The Green Sweater (#jammed daily devo day 14)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 14: Memory Marks. 

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)day-14

There are some memories that no fire or flood could ever pluck from my memory. Grams was my favorite person. I picked her for my Catholic School Confirmation sponsor in the 8th Grade because she was my first mentor and best friend. She was never to busy to listen to me, and I have always been a talker.

My Grandma grew up during The Great Depression. She lost her Dad when she was seven, and her mom when she was about twelve. That alone could seal a soul up for a lifetime. I’m pretty sure I remember her saying her siblings were separated. It wasn’t the last calamity she would endure in her life. Yet, through it all, she had a great handle on grace.

She prayed all the time. We prayed together. And that made all the difference.

Grace isn’t about things being perfect and life being pain free. It’s an attitude of gratitude through it all, to the One standing by our side as we travel life. The only One powerful enough to light our smiles and kindle our joy as we weather the seasons of life. The things we suffer and the weaknesses we possess are the very things God uses to perfect our holiness, until the day we hug Him in Heaven. #perspective

jammed-tweet-bluePaul really did have a physical weakness. No one is exactly sure what it was, but it was enough to keep Him humbly reliant on God.

“So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on -I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home with in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (VOICE)

Father, Praise You for my Grams, and for this space to honor her memory today. Thank You so much for placing people in our lives that mark us forever …that set an example of joy through Christ. Forgive us for overlooking the importance of our relationships, and bless us to appreciate them while we have the chance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Who is your Grams …that special person that marked your life? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Marks,

Megs

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The Christmas Bird (#jammed daily devo, day 358)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 358: Keepsakes.

“We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

There is a little statue that sits on my desk. It’s a blue bird with a Christmas hat. I think it DECJAM24was stuck in a Christmas planter sent to my Grandma one year, and she noticed I liked it and told me to take it. Now, it reminds me of her endless generosity and love for her family. For me. Christmas was her favorite, and she was mine.

The wisemen charted stars and knew that when they saw Christ’s star rising, He had been born. From a scientifically proven stand point, they showed up. No cell phones or computers …google maps or Facebook updates. They just saw the star, knew what it meant, and went to see Jesus.

Not having all of the pieces of the puzzle, but enough of them to get there.

Life is full of pieces, and through prayer and time in God’s Word, He will convict and change our hearts on at a time. We won’t be whole until we meet Him in heaven. This little bird on my desk is a piece of my Grams. Until I get to heaven to hug her again, a glance at it brings back how loving her feels. I don’t want to forget how much I love her. It’s like that little bird stores it for me.

God blesses our lives with memories so that we can hold on hope. Christmas is one of them. We have heard the story so many times, that we can almost picture ourselves in the scene. It’s a familiar truth and love that gives us hope. He came. He was here. Now, He’s in heaven …and for all those that believe in Him, we’ll be there someday, too.

Until then, we hold onto the pieces, and work on our own …keeping our eyes on the star in the sky.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for Christmas. Thank You for guiding us through this life, and forgive us for focusing on it more than the one to come in heaven. Bless us to love those around us, and to be a reflection of Your love, to everyone that knows who we are. 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 Piecing,

Megs

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The Right Stuff (#jammed daily devo, day 165)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 165: Step by Step.

“They took some ragged sandals and patched them. They dressed in threadbare clothes—all so it June 14would look as though they had come from far away. Even the food they carried was dry and moldy, as though it had been carried a long distance.” Joshua 9:5

It takes two notes of a New Kids on the Block song to transport me back to the fluorescent colored days of my 90’s childhood. Watching them re-emmerge decades into adulthood makes me want to break out all of my old dance moves. There were no ragged sandals on those boys back in the day, but I plead the fifth on threadbare clothes. Back in the teeny bopper magazine days posters of their faces covered my walls and buttons with their pictures littered my jean jacket.

Today’s verse tells of some old-school trickery. Who would’ve thought that the ‘right stuff’ would be ragged sandals, threadbare clothes, and moldy food. They knew Israel was under oath from God not to make a covenant or show favor with anyone in the land. (Duet 7:2).

The Gibeonites were their neighbors …and knew they would be destroyed. They had just witnessed what Joshua did to Jericho …the famous story where the army marched around the city until the walls came down. They were scared, and figured the only way to get Israel to strike a treaty with them was to pretend to be somebody else, and it worked!

When we strive to be accepted for people we are not, we suffer anxiously until the wool eventually falls off the eyes were trying to despise. And the wool always falls off. 

Gibeonite Leaders (to Joshua):  We knew for a fact that the Eternal One, your True God, had told His servant Moses that He would give you all of this land and that you would destroy all of the people in it. We were so afraid of you that this seemed the best thing to do.  But now we are in your hands. Do to us what seems fair and just to you, and we will accept it. Joshua 9:24-25

They Gibeonites were grateful to be spared, and happy to serve in whatever capacity Joshua assigned to them, having successfully spared their lives. Meanwhile, Joshua was left scratching his head. He had failed to consult God …a familiar pattern of old …that once again landed God’s people in a sticky situation.

Old memories serve as great reminders of growth, but…

It’s important to remember who you are and what you’re fighting for. Joshua 9 (VOICE)

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for memories, and thank You for the lessons that You teach us through them. We confess, it’s easy to get caught up in the past …for better and for worse. Help us to make smart decisions now, learning from where You have brought us from and looking forward to where You are sending us to. 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 Remembering,

Megs

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The Crowded Mirror (#jammed daily devo, day 144)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 144: Remembering.

Whoever schemes to carry out evil
    will be labeled a troublemaker.” Proverbs 24:8 (VOICE)

Growing up, I was always getting in trouble for sticking things on my antique mirror, and image-144cluttering it up with pictures and memories. So, when I passed it down to my daughter, I got her started by lining up a bunch of her favorite memories all around the border. Mine looks no different. In fact, two of the three panes are completely blocked by cute chubby cheeked baby smiles and firsts. Happiness abounds on that mirror that I sanded down, repainted, and I’m sure in some people’s minds, completely destroyed. But to me, it’s become treasure.

Today’s verse has some harsh warnings for ‘trouble makers.’ In an attempt to make things our own, we must be so careful not to push past the path we are attempting to follow. Life outside the confines of Jesus’ love is littered with trouble and schemes. If we don’t stay close to His counsel, we are libel to fall deeply into …and possibly even the perpetrate, such scheming.

conspiracies-Malicious plots or plans to harm or to kill, which may be directed against other people, or even against God. Conspiracies are sometimes motivated by political aspirations, but may be simply an outlet for wrongdoing.- Dictionary of Bible Themes

The reason prayer is so important is because conspiracies sound serious and obvious …but they don’t always look that way from the outside. We sometimes only see glimpses of just how deeply evil roots can go. Prayer and petition in honest humility will keep us on the path of walking wisely with God.

label- a word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification. Dictionary.com

When we’re tempted to label another heart, it’s a stark warning for our own. Seeing trouble and labeling are two different things. My mirror may seem like an atrocious disrespect of property to some, but if they could see it through my eyes perhaps they’d see what I see. Or, perhaps they’ll come a day when I do realize the error of my ways, and decide to take better care of the belongings I’m blessed with. Do you see how situational each life’s trouble can be?

This verse clearly warns us to stay clear of obvious trouble, and I agree! But what about the subtle doses of trouble that sneak in the back door? When we stay close to Jesus in prayer and in the Word, I believe we will be able to tell the difference.

Remember, just because we see trouble in someone else does not give us the right to label them. That’s between Jesus and them. Christians are to rebuke other Christians, but be so careful to consult Christ before confronting another with their faults.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise Your just hand. Thank You for taking judgement out of our hand through Your Word and through Prayer. We confess that we rush to judge others a lot. Help us to battle off the human temptation to label and call out, replacing it with the tendency to love and have mercy. 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 Holding-back,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!