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, February 28, 2010

Awed by Affirmation

From today's devo..."The only source of real affirmation is My unconditional love." (p. 61)
I looked it up in an online dictionary...Affirmation means "to strengthen, to endorse, to assert as true, to declare support for. It strengthens a relationship between the speaker and the one being affirmed."
When we seek affirmation from our a loving Savior, we are expressing confidence in Him and in His ability to redeem and totally recalibrate our lives.
The irony is that when we seek Him and His affirmation, we are also affirming Him and experiencing the power of that affirmation in ourselves at the same time.
I've discovered how affirmation works in the expression of praise. When I praise Him, I affirm Him. As I praise Him, I experience the power of affirmation in my own life...in the process I discover I have been affirmed. Affirmation is a gift I receive AS I express affirming praise to my Savior.
Affirming Him, Affirmed by Him...dmc

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Great Escape

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 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" we are looking for!) Check it out!
Next time you are tempted to give up or to give in to the temptation (vs. 13) and you need "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!
God's Glory is our "way of escape!" Try it! It works!
Ah, yes, I am challenging myself to live in the great escape...
For God's Glory...dmc

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flimsy Future

"Hidden things belong to the Lord our God." 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 must repeat the process, until my heart is no longer troubled.
That would definitely include a "flimsy future!" 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 reasoning.
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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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, achieving his greater goal to get us to walk away from God's will for each of our lives.
Daily walking in gratitude establishes us the center of God's Will! What a privileged place to be!
Committed to Gratitude...dmc

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fully & Clearly

What a concept! "There is no force in the universe as powerful as My Love...it fills all of space, time, and eternity." (57)
Perhaps one of my greatest personal challenges would be, to fully believe 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 not so much for myself. I believe that's because I know the least favorite parts of myself... aspects I wish were different. Yet, while God fully and clearly knows me and fully and clearly understands me, He fully and clearly loves me. (I Cor. 13:13 Amp) That's phenomenal!
Everything that represents my space, my time, and my eternity is fully and clearly surrounded; fully and clearly infiltrated with God's Love.
Even though I still don't "get it," I'm grateful I've "got it!"
Fully & Clearly Yours, Jesus...dmc

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Planted far from the Pity Pit

"Be on your guard against the pit of self-pity." (56) 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, comfortable place. They may even tend to gravitate toward "pity full" 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 pit full of pity!
Planted, Watered and Ready to GO...dmc

Monday, February 22, 2010

Continually Present

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 about my present.
The sooner I invite Him into my present place, the greater I recognize His impact.
Here & Now His...dmc

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Twin T's vs Sister Sins

I REALLY appreciate today's devo! (54) 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)
A trusting, thankful mind is a healthy place to hang our thoughts! Trusting, thankful people are healthier persons to hang out with, too!
So Thankful for the Trusting souls I hang with...dmc

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Human Harps

From today's devo...
"Take time to delve into the riches of My residing Presence...where My Love has an eternal grip on you." (53)
With "Christ in us" (Col. 1:27) we can reflect what Jesus is really like, to those around us. We can choose to be living instruments of Christ's love. Much like a human harp, when Christ touches our lives, we can make beautiful music that resonates with His "residing Presence!"
Desiring to be Divinely Tuned & in Harmony...dmc

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sure in Not-So-Sure Times

The Habakkuk 3:17-19 passage in today's devo is one of my favorites. It's so realistic to life, especially when things are tough...and yet, we can override our doubts and choose to go ahead and praise Him, no matter what!
I like the reference to the many things that are NOT so sure, yet in the end, He can make one thing sure..."my feet like those of a surefooted deer enabled to walk on mountain heights."
Having the ability to be surefooted in not-so-sure times! That's the secret to making it to the "mountain heights!" Some never reach the "heights" because their habitual inclination to not-so-sure ways keeps them in the lowlands. I ask God, daily, to keep me "surefooted" in Him.
Surely His & Striving for the Heights...dmc

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The "Free Fall" Factor

"I am with you. These four words are like a safety net, protecting you from falling into despair." I try to envision those four words woven together forming a safety net...providing security against misfortune, limiting "how far down you can go." (51) Opportunities to test that safety net present themselves so often.
Caught in the "free fall" of the unexpected, unknown and the unwanted...it's not a welcoming place to be...yet that is the place of greatest discovery. It's in the midst of "free fall" we discover the weightiness of our own souls. We discover the unbecoming, Christ-less aspects of ourselves that reflect remnants of our fallen nature, rather than our redeemed nature. Maybe we could call it the Free Fall Factor.
So, my redeemed nature challenges my fallen nature and I land....
Face down, at His feet...dmc

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fluid & Flexing

Today's devo about how we resist, even fear, change brings interesting thoughts to mind.
We tend to build "idols out of routine" and security in sameness. We like the comfort of the predictable. Being open to change (open to a "New Thing," from Sunday's message) takes intentional effort on our part. We must decide to "embrace all that God is doing in our lives, finding security in Him alone." (50) Just as soon as our security keeps us from moving forward in Him, He will stir up our nest and ruffle our feathers.
I like the picture of "new things continually on the horizon." It reminds me of watching the ever changing seascape of the ocean waves. The words of an old hymn by Samuel Francis wash over my soul during those times. "O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Vast unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean, In its fullness over me..."
Just like one cannot "force fit" one wave into another, so we cannot "force fit today into yesterday's mold." It's all too fluid and flexing.
Rolling Onward...dmc

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Divine Dust

Perhaps one of the greatest living gifts in a family's legacy is experiencing the more vulnerable aging years with Godly parents and grandparents. The living reality of a weakened body combined with the living proof of a strengthened spirit are intensely impacting.
Our devo today states, "Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is to live close to Me." "...quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms."(49)
I praise God for a godly heritage that powerfully impacts lives and legacies. The following verse helps me sense the tenderness of God's heart toward us. "For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust." Psa 103:14
Trusting God with my "Dust"...dmc

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wherever, Whatever & Whenever!

A challenge from todays' devo: "Seek to attune yourself to what I (Jesus) am already doing."
The word "attune" means: to bring into a harmonious or responsive relationship. To think of my relationship with Jesus as being pitched perfectly to harmonize with Him and to be readily responsive, no matter what, deeply challenges me!
Jesus is already doing something and I want to be aware and available. If He is singing, I am to be humming along. If He is on the move, I want to be tracking with Him. No matter what, I want to be THERE...wherever He is, whatever He is up to and whenever He wants it to happen!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What a Partner!

"Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am holding you by your right hand. Nothing can separate you from My Presence!" (47)
Did you know that whoever sits on your right side, near your right hand, is in the position of partnership with you? You've maybe known that Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father, in a position of authority. But do you know who's at your right hand? In the position of partnership?
"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you: "Do not fear, I will help you." (Is. 41:13)
Your partner is God! Who "accompanies you all the days of your life - and onward into eternity."
Ah, yes, we are....
Partnered well...dmc

Saturday, February 13, 2010

His Watchword My Byword

Jesus' Watchword - "Peace be with you!
"Ever since the resurrection this has been the watchword to those who yearn for Him." (46) When Jesus conquered death, the ultimate war had been fought. Peace was accomplished. All fears, fights and frustrations were finalized when Jesus walked out of that tomb.
Whenever I allow fear to rise up in me, some conflict to overtake me or some situation to frustrate me, I have resurrected something Jesus died to overcome.
What's the secret? His watchword of "Peace!" It must become my daily byword. As I hold on to peace I am able "to withstand all onslaughts...and keep my heart and mind close to Him!"
Close to Him & at Peace...dmc

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brains Give God Glory

Today's devo, concerning the careful attention God gives to our thoughts, "reading every one" makes me reflect on current neuro-chemistry research about the brain.(45)
Our brains are so complex and yet can only hold one thought at a time at any given moment. A multi-focused brain is really just a brain that jumps quickly from one thought to another. Makes me want to be sure that my thoughts turn quickly and often to God so that He holds a place of focused prominence in the landscape of my mind!
Thoughtfully His...dmc

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peace that Overcomes Darkness

"On darker days, My Peace stands out in sharp contrast to your circumstances."(44) We can be impacted by our circumstances or by our Savior.
At this point in my parents' lives they are in God's "shaft of golden light." With physical challenges and pain, they continue to be an inspiration of divine collaboration. Mother has said, "we may have pain, but we don't have to BE a pain!" They take great interest in the friends, family and home health care professionals that come to attend to their special needs. They don't miss an opportunity to bless and encourage others. They inspire me!
Although their bodies may grow weary...they "do not grow weary or lose heart." Heb. 12:3
I am so thankful for their example of inspirational peace!
Inspired & Grateful...dmc

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ample Time to Align

To think that God is "able to bend time and events in our favor" is phenomenal! (43)
I have experienced that on many occasions. What looked absolutely impossible was accomplished! There have been times I've even asked God to commission angels or prompt the Holy Spirit to come to my aid when the situation was so beyond my wisdom and ability. How He chose to intervene, I'm not absolutely sure of, but supernatural strength, protection and provision was granted! I was SO thankful!
I love the fact that His eye is continually on me! He knows exactly what is and isn't important in my day. I sometimes have to remind myself that even cancellations and delays are a part of God's gracious gifts of intervention.
Letting Him Realign my Day...dmc

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Treasured Face Hunting

"My heart has heard you say, "Seek my face," and my heart responds, "Yes Lord, I am coming!" (Ps.27:8) 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!
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! Learning from the well seasoned Treasure Hunters!
Seeking His face today....dmc

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Boat Load

Today's devo reading has us in Matt. 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. (v.30-31) They got back in the boat, the wind ceased and "those in the boat worshiped Him and said, "Truly You are the Son of God." (v.33)
How we handle troubling circumstances impacts 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?
May the strength of our witness be greater than the strength of our circumstances.
All on Board, All Eyes on Jesus...dmc

Sunday, February 7, 2010

To the Bone!

"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 off by myself to regroup. As a young mom, I'd just keep going no matter what. As a mother of teens, I'd just bite my tongue. As a "Grammy," I just thank God I don't have to get kids up the next morning for school. But as I child of God, I just can't believe how deeply loved and totally understood I am!!
God is always amazing me..."bone-weary" or not!
It's good to be so loved...dmc

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Next Breath, Please

The one thing we cannot live long without...our next breath! In recent months my sweet daddy has had to rely on oxygen tanks, tubes, mask, etc to keep his oxygen levels within functional range. So, all the equipment and precautions that go with that kind of special care have been a primary focus for us. Labored breathing is especially exhausting, and we often forget how blessed we are to breathe with ease.
Our devo today invites us to breathe His presence in with each breath.(39) Gen.2:7 tells us about man's first breath. "Then 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!
Blessed with Breath...dmc

Friday, February 5, 2010

Monitoring Mind-set

"A mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace!" Rom.8:6
Good News! We get to choose our mind-set; the direction our mind goes. A mind that wanders or that is out-of-control will often lead to worrisome thoughts or wayward thoughts.
I often snag my thoughts to monitor if they are producing "Life and Peace." If I don't snag those thoughts, they will snag me.
"The only thing we can grasp without damaging our soul is His hand." (38)
Double checking my thoughts today...dmc

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Faith-Friendly Fog

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." (37) 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.
Trusting God in the Fog...dmc

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Unwrapping the Gift

"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 the Honda" (our Odyssey) headed to Ohio 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...at least for a few miles!
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, 2010

Plugged into His Presence

"A renewed mind is Presence-focused. Train your mind...I am always present..." (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 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!
Plug in & Shine on...dmc

Monday, February 1, 2010

Two Vastly Different Options

"Walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7)
Herein lies two options for how we can conduct our daily lives.
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 will lean into God or lean into my own understanding (Prov. 3:4-6)
Holding to Hope...dmc