The Day without “Good-bye” Kisses (#jammed daily devo, day 175)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 175: Don’t turn away.

“Men, if you had listened to my warning, we would still be safe in Crete and would have avoided this damage and loss.” Acts 27:21

June 24

All the way to school, I lectured her. And when it was time for her to get out of the car, she got out and walked away. No hugs. No blown kisses and excessive lingering and stalling while I nervously looked behind me to make sure we weren’t holding up the line. Not that day. That day she was a mission to escape.

In today’s verse, Paul reminded the men on a shipwrecked boat that if they would have listened to him all of the “damage and loss” would have been avoided.

Despite the damage and loss, they all lived on.

Despite my daughter’s dismissal, the day rolled on.

When we let our soapbox stand taller than our faith, damage and loss occurs. It’s never worth the lost time invested in trying to prove our authority.

Can you imagine Paul, as they all float on pieces of the boat to shore? Like a mother who has given her child ample warning and they choose not to head it anyway …

And the men …trying not to let their pride be swallowed up by the sea …literally.

Jesus is not an “I told you so” Savior. He’s an “I knew you would” Redeemer. Grace doesn’t dig it’s feet in and wonder why. Grace knew why before we wondered, what if?

Though we wander and toil through life, He doesn’t begrudge us. He doesn’t turn His back or give up on us. The consequence of sin will still sting, but His love will endure forever.

What if we, as parents, cut the lecture time in half. What if we, instead, pray more and talk less? Praying into disciplinary measures helps us acknowledge the true Author of life …ours and our children’s. It removes sole authority from our imperfect solutions and allows us to spotlight unconditional love …perhaps patience beyond even our own understanding …when we seek to love as He loves.

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Father, Praise You for enduring and endearing Love. Thank You for Grace. Forgive us for running around over and over, and bless us to right our ships again and again as we chart a course to follow Christ. 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 Tongue-biting,

Megs

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The Feeds (#jammed daily devo, day 174)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 174: Scroll to find the light.

“Disabled Man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir; but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred.” John 5:7 (VOICE)June 23

The man in today’s verse is discouraged. He’s let what’s happening around him, and what other people are doing, affect his faith that Jesus can heal him. He’s talking to Jesus. Hello ..Savior of the world …God’s only Son …spotless Lamb … but the man’s mind has become so clouded by what’s streaming past his line of sight that he can’t fathom the miracle that is about to happen to him.

Social media numbs us like this. Even when we realize it’s a collective highlight real, we still look and look and look until comparison seeps in to our skin and starts to make us itch for something we don’t have …to live somewhere God hasn’t placed us …to have a career we weren’t called to …to look like we weren’t made to …to believe what’s not true …and behave like we don’t believe in anything.

When we live by social media standards, it begins to chip away at our self-worth. When we live by God’s standards, we light up the dark. After much frustration with social media and a temporary removal from it …I decided to stay in the fight. Because that’s what it is. That’s where the people are. That’s where hurt people are, disguised as happy highlight reals, and crying out to acquaintances for help.

Where ever God’s people gather together to seek Him and know Him …He is there. Even amoungst social media. The God that created people and communication in the first place is surely present amoung so many of His children. Children that Jesus died to save. People He knit from the inside out. People that are purposed to serve and follow and glow in the dark.

Don’t back down from the fight. When it get’s ugly, get in the Word. Stay in prayerful conversation. But don’t leave it pitch black out there.

 …“someone must carry me into the pool…”

 “without a helping hand, somebody else beats me to the pool ever time…”

We can’t help the blind and the poor if we hide from them. Not everyone that needs us is on social media …but a lot are.

Be there because He’s there.

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Father, Praise You for social media. Thank You for the many languages and ways in which we communicate with each other …and You. Forgive us for running away when it gets hard and annoying. Forgive our judgement on others. We are called to be there, and be light. Send your Spirit to strengthen us to do just that, all the days of 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 Scrolling,

Megs

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

The Triple Apology (#jammed daily devo, day 173)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 173: Keep confessing.

“Keep up your courage.” Acts 27:22

It takes three apologies to extract sincerity from my kids.June 22

The first apology is accusatory, as they try to squirm their way out of whatever they’ve gotten themselves into. The second is compliant, knowing that if they don’t utter those two very important words, a yard full of dog poop awaits them. Finally, after they have drifted around to the dock  ownership  …they are able to focus on the effects of what they’ve done, shake the automatic defense mode into remembering their manners, and sincerely apologize for the feelings they’ve hurt.

Children are not the only ones that have a problem taking ownership for their mistakes. It seems to be a natural inclination of humanity. Entitlement comes automatically, and pride is always prepared to start swinging …but humility, courage, confession, and repentance? Not so automatic.

In today’s verse, we find Paul encouraging this ragged boat of prisoners and administrators to rally with courage. He’s encouraging them, despite the fact that they still fail to take ownership in their part of the problem.

 I was correct in my warning, so I urge you to believe me now…”

Those words come flying out of my motherly mouth multiple times a day. We undoubtably know when we’re right and when we’ve been wronged …

“…none of you will die. We will lose the ship, but we will not lose one life. “

Every life was spared despite their disobedience.

Our lives will be spared, despite our disobedience …because of the Cross.

“So keep up your courage, men!” -Acts 27:22 (VOICE)

Grace has nothing to do with what we can do, and everything to do with what Jesus did. Death on a cross, to spare our lives. Why? Because God is love.

Whether we look upon stormy situations as North wind crashing upon someone else’s shore, or our beach being drowned in a torrent of wind and waves, Jesus calms the storm and encourages us to …

Keep up your courage …and apologize.

Keep up your courage …and change.

Keep up your courage …and remain humble.

Keep up your courage …and forgive.

Keep up your courage …and keep following Him.

Bravery isn’t always the picture of an armed soldier claiming victory over his enemies, but a shipwrecked soul with formidable faith in the One who holds them together int he storm.

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Father, Praise You for courage. Thank You for making us brave in the face of humiliation and torment. Forgive our hesitation to take ownership over the calamity we cause, and forgive those who have offended us. Please bless our lives with humility and bravery, as we follow 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

Happy Courage Keeping,

Megs

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The Eye Fur (#jammed daily devo, day 172)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 172: Make sure you can see.

 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me.” Acts 27:23

“Cherry.” Despondent…June 21

“Cherry, look at me.” Slight head tilt in my direction..

“I know you can hear me …look at me.”

These conversations with my dog happen a lot when her hair conveniently grows over her eyes and blocks her vision of my scowling face when she’s told to do anything she doesn’t feel like doing. Much like a chid, I know she hears me …but she doesn’t always listen without seeing the whites of my eyes.

Today’s verse is part of a shipwreck. Paul is out on a boat with the prisoners, and amidst a terrible storm, he hears from God. Instead of turning their heads and on their heals to listen to what God said to Paul, the men went about their ways …and the ship wrecked.

We often don’t believe second-hand information. Gossip is much too big of an epidemic to trust a voice we can’t see. We can blindly trust God’s voice. Paul tried to explain that to the men on the ship, as we might attempt to explain our faith to those that surround us. They may look at us like we’re delivering second hand gossip …misinterpreted information, or glorified stories.

“an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve…”

Paul tried to explain to them, but telling them wasn’t going to be enough. In fact, even after they all survived a shipwreck, they still handed Paul over as a prisoner. Even the most epic stories of survival aren’t enough to prove faith to those who can’t ‘see.’

Paul knew who he was. “…the God to whom I belong…”

Paul was called. “…and whom I serve.”

When we know Whose we are, and answer His call to serve, we are never alone. From the moment we accept Christ as our Savior, He stands beside us. So close, we can feel Him , we can hear Him …we can almost see Him.

There are many things in life that can block our sight like my dog’s eye fur. Ambition, goals, pain, poverty, heartache, pride … cut them out of your line of sight, and focus on the One who doesn’t need to be seen to change the course of our stars forever. Many witnessed Jesus when He walked the earth. They saw Him. They hugged Him. They heard Him speak and witnessed miracles like we imagine they looked in movies.

But we were created to have faith in what we cannot see. “Blessed are those who have not seen …and yet believe …

…for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” – John 20:29

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Father, Praise You for Jesus! Thank You for Paul’s faith and Luke’s faithfulness to write this story down. We confess our lack of faith in what we cannot see, when everything do see attempts to drown out the Focus of our faith. Please bless our hearts to believe more every day in what we cannot see, and to hear Your voice with certainty as we follow 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

Happy Seeing,

Megs

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

 

The Bee-Sting (#jammed daily devo, day 171)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 171: When the fear hurts more than the pain.

“When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, ‘This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.'” Acts 28:4 (NIV)June 20

Bees freak out in the pouring rain …and so do kids. The combination is a dangerous one. Freaking-out bees plus flipping-out kids is a recipe for disaster. The shrill scream and terrified face belonged to me, and she reached out her soggy, stung self for some momma comfort.

“Let me see it,” I said as I gently attempted to move closer to the sting.

“NO DON’T TOUCH IT MOMMY DON’T TOUCH IT AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

Today’s verse tells the story of Paul, freshly landed off a ship wreck, warming himself by the fire …and getting bit by a ferocious snake. He was drenched, banged up, but happy to be alive. My reaction would have been sheer terror, a la my child’s bee sting experience. But he was calm.

The people around him thought for sure he’d done something to deserve death. But Paul knew better. He knew and trusted God. Often times we go through some crazy stuff when we follow Christ. Stuff people don’t know how we survive. Things that make people think maybe we must have had it coming to us. But God …

My daughter never did let me look at or even come near the bee sting. I held her and rocked her, standing in a parking lot drenched to the core and trying to embrace every word of the praise music blasting out of the speakers to keep my patience in tact for my little one.

When my husband showed up to pick her up, we were both crying. I was overwhelmed …and she was terrified. But God …

When I returned to the concert, with the youth worship team and the other leaders, I was reminded why we go through the crazy things we go through for God. My little bee-sting survivor returned with her Daddy later on, and we all worshipped Him together.

And Paul …well, he just shook that snake off into the fire.

Sometimes, we need to shake it off and get back out there so we don’t miss the next amazing experience God has planned for our lives.

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Father, Praise You for snakes and bees. They are terrifying, and they can hurt us! But sometimes, we need to be humbled and shown that we are stronger and more fit to survive than we think. That with You, all things are possible. Thank You. Forgive us for living small, and help us to have huge faith. 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 Shaking,

Megs

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