Daily Devotions

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Good Monday Morning and greetings from back in Ohio!

Psalm 27:5-14 NIRV
“When I’m in trouble, he will keep me safe in his house. He will hide me in the safety of his holy tent. He will put me on a rock that is very high. Then I will win the battle over my enemies who are all around me. At his holy tent I will offer my sacrifice with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord. Lord, hear my voice when I call out to you. Show me your favor and answer me. My heart says, “Look to him!” Lord, I will look to you. Don’t turn your face away from me. Don’t turn me away because you are angry. You have helped me. God my Savior, don’t say no to me. Don’t desert me. My father and mother may desert me, but the Lord will accept me. Lord, teach me your ways. Lead me along a straight path. There are many people who beat me down. My enemies want to harm me. So don’t turn me over to them. Witnesses who tell lies are rising up against me. They are trying to destroy me. Here is something I am still sure of. I will see the Lord’s goodness while I’m still alive. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.”

Matthew 6:33 ASV

"But seek ye first His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you"

Ephesians 3:20 NLT

"Now all glory to God, who is able, though His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen!

More verses today than normal, I thought they all tied together though. While we may not be in a literal battle like the psalmist is writing about, there are things ‘attacking’ us in life. Whether it is stress over a job, relationship, finances, future plans, etc., there are distractions that can thwart our ability to stay focused on what we should. The verse from Matthew helped me understand what my attention should be on: Yay God! Pretty simple right?! Focus on God’s goodness, and everything else will fall into place. Doesn’t mean that the stressors disappear, but our approach improves and their weight diminishes. The verse from Ephesians always encourages me on how great our God is- ‘to accomplish INFINITELY more than we might ask or think…’

The future can be an abyss of yikes to me sometimes, and on my drive home yesterday, this verse reminded me to pray that God would do God sized things in my life, INFINITELY better than what I can think of or ask for. He knows our hearts’ desires and our souls’ needs. Being outside of time, He isn’t limited the way we are- phew!

Translated for me today: My God’s got this!

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for who You are. Thank You for moving from a place of love, mercy, compassion, victory, grace, and power. What a majestic combination. Thank You for listening, and eagerly wanting relationship with us. Thank You for being outside of time, but thank You for also giving us time as a reminder on what to stay focused on. Not the past, because it’s gone; not tomorrow because it’s not guaranteed or even here yet; just today. Lord, there are so many things seeking our attention, guide our focus to be on You alone. Always only Jesus. Remind us that we come FROM victory and grace, that we don’t have to earn it. I’m humbled by Your majesty. With all that I am, I give You praise. In Your Awesome, Loving, Endless, Matchless, Lovely, and Grace filled name Jesus. Amen!

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Good Tuesday Morning!

Psalm 27:4 NIRV
“I’m asking the Lord for only one thing. Here is what I want. I want to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. I want to look at the beauty of the Lord. I want to worship him in his temple.”

I love the simplicity of this prayer’s desire. No doubt there were details in the psalmist’s life that he had preferences on, but the priority of his heart in this verse wasn’t about his circumstances at all.
What would our day or even week look like if this became the focus of our prayer? What if we set aside our circumstances and had a perspective that prioritized the pursuit of worship?

Translated for me today: My heart’s focus should resonate in worship, not circumstance.

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for letting me wake up today, even at this early hour. Lord, thank You for being a God worth prioritizing. Massage our hearts, that they may be tuned for worship. You know the details and desires in our lives, thank You for caring about them. Help us put those in perspective when we think on all that You’ve done not just for humanity at large, but in our own lives. Thank You for not stopping mid sacrifice on the cross because of inconvenience. Help develop our endurance to not give up mid stride a lifestyle of worship because of distraction or inconvenience. Thank You for being You. With all that I am, I give You praise. You’re awesome and I love You. Amen!
Have a great day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Good Monday morning and greetings from Cincinnati! Thank you to the answered prayer that reached out asking where ‘Hi Jesus!’ had gone. For the past couple of weeks, after I would read, I hit a blank when I’d pull up the email. I kept hearing, “not yet,” or ,”nope,” or ,”wait.” For those that know me, you know waiting and I just don’t go well together. I felt like I was failing and not living up to what I was called to be doing while traveling.

Yesterday, however, on a beautiful and rather long drive home, I heard a couple of amazing sermons that brought me back to the basics and a refreshed approach to writing “Hi, Jesus!”

So today, the word is from the first bible verses I ever learned at church :) Psalm 23 says,

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

My focus had been knocked off course, thinking it was an inadequacy causing the lack of writing. This scripture brought me back to the fact that with the Lord as my shepherd, I LACK NOTHING! Not that I will lack nothing, but right now I’m a mess, it is NOW that His provision offsets any shortcoming I might bring to the table. My identity is not with what I do, or what I’ve done, but that I am a daughter of Christ’s sacrifice, made blameless in the sight of the Lord- yay God!

Part of the sermon I heard yesterday was talking about using the areas in our life that are the weakest to show God’s strength the most in ministry. What a disservice to the church and our fellow believers it is to hide our shortcomings. I have struggled with personal relationships for a long time, and am so thankful for the one I have now. I was beginning to become terrified that something traditionally me-like, would kick in and mess it up. My trust was in my own capabilities, not the grace of God that is apparent in the relationship. How encouraging to know that beauty can come from ashes. I, who have been divorced, can have a ministry from a relationship that tries to glorify God. How sweet is the Lord to offer that sort of redemption?! I am humbled by His majesty.

As I was ending my trip yesterday, I understood that grace comes in the evening. Not just the physical evening, but after the period of work and sacrifice, grace is ushered in, allowing us to rest in the overflow that the Lord provides. My physical self can relax, and my heart can rest in the knowledge that mercy, goodness and love follow me, because through Christ I LACK NOTHING.

Translated for me today: Lord, make me transparent today, so that You might shine through!

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for not being mad, disgusted, or disappointed in us. Thank You for DELIGHTING in fellowship with each of us, irrespective of where we’ve come from or what we’ve done. Thank You for Your sacrifice that surpassed time, so that despite shortcomings, we are still redeemed. Thank You for Your unchanging Word that is based on Love. Purify our hearts and intentions, that we might bring Your name Praise today. Thank You for protecting our tomorrow, letting go of our yesterday, and walking beside us today. With all that I am, I praise Your name. Thank You for being You! You’re awesome and I love You- amen!!

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Good Thursday Morning and greetings from Illinois! Ephesians 2:4, 5 NIRV
“But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you.”

No matter how often I think of God’s love for me, it never ceases to amaze me. These are two short verses packed with a lot- “even when we were dead…”- as a species, we stop trying when someone is dead, when their vital signs stop. Before encountering Christ, we have no spiritual vital signs. Sometimes, even as a Christ follower, they get weak. Fortunately for us, it is at that time, the right time when we can offer the least, is when God can move the most. It removes our ability to brag- not like you can contribute to much when you’re dead. It also removes our history of poor choices- as a NEW life, the focus is Christ and loving God by loving His people. What we’ve done before died with our old life. They no longer define us- yay!

Translated for me today: God loves me - A LOT!

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for showing up at the right time, when we can offer nothing, to offer redemption and freedom. Remove from our hearts and perception of self worth anything that doesn’t reflect your radiance and acceptance. Thank You for loving us, just as we are. Lord, whatever decisions we make today, purify our intentions that Your Name might be respected and honored. With all that I am, I give You praise. You’re awesome and I love You. Amen!

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Good Thursday Morning and Greetings from NYC!
Romans 12:1 NLT
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

“Living” and “Holy” sacrifices- love it. Our bodies house our minds,hearts, souls, as well as being important all on their own. We get one body in this life, one that was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Hanger of the Stars. Shouldn’t we WANT to offer them as living and holy sacrifices? I like the word ‘living’ because it means on going, with vital signs fully engaged. Each breath can offer thanks to the Lord. We aren’t drones (though some may argue I am managed by machine :))- we’ve been given unique personalities, gifts, quirks, all of which can be used in a life long God song of praise. Holy- we are set apart for an eternal purpose in a temporal world. We need to guard our input with passion; what goes in will over flow to be what comes out; if we aren’t actively seeking Christ and blocking the views of a instant self gratifying society, we can end up on a slippery slope for our faith and ability to impact our sphere of influence.

Fortunately, we come FROM victory, so as long as we allow Christ to move in our hearts without trying to control it ourselves, we’re set up for success.

Translated for me today: I am specifically designed to love God and love people; I show God how much I love Him by loving others.

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for what You do in our lives on a daily basis. Thank You for wanting a relationship with us, irrespective of where we’ve come from or what we’ve done. That type of grace inspires our love song to you in our lives. Purify our intentions, that Your name may be glorified. With all that I am, I give You praise. Amen!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Good Tuesday Morning and greetings from Detroit!

Psalms 18:1, 2 NLT
“I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

What a great thing to say to the Lord every morning to start the day off right! So, let’s do just that:

We love You Lord!! You are Our strength and Our rock; Our fortress and Our Savior. You are Our Shield, the Power that Saves (and Heals!) us, and Our Safe Place. THANK YOU!! Amen!

Our spheres of influence need life and renewal spoken in them - Go get it today, in the name of Jesus :)

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Good Monday Morning and greetings from the Tampa airport!
Mark 12:30 NLT
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’”

This seems pretty demanding at first, considering it says ‘love’, but it’s impossible love the Lord only halfway right? To say we love Him with about 50% of our existence means we haven’t really accepted Who He is, in as much as we can understand it, anyway. God is jealous for our attention, not out of insecurity but out of a sublime sort of love that is more than we could ever fully comprehend. Fortunately, we have guidance on how a life in this type of relationship looks because The Lord first loved us- yay God! With His sacrifice, it only seems fitting that we love with everything we can. It is a love that is not based out of obligation, but appreciation.

Translated for me today: I was knit from love, by love, and for love.

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for first loving us in an all consuming way, without regard of where we’re coming from or what we’ve done. Thank You for forgetting our transgressions and separating them as far as the east is from the west. Soften our hearts and pride that we might do the same for both ourselves and others. Thank You for this weekend of such great fellowship and fun! Renew our minds ans strength Christ, that we might live today for You a little better than yesterday. By Your stripes I am healed and set free. With all that I am I give You praise. Amen!

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy Wednesday Afternoon and greetings from Detroit!
Galatians 6:9, 10 NLT
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”

I am not consistent with this. When I get worn out, helping others is not on the top of my list. In fact, by that time I don’t even like having a list and I’ll go into hermit status. It’s pretty humbling to think on how Christ lived; that at His physical lowest was when He gave the most for others. In all scripture I dont see once where He considered helping a chore or obligation.

Translated for me today: Christ’s compassion and servant’s heart needs to be my guide and source of strength, even when I’m at my lowest.

Hi, Jesus! Thank You for being constant in my life. Thank You for being who You are and still actively seeking a relationship with me. Thank You for making us new each day; help massage our hearts that we might accept that and let go of anything that blocks our perspective of You and Your purpose in our lives. Renew our minds, bodies, hearts, and strength, that we may have an ‘others’ focus instead of a ‘self’ focus in our daily interactions with others. You are Awesome and I love You. With all that I am, I give You praise. Amen!

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Good Saturday Afternoon and greetings from the comfort of my own couch!
2 Corinthians 13:14 NLT
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Translated for me today: when was the last time I prayed this for someone?

We’re called to love God and love people. We show our love to God when we love others- He makes it pretty simple for us. I loved this reminder to be on the lookout for the opportunity to love people and celebrate the chance of sharing hope!

Hi, Jesus! You’re awesome. Thank You for not being complicated, but simply Lovely and Compassionate. Wake up the desires of our hearts and the desire to show how much we love You by actively loving others. Thank You for loving us at the right time when we were at our lowest; remind us of that when we start putting limitations on when we can show love to one another. I’m humbled by Your majesty. With all that I am, I give You praise- amen!

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Good Monday morning and greetings from somewhere between NJ and Erie, PA!

Job 19:25 NLT- “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives…”
Amen! What assurance- yay God! Let’s just leave it at that today. Have a great start of the week!