The Full Cloud (#jammed daily devo, day 310)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 310: Thankful for memories …

 So let’s get this clear: it’s for My own sake that I save you.
I am He who wipes the slate clean and erases your wrongdoing.
I will not call to mind your sins anymore.” Isaiah 43:25 (VOICE)

I’m continually eluded by the iCloud. Each new device comes with a clean slate. 310Thousands of pictures eventually accumulate, prompting the message to buy more space on the cloud to save all of my pictures. I don’t want them all saved. For every ten I take, nine are deleted. It seems a big waste of technological space and energy to save things automatically that I don’t want to remember.

Today’s verse is an awesome reminder that God is not hanging over our heads what we wish to delete. You know, those people we were in a past life that made terrible decisions and horrible mistakes …said incredibly rude things that flush our cheeks just recalling them in our memories? The missteps of overindulgence and bad relationships. Failures and faults …and things that we still cannot seem to shake.

He’s not focused on them. He’s focused on us. And God says to all the ugliness that we drag through this life …“that’s not who you are.”

Just as He was eager to restore Israel, His chosen people, in the Old Testament, so He delights to restore us. To welcome us home, as Jesus’ tells in the story of the Prodigal Son. To forgive us and welcome us back into His presence. That’s what the cross was for. That’s why Jesus is so important. It’s through Him that we are able to be in the presence of God. To pray to Him, be enlightened and guided by His Word, and restored to who we are meant to be. His will for our lives relieves us from feeling like there’s something we’re missing …

We begin the journey to our true selves when we start to follow Christ. It costs nothing, but takes great faith. When we confess our sins God forgives us …when we believe that’s what His Son died for. That’s who we are. His.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus’ death on the cross, which brings so many Old Testament scriptures to life. You love us for who You made us to be, in spite of our sins and mistakes. Bless us to remember that and live guilt-free in the pursuit of Your Son’s steps for 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 Cloud-ing,

Megs

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

 

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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

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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. 

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.

merry-image-1

“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

merry-tweet-2

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