at the ways that our Lord has invited us, we have so much to be encouraged by! Blessings and Hugs to you too, my friend!


  6. Happy Birthday, sweet friend! I love the sounds of this book! I have been thinking of these very thoughts of how Jesus invites us to come to Him. Oh, what would we do without Jesus? My dear Mom used to sing a song to me that said, “What Should We Do Without Jesus?”, and I often hear her singing that in my mind. I feel like I lean on Him harder now than I ever have in my entire life. Mom also used to tell me that God is pleased the most when we lean on Him the hardest. He must be mighty pleased with me right now! (Smile) Sending much love to you and many wishes for many, many more happy birthdays!!


  7. Hi Bettie,
    So we share a September birthday!? Mine is the 22nd and I had the exact same thoughts as you did — it seems as if my best years are behind me, but we know that's not true, isn't it? But what a lovely surprise that Ifeoma's book release date fell on your birthday! Yes, we should feel grateful for another year of life, but it's hard to grow older (as women, I think!) and see all the changes that have taken place in us, although most times I'm glad I'm not 25 again! (But 37 would be nice!) xoxo Hope your day was a happy one!


  8. Oh thank you so much Cheryl! Yes, I hope you are able to get Ifeoma's book–it is such a great devotional. I love the sound of that song that your Mom used to sing. I wonder if it's on Youtube? I may have to look that up and try to find it, because it speaks such a true question. We are like Peter–to whom shall we go, Lord? You have the Words of Life that we need! I am keeping your family in my prayers, as you lean on Him. Much Love and Hugs to you my friend!


  9. Hi Valerie,
    What fun to share our Birthday time in September! I agree with you that I'm glad I'm not 25 again–but just a younger visit for a few days would be nice! (smile) I am so grateful that God's plans for us are always new and fresh, every morning! Thank you for the sweet words you always speak here! May the Lord bless you with a wonderful day also, my friend! xoxo


  10. Dear Meg,
    Wow!! How fun to see another September Birthday–and I just saw on FB that our friend Michele Morin is celebrating her Birthday too! When I was younger, it seemed there were not many September Birthdays, but now I am finding a whole tribe! 🙂 I hope you do get to read Ifeoma's book; it is a treasure! Have a wonderful day celebrating your Birthday too my friend! xoxo


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