Archive for November, 2010

Spiritual decor

November 30th, 2010 by Maureen

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I Pet. 3:4

The KJV says to put on “the ornament of a quiet spirit.” While we are decking the halls this Christmas season, let’s not forget to deck our spirits as well. Through Christ our own spirits can offer an oasis of heavenly peace to those caught up in the rush and noise.

Lord, decorate my spirit with the fruit of Yours.

Hallelujah joy

November 29th, 2010 by Maureen

Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Ps. 95:1

Last week there was a in Hallelujah flash mob in the food court of a mall. One girl started singing Hallelujah, then another person joined in, and pretty soon shoppers stood up from their lunch tables and joined in. God really is awesome and deserves this sort of joyful, impulsive celebration of his amazing love for us.

 Lord, help me to be less uptight and more openly joyful.

What was I thinking?

November 28th, 2010 by Maureen

I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions. Ps. 119:15

It’s pretty simple: if we think about God, we tend to want to do what he says. But, if we’re honest, a lot of our thoughts are self-centered and many of our desires run counter to God’s instructions. Reflecting on the nature of God and reading his word helps us sort out all those selfish thoughts and make decisions that are consistent with the God we serve.

Lord, be present in my thought life.

Got some explaining to do

November 27th, 2010 by Maureen

But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” Mark 5:19

Every family has a bit of dysfunction to which every member’s individual personality flaws and destructive habits contribute. When God restores each of us we can affect the entire family dynamic when we talk about God’s power to heal and restore.  But convincing our own families that God has really changed our lives can be awkward and humbling because each of us usually has some explaining to do.

Lord, help me to show Your grace and mercy to my family.

Avoid the lines

November 26th, 2010 by Maureen

My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! Prov.8:19

Shopping for  just the right (and affordable) gifts for our loved ones can be stressful. Our Father has presented us with the perfect gift which is completely free and totally transferrable. God pours spiritual fruit and gifts into our spirits which He means for us to give away.

Lord, help me to give what matters most.

Thank you for the world so sweet

November 25th, 2010 by Maureen

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Chr. 16:34

God loves it when we recognize that the good things that He’s laid upon our tables are His gift and that those blessings are there because He loves us. Families, friendships, and fellowships exist because God loves. Food, homes, health, jobs, provisions, and cultures are all products of God’s faithful love. Nature, beauty, music, science, and math are endless creative expressions of His love.

Thank you, God, for everything!

Now is good

November 24th, 2010 by Maureen

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  Phil. 4:11-12

Sometimes it’s not the need itself that creates discontent, it’s the tendency to focus on those things we think are missing from our lives. When we actively appreciate the present, just as it is, we enjoy our lives more and we tend to give and share more freely. Contentment and thankfulness feed off one another.

Lord, thank you for all I have right now. Period.

Good Gracious

November 23rd, 2010 by Maureen

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. Jn. 1:16

Every blessing we have is a result of grace and God is the source. Often the intangible blessings are the most gracious. The moments of peace and joy we experience through relationship with God and others are the most gracious of blessings.

Thank you for this day and the one-after-another blessings you’ve placed in it.

Uncomfortable

November 22nd, 2010 by Maureen

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt. 5:3-4

God’s purposes do not seem to include the goal of making everybody feel comfortable.  Instead he creates discomfort in the hearts of those in the position to help others who find themselves in the uncomfortable position of needing help. By using others to meet those needs God can change the lives of the poor and the sad who know they need help and intervene in the lives of those in need of compassionate hearts and generous spirits, who may be less aware of their own need.

Lord, forgive me for asking to be comfortable instead of comforting, and make me uncomfortable with the need around me.

Realism on steroids

November 21st, 2010 by Maureen

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 2 Cor. 9:11

We can feel that, realistically, we don’t have the resources, time, or energy even when we feel God’s Spirit nudging us to commit to give or serve. We shouldn’t settle for a realism that fails to take into account the supernatural power of God. If God promises to enrich our finances, our energy levels, our time management, and our patience and love so that we can be generous, then what we realistically can give is exponentially increased.

Lord, all my resources belong to you, help me to use them generously to bring thanks and praise to You.

Homeward bound

November 20th, 2010 by Maureen

There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

As we pass familiar  signs and landmarks on the road home we can already smell that favorite meal prepared by loving hands. Tired after the long drive, we imagine our own bedrooms with clean sheets on the bed. Jesus has marked the road home with his Word and each one of us has our own personally designed room.

Lord, keep my course homeward bound.

Seated at the table

November 19th, 2010 by Maureen

Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” Luke 14:15

Jesus used meals as a time to include, to teach, and to nourish. He ate with everyone who invited him and performed miracles so everyone with him could eat. He keeps adding leaves to His table and extending His family so we all can sit at the big table with Him.

Lord, thanks for making a place at Your table for me.

Passing notes

November 18th, 2010 by Maureen

The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart. Rom.10:8  & Deut. 30:14

In both the Old and New Testament passages containing this verse, there is language that implies that God is not hiding his message of love from us. In fact God sent an abundantly clear, really huge message about his love for us through Christ. Then, he scatters evidence of his love for us throughout the course of each day of our lives, like little love notes.

Lord, use me to pass your message of love along to other people.

Prone to wander

November 17th, 2010 by Maureen

Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. Eph 4:18

Our impulses can carry us into some pretty dark places where, eventually, wrong doesn’t seem wrong. We’re all prone to wander, often without even realizing we’re moving away from God. While our wandering is often unintentional, course correction usually takes a deliberate choice to open our minds and hearts to God.

Take my heart, Lord, take it, seal it for your courts above.

Pray smart

November 16th, 2010 by Maureen

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Col. 4:2

Thankfulness makes us smarter. Our prayers gain perspective when we weigh our current wants and needs against everything God has already done for us and all the good He has planned for us. God really does provide, we should pray like we know it.

Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy praise.

Everyday amazing

November 15th, 2010 by Maureen

Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!” Luke 5:26

Souls walk among us with awesome stories of healing and resurrection because of Christ’s salvation. Every day we brush shoulders with people who are spiritual miracles…we might even be one of them. Be amazed and let the miracle of grace grip your heart.

Lord, thank you for all the miracles in my life.

Beautiful basics

November 14th, 2010 by Maureen

Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 2 Thess. 1:3

This is basic, beautiful Christ-following in a nutshell. We aren’t perfect but His love and mercy mark our relationships, and His truth and grace mark our decision-making. Our relationships with both God and other people flourish when we live our lives this way.

Lord increase my faith and love.

Deliberate acts of generosity and habitual integrity

November 13th, 2010 by Maureen

All goes well for those for those who are generous, who lend freely and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. Ps. 112:5-6

Righteousness is not stingy adherence to the basic rules of fairness, it’s magnanimous and others centered. Following Christ takes us beyond “right” into attitudes and acts of transforming goodness. Practicing habitual, deliberate integrity and generosity creates a legacy of faithfulness and grace.

Lord help me to do more than just what’s right.

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Yes He can

November 12th, 2010 by Maureen

Is anything too hard for the Lord? Gen. 18:14

There is no pain that God can’t heal and no problem God can’t solve. There is no sin God can’t forgive and no circumstance God can’t change. When life gets hard it’s good to know that our Father is the biggest, most powerful being in existence.

Lord, thank you for taking care of me.

Good enough

November 11th, 2010 by Maureen

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. Col. 1:22

Reconciliation is the process of making conflicting things compatible. Our efforts at compatibility with God usually involve changing how we define God’s nature or instituting some way to measure ourselves on a sin & righteousness scale. Christ’s work of reconciliation leaves us with nothing to prove and nothing to defend because the cross is sufficient.

Lord, thank you for making me good enough to be your friend.