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!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mounting Problems & Mustard Seeds

"Problems are part of life...inescapable: woven into the very fabric of this fallen world. Do not let fixing things be your top priority. Instead...Talk with Me about whatever is on your mind, seeking My perspective on the situation. Remember that you are en route to heaven, and let your problems fade in the Light of eternity." (349)
Perhaps this is one of the most important lessons of life...how to deal with problems. We're all aware of how problems can mount up and stand in our way... stealing away our joy, confidence, and sanity! Rather than stressing, obsessing, ignoring, using or abusing...we need to activate our "mustard seed/mountain-moving" faith!
Matthew 17:20, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Here are a few faith tips I often use on myself to help build my faith:
1. Magnify the Lord, not the problem.
2. Moving "mountains" begins with moving closer to the Mountain Mover!
3. Believe more in the promises of God than in the problems of life.
4. Activate faith with prayer and fasting. (See the next verse, Matt.17:21)
5. Combine my faith with the faith of others...connect with some faith friends!
As we head into this holiday season,
Merry Mustard seed/Mountain-moving Faith to you...dmc

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When Our Needs Serve a Purpose

"I have taken you along a path that has highlighted your need for Me... You have learned to thank Me for hard times and difficult journeys, trusting that through them I accomplish My best work. You have realized that needing Me is the key to knowing Me intimately..." (348)
There really is something special about those who intimately know and trust God even when being led "along a path that...highlight[s their] need for" more of Jesus. I am quite intrigued by those who live out a quiet, peaceful confidence in a Sovereign, attentive God. Their basic needs, physical needs, emotional needs... all levels of need, tend to rest securely, in Divine provision.
The scripture for today highlights this incredible God-confidence. "The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry." Isaiah 58:11
We can be Divinely led and satisfied in the dry, desert, sparse times of life.  We can know God attends to physical needs, health concerns and implements healing, "strengthen[ing] bones" and body. May we be a well "watered garden" and a "spring whose waters never run dry." May we be an overflow of fruitfulness and blessing as we emotionally and relationally touch others today.
Wrapped up in this one verse I find great promises for God's daily direction and provision in life. My needs are not just problematic...they are purposeful! Giving me another opportunity to intimately KNOW God!  Like others, who have come to intimately know God, I am challenged to draw closer and closer to Him, discovering... He can be absolutely trusted!
My Needs are really God-Paths to Intimacy...dmc

Monday, November 28, 2016

Healing Perspective of Thanks

"Rest in the deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. (Your) best response to this glorious gift is a life steeped in thankfulness." (347)
Being thankful can certainly change our perspective. When I was in the recovery phase from two separate foot surgeries, I was amazed at the series of little miracles our bodies go through to repair. There were times I'd be concerned, because of some new sensation or change in appearance, becoming a bit anxious about it. Even making an extra visit to the doctor's office which was out of town! However, once I learned that it was just another developmental step in the healing process, I would view that change as something to welcome rather than worry over.
Being thankful changes perspective and produces a restful, healing option for life!
Blessed from "healthy" head to "healthy" toe...dmc :)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thankful Eyes of Insight

"Let thankfulness rule in your heart. As you thank Me for blessings in your life, a marvelous thing happens...scales fall off your eyes, enabling you to see more and more of My glorious riches... A life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with miracles... This is how I created you to live."(346)
Those "scales that fall off our eyes" are often there because we are reacting to a limited frame of reference that restricts a greater, fuller understanding. Much like having little ones in our home during Thanksgiving, and the many times we must explain why... sharing a toy, waiting your turn, eating "good" food before dessert, taking a nap, brushing your teeth, wearing your shoes outside, letting mommy fix your hair or daddy carry your plate... are all so important...we need to know that our Heavenly Father has a perspective without "scales" and without limitations. His insight changes our perspective much like a parent's insight can change a child's perspective.
It's always been a great Thanksgiving when we've got a house to clean up and lots of laundry to do! It's the tangible prove... Lots of grandkids, grand friends and grand memories are all ours... We're blessed, in a grand way!
Keeping a Thanksgiving perspective...dmc :)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thankful at All Times

"Walk with me along the high road of thanksgiving, and you will find all the delights I have made ready for you...protect your thankfulness (even though) you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely. A constant focus on adversity defeats many Christians... seeing only the grayness of their thoughts. How precious are My children who remember to thank Me at all times." (345)
On any given day I can focus on the blessings or the disappointments of that day. Focusing on the disappointments tends to steal away my joy and it makes it much more difficult for me to glorify Him. What a wonderful option we have... to "magnify the Lord" instead of the disappointments or painful issues of life. While disappointments and painful issues may need to be addressed, they do not need to BE our address, or where we dwell!  When our focus is on Him our perspective is clear.
Remembering all the reasons to be thankful brings joy to my heart and can more readily bring glory to God. Psalm 34:3 "Magnify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together."
Let's do Thanksgiving all year long...dmc

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving & Moms

"Thank Me frequently... If you are serious about learning to pray continually, the best approach is to thank Me in every situation... a grateful attitude makes it easier for you to communicate with Me... (there's) no time for worrying or complaining... negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker." (344)
My mother, Dorothy Volesky, is a great example of someone who tries to see reasons to be thankful. She tends to focus squarely on the most constructive way to approach a situation. Although her day can be a series of challenges, she tends to handle them like one adventure after another.
Her perspective is refreshing, even when she was in the midst of constantly caring for my aging father with his multiple physical struggles, or even now, as she faces the challenges of widowhood. When she steps into the room it's like someone opened a window of sunshine. How does she do this? She and daddy would pray frequently, without hesitation, over any issue, concern or situation. I truly believe that her "grateful attitude makes it easier for (her) to communicate with (Jesus)" even now, as she faces these new challenges in life.
Gratitude brings sunshine into Every Day... not just during theThanksgiving season!
So, today, this Grammy is inspired to be more like Great Grammy...Who makes the best of life and also makes the best Pumpkin Pies & Popcorn Balls!
Thanks to My Mom & all the other Moms who know what it's like to be elbow deep in turkey meat and Thankgiving celebrations!
I'm so thankful for kids, grandkids, grandparents and a host of grand friends...dmc

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Regardless

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity...There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances.) Those who obey Me in this are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts...enabling you to see from My perspective...removing the sting from adversity." (343)
Being thankful, regardless, can be quite a stretch at times. However, God's promises are in our favor, regardless!  Regardless means - in spite of everything, no matter what, come what may. It is a determined frame of reference that overrides opposition. Moving past regrets and claiming the regardlessly thankful mindset!
So, in my thankfulness I can trust God for His Joy...in spite of everything, no matter what, come what may! Wow...that is a huge promise for this Thanksgiving season and every other season of my life!
Regardlessly Grateful...dmc

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tiny Treasures

"Achieve a thankful stance...build a foundation of gratitude...(one) that circumstances cannot shake. As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day. Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one." (342)
What a beautiful way to walk through a day...looking for God's carefully planted treasures! I have discovered that being conscious of this and making it my "priority perspective" significantly changes my frame of mind. Looking for God's treasures can become a habit of gratitude and wonder.
When our boys were little we would make a game of looking for God's creative fingerprint everywhere we were. Like little detectives they would suddenly see trees, flowers, clouds, birds, butterflies, turtles, a clover leaf, puppies and even the markings on a garter snake from a whole new perspective. God has surprises everywhere!
Grateful to be Grateful...dmc

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Windows of Heaven

"A thankful attitude opens windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity...as you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows." (341)
What about those "windows of heaven"!? I was reminded to go to Malachi 3:10. It tells us more about the "windows of heaven."
"Bring one-tenth of your income into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way," says the LORD of Armies. "See if I won't open the windows of heaven for you and flood you with blessings." (God's Word Translation)
Melissa shared, "Amen... He will, He will!!! I remember when we didn't think we could afford to tithe. However, God kept tugging on our hearts to give, so we started out with a small amount and gave that faithfully each week. Since that day we have been blessed in so many ways and are now at a point that we are able to give a little more than the one-tenth!"
Thanks, Melissa, for that confirmation! We have also discovered that having access to a "window of heaven" radically impacts our whole perspective on life! A thankful attitude and faithful tithing seem to go together. It helps to keep us focused on all we DO have, not on what we DON'T have! There are SO many reasons to give back to God, including our promise of heaven...which certainly out ranks them all!! Faithful tithing flows out of a grateful heart and I can see why...it opens the "windows of heaven" and gives us...
Glimpses of Glory...dmc

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fruitful Lips & Lives

"Thank me throughout this day for My Presence and My Peace...As you thank Me for My Presence and Peace, you appropriate My richest gifts." (340)
"Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. Don't neglect to do good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." Hebrews 13:15-16
This passage makes me ponder the "fruit" of our lips. Much like seed time and harvest reflect the seasons of nature so it is with our words. When we plant seeds that curse, complain, belittle, argue or gossip the "fruit" of such lips is a harvest of bitter fruit. Being thankful, forgiving, encouraging and kind allows us to remain in His Peace and Presence producing a bountiful harvest of blessings.
When thinking about my own conversations I am challenged to produce "fruit that confesses His name." It's quite amazing how fruitful lips tend to lead to fruitful deeds that inspire fruitful lives where "doing good and sharing" are common...and "God is pleased with such sacrifices."
Yes, thanking God and choosing to be gracious can sometimes seem like a huge sacrifice, but the benefits are huge, too.   It produces a bountiful harvest that certainly pleases and definitely nourishes, for sure, for now and forever!
Choosing to be more Thankful & Fruitful...dmc

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pivot Points

"I am pleased with you, My child. Allow yourself to become fully aware of My pleasure shining upon you...The Light of My Love shines on you continually, regardless of your feelings or behavior... be receptive to this unconditional Love (through) thankfulness and trust... Thank Me for everything; trust in Me at all times." (339)
This may be one of the most impacting Truths in my own life... becoming "fully aware of (His) pleasure," of His "unconditional Love."  It has everything to do with intentionally moving my focus towards being "receptive... thankful and trusting."  This is the critical pivot point of my journey... at all times! It helps me readjust, when tempted to complain or to doubt God.  I must pivot. Pivot my thought life... radically, decisively, intentionally heading in the opposite direction... straight into  the heart of Jesus! It's a welcomed kind of challenge, because my soul deeply longs to be "open to (His) loving Presence." 
Praising Him, Trusting Him...dmc

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Advantageous Outcomes

"Leave outcomes up to Me. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure... Live in the now...staying in step with Me... Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me... leaving outcomes up to Me." (338)
The Exodus 15:13 verse, in today's devotional, is part of Israel's song of praise to God on the shores of the Red Sea. It says, "You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength."
While it seems quite counterproductive for God to lead His people straight into a dilemma, the stage is being set for a miracle! With the Red Sea directly before them and Pharaoh's army directly behind them, they are trapped in adversity, for sure!
We know how God miraculously parted massive volumes of water to give them an unimaginable escape route. But what intrigues me... He then uses that same adversarial Sea to destroy their pursuing adversary. Israel's great adversity became their great advantage!
It challenges me to believe God can use what appears to be an adversarial situation in my life to actually be the very elements for a miracle! With God, what appears to be an annoying adversary can be God's way of taking care of a much more threatening adversary.  God's advantageous outcomes are often hidden behind adversarial situations! I just need to stay on the path of obedience, all the way to the other side! Isn't it just like God to turn our adversity into our advantage and we will be...
Amazed at the Outcome...dmc

Friday, November 18, 2016

Streams of Living Water

"Come to Me, and rest in My Peace. My Face is shining upon you... As you lean on Me...you feel peaceful and complete. This is how I designed you to live...(with) the living water of My Spirit flowing through you... (giving) you words of grace as you live in the Light of My Peace." John 7:38 (337)
Who are the "living water" people in your life? These are the ones who have spent time soaking in the inspired Truths of the Spirit. They tend to have "streams of living water flowing from deep within them." (John 7:38) I love spending time with "living water" people. They refresh and renew my heart, often without even saying a word! Their very presence sparkles with radiant drops of life!
Click on the following site to see the most beautiful, colorful River of Paradise found in Columbia! Without a single word, you will be inspired!
While you view these breath-taking pictures, breathe the prayer, "Jesus, help me to be a refreshing stream of beautiful "living water!"
Coming to Life in the Streams of Living Water...dmc

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Simply Simple & Sane

"There is no condemnation for those who are in Me... Be content to be a simple sheep, listening for My voice and following Me...into restful green pastures...along paths of righteousness." (336)
There are certain benefits that come with simple living that I want to incorporate into my life more and more. It may take awhile, but with God's help, here are several I want to work on:
1. Getting rid of excess and clutter so my schedule and my surroundings are more peace-filled and manageable.
2. Choosing to overcome the rat-race rather than being overwhelmed by it, which helps me stay balanced, protecting my spirit, soul & sanity. (Smile!)
3. Making sure more "stuff" does not cost me more valuable time, more effort in upkeep, or financially obligate me more and longer than I want.
4. Crafting a rewarding lifestyle that allows me to invest more eternally rather than entangling me materially.
5. Letting the ultimate joys of family, friends and God's display of nature be my entertainment, not the superficial, catch-your-eye "toys" that leave one empty, broke and lonely.
6. Listening more to the calm and less to the clamor.
7. Guarding my mind from dark thoughts that ambush me or use fear to freeze me, so I can be free to engage in creative thoughts that encourage and bless this world.
Heading toward the "pastures & paths" of the simple & free...dmc

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Incredible Life in the Fog

"As you look at the day before you...remember the One who is with you always... notice that a peaceful fog has settled over... The fog is a protection for you... to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you." (335)
This reminded me of how God can turn foggy times into incredible times in our lives. Joe and I have had seasons where God seemed to be strangely close, yet so hidden. He just wanted us to BE obedient without knowing what was up ahead. Being faithful in foggy times can be quite challenging, yet can reap great rewards.
The example of Moses encourages me. He heads up Mt. Sinai, staying in a smoky fog for days, until he not only has an incredible encounter with God, but comes back with incredible new insights (the Ten Commandments) with an incredible glow of God, literally, on his face! (Ex. 19, 33-34:35)
In every foggy season of my life, I pray for an encounter with God, new insights and for the glow of His Presence to rest on me. Someone once told me FOG stands for Friends Of God! Now that IS incredible!!
Making the Best of the Fog...dmc

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Overcoming vs Overwhelming Perspective

"Approach problems with a light touch. When your mind moves toward a problem area, you tend to focus on that situation so intensely that you lose sight of Me. You pit yourself against the difficulty... There is a better way... bring this matter to Me. Talk with me and look at it in the Light of My Presence... Approach problems with a light touch by viewing them in My revealing Light." (334)
The ability to gain perspective on a troubling situation really changes its potential impact. Viewing it from several perspectives can be so helpful...even making some problems rather insignificant. We are especially blessed because God's grand perspective on life is the perspective we can claim for ourselves. What could be an overwhelming day becomes an overcoming day, simply with an adjusted perspective!
Rather than getting so absorbed in the throes of some battle, we can turn to a God who sees the way out, straight into victory! It's like having that huge advantageous big-picture perspective in every situation.
Years ago we were flying over a crowded interstate that had traffic backed up for miles. While they were unable to see the big picture, we were able to see that the accident ahead had been cleared from the road and that traffic would soon be flowing again. God sees ahead and knows that life will soon be flowing again. Things will make sense and He will help me handle every situation from...
His Higher Perspective...dmc

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fully Known, Fully Loved

"Bask in the luxury of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I see you: radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood. I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when heaven becomes your home." (333)
One of the most bonding and rewarding elements of human experience is the phenomena of being loved, no matter what... including all the awesome things, the awful things, and everything in-between! However, we know, many will live out their entire lives never finding that forever-faithful, no-matter-what kind of friend!
As I grow older I am discovering there are layers of secrets tucked deep inside most of us. Even though I am known for being quite transparent and open, I have discovered some mysteries within myself. Some have surprised me, others grieved me, and many more have pleased me! Hence, I am so grateful for the insights found in Psalm 139. I have a God who intimately knows every part of me...knowing me even better than I know myself... and still He loves me and "leads me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:24) From the micro-cellular moments in my mother's womb to the fading final moments of my life, He sees it all and He still celebrates all that I am!
The Love Chapter speaks of a "face to face" time in the future when "I will know fully, as I am fully known." (I Corinthians 13:12)
It's totally amazing to be so known, so flawed, yet...
So Totally Loved..dmc

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Glimpses of Glory

"I am Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) This is a deep, unfathomable mystery. You and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of your being. The Light of My Presence shines within you, as well as upon you." (332)
The transforming work of Christ's love in our lives continues its transforming work, day after day. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory..."
Others have inspired me as they reflect the transforming "hope of glory" in their own lives. They tend to bless and look for ways to encourage and help, rather than condemn or accuse. The "hope of glory" motivates and challenges them to be God's tangible demonstrations of Christ's love to others.
For myself, I know how impacting His love has been and how it has radically modified the way I view myself, the way I view God and the way I view others. That ongoing work of His love in my life can be demonstrated in very present and practical ways... a demonstration of "the hope of glory." It amazes me to think that I can impact others because "the hope of glory" impacts me!
The mystery of Christ's love captures me and changes me...dmc

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Enjoying Jesus

"I want you to enjoy to the full... (don't) hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands... My kingdom is not about earning and deserving; it's about believing and receiving... Receive My abundant blessings with a grateful heart...(let) My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony." (331)
This reminds me of the amazing oneness that comes with a healthy relationship. Being able and willing to bless one another, comfort and love each other, makes a relationship so rich and rewarding on all sides.
I believe the enemy tries to sabotage every healthy relationship...whether it's between friends, in marriage and family, on the job, at school, in the church, the neighborhood or even using the internet to spoil something that could be so beautiful and so rewarding. Satan works especially hard to get us to doubt our relationships, especially our relationship with Christ and His redeemed loved ones.
Learning to just enjoy Jesus all the more...dmc

Friday, November 11, 2016

As Your Days

"The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal... I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly. As your days, so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25 (330)
This is a great promise for each day and for an entire life time! However, it only comes one day at a time, pacing strength with the strains and stresses of life. This gives me great comfort and confidence, because the strength I need for today, for tomorrow, for next year or whenever, will be right there... as I need it, forever and ever and ever... Amen!  (Which means "so be it.")
Taking My Strength from Him for Today... Amen!  dmc

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Return & Refocus with DHEA

"Focus your entire being on My living Presence... enveloping you in My Love and Peace. I am recreating you into the one I designed you to be... If something troubles you, talk it over with Me... Gently nudge your mind back to Me." (329)
What do we do with troubling, fearful thoughts, irritating situations, annoying people and the garden-variety of frustrations that sprout up suddenly during any day? For certain, if we dwell on those distractors, they become dictators... consuming our thought life and stealing away our abundant life.
I John 3:20 tells us that our thoughts, even our own hearts, can try to distract us with condemnation. However, "if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” So, if we "gently nudge" our minds back to Jesus, talking to Him and quickly unloading our anxiety and the frustrations that mess with us, we are able to be overcomers rather than being overcome! Our joy and creative energy for life returns as we refocus and return to Him.
Several years ago I participated in an research project where I learned how our cortisol count climbs whenever we are filled with negativity (like being anxious, angry, or depressed, etc.).  However, our bodies also respond, with increased DHEA, when we experience a more positive stance (like being thankful, motivated, happy, or even simply peaceful, etc.)  A body flooded with cortisol drains and depletes us while DHEA provides us with numerous physical, mental, even relational benefits.
It's fascinating to me how even my body's biology knows how beneficial it is for me to return and refocus my thoughts constructively.  My secret turn-around is to engage in quick and instant communication between my heart and my Savior. Jude 24 says, "Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy!"  Now, that prompts some healthy DHEA production!
Continually Seeking & Celebrating Him...dmc

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Bubbles of God's Grace

"Sit quietly with Me, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface... In the Light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear... My Presence will be with you at all times... Enjoy Peace in My Presence." (328)
I know what it's like to have fears and worries bubble up, much like murky sludge from a broken sewage line. Yuk! But, I also know what it's like to have beautiful bubbles of grace surround and lift me up to new heights, into a whole new perspective.
It reminds of one summer when we had grandchildren out on the back patio making all kinds of bubbles...blowing, spinning, running, jumping with an assortment of various bubble making wands. They would "ooh" and "ahh" with wonder, then suddenly squeal with uncontainable delight.
There is something quite amazing about the nature of a bubble. It reflects a rainbow of colors and seems to defy gravity, floating effortlessly in space.
God's love can act as a indestructible grace bubble that allows us to defy the downward pull of sin and to be lifted up to new heights. Ephesians 2:4-10 speaks of how His great love and grace has saved us and raised us up to be with Him, in heavenly places displaying the immeasurable riches of His grace.
Makes me wonder if we should keep bubble wrap around for those times when we need to pop the bubbles of fear and worry in our lives and then go outside and make a few bubbles of grace!
Captured in God's Grace Bubble...dmc

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Transforming My History

"Learn to appreciate difficult days... As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything... I remain the same throughout time and eternity. This is the basis of your confidence." (327)
There really is nothing quite like walking through a tough experience together... with a friend, your spouse, or as a family. Joe and I have experienced this with our own family, our church family, even with a whole city of families. Going through a difficult time together and coming out on the other side... so bonded, so confident and so grateful for one another!
The same is true in our relationship with Jesus. Each challenge is an opportunity to develop a personal history with a Sovereign Savior.
I want my life story to really be HIS story! Much like the unfolding of a mystery, each scenerio reveals how He's transforming my story to be His story! After all, it's really all about Him, anyway! So, I can be confident that a Sovereign Savior who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion, day by day, until the day Jesus comes for me.
My friend, Melissa, found the following video clip. Listen to the Philippians 1:6 passage put to music and sung by Steve Green.
To watch copy & paste:

He who began a good work in you
He who began a good work in you
Will be faithful to complete it
He'll be faithful to complete it
He who started the work
Will be faithful to complete it in you

If the struggle you're facing
Is slowly replacing
Your hope with despair
Or the process is long
And you're losing your song
In the night you can be sure
That the Lord has His hand on you
Safe and secure
He will never abandon you
You are His treasure
And He finds His pleasure in you

So, no matter if this is a delightful day or a difficult day, we can be confident that...
His Story can Radically Improve Our Story ...dmc

Monday, November 7, 2016

Expressions of Holiness

"Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. All true beauty reflects some of who I Am. I am working My ways in you...creating loveliness within your being...(clearing) out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession (of you.)" (326)
Awe inspiring landscapes, rolling ocean waves, delicate flower petals, a grandchild's sparkling eyes, the strains of perfect harmonies, the whisper of love, the smell of fresh rain, a stunning sunset, the presence of those who've touched me with love...so many things represent God's beauty in my life. Beautiful things, all slivers of His Holiness, that surround and infiltrate my life.
I'm so grateful He shares His profound Holiness with us even in the not-so-profound elements of every day life.
Enjoying Expressions of His Holiness...dmc

This song by Robin Mark will help "clear out the debris and clutter" to make room for His Holiness. Thank Him for the beautiful expressions of His Holiness in your life!

In the Beauty of Holiness
We see You Son of Righteousness
So we bring all that we possess
To lay at Your feet
In the place where Your glory shines
Jesus, Lover of all mankind
You have drawn us
With love sublime
To make us complete.

So I pause at Your gates once more
As my heart and my spirit soar
And I wish I could love You more
My God and my King.

Is there tribute that I could bring
Was there ever a song to sing
That could ever express, my King
The work that You've done
Could I ever conceive of this
All the depths and the heights
And breadth, of the riches
I now possess because of Your love.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Spiritual & Cellular DNA

"Seek to please Me above all else...in everything, not just in major decisions... When My Presence is your deepest delight, you know almost instinctively what will please Me...(and you will) make the right choice." (325)
When it comes to discerning God's Will in some decision that I need counsel on, I will seek out those who have a track record of faithfulness in their spiritual journey. Faithfulness, demonstrated by those who "strive to please (God) in everything" is an underlying theme in Psalm 37. Verse 3 says, "Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely (cultivating faithfulness.)" Then the psalm continues, through verse 40, to describe the way of the faithful and those who live securely. It's reassuring to know that in this uncertain world, God's faithful ones can "live securely."
I discovered an interesting fact while doing research on telomerase, an enzyme known for its role in the long-term health of individual cells in our bodies. Elizabeth Blackburn, professor of biology and physiology at UCSF, shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for medicine because of her collaborated work in discovering telomeres and telomerase, which are sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes that tend to get shorter every time a cell divides. When telomeres drop below a critical length, the cell can no longer divide properly and will eventually die, critically compromising the reproduction of healthy cells in our bodies, thus impacting our ability to handle physical and psychological stress constructively. Telomeres are essential to maintaining well-being and our ability to cope. (Source: University of California – Davis, 11.05.2010)
My interest was piqued when I read how current research reveals that meditation helps to increase levels of the valuable enzyme, telomerase, thus increasing one's health, longevity and immune cells.
Faithfulness, as noted in Psalm 37, emphasizes the role of various meditative activities such as prayer, applying scripture, engaging in worship and trusting in the Lord. When God's people meditate on Him, it can increase our sense of well-being, our sense of purpose and subsequently strengthen our very DNA! Literally, "all that is within me" can...
Bless His Holy Name (Ps 103:1) ...dmc

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Purr-fectly Contentment

"You can live as close to Me as you choose...(being) content in any and every situation. Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances. Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises." (324)
Usually, before I get out of bed, with my first waking thoughts, I invite Jesus into my day, then thank Him for several very specific things, which can vary from day to day. This helps to set the mental climate of my brain and to brighten my mental landscape, giving me a much more constructive way to head into my day.
Choosing to praise Him often, helps me "to be content," to be grateful and to be more aware of my many blessings, rather than just my burdens. Then, when burdens roll in, I can roll them onto Jesus, my Burden-Bearer... which is one of the many blessings that comes with choosing to live as close as possible to Him!
I enjoyed what Amelia said. "Find contentment in all circumstances? I’m working on that... I am blessed with a wonderful family. Now. for patience with the resident cat…! I grew up on a farm. Don’t cats belong outside or in the barn?!"
I teasingly told her that I understood, since our last cat (Coca-Colaw) provided us lots of mixed moments, too. I'm so grateful God can give us a little "cat-tentment" along the way to help us enjoy those playful "purr-fect" blessings hidden in our day!
Longing to be Purr-fectly Content...dmc

Friday, November 4, 2016

Next Step Living

"Walk peacefully with Me through this day...one step at a time...keep your mind on My Presence and taking the next step. I designed you for deep dependence on (Me.) When you don't know what to do, wait while I open the way before you." (323)
Like many others, I like being well-planned, well-organized, well-thought through. However, the life of faith requires a "deep dependence" on Someone we cannot see and on things we cannot control. That runs so counter to my human nature.
When I was in the recovery process from foot surgery, I had to calculate carefully my "next steps" to make the most of every step-effort. I had to think ahead so that each trip across the room, or to the other end of the house, was maximized.
Our walk with Jesus is such a "next step" process. I've discovered that to maximize my daily walk with Him means I must "keep my mind on Him," intentionally focusing on Him and His Presence. It's not about all I AM doing...it's all about what HE is doing... and I certainly need to "be ready to follow His lead."
My friend Melissa shared, "It is so easy to try to do things on my own because I am usually limited on time so I just jump in with both feet and get it done. However, God has been working on me to "train my mind" to slow down and include Him in EVERYTHING! "Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that, keep your mind on My presence and on taking the next step.....This is a training opportunity, since I designed you for deep dependence on your Shepherd-King." (323) It sure is nice having help and things sure work out a lot better!"
It's such a comfort to know that His "Presence will go with you, and...give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)
My prayer is, "Lord, train my mind to slow down long enough to include You in everything."
Stepping Forward WITH Him...dmc

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Opting Up & Forward

"Every time something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with Me. This practice has several benefits...
(1) Talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship...
(2) Disappointments...are transformed into opportunities for good... (removing) the sting from difficult circumstances...
When you reframe setbacks as opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost."
Learning to deal constructively with various setbacks or disappointments, on a regular or daily basis, revamps and strengthens the neuro landscape of our brains. I've learned that every time I "reframe setbacks as opportunities" I win huge victories over my natural, human responses which tend to set me up to be hurt or offended. Instead of becoming down and out, I can move up and forward!
This has been a HUGE helpful insight in ministry life. So many expectations, so many disappointments, so many inconsistencies and inadequacies on so many levels from so many viewpoints... it's truly a HUGE benefit to just keep talking to Jesus about it, continually unloading my heart and renewing my mind.
Romans 8:37-38 says it so well. "No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"
My options are:
Will I allow this to separate me FROM God's love? Or to strengthen me IN God's love?
Choosing the Opportunity Option to be IN God's Love...dmc

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jesus in the Nick of Time

"Your weakness does not repel Me. On the contrary, it attracts My Power... come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you... (It takes) courage to thank Me even during hard times. Yielding yourself to My will is ultimately an act of trust." (321)
Several years ago I was walking with my daughter-in-law through a shopping center parking lot and suddenly she bolted ahead, without saying a word, across the drive, toward the front door. Only then did I notice an elderly man struggling with his cane and the heavy glass door. Just in the nick of time, she grabbed the door before it knocked him over. She assisted him, chatting cheerfully with him, until he was comfortably situated inside with his own cart. By this time, I had caught up with her and overheard him thank her profusely. She briefly explained that she grew up with a mom who had mobility problems so she was just "use to" noticing that kind of thing.
When we were in the parking lot, I had not even looked ahead. I was totally unaware of the situation.  Her quick and keen awareness of someone in need amazed me!  Obviously, the older gentleman was so grateful for her ready response!
That's kind of the way I see it with Jesus. He's keenly aware of our "gaping neediness" and our inherent weaknesses that cause us to struggle with so many situations and various dilemmas of life. He has an eye for that sort of thing, knows exactly when to rush in, how to ease our anxiety and how to get us situated to move forward, again.
It's all about trusting Him...trusting that He really sees, really cares, really knows how to respond and really WILL respond!
Taking "trust" to a new level...dmc

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jesus Really "Gets It"

"Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know your heart's desire... Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me... I am pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. I notice the progress you have made...don't be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that's been rigged to distract you." (320)
As a child I would most often picture Jesus as the baby in a manger, the miracle working Savior or as a stern Clear-the-Temple Ultimate Authority Figure! Of those three, it was the Ultimate Authority Figure that would frighten me. I was concerned that He would only see all kinds of defects in my life, pointing to various failures or inherent flaws. Over the years that perspective modified some, but even into adulthood, I still wrestled with that underlying fear that I was disappointing Him in some way.
Then, as a mother of two teenage sons, who would characteristically bounce between being spiritually passionate or spiritually passive, in an effort to 'own' their own spiritual journey, I would often pray for His mercy to cover them. One day it hit me... Jesus is doing the same! For them! For me! He is mercifully covering us with intercessory prayers!
The devo scripture passage tells us, Jesus understands and "intercedes for us." (Hebrews 4:34) One of my favorite definitions for intercession is "to pray the prayer that another is yet unable to pray for themselves."
When I think that Jesus is praying the perfect prayer for me, even if I am yet unaware or unable to pray it for myself, that powerfully encourages me. He's not judging me...He is praying earnestly for me even delighting in me! What a thought! He really "gets it" when it comes to understanding and interceding for me!
I choose to agree with the prayer Jesus is praying for me, today!
Incidentally, my boys are now grown, married to precious wives who love Jesus and are raising children who have spiritually tender, loving hearts. They now stand, with Jesus, the great Intercessor, interceding for their own children!
Grateful for an Interceding Savior...dmc