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!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Paced with the Pulse of Peace

"As this year draws to a close, receive My Peace. This is still your deepest need, and I, your Prince of Peace, long to pour Myself into your neediness. My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match... be filled with My very Being, permeated through and through with Peace... regardless of your feelings... (it) will gradually work its way through your entire being." (382)
To close out one year and to begin the next with the Prince of Peace in total control is such a wise way to venture this road of life. Even wiser, yet more challenging, is to move from one day to the next, moment by moment, breath by breath, staying decisively, intentionally in His peaceful Presence. This is not only spiritually wise, it is physically, emotionally, mentally and relationally wise.
For me, it's a matter of pacing myself with Him, so as not to run ahead or lag behind the Prince of Peace. Like the synchrony of the soul, staying in rhythm with the beat of His Heart means I am pacing with His Pulse of Peace. Peace has a rhythm of its own that echoes with the nuiances of everything He is and everything I need Him to be. From moment to moment, step by step, He pulses peace throughout my entire being, filling all that I am with all that He is!
Pacing with the Prince...dmc

Friday, December 30, 2016

Unique Intimacy

"I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you. The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self - the one I designed you to be... Marvel at the beauty of a life intertwined with My Presence... in intimate communion... losing yourself in Me." (381)
The unique path God has each of us on can be a strange mix of companionship and solitude. I feel so blessed with the fellowship I share with others and yet I am keenly aware of the mysterious solitude I also experience. I've talked with seasoned saints who have also experienced this dual dynamic. It seems to be the profound reality of an intimate, yet involved, relationship with Jesus. He pulls us away to Himself, yet puts us in the midst of others.
The secret, sometimes fragile, balance within myself has been to stay tightly connected to Him, whether I'm in a place of solitude or in the midst of a multitude. I know without a doubt, my goal and inner compass is set, no matter where I am or who I am with I'm...
Staying Close to Him...dmc

It reminds me of the following.
Watch - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrBYbjSg3kA&feature=related

I Just Want To Be Where You Are - by Don Moen
I just want to be where You are,
dwelling daily in Your presence
I don't want to worship from afar,
draw me near to where You are

I just want to be where You are,
in Your dwelling place forever
Take me to the place where You are,
I just want to be with You

Chorus -I want to be where You are,
dwelling in Your presence
Feasting at Your table,
surrounded by Your glory
In Your presence,
that's where I always want to be
I just want to be,
I just want to be with You

I just want to be where You are,
to enter boldly in Your presence
I don't want to worship from afar,
draw me near to where You are

(Coda) Oh, my God,
You are my strength and my song
And when I'm in Your presence
Though I'm weak You're always strong

(Ending) I just want to be
I just want to be with You

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tough & Tender Trust

"Trust Me with every fiber of your being! What I can accomplish in and through you is proportional to how much you depend on Me... I care as much about your tiny trust-steps through daily life as about your dramatic leaps of faith... Consistently trusting in me is vital..." (380)
Witnessing both the tough and the tender sides of trust can impact one forever. Tough trust hangs on through fierse adversity. Tender trust cautiously reaches out with a trembling hand and heart. This came to life when one of our own, a precious 11 week old baby, was ushered into heaven..many decades and dreams too soon! He was one of three boys, born a triplet, into a loving family with two older sisters. This little guy impacted many lives in a very short amount of time. Without ever saying a word, he filled our hearts with the Presence of Jesus.
So, little Jeremiah was to celebrate Jesus' birthday, in heaven, far before he could ever have a birthday of his own. His heart-broken, grieving parents leaned hard on Jesus "with every fiber of their being," with every ounce of their faith.
Letting go of such a precious gift required a tough trust emerging from very vulnerable, tender trusting hearts. Their closing memorial song stirred us to keep trusting even when we're "found in the desert place" or walking down "the road marked with suffering." Yes, our hearts can "choose to say...
Blessed Be Your Name"...dmc
(Blessed Be Your Name, by Matt Redman)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Captured or Capacitated

"I am your Refuge and Strength, an ever-present Help in trouble. Therefore, you don't need to be afraid of anything... Every day I manifest My grace in countless places and situations... blessings (and) outright miracles on your planet... have eyes that see and ears that hear...My abiding Presence in the world." Psalm 46:1-3 (379)
Fear has a way of capturing our attention and our ambitions. Once sabotaged by fear, we feel trapped, immobilized, maybe even totally defeated and depleted.
However, with God's help we can capture our fear and use it to capacitate, or enable, our attention and ambitions to be even more creative and productive. How is this done?
One day I observed that when I was fearful I was also imagining the worst or most painful outcomes. On the other hand, when imagining the best or most productive outcomes, I was left energized and far more creative. While the solution was fairly simple - start envisioning the best outcomes rather than the worst - remembering to put it into practice is not always so simple.
I need to basically believe more in what God is saying and doing (blessings and miracles) than in what my fear says and does to me. Fear shouts at me from various sources; like the news media, or others' opinions, and even my own self-doubt. However, God generally whispers to me through meditative moments in His Word, encouraging encounters, and in the hidden hopes and dreams deeply tucked in my own heart.
It all comes down to how I am going to use my God-given gift of imagination.... what am I going to envision? Am I going to be captured or am I going to be capacitated? Encumbered or encouraged? Fear-filled or faith-filled?
Incapacitating my fear & Capacitating my faith...dmc

A special "Thank You" to my precious mom, Dorothy Volesky, who brought me into this world... not only giving me life, but leading me into a relationship with Jesus... helping to anchor my earthly & eternal life! I've been abundantly blessed... making this day a very special birthday for me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Blessed & Balanced Wheel of Life

"I am preparing you for what is on the road ahead... Take time to be still in My Presence so that I can strengthen you. The busier you become, the more you need this time apart with me... depending on My strength and trusting Me in every situation. If you live in this way, you will do less but accomplish far more... reflect(ing) Me to the watching world." (376)
One of the activities I often do, with people whose lives feel out-of-control, is what I call "The Wheel of Life." Each spoke of the wheel represents an area that can enhance one's life. After they have assigned a number from 0 - 10 to each area, I draw in the outside rim of their wheel, as it relates to the assigned numbers. Instantly, the out-of-balance areas are revealed. Their wheel will reflect the areas that need to be modified or enhanced.
A well-balanced life offers a healthy ebb and flow of peace and productivity, quiet and activity, work and play, personal time and professional time, family life and social life, and most of all, time alone with God in His Word and with His people.
Personally, we've always had to carefully carve out quality time to spiritually refresh ourselves, strengthen our marriage/family and nourish our ministry. To do that, we have to cut into time that could be spent doing other very good, even noble things. Sometimes that can be painful... like not participating in something we'd like to do, or are asked to do, or cannot afford to do or simply cannot do because of previous commitments.
But choosing to say a Healthy "No" allows the opportunity to say a Healthy "Yes" to a more balanced, productive, peaceful, rewarding life.
I don't want to just be busy, but I want to be blessed. A balanced life blesses me and allows me to more readily bless others... including those who live under my own roof!
Realigning my Wheel of Life...dmc

Monday, December 26, 2016

Fully Enjoying God's Love Gift

"I am the Gift that continuously gives... a radical concept... perfect Love... not subject to variation. (However) what does vary is your awareness of my loving Presence." (377)
Some years ago I realized that it was far easier for me to believe that God would love YOU than it was for me to believe that God would love ME! Somehow I had come to a very flawed assumption that God's love for others was much more certain than God's love would be for me.
(I've been inclined to see my own flaws and shortcomings much more readily than seeing others' and I think, in a twisted kind of way, I'd overlaid that inclination on to my relationship with God, also.)
One of the passages from today's devotional helped me to understand this from a new perspective.
1 John 4:16-17 "And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; for we are as He is in this world."
Applying these biblical insights challenged my flawed assumptions because:
1. Although I may KNOW about God's Love that does not mean I really BELIEVE it.
2. I must move WHAT I know about God's Love to a place WHERE I believe it.
3. Knowing about God's love and PERSONALLY believing it means I process that truth in a different region of my brain where cognitive concepts can be PERSONALLY applied!
4. Taking the truth of God's Love to a new level means I have infused His Love into every aspect of my life...not just as a FACT in my head but as a ACT of my heart.
5. I must intentionally decide to believe MORE IN, and respond MORE FROM, the perspective of God's Love than from my flawed assumptions that undermined my personal application of God's Love.
6. God's Love allows me to EMBRACE "perfect love" which offers me confidence and security rather than fear or doubt. (I John 4:18)
7. God's Love ACTIVATES a new purpose for living...giving God's Love to those around us. Being AWARE, as an extension of Him, that "we ARE as He is in this world!" (I John 4:17)
These Truths have challenged me. I must receive AND believe God's Love to be...
Philanthropically & Practically His...dmc
(Wow, that's a lot on the day after Christmas, with a happy heart & full tummy!)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Waiting for Heaven's Merry CHRISTmas

"As you wait attentively in My Presence..." (376)
The wait is finally over... Merry Christmas!! We've spent so much time running here and there, in and out of stores, bustling around in a flurry of preparation for Christmas. With all the hustle we've been forced to wait and wait in long checkout lines, traffic stops and in not-so-fast-food restaurants. We've waited for packages to be delivered. We've waited for Christmas TV specials to air and we've waited for loved ones to safely arrive home. Lots of running, lots of waiting, lots of commotion and endless checklists. Yet, all along we know it's really all about HIM, after all it's HIS birthday! We've just been so caught in the chaos.
It's good to recognize that someday, in eternity, we will have reason to celebrate not only His Birth Day but His Return Day! What a Heavenly CHRISTmas that will be...in His Presence!
Celebrating Jesus & Waiting to see Him...dmc
Have a Blessed Merry CHRISTmas & Watch this - http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9MB1EFNU

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Where is Christ?

"I speak to you from the depths of eternity... You hear Me in the depths of your being, where I have taken up residence. "I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory"... alive within you... tune in to My living Presence." Colossians 1:27 (375)
Perhaps the greatest truth behind the Christ Child, in the manger at Christmas, is "Christ in you, the hope of Glory!" To find Christ we do not need to search the heavens or travel half a world away, like the Wise Men of the East. Nor, do we need to see angels or hear their angelic songs, like the Judean Shepherds. Nor, do we need to legislate, threaten and interrogate, like some pompous King Herald.
To find Christ I only need to consider the state of my own soul...to look within! The journey inside my own soul, as a committed Christian, should testify to the certainty and significance of a Soul Saving Christ! The most compelling advocate is the presence of Christ, within the depths of my own soul, where sacred history is confirmed in personal reality.
The glorious Christmas gift is "Christ in you" inspiring hope...
Unwrapping Glorious Hope...dmc

Friday, December 23, 2016

Nurturing Trust Nurtures

"Nurture well your trust in Me as Savior, Lord, and Friend." (374)
Trust is a phenomenal entity. It can be both surprisingly strong and frightfully fragile. During a single day of counseling sessions I can observe the extremes of trust and it's undeniable repercussions. When trust is strong, confidence grows. When trust is frail, suspicion grows. The repercussions can vary from a quiet peace to boiling turmoil.
One decisive factor that can make all the difference is...knowledge.
The more shared information, transparent exchange, honest communication... the more one will know and the more likely trust can grow and be nurtured into a fruitful relationship.
The same is true with our relationship with the Lord. The more we learn about Him, the more we experience Him, the more we come to really know Him...the more our trust can be firmly established.
The more we nurture trust the more trust will nurture us!
Trusting in my Savior, Lord and Friend - Jesus...dmc

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Overshadowed & Pregnant

"Come to Me, and rest in My Presence. As you ponder the majestic mystery of the Incarnation, relax in My everlasting arms...sired by the Holy Spirit." (373)
One of my favorite Christmas passages, that also challenges me the most, is the angel's response to Mary in Luke 1:35. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God."
When God's Word moves deeper and deeper into our hearts there can be seasons of being "overshadowed" that seem to overtake us. They are seasons of spiritual conceiving. Sometimes it can feel like a fog has settled in. Not a dark, foreboding fog, but a nurturing, comforting fog like the overshadowing wings of the Almighty found in Psalm 91.
When "the power of the Most High" overshadows me, I sense a conception of new life, a new work or adventure in God's Presence. I believe God desires to conceive new dimensions of His Life in each of us often. Much like having Christmas all year long...every day can offer moments of birthing Jesus into our humble settings, at home, work, school, in relationships, conversations, difficult situations and various opportunities all around us.
This world needs to experience Jesus and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit we can birth Jesus into the hearts and lives of others. How can my actions, my words, my gifts or talents bring Jesus to life in the lives of those around me?
Unto you is born this day, in the city where you live, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in human flesh lying in a difficult situation before you. And there will be a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest and on earth Peace, Goodwill toward men." (My modification of Luke 2:11-14)
Birthing Jesus...dmc
PS - Happy Anniversary to our oldest son & wife, Michael & Leslie Colaw! Thanks for giving us 3 adorable grandchildren and many wonderful memories.
We love you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blindfolded Faith

"My plan for your life is unfolding before you. Sometimes the road you are traveling seems closed, or it opens up so painfully slow... (or) the way before you suddenly clears... As you persevere along the path I have prepared for you, depending on My strength to sustain you, expect to see miracles - and you will...not always visible to the naked eye." (372)
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us "we walk by faith, not by sight." It's much easier to walk by sight - being able to SEE where we're going. Walking by faith presents a much more complicated challenge when we are required to step into the unknown, the unseen, the unfamiliar. It's uncomfortable and so unnatural, awkward and foreign to our human senses. In fact, faith does not make a lot of sense! My senses may scream "Why?" "What now?" or "No way!"
It reminds me of being blindfolded, yet in motion. I have learned that faith is not a single act. It is a series of continuing actions, putting one foot in motion, stepping forward, traveling on in spite of doubt, questions, heartache or fear. My faith may merely crawl along at times, inching its way forward, but its very presence is evidence of an unfolding miracle. So, no matter how fragile or weak, I will go on with or without the blindfolds!
Pushing on...dmc

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Enjoying Restraint

"Toward the end of My (earthly) life, I was taunted and tempted to display more of My awesome Power than My Father's plan permitted. I could have called down legions of angels to rescue Me at any point. Imagine the self-control required...this was necessary to provide the relationship with Me that you now enjoy." (371)
Just because we CAN do something does not mean we SHOULD. Jesus could have escaped humiliation, misunderstanding even death, but He didn't! Why? Because He was committed to something far greater than His own desires.
Whenever we choose to avoid doing something that involves a long-term cost that will exceed a momentary advantage, we are operating out of a higher motivation that will reap higher rewards. Jesus recognized that the long-term cost of our eternal damnation was far more compelling than the cost of sacrificing His personal comfort and earthly life.
Jesus became not only our Saviour, but our Inspiration to live a life controlled by purposes far greater than the here-and-now. Our ultimate destination is worth every healthy "no" we must activate in order to enjoy a heavenly "yes" in eternity!
Satan wants to manipulate and tempt us to indulge our selfish desires without recognizing the potential long-term costs. For example, during this Christmas Season, with all the temptations to indulge and buy without restraint, we would be wise to consider the long-term costs of overspending. What a privilege to think that even our spending habits can be an example of godly self-control that proclaims His "glorious Presence" in the midst of a debt-driven world.
Enjoying the Benefits of Saying "No"...dmc

Monday, December 19, 2016

Decisively Different

"Do not be weighed down by the clutter in your life: lots of chores to do sometime, in no particular order. If you focus too much on these petty tasks...you will discover that they are endless." (370)
I am especially good at over estimating what needs to be done and under estimating how long it will take to get it all done. This tendency can leave me frustrated with the many things that must be left undone at the close of the day.
During the holidays there are so many additional activities that the days can be overfilled with "To Do" lists that push out the most important absolutes of life. Forgetting that my "ultimate goal is living close to (and) responsive to" Jesus can leave me feeling empty in the midst of all the clutter.
One year things were decisively different... We made a family decision to only give gifts to the little ones and all the rest of us contributed to a family in Africa, purchasing them a cow to suppliment their meager financial situation. Every Christmas since then we have decisively revamped and modified our plans, we think it has lended to a much healthier, happier....maybe even holier holiday!?
Enjoying each other & Jesus much more...dmc

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Eternal Weight Lifting

"When you are plagued by a persistent problem - one that goes on and one - view it as a rich opportunity... like a tutor who is always by your side. Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty." (369)
Our son, Charles, owns and runs 24 hour fitness centers. He interviews clients and then pairs them up with a trainer that will be best suited for each. The role of the personal trainer is critical to maximize the client's training efforts in order to see optimal results, as long as the client is teachable and willing to learn. It's a rich opportunity to achieve a healthy lifestyle change.
The same is true for us spiritually. 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that we are in an ongoing workout where the troubles of today are producing an "eternal weight of glory." Every trial, affliction or trouble we shoulder today can actively build eternal muscle for us in eternity!
It's as if the attitude and manner in which I bear the burdens of this day will directly impact my eternal spiritual physique.
Our son has won various competitions in bodybuilding and has broken weightlifting records, not because he is naturally so strong, but because he daily and faithfully works out, exerting himself and pushing past what's comfortable to what's challenging.
The "eternal weight of glory" we will one day achieve comes through a commitment to be spiritually fit and faithful in the demands and disciplines of daily life. Being "grateful for a problem" changes us. It tutors us to have a "thankful attitude" and a heavenly perspective!
Building Muscle...dmc

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Emmaus Experiences

"Come to Me with your gaping emptiness... Facing the emptiness inside you is simply the prelude to being filled with My fullness... If you persevere in this dependence as you go through the day, you will discover at bedtime that Joy and Peace have become your companions. You may not realize at what point they joined you on your journey, but you will feel the beneficial effects of their presence." (368)
This devotional reminded me of the two deeply discouraged disciples walking down the road to Emmanus after the crucifixion of their beloved leader and friend, Jesus. Their conversation was filled with disappointment concerning the events over the last few days. What they had hoped for was not to be. Their expectations had been met with an overwhelming defeat...the death of their leader and the death of their dream!
In the midst of it all, a stranger stepped alongside, paced with them, and joined in their discussion. It was not until much later, in the evening, that their eyes were opened and they realized... they'd been in the midst of an unfolding miracle... the resurrection of the impossible... a Risen Saviour!
This story from Luke 24:13-35 holds several great insights that can be applied to our journey as present-day followers of Christ.
1. While the death of a dream may leave us discouraged, we do not need to be hopeless.
2. When we hyper-focus on disappointments we tend to overlook divine appointments!
Somewhere along the way "Joy and Peace" come alongside and the Presence of Jesus can cause "our hearts (to) burn within us as He talks to us." (Luke 24:32)
I've had Emmaus experiences that are so disappointing and so painful that I could not see how any good would ever come from it. But, somewhere along the way, my heart begins to "burn" with His Presence and I know Jesus is somewhere nearby and what seems impossible will become my new reality.
Emmanuel means "God with us." That's what I need to focus on when I'm "feeling sluggish, inadequate" and deeply disappointed. But, today, I am...
Enjoying Emmanuel on the Emmaus Road ..dmc

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ethical Equilibrium

"I am speaking in the depths of your being...but many are too busy to listen. The "work ethic" has them tied up in knots...(and feeling) so distant from Me. Living close to Me requires making Me your First Love - your highest priority." (367)
Having a good work ethic generally means one is dependable, trustworthy, willing to go the extra mile and possesses basic core values that equip us to be a valuable contributor to the cause, effort or task at hand.
However, we've all watched how someone can become so task-oriented that they overlook the value of others and the rich relationships right in front of them.
One of the best ways I've found to maintain ethical balance is to stay solid in my primary relationships... with God, husband & family. When I'm listening to God's directives then I tend to do better listening to others, responding out of wisdom...not just from a manipulating "work ethic" or from unreasonable flawed expectations that tend to lead to burn-out and out-of-balanced living.
Having a balanced lifestyle takes intentional effort and I much prefer the option of an ethical equilibrium where God, spouse, family, friends & purposeful endeavors are divinely...
Balanced and Blessed...dmc

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Homesick for Heaven

"Your longing for heaven is good, because it is an extension of your yearning for Me. The hope of heaven is meant to strengthen and encourage you, filling you with wondrous Joy." (366)
When I was little I would wrestle with homesick feelings whenever I had to stay overnight away from my family. If I had my little sister with me, I could do much better.
There have been times as an adult - when I've had to be hundreds of miles away from home all by myself in an airport, hotel or conference - when I've had similar lonely feelings that have caused a sick, sinking feeling inside. Then, just hearing a familiar voice, or seeing a familiar face (on my iPhone) can change the atmosphere in and around me.
That's the way it's suppose to be with Jesus. He's longing for us. We're longing for Him. Spending time in His Presence lets me know that heaven will be a great homecoming experience!
A great book, made into film, Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo (Thomas Nelson, 2010) will inspire you and make you happily homesick for heaven where "nobody is old and nobody wears glasses!" (back cover quote)
Holding Heaven in my Heart...dmc

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Present of His Presence

"Rest in Me, My child, forgetting about the worries of the world. Focus on Me - Emmanuel - and let My living Presence envelop you in Peace...step by step... Hold My hand in deliberate dependence on Me, and I will smooth out the path before you." 365
When I was in the midst of foot surgery recovery I discovered how literally step by step, moment by moment, was the only way I was going to get to the other side. It was a challenge! Afterall, "deliberate dependence" was so contrary to the more independent way I often live my life. The early stages of recovery taught me a lot about "deliberate dependence" especially as my amazing husband stepped up and hit a home run for the home team over and over again. He was ready, willing and wanting me to depend on him for all kinds of things -  drinks, food, meds, ice packs, phone calls, doorbells, adjusting the temperature, running to the store, getting a pillow, propping my foot - and then those delicate bathroom duties - let's just say, they offered many hilarious moments that have become some of our more endearing memories!
As I reflect on that season of surgical recovery, Joe was my earthly illustration of Emmanuel (God with us)"step by step" supporting me. It taught me a lot about "deliberate dependence" and deliberate acceptance of help. During this gift-giving season I thank God for the many gifts of caring family and friends. They are God-given cherished presents to me!
Presents of Presence are so Healing...dmc

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Soaking Time

"Take time to be holy...it means set apart for sacred use...moments in My Presence are accomplishing (this) within you. This process requires blocks of time set aside for communion with Me. The benefits...are limitless. Emotional and physical healing are enhanced by your soaking in the Light of My Presence... you become a cleansed temple of My Holy Spirit, who is able to do in and through you immeasurably more than you ask or imagine." Ephesians 3:20 (364)
Wouldn't it be much easier to just take a "holy" pill to become "holy?" Becoming "holy" requires something we dearly value, yet tend to waste...TIME! "Blocks of time set aside" for "soaking" in His Word, in His Presence and in thankfulness. Then, to consider, that every moment in His Presence cleanses us and heals us, magnifies the benefits and the necessity of setting aside time... for Him!
When we toured the extraordinary Bodies Exhibition I was captured with the graphic and detailed demonstration of how our bodies are "fearfully and wonderfully made." (Ps. 139:14) I was awed and motivated to thank God, all the more, for the miraculous network of numerous biological systems that house our spiritual essence during this earthly journey. To be a chosen "cleansed temple of the Holy Spirit" is especially humbling when I consider how phenomenal yet fragile our bodies can be!
I desire more "blocks of time" to heal and "soak"...
In His Presence...dmc

Monday, December 12, 2016

The 4 - D Perspective

"Feel the warmth and security of being enveloped in My loving Presence. Every detail of your life is under My control...fitting into a pattern for good... If you could only see how close I am to you and how constantly I work on your behalf, you would never again doubt that I am wonderfully caring for you." (363)
It is easy to forget the BIG picture...the one God sees! Only He can fully see how "all things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His Purpose." (Romans 8:28)
For me, it's like putting on a pair of transformational 3-D glasses. However, it is really more like 4-D glasses that will enable me to look past the present assumptions, uncertainties, disappointments, limitations and hindrances and boldly gaze into the possibilities and promises of an unfolding future.
4 -D transformation involves an internal pivotal paradigm shift. My life is filled with many pivot points where I can halt a defeating train of thought and decisively shift into praise, thanking Him for working on my behalf, even when I cannot see it.
"The world you inhabit is only the tip of the iceberg. Submerged beneath the surface of the visible world are mysteries too vast for you to comprehend." (363)
The transformational 4-D effect changes the perspective and allows the image of God to jump out and spill over into my life. The possibilities are endless with...
An Enhanced Perspective...dmc

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dreaming & Co-Creating

"Bring Me all your concerns, including your dreams...letting the Light of My Presence shine on your hopes and plans...infusing your dreams with life, gradually transforming them into reality...co-creating with you." (362)
Do you have a dream you have given up on? I have several dreams tucked away and sometimes I hold my breath, hoping they will become a reality and other times I just sigh, knowing that it will take a miracle to ever make them "reality!"
But I know that God understands dreams, afterall, His creative abilities are a demonstration of His own dreams! That encourages my heart as I wonder and prayerfully wait. While dedication to a dream may sometimes demand great sacrifice, I know even the wildest God-given dream can come true!  Why? Because "every promise of God proves true."(Proverbs 30:5)
Check out the ABC's of Dreams... http://inspirationmotivation.com/dreamsabcs.htm
May all Your God-given Dreams come True...dmc

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pebbles of Adversity

In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe...this is impossible (and) counterproductive to spiritual growth....(because) trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence." (361)
This brings to mind the story of beach pebbles...why some are so polished and beautiful, while others can be quite rough and dull in color. It all depends upon the circumstances of their journey. If the shoreline of the beach forms a "pocket" that traps and frames the bedrock, then the stones will continually tumble and toss until they are naturally smooth and polished by the salty repetitive waves. The most beautiful ones have been battered and bathed the most. Geologists who study stones can determine a lot of history by the shape, size, surface and color of the stones.
We are much the same. The waves of adversity can highlight how God's Presence has polished and refined us until we are like the cherished pebbles discovered on beaches and taken home as beautiful treasures and tangible gems of inspirations.
In the throes of adversity, I've seen human "gems" reflect "the radiance of (His) Face." In the midst of crashing salty waves and salty tearful tides, feeling tossed and trapped, they stop and consider, then reconsider God, tearfully bathing in His Presence. No wonder they "consider it all joy" because they have been repetitively...
Tumbling with Jesus...dmc

Friday, December 9, 2016

Risky, Freak-me-out Faith

"Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief...your attempts to minimize risk (keep you from) following Me wholeheartedly... relinquish your tendency to play it safe. My sovereign Presence protects you wherever you go." (360)
At times my own "risk-factor" can really puzzle me. For instance, I am willing to risk tasting a strange, new food, but less likely to risk some new hair-do.
Overall, I'm not especially fond of risking, even my parenting was geared more toward playing it smart and safe; only taking carefully calculated risks. However, taking a risk for God's glory was a whole other thing in our home. We applauded godly risks, viewing them as great opportunities to live out our faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God wants us to be risk-takers, but He does not want us to be risky fools. Knowing the difference is a risk-trick in itself!
Prayerfully letting Him guide us helps to determine if the risk is His idea!  Is it necessary? Is it worth it? Are there other wiser alternatives? Weighing all that out can help us determine whether the benefits of a risk will outweigh the liabilities.
For me, if the benefits are eternal, giving God glory, then I will more readily take the risk and step out on that "limb" with God-confidence. "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in (me) will continue that good work until the day Jesus comes for (me.)" (Philippians 1:6)
With all that said, I honestly still prefer stepping on solid ground over climbing out on a limb. Limb-dwellers inspire me, yet baffle me, while others can just freak me out!
However, I was also pondering how fruit tends to grow... out on the limbs! That may be why limb-dwellers often enjoy a much more fruitful life! So, today, I will...
Risk it on the Limb....dmc

Risky, Freak-me-out Faith

"Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief...your attempts to minimize risk (keep you from) following Me wholeheartedly... relinquish your tendency to play it safe. My sovereign Presence protects you wherever you go." (360)
At times my own "risk-factor" can really puzzle me. For instance, I am willing to risk tasting a strange, new food, but less likely to risk a slightly new hair-do.
Overall, I'm not especially fond of risking, even my parenting was geared more toward playing it smart and safe; only taking carefully calculated risks. However, taking a risk for God's glory was a whole other thing. We applauded godly risks, viewing them as great opportunities to live out our faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God wants us to be risk-takers, but He does not want us to take foolish risks. Knowing the difference is a risk-trick in itself!
Prayerfully letting Him guide us helps to determine if the risk is necessary, if it is worth it and if there are other alternatives. Weighing all that out can help us determine whether the benefits of a risk will outweigh the liabilities.
For me, if the benefits are eternal, giving God glory, then I will more readily take the risk and step out on that "limb" with God-confidence. "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in (me) will continue that good work until the day Jesus comes for (me.)" (Philippians 1:6)
With all that said, I honestly still prefer stepping on solid ground over climbing out on a limb. Limb-dwellers inspire me, yet baffle me, while others just freak me out! But knowing that HE is Sovereign helps me remember that He So-Reigns, even when I'm asked to...
Risk it on the Limb....dmc

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Huge Hugs from Heaven

"Your needs and My riches are a perfect fit. I never meant for you to be self-sufficient. Instead, I designed you to need Me... I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness, to point you to Me... (enabling) you to find intimate completion in Me." (359)
Just like our bodies will hunger for food, thirst for water or crave a good night's rest, our souls hunger to be spiritually fed and cared for, too. (After all, we are eternal spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience!)
So, when I am feeling drained and inadequate physically, I eat, drink or sleep...when I am feeling depleted and inadequate spiritually, I will hunger and thirst for righteousness, to be filled (Matthew 5:6.) My deep inner longing to be intimately connected to a Savior keeps me moving in the right direction... straight into the caring arms of Jesus!
So, I openly admit my neediness and embrace His abundance... all at the same time. With arms wide open it's like a huge, big...
Heavenly Hug...dmc

PS - Happy Birthday to our youngest son, Matthew Charles Colaw! You have been one huge, big hug from heaven to me, to your dad, your brother, your wife & family and to so many others! Thanks for your huge heart of love for Jesus and for being a huge, big blessing in all our lives!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beyond the Parade

"I am with you in all that you do, even in the most menial task...concerned with every detail of your life. Nothing escapes My notice...(so) learn to look steadily at Me in all your moments and all your circumstances. (Have) an uninterrupted awareness of My Presence. Fix your gaze on what is unseen, even as the visible world parades before your eyes." 2 Corinthians 4:18 (358)
Whoa...this is the most empowering way to live... aware of Jesus' steady gaze on "even the most menial" details of my life while I keep a steady gaze on Him even with this world's "parade" of concerns and distractions!
Eyes and ears, heart and mind tuned into Jesus... helps me capture a perspective that supersedes this broken, fallen world's "parade" that endlessly marches on and on around me!
Like you, I have many distractions, demands and disappointments parading around me and I have to intentionally look past the "visible parade" to regroup and renew myself by refocusing on Him.
Praising Him while the Band Marches On...dmc

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Heart of Christmas Worship

"Stay ever so close to Me... This is the most efficient way to stay on track; also the most enjoyable way... (however, beware of) a false sense of security, lulling the soul into a comatose condition... (rather) I search for...an awakened soul that thrills to the Joy of My Presence." (357)
During this Christmas Season we can certainly be lulled into a type of consumer-coma with the media's targeted emphasis on shopping, wrapping, decorating and endless food preparation. When I was in a store the other day, maneuvering crowded isles, my attention was drawn to the Christmas music in the background... "O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord." Instantly, my heart was stirred and drawn back to the heart of Christmas and I had a moment of private worship.
Keeping Christ the focal point of CHRISTmas is the "on track" life I want to live! It helps my morale and my spirit to soar above the "on task" demands of consumerism, materialism and the rat-race that often sidetracks Christmas. I want my soul to be awakened to the Joy of Christmas, glorifying and...
Enjoying Christ The Lord ...dmc

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Hallelujah Holdup

"Let My Presence override everything you experience. Like a luminous veil of Light, I hover over you and everything around you...stay conscious of Me in each situation you encounter." (356)
The Presence of God makes such a huge difference in ANY situation! His Presence can be absolutely capturing! Maybe you have watched one of those Hallelujah flash mob clips where the distracted, chaotic atmosphere in a stadium or mall is radically changed by just one, then two, three and finally a whole choir of people singing the Hallelujah Chorus.  Even in such a non-sacred setting the Presence of God can overtake and finally overwhelm an entire crowd!
In this Christmas season we can easily be overtaken and overwhelmed by all the chaotic distractions that hold us hostage to a hectic pace, daily demands and various troubling issues. However, as Christians, we have a profound privilege... to personally experience a kind of divine holdup in the midst of hectic.  "Surely the Lord is in this place!" In this situation! In this encounter! In this moment!
I am praying that I become more and more aware of Him and that I keep Christ upfront and foremost in my CHRISTmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Puzzled & Privileged

"My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways and thoughts higher than yours." Isaiah 55:8-9 (355)
One of the most amazing privileges, as a believer, is to have access to the Master of Creation, the Answer for every problem and the Fulfillment of every need. Every concern has it's counterpart in the heart and mind of God. Like two pieces of a puzzle coming together, so it is when my dilemma meets up with Divinity!
Divine intervention fills in the gaps and graciously completes the picture. Being open to receive and willing to listen makes all the difference. I just need to let His Hand guide my life until piece by piece the puzzle pieces are locked into place and the picture of my life is His Divine Design! So, I will continue to believe even when I'm quite ...
Puzzled by the Puzzle...dmc

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Fare Well in Warfare

"Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind...don't let discouragement set in. You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy...call upon My Name...at that instant, the battle becomes Mine...simply trust Me as I fight for you." (354)
I can wholeheartedly support the validity of the above quote. I've experienced "fiery attacks"  and  discouragement.  However, I also know the awesome overcoming power of Jesus' Name!! I will ask for His help, then immediately start to thank Him for the victory, even before I FEEL victorious or the oppression lifts... because I know... Victory IS on the way!
We can fare well in warfare because...Jesus is still far better at warfare than the enemy is!
Practicing my Victory Dance...dmc

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pick Your Prince Wisely

"I am the Prince of Peace... When you keep your focus on Me, you experience both My Presence and My Peace... You need My Peace each moment to accomplish My purposes in your life... Walk with Me along paths of Peace; enjoy the journey in My Presence." (353)
Jesus is the Prince of Peace while satan is "the prince of this world." (John 12:31, 14:30) No matter how hard this world struggles to gain peace, it will never be achieved until satan is totally defeated and the Prince of Peace reigns. However, in the meantime, in my own life, I can allow the Prince of Peace to reign, setting up His Kingdom in my heart. What a difference He makes, allowing me to experience the purposes and plans His Peace brings!
No wonder satan does all he can to disturb and steal away our Peace...he does not want us to fulfill our destiny and bring to life the realities of our purpose.
Day by day, our path can be filled with Peace and Purpose...it just depends on which "prince" we journey with, listen to, focus on and allow to reign in our lives.
In the Presence of the Prince of Peace...dmc

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tasting Eternal Reality

"I love you with an everlasting Love, which flows out from the depths of eternity...a Love that encompasses you from before birth to beyond the grave...being still in My Presence...enables you to experience My eternal Love. You need the certainty of My loving Presence in order to weather the storms of Life. During times of severe testing, even the best theology can fail you if it isn't accompanied by experiential knowledge of Me...(devote) time to developing your friendship with Me. " (352)
This reminded me of several passages of scripture.
First, John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Our eternal life is vitally linked to our relational life in Christ.
Second, Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him." No matter how much we know ABOUT Him, we must relationally experience Him to really KNOW Him! Adding experience to our knowledge is much like the difference between enjoying a meal or just seeing a picture of it in a magazine. Many more sensory-receptor sites are stirred in the brain and what was once a concept becomes our new reality.
During this Christmas season, I pray we will pause to "taste and see" Him and His goodness all around us, stretching, stirring and satisfying our eternal souls.
Experiencing Jesus with all my senses makes a lot of GOOD sense...dmc