A Poured Out Life

When facing a potential life-threatening illness or procedure, FUD, my acronym for Satan’s attempts to attack you with Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, can sometimes run rampant. In preparing for a heart procedure last week, I went through all the estate planning paperwork, ensuring everything was in order. I knew God held me securely in His hands, yet I didn’t want my girl to worry about where to find things or what to do.

As the day for the procedure neared, Satan played tricks on my mind. What if I end up having coronary by-pass surgery? What if I don’t make it out of the OR? If something goes wrong, what happens to Ms. Diane, Bubba, the ranch, etc.? All these questions did was increase my stress. The gnawing question in the back of my mind was “Have I accomplished all that You meant for my life to accomplish Lord?” I realized the answer to that question lay at the crux of my angst.

During my prayers each day, I reminded God that I surrender to His will and I could not escape Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians. In it he wrote, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” (Philippians 2:17, NKJV). I wondered if this week would be my last pour. Since rededicating my life to Christ, I’ve tried to live it as my life is a cup. A vessel in which God pours Himself into as spiritual fruit, lessons, knowledge, discernment, and wisdom; which I then pour out onto the world. My belief is that as I pour out what God has filled me with, He will continue to refill me to overflowing. This process continues until I have completed the tasks He planned for my life during His creation.

Lying in the hospital awaiting my turn in the Cath Lab, it occurred to me that my Christian life has been a series of being filled, poured out, and refilled. I prayed God not only pour out the overflow (Psalm 23:5), but that He helps me to pour out all He has poured into me. It may sound silly to some, but at the end of my days, I pray God leaves not a drop in my cup.

In prayerful meditation, an unexpected rain shower pelted the window next to my bed. God was showing me I was not to pour my life out in His service, but I was to pour Him into others through my service. Like the farmer He created me to be, His glorious blessings of rain don’t pour onto the ground, they pour into the earth so it sprouts forth the harvest. This is what we are each called to do. We are to pour Him into others through our service, not pour what He has given out. Our service is aimless unless directed toward others.

Are you pouring your life out in His service or are you pouring Him into others, through your service? Share on X

As usual, much of my FUD was unrealized. While my health issues remain, at least we have answered some questions, narrowing my doctor’s focus on finding the solution. Through this trial, I received a wonderful reminder that Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7 should be an anchor in our lives. I’ve gained a fresh perspective on being filled and poured out. I don’t want to pour out, but pour in.

Ways I can do that is through my writing and speaking, my service to others, setting an example for others who witness my life, and the legacy I leave behind. I can’t know the plans God has for me, or when He’ll finish with me, but through faith I can trust that as I continue pouring, He will continue filling. That’s a promise we can each hold on to. I pray mine is a life poured out for God, and into others.

God’s blessings,



Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.


48 thoughts on “A Poured Out Life”

  1. I didn’t know you were facing this procedure, J. D..
    Praying for you and for wisdom for your medical team . It is scary to be in that place. As for being poured out, I know God will lead you in that. Your heart continues to overflow with encouragement to others. Your love for Jesus pours all around you.
    As I get older, I find myself fretting more about not seeing my children and grands…especially during this Covid-time. I wonder how many years I have left. But that is FUD for sure. As I read about Mary and Martha this morning, the story feels very relevant.

    1. Thank you Ms. Jeanne. FUD has been around for a very long time my friend. I think it a regular part of Satan’s arsenal of attacks to try and impede our journey of faith. I sure understand about the time we seem to be losing during these trying times. While Facetime, Zoom, and Skype can all help, there’s nothing quite like physical interaction with those we love. I’ve been thinking a lot about the legacy I’ll be leaving behind also ma’am. A phrase from one of my favorite Randy Travis song remains clearly in my mind lately; “It’s not what you take, when you leave this world behind you; It’s what you leave behind you when you go.” God’s blessings my friend.

  2. I’m thankful you have more pouring to do, J.D., because I agree — your love for Jesus pours out freely to all those around you. Praying for your doctor as you move forward with treatment. Take care and give your wife a hug for me! 🙂

    1. Me too Ms. Cathy! Thank you so much for your kind words and continuing prayers ma’am. Whatever the outcome of this life is, I just pray I’m empty when that day comes. 🙂 God’s blessings gentle friend.

  3. I will definitely keep you in my prayers, J. D. as you go through these uncertain medical issues. May God fill you with His love and grace that you may continue to pour out the same to those around you, my friend.

  4. What an impactful thought! I read the sentence multiple times because the difference between pouring our lives out in service for Him and pouring Him into others is subtle but crucial. Something for me to think about and to bring to the missions of our church. Thank you!
    And I am very glad your procedure was not as dire as it might have been and that you’re closing in on answers. May God provide.

    1. It was an “eye opener” for me too Ms. Cathy. When a nurse came in to insert another IV, she noticed tears. She said “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” I smiled and said “I’m not fearful, I’m just filled to overflowing with God’s love right this moment.” she smiled, squeezed my hand, and my lesson continued. I hope I somehow poured some of Him into her.

  5. I fully and wholeheartedly echo your prayer and desire. You shared that in such a beautiful way and I am grateful to hear you will continue sharing the Lord with all of us in your writing and life. You are always a blessing to me J.D. and always make me want to draw closer to God and represent Him better.

    1. With tears streaming, again, I am humbled by your words ma’am. Thank you for sharing them with me. I wonder if you realized God was using you to bless me this morning?

  6. Lisa Ballisteri

    Good morning Mr. Jim,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and your life.
    Well as someone with experience of your love and kindness of Christ I can honestly say that you poured Him into my life immensely through your words and actions when we were going through everything with my aunt.
    I am thankful and blessed to know you.

    1. Ms. Lisa, trying to care and help transition your Aunt Anne was more blessing than challenge my friend. Her anger was her pain and fear to let go of this life in the end. It was understood, and prayerfully addressed. Thank you for the rich blessing that is your family’s enduring friendship.

  7. JD, I’m so thankful the procedure has given your doctor direction so you can continue to do all the things you enjoy around the Cross-Dubya! What an insightful discernment between pouring out and pouring in. I’ll be thinking about that today. Thank you for sharing that.

    1. Me too Ms. Karen. Thank you so much for your kind words ma’am; and your continuing encouragement. I wonder of heaven has “Super Friend” awards? If so, you’re a shoe in. 🙂

  8. JD – I am glad you have some answers are are continuing to be a vessel poured out! This is such a good thought – I’m asking this of myself regularly these days as I feel somewhat like my ability to pour into others has been severely limited. I am asking the Lord to reveal the every day ways He asks me to be His vessel.

    1. Thank you Ms. Denise. I pray each day that God guides all my writing friends into how you might best pour into others and share His good news through bringing His light and love into this world.

  9. Thanks J.D., this ol’ papa has had a few FUD moments before a life-sustaining surgery too and know that position, but, as you so well said, the Lord knows and we are in His hands and thanks. Be assured we are holding you too.

  10. J.D. your FUD acronym really spoke to me. I often stress over the what-ifs and the enemy gains ground. So thankful your procedure went well. I, too, want to let the Lord pour into me as I pour into others.

    “Each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me” (Psalm 42:8 NLT).

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. I came up with that acronym many years ago; but it’s only been in the past 10 years or so that I could apply it to my spiritual life. Satan uses FUD to attack us using “The Devil’s Four Ds.” 🙂 Thank you for your prayers, support, and all your kindness my friend.

  11. JD – you pour in many ways and praying for that to continue. I love how you expressed we are poured out and refilled. And your FUD will be something I will remember so that I am not drained. Blessings for your good health!

  12. Hello, friend. I’m so grateful the procedure provided some direction and will continue to pray for your health. Thank you for pouring into my life through your words of encouragement, J.D. I appreciate you! Many blessings, Tammy

  13. Kathy Collard Miller

    I’m so glad it’s the Lord’s will for you to continue to pour out your wisdom on all of us.

  14. Your life is a shining example of pouring into others, JD. Prayers for total healing and continued filling from Jesus as He pours out His mercy and grace. I appreciate your pouring into my life with your godly wisdom. Blessings!

    1. Thank you for both your kind words and your oft-voiced prayers Ms. Karen. Both are so very appreciated ma’am. I’m glad you enjoyed the post; as I do yours also.

  15. Great post, J.D. and thanks for giving us a glimpse into what your procedure was about. How interesting that you would write about this topic as I have become more and more in tune as to this very thing. I still hear your words ring in my ears from months ago that I am not just a writer but a Christian writer, and I have a responsibility. I love my role to give God the glory, share the blessings, and let others experience it for themselves. I know God uses my writing to challenge but moreso, to encourage. Thank you for your insights. And thank you for taking care of you. We need you, J.D.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. I believe God needs all our voices right now, in a chorus of praise, edification, and encouragement for others to seek Him. I’m so pleased that you and your words endeavor to reach audiences each day ma’am. You are a living example of the importance of pouring into others.

  16. So glad you are back. Thanks for this good post. Often I want to “keep” what God has poured into me, selfishly enjoying it myself. You and your writing and comments, challenges, prayers have been very precious to me.
    You said you don’t want a drop left in your cup when you die – having poured it all out for Him and others, but also maybe having “drunk” God’s perfect will for you to the last. Bless you!

    1. You are too kind Ms. Debbie. Thank you so much for all the prayers, support, and encouragement sweet friend. I’m definitely satisfied with God; and I too am glad He’s decided to pour out more into me. God’s blessings ma’am.

  17. Tricia Heideman

    In reading your post I learned what I’m facing is minor, annoying and aggravating, but yet, still minor. For one, tears streamed down my face to hear of your heart trouble. I’m grateful and thankful that you are good and still on this earth. You have always taught me things to better me. I remember as a teenager looking up to, as I still do. I’m grateful for the lessons you have always been able to teach me. And look forward to more ranch analogies to help me on my way. You Sir are a blessing. I don’t doubt for one second that I am strong in my faith, I just needed a friendly reminder. Thank you, I’m grateful. May the Lord bless you and all you touch.

    1. Thank you ma’am. I’m not one to be looked up to however. I encourage you to keep your eyes on Christ. Like any human being, I’m subject to fault and failure. I pray it’s not as often as it used to be, but I still fail almost daily it seems. Seek the One who will never fail us sweet girl. God’s blessings.

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