The Faithful Decade (#jammed daily devo day 12)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 12 Grace Covers Commitment.

“I can’t dismiss God’s grace, and I won’t. If being right with God depends on how we measure up to the law, then the Anointed’s sacrifice on the cross was the most tragic waste in all of history!” Galatians 2:21 (VOICE)day-12-image

The first decade of my marriage is a reflective milestone of faithful commitment. We’ve
survived the planting of the “treeline,” have disagreed about how to discipline two daughters, decided sell the boat, dropped to one income, built a house, and discovered Disney World.

Prayer has kept our marriage alive through the painful fights and agonizing “firsts.” Faith pulled us through economic meltdown, miraculously healed disease, and sad good-bye’s.  Who knew a couple of Parrotheads from Ohio could be so happy vacationing in Michigan every summer? Only God.

“By nature gifts of grace cannot be earned (Rom 11:6), for a gift earned is the opposite of a gift of grace (4:4). Grace, Christ, and salvation are so connected that those who attempt to earn righteousness have ‘fallen away from the grace’ (Gal 5:4; cf. 2:21).” -Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

God has dried the moss from my rocky past, making it impossible to slip back down. His grace placed me in a present that I might not have chosen had I been the one in charge, and overflowed my life with joy and love. Ten years ago, neither Jim nor I could have imagined this life …and we had big dreams.

Every time I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve given it to Him.

“Take it, Lord …I don’t know how to fix this.”

jammed-tweet-blueBy simply letting go, we embrace the grace we were made to receive.

Father, Praise You for the perfect way You teach us to lean on You. Thank You for watching over us, hearing us, and helping us. We confess that we don’t always look to You first, and pray You will help us let go of more, and let grace cover what we can’t fix. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do you need to let go of, so that God can cover it in grace? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Giving Up…

Megs

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The Yellow Gold (#jammed daily devo, day 356)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 356: True Colors.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2

The light caught my wedding bands and exposed the yellow gold purging through as theDECJAM22 white gold finish began to wear off again. The wear reflects the reality of life that has settled in long after the magical carriage ride and pretty white dress.

There are days that the light exposes more of ourselves than we want to see. Ten years can pass without a long glance in the mirror, and suddenly we don’t recognize the reflection anymore when we linger a little longer. Time has a way of wearing on the human soul in two directions at once. As the fleeting memory reel runs in the back, the hope of the future runs ahead. Life rarely goes as we plan, but God is never surprised.

Christmas is proof of that.

Christmas was always the plan.

Jesus was born at the time, place, and in the care of the people God planned. God is a planner. God is prepared. Today’s verse allows us the freedom to cry out to Him when we are lost. When we don’t recognize who we are anymore, in the mirror’s reflection or inside of our own minds.

“God who fulfills His purpose for me.”

He will fulfill His purpose for us.

When we can feel it happening, we cry out in praise and celebration. When we’re at a frustrating crossroad or in a pit of suffering, we cry out in need of our Healer to pull us through.

Just as sure as that baby boy breathed His first earthly breath right on time in that manger, our lives will fulfill the purpose He places us here for.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for lifting us up over and over again. Thank You for brushing off our shiny surfaces and loving us for who we are, all dulled and worn out underneath. Forgive us for wallowing or becoming discouraged as we get older. Bless our hearts to feel Your comfort and Your encouragement. 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 Re-coating,

Megs

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The Insurance Operator (#jammed daily devo, day 187)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

187: Angels hang around here.

Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love.” Joel 2:13 (NIV)June 6

“Hello, how can I help you?” a voice with a Southern draw answered cheerfully.

That’s odd. Normally the people that answer the phone for big American companies don’t speak very good English, but this wouldn’t be the only remarkable thing I would remember about this phone call to my insurance company that day.

In search of what my insurance covered, I was shocked to find out that marriage counseling wasn’t covered. For some reason, this operator and I had struck up a conversation while she was checking policies and regulations, and I shared with her my search for Christian counseling, specifically.

What she said shocked me to the core, as I accepted her encouragement on placing God first in our marriage. She wished me blessings, and might have even offered to pray for us.  …I felt that weird tingly feeling and eyes looking straight down on me.

Huh, I remember thinking, an angel answering the phone for insurance companies. Nice trick.

There’s no doubt in my mind. In the place where my heart was in those moments, only the  Author of it could have reached in and spoke directly to it in love and encouragement.

“Rip the wickedness out of your hearts…” Joel 2:13 (VOICE)

I love this translation of the first part of Joel’s verse. There is so much wickedness that attempts to attack our mental and relational well being. Sometimes, we have to rip it off like a band aid.

When we rip it off, what do we do with it?

Give it to Him, whose shoulders were built to bear it, crush it, and defeat it. And then replace it …with Truth. Time in the Word and in prayer …time in Christian counseling letting God heal us through those He calls. While we chase after Him, He holds us together. On occasion, with angels.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for angels. Thank You for that day and that phone call. Thank You for helping us when we need You. Forgive us for thinking it’s up to us to fight …and help us to leave life in Your arms as our hearts become 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 Holding on …to Him,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!