"Build My Life" by Cory Asbury
Happy Friday ladies! I hope you've had a great week. I feel that it went pretty fast and here we are at the weekend again. Phew! By Monday, we'll be starting March. Today is bath day for Molly Dolly and I have a couple of craft projects that I'm working on. What are you ladies doing this weekend? Have a FUN FRIDAY!!!
"Build My Life" by Cory Asbury
Good morning! God is good! All the time! How are you ladies doing today? Keep holding on, because in a few days, it will be March. We can do this! We've had some melting going on, muddy dog paws, and birds chirping. It might just be the most beautiful sound in the world! I've even opened the windows for a few minutes at a time to bring in the fresh air. What are you up to today? Since I went to my appointment last week, I've been reading my material and taking it all in, as well as trying to come up with a new "time management" plan. Yeah, that's not really me so it will definitely be a struggle. But, I'm taking it on and making a commitment to navigating my way through all of this. There are so many elements to it, such as sleeping well, eating well, stretching, exercising, weight training, weight management, resting, meditation and deep breathing, as well as other techniques that can help...biofeedback, acupuncture, etc. I didn't do the online Zoom class yet, but it will probably be next week. I also have our "Book Club" tonight at church, where we are reading through the whole New Testament during the days of Lent.
A funny title for today's devotion, but a great lesson on putting our security in the right place...on the Rock of Jesus. Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY ladies!
"Shower Curtain Security"
CBN Ministries, Kathryn Graves
My neighbor, Edna, found a stray kitten on her porch a few months ago. She already had three grown cats, all of which hated the kitten, so she called me and asked me to take him. I love cats, but hadn’t had one in several years and didn’t think I wanted another one. However, when I heard his baby meow over the phone line, my heart melted.
I don’t know where he had been before Edna’s, but he came to me full of insecurity. He keeps looking for places to hunker down where he can feel secure. One of his favorites is under the shower curtain. I have a curved shower rod and when not in use, the curtain hangs outside the tub, bowing out in the center with the hem dangling a few inches above the floor.
The kitten, Theodore, crouches under the center section. The funny thing is the shower curtain only covers his ears and eyes, leaving his whole body exposed and his whiskers poking out. But he feels safe under the flimsy fabric.
I am reminded of how we can be like Theodore. We look for security in flimsy things, too. My husband and I, seriously concerned about providing enough money for our retirement, invested in the stock market. Having money socked away makes us feel better about the future. But markets have a history of softening, declining and bursting like a bubble. We really don’t know how much money we will end up with.
Some people collect things, even when they can’t afford to. I am reminded of the commercial in which a man who has a huge, fake smile plastered on his face lists all the possessions he owns. At the end he says, still smiling, “Can’t somebody help me? I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.” Surrounding ourselves with a lot of things may feel good for a while, but even if we can afford them, we can’t take them with us when our life is over. We’re simply covering our eyes and ears to the truth that they can’t provide the kind of security that lasts.
A job seems like the answer for many. They spend years training and preparing for their dream job – the one that will make them rich and famous. Someone said fame is fleeting. They were right and jobs can be, too, in our world of layoffs, outsourcing and corporate corruption.
Some search for security in relationships. My mother felt secure in her marriage until it fell apart after 33 years. Marriage is great, and we should feel secure in our marriage relationships, but we are not guaranteed tomorrow. My husband and I have been married almost 29 years and if there ever was a solid marriage we have it, but our health is not promised to last forever. One of us will probably pass away before the other. If marriage were the only thing lending me a sense of security, I might one day be lost without it.
Some people live in war-torn countries and believe if they only had peace, they would feel secure. Unfortunately, military peace doesn’t always bring personal security.
In the parable of Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus said if we build our houses on the sand, then when the rain comes, everything will be washed away. But if we’ve built on the rock, our house will hold up against the worst of storms. Jesus is the rock and the house is our life. Whatever plans we make for our future need to be prayed over and Spirit led. When we hunker down on Jesus our Rock, we really are secure. Anywhere else is behind a flimsy shower curtain.
Good morning ladies! Welcome to a new week. How was your weekend? We got about four inches of snow yesterday. It looks pretty this morning with the sun shining! I think it will be melting for us fairly fast though, because the next few days will be around 40 degrees. It's going to feel like Spring! Considering that's about 50-60 degrees warmer than last week. Crazy! Not a whole lot planned for today. Just the usual putzing and things around the house. How about you?
Today's devotion is a great reminder that we must, as individuals, humble ourselves and seek God's face in prayer so that He can "heal our land." Have a MANAGEABLE MONDAY ladies!
"Heal My Land"
CBN Ministries, Gene Markland
Are you, like me, weary from all the bad news from around our country and the world? Natural disasters and disease have devastated millions. Financial disasters have wiped out fortunes, retirement accounts, and businesses. Political upheavals are pitting brother against brother and value system against value system. And yes, as the Bible predicted, there are wars and rumors of wars.
What is going to happen to us? How will all this play out? Have we, as some suggest, brought about God’s judgment upon our nations because of our sin and disobedience? Questions, worry, and fear fill our hearts and minds. What are we to do? Simply stated, the answer is prayer.
Recently at my church’s Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, jovial conversation turned from sports to our world's economic woes. We shared our thoughts with each other about how these times are affecting our families. One Brother asked, “Why us? Why now?”
An elderly gentleman who has served God all his life stood up, and with confidence that overshadowed his humble voice proclaimed, “The Lord has never let me down. If we pray, He will help us make it through.”
The word of the Lord says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV).
How can our nations be saved and survive the many disasters in our midst? Do you share my frustration because it seems like our society will not do as God instructs and pray, repent, and humble ourselves before Him? How can we expect His favor when we live any way that we want, with little regard to the word of God? Is there hope for those who follow Christ according to the word of God and not pop culture? Yes! Yes, there is hope!
Remember, scripture applies to us individually, and not just corporately as nations. As God honors His word to each obedient individual, then a portion of that nation is blessed. The more individuals who appropriate God’s word, the more that nation will be blessed. However, it all starts with one. So I ask you to personalize the scripture as I did, and allow God to bless you and heal your land.
“If (Gene) _____, who is called by my name (Christian), shall humble himself, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from his wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive (Gene’s) _____'s sin, and heal (Gene’s) _____'s land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 Personalized).
Though the entire world around us crumbles, the Lord will honor His word to us, if we will heed it. Put your name in the blank, in the scripture. Seek out what you must do to heed His word and God will fulfill His promise for you!
If you align yourself with the freewheeling secular world, then you shall reap with them, suffer, and share in their despair. But if you align yourself with the truth of God’s word, then He will give you peace, and see you through the tough times that try men’s souls. He will make a way for you where there is no way. Your house shall be an oasis in the desert, an ark of safety in a world flooded with crisis.
“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10 KJV)
Good morning ladies. I'm sitting here looking at light snow falling and the sparrows getting some food out of the feeder and I think about how cold they must be! They seem to take shelter in the large pine tree in our backyard. I watched the weather report this morning and I see that, by Sunday, we'll be starting to climb out of this extended time of polar freeze. It will be in the twenties, and then early next week they are saying close to 40. That sounds SO good! I've been missing my walks with Molly every afternoon. She can only go out just to do her business right now and nothing more. I'm sure she's ready for warmer days too. My Mom said that it's -17 degrees in Michigan this morning so I think it's pushing east. And our son is completely buried in snow in Chicago. I've actually lost track of the total because it just keeps snowing there. Crazy winter! How about you? What is the weather like where you are?
We had a great time visiting with the kids and grandkids. On Monday, my husband and I had both boys to ourselves for most of the morning. It was a special time. I will post some pictures below.
Tomorrow I have my long-awaited appointment with a specialist for Fibromyalgia. It's an all-afternoon thing down in Rochester. This is the first time that I've known about any place like this and I'm happy to finally be addressing some of the things I struggle with health-wise. I am hoping to get some answers and help.
What a great lesson on LENT today. What are some things that you've focused on in this season? Have a WONDROUS WEDNESDAY!
"Lent: What Is It Good For?"
CBN Ministries, Hannah Goodwyn
The days of Lent are marked as a time of faith-filled meditation, fasting, and repentance from Ash Wednesday (today) until Easter. With Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection in full view, observers, in a sense, put a real focus on waging war against their human desires that may be contrary to God’s Word.
For 40 days and nights (not counting Sundays), Christians around the world take on a mantle of spiritual discipline as a way of deepening their faith in God. Observing Lent looks different for every believer, though fasting is usually a major factor. Some choose to fast in the traditional way, giving up a meal or certain types of foods. Others, after evaluating their lifestyle, determine to give up luxuries in order to focus more on their walk with our Heavenly Father, such as turning off the television or radio for Lent or cutting back on their sleep to devote the early morning hours to prayer and Scripture reading.
The options are endless. The important thing is to be obedient to the moving of the Holy Spirit and follow through on exercising self-control in the area God is touching His finger on in your life. Whatever you decide to give up, make sure you are in line with what the Bible says about fasting. In the book of Matthew, we are encouraged to fast in “secret”.
"And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18 ESV)
Be careful that your motivation for fasting, and observing Lent for that matter, is to honor God and not to stoke your self-righteousness.
Just as the Son of Man resisted sin in the wilderness, purpose in your heart to remain steadfast during this time of consecration to God. Temptations come each day and will continue through this season, as it did during Christ’s wilderness testing, as recorded in the New Testament book of Mark.
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the Good News." (Mark 1:12-15 NRSV)
The Bible records many times when Jesus went away by himself and focused his attention on His Father, in Heaven. Lent is a set aside time for us to do the same. As we fast and meditate on God’s Word, take hold of Joel 2.
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. (Joel 2:12-13 NRSV)
Fasting is an integral part of observing Lent. For us, our self-pleasing nature will wage against our desire to deny ourselves. Stay strong to the calling you have in this season. God’s blessings are greater than the momentary pleasures we are giving up.
Mourning is part of the process as we remember Jesus’ death on the Cross, but it’s also a joyous time as we reflect on His resurrection. Our joy is found in Him. Let that be the lesson we all learn during this time of consecration.
Lent, what is it good for? Absolutely everything… that matters.
God’s goodness is better than what our human minds and hearts could ever imagine.
Good morning ladies. Friday! Yippee! Any special plans for Valentine's Day? Just staying inside and staying warm is a good goal! Ha! My husband made a reservation at a local restaurant that we've been wanting to go to, so I guess we'll be venturing out. It's going to be nice to eat out again. We've heard great things about this place.
Our Cornerstone Cares team got together the other evening to assemble little bags of trail mix with sweet little notes attached to give to our community educators and staff, letting them know they are appreciated. We already received a note back from someone this morning saying how much she enjoyed getting it. So much fun!
Today I'm crocheting little hats for our grandsons to take with us on Sunday when we see them. I might've waited until the last minute to decide to do this.....
Enjoy your weekend ladies and have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY! You might fire me with this song, but let's have a little bit of fun today! You might even want to dance! Enjoy these lyrics.
"Grace Got You" by MercyMe
Hey there! Good morning! How is your week going? Are you managing in this "Polar Vortex?" I've been trying to see the weather report for more than a week out to see when we get at least into the double digits, and so far, no success. I'm thinking about how good even 10 degrees will feel compared with the negative wind chills. 30 degrees though....that would be downright balmy! The sun is still shining though. Not too much planned for today, other than some cleaning (after making a mess with some crafting things), and tonight I have a meeting with our Cornerstone Cares ministry team to put together goodie bags for our community educators. I'm looking forward to that. This weekend we are going to meet our son and daughter-in-law and the boys because they are candidating at a new church to see if God is leading them to this new ministry. It's about two hours north of where they are now. We are going after church on Sunday and will watch the boys as they look at some homes in the area. We are very excited for them and this new opportunity! It is a lead pastor position. What are you doing today?
Strong words today, but so very important! Have a WARM WEDNESDAY ladies!
CBN Ministries, Pauline Hylton
Now that I've been a farmer for almost two years, I've learned a few things.
For instance, I can tell you that a bushhog is not a pig hiding in the undergrowth — it's a machine. And straw and hay are not the same — just ask a horse. Did you know chickens do not need a rooster to lay an egg? I do. Now.
I can also tell the difference between a sheep and a goat. So can the Lord.
If you take a look at Matthew 25:31-46 you can see what I mean. Jesus speaks of a day when He will judge the earth. Verses 31-33 state this:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." (NIV)
Jesus goes on to clarify what He means. In the story, the sheep represent true believers and goats represent those who claim to believe but are not. The 'goats' show they are not true believers by their lack of action.
I'm not saying anyone earns his or her way to heaven, not only is that impossible, it's unbiblical. I'm just sharing with you what God's Son said.
And what He says is important. Life-giving. It's also life-taking — like that passage.
In a world where people mention God or Jesus or spirituality, it's important to understand what it means — or perhaps, what it doesn't mean.
When people mention god, it doesn't mean they are speaking of the God of the Bible. People like to dress god up to look like them. Kind of like the Greeks did — a god who is okay with promiscuity or lying or cruelty.
The Great Jehovah transcends all of that.
These 'goats' talk about Jesus as a great man or a prophet, or one way to God. Yet Jesus says
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus demands exclusivity.
Someone might say, "I'm a spiritual person."
My response is "But are you a saved person?"
You might receive a shocked face if you say those words to someone — even an angry face, and in some countries, you may receive imprisonment or torture or even death. That just means you're a sheep.
And then some of you who are reading this may be goats and may not even be aware of it. You may be serving in your church and receive a perfect attendance Sunday School pin. But it means nothing because you do it all for the wrong reasons. Perhaps pressure from your family, or tradition, or church is another form of social networking for you.
I have one word for you — repent! Turn from trusting in your works or your idea of God and turn to Christ today.
Or face His judgment tomorrow.
Listen to verse 41 in the last part of our Matthew passage:
"Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (NIV)
Don't be a goat, be a sheep.
Your forever depends on it.
Good morning ladies. It's a new week and the sun is shining! How are you today? I hope your favorite team won last night. I cheered for Kansas City, but to be honest, got a bit bored even before half time. We had our nice little party and snacks, but I wanted to actually change the channel (haha), but my husband wouldn't let me. He was bored too, but he felt that it was somehow "tradition" to watch the game. Eyeroll. He's probably right, but I was still bored lol. Anyway, on to better things....baseball and Spring! Although, you can't even hardly think about Spring yet with the way the long-term forecast looks around here. We probably won't even see double digits in the temps until late next week. And that's with keeping our fingers crossed!
I made it to church yesterday and it was great to see everyone and fellowship together. It would've been easier to hibernate, but we need community, don't we? How was your weekend? Any stories you'd like to share? Oh, just a note--our new grandson is 1 month old today!
There are some wonderful promises in this devotion today, especially for those times that we are going through a period of suffering and loss. As we are reminded, God makes beauty out of ashes. Have a MEANINGFUL MONDAY ladies!
CBN Ministries, Courtney Johnson
Before the sun peeked through the heavy clouds, he was outside, adorned in puffy pants, fleece hat, and gloves. I watched him trudge through the white powder, and I
watched him swing on the swing set high enough to kick the icy limbs above. After drinking my morning coffee and gearing up in my snow clothes, I joined him.
I photographed him making snow angels as he sunk at least four inches inside the white. We worked side by side, on our knees, as I rolled a snowman and he built a fort. We both worked harder this snow day because we were missing a key helper – his dad, my husband. It has been a while now and we have learned the routine of life without him, but it is in the unexpected that we feel his loss the most.
We live in the south, so snow is always hoped for but never expected. When it happens here, it changes everything for a few days. People ravage the grocery shelves for milk, bread, and eggs, as well as their favorite snow foods, and everyone drains the local gas tanks into their vehicles before driving them home to secure in a parking spot until the winter storm is over. Families crowd into their homes, pile on blankets, watch movies, and wait.
The first flakes begin to fall, and faces crowd the windows with plastered smiles. Doors open, as photos of the falling snow are taken. No matter the time of day, all of nature quiets, as flakes drift, and snow blankets the earth. Families begin planning the ensuing snow day, filled with sledding, snowball fights, and hot chocolate.
The unexpected is where most of life happens. In the case of southern snow days, it leads to fun and laughter. In the case of sickness and sudden loss, it leads to sadness and tears. But it is in the unexpected that people come together. Families team up to build a snowman or families huddle around a grieving loved one. Friends push each other on sleds, and friends pray for each other in distress. The unexpected always changes life – for a few days, a few years, or forever. And the unexpected changes us.
We have a God who never changes, yet He knows that we, His people, constantly need to. He uses the unexpected to mold and shape us into who He created us to be. James 1:17 states,
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)
Is it possible that the unexpected can be a gift from God? Certainly, snow is His doing, and it is a gift. Even though it causes potential hazards and inconveniences, its beauty is like nothing else on earth. So is true with calamity. Even though it causes pain, God uses it in our lives to draw us near to Him. That is when the unexpected becomes the perfect gift. God uses the unexpected for our good and for His glory.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him ..." Romans 8:28 (NIV)
The gift may come when loss of fertility leads to the most beautiful adoption, or when the worst earthly sickness ends in eternal healing. Sometimes mourning turns to dancing. Often suffering precedes restoration. Jeremiah 31:13b:
“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (NIV)
If we know that the best gifts from the Father come in the unexpected, then as they come, we can trust that He is working on our behalf. Then we can begin to see beauty in ashes and roses among thorns. And when the deepest winter storms come, we can lay down with our faces to heaven and make snow angels.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 (NIV)
Good morning ladies. I hope you're all staying warm as we've now dropped into the frozen tundra! 18 degrees below zero this morning with the wind chill factored in. BRRR!!! As it happens in Minnesota though, the sun is starting to shine brilliantly. It's kind of a thing here. Freezing and sunny or mild(er) and cloudy. Hmmm. Anyway, I'm so thankful for a warm home! Sorry I missed the devotion on Wednesday. I had an appointment with the dietitian in Mankato. It went very well and I'm starting the next phase of the plan which includes everything I've been doing food-wise, but begins to focus on some weight loss as well. I'm excited for this, although I know how hard it can be. Don't we all? The older we get, it seems, the harder it is. Ugh. What are your plans for the weekend? Watching the Super Bowl? I'm going to make a few special food items like wings and some brownies. I found some recipes that work for both of our diets--not easy! We have a little shopping to do today because we came right home after my appointment on Wednesday. I'm not sure exactly how we managed to NOT GO to Hobby Lobby. I was talking about my appointment so much that we were several miles away before I thought of it. Crazy! I want to get a few little Valentine things to send the kids. That's about it for us.
This is a fairly new song that we heard a lot on our trip to Arizona and back and we came to really like it. I hope you do as well. Have a wonderful weekend and a FUN FRIDAY ladies!
"Who You Are to Me"
Chris Tomlin and Lady A
Good morning ladies and welcome to February! I saw a male and female cardinal this morning, heard the chirping of the birds, and then saw an eagle fly past, so it's been a sweet morning around here already! I would like to start counting down the days until Spring, but I think it may just be a bit too early for that. I know that tomorrow is Groundhog's Day, but we all know how reliable that old guy is. Haha! So, what are you ladies doing today? It's Molly Dolly's bath day, I have a little cleaning I want to get done, we have a few errands to run, and I'm planning to make chili for tonight. Normally, my chili is easy, but since I'm following a new diet, it will be very different. I can't have any beans, so this should be interesting! I'll let you know if I like it.
I understand and appreciate the thoughts from this devotion today, but the author didn't tell us how she should have handled the situation with her "young friends." I wish she would've included that. Any thoughts? Please share! Have a MEANINGFUL MONDAY ladies!
"Jesus Got Angry"
CBN Ministries, Kay Camenisch
While on an outing with two special little friends, we went to a gift shop that had a basket of colorful hair clips displayed near the floor. It was like a magnet to Megan, the 18-month-old. Her four-year-old sister, Mollie soon joined her.
My correction, “No, no. Don’t touch” had no effect in getting little hands out of the basket, even when repeated. Finally, I spoke a little stronger, “Obey.” Immediately, both girls withdrew their hands and backed away. Mollie’s eyes filled with hurt and confusion.
I’d been studying anger in the Bible for several months, and I realized that Mollie reacted, as if to anger. I didn’t feel angry. Nor, did I think I was angry. Yes, my voice became harsh for the final word, but I reasoned that I needed to be firm to let them know I meant business. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that my actions showed all the signs of using anger to get what I wanted. Their reaction told me that I must have been angry, whether I thought I was or not. I had manipulated the girls with harshness.
Obedience is important. If they don’t learn to obey earthly authority, they won’t obey God. It would be irresponsible not to address the issue. However, what appeared to be sound logic and justification did not erase the memory of both girls pulling away from me. They obeyed, but I had alienated them to gain obedience.
But Jesus got angry when He drove the traders and the livestock out of the temple. Therefore, it’s okay for me to get stern when I have just cause. Right?
When I looked more closely at the passage, I discovered that is not right.
Anger is generally a reaction rather than a response of action. However, because Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing, we know that His demonstration in the temple was not a reaction to the moneychangers. It was action in response to His Father.
Furthermore, if we are around someone who has an angry outburst, we want to fight back or withdraw and run. But that is not how people responded to Jesus.
People were drawn to Jesus after His “angry” outburst. Nobody pulled back like Mollie and Megan. The chief priests and scribes allowed Him to continue teaching and healing in the temple, and then reacted because of the response of others to Him. Could it be that rather than reacting in anger, Jesus was acting under authority?
Was He also taking authority – authority which was rightfully His as the Son of God? After questioning Him, the chief priests allowed Him to teach because He was acting as One under authority.
I’m grateful my relationship with my young friends was not permanently damaged, and that they have continued to learn and grow. I am especially grateful because I believe in this incident God’s purpose was for me to learn something.
Thanks to them, my eyes were opened to see that I was angry more often than I thought. I also saw how easily anger affects relationships. My harshness came from defending my own authority, not from a motivation to train in righteousness. I was seeking conformity to my way, not following the leadership of God. While trying to make them come under authority, I was out from under mine.
I still believe it is important to teach obedience, and that there needs to be consequences for disobedience. However, I’m learning to do it under authority so it will draw people to me — and to Jesus — rather than driving them away.