Archive for April, 2011

Look around

April 30th, 2011 by Maureen

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small. – Ps. 104:24-25

Today’s devotional comes courtesy of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, if  you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.”

Lord, I am amazed by You and all You’ve made. Thanks.

 

God’s care packages

April 28th, 2011 by Maureen

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Ps. 46:1

We all know someone who has been affected by disaster, financial reversal, illness, or personal crisis. Where there is trouble, when the hurting cry out for help, God cares and shows up to help. Sometimes we are the care packages God sends so when there’s trouble we become the help He provides.

Lord, show me how I can use what I have and what I know to offer Your refuge and strength to those in need.

The ask

April 28th, 2011 by Maureen

You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives. Jas. 4:2-3

Although spontaneous conversations with God should be a natural part of the day, it’s also good to plan time to pray and to protect that time so that we do it. Telling God our needs, hurts, and dreams helps us build loving, trusting relationships with Him. Prayer runs our motives and desires through the filter of God’s love and grace.

Lord, I’m asking…

Sweet!

April 27th, 2011 by Maureen

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Prov. 16:24

What we say and the way we say it can change someone’s day for better or for worse. Our sincere words of kindness and encouragement can promote healing in one another’s lives. We are more likely to notice all the positive, gracious moments in our own lives when we try to create them for other people.

Lord help me to sweeten someone’s day.

What a wonderful world

April 26th, 2011 by Maureen

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Rom 1:20

In Voyage of the Dawn Treader C. S. Lewis wrote a dialogue between Eustace, a scientific materialist and Ramandu, a fallen star:

…’In our world,’ said Eustace, ‘a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.’

‘Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made  of .” [Ramandu answers]

We can analyze the contents of our world and try to explain the mechanics of it’s origins and it’s forces, but mysteries remain. God shows up in our wonder and awe.

Lord, help me to see You everywhere.

 

Ye lights of evening find a voice

April 25th, 2011 by Maureen

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Ps. 31:8-9

Over and over in the Bible God lays the responsibility for caring for fragile, powerless people on those who want to love and serve Him. Not only must we provide help for the needy, we are to advocate  for those who have no voice. If we are to reflect the Light of the world we must be voice and light for those in silent and lonely places.

Lord, help me to find effective and healing words.

He is risen and it matters

April 24th, 2011 by Maureen

The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be[a]the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 1:3-4

Any self-respecting god should be able to conquer death. That God died a criminal’s death, that He would be born and  live a humble life  outside the power structure of the world, may be even more incredible. The blood sacrifice of Jesus, the truth, healing and friendship be brought, His restoration of humans to God, His defeat of evil makes the resurrection more than just another cool power play by an all-powerful diety.

You are risen and it’s personal, Hallelulah!

 

Good grief

April 23rd, 2011 by Maureen

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. John 16:20

Jesus’ horrific death causes grief even among those who don’t believe He is Messiah. Only when we realize that He is the Hope of nations, the Savior of the world, the Prince of peace can that grief turn to joy. Only when we regret our own sins and accept our personal guilt for His crucifixion can we experience the joy of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Lord, take my whole life, all I have and all I am, for words like “sorry” and “thanks” are hollow without it.

Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011 by Maureen

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Hanging there on the cross, dying in agony, Jesus expressed His compassion for the world He came to redeem. Christ provides us with a spiritual, emotional, and intellectual intelligence with which to view the failures of those who are far from Him. He gives us a vision for the redemptive transformation He wants to do in every life and shows us ways to help people move toward Him and know Him better.

Lord, thanks for your compassion, for your grace, and for your forgiveness.

 

Big, beautiful words

April 21st, 2011 by Maureen

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” I Cor. 1:30-31 NKJ

Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption are big beautiful words that express the results of Christ’s death and resurrection. We become what we cannot be because of Christ. Every moment that we experience His transforming presence is a celebration of Easter.

Lord help me to venture deeper into your wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

New again

April 20th, 2011 by Maureen

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Is. 43:19 And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Rom. 6:4 Behold, I make all things new. Rev. 21:5

At times the new feels like it’s worn off, we feel stained by our failures and tattered by our disappointments. Christ set renewal in motion for those who believe in Him. He is always making us new and wants to help us see our new lives and to live them out through the power of his resurrection.

Lord, make me new again.

Trading stories

April 19th, 2011 by Maureen

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Col. 3:16

Every time one of us is personally impacted by Jesus there is a new story to tell or a new song to sing. When we tell our unique stories and express our individual gratitude, those expressions become part of everyone else’s experience with Christ as well.  Sharing our joys and insights with one another unites us and makes us stronger as individuals and as a group.

Lord, thank you for my friends and their amazing stories.

Demotion

April 18th, 2011 by Maureen

But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Luke 22:26

Whether a task gets done is more important than the status of the person who accomplishes the task. The quality of the end product is more important than the position held by the one who makes it. We strive so much for recognition and reward when results are what is important.

Lord, help me to keep remembering that it’s not about me.

You say you want a revolution

April 17th, 2011 by Maureen

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. Jn. 12:12

When it looked like Jesus might have the political and social impact they expected the crowds waved palms to welcome a bloody revolution. Little did they know that it would be the King’s blood that led to revolution. Little did they understand that Jesus was there to bring a revolution of peace to heart and spirit.

Lord, help me to embrace the revolution you intend rather than the one I envision.

 

Frayed edges

April 16th, 2011 by Maureen

So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?  Cor. 12:15 (NIV 2011)

We’ve used quilts my grandmother made us so much the patches have worn off and the edging is frayed. Preserving them may have increased their monetary value, but then they would not serve and comfort us. Wrapping up in one of those quilts is like a hug from Mimi for grandchildren who never knew her.

Lord,  let me be used up, worn out, frayed, ripped, and patched up for Your kingdom.

Changing our whole latitude

April 15th, 2011 by Maureen

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
   All humanity finds shelter
      in the shadow of your wings.
 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
      letting them drink from your river of delights.
 For you are the fountain of life,
      the light by which we see. Ps. 36:7-9

No matter where we are, we can find a spiritual oasis. A few moments in His presence clings to us like a tan after a vacation. Reflecting on His goodness changes our whole spiritual latitude.

Lord, your love is amazing!

From and to

April 14th, 2011 by Maureen



Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! Lam. 5:21

 God created humans to live in His presence free from fear and guilt. He made us for love and joy and purpose. He didn’t just come to save us from sin and death but to restore us to loving relationships with him and one another and to make us whole.

 Lord, restore me to You.

Soul gardener

April 13th, 2011 by Maureen

Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you. Hos. 10:12

Righteousness is not about being good when we feel like being bad, it’s about soaking up Christ’s nature. What we want, what we like, even what we are changes because our  hearts receive the nature and nurture of Jesus. Christ is the seed, the sun, and the rain; we just work the dirt.

Lord, help me to plow up the hard places in my heart and bloom.

Please and thank you

April 12th, 2011 by Maureen

…and human hands can’t serve his needs — for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. Acts 17:25

No matter how wealthy, smart, talented or powerful we may be, none of us is in a trade relationship with God. Our prayers are requests not negotiations. His response to our needs are gifts given out of His immense love and concern for us and there is nothing we can offer in return but humble thanks.

Lord, all I can say is please and thank you.

Jump!

April 11th, 2011 by Maureen

But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm. Prov. 1:33

Fear that we might lose our health, financial security, social acceptance, fulfilling work, and all the other good stuff life has to offer can rob us of peace and keep us from moving forward. Fear does keep us from taking stupid risks but fear may also leave us feeling safe yet restless and unfulfilled. When we sense that God is urging us to take a leap of faith, our safest move is to jump.

Lord, overcome my fears with your peace.