The Deep Breath (#jammed daily devo, day 270)

September #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 270: Slower speed receives fast.

“Jesus repeatedly left the crowds, though, stealing away into the wilderness to pray.” Luke 5:16

Breathe in …..day 270

Breath out ….

Desparate to create a little more space for my little rib-kicker, I listened intently to the instructor’s lesson on breathing. Though a natural phenomenon we don’t have to think about to accomplish, there is a way to breath that intensifies and maximizes all other attempted movements and thoughts. Not a believer in meditation, so to speak, I deferred to prayer after the intense stretching and strengthening had come to a peaceful end on the mat.

In those moments, I breathed deeply …not into the thoughts of the instructor or the power of the earth, but into my conversation with my Creator. In the moments that I chose to breathe deeply into His presence, He pulled me in a little closer to His embrace. There is power in breathing into the One by Whom our very breathe was crafted.

breathe- to take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide through natural processes; to inhale and exhale freely. (Merriam-Webster)

There is power in breathing. Great power that we walk through our days not focusing on or noticing… but when we choose to shift our gaze and our focus to a moment dedicated solely to abiding in His presence …sometimes wordless …that’s powerful.

Jesus knew this power. In today’s verse, he steals away into the wilderness to pray. He showed us that our human flesh does not operate on the power of the wind or the waves or the earth or our minds. Our strength, our very breathe, is in held in the compassionate hands of God, who placed us purposefully.

Jesus, God’s Son, who came down from heaven to abide with us, die for us, and save us …needed to walk away and spend time with His Father in prayer. What a rich lesson for us, as we seek our way through this massively painful world, that feels as if it weighs a thousand pounds on our backs some days. It was never ours to carry. Not the burden of our lives, this life, or worry of the future. Christ came to conquer it all, and show us how to cope while we remain.

Breathe. Pray. Believe. Follow.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for prayer. Thank You for giving us the gift of conversation and quiet moments just to breathe in Your presence. Forgive us for passing these life-giving moments by, and help us to slow down and dedicate our breath to you 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 Breathing,

Megs

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

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The Ladder (#jammed daily devo, day 263)

September #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 263: Keep climbing…

He saw a ladder set up on the earth, and its top reached to the heavens. Genesis 28:12

day 263

Sweat dripped into my eyes as I wrestled with the metal frame. Up and off of it’s metal
hooks and around the corner of the doorway, it swayed and out-weighed me as I maneuvered the door closed and set it’s legs down firm on the rug. The joints squeaked and jolted open, threatening to pinch my fingers as I stood the ladder up and locked it into place.

Climbing up to the top of the loft, all of the work had been worth it. There’s no other way to get to that spot. It’s too high and out of reach for anything but an extra gigantic ladder than I can barely carry in and out of the house.

Today’s verse reminds me of that impossibly large ladder, and the view it yields when it’s finally put into place. This verse is part of Jacob’s ladder, a very well-known story and dream that Jacob had in the pages of Genesis about a ladder that led to heaven.

I doubt, as Jacob rested his head upon a rock to go to sleep, that he had any inkling of having a dream where God would speak to Him! He was laying down on a rock! Yet, content to. When we lay our heads down on hard situations, God breathes life into our lives again. It most certainly could be a dream where God speaks to us, but it most likely will not be. Still, we feel His movement ever so reliably through the rest that He grants us when we need it the most.

And though we may not see a ladder in a dream like Jacob did, we can rest assured that we are climbing the rungs to heaven as the days go by and our holiness is perfected in our walk through life with Christ. For God promises us, just like He promised Jacob:

 “Know I am with you, and I will watch over you no matter where you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Jacob’s ladder. Thank You for dreams, that allow us to imagine what life has in store for us. Forgive us for chasing our own ambition, and attempting to steer our dreams in the directions we want them to go. Help us to let go and give You control. Bless our steps to follow You, so we may see an experience all the glory You have in store 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 Climing,

Megs

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

 

The Audible Voice (#jammed daily devo, day 252)

September #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 252: Can you hear it?

 If I speak the truth, why don’t you believe Me?” John 8:47

day 252

Raising kids can make us feel really smart on some days, and not so smart on others.
Sometimes they look at us as if they really want to believe what we have to say …they really want to take our word for it …but something in them is holding out for a bit more proof. (Not that we would ever try to pull the wool over our kids eyes so we don’t have to explain to them why they can’t do what they want or have what they’re after.)

It’s hard to give up the parental “I told you so” and “because I told you so” cards. (Thankfully, my daughters still honestly believe I can hear and see everything even when we’re on separate floors of the house…)

In today’s verse, people are questioning what Jesus is teaching. They are probing for proof and searching for statements to build up their faith in what He was saying. But it simply didn’t work that way then, and it doesn’t work that way, now. We can read the Bible cover to cover, and still not find enough proof to believe. The Word is alive, and without the Spirit, the Truth remains hidden from our eyes. Hidden from our heart.

It’s the Spirit that moves in and out of the Word. 1John14:7 reminds us that “all three persons of the Trinity are linked by truth.” But we are blind to it without a Savior. Jesus removes all of the filters. He doesn’t give us all the answers we want, He simply strengthens our faith through relationship. He knows us, and the more we get to know Him, the more we know the Father.

It’s important to be wary of who we believe. Even those with good intentions, and even us, ourselves, can in our flawed humanity lead others and be led astray. It’s crucial to keep in touch with the truth that flows from the Living Word.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for truth, and for love. Thank You for leaving Your Word, and revealing it to us as we grow with Christ. Forgive us for misinterpreting and humanly misleading others, and help us to detect dishonesty and move away from it swiftly. 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 Honesting,

Megs

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

 

The Sandy Grains (#jammed daily devo, day 240)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 240: Between toes.

“Don’t listen to what that prophet or dreamer says! The Eternal your God is testing August 28you to see whether you really do love Him completely, with your whole heart and soul.” Deuteronomy 13:3 (VOICE)

I sat on the beach, digging my toes into the sand and then lifting them up to watch it all fall back onto the shoreline. There’s no telling how many grains of sand have been in between those toes over the years. And there’s no way of knowing how old each grain is. Where its started. How it got there …stuck between my toes.

We’ve carried a lot of sand away from the beach over the years in shoes, wagons, buckets and mini-vans full of sandy little butts. We all carry a lot of sand away from the shore.

But one grain of sand stuck in our teeth gets our attention, doesn’t it?

God’s voice is like that grain of sand. That single grain that stands out from all the other grains we’ve dragged around and played in …tossed about and formed into sand castles …

Today’s verse begs us to listen to that single grain of sand.

In listening to Jesus we learn what love is, and how we get to know Love.

He walked out many days on this earth in sandals …with sandy toes. He’s not as far removed from understanding us as we realize …even when we do realize who He is. To listen to Christ is to believe and follow. To believe Him is to accept Him as our personal Savior. All it takes is a simple prayer and a willing heart. That one prayer, like one grain of sand among millions, will singly change life forever. A prayer just like this …

Father, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You that He came to earth and died for me. Forgive me, for I have sinned, but through Jesus I have the hope of forgiveness. Today, as I accept Jesus as the Savior of my life, I pray for Your blessing to follow Him until the day you call me home to heaven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Living,

Megs

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

The Bad Words (#jammed daily devo, day 239)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 239: Integrity.

“Search me through and through—from my deepest longings to every thought that August 27crosses my mind.” Psalm 26:2 (VOICE)

Determining what to expose our children to becomes tricky business when we start to worry about who we might offend. No one wants to be the party pooper, but no good comes from exposing kids to things they’re not ready to digest. That being said, despite our efforts to shelter them from outside exposure, there are nerves our children press that trigger our explicatives.

Let me encourage all of us today by referring to Psalm 26:2. (Ironic, that one of the hardest elements of parenting can be correlated with a verse with numbered 26.2, because it sure does feel like a marathon.)

“Search me though and through- from my deepest longings to every thought that crosses my  mind.”

In today’s verse, David is asking God to search his heart. To reveal any malicious intent and dishonoring thought processes. The NIV Study Bible explains it this way:

An appeal for God to take account of David’s moral integrity, his unwavering trust and his genuine delight in the Lord—not a boast of self-righteousness, such as that of the Pharisee. NIV Study Bible Notes

God knows the intent of our hearts, and trying to teach our children in a way that honors Him will honor Him …and He has mercy on us. His name is Jesus. We can’t get it right all of the time, and not matter how hard we try to protect our kids from others, and even our own bad behavior, we are still imperfect people …and they will be, too. When we walk with Christ,  powerful things happen in situations of doubt and sin.

Forgiveness. Protection. Guidance. Love.

It’s always going to be hard to protect our kids from every bad influence. But we can pray to the Father that promises to listen, and seek Him in His Word. We can talk to Him frankly about what worries and concerns we have, concessions for times we lose our cool, and for patience to have patience. He’s not expecting us …or them …to be perfect. He knows our hearts, and whether we are ill-intended or acting in faith …His love is unchanging. #grace

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for forgiving us and protecting us, and our children. Thank Your sending Jesus to us so that we may be forgiven and remain in Your presence. Forgive us for trying to control our children’s situations too much, and for when we slip up and set the worst example ourselves. Bless us with stronger faith, and a walk with Christ that shapes our hearts to be more like His everyday. 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 Wording,

Megs

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