The Hiding Place (#recall12 series, October)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word each #recall12 October Image 1month! This month’s verse is: 

“The Eternal watches everything.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Squeak …SQUeak …SQUEAK!

Her lack of patience gives away her hiding spot every time. She just can’t stand the suspense of waiting to be found. My little girl prefers the ‘seek’ in hide-and-go-seek.

This month’s verse wraps us in protection. We don’t have to live in the suspense of our secrets being revealed, because God’s already aware of whatever we may attempt to hide. On the flip side, He sees us when we are in hiding, too. Whether to comfort us through darkness, or to meet us in the dark to defend us …He is watching.

The Eternal watches everything that happens on earth so that He may strongly support those who follow Him. 2Chronicles 16:9 (VOICE)

“The Eternal,” as translated by The Voice, further expands upon how inclusive His care is over us. From the time He created us to the time we hug Him in heaven …eternally, God is for us. The book of 2 Chronicles records the stories of the kings that attempted to return Judah from their fall from God. Some of the stories of Kings’ David and Solomon are recorded in 1&2 Chronicles. By the time we get to today’s verse, it’s Solomon’s great-grandson, Asa, that is sitting the throne.

#recall 12 October tweet 1“He led a wildfire revival, with the whole nation uniting behind him in a huge celebration in Jerusalem. Yet Asa became cocky in his later years …He did much good but fell short of the kind of courage that endures a national crisis.” (NIV Student Bible Notes)

The NIV translation of this verse uses the word ‘heart.’ …to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Though Asa had a wonderful heart for God, he still ended up struggling through some thick sin towards the end of his life.

The other half of today’s verse is starkly different:

By hiring mercenaries, you have acted foolishly and proven that you are not following Him. From now on, peace will elude you and you will surely fight wars. 2Chronicles 16:9b

Before this harsh warning of the consequence of Asa’s sin, Hanani (the seer delivering the above message) reminds Asa of all the previous victories God gave Him at the hand of his obedience to Him. Asa was a great king and leader for most of his life, but his human imperfection leads him to fall out of God’s grace in end.

‘You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2Chronicles 16:9b

Our humanity will fail us.

No matter how much we intend to do well, and how diligently we seek after God …we are destined to imperfection. And our God is too holy to be in the presence of sin.

In His compassion, God scratched the record needle as it lay stuck on the song of man’s failure …and put a new song in our hearts. Grace. Jesus. Forgiveness.

#recall12 October image 2

When Jesus came to earth, He took on humanity. He knows what it’s like to be hungry, hurt, and sad to the point of bloody tears. As we read of His life, we see 2Chronicles 16:9 in the way Jesus calls on His Father in times of distress. We witness it as God turns His back on Jesus to save us all as He died on that cross. See, 2Chronicles 16:9 is a story of glory for us. We can get back up. Our lives aren’t ever wasted on account of what we have done or will do. It is never too late. We are never too broken. God will always forgive us.

salvation- the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc-dictionary.com

The way we act on this earth will never trump Christ’s act to save us. Our misbehavior doesn’t #recall12 October tweet 2ever trump what happened on that cross. Our King. The King of Kings. The one who is and was and ever shall be. He will not fail us as human leaders do and as we fail ourselves. Instead, He blankets the fall of our humanity with the forgiveness of grace …promising us that He will watch over us …assuring us that He sees all.

 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

There’s no reason to hide or feel hidden.

We’ve got this …because He’s got us.

Happy Un-hiding,

Megs

#recall12 October Verse Cards Screen ShotClick here or on the image for this month’s FREE verse memory cards

#recall12 October Verse Cards PDF

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The Impossible Things (#recall 12 series, September)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word each month! This month’s verse is: 

“If you can?” Mark 9:23 (NIV)

Unknown

“Sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Alice in Wonderland

There’s a scene at the end of Alice in Wonderland, where Alice is trying to summon the strength within herself to slay the Jabowake. And in doing so, she recalls all of the impossible things that she has believed. It gives her the courage to do what she believes she can do. Although a fictional story, this classic tale inspires us to remember that “the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s possible.”

The mind can be trained to believe, and our thoughts can be told what we’re capable of. When we come down with a severe case of the “I can’t’s,” it helps to remember Who can. In this month’s memory verse, Jesus asks …“If you can?” Of course we can’t …but He can. And with Him, we will. Let’s look at the entire verse:#recall12 September tweet 1

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23 (NIV)

If you can? 

“What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. Mark 9:16

Doubt can kick the legs of our faith right out from underneath us. Arguments often seed in doubt and threaten to exploit distrust of another’s beliefs.

doubt-to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. distrust.

Jesus’ disciples were arguing over something that wasn’t going according to plan. The solution they sought wasn’t happening as they thought it should …or had in the past.

“Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech …I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” Mark 9:17-18

Why, this particular time, aren’t His disciples able to heal this boy?

Everything is possible…

Jesus begins to address what is possible for them, and what is possible only for God. Possible often looks a lot different in our eyes than it does to the One who actually has a finger on all things alive.

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Mark 9:19

Notice what happens when they stop arguing, and start to obey Jesus.

 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. Mark 9:20

Even the spirit saw Jesus coming, and took one last attempt to take the boy out. Life often seems to bear down when we’re already under attack, and that’s exactly what the spirit was doing to this boy.

“A person who truly believes will set no limits on what God can do.” NIV Study Bible Notes

There will be times in all of our lives where Jesus is the only one who will be able to help us.

“…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Mark 9:22

 

#recall12 September 2

…for the one who believes.

When beyond our limits, our belief in Christ saves us. Again and again, He will lift us out of what life has buried us in.

“The question was not whether Jesus had the power to heal the boy but whether the father had faith to believe it.” NIV Study Bible Notes

When we walk with Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts when we’ve let our doubt lead us into dangerous territory. Much like God moved the father’s heart …

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

The hardest part of faith isn’t accepting Jesus as our Savior. It’s not overcoming our doubt. It’s not even believing that the impossible is possible. The difficulty is in understanding what God’s seemingly impossible capability looks like …feels like …sounds like… in our everyday lives.

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

We’re not always going to be equipped to climb our mountains. Sometimes, we have to sit back and let God move them.

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”#recall12 September tweet 2

The hardest part of living in faith is sitting still in the pocket of prayer. Humanity is very goal-oriented. There are many times when are guts achieve God’s glorious goals for our lives. Tenacity and boldness are significantly important to walk out our faith. But there are some tasks that will surpass our physicalities. Answers to questions will eventually elude our logical abilities. Sometimes God answers …“this kind can come out only by prayer.”

Life isn’t always going to look like we think it should, thought it would, or want it to. But that doesn’t mean we should stop believing in the impossible. Our God is God of impossibilities, and Christ has authority over all the earth. The Spirit translates our prayers to God and God’s Word to us. His Word is faith’s handbook, and Christ-followed foot-steps eventually lead us to the Author.

Like Alice repeated the impossibilities that had become possible in her life to extend her courage to defeat the Jabowake …so must we repeat what God has made possible in our lives. When we look back and recount answered prayers, blessings, and miracles …we give our faith feet to stand firm and confidently in His Love.

Happy Believing,

Megs
September #recall 12 PDF

Click here, or on the image, for this month’s FREE verse cards!

Recall 12 September Screen Shot

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The Teenage Word of the 90’s. (#recall 12 series, August)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word each month! This month’s verse is: 

“Fill your minds with beauty and truth.” Philippians 4:8a

recall12 August image 1

“Whatever, Dad …”

My teenage voice echoes in my head every time I hear the word, ‘whatever.’ I said it so many times in those seven years of my teenage life that my Dad eventually started to call me, “Whatever.” It became a family joke. The first time one of my children say it to me will be gut-breakingly funny! Paybacks always come that way …or so I’m told. Whatever.#recall12 August Tweet 1

This month’s verse is followed by a string of ‘whatever’s.’ Let’s take a look at the second half of Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b (NIV)

Determining “whatever” is a common challenge, but the author of this verse enlightens the principles we should be steering our thoughts towards. Paul knew that whatever  “people allow to occupy their minds will sooner or later determine their speech and action. ” NIV Notes. 

“Whatever is true…” In the original Greek text, ‘true’ is the Greek word, ‘alethes.‘ It means “loving the truth, speaking the truth, truthful.” More than simply honest inclinations, we are called to be an outstretched arm of Truth, Himself.

“Whatever is noble…” Other translations use, ‘honorable.’ God’s character holds the true definition of what is honorable. God is good, all of the time. His timing is perfect, and He is fair and just.  He is Love …and Honorable.

“Whatever is right…” Strong’s Concordance defines “dikaios“(the Greek word for ‘right’) as “a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that is wholly conformed to the will of God.” Jesus was the only one worthy to walk out that definition. When we want to think about things that are right, we can look to the way that He lived His earthly life.

#recall12 August image 2

“Whatever is pure…” Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary says that innocence is“not be limited to sexual purity,” but that we should “keep away from any involvement in the sins of others.” Purity is self-restraint and resisting peer pressure.

“Whatever is lovely…” “Just give me more of Jesus,” an author said when asked what new writers should base their content off of. What is more lovely than Grace? Grace that died on a cross for us before we knew Him. When we know Jesus, we begin to see reflections of His loveliness in each person we meet.

“Whatever is good…” God is good, all the time. To meditate on goodness is to think of Him.

“Whatever is excellent or praiseworthy…” The best way to think about excellent and praiseworthy things is to praise Him. Worship in song or in still admiration of the sun rising puts God’s glory on display.  The primary task of humankind is to give this praise to God (Phil 4:8) and not oneself- Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

“Fill your minds with beauty and truth.” Philippians 4:8a

#recall12 August Tweet 2“Whatever” is filling statement. It leaves no room for dispute and shuts the conversation down. It can be an open invitation to listen, or a closed door for consideration. Our minds fill up with God’s Words when we are listening to ‘whatever’ He says. Others benefit from Jesus’ love when our arms are outstretched with ‘whatever’ He wills for our lives.

“Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” Philippians 4:8b (VOICE)

When we meditate in conversation with God, He fills our thoughts with ‘whatever.’

The Voice translation uses the word ‘meditate,’ which lends more depth to the sentiments we consider thinking about. To meditate is “to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.”(Merriam-Webster) It specifies that these aren’t just random thoughts blurring through our brains, but notions we grab a hold of and let marinate in our minds. It’s there, in that pocket of relaxed concentration, that we witness the “beauty and truth” that God instructs us to “fill our minds with” in this month’s verse.

“Think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b(NIV)

Father, Praise You for teaching us so much through one word. Thank You for so clearly defining what we are to think about, speak of, and listen for. Forgive us for the times we don’t hear Your voice because we aren’t listening. Bless our thought-life to reflect Your love. May the Spirit that Jesus died to grant us access to be ever-present in our conversations with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Megs

Click HERE or on the image below for FREE VERSE MEMORY CARDS.

#recall12 August Verse Memory Cards PDF2#recall 12 August memory verse cards

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The Nylon Strings (#recall12, July)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word together each month! This month’s verse is:

“The Lord is my strength and my song.” Exodus 15:2

#recall12 July image 1

“TWANG-TWANG-TWANG-TWANG-TWANG….”

I’m enjoying this. I love to listen to her play. Don’t criticize her for playing. Think about something else….

In the beginning stages of my daughter’s love for her ukulele, there was a lot of inward coaching I had to do in order to let her discover her own sound. It was music to my ears to hear her musical genius uncle tell her that her instrument had nylon strings …and she was  going to knock them out of tune by banging on them so hard.

“But I just like to jam,” she argued.

“Well, you need metal strings if you want to jam like that …” he explained.

“TWANG-TWANG-TWANG-TWANG-TWANG….”She still wasn’t convinced.

“You heard what your uncle said,” I reminded, “if you snap a string on that uke because you’re stubborn, I’m not replacing it.”

Eye-roll …but compliance.

Oh, the sweet sound.

This month’s verse highlights the stubbornness of humanity …and God’s people. Fresh off a victory over Pharoh’s army and witness to them being swallowed by the Red Sea, there is abundant praise for God and His provision and protection.

“I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. -Exodus 15:1

It’s on the heals of this that this months verse is bellowed for all to hold dear forevermore:

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.#recall12 July tweet 1
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” -Exodus 15:2


How easy it is to give praise on top of the mountain of victory…
When the trumpets are blaring and the confetti is flying and the finish line tape rips across our chests and the publisher loves our idea and our children are successful ….

But it’s quite another thing to elevate our hearts to this level of praise before we witness the victory we seek. It’s not always going to look so big.

Sometimes, victory as we see it doesn’t come. God seems quiet. The nylon strings seem to be holding up just fine. So we jam on. Hard.

Until we snap.

That can look different for everyone. Temptation of all manner is waiting for opportunities like these. When we’re sitting in the pocket of victory,  we’re most likely to snap.

“The Lord is my strength and my song.” Exodus 15:2 #recall12 July Tweet 2

This month’s verse isn’t situational. Whether you are jamming on your nylon strings, staring at a snapped one, or have moved on to more durable metal strings …jam on. Because unlike an instrument, God’s song is not interrupted when we break. He doesn’t miss a beat. Whether we know it, see it, or hear Him  …He always hears …always cares …and always loves.

Our omnipotent God is unstoppable.

We are not Him, but we are made in His image.

“Music played a major role in the lives of people in biblical times. It was used in both sacred and secular activities and was most often associated with joy and celebration.”  Dictionary of Bible Themes

In Exodus 15:1-21, music celebrates victory.

victory-a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war. -dictionary.com#recall12 July image 2

Victories are not exclusive to armies and athletics. They are the stuff of our Savior. Everyday miracles and tally-mark wins. Tempers calmed and callings chased. Jesus knows what it’s like to be human, and He knows that we are not capable of handling ourselves as He …the very Son of God and Spotless Lamb …did.

We’re incapable of carrying a tune without Armor. Hand Him what you can’t handle.

He is our strength.

We were never meant to be as strong as we try to be. We were created to lean in …to Him.

In the small victories and challenging moments of this month, let’s remember this verse …and sing a song … to our Strength.

#recall12 July image 3

Father, Praise You …for You alone are our Strength and our Shield. In times of trouble and in times of naivety, thank You for protecting and upholding us with Your just hand. We confess to snapping strings in the process of seeking our own method of progress. Forgive us, and send Your Spirit to bless us and fortify our hearts with Your Word and will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Happy Singing!

Megs

CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR FREE VERSE MEMORY CARDS.

#recall12 July memory cards

#recall12 July Verse Memory Cards PDF

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The Witness (#jammed daily devo, day 154)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 154: The Great Grace Witness.

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15image 3

A snap-chat hit my phone. NCAA records were being smashed, and pre-race nerves and anticipation were in the air. Technology allowed me to witness a little bit of greatness through my friends’ lens. And because of my passion for distance running, I could feel the blood rush all the way to my toes as I watched a runner take a curve of the track.

Greatness. Witness. Passion.

Joshua pleads in today’s verse that God’s people fear the Lord, and choose to trust, serve, and worship him. (NIV Notes) In his life-time, he witnessed the movement away from the dreaded accounts of the past where God’s people had gone astray and worshipped other gods. Towards the end of his life, he warned them that times like these would come again.

Some people might have been discouraged by this pessimistic view of the future, and others arrogantly sure that they would not falter has their ancestors once had. But no matter where they stood, nothing could move the will of God. His timing is perfect, and unfettered by that we think we can and cannot do.

Joshua stated what they …we …can do.

“We will serve the Lord.”

By the grace of Jesus, no matter what we’ve done, we can come to God for forgiveness in the life of a new day. Our obedient strides are witness of His greatness and passion.

“You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:22 (NIV)

Chosen. They chose. As we choose.

“Yes, we are witnesses.” Joshua 24:22

When we witness greatness, we tweet about it …hashtag it on instagram …tag our friends on Facebook. But God …

He uses the triumphant and the painful moments of our lives to inspire souls we may never know in this life. His reach is much farther than the capability social media has to cast an image or a message. When we live life in pursuit of a heart like Jesus, ‘we are witnesses.’

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for the things that we are passionate about. Thank You for instilling remarkable abilities in us. Forgive us for failing to recognize Your hand in every facet of the life we were born to live in Your purpose. Bless our steps to follow Jesus, in humble acknowledgement of Your will for our lives. Make us great witnesses. 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 Witness-ing,

Megs

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