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

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 139: Ongoing and unending.

“You know who.” Proverbs 23:30a

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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

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

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The Pink Sky (#jammed daily devo day 26)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 26 Light Causes a Burst of Color

“Then Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son. Joseph: Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about last time? God’s grace be upon you, my son!” Genesis 43:29 (VOICE)jammed-26

Pink sky fascinates me. When I see the start of a pink-skied sunrise, I rush through the
rest of my daybreak routine just to be as close to it as I can be before it’s at maximum pink capacity. I long to stand there and receive it.

Joseph’s brothers left him for dead, sold him to slavery, and then met him as royalty. Imagine their surprise. At the sight of his brother, Benjamin, Joseph wept. That’s probably not the reaction the rest of his family expected.

I believe Joseph’s first glance at his brother was an explosion of colorfully lit grace.

“Joseph’s sensitive heart was a miracle of God’s grace.” -Warren Wiersbe BE Bible Study Series.

How many times do we roll over and miss the sunrise?

“There is a way that seems right to man, but it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

jammed-tweet-blueOpportunities to lend grace to others surround us everyday. Forgiveness is even harder than it looks, but we can push past entitlement and onto a grace filled life by embracing the minutes Jesus sacrificed all of His for. Spending time with our Father each day sparks an explosion of color.

Father, You are powerful to save us from our own calamity. Praise You, for You are fair. Thank you for loving us. We confess that we hold onto grudges all too often, and ask that you soften our hearts to forgive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do you need to let go of in forgiveness today? 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

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

The Crazy Critter Jitters (#jammed daily devo day 8)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 8: How Forgiveness Disciplines.

“Think about what to say, and come back to the Eternal One. Say to Him, ‘Forgive all our sins, and take us back again. Bring us into Your good grace so we can offer You praise and sacrifice, the fruit of our lips.” Hosea 14:2

jammed-day-8-imageForgiveness has the power to discipline.

On any given day a drive past my house will lend the scene of my kids running laps around the yard or picking up puppy bombs for mouthing off …or filling my phone memory with stupid cartoon pictures ..or just bothering me. They suffer groundings, get things taken away,and are privy to a lot of lectures from their long winded momma. But on occasion I simply forgive …sometimes even apologize. (and the facial expression are priceless.)

In Old Testament times, sin’s prevalence required animal sacrifices and rituals to be right with God. They could not be in God’s presence because of it. In the New Testament, and on to the present, those efforts are replaced with repentance and forgiveness.

Even though He was an Old Testament prophet, Hosea’s name means, “salvation.” His very existence testified to Christ’s coming, over 700 years before He was born in Bethlehem. That babe grew up to crush sin on the cross and restore God’s people to Him. God’s great grace found a new way. He doesn’t make me run laps after I ask for His forgiveness, so every once in a while …I choose to let it go. And my kids may just think I’m nuts now, but maybe some day they’ll pay it forward.

jammed-tweet-blueOur Father brought is into His “good grace,” through forgiveness. Balm that can soothe relationships with our children, spouses, friends, and ourselves.

Father,  Praise you for your patience! Thank you for the rich lessons in Your Living Word. Help us to grow in prayer and study of Your Word daily, so that we may know when the time to extend Your forgiveness to others is upon us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ever had to apologize to your child for overreacting? I have! Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Shock-facing,

Megs

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

“What Does It Mean?” Week 4: Merry

Merry

  1. full of cheerfulness; joyous in disposition or spirit. 2. laughing happily; festively joyous; hilarious. (dictionary.com)  

Queen Elizabeth II was said to prefer “Happy Christmas”  at a time when “merry,” meant “intoxicated.” -Wikipedia

The Queen was onto something, but I wouldn’t have separated it. Let Christmas be associated with the feeling of intoxication, because that’s an accurate reading of my Christmas-filled heart.

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“Merry” is the uninhibited joy released by God’s grace, and the freedom that flows out of His forgiveness. It’s the boisterous laughter that seeps out in spite of exhaustion, and the confetti of cares launched free in celebration of the Light of life.

Look Here.

merry-tweet-1Just in case the foul look on my daughter’s face didn’t communicate her disgust, she huffed around and away and out of the room. Infuriated that she had swiped the last word, the furthest thing from my mind was forgiveness.

 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.” John 3:17 (VOICE)

God’s response to our tendency to walk around and run away was to forge a path to forgive us. His compassionate love is expressed through the Son who chose to endure humanity, knowing ahead of time that “Merry Christmas” would eventually become an intolerable offense. God loves us for who we are …not who we search to be. Jesus was born to restore our standing with His Father.

Now that the danger of touching the hot stove has passed, I can begin to back down the maternal scream for safety in exchange for a listening ear and an understanding heart. A heart that isn’t offended by my daughter’s struggle to find herself in this world; but one that recognizes it’s plight, and looks for moments to guide, assure, and comfort her. Jesus erased my sins. Who am I to hold onto hers?

“For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (VOICE)

Everlasting life just for trusting Jesus with ours? That’s a birthday worth celebrating in “merry” jubiliee.

Treasure Your Sledmerry-image-2

Christmas is like hopping on a sled and swishing down the hill, faster than we can brace for but worth hopping on.  Blinded by stinging snow as we sail down the hill, the world’s cold, cruel and political correct statutes are blurred by hope.

The joy of Jesus numbs the pain that tends to taint tears a bitter color if we remain of this world. The constant search of self is satisfied in the embrace of who we are right now. Life isn’t consistent or predictable. Lean into the reliability of love, not actions, personalities, or unexplainable disasters. Our entire existence is a snap of God’s fingertips.

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:21

Christmas is the whole point of life. It grants us the opportunity to have the relationship that Luke mentions above. Without that baby born in a manger, we are doomed to watch the sled zip by, never quick enough or smart enough or agile enough to catch it and hop on. Jesus holds it, waits for us to accept the ride, and then joins in as we scream with glee all the way down the hill …of life.

“Merry” Christmas. It’s intoxicating …Jesus being born to save the world. It’s merry …God and His love for us. It’s endearing and inspiring …to be forgiven beyond what we deserve.  It’s joy …the opportunity we have to journey through life in closeness with our Creator.

Be merry! Shout with joy! Embrace who YOU are …right now! Have FUN in this life, with your Savior by your side.

Merry Christmas,

Megs

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I occasionally link up with the following awesome writers…

Mondays…

Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home Sing,

Tuesdays…

#RaRaLinkUpTestimony Tuesday , Tuesday Talk God Sized Dreams

Wednesdays…

#TellHisStory, OhMyHeartsieGirlsCoffee for Your HeartFrom Messes to MessagesWordless Wednesday

Thursdays…

Thought Provoking ThursdayLive Free ThursdaySincerely, PaulaHeart Encouragement 

Fridays…

Faith Filled Friday

The 5 Fights Before 9.

Fight the fall into fear, failure, and doubt by giving up guilt in exchange for grace; fetching forgiveness for faults.

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I have kids. If I want to entertain the notion of a “quiet” time before the chaos erupts, my alarm can only beep a maximum number of three times. In the dark of dawn, I silence the beep and gently shut my bedroom door so that my teeny tiny sleepyheads aren’t awoken by the tap of my toothbrush. Like 007, I swiftly breeze back out the door, shutting it to mute the snores echoing off the walls. I pad lightly down the stairs in my slippers, begging my bones not to crack until I reach the kitchen. My quiet little Keurig whirs on and steams my morning coffee, and I carefully stir the swirl of my fancy dark chocolate syrup and coconut milk with a plastic spoon to avoid cup clinks. Then, I meander to my place of morning bliss, steaming warmth hugging my hands.

I really do feel like I’ve accomplished a mission when I sit down at my desk…and crack open the Word for an instructional day-prep. Ah…the five minutes before the five fights before nine…are so glorious.

imageOnce the first piece of light cracks the dark open, little feet make passes down the stairs in competition for my lap. This particular morning, my daughters came down convinced that I did not have enough love to cuddle them both at the same time, and the jabbing began. Fight one…mom’s attention.
Morning cuddles met, they trudged back up the stairs to get dressed, and fight number two ensued…the headband.

“No, Lauren!” Her sister snapped.

“That’s my headband and your not wearing it today!!!”

“But it matches perfect…” Lauren wailed, and I could hear the snap back of the headband as it was forcefully removed from her head.

Making time back down the stairs to tattle, I pointed her directly back up, “I’m sorry, Lauren, it’s Brianne’s headband.” I hollered up the stairs over little sister’s stomping, “Brianne, you could have handled that a little nicer…”

Instead of tagging in to engage in the morning, I let my eyes remain glued to my screen, and ears peeled in awareness of the sharp murmured tones coming from the bathroom again. Even though I couldn’t make out he words, I knew Brianne was giving her sister an unnecessary lesson in sass, and taking a few elbow jabs in return.  image

“Lauren, I’m getting ready for work, you can’t come in here,” I heard my husband holler from our bathroom.

Toothbrush and hijacked toothpaste in hand, Lauren’s brisk steps flew across my desk and into the downstairs bathroom, peering over her shoulder and whipping the door closed before her older sister could catch her. Fight number three…tooth-brushing. “LAUREN…BRIANNE…” I commanded them both to my desk and then back upstairs to brush their teeth in their own toothpaste-globbed sink.

I drifted up and out of my sacred morning space of serenity to feed children breakfast and pack lunches. To buy me five minutes to get dressed without curiosity imploding in the kitchen, I dished out a practice math quiz and some sight words. Two minutes in, a math quiz emergency busted into my bathroom. Fight number four…even if dad did print out the answers to the math quiz by mistake…don’t bust in on mom in the bathroom to unveil the tragedy.

By the time it was time to leave for school, I mechanically shut down fight number five and all of its “my-winter-coat-is-too-hot-it-makes-me-too-sweaty-on-recess” grandeur before it could even grow legs.

“Brianne, here’s a tip,” I started, “anytime you ever ask me anything with that facial expression and that tone…it’s an automatic no…I don’t even know where you’re head’s at…”

I can see the look on her face still, the utter shock that she had been de-worded and denied before the first syllable passed her lips. Down went fight number five…I don’t want to wear my winter coat.

Seat-belts buckled to sound the final lap of the morning mile, with spelling word drills and hugs and smooches and cuddles and car dance parties, while they wait for their turn to hop out of my car and into the school hallway full of friends. My early morning prayers for their safety at school rushed to the top of my mind as I drove off, welled up, and wallowed in a sea of guilt for nagging them through the morning.

imageIt’s frustrating to lose fights with my feelings while the Bible is still sitting open on my desk. I’ve been making myself feel gullibly guilty for that lately…and for the general lack of measuring up to the state of “holy” that I feel I should be maturing to at this point in my life.

As I walked back into the quiet house, I noticed Brianne’s blanket lying on the floor underneath my desk. She’s had “Fuzzy Wuzzy” since the day she was born. Although she’s growing up and out of the blankly stage now, she still sleeps with it every night and drags it with her to snuggle in my lap each morning. This particular morning, she brought her little pink and purple princess Bible along with it…and a highlighter…and sticky notes. We both had so much fun as she asked me for verses and felt so accomplished as she found and highlighted them. In the chaos of fight number one, no one noticed “Fuzzy Wuzzy” had fallen to the floor.

She really is growing up…and picking up, His Word. Wow. Here I was putting myself imagethrough the guillotine of guilt, over things I can’t change about how we all are in the morning…and overlooking the grace of God to take my one small act of obedience and answer my own prayer with it.

“Please, let my daughters hear your call early in life.”

Seven years old, and her search has begun.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the Saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19

“The eyes of your heart…” I looked up the verse at BibleGateway and clicked “Study This,” to discover through The Dictionary of Bible Themes that “eyes” are a much bigger anomaly than I had ever pondered before.

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Falling at the feet of Jesus with my faults is healthy, but getting up with the guilt and imagewalking off with it is not. From now on, I want to see the blanket dropped in the corner instead of the gasket I blew over fight number five. Through prayer and persistence, I choose to see a more positive perspective. Perhaps you’ll want to join me…and pass some peace around.

1. See what you want to see. Fight for the light. It’s everywhere. The sun comes up everyday, and streetlights dim-out even in overcast skies. Gaze at God’s creation. Glance at His Word. Start your day there. There’s something in this world that you would mourn over if lost…if your at a loss…start by saying, “Thank you” for whatever or whoever that is. Start to see…

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:7-8

2. Look for the Lesson. Watch for what God’s showing you.

“For it is by grace that you are saved through faith; it came not through your own striving but it is the gift of God. Not because of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

This is where a lot of people confuse religion and holiness. Holiness is pursing a change of heart inspired by a relationship with Jesus through God’s free gift of grace. The lessons are laced in His Word and our prayers. No one person can know your heart like you do and God does. You have to work holiness out with Him. Come to Him in authenticity, and look for Him to guide you personally. As you see Him, you’ll seek more.

3. Lift your eyes. Tilt your head back. Pray. Ask. Seek. God is faithful and good.

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.” Psalm 34:15

He hears you, He’s with you… so talk to Him. Jesus is our lifeline to the Father, our gift of grace and forgiveness. I am learning that to pursue a life of holiness I also need to receive the gift of grace that was so freely shed in blood for me on the cross, and fetch the forgiveness that has been thrown up for me to grab.

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imageGive up the guilt. Replace it with grace. Take off your pretty shoes and wiggle your dirty toes. Be you and follow Him. He is faithful. Fight for Him.

Happy Fighting,

Megs