Epic

July 4, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

by Elaine James –

“The last Harry Potter movie was epic,” my 16-year-old daughter blurted out. Almost daily I hear someone saying the word “epic.” I have noticed young people like using the word “epic” quite often. Daily we have stuff to deal with and sometimes we may even say our moments are bigger than big, so we refer to it as “epic.”

Elijah had an epic encounter with the Lord. He followed God’s very detailed orders to deal with Ahab and his false prophets and it was successful. The result was that Ahab’s wife Jezebel did not like what Elijah did so her anger rose up with vengeance. It scared Elijah, so he ran for his life, saying “”I have had enough, LORD, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Isn’t this exactly what is going on today in our world? Things seem hopeless. The mind tricks people in to believing things are so bad that they want to die. Suicide rates with our teens are rising in great numbers. Why? Because the lie going through their mind is “There’s no way to resolve this.”

In an “epic” moment, we need an “epic” hero. Elijah’s all knowing hero, God, rescues him in a gentle, loving way. God starts by letting Elijah rest and fills him with food. Quickly, Elijah gains tremendous strength and is able to do something not many of us could do. He travels by foot 40 days and 40 nights. Wow!

Are you amazed at what God can do for you? We can be empty, out of strength and filled with worry yet God steps in and creates an “epic” ending to a situation. Our “epic” hero.

Get up and eat! I can give you strength! –GOD

QUOTE: Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon (Maybe when I am lacking strength, it’s because I am not lacking worries.)

BIBLE VERSE: “The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night” (1 Kings 19:7-9 NIV).

Celebrating a Cancelled Christmas

May 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Elaine James –

Have you ever come across three words that you thought were so simple, but ended up meaning so much?

Last year my husband announced to our family “I am cancelling Christmas.”A question came to mind: “Does that mean we are cancelling the true meaning of Christmas, too?”

The only words that my husband and I had on our minds as Christmas approached was “our family needs alone time and the only way we felt we could accomplish that would be to get away.”

As any baseball lover knows, at the end of the World Series, the MVP gets asked the question, “You have just won the World Series. What are you going to do next?” The MVP always answers “I’m going to Disney World!”

When we asked my baseball loving husband “Where are we going for Christmas?” he answered: “We’re going to Disney World!’

Twenty six years of family tradition were cancelled, replaced with airline tickets, a house rental and a rented van. With a sketchy itinerary, my husband, our four kids, daughter-in-law, girlfriend and I headed to Florida for a Christmas vacation. On the plane, I prayed “Lord, please don’t let us forget the true meaning of Christmas.”

We arrived in Orlando, got our rental car and proceeded to our rented house, but our GPS misguided us and we ended up lost in a town called Celebration, designed by Walt Disney.

We corrected our directions and navigated our way to the entrance of our rental home, in a neighborhood called Legacy Park. The directions instructed us to enter and find the subdivision called The Retreat.

Stop!

Did you catch those three names of those places? I get the chills thinking that my husband just made random reservations, never realizing the name of the neighborhood or subdivision we would be staying in.

It was truly three divine words. A message from God! We were called to celebrate, have a retreat and leave a legacy.” We celebrated the birth of our Lord in a little town called Celebration, which just so happens to have adorned their town with several nativity scenes. We retreated from our busy lives, which gave us time as a family to reunite, cry from laughter and love one another. We left a legacy with our kids celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

I have come to realize that sometimes 3 simple words may not be so simple, after all.

PRAYER:  Lord, thank You for mercy. Help us to find more ways to celebrate, retreat and leave Your legacy.

BIBLE VERSE:  “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).

 

Slingin’ Snot

May 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Elaine James –

The Pastor exclaimed “I was slingin’snot!” Those were the exact words he said last Christmas season when he described his reaction to a coat drive at his church. While walking through the lobby, he saw hundreds of coats hanging everywhere, and being a very emotional person, he confessed he was “slingin’ snot,” or as another would say “crying.” I never heard anyone use that saying before, so I just had to use it as a devotional title.

A huge angelic choir announced the arrival of the Messiah. The shepherds heard it, talked it over and wanted to see for themselves if this truly was the Messiah. They were moved emotionally when they saw the Messiah. Seeing was believing! We don’t always get moved by something significant if we hear about it but when we see it with our own eyes; that is a different story. The Pastor was moved by seeing the amount of coats in the lobby of the church.

How are you moved by the significance of Christmas? I am always moved to tears when I listen to the words of Christmas songs or when the Christmas story is read. I agree with the angels who proclaimed “Glory to God in the Highest and peace to men on earth who please God.”  If we want to see God and understand who He is, we must believe.

What will you do until December 25th to experience the true meaning of Christmas? I bet you can see God working this Christmas Season if you look with the same eyes the Pastor did at the church coat drive.  God is working through His people all around us in so many ways.

I get the feeling I will be “slingin’ snot” over Christmas again this year!

PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank You for this time of the year when I remember the birth of the Messiah.  Help me to see and believe as the sheepherders did.

BIBLE VERSE: “At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.” (Luke 2:13-18 MSG).

Slingin’ Snot

April 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Elaine James –

The Pastor exclaimed “I was slingin’snot!” Those were the exact words he said last Christmas season when he described his reaction to a coat drive at his church. While walking through the lobby, he saw hundreds of coats hanging everywhere, and being a very emotional person, he confessed he was “slingin’ snot,” or as another would say “crying.” I never heard anyone use that saying before, so I just had to use it as a devotional title.

A huge angelic choir announced the arrival of the Messiah. The shepherds heard it, talked it over and wanted to see for themselves if this truly was the Messiah. They were moved emotionally when they saw the Messiah. Seeing was believing! We don’t always get moved by something significant if we hear about it but when we see it with our own eyes; that is a different story. The Pastor was moved by seeing the amount of coats in the lobby of the church.

How are you moved by the significance of Christmas? I am always moved to tears when I listen to the words of Christmas songs or when the Christmas story is read. I agree with the angels who proclaimed “Glory to God in the Highest and peace to men on earth who please God.”  If we want to see God and understand who He is, we must believe.

What will you do until December 25th to experience the true meaning of
Christmas? I bet you can see God working this Christmas Season if you look with the same eyes the Pastor did at the church coat drive.  God is working through His people all around us in so many ways.

I get the feeling I will be “slingin’ snot” over Christmas again this year!

PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank You for this time of the year when I remember the birth of the Messiah.  Help me to see and believe as the sheepherders did.

BIBLE VERSE: “At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed” (Luke 2:13-18 MSG).

 

Alleluia; All Is Well

April 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Elaine James –

Is all well?

The Alleluia chanted before the Gospel is proclaimed in the liturgies of the various Christian liturgical rites. Alleluia will be solemnly chanted at other times also, usually in conjunction with Psalms. Singing the Praise of the Lord or Alleluia is a way of lifting up our voices to sing “all is well.”

Did you know that love walked amongst us?

This by far is the most epic news ever recorded on this earth.

The Word came to walk amongst us; there were eyewitnesses who recorded it!

Do you believe that?

Take a moment and think about the Word of life that breathed life into you. Jesus came to Earth,as man.

Some say the past is in the past. He is not here now. He may not be here now, but that does not stop me from thinking about Him now! Jesus said he must leave so the Holy Spirit can come rest inside of us. That means that love still walks amongst us.

How could, should, would that make your life different?

It must make our lives different. Does that reality bring you to tears?  Tears of joy flow from me. The knowledge of Jesus is so lofty to attain. I ache inside to see Him. The Spirit of God exists, and that is satisfying. The Spirit dwells in me, and He reveals Himself to me. Alleluia!

Loneliness grips me at times. Asking for love to walk with me, at those moments, is powerful. On my own, loving others is not easy. Seems that I can’t make anyone happy! Some reject this love, unable to feel it.

This is hard to grasp. The apostles were also confused that love walked among them, especially after Jesus died. Then, when he reappeared, they panicked and wondered, “Is this Jesus?” In the end, God touched them, blessed them and too, their doubt and fear away, sent the Holy Spirit to walk with them; within them.

We can’t live life in our own strength. We weren’t designed that way.

Jesus is love that walks amongst you. Think about it, receive it.

Give that Spirit-led love to others and allow God to use you!

Feel the love. All is well. Alleluia!

PRAYER:  Love walks with me; touch me. In Jesus name.

BIBLE VERSE: “When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them” (Luk 24:50 (NIV).

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