October 26, 2014
God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”
What power, what authority! God spoke and it happened. It’s nearly impossible to comprehend that from nothing came something. Every molecule in creation fell in line at the sound of His voice. He spoke and there was light. He spoke and there was a great expanse between the waters. He spoke and dry ground appeared. He spoke and there was the sun, moon and stars. He spoke and there were birds and fish and animals.
Everything came into being by Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things exist. Creation was not simply a random event. God deliberately orchestrated it. He is both the composer and conductor of the great symphony of life, written in His divine wisdom and carried out by His voice. His voice is immeasurably powerful in creation, and yet lovingly gentle as He speaks to our hearts. Are you listening to His voice?
This is an excerpt from my devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places. Kindle edition
October 19, 2014
We can never know who or what we are till
we know at least something of what God is.
A. W. Tozer
The Bible offers an open invitation to know and understand who God is and how He works in our lives. Yet life tends to pull at us in all different directions, so we must be deliberate about finding opportunities to teach our kids about God. I want to encourage you to be intentional about creating a little corner of stillness in your life in order to know and understand God in a more intimate way and then share His love with your kids.
For the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of the attributes of God here on www.PositiveMom.com, and I encourage you to use these thoughts as a catalyst to talk to your kids about God. You may even want to read this to your kids. I’ve added a discussion starter for you to take the thought further over the dinner table.
In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth.
God is the Originator, the Designer, the Artist and the Sustainer of all there is in heaven and on earth. We can see His creative strokes in every part of creation. The beauty of a sunset, the magnificence of the stars, the intricate details of a butterfly, the whimsical acts of a monkey, all point to a glorious hand who made it all. You too were fashioned and designed by our wonderful Creator. You are a masterpiece. Just as an artist delights in his masterpiece, so the Lord delights in you.
Our designer knew exactly what He was doing when He formed the intricate details of our bodies. Every cell is coded with instructions as to how it should function within the body. From the smallest of details in an atom to the grandest of galaxies in the universe we must stand in awe of all He has done. Let us lift up our hearts in praise to the Almighty God, Creator of all. His magnificent work points to His power and beauty.
Discussion Starter: In what ways do you see God’s hand in creation in nature?
This is an excerpt from my devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places. Kindle edition
October 14, 2014
What seems to make you make you shudder? Let’s face it, even the calmest of people experience a bit of anxiety now and then. With the outbreak of Ebola, the threat of ISIS or the uncertainty of the economy, how do we keep our worries in check and prevent them from dominating our lives? Allow me to offer a few tips to point you in a positive direction and help you keep your fears under control.
1. Identify the root of your fear. A current crisis may create panic in your heart, yet it often stems from a deep-seated anxiety which already exists – fear of death, abandonment or poverty. When we recognize that the bigger issue is not simply based on the latest news-maker, we gain clarity as we look at the true picture. Putting our finger on the basic cause of our fear helps us to more effectively deal with our own personal apprehensions and wisely root them out. What a blessing to know that we can go to our loving Heavenly Father with each fear and ask Him to give us heal our hearts.
2. Change your focus. When we focus on what is wrong in the world or what could happen, the issues become larger than life. One of the ways we can change our focus is to deliberately turn our minds toward what is good and positive in our lives and in the world. Recognize immediately when you are stewing on the negative and make a deliberate turn in your thought-life toward something or someone that brings you joy. It may be a great vacation spot, a precious grand-child or a new hobby. Let your mind dwell on what is good, pure and right in your life.
3. Count your blessings. Make it a daily practice to write down at least five things you are thankful for each day. Consider the blessings you have experienced over the last 24 hours. Who did you encounter? What positive conversations did you have? Who were you able to impact or help? What went your way? What doors opened up for you? Be specific as you ponder your daily opportunities to be grateful – they are there, but you have to intentionally look for them!
4. Strategize. If a worry about the future enters your mind, consider practical ways you can handle the crisis. What action steps do you need to take to be prepared? Are there preventative measures you can take? Keep in mind, we do not want to make plans out of panic or irrational fears, rather we do want to use all wisdom and discernment. Pray for God to lead you and guide you. Practical planning makes good sense, but let us always move forward with love – not fear – as our guide.
5. Reach out to others. When we are thinking of the needs of others, we have less time to wallow in our own anxieties. Take a moment to look around you. Who could use a kind word, a note, a hug, a phone call? Where can you volunteer and help make a positive difference in the world? Fear keeps us isolated, but love opens us up to experience the joy of giving and pouring our hearts into the lives of others.
6. Guard against assumptions. Often panic comes as a result of worries gone wild. It’s easy to take one little thought and develop a whole entire “what if” scenario around it. We can become consumed with fear simply based on assumptions. Stick with the truth and don’t add to it. Nip assumptions in the bud and resolve to live in the present rather than future fears that may never happen.
7. Pray. I find great comfort in knowing that there is an almighty God with a bigger plan. He has a purpose for each of our lives, and He knows the number of our days. My life is in His hands, and I can rest assured that I can trust Him with the details of my life. He invites us to turn to Him and cast our cares on Him. As we leave our anxieties in the hands of a loving God, He provides a peace that passes all understanding.
Christ came to set us free from the chains of fear that consume us. As a follower of Christ, God has given us His Spirit who gives us peace even in the storms of life. My friend, if you do not know Him, I encourage you to look to Christ today. He came not only as the payment for our sin, but also to allow us to live in victory over sin and fear. If you want to chat with someone right now, please go to www.chataboutJesus.com
October 4, 2014
Psalm 119:97 – 104
97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
In this section of Psalm 119, we experience the delicious passion of the psalmist toward God’s word. He can’t stop thinking about it! He meditates on His testimonies and precepts continually all day long. He extols the benefits of being saturated in God’s Word:
• Makes me wiser than my enemies
• Gives me more understanding than all my teachers
• Allows me to understand more than the aged
• Holds back my feet from every evil way
I want those benefits, don’t you? The psalmist doesn’t just read God’s word and walk away, he thinks about it, and allows it to permeate and transform his life. He’s not just a casual lover of God’s word – he’s all in!! What about you? Do you passionately love God’s word? More than that, do you love Jesus with such a passion that you can’t stop thinking about Him during your day. Let us meditate on His love continually – it is sweeter than honey!
For more on meditation – check out the chapter entitled “Breathe it In” in my new book
Becoming a Woman of the Word.
October 2, 2014
Day 11 – The Pain of Waiting
Let’s face it, waiting is hard. The psalmist reveals his anguish in waiting for God’s comfort. Certainly, we can all relate in one way or another to his frustration. We may find ourselves waiting for:
• A new job opportunity
• A prodigal child to return
• Health or healing
• A change in circumstances
• A spouse
The good news is we not only share in the psalmist sorrow of waiting, but we can also experience the hope he finds in God. Notice His turn of focus in each verse of Psalm 119:81-88, “My soul faints…but I have put my hope in your word.” “My eyes fail…I do not forget your decrees.” “How long must your servant wait…but I have not forsaken your precepts.” He ends with a prayer, “In your unfailing love, preserve my life.”
In our waiting, let us turn our hearts heavenward and find comfort in God and His word, knowing that He loves us with an unfailing love. We may not understand why we must wait, but like a child, we must trust our all-knowing Father’s love. Keep your eyes on Him as you wait patiently, and like the psalmist let us say, I have put my hope in Jesus (your word).”
81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
84 How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
86 All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.