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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Our emotions aren’t always right

James 1:19-20 (ESV)
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

When it comes to feelings, it can be hard to figure out what’s real and what’s only real to you.

Think of it this way. You’re babysitting a toddler. For some unknown reason, they become obsessed with a desire to stick their chubby, slobbery little finger into an electrical socket.

You make sure the safety cover is on tight. You move the kid. You put a barricade of toys in front of it so the cute little thing won’t see it. But the cute little thing knows it’s still there. That socket looks like fun and you look like their mortal enemy. Tears, flailing arms, screaming, kicking. It’s not a pretty scene anymore.

This kid is angry! And frustrated. There’s no denying that. They might even be genuinely sad. “All I ever wanted was that electrical outlet! Life is so cruel!” It’s true, the kid has feelings—but those feelings aren’t based in truth.

Just because you’re feeling one way doesn’t mean you’ve reached the right conclusion. We all feel angry or sad when we don’t get our way, but if we listen to the wise people around us, we can gain a new perspective. We begin to understand what may seem really frustrating or feel really sad might actually be happening to us for a good reason we just can’t understand yet.

In time, you may come to understand losing a certain friendship was actually healthy for you—or them. Maybe not making it onto one team meant you had free time to start another hobby that ended up changing the course of your life for the better. Maybe you’re mad at someone for saying something that hurt you, but what if their words could help you grow if you could see past the pain they caused?

Try to slow down when you’re having strong feelings. Breathe. Think. Process. Be slow to anger like today’s reading from James tells us. But consider being slow to sadness, frustration, discouragement, or feeling left out, too. Concentrate on what good may come of a situation. Cry about it if you need to, but always remember, just because you’re feeling a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way to feel.

Dear Lord, help us to slow down and not give into our emotions.  Help us to call upon Your name to give us the guidance that we need. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

God can handle your negative emotions

John 16:33 (ESV)
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

In this world, you’re guaranteed to feel negative emotions at one time or another. But it’s what you do with these negative emotions that counts.

The Proverb for today is basically saying you’re better off controlling those negative emotions. You might think getting angry, yelling, and demanding your way will get you what you want. (Temper tantrum, anyone?) But this verse explains it’s better not to let your negative emotions control you. It’s better to be in control of those negative emotions.

Jesus is the key to set you free from any negative emotions that control you. God is bigger, stronger, and greater than any negative emotion you’ll ever feel. If you ask God to help you, He will. His power will set you free from the negative emotions that control you. God loves you, and He wants to be the one leading you, not your negative emotions.

Dear Lord, help us to turn our negative emotions over to You and let You handle them for us.  Thank You for Your power to set us free. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Emotions last for a season

Ecclesiastes 3:1&4  (ESV)
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Have you ever had to go through anything really difficult? How did it make you feel? Did you feel like you’d never get out of that feeling? Maybe you felt like no one has ever hurt as badly as you or gone through what you’re going through.

That’s what the enemy wants you to feel—alone. Most importantly, our enemy wants us to believe there’s no hope for anything different because nothing will ever change.

But, there is a time for everything. We go through seasons. Some seasons are really good, and other seasons are really bad. So when you feel good about something, hold on to it, enjoy it, and celebrate it. Thank God for it.

But when life’s hard and you feel down, sad, or angry, don’t get discouraged because it’s just for a season. It will pass. You won’t feel that way forever.

You may feel like something’s the end of the world, but it’s not. Chances are, it’s the beginning of something new. The loss of a friendship, a hobby, a dream, or an idea can lead you to your next season. And it just might be a happier season than you’ve ever experienced.

If you feel sad, lonely, or discouraged, remember it won’t be forever. Things will change for you.

Know that God has other things in store for you. He has great plans for your life. He can take anything you’re going through and make it into something He can use for His glory and to help others.

The season you’re in right now might be tough, but I promise you this: your season will change.

Dear Lord, we want to thank You now that You are always there to help us through the good and bad times. Help us to remember that things only last for a season and with Your help we can make it through. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Emotions are of God

1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Can you imagine living in a world with no emotions? At first you might think, “Awesome! No fear, no worry, no hurt, no embarrassment. That would be perfect. Nothing would bother me!” But think about it a little more. A world with no emotion also means no laughter, no happiness, no smiles, no hugs, none of the good, amazing human emotions we feel.

God made us to have emotions. And unfortunately, we not only feel good emotions but bad emotions, too.

So, what do we do with all these emotions? First, we need to recognize that having emotions, even negative emotions, isn’t a bad thing. After all, God has emotions, too. We can see all throughout the Bible that God feels joy, hurt, compassion, and so many other emotions. Second, it’s what you do with your emotions that counts.

Know this: God cares deeply about every single emotion you have. Every tear, every laugh, every feeling of fear—God sees all of it and wants to be there for you to celebrate in the laughter and heal your heart when there is sadness.

Dear Lord, we pray for strength through the hard and sad times and we praise You for the good times. Help us to always rely on You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Our True Home

Luke 23:43 (ESV)
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

When was the last time you stopped the business of life for a moment to think about God’s promise of heaven? Consider some thoughts from believers who have done just that . . .

The Reverend Billy Graham said, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”

Evangelist D. L. Moody said, “Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint: a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.”

What does God Himself say about it?

Heaven is a place where there will be no hunger, no pain, no sickness, no sadness, no reason to fear (Revelation 21:3–4).

It’s our true home, where beloved people to whom we have said goodbye will be ready to welcome us (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).

God’s heaven is an eternal kingdom where we will experience infinite peace and joy, and where nothing will stand between us and our Savior (John 14:3).

Near the end of His life, as the heartbreak of the cross grew near, Jesus comforted His disciples with a hint of heaven: “Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you” (John 14:1–3). Could the disciples have received any better news than that?

And it’s great news for us too. The trouble and pain we know in this world won’t last forever. What will last forever is the future joyful home with our Savior who loves us.

Jesus has gone to get our rooms ready, and He is returning soon.

Dear Jesus, we thank You for going to prepare a place for us. Give us the heart to reach out to those around us so that they may join us there with You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Joy from Justice

Psalm 11:7 (ESV)
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
    the upright shall behold his face.

Fifty beds lined the driveway of the Heartline Ministries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This makeshift field hospital ministered to the suffering in the days and weeks following the devastating earthquake of 2010. Among the badly wounded was a small boy named Emmanuel . . . God with us.

Emmanuel’s mother was by his side. The same earthquake that had left her little boy’s body broken and scarred had taken the lives of her other three children. She was utterly shattered by the grief.

Yet every night she raised her voice to lead the entire hospital in worship to God. Grown men were reduced to tears at the sight and the sound.

Time passed. Emmanuel’s body healed, and he and his mom moved south to try to start over. One day the missionaries at Heartline received a call from her: she was expecting another child. Arrangements were made for her and Emmanuel to come to Heartline’s maternity center.

There she delivered a son, a miracle of redemption. She named him Raphael . . . Healing God.

The missionary midwives of Heartline Ministries love to tell the story of Emmanuel and his mother. They point to it as a powerful example of their personal experience of Proverbs 21:15—“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

Perhaps using the word justice here seems odd to you, but I assure you, justice matters deeply to God. He cares passionately that His children suffer crushing poverty. It breaks His heart that more women die in childbirth in Haiti than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.

Whenever we, like the missionaries at Heartline, humbly work to meet the needs of people like Emmanuel and his mother, we are partnering with God in furthering His justice.

It is a partnership that demands sacrifice—the sacrifice of our self-interest, pride, and conveniences—but Proverbs promises when we see that “justice is done,” we will experience joy.

Ask God to open your eyes and heart today to those who are suffering from injustice. Seek His guidance as to where and how you can partner with Him to be a part of the solution. I promise you, He is already at work! The Lord’s justice and joy are always on the move. All you have to do is get on board.

Dear Lord, we pray that You would show us were and how You want us to partner with You. In The Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Do You Know Who You Are?

Galatians 3:26 (ESV)
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Have you ever seen the movie The Princess Diaries?

It’s the story of an awkward teenage girl named Mia who can’t seem to win at anything. Then one day her long-lost grandmother shows up with the earth-shattering announcement that young Mia is actually a princess!

Mia is quickly thrown into the process of being groomed to become the future queen. But Mia doesn’t bring a lot to the table as a princess. She is short on grace, low on manners, knows nothing about governing a kingdom, and her hair is a complete disaster. Not much about her suggests she is worthy of the honorable title. But a princess she is, not because of her appearance or her ability to rule, but because of who she is. Mia is the only grandchild of the queen, and that is qualification enough.

We find a similar story in Scripture with a long-lost prince named Mephibosheth. A descendant of King Saul, he was whisked away by his nurse to keep him safe when another family took over the kingdom. His very identity could mean death and danger.

Once David was on the throne, he sought out Mephibosheth, brought him into the palace, and treated him as one of his own sons. Why? Mephibosheth was the only living child of David’s best friend, Jonathan. God gave this crippled man, who was a prince but felt so insignificant that he called himself a “dead dog” (2 Samuel 9:8), one incredibly happy ending.

Now for another example of royalty. Look in the mirror. Yes, look in the mirror. Do you know who you are? You might answer with your name or a role you think defines you—wife, daughter, mother, employee, volunteer. But the most significant answer is . . . you are a child of the King. And that’s a capital K King!

The stories of Mia and Mephibosheth highlight a beautiful truth for children of the King. Our value in this life comes not from what we can accomplish or achieve but in who we are. When Jesus paid the price for our sins, God made us His very own daughters. We can joyfully cry out with the apostle John, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are” (1 John 3:1).

Dear Lord, we thank You for paying the price for us. Thank You that through You we are children of a King. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Joy in His Presence

Philippians 4:4-5 (ESV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.

I saw a video on line that show real joy. Casey and Rebecca had been separated by thousands of miles for more than two years, and now they were finally reunited. Someone grabbed a video camera to capture the long-awaited reunion as the two friends ran toward each other.

What joy! There were lots of hugs and happy tears and squeals of delight. It was a picture-perfect reunion until . . .

Casey passed out.

Casey, you see, is a miniature schnauzer. He hadn’t seen Rebecca, his owner, for the two years she was working in Slovenia. Being in her presence once again was just too much for him. Overwhelmed, he fainted from pure joy. You have to love the devotion and love of dogs.

If a miniature schnauzer can find such happiness in his owner, how much greater should our joy be in the presence of Jesus!

The psalmist-king David experienced exactly that: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

You and I can find joy—immense joy—in God’s presence. The challenge, however, is this: if you’re like me, there is a lot competing with God for your attention. We have responsibilities with work and family. Many of us volunteer in our churches and communities. Sometimes there is so much to see and do and be that it’s difficult even to get enough sleep.

This kind of busyness has left me, and maybe you, hungry for real joy. Only our heavenly Father and faithful God can pour joy into our lives until we are full . . . until we are satisfied.

Why don’t you make some room in your life today to rest in God’s presence? You may need to turn off a screen, silence your phone, or block out some time on your calendar. There will be some kind of cost involved with this choice, for sure—but I can promise you that any time spent with Him will be so much more than worth it.

In the quiet, you will find that He has been waiting for you all along, and there, in His presence, you will find fullness of joy.

Dear Lord, help us to not lose our joy because of busyness. Help us to slow down and let the things that steal our joy go. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cheerful, Hopeful Endurance

Romans 12:12 (ESV)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

The blacksmith placed the iron into the fire. Once it was glowing red-hot, he used his tongs to remove it, and he struck it repeatedly with a hammer. Then . . .

Back into the fire until glowing . . .

Countless blows from the hammer . . .

Only to return to the fire once more.

Fire and hammer, fire and hammer—the blacksmith did this again and again until, at last, his work was complete. From a shapeless piece of iron he had fashioned a perfect horseshoe.

I love this image because it so perfectly captures the work God does to mold our character and make us more like Jesus. That message certainly seems to be what James was communicating in the first few verses of his book.

James wrote to Christians who were going through difficult times, and he had a radical message for them. He told his readers to consider their trials “pure joy” because the fire of adversity was the very tool God used to forge perseverance in their lives.

Most of us are familiar with the word perseverance. Maybe it makes you think of someone who keeps going even when the path gets rough or someone who stays on their diet all the way through the holidays. Both examples do show perseverance, but the Greek gives us a little more insight. In the original language of James 1:3, the word translated perseverance means “cheerful, or hopeful endurance; constancy.”

It is one thing to keep going no matter what; it is something far more beautiful to do so cheerfully and hopefully.

Are you going through a hard time today? You can safely trust that even though the fire of adversity is hot, your loving Savior holds you securely in His hand. He will be forever faithful to His work in your heart, endeavoring to bring forth cheerful, hopeful endurance in you.

Dear Lord, as we go through trials help us to face them with Joy. Give us the perseverance that we need to handle what is before us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rediscovering your joy

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
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.

Depression drains you mentally, spiritually, and physically. Even energetic people who were once full of hope and drive can have trouble getting out of bed when suffering with depression. While overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s not impossible. These are steps you can take to rediscover yourself and start living again.

1. Say what God says about you. Find Scriptures that you can repeat throughout the day. Say them out loud. Write positive affirmations from God’s Word on paper and post them throughout your home in places you will look often.

2. Set the stage. Keep background music on in your home that sets the stage for a peace-filled and positive atmosphere.

3. Get outside. Make sure you’re seeing daylight for at least 30 minutes a day either through sunlight or a light made for imitating the effects of sunlight.

4. Look ahead. Let go of regret and stop looking at your past. Write down a list of dreams you have for your future.

5. Exercise. Getting in 30 minutes of cardio activity at least three times a week means those “runner’s high” endorphins get released regularly and help you work through and release stress.

6. Sleep. Turn your lights down and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Remember, a tired body and a quiet mind are the requirements for quality sleep. Turn the television off and engage in calming, quiet activities like reading, taking a warm bath, etc.

7. Socialize. Spend face time, not Facebook time, with close friends and family. Have some fun! Keep it simple and go to dinner, a movie, a sporting event, or just grab a cup of coffee together.

Pay attention to those times when you tend to dwell on the negatives in your life—both real or imagined—and stop them. It takes work and persistence, but you can tell yourself to stop rehearsing the negatives.

Dear Lord, help us to not dwell on the negative things in our life. Help us to take the steps we need to over come the down times in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Protecting your joy

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Happiness is more than your choice; it’s your weapon! Nehemiah 8:10b says, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” It’s so easy to sabotage a good day with high expectations and confused priorities, but we have to make the choice to rejoice. Here are two ways we commonly set ourselves up to lose our joy:

1. Putting things first

Enjoying things is good and it’s God’s plan, but whenever we start looking to things to give us purpose, happiness, or identity, it ultimately leaves us feeling broken and empty.

2. Putting people’s approval first

Choosing the approval of people over God is a guaranteed formula for losing your joy. Seeking people’s approval won’t bring joy—it will entrap you! In fact, anything you seek more than you seek Him and His kingdom will eventually steal your happiness. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Keep your eyes on God, and your happiness will no longer be based on your circumstances!

Dear Lord, we pray that we will keep our eyes on You in all things. Help us to protect the joy that You give us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Contagious Joy

Romans 15:13 (ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

There is a connection between what you believe and your joy! Choose to believe what God and His Word say to you and about you. Meditating on your failures, mistakes and what someone did or said will make you negative and zap the strength out of you. What you meditate on becomes a belief. Therefore, you must guard yourself from wrong thinking and wrong believing.

Think happy thoughts! Sing happy songs! Hum a tune. Do something positive. Create. Do things that inspire you to be your best. Laugh. Spend time in God’s Word and worship Him in joy and freedom. Life is in Christ! Out of a personal relationship with God, you can believe good things about who you are in Him, and you can rejoice!

It takes effort to make yourself believe good things when others are negative, but you will have what you believe.

Don’t let the enemy steal your joy with regrets, dread of what you have to do, legalism, ruts, worry, anxiety, mental reasoning, negativity, manipulative people, unbelief or over commitments! Believe what God says, and serve the Lord with gladness. He is better than anything anyone can do or say against Him!

Joy is contagious! People should see you smile and know that there is something different about you! This hope you have in Him will not leave you disappointed! Get your happy on!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would not focus on the negativity but instead look at the joy. Help our hearts be full of joy so that those around us will see You in us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


Colossians 2:5 (ESV)
For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Order is a powerful way to advance your life. Busyness is not necessarily the same as advancement. We can be busy working at the wrong things (like watching too much TV), but it’s not going to advance our lives. Not only do we need to choose the highest priorities, but we also need to be productive at bringing order to those areas.

When Adam and Eve sinned, disorder and chaos came into the world, and everyone born into sin was born with a natural tendency to buck order. You know what I am talking about–the tendency to overeat, to leave a mess behind, to be slothful in business, to allow the weeds to take over!

We don’t need to buck God’s order; we need to buck the world’s system of calling evil good and good evil, which produces chaos in life. Order comes through discipline. I know that’s not a popular word, but discipline is the road to freedom!

If we are disciplined in our finances today, we will have more opportunities tomorrow. If we put it away now, our house will be easier to keep clean. If we have the discipline to make the tougher choices today, we can celebrate victories tomorrow. Many people want to have success but they are unwilling to do what it takes to get there.

Organize your life. Clean your house. Simplify your lifestyle so that you can maintain it with order. Properly align your relationships, finances and family. Order will bring blessing!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would organize our life so that we will have the blessings that it will bring us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Time for rest

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

We have to learn to be still and know God, or there is no time to dream dreams, think of how to create them, and be present in the moment. We need perspective! It refreshes our spirits, souls, and bodies when we rest in God’s presence. It’s always hard for me to put the to-do list aside and listen, but it’s so rewarding!

One of the biggest keys to keeping your joy is to establish and protect your day off every single week. No “quick” email breaks, business calls, or meetings—as hard as that may sound. God created you for a day of rest.

When Satan realized he couldn’t tempt Jesus, the Bible says he left him to wait for an opportune time. Satan is always looking for an opportunity to tempt us—and he usually strikes when we’re worn out. When we don’t take time to rest, we set ourselves up for temptation!

Often the biggest areas where we miss it are the easiest and simplest ones to do. That’s because we expect them to fall into place naturally, but practicing the habit of rest every week takes effort. We have to be intentional about unplugging from the stress of our day-to-day and finding rest in God’s presence.

Practice self-love and you’ll reap the benefits of a happier, healthier you, as well as happier, healthier relationships!

Dear Lord, help us to take the time to rest. Help us to learn to put things on hold and just stop and talk and listen to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

God is LOVE

"I love Star Wars."

"I love tacos."

"I love listening to praise music."

We often use the word "love" to describe the affection we feel toward a finished work ingenuity or cleverness. We see something that is well-made and call it “good.” In this way, we are like God, who marveled at his creation in the beginning:

Genesis 1:1, 10

“In the beginning, God created…and God saw that it was good.”

But God’s love doesn’t stop there. He responds to the enjoyment of something beautiful by surging forward to create yet more marvelous and satisfying things in an unending cycle.

God's love is an active force, alive and on its feet, producing new and appealing compositions. His love prompts him to produce works of art and write poems; specifically, us.

The word "poem" comes into English directly from the Greek poiema.

Ephesians 2:10

“You are God's workmanship (poiema)…”

We are God's crafted poems. We are composed in the ardor of his passion, the passion that renews and sustains all things.

Psalm 139:13

“You formed my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother's womb.”

The word "knit" calls to mind the image of a grandmother smiling to herself as she stitches together a scarf for someone she loves, humming a gentle tune as she works. That is the spirit of our origin story: affection, care, intentionality.

When we see a person freshly in love, we may say that she is “glowing.” This is what is meant in the Blessing of Aaron, “The Lord make his face to shine upon you” (Numbers 6:25).

Another person newly in love might find himself possessed by the inexplicable urge to sing, just as God sings songs over us: “He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

We were created in love, by love, since God is himself is the very essence and epitome of love.

1 John 4:8

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:12

“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

John is saying that even though God is invisible, he can be seen most clearly through the love Christians show for one another. He's saying that the love of God radiates through us and finds its fullest, truest expression when we give and receive love; it is then "perfected in us."

In fact, the night before Jesus died, he made a point about love. He could have said so many other things. He could have commented on when communion should be taken, the proper age for baptism, or worship styles. Instead he speaks of love.

John 13:35

“By this all people will know you are my disciples, that you love one another.”

The calling of our own lives is to imitate God by pressing into the very force that brought us into being, returning love back to God and extending it outward to one another.

In other words, the essence of Christianity is this:

God is love. Love writes poems. You are God’s poems. Now go and love.

Dear Lord, fill us with your loving-kindness so that it overflows to those that You bring into our life. Help others see Your love in us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Creating Change

James 1:5 (ESV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

The best day to start creating the life you want is today!

So how do you get there? How do you move from where you are to where you want to go? These two steps are a great place to start:

1. Seek God’s advice about your situation.

In addition to reading God’s Word, you can pray for mentors, knowledge, and divine strategy on how to live your best life. Matthew 7:7 (NIV) says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Sometimes getting the answers we’re looking for simply starts with asking the questions!

2. Implement daily practical steps.

If you keep doing what you did yesterday, you’re going to keep getting yesterday’s results. Seize the moment and commit to the changes you need to make to thrive! It takes time and effort, but you’ll thank yourself three months from now.

Dear Lord, help us to create the life that You have for each of us. Help us to not live in the past put look to the future You have for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Changing your thoughts

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Changing your thoughts and controlling your emotions are not easy, but both are possible! John 8:32  says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” You can choose to put your trust in what God says about your situation instead of in your emotions.

I read a story about a lady that was pregnant with their third child, she started showing signs of a miscarriage. She said it was tempting to let her thoughts and emotions run wild. She knew that if that baby was going to live, she needed to get her emotions under control. She recalls sometime before she had written Scriptures on index cards and put them all over their house. She said she had even stuck some on the ceiling over the bed, so as she was going to bed at night, she would see the right picture. Although she battled thoughts when her circumstances spoke contrary to the promises of God, she already had the upper hand by knowing God’s truth. She says the preparation made her battle ready, and by staying on the truth, I she won. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy a few months later!

If we will stay in God’s Word, we are able to fight successfully. Don’t wait until the evil day to prepare; instead, meditate on God’s Word day and night. If an attack comes, God’s Word stored up inside of you will quench it!

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can arm our self with Your Word. We thank You that we can conquer anything when we fight the battle with You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, February 11, 2019


2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I have done some adventurous things in my life.  Some of those things include Winter camping in -17 degrees, canoeing through Canada, repelling off the side of a mountain in Colorado and I even tried cliff diving once.

I won’t lie. All of those things took guts.

There is always something that is outside of your comfort zone, and as soon as you conquer that, it’s going to be something else. So how can you be courageous enough to handle whatever comes your way? How can you be brave enough to jump off a cliff into the water?

I promise you, you can. And it’s easy!

If you want to jump off cliffs into the water, this is the one simple step you need to take—jump in the water!

Whew! That’s easy, right? No?

I’ve discovered that many people want to know how to be free from fear, but they want an answer that removes all responsibility from them. People want to hear, “Do not worry. If you say these three words, God will take over your body and do the scary stuff for you.” No matter how many times you ask the Word of God how to be courageous, you will never find that answer. You have a part to play, but remember, I said it would be easy! All you have to do is jump in the water, and God will take care of the rest. You can trust God to take care of you.

The hardest part is always just saying yes. When you understand that, jumping gets a lot easier!

Courage is doing something even when it looks scary because you know you aren’t doing it alone. All you have to do is jump—say yes, step out—and God will meet you there. Don’t worry about what comes next, just jump!

It takes courage to share God’s good News with your neighbor or the stranger you meet while out walking.  Remember to just jump in ad ask God to give you the words to say.

Dear Lord, we thank You for the courage You give us. Help to not be fearful but filled with Your love and courage so that we can do great things for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Really happy

1 Peter 1:8 (ESV)
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.

Raising our two children was an incredible time mixed with many  adventures and overwhelming joy. I love happy families!

That joy and intense love are like the joy we feel when we experience the knowledge of the love God has for us. And even though at times it can seem a bit cloudy with all the day-to-day tasks, it’s real. There is great joy in the relationship, and we haven’t yet seen Him with our natural eyes. We see Him with the eyes of our spirit. We see Him through His Word and others’ encounters, but what will that day be like when we see Him face to face and fall into His arms, or maybe swoon at His feet before we can even get there?

He said, “I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am so will you be also.” We prepare parties, food, presents, books to read, vacations, and activities for our children because we want to express our great love for them. What joy we have in the preparation! Jesus is preparing a place for us to make our joy full when we see Him. We have joy now, but we haven’t seen anything yet! So if things seem a little rough today, don’t forget the joy of His love and the fuller experience of that joy that is yet to come!

Dear Lord, thank You for the place you are preparing for us. We want to thank You for the joy  that is waiting for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Rise and shine

Isaiah 60:1 (ESV)
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

You may have people come into your life who try to discourage the dream God has put inside of you. When someone feels like they are drowning, they try to save themselves by pulling other people down around them. Persecution is a very real part of our Christian walk, but God assures us that He will be our light in darkness. Remember, it’s not flesh and blood we’re dealing with—we’re dealing with Satan and his plan to keep us from our destinies!

When we experience this kind of pressure, we have to get into God’s presence. Jesus told us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Think about a hot air balloon. If you want a hot air balloon to go up, you need to put more hot air in it. If you put God’s truth over the opinions of the people around you, you are going to rise; those weights—regret, discouragement, and lies—have to fall off.

Don’t let your circumstances weigh you down and choke out the Word— rise and shine!

It’s our job to stand against the darkness so that we can raise each other up. God wants us to honor one another in love and be positive influences on the world around us. Your value is not about what you have or what you did. God says you are valuable, loved, and nothing will change the love He has for you. Let go; throw off those weights of self-pity, anger, and unforgiveness. Today is the day to stop living in the past. Drop the regrets. Rise and shine! There is a bright future ahead!

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your light that shines in us. Help us to not let those around us discourage us or dim that light.  Help us to fill our self with Your truth over the opinions of others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Family Fun

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Our daily lives are full of distractions and pressures: paying bills, running errands, driving the kids to practice. The enemy would love nothing more than for us to go into survival mode and live in a constant state of frantic busyness. When you only focus on the earthly concerns, stress inevitably creeps in, and stress can cause conflict. So how do we stop letting today’s worries steal tomorrow’s joy and begin to see God’s plan for our lives?


Allow God to reveal answers to you. When God speaks to you, it’s up to you to listen and obey His Word. Financial worries, work issues, and overly busy schedules will add pressure to your family, creating cracks in your foundation. When this happens, we get off the path God wants us to follow. You can change your course by making God and family your top priorities!

Switch from surviving to thriving.

At least once a week, put everything else aside and focus on your family. Go for a walk together. Pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Play a board game, even if your kids complain that it’s not as fun as their smartphones! Just as Jesus was the Good Shepherd for us, so too we must do our part to shepherd our children and be an example of love to them.

Dear Lord, we thank You for our family. We pray that we would take the time to focus on them and spend time with them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Happy thoughts

John 8:32 (ESV)

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Do you feel like you spend a lot of time dwelling on the negatives? Oftentimes, we let our circumstances overwhelm us. We focus on the moment and forget that there is something bigger and better ahead of us.

Make the Choice to Rejoice.

You always have a choice: Focus on yesterday’s pain or today’s joy. Yes there will be hard times but God will bring you through and the lessons you learn will carry you far. Life can be difficult. You can choose joy by seeking out God’s Word! God’s Word is an anchor for your soul. If you just open your ears to God’s voice, He will shatter those chains of negativity and speak His truth into your heart.

God loves you; He has wonderful things in store for you! Repeat the words in Psalm 139: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Dear Lord, help us to focus on the joy You bring and not the pains we have felt. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.