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, October 21, 2014

Recognize & Release Resentment

"To live in My Presence consistently, you must expose and expel your rebellious tendencies...become aware of each resentment. Bring them boldly into the Light of My Presence, so that I can free you from them. The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!" Job 1:21 (308)
This is a hard Truth that often cuts deep into our human securities. Just the thought of having to release something or someone precious can be extremely painful. Loss leaves us so empty...I suppose that is why we must be filled with Him, focused on Him... not all the "good things-possessions, family, friends, health, abilities, time" all gifts that come from our Loving, Sovereign Lord.
Our devotional reading today continues, "Intellectually you rejoice in My sovereignty... but when My sovereign will encroaches on your little domain of control, you often react with telltale resentment."
As soon as I sense the rumblings of resentment in my spirit, I try to confess it quickly and ask for His peace that "guards my heart and mind" (Phil. 4:7) Staying close to Him means I must stay tuned in to any hint of displeasure in His Will for my life. Confessing it quickly keeps my heart repentant and tender before Him. Learning to recognize and release resentment quickly has been such a valuable gift. I was reminded of the following song. This video clip (Blessed Be Your Name, sung by Tim Hughes) has a powerful message, impacting scriptures and the most endearing pictures of children... who tend to uniquely touch and tune my heart to God's Heart.
My Heart will choose to say, "Lord, Blessed be Your Name."
Letting go of resentment... Never letting go of His Hand...dmc

Monday, October 20, 2014

Growing Young!

"I am your Living God, far more abundantly alive than the most vivacious person you know. The human body is wonderfully crafted, but gravity and the inevitable effects of aging weigh it down... Do not be anxious about the weakness of your body... Though the process of aging continues, inwardly you grow stronger with the passing years. Those who live close to Me develop an inner aliveness that makes them seem youthful in spite of their years. Let My Life shine through you, as you walk in the Light with Me." (307)
I participated in a brain-health Webinar emphasizing how a healthy brain will keep us more alive and youthful, no matter what our chronological age may be. Tests reveal some twenty year olds whose thought life was so toxic and negative that their brains were deteriorating faster than their grandparents who were 3 or 4 times older!
Although my outward, physical body will certainly age, I want my "inner person to be renewed day by day." (2 Cor. 4:16) Afterall... Age? It's just a number!
So, here are some personal checkpoints I have for myself to help me "grow young."
1. Eat brain healthy & body healthy foods (including my Reliv & protein shakes)
2. Stay kid-connected (time with the young keeps my heart happy, tender & sincere)
3. Keep a "young at heart" attitude (no matter how gray, wrinkled or forgetful I become)
4. Always be up for something new & different (keeps me out of the "rut")
5. Compliment often & be thankful (grumpy people are "old" no matter what their age)
6. Daily sing & make music (keeps me in tune, on beat & in my right mind, literally!)
7. Let God speak into my life daily (before I dare speak into someone else's life)
8. Use encounters to improve this world (touching people & places for good)
9. Be sure to listen well, using my 3rd ear (the one in the center of my h"ear"t!)
10. Check for Fruit (Will this produce more Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faith? Gentleness? Self-Control? Gal.5:22-23... If not, I usually DON'T go there!!)
Staying Ageless In Jesus...dmc

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Authentic vs Artificial

"Come to Me with your defenses down...relax and feel the relief of being totally open and authentic with Me. Facades abound in the world...(people may) cover up with Sunday clothes and Sunday smiles. (But) the best antidote to this artificial atmosphere is practicing My Presence...(and) glorifying Me. Then you will be able to smile at others with My Joy and bless them with My Presence." (306)
Don't you just love authentic people? Those who have moved past the limitations of preserving their egos, of defending their reactions, and blaming or attacking others when threatened? Otherwise it creates such a drama-driven environment! Of all places, the body of Christ should be free of such maladies. Alas, "one of the worst consequences of the Fall is the elaborate barriers people erect between themselves and others" not only in the world but even in the church!
So, what sets apart the authentic from the artificial? Here are just a few attributes I value in authentic people. I am thankful for them because they truly inspire me.
The authentic seem to honestly take responsibility for personal flaws; are quick to listen, slow to speak and when they do, they speak to or about others honorably. They express compassion for others; readily equip and empower someone else's dreams; support unity and efforts to elevate team effort over personal gain; inspire communication, acceptance, commitment, trust, vision, integrity and internal tenacity. Basically, the authentic live in God's Presence, dwelling on and exemplifying things that are "excellent or praise-worthy." (Phil.4:8) They view others as God's Image-bearers not as one's potential enemy!
Our true Enemy desires to make us into self-absorbed, drama-driven puppets on the stage of human insecurities. Our True Friend inspires us to be Christ-absorbed, purpose-driven people with an eternal mission...
Desiring an authentic human journey..dmc

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obstacles Leverage or Litter

"I will open up the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path. (When) the way before you appears to be blocked (don't) focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it...instead, focus on Me...That is the secret of success in My kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me." (305)
This time several years ago I was in the midst of two surgical procedures on my feet. I was recovering from the first operation and anticipating another surgery on the other foot nine weeks later. They were repairing an inherited weakness and misalignment that had to be corrected to ensure my ability to continue to be active and healthy for years to come.
While I was not looking forward to the process, of two back-to-back surgeries and the months of recovery, I am now experiencing the benefits of having made the corrections! It was certainly worth the hassle. Focusing on the benefits helped to motivate me and sustain me. It was a great opportunity to realign my focus along with my feet.
When Jesus is the main focus, He uses obstacles to leverage our focus and lift our sights to a whole new awareness of Him! Obstacles can either litter or leverage our life-journey. It's all about being...
More Focused on Him...dmc

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prayer Protects Our Brains

"Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without Me. (Your)best defense against worry is staying in communication with Me. When you turn your thoughts toward Me, you can think much more positively...making your thoughts a dialogue with Me." (304)
Research continues to support how worry and anxiety are neurotoxic to the brain... meaning the neuro-receptor sites can become damaged when bathed in the toxic chemicals that are produced with unhealthy, anxious thoughts. Literally, regions of the brain will shrink over time. This is especially true in the executive/decision-making areas that offer us creative, constructive ways to deal with the stresses of life.
Most of us can relate to the challenge of trying to think clearly when we are overly anxious or distracted by worry. Paul gave us the best antidote in Philippians 4:6-7. "Don't worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be make known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Many of us can certainly testify to how anxiety stresses and taxes our hearts.  The antidote is to talk to God about it until His peace is neuro-chemically, spiritually and relationally in place!
Protecting my Brain & Heart with Prayer...dmc

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Staying Power

"Look to Me continually for help, comfort and companionship...the briefest glance can connect you with Me... My constant Companionship is the piece de resistance: the summit of salvation blessings." (303)
The French term "piece de resistance" means "most significant, important or outstanding." It comes from pièce, piece + de, of, with + résistance. It basically represents the essence of staying power or lastingness in the long, long haul of life.
If we were to list all the blessings that are included in a growing relationship with Jesus, I would put several at the very top of my list as Best or Most Rewarding. They would be... an eternity in heaven and the wonderful intimate, close relationship I can enjoy every day!
Our daily life and our eternal life are significantly impacted because of Jesus! He gives us the "staying power" that impacts our lives over and over, day after day all the way into eternity!
Enjoying Him...dmc

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pits of Pity & Plateaus of Pride

"Try to stay conscious of Me...My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. As you journey (watch out for) pits of self-pity and...plateaus of pride." (302)
There's such glorious freedom to those who have discovered the pathway of promise where Jesus' Presence protects and empowers.
I picture the pathway of His Presence much like the infamous Road to Hana and the even riskier road beyond Hana that cautiously sneaks along Maui's rugged northeasterly coast line until it enters the volcanic lava fields along the southeastern edge of the island.  It's a daring, often one-lane journey cut into jagged cliffs with ocean waves crashing below and steep, rocky ledges of volcanic rock towering overhead on the opposite side of the road.  Signs along the way give numerous warnings.
When we made our memorable trek around the island, we were captured with its breath-taking beauty and its brazen, bold, even daring terrain. The signs were right!  Both sides of the road were laden with risk, certain death, if one became careless or distracted.
Heeding warning signs on this life's journey is wise.  Pits of self-pity create a dangerously victimized state of mind while plateaus of pride boast of elevated grandiosity.  Both leave one stranded and desperately alone. One is self-depreciating the other is self-exalting, but both are the result of being overly self-focused.
The Presence of Jesus protects us from the extremes on our pathway of life. He promises that He will not lead us astray or endanger us.
Staying Close & Focused on Jesus...dmc

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creating Ripples for His Glory

"All suffering has meaning in My kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me...even thanking Me for them - this is one of the highest forms of praise...sending out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles...Remember I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. (As) your suffering gains meaning (it) draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through your trust and thankfulness." (301)
Most of us would "run from pain or hide from problems" and some refuse to see how such could ever be God's desire for us. But we all know these times come even to the best of God's people. However, when we must walk through the waters of adversity, we have the amazing option to "accept adversity in (His) Name, offering it up to (Him) for (His) purposes...drawing closer...(as a result) Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity..."
The impact of each life is much like ripples in the sea of humanity. How we respond to adversity can touch far more lives than we could ever imagine!
I praise God for the those who have touched my life with faithfulness in the midst of various trials, demonstrating their great trust in a Sovereign God! I like the following poem. May it inspire you to cast your...
Stones for His Glory...dmc

Ripples in The Water - by F J McCarthy. (2.2.2010)

Cast a stone into the calm clear water
Watch the ripples grow and grow and grow.
Then think of every moment in your lifetime
Creating ripples in the world you’ll never know.

Think of all the love that you have given
With the love that spreads as far as you can see.
For the life you have isn’t only yours for living.
Once the ripples of your love have come to me.

So think before you cast a stone in anger
For the anger that you cast will surely grow.
If you feel the fear and hatred of your brother.
You must find it in your heart to let it go.

Please drop your pebbles lightly on the water.
With love and hope to spread through out the sea.
And leave your stones of hatred on the seashore.
To turn to sand throughout eternity.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sacred Space

"Take time to be still in My Presence...you need this sacred space of communion with Me." (300)
Psalm 46:10 directs us to "be still and know that I am God." The Hebrew language uses the word "raphah" where we translate "be still." Throughout the Old Testament it has various meanings, but basically it means to "let it drop" or to "create slack." I found this especially meaningful when I was in the midst of recovering from two back-to-back foot surgeries. I had to let all kinds of things "drop." Since I am far more inclined to pick up the "slack" not "create slack," being "still" to repair and recover was WAY out of my norm!
The implications of spiritually being "still" are immeasurable! It truly creates a kind of "sacred space" to commune with our Creator! There's another Hebrew word that captures my attention in Psalm 46. At the end of verses 3, 7 & 11 it says "Selah."
This was a type of musical term meaning to "pause and calmly think about it." So, in the flow of this song from the Psalms, there are basically three stanzas. The people are encouraged to pause at the end of each stanza and consider the truths that were just presented.
Every Wednesday noon I meet with a group of ladies who "pause" in the flow of their week to discuss and "calmly think about" biblical truths. Our group is called "Truth and Dialog" and that is exactly what we do!
Learning to "be still" and to "selah" - or "pause and calmly think" about God's Truth can exponentially change a life...it has mine! It creates that "sacred space" in my schedule to commune with my Creator...to "be still and KNOW" God!
Scheduling Selah...dmc