The Miracle Memories (#jammed daily devo, day 235)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 235: Seasons of sickness.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith Unknowneven as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

The first time I heard the song, “Do It Again,” tears of praise rolled out with the waves on pier at sunrise. I used to think I knew of …even had …the kind of faith that Matthew wrote about. The kind of faith that Jesus spoke of. But I didn’t realize how lost I was until I found my ‘mustard seed’ faith.

Seasons of sickness and hardship can bring us face to face with the depth of our faith …or lack, there of. Even after a miraculous healing in my life, doors I felt led to walk through were shut …one after another. When people and health are stripped from our lives, and all kinds of calamity bears down, until we have no other option than to reach up and cry out …
Why, God?
Walking down the pier years later, lost in those words of praise, I was overcome by all of the things that God had brought me out of. As my memory replayed His miracles, my ‘mustard seed’ faith grew roots. Roots watered by hope and trust that no matter what the next redicuous season of hardship brings upon my life, He will undoubtably ‘do it again.’ Bring me through. Heal me. Help me. Defend me. Guide me. Provide for me.
Move mountains.
“If you had faith, even as small as a mustard seed …you could move this mountain.”
Looking back at what God has brought us through stirs gratitude in our hearts, reminds us of our miracles, and grows our faith. 
“You made a way, when there was no way …and I believe …that You will do it again.” -Elevation Worship
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Father, Praise You for reaching out to touch our hearts through worship. Thank You fro the faithfulness of those who write and sing songs that You deliver to us in the moment that we need to be reminded of You the most. Forgive us for thinking for a second that You are not paying attention to every part of our lives …seasons of suffering and harvest of happiness. Strengthen our faith in You, Lord. 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 Keyless Keys (#jammed daily devo, day 234)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 234: Invisible answers.

 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.August 22

 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

“Mom!” my daughters squealed in the cold wind …

“Unlock the door! HURRY!”

Gone are the days when the mini-van door would begin to open as my kids raced to beat each other to their seats. Now, they have to wait for me to get to my door. Then, the sensor in my door handle picks up the key fab in my pocket, and let’s me unlock the door by pulling the handle. Once I pull my handle, the girls can open their doors.

Today’s verse reminds me of that new key.

When we give our lives to Christ, we are close to Him. He senses our hearts outside of His door, and the moment we utter belief in Him as our Savior all of the doors are unlocked. All of the hard places in our hearts are open and exposed and begin the life-long process of softening to be more like His.

“But Thank God!”We are cut into Christ’s victory when those doors swing open. And from that day forward, no key is needed. That’s it. Once a heart is unlocked, it’s open for good. Protected by Him, as the Spirit dwells in us. His lock on our lives cannot be picked, and we can never be snatched from His grip.

“Be strong and immovable…” And that’s possible, by the power we receive through the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ. It’s not a promise of easily perfected good behavior, it’s an assurance that He will hold us up on the last day. 

“Work enthusiastically for the Lord …” “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Working in the trenches of the world as the loving arms of Jesus is joyful work.  There’s no “trying” to like what He’s called us to do. When we fall in line with His will for HIs life …it’s happiness as it was meant to be.

“Nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” The payoffs aren’t always going to be seen here on earth. We may never know all of the ways our lives have touched others for Him. But when we continue to pursue His will for our lives day after day, we can be sure that He’s executing His specific purpose for our lives.

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Father, Praise You for Your timing. Thank You for unlocking our hearts and calling us home. We confess our doubts and lack of faith, and pray that You sit down in the Word and send us out  in action for Your will for 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

Megs

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The Trying Bite (#jammed daily devo, day 233)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 233: It won’t kill us.

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or August 21wealthy when God called you. 

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

 God chose things despised by the world,things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NLT 

“Just try the bite,” we warned her, “you know how this is going to go.”

My oldest daughter is a picky eater, and my husband and I decided some time ago that patient negotiations were doing her limited taste buds no justice. She’s required to try a bite, no ifs ands or buts …no dramatic faces …or ridiculous outburst where she runs from the kitchen and up the stairs to her room as if she’s just been severely injusticed. It’s ridiculous.

“That was a bad decision,” I reply, as once again she storms out of the room to an early bedtime instead of politely trying something she’s never eaten before in her life.

Today’s Scripture warns us of the same kind of stubbornness, but on a much larger scale. God has the final say, and what He’s called us to accomplish in this life will never be a shock to Him. Our human nature tempts us to brag of what we’ve done and speak expertly on what we do not know. We discount ourselves from doing things He’s made us capable of, and promise to do what He has not ordained us to.

“Few of you were wise in the worlds eyes when God called you…”

Some of us may equate that to actual wealth …but what about the wealth and quality of life we receive when we reside in the Peace of Christ?

He choose, “the things the world considers foolish …things that are powerless …things despised by the world …things counted as nothing at all …”

“…to shame those who are powerful ….to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”

A Father, God took life out of our hands …and gave us Jesus.

“Follow me.”

That’s it. Believe, and follow me. The Peace of life is ours when we stop trying to control it.

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Father, Praise Your omnipotent hand on our lives. Thank You for saving us from ourselves by sending us a Savior. Forgive us for thinking we’ve got life under control or figured out, and help us to rely more on Your Word than our reason. 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 Taste-testing,

Megs

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The Whole Beans (#jammed daily devo, day 232)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 232: New Process.

“His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NLT)April 20

The flaps of my monthly memory verse ruffle in the dark silence of morning, as I twist off the metal top to reveal the little shiny surfaces of wonderfully smelling coffee beans. The sound of the metal scooper …one …two …three …four …five …as it plunges into the pile and brings them out of their flavor sealed home is music to my tired ears each day. Those beans plunk down to the grinder and then whir into millions of pieces.

The bubbling steam wafting from the kettle means it’s time to froth the beans …and I add a little water …and then I walk away. By the time I press that lid down to the bottom and pour that sweet, smooth goodness into one of my favorite oversized mugs, the wait has made it take all the more glorious.

French pressed coffee was the coolest new trick my coffee game had ever seen …until…

“Everyone in my generation drinks aeropress coffee….”

What? What was this hip new trend that I’m apparently too old and out of it to know about?! Can this be ordered at Starbucks? I wondered … How had I not heard of this before? What is this gloriousness?!?!?

I had to google it …and it looks complicated. As complicated as my French Pressed coffee once appeared to be. Now, it seemed so simple in comparison.

Coffee snobbery. There’s always another level.

When I was a little girl in Catholic school, I admired the Abbot at our church. There was something so sage about his wisdom, yet he was so joyful, funny and full of life. In High School and at Ashland University I looked up Youth Retreat and FCA leaders …kids like me who had a heart for Jesus …and what Jesus had visibly done in their hearts. Flipping through my new Bible way back then, I remember being so excited for the day I could keep up! Or, maybe even find that I’d highlighted that verse before …or even still …have it memorized!

I was excited about growing up in my faith, and Christ has shown me that the excitement never fades. There is always a new revelation waiting around the next corner of my life. Some new way I never knew Him before …some new experience He walks me through, or new task He gives me. Walking with Christ is like coffee snobbery ….there’s always another level. But it’s not to put pressure on our faith. When we believe and follow, we’re continually amazed by what we never knew we didn’t know. Life with Him is life on another level.

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Father, Praise You for Jesus. We cannot thank You enough for sending Your Son to us. We confess the days that we take His constant companionship for granted, and pray that You never stop challenging us and growing us to have hearts more like His. 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 Aero-pressing,

Megs

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The Glass Cleaner (#jammed daily devo, day 231)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 231: Streak-free.

The Lord rules over the floodwaters.August 19
 The Lord reigns as king forever.
 The Lord gives his people strength.
 The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11

Ready to bask in the glory of the big, giant, streak-free mirror …I opened the blinds to let every available source of light shine on it’s magnificence.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The streams of sunlight had revealed a ton of streaks on the mirror I had so proudly wiped clean. Why does it seem so easy for everyone else to accomplish a streak-free surface? It’s impossible for me!

Today’s verse assures us that whether it’s streak-free glass that is impossible for us, or other tasks in life …He “gives us strength …and blesses us with peace.”

Our God is so great. Like the verse today states, He rules over floodwaters and reigns as King forever. Some of us may be called to have streak-free glass, but others can take comfort in knowing that just because we can’t seem to figure that out doesn’t mean we have failed at life. It doesn’t mean we’re lacking anything …

The Lord’s absolute and everlasting rule is committed to his people’s complete salvation and unmixed blessedness—the crowning comfort in a world where threatening tides seem to make everything uncertain.- NIV Study Bible Notes 

Christ wiped the surface of our hearts clean when He died on the cross. There’s no stream of light that will expose anything He hasn’t already died to forgive us for. Things that others struggle to scrape off might not stick to us …and visa versa. Where we lack strength, He stands beside us and holds an end up. Holds our lives up. We can rest in knowing that comparing our lives to others is futile and in vain. He’s holding up their ends, too. Not one of us is perfect, or even capable of carrying each days’s weight. Not one. Purposefully…so we would haven grounds to brag about it.

He is all we need. That’s why He reached all the way down to earth, and made a Way for us to lean on Him. Jesus …the Way …the Truth …the Life.

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Father, Praise You for Your power to rule over floodwaters. Thank You for ruling over our lives. We confess that we take our freedom to choose outside of Your will for our lives all too often, and end up stranded and drowning because of it. Bless our lives with the Peace only found in following Jesus. 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

 

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