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

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Stay encouraged!

The Photobomb (#jammed daily devo day

February #jammed: Dunked in Grace 

Day 39: Grace is expectedly unexpected.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:12-14 (NIV)

“Photobomb!!!!”post-image-39

Who could have predicted that taking a nice family picture would get even harder as time rolled on? Purposely botched pictures end up being my favorite moments to remember. What would our walls look like if we framed all of the candid moments instead of the “staged” candid moments?

The hallway walls in our first home were completely covered with framed pictures. There was no rhyme, reason or Pinterest in my life back then. To look back, I’m sure I’d be appalled at what I did to those walls. But, in those first days of our family, I was proud of every moment! I didn’t care that those cheap frames would fall down and damage my toe or crash as my shoulder brushed against them. They were my memories, and I loved that hallway.

I never put all of those frames back up, as I intended to when I packed them up for the new house. But over time and one by one, I went down to the basement to pull out a frame to “repurpose,” as I snuck holes in new walls to make it feel more like home.

Paul’s words in today’s verse echo in my ears as I look back at those “old house” memories: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on …”

There are some moments in life that we skip out of, and others that we barely survive. Through them all, walks Jesus with us. Imagine Him photo-bombing every picture we’ve ever taken! No matter if change is exciting or heartbreaking, looks back are always laced in some kind of emotion.

Life moves forward, whether we’re ready or not. What are we moving toward? The bigger and the better …just to be bigger and better? Paul reminds us,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Heaven is the end of an earthly life walked with Christ.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, You are incredibly forthright to leap out of the ancient text of the Bible and bring it to life in our lives today. Praise You for Your Living Word, and thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to bring us into Your presence. We confess that we sometimes move to keep up with life instead of in stride with You. Forgive us, and bless us with the endurance to keep our eyes on You, all the way to the end. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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

#greatgrace17

Happy Framing,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!