Archive for the ‘Devotional Christian’ Category

The cookie packet I opened recently, showed no sign of the shattered contents inside.  The cookies, which had been whole and a sweet anticipation, were broken into many pieces.  They were no longer enticing, even though I know that even the small pieces will still taste good; they no longer looked appealing.  I had eagerly looked forward to fresh whole cookies to enjoy with my tea, but all I had were crumbs.

Each human was made perfect in God’s eyes,  when first formed He delighted in our unique wholeness and He continues to do so. As we move through life we too can become broken, as we struggle against the adversities of living on this earth.  We can become physically and emotionally torn apart with everyday living or unhealthy lifestyles and choices.  God must look at us and sigh in disappointment as He reflects on our great beginnings to where we are now.

God gave His Son, a living sacrifice that all who are broken can be made whole.  If we choose to believe this and trust His Word and His guidance, He will repair our broken-ness.

Unlike the cookies, which once broken cannot be repaired – we can rest assured that He can work in us and help us recover.  He will repair our misshapen lives and choices and lead us to a renewed spirit and wholeness that we desperately desire.

No longer broken but once again whole, in spirit and self-confidence we can enjoy a new beginning under Him.

Prayer:  Father, let us come to you when we are heart-broken, injured or crushed in spirit, for you will give us rest and recovery.  Amen.

Packing up my good heirloom dishes to take home from the Ladies’ Tea was a tedious chore.  It required wrapping each individual piece, as those who have moved will understand.  Fragile dishes, especially thin china, like people, require special handling to avoid breakage.

As I was wrapping each piece, I remembered the misunderstanding my husband and I had the night before.  My heart was pierced by the Holy Spirit’s convicting power.  My words were harsh in frustration and irritation.  Clearly he was not measuring up to my expectations, nor I his.  We were at odds over something trivial.  The realization of the hurt I had caused with my sharp words and ugly attitude made me cringe in shame.

Surely a person I love more than anyone else in the world should be treated with as much care as my fragile dishes.  For after all, aren’t people far more valuable than heirloom dishes?  I take such good care of my precious things, but forgot to care for what was truly precious.

If we treat those we love so poorly, what about those we pass in life we don’t know or love.  Is this how Jesus treats people?  We know He doesn’t.  Jesus gave His life for all people so they might be saved from the punishment of sin and reconciled to the Father in Heaven.

The Bible provides much evidence of His loving care for fragile souls…

*Remember the woman caught in adultery.  The men of the town were ready to stone her, but Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  (John 8:7b, KJV)

*Then there’s the woman from Canaan whose daughter was “vexed with a devil.”  She asked for mercy, but Jesus answered, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  The account continues, “Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.  But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.  And she said, Truth, Lord:  yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith:  be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:23-28)

Jesus compassion and love for people is found throughout the New Testament.  His concern for their eternal wellbeing is demonstrated by the Great Commission:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)

We need to love as Jesus does.  Love is demonstrated by being forgiving, longsuffering, and meek.  Looking to the needs of others rather than ourselves, we can demonstrate selfless love.

Embrace and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”  Galatians 5:22-26

Let us keep these verses in our heart and on our mind so they may help us guard our tongue and exhibit behavior pleasing to Him.

My husband and I spent last weekend winterizing the garden. Raking leaves – bagging leaves and adding some to the compost. Front and back the gardens looked – well – tidy again. Frost-bitten annuals were removed and all we could see was the green of the lawns again with flower beds devoid of fallen leaves.

Overnight a strong breeze could be heard outside and, yes you’ve guessed it, all our efforts appeared to have been in vain. Where we cleared and cleaned was once more leaf covered.

Sin can be like that. We allow all kinds of it into our hearts, minds and spirits, allowing it to accumulate until we are overwhelmed by it. We try to change our ways and clean ourselves up spiritually, changing one wrong and containing others, but a breeze in the darkness of the recesses of our minds takes over and litters our thoughts again. Result? What we had attempted to clean up is once again cluttered and unruly. Untidy to our eyes. How must it look to God’s? All our good intentions apparently meaningless, yet for a while seemed effective.

Ecclesiastes 1:3 – What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? (NKJV)

Ecclesiastes 1: 6 – The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit. (NKJV)

We can try to clean up our acts, but if we do not have God in our lives those efforts will be meaningless. Sin will keep on returning to our lives, like a disruptive breeze and we will continually strive to make a difference to lifestyles or thinking patterns – but until we halt trying to do it alone and leave the inevitable clean up to God – nothing much that we do will make a lasting difference.

Prayer: Abba, we ask You for guidance and for wisdom and discernment, as we try to eradicate all that is not of You in our lives. Amen

A recent program on Doc Zone covered how media and fashions trends are affecting our children and youth. They called it ‘the sexualization of our children’ and it was not a pretty picture.

Fashion for children – girls in particular – has been dressing them, more and more, in miniature editions of adult clothing – portraying a tiny woman and not a child. This has affected their thinking and eventually their actions and emotions, that are devoid of what is good and truly respectful. They do not respect themselves; boys respect girls even less, especially if denied physical satisfaction……on and on the program covered (too bad the girls clothing didn’t too) how fashion, media and magazines and models, as well as entertainment ‘idols’ emit the idea that exploiting a child to be sexually attractive is what life is all about. Nothing else matters! WRONG!

I share this for all the children and youth that might be exposed to this Christian website …… please know that you are a child and a child should NOT be expected to be a small adult! You are meant to have fun – good clean childlike fun and not be an enticing piece of flesh for someone else.

I was sickened by what I heard on this program – children are being used in the most sickening ways and are losing respect for themselves and for each other. What kind of society is this going to produce a few years hence?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us a different story of what regard for self and others is all about…….

Love makes you patient and kind

Love is not jealous, love does not brag

Is not proud, love is not rude nor selfish

Love does not become angry

Love does not remember things you have done wrong

Love does not like people who tell lies, only truth

Love patiently accepts and trusts

Love always hopes and always remains strong.

True love never ends but grows stronger each day. (ICV)

It is NOT about selling yourself for the pleasure of others, but all about loving who and what you are, and treating others as you want to be treated.

Prayer: God help us in all our ways and let us be guided along a true and righteous path, knowing that this will produce good results. Amen

Psalm 100:4-5 …… Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting.  (NKJV)

Thanksgiving!  A time to be thankful for all that we have.  We might not be grateful at all times; human nature is fickle and often what we see ‘on the other side of the fence’ appears to be better.  I have discovered, sometimes to my detriment, that is not always so.

I am learning to be content with all that I experience, and all that I have.  It is not always easy but I put everything into perspective by realizing that millions around the world have much less than I do.

I have a roof over my head; food to eat; clean water to drink; family to love and be loved by; good friends and much, much more.

Just for a moment, over this Thanksgiving weekend (Canada), let us stop and think about all that we have, and let go of our wants.

Enjoy time with family and friends and if, by chance, you are alone, reach out to someone and share time with them.

Numbers 6:24-26  The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.  (NKJV)

We all have those times in life when we find ourselves dealing with the ugly consequences of neglect and procrastination.  Truth is we all have areas of neglect we need to deal with.  The problem is realizing we have a problem!  Our big neglect problem was our landscaping.

When we moved into our home many years ago, the hedge of Burning Bushes was below the fence line.  Not knowing much about that particular type of bush, we were afraid to prune it.

Over the years, we’ve tried to ignore it.  Consequently, it grew and grew and grew, until it was over our heads.  Then we trimmed it lightly.  Unfortunately, despite our pitiful efforts, it kept on growing taller and taller.  Plus it started popping up all over the place!  Every time we pruned a new stalk, it grew back with multiple branches!

Our Burning Bush is beautiful in the fall when its leaves turn scarlet, but it has been a major stress factor in our lives.  It has symbolized all the other areas where we had neglected work that needed to be done.

This year we finally took the plunge and pruned this monstrosity almost to the ground.  We were at the point where we didn’t care if it lived or died.  It had to go or become more manageable!

After we discovered how easy it was to take a chain saw to cut it down to size, we kicked ourselves for being so timid and neglectful.  This bush had not brought joy, but misery, for it was a constant reminder of our failure to maintain control over our landscaping.

The Bible says in Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…”

Neglect is not visible at first.  In fact, it is easy to become neglectful because no one does notice at first.  So many factors come into play when we start trying to figure out where we went wrong.

Neglect is not something we plan for; it’s a condition that occurs when we do nothing.  Other activities take over our lives before we even realize what’s happening.  It’s the small things that tend to trip us up the most.  Then we begin to form a habit of procrastination and neglect of our duties.  We are unfaithful in carrying out our responsibilities.

For some the biggest area of neglect is their spiritual life.  Forgetting to read the Bible daily or to spend quality time in prayer contributes to spiritual neglect.  We can’t attend church on Sunday and expect to have all our spiritual needs met.

If we want a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus, we must plan time with Him.  When our focus is not on Him, we are prone to becoming entangled with worldly pleasures and entertainment, leaving no time for Jesus or His work for us.

It is time to repent of our sin of neglect, realizing that being faithful in all our ways is pleasing to our Lord.  Let us discipline ourselves to take care of issues as soon as they crop up, lest we procrastinate and leave our duties undone.

Dear Lord,

We thank you for reminding us how important it is to be faithful in the seemingly small things of life.  We ask your forgiveness for neglecting our relationship with You.  We confess we have not been faithful to pray and read our Bible regularly.  We haven’t relied on You, but have exercised our own will and failed miserably to accomplish all we must.  Help us to prune out the sins of unfaithfulness and procrastination.  Help us tackle our daily tasks with zeal and enthusiasm, refusing to allow ourselves to be tempted to put them off.  Help us to be faithful servants in every aspect of our lives.  We look to you, O Lord, for strength to persevere when we are tempted to seek our own way.   Thank you for your constant faithfulness!

“’Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’” 2 Kings 6:16-17a

After reading the local and national headlines, my heart was broken over the clear and very disturbing realization that we’re losing America and any hope our children may have of living the American dream in a peaceful, prosperous nation.

When schools are instituting programs to teach kindergartners foreign languages, abortion is legalized, illegal drug use is glorified, laws are introduced to strip parents of their rights to raise and educate their children, and all efforts are made to remove the influence of Christianity in our society, it is clear that things have changed, and not for the better. Where do we draw the line between tolerance and political correctness and the blatant disregard for the biblical principles on which our nation was founded?

The America of 2012 is not the America I grew up in. People are no longer willing to fight for the values and principles that made our nation a place of great freedom and opportunity. Patriotism and peaceful activism have been replaced with a determined effort to destroy any remnant of moral decency and political democracy.

Who are the ones who will fight to win America back? In Isaiah 6:8 the prophet Isaiah says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” I believe God is crying out today for Christians and patriots to rise up and reclaim the America we once knew.

Is it too late to save our beloved nation? Have we passed the point of no return? The last verses of Isaiah 6 give me hope that it is not too late. Although these are the words of the Lord spoken to Isaiah regarding the nation of Israel, they are my prayer for America today: “And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land” (v. 13).

I believe that it is not too late for God to save America, but He needs soldiers who are willing to take up their shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit and fight in His behalf.   Will you go? Will you fight to reclaim our great nation?