Welcome! Let's Do Devotions Together!

Let's grow together!
Here's how God is using the daily readings from Jesus Calling to speak into my life.
What is He saying to YOU? Share it with someone & have a BLESSED day in Jesus!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One Step Closer

"I designed you to live in union with Me...it actually makes you more fully yourself. When you try to live independently of Me, you experience emptiness and dissatisfaction... Find fulfillment through living close to Me, yielding to My purposes for you." (271)
Living independently, detached or even distant from God is a very desperate place to be. Conversely, I am quite amazed at how powerful God's Presence can be when I intentionally turn towards Him. James 4:8 says that whenever we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us!
Some situations can leave me feeling distant from His calming Presence and simply stopping to acknowledge Him can have a profound effect on me or even on whatever is happening around me. It's like walls of resistance begin to crumble... like levels of darkness start melting away... and a glorious reconnection happens. Whatever was standing in the way, blocking His Presence, is now powerless and the Presence of Jesus can completely envelop me!
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 tells us that whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil (of a deceived, self-centered or confused mind) is removed and the Spirit of God brings freedom that transforms us into the image of Christ "from glory to glory." It's like taking the next step into His Image, one step at a time, being "transformed more and more into the one (He's) designed us to be!" (271)
Moving from one level of glory to the next...dmc

Monday, September 15, 2014

More Than "Good Enough" for God

"Rest in me...this time devoted to Me is meant to be peaceful, not stressful. You don't have to perform in order to receive My Love... It grieves Me to see My children working for Love: trying... yet never feeling good enough to be loved." (270)
Not feeling "good enough" is probably one of the most defeating emotional battlegrounds to overcome! Somehow we have a picture in our minds of what we ought to be or what we think others believe we should be. That picture can condemn us, rather than inspire us, no matter what we do or how hard we try. The hamster-wheel-effect it has on our lives can leave us exhausted, discouraged, deeply sad, even hopeless.
Proverbs 13:12 tells us that "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." God has placed "trees of life" in our lives...those who speak hope into our hearts. God, Himself, "rejoices over us with gladness... delights in us with shouts of joy." (Zephaniah 3:17)
It reminds me of the passage in Colossians 1:21-29 where we "were once alienated and hostile in our minds...but now He has reconciled us...to present us holy, faultless, and blameless before Him...to make God's message fully known...which is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory.'" To be "reconciled" makes us more than "good enough"...we can actually be God's Delight!
Graciously "good enough" Today...dmc

Sunday, September 14, 2014

His Amazing Breath in Me

"Worship Me by living close to Me. This was My original design for man, into whom I breathed My very breath of Life. This is My desire for you: that you stay near Me as you walk along your life-path." (269)
I am captured by the thought that the breath of God is within and all around me! So amazing... to think He is only a breath away!
Check out this song by Phillip, Craig & Dean, "Your Grace Still Amazes Me"
Breathing in His Amazing Grace...dmc

Saturday, September 13, 2014

No Back Talk

"Give your mind a break from its habitual judging...Rather than evaluating My ways with you, accept them thankfully." (268)
Have you ever talked back to God? I have! Especially when it comes to some inherited physical challenges related to back pain. I have questioned the way He fashioned my body, with these various built in flaws that I must continually deal with.
Romans 9:20-23 tells me "who are you-anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?" or has the potter no right over His clay? What if God did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory-on us whom He also called..."
I am captured by the thought that my physical weaknesses could be used "to make known the riches of His glory" as I seek to glorify Him, no matter what! With or without the miraculous healing I deeply desire!
I know people who carry much weightier physical challenges than I do and others who must carry heavy emotional or relational challenges. They certainly help to inspire me... to hold on until my miracle comes, until Jesus comes or until I come...home to heaven!
I really like how my friend, Melissa reflected on this, "One day I thought, why am I complaining (even) about the weather? I can't change it... No matter what circumstances are thrown my way, I must focus on God and know that He KNOWS what He is doing! I must let God, be God! (Yes there is a song...here are the lyrics!)
"Rather than evaluating (His) ways" we must "accept them thankfully...(and) worship (Him)as King of Kings." It's good for me to remember who God is and that I was created first and foremost to know Him and to glorify Him!
Holding my tongue & His Hand...dmc

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Activity Addiction

"Spending time alone with Me can be a difficult discipline, because it goes against the activity addiction of this age. You may appear to be doing nothing, but actually you are participating in battles going on within spiritual realms...demolishing strongholds." (267)
I really identify with the "activity addiction" issue. Our schedules are filled and our opportunities "to sit quietly in (His) Presence" are so limited. Because of that, we have to intentionally guard our schedules, protecting our quiet times with Him.
Perhaps one of the most destructive strongholds of this age is our general addiction to activity and the overall busyness that overwhelms our lives.
Time with Jesus or "living close to (Him) is a sure defense against evil" and offers protection against all sorts of destructive addictions that distort our ability to see and think clearly.
Actively Addressing my Activity-Driven Life...dmc :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Good-to-Go, No-Matter-What

"Rejoice in Me always! No matter what...rejoice in your love-relationship with Me. This is the secret of being content in all circumstances." Phil.4:4, 12 (266)
There is such a HUGE difference between those who are content and those who are discontent. The bible makes it clear that contentment provides an environment for life that is exceptional and to be highly desired. Those who KNOW Christ can experience contentment "in all circumstances." REALLY?? In ALL circumstances? Yes! So, let's look at the secret to that kind of contentment?
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!" (Phil. 4:4) Rejoice literally means to "re-joy," choosing joy over and over again. Choosing to celebrate something in every situation takes a little creativity and a lot of focus. But, of course, it depends on...what we're focusing on!
Joe and I try to intentionally focus on reasons to rejoice in the midst of all circumstances. There have been a number of times we were delayed significantly in our travels and could have easily been quite annoyed but decided to thank the Lord, no-matter-what! In one case, within an hour of our delay, we came up on an accident scene with people still in the ditches and on the road. As we slowly drove past, praying for those involved, we praised God for wisely pacing our travels.
Today is the anniversary of the 911 Tragedy of 2001. So many testified to God's presence in the midst of the crisis or of how delays or even sickness kept them from their ordinary schedules that would have placed them in the bull's eye of disaster.
There's reasons, while often hidden to us, to choose to be content. Because we choose to focus on our "love-relationship" with God. We rejoice no-matter-what, because a no-matter-what God really knows and loves us, no-matter-what!
No-matter-what I'm choosing to be Content...dmc

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crafted for Companionship

"I am always available to you... Sometimes you may feel distant from Me...that (is a) feeling...(not a) reality. The Bible is full of My promises to be with you always...to the very end of the age." Matt. 28:20 (265)
The devo for today is all about the companionship we have in Christ. There's lots of research supporting the benefits of companionship, such as the impact of pets on the elderly, the blind, or the lonely. Recently I reviewed research detailing how even earth worms may seem to prefer being together over being isolated! Who would have guessed!?
Quoting the research article, "Ants colonize. Fish shoal. Flamingos flock and caribou herd. Earth is populated by inherently social beings. Even lowly worms seek out the benefits of companionship. New research has dissected the social proclivities of a model worm, identifying a single type of neuron -- RMG -- that "decides" whether these worms will mingle with their fellows or keep to themselves." (Neurons That Control Sociability In Worms Defined, Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 21:28 in Biology & Nature.)
It's as if all creation is genetically crafted for companionship. Romans 8 tells how all of "creation eagerly waits with anticipation" for Christ to return, even "groaning together." (v. 18-25)
My parents were married 57 years and Joe's parents were married 73 years before loosing a spouse. Learning how to live without one's soulmate is difficult and it reminds me, again, of how we are deeply crafted by God for companionship. "It is not good for the man to be alone..." (Gen. 2:18)
What a comfort to hear Jesus say, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 18:20)
Grateful He is WITH me...dmc

PS - Happy Birthday to our charming grandson, Noah!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Headful of Trust

"Walk with Me along paths of trust... As soon as you realize you have wandered from your trust-path, look to Me and whisper, "I trust You, Jesus." This affirmation will help you get back on track... Anxious thoughts branch off in all directions, taking you farther and farther from awareness of My Presence... voice your trust in Me frequently...this will keep you walking along straight paths with Me." (264)
I love the verse found in Isaiah 26:3..."You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent (stayed) on You, for it is trusting in You." (HCS)
The figurative paths we journey in our minds steal away our peace far more often than the literal paths we walk in life. I can roam down endless paths of frustration and fear that will become a worrisome reality only within the boundaries of my own skull! What a waste of "precious time and energy."
Jesus died for us to live an "abundant life" and many die having lived a burdened life... wandering down miserable paths Jesus never intended for His own.
The challenge is... in order to live like the redeemed we must think like the Redeemer!
Rethinking Redeeming Thoughts...dmc

Monday, September 8, 2014

Test of Absolute Trust

"Accept each day...not only the circumstances...but also the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust me absolutely...(even when) the demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives - giving up or relying on Me...I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment." (263)
When the demands of my day are beyond my strength or ability, having absolute trust can become an absolute test! Similar to a multiple choice test with two alternatives. "Moment by moment" I must choose which way I will fall. I will:
A. Regress (fall backward)
B. Rely (fall forward)
I have discovered that even when I choose to rely (fall forward) on God, the circumstances of my day or the condition of my body may not change. So, what initiated my dilemma may still be in place. However, the big change happens in the atmosphere of my mind! My thoughts are altered, my perspective is broadened and I realize...it's NOT all about ME! He is working on something far grander than me and I am just a small part of a much bigger picture. So, He gives me just enough strength, enough wisdom, enough of His Presence to equip and empower me for each moment. I find it easier to trust Him with my impossible days when I do it a moment at a time!
For me, the biggest challenge is making that initial choice, in that impossible moment, to trust Him, absolutely! Then, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year a whole lifetime is lived....
Falling Forward into His Sovereignty and Faithfulness...dmc