The Faithful Decade (#jammed daily devo day 12)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 12 Grace Covers Commitment.

“I can’t dismiss God’s grace, and I won’t. If being right with God depends on how we measure up to the law, then the Anointed’s sacrifice on the cross was the most tragic waste in all of history!” Galatians 2:21 (VOICE)day-12-image

The first decade of my marriage is a reflective milestone of faithful commitment. We’ve
survived the planting of the “treeline,” have disagreed about how to discipline two daughters, decided sell the boat, dropped to one income, built a house, and discovered Disney World.

Prayer has kept our marriage alive through the painful fights and agonizing “firsts.” Faith pulled us through economic meltdown, miraculously healed disease, and sad good-bye’s.  Who knew a couple of Parrotheads from Ohio could be so happy vacationing in Michigan every summer? Only God.

“By nature gifts of grace cannot be earned (Rom 11:6), for a gift earned is the opposite of a gift of grace (4:4). Grace, Christ, and salvation are so connected that those who attempt to earn righteousness have ‘fallen away from the grace’ (Gal 5:4; cf. 2:21).” -Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

God has dried the moss from my rocky past, making it impossible to slip back down. His grace placed me in a present that I might not have chosen had I been the one in charge, and overflowed my life with joy and love. Ten years ago, neither Jim nor I could have imagined this life …and we had big dreams.

Every time I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve given it to Him.

“Take it, Lord …I don’t know how to fix this.”

jammed-tweet-blueBy simply letting go, we embrace the grace we were made to receive.

Father, Praise You for the perfect way You teach us to lean on You. Thank You for watching over us, hearing us, and helping us. We confess that we don’t always look to You first, and pray You will help us let go of more, and let grace cover what we can’t fix. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do you need to let go of, so that God can cover it in grace? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Giving Up…

Megs

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The Bling (#jammed daily devo day 11)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 11: Wisdom always Matches. 

“They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Proverbs 1:9jammed-11

“…they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” Proverbs 3:22

“She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you wth a glorious crown.” Proverbs 4:9

Outfits for the week are picked out on Sunday night. Mine is laid out the night before and my coffee is hot before alarms go off. I leave myself just enough time to hop into the car and make the allotted drive to wherever we’re going. There are no spare minutes to wait for slow moving daughters.

“Get your coat on, ” I inform.

Get your coat on!!!” I plead.

GET YOUR COAT ON.” I demand.

Wouldn’t it be easier to comply hastily to the first, cordial, request? Parents repeat themselves when something is important or urgent, and I believe God does, too.

The three verses in today’s devo all talk about a garland or necklace …adornments. Even Old Testament types valued some bling. Kings and those of stature wore them frequently, but I don’t think this message is reserved only for them. I believe the average folk of the day …the working class …the farmers …who dressed up only for special, “joyous” (NIV notes) occasions were included in the audience.

“They,” in today’s text, refers to all things wise. Those who follow wisdom “add beauty and honor to their lives.” (NIV notes)

The morning may be last place we want to cram in another task, but the repeated sentiments God leaves in His Word are worth enough for the alarm to sound with an extra five minutes to spare. A little wisdom compliments any outfit.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, You are powerful to instruct us with simple analogies, unwrapping the verses of Your Living Word like presents at Christmastime. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, that brought all promise and precision of your grace to life. We confess not carving out a piece of our morning for You, and pray for the discipline to do so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What phrase do you find yourself repeating? Share a moment when you felt like you didn’t fit in. Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Five Minutes!

Megs

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The Water Weight (#jammed daily devo day 9)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 9: Retain the Christmas Spirit.

‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16jammed-day-9-image

There’s a Christmas cactus on my desk that I fail to water most of the time. Miraculously,
it just celebrated it’s first birthday by sprouting beautiful pink flowers. I forgot about it most of the year, yet it retained enough water to survive.

Christmas overflows with the joy that Jesus’ feet trod into this earth. Though we leave the story as the decorations disappear, the babe’s promise is here. We can continue to kindle the magic of the Christmas story by reading God’s Story …Jesus is present from cover to cover.

jammed-tweet-blueHe came here so we can come to God. Not just at Christmas, but for always. Stamina to weather life well abounds, when we water our souls with His Living Word.

Father, Praise Your grace! Thank you for Your Living Word, in which we can meet You each day for encouragement and guidance. Forgive us for packing the Christmas season out of our minds, and bless us with Spirit’s power to recall it throughout the year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is the most amazing thing you’ve been able to grow? Share a moment when you felt like you didn’t fit in. Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Watering,

Megs

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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

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The Awkward Cargo. (#jammed daily devo day 5)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 5: Where we Fit in.

“I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be His own holy People. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Romans 1:7 (NIV)

jammed-day-5-imageA small city of lights appeared on the horizon as I pulled into the parking lot. Without wake, the crew guided a bulky cargo ship through the river’s mouth at sunrise, disturbing only the birds.

How can we be called ‘His own holy people ?’ God is holy.

Paul’s simple greeting reached out to people carrying a heavy load. Early Christians faced an uphill battle, but Paul’s sentiments assured them nothing is too heavy for God to carry. Faith grants us an unworldly peace that doesn’t jive well with modern realism, but Jesus navigates the river without stirring up waves.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit begins to increase our holiness from that moment. The cross covers what we can’t carry with grace.

Faiths may look different on everyone, but it’s found by the same wooden waypoint. Take heart in the awkwardness of the journey, knowing that below surface level all of humanity is wired to arrive at the same port. If you feel like you stand out, don’t fit, or have “gone mad” (as Alice suspected of her dreams of wonderland…), look to your Captain, and keep sailing home.

Father, You are not just capable of carrying our heaviness, but desire to lift it off of our shoulders. It’s not easy to feel like we don’t fit in. Help us to look to You in faith for comfort and guidance. Thank you for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to allow us to come to you. Forgive us for running away from Your help, and bless us with the power of the Holy Spirit to recognize Your will for our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

jammed-tweet-blueShare a moment when you felt like you didn’t fit in. 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

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