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


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?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LACED WITH GRACE...Don't be in the dark for April Fools!

Today, I have shared the following devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE! Be sure to visit www.lacedwithgrace.com for other great Christian devotions!

A few years ago, my husband and I had the blessing of being able to take a trip to Europe for our 25th Anniversary. Our trip took us to Rome, London and Paris. A trip of a lifetime! Our all time favorite place was definitely ROME! On one of our sight seeing excursions, we were able to spend the day at the historical catacombs in Rome.

In Rome, the Catacombs is the home of the oldest and longest underground burial tunnels in the world. Hundreds of kilometers of catacombs run underneath the city and its outskirts. Not all of the catacombs are open to the public but we were able to visit the catacombs of the said burial place of many Christians dating back to the first century.
Photo: Rome catacombs
To get down to the burial area, we had to take an elevator and once you stepped off, you found yourself in a dark, closed-in area where the graves were. Talk about eerie but yet interesting. The guide thought it would be funny to pull a little prank and dim his light for a minute, which caused everyone to draw real close to him. Of course he was only pulling a prank and quickly began giving us the history lesson of the historical catacombs.

Today is April Fools day and for some reason this trip to the catacombs came back to my remembrance. I remember the sigh of relief I felt when that tour guide shone his light again but I also remember that for the rest of the tour down in that gravesite, I clung pretty close to my husband. No doubt, this day will not end today without someone trying to pull a prank on you for that is what we do on April Fool’s day. But I want you to remember that many foolish things (and people) on any ordinary day can leave us feeling like I did down in the Rome Catacombs …afraid and clinging!

When life seems to turn the light dim on you, who or what do you find yourself clinging to?
“I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, You won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” -John 8:12
Jesus promises that as long as we follow Him, He will provide all of the light that we need to guide us through the dark journeys in life. Do not let the foolish ways of the enemy cause you to cling to the wrong thing. Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE …you can cling to that and never be fooled again!