212 Degrees: The Extra Degree

September 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Missing something by a fraction can make a huge difference. A kicker on a football team may miss a field goal because he went a bit too far right or left. A chemistry experiment may become volatile because the mixture was measured with just a little bit of error. There can be so many things in life that a small difference can make “all the difference” in the world!

Two hundred eleven degrees in water is nothing but hot water. It will burn you, but other than that, there isn’t much of anything special about it. But if you cause that water to become just one degree hotter…magic happens. Bubbles start to form. Power comes forth from where there was no power.

Two hundred twelve degrees is the boiling point of water. When water boils things happen that didn’t happen prior. Think of all the recipes that direct you to bring something to boil. Think of the first locomotives that were driven by steam, and the power they produced to carry heavy loads from one coast to another. Think of the germs that are killed through steam or the wrinkles in clothes that are ironed out because of steam.

Steam comes as a result of the boiling water. There is a lot of power that comes in steam and boiling. But it all “boils” down to the fact that none of that would have happened if it had not been for the extra degree …from 211 to 212 degrees.

As you are in your second month of 2012 think about moving from the degree you are now to moving another degree and imagine the impact that you/we can make for God as we produce some amazing power!

PRAYER: Father, You are amazing. You blow me away! You were willing to go to the extra degree for us to make sure that we could regain the glory we lost when sin separated us from You and that is simply awesome! Thanks for thinking of me (and others) by allowing us to have Your Son to make us whole again!

“And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:12b NIV).

Remaking Love

August 20, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer  –

Valentine’s Day – A day set aside for love and romance. However, love is not just “soft”, “pink”, and feminine as Valentine’s Day often depicts. Love is about giving ourselves, just like Christ gave of Himself. Love is about staying committed through pain.

The church is also called to love–to love one another. Love is about action, which brings us to this quote about love by Ursula Le Guin, “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it had to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.”

As I previously mentioned, love is an action. Love that sits is not love at all. Love is about forgiving those that wrong you. Love is about going to someone you have a problem with. Love is to be made new every morning (Lamentations 3:3). Love that remains the same will become hardened and lack elasticity. Love must be able to stretch, so you can forgive those who wrong you. If you won’t stretch to give grace to your transgressor, then love no longer is love. Christians are called to love each other. The church should be modeling love to each other and those in the world. How will you model love?

Have a great rest of your week! May you have many opportunities to model what it means to love others in a Christ-like way today, tomorrow, this weekend, and so on.

Because of His Love ~

PRAYER: Thank You for Your love! Thank you for sending Your Son and lavishing us with Your mercy be allowing us to be forgiven, despite our worthiness!

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 MSG).

Naptown, is That Very Far Away?

July 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Jarrod Spencer –

It is not uncommon for our family to run to “America’s Drive-In” a few times a week. Sometimes we will eat lunch there, while other times we will go through there to pick up a drink for my wife. Either of these times will be at the end of the typical lunch hour.

Following lunch, our children will take a nap. At least that is the ideal situation. Our two kids may go down for a nap at the same time, but may not end up sleeping at the same time, unfortunately. This lack of symmetric schedules often affects my wife much more than me.

One such day as we had been out running errands around town, we had gone by the drive in before we went home. It was later in the afternoon, and our kids were showing signs of fatigue, which meant that a nap was just a few minutes away.

After we left the drive-in, we came to an intersection. Our son asks us where we are going to go next. My reply was “Naptown, do you want to go?”

My son then responded, “Is that very far away?”

His mom, after her initial snicker at his remark, said “‘NAP-TOWN’ means you’re going to take a nap, it’s not a place.” My son is not usually a gullible person but this caught him off guard.

It reminds me of the times when I am trying to think my life’s plans instead of leaving them up to God. I want one outcome and God has another planned for my life.

PRAYER: Father, may I learn to enjoy or at least appreciate the interruptions You place in my life.

BIBLE VERSE: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, s are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 44:8-9).

Losing Fear

By Jarrod Spencer –

It lurks around, a g-force, always present and more powerful than gravity, keeping you down. It is fear. It lurks even in the daylight. It doesn’t have to jump out to scare you anymore; you’re already past that point. You know it is there. It has encompassed you to the point that you think about it throughout the day.

What causes this fear for you? Would you like to be free of that fear? Would you like to be fearless?

To identify the possible fears that many people share would be a writing that would be way too long. But, all fears have similarities. They consume. They errode common sense thinking.

Jesus’ followers also were afraid when the storm came while they were on the water. They exclaimed in panic, “Lord save us!” Similarly, in a loud voice, since it was in the midst of the storm, Jesus replied, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?!”

In the midst of your storms, times of panic, or times of desperation Jesus is calling these same words out to you.

Perhaps we can use this section of text to help us conquer our own fears. First, make a list to identify your fears. Writing them down may make it easier to visualize, which may make it easier to confront and overcome.

Secondly, remember that as the thunder roars, Jesus snores. Imagine trying to sleep on a hammock while it was being tossed back and forth. I don’t know if the storm was that rough, but Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of it. I find value in the fact that He was able to sleep, which should bring peace to me in my storms, knowing that I can “sleep” as well.

Thirdly, you’re not just a “number.” We are so valuable to God that He knows the numbers of hairs on our head and our worth is greater than the sparrow (Matthew 10:31). God finds so much value in you that He gave up His son for you.

Finally, Jesus is always available. He is on call “24/7”. So, “do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1-3) and take advantage of that availability whenever you feel fear weighing you down.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for calming the storms in my life.

BIBLE VERSE: “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-25 NIV).

“Emergency, Emergency”

June 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Jarrod Spencer –

“What are you going to be when you grow up?” If you ask my son this question, his answer will be “a fireman.” Over his short forty-seven month life, he has told us that he is going to be a Chinese-food worker, a Pizza Hut worker, and a few other occupations when he grows up. The latest, a fireman, has come after being introduced to the movie “Fireproof.”

Wanting to be a fireman has invoked a wide range of imaginative play. He takes the plug-in side of a cell phone charger to be the walkie-talkie that a fireman uses. He has used his bicycle helmet to be fireman’s helmet. He uses a small oatmeal container with a bungee cord through it as an oxygen container. It is rarely a dull moment when his imagination is in full swing and “Fireman Caleb” comes out to save the day.

Recently, I picked up a play fireman’s hat for him. The other night my son was going through his pre-bedtime ritual when I heard him exclaim, “Uh oh, Dad, your razor is in the toilet.” I ventured into the bathroom to find that one of the attachments to my mustache trimmer was located at the bottom of the toilet. My fourteen-month old daughter decided to exercise her new talent. As I reached into the water my son exclaims, “Emergency, emergency!” He had gone into his room to put on his newly acquired fireman’s hat. Now he came into the bathroom with only a t-shirt, underwear, and his toy fireman’s helmet. As I pulled the attachment out of the toilet, I couldn’t help but laugh.

As I thought about this situation, I think that God must have his moments where He watches us scurry around in our “emergency” situations and is thinking, “Relax, I have this all under control.” Do you go through situations like that? However, in the grand scheme of things they are pretty little? Maybe it is losing your keys, missing a turn, forgetting an assignment at home, or a host of other issues we face.

Does God become worked up over those types of examples? I seriously doubt it. So why do we?

Are you in the middle of an emergency? Remember that God has these things all under control.

PRAYER: Father, may I rest in You. May your Spirit prompt me to rely on You and not me in matters I deem as an emergency.

BIBLE VERSE: “’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV).

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