September 22, 2016 at 6:11 am #19754
Good morning all Today’s devotional is served.
22nd Sept. 2016
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed (Proverbs 11:25, The Message).
Friend to Friend
It all started with a swimsuit. I had to buy one. Dan and I were joining our kids and grandkids for a week of family vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. The beach, a swimming pool, and water parks were on the agenda, and I wanted to do them all!
Ladies, I know you can understand my feelings of terror at the thought of having to find a swimsuit that actually fits and looks good on me. I had two days before we left, and both of those days were crammed full – appointments, meetings, and writing deadlines stared me in the face.
I prayed. Yes. I. Did. I asked God to help me find the right swimsuit. It had to be modest, it had to look good on me, and it had to be cheap!
On my way home from a doctor’s appointment, I passed one of my favorite stores. I only go in this store when they are having a huge sale and when I have a coupon. I saw the bright red “Clearance” signs in the store window and knew I had a great coupon in my purse. Yes!
I had exactly 25 minutes to get in the store … find a swimsuit … and get out in order to make it to my next meeting on time.
When I walked in, I saw a very small rack of swimsuits in the back corner of the store. I asked the sales lady if those were the only swimsuits they had. “I’m afraid it is,” she said. “Our big sale was last week, but take a look. You never know what you might find.”
With the faith of a mustard seed, I headed for that rack. And then I saw it – a gorgeous black swimsuit. It was modest, beautifully made, and it was my size. I held my breath and looked at the price tag. Oh. My. Word. It had been marked down 60% and I had a coupon for another 20% off. When I tried it on, I did a happy dance in the dressing room, thanking God for leading me straight to that suit.
But that is not the whole story.
When we got to Charleston, the grandkids wanted to swim. I put on my new suit and humbly accepted the compliments of my husband, children, and grandkids as we headed to the pool.
Two older women were in the pool, lazily exercising and talking. When they saw us, they smiled and waved. Then one of the women said, “I love your suit! You look so cute in it!” Made. My. Day.
Our grandkids demonstrated all of their aquatic accomplishments as Dan and I applauded and praised them. One of the ladies said, “Your grandchildren are beautiful! I know you must be so proud of them.” At that moment, the invisible “Dump Here” sign that seems to be on my forehead started flashing, and I sensed God’s hand at work. My husband and daughter did too as they slowly moved the kids to the opposite end of the pool.
For an hour, Julia and Shirley shared their hearts and their lives with me – the loss of a husband – the long-term affects of a nearly fatal car wreck – how they found God. I shared my journey as well. When I told them I was going to be speaking in Birch Run, Michigan, Julia gasped. “I live close to Birch Run. I’m coming to that conference. I’m just here visiting Shirley.” When it was time for me to go, the three of us joined hands in that pool and prayed for each other. Oh, how I love the way God orders my steps.
When I walked in the door of the condo and shared what had happened, our daughter Danna said, “And just think, Mom. What if you had not bought that suit? You would have missed those two women.”
Yes. I would have missed the blessings in the pool.
Don’t underestimate God.
There is nothing ordinary about your day.
There are people God places in your path for an eternal reason. The sales clerk where you shop needs to see God’s love in your smile. The unplanned stop where you run into a friend who needs encouragement is really an opportunity sent by God. You get your mail and see your neighbor in her front yard. Does she need to know that you care … so she can know God cares?
Wake each day with a “yes” in your heart. Then start looking.
Look for God in your circumstances … in the people you meet … in the unwelcome intrusion of a neighbor … in the infuriating behavior of a co-worker or the exasperating antics of your teenager. Look for the opportunity to show them God, and don’t miss the blessings.
Father, I come to You today with a “yes” in my heart. Whatever You want me to do, I will do. Whatever You want me to say, I will say. Wherever You want me to go, I will go. Thank You for Your love and for the plan You have for my life. I surrender, Lord. I don’t want to miss the chance to bless others or Your blessings in my life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Right now, empty your heart of everything except a “yes” for whatever God has in store for you today. Surrender your agenda. Look for God’s handprints in your life. At the end of the day, record the ways God used you in the lives of others. List the blessings you received because you were willing to say “yes.”
cc: @nicole @olubusola @oyinpd @blessedob@bosa@pearl@ldike@chybaby@sommie@ivie@nadia@iyawodiipo@biodun@ange @angel @akosua@bimpe@fadekemi@demmie@bigmummy@tynah@elle@fruitfulvine@goldie10 @eby@drkome@beautilicious@mrsfab@diamond1@seyiblak1 @crystal@alexa @funyi@bibi @geraldine @mula @oyinpd @alexis
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/September 22, 2016 at 9:13 am #19759
AngelaParticipantSeptember 22, 2016 at 10:00 am #19760September 22, 2016 at 11:31 am #19767September 23, 2016 at 6:39 am #19791
Bonjour Madame et Monsieur, the devotional for today is here. Hope you understood my French
The Presence of God – Our Seal of Peace
Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at Your righthand are pleasures forevermore.
The presence of God is our seal of peace. Remember the definition of peace includes wholeness, fullness and freedom from all oppression. The above scripture in essence, is saying that it is the presence of God that guarantees our fullness. As you are aware, people have security around them for safety and peace of mind, although such security is temporary. In a similar light, though more profound and permanent, the presence of God around us is our seal of peace, fullness, wholeness and a molestation-free life.
Please be aware that any conflict in the natural is an off shoot of a spiritual contention. God is the Father of peace and He is our seal of peace. His presence with us subdues all other spiritual forces. The Father of spirits is our seal of fullness and wholeness, so no opposition can intimidate or frustrate our lives anymore.
Notwithstanding, it is our responsibility to tap into this privilege and lay hold of this. We have to make a choice to rely and rest on God’s promises of peace, fullness and wholeness in the face of adversity. We have authority in Christ to affect our peace through the use of the name of Jesus. Storms don’t calm themselves; someone has to calm them.
Peace is not a natural phenomenon; it is a spiritual phenomenon that is introduced by the application of a superior spiritual force -the force of the presence of God. Please be aware that God is everywhere but the active presence of God is not everywhere. We are carriers of God’s presence and therefore we are carriers of divine peace. God does not live in space like gas. He lives in people. Wake up and take responsibility for your peace and the peace of the world around you. Rule thou in the midst of your enemy and then let peace reign in your world.
For Further Study
Colossians 2:9-10, Joshua 1:5, Psalm 110:2, Psalm 125:3, Philippians 4:13
Personal declaration for the day
This is truly my day of peace and I love it. I have peace, I enjoy peace and I share peace with everyone around.
cc: @nicole @olubusola @oyinpd@blessedob@bosa@pearl@ldike@chybaby@sommie@ivie@nadia@iyawodiipo@biodun@ange @angel@akosua@bimpe@fadekemi@demmie@bigmummy@tynah@elle@fruitfulvine@goldie10@eby@drkome@beautilicious@mrsfab@diamond1@seyiblak1 @crystal@alexa @funyi@bibi @geraldine @mula@oyinpd @alexis
Culled from http://christiancommunitychurcharklow.hdpm.org/the-presence-of-god-our-seal-of-peace/September 26, 2016 at 9:24 am #19898
God Hears the Consistently Righteous
September 26, 2016The Lord…hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).
– Proverbs 15:29
God promises in today’s verse that He will hear our prayers if we seek to be faithful in our walk with Him. What does it mean to be “consistently righteous”? Simply put, I think the best way to be consistently righteous is to refuse to compromise.
A person who compromises is someone who tends to go along with what everybody else wants to do, even though it may not be totally right. A compromiser knows when something is not right, but does it anyway and hopes to get away with it. We compromise when we know in our hearts—and even have the conviction of the Holy Spirit—that we should not say or do a certain thing and then do it anyway. We are saying, “God is showing me what to do, but I’m going to do what I want to.” In that case, we can blame only ourselves if we do not see the results we would like. When we refuse to compromise and devote ourselves to being consistently righteous to the best of our ability, God sees our hearts, hears our prayers, and answers us.
God’s word for you today: If you refuse to compromise, you will put a smile on God’s face.
cc: @nicole @olubusola@oyinpd@blessedob@bosa@pearl@ldike@chybaby@sommie@ivie@nadia@iyawodiipo@biodun@ange@angel@akosua@bimpe@fadekemi@demmie@bigmummy@tynah@elle@fruitfulvine@goldie10@eby@drkome@beautilicious@mrsfab@diamond1@seyiblak1 @crystal@alexa@funyi@bibi @geraldine @mula@oyinpd @alexis
Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspxSeptember 27, 2016 at 6:25 am #19921
Good morning family. Wishing you a blissful day ahead. The devotional for today is ready.
September 27, 2016
Love at First Fight
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1 (NLT)
I loved my husband, Carey, desperately when we first got married … and it shocked me that we would ever have conflict in our marriage.
We’d been best friends for a year before we ever dated. However, living with someone 24/7 brought out sides of him I’d never seen. It also brought out sides of me I’d never seen. I became self-protective, insecure and jealous.
Marriage quickly became a crucible. I realized I had a choice: Either allow God to forgive and free me from my quickly accumulating sins, or continue to be selfish and petty.
Some days, I chose the latter. Other days, I chose the former.
And I became painfully aware of the truth found in James 4:1, which reminds us that the “quarrels and fights” among us “come from the evil desires at war within.”
I wanted Jesus to have all of me … and I wanted to have a lengthy, healthy marriage. I knew there were no guarantees except that I — with God’s help — could change my own behavior.
In the process, here are three things I learned about fighting fair:
Don’t disengage. My past had taught me to stuff emotions and run from conflict. These were not healthy patterns at all, and Carey encouraged me to stick around when we argued, instead of leaving the room or running from issues we needed to resolve. Wow, that was a painful — but necessary — part of growing up. (Admittedly, this took years and lots of hard work. My tendency is still to “shut down” at times when things get tense. But I’m getting better.)
Don’t overreact. In the beginning of our marriage, I often let the way Carey said things send me into a tizzy. Instead of dealing with conflict in emotional, irrational ways, I had to learn to take a deep breath and carefully listen to Carey’s words — not just his tone or presentation.
Do find a happy medium. In the first few years of marriage, Carey wanted to hash things out for as long as it took to come to an agreement — even if our argument lasted for hours! But I wanted to talk about our conflict and then think about it separately … only coming back together when we had cooled down and found some sort of clarity. After a few years of butting heads over our differences, we found a compromise that worked. We agreed never to go to bed when we were angry, but we also agreed to “table” certain discussions until later, if I became too fatigued or distraught to continue.
Marriage is not always easy, but it was never supposed to be. The rough patches in marriage remind us how much we need to lean into God. As my husband tells our kids when they’re doing their homework, “Hard is not bad. Hard means you’re learning something.”
Difficulties and disagreements in our relationships can be outlets to show our mate “who’s boss.” Yet if we lean into the Lord, they can become opportunities for us to surrender to God’s guidance and build bridges to a deeper relationship with our spouse.
Father, we don’t want to run away from each other or from You, but our desires fight and war within us, and we are tempted to hurt each other. We often choose self-protection over selflessness. Move us from greed to gratitude. Lead us from spite to spiritual union. We need Your help every hour of every day. Continue Your transforming work in us, and sanctify our marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 4:26-27, “And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (NLT)
Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What makes you angry? Jealous? Self-protective? Talk about the ways your spouse could reassure you. Think about ways you can begin to let God heal the wounds that cause those emotions.
When have you surrendered your own desires for the sake of your spouse? How did you feel? How did your spouse react?
cc: @nicole@olubusola@oyinpd@blessedob@bosa@pearl@ldike@chybaby@sommie@ivie@nadia@iyawodiipo@biodun@ange@angel@akosua@bimpe@fadekemi@demmie@bigmummy@tynah@elle@fruitfulvine@goldie10@eby@drkome@beautilicious@mrsfab@diamond1@seyiblak1 @crystal@alexa@funyi@bibi @geraldine@mula@oyinpd @alexis
Culled from http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today-proverbs-31/September 28, 2016 at 3:30 am #19945
28th September, 2016
Good morning ladies, how are you doing today? The devotional is here.
The Miracle is On Its Way
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Christmas morning is serious business at the Southerland home. The sequence of events does not vary. First come the stockings. Everyone has a bulging stocking spilling over with small gifts.
And I am not talking about just any old stocking stuffers. I listen and question and watch our children and grandchildren all year long to see what makes their eyes sparkle and their faces light up.
I keep an ever-evolving Christmas list. No one knows where I keep it. And no one ever will if I can help it. I begin buying stocking stuffers and gifts each summer, and I stash them in secret hiding places around the house. I told you … serious business!
After the stockings are opened, we take a break to clean up and eat breakfast. Dan then reads the Christmas story and talks about the miracle of Jesus’ birth.
It is then time to open gifts. We try to follow the rule of taking turns so everyone can enjoy the process. It works pretty well with the adults, but not so much with the kids. The adults usually end up waiting to open gifts until the kids have opened all of theirs. Watching the children really is my favorite part of the day.
One Christmas, God used our oldest grandson to teach me an important lesson. He was six years old at the time and desperately wanted a red remote control Corvette for Christmas. All year long I had heard about this amazing car, so when I found it during a Christmas in July sale, I quickly bought it and stashed it in one of my secret spots.
When Christmas morning rolled around that year, the kids tore into their gifts with the usual exclamations of delight. But everything stopped when Jaydan opened that car. He jumped to his feet, eyes wide with excitement, pumped both fists in the air and yelled, “I knowed it! I just knowed it!” Jaydan then threw himself into my arms and then Dan’s arms, thanking us for the car before he raced back to play with it.
Our daughter-in-law then explained that he had been praying for that car for months and had even picked a spot in his room where he would keep it … when he got it.
That’s praying with thanksgiving.
It reminds me of the time when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. While His friend was still in the tomb, Jesus prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard me” (John 11:41).
Don’t miss this important truth! Thanksgiving came before the miracle. Jesus prayed and then thanked God for what He was about to do. Jesus knew. He did not wait to see the miracle before giving thanks to God. His gratitude came before the miracle as an act of faith.
I wonder what Jesus was thinking and feeling. I mean raising someone from the dead is no small feat. Jesus was God … and yet He was man, too. Did a doubt or two slither through his heart and mind? If so, He chose to set them aside and trust His
Father as an act of faith and assurance that the miracle was on its way. We need to do the same.
God is willing and waiting to pour out His favor and blessings on a life of faith. Hebrews tells us that faith always honors God and God always honors faith.
Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who truly want to find Him.”
Sometimes my faith is small and weak. That’s when I cling to the words of Jesus found in Matthew 17:20:
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I want to be like Jaydan. I want to grow to the place where I pray … and make room in my heart and life for the answer to that prayer before it comes.
I want to live in a constant state of celebration that the miracle is on its way!
Father, I come to You today with a faith that seems so small. I want to believe You, Lord. I want to walk by faith, knowing that You will keep every promise You have ever made. Help my unbelief, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 86:15 (NIV) “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Record this verse in your journal. Then make a list of the words in this verse that describe God. What do these words tell you about God’s willingness to bless your life?
What is the first step of faith you need to take today? Are you willing to take it right now?
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/September 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm #20062
Dear ladies, below is today’s devotional.
30th September, 2016
Nudged Out of the Nest
by Joyce Meyer – posted September 30, 2016As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions.
– Deuteronomy 32:11
Baby eagles spend the first three months of their lives in the comfortable nest their parents have prepared. But the eaglets get a big surprise when they are about twelve weeks old. Their mother suddenly begins to throw all of their toys out of the nest.
Next, she begins to pull out all of the comfortable material in the nest—the feathers and the animal fur—and leaves the babies sitting on thorns and sticks. This is what the Bible means when it mentions that the mother eagle “stirs up her nest.” The reason she stirs the nest is that she wants her babies to get out and fly.
Before long, the mother eagle begins to nudge them out of the nest. The little eaglets, who have no idea how to fly, fall through the sky, probably very frightened. Soon, though, they hear a “whoooooooosh” as the mother eagle swoops up under them to catch them. At that point, the mother eagle takes the babies right back up to the nest and then nudges them out again. She keeps repeating the process, over and over again, until they finally understand that they have no choice but to fly.
The mother eagle does this because she loves them and wants them to have the best lives they can possibly have. Most eaglets won’t get out of the nest without this push. Similarly, most of us will also choose comfort over challenge unless we have no choice at all.
Do you feel God is working in your life the same way the mother eagle does with her young? Has He been pulling some of the padding out of your nest so you find yourself sitting on prickly branches? Is He saying to you, “Come on, it is time to fly”? If so, remember the mother eagle’s intentions and know that you can trust God’s good intentions for you.
Trust in Him: Do you feel as if God has pushed you out of your comfortable nest? Trust Him. He isn’t trying to harm you—He’s teaching you to fly!
Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspxOctober 6, 2016 at 8:52 am #20421
6th September, 2016
Don’t Let This Heartbreak Destroy You
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
There’s a line from the prayer my father-in-law prayed over us at our wedding that I think of quite often: “Lord, give them enough hurts to keep them human and enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours.”
There were many other lines of blessing in the prayer, but this part made me tilt my head, heavy with sprayed-up curls and a homemade veil.
My face flushed at the realization I’d forgotten to cross that part out.
I’d seen the prayer beforehand. It was all typed out. But in the rush of everything, I’d forgotten. And now, we had essentially asked God for heartbreak. At our wedding. Awesome.
But Art’s dad is a man of wisdom. And I’m thankful he didn’t take it upon himself to strike that part. I couldn’t have understood the prayer on that day full of white tulle, giddy whispers of love and my 3-year-old sister singing “Happy Birthday” during the lighting of the unity candle. But as life has unfolded, I now very much understand the beauty of those lines.
Our life could have been very self-focused. Our marriage. Our home. Our kids. Our plans. Our life.
But God wanted so much more from us. He didn’t bring us together simply to build a life that would make us happy. He brought us together to be partners in the purpose He assigned. Our own strength would not have prepared us for kingdom assignments. It probably would have crippled us with selfishness and pride.
Heartbreak is a part of life.
It’s certainly been a part of different seasons of my marriage. And though every single hurt seemed like an exposure of weakness in our relationship, it actually brought out a strength we couldn’t have gotten any other way. The breaking of us has actually been the making of us … the God-strengthened us He could use.
I don’t know what kind of heartbreak you are walking through right now, sweet friend.
Maybe your marriage didn’t remain standing under the weight of life. Maybe you’ve never been married, but you long to be. Please don’t get stuck thinking these truths are only for couples.
Married or not, do not let the heartbreak you’ve experienced be wasted. God is still with you. His promises still stand. Soak in His truths and let them seep into the deepest places of your heart rubbed raw with uncertainty.
Don’t let what breaks your heart destroy your life.
Hold fast to Jesus and remember: This breaking of you will be the making of you. A new you. A stronger you. Strengthened not with the pride of perfection, but with the sweet grace of one who knows an intimate closeness with her Lord.
And don’t miss out on the hope God offers in our key verse: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34:18).
Using the original language for this verse, you could read it like this: The Lord draws near to the one who’s had her heart shattered and delivers her from exposed grief to victory.
He draws you near despite the sharp evidence of your grieving heart. The anger. The deep disappointment and disillusionment. The questions of why you, and why now? The comparisons that make you feel as though God loves other people more. How could He let this happen? The cussing and banging your fist on the steering wheel. The shame and anguish. All of these are shards of being shattered.
God isn’t afraid of your sharp edges that may seem quite risky to others. He doesn’t pull back. He pulls you close. His love and grace covers your exposed grief. And step-by-step He leads you to a new place of victory.
Father God, thank You for the way You tenderly minister to the shattered places in my heart. I’m so grateful You are able to use every heartbreak in my life for good. I am choosing to believe today that You are leading me to a place of strength and victory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you currently walking through a season of heartbreak? How could God actually use it to strengthen you?
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/October 6, 2016 at 9:32 am #20434
BosParticipantOctober 6, 2016 at 9:38 am #20435
This resonates so so deeply “The anger. The deep disappointment and disillusionment. The questions of why you, and why now? The comparisons that make you feel as though God loves other people more. How could He let this happen? The cussing and banging your fist on the steering wheel. The shame and anguish. All of these are shards of being shattered”
Thank God He draws us near despite the sharp evidence of our grieving heart.
I pray God continually strengthen & heal us. Amen
Thanks @oluwakemiOctober 6, 2016 at 9:54 am #20439
This just speaks soo much to me. Lost my job 2 days ago, and am like y me, y now, the heartbreak, but am reassured after this. God is still with me.October 6, 2016 at 9:57 am #20440October 6, 2016 at 10:20 am #20444
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