The Playhouse (#jammed daily devo, day 142)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 142: Emptiness.

“The wise are mightier than the strong.” Proverbs 24:5

We thought we would never be able to drag them out of it. The log cabin playhouse stole a image-142piece of my husband’s pristine lawn in the hopes of years of treasured memories of playtime. We waited for it to be built …waited for it to be delivered, and then celebrated it’s arrival. It was painted, decorated, and decked out.

“It’s too hot in there….” and back into the actual house they went.

My husband and I were defeated! We couldn’t believe it! We’ve threatened to turn it into a man-cave, a mommy-office, and a storage shed …sell it to someone else …nothing. They go in there when they feel like it, but we don’t feel like it’s enough time spent for what we spent.

Today’s verse reminds us that wisdom trumps strength. Bigger is not always better, proven by the loads of fun had with the cardboard box in the front yard as opposed to the actual ginormous playhouse in the back yard.

There is also a lesson in will to be learned from the mightiness of wisdom. Anyone with strong-willed children (who refuse to play in the grand playhouse, for example) know that yelling at the problem isn’t going to change the problem.

Wisdom takes more effort to attain and execute. It’s on the job experience and extra prep work. It’s the early morning workouts and the spin of presentation on the project.

When I let my daughters rearrange their house the way they wanted it to be, they played in it more. And not just, “Hey, don’t you think that chair will look good over here?”….wink wink. No, I actually let go and let them make it their own.

Jesus wants us to let go of life’s control, and reach for His hand. He’s chasing after our hearts, but not badgering us to surrender them. We hold that card. We can choose life anytime we want by welcoming Him into our life as our Savior. God loves us perfectly, which is why He knows that wisdom is better than strength.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for love. Thank You for wisdom. We confess our attempt to stronghold the truth, and pray for the strength of Your Spirit over our own intentions. 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 Wising-up,

Megs

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The Balloon Lady (#jammed daily devo, day 141)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 141: Outdated.

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

There’s a balloon lady that sits on a shelf in my house, but it’s not the first shelf, or home,image-141 she’s been placed in. Passed down through family, she has a touch of nostalgic charm that reminds me of all things innocent and childlike. Before I knew some things had more value than other, or some people would mean more to me than most.

The people that mark our hearts the most may have already passed from this place. Others surround us now. There are still more we have yet to meet. God places people purposefully in our lives, and that’s what today’s verse aims to tell us. (Thankfully!!!…these thirty sayings have been weighing me down the last few posts!)

“The positive benefits of wisdom, understanding and knowledge may be the literal furnishings of the house, or symbolically the character and relationships that fill out the family who live there.”-Zondervan Bible Commentary

When we’re growing up, dreaming of the family we might have one day, God is beginning to prepare our hearts for those people and those days. In this life or the next, God has big plans and specific agendas for each of our lives. Including our family …and our friends.

This verse motivates our hearts to seek wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Who doesn’t want to fill their rooms with “rare and beautiful treasures?!” Especially after the last few #jammed devos! Yes! How do I do this? Show me the way!

There is only one way to accumulate wisdom, understanding, and knowledge  …Jesus. He is the only Way to the Father …to Love …and to Life. Time in conversation with Him and in reading His Word will illuminate the lights He places around us. #friendship

One day someone else’s eyes will gaze upon our earthly treasures. What will they see?

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Your house with many rooms. Thank You for Jesus, so that we may all come and live with You in heaven someday. We confess that we do not always focus on the Way, but instead yield to our way. Bless us with Your Holy Spirit to remind us of Your Way. 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 House-hunting,

Megs

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The Loose Articles (#jammed daily devo, day 140)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 140: One of a kind.

Do not envy evil people
    or seek their friendship.” Proverbs 24:1

“Please secure all loose articles …” the instructional speakers droned as seatbelt were image-140fastened and restraints secured. “…we will not be responsible for anything lost or damaged.”

 Amusement parks recover treasure troves of lost things from people who thought their valuables were secure.

We’re often not as secure as we think we are.

Today’s verse warns of friendship with the wrong people. And once again, it aggravates me to read something I don’t want to read. I want to be friends with everyone. God loves all of us, so why can’t I? God is judge, so why do I have to limit who I’m exposed to?

It’s all about us …and what we stand to lose.

God knows what we can handle and what we cannot. Whether it’s exposure to the destructive behavior or walking closer to temptation than God knows we can handle …we’re better off listening to the One who knows every thread of our being and thought in our heads. Jesus came to rescue us from the things we can’t handle. The longer it takes to embrace His omnipotent sovereignty, the more damage we do to our lives.

God gave His people rules in the Old Testament, and they were never capable of following them. He knows no set of rules will ever be enough to protect us from ourselves. That’s why Jesus gave up His seat in heaven to walk the earth. The Word made flesh. Jesus walked out the rules. A living Example.

How many times has someone told you something …then showed it to you to prove it to you …and you still don’t believe them…

We all do it! He knew we would. And that’s why He died. No bitterness, no shame, no guilt, no legalistic rules. God guides us by His Word and Wisdom, but gives us the power to choose. Why? Why love us so much to let us choose wrong?

In our lost moments we find Him. When we fall He catches us on the way down. He heals our hurts. When we walk with Jesus, we can be friends with everyone …but not everyone all of the time. Each friendship has a purpose, and it isn’t to add to the friend collection. It’s divine.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for friends! Thank You for warning us to walk with You. Forgive us for forgetting that Jesus came to do what we are incapable of …be a good judge of character! Bless our hearts with compassion for all people, and to leave the people placing up to You. 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 Losing,

Megs

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The “You Know Who.” (#jammed daily devo, day 139)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 139: Ongoing and unending.

“You know who.” Proverbs 23:30a

image-139

WHY did I want to study these Wise Statements? Alcohol has affected my entire life from just about every possible angle, and this passage is specifically about a man with a drinking problem. I promise you, no one is more uncomfortable digging up this verbiage than I.

Though I think it can be applied to a broad range of other things that are just as uncomfortable to talk about,  God doesn’t pull specific examples like this …put them in an ancient text …and make them applicable in this era in vain. Read through this passage with eyes and hearts open beyond alcoholism . Looking inward, what traits do you recognize?

 Who is wallowing in anguish? Who is full of sorrow?
    Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?

Who has bruises and can’t remember where they came from?
    Who has bloodshot eyes?

 You know who: those who stay up late finishing off the wine,
    those who can’t stop savoring spiced wines.

Look away from the enticing beauty of wine, the deep red hue;
    ignore how it shimmers in the cup
    and glides down your throat.

 Eventually, when you least expect it, it strikes like a snake;
    it stings like viper venom.

Your vision will blur, and you’ll imagine strange things;
    you will say crazy, hurtful things and regret it later.

 You will reel and stagger as if caught on a wave of seasickness,
    as a sailor who holds on to a mast for dear life.

You will say, “They slapped me, but it didn’t hurt.
    They beat me, and I didn’t feel a thing!

Whenever I wake up from this stupor,
    I’ll have another drink!”

Proverbs 23:29-35

The biggest mistake we make as people, and especially as Christians, is discounting the possibility that things could, are, and will affect us. It isn’t to the left or to the right that we find peace or solution. It’s not in fixing other people or even ourselves. It’s letting go and letting God. It’s gripping Jesus’ hand tight enough to keep us from falling. When I look back and see how many times and how close I came to total destruction, I know there’s no way I made it out alive on my own. He pulled me out. Grace.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for pulling us out of our pitfalls. Thank You for grace, forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Forgive us for forgetting that Your lessons are always for our hearts, and bless us to strengthen our faith more each day. 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 Pit-crawling out,

Megs

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The Fearless (#jammed daily devo, day 138)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 138: Fear is weak.

“an immoral woman is a narrow well.” Proverbs 23:27

“Did you have fun?” I asked my daughter after she rode the tallest roller coaster she is image-138permitted to ride at her height.

“I closed my eyes the whole time,” she said, pale as a ghost.

It took her the entire summer to open her eyes for the entire ride. When she finally let herself see what was happening, it wasn’t as scary.

The verse from Proverbs today is not one I would have ever chosen to write on, had I not set out to cover the “thirty wise statements.”

Sometimes, when we face the things we are the most afraid of, they become a little less scary. This verse is about an immoral woman. Who wants to talk about that? That’s scary, because I can relate to her. Maybe in facing it with you, here today, the fear of my past mistakes will lose a little power over my life.

The end of my first marriage planted a seed of fear in me concerning what the Bible says about divorce, and what people say about divorced people. The fights in those two brief years were awful, and I ran into the next chapter of my life before closing the book. Divorce and adultery. All of the sudden I wasn’t good enough for the church I grew up in, and that made me question my faith and my worth.

My life today is a testament to God’s grace and blessing, not my good choices. Re-married ten years this summer, I know that a lot of the problems we have today are still remnants of consequences. But I have also experienced the forgiveness and healing of Jesus. Our blessed life is a result of His good grace. In dying on the cross for my poor choices, He lent me another chance at life.

Mistakes can’t be erased, only souls redeemed. When I watch bad things happen to good people, I know I deserve it over them. My mistakes are on the list of top Ten Commandments never to break. If you join me in that club, I want to encourage you today. Jesus isn’t keeping score, so throw the tally list of mistakes away …amplify His voice over all others …and grab onto His hand for dear life. He will pull us out of the well.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for redeeming us from our messes. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross so that we can be redeemed and restored. Forgive us for letting fear take root in our hearts because we are afraid You won’t forgive us. Strengthen us to trust You. Help us to have 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 Restoring,

Megs

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