The Dogfights (#jammed daily devo, day 201)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 201: Dukes up.

“Moses (to God):  Who am I to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel’s children out of Egypt?'” Exodus July 203:11 (VOICE)

Today’s verse is a dogfight. God is telling Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Egyptians, and Moses is telling God ‘no.’

dogfight-A device used in marches and piano rags to introduce a contrast in style and break the flow of the composition with a loud and intense musical statement.

“Who am I?” Moses says. Moses …it’s God! Just do what He tells you to do! Are you kidding? 

 The dogfight is special because it characterized by a musical interaction between instruments or groups of instruments playing a short musical phrase followed by another short musical phrase by a different group of instruments.

A dogfight is a musical conversation. Can’t you just hear the trumpets play as Moses whines? And the big bellowing tubas as God responds to Moses. Back and forth, until God finally allows Aaron to speak for Moses.

“Who am I?”

When we wonder who we are, God reminds us we are His. Even when we dig our heals in, turn and run, or bury our heads in the sand. We are still His. Always His. Whether or not we acknowledge our Creator, Author of us He is. We may not be able to talk directly to Him through a burning bush like Moses, but we can dogfight through prayer. He will respond.

Moses was honest with God, and God looks at the heart. He honors those who honor Him. Moses felt unworthy, unqualified, and scared. When we feel the same, we can talk to Him, too. Jesus is bridges the gap from our unworthiness to God’s holiness. He is the Way we talk to God. He is the Truth God speaks to us. He is the Life we receive when we accept Him as our Savior.

Who are we?

His.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You that we are Yours, now and forevermore. Thank You for Jesus, and His willingness to lay down His earthly life for us so that we can dogfight with You. Forgive us for our doubt and hesitation. For our lack of faith in who You made us to be. Please bless us and strengthen our hearts and resolve to follow Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

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The Dukes …Up. (#jammed daily devo, day 160)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 160: Grace defends.

“Still, the Lord is true to His promises; He will hold you up and guard you against the evil one.” 2Thessalonians 3:3June 9

“She did it on purpose.” she whispered through fresh tears.

“I know,” I commiserated, as I put my arm around my girl.

But it didn’t make her feel any better. She was still stinging with shock and hurt, dukes-up and ready to defend herself. When we’re hurt unjustly, a flood of entitled emotion threatens to steal our peace. It’s never easy to see our girls collapse into our arms in tears, but when they do, we have to reassure them that God is for them.

Bullying is an epidemic, and backsliding insults dealt with a touch of laughter leave us to wonder if there’s even a line to cross anymore. For those raising daughters, it can be a battlefield of over-dramatic bullets out on that grade-school play ground. Stay off of it, and in conversation with your girls about how to be friends as Jesus would.

He associated with anyone, the very Son of God being privy to the good knit in all of us at birth. Jesus was kind to people despite their dysfunction, and didn’t exploit their personality traits for a laugh. Though He was friendly to all, Jesus had a special group of close friends, more trusted than most. He told the apostles all the Father had told Him. He held Mary and Martha in a special place in His heart. His cousin, John the Baptist, was especially dear to Him.

Today’s verse promises us that God will defend us. He will strengthen us to be strong when we need to be strong, and uphold us in defense when we have been wronged. Christians are called to forgive as we have been forgiven, but we need to guard our hearts. Authentic friendship is trustworthy, and we …and our girls …need to know that when that trust is broken, friendship beyond forgiveness is not an obligation.

When faced with tough situations, we can pray with our daughters …and remind ourselves …to pray hard into those uncomfortable, betraying, and “left out” moments.

The evil one is after our children, and he’ll mess with their relationships just like he messes with ours. We must be careful not to let our hearts be hooked into the middle of every conflict, and remember to pause and pray until there is a peace about moving forward.

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Father, Praise You for defending us on life’s battlefield. Thank You for having our backs, and opening our eyes when we need to stand firm in Your Word. Forgive us for tolerating and accepting treatment that we know we are worth more than. Help us to operate in grace and embrace Your defense. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Dukes-Up,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!

The Little Treasures (#jammed daily devo, day 158)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 158: Grace’s Place.

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10 (VOICE)June 7

“Mom!” my daughter warned, “you can’t look in this treasure box …you’ll just get mad.”

She’s right. I think collecting things off of the floor wherever we go is really gross. I’d probably get mad and start picking things out of there and throwing them away. But it’s her “treasure.”

It’s not all worthless, though, even through practical eyes. She has always found pennies on the ground where ever she goes. Even from the seat of her stroller she would yell, “WAIT!! MOMMY!!! PPPEEEENNNNNYYY!!!” And sure enough, a penny there always was. Maybe a piece of smashed gum once or twice ...oh, I better check that treasure box for that …

Today’s verse describes the thief’s malicious intent. Some thieves steel for the thrill or for the challenge, as a bi-product of addiction, or for survival …but not this thief. Satan seeks to steal what is precious to us, in order to destroy us.

malicious- intentionally harmful; spiteful.

Far worse than losing things that we can claim on our insurance policies, this idiot stirs up trouble in our relationships, our families, our parenting, our friendships, our marriages …our literal lives. We should be wary to pray into our relationships with the people that God has placed in our lives. Anytime there is conflict stirring, he is anxiously waiting to start picking things out …

God says, “It’s not good for man to be alone,” but he would love to leave us that way.

That’s not the way Jesus operates. When His hand is in a situation, he promises “life with joy and abundance.” I hold out hope that “abundance” means I can literally be friends with everyone, but ‘joy’ is the key word. It’s OK to extract ourselves from situations that the joy has been sucked out of. It’s, in fact, a good signal to pause and pray.

Pastor Steven Furtick puts it best, “enabling dysfunctional relationships is not the same as forgiveness,” and “forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.” In our search for how to handle things, let’s not hand them right over to the one that wants to wreck us.

In a society that pushes for answers and litigates the ever-living-life out of everyone and everything …prayer is a powerful way to shut it all down. Guard those precious to you, but don’t squeeze every relationship into a box. Let them all breathe in and out to His joyful and abundant rhythm.

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Father, Praise You for other people! Thank You for creating us to be social creatures instead of solitary beings. Forgive us for letting the thief stir up trouble in our lives, and help us to be wary and watchful to listen for Your guiding voice through the turmoil he attempts to cause in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Treasuring,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!

The Sandy Dollars (#jammed daily devo, day 131)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 131: More to the story.

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone…”Proverbs 23:10 (NIV)

“I found one! I found one!” my littles screeched in delight.image-131

Dozens of perfect sandollars. So fragile that they are hard to find in one piece, that day we managed to fill buckets full after the stormy ocean tide went back out to sea.

There are many legends that coincide with sand-dollar traits, and my favorite is that of the five doves. Inside each sand dollar, there are always five white doves. They are actually the sand dollar’s teeth, which I think makes them all the more sybollic. So if we’re lucky enough to find one of these fragile creatures before broken, and break it open …five white doves can be found in the middle. A symbol of hope and peace. All the way up from the ocean floor and into the palm of our hands.

Today’s verse talks about an ancient boundary stone.

“Archaeology has revealed Mesopotamian boundary stones on which inscriptions indicate ownership. To move a boundary stone was to steal land; this was strictly forbidden as here in Proverbs”-Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary of the Old Testament

We belong to God, and there isn’t a soul on earth that can remove His claim on our lives. Let’s look at the rest of this text:

Do not move an ancient boundary stone
    or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
 for their Defender is strong;
    he will take up their case against you. Proverbs 23:10-11

The Defender is Jesus. He is God’s Law come to life on earth, and given for us on the cross
that we may come to Him and claim our inheritance. Regardless of who we come up against in this life, no one can snatch us out of God’s hand once our hearts have fallen in love with His Son. Mistakes will be made, but we will not be shamed with guilt. Over and over He will welcome us back into His arms, like the story of the prodigal son.

Jesus brings us up from the depths of the story sea in one miraculous, hope-filled piece.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, praise You for sandollars! Just one of the many fascinating pieces of nature that You created. Thank You for making this world a treasure of elements that point back to You. Forgive us for waiting on big signs of strength, when sometimes You choose fragile and seemingly impossible ways to defend and protect us. Help us to see Your protective hand in all we do, as we walk with Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Bucket-filling,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!