Devotional – Got Skills?

Exodus 35:34-35 “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.

Sometimes, I forget that God has given me specific abilities. I go along my merry way, and lose sight of my giftings. I get too busy, or self-involved and I don’t allow God to use me for the purposes I was created for. It’s amazing what happens when I serve in the areas I’m really good at. These verses this morning reminded me that the Lord has given me skills, and He calls me to use them. God didn’t ask the teach to be artistic. He didn’t tell the tapestry maker to get up and instruct a seminar on engraving. Each person was called to the thing they were good at. Where they had talent and knowledge. Serving God in our natural abilities is utter joy. Continue reading

Devotional – Just Like Maddie-Girl

James 2:15-17 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Yesterday I was taught a valuable lesson about faith in action by my four-year-old. I ran into the grocery store, leaving my kids in the car with my sister – and on my way out noticed a Salvation Army bell-ringer. I haven’t seen one all season…at the malls, grocery stores etc…not a single one. I decided to seize the opportunity to teach my daughter a life lesson about generosity and giving to those less fortunate. Or so I thought. In actuality, God was going to show me something about belief and actions to back it up. Continue reading

Devotional – Show Me Love

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Amazing. For a solid three chapters prior to this verse, Peter is discussing how we should live. Submitting ourselves to authority, abstaining from sinful behavior, husband/wife relationships, not to gossip…on and on. He talks about us being set apart – living lives that demonstrate that we are different from the rest of the world. And then there is this verse. Nestled in chapter 4 – so easy to miss. “Above all” – above all the other stuff. Love. That is so profound. It seems easy, but it is by far the most difficult task of all the instruction given in the four chapters I read today. Continue reading

Devotional – Walking Away

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

I read once that integrity is doing the right thing – even when nobody is watching. The fact is, it’s really difficult for our private thoughts and actions to mirror those up for public consumption. Even harder for me than achieving personal integrity is the unrest I feel when in my relationships with others, things don’t add up. There’s a disquieting of my mind as I try to think thru conversations and understand the motivation of others. There are things in my life I don’t want to talk about with others. Areas I’m ashamed of. While I can be honest with myself about where my personal convictions stand, I will never know the whole picture behind someone else’s actions. I cannot possibly hope to understand what drives others responses in life. The full truth of where they are. But God does. Continue reading

God’s Gifts – Some Assembly May Be Required

Once we’ve realized who we are (princesses!) and stopped comparing our gifts to others, and we recognize a mature request – we have to get past the assembly process.

Some Assembly May Be Required

We all have natural giftings – things that require very little work. For example. I love to talk. I have never had a problem talking. Individually, in public, whatever – I can communicate on any level. Some people – maybe my husband – don’t necessarily view that as a great gift, cause he has to listen to me constantly, but there you go. There are times when you see a “gift” in another’s life that you want – that is not out of jealousy or envy, but an honest desire to grow. You take it to the Lord and it’s a mature request. In my own life I did this a few years ago. I wanted to be more merciful, able to give grace to others – because I was lacking big time in those areas. I wanted it to be pre-assembled. Ready to use mercy conveniently packaged up in a little box. I wanted to have it, and take it out whenever I needed it – put it away when I was done. But that’s not exactly how it works. Continue reading

Devotional – Teaching The Teacher

Romans 2:21 You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

Yesterday, as I sat to have my quiet time with the Lord, it was with a somewhat broken spirit. I felt totally under attack and a little defeated. I’m sure it’s because Saturday I’m speaking at a luncheon for my church. God has given me a message that I’m really excited about – and I know He is doing a mighty work within the women of  Evergreen. It’s amazing how, when you’re seeking the Lord and following His will, being used by Him – the enemy of our souls hones in on your weak spots and starts scheming to derail you. That’s where I was yesterday. I’d taken a direct hit to my soft underbelly and was dragging myself to God for medical assistance. Continue reading

Devotional – Wrong All The Time

Matthew 11:18-19 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Back to the same lessons. God keeps bringing me scriptures to drive home this point. So, I’m sorry if I seem redundant to you – I’m only passing along what I feel the Lord keeps showing me. It’s just your bad luck to follow a blog written by an (apparently) slow learner.  Continue reading

Devotional – Joy and Labor

John 16:21 – A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

I started my devotional today reading a couple verses from John 16. Not the verse quoted above, but a passage about having peace in the midst of trials. Being of “good cheer” because the Lord is with us. (John 16:33) I’ve found the past few days in beginning a pattern of daily devotions that a couple paragraphs and a scripture or two don’t really satisfy me. I keep looking for context in whatever few verses go along with the day’s reading. Today, I flipped back a couple pages and read starting at the beginning of the chapter. Actually, I pulled up the chapter on Bible Gateway so I could read a couple translations at once. I love that site. Anyway, verse 21 practically jumped out of my computer at me. I have never read a verse that so accurately describes the feeling of wonder and joy after my children were born. I had no idea there even WAS such a verse! I went back to mark the verse in my own Bible, and found that it was already marked. Sort of. An area I’d underlined on the opposing page had bled thru so it looks like the part about labor is already marked. God is so cool. I’ve been wrestling with possibly having another child lately, and for mostly selfish reasons am heavily leaning towards a “no way” answer. But told my husband I’d consider it if he would consider being done. We’re in the “pray-and-seek-God” time of making this decision. I’m so thankful that God knows where I am, and is reminding me of the joys associated with children. Family members, calm down. This does not mean I’ve decided to get pregnant. Just that I’m allowing God to speak to me on the subject.

Vaccinations of life

Every time I take one of my kids in for their needed vaccinations I think of how quickly I revert to childlike behavior with God.  Yesterday, as my son looked at me, pain in his eyes and sobs welling up in his little throat, I realized I mirror his reaction when dealing with hard things in life.

I whine and complain. Cry and carry on asking God “why?”. In my finite mind, it seems so without reason, unfair and unnecessary. In hindsight, the needle pricks of life really aren’t such a big deal. But in that moment of pain, it’s all consuming. When getting shots my kids don’t remember that every day I clothe and feed them – lavishing them with hugs, kisses and care. Just as I rapidly forget all the wonderful things God has done for me, focusing instead only on the apparent lack of concern He’s demonstrating just then. I’m sure my thoughts echo my children’s “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t be doing this.” Continue reading