The Little Treasures (#jammed daily devo, day 158)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 158: Grace’s Place.

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10 (VOICE)June 7

“Mom!” my daughter warned, “you can’t look in this treasure box …you’ll just get mad.”

She’s right. I think collecting things off of the floor wherever we go is really gross. I’d probably get mad and start picking things out of there and throwing them away. But it’s her “treasure.”

It’s not all worthless, though, even through practical eyes. She has always found pennies on the ground where ever she goes. Even from the seat of her stroller she would yell, “WAIT!! MOMMY!!! PPPEEEENNNNNYYY!!!” And sure enough, a penny there always was. Maybe a piece of smashed gum once or twice ...oh, I better check that treasure box for that …

Today’s verse describes the thief’s malicious intent. Some thieves steel for the thrill or for the challenge, as a bi-product of addiction, or for survival …but not this thief. Satan seeks to steal what is precious to us, in order to destroy us.

malicious- intentionally harmful; spiteful.

Far worse than losing things that we can claim on our insurance policies, this idiot stirs up trouble in our relationships, our families, our parenting, our friendships, our marriages …our literal lives. We should be wary to pray into our relationships with the people that God has placed in our lives. Anytime there is conflict stirring, he is anxiously waiting to start picking things out …

God says, “It’s not good for man to be alone,” but he would love to leave us that way.

That’s not the way Jesus operates. When His hand is in a situation, he promises “life with joy and abundance.” I hold out hope that “abundance” means I can literally be friends with everyone, but ‘joy’ is the key word. It’s OK to extract ourselves from situations that the joy has been sucked out of. It’s, in fact, a good signal to pause and pray.

Pastor Steven Furtick puts it best, “enabling dysfunctional relationships is not the same as forgiveness,” and “forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.” In our search for how to handle things, let’s not hand them right over to the one that wants to wreck us.

In a society that pushes for answers and litigates the ever-living-life out of everyone and everything …prayer is a powerful way to shut it all down. Guard those precious to you, but don’t squeeze every relationship into a box. Let them all breathe in and out to His joyful and abundant rhythm.

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Father, Praise You for other people! Thank You for creating us to be social creatures instead of solitary beings. Forgive us for letting the thief stir up trouble in our lives, and help us to be wary and watchful to listen for Your guiding voice through the turmoil he attempts to cause in 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 Treasuring,

Megs

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The Magic Dust (#jammed daily devo, day 157)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 157: Magical Grace Dust.

“Jesus:  If you want to do God’s work, then believe in the One He sent.” John 6:29June 6

We waited and waited, and I felt like I was going to evaporate in the hot Florida sun beating against the blacktop as I saved my daughter’s place in line to meet Peter Pan. Her favorite character next to Tinkerbell, my daughter lives and breathes all things magical and wonderful. Her heart believes.

In a world with so many skeptical young hearts, I’ll take pixie dust any day. It’s way more fun to be around, and just believing in it makes one feel light on their feet.

Today’s verse comes from straight from the heart of our Savior. Imagine what it was like to hear Him speak them, live and in person. Waiting in the hot desert sun for hours, surrounded by cynical and hardened hearts, just to here the Savior of the world sprinkle a little dusting of grace to refresh the crowd of hearts flickering with belief.

“Believe in the one He sent.”

believe- to have absolute confidence in the truth. -dictionary.com

Absolute confidence. Our society tends to function on self confidence and achievement …allowing skepticism and divide to flourish.  We’re created to have confidence in the Truth, not ourselves. We are no more responsible for the salary we collect than we are for the century-old trees that live outside our widows.

When we place our belief in our omnipotent God, He takes our trust and turn our heads in the direction He’s purposed of our lives. It might not make sense to us, and we might sweat along the way …but to witness His magic is worth the wait.

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Father, Praise You for the dusting of grace that Jesus blesses us with through this verse today. Thank You for holding us accountable for believing, first and foremost. Forgive us for sidelining You when we’re too busy trying to figure life out on our own. Help us to surrender each day to You, as a gift worth waiting for. 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 Pixie-dust Catching,

Megs

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

The Queues (#jammed daily devo, day 156)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 156: Grace waits.

“How long will you wait?” Joshua 18:3June 5

A theme park lifer, I don’t like to wait in lines …because most of the time, I don’t have to. Living in close proximity, and armed with a season pass, earns me that privilege. But, every once in a while, there is a ride that is so good …the wait is unavoidable. No matter how much privilege I march through those gates with, I still have to wait like everyone else.

Today’s verse is plucked out of Joshua, as the Israelites are finally coming into the land God promised them.

“So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3

They’ve already waited a long time. Generations worth. At this point, land was distributed  specifically by God. Some tribes had to wait longer than others to realize the full scope of their inheritance. Joshua was a good leader, even in the waiting.  Do we lead in complaint, or  patience?

There’s a variety of reasons why it’s good to navigate common queues:

  1. Humility. We’re not put on earth one better than the other, but some are born to more privilege. There will always be poor, and always those who will have to wait longer than others. That was true of the Israelite tribes awaiting their land, and it’s true for the plans purposed specifically for our lives.
  2. Patience. In our “I have to have it now” society, it’s hysterical to watch someone argue about having to wait in line for the entire duration of what it would have taken to wait in line. Joshua dealt with similar squabbles over tribes that insisted on doing things there way, even though God …the God the led them there in the first place …specifically told them what to do. Their impatience and disobedience didn’t pay off, nor will ours.
  3. The Payoff. The ride that always has a line will hardly ever disappoint. There’s a reason there’s a line to get in …and that’s because it’s awesome. It’s worth the wait. There are few things in life that are, but we often feel so entitled to everything that we have difficulty determining what’s worth waiting for. The Israelites fled from Egypt and wandered for 40 years! Despite their constant lack of faith, God gave them the land that He promised. For those that waited patiently in faith and obeyed despite their dysfunction, I image the payoff was unimaginable. A place to call home.

How long will we wait to drop our agendas for His? Through His Word, we discover who we always meant to be.

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Father, Praise You for long lines, and what they reveal about where we are at spiritually. Thank You for Your perfect timing, and allowing us to follow Your Son’s steps to You. Forgive us for flipping out when things don’t happen in our time, and bless us with patience and endurance to go where You call us to go. 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 Waiting,

Megs

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

 

The Great Thirty-eight. (#recall12 series, June.)

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

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b

#recall12 June image 1

“Thirty-eight is going to be great.”

God has been whispering this blessing over my life as I peer into the next year of it. The last decade of my life has been riddled with challenge and laced in blessing. Each encroaching birthday is little scarier than the last.

With each year, more are diagnosed, suffer, and pass away. The people that it’s happening to are getting closer and closer in direct contact with my life. Friends, family …cancer.

“Cancer sucks,” my 8-year-old daughter declares …and I sigh.#recall12 June tweet 1

Cancer is scary. Life is terrifying.

Parting is unfathomable.

With each passing year, I have more to lose …and that particular fear would like to plant it’s paralyzing seed right smack in the center of my heart. Fear of loss can only be overcome by perfect Love.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Lying in the first part of this month’s verse is the fan to fear’s flame. “The thief…”

thief-One that steals especially stealthily or secretly. -Merriam-Webster

The NIV Study Bible Notes declare, “His interest is in himself.” Indeed. Selfishness is akin to theft …and fear.

#recall12 June Tweet 2selfishness- Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself. Merriam-Webster

Excessive and exclusive leave no room for the devil’s care for us. He’s messing to make us miserable enough to forgo the blessings in front of us. Worry and anxiety play an important role in what he’s trying to accomplish. His hope is that our hold on the world will overshadow the joy of Jesus’ heavenly embrace.

His breath filled all things

    with a living, breathing light—
 A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched. John 1:4-5

Jesus is Life and Light. No new worry we discover to fret over is new news to Jesus, who sat with God from the very beginning of time. He knew us before birth, and I imagine that the Words He ordained to be written in the Bible for us to read were spoken with all of us in mind.

Through the darkness then, and murky bottoms now, He is Light and Life. Unstoppable. Unbeatable. Alive.

#recall12 June image 2

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10 (VOICE)

There is a joyful and abundant life to be lived here on earth, knowing that He wins. We win. Death may part us from our friends and family. Cancer will steal time and break hearts. There’s no need to reach for wretched news to wreck our day. But just as it surrounds us, so does He. In the sunrise, He reminds us He is here. In the smile of a child, He reminds us Life is good. Through the unexpected note from a friend or a hug from a stranger, He shows us that He cares.

Are we looking for life, or waiting for death?

“The Greek word for “life” is found 36 times in John, while no other NT book uses it more than 17 times.” NIV Notes.

Life … “zoe”in Greek, means both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life. (Strong’s Concordance.)

Someone said to me recently that sometimes doubt can mean we are actually on the right track. Knowing the full scope of what the devil is up to, that makes perfect sense. He can’t make us do anything …but he can cause us to wobble in and out of doubt and anxiety. Fear is an attack on every good thing the Father has in store for us. All of the joy that Jesus died to lend us. Life was not promised to be easy …or fair …or painless …or always happy. There are times in this life that we will barely be able to lift our heads to the sky and ask Him , “why?”

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

Let’s continue to lift our heads and hold onto hope. It’s not a fairytale wish, but it is the stuff of fairy tales. Our Redeemer King has already rescued us. Live what He saved to the fullest.

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“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b

Father, Praise You for Life. Thank You for Jesus’ gift to us. Grace surrounds us, yet we fail on so many occasions to face it. Forgive us for looking past You for comfort, and help us to fiercely follow Your Son’s footsteps each day that we are blessed with on this earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Happy Birthdays!

Megs

Click here, or on the image below, for FREE VERSE MEMORY CARDS!

recall12_pdf_june_image

#recall 12 June Verse Memory Cards PDF

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The Mulch Holes (#jammed daily devo, day 151)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 151: Underestimated.

Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?” Proverbs 24:21-22 (MSG)

Bark to go out. Bark to come in. Bark. Bark. Growl. Bark. Menacing Growl …image-151

“Cherry,” I snapped ...”that is enough.”

All day long she is on alert for anything that might mess with her people …or her mulch holes.

Bark-bark-bark-incessant bark…

“Cherry!” I yelled, “Come here, girl!”

She came flying inside and ran right to her water bowl, and then trudged back over to plop on my feet. Click-clack, typing away ….

“What did you get into?” The smell of dirt …and mulch … My husband is threatening to buy shock-rocks to keep this dog out of his landscaping.

“You did it again, didn’t you?”

Huffy dog sigh….

Today’s verse reminds us to know our roles …quite literally. “Don’t be defiant or mutinous…” “respect your leaders.”

In a country coming out of a nasty election season, those words ring very true. Stay out of the mulch, before someone puts shock rocks in there.

We are very blessed to live in a country where we get a say and a vote. It’s a lot more than a  lot more people have access to in this world. It’s not the end all be all of the world, either …He gets the final say. He can be trusted.

When we take up crusades against politicians …giving a voice to the weak and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, we must do so peacefully …compassionately …and under His guidance. Otherwise, we’re just digging holes in the mulch.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Democracy. Thank You for freedom. Forgive us for contributing to conflict, and help us know how to reflect Your love in the middle of politics. 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 Voicing,

Megs

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