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! 


Happy Treasuring,


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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.

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! 


Happy Pixie-dust Catching,


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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! 


Happy Waiting,


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The Green Stuff (#jammed daily devo, day

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 149: Unidentifiable.

“Do not celebrate when your enemies fall…” Proverbs 24:17 (VOICE)

“Moooommmm,” my daughter asked hesitantly, with a hint of suspicion on top …“what’s image-149the green stuff in this?”

Dinner time is a struggle, and I want to take them with me to Africa someday so that they will never ask that question again.

“It’s fine.” I stated flatly. “You’ve had it before …you like it …just eat it.”

If only it were that simple.

“What’s the green stuff?” My husband asked as he warmed up a plate later that evening.

Sign the whole family up. We’re all going to Africa.

Today’s verse deals with our reaction to our enemy’s getting what they deserve. It’s a shred of our sinful human nature to secretly rejoice when someone who has royally lost our trust falls on their disloyal butt. It’s ugly, but it’s true …and we know it. That’s why we hide in the bathroom before we have a joyful little celebration to ourselves. Or let our “tisk, tisk, tisk, “ ‘reap what you’ sow finger fly.

No one knew betrayal like Jesus did. Yet, He washed his feet.

 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” John 13:26 (NIV)

Jesus knew that was coming. Yet He acted in grace and kindness. He kept His head on straight and remained cool as a cucumber. We should aim to be like that …but we can’t. And He knows that, too. He died because He knew we would never be able to attain that kind of humility. He died on the cross, bearing everything He knew we would do, and couldn’t do if we tried.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,
lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,
and turn his wrath away from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18 (NET)

We can’t be Jesus, but we can try to be like Him. Just because we’ll never be the perfect spotless Lamb doesn’t mean we should quit trying to reach for His hand. When we pray for our enemies, we’re grabbing onto the arm that can reach down and raise us up. Like John the Baptist said, it’s time for me to become less, and Him to become more. He is everything. Grab onto Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You, Jesus, for pulling us up over and over again. For dying for us, knowing what we would do and couldn’t ever do. Thank You, Jesus, for showing us how to act in the face of betrayal and hurt. Forgive us for acting out instead of running to You. Bless our enemies. May they know You feel Your love. 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! 


Happy Gut-Checking,


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The Crowded Mirror (#jammed daily devo, day 144)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 144: Remembering.

Whoever schemes to carry out evil
    will be labeled a troublemaker.” Proverbs 24:8 (VOICE)

Growing up, I was always getting in trouble for sticking things on my antique mirror, and image-144cluttering it up with pictures and memories. So, when I passed it down to my daughter, I got her started by lining up a bunch of her favorite memories all around the border. Mine looks no different. In fact, two of the three panes are completely blocked by cute chubby cheeked baby smiles and firsts. Happiness abounds on that mirror that I sanded down, repainted, and I’m sure in some people’s minds, completely destroyed. But to me, it’s become treasure.

Today’s verse has some harsh warnings for ‘trouble makers.’ In an attempt to make things our own, we must be so careful not to push past the path we are attempting to follow. Life outside the confines of Jesus’ love is littered with trouble and schemes. If we don’t stay close to His counsel, we are libel to fall deeply into …and possibly even the perpetrate, such scheming.

conspiracies-Malicious plots or plans to harm or to kill, which may be directed against other people, or even against God. Conspiracies are sometimes motivated by political aspirations, but may be simply an outlet for wrongdoing.- Dictionary of Bible Themes

The reason prayer is so important is because conspiracies sound serious and obvious …but they don’t always look that way from the outside. We sometimes only see glimpses of just how deeply evil roots can go. Prayer and petition in honest humility will keep us on the path of walking wisely with God.

label- a word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification.

When we’re tempted to label another heart, it’s a stark warning for our own. Seeing trouble and labeling are two different things. My mirror may seem like an atrocious disrespect of property to some, but if they could see it through my eyes perhaps they’d see what I see. Or, perhaps they’ll come a day when I do realize the error of my ways, and decide to take better care of the belongings I’m blessed with. Do you see how situational each life’s trouble can be?

This verse clearly warns us to stay clear of obvious trouble, and I agree! But what about the subtle doses of trouble that sneak in the back door? When we stay close to Jesus in prayer and in the Word, I believe we will be able to tell the difference.

Remember, just because we see trouble in someone else does not give us the right to label them. That’s between Jesus and them. Christians are to rebuke other Christians, but be so careful to consult Christ before confronting another with their faults.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise Your just hand. Thank You for taking judgement out of our hand through Your Word and through Prayer. We confess that we rush to judge others a lot. Help us to battle off the human temptation to label and call out, replacing it with the tendency to love and have mercy. 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! 


Happy Holding-back,


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