Joni Parsley Daydream Believer
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

*I received an email a few weeks ago that touched my heart so deeply I had to share it. It was written by a precious lady that serves wholeheartedly in our church. Her heart is so tender and pure that I knew her story was earnest while reflective. Thank you to Gabriella Nagy for writing this beautiful story and allowing me to share it with the Journal family.

The Treasure Box

A few weeks ago, God reminded me of a “little story” that I wrote more that fifteen years ago. I kept it in the back of my Hungarian Bible for so long and never shared it with anyone, except my family.

I married a missionary and that life came with a lot of moving. When our daughter was three years old, we moved back to America. We told her she could only bring a few of her favorite toys that could fit in a small box. Once we were back in the states, we moved three times in six months. Our daughter still carried her little box with her everywhere she went; we started calling it her treasure box. Gabriella wouldn’t let anyone touch this box; it was very precious to her. In her eyes, everything in it was extremely valuable.

One day, we moved into my brother in-law’s basement so I was very busy cleaning, unpacking, and moving things around. I was determined to finish everything by the time my husband came home from work. In the middle of my work, little Gabriella came to me holding her treasure box and said, “Mommy, here is my box. You can pick anything you want from my box and keep it but please, will you play with me?” I told her I was busy right then but I would play with her when I was done.

The day went by quickly, and it was nighttime, before I realized my daughter had fallen asleep. As I covered her with a blanket, I looked at her sweet face and thought she looked like a beautiful little angel. In that moment something caught my eye beside her pillow…it was the treasure box. Only then did I remember my promise to her. My heart broke and tears filled my eyes. I realized that when she offered me that box, filled with her precious little toys, she had offered me her love. It was though she was saying, “Mommy, I love you and I’ll give you anything you want if you’ll just spend time with me.” I was so hurt knowing that I’d ignored her and now, it was too late…I’d missed a valuable moment.

Just then, I sensed God speaking to my heart and teaching me an important lesson. “My child, He gently whispered, I also have a treasure box sent from Heaven filled with many gifts; I gave it to the world out of my great love. This treasure is Jesus. Many people are too busy to take the time to accept what he offers. They may take the time to take a glance at him but they never open the treasure nor accept it as their own. In Him, are the treasures of love, peace, forgiveness, healing and so much more! I gave my greatest treasure to the world…my son, Jesus Christ. All people have to do is accept this gift by opening their hearts and receiving it.”

I learned a life-changing lesson that day. What will we do with this treasure offered to us by God? I hope you won’t be like me; too busy to stop, look at my daughter’s treasure box, and accept it with love. To us, Jesus is that treasure box. He wants us to realize that we can access all the great treasures found in Him and just like my daughter did, we can carry it with us wherever we go.

Filed In: All Posts, Encouragement, Salvation |  |   27 Comments
Monday, January 21, 2013

When I was a teenager in the seventies, the Jesus Movement was in full-swing. It was the first time I’d ever heard the term “born-again” or what it meant to go to a bible study with my paperback Living Translation Bible. As most others, we sat in a circle with our fellow brothers and sisters - another popular term. There were always guitars strumming as we’d begin singing. I can still remember a few of our favorites. We’d lift our hands, close our eyes and sway to the music as we’d sing through our born-again tears. We knew what it meant to be saved and set apart…it meant something then but that’s another story. Anyway, I can still hear us singing, “They’ll Know we are Christians by our Love.” Three words said it all - God is Love. It was on our t-shirts, bracelets, bumper-stickers, and the posters on our bedroom walls. Love was the message…hmmm, hasn’t it always been, really?

Another song was, “It only takes a Spark to Get a Fire Going,” I’m not even sure if these are the titles but my fellow “Jesus People” (as we were called) will remember! I don’t know what made me drift back to “yesteryear”, but I often get that way when I see something of historical significance.

Today is Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In America, we celebrate the life of the slain civil rights leader and the advancements he made in a country that didn’t, and unfortunately at times still doesn't, treat all people as equals. I was just a little girl, but I remember the day he was killed. I remember my dad coming into my grandma’s house, where I so often was, and telling her about the shooting. I saw the news and the newspaper and really could not wrap my young mind around such a tragedy. As I grew older, I began to comprehend the significance of the life and message of this great leader. Of course, I’ve seen his renowned and moving speech, “I Have a Dream.” Today, I saw Dr. King’s monument as thousands gathered for the Presidential Inauguration. Regardless of one’s political persuasion, the swearing in of a president is still a celebration of our great country and its democracy. Having said that, I realized this day, in inaugural history, was really made possible by Dr. King’s efforts and his “dream”. Many brave men and women fought with Dr. King but it was his “spark that got the fire going”.

His legacy still serves as an inspiration and we should stop and think that this is more than a day off from work. There is a message for all of us… have a dream and have a spark. As Christians, we can have personal goals and dreams but our dreams should extend to our fellow brothers and sisters. We have a freedom that many cannot share because our message hasn’t been heard.

In the Jesus Movement, we were taught to witness our faith and took our tracts and spark and went for it! I remember the first question we would ask someone, “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” What a way to begin…who doesn’t really want or need to hear that? We don’t need to long for those days, we just need to re-ignite. Selfishness smothers a fire but selflessness is the spark that will get it going again. Selfishness lulls us to sleep while we relish in God’s blessings as though they were meant just for us. Love is meant to be shared which is why “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” If we act like Him, we will draw people to Him.

It’s a cold, snowy day in Ohio with temperatures in the twenties. Our home felt that chill so I went to the fireplace. It won’t start without a match but one flame started a roaring fire…just one.

Filed In: All Posts, Salvation, Our Nation |  |   13 Comments


About Joni

Thanking God for blessings too many to list. He is my all and my always-the glory and the lifter of my head... He never fails.