Thursday, June 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God's faithfulness is something to talk about!

I am overwhelmed when I think of all of the great stories, recorded in the Bible and those not recorded, of the lives that have been changed because of Christ.

The great Prophets, the kings, the many servants and you and I all have something in common:  God has seen us through deep waters.

I'm reminded today of the many people affected by tsunami's and hurricanes; what a frightening scare to scramble for higher ground as the water overtakes everything.

Doesn't that describe us when the circumstances of our life seem to overtake us like the flooding waters?

Thankfully, God rescued many of those drowning in confusion, fear and trouble in the Gospels and He rescues us too.

Remembering what God has already done and is still doing is worth paying attention to. Your story of God's faithfulness may not have made it in the pages of the Good News but God's faithfulness is certainly good news to all those yet to hear it.

(John 20:31) "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."

If you've never written down your testimony, write God's faithfulness to you down and share it with someone who is drowning and needs to find a (spiritual) higher ground.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Kings 10:14-11:43, John 20:19-31, Psalm 93

Monday, June 19, 2017

DAILY DEVO...you can't silence the gospel

The growing suppression of religious freedom is being witnessed more and more each day.

Ministers and Missionaries are being harassed and dictated as to what can/cannot be said from a pulpit, prayer is being removed from schools, christians are being banned to speak out about their faith.

Think that is unbelievable?

A student at Sonoma State University was ordered to remove a cross necklace because they were told by school administration that "it might offend someone." 

People have been trying to silence Christians for 2000 years, however, isn't evangelism the very core of Christianity?

The very nature of the message that Jesus brought was the "Good News". Matthew even wrote what Jesus wanted us to do with the Good News...

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….” 

People can try to put faith under wraps and close the mouths of the Believer but everyone knows that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They may not believe in their own heart but it cannot be denied.

Even Pilate couldn't deny it as we see in today's Scripture reading... 

(John 19:20-22) "Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

Even during the humiliating death of Jesus, it was recognized by those responsible that Jesus WAS indeed the King of the Jews. 

The Gospel cannot be silenced, not even by an angry mob who killed the very Son of God. 

It is not a time for us to be silent about our faith! We must open our mouths and stand upon the Word of God and let our voice be heard. 

How about it ~ How many have heard you stand up for what you believe?

BLESSINGS. Laurie


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Kings 7, John 19:6-24, Psalm 91:11-16 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What Every Fatherless Daughter Needs to Hear

What All Fatherless Daughters Need To Know

I have been wanting to write this for some time now. Growing up without a father has been such a private place for me that it hasn't always been easy to express what is in my heart.

Father's Day has always been a difficult day for me, while others post their happy pictures with their dad and share their fond memories, I have no pictures or fond memories. I use to become sad, (sometimes jealous) when my friends had great relationships with their dad. But now that I am older, it warms my heart to see dads doting on their little girls (young and old) because that is exactly the way it should be.

Every girl desires to be a daddy's girl. Sadly, that just isn't the case for everyone. My father, for reasons only he understood, walked out on me, my mom and my two brothers when I was just a few months old. I wouldn't hear from him again for forty years which is when I found him and met him for the first time.

While I know that many girls have a different story than mine, I want those reading this to know that whether your father is absent voluntarily or involuntarily (perhaps he died when you were young or maybe he doesn't even know about you), that the emptiness and longing and the heartache is much the same. I lost my own father twice; first when he made that choice to leave and second when he passed from this world into eternity.

Over the past several years I have had many young girls sit in my office shedding tears over the absence of their fathers in their life and I began to understand the impact that my own father had given me to offer to these fatherless daughters. Growing up without a father figure will no doubt mark you but it doesn't have to damage you. I learned a long time ago that the love of a father doesn't define me, but rather, the love of my Heavenly Father does.

If you are spending this Father's Day as a fatherless daughter, please consider this:

1. You may have an increased need for approval from others. Many fatherless daughters look for love in the wrong places because they are trying to fill that void.  Look to God for His approval, His approval is all that matters in the end.

2. You most likely have built a wall around your heart, in a way to protect it from getting hurt again. That is understandable but when you give your pain and hurt to God and allow Him to crumble that wall you have built, you might find that you have a beautiful heart full of love and grace just waiting to be released!

3. You may be fearful that you will be alone. People will let you down and disappoint you, however, God remains at all times. The Bible says that He will never leave or forsake you. You are never alone!

4. If you are young and without your father, you will grief him over and over. The sad realization that you are not like other girls who have a father to walk them down the aisle on their wedding day or have a dad grilling a potential boyfriend of why he is worthy of his baby girls time will at times be overwhelming. I wish I could tell you that these moments aren't hard, they are, but somehow with the strength that only God can give, you WILL make it!

5. No matter how many Father's Days come and go, they never get easy.

6. It stings a little every time you see a beautiful father/daughter relationship but inside it warms your heart to see that such a love still exists in this crazy, mixed up world.

7. If you are a fatherless daughter because of a man's choice, know that it is not your fault. You are loved, cherished and thought of at all times. Your Heavenly Father not only created you but He loves and adores you. You are a sparkle in His eye and for that man who voluntarily walked out of your life...he is missing out on something awesome!

I don't know what your story is, but I do know that each of us go thru things that can either leave us bitter or better. I have chosen to reach out with my pain, my story, to make someone's Father's Day a little better.

You have been made for a purpose and it is a wonderful thing!

(Psalm 139:14) "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

BLESSINGS. Laurie

@copyright laurieadams

Friday, June 16, 2017

Laced With Grace...Come Boldly!

We are to come BOLDLY to the throne of grace. But instead of coming boldly, we come barely.
I don’t know why, but too often we allow our past mistakes; our sins, to affect our confidence in coming to God. So much so that some of us opt out of praying or seeking God. We ask ourselves, “why would God use someone like me?” or “Why would God give me grace?” 
God understands our need for Grace!
He already knows we are sinners, there is nothing that catches Him by surprise. Needing grace and mercy means that we are far from perfect but even in despite of that, God wants us to come and not come lightly, but boldly!
God doesn’t hold our past mistakes over our head, He never intended for us to live in fear, guilt or shame. All those kind of feelings don’t come from God, the enemy wants to trip us up by lying to us and making us feel less than God sees us.
It doesn’t matter how big the sin is. God’s mercy is bigger! His Throne is big enough to encompass everything and everyone.
(Hebrews 4:16) “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel so bad that you back away from receiving God’s promises. Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we can walk freely and BOLDLY to the Throne!
Hold your head up high, my friend, and whatever you find yourself needing today…ask boldly and believe that God’s grace and mercy is yours today!
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright laurieadams

DAILY DEVO...how passionate are you about the team?

There is nothing more passionate than a football fan. Up in the bleachers, you will find them passionately waving, yelling, and jumping up and down. With every pass, kick and touchdown, the crowd is screaming and waving banners. Even the quiet ones, like my husband, might surprise you with a sudden burst of excitement.

Such passion about the game. Such passion about the team.

Jesus has such passion about His team. His passion is that you and I would be on His prayer team. He wants us to be so passionate about prayer like He is. He loves it when we believe that prayer puts us on the winning team.

(John 17:20) "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message."

What an incredible Coach Jesus is! He not only prayed for His Believers but for those who were not Believers yet.

That's the kind of passion I want. To be passionately praying for my spiritual teammates and the ones yet to come.

How passionate are you about God's team?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Kings 2, John 17:6-26, Psalm 90:1-12

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Kings 3-4, John 18:1-27, Psalm 90:13-17

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Kings 5-6, John 18:28-19:5, Psalm 91:1-10

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DAILY DEVO...look towards the Light!

TODAY'S DAILY...

David certainly spoke from experience when he suggested that God was the lamp to lighten the darkness around him. His life was far from easy. I can't think of anyone whose life is.

David had family and friends turn against him and forced him into a life of running and hiding. Despite these dark circumstances, God remained by David's side and illuminated his steps and brought him right where he needed to be.

(2 Samuel 22:29) "You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light."

I'm reminded of last summer when we visited the mammoth caves. Some of the areas of the cave was so dark that you needed a flashlight or one of those hats with a light on it to see in front of you.

The darkness that you and I experience in life is like that; without God's lamp shining a bright path for us, we will remain in the dark and trip over those things in front of us.

No matter what the situation is, God is our lamp. The darker things get, the brighter His light shines. Look towards the Light!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 22:1-23:7, John 14:18-15:27, Psalm 89:19-29

Friday, June 9, 2017

DAILY DEVO...there is no perfect world until we get to heaven

We live in a culture that is selfish and self-absorbed, maybe now more than ever before. It seems the more we have, the more we want. Evidence proves that this is how most of the  world thinks, but it isn't how all of us have to think.

Showering ourselves with luxuries will not make us any happier, or content with life. In fact, I would say, the more we have, the bigger the headaches.

If we seek the treasure, the one that will bring real satisfaction, then we must die to self and live for God.

Jesus taught about this in John 12:24-25. Here, Jesus gives a little gardening lesson to teach a profound truth: a plant doesn’t grow unless a seed dies first.

You and I will not produce godly fruit in our life until we die to our own desires and ambitions.

(John 12:25) "Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

Too many people are trying to attain the "perfect" life here on earth, but will be sorely disappointed to find out that they planted the wrong seed.

Don't miss out by living for the wrong things, live for God!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 15:13-16:23, John 12:20-43, Psalm 88:10-18

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 17:1-18:18, John 12:44-13:20, Psalm 89:1-6

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 18:19-19:39, John 13:21-38, Psalm 89:7-13

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Facing our Lions

This past weekend, I spoke at a women’s conference about “Facing Your Lions”.Lions, as you know, is likened in the Bible to that of the enemy, because the enemy seeks its prey like a lion. Lions are quick to pounce on their prey, and they have one motive for doing so … to kill and eat!
The enemy, my friends, wants only to devour us.
The book of Daniel unfolds a very interesting story about the lions in our life. It is here that we see that the faithfulness to God not only brought deliverance to Daniel but while Daniel found himself in the lions den, God SHUT the lions mouths.
This is the very thing that we need to learn to do when the lions in our life come creeping around, circling us to destroy us. Often times, when difficulties come upon us, we pray to God to take it away or we wish that God would just terminate the enemy for good. But here in the book of Daniel, chapter 6 to be exact, God showed me that it isn’t our job to KILL the enemy but that we can close his mouth…
(Daniel 6:22a) “My God sent His angel and shut the lion’s mouths and they have not harmed me.”
If you read the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, you will see that in the end God takes care of things. God IS the victor and the enemy IS defeated. But in the meantime, we must understand that the enemy is going to lurk around and pounce on us every chance he gets. There is no getting away from the trials and tribulations in our life. Our mindset must not be on how to get rid of these lions in our life, but how to not let them cause us harm.
We can learn from Daniel how to go to battle with our lions. He survived the night in the lions den because he had his lion taming equipment: God’s Word and His Faith. Anyone knows that a lion tamer goes into a lion cage not unarmed. He goes with a chair to guard himself and a whip to keep the lion distanced. What guards us against the lions in our life is our shield of faith. What about the whip? That would be the sword of God’s Word.
Without the proper lion taming equipment, the lions (the enemy) will tear us limb by limb. The question that I would ask you today is this: “Are you prepared to spend the night with your lion?”
1 Peter 5:8 says this: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
There is nothing more that pleases the enemy (your lions) than to see us discouraged and give up. “Lions” in our life want us to have no joy, have no excitement and have no blessing from God. However, God doesn’t want us to GIVE UP, He wants to SHOW UP!
Will you let Him?
BLESSINGS. LAURIE

@COPYRIGHT laurie adams

DAILY DEVO...when we hurt, God hurts

In yesterday's Scripture reading we see that Jesus' friend Lazarus died. Before Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth, He first had to contend with his sisters and those who were crying over his death.

I can picture the many people who had come to comfort Mary and Martha. They began to weep too. When Jesus came upon the group of people sobbing, Jesus did something ...

"Jesus wept." (John 11:35)

Why did Jesus cry? I mean, wasn't He about to bring Lazarus back to life?

Jesus wept, I believe, for the same reason that many of us cry over the loss or heartache that others endure. He came alongside those who were in sorrow and He hurt because they hurt.

Jesus was so moved by their sorrow, He did more than just weep, He raised Lazarus from the grave. This is what He does for us too, He is moved by our sorrow that He engulfs us with His love and peace and He lifts us up out of our misery.

I don't know what you are grieving today, but please know that you are not alone. Every tear you cry, God holds in His Hand and He is broken for your sadness. One day there will be no more crying, no more death, and no more pain. Just rejoicing for all that God has brought us through!

When you hurt, I hurt. And more so, when you hurt, God hurts!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 12:26-13:39, John 11:17-54, Psalm 87

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God can raise your dry bones!

Have you ever slammed a car door on your fingers? The first thing we want to do is stop the throbbing pain.

Our life is like that too. We don't like to feel pain. In fact, when our pain isn't healed, we tend to question God about it.

I can only imagine that Mary and Martha had questions for God when their brother Lazarus became ill and died.

You see; Mary, Martha and Lazarus had become good friends with Jesus and they had seen the power of His Healing. So when Jesus didn't come when they felt they needed Him to, they got alittle anxious.

Little did Mary and Martha know that the healing that God had planned for Lazarus was so much bigger than they could imagine.

(John 11:4) When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

The plan wasn't to just heal Lazarus but it was to raise him from the dead!

Too many times, I think we can get caught up in the emotion of our pain, like Mary and Martha did, that we fail to see that God has something greater in store for us.

Whenever you feel like God has overlooked you, please remember that His plan is perfect and He may be preparing you for something bigger!

If your mountain isn't moving like you'd like - remember Lazarus and how his dry bones came alive!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S DAILY SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25, John 10:31-11:16, Psalm 86:11-17

Thursday, June 1, 2017

DAILY DEVO...dance before the Lord

TODAY'S DAILY...

I cannot even imagine the beauty that God saw in David as He danced and worshipped before Him.

It wasn't the music in the streets that put a dance in David's step but rather the music in his soul.

His heart burned with passion, joy, hope, gratefulness, and love. On the streets of Jerusalem, David danced freely, not aware of anyone else except the Lord.

(2 Samuel 6:14a) "And David danced before the Lord with all his might."

Have you ever acted a fool? Oh, I suppose some of you reading this, have hooped and hollered alittle bit at a baseball game or a concert. But when's the last time you got hyped up about the Lord?

David was so in love with his God that he danced with all of his might before God. He didn't care what others thought or how he looked in front of others.

This is how I want God to see me, that no matter what or who surrounds me, that my dance (and hoop and hollering) will all be for His glory!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 5:1-7:17, John 9:35-10:10, Psalm 85:8-13

Friday, May 26, 2017

DAILY DEVO...can we live without God?

Can we live without God?

I've never met anyone who considered life to be just a "day in, day out" regimen. Even though somedays it may feel like that. But most people want some kind of connection to a higher being; something spiritual and with purpose.

The Bible teaches that only God provides spiritual life (John 3:16). In John 10:10, Jesus says, "… I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly."

However, with that said, many attempt to find their spiritual life in other places, and not in God. I love today's Scripture reading in John that shows Peter's beautiful perspective on life without God...

(John 6:67) But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Prior to this, Jesus had asked the disciples if they wanted to leave like the others. But Peter, having already experienced the eternal life that Christ offered, did not want to be anywhere else.

The question today is, "can you live without Christ?" If you only know Him on Sunday's, it could be that you have made a chose to live for others "day in and day out" and not eternally for Christ.

I hope that you have experienced Christ in such a way that you couldn't imagine life without Him.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 24:1-25:31, John 6:43-71, Psalm 81:11-16

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 25:32-27:12, John 7:1-24, Psalm 82

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 28-29, John 7:25-8:11, Psalm 83



Thursday, May 25, 2017

DAILY DEVO...seek the Giver not the gift

We are all familiar with the story in the Bible of Jesus feeding the 5000. Have you ever noticed the attitude that Jesus sees in the crowd?

After sending His Disciples to Capernaum, Jesus catches up with them and has a confrontation with the crowd...

(John 6:26) Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. "

Clearly, Jesus was concerned that the crowd was more concerned with the blessing and not the One blessing.

I think it easy to fall into the trap of seeking God for what He can give rather than for Who He is. The people who saw the many loaves, sought after Him because of the food. We too, can seek God for what He gives and lose sight of Who God is.

There are a lot of things that I could ask God for. But in the end, if I don't have Him in my life, what good are all those other things?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 22-23, John 6:22-42, Psalm 81:1-10

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Devo...got questions?

We all have questions. We question people why and we often question God why. Job in the Bible asked a lot of "why" questions. I think it's totally human nature to ask such questions.

Somehow, we think if we understand the answer, it will make our pain and misery easier.

In today's Scripture reading in John, we see that the role is switched. Instead of being asked a question, Jesus Himself, is the One asking the question...

(John 6:5-6) When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do."

Here, we see that Jesus asks Philip the question of "where", but it couldn't be because Jesus needed to know the answer, for He already had a plan and He knew exactly the "where, when and how." Jesus wanted to see how much Philip trusted Him.

It's like that in our life also. When you ask me those hard questions in life like "why did they die?", "why did they leave me?" or "where is God?" I can only give the answer that I know to be true..."I"! DO"! "NOT"! "KNOW"!

I really don't know some of those answers. Some things just aren't for us to know, only God knows.

The question for us to answer today is "will we trust Him?" It is so comforting to me to know that even in the midst of my questions and not understanding, God already knows about it and has a plan in motion.

It's alright to ask questions but can you trust Him even if the answer isn't what you want or need?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING:  1 Samuel 20-21, John 6:1-21, Psalm 80:8-19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily DEVO...God is in your cloud!

One of the most magnificent sights I've ever seen is over the beach right after a storm, the clouds break and a glimpse of the sun breaks thru.

It's almost as if a bright spotlight from heaven breaks thru the dark clouds.

Many of you reading this today are in a storm. The clouds are hovering above you and you wonder if they will ever clear. None of us want storm clouds in our life, not when we can have sunny, blue skies, right?

However, like the clouds over the beach, when God's light shines thru, the clouds WILL move out of the way.

(Psalm 80:7) "Turn us again, oh Lord,
Cause Thy face to shine, and we will be saved."

Today's Scripture reading in Psalms is a good reminder that even in the roughest storm, God's face will turn towards us and His amazing Light will break thru and all will be well once again. Even the clouds will bow!

God is in your cloud. Wait for it...it's about to move out of the way.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 18-19, John 5:25-47, Psalm 80:1-7.

Monday, May 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO...where does your strength come from?

In today's Scripture reading, we find one of the greatest stories told of strength and courage.

Strength and courage isn't always about size; strength and courage is in best form when your faith, not your muscles, are big!

The Philistine army had gathered to war against Israel. The Philistines had a giant, over nine feet tall, come out in full armor taunting the Israelites for 40 days. His name was Goliath and everyone was afraid of him.

Until David, a young teen age boy, came volunteering to fight him. It took king Saul some convincing to let such a little, young, untrained boy go against such a mighty force. David didn't come forward with much, no armor or swords, just courage and God's Hand of protection.

(1 Samuel 17:45) David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,but I come against you in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

As the giant moved in for the kill, this confident young boy reached into his pocket and slung a stone at the giants head. That was quite the victorious day for the Israelites.

We all face giants in our life. Many of us are not big enough or strong enough to overtake them. It is only by the power of God that we can go to battle against those Goliath's in our way.

Your victory is not in overcoming the giants, but rather, standing in the strength and the courage of the Lord.

Get your stones ready!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 17, John 5:1-24, Psalm 79:8-13

Friday, May 19, 2017

Laced with Grace...loosen your grip

We all know that everything comes from the Hand of God. But somehow when those blessings are passed from His Hand to ours, we hold on with a tight grip.
I have always been impressed with my husband’s ability to give to others so freely. He is the kind of man that would give the shirt off his back for a stranger. I like to think I also have a giving heart, but honestly, my grip on the things I adore doesn’t always come loose easily.
I wish I could be more like him and more like Hannah was. The Bible tells us of how Hannah had a undeniable understanding of the gift from God that her son Samuel was…
(1 Samuel 1:22) “Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, ‘After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before he Lord, and he will live there always.'”
If you are familiar with the story of Hannah, you will know that she had begged God for a child and when God answered her, she wanted to give him back to God, to serve Him all the days of his life.
I find this selfless act that Hannah did so remarkable. So often, we grip so tightly to those things that God has freely given us that we forget where it all came from in the first place.
I love how Hannah was so grateful to God that she humbly loosened her grip on the best gift she had and offered him back to the Lord. I don’t want to just give the “best” gifts back to the Lord, I want to have such a loose grip that everything I have and everything I am, I offer back up to Him.
What belongs to God that you still are holding on to? Let it go and let God do some awesome things in your life!
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright laurieadams

Monday, May 15, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the Word is Jesus

As we begin reading in the book of John, John lays the foundation for what we will soon see unravel as the love that God has for us.

John very boldly states that the Word, which is the very reason for life, became flesh and lived among us...

(John 1:14) "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

That may seem odd to you. How can the "Word" come alive, you might ask? I would like to bring our focus today on one word: "Word". In the first verse of John, we see that "Word" is very specifically defined...

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

There can never be any question about where or how the Word came to be. The Word has always been and will always be. It is unchangeable. It is Undeniable. And it is all powerful!

The "Word" is Jesus.

Jesus became flesh, to walk among us to show us firsthand that the "Word" is life and life everlasting. Many try to find fulfillment in other things; like a job or relationships, and some may find what they are looking for. But there will be no better fulfillment in life than a relationship with Jesus.

This is the very reason that Jesus came; to give life and to give it more abundantly.

Read the book of John with me. In these next chapters, we will find that Christ dwelled with John and He dwells with you and me also. Jesus is THE Word!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 1:1-28, Psalm 78:17-24

Friday, May 12, 2017

DAILY DEVO...Ruth: a book of selfless love

Yesterday and today, we have been in the book of Ruth in our Read-thru-the-Bible Scripture reading. The book of Ruth is a short story but so full of selfless love.

It begins by telling of a story of a woman who had lost everything. Naomi and her husband had two sons. Things didn't go so well for Naomi. First, their sons married women who were not Israelites, then Naomi's husband died leaving her alone and soon after, her only two sons died before having any children.

(Ruth 1:20) "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter."

How alone Naomi must have felt. But she was not alone. She had God and she had a daughter-in-law that was devoted to her. Ruth stayed by her side and provided for Naomi when she was unable.

By the end of this story Naomi was no longer feeling empty and bitter. Because of the Grace of God and because of the love and devotion of a dear friend like Ruth, Naomi became a different person.

Often times, God places people in our life that may seem like a mismatch or not someone we would choose. But with His divine appointment, when paths are crossed, something incredible can happen.

God used a friend like Ruth to encourage Naomi. I wonder if you have such a friend or more importantly, ARE you that friend?

Take time to read the book of Ruth. It's an incredible story of unselfish love and friendship.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Ruth 3-4, Luke 23:26-24:12, Psalm 78:5-8

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:21, Luke 24:13-53, Psalm 78:9-16

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 1:1-28, Psalm 78:17-24  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the cost of seevanthood

We are called to serve others because Christ first served us. Today's Scripture reading takes us to the Last Supper, a perfect example of serving.

Here we find Christ sitting with His disciples for a final Passover meal, before His death...

(Luke 22:19) "He took some bread and the wine and handed it to His disciples, saying, 'Do this in remembrance of me' "

Let's take a minute and consider what this even means. The broken bread and the wine speak of the core of our faith: the sacrifice of Christ.

When I think of the last time His Followers saw Jesus before His death, they saw Jesus as a Slave.

Jesus got up from the table and the sound of water could be heard as He poured water in a basin. Then with a towel wrapped around Him, He moved from one Follower to another, washing their feet.

Christ served them and He serves us by being the example of what servanthood looks like. Even up to His death, Jesus served others.

Taking communion is just one way that we remember the sacrifice of Christ. Another way we remember is by serving others, may we serve others, even up until our own death.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 19:1-20:23, Luke 22:7-30, Psalm 77:1-11

Friday, May 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God is the rewarder of everything!

So many times we work diligently to receive a reward or a promotion. We look to our boss at work for recognition that we think we deserve.

But often times, we are let down. We are disappointed when that raise never comes or we are passed by for that promotion.

The Psalmist reminds us in today's Scripture reading Who is actually in charge and Who has the final say...

(Psalm 75:6,7) "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another."

God is the One Who promotes or demotes. While it is a good thing to do a good job wherever you find yourself, it is not our jobs or schools that we ultimately work for.

Nothing rises or falls without the approval of God. Look at Job. Job was very successful; had a successful business, family and many riches until it was all stripped away at the approval of God. But in the end, because of God's faithfulness to Job, Job received far more than he ever had.

From the Hand of God is where our blessings flow. So next time you are low on funds and notice an unexpected bonus on your check...give God the praise not your boss. For our blessings do not come from below us (south) or beside us (east & west), they come from above!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 11:1-12:7, Luke 20:1-26, Psalm 75:1-7

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 12:7-14:20, Luke 20:27-47, Psalm 75:8-10

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 15-16, Luke 21:1-19, Psalm 76:1-7

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Laced with Grace...what does prayer change?

Today is marked National Day of Prayer. All across our country, the emphasis is on praying for our great country. But what does praying really do, does it even change anything?
You might ask, “If God knows everything anyway, what difference does Prayer make?”
(Matthew 6:8) “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
(Ephesians 1:11) “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
Praying does not change God. He is, He was and He always will be. God is the only steadfast and unchangable power you will ever encounter. Sometimes praying will change our circumstances but what Prayer changes most is the one praying and believing!
I think of Abraham as he was pleading for the people of Sodom (found in Genesis 18:23-33); would God really destroy this city if only 50 righteous people were found? Abraham continues to ask, how about 40? 30? All the way down to 10 – would God destroy the city if ONLY 10 righteous were found? To each of Abraham pleas, God answers, “I will not destroy it”.
Abraham finally stopped praying about it. Why, Because he got what he wanted? I don’t think so, I think Abraham finally realized the depth of God’s mercy.
Praying changed Abraham, not God. Prayer changes things. Mostly, if we look beyond our own thinking and look to God, Prayer will change us.
Today is National Day of Prayer, won’t you take a moment to pray for our country, your city, our churches and our families and see if God doesn’t change something, perhaps He will change something in you!
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright Laurieadams

DAIKY DEVO...God cares

I've heard it, you've heard it, everyone has heard it and maybe even thought it..."God doesn't care."

Often times when we don't see the writing on the wall or the purpose of our pain, we think God has left us and doesn't care. But that is the farthest thing from the truth.

We have to remember that God is not like us...we are limited, limited in what we can do and limited in our thinking. But God is limitLESS, there is nothing too big for Him.

We may live in a big world, but it's not too big for God. We may not remember every detail but God can. In fact, today's Scripture reading illustrates that...

(Luke 18:29-30) "As He approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His Disciples, saying to them, 'Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.'"

It may seem insignificant to you, but here is a fascinating point found in scripture that shows that every single detail is important to God.

(Luke 19: 32) "Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as He had told them."

There is nothing hidden from God's view.  If He can see ahead to a town, where a colt awaits to be found exactly as He said, then what is it to Him to see what lies ahead for you and me?

God does care. He cares about you and He cares about me. He even cares about the unknown colts waiting to be found.

Trust God for what you cannot see because God is the One Who holds the whole wide world in His Hands.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 9:24-10:18, Luke 19:29-48, Psalm 74:18:23

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Encounters with Christ changes people. Look at how Zaccheaus was changed in today's Scripture reading...

Most people who know anything about Zaccheaus, probably only remember that he was a wee little man. But there's more to Zaccheaus' story than his size.

The story goes that Jesus was going from town to town, teaching. When He came to the town of Jericho, there were alot of people wanting to hear Him, including Zaccheaus. The problem was that no one liked Zaccheaus because he was the tax collector. Here's where knowing that Zaccheaus was short comes into the story...

(Luke 19:3-4) "He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way."

Jesus calls out to Zaccheaus up in the tree and tells him to come down and invites Himself to his house.

It may appear that Zaccheaus was pursuing Jesus but in reality Jesus pursued him. He went out of His way to initiate a relationship with Zaccheaus. It was this personal encounter with Jesus that changed him.

Just as Jesus pursued Zaccheaus, He pursues us too. No matter what we face in life, an encounter with Jesus will change everything!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 8:1-9:23, Luke 19:1-28, Psalm 74:12-17

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DAILY DEVO...bigger isn't always better

God knows our nature so well. He also knows how much and how little we need to be victorious in life.

As I was reading about Gideon today, it occurred to me that God was fully aware of what He could do but Gideon may not have been completely convinced. Sometimes bigger isn't always better. It may be better if you are shopping for vegetables but often times it is the small things that God uses. Gideon was about to learn this lesson.

God told Gideon that he would lead him to victory but Gideon appeared to be reluctant to take God at His word. In fact, Gideon took ALL of his men with him to defeat the Midianites, all 32,000 of them .

(Judges 7:2) "The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’

Gideon clearly thought more was better; the more men who stood with him, the stronger his army but the only One he needed leading his pack was God.

God told Gideon to send men home because he had too many. Instead of using 32,000 men, God led Gideon to victory using a mere 300 men!

The lesson for us today is realizing that with God, less is often times more! It is not about what we can accomplish in our own strength but what can God do thru us in His strength.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 7:1-25, Luke 18:18-43, Psalm 74:4-11

Monday, May 1, 2017

Laced with Grace...when power is lost!

It happened again! We lost our power.
The last two Saturday nights we have experienced wicked storms here in the south. So wicked that we lost all of our electrical power. Last Sunday morning when power was not restored yet, my husband decided to cancel Sunday morning worship. Shortly after he canceled, our power was restored.
This past Saturday night, it was a repeat of the week before, except this time a breaker on our street caught on fire and it seemed we would be without power for some time, in fact, all night long and into Sunday. What would we do without power again?
Have you ever considered what having no power can do in your life? No electrical power means no lights, no charging the cell phone, no Facebook, no evening news, no air conditioning on a hot night, no cooking on an electric stove, ice cream will melt in the freezer, no hair dryer to fix your hair, etc and etc.
My husband was in a dilemma, two Sundays in a row now with no power. Could he possible cancel church again? Everything around us seemed to be a mess with wild winds knocking down tree limbs and flooding the streets and now no electricity. Isn’t this exactly what happens to us when we fail to get plugged into the power of God? Everything is off balance, out of order and we feel powerless.
While many of our towns people and congregation families waited for the power company to come out to fix their lines, my husband decided to have church anyway. And the power of God was felt in a awesome way and not only that but right before church started, our lights at church came back on.
I was quickly reminded of how we are dependent upon so many things in our life to give us power. Our careers. Our bank accounts. Our positions that we hold. But when power is stripped away (and it often is) how lost we become. There is only one power that will sustain us thru any storm in life and that is the power of God.
That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
My power doesn’t come from a man, a utility company or anything else other than God, but like the electrical outlets in my house I must be plugged in to get His power.
Are you plugged in or have the storms got you sitting in the dark?
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright laurie.adams

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily DEVO...never quit the team!

There are days that we all doubt; we may doubt what God has said to us or even if we heard God at all!

I have days like that. Days that feel like there is a cloud hanging over me, and it's not from a rainstorm. Days that I feel so utterly exhausted that one more breath feels like I will just simply die.

Days like that make me wonder if quitting is a better choice?

When our kids were younger, we taught them to not be quitters. We told them if you go out for the team, even if you sit in the bench the whole season, you will be committed to the team.

I think God is that way with His kids. Quitting is not in His vocabulary, it wasn't when it came to Jesus on the cross, was it?

Are you discouraged in some way today? Is it difficult to see the finish line and you just want to give up, throw in the towel and quit?

My son who didn't get to play ball all season often would ask us, "when do I get to play?" We would tell him, "Wait son, just wait. The coach will put you in soon".

As a child of God, it is hard to wait. Abraham waited twenty-five years for his promised son. Joseph waited at least two years in prison before he was vindicated and released. David waited over ten years after being anointed by Samuel before he became king.

Surely in their time of waiting, they asked the Coach to put them in the game a few times. But even in their waiting time, God was faithful. And Is still faithful today!

God was faithful to them and He was faithful to the Israelites as we see in today's Scripture reading...

(Joshua 21:45) "Not one of all the LORD's good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled."

All of God's promises will come to pass. No good gift from Him will ever fail, He promises us good things because He loves us in a way we cannot comprehend.

If God, our Coach, has you benched right now; there is a good reason. He wants you to hang in there because when the time is right, He will send you out into the field! But you have to remain on the team and be faithful in order to get to play!

Don't quit on God! He has great things in store for you today and all the days to come. You are part of His team!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 21:43-22:34, Luke 15:11-32, Psalm 72:12-20

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God is looking for Disciples, do you qualify?

As Christians, we have no excuse for not knowing what love is. First Corinthians chapter 13 tells us in no
uncertain terms what love is and what it is not.

If the "love chapter", (as many call the 13th chapter of First Corinthians), was the job qualifications for Christ followers, what would others see?

Well, the world would know we are Disciples of Christ by our patience. They would recognize that we are Christians by our contentment, our modesty and our humility. They could spot us in a crowd because we aren't rude and we seek the best for all people. We don't get angry easily and we refuse to keep score of those who do us wrong. Our hope and perseverance would be noticed by all.

These are all attributes that should mark us as Disciples of Christ. God isn't looking for "perfect" Followers, after-all most of the first twelve had some serious issues.

However, God is looking for some people who will be obedient and who will be willing to give their all for Him.

(Luke 14:33) "In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples."

Today, God is taking applications to fill some Disciple roles; how well would you qualify?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 17:1-19:16, Luke 14:16-35, Psalm 71:22-24

Sunday, April 23, 2017

DAILY DEVO...when everything is chaotic around you.

I don't usually do a DEVO on the weekend but since our power was out this morning and we were not able to have church, I wanted to share what God woke me up with:

TODAY'S DAILY...

What do you think of if I say the word "chaos"? My mind goes to a vision I have when I walked into my young child's bedroom and horror gripped my face to see every toy, every piece of clothing strewn about the room!

Maybe your chaos isn't in a bedroom, but chaos is strewn all about in your life! The kind of chaos that makes no sense, life is out of control, nothing is working and all you feel is despair and fear.

In the midst of such chaos in our life, we feel powerless. Much like this morning when we had no electrical power, many of us were stuck. It was dark. And we were limited as to what we could accomplish.

The disciples who were in the boat with Jesus experienced this kind of fear. Once the storm hit, everything got chaotic for them...

(Mark 4:37, 38) "A furious storm came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Let's look at this for a minute: a horrific storm has hit, the disciples are all panicky about it and Jesus is in the back sleeping!!!

How could He sleep at a time like this? Because He is at peace even when the world around Him is in chaos.

What happens next is amazing...

(Mark 4:39) "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."

Three words I want to bring to your attention ... HE. GOT. UP. Jesus simply got up. What is your reaction when someone wakes you out of a deep sleep? Probably not a calm one. But here we see that Jesus just gets up and takes care of it. There is no ceremony, no need to gather His energies: He doesn’t even need to pray; He simply calms the storm.

What chaotic storm are you facing? Does it seem like your power has been cut off? Trust me, even though the storm is raging around you, God is not shocked by it and He has complete control. If you place your trust in Him, He will GET UP and be your calm in the storm!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Friday, April 21, 2017

DAILY DEVO...peace brings division

Sometimes, while reading the Bible, we come to passages that we sit up and say "what?!?" Today's Scripture reading is one of those times...

(Luke 12:51) "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."

Many of you are thinking, "what happened to goodwill towards all men?" Didn't Jesus come to bring peace to the world?

Yes, He did do that BUT the peace that He brings, He is telling His disciples, will cause division. Christianity will be faced with resistance.

All we have to do is look back over time and we will clearly see that the message of Christ divides: the Jews and Christians were divided. Families are divided. And because of your own testimony; believers and unbelievers are divided.

There is a cost to follow Christ. Our sin cost Jesus His life and our commitment to follow Him will cost us something too.

There is a song that we sing sometimes that says this:

“Nothing can bring me peace with God, nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Jesus promised, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29).

Following Christ may cost you everything! However, if you want the peace of God, expect some opposition. Expect to pay a price.

BLESSINGS.  Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING:Joshua 8-9, Luke 12:49-59, Psalm 70

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 10:1-11:15, Luke 13:1-21, Psalm 71:1-6

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 11:16-13:33, Luke 13:22-35, Psalm 71:7-16

Have you ever felt lost?

Have you ever been lost? I have and it is a very scary feeling. I remember a time that my husband and I took a trip to Orlando and while at a very packed theme park, we became separated. I remember feeling a little panicked but then I remembered what my husband has always told me, “just be still and you will be found.”
What a comfort it is to me to know that no matter where I go, I am never alone and when I feel lost, all I have to do is be still and God will find me!
There have been times in my life, even though I am surrounded by family and friends, that I have felt so alone and lost.  Sometimes even the closest of closest friends can’t find me where I’m at. They mean well but they just don’t understand what I’m going through or as hard as they try, they don’t hear what I am saying. But God does. God even hears those unspoken fears that we keep inside.
I’ve been reading about Joshua in my daily Scripture reading and I love the strength and courage that Joshua had. In my moments of feeling lost from everyone around me, I can stand upon the words that God spoke to Joshua…
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
There is NOTHING that God does not know or that He wouldn’t do for us. I have found that when circumstances surround me that leave me feeling “separated” from the world, meditating upon His Word gives me a sense of hope. It strengthens me and It causes me to stand courageously against the vileness of the enemy.
My prayer for you today is the same prayer that David had…
“Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God Who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
If you feel lost today, just be still and God WILL find you!
BLESSINGS. Laurie

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DAILY DEVO... today is the day, tomorrow may not come!

Sometimes when I think about what needs to be done in a day, I get overwhelmed. It's easy to put off today what we can possibly get away with doing tomorrow.

I'm alittle bit OCD, so putting things off usually stresses me out. My husband is a "wait 'til the last minute" kind of guy while I make "lists for my to-do lists." (I know ...alittle over the top) The fact that my husband can wait until the last minute stresses me out even more!

Here is a truth to ponder: God gave each of us the same 24 hour span to accomplish things. What I do with my 24 hour allotment may differ from what you do with your 24 hours. However, when we continually put off today what God needs us to do, we are not being good stewards of the time that He has given us.

I am becoming more and more aware of how little time I have left on this earth. When I think about all the goals and ministries that I want to accomplish, I think I better hurry up before my time runs out.

It is so easy to intend to do great things but actually pushing up our sleeves and getting the job done sometimes doesn't ever come.

(Luke 12:43) "It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns."

Have you ever considered that today may be the last opportunity to do that ONE thing? Share Christ with that one person, serve the needy, help the poor, sing a solo in church, on and on.

Don't wait for tomorrow to do what God needs you to do today, some tomorrows never come back around. And how good it will be for God to find us caught up on our to-do lists.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING...Joshua 5:13-7:26, Luke 12:41-48, Psalm 69:29-36

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TODAY'S DAILY...purpose not perfection

Have you ever thought that God couldn't use you? To be honest, there have been times that I have thought that someone else could be better for the job than me.

There are those people that no matter what, they have it all together. They are patient with their children, calm when it comes to job related deadlines and can juggle the world at their fingertips. They can come right to Bible Study from work; with kids in hand, Bible Study homework done, and a smile on their face!

Often times I think when God has work assignments to hand out, the "good, tidy, have-it-all together" one  will be picked over me. But that's not exactly how God works.

We see this very thing in today's Scripture reading about Rahab. Rahab was a woman of the city, a prostitute, who was living within the city of Jericho. The people of Jericho were not following God, so God sent the Israelites to conquer the city. Joshua, the Israelite leader, sent two of his men into the city to spy and they found themselves at the door of Rahab...

(Joshua 1:6) "But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof."

Sometimes the best woman (or man) for the job that God has doesn’t mean the holiest or the one who seems better.

I'm not sure why God chose someone like Rahab to help Him. Perhaps it is because He saw something that no other could see. Instead of looking at the outside; He saw her tender heart and her ability. He knew He could trust her.

Isn't that just like God? When He saw Rahab, He didn't see her past but He saw her potential!

God does the same for you and me!
Sometimes He doesn't choose the perfect person for the job...but He chooses the right one!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 34-Joshua 2, Luke 12:1-15, Psalm 69:10-17

Friday, April 14, 2017

Daily DEVO...blessings are new every day!

So many times I have heard it quoted and even quoted it myself: "This is the day the Lord has made and I will  rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 128:24)

Thinking about that scripture and what we read in our daily scripture reading today brings me to the question that many people have asked: "Where is God?"

I don't want to be like some who miss out on the answer; I don't want to miss out on all the blessings that God has right in front of me. If you are waiting for a shiny explosion in the sky to alert you of God and His blessings, you might miss out.

(Psalm 68:19) "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation."

Today's Scripture reading in Psalms tells us that God's goodness (His blessings) are daily! He never leaves us, He is always near to us even when we can't see Him.

Our blessings aren't always filled with bling and pizzaz, some of the best blessings are held in a soft spoken word or a hug or just smelling the fresh air that God has given us.

God's Word today indicates that the blessings of God, that only He can give to us daily, are so great that it probably is impossible to take it all in.

Take a minute to look around, see all that God has blessed you with today and simply rejoice and be glad IN it!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Luke 10:21-37, Psalm 68:15-19

SATURDAY'S  SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 29-30, Luke 10:38-11:23, Psalm 68:20-27

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 31:1-32:22, Luke 11:24-36, Psalm 68:28-35

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Laced with Grace...growing in Grace

This week we had to cut our tree down in the backyard. I’m not sure when or how, but at some time our tree became diseased and stopped growing. As the men were cutting it down, I came to realize something: the tree may have stopped growing but the roots were still intact!
Realizing this about the tree made me think about my own spiritual growth. I know I have deep rooted faith but how well am I growing in grace?
Before you or I can answer that question, we must understand what it means to grow in grace. In order to grow in grace, we must increase our Christ-likeness. Many people have roots of Christ; they know OF Him but their growth is somehow stunted because they don’t nurture what they know of.
Growing in Christ-likeness is an ongoing process. 
One way to check your growth in grace is to take an honest look back over your past years trials and hurts. How have you reacted to them – with mercy towards others or with anger and bitterness? Have you learned to be more kind and more patient? Have you learned to be more soft spoken as you encountered those difficult people in your life?
The saying goes, “if you aren’t growing, you are dying”. There is nothing more disheartening to God than to see one of His children have His roots but make choices that hinder steady, strong growth.
Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians exactly what needs to be removed In our lives in order to grow in the grace of Christ:
Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Jesus makes it very clear that holding onto such things will cause us undue deadly weight that can hinder our spiritual growth. Without continual growth in our spirit, we will just end up like the tree in my backyard; nothing but dead weight with our roots still intact.
Consider with me today the following question…”are you growing or dying?”
BLESSINGS. Laurie

DAILY DEVO...Who's your Daddy?

There once was a time when hearing that God was a "Father to the fatherless" didn't mean much to me. After all, what did I know about fathers?

I was just an infant when my father chose to leave. The next 40 years was filled with disappointments and misgivings of what fatherhood really looked like.

I don't share that part of my life to conger up any sympathy, rather, I share that today to emphasize that what we read in today's Scripture reading is true and I'm a testimony to back it up...

(Psalm 68:5-6) "A Father to the fatherless, a Defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."

God is very relational. He is the Father to those who have none. He is the protector of the widow. He places those without a home into families. He cares about what we are in need of.

As a young girl, I learned that I was fatherless but it didn't take me long to understand that I had the best Daddy in the world! While other girls dads were strong, my Daddy caused the Red Sea to part. While other dads were good providers, my Daddy caused one boys sack lunch to feed 5,000! While your dad may have caught a bullet for you, my Daddy took 3 nails for every single person in the universe.

Next time you think that you are all alone in the world, whether you are without a father or a home or a spouse, you are never alone. My Daddy is watching over you and He always keeps His promises!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 23:9-25:19, Luke 9:43-62, Psalm 68:1-6

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...be grateful for the One Who is there

Have you ever helped someone out of a jam and later on it appeared they didn't even remember all you did for them?

I have. And if I could be transparent for a moment; when someone is ungrateful for something that I sacrifice for them, I tend to not want to do it again.

I'm so grateful that God is not like that! Even when we don't recognize His Hand, He keeps doing amazing things for us.

In today's Scripture reading, we see the warning that God gives the Israelites before they entered the Promise land...

(Deuteronomy 8:18) "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."

You must remember what God brought the Israelites through; 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, dependent upon God for every meal in which He provided manna every day for them.

God is warning them, before they go into the land of milk and honey, to remember what it was like to be hungry and Who provided for them.

Often times when things are going well; (the bank account is full, food is plenty, health is good, job is prospering), we tend to become self sufficient and put God on the back shelf.

Just as God led the Israelites, He is leading us. If you are in a time of prosperity right now, good for you! If you are struggling and down on your luck right now, good is coming to you!

Either way, remember how faithful God has been to you and never take His blessings for granted.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 8-9, Luke 7:18-35, Psalm 64:6-10