I finally did it – I wiped down the screened-in porch of all the pollen, and now I’m going to the porch as often as possible. Before the cleaning job, I wanted to go on the porch, but every time I thought about the dirt, I talked myself out of it. But now that there’s nothing to dread, I can’t get enough of sweet breezes and birds to serenade me.
Struggling to draw close to God? Maybe there’s some dirt that you’re dreading, some topics you just don’t want to discuss with God. Guilt. Shame. But there’s no need for procrastination; it’s time to clean up. You were created for fellowship and God desires to spend quality time with you. Talk with God about the dirt in your life, and allow Him to cleanse you.
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Are you still growing? Are you still learning? We’re on this earth with a purpose, and we need to be growing and stretching ourselves under God’s leadership every day. The more we learn, the more ways God can use us for His glory.
Be the strongest, smartest, wisest, creative you that you can be. Ask God to guide your learning. Maybe it’s baking, gardening, or restoring furniture. Or maybe it’s learning to play guitar or how to write a devotion.
Me? I’m planning to work on my Spanish this summer, and I’m going to learn some new art skills in hopes of inspiring my children to do the same. What about you?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)
In this high-stress world, people are sometimes going to let you down. How will you respond? How about giving that person the benefit of the doubt?
This week, don’t jump. Instead of jumping to conclusions, or jumping down someone’s throat when you feel angry or let down, be quick to pray. Thank God for His grace in your life. Pray for the person in question. Maybe the woman is cranky because her back is hurting but she had to go to work to pay the bills, or the man is distracted because his mom is in the hospital, or the child is acting a little wild because his parents kept him up all night with loud arguments.
We never know what others are going through. They’re problems are not an excuse for sin or even neglect, but they’re the perfect reason for us to be kind to the other human beings in the world who are flawed just like me and you.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Going through a tough time? We don’t always know God’s purpose for our trials, but two wonderful reasons are listed in 1 Peter 1:6-7.
– The genuineness of your faith has a chance to shine. Your faith is more precious than gold, so hold onto that treasure!
– Your faithfulness through trials brings glory, honor, and praise to Jesus Christ.
I have just finished a very eye-opening 10-day journey. For ten days, I ate only fruit, vegetables, nuts, eggs, and yogurt. My little experiment was of course intended to help me drop a few pounds, but more importantly it was to seize control of my eating habits.
The first three days were tough. I mean sorrowful. I was hungry, and I was whiny. I was also a little shocked and hurt by how much emphasis I put on food in my daily routine. Honestly, how often should a person think about food during the day anyway? I can tell you, not as much as I was doing it. I began to wonder if I had a competition between thoughts of God and thoughts of food, how would the final results turn out? I was afraid to know the answer.
One day I passed by a restaurant sign featuring fifty flavors of drinks. Each one looked so colorful and yummy. Then I thought about men and women, boys and girls who were so grateful for a bowl of rice and beans given to them out of a disaster relief truck somewhere in Nepal, and I had to stop and thank God for my clean water in my cup holder of my air conditioned car.
The point is not to starve yourself or deprive yourself, but perhaps here’s the question: Do you have control over your food, or does food have control over you? I took my 10-day journey with two wonderful friends for accountability; I encourage you to make some adjustments to better monitor your relationship with food, and invite a few friends along for moral support and encouragement. Getting right with your food might actually help you get right with God, as you free up more brain waves to focus on God.
It really jazzes me up to get a package in the mail, so I was dizzy with excitement when a large white bag arrived at my doorstep last week. I had ordered some new curtains and — oh, squeal for joy! — I couldn’t wait to hold them in my hands. I ripped open the package, emptied its contents, but was deeply disappointed to learn that my curtains had not arrived. No, what I had received was some other lady’s stuff, because somehow her stuff was mistakenly placed in my package. I didn’t really like her stuff, and I imagine she wasn’t so keen about getting my stuff on her doorstep, either.
Jealousy is when we think God got our package mixed up with someone else’s. We look at what they have and wonder why it went to them and not to us. When God distributes blessings, does He ever get His packages mixed up in His heavenly distribution center? No, He handpicks His gifts to us. Look carefully at what He has done for you, and take your eyes off of what others have. Let thankfulness fill your heart!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
I loooove my Women on Mission group, and a few weeks ago we opened God’s Word together to examine Paul’s epistles. It was fun to read through one of his books with the unique approach of reading it as a letter. We tried to imagine what the first reading of that letter may have felt like, as the band of believers gathered together around a candle to read his greetings, his encouragements, his teachings, and his farewells.
Everybody loves a letter or a card, but it is slowly becoming a dying art. It’s easier to send a text or an email, that’s true. But there’s something about getting a hand-written card in the mail that really makes us feel special and loved. It’s personal.
Buy a stamp and do it! Send a word of encouragement, cheer, or maybe even a word of thanks. Pull out that ballpoint pen and write on someone’s heart.