Most Unexpected

July 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Elaine James –

On a beach in California, a father and his 13-year-old son were joyfully diving into the cold water excited to spend time together. As soon as they had recovered from the shock of the cold water they had so much fun in the waves that before they knew it, the tide pulled them out further than expected. Out of the sight of family members. Panic set in the father’s heart. He was in over his head and out of control.

As thoughts of death raced through his head, he saw his wife and other children on the beach and sensed the panic growing on his son’s face. The father lacked energy, and was equally scared and struggling. But he had to get to his son.

Once the father reached him, the boy tried to climb on him, which pulled them both under. Then the father tried to throw his son toward the beach, which really only moved him a few feet. He just kept pushing him forward, but the boy had to depend on his own energy or they would both die.

The boy’s reflection afterward recounted it this way: “I was underwater and had given up, and then suddenly from below, my dad threw me out of the water. It was only after that, I got hope and began to swim.” The boy became engaged and swam with all his might. The Father’s determination brought hope, overwhelming love and God’s goodness. The last push thrust the boy to safety.

The father sighed with relief that his son was saved, but had no energy left to save himself.

“After being rescued, I stood on the beach watching my father struggle to make it. A peace came over me. I knew how much my father loved me, and seeing me safe brought him peace.”

The beach scene was most unexpected, but now the father and son see God using the story all over the world to express His love for us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to discover Your love for me so I can walk continually in Your truth.

“For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth” (Psalm 26:3 NIV).

“What Am I…”

June 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Elaine James –

“Chopped liver?” my husband questioned as I continued to feed dinner to a group of my teen daughter’s friends. My husband asked “Do you know what chopped liver is?” The girls all replied “Gross!”

Before I knew it I had given all the food away and there was none left for my husband. He was planning to eat before he left, but instead, he had to leave feeling disgruntled. I have to admit we laughed and ignored him. But I soon started to feel guilty, asking myself “What did you just do?”
I was out of order.

When I was a little girl my dad had this piece of paper in his wallet. On it he wrote:
1. God
2. Wife
3. Children
4. Work

After being in his wallet for years it was so dilapidated. According to Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and all shall be added to you” (NIV). Funny how the Spirit of God can remind us of all I’m writing about in a flash. I am thankful for the Spirit because I really believe in this order and want to please God. The only way to rid myself of this yucky feeling was to ask God to forgive me.

Later I looked up on Wikipedia the phrase “What am I chopped liver?” It expresses that chopped liver traditionally is served as a side dish rather than a main course; therefore the phrase may have originally meant to express a feeling of being overlooked, as a “side dish.”

I’m wondering if God watches us asking that same thing at times. I won’t even eat chopped liver let alone want to treat someone like it!

What or who have you put first in your life over God? A boyfriend, friends, work, awards or dreams can all become American Idols. What steps can you take this week to put God first?

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, things have been out of order. Forgive me for_______________. Renew my Spirit with the desire to spend time with You first. Thank You for the help.

Ranting and Raving

June 6, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Elaine James –

She was ranting and raving. “This can’t happen! My house will not be worth anything. If this goes through I will be staring at walls five feet from my house. This could cause my house to be flooded even more. I must go fight city hall, this just can’t happen!”

As her blood pressure went up, I prayed “Oh Lord, what can I say to help this woman?” She has battled a severe illness in the past and she doesn’t need this stress now. Really none of us do. Neighbors were complaining that she was saying things that were not true.

“I will be praying for you,” I promised.

She stopped. A look of shock came over her. “Well…..I, I, I” the words slurred out of her mouth. She knows Jesus. We have talked about Him before.

I was reminded of the words I read just this morning in Deuteronomy 28 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you if you obey the Lord your God; you will be blessed in the city and be blessed in the country” (Deuteronomy 28:1-3 NIV).

“Come here and give me a hug,” I uttered as I opened my arms to her. As I embraced her, she sniffled. Tears began flowing down both our cheeks. I whispered “You are God’s child. He will not let you go. He loves you! Whatever the outcome, He always promises to be there for you. And getting all worked up can’t be good for your health.”

Maybe you too have been ranting and raving about something. Sometimes the pressures from life cause you to worry and be fearful of the future. It can be too much to handle. As a result, things come out of our mouth that should not.

Has this happened to you?

Thankfully, I had just visited with my Savior! Otherwise I probably would have been tempted to rant and rave along with her.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, I have been so worried about______. Help me to stop. I want to be able to give this to You. Forgive me for ranting and raving. Thank You for blessing me with the ability to give this to You today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

When Life Gives You Lemons make Limoncello

May 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Elaine James –

When my family and I arrived in Naples, Italy we found out our luggage was lost. We had to leave to get to Sorrento. After 24 hours, we got back from a tour and were ready to change clothes, but to our dismay our luggage was not there.

Immediately, I was freaking out inside. Trying not to yell at the front desk girl, as she was our interpreter, but it was becoming increasingly harder. She presented the only solution, which was for my husband to travel an hour to the Naples Airport. But, not only would they not bring the luggage, they refused to pay for the driver.

Still, I could not calm down. I wanted to be a good sport in front of the front desk girl and my children, but was failing. I hid in the bathroom, praying that God would help me to let this go and accept the situation.

My husband left with the driver. My kids said “Mom, stop. What is the big deal?” I yelped back “The big deal is we only have so much time and we can’t miss being together. Time is wasting.”
I was so disappointed in myself that I just couldn’t get it together, but we decided to go to dinner while my husband was gone, leaving a note for him to explain where we were.

My mood lightened as we ate delicious food. We actually started to laugh. As we finished, my husband appeared in the doorway with a huge grin and spring in his step. “What is going on?” I asked.

He told us about his adventure with an Italian driver. There were no glitches to get the luggage, they were just in and out. The driver, with his broken English, reported on the history of the town and their great produce: lemons.

What seemed like a “sour” part of our trip suddenly turned around and become quite “sweet.” The driver offered his family’s secret recipe of Limoncello. My husband was so excited, and I was filled with peace when I saw how God took care of everything.

I apologized to my family. I learned that when life gives you lemons, you can either get emotionally worked up or wait it out and accept the things you cannot change. And my husband learned when life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 9 NIV)

Get a Grip

May 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Elaine James –

I like this! “Send me some more like this and we can probably do an e-book,” the editor stated.

I was so excited, so I took the next months to edit and rewrite all 31 devotions. That moment of truth had come for the manuscript was just an “enter” away on my computer. I said a prayer “Lord may these writings bless others and may You get all the glory.”

On January 2nd of this past year, I received in my inbox an e-mail from my Editor. I breathed deeply and opened it. It stated “Elaine, our board passed on your Devotions proposal.” They went on to give a statement of what they were looking for and some suggestions to my future writings.

My son writes music for songs. He has experienced rejection too. It is not easy.

What do you do when you experience rejection? After you’ve put everything you have into a project, but still feel as if you are not moving forward.

Stop. Step back. Take a deep breath. And pray!

Sometimes, I beg God to show me what is going on. Am I off track? Am I doing the wrong thing?

But I know God has brought me to this point.

Have you been praying for your own journey? Then why would God steer you the wrong way?

There are the right people out there who will appreciate you and your work. Just wait! Wait until God shows you. Don’t believe any other words. Trust God, who placed you on this path.

Maybe it is time to just praise and worship God and stop making requests as to how He should respond. Just spend time with Him. Relax, God is not done yet!

Be wise. Continue, and praise the Lord in all circumstances.

“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul” (Psalm 103:1-2b).

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