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, January 31, 2010

Almighty Security System

God is "always alert and active...protecting from both known and unknown dangers...which is the best security system available." (32)
We have constructed our own methods of security. Alarm systems, hidden cameras, video surveillance, retirement & savings accounts, disaster supplies, emergency funds, gated communities, padlocks & dead bolts, police patrol or even the family dog! All of that, just to relieve our concerns for safety. We live in a world that threatens our safety and our peace of mind.
What a comfort to know that as God's children we can have an additional peace of mind believing that "the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold...and I was saved from my enemies." (Ps. 18:2-3)
Breathing a bit more easy...dmc
PS - To one of my delightful "Lady Bugs"...
Happy Birthday, Leslie Anne Colaw!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Master Mind Reader

"Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind." (31) What a sobering, morbid picture! No wonder we need to guard our thoughts. (Is. 26:3, Phil. 4:7) This requires "meta-cognition," the ability to think about what we are thinking about.
Even if we think we are blind to the habitual thought patterns of our own mind, God is not. I love David's prayer, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive, hurtful way in me; lead me in the everlasting way." (Ps. 139:23-24)
I am so grateful that God can read my mind and heal my heart! Each time I switch my thoughts into "the everlasting way," there is great rejoicing.
Thoughtfully Trusting...dmc

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chosen Captivity

About 10 years ago research was done on our brains' ability to successfully multi-task. The results revealed that multi-tasking tends to "drain the brain's" ability to be efficient and creative. Basically, we do better when we hold one thought at a time and bring it to completion. So, thought by thought, we can plot our own destiny.
Good News! We have the "amazing freedom...to choose the focal point of our minds." (30) We can "bring every thought captive, making it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) So, either our thoughts will take us captive or we will take our thoughts captive.
Captivated in Christ...dmc

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Final Promise

Always aware. Always there. Jesus' powerful final promise to us! Even when I am distracted, He is always attentive. I marvel at His ability to be totally tuned into me and yet totally committed to loving me. One would think that the more He came to know us, the more He'd discover about us and the more reasons He would have to keep us at a distance. However, it's just the opposite. He longs to "never leave us or forsake us!" We have so much to gain when we see life from His perspective...dmc

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Thin Thread Works!

"Trust is a golden pathway to heaven. When you walk on this path, you live above your circumstances." "Dare to walk on the high road..." (28)
Have you noticed? There's not a big crowd on the "high road." Most will avoid the "road less traveled" and will take the "path of least resistance," following the more familiar "trail" of human reasoning, negative thought and skepticism!
By simply incorporating the dimension of "trust" we can radically be impacted relationally - "favor, good understanding and high esteem in the sight (or judgment) of God and man." (Prov.3:4, AMP)
Trust can also radically impact us physically - "health to your nerves, and marrow and moistening to your bones." (Prov.3:8)
Honestly, at times, I feel like trust is more of a thin thread I'm hanging from than a path I'm walking on! But I'd rather hang on a thin thread of trust than be deeply embedded in doubt. Trust means I am...
Securely Certain of Him (not myself!)...dmc

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The 20% Challenge

Today's devo stresses a certain fact of life that's frustrated me... We WILL "have trouble!!" That especially frustrates me in relationships. I want people to feel loved, understood and deeply appreciated. Even though I know better, I want this world to be a "happy heart" place, where everyone is having a "happy heart" day! (Prov. 15:13-15))
In recent years God has challenged me to have a grateful, "happy heart" even if things are not perfect and every encounter is not with another "happy heart!" Troubling circumstances and troubled people will certainly come along.
A few years ago we attended an evening event with a very well known TV personality in Christian media. The event was not to be taped because the discussion was to be especially personal, relating some of the more painful experiences of the individual's ministry life. During the sharing, I learned something that has helped me to deal with the troubling people in our lives...
At any given time, there may be at least 20% of the people around you that will not necessarily like you! Why? Because at least 20% of those around us do not have enough flexibility in their souls to be gracious to others who are different from what they prefer. Their thinking tends to be rigid and critical. So, we should not be surprised when one of our 20% shows up, speaks up or acts up.
Jesus Calling states that He is "less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way."(27) Jesus certainly had His 20% challenge! He understands. We can trust Him with our hearts and with the not-so-happy-hearts that mess with our "happy hearts!"
Especially thanking God for the other 80% and for YOU...dmc :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Next Step

"Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life...and the way before you will open up step by step."(26) It's interesting how the next breath and the next step can be so close and yet so distant, all at the same time. My dear little daddy has lived a full and rewarding life, but his next breath and next step are assisted most of the time now. Grateful for the oxygen that helps him breathe and his trusty cane that steadies his next step, he is experiencing life at a whole new pace.
In our fast-paced, breathless lives, it's good to spend a little time with those who travel a little slower.
On the opposite side of life, we have a delightful little grand daughter who is experimenting with walking. At her speed there are lots of eye-catching, attention-capturing wonders that would be totally overlooked otherwise.
For those of us sandwiched somewhere between a one year old and an eighty-two year old, learning to "enjoy the tempo," to reset our pace, may be the greatest gift to discovering the joys of a "God-breathed life." It comes much easier, for me, when I reach out and hold their hands...Dad's, Emma Elizabeth's and God's!
Getting in Synch...dmc

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Perils of Pearlers

"Adverse circumstances are normal in a fallen world. Expect them...!" So, how do we find the Pearl of Peace in the midst of such adversity?
Today's devo reminded me of several opportunities I've had in Hawaii to choose a shell, in hopes of finding a beautiful pearl. The history of pearlers (those who harvest pearls) is filled with great suffering. The dangers of diving, being drowned, attacked by sharks, weathering storms, wearing awkward, heavy helmets and managing equipment caused many to be lost at sea. Once the shells were gathered the process of finding a pearl was wearisome. Their hands were raw with cuts from handling hundreds of shells that had to then be boiled, creating a sickening odor, to find only 2 or 3 pearls! What a perilous task with minimal reward!
We live in an adverse, fallen world where Pearls of Peace are often hidden in hardship. Jesus, our "Pearl of Great Price," has promised to help us to find Pearls of Peace in the midst of our trials and costly hardships, because He knows that hidden "spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials."
Incidentally, I've learned that the ugliest shells usually contain the prettiest pearls! I have earrings and a necklace as proof!
A String of Pearls for His Glory...dmc

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Secret Smile

Whoa..today's devo was especially meaningful to me! (p.24) No matter what's happening, Jesus says, "Share a secret smile with with Me, knowing that I understand." In all the pleasures and pains of life, Jesus understands! So, how are we to respond? Share a smile!
I've been blessed to have come from a family of quick and ready smiles. Even in the midst of tough situations, a secret subtle smile, a wink of assurance and a kind uplifting word kept us going. "This practice will enable you to attain a quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to God." (I Pet.3:4)
I have noticed how Jesus' presence often rests on a "secret smile." Our "weakness and woundedness are the openings through which...the Light...of His glory shines forth." No matter what, we have something to smile about!
Thanks for sharing your "secret smiles" with me! You manifest Jesus' presence!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Easy Trust, Tough Trust

Trust seems to come much more readily in some areas of my life while other areas are more challenging. I've found it interesting to make 2 lists...one list is the "Easy Trust" items, the other is the "Tough Trust" stuff of life. Whenever I bump into something that causes me to be anxious, I mentally add it to the "Tough Trust" list.
Then, I ask God, "what would it take to move this over to "Easy Trust?" It's amazing how simple truths, verses, lyrics from praise songs or even common sense will challenge my doubts. Simply realizing that God is "sovereign over every aspect of my life" helps me to not "waste energy" or to let something steal my peace of mind.
In the Midst of Life...dmc

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Weaning Time, Again

When God is in the process of "weaning" us from "all other dependencies" it can seem quite uncomfortable. It reminds me of "weaning" a child from a pacifier. These are the times when we, like small children, feel most vulnerable and insecure. We tend to struggle with being detached from the comfortable and the familiar.
Specifically, because I am quite relational, it has been quite painful to be "weaned" from certain relationships or environments, not because they were necessarily bad, but because an opportunity for growth was to be gained.
In retrospect, I can see how a God-crafted, risk-laden adventure helped me to shake off a spiritual laziness. Thus, I've had to be "more" dependent upon God and less dependent on others.
I am learning daily that my "security rests in Him alone; not in other people, not in circumstances." In the midst of all this, I deeply desire for God to be "more" glorified in "more" dimensions of my life this year.
Securely Dependent...dmc

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good God, Good Word

The Is. 55:9-11 passage, in today's reading, speaks of how God's Word goes out, germinates, sprouts and provides seed and food, accomplishing God's good purposes. When I take God's Word into my life, it can germinate, sprout and ultimately accomplish things that please and glorify God. Good things I would have never dreamed of!
Each day can become another opportunity for me to thank God "in advance for the good that will come out of it all."
Aren't we SO grateful that God is "The Good Boss" who is bigger, stronger and wiser than the enemy!? Only God is able to "make good" on His promise of "a future and a hope." Jer.29:11
In His Good Hands...dmc

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Face to Face

Have you ever searched the crowd, looking for that one familiar face? It may be your husband's, child's or a dear friend's face...but the search continues until you have located that special face. I've been in a crowded, tense hospital room, searching for Joe's face, trying to catch his eye to "read" his response.
Or, when my eyes land on my grandchildren's faces, it's like a cheerleader bursts into action inside my heart. What a joy to catch their eye!
We usually know the subtle changes in our mate's face, or child's facial expressions that can communicate volumes without a word ever being spoken.
When we seek God's face, we are searching for subtle prompts that will help us to accurately "read" the situation from His perspective. To be "up close and personal" with Him is to be "face to face" with our Creator! What an incredible privilege to sense God inviting us to "Seek My face!" (Ps. 27:8)
It's been said that "The highest desire of the human heart is to seek His face." I believe it's true throughout life and even in the throes of death!
Ever Seeking His Face...dmc

Monday, January 18, 2010

Exponential Excess

The devo for today highlighted a verse that has mystified me. 2 Cor. 4:17 speaks of how "our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory." (HCSB)
The picture that comes to my mind is an old fashioned balancing scale, used in a grocery store when I was a child. On one side rests the weight, on the other side produce is added until the two sides of the scale are level with each other. Thus, one pound of cherries can be accurately determined and purchased at a fair price.
This passage is contrasting our present afflictions with eternal glory. According to the Greek, eternal glory will be "in excess and to excess." So, if we could place our present pain (emotional, physical etc) on one side of the scale and try to balance its weight with the unseen eternal glory God has in store for us, it could not be compared. Why? Because God has excessively tipped the scale in our favor, giving us "an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory" in exchange for our present pain. In contrast, Glory will exponentially out weigh the distress of our present earthly experience.
Although my physical eyes can see only half the scale, I challenge myself to "focus" on that unseen eternal...the hidden other half of the scale! Somehow the weightiness of the present is being exponentially outweighed in the eternal.
Trusting Him with the Seen & Praising Him for the Unseen...dmc

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Miracles in the Mundane

Today's devo mentioned how miracles are woven into "the most mundane day." The other day I was suddenly in the middle of a miracle! After leading a Growth Group at the bank, I was walking to my car, when an out-of-control car came roaring up over the curb, on to the sidewalk and crashed head on into the side of the bank, missing me by just a second or two. I was stunned! The dazed older gentleman in the car sustained little injury, while his brand new shiny red car was totaled.
My daughter-in-law reminded me how our "steps are ordered by the Lord." If I had been just a step or two slower, I would have been "totaled!" I understand the older gentleman was able to attend his bible study the next morning! Praise God for split-second protection - even when we're not always aware! Praise God for His peace that "surpasses every thought" guarding, not only our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, but our very lives! (Phil. 4:7 HCSB)
Gratefully not totaled, but totally His...dmc

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thorny Prisons in Our Minds

"Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times... Do not multiply your suffering in this way!(p 17) Today's devo reminded me of the following from Dr. Caroline Leaf's research. (Who Switched off my Brain? p 114-115)
"Toxic thoughts...upset the chemical feedback loops in your brain by putting your body into a harmful state...It will weigh down your whole body, mind and spirit...Your brain will grow heavy, with thick memories that release their toxic load and interfere with optimal functioning." "Research shows that an enriched environment of thinking positive, healthy thoughts can lead to significant structural changes in the brain's cortex in only four days." The neurochemistry of our brains can actually make us "healthier and smarter!"
I believe one of satan's secret weapons of attack is tempting God's people to rehearse fears, worries, offenses over and over until our brains are so saturated with toxic chemicals that it alters our outlook, personality, relationships, witness and ultimately our eternal destiny! When we justify ourselves, thus strengthening the negative thoughts, we build "thorny structures" that imprison and poison us.
We can become skilled at "taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) Let's teach our children how to think like an overcomer and model the mind of Christ.
Praising my way out of Prison...dmc (See Acts 16:25-26!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fixed on the BIG Thing!

I can think of three distinctly different life experiences where staying focused made a huge difference for me.

First, when I was learning how to drive - I soon discovered that wherever my eyes wandered the car would follow. Next, when I was in labor - a focal point helped me concentrate on the BIG task rather than the BIG pain (sort of!). Lastly, when doing morning exercises - a focal point helped me maintain balance while counting and holding awkward Pilates poises. (Odd, but true!)

Why is being focused beneficial? Because it enables us to avoid the dangers of being distracted. A distraction (problem, burden, fear, temptation, addiction, resentment, even pain) will basically trap us and hinder our progress.

So, what's "the fix?" Being "fixed!" "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Heb. 12:2) It prevents us from crashing, helps us get the job done and keeps us balanced.
Fixed on Jesus...dmc

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fully Known, Fully Loved

What a strange yet wonderful reality, to be fully known, every detail - from before conception on. (Ps. 139:13-16) He knows me much better than I know myself. He's not mystified, confused or put off by my shortcomings. He REALLY "gets it" when it comes to who I REALLY am! Yet He loves me! That's absolutely amazing!! Why?
Because I know enough about myself to be thoroughly unimpressed with myself. There's a laundry list of things I'd like to change or that I wish could be lifted from my life. That's exactly when I am in the "optimal condition for being filled with (His) peace." In fact, each time I struggle with "feelings of inadequacy" I can unload the burden of my weaknesses through honest confession. I lean harder into Him. He holds tighter onto me. Suddenly, I discover He's hugged the heaviness right out of me!
Sharing His Hugs...dmc

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lens for Life

It is interesting to me that His Presence will distinguish us from others (yesterday's blog), yet we may not always sense His Presence! Today's devo challenges us to trust that He is with us each moment, whether we sense His Presence or not. Then, the next sentence nails the critical difference, in my life... "A thankful, trusting attitude helps you to see events in your life from My perspective."
Seeing life from His Perspective...that's the Lens for Life I most desire. It refocuses life and clears the fog. "A thankful, trusting attitude!" It's easy for me to remember to be thankful for the big blessings and to trust Him with all the little things. However, it's another thing to be thankful even for the littlest things and to be trusting even in the biggest things. Thankful for what seems to be insignificant and trusting in the midst of significant struggles. To be full of thanks and full of trust - that's a full and rewarding life - the "abundant life" Jesus died for us to live!
Refocused & Renewed....dmc

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Distinguished People

So, what is it that distinguishes us from all other people? Ex.33:14-16 reveals the identifying factor: His Presence!
Walking through our day "in His Presence" will distinguish us from all others who are also walking through this day with us.
What's the secret to staying in His Presence? Jesus tells us in John 15:4-7, "remain in Me."
"Stay in communication with Me, whispering My Name, whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus you can walk through this day with your focus on Me." (today's devo)
That's activating our minds' ability to "Click it Forward" straight into His Presence! (from yesterday's blog) The simple practice of "remaining in Him," or whispering His Name, has redirected my life many times-impacting my thoughts, conversations and choices. I want to do that a whole lot more!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Click it Forward

Remember the "Pay it Forward" move that inspired us to "change the world" with acts of kindness? Science has discovered we can be kind to our own minds by the way we respond to the issues of life. "Click it Forward" refers to the way we can intentionally activate a little switch in our brain to move from stress-filled responses to peace-filled responses.
The reading today inspires us to do exactly that! Once we've presented our concerns in prayer, then when "requests come to mind again" thank God for the "answers that are on the way." Rehearsing the concerns keeps our minds stuck in lower level thinking that holds us in "a state of tension," minimizing our ability to think creatively and live productively.
Rehearsing thankfulness means I will be kind to my own mind, which incidentally, makes it easier for me to be kind to mankind!
"Clicking it Forward" helps me to "Pay it Forward!"
Moving Forward...dmc

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Timeless Treasury

What a concept! Banking our "trust" eternally..."storing up treasure in heaven." Trust has a way of exponentially compounding! We've discovered trusting God in the fundamentals of His Word spills over into the fundamentals of daily life. When we trust Him in our thoughts, time, talents, tithe and all earthly treasures, He exponentially invests Himself back into us.
Have you noticed how trouble also has a way of exponentially compounding!
Matt. 6:24-34 nails it well...A life devoted to money (self interest) is filled with anxiety and worry. A life devoted to God (eternal interest) is filled with peace and provision. Oh, yes, the storms will come, but our "trust balance will be sufficient to see us through."
Building Treasure in His Treasury...dmc

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Omnipotent! Omniscient! Omnipresent!
Three words describing the kind of God we have! Basically, He is All Powerful, All Knowing, All There! When we are intentionally pacing our lives with Him we are on a daily, moment by moment adventure. I am Omni-Amazed...we can be paced and protected by an absolutely awesome God!


PS - All 100 "Jesus Calling" devotionals have been purchased. We have ordered 30 more. If you have a friend who would like to join us, you can get a book at the reduced rate as long as they last.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Hope Rope

Today's devotional spoke of the "golden cord connecting (us) to heaven." This reminded me of when God taught me HOW TO WAIT on Him. Is. 40:31 says "those who wait on the Lord" will experience renewed strength! That was not my experience! I would do the "wait & worry" thing, like one does in the "waiting room" of the hospital anticipating bad news! God wants us to wait with HOPE and confidence in Him! Confidence in His Majesty (having all power) and His Mercy (being infinitely tender.) I had to learn to weave His Majesty and His Mercy into my "wait" much like a braided "cord of three strands." (Ecc.4:12) I am the weak, helpless strand clinging to the strands of His Majesty and His Mercy! Result? I experience "renewed strength!" (Is.40:31) Thus, the following little song I now sing to myself, prompting me to wait with HOPE! It really helps because when I "cling" I feel "connected to heaven" in the midst of my "wait"! Humming...dmc
Hope is a rope,
Consisting of three.
God's awesome Majesty,
His Mercy and Me!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blessed & Blooming

Today's reading reminded me of some of you who exemplify what it means to "fill up the spare moments of your life with praise & thanksgiving." Whether it is an "overflow of joy" or a decisive act in adversity, God's presence seems to rest on grateful people. I like the way Isaiah says that "all who see them will recognize that they are a people the Lord has blessed." Why? Because thankful hearts are like "gardens enabling what is sown to spring up." (Is.61:9&11)
When we lived up north, I was always amazed, in early spring, when tulips would burst through the snow! On this cold day, let's be like refreshing tulips bursting through mounds of snow!
Gratefully in His Presence...dmc

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Setting the Scene

What a great devotional for today! I woke up with a cough and very little voice, so the scenery of my day has been suddenly modified. My appointments have been canceled and I am at home having a quiet, reflective day. What an unexpected chance to practice seeing how Jesus' "Power and Glory" can be at work in my situation. "Setting the scene for (His) glorious intervention" in the very ordinary daily-ness of life means that I can choose to intentionally focus on His Presence as I cough and recoup. Just knowing that, encourages me! Pray that Jesus strengthens Joe, protecting him and his voice!
Staying Warm, in His Presence...dmc

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Deep Dependence

How painful it is to be weak, flawed, hindered or mistaken in some way. Those of us who tend to be perfectionistic also tend to be deeply disappointed with ourselves...on a daily basis! However, in recent years I have come into a new dimension of personal peace. Realizing that many of my dreams may not be realized in this life, I've come to trust they will somehow be honored in the next! So, in this human journey, with its various disappointments, "each failure is followed by a growth spurt" and I'm discovering the secret joys of a life deeply dependent on Jesus. Paul says he will boast of the things that reveal his weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on him, delighting in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. (2 Cor. 12:9-10) Well, I'm not quite there, yet, however I am...
Deeply Dependent & Deeply Grateful...dmc

Monday, January 4, 2010

The "So Reign" Challenge

Saying, "I trust You, Jesus" no matter what happens, was demonstrated to me by an older lady sitting next to me in a delayed plane. We both were going to miss our connections on the other end. I had been speaking at a retreat, exhausted, ready to get home. She was meeting family, following the death of her husband. In the midst of my frustration she sweetly said, "Either God is Sovereign, or He is not." (Trusting God can be such a challenge, even for a retreat speaker!) God comforted my heart through that precious grieving lady. Because there were more than 3 of us trying to make it back to Indy on the same flight, they held our plane, we all boarded and made our final destination ON TIME! Trusting comes easier as I let a Sovereign God "So Reign" in my life!
Listening & Learning...dmc
PS - I'm loving your insights...thanks!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

His Presence Benefits the Brain

Wow, today's devotional thoughts about the benefits of peace in His presence prompted me to review some of my recent research on brain imaging. Numerous studies have documented the differences between a brain at peace (through meditation and prayer) verses a "toxic" brain "weighed down with problems and unresolved issues." The benefits of staying in His presence even in the midst of our busy lives are huge! He is truly our "burden-bearer." He has "conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm" us (including our brains!) A peaceful mind is a healthier mind!
May you be at peace in His presence...dmc

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Soaking at His Feet

Resisting the "rat race" of life long enough to be refreshed and renewed in His presence...is a discipline of time and a discipline of focus. I have discovered my greater challenge is to discipline my racing thoughts to "relax in His presence." I like the concept of letting the Light of His Presence "soak into" every thought! The power of His "Healing Presence" can radically override anxious thoughts!
Lord, help me to make the "better choice" to soak in You!
Hanging out at His Feet...dmc

Friday, January 1, 2010


Ever wondered if God is fully aware, if He sees, if He cares? What a blessing to know that we have an attentive God! He has no problem with Attention Deficit Disorder! What a comfort to know that His "steady eye" carefully and lovingly watches over us. His "attention span is infinite" and His plans are to bless us... Today, tomorrow and throughout this new year!
Desiring to be teachable and transformed...dmc