Thursday, June 26, 2014

DAILY DEVOTION... having a bad day?

How do you handle stress?

In Matthew, chapter 14, extraordinarily stressful events happened one day in the ministry of Jesus...

*The unjust execution of His good friend John the Baptist.
*Demands of over 5000 hungry, uninvited guests looking to Him for their next meal.
*A violent windstorm that threatened to capsize His Disciples boat.

But Jesus did not panic. He didn't yell, stomp his feet or let His bad day get the best of Him. Instead, He took charge of His situation.

It isn't easy to stay calm, is it? It's easier to lay on the horn in backed up traffic, or yell at the coach when he calls our kids out, or slam our phones down when someone hacks into our bank account and the bank hasn't fixed it.

Alot of people even lash out at God when they feel stressed. "Why God, why God?"

"Have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed." -Psalm 57:1

? for do you handle stress?

God said "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." What a great thing to know that God remains with is even during the storm. May we be like Jesus and take charge of our bad days...and watch something good come from it!

Hope everyone is having a "good" day today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LACED WITH GRACE...What are your family ties made of?

Today I have shared the following devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE..."What are your family ties made of?"

"THWACK!! The sound that does not sound good in anyone’s home, especially where there are children present. That sound usually is followed by hollering or crying. The kind of noise that sends any momma running to the next room to see what happened!
Our three sons were always getting into mischief at a young age. If mischief couldn’t be found, mischief found them! This particular day, ..."


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DAILY DEVOTION....time to peel back some skin?

In Galatians, we can read about the "fruits" of the spirit. You know, like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentle...ness and self control. (Galatians 5:22)

These (and any other fruit) is simply the indication or evidence of our walk, or the Holy Spirit living within us.

Why was it so important to list the fruits?

Prior to this, we can read the "list of the flesh" in verse 19-21a. Perhaps, before we can walk in fruit, we must understand what the "flesh" words mean. Otherwise, how can we know if we are doing any of them?

"Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like this". (Gal 5:19-21a)

? for did you do with the list...guilty?

God wants us to crucify the flesh DAILY, in order to get to the fruit, we may have to peel back a few layers. If it's good enough to peel an orange to get to the good stuff to eat...why isn't it good enough to peel back for our fruit in our spirit?

Let's shed some skin (spiritually speaking).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DAILY DEVO...why are people so rotten?

I was asked recently why people treat others so rotten at times? I don't really know, only God knows.

All of us experience difficulties when interacting with people. Some of the hardest people to deal with are those closest to us.

God reminded me this week as I found myself at the end of someone's rotten attitude, that the only control I have is with what I do.

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." - Matthew 7:12

It is so much easier to turn around and bite someone back that has wounded you, but the easy road isn't always the right road.

? for today...who has treated you rotten?

First, go to God before you react. Second, pray for that person who has hurt you. God said it wouldn't be easy but with God's help, our actions and reactions can be the right thing!

Do the right Jesus name!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DAILY DEVOTION...are you a pot stirrer?


Are you guilty of stirring people up?

I know, I know, immediately we all respond with, "who me?" None of us would deliberately cause trouble, speak ill of someone, stick our nose where it doesn't belong or stir the waters by our social media posts because we ALL are peacemakers, right?

What we consider "stirring the pot" evidently is different than Jesus' version.

In Luke, chapter 23...

"But they kept on insisting, saying, 'He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.' " (23:5)

? for today...   have you ever considered that Christ WANTS us to stir people up?

Not in a trouble seeking, drama revengeing, mud slinging kind of way. Instead, stir people up in a way that challenges them to grow closer to God, to live for others and not themselves. Don't speak down to people, or tear them apart, instead, lift them up and lead them to Christ. Don't be a trouble maker, be a salt shaker!

Shake your world for Christ.

Friday, June 6, 2014

LACED WITH GRACE...What is your Ninevah?

I shared the following devotion with the readers of Laced with Grace today...

I don’t hear many sermon messages about Jonah. He is one of those overlooked Bible Characters that speaks so much more than just “a guy swallowed by a fish.” I just love Jonah. Why? Because I get him. I really do. A man that had a clear direction from God, but who allowed things, people perhaps, or just simply his fear to allow him to turn and run.

Jonah was no different than you and me. He was faithfully serving God, He was living among his own people and sharing God’s Word with them. Then all of a sudden, God asks Jonah to do something that would require him to step out of his comfort zone.
“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” -Jonah 1:2
When God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh, that was simply not the way things were done. In the old Testament, how Israel witnessed to the world was by serving God and living for Him. They did not go out to the world, instead because of their witness, the world came to them, enticed by their  faith and prosperity.

What was this thing that God was asking Jonah?

I could hear it being said … “Seriously, God? Ninevah? The largest Gentile city that there is! You do realize of course that it is the capital city of what is  known to be the cruelest and most brutal nations in the ancient world. Assyria is known for burying their enemies alive, skinning them alive and all kinds of other insanely brutal acts. This is where you want ME to go?”

Poor Jonah. He had no problem sharing God’s love but he wasn’t sure about this “judgment” assignment. Who can blame him for wanting to run, it’s one thing to be sent outside of his comfort zone, but on top of that go to a place with hostile people and bring them a very unwelcomed message!
“But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”Jonah 1:3
Seems to me that Jonah isn’t too far off from me and you. How often have we put on our running shoes and ran as fast as we can, away from what wasn’t comfortable for us? Face it, if it feels uncomfortable or if it goes against the norm, we find all kinds of excuses to not obey. Jonah ran, but he didn’t get far. In fact his running shoes took him to places he never dreamed of….in the belly of a fish!
“Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” -Jonah 1:17
Is the story of Jonah sounding more like your story -do you feel his struggle? Do you see his failures?

Often times, it takes a storm or even alittle bit of belly-aching to come around and see that God is full of grace and compassion and when He asks us to do something, even if it seems crazy, we might want to just listen and obey.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for your compassion and grace. I do not want my Ninevah’s to keep me from doing what You are asking of me. Take the blinders off of my eyes and help me to see that you will not take me anywhere that You won’t be with me. I trust You. And I want to obey You, even when it feels uncomfortable. AMEN.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

DAILY DEVO ....Sunday has nothing to do with Worship!

? for today...what do you think of when you think about worship?

Perhaps you think worship is good music or coming together with other Christians.
I like doing all of that. And all of that is important but I was reminded today that my worship is a sacrifice.

Today I read Ezra chapter 3. The Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem, which had been destroyed. You would think that the first thing they would do is clean up and start rebuilding. But no, what they did was offer sacrifices to God.

1 Peter 2:5 says we are to "offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God."

The Jewish exiles understood what worship was. Worship can be different things to different people. Worship IS music. Worship IS lifting hands. Worship IS also being still and listening to God.

True worship demands our entire being, our heart, our mind and our body. Worship is not "just Sunday", in fact it isn't even about Sunday! Worship is living in obedience to God - EVERY day!

Today is Thursday...what has been your acceptable spiritual sacrifice today or are you waiting for Sunday to worship Him?

Monday, June 2, 2014

DAILY DEVO...while on vacation, don't quit!

Ahhh, the last week of school for most of you. Whether you are a student or a parent or a grandparent of a student, summer break is always a treat.

We all look forward to "vacation" in summer, whether it is going to the beach, going fishing or just sleeping in. But so many of us need a vacation from our vacation. Lol

We all need a rest, but Christians need not ever confuse rela...xing with quitting.

Leisure is part of God's plan for our life. Afterall, God rested after working so hard for 6 straight days creating this world. He understands the need for rest.

Taking a vacation or a rest from our faith was never Gods intention for us. Just because it is summer, we should not be relaxed in our commitments or faithfulness, especially to God.

? for today...what does recreation mean to you?

Broken down, it is re-creation....our minds and bodies need renewing from time to time, but never resigning.

Romans 12:2a "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...."

While on vacation, don't quit God!