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, April 28, 2015

Lamenting Choices

"Choice-points along the way...each is contingent upon the decision that precedes it." (123)
I spend lots of time with others who are lamenting over choices made, long ago, that have altered their options for today. What a redeeming promise to know that "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him; to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Lamentations 3:25-26
My friend Melissa shared:
I was just talking to a friend about how we so easily jump ahead of God's plan and try to do things on our own when we need to wait quietly for His instructions. My impatience has gotten the best of me many times. I am slowly learning how to live moment by moment and trusting God “to supply what I need when I need it.”
Living minute by minute!
Thanks, Melissa! I join you in your "minute by minute" adventure...
Seeking His Face More, Lamenting Less...dmc

Monday, April 27, 2015

On Jesus' Prayer List

One verse from our scripture reading for today powerfully spoke to me! Jesus is not only praying for us "but also for those who believe in (Him) through (our) message." (John 17:20)
What an amazing thought...to know that Jesus is praying for each of us AND for those who we have witnessed to, shared our faith with, or have spiritually mentored and are prayerfully concerned for.
Sometimes the burden of someone's spiritual growth can be quite overwhelming and I can feel quite drained "of strength" to monitor their continued spiritual growth.(122)
However, Jesus steps in to protect me and His gospel message with His own intercessory prayer!
So, I pray, "Lord, help me to just remain faithful. May any life I touch, be impacted, not just with MY testimony, but with YOUR discerning prayer for THEM."
Covered in Jesus' Prayers...dmc

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Amazing Amygdala

"If you encounter a problem...your response to that situation will take you either up or down. You can lash out at the difficulty, resenting it and feeling sorry for yourself...tak(ing) you down into a pit of self-pity." OR "The problem can be a ladder, enabling you to climb up and see your life from My perspective." (121)
God has equipped us with a small almond-shaped "toggle switch" in our brains that enables us to experience the "perspective-lifter" or the "ladder" that helps us to "climb up" into a new more God-glorifying perspective. We can intentionally activate the switch (or climb the ladder) to gain a heightened perspective on our problems. With God's help problems can become doors of incredible opportunity. It's all about bringing His presence into every aspect of our thought life.
Making my amygdala give God glory...dmc

Saturday, April 25, 2015

God's Gyroscope

At certain times, over the years, I have suffered from motion sickness... as a child on a fast spinning not-so-merry-go-round! (Nausea can quickly condition one to avoid certain things!) Then, as an adult, on a cruise ship navigating 9 to 12 foot seas... Just to simply walk we were hanging on to walls and rails...quite a memory! However, far worse...on an airplane, in the middle of a thunderstorm! Or even in the seat of a larger-than-life IMAX theater!
Our sense of balance, developing even before we are born, incorporates at least 3 of our other senses and keeps us functional from morning till night, from the cradle to the grave. A well developed sense of balance, like an internal gyroscope, is crucial to our overall coordination and continued well-being. (Hopefully, keeping our tummies settled, too!)
Many frequent travelers know that keeping on eye on the horizon can help settle a rolling tummy.  The key is to pick out a focal point in the distant, keep your eye fixed on that, until a sense of balance is restored and your inner gyroscope is recalculated.
Life has a way of throwing us off balance... distracting us, distressing us and disorientating us... hence we need a strong, never-changing focal point... Jesus!
Today's devo, coming from Hebrews 12:2 tells us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the One who never changes." (120) Why is that so important?
That is our only way to maintain a sense of balance, a sense of direction and, must likely, a good sense of humor, too!
Checking my spiritual gyroscope...dmc

Friday, April 24, 2015

Still Stitching

"Rest in the stillness of My Presence while I prepare you for this day." (119)
"Be still and know that I am God." Ps 46:10
The word for "still" in Hebrew is "raphah" and the word for "healing" is "rapha." The two are directly related. To be "still" in the Hebrew language literally indicates "to let go, relax" combined with "to mend by stitching" like a physician would repair to promote healing. Being "still" in His Presence is a healing, mending place, as we let go and relax, allowing Him to stitch and mend the torn and tattered regions of the soul.
I have a "stitching" memory that makes me smile. I grew up the oldest of three girls in a small community in eastern South Dakota. In the spring of the year, beautiful tulips would often pop through the last of melting snow drifts, as if announcing spring's arrival and the annual task mother had of sewing Easter outfits for all three of us girls. That was until we were old enough to make our own Easter dresses. Each year, the week before Easter was a workout week for the sewing machine, whirling and clicking away, stitch by stitch, until all three dresses were complete, freshly ironed and hanging in place waiting to be proudly worn Easter morning. New dresses, white sandals, hat and little gloves holding on to a tiny purse and a small New Testament bible, then off to church in the crisp, chilly morning air. What a wonderful way to start an Easter Sunday morning!  What a wonderful way to start any day!
I'm letting God stitch and mend me so I am healed and ready to take on my day. What a wonderful way to also end the day, to let go and relax! A Stitch in Time Saves... Lives!
Stitched & Ready to Go...dmc

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Onerous" Days

Here's a word I do not use often, "onerous," yet I have experienced it many times. It means burdensome, oppressive, wearisome, heavy or weighty. I have certainly had weighty days. Where I felt burdened, weary or heavy-hearted over some task in ministry, in parenting, counseling or even in the more ordinary things of life, like spring cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, entertaining or other trivial responsibilities that tend to pile up.
"There are many burned-out Christians who think more is always better, who deem it unspiritual to say no." (118) While learning to say a healthy "no" is smart, it has not been easy for me. There are many valid concerns and worthy activities that need to be accomplished that God has NOT assigned to me. Knowing God will "never lead (me) to do something without equipping (me) for the task" is a great comfort and a great caution.
Comfort - He WILL certainly equip me to do the task He's assigned to me.
Caution - I'm equipped for tasks HE's assigned not for EVERY task that comes my way.
Being equipped for one task does not necessarily equip me to do EVERY task that needs to be done! Even fairly simple things can be very "onerous" when God's Power is not in it...or in me to do it!
Have a Blessed "Onerous" free day...dmc

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Doin' It WITH Him

"Listen to Me continually. I have much to communicate to you, so many people and situations in need of prayer. I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more..." (117)
I've come to believe that prayer is truly a running conversation with God. I wake up checking in with Him. Go through my day with Him. And fall asleep pondering with Him. It's a back and forth flow of thoughts, prayers, praise and lots of people! "So many people and situations need prayer" and when I pass those concerns on to Him, I can sense peace and protection in the midst of the daily stir!
It makes me think of 1 Thes.5:17-18. "Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
God's will is only a prayer and praise away! In this not-so-great world, it's such a great way to live!
With Him...dmc

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Brain Police

"The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind... Open yourself to My radiant Presence, letting My Light permeate your thinking. When My Spirit is controlling your mind, you are filled with Life and Peace." (116)
Here's a great way to determine if your thoughts are of God...are they filled with Life and Peace? I will often check my thoughts against the Fruit of the Spirit.(Gal. 5:22-23)
Policing our thought life requires a determined discipline. "Taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor.10:5)
I do best when I communicate often with God about my thoughts. This means, I confess and repent often, too. The slightest indication of a dark or disturbing, fearful or critical thought is snagged and brought before Him as soon as I am aware. I try to not let my thoughts ruin the landscape of my day. Making them "obedient to Christ" is something like corralling unruly children and insisting they must obey! Naughty kids cannot run our lives, neither can naughty thoughts bully us around and ruin, not only our day, but our LIVES!
Keeping a close eye on what wanders through my brain...dmc

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fear's Distorted Perspective

"Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, you need not fear!" Psalm 46:2
Having my heart and mind SO disciplined that earth-shaking events do not cause fear would be so far from my own natural response!!
Several years ago we had one of our little grandsons in the car with us. He was about 2 years old and we were singing all kinds of songs, but making up some very silly ones, that he especially liked. We drove up into a car wash, singing and having a great time. However, just as soon as the first blast of water sprayed the car, he instantly stopped laughing and was struck with fear! He saw soap and water coming from all directions...even the moon roof window over us was under a soap attack! I quickly got out of my seat belt and crawled into the backseat with him as we moved through the soapy, terrifying car wash. My heart nearly broke for him. From his perspective we were NOT OK! We were under attack!
It reminds me of how from my perspective, sometimes, I feel like we are NOT OK! Fear can radically distort my perspective. When I sense the enemy's attack on every side, it's comforting to know that God does not judge or condemn...He just comes along side and holds my right hand (Ps. 73:23-24) saying, "Do not fear, I will help you." Is. 41:13. When He takes my right hand it means He has positioned Himself next to me and is protecting me FROM an attack! (See the blog for April 17.)
When it seems like I'm under attack I want to position myself "under the shadow of the Almighty... my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (Ps. 91)
Overcoming Under the Almighty ...dmc