*In a hurry? Check the "Just A Thought" tab for abbreviated versions of the daily devotions!

Some Thoughts on Honoring Parents

Hello Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  As I begin my devotional time this morning, I have been listing out those things that I want to remember to pray over today and it is quite a long list!  Some things are things that I need to confess and repent of; wrong attitudes or thinking that goes down the wrong path and eventually leads to wrong words and/or actions.  Other things are attitudes and perspectives that I need and hope to see developed within myself.  Many prayer requests center around the needs of family and friends, our church, jobs and also the area in which we live and our nation.  As I begin to pray, I can sense the need for praying with faith this morning, prayer that knows that we have a God who is eager to take good care of His children (each one of us!)  These are not merely “hoped for” prayer requests, but they are items which when prayed in submission to God’s will, will have results!  I recently heard a speaker on the radio comment that God responds to the prayer of faith more than the prayer of need.  God loves it when we come to Him proclaiming His goodness, His powerfulness and in expectation of seeing answers come to us.

Today, we are reading through Proverbs chapter 30 in expectation of receiving insight and wisdom for our day.

Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.” (verse 11)

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What Is True Humility?

July22Good Morning, Friend!  As I contemplate the many blessings and good things in my life this morning, I am extremely thankful for each one of them.  Once again, I am reminded that the focus with which I begin each day has so much impact on how I go throughout the day, how I treat those I come into contact with and even how much enjoyment there will be found in this day.  When I get to the end of the day today, will I have made any new friends, encouraged anyone, or in some way helped someone else’s life to improve?  On the other hand, will I have picked up an offense, hardened my heart towards someone or some situation in some way or have allowed irritation to dictate harsh words and/or an unhappy countenance?  I recently saw a poster which said “Self-control: Stop. Think. What could happen?  Is that what you want?” It’s interesting and freeing to stop in the morning and think of self-control as something that we can exercise over our attitude and which when the decision has been made to have a good one, a good day will naturally result.

Proverbs 22 is the chapter we are reading through today in search of the wisdom needed to live our lives by.  As we typically read the chapter corresponding to the date of the day and then choose one verse to focus on for the day, my verse today is:

True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.” (verse 4)

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The Influence of Honesty

July11Good Morning, Friend!  This morning in reading the story of Nathanael in the New Testament of the Bible, I found his response to be interesting when his friend Philip came to him to say that he had found the Messiah and that Nathanael should come meet him as well.  He responded with, “Can anything thing good come from Nazareth?” Apparently Nazareth did not have a very good reputation and was in fact known as a rather low class place, generally thought to be so because of the greater intermingling with Gentiles by the Jewish population there, as the Jewish people in general held to higher standards of morality and religion than the Gentile nations around them did at that time.  Yet Nathanael overcame his obvious prejudice and despite it, went to meet Jesus.  Because of his willingness to overcome preconceived ideas and prejudice, his life was forever changed.  I have to admit that reading this caused me to think a bit about prejudice and the forms that it takes in our lives.  Our society in general holds a bit of a prejudiced view against Christians in the form of preconceived ideas about what is believed, what is taught and what is required.  I recently watched a clip from a debate where an author was asking a Christian pastor if it wasn’t true that Christians believe that homosexuality will send a person straight to hell.  While the pastor answered well, the absolute best answer would have been to invite that author to come to know Christ for himself; to read the bible for himself and to examine the teachings found therein and then to make the decision to allow the love of Christ into his life.  Will we overcome the prejudice encountered and invite people to come to meet Jesus in spite of it?

Today, we are reading in Proverbs, chapter 11, seeking wisdom for our day and our lives.

The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.”  (verse 1)

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The Earth Trembles

June30There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.” (-C Spurgeon)  This quote is motivating me to pray more specifically today!  In another quote I read recently, the author compared praying in generalities to the one who would leave a babysitter with vague and incomplete instructions.  I don’t mean this to sound as if our prayers should involve us dictating to God what He should be doing, yet at the same time when one has a close relationship with someone else, we know that they care about the details of our lives.  We feel a freedom to talk those details over with that person and the same should be true of our prayer time with God.  Specific prayer on our part invites God’s involvement into those specific areas and details.

Today in reading through Proverbs, chapter 30, there is a section of verses which says,

There are three things that make the earth tremble—no, four it cannot endure: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers, a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress.” (verses 21-23)

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Listen Carefully

June23Good Morning Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  Have you ever been frustrated at yourself for your own selfishness, Friend?  Many of us would not typically think of ourselves as overly selfish, but when we stop to think about it, isn’t selfishness actually the underlying reason behind many decisions we make that end up not being the most admirable?  I know that I have felt this way many times, and developing the discipline to consistently choose to stop, take the time to think over the choice in front of me, and then to make decisions that are not necessarily always in my favor is the best way that I’ve found to begin to turn around that very natural habit.  Impulsive, spur-of-the-moment decisions have often turned out to be emotion-driven and when evaluated, mostly meant to satisfy some want or desire of my own.  While quick decisions need to be made at times, having developed the discipline of deliberately making unselfish decisions predisposes one to quick decisions that are good ones out of developed habit, rather than out of complete selfishness.  These thoughts tend to make me wonder what decisions are going to be put in front of me today that I will need to deliberately take the time to make, making sure that they are wise, unselfish ones?

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 23 in search of that wisdom with which we will make those consistently unselfish decisions.

Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.”  (verse 12)

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Rewards For The Righteous

June13Good Morning, Friend.  Have you ever gotten to a point in your life where you’ve had to stop and think, “Somehow, things have not turned out the way I planned!”  Perhaps you’ve worked hard towards getting a certain job, only to get it and then discover that you didn’t really like it very well.  Or maybe you’ve finally gotten married after many years of singleness, and now you and your spouse are constantly arguing and you are having to learn how best to get along with this person you have committed to spending your life with.  Maybe you’ve waited to have children, longing for them and anticipating that day when a child would finally be a part of your life, but now after so many nights of lost sleep and a crying child whom you just can’t seem to find how to help quiet down, you are at the end of your rope and wondering what you were thinking?  What is the wise response to these situations?  A John Maxwell quote which I came across recently would apply here, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.  Recognizing that current circumstances are not disappointments, but a chance to adjust our sails, resulting in growth is key.  The easy way out of our circumstances is often the one promoted by our culture; if you don’t like your job, quit; if you don’t like how your marriage is going; give up and get a divorce.  The true Life Warrior, however, sees these circumstances as challenges and is willing to put the effort in which is needed to overcome them.  What are you facing, Friend?  Are you tempted to give up?  Will you seek the wisdom needed to live life without giving up and taking the easy way out?

Proverbs 13 is our chapter to read today.  Verse 21 says “Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.

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Kindness That Rewards…

June11Good Morning, Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve recently re-read “The Hiding Place”, by Corrie ten Boom.  It is the story of her family’s involvement in hiding and saving Jews with the Dutch underground during WWII and of her and her sister’s subsequent imprisonment and time spent in German concentration camps.  I have been struck over and over with how the two of them consistently returned good for evil.  They consistently refused to become bitter, angry, offended or cynical in the face of great injustice and suffering.  I don’t know about you, but reading their story brings perspective to my life in seeing how small and petty the injustices that I may be suffering are and also inspires and motivates me to respond to them with Christ’s love.  If it is not a book that you have read, I would highly recommend it.

This morning, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 11 as we read our chapter per day in search of the wisdom which we will also seek to apply.  We typically choose one verse to focus on from the chapter that has been read, meditate on it, and seek to apply it.  As I have read various autobiographies by Christian authors such as Corrie ten Boom over the years, something that many of the authors have in common is that they had memorized scripture.  They knew by heart what God’s Word said, so that when faced with the lies of enemy tormentors, they were not shaken in what they knew to be true.  Have you memorized any of the scriptures yet that have stood out to you?  I know that I am motivated to make this a greater priority!

Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.” (verse 17)

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Words That Are Sweet As Honey

June5Good Morning, Friend!  As I think back upon this past year this morning, I am reminded of the event which was the catalyst for the start of these devotional writings.  A young relative had passed away and as I attended his funeral, it was packed with people of all ages whom his life had touched in one way or another.  As many of them shared their memories of him, they also shared their grief and it was readily apparent that many of them were living lives that were far from God, lived without wisdom and with the hope that faith in Christ brings, not only for eternal life, but for a life lived well here on this earth.  Those of us who have put our faith in Christ, making “fear of the Lord” a guiding principle, do not have “perfect” (depending on your definition) lives, but the hope we have brings joy, and the wisdom we have access to can turn lives around, resulting in growth and bringing inner peace and confidence.  We have a source of comfort, guidance, and protection.  It would be my hope that you, Friend, are experiencing those things and also that you have been encouraged to make daily bible reading, prayer and implementation of the truths learned a part of your life.  It would also be my prayer that you have shared what you are learning with someone else, bringing this hope to others as well.

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 5 in search of our daily “dose” of wisdom. (verse 3)

For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.”

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Encouragement to Persevere

May31 | Do We Understand?Hello Friend!  As I sit here by my window this morning, I am admiring a beautiful view and yet at the same time, thinking of my son who was in Australia at this time last year.  While it is Spring here right now, it is Autumn there.  The time where he was at wass also 16 hours ahead of the time at my location, so I was always calculating what day and time it was for him when I thought of him and I also tried to time any communication that we had appropriately as well.  When contemplating the beauty of the natural world in which we live and the complexities of the planet on which we exist, a quote by Ann Spangler is brought to mind in which she wrote, “It would be safe to say that we don’t understand how many things we don’t understand.”*  I laughed as I read it and thought about how true that this statement actually was!  We can’t understand things of which we don’t even have knowledge of and that is exactly where the book of Proverbs comes in.  Seeking wisdom begins with the knowledge of wise truths and expands as we gain understanding, resulting in actual wisdom as we put those truths into practice.

Today, we are reading yet again through the 31st chapter of the book of Proverbs, which as the culmination to this book gives us a real life example of someone who put wisdom into practice successfully throughout her life.

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Just Thinking…

May25Hello Friend!  I was able to get away from home for a couple of days recently to a place where my husband and I were able to enjoy some solitude and the accompanying freedom from thinking about all of the responsibilities of work, home and family.  It caused me to ponder the rest that results from the simple fact of not thinking…  Sometimes it’s not just the doing that causes tiredness, it can be the thinking as well.  I am reminded of the following quote by no less than Winnie the Pooh, “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” Fortunately, a break from thinking didn’t cause too much damage…

As we read Proverbs, chapter 25 this morning, I love that verse 2 records:

It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.

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