The Windows

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 ESV

King David wrote Psalm 56 when the Philistines captured him in Gath (Lucado Life Lessons).

“Isn’t this David, then king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands?” 2 Samuel 21:11 (NIV)

The strength to live authentically comes from God, alone. King David’s encouragement is centered on the confidence source of our courage. Living our full truth out loud comes from bravely walking within our God-placed purpose.  Comparing our lives to those around us, and the mold of societal acceptance, chokes our ability to live uninhibited. But life exposed to the Light sets us free.

Hidden Heart Health

When I first earned the freedom to drive, I began to exit the highway early on the way to my family’s favorite summer hangout. Windows down and Alanis turned up, I dreamt of what it would be like to swap the suburban hustle for a sleepy lake-town life. Little did I know at 16, that roughly fifteen years later God would move our family onto a piece of land that my ’86 Nova passed by hundreds of times.

We unwrapped and repacked Christmas the year that we moved from our beloved starter home. The tree was reassembled and each ornamental reminder was placed back on it’s branches, and everyone in that sleepy little lake town noticed.  Suddenly the plethora of windows we choose to fit our house with, along the only busy road in town, seemed like a questionable idea.

“When I’m afraid …”

Charles F. Stanely points out that “the psalmist does not say, ‘if I am afraid,’ he says, ‘when I am afraid.'” 

David was afraid of Saul. He was on the run, and hoping to be considered insane, so he could continue to run further away from who he was. “He pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.” 1 Samuel 21:12-13 (NIV)

Is this seriously the King David that killed Goliath? Fear is a slippery slope. They bought his act, and he continued to run.

“Look at the man! He is insane!” 2 Samuel 21:14 (NIV)

We all face something in life that makes us want to close all the blinds and hide from the world. God promises never to leave us, and forgive our sins when we confess them. Fear causes us to assume we are alone and unforgivable,  re-confessing and running from sin that He has already forgiven.

Legitimate Labels

In an attempt to stretch farther than I could reach, a vase teetered and came crashing to the ground in pieces. I picked up the pieces, but the tiny shards were too small to be glued back together.

“I put my trust in you.”

The MacArthur Study Bible states that “Confidence in the Lord is a purposeful decision, replacing an emotional reaction to one’s circumstances.”

David was definitely having an emotional reaction as he ran from King Saul, but he eventually remembered what the Lord had said. God’s Truth can snap us out of temporary insanity. Hiding with his men in the back of a cave, King Saul entered to ‘relieve himself.’ David snuck up and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, and then has an attack of conscience. (2 Samuel 24: 1-5)

“The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 2 Samuel 24:6 (NIV)

Labels can be leveling, especially the ones that we are hesitant to claim. There are certain thing we don’t post on social media, or bring in up in casual conversation, because it’s hard to believe they belong to us. We’d rather close the blinds.

The redemptive power of Christ pieces every tiny shard back together. He rolls on grace like gorilla glue. We don’t have to stop living life or hide our progress. The journey back to who He says we’ve always been is a testimony to His great love. Don’t draw the blinds on that.

Charles F. Stanley says in his Life Principles Bible Notes, “God does not tell us to ignore our anxieties, but to bring them to Him and realize that He can overcome any terror we ever have to face.”

Reverse Roles

My husband and I didn’t think about the ramifications of everyone being able to peer into our lives through the windows, because we were attracted to the beauty of natural light.  Living in fear of what others might see draws the blinds. We hide from exposure. That’s not the life God gave us to live. That’s not the life Jesus died to grant us. “I came so that you may have life, and have it to the full,” Jesus said in John 10:10

“God, whose word I praise …”

When Saul was finished relieving himself, David followed him out of that cave. “My lord the king!” He bowed as Saul turned around. (1 Samuel 24:8He stepped out from the dark cave and into the light, exposing his truth, and the pieces were put back into place.

“You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly,” Saul replied as he wept allowed. 1 Samuel 24:16-17 (NIV)

Living our lives exposed to the light grants us freedom. When we turn up the volume on other voices, opinions, worries, shame, and regret, we become self-focused and selfish in protecting what we fear are unforgivable mistakes and missteps.

Authentically living for Christ begins with a real relationship with Him, in prayer and Scripture. David walked out of that cave to face Saul, reaffirmed by remembering who God said he was. Our stories, labels, and lives, exist so that others may experience the love of Christ.

“When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone. In God- whose word I praise- in God I place my trust. I shall not let fear come in, for what can measly men do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 (VOICE)

Father,  Praise You for this day, and Your purpose for it. Thank You for the blessings we woke up today, and those that will riddle our minutes and we walk throughout it. Forgive us for hiding the parts of our lives that are hard to face. We want to fully trust in You, God. Give us hearts like Jesus’. Help us to live authentically because we trust in You. Make us aware, as we travel through daily conversations, of those that we are meant to encourage by sharing parts of our struggles. Bless all those who hide in the darkness, ashamed and scared. May be a bright light of encouragement to every person You purposely place in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Happy Brightening,


The Lie Detector (#jammed daily devo, day 251)

September #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 251: Honest grace.

 If you hear My voice and abide in My word, you are truly My disciples; you will know the truth, and that truth will give you freedom.” John 8:31-32 

Anyone with children can relate to the desire for access to a lie-dectector. The look of day 251bewilderment becomes them when we accuse them of withholding the truth. They glance in our direction as if we’ve lost our minds. We know what’s true! So, why do they stronghold us? Why don’t they just admit they’re wrong and apologize?

It’s hard to admit we’re wrong. So, how do we we ensure we’re operating in truth? Truth is more difficult to execute that it seems.“Tell the truth,” is a lot harder than we sometimes like to admit.

We are really good at telling the truths we like to admit to and want to be responsible for, but claiming hurt we’ve caused and retracting false statements and ugly gossip aren’t things we’re know for excitedly admitting and confessing out loud.

Today’s verse tells us to listen for His voice and spend time in His Word. Prayer and time in the Word are irreplaceable ways to guide our hearts on a truthful and honest path. It’s only when we are talking to Him that we can listen for His response. And it’s only when we are looking at His Words that we can allow the Living Word into our hearts to translate the truth.

Jesus says when we operate in this fashion, “we are truly His disciples.” Our walk with Jesus will be humbly honest when we seek Him with all of our hearts. It doesn’t just happen. Seek is a verb. Pray is a verb. Abide is a verb. He promises to meet us there, but we have to go.

Wafting through life unknowingly hurting people with dishonest intentions, or living a door mat existence because we can’t sense when to move on from being toyed with, is much less joyful than living a life full of Christ.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Your Word! Thank You for guiding us in truth! Forgive us for our blindness to it, and our dishonest notions to others. Help us to seek you, pray, and abide in Your Word to live within Your will 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! 


Happy Lie-detecting,


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

The Practice Poms (#jammed daily devo, day 211)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

212: Pass it down.

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,July 31

‘People do not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NLT)

 “Mom!!!! I got her old pom-poms!!!”

One of my daughter’s favorite babysitters scooped her up and carried her into mini-cheer practice. It’s a sweet bond between two sweet girls …and now mine has her old pom-poms. They sit in her room in a treasured place. Old practice poms that now inspire my little girl’s dreams.

We must be careful to encourage our children’s dreams. A mix between believing with all of our heart they can do anything, and preparing them for the reality of life’s tendency not roll with their plans.
Today’s verse gives us some sage advice. Jesus reminds us that even God-given dreams cannot live on their own. We cannot live on our own. If we were capable of executing life without destruction, we would not have needed a Savior. The Word made flesh, born in a manger to walk amount us, stood on earth and spoke these words:
“People do not live by bread along, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 
Jesus knew all of us before we knew Him. He knows a thing or two about we need. We starve our souls when we don’t spend time taking in His Truth.
“Every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Every time we crack open our Bibles, we are being nourished. Our physical needs must be met, but our souls will out-live our bodies no matter if we live starved or full.
As my daughters grow, we read the Word together. He is at the root of all our problem solving. Jesus, and what He would do …and what He would say …guides us. They will need that basic instinct to turn to Him, or their dreams will starve. God holds much more in store than the peaks He provides. More than we can ask or image. But, we must be well-fed.
#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug
Father, Praise You for Your Word! Thank You for Truth. We confess that we starve ourselves many times, trying to toil through our lives without reading and prayerfully considering what You have to say. Forgive us, Lord, and bless us to seek You first in all that we do. 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 Friend-ing


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

The Make-up. (#jammed daily devo, day 210)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 210: Take care of what’s underneath.

“During that period, there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what seemed right to them.” July 29Judges 21:25

“Mom,” my youngest daughter informed, “I’m going to play with all of my make-up today.”

Her Saturday plans were spread out all over her bedroom floor. Every free sample and clearance kit I had ever passed to her was cracked open and ready.

“Let’s make a space for that today so you don’t have to sit on the floor,” I suggested.

I gave up telling her ‘no’ and instead taught her how to blend so she didn’t look so scary when she caked eyeshadow and blush on in a rainbow of colors. She’s not allowed to wear it out of the house, and knows she doesn’t need it to be pretty. But, she likes to play with it.

Today’s verse comes from Judges, a time when God’s people had very little restraint and sporadic leadership. “Everyone did what seemed right to them.” Pictures pre-schoolers running around the playground with a full face of make up on. That would be ridiculous, right? There has to be some limit …for them at this time, there wasn’t. And it got them into a lot of trouble …over and over again. The Promised Land was being wrecked.

There’s a lot of pressure for Christians to remain relevant. It’s important to be able to relate to the next generation and our job to reach them for Christ. To help hurting people, we have to be where they are at.

Relevancy often lies in the stories we are too scared to share. Human pain and suffering is something Christians are not immune to. Many of us can look back on a time when our lives looked like something out of the book of Judges. No rules and whatever we wanted.

Let’s remember not to extract our ‘relevant’ stories in our efforts to reach others with the love of Jesus. Our passion for our Savior’s love runs as deep because of what we’ve been through. Remaining relevant is remembering where we were before He pulled us up.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for who we are. Thank You for the struggles that each of us wear in this life. We confess forgetting and shoving them down into our past …and pray that You inspire us to pull our truth out to cross bridges …to get to hurting people …and love them for You. 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 Friend-ing


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

The Right Stuff (#jammed daily devo, day 165)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 165: Step by Step.

“They took some ragged sandals and patched them. They dressed in threadbare clothes—all so it June 14would look as though they had come from far away. Even the food they carried was dry and moldy, as though it had been carried a long distance.” Joshua 9:5

It takes two notes of a New Kids on the Block song to transport me back to the fluorescent colored days of my 90’s childhood. Watching them re-emmerge decades into adulthood makes me want to break out all of my old dance moves. There were no ragged sandals on those boys back in the day, but I plead the fifth on threadbare clothes. Back in the teeny bopper magazine days posters of their faces covered my walls and buttons with their pictures littered my jean jacket.

Today’s verse tells of some old-school trickery. Who would’ve thought that the ‘right stuff’ would be ragged sandals, threadbare clothes, and moldy food. They knew Israel was under oath from God not to make a covenant or show favor with anyone in the land. (Duet 7:2).

The Gibeonites were their neighbors …and knew they would be destroyed. They had just witnessed what Joshua did to Jericho …the famous story where the army marched around the city until the walls came down. They were scared, and figured the only way to get Israel to strike a treaty with them was to pretend to be somebody else, and it worked!

When we strive to be accepted for people we are not, we suffer anxiously until the wool eventually falls off the eyes were trying to despise. And the wool always falls off. 

Gibeonite Leaders (to Joshua):  We knew for a fact that the Eternal One, your True God, had told His servant Moses that He would give you all of this land and that you would destroy all of the people in it. We were so afraid of you that this seemed the best thing to do.  But now we are in your hands. Do to us what seems fair and just to you, and we will accept it. Joshua 9:24-25

They Gibeonites were grateful to be spared, and happy to serve in whatever capacity Joshua assigned to them, having successfully spared their lives. Meanwhile, Joshua was left scratching his head. He had failed to consult God …a familiar pattern of old …that once again landed God’s people in a sticky situation.

Old memories serve as great reminders of growth, but…

It’s important to remember who you are and what you’re fighting for. Joshua 9 (VOICE)

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for memories, and thank You for the lessons that You teach us through them. We confess, it’s easy to get caught up in the past …for better and for worse. Help us to make smart decisions now, learning from where You have brought us from and looking forward to where You are sending us to. 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 Remembering,


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