devotional

  • Come Close

    “The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.)
                                                                       Deuteronomy 5:4-5 NIV

    Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’? The Israelites were like a horse led to water that refused to drink. God had called them to come close so He could speak to them, but they refused his invitation.

    The scripture surrounding this verse in Deuteronomy gives more detail to the recounting of a time in the life of Israel when God desired to meet with His people. Moses told the Israelites God’s plans and they responded saying, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” (Ex 19:7)   First, they were to prepare themselves to hear from God with a ceremonial cleansing—so, they bathed! Second, God would come down to Mount Sinai; smoke and fire would be all around. Limits were to be put around the mountain to ensure no one came close for three days so—they obeyed. During those three days they could actually hear God’s voice giving Moses the Ten Commandments!- Then, after the three days God had invited them all to go up the mountain. God wanted to meet with all of his people, but they were afraid and refused. The Israelites told God they were content to hear what He had to say through Moses, but they wouldn’t come up the mountain. How very sad for God to be rejected by the people He loved.

    This morning God woke me up very early. I sensed Him calling me to come close so I could hear from Him. I believe His encouragement is the same for you today. His desire is for you to come close and listen to His voice.

    Prayer

    Father…Life is so very busy and it’s easy to stay distracted. Help me to find a quiet place and allow you to speak into my life so that I am refreshed. May my time with you be sweet. Take away all fear and help me to open my ears and my heart to you! In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • All Over The World

    all over the world“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world”                                   Romans 1:8 NIV

    Facebook and email, through the power of the Internet have brought the world to my computer! I wonder what form of social media Paul and the apostles used to spread the word about amazing faith back then??? Today, I love reading the posts of my missionary friends and seeing all God is doing in and through them as they make a difference ALL OVER THE WORLD! 

    My friend Wendy has been working with a missions organization for years, travelling the world over to spread the love of Christ.   Then there’s Reynold and Kathy who have left the creature comforts of Canada to live in Uganda, being used by God to unite a nation for Christ. Right now my friend Peggy is in Sri Lanka preaching the powerful Word of God. My new friend Cheryl helps free women from human trafficking… I truly thank my God for these friends and the influence of their lives ALL OVER THE WORLD!

    Todd bought me a mug and it says, “Life is a Story…Make Yours A Best Seller“. So go on, do something in courageous faith! Give them something to report on, ALL OVER THE WORLD!

    Prayer:

    Father…Lord I thank-you for the technology that allows us to hear about the great things you are doing in our world to reach the lost. You do it through ordinary people who are willing vessels. Please help me to live out my faith in a way to cause Your name to be reported ALL OVER THE WORLD! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • No Turning Back

    no turning back-blog post
    “So Elisha left: he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man.”

                      1 Kings 19:21 The Message

    I love babies. This morning at church I garnered the attention of two adorable baby boys! I wanted to take them into my arms but they were holding on so tightly to their parents and there was no breaking that bond! When God used Elijah to call Elisha to ministry as a prophet his first reaction was to ask Elijah if he could go back and say goodbye to his parents. Elijah freed him to return home, but warned him not to forget what just happened. Elisha kept his calling in mind and by his actions said to God, “I’m following you, NO TURNING BACK!

    Elisha was in the fields working on the family farm when Elijah comes walking up, directed by God. Elijah takes his coat off and threw it around Elisha, symbolizing to the people in those days that ministry was being transferred to another. Elijah burns up his oxen and plow—his career and livelihood. Now that’s commitment!

    We don’t always have such dramatic calls to what God has for us, but we all know when He’s calling. Let’s be committed to have the heart of Elisha and by our actions confirm to God that we will follow Him with NO TURNING BACK!

    Prayer:

    Father…Thank-you for your call. I’m grateful that you have a plan for my life and a purpose for me to fulfill. Help me to make a decision to follow you and live out that decision with NO TURNING BACK! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Relax

    Relax Painting
    (c) Todd Stahl Used with Permission

    “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.”
                                         Daniel 12:13 The Message

    Sometimes when I read through Daniel and study about the end times I end up confused and a little afraid. OK, sometimes I get a lot afraid. I remember having to write a paper for my Eschatology (study of end times) course at Bible College. I got so worried over details of the end times that I went to my professor’s office completely stressed out. My profs message was very much like the words Eugene Peterson used in the message paraphrase of Daniel to convey God’s words to the church about the future…RELAX!

    There are so many opportunities in life to let fear of the future envelop us in dread. It hinders our ability to move forward. Whenever we get into worrying or fretting God’s word has a steadying effect, if we read it and take it to heart.

    So, RELAX! God’s Word promises you’re going to land on your feet and then He’s going to reward you for your faithfulness!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for worrying. It comes so naturally. Please apply Your supernatural peace into my life so I can RELAX, no matter what happens in my world. Steady me so I live life confidently knowing You will keep me standing and bless me! In Jesus Name…Amen.

    Painting (c) Todd Stahl http://www.toddstahl.com

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  • Laughter

    101_0465

    A cheerful heart is good medicine”                                                                Proverbs 17:22

    For Valentine’s Todd and I went to a “Couples Night Out” event to see comedian Steve Geyer. I felt bad for this couple across from us. They didn’t laugh at anything and left during intermission. I think their funny bone was broken! For us, it was such a fun night out! We laughed ‘till we cried. It was great to hang out with some people from our church and relax after a very long week. LAUGHTER really is the best medicine!

    I tend to be driven, working hard towards a goal to the point of exhaustion. Lately I’ve felt worn out. Taking time to be with my hubby, some friends and to laugh with abandon is better than any pill I could take! God knows we need to kickback and relax. Stress brings on heart health problems, but LAUGHTER is proven to help heal the heart, physically and emotionally, which can only have a positive spiritual effect.

    Today as people in Ontario, Canada celebrate “Family Day” may we all join in and take time to fill our homes with LAUGHTER. It may just save us a few trips to the doctors!

    Prayer:

    Father…I thank-you for funny cards, books, movies, family and friends. May you fill our lives with LAUGHTER today so we can show a lost world your joy no matter what our circumstances. Let our hearts reveal the freedom you’ve brought into our lives! In Jesus Name…Amen.

     

    “Fun and Faith” is the host for “Couples Night Out” https://funandfaith.ca/live-events/events/information/couples-night-out/

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  • Discerning the Best from the Good

    worn outThe next morning, Jesus sneaks away. He finds a place away from the crowds, but soon they find Him. The crowd tries their best to keep Him from leaving. Jesus: No, I cannot stay. I need to preach the kingdom of God to other cities too. This is the purpose I was sent to fulfill..”
    Luke 4:42-43 The Voice

    In this day and age you could be going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week following the demands of people around you. I admire Jesus discernment of the best from the good. I desire to be this discerning but often lack the discipline He had and end up tired and burned out from doing too much.

    There are so many good things we can do. Helping a friend or family member…volunteering at church, in the schools, our community..working, cleaning, exercising…The trouble is we simply can’t do them all. When we do, we stop following Jesus’ example, ending up exhausted. When Mark records his account of this event we see what Jesus was doing when he hid away from the crowds. He was praying (Mk 1:37). Jesus made the discipline in His life to take time away from people and pray. It was out of this pulling back and allowing for rest that He was re-energized to fulfill the purpose that the Father had for His life. It was during these times of rest and prayer that brought about discernment for what the Father wanted Him to do next. Jesus refused to be controlled by guilt and sought after purpose.

    Check yourself. Are you feeling tired and weary? If so, you’ve been doing too much. Find some time away, lock the bathroom door if you have to! Rest from all those that would try and keep pulling you to help them. Pray and ask God so you can discern the best from the good that your life can make the greatest impact for Him!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for not taking the time I should to rest and spend time with you. Help me to prioritize my time with you over anything here on earth. I ask you to provide me with the discernment to know the best from the good and give me boldness to follow through. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • STAND

    spirtual armor-2Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
                                                     Ephesians 6:13 NIV

    When I was a little girl I belonged to a group in our church called Crusaders. We wore uniforms with sashes and got badges for many of the same things as in Girl Guides, but some had a spiritual twist. I loved getting badges and passing through the workbooks. We memorized a lot of scripture. Every week we quoted Ephesians 6:13 from the King James Version. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND.”

    I remember thinking, what’s a “wherefore”? Even though I didn’t understand it all then, the seeds of truth were planted so deeply into my spirit that it couldn’t help but to bear fruit in my adult life! As I have gone through deserts in my own life I have decidedly chosen to put on all my spiritual armor. I learned early on when I forgot a particular piece it left me open for attack, and headed for a wounding.

    Over the past year I have watched my dear friend Rose in a fight to protect her future and that of her daughter’s. She continually puts on the armor of God, quoting scripture when times get tough. After everything she has faced, she continues to STAND! Her faith is inspiring! May we all learn to bloom like Rose, put on our armor and when we’ve done everything, STAND!

    Prayer:

    Father…Today we dress ourselves in Your armor! We won’t try and fight in our own strength but rely on Your Mighty hand to save us! May we wield the sword of your Word to defeat the enemy! In Jesus Name…Amen.

    spiritual armour

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  • Divine Appointments

    divine appointments

    In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
                                                                   Proverbs 16:9 NIV

    This weekend was wonderful! I went to visit with a mentor of mine and had no idea how this “seemingly” normal weekend was truly a set of DIVINE APPOINTMENTS! So often we go through life unaware of the master plan God is working behind the scenes to bring about His plans and purposes for our lives. We don’t see how these everyday events are all a part of His divine plan.

    Think of the life of Joseph. Joseph had two divine dreams that foretold of the wonderful future God had for his life, but…if Joseph’s brothers hadn’t been so jealous of him they wouldn’t have thrown him in the pit. If he hadn’t been thrown into the pit and sold into slavery he wouldn’t have been bought as a slave in Potiphar’s house. If he wouldn’t have been in Potiphar’s house and stood for righteousness he wouldn’t have ended up in jail. If he hadn’t been in jail, he wouldn’t have interpreted the baker and cupbearer’s dreams. If he hadn’t interpreted the dreams the cupbearer wouldn’t have suggested him to Pharaoh to interpret his dream. If he hadn’t spent so much time with God in jail maybe he wouldn’t have such an acute discernment to God’s messages and been able to interpret dreams? If he hadn’t interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and been given a divine plan to save the country from famine he wouldn’t have been divinely appointed to the position of Prime-Minister to Egypt. If he wouldn’t have been in the palace the day his family came to get food his dream would have never come true and millions of lives would not have been saved!

    Be confident today that God is setting up DIVINE APPOINTMENTS for you today! Trust that He is working on your behalf to bring about His plans and purposes for your life!

    Prayer:

    Father…Help me to be faithful as you work out the details of my life. May I walk confidently towards all that you have for me with trust in my heart that you will provide the DIVINE APPOINTMENTS necessary for me to fulfill the call you have for my life so that others will be saved! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Something New!

    something newFor I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will created rivers in the dry wasteland.”                                                               Isaiah 43:19

    I can’t believe it’s 2015! This is the year my son dreamed about as a teen. He loved the “Back To The Future” movies and 2015 is the year Marty McFly visited. It isn’t quite like what he saw. There aren’t flying cars and no kids on hovering skateboards. Seldom is the future like what we envisioned it would be. Often our expectations are unrealistic at best and leave us disenchanted with hopes for things to come. This mindset can cloud out the vision God has for our lives and keep us from seeing that He is “about to do SOMETHING NEW”.

    I love how the New Living Translation words this verse. I find it brings such clarity to what God is saying. God is speaking to the Israelites who understand living in the desert. Sandstorms that block all visibility keep them from seeing a hand in front of their face, let alone the new thing God is about to do. Even when we can’t see it, God is at work. He tells us in this verse that He’s “already begun” to do it. He is making ways where there is no way. He’s blazing a trail for you!

    Can you see it? If the past has clouded your vision with a mindset that will keep you wandering in the desert, ask the Lord to renew your mind. Let the water of His Word wash away the old so you can see and believe He has SOMETHING NEW for YOU!

    Prayer:

    Father…The enemy has continually tried to kick up sandstorms to block my view from your good plans for my life. Please wipe clean my vision so I can see them. Help me to see, hope for and believe in what you show me. Let me pursue you and your plan with all my heart. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Checkups

    checkupsTest yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups.”
                                                                              2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message
    Years ago my friend was going out for dinner and the theatre with her hubby. She was so excited to be able to get all dressed up and go into the city for a special night out. Getting ready took a long time to create that perfect look. They went out for dinner and then to the theatre. During intermission she was in the washroom when a lady she didn’t know said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you have a roller in your hair!” My friend was mortified! How could she have missed it? Had her husband not even looked at her all evening? It would have been a great night for one of those regular CHECKUPS!
    New Years is a great time to test yourself. My pastor pointed out how this is one of the slowest times of the year when many of us have a little time off of work and are able to rest. It’s a great time to reflect on the past year and give yourselves one of those regular CHECKUPS. If we don’t examine the way we live, human-nature will cause us to let things slide. Left unchecked we tend to go back to our old ways and stop pursuing God’s best for our lives.
    This New Year’s, take the time to give yourselves a good set of CHECKUPS. Look honestly at where you are, where you want to be, and how you can take steps forward this year to bring you closer to your goals.
    Prayer:
    Father…My greatest desire is to live by faith, moving towards the promises You have for my life! Help me to discern areas where I’ve let things slide and also those areas You desire for me to actively pursue. This year, guide me into your perfect plan for my life so I can bring you glory! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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