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Lent Devotional 14


Trust in the Lord they tell you. Every Christian, every circumstance, they tell you to trust in the Lord. But what does that mean? You might say that that’s a dumb question, the sentence is self-explanatory. But what does it mean to trust? I like to use my dog as an example. He is my darling, I have had him since he was 8 weeks old. When I first brought my dog home, we had played out in the yard by the church all day because there had been a picnic, I liked to imagine that the picnic was to celebrate him, in truth it was just a normal Sunday picnic. When I got him home he was exhausted, so I laid down on the couch because I was tired too and he laid down next to me. My dog curled up against my arm and looked up at me, he stared at me for a little while, I even took a picture of him staring at me, then, very hesitantly, he placed his head on my arm. He wasn’t sure if he could trust me. Of course he wasn’t sure he could trust me, he didn’t know me yet. he almost trusts me too much. The other day he was up in a tree, ( yes, he likes to climb trees, no, I don’t know why.) I was concerned because he was fairly high up so I reached up and called him to come down. I had reached up just in case he fell, but he took it as an invitation to jump into my arms; I won’t lie, I almost dropped him, he’s a lot of weight when he’s falling a out of the air. The little dog who wasn’t sure if it was safe to sleep with me near by now jumps unconcerned into my open arms. He has learned that even if it I break my neck doing it, I will never let him fall and he trusts me.
Our relationship with Jesus is like this. If we don’t know Jesus personally than it will be hard to trust Him. Why would we if we don’t know Him, but when we have spent time with Him and gotten to know Him than trusting Him comes as second nature. That doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with fear and doubt, but because we know who Jesus is and we know He loves us and won’t ever let us fall, even if He has to die to save us. Oh right, He already did. Trust in the Lord means knowing the Lord and knowing He’s got your back.

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Open heart

Open heart

We all have a seed inside our hearts. A part of us that is undiscovered and trying to grow. A potential. A dream left to the wear of time and long since forgotten. Deep down in your heart, however, that dream left a seed. We all have someone we want to be. A chef, a weatherwoman, an accountant, a movie star. But to fulfill a dream takes hard work, good people, and a bull dog drive. Stats say that over 90% of people give up on their dreams instead of seeing them fulfilled. I think that is very sad. A dream is something important to us, and things that are important to us should be things we fight for. Sometimes we dream of being something that other people say we can’t be. An artist who can’t draw, or a musician who doesn’t know how to play. It is possible that maybe that means your true seed is growing into something else. Perhaps a music teacher or an art studio director. Don’t drop your dreams where you stand and move on. Sometimes the true dream is a vine of the original one. Fight for your dreams and water them. See what your seed grows. Like buying a surprise packaged of flower seeds at the plant store. All you can do is scatter them in the dirt and care for them. You know you want a flower, but what that flower looks like is entirely up to the seed. So you care for it and as it grows you love it more and get more excited to see what it will be.

Let your seed grow, and never give up on it.

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Heads or Tails?

Looking to God can be a struggle because the world always says ‘yes’; God sometimes says ‘no’.
To face God and accept that your answer may be ‘no’ is painful and very scary. We want a ‘yes’ answer, and we want it quickly; meet World, because he answers with what you want quickly. Why? Because World doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about you or what happens next, he doesn’t even care if you have a story or a future, if you want a quick fix, find World, because that is how he operates.
If you want perfection, look to God.
My mom always says ‘wait for perfect,’ meaning the perfect that God is preparing. My answer? I want the perfect when it comes, but I want the temporary to fill the gaps of waiting.
Stupid? Yep. Bad logic? I know. Not realistic? Absolutely.
And in a few moments of post conversation reflection I see my flaw, or error in judgement I guess would be a better term.
Wait for perfect and accept that your ‘no’ is leading you to that perfect… whatever… whatever it is you seek, wait for it to be perfect. It is easy to say this, I know, but living it means pain at times and struggle at others. If you trip don’t worry about it, confess it and trust God to set back on your path, but keep seeking God and His answers because, painful or not, they are your best option. World is what they call a ‘toxic relationship’, God, the one who cares enough to want best instead of good enough, the one who goes with you and fights for you, (often fighting against World for you, ) He is the fairy tale relationship. He is the Prince, or in this case the King, riding in to give you the life that you need. Oops. That isn’t how the story goes is it? Doesn’t the King give the life you ‘want’? No. This King gives the life you need, but the end of the story is a dream come true when follow the King.

God please guide us to you in your power. Please help us through the pain life sometimes brings and please show us your road for our lives. In Jesus name..amen.

Credit to owner for cover image

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Illogical Miracles

When people think Star Trek (the original) two names come to mind..Kirk and Spock.
As all of you who have watched any of the Star Trek shows or movies know, spock’s race of alien believe fully in logic. In one part of one of the movies, Spock states that miracles do not exist because they are illogical. That made me think. Miracles ARE illogical. If miracles made sense then we could figure out how to do them ourselves. GOD alone can do miracles.
I do believe that God can use people to help Him do miracles, but we cannot do them through our own power. Miracles are miracles because only God can do them, it is miraculous because it makes no sense, it is unexplainable and it is amazing. I love seeing God do crazy things. We Christians call it “wow God moments.”
As my Grandfather says, “But God.”
It was impossible to be healed…but God.
The dream was too far beyond her reach….but God.
The Children of Israel had no way out…but God.
Daniel was in the lion’s den…but God.
The fire was heated 10 times the normal temperature and no one could survive that…..but God.
I am too much of a sinner for God to love me….but God…so loved the world that He gave His one and only son. Too lost to be found? Too hurt to be healed? Too dirty to be cleaned? Too scared? Too weak? Too broken? …..But God.
GOD IS ILLOGICAL! That is just how He operates. If He were logical none of us would stand a chance in this world because He would be limited to what WE could understand.
I adore my God who makes no sense to those who do not know Him. I also love His illogical, wonderful, crazy, insane, awesome miracles. Without them we would have dull, logical lives.

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Trust fall

Do you remember how in school every so often the teacher would insist upon doing trust exercises? You’d pair up and then take turns falling and catching each other. Usually you would choose to pair up with a friend right? You wanted to make sure that the person who was catching you was someone you could trust. When we pair up with Jesus we are falling blindly into His arms and trusting that He will catch us.
I can tell you that thinking back on those exercises I don’t remember the people I caught but I definitely remember the people I let fall, (by accident). How often do we feel like God has let us fall and then we focus on those times alone? Just a heads up God never lets you hit the ground. He always has a plan for you no matter how abandoned you may feel at times. Think on how many times God has caught you instantly when you trust fell into Him; those times will out number the amount of times He has let you dangle. Also try and look at the circumstances. It may be annoying to hear but try to see the good that can come out of God not catching you right away this time. I won’t do the eagle and nest quote but sometimes in our flailing we are able to find a stronger hold on Jesus. Even if you can’t see Him standing behind you, your friend Emmanuel is ready to catch you, you never fall past where God wants you because that’s where He will catch you.

Credit to owner for the cover image

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Dragons and kings

God is not like smaug, the great dragon from the Hobbit, where when we come into His lair trembling and say “I had heard stories about you but I did not believe them,” he stands back from us flexing the scales across his chest and blowing a snort of smoke out of his nose he proplaclaims, “and do you now?”
In contrast when we come up to Jesus trembling saying, ” I had heard stories of you my Lord, but I did not believe them.” He looks at us with love and responds, “I know, I have been waiting for you to come and see me for yourself.” Then He hugs us and all our fears and sins and scars melt away and not only do we believe the stories we now know the man they are about and we know He loves us. His gentle embrace following us everywhere we go until we get to live with Him in His kingdom. There is no dragon pride, just the gentle/powerful/all knowing/unending love of a king.

(Credit to owner for the cover image)

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Open handed combat

When I was in high school I took basic karate. One of the main things drilled into the class was the fact that karate means open handed combat, which means that our combat is self defense it is not meant as a form of attack. If we apply this technique to life we get a person entering their day open minded to the people around them and empty handed of judgments. When we go out into this world we are stepping onto the mat and as Christians the way we respond to daily jabs and kicks need to be censored according to our teachings. In martial arts your fight technique reflects that of your teacher, in the same way our daily response to life needs to reflect Jesus. We enter the arena holding nothing against the people we will face, we come in open minded to their situation. Picture this. Bright blinding lights, a roaring crowd and a tall battle scarred warrior faces you down as your toe touches the mat, there’s no turning back now. You see that angry face, the deep creases of old battles lost and you gain your opinion of the warrior. They step closer and you step up to them, you don’t yet know what will happen next all you know is this person has been hurt too many times and it is your turn now to decide, do you attack or do you help? Do you reign judgement and add to their scars or do you give compassion and help the scars heal? Your mind open and clear so you can hear from the Holy Spirit and see this person’s needs and you realize all they need is a comforting hand. As the vision fades away; the crowds and the lights dim, you see the warrior in a new way, the way Jesus sees them. We shouldn’t enter the arena to fight we should enter to help; but sometimes in this daily life we Christians forget that we are not here to judge and attack the people around us, we are here to help them and in doing so show them Jesus. That’s the point to open handed combat, coming without prejudices and without judgements so you can help heal this world just as Jesus came without a sword or armor as a gentle baby in a manger.

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When the devil comes calling let it be Jesus who answers the door

How often have we felt like the world has delivered a spin kick in the stomach to us and then laughed as we grimaced in pain? Too often I’m sure. We have all been there. Down and almost out, wishing we could crawl from the fight ring of life and curl up in the comforting shadow of the stands where nobody can see us. We close our eyes and try to wish away what we have been dealt, but when we open them the hurt is still there. We blame everything. The world, people, ourselves, even God, but when it comes down to it there’s only one to blame for all misery and that’s the devil. He is knocking at the door to our hearts and our minds waiting for us to open up even just a little, and because we aren’t letting him in he brings a battering ram with him. Victory in such times comes from response. If we let Jesus take over and respond as He would want us to then we win. The devil won’t stay long if it’s Jesus who answers the door. Whenever the hit comes, where ever you are, however it presents it’s self Jesus is right there ready to defend you; He is a loving and jealous God and He is very protective of His people. I know that it’s hard to understand why the pain happens at all but the trying of our Faith produces endurance; sometimes suffering is required of us and it is impossible to understand why a living God would hurt His people, but He isn’t the one hurting us, yes He is allowing it, but He isnt causing it. I once heard a pastor say, “don’t pray away your blessings.” What he meant was if we never suffer than we never get to see God save us. Miracles don’t happen for people who don’t need them. We must put all of what we go through in God’s hands and respond as Jesus would no matter how hard it is because that is how we reach a break through. Whenever the devil comes to the door step back and let Jesus answer He has defeated the devil before.

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Great Expectations

We have all heard the great expectations sermon; it’s a really great sermon, but do we come truly come with great expectations? Today I had a miracle that actually shocked me. After having the vet out to diagnose my horse’s unexplainable lump as just that an unexplainable lump I started to get serious about my praying for him. To be honest before I found out that the vet had no idea what it was I just figured if God healed him that was fine but if he didn’t the vet would just treat it and it would still be fine, but unlike God the vet doesn’t know all. Today I checked my horse’s lump and it was GONE! There wasn’t even a trace it had been there! If you want to shout a Hallelujah go right ahead because I am still amazed! Oh and did I mention the lump had been there for nearly 4 months? It wasn’t something that was just going to go away. In this life we have so much that we can take care of ourselves because of modern medicine, modern technology, modern this, modern that that we sometimes don’t even bother to seriously pray about things, because if God doesn’t fix them that’s fine we know someone who can. That is the wrong way to think. I can say this because I go there too. I like to think that I seek God first and just go with Him on things but I (as many people do) fall into the solving it myself rut. God can do EVERYTHING! We just need to give Him the chance to take care of things for us, and to truly believe that He can. We don’t want to leave off asking for help until we reach something we truly can not do ourselves, because if we see God taking care of the little things we will most likely have more faith when we need to give Him the bigger things. Another thing I love about God is that I didn’t have to do anything to make this or any other miracle happen. All I did was pray and believe and I saw the unbelievable. I fail constantly and hurt God probably daily, as hard as I try not to my human nature gets in the way of my Christianity at times. I am also a major failure when it comes to being a public witness, my words stick in my throat and I end up saying nothing. Yet despite all these negative qualities of just being me God steps in and holds me when I cry. He still listens when I pray and blesses me with amazing miracles. It is so nice to know that no matter how bad we screw up, No matter how constantly we sin and fail Jesus still loves us. He wants us to do better that’s true and He will help us do better, but He’s still loving us everyday no matter who we are or what we’ve done. Isn’t that the most amazing miracle of all? because it’s that constant, undying, faithful love and ridiculous grace that led our Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise again three days later. What a miracle!

God I come with great expectations for this and everyday! Thank you for being our constant friend and greatest miracle. Amen.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus



Trusting in God shouldn’t be a hard thing to do, but it can be. It’s not easy to say, ‘okay I’ve prayed about this, now I will trust you completely.’ If you’re like me you’ll be more likely to say, ‘okay I’ve prayed about this, now I’m going to pray about it like 60 more times and then maybe, maybe, I’ll be okay.’ It’s not because God has ever failed us that it is sometimes hard to trust him; it’s our own fear that makes it difficult. Trust not in your own understandings. Good because my own understanding freaks me out, my peace comes from knowing that God is still good all the time, that never changed.God knows, He isn’t blind to our fears, He holds our tears in His hands, and when the tears become too great to hold, He holds us in His hands.

I know that fear is the big Joy killer in our lives, but it’s also the great thief of our hope, the destroyer of our Faith and even though we know better we all allow fear to grab us by the throat every so often and we find our trust spiraling away like water down a drain. God still knows best. He gets that we struggle with trust and that fear can be a hard thorn to pull out. If only we could make ourselves breathe and relax then we could leave it in God’s hands. Trust gives peace, so trust fully in God because He is the only one in this whole world who will never let you down.