#memoryverse: John 3:27 ~ I have nothing unless it is given from Heaven

Bible BB John 3 27 Person cannot receive even one thing unless given him from Heaven#memoryverse

“John answered,
“A person cannot receive
even one thing
it is given him
from heaven.

John 3:27 (ESV)


I have nothing unless it is given to me from Heaven.

First and foremost,
that means grace.

John 6:44 tells me: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

I hate the hard truth of this, but I know that if left completely to myself, I would not choose God. If I drill down to the core of each and every sin, I recognize a desire to act independently of God. That desire to choose for myself what is right or wrong, rather than submitting to God’s authority, is sin.

And sin separates me from God.

It’s by grace that my intimate, living, dependent relationship with God is restored through Christ’s sacrifice. Grace that is given to me from heaven.

Secondly, it means everything else:

Of course there’s all the tangible “stuff” like a home, a car, the food in my pantry and fridge, the computer I’m typing on…

but so. much. more. is “given to me from heaven.”

– My husband. My children.
– My health, my strength, the fact that I don’t live with chronic pain and have never faced a life-threatening illness.
– Success in any endeavor, whether it be work, ministry or anything else.
– Financial security.
– My talents. Not only knowledge, but my ability to read and understand and learn.
– My imagination. Any idea I ever come up with.
– My awareness of God’s presence and movement in my life.
– The courage and motivation I find to be obedient when the Holy Spirit prompts me to act or speak.
– The indwelling of the Holy Spirit which equips me beyond my own abilities. Romans 8:9-11
– The confident that is grounded in fact that He is “with me wherever I go.” Joshua 1:9
– The peace that comes from a relentless awareness of his sovereign providence. Job 42:2
– And then there are the harder things that His Word promises He will work for “good” and are meant to “conform me” to the image of Christ.

    The trials I don’t understand.
    The disappointments.
    The seasons when He is silent.
    The fact that I struggle to submit to His authority. Daily. Sometimes hourly.

I have NOTHING unless it is given me from heaven.

The breath I just took.

I can’t take credit for any of it and I’m not in control of any of it.

Dependent upon the Holy Spirit to remind me, I need to be diligent about remembering all this and being grateful. When I’m mindful and grateful, I’m a better steward of all God blesses me with, and that includes the blessings in disguise.

one man’s trash.

Every year, on the first weekend of October, my church hosts a huge rummage sale, called the Whale of a Sale. All year long, we collect pre-owned items, storing them in PODs on church campus. Then, two Saturdays before the sale, we empty the PODs and fill a gymnasium. For two weeks, we continue to accept donations, organizing and pricing everything from furniture to – literally – kitchen sinks.

Inevitably, well-intentioned people donate broken, torn and dirty items. One dedicated volunteer who organizes the linens every year finds a few donated suitcases, fills them with dirty sheets, blankets, curtains and bedspreads, takes them home, washes them and brings them back. She’s diligent. Why bother with stinky, dirty donations? Why not just throw them away? Because she also volunteers for the United Methodist Children’s Home and she knows. She knows that some people have nothing. And dirty can be washed. Torn can be mended.

Last year, a leather couch was donated. At one time, it must have been beautiful. After hours of standing, day after day on a cement gymnasium floor, I can tell you it was comfortable.

But it was also dirty.

Some of the volunteers wanted to throw it out. I said no. They gave me their reasons, I gave mine. As co-chair of the event, I pulled rank and the couch stayed.

It didn’t sell. The first charity truck we called to pick up the remaining sale items left it behind.

But the day after the sale, before the second charity truck was to arrive, a church family brought in another family in need. We told them they could have anything they saw. We were offering them the stuff that no one bought, the stuff that a charity truck left behind.

Among the items remaining were a few Bibles, which we always give away freely during the sale. The children each picked up a Bible and the littlest one, a little girl no more than five, who had found a children’s bible, looked up at me and asked, “I can have this? It’s mine?”

Nearly wrecked me.

When I said, “it’s yours!” she ran to her mom to show her, saying “LOOK WHAT I GOT!!”

That’s when I noticed her dad, a very big guy, sitting on a very big, very comfortable leather sofa, with a very big smile on his face.

They filled a pick-up truck and a mini-van.

I am so blessed.

(This is not the couch, just what the mom was talking about doing to it)

tell me your “God story”

Think back over your life.

What was something you prayed about that you believed at the time turned out very badly but now, in retrospect, you see was the best thing that could have happened?

Can you see situations in your life where God saved you from a negative consequence or used a bad situation as a foundation for something great? Did someone else share their God story with you?

I want to hear about your blessing in disguise!!!

Comment! Email! If you know me in “real” life, tell me face to face!

it i$ what it i$

UPDATE: After the steering column repair, we hooked up the boat trailer. At our first stop (the gas station) the truck wouldn’t come out of park. Long story short? It was the fuse for the brake lights. It blew when we hooked up the lights for the trailer. Unhooked the lights, changed the fuse. Back in business. So did we need a new steering column? Yes. Could it have lasted a little longer? Probably. would I have wanted to be driving it when the steering column finally gave out? Definitely not.


and three days.

In case you missed it, we had a little problem with our truck. To be a little more specific, here’s the voice mail message from our mechanic:

Hello Mr. and Mrs. Mills, this is HardWorkingMechanic. I just got off the phone with Mr. Mills, and told him that I had found a steering column for him in California, which I had, but by the time I called, it was sold. (pause) There are no others in the country that I know of. (pause) There are no others that I have been able to find at this time. (pause) I don’t really know what to say at this time. But I uh, cannot find a steering column for this vehicle and unless a miracle happens, we cannot fix this vehicle at this time. (long pause) So, call us back at . . .

FirstHusband was on travel, so I called back. HardWorkingMechanic went through even more details. It turns out there’s a nationwide network of junkyards. The first steering column he found was in Jacksonville, Florida, but when he called, it had sold 4 hours earlier. The second column, the one he was referring to in the voice mail, sold right out from under him. The next day, a new resource led him to a third column, located in Clearwater, Florida, and he jumped on it! Unfortunately, when they went to pull it from the vehicle (in a junkyard), they discovered it had been stolen.

So I asked, “Is there any other column that could be fitted or modified?” (the optimism stemming from incredulous disbelief at this situation)

Maybe. There were more than a few configurations of this steering column. Ours had no airbag, it had tilt and it had cruise control. Finding a steering column with an airbag was easy. Unfortunately, the airbag wouldn’t fit inside the steering column casing on our truck, so that was out. HardWorking Mechanic thought he might be able to find a non-airbag steering column without tilt or cruise control.

no cruise control? For me? I am 5 feet 4 inches tall and this is a Ford F250. My feet don’t touch the floor when I sit on the couch in my living room. So, no cruise control would be . . . inconvenient when I drive the truck. For FirstHusband? It’s about comfort and gas mileage. He gets better gas mileage when he uses the cruise control.

tilt? I don’t need no stinking tilt.

So, the searching begins again. I find three rebuilt steering columns (with no tilt) on ebay with a “Buy it Now” of $250. HardWorkingMechanic reminds me that if HE finds one and it doesn’t work, he can send it back. ebay? Not so much. We agree that he should exhaust his sources before we buy one of the ebay steering columns.

Wednesday passes. Thursday. At 4:30 the phone rings:

I say, “How ya doing?

HardWorkingMechanic: pretty good.

Me: “How are we doing?”

HardWorkingMechanic: “Do you want your truck back? It’s ready.”

Me: “NO WAY!”

HardWorkingMechanic: “Yep. We got a steering column with an airbag and used the parts from it to rebuild yours. It doesn’t have tilt, but it does have cruise.”

So, we don’t have to replace the truck. We don’t have to sell our boat to buy another vehicle and take on a payment. We picked up the truck this morning.

Not that we need it this weekend, mind you, because we are going boating. The truck’s last trip before “steering column death” was to take the boat to dry storage in the marina at Cape Canaveral. We call, they put it in the water for us by the time we get there, and we spend the day on the Banana River, getting to know our new boat.

Thanks to everyone who asked their husbands about this! Thanks for the good wishes, the sympathy and the prayers.

it is what it is and “it” isn’t so bad.