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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!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Godly REST

"Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the Presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps My children "wired" much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments. I built into your very being the need for rest...(for) taking time to seek My direction. Your weaknesses...amplify your need for Me...I will shower Peace on all your paths." (311)
Years ago, during my first year in college, I discovered the unique microcosm of life that exists in a dormitory hallway after 10:00 pm. My roommate and I discovered that we could spend hours socializing, trivializing, philosophizing, conceptualizing, theorizing, summarizing, intellectualizing, even "final"izing until we began fantasizing about SLEEP. We started realizing how important it was to do some prioritizing! (Forgive my silly ponder-izing!)
It was during this time we came across Psalm 127:2 taken from The Living Bible. "God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest."
With a little effort we synchronized our schedules, reorganized our lives and legitimized our intent by simply posting the above verse outside our door. It was quite surprising how publicizing it was a revolutionizing hit! The dorm hallway, without any chastising or demoralizing, was tranformationalized!
So, to generalize, we surmised that all our socialized, fraternized, sleepy-eyed friends had eagerly surmised and agonized over their own legitimate need to rest!
What a shame we have socialized, characterized and sensationalized a pressurized lifestyle that victimizes rather than energizes us. We need REST! God, help me to...
Redeem My Sleep Time...dmc

Thursday, October 23, 2014

His Smile of Approval

"Open your mind and heart to receive My heavenly smile of approval...(let it) wash over you and soak into the depths of your being... experience joyous union with Me." (310)
Years ago I went through a period of time where I struggled with being able to sense God's approval. One evening Joe and I sat together discussing my dilemma of why it was so difficult for me to feel accepted and loved by God. It made no sense... I had grown up in a loving home...so that was not the cause. I had a faithful, loving husband...so that was not the issue. I had rich, stable friendships...so that was not the problem. I had enough of life's blessings to feel secure and protected...so that was not it either. No matter what, we could not unearth the mysterious misery that brewed in my spirit. Although I had been saved years ago and had tried to be obedient to His Word... I was still longing for some sense of God's approval and His Presence.
With continued, honest soul-searching, lots of prayer support from my amazing husband and some wise advice from a seasoned pastor's wife... things changed! She told me to continue to meet with God every morning and at some point, I would sense His Presence. She said that He would reveal Himself to me, again. I had to push through my feelings and be found faithful, no matter what!
After that, during an early morning devotional time, I decided it was NOT going to be about me anymore or how I felt...it was going to be all about Him! So, I just started to refocus on Him. I wanted to know Him better so I studied with a new interest. I read everything I could about God, about His Son, Jesus, about His precious Holy Spirit. I started talking to Him nearly all the time...no matter what! Soon I was able to sense His Presence gently moving in near me, again, even overwhelming me at times.
Still, to this day, it is spiritually healthier for me to keep Him my focal point. There's so much to be grateful for when I consider His many blessings in my life. I can easily respond, with not just a smile, but sincere joy knowing that His "heavenly smile of approval" is there...even if I can't sense it... because I have learned that my own sensibilities may sabotage me. That I may not always sense or feel Him there. However, no matter what or how I feel... He is there! Hebrews 13:8 confirms He remains the same "yesterday, today and forever!" So, I have...
Lots to Smile About, No Matter What...dmc

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chatting with Jesus

"No matter what your circumstances may be, you can find Joy in My Presence... Search for it as for hidden treasure... Recall that I am present with you whether you sense My Presence or not...start talking with Me...continue communicating with Me, your mood will gradually lighten." Prov. 2:4 (309)
This is one of the most amazing realities in my own journey of faith...how connecting with God can lift my heart and literally change my frame of mind!
Here's a quote from the Webinar I participated in with Dr. David Amen...
"The condition of our soul and the spiritual connections we make has a strong impact on the physiology of the brain. It is a reciprocal relationship...having a positive relationship with God and others actually improves brain function. A number of research studies have demonstrated that people of faith suffer less from anxiety disorders and depression and they recover 70% faster from these illnesses than those without a strong religious faith. The suicide rate and even mortality rate is lower for religious people than the non-religious. The brain needs a healthy soul, and the soul needs a brain that works right."
(Webinar: Healing the Hardware of the Soul - Nine Principles of the Amen Clinic, 10/18/2010)
Chatting with Jesus makes a huge significant difference!
Healing my mind, my life and my mood...dmc

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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaUxVKwn2kg&feature=related
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