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, February 9, 2016

Seasoned Treasure Hunters

"Seek My Face more and more. You are really just beginning your journey of intimacy with Me. It is not an easy road, but it is a delightful and privileged way: a treasure hunt." (42)
Psalm 27:8 says, "My heart has heard You say, "Seek My face," and my heart responds, "Yes Lord, I am coming!" I have discovered this IS the critical difference in my spiritual journey! Seeking His face (searching for His Presence) no matter what's in the brew around me, His face (Presence) is somewhere to be found.
Herein, lies the greatest Treasure Hunt...my soul searching for His Face! It's the most challenging, yet rewarding way to journey through life!
This reminds me of the "hidden pictures in a picture" games we play with kids. Somewhere in this picture are three hidden items, see if you can find them! And the hunt is on...where, oh where, is the Lord's face? Oh, there He is! And there He is! And there He is! Suddenly, His face can be found EVERYWHERE!
Seasoned "Treasure Hunters" have well trained senses...they can just sense where He is! I love to learn from the well-seasoned, well-traveled Treasure Hunters!
Seeking His face today....dmc

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Boat Load

"I am above all things: your problems, your pain, and the swirling events in this ever-changing world. When you behold My Face, you rise above circumstances and rest with Me... (Problems) must not become your focus. When your feel yourself sinking... say "Help me, Jesus!" ...I will meet you in that very place." (41)
Today's devo reading has us in Matthew 14 where Peter steps out of the boat, walking on the water to Jesus. When his eyes were focused on Jesus, he was on top of his "circumstances." However, "when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid" and began to sink. Immediately he cried out to Jesus and Jesus responded. Stepping back in the boat, the wind ceased and "those in the boat worshiped Him and said, "Truly You are the Son of God." (v.30-33)
How we handle troubling circumstances impacts, not only us, but those around us. Who is "in the boat" with us? What about our responses? Will our reactions act as an arrow, pointing others to Jesus?
I believe the authenticity of our witness is most critical with those closest to us. I pray my husband, children and grandchildren will see what a difference Jesus makes in my life, especially when things get alittle stormy..."Help me, Jesus!"
May the strength of our witness be greater than the strength of our circumstances, leading us to focus on Jesus and not the storm.
All on Board, All Eyes on Jesus...dmc
Listen to one of my favorite songs, Come to Jesus by Chris Rice....And Live!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bone Weary & Soul Dancing

"You are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life." (40)
Isn't it good news to know that God truly understands what it means to be "bone-weary?"
My response to "bone-weariness" has changed through the years. As a kid, I'd just drop off to sleep. As a teen, I'd just get annoyed. As a college student, I'd just try to get alone and regroup. As a young mom, I'd just... keep going, no matter what! As a mother of teens, I'd just bite my tongue. Now, as a "Grammy," I just get bone AND soul-weary!
However... As I child of God, I know I am absolutely loved and totally understood.  Never judged or condemed, no matter how bone or soul-weary I may be!!  Just thinking...
Let's do a little bone & soul dance today...dmc

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hand Crafted, Carved & Deeply Breathing

"Come to Me and rest. I am all about you, to bless and restore. Breathe Me in with each breath... Slow down and cling tightly to My hand." (39)
The one thing we cannot live long without...our next breath! Even labored breathing can be especially exhausting, and we often forget how blessed we are to breathe with ease. This was brought home to our family when, during that last year before my sweet daddy passed on to heaven, he had to rely on oxygen tanks, tubes, mask, etc to keep his oxygen levels within a functional range. So, all the equipment and precautions that go with that kind of special care became a primary focus, especially for my mother who tenderly and graciously attended to dad. She shared the following insight...
"The thought of the oxen's yoke in Mt. 11:29 always intrigued me, then a Bible scholar explained that a good farmer hand carved the yoke to fit each of his oxen. Thus, I can trust Jesus that my individually designed yoke will not be more than I can bear. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, 'My yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.' Now, my job is to rest in Him and trust Him." And she did just that..."yoked" to Jesus while caring for daddy!
It's good for me to remember to breathe deeply in this uniquely carved yoke that God has hand-crafted for me. Afterall, I am also God-crafted, in His Image! This helps me to deeply breathe in His presence "with each breath." Gen.2:7 tells us that "the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and the man became a living being."
Even our very breath is a gift from God and every breath we take is an opportunity to take in more of His restoring Presence. May we use our breath to glorify Him as we bear His Hand-Crafted yoke today!
Blessed with Breath...dmc

Friday, February 5, 2016

Monitoring Mind-Set

"Ask My Spirit within you to order your day and control your thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace."(38)
Good News! We get to choose our mind-set or the direction our mind goes. A mind that wanders or that's out-of-control will often lead to worrisome thoughts or wayward thoughts that impact wayward choices. These thoughts and choices alter an entire lifespan and ultimately our entire eternity! Yikes!
I often snag my thoughts just to monitor if they are producing "Life and Peace." If I don't snag those thoughts, they will snag me. "For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)
My friend, Kay, reflects on her perky little 3 year old grandson whose parents had come up with a great parenting tool. Kay shared this with me...
When he does something wrong and even when he does something right, they often ask, "Did you make a good choice or a bad choice?" He has gotten to where he talks about making good choices on his own. It is so cute, but so profound also. Lord, help me to make good choices today!!!
What a great example of how we can monitor a mind-set that lends to "good choices!"
"The only thing we can grasp without damaging our soul is His hand." (38)
Double checking my thoughts today...dmc

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Faith-Friendly Fog

"Bring Me your weaknesses, and receive My Peace....I am sovereign over everything. Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides...(keeping) you close to Me." (37)
Years ago a seasoned pastor's wife shared with me the secret to her gentle, God-confident demeanor in the midst of painful circumstances and stressful challenges. She described her walk with Jesus as a "faith-friendly fog." While I did not understand it at first, I now deeply appreciate the "faith-friendly fog."
I've discovered it protects us from seeing too far ahead into the future and from looking too far back into the past. Thus, we are kept from unnecessary fear and needless shame. Fear that comes when we anticipate an uncertain future and shame that comes when we rehearse a unpleasant past. So, we do not have to "wear ourselves out with analyzing and planning." Like a pilot trusting his instruments while flying through a fog, we can trust God's instructions while we are flying through our foggy times.
Maybe you have seen this clever quote from a marquee... good to remember!
No God, no peace
Know God, know peace
God in the Fog Gives Peace...dmc

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Unwrapping Today's Gift

"When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world... Fix your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen... Each day is a precious gift...Receive today's gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly."(36)
Today's devo reminded me of a long trip we made on Christmas Day several years ago. Four adults and three grandchildren, packed to the max, in "Rhonda" our Honda Odyssey headed to Ohio from Oklahoma to celebrate the holidays with our oldest son's family. Because we had about 16 hours of driving time, I had packed Christmas gifts in backpacks for the kids to each open, one at a time, paced throughout the trip. Each gift was a big deal, entertaining them for miles!  Then their focus would return to the big backpacks, laden with more gifts, waiting to be discovered and opened.
Like eager children, we can look to a Heavenly Father who has packed gifts into each day; gifts to 'receive gratefully and unwrap tenderly.'
May we gratefully enjoy today's gift, making the most of each mile in this God-adventure.
Gratefully Unwrapping My Day...dmc

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Plugged into His Presence

"I am renewing your mind. When your thoughts flow freely, they tend to move toward problems...(getting) snagged on a given problem. A renewed mind is Presence-focused. Train your mind...I am always present...I will light up your mind." (35)
How quickly we can forget the obvious...HE has always been here, HE will always be here, HE is HERE, right now! One of Jesus' names, Immanuel, means "God is with us." (Matt. 1:23)
Our minds were made to think, but WHAT we think about is our making! Rather than getting "snagged on a given problem" we can train our minds to "seek Him." He certainly has the power to "light up our minds." (Brain imagining technology proves that!) It's like plugging our brains into the power source of His Presence! As His presence fires up the neurons of our minds, transforming and renewing how we think, our interactions with others can be encounters with His light, shining through us!
Melissa offered a great example of how she is overcoming old thought patterns!

"I have come a long way in training my mind to be focused on God! I grew up with a negative attitude about everything. Maybe it was due to certain events that happened in my life, but I was determined not to change. When I decided to live my life for God, I didn't want to be that way anymore. No, it hasn't been an easy road. I still have those thoughts and attitudes pop up and the world doesn't help any with this either, but I don't listen to the world anymore. Now I give all those thoughts and attitudes to God as soon as they enter my mind and he helps me glorify him with a whole new outlook!"
You inspire us! Thanks, Melissa!
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."
Plug in & Shine on...dmc

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Simple Option

"Follow Me one step at a time. That is all I require of you... Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you." (34)
"Walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7
 Herein lies two options for how we can conduct our daily lives.  It's not all that complicated.
1. By Faith - responding in a way that maximizes God's ability to intervene - hope-filled living!
2. By Sight - responding in a way that minimizes God's ability to intervene - doubt-filled living!
It's pretty simple...I can lean into God or lean into my own understanding! (Prov. 3:4-6)
So, today, I will intentionally be...
Simple! ...dmc