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!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Well Developed Trust

"When something in your life or thoughts makes you anxious, come to Me and talk about it." (64)
Difficulties can elicit all kinds of responses in us....anywhere from being mildly annoyed to intensely angry. Learning how to use difficulties in a constructive way changes the whole environment around us and in us! Since "well developed trust" comes "wrapped in difficulties," we would be incredibly wise to learn how to purposefully deal with difficulties.
I have found it especially insightful to glean wisdom from others who are familiar with difficulties. For example: watching our parents age graciously in the midst of the many challenges that come with loss and aging, has been quite impacting. Walking arm in arm with others who are spiritually resilient, even when gripped with heartache, speaks distinctly and deeply to my soul. These trusting souls give me reason to pause and reflect on how I can incorporate that kind of heroic trust into the fabric of my own life.
Several things I have learned: Don't become oppositional; rather, become more open to God. I do much better when I recognize how this can be used beneficially and praise God for the opportunity to fine tune a "well developed trust."
Another lesson I've learned, is how the power of praise will exponentially increase the 'opportunity index' of my mind...using difficulties as valuable triggers to index potential opportunities, praying, "God, show me how this can be used to bring You more glory?" Then, what a joy to share that 'opportunity index' with our kids, or others, so they can also maximize their own potential...
For God's Glory...dmc

Saturday, February 28, 2015

God's Mysterious Music

"Listen more to Me and less to your doubts. I am leading you along the way I uniquely designed just for you...Follow Me. (62)  (Feb.29 devo - Leap Year)
It's a mystery, the ways of God! As a counselor and a life coach I've seen God deal with individuals in such unique ways. No two walk the same path, touch the same lives or fulfill the same purposes. It is absolutely imperative that we each heed His Higher Wisdom.
Even well-seasoned, well-synced couples can sense God's dealings in distinctly different ways in their individual lives. If each has an ear tuned to His voice, each following His leadership, God will mysteriously orchestrate that marriage, as if the two are singing counter-melodies or finely blended harmonies in a stirring musical production. God's mysterious ways can be like beautiful breath-taking music!
However, listening to doubts and fears will soon sabotage the song and all will be out of sync and totally out of tune. That can be most evident in a marriage that is out-of-sync. Two lives, self-focused, proud, unforgiving and ill-seasoned can sound much like small children banging and blowing on quality instruments, making much noise, not much quality music. I Corinthians 13:1 says it well; "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."
In Sync with the Mysterious...dmc

Friday, February 27, 2015

The "Great Escape" Option

Today's devo speaks of "waves of adversity" and "worrying about tomorrow." (60)
As a believer, our response is to "live within the boundaries of today" keeping our focus on His Presence in our present circumstances. Why? Because life's challenges have a way of distracting us and tempting us "to give up!"
I like using I Cor. 10:13 with I Cor. 10:31 (reversing the last two numbers lands me on the great escape I am desperately looking for!) Check it out!
So, the next time you are tempted to give up, or to give in, to some temptation (vs. 13) and you need to find "a way of escape," go to vs. 31 and decide that "whatever you do (you will do) everything for God's glory" and the "way of escape" will suddenly present itself!
Choosing an option that gives God most Glory is my best "way of escape!" Try it! It works! Just yesterday, there was a huge opportunity to take up an offense, but I decided that was NOT the option that would most glorify God. Within a matter of a few minutes my heart was so filled with a supernatural joy... God WILL faithfully provide the "way of escape" when we choose a response that brings Him glory!!
Ah, yes, I am challenging myself to look for and live in God's great escape...
For God's Glory...dmc

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Secret Things

"Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things." (59) Deut. 29:29
There have been many times I've had to stop mentally wrestling with something that was clearly "hidden" from me. To truly release a "hidden thing" is not an easy task. I usually have to intentionally hand it over to Him, or I will write it out and tuck it away in my God Box, the place where unanswered prayers and confusing issues go. Then, I may have to repeat that whole process, until my heart is no longer troubled.
No matter how uncertain things may seem, we are commanded to "not worry." "Worry is an act of rebellion; doubting (God's) promises to care for (us.)" (59) The real challenge is to develop more confidence in what God says over what all others are saying, even over my own flawed feelings and imperfect human reasoning that wrestles with wanting to know the unpredictable, faith-stretching future.
I have grandkids who just LOVE to sneak a peak...checking out surprises! I love the way Kelley put it...
I wonder how often God muses to Himself and shakes his holy head when He observes us toiling away with worry or snooping or getting into business that does not belong to us. All the while thinking, "Child, how much more enjoyable and peaceful your life would be to simply trust and wait for me to give this to you, and how GRAND you would feel when in My timing I reveal what I want you to know or have because this is the optimum time for you to receive it.

Oh, to take the Almighty's advice to relax, to take pleasure in the journey, trusting Him to open up the way before us as we go.
Ps. 32:10 says that "the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him."
Placing my "flimsy future" into God's faithful love...dmc

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Graced with Gratitude

"Walk purposefully...letting Me direct...one step at a time...a grateful heart protects you from negative thinking." (58)
Negative thinking is highly toxic (see January 16 blog) and can paralyze productivity and purpose. The enemy may not get us to walk away from God, but if he can get us to walk away from a grateful mindset, we will walk away from our purpose and from fulfilling God's will for our lives. (I Thes. 5:18) Thus, the enemy will have achieved his greater goal... to get us to walk away from God's will for each of our lives.
That reminds me of when mom would "direct" my sisters and me to write thank you notes for various gifts or kindnesses we had received. Living a life of gratitude toward God is much like little thank you notes we give Him throughout our day!
Daily walking in gratitude establishes us in the very center of God's Will! What a privileged, pleasant  place to be!
Committed to Gratitude...dmc

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fully Known & Clearly Loved

"Be still in the Light of My Presence, while I communicate Love to you. There is no force in the universe as powerful as My Love...it fills all of space, time, and eternity." (57)
What a thought...to be fully and clearly known and LOVED!! (I Cor. 13:13 Amp)
Perhaps one of my greatest personal challenges would be believing that God's love for me is of ultimate dimensions... majestically wide, long, high and deep. I can readily support that kind of divine love for others, but find it harder to believe for myself. I think that's because I know myself so well... especially those least favorite parts of myself... aspects I wish were different.
So, it has to be by faith that I embrace this Truth... I am fully "convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate (me) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (my) Lord." (Romans 8:38-40) That's absolutely phenomenal!
Everything that represents me... my space, my time, and my eternity... is fully and clearly surrounded, fully and clearly infiltrated, with God's Love.
While I may struggle to fully "get it," I'm so grateful I've fully "got it!"
Fully & Clearly Yours, Jesus...dmc

Monday, February 23, 2015

Planted far from the Pit

"Be on your guard against the pit of self-pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face.
Several ways to protect yourself from self-pity (are)...praising and thanking Me...
Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit... Fix your eyes on Me."
(56) Hebrews 12:1-2
Joyce Meyers shares about a time in her life when God told her, "Joyce, you can be pitiful or powerful, but you can't be both." Pity is such a pathetic kind of existence. Some have been raised in the "pit of self-pity" and find it to be their most familiar place of false comfort. They may even tend to gravitate toward pity-filled friends. (Hmm...not necessarily "pitiful" friends! )
However, God desires for us to be "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." (Is. 61:3b) Wherever we are, whomever we are with, we can be a demonstration of God's glory. When others are around us, may they rest their weary hearts in our shade or be spiritually nourished from the fruit of our lives. A much better option than inviting them into a slimy pit full of self and pity! So, today, I will be decisively, carefully, intentionally re-planted...
Close to Jesus...dmc

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Continually Present

"You need Me every moment. Your awareness of your constant need for Me is your greatest strength... guard against: self-pity, self-preoccupation, giving up. Your inadequacy presents you with a continual choice - deep dependence on Me, or despair. The emptiness you feel within will be filled either with problems or with My Presence." (55)
There's no getting around the immediacy of our relationship with Jesus. It is all about the present moment. Continually conversing with Him. Constantly staying connected, focused and God-aware. His presence alters everything. The sooner I invite Him into my present mindset and situation, the greater impact His Presence has on me.
Melissa shared this great medley of two songs, Part the Waters & I Need Thee Every Hour by Selah. What a precious worship experience! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=775yhAx7b8g&feature=related
In the Present & with Him...dmc

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Healthy Brain Secret

"Trust and Thankfulness will get you safely through this day. Trust protects you from worrying and obsessing. Thankfulness keeps you from criticizing and complaining, those sister sins that so easily entangle you." (54)
I REALLY appreciate today's devo! With the myriad of thoughts that can capture our minds, it is good to know that simply choosing "trust and thankfulness" can reconfigure the landscape of our brains. Brain imagining research supports that "thought patterns of trust (and gratitude can) become etched into our brains" overcoming the "sister sins that so easily entangle" (worry/obsession and criticism/complaining.)
To practice looking in His direction will change the direction of my thoughts, change the image in my brain and change my mind into the "mind of Christ." (Phil. 2:5)
Have you ever noticed how trusting, thankful people are much healthier, happier people to hang out with? It inspires me to be sure that my own thoughts are creating a healthy place for me to be....since I'm hang out with my own thoughts.... all the time!
Hanging my Thoughts with Jesus...dmc