Thursday, May 28, 2015

DAILY DEVO...we all need friends

When I look over my life, I can recall different people who have come and gone. I'm not necessarily talking about those who have passed away. I'm talking about friendships that once were, but have disappeared.


We all need friends in our life. I don't mean friends that make us laugh or make us feel good. I'm talking about the kind of friends that love us enough to share Christ with us and share correction in love when it is needed.


It is difficult to find a friend like that. I was reminded of this when I was chatting with an old friend of mine. Seems like time can slip away and we don't get to talk like we use to, but when we do, it's so refreshing to hear of how God is working in her life. Every time I hang up the phone, I feel refreshed and wanting more of God in my own life.


You see, a friend with zeal for Christ, will become contagious to you and you will want more of what they have.


It is true what is said, "we become like those we hang around" or "bad company corrupts good morals". I suppose this is what the writer of Hebrews is referring to:


"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." -Hebrews 10:25



Be the kind of friend that stirs up Christ in others and more importantly, choose friends who do the same. We all need friends, but we also need the right ones; godly ones!


Monday, May 18, 2015

LACED WITH GRACE...sleeping thru the winds

Today, I have shared the following devotion with the readers of Laced With Grace. Everyday, you can find inspiring devotions written by spirit led ladies. I'm proud to be associated with such a great team. Be sure to check out our devo site... www.lacedwithgrace.com

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There are two things that are guaranteed to happen during a storm in the night. Number one, my dogs and my husband will be up, sitting on the porch watching the storm approach. And secondly, I will be found in the bed, asleep, unaware.

Have you ever slept thru a nasty storm in the night?

So many times I have. I wake up the next morning and look out the window and see not branches from the trees, but limbs from the tree, slewn all over the yard. To my amazement, my husband will say to me, "Didn't you hear it storm last night?"

Duh...No, because I WAS asleep!

Time after time, as I serve with my husband in fulltime ministry, we have seen people come in our offices that have been caught asleep during a storm.

Fierce storms have come into thier lives such as grief and death, divorce, sickness, addictions, difficult relationships, financial distress and so many more. And over and over again we hear the same thing, "I didn't see it coming".

I am reminded today of the story I read about the farmhand that could sleep thru the storm...
"Years ago, a farmer was looking for a hired hand to work on his farm in the Atlantic. It was difficult for him to find anyone who would be willing to work along the Atlantic where storms raged, causing havouc on farms and crops.

After many applicants turned down his offer for employment, finally a short, thin, older man approached the farmer about the job. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep thru the winds", the little old man replied.

The farmer didn't quite understand what that meant but he hired him anyway. Soon after, a nasty storm swept over the Atlantic one night. The farmer jumped out of bed, grabbed his lantern and rushed to the farmhand's quarters and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming!"

The little man, who was agitated to be awoken at such a late hour, rolled over and said, "I told you, I sleep thru the winds."

His response infuriated the farmer, he wanted to just fire him but first he needed to get out and save his crops from the storm. To his amazement, he found that all of the haystacks had been covered, the cows were put up in the barn, the chickens were in the coop safely and all of the doors were barred closed. Everything was tied down and secure, nothing could blow away.

Finally, the farmer understood what the farmhand meant. So the farmer returned to his bed and slept thru the winds."
I wanted to share that story today with you because often I think you and I are like that farmer, but all the while, God intends for us to be more like the farmhand. He wants us to be prepared for the storms brewing and coming our way. God never wants us to be fearful or live life restlessly.

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." - Psalm 4:8
 
I don't know what keeps you awake at night, but God wants you to rest in Him. When we learn to do that, it is then that we can sleep thru the winds. Trust God and sleep well, my friend!

Monday, May 4, 2015

TODAY'S DAILY...everyone wants to be first!

When I was still in school, as a young child, everyone wanted to be picked "first" for the team. I seldom was. But everyone wants to be picked first for something! First to reach the top of the mountain during a climb, first one across the finish line, first one in line at a concert. 

So many firsts, but yet, the one "first" that I don't think I would have wanted was to be the first mother. I'm glad Eve took that spot for all of us girls.

With Mothers Day coming up, I was thinking about Eve and all of the things she went without. She didn't have a Lamaze coach, no pregnancy books, she didn't have a mother or mother in law to help with laundry after delivery, she had no midwife, no other mothers to have mommy days out with, no childcare facility to apply to. She didn't even have a Babies-R-Us to register at.

Poor Eve!

"And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." -Genesis 3:20

But even without all of that, the first mother set the tone for all mothers to come. She loved her children. She laughed with them, grew up with them and even cried with them and for them. The first mother had to bury one of her sons, a death that came at the hands of another son.

I don't envy the first mother at all, but yet, I see that our own mothers and I, as a mother, have become a lot like her. Feeling the emotions that she felt, from giving birth to living as a Grandmother, and all of the in-between.

Being "first" isn't really something we should crave, after all, it isn't always the best thing for us to be first. Instead, the best thing is concentrating on Who is first in our lives. Make sure Christ is the center of your world, living a life that is Christ-centered will ensure that you are number one (first) in the eyes and hearts of those watching you.

Whether you are a mother or if you call someone mother...put God first in all that you do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DAILY DEVO...live a life worthy of less of you

I see so much self-centeredness in today's world. So much focus on "self" and little consideration for others, including God.


I read a quote from Billy Graham that said this...


"Hypochondria, a mental disorder which is accompanied by melancholy and depression, is often caused by self-pity and self-centeredness."



Now, I'm confident that most of us are not hypochondriacs, but I do think that having a self-centered attitude can be the cause of much of the distress in our lives!


We can suffer from spiritual nearsightedness...that is, a condition where people put their interests, their attentions and their energies upon themselves and their world. They don't see things very clearly.


Jesus implored His disciples to live for others rather than live selfishly.


"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30



Selfish people do selfish things because all they think about is themselves, but selfless people seldom think about themselves over anyone else.


John says it accurately, the more of Him we seek, the less of us we require, which will in turn lesson our distress.


Live a life worthy of less of you, less of distress and more of God!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Laced with Grace...Buried Bones

Today I shared the following devo over at Laced With Grace. If you haven't checked this devotional site out... do it today! Www.lacedwithgrace.com

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Our new dog thinks she is quite clever. She thinks that in order to keep bones away from our other dog, she can bury them in the ground and no person, and no other dog will ever be able to see them or find them. One of the funniest dogs we ever had was our little Maggie, a little silky terrier who is no longer with us. We had three dogs at the time, a lab mix and a beagle and then Maggie. Maggie always felt threatened by the bigger dogs and thought she had to outsmart them when it came to treats and bones. She would ever so carefully carry her treat to the rug in the living room and with her nose push what appeared to be invisible dirt on top of her treat and then she would plop down next to it and guard it. If either of the larger dogs would come near her “buried” treasure that was in plain sight, she got irritable.

As humorous as that is, I came to realize that it was just natural for dogs to hide bones. It is also natural for humans to hide things too. Everyone, at some point will try to hide something, perhaps our weight or age or something embarrassing to us or even sin in our life.

The thing about trying to hide things or the effort to put our feelings, or emotions, maybe our burdens, or our disappointments under wrap is that we end up doing what our dear Maggie would do… we try to bury something that is still out in the open. No matter how hard we try to hide our pain, shame or our sin, God sees through it all.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” -Hebrews 4:13
Isn’t God full of grace?

God shows us so much grace in regard to our bones that we try to hide on our carpets. He allows grace when we pretend that we’ve buried our bones; and He then offers us grace to pick our bones up and make things right.

God’s grace is life changing, not only does It cover our sin, but It also exposes it. Because of God’s grace, you and I can recognize what our bones are in our life and with God’s help we can make sure we don’t trip on them, or allow others to trip over our exposed bones. (sin)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” -Psalm 139:23
What bones are visible on your carpet today?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

DAILY DEVO...what do you see?

What do you see when you look out across a field -do you just see a field?


Any two people can look at a masterpiece of art and see two completely different paintings. I wonder how often you and I look around and actually recognize the hand of God?


"This is the finger of God! The magicians exclaimed to Pharoah." -Exodus 8:19a



As the story goes, even the magicians of Pharaoh were able to recognize the hand of God in something. While being able to replicate the plagues of the blood and frogs, they failed to be able to produce the gnats from the dust. Immediately, the magicians cowered in fear before God.


You see, occasionally, even the unbeliever can see and recognize the hand of God in something. It not only happened when the magicians tried to repeat God's miracles but the writing on the wall was also seen by Daniel's followers when the King literally saw God's judgement written on the Palace walls.


Too many times we look at what is going on around us and we just simply do not see the writing on the wall. We see the stars and the moon, but we fail to see His creation! We look and see our past mistakes, but we can't see His grace! We recognize the testing of our faith, but we lose sight of His miraculous power!


We look, but we can't see. We just can't see His Hand that is all around us, but It is there. Keep looking until you find it!


Monday, April 6, 2015

DAILY DEVO...put on a gratitude party instead of a pity party

There is no escaping having troubles in our lives. God even tells us that we will have it...


"...in this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." -John 16:33



Many of us have realized that life is full of trials and trouble, but few of us have realized how to handle trouble when it comes our way.


I was so blessed and brought into check these past couple days while visiting with my dear friend who lays in the hospital after being involved in a 4 wheeler accident. Even though my friend is suffering with pain and a few set backs, she is grateful that she feels the pain because she realizes how close she was to not being able to feel anything.


That right there is the very gratitude I want to have whenever pain and trouble comes my way. Instead of burying my head and throwing a pity party, I want to throw a gratitude party!


Put your trust in God and allow His strength to change your perspective in the midst of trouble. I want to be more like my friend...complain less and thank God more!


How about you...what difference could gratitude make in your trial today?