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!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Soaking Out Secret Sins

"Let My love seep into the inner recesses of your being. Secret sins... can split off and develop lives of their own, controlling you without your realizing it. Open yourself fully to My transforming Presence... My Love soaks into your innermost being... expel(ing) very trace of fear." (219)
This reminded me of the Roman 7 & 8 passage where Paul so powerfully describes the conflict between his heart's commitment to Christ and his own propensity to sin. Although he desires to do what is right he says, "I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do... in my inner self I joyfully agree with God's law, but I see a different law... waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin... What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me...?" (Rom. 7:19 - 24)
I've watched people who've become so fractured that it's like observing several personalities in one person. One part loves God, yet another part refuses to obey God's Word, one part will be loving, another part will be hateful, one part is gracious while another part acts disgraceful... often the result of secret sins splitting the soul, setting up a milieu of mini-kingdoms where the enemy continues to mess with them.
My friend, Carolynn, said...
'As I read today’s devo, I immediately thought about (how) the “hidden secret sins” that “split off” can develop into bad habits, compulsions, addictions, etc. that do “develop lives of their own” controlling their victim. Many times friends and family do not even “know” their loved one any longer, they are “fractured” (Dawn Marie’s comments). They have become their addiction!
I (have also)witnessed firsthand the beautiful transformation God makes in the lives of those who are willing to surrender to God and allow Him to “purify them from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Amen, Carolynn, thanks!
God’s Transforming Power can free us from a life of bondage to our bad habits, compulsions, addictions, etc. and His Perfect Love expels every trace of fear (1 John 4:18).  Praise God for His "Transforming Presence" that can totally renew our minds! (Rom. 12:2)
Thoroughly Soaking in His Presence...dmc

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hopeful High Road Perspective

"Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven... Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road." (218)
We were assigned to a room on the top floor of a hotel with a beautiful view over a sprawling lake with lots of little coves and inlets. We enjoyed watching all the boating, fishing, swimming activity on the lake. One evening a rain storm came up over the far end of the lake. We could see it slowly make its way across the lake. Boats were scurrying away from the storm at one of the lake, while boats at the other end were leisurely heading away from the shore... straight into the storm...until they recognized what was up ahead!
The "high road" perspective can certainly alter the way we view circumstances and people. From God's perspective everything makes sense. From our perspective many things do NOT make sense. My friend, Amelia, shared, "Many times in my life I have unknowingly headed straight into the storm but God saw what was ahead and delivered me. Other times I have received strength to endure the storm."
Aren't we so thankful for His Presence and the hope He provides. I am grateful He has the better, "high road" perspective that can protect and provide for each of us and those we love.
Trusting Him with the BIG Picture...dmc
PS - So grateful for my oldest grandson! Happy birthday, Trey!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Reshuffle & Relax

"Relax and let Me lead you...I have everything under control. (In) My control...you are set free to enjoy Me and to find what I have prepared for you this day." (217)
My parents, Kaehl & Dorothy Volesky, were married on this day and shared nearly 58 years together before Daddy passed away. When Mother faced her first anniversary separated from Daddy we went out to eat, enjoyed some 'oldies' dinner music and did some reminising. Over and over again, the choices they had made in the midst of challenge reflected the learned art of letting God pace and grace their lives! A heritage I highly treasure!
Our culture is obsessed with planning and pre-planning, making sure every detail is under control. Recently a sweet little bride told me how she was excited, yet exhausted, with all the planning that goes into a wedding. With her exhaustion about to overtake her excitement, she was definitely looking for some relief.
I could identify with her. I have days that leave me far too exhausted to really enjoy or even notice all the hidden blessings God has woven into my day. I am asking God to help me stay in balance... to selectively attend to daily demands, to be keenly God-aware and to learn to relax a whole lot more!
Just like my Mother, adjusting to the "reshuffling" of her life without Daddy around, every age and stage of life seems to offer the option to reshuffle and relax or to wrestle and collapse! May we discover a rewarding reshuffle as we "look to (Jesus, who will) show (us) what to do now and next."
Grateful for my mother's living demonstration of that!
Reshuffling...dmc

Friday, July 25, 2014

Divine Makeovers

"As you listen...I speak to you continually; through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, Scripture. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive..." (216)
Listening to Jesus, all day long, during the whirl of activities or during the stillness of the night... it's a type of divine makeover! Being continually "conformed" into His image for "His purposes!" (Romans 8:28-29)
The other day a friend was contemplating how to discern whether she was hearing from God, from her past, from her own heart, from her secular friendships at work or maybe even from the enemy. We talked about the many voices that try to speak into our lives yet very few will have the kind of wisdom and credibility from which we would want to live our lives. It is most imperative that we know the difference! So, this is what I ask myself...
Will this produce more of the Fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23)
Am I fulfilling God's Will...by having a thankful heart? (I Thess. 5:18)
Then, I watch and wait as He does the divine makeover and "weaves it into a pattern for good."
In the midst of a Well-woven Makeover...dmc

Thursday, July 24, 2014

God's Will? Give Thanks!

"Thankfulness opens the door to My Presence... I have empowered you to open or close that door...but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective... built on a substructure of trust." (215)
The attitude of gratitude makes such a HUGE difference!  After visiting our oldest son and family in Dallas, Joe and I were traveling back, it was late, we were tired and when we stopped to gas up we got stuck at a stop light that would NOT give us the green light. After waiting & waiting, we were finally able to make our turn. We both commented on how we were going to praise God and keep a good attitude...after all, who knows what God may have been protecting us from!
Well, when we were back on the road we soon came up on a terrible 3 car accident. One vehicle was on fire, two others in the ditch and people were everywhere as emergency personel were arriving. As we slowly drove past, we spontaneously starting praying for all those involved. After a few minutes we realized how we needed to also thank God for probably protecting us... by delaying us!?
I Thes. 5:18 makes God's Will absolutely clear... "Give thanks in everything!" Our delays and detours in life may be His Sovereignty strategically at work!
Thanking God for His ability to look ahead and trusting Him all the more, with more and more!
Practicing Thankfulness...dmc

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shine & Share

"I am the Light of the World. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly... be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit...can shine from your face, making Me visible...Brighten up the world by reflecting who I AM."(214)
I praise God for all those who reflect & shine God's Light into my life; faces that reflect His Presence. Their eyes, smile, expressions, tone of voice are expressions of His Love. What a contrast to others whose downcast faces refect the residual effects of crawling and cursing their way through life spiritually, emotionally, relationally!
Exodus 34:29-35 tells the story of how God's Presence so impacted Moses "that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord." (Ex.34:29) As a busy pastor's wife and young mom, years ago, I was so inspired by that story that I challenged myself to maintain a devotional time with God, no matter what!
I want my face and communication to reflect God's love and goodness. May I be an expression of....
His Light to Others...dmc

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Expectation Exhaustion

"Find freedom through seeking to please Me above all else. You can have only one Master. When you let others' expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds." (213)
Learning how to escape others' driving expectations can be a life-long challenge. The other day I was sitting with an elderly lady who was so distressed over things that were perceived expectations from years ago. My heart ached for her as she continued to wrestle with issues that originated with people in her life from years ago that were now deceased, but those expectations lived on, still haunting and harassing her.
I find I can become quickly overwhelmed when I start to weigh in on others' expectations but I am quickly overjoyed when I seek to please Jesus! Jesus seems to run a rather relaxed schedule and keeps the stress level minimal. I am often my own worst enemy by stressing over issues and things that are not eternally significant. I must remind myself that I serve One Great Master and de-stress by...
Becoming more Master-Minded...dmc

Monday, July 21, 2014

Return, Rest & Renew

"In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength." (212)
I just love how God's ancient Word can still speak wisdom to our present concerns. Several years ago I was doubting whether we should continue our annual "sabbath" study/vacation time in Hawaii each summer. I had been asking God to make His way clear. During my prayer time one morning God brought me to Isaiah 30:15 "You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence...Your eyes will see your Teacher.(v 20) And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: "This is the way. Walk in it."(v 21)(HCSB)
We have discovered that every summer when we go away to pray and rest we sense His presence, His direction and gentle prompting, "This is the way...Walk in it" for our ministry & personal lives for the coming year.
To rest and to be refreshed in His Presence is a powerful, peaceful place to be. I've discovered that a similar renewal happens every week when I worship with others, every day when I do devotions and every time I momentarily pause to focus on Him. I certainly need to be continually...
Refreshed...dmc

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Homesick for Heaven

"I designed you to desire Me... the tugs of divinity (are) within you. I made you in My Image, and I hid heaven in your heart. Your yearning for Me is a form of homesickness: longing for your true home in heaven." (211)
Years ago, during a bible study on heaven, a lawyer's wife told me that her life was so good, things were going so well, she was so happy that, honestly, she wasn't really looking forward to heaven that much. Although, she certainly did not want the alternative option of hell... she was totally happy for her life to stay just like it was! Her comments certainly turned our discussion a whole different direction!
We discussed... what were the things that caused us to look forward to heaven? As we answered that question...we recognized that if we get too comfortable, we can often get too distracted with earthly, material blessings and miss the significance of the eternal things!
While I am grateful for the blessings I experience in my daily life... I never want to loose my deep hunger for heaven.
Feeling the "tugs of divinity" deep in my heart...dmc