Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hard to love like this

"Spread love everywhere you go... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier."
Mother Teresa

I realize that this is not something that can be carried out in constant practical application . People are ultimately in charge of their own feelings and all, and you can't "make" everyone happy, but what a neat ideal to kind of keep in the side of your mind....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

God notices

I received this email devotional today and it is so appropriate and encouraging for a worn out cranky mommy like me. God notices the noses and bottoms I wipe, the toys I pick up, the meals I prepare, the prayers I cry out. He notices.

by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Esther 6:1--14

Never fails, does it? Things are not as they seem. And about the time you think they cannot get worse, they do. This was certainly true for Mordecai at a pivotal point in the story of Esther.

When all seems lost, it isn't. Mordecai could have despaired at the situation in Persia. The king was a Gentile. He had no interest in the Jews. Furthermore his closest confidant was Haman, who shamelessly hated the Jews. Esther was in the palace, but when the king found out she was a Jew, her life might be over in an instant. When all seems lost, it isn't.

When no one seems to notice, they do. Remember Mordecai's courageous decision earlier when he heard of a conspiracy between two of the doorkeepers of the palace, who were plotting to kill the king? When Mordecai heard of that conspiracy, he told his adopted daughter Esther about it. And she, being the queen, alerted the king.

Esther had told the king that the information had come from Mordecai, yet no one ever rewarded him for his great act. It seemed as though no one noticed or remembered. So Mordecai went on living his life unnoticed, unrewarded, and unappreciated---until this pivotal night.

I love the first three words of 6:1, "During that night." That's the way it is with God. At the eleventh hour, He steps in and does the unexpected. When no one seems to notice and no one seems to care, He notices and He cares "during that night."

Learn a lesson from Mordecai today, will you? Through all that happens to him, Mordecai never becomes a man of vengeance. He never tries to get back at Haman, even when he has the opportunity, even when he has Haman in a very vulnerable spot. He doesn't kick him in the face when he has a chance to. He doesn't even speak against the man. Let me challenge you to guard your heart as Mordecai did.

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. (Hebrews 6:10)

I love those words, "God is not unjust so as to forget." When no one else notices, mark it down, God notices. When no one else remembers, God records it so it won't be forgotten.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bold faith?

Christianity an international crime? Witnessing, reading your Bible — punishable by imprisonment ... even death?

Christianity is under fire more seriously than ever in our lifetime. We are seeing worldwide persecution of Christians as part of the radical Muslim mission to “take the world for Islam” — by purging Christianity from the face of the earth.

Now, The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at the U.N. has made a bold move — pushing a sinister, anti-Christian resolution called “Combating Defamation of Religions.” It clearly endorses what’s taking place in many Muslim countries — where those who even speak out about Islam are severely punished with imprisonment and even death.

I read this today and I've got to say, it scares me a bit. I enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country, that we are allowed to share our faith without fear of reprisal. I agree that we need to allow others to believe in, express, and share their varying faiths as well, but this seems to go completely against the whole idea of religious tolerance. How bold will I be if and when things like this do become real law? How bold will my children be?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I don't know about you, but I have a hard time praying sometimes. My big issue is that I get distracted too easily. My to do list creeps into my mind as I try to sit before God. My phone rings. My kids call my name. Before I know it I'm not praying any more. I received this email devotional today, and it's a little long to be considered a "crumb," but is good food for thought. Look it over. Chew on it. Pray today....

I've read dozens of books on prayer, and I've learned a few things. But most of what I know about prayer, I've learned from the Prayer Expert. Since Jesus invented it and taught it, who would know more about prayer?

Twenty-three times the Gospels refer to Jesus praying, which means he prayed frequently, often silently and sometimes secretly. He prayed for himself and his mission, and he also prayed for his followers, for the sick, for Jerusalem, for the world, and for those in need. In short, he faithfully practiced the very thing he invented.

Luke's Gospel relates how he taught his followers to pray. It reads: "As He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, "LORD, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." And he said to them, 'When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven...'" (Lk 11:1-2a, NKJV).

The model that follows is what we call the Lord's Prayer. The disciples may have meant they wanted Jesus to teach them a formulaic prayer. John the Baptist apparently gave his followers a model, and so did other religious leaders. In modern denominations, some congregations pray the Lord's Prayer at virtually every service. Others don't feel the need to repeat it literally, but take it as an example of the kind of praying we're to do.

What's noteworthy is that the disciples went to the Prayer Expert. After all, they had followed him, observed him in action, and decided they liked what they saw.

It's often helpful to consult the expert. When I first realized I needed a computer in 1983, I didn't know anything about them. So Paul Price, an early hacker-expert, helped me get started. Within a few days, he taught me everything I needed to know. Since then, whenever I've decided to upgrade, I've gone to an expert for advice and instruction.

When it comes to prayer, there is really only one Expert, and whatever we know about prayer (if it's accurate information) comes from him.

After all the years of praying seriously, I still don't think of myself as an expert. I'm still learning. I'm not trying to devise the perfect seven words that unlock the whole universe. I'm trying to learn more about God, about me, and about how to open myself in prayer.

My attitude toward prayer has changed drastically over the years. Back in the early days after my conversion, if anyone had asked, I would have told them that prayer was simply talking with God. In fact, I think I said that a few times. Yet as I look back, I realize those early attempts were mostly begging sessions. I worked hard at convincing God to hear me and give me what I asked for. Without realizing it, I was trying to sell God on responding to me.

That's not where I am now. Asking is still a big part of prayer, but I've also learned other aspects, such as fellowship and praise.

I still wonder about how to pray specifically for particular needs. For instance, I have two good friends that I'll call Mike and John. I don't know how to pray for Mike. At age thirty-five, he's still trying to resolve identity issues that he talked about seven years ago. I don't like the catchall, "God, bless Mike," and I don't want to recite a list of ten things I think Mike needs right now. So how do I pray?

John, an ordained minister and former pastor, is one of the neediest people I know. If anyone yearns to be loved and valued for himself, that's John. How do I pray for him? Should I enumerate his needs one by one? Do I pick out one and stay with it until God answers before I move on to the second? How do I know which is most important?

I've committed myself to pray for both of these men daily. Mike knows that; I'm not sure John does. I'm not praying so they'll know. I'm praying because I genuinely care about both of them. Even so, I don't know how to pray effectively for them.

It's also frustrating that, after years of holding them up to God, I can't see any change. I wonder how many times I've paused in praying for those two men and said, "God, I just don't know how to pray." I'm not aware of their real needs-I see only outward behavior and character flaws.
How, Lord? How do I pray?

A few mornings ago, I walked through the woods with Mike on my mind. I had spoken to him on the phone the night before for nearly twenty minutes. I tried to focus my prayers for him but felt confused. I paused to lean against a black oak. "God, I don't have the slightest idea how to pray for Mike. Show me."

For several seconds, silence surrounded me. Then I heard myself saying, "Lord, won't you wrap your arms around Mike so that he'll know he's loved? Today, make him aware that you're with him and that you care deeply."

Simple stuff. Nothing profound or brilliant. But it came from my heart-something the Prayer Expert has taught me.

I could cite a variety of examples of what I've learned from the Prayer Expert. I'm still not sure I get it right, and I have a lot more to learn. It's like the lessons Paul Price gave me when I operated my first computer. I made mistakes even after he explained what I was supposed to do. But I kept at it. Now I can handle increasingly sophisticated computers. Even so, I know very little.

The best lesson I learned was to go to the expert when I have a problem.

The expert knows.

And the Prayer Expert not only knows how, but patiently works with me and teaches me. The Prayer Expert loves me and cares about my growth.

When Jesus had finished praying, one of his disciples said to him, "LORD, teach us to pray, just as John taught his followers to pray." So Jesus told them, "Pray in this way...." --LUKE 11:1-2a, CEV

Prayer Expert,
it sounds so simple to ask you to teach me to pray.
It gets complicated when I put it into practice.
Help me to keep praying,
to keep asking you for help,
and most of all,
to love you and those for whom I pray.

For more from Cec, please visit

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


If you're like me, you're so caught up in the here and now that things like heaven seem like a far, far off thought. I believe in heaven, but I don't really put too much time into thinking about it. Now dominates my brain. I suppose that changes as people age, as life slows down a bit. It seems like I more often hear the aged talking about it than the young. But you know, if I really did think about it, if I really stopped and realized, on a daily basis, that it is a real place, and is my final destination, where I will spend the VAST majority of my time, how would that impact decisions that I make now? What things would increase in importance? Which would decrease? Truly, what would happen if I lived like heaven was a real place everyday?

If You Like Disneyland, You Won't Believe Heaven
This devotional was written by Dan Johnson

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2

Walt Disney started talking about building a park for his employees and their families in a 1948 memo. What started as a discussion to build Mickey Mouse Park ended with the 1955 Grand Opening of Disneyland. Built on 160 acres of orange groves around Anaheim, Disneyland cost 17 million dollars to build. Opening day, July 17, 1955, was a gala affair with over 28,000 guests. The ceremonies were broadcast live on ABC with Art Linkletter as one of the hosts and celebrities like Ronald Reagan.

I was 36 years old when I first visited Disneyland, by then a 45-year-old theme park. With a child's excitement, I wondered the streets wide-eyed knowing that this was the "happiest place on earth" and so well-managed that they pressure-washed the streets each night. At nightfall, as I sat with my wife and small children along the parade route, music began wafting through the trees. I fought back tears as the lights came on and the parade began to come to life. It had taken a long time, but we had made it to Disneyland and it was better than expected.

If you think Disneyland is something, a man-made amusement park in crowded Southern California, try the Bible's description of Heaven. There's too much detail to mention, but let's just say that it is a place of such enormity and grandeur that comparisons fail completely. In Revelation chapters 21 and 22, Heaven is described as a real city, 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles in size ( 2,250,000 square miles). This city is surrounded with walls made of precious jewels and the street that runs down the center is made of gold. This city is the one Jesus Christ has been working on since His resurrection 2,000 years ago.

God's building projects are beyond our ability to fathom. The Hubble telescope has released photos from galaxies 12 billion light-years away from earth. And the earth is just a speck in the universe that God has made for us NOW. Imagine what lies ahead.

In that city there are no lockers, because it's perfectly safe. In that city, which the Bible says will be on this earth, there are no tears, except maybe tears of joy. The music will be angelic and the light will come from the Main Attraction. At Disneyland, Mickey Mouse rules. In the coming Kingdom, Jesus Christ is the Star of the Show. This would be a really good time to plan your trip.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brillante Weblog

Back on August 13 I was given this award, and unfortunately life has gotten a bit crazy, and I never passed it on to seven others. There are so many blogs that I enjoy that it's been hard to choose!!! I decided, however, that I needed to limit myself to just 7, so I didn't go crazy. If I missed you on this list, don't feel bad - there are just so many good reads out there!!!!
So here I go with my seven nominees:

Now for the rules (almost forgot these):

1. Put the logo on my blog
2. Add the link to the person who awarded me
3. Nominate at least 7 (or more) others for this award
4. Add links to those 7 on my blog and
5. Leave a message for my nominees on their blogs

Congrats winners!! Thanks for sharing your hearts!

Can you help spread some crumbs?

I received this email, and just wanted to share the need, and the request, with you. What a simple but meaningful way to say thank you to those that literally risk their lives for us.

Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry recently received the following note:
"I am a chaplain in the Army preparing to deploy with my infantry battalion of approximately 800 soldiers. I have no Bibles or resources as I have just taken over this battalion. They just returned from Iraq this past November and are already returning again ... Whatever you can do to help in resources would be greatly appreciated."

As this chaplain's note highlights, there remains a tremendous need for God's Word, especially as more troops deploy. We continue to receive requests for an average of 15,000 to 20,000 Rapid Deployment Kits per month--each one containing a pocket-sized New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, a daily devotional and a booklet that clearly shares the Gospel. Learn how you can help place these Bible and devotional kits into the hands of our troops.

Thank you for your support and prayers for our troops.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Would you like a bouquet?

When I miss a few days here sharing daily crumbs, it's probably because I haven't been eating... Although I was very spiritually hungry this weekend, and even very cranky because I wasn't eating, just like a cranky hungry toddler I didn't stop and think what the problem was. I just whined, and fussed, and carried on. So this morning I'm taking a moment to eat, and look what was delivered to me, a devotional email that speaks to my heart today. I'll be printing this out to share with my husband as well. We both could use this reminder right now...

Hand Delivered Bouquets
by Max Lucado

Through Christ, God has accepted you. Think about what this means. You cannot keep people from rejecting you. But you can keep rejections from enraging you.

Rejections are like speed bumps on the road. They come with the journey. You’re going to get cut, dished, dropped, and kicked around. You cannot keep people from rejecting you. But you can keep rejections from enraging you. How? By letting his acceptance compensate for their rejection.

Think of it this way. Suppose you dwell in a high-rise apartment. On the window sill of your room is a solitary daisy. This morning you picked the daisy and pinned it on your lapel. Since you have only one plant, this is a big event and a special daisy.

But as soon as you’re out the door, people start picking petals off your daisy. Someone snags your subway seat. Petal picked. You’re blamed for the bad report of a coworker. Three petals. The promotion is given to someone with less experience but USC water polo looks. More petals. By the end of the day, you’re down to one. Woe be to the soul who dares to draw near it. You’re only one petal-snatching away from a blowup.

What if the scenario was altered slightly? Let’s add one character. The kind man in the apartment next door runs a flower shop on the corner. Every night on the way home he stops at your place with a fresh, undeserved, yet irresistible bouquet. These are not leftover flowers. They are top-of-the-line arrangements. You don’t know why he thinks so highly of you, but you aren’t complaining. Because of him, your apartment has a sweet fragrance, and your step has a happy bounce. Let someone mess with your flower, and you’ve got a basketful to replace it!

The difference is huge. And the interpretation is obvious.

God will load your world with flowers. He hand-delivers a bouquet to your door every day. Open it! Take them! Then, when rejections come, you won’t be left short-petaled.

God can help you get rid of your anger. He made galaxies no one has ever seen and dug canyons we have yet to find. “The LORD … heals all your diseases” (Ps. 103:2–3 NIV). Do you think among those diseases might be the affliction of anger?

Do you think God could heal your angry heart?

Do you want him to? This is not a trick question. He asks the same question of you that he asked of the invalid: “Do you want to be well?” (John 5:6). Not everyone does. You may be addicted to anger. You may be a rage junkie. Anger may be part of your identity. But if you want him to, he can change your identity. Do you want him to do so?

Do you have a better option? Like moving to a rejection-free zone? If so, enjoy your life on your desert island.

Take the flowers. Receive from him so you can love or at least put up with others.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Collusion or Collision?

I am sorry that once again, the daily crumbs have been coming much less than daily. I hope that you're doing better than I am with finding quiet time to think about the things that are really important...

This devotional by Adrian Rogers was emailed to me, and the title didn't catch me, so it sat in my inbox, but then I read it. Wow!!! We are getting bombarded right now, it seems. I guess we need to cut the whining and up the prayers. I know it, now I need to do it!

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Romans 8:16

A farmer and his farmhand went duck hunting. The farmer said to his friend, "You're always talking about fighting with the devil. I'm not a Christian, and I never have to fight with the devil."

The farmhand answered, "Boss, if you and I shot two ducks, one was wounded and one was dead, which one would you go after first?" He said, "Well, I guess the wounded duck."

He said, "That's right. The devil knows you're a dead duck."

If the devil doesn't bother you, it's because he doesn't have to bother you since you and he are traveling in the same direction. If you turned around, you'd have a collision with him. Right now, you are in collusion with him.

Are you a child of God? Then, praise Him that He has given you the power over Satan and placed you on the pathway to see Him face to face!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I just wanted to say thanks to Quiverfull Family for selecting me for this award. It's an honor, and I hope that it can draw a few folks to my blog - not for me, but so they can be fed some of the spiritual crumbs that I'm sharing. Thanks :).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Eternal instants

Eternal instants have dotted history.

It was an eternal instant when the Creator smiled and said, "It is good." ... It was a moment without time when Noah pushed open the rain-soaked hatch and breathed in the clean air....

Eternal instants. You've had them. We all have.

Sharing a porch swing on a summer evening with your grandchild.

Seeing HER face in the glow of a candle....

Such moments are necessary because they remind us that everything is ok. The King is still on the throne and life is still worth living. Eternal instants remind us that love is still the greatest posession and the future is nothing to fear.

The next time an instant in your life begins to be eternal, let it. Put your head back on the pillow and soak it in. Resist the urge to cut it short. Don't interrupt the silence or shatter the solemnity. You are, in a very special way, on holy ground.

Again, from Max Lucado's God Came Near. This has become SOOO hard for me since I had kids. I am always on the go, rarely stopping to just be, to just listen, to just soak it in. I have a feeling that I've missed many many eternal instants. Today, at least today, I purpose to catch them, so I need to go and do that!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Get out of my way!!!

This devotional, written by Leslie Snyder, hit the nail on the head for me this week. People, pretty much all of them, are just frustrating me!!! I know, in my head, that when this happens it's because I'm trying to pack too much in, putting my to do list in front of everything else.... That's in my head, in some logical, tucked away corner. Most of me just wants to holler "get out of my way!!"


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:23

Have you ever felt like this? Today, I want to scream! Not so much out of anger, but more out of frustration. People are in my way this week. That may sound a bit absurd, but today it feels true. I have a list of tasks to accomplish and people just keep getting in the way. I wish I could say these were divine interruptions, you know, opportunities to help someone, share an encouraging word or something a little more redeemable. But they aren't. These interruptions are just the normal, end of the week traffic backups, road closures, petty inconveniences, and unexpected bills that just rub you the wrong way, the way a small pebble stuck in your shoe during a day-long hike starts as an inconvenience and ends as a major pain.

I suspect you have experienced a day or two like this as well. I sure don't "feel" very holy today, very Christ-like or redeemed. I just feel very human. Honestly, it's days like today that my first thought is to shut down the computer, pack up my stuff and answer the call of one airline's catch phrase, "Wanna get away?" Yes! Yes! How soon can I go?

But, then, after having a chance to regain some composure and perspective, my thoughts return back home. Yes, people get in the way, but isn't that the way it's supposed to be? God created us to live in community, not isolation. We are meant to rub shoulders with each other, to need each other, to work alongside each other, whether we like, or even know, those around us. We are a communal people and like it or not, we share this earth with a few billion other people. And so, we're bound to have days like these.

And so, today we travel together as a fellow humans, friends along this messy journey of life, of faith, of sin and redemption. And as we travel, may we all remember the truth of Scripture that many of us learned as the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Captive thoughts

You know, it's easy, well, at least easier, to keep our outside looking good than our inside. We can only do it so long however, before we're found out. If our inside isn't under control, eventually the outside will be in trouble.

Today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions.Today’s jealousy is tomorrow’s temper tantrum.Today’s bigotry is tomorrow’s hate crime.Today’s anger is tomorrow’s abuse.Today’s lust is tomorrow’s adultery.Today’s greed is tomorrow’s embezzlement.Today’s guilt is tomorrow’s fear.

Could that be why Paul writes, “Love … keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5 NIV)?
Some folks don’t know we have an option.

Paul says we do: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
Do you hear some battlefield jargon in that passage—“capture every thought,” “make it give up” and “obey Christ”? You get the impression that we are the soldiers and the thoughts are the enemies.

It was for Jesus. Remember the thoughts that came his way courtesy of the mouth of Peter? Jesus had just prophesied his death, burial, and resurrection, but Peter couldn’t bear the thought of it. “Peter took Jesus aside and told him not to talk like that.… Jesus said to Peter, ‘Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important’” (Matt. 16:22–23). See the decisiveness of Jesus?

What if you did that? What if you took every thought captive? What if you took the counsel of Solomon: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Prov. 4:23).

You are not a victim of your thoughts. You have a vote. You have a voice. You can exercise thought prevention. You can also exercise thought permission.

Change the thoughts, and you change the person. If today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions, what happens when we fill our minds with thoughts of God’s love? Will standing beneath the downpour of his grace change the way we feel about others?

Paul says absolutely! It’s not enough to keep the bad stuff out. We’ve got to let the good stuff in. It’s not enough to keep no list of wrongs. We have to cultivate a list of blessings. The same verb Paul uses for keeps in the phrase “keeps no list of wrongs” is used for think in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (RSV). Thinking conveys the idea of pondering—studying and focusing, allowing what is viewed to have an impact on us.

Rather than store up the sour, store up the sweet.

From A Love Worth Giving© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

Friday, August 8, 2008

His Wing Shelters You

This was a great one to read. Sometimes I don't feel so sheltered...

“He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers.”
(Psalm 91:4)

My college friends and I barely escaped a West Texas storm before it pummeled the park where we were spending a Saturday afternoon. As we were leaving, my buddy brought the car to a sudden stop and gestured to a tender sight on the ground. A mother bird sat exposed to the rain, her wing extended over her baby who had fallen out of the nest. The fierce storm prohibited her from returning to the tree, so she covered her child until the wind passed.

From how many winds is God protecting you? His wing, at this moment, shields you. A slanderous critic heading toward your desk is interrupted by a phone call. A burglar en route to your house has a flat tire. A drunk driver runs out of gas before your car passes his. God, your guardian, protects you from

“every trap” (Ps. 91:3);
“the fatal plague” (Ps. 91:3);
“the plague that stalks in darkness” (Ps. 91:6);
“the terrors of the night…the dangers of the day” (Ps. 91:5).
One translation boldly promises: “Nothing bad will happen to you” (Ps. 91:10 NCV).

“Then why does it?” someone erupts. “Explain my job transfer. Or the bum who called himself my dad. Or the death of our child.” If God is our guardian, why do bad things happen to us?

Have they? Have bad things really happened to you? You and God may have different definitions for the word bad.

God views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story…he wrote it. His perspective is different, and his purpose is clear.

God uses struggles to toughen our spiritual skin.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2–4)

Trust him. “But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps. 56:3). Join with Isaiah, who resolved, “I will trust in him and not be afraid” (Isa. 12:2).

God is directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life (Ps. 37:23–24). In fact, that’s his car pulling over to the side of the road. That’s God opening the door. And that’s you climbing into the passenger seat.

There now, don’t you feel safer knowing he is in control?

Come Thirsty
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

He really is sheltering me!! I am truly thankful!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


This isn't one of those "big," glaring sins that we think about very much. We pat ourselves on the back for all of the sins that we aren't doing, but this is a sneaky one that crawls under the radar, and can be devestating. We so much need to cling to God's way of looking at things, and toss aside comparing anything of ours to anything of the world's. Easier said than done...

Imagine a man who is happily married to a woman whose physical and emotional companionship he values and cherishes. He is successful in his profession. His children are well-behaved and accomplished. He is satisfied with his life until he attends his twentieth college reunion.

This is where he makes a crucial mistake. He tells himself that many of his former classmates have achieved a higher social and professional status than he. He also mistakenly believes that they are married to more educated and more attractive wives, and that they seem to have more money and to have traveled more often than he has.

A sense of failure begins to grow in his heart. Once a happy man, he is now wrongly focused on his circumstances. He loses his peace and contentment to envy and jealousy.

Proverbs 14:30 states, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." King Ahab of Israel had everything. But he wanted a vineyard that was close to his palace. When Naboth refused to sell, Ahab pouted and sulked until his wicked wife, Jezebel, plotted to kill Naboth and to take his field to satisfy the envy of King Ahab.

There are people who have everything and are still envious for more. Even a godly man like King David coveted what another man had. As a result of his actions, he committed adultery and murder, and lost his peace by harming his fellowship with God.

Envy always leads to strife and a loss of peace. Are you longing for what you cannot have? Look to Jesus. Only He can satisfy the desires of your heart. He alone brings peace and contentment to your life.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up the race. Shore up your confidence in God today.

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

His Will, Not Mine

I received this in an email today, and it is just a great reminder. God is so much bigger (and better) than me. Certainly His will is as well.

He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." (Matthew 26:39)

There are some people who teach that we should never pray, "Not my will, but Yours be done," because it supposedly voids what you have just prayed for.

What nonsense. If Jesus prayed this, certainly we should follow His example.

He gave us the same pattern in the Lord's Prayer when He said, "May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). I never need to be afraid to say, "Lord, Your will be done."

Then there are those who say that we should only pray for something once; otherwise, we are demonstrating a lack of faith.

Yet Jesus taught His disciples, "Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened" (Luke 11:9). We give up far too easily sometimes.

We won't always know the will of God in every situation. Then there are times when we will know the will of God, but we won't like it. Finally, there are times when we will know the will of God, but we don't understand it.

I like what the late D. L. Moody said, "Spread out your petition before God, and then say, 'Thy will, not mine, be done.' " Moody concluded, "The sweetest lesson I have learned in God's school is to let the Lord choose for me."

Have you found that to be true? We must never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Copyright © 2008 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Wow - I'm doing poorly with this daily thing!!! Doesn't seem like it should be this hard...

But I did read today... I read in my Mom's Devotional Bible a passage from Isaiah, chapter 6 verses 1-6.

Verse 5 says "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."

In this passage Isaiah is coming face to face with God's holiness. He is realizing how far he is from holy.

The Mom's Bible devotional author went on to talk about how we kind of have lost sight of what holy is. We talk about God as our Father, our Savior, and we talk of embracing Him. All of these are true and good, but we also need to remember how very Holy He is. We need to be humbled, and to realize that His grace towards us is really just that, amazing lavish grace from a holy, Holy God.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

God Believes in You - really...

The tale involves a wealthy father and a willful son. The boy prematurely takes his inheritance and moves to Las Vegas and there wastes the money on slot machines and call girls. As fast as you can say “blackjack,” he is broke. Too proud to go home, he gets a job sweeping horse stables at the racetrack. When he finds himself tasting some of their oats and thinking, H’m, a dash of salt and this wouldn’t be too bad, he realizes enough is enough. It’s time to go home. The gardener at his father’s house does better than this. So off he goes, rehearsing his repentance speech every step of the way.

But the father has other ideas. He “had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”

We don’t expect such a response. We expect crossed arms and a furrowed brow. At best a guarded handshake. At least a stern lecture. But the father gives none of these. Instead he gives gifts. “Bring out the best robe … a ring … sandals.… And bring the fatted calf … and let us eat and be merry” (Luke 15:11–23 NKJV). Robe, sandals, calf, and … Did you see it? A ring.
Before the boy has a chance to wash his hands, he has a ring to put on his finger. In Christ’s day rings were more than gifts; they were symbols of delegated sovereignty. The bearer of the ring could speak on behalf of the giver. It was used to press a seal into soft wax to validate a transaction. The one who wore the ring conducted business in the name of the one who gave it.

Would you have done this? Would you have given this prodigal son power-of-attorney privileges over your affairs? Would you have entrusted him with a credit card? Would you have given him this ring?

Before you start questioning the wisdom of the father, remember, in this story you are the boy. When you came home to God, you were given authority to conduct business in your heavenly Father’s name.

When you speak truth, you are God’s ambassador.

As you steward the money he gives, you are his business manager.

When you declare forgiveness, you are his priest.

As you stir the healing of the body or the soul, you are his physician.

And when you pray, he listens to you as a father listens to a son. You have a voice in the household of God. He has given you his ring.

God believes in you. And, I wonder, could you take some of the belief that he has in you and share it with someone else?

You and I have the privilege to do for others what God does for us. How do we show people that we believe in them?

Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.

From A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My plans

Okay - already off the daily plan - how does that happen so quickly!?! But each morning is a fresh start! I believe that's the reason for sunrises, to remind us of that....

I found this devotional today. For me, an oldest child and well, one who's used to being the planner, the organizer, the bossy one, this is hard! If I have a plan, I don't like it to be interrupted. My plans are usually pretty good. Slow down, back up, rethink. If there's a conflict in plans, who would probably be right? Hmmmm. Good reminder!!

Plans Interrupted
by Laure MacCorkle, Senior Entertainment Editor

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV

Have you ever had your plans interrupted?

This can either make you cranky or make you grateful. In my case, it's usually both. Cranky at first. And then eventually grateful after days, weeks, months or even years later when I finally see that God's plans were so much better than mine.

Just this past weekend, my plans were interrupted. I had been planning a day-cation for a while and was going to take my mom to visit my hometown's "friendly" rival city that's just a short drive away. We'd never before explored its downtown area and had heard great things about it. And so we thought it would be a fun place to visit on a Saturday.

But the plans had to be scrapped as a result of a minor family emergency. In this case, I was grateful that I could alter my course and help out. And I know it was the right thing to do to set aside these prior plans.

Other times in my life, I haven't been so quick to be grateful when God has interrupted my plans. At the time, my plans seemed right and logical. But they were plans that, had they gone through, would have just been awful. In hindsight, I see how the Lord has saved me from myself time and time again and how he truly knows what is best for my life.

Before he was one of the greatest apostles in the Bible, Paul also had his plans interrupted. Now his plans would arguably have had more disastrous consequences than mine, but he believed he was doing the right thing and was set on seeing them through. That is, until God interrupted.

In Acts 9, Paul was still known as Saul. He was an enemy of believers ("the Way") and was focused on persecuting anyone who called himself a Christian. He had heard that many had fled to Damascus, so he secured letters of arrest from the high priest and headed off in pursuit of them.

But on the road, God intervened and interrupted Saul's plans. The conversion was radical and news-making. Saul was blind for three days, and then his sight was restored through Anaias, who God told that Saul was his "chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel (Acts 9:15)."

When the scales fell from Saul's eyes, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Later, he became known as the apostle Paul and was perhaps the greatest of all Christian missionaries. He also wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament!

Can you imagine what type of effect his conversion must have had on the believers he had been seeking to persecute? Or how about the Gentiles to whom he ministered for years afterward? And then who knows how many countless readers of the Word from yesterday up until today-how about you and me? - have been blessed by Paul's testimony and his inspired writings?

These are God's amazing plans at work, my friend. And thankfully, oh so thankfully, he interrupts ours.

Intersecting Faith & Life: How did you respond the last time God interrupted your plans? Have you thanked him for saving you from your plans? Or how about from the plans you don't even know about-the ones of those who have meant you harm that God has interrupted? We will never know this side of heaven all that God has done and is doing in our lives. Let's thank him for his perfect plans for us!