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All wet

Lent devotional 38

All wet

Today I was shoveling our steps to our house of the knee deep snowfall we had last night. Suddenly my shovel his something metal and I had a moment of that ‘I found treasure’ rush before fishing it out of the snow and finding it be the cross we have hanging on our door. The wind had blown it down in the storm. I put it aside, finished what I was doing and then took it around to the back of the house where I could leave it in a shelter to dry. I noticed that something was wrong with it as I inspected it for damage and soon realized that the ‘faith’ on the front of it was covered with snow, so I brushed it off and went inside.
Isn’t that so like life? We dig for something of value in this world and find a treasure of faith. Then a big storm hits and our faith gets blown around and beaten until it falls and becomes buried by the crushing weight of our problem. Then we start to clean up from our pain and problems little by litte, knowing that we need help, and there we find our faith waiting for us, just a little wet and a little buried by the snow. we pick it back up, dust it off, and place it back in our lives where it belongs. Storms are supposed to be conquered through faith, they aren’t supposed to win and knock our faith down. They aren’t supposed to, but sometimes they still do. But God is faithful to us and is ready to help us even when we lose our faith, even when we can’t take anymore, even when we fall asleep in the garden. It breaks His heart, but He gets it and doesn’t give up on us.
“Thank you Jesus for getting me even on days when my faith has taken a beating, I know you are always there and that though you may rebuke me, you will never stop loving me.”
Don’t be ashamed to face God and ask for forgiveness for falling asleep on watch, go to Him and reach for Him, He will hold you close and restore you, because even if you fail Him, He never fails you.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent

Forgive them

Lent devotional 36

Have you ever been so sad that it turned to anger? I have. I’ve seen things that broke my heart so bad I was angry, in fact I was moving to action in my anger, that’s why God gave us moms because they say, ‘don’t be crazy girl, just go eat chocolate and feel better.’
I wish that chocolate could fix the situation, all it can do is soothe my heart. Jesus went to temple to meet His Father, there He saw a Holy place desecrated. It wasn’t the animals that ruined the glory there, it was the dark hearts of the people looking to make extra money, and the people who wanted fast and easy service for buying their sacrifices. No honor. No respect for who God is. Just quick ritual and done, moving on with life. That broke Jesus’ heart, how dare they! Didn’t they know He was about to die for them? Of course they didn’t. How could they? These people never followed Him. In His pain turned anger He drove them out of His Father’s temple. I love this. It reminds us that He was human too. So sad and angry that He reacted to the situation. To think only days later He would die on a cross and say ‘Father forgive them.’ Why could He ask for their pardon after being so angry with them just days before? Because even in His anger He loved them. He saw every one of those lazy and greedy people as He hung on that cross and said ‘Father forgive them.’ He saw the soldiers, Pilot, Caiaphas, His Deciples, the mockers, the mourners, He saw you and me and said ‘Father forgive them.’
His anger is brief, His love is eternal.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · guidance · Jesus · lent

Respect

Lent devotional 31

Respect

The word respect has lost it’s meaning in the world. When I was a kid respect was something show to adults by defult, but was earned on the playground. You didn’t simply walk up to another kid in a strange hat and go ‘I respect you for wearing that hat.’ It’s rediculous. Yet that is what we hear. Someone once posted to someone else that they respected them because they made their dog wear clothes. That’s silly people. You don’t respect someone for that. I can tell you that I respect other people’s pets, whether they be dogs, cats or horses, I have learned from pain that you treat them appropriately because your friend’s german shepherd might not be a hug lover like your poodle mix back home is. That again is a different type of respect. That is a respect of boundries and to caution until you know where you stand. You can see a person in full cosplay in the mall and feel a sense pleasure at the fact that they chose to be themselves and stand out, but you don’t respect them for it. Respect is a feeling toward someone’s achievements not their choices. You can respect a doctor for being good at his job, you don’t respect him for wearing pink flamingo socks, you can smile at that and appreciate it, but it’s not something to respect. In this disillusion of respect we have lost the true ability to respect God. We flash a peace sign and say we respect someone but do we understand the awe behind true respect? Do we understand why we respect our God?
Ask yourself what causes you to respect God?
Is it like respecting the boundries of a wild animal? No because God wants us close to Him.
Is it like respecting a soldier for fighting for their country? That can definiately be an aspect of it. God does fight for us. But let’s go deeper, more personal.
Is it like respecting your father? There we go. We respect God for His strong loving protection, we respect Him for His sacrificial attitude towards us as His people, we respect Him for His goodness, for His wonders, for who He is. We respect Him because He is so much greater then we are, yet He comes down to our level and cares for us. We respect because He is God our Father. Father’s should be men you can look up to and respect, they should be there for us when we need them, they should care for us and provide for us. God does all of that. And He is infinate God, His position warrants Him respect. Ultimately, He is God and He is good and for that I will always respect Him.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent

Where do you turn

Lent devotional 24

What do you do my friends when you are afraid?

Brother Andrew has said, ‘you have been spiritually mature in faith for a long time, act like it.’
Do we trust God when something that brings us fear takes ahold of us? Or do we try to fix it ourselves?
When we are afraid or something goes wrong we need to give it to God, then we need to trust Him with it. I feel like we are in a tug-of-war with God and our lives are the ropes. We let God have one end and then we yank as hard as we can from the other end and try to pull God over to our side or else to simply pull the rope itself out of God’s hands. Then we dance around like we have won something because we have done it all on our own.
But to have true peace we must hand our fears and troubles over to God and then let GO. Only once we have let go can we experience the rewards of faith and can see what happens when thungs are done the King’s way.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent

Sit on your spot and don’t move, ‘kay God?

Lent devotional 14

I don’t want Jesus to simply have a place in my life, I want Him to have my whole life.

There are times when I feel like I am telling God to wait His turn. I’m busy right now God, give me a second to finish this please. Will He wait? Yes. Should He have to? No. It’s like I’ve put God into a spot in my life and He gets His time but has to stay put. Remember when we were kids and we sat in Children’s Church or Kindergarten and we had a mat to sit on? That was our spot and the floor was lava so we had to stay on our spot as the teacher read. There are days when I feel like I have given God a listening mat to sit on and that’s where I tell Him to stay. But as Stormie Omartan said once, I had let God into a room in my heart and had locked the door. That was where He supposed to be. But He kept knocking on the door to the next room until I opened it. Then the next one. And the next. Until I threw open all the doors d simply said ‘here God, I am yours’. That’s us. God doesn’t want a mat or a room, He wants all of us. He desreves all of us. What area of your life have you locked God out of? Pray, and ask Him to give you the courage to open the door and let Him in to every area of your life.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · searching

Breathing

In….out…..in

Breathing. Have you ever considered breathing? I don’t mean doing it, that’s required, I mean the action of breathing. Breathing is one of the few things that absolutely everything alive does. Bugs breathe, plants and flowers breathe, animals breathe, fire breathes, we breathe, I have heard it said that water breathes- though don’t ask me how. Everything-that is alive-breathes. Why? No idea. There is no reason that the human body should require air to breathe except the fact that God decided that that was how it should work. Truly. Scientists say:

   “Breathing is part of a process called respiration. During respiration, a living thing takes in oxygen from the air and gives out carbon dioxide. This process gives animals and plants the energy to eat, grow, and live life!” -10 interesting facts about air-NASA

That is correct, obviously, but that doesn’t explain why that is necessary. Why do we need a respiratory system? Why does the body need to take in oxygen to produce energy? Why not make it produce energy without air? ( Let’s not get into the energy produced by the sun or this post will be too long.) You may ask my point for this line of questioning, here it is. What is the most constantly ignored and taken for granted function of life, until it is gone? Breathing. God made a complex and masterful design when creating the living organism and we need to remember just how amazing our bodies are. So how about right now we sit for 10 seconds and focus on breathing, and just how amazing breathing is. 

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · searching · True Joy

Believed in

Everyone says that the person you need to believe in you is yourself. That is sweet but is it true? Maybe for some people. I recently have realized that having others believe in you is an amazing motivator. If no one else thinks you can do it that doesn’t mean you should give up, it simply means that no one else gets your vision. That said, the people around me have always been really supportive. I mean, I’ve dealt with haters, but the people who matter, my friends, my family, especially my parents, have always been supportive, even when that support is a critique or correction to push what I am doing into a better place. Because I know that they support and believe in me then I can take them at their word and not be too offended when that word stings a little. Knowing that when you doubt yourself someone else feels that you can keep going forward is amazing. You all knew that I was rounding this back to this statement so here it is. God believes in you more than anyone else can. He sees EVERYTHING about you. He gave you your gifts and talents, He gave you your drive and He believes that you can do it because He knows that He can do it and He will be forward guard for your every step.
Don’t give up! Your father believes in you!

Blog · Devotional · encouragement · guidance · Jesus · lent

The Huguenot

Lent devotional 10

Today I ran across this painting by John Millias. The name of the painting is
‘A huguenot.’ You may not find that very interesting, but looking closely at the painting I found it intriguing, I wondered what was up with the white sash and why was the man pulling it away from his arm. When I did some reading on the painting I found out that it is a love story about a Catholic and a Protestant in Medieval France. The Catholic woman was tying a white sash around her protestant lover’s arm so he would be assumed Catholic and not be killed. The man is looking at her with love, but gently pulling the sash away, refusing to deny his true beliefs.
That was a long explanation I know, but I am getting to my point, though it is probably obvious by now.
We as Christians, find ourselves in positions often where we can either proclaim or deny Jesus as our savior. We are traitors if we deny Him, and we do not love Him. Jesus died for us we must be willing to do the same for Him. We must not hide and pretend to be someone we are not out of fear. Yes we may be ridiculed, in some countries we may even be killed but we must stand up and say, “I am a Christian.”
That is easy to say in the safety of Canada I know, and we may never know truly if we love Jesus enough to suffer for Him until we experience such a situation, but acknowledging Him in small things also shows how much we care. At work, at school, on the subway, on Facebook.
Don’t hide, proclaim.

Blog · Christianity · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent

Lent devotional 6

Civered by His feathers

Covered by His feathers.

Recentally I watched ‘After Earth’. The scene that caught my mind and caused me to cry was of course the scene with the eagle. I think she was an eagle at least. When she takes the boy and hides him from the overtaking sudden earth freeze, then he wakes up to find she has died because she covered him with her body to save him. It reminded me of the stories my grandpa tells of times on his farm as a boy, several times he witnessed a mother bird cover her babies with her feathers and fend off fire, rattle snakes, even large cats, sometimes dying in the process, but her babies always came away unharmed because of her sacrificial love. There is a reason God says He covers us with His feathers and shelters us with his wings (Psalm 91:4)
Because the wings of a protecting parent are warm and strong and secure, even when stretched out to cover their young to protect them from a death that the parent takes willingly in their place, the wings never fail to be a safe place of hiding. Find shelter in His wings dear fledglings, they will always be there to shelter you, they took pain and death for you before, don’t ever doubt that they love you enough to sheild you again.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · Jesus · The Bible

Are we being Deciples of Christ

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:15‭-‬17 NIV
There is so much packed into this verse that you almost have to take it piece by piece to make sure you heed it properally. Lately. And I don’t mean the past month, I mean the past few years. The word ‘Christian’ has lost it’s meaning. Christian used to mean Christ follower, like Christ. It used to mean changed and a better person, yet the word has lost it’s meaning as people have claimed it as an excuse for un-Christlike behaivior and speach. We are under a banner that used to represent the living Church and the living Word of God. Now we are being strangled by a banner that people have crawled under to hide their sins but have not repented or changed from them. To verbally assault people on the internet and then spew a Bible verse is heracy to say the least. To rebel against and speak offensively about our police and military who are trying to do their jobs and protect us is wrong. We are to live in a way that cannot be brought up before a court. We are to be humble and kind yet unrelenting, unrelenting in our belief in God not in our own opinions. We are seen as evil because of false christians who don’t even try to be like Christ. People then claim that they are right because Jesus was a rebel against injustice. That one makes me slap my forehead. Who was Jesus a rebel against again people?
If I randomly choose a raised hand in the crowd the answer will be the same as every hand out there. He was rebel against the Church leaders and the government.
Okay. You mean the leaders who were making it so that they were seen as higher than God and were opressing those who were already suffering? (Quick disclaimer: We have to realize that not all the church leaders of Jesus day were like this and when He chided them He was speaking to the ones who were being sinful and caliming it as God’s will, like what we have been seeing in our own ‘Christian’ people over the past several years)
You mean the government who was beating and slaughtering His people? I see a wave of nodding heads. Okay.
How did Jesus respond? Please don’t mention the table throwing thing, that was a one time event. How did He respond the rest of the time?
With words of rebuke some days, with shows of His might as healed people and spoke the thoughts of those who stood against Him, but mostly He responded with love. He loved them. He loved the begger by the pool of Bethsaida, He loved the guard who was raising a whip against a slave, He loved the phairasee who was praying out of habit but no substance for the million time. Thier siffering, the suffering they caused, and the indeferance broke His heart but He still loved them. All of them. All of us. Jesus wasn’t burning people in the comments section and then claiming to be praying for them, He didn’t hate one people group and love another, if He had He would have only saved the Jews and we as the gentiles would have been left in the cold, He certaininly didn’t cause violence and claim it as His right to stand against opression. He caused healing and generosity and, wait for it, LOVE.
You can be bold and powerful and meek and gentle at the same time. The Holy Spirit fights for us. The devil got into the church and made us become our own worst enemy. Take it back to the Bible. What would Jesus do?