Not everyone can be front and center all of the time. Our culture puts a high value on what is seen, though, and when we feel like we aren’t seen we may feel less than valuable. As with most things, however, God’s viewpoint is quite different from our modern culture. In God’s kingdom culture those things which aren’t seen tend to have a much higher value than those that are seen. Today’s devotional drives that point home.
“I set up a camera stand in my dining room and place my smart phone on it. I’ve thought of cancelling this live video a thousand times already. I run through the reasons why in my mind: “I’m a mess. I won’t have anything to offer. God can’t use me when I feel weak.”
But deep inside a voice seems to whisper, “Just show up.” Before I hit the red button I pray, “Lord, speak through my lips what I need to hear, too.” I tell almost 2,000 women in the You’re Already Amazing Summer Study that it has been a hard week. I bow my head and we pray together across miles and continents. I’m reminded that God said He would be where two or more are gathered and somehow read more
Sometimes we get all stressed out and can even make ourselves sick because we live as if everything depends on us. While we certainly have a part to play, (get off our duffs and do what we know to do), the outcome does not depend solely on us. Whew! That’s a stress breaker right there. The final outcome is God’s business. Today’s devotional by Holley Gerth shouts this message loud and clear if we will open our hearts and ears a listen.
“…This makes a difference because we don’t have to carry the weight of what ultimately happens. We also don’t claim it as our identity. The “failure” isn’t proof that we’re inadequate and the praise isn’t proof that we’re to be worshipped. Both are too much for us to carry. Instead we can release all the criticism and praise to God and simply do the next thing He asks. Whew.
Pretty much everyone knows how it feels to have people say unkind things, and pretty much everyone has said unkind things to others. Today’s devotional encourages us to be quick to be kind instead. Sounds like a good plan.
“The summer before I started middle school, I gained a lot of weight and developed unsightly stretch marks on my thighs. I was ashamed. While my parents worked during the day, my older sister took me to the neighborhood pool. I braced myself when I walked out of the changing stall. My sister never said one word about my body. She only said, “I love your bathing suit!” I remember as if it were yesterday. It meant everything that she managed to think of one nice thing when she could have said something cruel or nothing at all.
In the days that followed, other people were not so kind, but the pain was eased by remembering what my sister said. She’d said one nice thing, and her opinion mattered more than all the others.
Although my sister was very smart, and had long, beautiful hair and good conversation skills, I realized that anyone could read more
Pretty much anyone who is alive and breathing has been or will be wounded by another person at one point or another in their lives. It’s an ugly, messy, and painful business particularly when the one doing the wounding is one of God’s people. If you’ve been wounded and are tempted to chuck the whole mess and get out of Dodge please take some time to read today’s devotional by Ann Graham Lotz on Faithgateway.com and rethink your current escape plan.
“I know by experience what David knew. Prayer can help heal your hurt. It can take the sting away. One reason is that it can help put your wounding in perspective. When I focus on God and who He is, my wounders don’t seem so intimidating and my hurt somehow becomes smaller.
So may I encourage you? Put the brakes on any runaway mental conversations you may be having with those who have wounded you. If you don’t, and those sharp words careen recklessly across the highway of your healing journey, your wounded heart and life are going to end up as something like splattered roadkill. At the very least, you will read more
Some people just seem to be able to stay on track and not take as many wrong turns and missteps or make as many poor decisions as others, but we all have done it a time or two. Or three. Or more. Thank God He is able to redeem it all. Todays devotional reminds us that God can do just that and get us safely to our final destination.
“A special report on This American Life follows the lives of several people currently living what they unequivocally call “Plan B.” Host Ira Glass expounds his thoughts on an informal poll and a seemingly universal human reality. He asked a room of hundred people to think back to the beginning of adulthood when they were first formulating a plan for their lives. He called it Plan A, “the fate you were sure fate had in store.” He then asked those who were still following this plan to raise their hands. Only one person confessed she was still living Plan A; she was 23 years old.
It seems a trend among us: There is the thing we plan on doing with our lives, and then there’s the thing we end up doing, which becomes our life. Here, Christians often have a nuanced view of Plan A: it is God’s plan they are trying to follow. But there is still very much an initial picture of what this plan, and subsequently our lives, will—or should—look like. God’s best becomes something like a divine Plan A, while any other plan leads the follower to something else.
But akin to the statistics in the room with Mr. Glass, it is likely read more
Jesus told His disciples that they were to love one another. But what does that mean? What does it look like? How can you love others well? One great way to love others is by serving them. Click on the arrow to listen to Sunday’s message by Pastor Marlan and discover some practical ways to love through serving.
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