Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here Am I! Send Me.

Another great one received through email that I just must share....

Today's Reading: Isaiah 5-6; Ephesians 1

Today's Thoughts: Here am I! Send Me.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isaiah 6:8

The prophet, Isaiah, was blessed with an incredible experience... he found himself in the throne room of God. He saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up and the train of His robe filled the temple. He saw glowing celestial beings, or seraphim, around and above the throne. And then, Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord say to him, "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Without hesitation, Isaiah shouted out, "Here am I! Send me." His life would be forever changed.

Isaiah had a tough ministry as a prophet. The people did not want to hear what he had to say. His prophecies foretold of destruction and doom. Why would anyone want to hear such dreadful predictions about their ultimate desolation? Isaiah did not have a glamorous life and he did not die in an honorable manner. Jewish tradition says that he was sawn in half when he was about 90 years old. He answered the call of God but the call on his life brought much pain and suffering. For people today to answer the call of God there must be an awareness and acceptance of the pain and suffering that comes with the call. It is a tough place to live, especially in a world engrossed in comforts and pleasures.

Many Christians today are afraid to say, "Here am I! Send me." They are afraid to surrender and to really take up their cross and follow Jesus. The price is high...very high. When the flame starts getting too hot to handle, they step back and cool off. I know because I have been there. So, why be an "Isaiah" if we do not have to be? We can be saved, live a nice life and wake up in heaven. Why go through all of this other stuff? There is only one reason, one answer, to that question: to have the experience of standing before the throne of God and hearing His voice. To experience His presence in such an intimate way that you feel as though you are melting at His feet. To see His glory and majesty as Isaiah did. Once you have tasted and seen, you will never ask "why" again. The pain and the suffering cannot compare to the glory of the Lord.

But first you must be willing to step out and be sent. Are you ready? Do you want more? If so, then start praying. Read the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah to learn more about their lives and how God called them. You will never know all God has for you until you let go and ask Him to send you out. As Christians, this is our great commission.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc.

Monday, September 29, 2008

He is Waiting in the Midst of the Storm

Peter knows he is in trouble.

The winds roar down onto the Sea of Galilee like a hawk on a rat. Lightning zigzags across the black sky. The clouds vibrate with thunder. The rain taps, then pops, then slaps against the deck of the boat until everyone aboard is soaked and shaking. Ten-foot waves pick them up and slam them down again with bonejarring force.

These drenched men don’t look like a team of apostles who are only a decade away from changing the world. And you can be sure of one thing. The one with the widest eyes is the one with the biggest biceps—Peter. He’s seen these storms before. He’s seen the wreckage and bloated bodies float to shore. He knows what the fury of wind and wave can do. And he knows that times like this are not times to make a name for yourself; they’re times to get some help.

That is why, when he sees Jesus walking on the water toward the boat, he is the first to say, “Lord, if it’s you … tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)

He is aware of two facts: He’s going down, and Jesus is staying up. And it doesn’t take him too long to decide where he would rather be.

Perhaps a better interpretation of his request would be, “Jeeeeeeeesus. If that is you, then get me out of here!”

“Come on” is the invitation.

And Peter doesn’t have to be told twice. It’s not every day that you walk on water through waves that are taller than you are. But when faced with the alternative of sure death or possible life, Peter knows which one he wants.

The first few steps go well. But a few strides out onto the water, and he forgets to look to the One who got him there in the first place, and down he plunges.

Peter’s response may lack class—it probably wouldn’t get him on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly or even Sports Illustrated—but it gets him out of some deep water:
“Help me!”

And since Peter would rather swallow pride than water, a hand comes through the rain and pulls him up.

The message is clear.

As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option. As long as you can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as your situation brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because he won’t be taken half-heartedly.

But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm.

The Applause of Heaven
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999) Max Lucado

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where is God?

"Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:26-27).

My son was only six when our family invested in a quality telescope for star gazing. Star charts and nightly excursions to see the planets and stars became part of our homeschool curriculum. My young son's strong interest in this subject amazed me, especially one night when he asked, "When are we going to see God?" I realized then that he had been expecting to see God in the heavenly night sky through the telescope's lens.

Although my son's idea of finding God in the sky by looking through a telescope was slightly incorrect, the Bible does tell us that Christ's return will be evident to all the world. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:29-30). Even the angels announced to the disciples that Christ would return in the same way he left earth-in the clouds (Acts 1:11).

Christ is returning to earth someday. Although no one knows when that time will come, we need to live expectantly for that moment. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Are you ready for His return? Have you given your life to the Lord? Now is the time to accept Jesus as your Savior! "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).

From Alpha Omega Publications.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Share the Word!

A neat opportunity from Wycliffe:

Dear Friend, In the midst of the heartbreak and human suffering that plagues Africa, God is doing something marvelous ... The Church is alive-and growing!

Now, millions of new Christians need Scripture in their mother tongue

Help us quench their thirst for God's Word. Wycliffe is translating Scripture for 69 African language communities still waiting for the Word of God in the mother tongue of their people.

To thank you for your interest, I want you to have a unique screen saver of inspirational Bible verses and exclusive artwork representing the power of His Word. Get this spiritually uplifting gift-free.

We may take for granted what millions of new Christians yearn for.

We can read and understand the Bible. But more than 41 million people in Africa still do not have God's Word in their own language.

Our passion is to make the Bible accessible to people in the language they know best. Since its founding in 1942, Wycliffe has helped complete 721 Scripture translations-providing God's Word to more than 80 million people. Literacy programs including HIV/AIDS workshops are a vital part of the work.

Help us speed the work of the Word of God for Africa Project and provide Scripture in languages that speak to the heart of new Christians.

Hope comes to Africa through what you do. Please give as generously as you can today. Thank you! Warmly in Christ, Bob Creson President P.S. Please remember the Word of God for Africa Project in your prayers and consider forwarding this message to a prayer partner. God bless you.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I received a neat devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries today. Wendy Pope wrote this one....

What difference can one make? In a world of over 6 billion people, what can one do? In Jesus' three years of ministry on this earth, thousands followed Him. Thousands needed Him. Out of the thousands Jesus ministered to, one mattered ...

the one waiting at the pool of Bethesda .

the one leper who was healed.

the one woman at the well.

the one whose son died.

the one who touched the hem of His garment.

the one whose demon was cast out.

the one whose sight was restored.

One matters. One can also make a difference. One has power.

One mattered to us as a ministry when we received a plea through our prayer line. She was about to take her life. She felt she had nothing to live for, no reason, and no hope. We heard her cry, the soul-reaching, heart-breaking cry of one.

At Proverbs 31 Ministries, the cry of one stops our "normal" work day noise and we gather together to pray. As we joined hands and prayed for the cry of this one, the room was filled with God's presence and His love for this one. He answered our prayer for one and, with praise and thanksgiving, she cried out again:

"Lord, Jesus, I give you praise and humble thanks. I was in extreme distress. I screamed out in pain into cyberspace, overwhelmed and gripped in an attack. I was caught in a suicide space falling and planned to die. I was trapped and could not escape this. I was terrified and ashamed, caught in a deep undercurrent of self destructive feelings. There was no way out. The pressures were too much. Then I received an answer to my cries. Help, love and concern flooded into this dark space, people who cared and stayed with me, passing all kinds of lifelines, they prayed for me. Thank you Lord for these dear and true daughters of Yours."

As daughters of Christ, His chosen ones, it is our delightful purpose to reflect Jesus, the One and only, to one at a time.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to think of Jesus sending us into the world to preach the good news. But it doesn't have to be. When we reach out to just one person in Jesus' name, we change the world...

Just think if every one receiving this devotion reached out in Jesus' name today to pray for a hurting soul, help a neighbor, bless a co-worker, encourage a child, mentor a friend, or come alongside a ministry and partner together to reach just one. What a difference we could make!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


A great devotional for me today titled "Distractions" in the Mom's Devotional Bible. The scripture to read was Nehemiah 6:3 -

" I sent messengers to them with this reply: " I am carrying on a great project and can not go down. Why should the work stop while I leave and go down to you?"

The devotional author goes on to talk about how Nehemiah had a vision for a God honoring project, and how one distraction after another tempted his focus. She challenges us to be as single minded as Nehemiah, and say no to the distractions in our lives. She specifically mentions the buzzer on the dryer, the phone, and things like that during our quiet time with God. Whoops! Got me on those!!! Can I say no and keep the good work going? A good thing for me to work on.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."

Monday, September 15, 2008

He Can Do The Impossible

I had intended that this blog would all be original reflections, but I keep finding really good ones from other people that I just feel compelled to share. This one is by Max Lucado again. Good stuff!!

The kingdom of heaven. Its citizens are drunk on wonder.

Consider the case of Sarai. She is in her golden years, but God promises her a son. She gets excited. She visits the maternity shop and buys a few dresses. She plans her shower and remodels her tent … but no son. She eats a few birthday cakes and blows out a lot of candles … still no son. She goes through a decade of wall calendars … still no son.

So Sarai decides to take matters into her own hands. (“Maybe God needs me to take care of this one.”)

She convinces Abram that time is running out. (“Face it, Abe, you ain’t getting any younger, either.”) She commands her maid, Hagar, to go into Abram’s tent and see if he needs anything. (“And I mean ‘anything’!”) Hagar goes in a maid. She comes out a mom. And the problems begin.

Hagar is haughty. Sarai is jealous. Abram is dizzy from the dilemma. And God calls the baby boy a “wild donkey”—an appropriate name for one born out of stubbornness and destined to kick his way into history.

It isn’t the cozy family Sarai expected. And it isn’t a topic Abram and Sarai bring up very often at dinner.

Finally, fourteen years later, when Abram is pushing a century of years and Sarai ninety … when Abram has stopped listening to Sarai’s advice, and Sarai has stopped giving it … when the wallpaper in the nursery is faded and the baby furniture is several seasons out of date … when the topic of the promised child brings sighs and tears and long looks into a silent sky … God pays them a visit and tells them they had better select a name for their new son.

Abram and Sarai have the same response: laughter. They laugh partly because it is too good to happen and partly because it might. They laugh because they have given up hope, and hope born anew is always funny before it is real.

They laugh at the lunacy of it all.

They laugh because that is what you do when someone says he can do the impossible. They laugh a little at God, and a lot with God—for God is laughing, too. Then, with the smile still on his face, he gets busy doing what he does best—the unbelievable.

He changes a few things—beginning with their names. Abram, the father of one, will now be Abraham, the father of a multitude. Sarai, the barren one, will now be Sarah, the mother.

But their names aren’t the only things God changes. He changes their minds. He changes their faith. He changes the number of their tax deductions. He changes the way they define the word impossible.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Truth for Youth

National 'Truth for Youth' Week - Order your free Bible online now!

Help to reach 53.8 million youth in America's public schools with "the truth" of God's Word

American Family Association / American Family Radio is partnering with Revival Fires International, the ministry of Evangelist Tim Todd, this week (Sept. 8-12) to place a Truth for Youth Bible into the hands of teenagers who will distribute them to lost students in our public schools. Teenagers are urged to participate in this vital campaign by going to: or calling toll free 1-800-733-4737 and ordering a FREE BIBLE for a teenager to distribute at school. Tim Todd has underwritten the costs of making this Bible available free of charge.

During this designated week, in a very effective and unique evangelism outreach, "The Truth For Youth" will be given to all teenagers who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school. Limit: One Bible per teenager in each home. Additional copies may be purchased for a special discounted price of only $3.00 each by going to:

"The Truth For Youth" consists of the entire New Testament in the God's Word version, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comics that are packed with "absolute truths" regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Evolution, Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence, Secular Rock Music, Sorcery and Witchcraft. God's wonderful plan of salvation is incorporated into each of the stories.

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Teenagers are urged to participate in this vital campaign by going to: or calling the toll free 1-800-733-4737 and ordering a FREE BIBLE to distribute at school.

In the past six years a partnership with American Family Association in these evangelistic efforts has resulted in more than 300,000 Bibles being given away in school and more than 1900 young people sending decision coupons, emails or letters confirming they have surrendered their hearts to Christ. A total of more than 1.2 million Truth for Youth Bibles have been distributed since the conception of the Truth for Youth Bible for teens.



Donald E. Wildmon,
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
Donate with confidence to AFA Rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tagged for Meme

Angela tagged me about a month ago for a "Quirky Quirks" meme, and I'm finally following through!! Thanks for thinking of me, Angela. Sorry it took so long!!

Apparently, these are the rules:-

1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag six other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

Here are my quirks (the ones I'm sharing :)):

1. I have a huge exercise/yoga ball right in the middle of my living room, yet I only use it maybe once a week - very stylish piece of home decor!!

2. I am very very addicted to caffeine, and in very specific forms. I need a Diet Pepsi within five minutes of opening my eyes or things are unpleasant. At around noon I switch to Mountain Dew and keep drinking it till supper.

3. I have a thing for clean ears and noses. When my kids were little enough to tolerate it, I loved cleaning them out with Q-tips.

4. I typically have two or three books going at a time, left in various places around the house. This is a quirk that my mom had; it annoyed me and now I do it :).

5. When I was a child, I thought that my job as a grown up would be owning a donut shop. I don't own one, but boy I love to eat those donuts!

6. I do not understand the pull of shopping for many ladies. I like to shop for groceries because I typically go alone, and it's a rarity to be alone, but the actual act of shopping of any sort is just not appealing to me.

So now for the fun part! I must tag 6 people to do the "Quirky Quirks" meme!

I want to know what the following people have to say:

Krista at In the Fury of the Moment

Jennifer at Quiverfull Family

Tony at Seeking things above

Heathen Mom at Heathen Homeschoolers

Melissa at Melissas Homeschool Blog

Roxanna at movingfearlessly designs

Monday, September 8, 2008

Holding Grudges

I received an email from Alpha Omega Publications yesterday that had some great thoughts about holding grudges and forgiveness... It's so much easier to see it in our kids than in ourselves, isn't it?

For several days, I had been watching my oldest son and daughter interact. Like a pending thunderstorm, something was definitely brewing between them. The conflict began when my exuberant son ruined his sister's art project by running excitedly through the room. Although the damage was unintentional, my son's less-than-sincere apology awakened a vengeful spirit in my daughter's heart. The conflict culminated the following day when my son again raced through the room and ruined another project of my daughter's. Exasperated, my daughter responded by intentionally destroying her brother's history project.

Forgiving others can be difficult for many people, especially when a close friend or family member has wronged you. Are you the type of person who silently waits for an opportunity to get even or relishes the idea of paybacks? "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:17-19).

God sees the wrongs you experience in life. Jesus suffered the greatest injustices when He was on earth and showed us how to respond to them. "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23). Can you commit the injustice you are now facing to the Lord? Will you let go of the grudge you are holding and forgive? "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matthew 6:14).

Lord, I know I should forgive the wrong done to me, but something within me wants to hold on to this pain. I realize that keeping this hurt will only make this situation worse. Help me follow Your example and release this pain by forgiving. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

He wants to comfort you

Another great read by Max Lucado... I received this today and just had to share. How amazing that HE really does want to comfort me?!?!

My child’s feelings are hurt. I tell her she’s special. My child is injured. I do whatever it takes to make her feel better.

My child is afraid. I won’t go to sleep until she is secure.

I’m not a hero. I’m not a superstar. I’m not unusual. I’m a parent. When a child hurts, a parent does what comes naturally. He helps.

And after I help, I don’t charge a fee. I don’t ask for a favor in return. When my child cries, I don’t tell her to buck up, act tough, and keep a stiff upper lip. Nor do I consult a list and ask her why she is still scraping the same elbow or waking me up again.

I’m not a prophet, nor the son of one, but something tells me that in the whole scheme of things the tender moments described above are infinitely more valuable than anything I do in front of a computer screen or congregation. Something tells me that the moments of comfort I give my child are a small price to pay for the joy of someday seeing my daughter do for her daughter what her dad did for her.

Moments of comfort from a parent. As a father, I can tell you they are the sweetest moments in my day. They come naturally. They come willingly. They come joyfully.

If all of that is true, if I know that one of the privileges of fatherhood is to comfort a child, then why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father comfort me?

Why do I think he wouldn’t want to hear about my problems? (“They are puny compared to people starving in India.”)

Why do I think he is too busy for me? (“He’s got a whole universe to worry about.”)

Why do I think he’s tired of hearing the same old stuff?

Why do I think he groans when he sees me coming?

Why do I think he consults his list when I ask for forgiveness and asks, “Don’t you think you’re going to the well a few too many times on this one?”

Why do I think I have to speak a holy language around him that I don’t speak with anyone else?

Why do I not take him seriously when he questions, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

Why don’t I let my Father do for me what I am more than willing to do for my own children?

I’m learning, though. Being a parent is better than a course on theology. Being a father is teaching me that when I am criticized, injured, or afraid, there is a Father who is ready to comfort me. There is a Father who will hold me until I’m better, help me until I can live with the hurt, and who won’t go to sleep when I’m afraid of waking up and seeing the dark.

Ever. And that’s enough.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Are you just swinging the handle?

I received this email devotional today from Bayless Conley. This soooo fits me right now. I think I have kind of lost my ax head and I'm just randomly swinging away.

As you look at your life today in honesty and transparency, perhaps you would have to say that you have lost that edge, that excitement, that zeal, that spiritual passion you once had.

If indeed you have lost your edge, how can you get it back? Over the next seven days, I will help you understand how to regain your spiritual edge based on 2 Kings 6.

The first principle I want to focus on is based on the man who lost his ax head, as we learn in 2 Kings 6:4-5,

...when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water.

Now, it would have been senseless for him to have kept chopping with a wooden handle with no ax head on it, wouldn't it?! He would make no progress.

And yet that is what a lot of Christians do today. They have lost their cutting edge, and they are just going through the motions, making no progress at all.

They are chopping away with just a wooden handle!

They think, "Well, I know I'm supposed to go to church, so I will go. As long as I keep busy, maybe nobody's going to know the state of my heart." And they will do this not just for weeks or months, but some people have been doing this for years.

No progress, no growth. They are just swinging that handle without an ax head.

If this is you, do not just keep swinging the ax handle. If you are not making progress, admit it. Until you are willing to face up to the fact that you have not been growing, you can never regain your spiritual edge.

I need to SLOW down, find the ax head, take the time to put it back on, focus, and start doing it right!

Friday, September 5, 2008


"You see, God is either the God of perfect grace... or he is not God. Grace forgets. Period. He who is perfect love cannot hold grudges. If he does, then he isn't perfect love. And if he isn't perfect love, you might as well... go fishing, because both of us are chasing fairy tales.

.. I believe in his loving forgetfulness. And I believe that he has a graciously terrible memory."

Max Lucado, God Came Near

I think that we so often punish ourselves long after God has forgotten. We beat ourselves up for sins that have already been paid for, already forgiven. If we truly believe that God has forgiven and forgotten, how liberated we would be. If we confess each night, each morning truly is a brand new start. I need that new start. How cool.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Take Every Thought Captive

by Max Lucado

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.

What a challenge, but imagine the difference that it would make in us.... in our families... I will purpose today to really try, with His help, to take every thought captive.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Living as an alien

1 Peter 2:11-12:

"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (NIV).

Sometimes, we go to great lengths to avoid receiving the "tourist" label when we travel, but it usually doesn't take long before someone asks us where we're from. The way we talk, dress and act are clues that identify us with our home.

This passage reminds us that, as Christians, our citizenship is not of this world. Christ calls us to act in a way that reflects our heavenly citizenship, but sometimes we blend in with the culture so well no one would dream of calling us "tourists".

As Christians, our customs and values should be remarkably different from the world. They should be reflected in our words and actions and displayed in our parenting. Sometimes we'll feel like aliens. Eyebrows may be raised when we say "no" to inappropriate movies or provocative clothes. Maybe someone will be intrigued by your family's "unusual" customs and values.

Shouldn't your family's lifestyle reflect your citizenship?

A neat devotional that I received from Parenting by Design. Really, am I living as an alien? Easy to say, but am I truly implementing it?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How did I get here?

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

--Isaiah 41:10

Perhaps today, you are looking at your life and asking, "How did I get here?" Maybe life hasn't turned out the way you planned. Or maybe you're enslaved to your past and you wonder, "What do I do now?"

If this describes you or someone you love today, I want to remind you that God always preserves His own. Remember Joseph's many trials and challenges in the Old Testament? In Genesis 39:2, we read, "The LORD was with Joseph." Now, remember--Joseph wasn't preserved from his circumstances. He was preserved in and through his circumstances.

The fact is we can't change our circumstances. We can't control what happens to us at all times. But you know what? We can change how we respond to the circumstances of life. And that attitude is what God expects us to work on.

You know, God often allows circumstances and winds to blow against us in order to knock the rough edges off of our lives. Kind of like how sandpaper knocks the rough edges off of wood. God uses the circumstances of our lives in order to polish us and make us more like the Master.

For example, perhaps God had to deal with Joseph's pride and ego before He could ultimately use him for His glory. So God allowed him to be sold into slavery and sent into Egypt. But remember this: While Joseph left his father back in Canaan, his heavenly Father went with him to Egypt.

If you find yourself in a difficult circumstance that you never imagined or never dreamed of, claim the promise from the Lord found in today's Scripture: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

When you claim that promise, you can be joyful in any circumstance, knowing that God is protecting you, preserving you, and holding His hand upon you.


This devotional was emailed to me from Dr. Jack Graham. Wow!!! Very good stuff. A great reminder to a mom who sometimes does wonder "how did I get here?"

Monday, September 1, 2008

Repsonding to Difficulty

I received this email devotional today from Dr. Charles Stanley - good stuff....

2 Corinthians 4:8

Adversity is never enjoyable, but thankfully, believers are assured that God has a reason for allowing difficulty. And your response to the trial will determine whether it leaves you broken or strengthened.

Romans 5:3-5 states, "We exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint . . . " In order to respond correctly and benefit the way this verse describes, let's consider how the Lord works in suffering.

First, He controls the burdens so they aren't too heavy to bear. He limits them because His goal is not to destroy you but to build your character. Second, He designs the difficulty according to your personality, character, and areas that need growth. Therefore, trials are tailor-made in order to grow you to be more like Christ. Third, difficulties are progressive. As God matures you, the intensity may seem to increase. This is similar to weight training: at the beginning, an athlete trains with light barbells, but as his muscles become stronger, he chooses heavier weights. Similarly, as your walk with Christ progresses, obstacles that once seemed overbearing will impede you less. This is a sign of growth. In fact, a prayer journal is a great way to watch God's progress in your life.

In the midst of your pain, see your trial as a privilege--God is revealing His ways and refining you. Thank Him for trusting you with this situation. Then, ask how to respond, and walk obediently before Him.