Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PROVERB DAILY

This month I am studying the book of Proverbs. I invite you to read along with me, reading one chapter a day. Instead of sharing devotions this month, I will share a daily scripture picture from our daily reading. Today I'm in chapter 6 for the 6th day of the month.




"There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community." (Proverbs 6:16-19)

BLESSINGS, Laurie

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Remove the Distractions

When I look around, I see so many distractions. It's so easy to be pulled in one direction or another just from the distractions around us.

I'm not just talking about flashing lights and loud noises, distractions come in various sizes. From our phone to the blaring tv to friendships that we have no business keeping.

When it comes to our relationship with God, we can be so easily distracted. Things (and people) stand in our way of getting closer to Him. The noises (the distractions) keep us from hearing Him.

Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have "grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed". (Matt. 13:15).

Jesus, using the visual of a farmer scattering seed, compares the seed that falls among thorns to that of a person who hears Gods Word but is distracted.

"The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

Be careful of the distractions that you allow in your life, some may choke the life (eternally speaking) out of you.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Monday, November 28, 2016

Feeling Full

I don't know about you, but ever since Thursday, I've been saying how full I am and how I'm never going to eat again!

Ha ha, but each day since, the leftover dressing and pumpkin torte has been staring at me until I cave in and eat just alittle bit more.

I have read the book of Philippians many times over the years, but just this week I noticed a word that kept jumping out at me, "full". Perhaps it was because I was feeling so miserable in my state of overeating that I just noticed such an important word.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether full or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:12)

Paul is reminding the people of Philippi that no matter the state that they find themselves, they can learn to be content. So often, I have considered this verse in the times of my need. When I was lacking, I asked God to teach me to become content.

But what about when I am full - is there contentment when I have much? (Apparently not if I had one more piece of pie!)

It may seem like we can never take another nibble again because we feel so satisfied but then a new day comes and the hunger pains attack us stronger than before. When those spiritual hunger pains come, do what any starving Christian would do...pull up a chair and feast some more.

You might over indulge with those sweet potatoes but with God, you can never get enough. So, Bon appetit!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Finding A Calm in Your Storm

As many of you know, over 5 months ago I had hand reconstruction done on my dominate hand. So many of you have prayed and come along the journey with me and I thank you for that.

I wish I could say that it has been easy, but it hasn't. After 4 months of therapy every week, I have finally come to the end of that part of this journey. I'm walking away from handy therapy with only 50% of strength regained. My work is not done yet, I had really hoped to be further along the recovery road than this.

I don't know why things have to be so hard.

Recently, I was thinking about the disciples who found themselves in the midst of a storm while on the Sea of Galilee. The winds and waves rocked their boat all night long. I have no doubt that these men prayed fervently for the storm to cease or at least to make it safely to the other side where land was.

Everyone, in their time of need, probably asks the same question that the disciples probably asked, "Lord, why don't you calm this storm?"

I have always found it interesting that in this story Jesus did not bring the boat to safe land, but instead, He walked out to the boat in the middle of the storm.

In the past 5 months, I can't say that I have understood all that I've had to endure but I can assure you that I never doubted God's plan. Instead of looking for a way out of my storm, I've sought strength to withstand the storm.

In my quest for finding that dry land in my situation, I've come to realize it is better to stay in the boat to ride out the storm and wait for God to come to me.

"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed." (Psalm 107:29)

Whatever storm you face today, trust God because He will not let you sink or drown. Instead of looking for a way to escape, look for His purpose in your pain and then watch for your rainbow...It is coming, just like He promised.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Monday, November 21, 2016

Finding God's Timing

It seems that much of our life is spent waiting. We will wait in line for the small things like a vanilla latte or we wait to fill our car up. The big things in life even keep us waiting; we wait for our prince to show up, or wait for a promotion at work or we can't wait to grow up to be an adult.

Everyone will wait for something or someone in their life. But how often do we wait upon the Lord?

When looking at my own life, I've considered just how much time I have spent in waiting. In some things, the wait has been too long. The time to change sometimes is not for later but for now.

Recently, I was facing a situation that seemed impossible. The "change" that needed to take place seemed long past due and it seemed time had run out.

But then my husband told me a story about a tunnel.

He said life sometimes is like a tunnel and the only way to get to the other side is to dig our way out. Along the way we get tired and weary and we may even want to give up. We can't see the "light at the end of the tunnel" because we think our time has run out.

But all the while, while we were digging on our end, we couldn't see that God was on the other end digging too.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles." (Isaiah 40:31) 

I've always heard the saying, "It's not over until the fat lady sings". Well, I'm not planning to sing today, so, it's not over until God stops digging.

Whatever change you need to make, just keep digging. It may seem like it's taking awhile but with God, everything is right on time!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Thursday, November 17, 2016

TRADING THE TRUTH FOR A LIE

As I listened to the words being spoken, I could hardly wrap my mind (and heart) around what I was hearing. How could anyone not spot the truth that is right in front of them?

How easily we become deceived.

Sometimes, I think we trade truth for a lie. We believe the words that friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers put on us. Words have power, people can easily convince us of our identity by constantly reminding us of who they think we should be. Or words become twisted and what was meant to be kind and loving is now something ugly that was never meant to be.

You can speak truth but truth placed in the wrong hands can become a twisted lie. So what will you believe? Who will you believe?

At the root of sin; lies and deceit can be found. We must not lose sight of what is true. The truth can set us free, even Jesus said that...

"Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

The freedom that Jesus speaks about is a spiritual freedom, a freedom that breaks the bonds of sin. A freedom that releases us from believing a lie from the enemy and accepting God's Truth.

I can't stop people from telling lies; as long as there is sin in the world, there will be deceit. But that doesn't mean that we can't discern what is true and what is not.

Jesus is THE Truth (see John 14:6). Knowing His Truth will set you free; free from condemnation, free from sin, free from lies.

Know what Truth looks like, then you will be able to spot a lie a mile away.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Choose Grace

The thing about grace is that everyone thinks grace is a great thing until they themselves are faced with a situation where grace is needed to be extended.

What is grace, you ask? Grace is simply that gift that is freely given but totally undeserving. Grace is receiving what you do not deserve and not getting what you do deserve.

When it comes to our relationships with others; grace is a choice. When faced with opposition or difficulty in our relationships, we have two options: offer grace or judge harshly.

Grace has nothing to do with the other person, but everything to do with us and the condition of our heart.

"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

Choosing to extend grace never excuses bad behavior or sin, however, what it does do is look past the sin and see Jesus.

Isn't that what God did for you and me?

While everyone else saw a greedy taxpayer, Jesus saw someone who could bring order to a corrupt system. When everyone else saw a adulterous woman, Jesus saw someone who could evangelize a city. And while everyone else saw you and me full of our sin and shame, Jesus saw an anointed, cherished son or daughter of the King!

Grace chose us! Now, try choosing grace for others.

BLESSINGS. Laurie