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

The Downfall of Self-focus

July29Hello, Friend!  “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” (- Corrie Ten Boom)  I came across this quote recently and immediately it caught my attention.  How many times do we hear someone lament, “There is nothing left to be done, but pray…”  as if prayer were the last resort!  Truly, prayer should be our first resort and is the most effective and productive way to start the day.  In another quote by John Wesley, he says, “I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”  He recognized that the strength and perspective gained by starting his day with prayer would be the foundation for any accomplishments of that day… and he was one who accomplished much!

As we start our day today with reading through Proverbs, chapter 29, as a portion of the devotional time of prayer and bible reading needed to successfully accomplish much today, verse 7 catches my attention:

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

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Great Strength!

July24Good Morning Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  It is getting closer to the end of the month and the end of this month will mark the one year point of this devotional!  If you have been reading since day 1, I want to congratulate you on your discipline and persistence.  It would be my hope as well that you have gained much from this study of wisdom through the book of Proverbs.  I would love to hear from you- if there is one thing that you have learned that stands out to you from your reading or if there are three or if you just have a general comment about the effects of this study, please leave a comment in the comment box at the end of this post and let me know your thoughts.  If you have completed the year and would like to continue to gain insight from Proverbs or if you are just beginning and find that reading through this much is a little  to your mornings, I am excited to let you know that I will be adding a page to the website entitled “Just A Thought”.  This page will contain the devotional in abbreviated form!  If this is something that would be beneficial to you, check it out beginning in August

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 24 and verse 10 is the verse that caught my attention this morning as it says, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.”

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Collecting Moments

July21Hello Friend!  I saw a quote recently which simply said “Collect moments, not things.” (anonymous)  It has been stuck in my mind as I’ve mulled it over, asking myself “What things should I let go of?” and “What moments should I collect more of?”  A picture of my grandparents farmhouse came to mind as I thought this over.  They were not people who collected a lot of “things”, but what they did collect was “moments”.  Many was the casual visitor to their home and even as a grandchild staying the night, I would often get up in the morning, and going out to the kitchen for breakfast, find both family and friends around the kitchen table.  These visitors would often stop by for a morning cup of coffee and might end up enjoying a plate of pancakes as well as getting some visiting in, before going on their way for the day.  A bank of windows lined the kitchen and dining area of their house,  spreading along one entire wall as the two rooms were connected, and whether sun was streaming in or raindrops filled the panes, the atmosphere was rich with warmth from a welcoming and hospitable home.  Are you a collector of “moments” such as these, Friend?

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 21.  Our search for the wisdom to live our lives well, without regret, and with purpose and intentionality begins with these quiet times spent perusing God’s Word and in prayer, asking for that specific revelation of how to apply the truths learned to our day today.

The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.”  (verse 29)

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Wisdom Regardless of Age

July20Good Morning Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  This morning, following a recent doctor’s appointment, I am contemplating the fact of the frenetic pace of the average American’s life.  I had gone in to the doctor with a concern and was told that it was a very common concern and one which many times was related to the typical American’s busy, stress-filled, driven and goal-oriented life!  She told me that she typically sees 2-3 people per day with this concern.  She had many great suggestions that will help when implemented, but I have to wonder how this lifestyle has not only become so accepted, but expected and even venerated.  In fact, at one job interview I went on a few years ago, the ability to live this type of lifestyle was actually being evaluated for in the applicants.  It was cleverly disguised as “capacity”, but nevertheless, meant that one was being evaluated as to whether one could work in an often stressful environment (due to the volume and intensity of work expected to be accomplished), was willing to put in as many extra hours as needed (including some evenings and weekends in addition to a normal work week), and was to be “excellence” driven.  While none of these things are necessarily bad when kept in balance, have you, like me at times, given in to the expectation of a frenetic pace of life as being “normal” at least to a point, Friend?  The great thing about the bible and the book of Proverbs in general is that the need for balance is taught and a greater degree of balance in life is definitely something I am seeking for.

Proverbs, chapter 20 is our chapter to read through for today, seeking for that wisdom that we need in order to find a place of balance for our lives.

The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.” (verse 20)

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How Much Control Do We Have?

July17Good Morning, Friend and Fellow Life Warrior!  There are times when a good friend can almost be detrimental to how one has determined to make changes in their life unfortunately, would you not agree?  Recently I had determined within myself not to complain anymore about a certain situation, yet when I saw my friend, they immediately knew that I was somehow unsettled.  Their sympathetic ability to listen brought it all out and as I verbalized my concerns, I was also thinking, “It’s okay to verbalize concern, right?”  Whether or not it is concern over a situation or whether it is complaining, is the real question however.  The conviction within my spirit by the Holy Spirit told me that I shouldn’t have been talking to my friend about this.  Ever been there, Friend?  I needed to repent over complaining and then put it behind me and determine afresh not to complain about this situation, even to my good friend! In thinking about this though I saw as well that when we determine to keep each other accountable as friends and are not afraid to turn a conversation around when it’s going the wrong direction, we are doing our friends a greater favor than even the willingness to listen.  Better yet, stopping the conversation and praying over it and then moving on to other things can be a great response to those times.  Are you encouraging your friends, family & spouse (if applicable) through praying with and/or for their situations with them?  I know it’s a question I am asking myself, and attempting to implement to a greater degree.

Today, chapter 17 of the book of Proverbs is our chapter to read through in search of wisdom for our lives.  Verse 5 says, “Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

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Correction; To Give or Not?

July9 | Correction; To Give or Not?Good Morning, Friend!  Which one of us has not found emotions to be fickle- up one minute and down the next; seeing something as a good thing one day and as detrimental the next; and at times “feeling” like something is not quite right, but we are unable to put our finger on what that might be?  I like how author and speaker, Joyce Meyer gives the following very practical advice, “Don’t let your feelings be a god to you.” Author John Maxwell expounds on that a bit by saying, “The bottom line in managing your emotions is that you should put others – not yourself – first in how you handle and process them. Whether you delay or display your emotions should not be for your own gratification. You should ask yourself, What does the team need? Not, What will make me feel better?”  While he was speaking to leaders who needed to control their emotions for the sake of the teams that they were leading, we can apply this to ourselves as well, because leader or not, our emotions affect all those who are around us.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes need the reminder not to let any emotion (good, bad, small or large) become a god to me, producing within me a drive that only wants to satisfy the need to “feel” better.

With that said, let’s read through Proverbs, chapter 9 today, seeking fresh insight for our day and wisdom to apply to our lives!

Verse 7 says, “Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.

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Concerned About Character…

July7When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” (-Billy Graham)  This quote puts things in perspective this morning, Friend!  I have to ask myself how much time is spent apiece on pursuing wealth, health and character in my life?  Billy Graham also has said, “Give me five minutes with a person’s checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is.”  I would have to add to that the thought of examining one’s life for how much time and money are spent on health?  Hobbies that are “fitness” oriented are good right?  Going to the gym, spending time searching out those healthy recipes, shopping for the right ingredients, finding and trying the restaurants that have the best options for our health are all “good” things, right?  Yet when we stack up the amount of time spent on first pursuing wealth, then on pursuing health and finally on pursuing character, how do they compare?  If you are joining me in reading through Proverbs today, your efforts at building character are to be applauded!

Today we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 7 and verse 24 stands out as it says, “So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words.

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Where Is Your Focus?

July4Good Morning Friend!  How is your morning going?  As today is Independence Day and a day of celebration for those in the United States, it’s a day off for many of us and a day that for many of us also is spent with family and friends.  Picnicking, possibly camping, probably taking part in outdoor activities and then ending the day with watching a fireworks show or perhaps setting off a few of our own will be the order of the day for the majority.  I applaud you, however, as you’ve chosen to set aside some time to spend meditating on God’s Word and in prayer.  I don’t believe that you will be disappointed as you seek God specifically for wisdom for your life today.

Today, we are reading in Proverbs, chapter 4, seeking that wisdom to be found.

If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.  Embrace her, and she will honor you.”  (verse 8)

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Who Sleeps Soundly?

July3Hello, Friend!  It’s definitely allergy season for this allergy sufferer, yet at the same time it’s just too nice outside to avoid all outdoor activities!  As I sneeze and sniff and attempt to medicate my way through this season and at the same time, spend as much time outside in the very environment that brings the sneezing and sniffing on, it has brought to mind the thought that there seems to always be a mixture of the good with the bad; the pros with the cons and a downside to every upside.  Our perspective on everything is what so often determines our level of enjoyment of life.  I have one friend, who I have to admit we tease about this habit, but who will examine every new thing closely, voicing all of the possible negatives about it, and then once that is out of the way, proceed to enjoy it and think it is wonderful.  I, on the other hand, will tend to close my eyes to the negative and just soak in the goodness and positives of whatever new item, activity, or even period of life is happening, not admitting the negatives until later.  While both methods have their downfalls, they highlight the fact that our choice of perspective brings either enjoyment of the good things in our lives, from the big events down to the small everyday happenings, or brings unhappiness as we choose to focus on the negatives.

Today, we are reading through Proverbs, chapter 3 and my perspective is one of anticipation for what will be revealed through reading it today.  I am anticipating that there will be something specifically applicable to my life today therein.

You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.”  (verse 24)

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Truly “caring”

June29Hello, Friend!  “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” (- Corrie Ten Boom)  I came across this quote recently and immediately it caught my attention.  How many times do we hear someone lament, “There is nothing left to be done, but pray…”  as if prayer were the last resort!  Truly, prayer should be our first resort and is the most effective and productive way to start the day.  In another quote by John Wesley, he says, “I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.”  He recognized that the strength and perspective gained by starting his day with prayer would be the foundation for any accomplishments of that day… and he was one who accomplished much!

As we start our day today with reading through Proverbs, chapter 29, as a portion of the devotional time of prayer and bible reading needed to successfully accomplish much today, verse 7 catches my attention:

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

Continue reading →

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