Tickled Pink

October 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Elaine James –

“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” implored Paul. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

People, when do you know it is time for a haircut?

Believe it or not (don’t make fun of me) I prayed “God I would really like to know from someone I respect if the way I am styling my hair lately is okay. Especially if I should do bangs or no bangs.”

A week later in a coffee shop I meet my friend, who I haven’t seen in a year. She walks in with glee in her voice declares “Elaine, I really like your hair and the way you have grown out your bangs. You look so much younger.” My heart was tickled pink with this quick answer to prayer! She even said I look like a movie star, but I won’t reveal which one.

The next day I told someone this story and their reaction was like “Oh come, on with all the starving people and problems in the world, you think God answered that prayer?”

“As a matter of fact I do,” I retorted. I know the attributes of God. Having a personal relationship with Jesus is intimate and as He wants to delight in me. I have seen Him do it in small ways and big. I have seen God answer a friend’s prayer who was craving apple pie. That day someone dropped off an apple pie! God is everywhere and He can take care of all at the same time. That is the mystery and sovereignty of God.

To help alleviate stress/anxiety I memorized Psalm 139. I had this person read part of it out loud “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:1-4 NIV).

I told this person that God, from the first page of the Bible till the end, has shown Himself to many in unique ways. Gideon is a great example. He prayed asking God to allow a test; he took wool fleece, if there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that You will save Israel. That is exactly what happened. But Gideon doubted and asked again; this time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew. God did it. And God also saved Israel.

Do you pray to God about everything? Maybe you have something you need to pray about now.

On a side note, Google “Do I need a haircut or not?” You will find a whole gamut of answers.

Wow! Praying made it a whole lot easier than googling and wondering.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I want to have a deeper relationship with you. I pray _________. Thank You for being there for me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Pause for 4.2 seconds

September 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Elaine James –

I love going boating, but struggle with seasickness. I popped two Dramamine in my mouth and washed them down with a glass of water to go on a fishing adventure with my husband on Lake Michigan. He assured me that he checked the weather report and that the lake was safe. I have heard horror stories that have ended in deaths on that lake. With a good weather report and a beautiful day, I was ready to go.

We started out in calm waters until we hit the breaking wall and the waves were large but there were no white caps so it seemed safe. I was peaceful as I gazed at the beautiful sky, sun and other scenery. It was so quiet. A verse popped into my head “Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Still a complete calmness came over me. With no fear in me I was inquiring of God “Is this a forecast of what is to come? Is it going to be over for me and my husband?” I remained calm, with no fear. The words danced in my head and was almost like a song “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

Silence was broken with my husband hollering “Get the net, I’ve got a big one on the line” I was struggling with it. I yelled, “How in the world are we going to get that fish in the net?” I knew if we lost the fish, I would be held responsible. The fish flipped in the boat, but I felt gross! We had to get back quick before I lost my lunch. We returned safely and celebrated an eighteen pound salmon, his biggest catch ever at that location. Later, he tweeted a picture of the fish and referred to me as ‘Lainey my #goodluckcharm.’ Yah, I like that!

When we got home, my daughter blurted out that I was talking too much and asked me “Mom can you slow down and pause for like 4.2 seconds?”

I have always wanted to ask that same question.

Can you pause for 4.2 seconds to receive this effective word? Pausing for a few seconds to peacefully remember that this life is grand at times but the time in eternity will even be superior.

Will I be ready? I answered that on the lake as calm as can be. Yes.

I have spent many years memorizing and studying God’s word. Moments like this fishing experience (not the seasick part) help me to appreciate how the Holy Spirit can whisper to me in just 4.2 seconds.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for continually giving me a message and helping me to welcome it into my life. Truly Lord I am a follower of You and I am aware that You are exercising the words in me and giving me superhuman power. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

“And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe (exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 Amplified Bible).

Quick on My Toes

August 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Elaine James –

“Where did you get those cute shoes?” I inquired.

She responded, “Bed, Bath and Beyond.”

Shocked, I repeated “Bed, Bath and Beyond?”

She flippantly replied, “Yeah, that must be the beyond part of the store.”

We laughed. “Wow! You’re quick on your toes. Did you just make that up?”

Most confidently, she chuckled “Yeah”. I had to laugh with her. I never thought of the ‘Beyond’ stuff in that title.

Suddenly as I focused on the beyond of Bed, Bath and Beyond title, I began to put it in spiritual terms; Here, Now and Beyond. The here and now are staples of everyday life, but the beyond is the part I forget to focus on.

First, how many times in my life do I hear a prayer, title or a Bible verse and not focus on each word? After all, a prayer like Our Father, which Jesus taught to his disciples, when simply recited is just babbling to God if I don’t really know who I am praying to and what it is about. The beginning line of that prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” taught me to adore and praise God.

Second, beyond is eternity or my time after death. Where will I go and why? How could I be living my life daily with the understanding of “eternal security with Jesus in heaven” or “Beyond”? The Our Father prayer goes on to say “Your Kingdom come,” which begs for the eternal security I experience when I focus on the cross and Jesus second coming.

Third, the beyond is not more things I want or have. It is the need God grows in me to be in relationship with Him. The Lord’s Prayer that asks “give me today my daily bread” which is the essential fruits of the Spirit that I need daily.

If I trust in the Lord with all my heart daily I can experience the “beyond” that the Lord freely wants to give me. I was “quick on my toes”; a pun intended by God as I went from shoes, to toes and “Beyond.”

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9b-13 NIV).

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.

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