Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DAILY DEVO...got stress?

Got stress in your life?

Most of us do. Stress can be a part of our daily lives, but what do we do with it?

Most of us carry our load of stress around like a backpack. The weight of it weighs heavy on us. Most of us cannot just unload our stress backpack and lay it down. Stress seemingly is woven in us like a seam in fabric; it lurks somewhere beneath our skin, usually appearing as a knot between our shoulder blades or a constant thumping between our eye sockets. Stress keeps us up at night, it changes our eating habits, it makes us ill and it steals our joy.

Stress can press in on us from all sides, but Jesus has a Word for us about what to do with our stress...

"Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Are you wondering how you can lighten your load of worry and stress? Changing your circumstances may work but changing your attitude and changing WHO you unload to will bring the best results.

When I'm stressed out to the max, unloading to the wrong person often leaves me feeling more stressed than before. The answer to our stress is found in Matthew 11..."Come to Me!"

Having stress in our life is absolutely unavoidable. If you have kids; you will have stress. If you have a spouse; you will have stress. If you have a job; you will have stress. If you are a student; you will have stress. If you are breathing; you WILL have stress! Even God said in this life we will have trials and tribulations. Having stress and problems IS NOT the issue; the real issue is, how will we handle it?

Stress and trials will either break us or strengthen us...what are you doing with your stress?

Take it to God - His shoulders are the strongest and He will carry your backpack for you!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

LACED WITH GRACE..come, sit at the table

Today, I shared the following devotion with the readers of Laced With Grace (www.lacedwithgrace.com) ...


When I was growing up, we had one rule in our house that could not be broken: everyone needed to be at the table at 5:00 pm to eat dinner together.

No exceptions were allowed. Mother had dinner ready and whatever we were doing, we better find our way home and “wash up” for supper. Television was turned off, ball caps were removed from heads and we did something we don’t see much today anymore…we talked to each other.

This was one of the most important part of our day to my Mother, most days, dinner time was the only time we could spend together as a family. Often dinner would be followed by “family meetings” and “groundings”, if needed.

We don’t eat dinner together as families anymore. I don’t know why; to me as a kid, it was the most significant time of my day. Bonding with my family; creating memories, feeling secure and safe in my home while listening to my family and learning from them. It was the one event that I could count on that gave me a sense of belonging.

Nowadays, dinner time is done in shifts because of our hectic schedules or in front of the television. Most dining tables, like mine, are used for storage or a makeshift desk during the week, cleared off only for when company comes to dinner.

There is such value in taking time to dine together. Not only for the beneficial family strengthening that I’ve already talked about but it also helps us to become more aware of one another.

Likewise, it is also imperative that we as Christians take time to sit awhile and dine with one another. Unfortunately, we tend to become like the family that all have their electronic devices out while eating; we allow distractions to keep us from recognizing the value of eating together. (Fellowship)
Jesus gave us a clear picture of what dining with one another looks like. It happened around the Last Supper Table with His Disciples.

Jesus took the time to explain to His friends how drinking from the cup would remind them of His sacrifice. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

And He talked about brokenness. Knowing that each of them would feel brokenness at times in their life’s, but nothing like how He would be broken.

When I think about that Last Supper, I can’t help to wonder what it was like for those Disciples to have the opportunity to sit around the table breaking bread with Jesus and fellowshipping with Him.
This is the kind of love, teaching, understanding and fellowship that we all miss out on in our homes and in our churches when we allow distractions to keep us from the table.
No longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” -Ephesians 2:19-21
Maybe it is time to sit awhile around the table and become joined together!

DAILY DEVO...you can fix it or else!

If it is broke, we have a need to fix it. I, for one, do not like things that are broken or not working properly. For my OCD mind, it doesn't compute. Everything must line up the way it's suppose to or else...

Or else what? 

Or else, when the dishwasher is broke, I'll have to wash dishes by hand?

Or else, when the television goes on the blink, I'll have to buy a new one or worse...go without!

The thing about being a person who has a need to fix things is that the "or else's" may make sense on paper, but it still doesn't fix what is clearly broken.

This is why some of us have the need to not only fix things, but fix people. If you are a "fixer", you will not be able to stand by and watch two people that you care about being at odds with each other. You will set out to fix it and you will completely be blinded to the "or else" in the situation:

*You can talk to each one involved and tell them how to respond to each other or else you could pray for them.

*You can toss and turn and lose sleep over this unresolved issue between your loved ones or else you could give it to God and rest in His peace.

*You can talk to other people about what's going on between your loved ones or else you can leave it between them to work out.

Fixing a flat tire, fixing a broken window or fixing a clogged toilet is a job you and I can do. But fixing people is a job that only God can do.

'I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7)

Some things just aren't for us to fix...leave the fixing to God, for He knows exactly how to put all the pieces back together again! 

You can either trust Him ...or else!