Sunday Meditation

I’ve been meditating on Psalm 84 for the last few days. There’s a lot in that short psalm so I’ve been taking it one verse at a time. It was appropriate that on a Sunday, I should come to verse 4, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” As I was reading through some sources, I came across this thought. Be a dweller, not a visitor, in God’s house. To dwell is to live there. Most of us don’t live at our church. Some pastors and their families may live on the property, but I believe there is still a principle here. God’s house was ‘home’ for this psalmist. It’s where he longed to be. It made me wonder, is God’s house ‘home’ for me? Is it somewhere I long to be? 

Spurgeon says about this verse, “To come and go is refreshing, but to abide in the place of prayer must be heaven below. To be the guests of God, enjoying the hospitalities of heaven, set apart for holy work, screened from a noisy world, and familiar with sacred things—why this is surely the choicest heritage a son of man can possess.” The phrase that struck a chord with me here is to be screened from a noisy world. We are definitely living in a noisy world!!  For my part, I have been around so much sorrow lately, the sorrow of those I care about and some of my own. I know I need the fellowship of other believers to be refreshed.  We all do. Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. Being an active part of a local church is one of the ways we can do this.

The second half of the verse says they will still be praising God. Spurgeon says, “So near to God, their very life must be adoration…Communion is the mother of adoration. They fail to praise the Lord who wander far from him, but those who dwell in him are always magnifying him.” When we dwell in God and in His house, we will be praising Him. We won’t be able to help ourselves!

This verse ends with that little word, Selah. Spurgeon says, “It is worthwhile to pause and meditate upon the prospect of dwelling with God and praising him throughout eternity.”

I will end with that thought. I hope you will join me in pausing and meditating upon the prospect of dwelling with God and praising Him forever! That thought alone should provide a screen from this noisy world!

photo: Lake Murray, SC

One Word 2023

seeking joy in all of my circumstances

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

“O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice [shout with joy]
and be glad all our days.”

Psalm 90:14

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:2-4

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10

Drinking at the Springs

During this time of absence from my blog, I’ve been thinking about how to move forward. When I first started the blog many years ago, it provided an easy way to share my life experiences in Japan with family and friends. It has changed over the years in significant ways.

As I began to share about my life in Japan, I connected with some missionary women. This led me to be more open about some of my struggles and what the Lord was teaching me through them. As I did this, it gave me more opportunities to minister to women serving abroad and at home.

What I have been sharing here in recent days doesn’t seem to fit with my original intent and the title. I have been praying for a new title and a new purpose for this small corner of the web. I have finally concluded that now is the time.

One of my favorite old hymns is Drinking at the Spring of Living Water. It talks about drinking at the springs of living water in John 4:14. Psalm 1 tells us that the one who delights in God’s Word and meditates in it day and night will be like a tree planted by the rivers or streams of water. This kind of tree yields fruit. It has a leaf that doesn’t wither or fall. Whatever it does prospers. I want to be that tree and I would like to encourage you my faithful readers to be that tree. While meditating on this, it seemed fitting to change the name of my blog to Drinking at the Springs. You may not notice too many changes. I will continue to share about Japan from time to time, but the main thrust of the blog will be what God is teaching me as I sit drinking at the springs of His Word.

A Life Update

I knew that it had been a while since I posted a blog entry, but I was stunned when I realized the last date that I posted. It was not my intention to disappear. In the summer of 2022, the Lord allowed me to visit the states to be present for the birth of our second grandchild. I was so happy to be there for that happy event. Since I was making the trip, I decided to come back a couple of weeks early so that I could spend Father’s Day with my dad. Living in Japan, there are few of those days together and I felt impressed to try to make that happen.

I returned to Japan and less than one month later I received a phone call. It was one of those phone calls that no one wants to get. My father was experiencing back pain for months. It’s a very long story, but needless to say, nothing helped and the pain only increased. It had become intolerable. He finally asked his doctor to admit him to the hospital to find out what was causing the pain. He received the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer that had metastasized to his bones. I returned to the states shortly after receiving that phone call to help my brother with his care.

In the meantime, my husband’s father (in Japan) took a fall in January that landed him in the hospital. He has been hospitalized for five weeks and we aren’t sure when he may be discharged. He is not allowed any visitors due to covid. He and my mother-in-law talk on the phone daily. So my husband is in Japan helping with his parents’ care and I am in the states helping with my father.

We have had many needs in our small church in Japan. In some regards, I feel like we are being hit from every side. But God…He is my strength and my song!!  I’ve seen Him work in so many ways. Maybe in the days ahead, I will be able to share some of those things. I’ve been trying to keep a journal and a “thank you” list of all the things God has done during this time.

I usually post about my one word at the beginning of January. I usually know what my one word for the next year will be in the fall. This year I had no clue. I started praying about it and through a series of events, the Lord impressed the word JOY on my heart. I will be sharing a little about that in the days ahead. 

Thank you for your prayers on the behalf of our family. They mean more than we can say!


Stay in the Sanctuary: Praising God

What started out as one post, Stay in the Sanctuary, has turned into a series.  I did not intend that, but God keeps teaching me what it means to stay in His sanctuary. This helps me to gain His perspective on the events in my life and the world around me. The latest area that He has been teaching me is in the area of praise. God’s sanctuary is a place of praise.

As we spend time in God’s sanctuary, we see that “Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” (Psalm 96:6)  As we begin to see these things, it is only fitting that we should “Lift up [our] hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.” (Psalm 134:2) 

Matthew Henry says of Psalm 150:1, “Praise EL, or the strong one, in His holy place…Praise begins at home. In God’s own house pronounce His praise.”  While it is important to praise God in His house or what we call the church today, we mustn’t forget that we are His temple.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 

Matthew Henry goes on to list ways that we can praise God.  “Praise God with a strong faith; praise God with holy love and delight; praise Him with an entire confidence in Christ; praise Him with a believing triumph over the powers of darkness; praise Him with an earnest desire towards Him; and a full satisfaction in Him; praise Him by a universal respect to all His commandments; praise Him by a cheerful submission to all His disposals; praise Him by rejoicing in His love, and solacing yourselves in His great goodness; praise Him by promoting the interests of the Kingdom of His grace; praise Him by a lively hope and expectation of the Kingdom of His glory.” WOW!! How on earth can I do all that? By staying in the sanctuary of His Word! 

In the days ahead I want to spend more time meditating on each of these areas so that I can praise Him. One area in particular that stood out to me is to solace myself in His great goodness. God is taking me to another level in understanding His goodness.  It’s not enough to know that He is good.  To show true praise for this attribute of God, I must find comfort in it! I am looking forward to seeing what God will do in the days ahead as I continue on my quest of staying in the sanctuary and gaining more of His perspective from His Word!

First Love

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.”
-Revelation 2:4

First love…I’ve done a lot of pondering over those two words in recent months.  It’s a concept that we don’t often think of.  When we hear or read Revelation 2:4, it may cause us to squirm a little.  We may think, “I love the Lord. I haven’t left Him.” Revelation 2:4 doesn’t say that we left Him.  It says we left our first love.

When I am studying something, I like to look up words in the dictionary.  I use the Blue Letter Bible app to look up the meaning in the original language.  I also like to read different translations.  One translation says, “You have abandoned the love you had at first.” Sometimes those of us who have walked with the Lord for a long time get bogged down with life.  We get settled in our relationship with the Lord.  Maybe it even becomes routine. We don’t like to think of the words left or abandon. But when we allow life to crowd into our relationship with the Lord, that is what we are doing.

For the last several months, I have had the privilege of being around a young man who has that first love. This young man has no Christianity in his background or in his family.  He received no gospel witness from a Christian or a gospel tract.  God took this man to the end of himself.  At that point, God gave him the desire to pick up a Bible and start reading it. He led him to visit our church in December.  He kept coming back.  He had to have surgery that required hospitalization.  During the hospital stay, he read his Bible for 12 hours a day!!! He is thrilled to have met Jesus Christ.  He has been gloriously saved. This was all the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!! (Psalm 118:23) It has been a privilege to watch the Lord draw this young man to Himself.

As I watched all of this unfold, I also watched what being around this young man did for the members of our church and me. There is something contagious about being around someone with that first love.  There were several things I noticed in this man’s life that gave me pause to consider my own spiritual life. 

First, he cannot get enough of God’s Word.  He is faithful to every service at church.  He meets with my husband for weekly Bible study. He reads and studies his Bible every free moment. He has started memorizing some of God’s Word.  

This young man has a tremendous burden for those who don’t know the Lord.  His first prayer request after his salvation was for family members that do not know the Lord.  He makes sure his two-year-old daughter is at church. He wants her to grow up knowing the true God. He has a heavy burden for his wife and his parents.  He wants them to know the truth. He is so excited about the peace that God has given him and the change that God has wrought in his life, that he wants everyone to know.

He had two huge tests for a young believer in this land where we serve. The day before his baptism, he had to take a stand against ancestor worship. He did it without hesitation. The day after his baptism, his boss told him that he needed to move to another city to keep his job. He declined. As a result, he is looking for a new job. He told my husband that he did not think it would be good for his spiritual life to relocate at this time.  He went on to say that this is a good time for him to learn to trust the Lord.  

As I watched all of this take place, I saw the people of our church get excited at what God is doing in this man’s life.  There is a new fervor among the people. There is a new zeal to pray for unsaved loved ones.  We have been reminded that God is still working to draw people to Himself. 

In my own life, I have seen areas where I am not trusting God as I should. I have had my burden for others increase. I have meditated on the changes God has wrought in my life with thanksgiving. I am praying for God to increase my desire for His Word and He is answering. 

What about you? Have you left your first love? Meditate on all the things God has done in your heart and your life.  Spend more time in His Word and prayer with thanksgiving. As you do that, see if you don’t return to that first love!

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I shall go there to dwell in that city, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart! 

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
~Rufus H. McDaniel

35th Anniversary

Thirty-five years ago, we said, “I do!”  We still do!! Tim is a daily example of Christ’s unconditional love to me. I am so grateful for him! We had these photos taken during cherry blossom season this year.  A special thank you to Kyohei Nishimura for the beautiful photos.  He made us look good!


Last week was a national holiday here. Golden Week occurs from the end of April through the first few days of May and is a week that has four national holidays.  Many people travel during this time.  We took the time to escape from the big city and visit my husband’s parents in the countryside. I love spending time here. I enjoy the fellowship with family. I also enjoy the slower pace and the long walks along the river and the rice fields.  At this time of year, the farmers are flooding the rice fields and beginning to plant. I never get tired of seeing the reflections in the water.  The view depends on the time of day. Sometimes you can see the mountains reflected and other times you can see the buildings that are in the area.

As I was walking and thinking about all I was seeing, I began to think about other types of reflections.  The most important reflection would be what I know and meditate on about my God.

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
~A. W. Tozer

In the comments of a post by Whitney, she mentioned keeping a list of what she learns about God from her daily Bible time on her phone.  I’m a notebook and paper kind of girl, but I don’t always have a notebook with me.  I do find myself using my phone for things more often than not. So I started a note in my app on my phone called “One Thing” based on Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”

When I was a much younger woman, I remember that an assistant pastor at our church encouraged us to get one thought from the Word each day.  I have tried to maintain this habit for years, but I don’t always write it down. If I do, I might write it on the page for the day in my bullet journal.  I liked the idea of having it in one place on my phone so that I can see it any time I want.  I have found myself reviewing my “one thing” while waiting in line or sitting in the car. These are times when I would not have my notebook with me.

In closing, I would like to share one of my recent entries.  Maybe you’d like to share one of your thoughts from the Word in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12

“…make those verses our own through faith and obedience. For a stronger faith, focus your mental energy on the verses God gives you. That’s the best exercise of the soul. Where there is a command, obey it. Where there is a prayer, offer it. Where there is a truth, believe it. Where there is a message, repeat it. Where there is a promise, claim it by faith.” ~Robert Morgan, author of Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation.

This is My Word

As the snow falls from heaven,
As it comes in swirling showers from the sky,
So is my Word.
As the rains bring the water to the earth that is thirsty and dry,
So is my Word.
And the Word of my mouth, it shall not return empty:
It will bless the earth wherever it is heard.
This is my Word.

As the rain brings renewal
And the tender buds begin to come alive,
So is my Word.
Giving seed to the sower,
And the bread to the hungry ’til they thrive,
So is my Word.
And the Word of my mouth, it shall not return empty;
It will bless the earth wherever it is heard.
This is my Word.

O Lord, when I am weary,
When I feel the days I’m living are in vain,
My God, help me be faithful to the Word You have given to proclaim.
Proclaim the Word, and you will go out in joy,
And be led forth in peace,
And the hills will break before you into song.
So be faithful, brave and true,
For I will go before you,
And when your earthly journey here is done.
I’ll say well done, well done!

As the snow falls from heaven,
And the rain comes in showers from the sky,
This is my Word.

Words and Music by Pepper Choplin


I’ve been doing some “spring cleaning” here at the blog.  I removed some of the clutter in the tabs and there is a new bio links page.  I created this for people who come from Instagram.  Instagram only allows one link in your profile.  You may notice an affiliate link for Rachelyn Jewelry.  This is not a monetized blog and I do not run monetized social media.  Rachelyn is a sweet Christian young lady that makes beautiful high-quality jewelry. I share it on Instagram occasionally.

I have also started another blog for our supporters.  This helps us to keep them updated more regularly.  If you would like these updates, you can subscribe to Japan for Christ: Melton Ministry Updates.

Have a blessed day!!