What Will You Do With Tomorrow?

March 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You’re only a day away.”

Most of you probably know that line comes from one of the main songs on the movie “Annie.” Tomorrow allows freedom. Freedom to start over. Freedom to have a new set of 24 hours. A new set of 1440 minutes. A new set of 86,400 seconds.

How we use each “tomorrow” is up to us. Most days, “tomorrow” is something I look forward to because I enjoy my job. Only a few days, job or otherwise, do I not look forward to its arrival.  Either way, it is still a new day, and you can do with it however you wish. This brings us to this quote by Lyndon B. Johnson, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.”

Tomorrow is not here yet. Yesterday has already past and you cannot change that. Now is present and you can choose how you deal with the choices you face. However, what will you do with tomorrow? How will you make it a great day? How will you make someone else’s “tomorrow” great? What will you do? Wave, smile, buy lunch/dinner, etc.???

Go and make someone’s tomorrow great!

PRAYER: Thank You for my “tomorrows.” May I use them to glorify You, to point people to You, and make others’ tomorrows be better by how I reflect You to them.

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. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV).

Being Different

February 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Jarrod Spencer –

Ketchup, bread, and chocolate chip cookies. What do these all have in common? You can go to the store and have your choice to pick out any one of these in a variation of brands – each one still being about the same idea. There isn’t much difference in the taste and texture in the variation of these three (within their own categories). The idea that they are pretty much the same brings us to this quote by Coco Chanel, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

A few years ago, Heinz brand ketchup came out with variations in order to make their brand a bit different. Bread companies have tried different things to make their bread seem different. Chips Ahoy brand cookies has “Soft Batch” and “Chocolate Chunk” to try to be different. Once a product is made, others will try to mimic that product. So, the constant challenge is to stay ahead of others in the same business, just to make sure you maintain a status of being irreplaceable.

As Christians, we all are equipped with the same amount of bones and other body components as anyone else. So, what makes us different? Understanding that is a constant challenge. We can be polite and kind, but so are others. We have to keep going toward what is uncommon in order to make sure that we are not ‘replaceable.’ For example, are others able to turn the other cheek when being “hit” in life?

How will you be different? I pray that your individual uniqueness will allow you to find ways to be irreplaceable!

Looking for ways…

PRAYER: Holy Father, I am thankful that You are different. That You will forgive when I do not deserve forgiveness. That You sent Your Son to a world that did not appreciate Him. As a human father, I cannot imagine giving up my son for others’ lives. Thank You for being different!

BIBLE VERSE: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a NIV).

 

Take the Money and Run

January 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

There is a new TV show that had a short run this summer titled “Take the Money and Run.” Its premise is that two people are given a briefcase with $100,000 inside. They are given one hour to hide the briefcase anywhere they want. At the end of that hour they are picked up by two investigators and taken to individual holding cells for 48 hours. During this time, two interrogators get to question them as much as they want as with various methods. The investigators and the interrogators are provided the GPS coordinates of their route, phone records and any receipts they may accumulate during that one hour time.

The people try to lie and tell the truth. They try to keep their stories straight. They try to keep the investigators as far away as possible. Ultimately, the people are trying to outfox the investigators and interrogators for the sake of greed. In the context of the sport, they are greedy, not wanting the other people to have the money.

The premise of that TV show made me think about the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17. Jesus comes in contact with ten men who had leprosy. They cannot come close to Jesus, due to their uncleanness. He tells them to go show them to the priests. Along the way, they are healed. Only one comes back with appreciation. Jesus asked about the other nine.

There is a lesson in that the one who came back was a Samaritan. As some know, Jews and Samaritans did not get along well. However, I want to focus a bit on the fact that the other nine “took the money and ran.” They were greedy. They received what they were looking for and then took off.

I have been one of the nine. Whether it was after I received some money from my parents or grace from God. Either way, there have been times I was taking it and running. Glad that I received what I wanted, but took off with it without expressing thanks.

I would guess you’ve been “one of the nine” also. You have probably been “the one” too. However, may we be challenged to be “the one” more than “one of the nine” with both God and with others.

PRAYER: Father, though I may “take the money and run” more times that I would like, thank You for your forgiveness in times of my greediness. May I strive to be “the one” more than I have in the past.

BIBLE VERSE: “Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17 NIV).

Patience at the Pumps

January 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Jarrod Spencer –

What will a guy do to save a little at the gas pumps?

I know what this guy will do; he will endure the worst gas pump situation ever to save 12 cents per gallon.

We were on our way home from a vacation and needed to fill up with gasoline. I noticed that most of the gas stations had raised their prices, except for one. The price difference was great enough to cause me to stop there.

The station appeared quite reputable – company, appearance, etc. The problem: the gas pump halted with every 10 – 15 cents worth of gas that I pumped.

I pulled the handle; it ran for a few seconds, then clicked to a stop. I adjusted the angle of the pump. Agin. Pull. Run. Stop. Readjust angle. Pull again – same result. Pull. Stop. Pull. Stop.

After approximately 30 stops, resulting in only $3.00 worth of gasoline, I thought it was the individual pump. I went in to pay my $3.00 and explained that I was moving to another. Different pump, but the exact same result.

I wish I knew how much time I spent at that gas station. It took a lot of patience for me and my family. We finally surrendered once I thought I had enough gasoline to make it home. When I paid, I told the manager that I would probably never come back again, due to this enormous inconvenience. I wasn’t mad at the company, just those particular gas pumps.

As I tried to find the perfect balance of trigger flow and pump angle, I couldn’t help but laugh in the middle of my frustration. It taught me to be patient, especially when situations are outside of my control.

This is something I learned, once again, as I struggled to be patient at the pumps.

PRAYER: Father, there are virtues in life that I want, but would rather not go through the effort to improve them. Patience is one such virtue, and I need it often. May moments like these strengthen my virtue of patience. Stay with me and guide me in this education process.

BIBLE VERSE: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV).

Fearing Shadows

December 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Light brings good feelings. The sun coming up in the morning reminds us that a new day is dawning. Lights coming back on after they went out due to power failure allows us to feel safe again. You could probably think about other instances where light has made someone feel good.

An additional fact about light is that light causes shadows. My question for you is this: Do you fear shadows? A shadow can easily cause fear, but Author Ruth E. Renkel suggests this about shadows, “Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light somewhere nearby.”

The system of sacrifices in the Old Testament has been referenced to being a “shadow” of what Christ does for us in the New Testament. Based on the inabilities found in the sacrificial system, it would be easy to “fear” them. As the sacrificial system was such a system that required many, many sacrifices to be completed throughout one’s life.

If those in the Old Testament knew that Christ’s death meant never having to sacrifice again, they wouldn’t have “feared” these sacrifices, because those sacrifices simply meant that Christ (i.e. the Light) was somewhere nearby!

May we revel in the idea that we have the Light to “walk in” (I John 1:7) and a “light” to illuminate our path (Psalm 119:105)! So remember not to fear shadows because a light (of comfort) is nearby!

I hope you have a great end of your week!

Walking the lighted path…

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, that You are always nearby. I am eternally grateful that Your Spirit is always with me. Through Your spirit, You are just a prayer away. Father, thank You for being a light in my life and Your Word, a light on my path.

BIBLE VERSE: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4 NIV).

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