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, March 30, 2010

Search Efforts

"Every day provides many opportunities...Search for Me as hidden treasure. I will be found by you." (93) This makes me think of an Easter tradition we do every year... the Easter Egg Hunt! Right now I am preparing for this Easter event in our own family! In a few days the search will be on...discovering hidden treasures!
Jeremiah 29:11 says that God is preparing "a future and a hope" for us. He has big plans in mind for each of us. The the next 3 verses (Jer. 29:12-14) seem to indicate that we must begin a search... for God and His plan of "a future and a hope."
God's big "future-and-a-hope" plan originates in His Love, continues through the cross, into this day and throughout all eternity. God has done His part...it is now MY turn to take action and activate The Search! Seeking God with ALL my heart, every day, at every opportunity, "to learn of (His) ways and grow closer to (Him)!" (93)
It's not just Him activating His plan in my life...it's also me... actively searching for Him, to discover more about Him and more of the "hidden treasure(s)" He has planned for me TODAY!
The Good News...when we search "with all (our) heart, (He) WILL be found!"
I guess it's like we can have Easter everyday! The Hunt is on...
Today's Plan: Searching for Him...dmc

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Agenda...Simplicity!

"Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today's agenda. If it isn't, release it...When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life..." (92)
Releasing is so freeing, yet so foreign to many of us who feel responsible to plan ahead and organize every detail. I search for balance in this area of my own life; recognizing the necessity of vision without applying wisdom can create overwhelming confusion.
Adjusting my Agenda...dmc

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Responsing to a Giving God

What a powerful thought...God is SO giving, but we must be receptive and attentive in order to fully enjoy His "inherent" generosity! (91)
Here is another one of those devotionals where I wish we could all gather together... to ponder, process and apply this highly impacting truth.
In my own life, when I am wrestling with any sense of detachment or discouragement, I try to honestly search my own heart...acknowledging any lack of open receptivity or confessing any tendency to be distracted. I try to quickly respond to readjust my own thoughts. Generally, it involves three steps I must take: 1. Respond 2. Repent 3. Readjust
The rewarding outcome is an overwhelming inner peace that powerfully protects my heart and mind! Phil. 4:7- "And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Grateful for His Giving Living Presence ...dmc

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wrapped up in Idolatry?

Today's devo mentions one way we can deeply grieve God...by transforming the blessings He brings our way into idols. "Anything can be an idol if it distracts (us) from (Him) as (our) first love." (90) This reminded me...
Recently we were at a one-year-old's first birthday where a crowd of friends and family had gathered in with lots of carefully chosen gifts. However, the charming, cheery little one-year-old was mostly captured with all the gift wrapping!
God's blessings are like the gifts and wrapping. We can get quite captured with life's wrappings and His well chosen gifts, ignoring the Gift Giver, Himself!
So, how do we enjoy God's blessings without getting all wrapped up in idolatry?
As we are enjoying our blessings, we can make it a priority to intentionally thank Him and to share the blessing! Ps. 34:3 helps me maintain balance. "Magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His Name together."
We magnify Him...not the gift! We exalt His Name...not our many blessings!
And we do it all "TOGETHER"...dmc

Friday, March 26, 2010

In the Waiting Room

WAITING...WAITING...WAITING..."is the way I designed you to live, all day, every day. I created you to stay conscious of Me as you go about your daily duties." (89)
Waiting is usually one of our least favorite ways of spending time. Yet, I've noticed it is in hopeful waiting, we become more aware of God, more keenly attuned to His presence and more likely to search out His higher perspectives and purposes!
Over recent months I've made a number of trips to doctors' offices, with my precious aging parents and we've often commented on how nice it is to wait WITH someone, rather than having to wait alone. Having another caring person there to chat with, makes the long wait far more tolerable and hopeful.
Because waiting can be such a challenge, I'm grateful for those who will enter Life's Waiting Room with us and just wait and wait and wait, hopeful, even when we're...
(Not So) Willing to Wait...dmc

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grateful Grid, Grumbling Grid

I feel especially blessed for being brought up in a home where being grateful, even awed with life, was not uncommon! Words of affirmation and encouragement were readily spoken. To turn that same kind of response towards God just makes a lot of sense to me.
The thought that captured me today was that when we grumble we are "casually despising (God's) sovereignty." That "a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which (we) perceive life." (88) How distorted our perspective can be when we choose the grumbling gird rather than the grateful grid to interpret life!
Even more grateful...dmc

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Go...Take Hold!

Significant changes are brewing on nearly every side...socially, financially, politically, climatically, technically, morally, etc....so if we are feeling like the fiber of life is a bit frayed, there is good reason!
How do we "feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes?" By being aware of Christ's "continual Presence." By learning to "let go," releasing "more and more things into (His) care." (87)
What I especially like is also what challenges me most...I must let go, so I can take hold! Letting go of what fills my hand so I can fully take hold of His Hand, no matter what...because that usually means "change" is about to invade my life! Or inspire my life!
Holding Tight...dmc

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God of Abundance

Today's devo (86) speaks of a God of abundance who showers us with blessings and who can be trusted with the details of our lives.
Although we can usually think of some detail of prayer God has not yet answered or some request He has not fulfilled, if we stopped to list all the blessings He HAS supplied...whether we'd asked for them or not...we would be amazed!
I like having an abundant God. I like being an extension of an Abundant God. Doing something in an "abundant" sort of way gives me great JOY!
Wanting to be a wise extension of God's Abundance....dmc

Monday, March 22, 2010

The T & T Paradigm Shift

What is the great "paradigm shift that will revolutionize your life?" (85)
This brings back memories of my first car. A Fairlane Ford 500 with a tricky little gear shift. I worked hard to master shifting gears with my foot on the clutch, then slowly releasing the clutch while engaging the gas pedal. There were many times the car would choke, lunge, sputter and die! It was especially challenging when I was on a cold, icy incline! Needless to say...this was also the season of life where I mastered fast & furious prayers! Each time I successfully navigated the entire process of shifting, it was so rewarding!
This all reminds me that living a Thankful life and learning how to Trust are much like stepping on the clutch and engaging the gear shifting process. It takes both, being thankful and trusting, to totally revolutionize your life!
Taking on the T & T challenge....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Salvation's Strength & Song

Today's devo speaks of the "strength and song" that is found in our relationship with God. (84) The Isaiah 12 passage goes on to share where we gain strength and find our song. "You will joyfully draw water from the wells of salvation." (Is. 12:2-3)
I am so thankful for the "wells of salvation" in my life...the people, places and opportunities God has placed in my life to refresh and encourage me, giving me more strength and many songs. My "wells of salvation" have come in various forms... through an old friend or a chance acquaintance, a new Truth or an old Truth applied in a new way, through a caring smile or kind comment, a random billboard quote, a phone call from a grandchild, a timely text message or even a hilarious email. At just the right moment, God has given me a "well of salvation." Strength seeps into my soul and a song bubbles up in my heart!
Grateful for His Strength and Song...dmc

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fully Giving Thanks

Being thankful, being full of thanks...no matter how my feelings are responding, takes a lot of focused discipline. At times I can sense the push-back and I will have to intentionally verbalize my thanksgiving. In these times, I will usually have to "give thanks" before I experience much "thankfulness."
Giving thanks helps me to be full of thanks!
Thankfully His....dmc

Friday, March 19, 2010

Untangled Thoughts

"Let the Spirit take charge of your mind, combing out tangles of deception." (82) I especially liked this word-picture because of how I could relate to combing out tangles. It is so amazing how a tangled thought can be set free by combing a new truth of insight into a snagged and snarly situation. For me, it is often that new perspective that acts like a comb of clarity realigning and adjusting my frame of reference. I am SO grateful for how God's Word and Presence makes life much more manageable.
Striving to be Tangle-free...dmc

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Today's devo warns us to not get "tangled up" in tomorrow's "worry-webs." (81) Most likely we are all familiar with "worry-webs." Brain imaging can capture "worry-webs." They are thorny-like structures that inhibit productive thought processing in the brain. Ever noticed how difficult it is to concentrate on a task when you are distracted by a "worry-web" that has snagged and entangled your thoughts?
Trust is a great de-snagger allowing us to have an eternal focus; free from the thorny issues that entangle us.
Striving to be thorn-free...dmc

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eyes of Grace

To be "viewed through eyes of grace." (80) To be fully known, fully loved and fully forgiven! What a blessed way to live!
My prayer is that I will be another set of His "eyes of grace" in this world! No wonder "forgiveness is at the very core of (His) abiding presence!"
What a challenge...what a privilege...dmc

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Discovery Mindset

I was recently in a workshop with Chap Clark where he mentioned the difference between "formation identity" and "discovery identity" while raising kids. In one case, their identity is based on how well they learn to fit into expected "form," while in the other case, their identity is based on the "discovery" of their own personal gifts and interests. While a careful balance of the two may be wise, it's the discovery process that ends up most rewarding and creates a more fulfilling life!
Our spiritual journey is far more than "a preconceived mold" fashioned by a fallen world. (79) It is a God-inspired, life-impacting, day-by-day discovery! Such a freeing, fulfilling mindset!
Discovering Him...dmc

Monday, March 15, 2010

God's Singing

Think about God rejoicing over you "with singing." (Zeph.3:17) Even if God were just humming over me, it would be THRILLING!
This reminds me of all the silly little songs Joe and I sang to our boys when they were growing up. We crafted on-the-spot songs about tying your shoes, brushing your teeth, feeding the dog, taking out the trash, going to church, and oodles of other life experiences. Here's one song we made up and sang often:

You're the crunchy peanut butter, You're the melted Velveeta;
You're the slice of Salomi, You're the Mayo and Tuna;
You're the slice of Life among us, in the middle of it all.
And we thank the Lord, He gave you to us all."

(I guess...You'd have to "be there" to really enjoy it!)

When they had to memorize scripture verses or the books of the Bible for Kids Club, we'd make up a tune and sing...to get it in their heads...and deep into their hearts!
Now, we do the same with our grandkids (careful to spare the older ones from too much embarrassment over our corny on-the-spot songs!) The other day our 4 year old grandson and granddaughter were singing about the pop-cycles they were eating while riding on tricycles! Made me smile!
What could we do today to give God something to sing about? Something to smile about?
Singing over You...dmc

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Little Boys & Transformer Toys

Years ago our boys collected transformers; little toys that flipped, clicked and twisted from one thing to another....a monster truck could become a robotic man or a some fierce weapon. They totally enjoyed the transformation process and were quite skilled in speedy transformations!
As Christians, we are also being transformed, however, our transformation process is probably more steady than it is speedy! 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are "constantly being transfigured (transformed) into His very won image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another." "From glory to glory," continually changing, becoming transformed into the image of Christ.
We are a little like those transformer toys. We were created in the image of God and we're being transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ.
Incidentally, the boys were also "transforming!" Day by day, from little boys into godly men! Aren't we all grateful for that transforming process!?
From Glory to Glory, Image to Image...dmc

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Overcome with the Overcomer

To "overcome the world" and its "endless flow of problems" we need a Savior who has already "overcome the world." John 16:33 To be set free from "earthly shackles and lifted up above circumstances" and the "endless flow of problems" sounds like such a daunting task. (76)
I praise Jesus for His perfect perspective and His peaceful presence.
Eyes on Him...dmc

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Benefit Braid

Today's devo reminded me of the Isaiah 40:31 passage. "But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary;they will walk and not faint."
In another versions it says, "they who trust in the Lord" or "those who hope in Him." The original language allows for this; weaving the three together much like a braided cord.
Hopefully trusting while we trustfully wait!
We trust full of hope and we wait full of trust! We certainly benefit, in this most secure place, tucked in the in-between-times. Between what we are hoping for, trusting for, waiting for! The braided cord strengthens us as our questions give way to answers and our requests turn into miracles!
Waiting, Trusting, Hoping....dmc

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Hosanna Bandanna

Todays devo reminded me of when our boys were young, we had a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey party with tons of tails and prizes! All the little guys at the party would size up the situation, don the bandanna blindfold, take a few spins and strategically aim for the appropriate "spot" on the donkey! They were AMAZED to discover just how far OFF their carefully tagged tail was! Why? Because they underestimated how much the "spin cycle" had disoriented them.
When we "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7) we are divinely blindfolded to accomplish something beyond our strategic human efforts. We often underestimate just how disoriented we've become in the "spin cycle of life." To our great eternal advantage, God wants to redirect us. How does He do it? By divinely blindfolding us and then carefully redirecting us to the right "spot" at the right time.
I've often been amazed when God helps me to "walk by faith, not by sight"...I discover that a whole herd of donkeys were tagged and tailed to glorify God! Maybe even used to carry Jesus into this world! (Read John 12:12-15)
Blinded by the Hosanna Bandanna...dmc

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mine for All Time

"You are mine for all time" and eternity! (73) What a strong affirmation of acceptance!
Quite often I will deal with those who wrestle with issues stemming from abandonment at some point, by some one, in some significant way. Our human experience sets us up for this. We live in a spiritually suspect world where abandonment hisses from every corner. So, to hear, "you are mine for all time," directly comes against our fears of being "left completely and finally; utterly forsaken; deserted or given up on and withdrawn from." (online dictionary)
However, "abandon" also means to "yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; to give (oneself) over to," much like we do when we totally surrender our lives to Christ.
What a joy to live in total abandon to the One who will never abandon us!
I am Awed by His love...dmc

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cushion of Calm

Have you discovered your "cushion of calm at the center of your life, where you live in union" with Christ? (72)
As a young teenager, I recall mom encouraging me to go to my room, quiet my heart and seek God, especially when I was overwhelmed with things. That became such a beneficial discipline. It is still a strong soul-anchor that I continue to practice. Time alone with God is the sweet solitude that strengthens me to move into my very busy, relational life. Since my life is basically a series of interactions with others, returning to my "cushion of calm" helps to anchor, level and empower me.
I love Isaiah 30:15b - "You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence."
Returning & Resting...dmc

Monday, March 8, 2010

Seeking His Face

Today's devo says "Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol." (71) We live in a generation of obsessions, seeking after many interests, other than God.
In contrast, Psalm 24:6 speaks of the "generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob." One thing we know about a God-seeking generation...they inspire us to climb "the mountain of the Lord"(Ps. 24:3) rather than kneel at an altar of idolatry!
This last week both our sons and their families were visiting in our home. Our discussion times were often focused on various ways we can seek the face of God. This next generation has a huge hunger for God and their passion to seek His face inspires me. I want to value God, honoring His Word and His Ways, seeking His face! I have been...
Inspired to Mountain Climb...dmc
(Psalm 24:3-6)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Keenly Aware

Today's devo reminds us that being "keenly aware of (our) helplessness...opens up a choice: to doggedly go it alone or to walk with (Jesus) in humble steps of dependence." (70)
Helplessness works as a great reminder that I have an all-knowing, all-caring, all-about-it Savior who has everything under His control. Jesus is keenly aware! I am keenly aware of my need for Him. He is keenly aware of my need for Him. So, together, we are...
Keenly Aware & Completely Covered....dmc !

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In All Ways, Always

I just love the scripture for today, Heb. 7:25. Jesus is ALWAYS interceding for us. In all ways He is there! Always standing in the gap for us. Always pleading our case before the Father. Always defending and protecting us from the enemy. Always. Always. Always.
In All Ways, Grateful...dmc

Friday, March 5, 2010

Befriending the Problems

My natural response is to avoid problems. Not a bad idea, just not always possible. Difficulties and problems are just a "given" in this fallen, hurtful world. So, to daily overcome I must daily present them to Jesus.
Much like introducing one person to another, the problem must encounter the great Problem Solver, the beloved Burden Bearer...Jesus!
With Jesus next to me and the problem in front of me...I can overcome as He leads the way, every day, every time, all the way.
Sticking Close to Him...dmc

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wolves of Worry

"Keep the wolves of worry at bay." (67)
Wow...it is so easy to worry. It just comes so naturally. However, we are not equipped to handle worry. There's no place in our minds or bodies designed to successfully house worry. Worry wrecks havoc on our ability to think clearly and to live healthy.
So God tells us to "rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks in everything for this is God's Will for you..." (I Thes. 5:16-18)
I've decided that good worriers make great intercessors. When we turn every worry into a prayer and praise session a lot is accomplished and we are living in "God's Will."
The "wolves of worry" don't hang out in the center of God's Will!
Tucked in Tight...dmc

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Discern the Shepherd's Voice

Today we are combining the March 3 devo with the Feb 29 devo. They are both so good and so complimentary of each other. (This is not leap year, but we want to include it anyway...today is a good choice.)
What struck me in each of these devotionals was the importance of discerning who's voice we are listening to...others, God's, my own doubts or some other compelling expectation. Wherever is comes from, if it is not God's voice, it will fragment and frustrate my life.
However, learning to selectively tune into God's voice may mean others will not understand or appreciate the unique journey God has called me to. What a comfort to know that God has set each of us apart for the carefully crafted journey He desires for us and that He will be our constant companion all along the way.
Years ago we watched a shepherd call his sheep and it was absolutely true... they KNEW his voice! Without hesitation, the sheep responded and readily obeyed their shepherd. All the little lambs were safely huddled in amongst the moving flock. What a lesson...as we follow Him, our "lambs" will safely make the journey, too. I want to carefully...
Follow the Shepherd & Lead the Lambs....dmc

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Representing Re-presenting!

In preparation for a recent counseling situation, I was pondering and praying about just how to bring Christ's presence and perspective into the oppressive, conflictual encounter that I knew was ahead of me. As I was in prayer, the following verse came to me. "God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
It suddenly opened up to me...because Christ lives IN me, I can be confident that He WILL be present! Our devo today said, "I fill you with My very Life. This is how I choose to live in the world and accomplish My purposes." (65) To think that Christ re-presents Himself, to the world through us, is quite staggering! We are to re-present "the hope of glory" to a hopeless, not-so-glorious world. We are called to be more than just a representation of Christ; we are called to re-present, intentionally give expression to, who and what HE is! Why? Because hope is produced when we display the nature and character of God.
Hoping to re-present Christ, over & over, again...dmc

Monday, March 1, 2010

Well Developed Trust

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 successfully deal with difficulties. (64)
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 optimistic. 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. Then, what a joy to share that 'opportunity index' with our kids so they can maximize their own potential...
For God's Glory...dmc