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!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Almighty Security System

"I am your strength and shield. I plan out each day and have it ready for you, long before you arise from bed... concentrate on staying in touch with Me. Refuse to waste energy by worrying... My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers...which is the best security system available." (32)
We have constructed our own methods of security. Alarm systems, hidden cameras, video surveillance, retirement plans, savings accounts, disaster supplies, emergency funds, gated communities, padlocks, dead bolts, police patrol or even the family dog! All of that, just to relieve our concerns for safety. We live in a world that threatens our safety and our peace of mind.
What a comfort to know that as God's children we can have an additional peace of mind believing that "the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold...and I was saved from my enemies." (Ps. 18:2-3)
Breathing a bit more easy...dmc
PS - Happy Birthday to our precious daughter-in-love, Leslie Anne Colaw!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Gift of Meta-Cognition

"Worship Me only. Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god. Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind." (31)
What a sobering, morbid picture! No wonder we need to guard our thoughts. (Is. 26:3, Phil. 4:7) This requires "meta-cognition," the ability to think about what we are thinking about. With God's help we can adjust the habitual thought patterns of our own mind. This is a wonderful gift God has given us. It helps us to test and realign our thoughts.
I love David's prayer, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive, hurtful way in me; lead me in the everlasting way." (Ps. 139:23-24)
I am so grateful that God can read my mind and heal my heart! Each time I switch my thoughts into "the everlasting way," there is great rejoicing.
"I rejoice when your mind turns toward Me. Guard your thoughts diligently; good thought-choices will keep you close to Me."
Thinking Thoughtfully...dmc

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Taking Thoughts Captive

"Keep your focus on Me. I have gifted you with amazing freedom, including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind... Bring every thought captive to Me...lasso those (wandering) thoughts...into My Presence... I will guard you and keep you in perfect Peace, as you focus your mind on Me." (30)
When research was done on our brains' ability to successfully multi-task a surprising discovery was made. The results revealed that multi-tasking tends to "drain the brain's" ability to be efficient and creative. Basically, we do better when we hold on to one thought at a time and bring it to completion. So, thought by thought, we plot our day, ultimately our own destiny.
Good News! We have the "amazing freedom...to choose the focal point of our minds." We can "bring every thought captive, making it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5)
So, either our thoughts will take us captive or we will take our thoughts captive.
Captivated in Christ...dmc

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The "There & Aware" Promise of God

"I am with you always. These are the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen... center (your) life around this glorious promise... The fact that I am with you makes every moment of your life meaningful." (29)
Always there. Always aware. Jesus' rare, but true, promise to care for us! Even if I may be distracted, overwhelmed and uncertain. He is always attentively there.
I marvel at His ability to be totally tuned into me (including my flaws, weaknesses and failures) and yet He's totally committed to loving me! One would think that the more He came to know us, the more reasons He'd discover to keep us at a distance. However, it's just the opposite. For He longs to "never leave us or forsake us!" (Hebrews 13:5)
It reminds me of the attentive care given to my daddy in his final months.  A highly skilled team of home-health providers would come and go throughout the day offering support and creative new ways to care for him and to encourage mother.
God has an eternal care plan...a promise to always be there, to always be aware! One morning I slipped into his room while he and mother were doing their daily devotions together. He was praying a tender, fervent prayer between gasps of air delivered by the oxygen tank. There's no doubt...Jesus was THERE! And now, daddy is THERE, with Jesus!
Grateful for God's attentive care & eternal promise...dmc

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Certainly Certain Trust

"Trust is a golden pathway to heaven. When you walk on this path, you live above your circumstances... Dare to walk on the high road..." (28)
Have you noticed? There's not a big crowd on the "high road." Most will avoid the "road less traveled" and will take the "path of least resistance," following the more familiar "trail" of human reasoning, negative thought and skepticism!
Did you know.... ? By decisively incorporating the dimension of trust, we can radically be impacted relationally - "favor, good understanding and high esteem in the sight (or judgment) of God and man." (Prov.3:4, AMP)
Did you know...? When we choose "to trust" we are radically impacted physically - "health to your nerves, and marrow and moistening to your bones." (Prov.3:8)
Honestly, at times, I feel like trust is more of a thin thread that I'm hanging from than a path I'm walking on! But I've decided, I'd rather hang on that thin thread of trust than be deeply embedded in the mire of doubt. I know too many who have opted to be entrenched in that murky mire and I don't want to go THERE!!
I love the message of Avalon's song -
I Don't Want to Go (lyrics are included)
Copy & Paste - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOEOX_Rxm8E
Trust means I can be certainly and...
Securely Certain of Him ...dmc

Monday, January 26, 2015

Challenging the 20% Crowd

"Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life... This is a false hope! Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: The Perfect One... enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances." (27)
Today's devo stresses a certain fact of life that's frustrated me many times... We WILL "have trouble!!" (John 16:33) It especially frustrates me in relationships. I want people to feel loved, understood and deeply appreciated. Even though I know better, I want this world to be a "happy heart" place, where everyone is having a "happy heart" day! (Prov. 15:13-15)
In recent years God has challenged me to have a grateful, "happy heart" even if things are not perfect and every encounter is not with another "happy heart!" Troubling circumstances and troubled people will certainly come along, sooner or later.
A few years ago we attended an event to hear a TV personality well known in Christian media. This particular event was not to be taped. The discussion was to be especially personal, relating some of the more painful experiences of the individual's ministry life. During the evening, I learned something that has helped me to deal with the troubling people that trouble our lives...
Based upon research, it was shared that, at any given moment there may be at least 20% of the people around you who will not necessarily like you! Why? Because at least 20% of those around us are not perceptively flexible. They do not have enough flex in their souls to be gracious and accepting of others who are different from what they prefer. Their thinking tends to be rigid, critical and solely based upon their personal preferences and skewed biases. So, we should not be surprised when one of our 20% shows up, speaks up or acts up around us!
Jesus Calling states that He is "less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way." Jesus certainly had His share of the challenging 20% crowd! So, He certainly understands. We can trust Him with our hearts and with the other not-so-happy hearts that mess with our "happy hearts!" I want to be part of your 80% who genuinely love and appreciate you!
Praising God for my 80% and for YOU...dmc :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Step Forward

"These quiet moments with me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine...see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones... As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be... Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life...and the way before you will open up step by step."(26)
It's interesting how the next breath and the next step can be so close and yet so distant, all at the same time. My dear little daddy lived a full and rewarding life, but his next breath and next step had to be assisted most of his last few years. Grateful for a portable oxygen tank that helped him breathe and a trusty cane that steadied his step, he experienced life at a whole new pace. During his last few months, even his next words were halting, thoughts more confused. But, it was sweet one Sunday afternoon, we sang together...  the lyrics, the harmonies, were still beautifully, breath-fully HIS!
In our fast-paced, breathless lives, it's good to spend a little time with those who travel a little slower. A "God-breathed life" is a precious thing!
In contrast, today our delightful grandson, Nathan Joseph, celebrates his birthday. With breathless abandon, he will be full-speed-ahead, on the run, full of endless fun!
So, on this day I'm reaching out with both hands, transcending generations... One hand touches timeless eternity, the other, tomorrow's possibilities! Great Grandpa and Great Grandson meet on the bridge that spans across my heart.
Gratefully stepping forward...dmc

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Perils of Pearlers

"My Peace is the treasure of treasures: the pearl of great price. It is exquisitely costly, both for the Giver and the receiver." Matthew 13:46 (25)
"Adverse circumstances are normal in a fallen world. Expect them...!" So, how do we find the Pearl of Peace in the midst of such adversity?
Today's devo reminded me of several opportunities I've had in Hawaii to choose a shell, in hopes of finding a beautiful pearl. The history of pearlers (those who harvest pearls) is filled with great suffering. The dangers of diving, being drowned, attacked by sharks, weathering storms, wearing awkward, heavy helmets and managing equipment caused many to be lost at sea. Once the shells were gathered the process of finding a pearl was wearisome. Their hands were raw with cuts from handling hundreds of shells that had to then be boiled, creating a sickening odor, to find only 2 or 3 pearls! What a perilous task with minimal reward!
We live in an adverse, fallen world where Pearls of Peace are often hidden in hardship. Jesus, our "Pearl of Great Price," has promised to help us find Pearls of Peace in the midst of our trials and costly hardships. Only He knows what hidden "spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials."
Incidentally, I've learned that the ugliest shells usually contain the prettiest pearls! I have earrings and a necklace as proof!
A String of Pearls for His Glory...dmc

Friday, January 23, 2015

Secret Smiles

"When your mind wanders while you are praying, don't be surprised or upset. Simply return your attention to Me. Share a secret smile with me, knowing that I understand. Rejoice in My Love for you." (24)
Years ago, my sweetly seasoned, godly mother taught me a great way to deal with wandering thoughts during my devotional times. She told me to capture those wandering thoughts on paper. Once it was written down (like tasks to be done) I could refocus much easier. That's been a great help, even when using a sophisticated iphone, because now that nagging thought has a place to rest.
No matter what's happening or where my thoughts may wander, when I share it with Jesus it helps me to rest in a "quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to God."  (I Pet.3:4)  In all the distracting pleasures and pains of life, Jesus understands! So, as we share life with Him it pleases Him. Just imagine His pleasing smile resting on you as your thoughts are resting in Him!
I come from a family of quick and ready smiles. Even in the midst of tough situations, a secret subtle smile, a wink of reassurance and a kind uplifting word kept us going.  I enccourage you to do the same because... "This practice will enable you to attain a quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to God."  (I Peter 3:4)  Yes, it's true...Jesus' presence often rests in a shared "secret smile."
Manifest His presence today through shared "secret smiles"!
Smiling at YOU...dmc