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, July 24, 2016

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

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 Light to Others...dmc

Friday, July 22, 2016

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 to de-stress and become...
More Master-Minded...dmc

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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've discovered in every "sabbath," as we pray and rest, we sense His presence, His direction and gentle prompting. We sense, "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...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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 said 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. She assured us that she also did not want the alternative option either, 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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Flaming Arrows & Deadly Dis-eases

"Bring Me all your feelings. Fear and anxiety...can be temptations to sin. These attacks from the evil one come at you relentlessly. Use your shield of faith to extinguish those flaming arrows." (210)
Extinguishing flaming arrows, especially when they are launched unrelentingly can seem absolutely overwhelming! I have discovered that the enemy tends to throw the same old arrows... fear, doubt, anxiety, loneliness... whatever negative feelings he's used in the past, he will try to use again.
I have also discovered what strengthens my shield of faith... love, praise, prayer, repentance, forgiveness.. basically living in the Fruit of the Spirit and obeying God's Word. It's like taking spiritual vitamins for the soul. Having a strong faith reminds me of having a strong immune system that protects us from diseases. Satan hurls all kinds of nasty "germs" our way but faith shields us from his attack of deadly dis-eases.
Keeping my Faith Strong & Healthy...dmc

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Invisible Reality

"The more aware you are of My Presence, the safer you feel...it is tuning into ultimate reality. I am far more Real than the world you can see, hear, and touch. Faith is the confirmation of things we do not see...perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses." (209)
I was reading an interesting fact from a well know author, Mark Batterson of Washington DC. He was reflecting on how fearfully and wonderfully we were made... for example the human body has approximately 100,000,000 (one hundred million) sensory receptors that enable us to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Neurologists estimate that an average three-year old has 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion) synaptic connections! (Now, that explains 3 year olds!)
This means that our ability to imagine things in our mind is far greater than our ability to interpret physical reality. Mathematically speaking, imagination is ten million times more powerful than our five senses! This means that if we choose to limit our reality to what we can perceive we will limit our world to only our five senses. Since we know that faith is all about confirming "things we do not see...(and) perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses," we are challenged to live beyond our five senses.
Faith is "tuning in to ultimate reality...confirming things we do not see" and being certain of an invisible Savior. Faith requires that we imagine what our five senses can’t perceive or confirm. According to neuro-research, this "extra-sensory perception" is ten million times more powerful than our senses! (paulwilkinson.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/faith-is-living-beyond-our-five-senses)
Ephesians 3:20 says it well, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and throughout all generations for ever and ever, Amen."
The article ends with, "And to top it off, no mind has conceived of what God has prepared for us!" Our glorious future is God's reality!
Tuning in to our Godly ESP...dmc

PS - This is Joe's dad, CB Colaw's, heavenly anniversary.  July 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm, at that very moment, Dad's reality became "immeasurably more!"  Wow... imagine that!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prioritizing the "Better Thing"

"Come away with Me for a while...follow me on a solitary path, making time alone with me your highest priority and deepest Joy." (208)
Time alone with God can be such a challenge to achieve. I discovered it can easily be pushed aside...but at a great cost. I learned through the various seasons of my life, that the issue was not so much 'How Much' time, but that there 'Is' time! I made it a priority to carve out some time to intentionally focus on Him.
When our sons were little and my "solitary" time was extremely limited, or non-existent, just pausing to refocus on Him, on His Word, on the ways He had blessed us, was especially beneficial and it helped my weary, starving soul to be revived.
I still have to intentionally guard my time alone with Him. So many worthwhile activities, time sensitive tasks and daily distractions can steal away that sacred, precious time with Him.
Like Mary, in Luke 10:42, it's a matter of choice... choosing "the better thing" and spending time at His feet, even if it is briefly with kids in tow, while the washing machine is whirling, the phone is ringing, the breakfast dishes are still in the sink...I am much better off...
Choosing the "Better Thing"...dmc

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Policing Self-Pity

"Self-pity is a slimy, bottomless pit. Once you fall in, you tend to go deeper and deeper into the mire...well on your way to depression, and the darkness is profound. Your only hope...look up...see the Light of My Presence shining down on you...rays of hope can reach you at any depth." (207)
Self-pity is basically feeling sorry for myself, making myself my primary focus, the object of my full attention. It is one of the most seductive and pathetic forms of existence. Why? Because one can become so absorbed in yourself that you will hyper-focus on all the reasons you believe you're entitled to be catered to and accommodated. It is pathetic in that it is pathological to well-being and constructive living. Once that kind of mindset tracks its way into someone's brain it can override constructive reason and even alter character development and healthy expressions of personality... ultimately altering one's whole life! It's very hard to praise and worship God when all you can see is yourself! It's very hard to encourage and appreciate others when all you see is yourself! What a shallow, pathetic way to live!
I have absolutely NO tolerance for entertaining that kind of toxic thinking in my own life. I find it poisonous and paralyzing. I've counseled people who have grown up in settings where self-pity was allowed or even modeled. It can be very hard to retrain your brain to take a different mental route that helps one to override self-pity. Self-pity is like a spiral stairway leading down to a very dark mental prison.
I personally find it very helpful to keep a good sense of humor (not to take myself so seriously) and to fill my mind with things to be thankful for and my life with praise music. I stay tightly connected to God's Word. Then, I practice repentance...repenting each time I catch my thoughts wandering down pity-paths...asking God to infuse my pathetic ponderings with His more noble, honorable thoughts.
Here's my practical 'next steps' out of self-pity....
1. Be quick to honestly recognize it.... Repent! Stop the pity immediately!
2. Get up, move my body. Exercise, go for a walk, clean out a drawer, etc.
3. Do something for someone else. Be generous and meet someone else's need.
4. Be grateful. Remind myself of all the blessings in my life. Express my appreciation for someone via a note, text, email or phone call.
I find it impossible to be used of God when I am wallowing in self-pity! What a waste!
Policing Self-Pity & Promoting Praise...dmc