Waters Gone By

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Life is seldom predictable, but one thing we all face is hardship. For some it seems as if hardship is an everyday companion. At those moments, it is difficult to keep a faith-filled perspective.

Every time I think I deserve a better shake I think of Job. The man lost all of his possessions, his family, and his health, but still served God. Even though his friends told him to curse God and die, Job chose to believe that God had never left him.

How bad would things have to get before you would curse God and die?

I hope you never have to find out, but each day when we spend time getting to know God, we build the balance of our rainy day fund. No, not in dollars and cents, but in faith. All of the verses we learn and words of Jesus we read give us the ammunition to fight our own doubts and fears when things are at their absolute worst.

Job 11:13-14 gives us a formula for surviving and coming through adversity with victory:

1. Devote our hearts to God and worship Him. Reach out to Him in our struggles as well as the good times.
2. Get rid of sin that is in our lives. Both the things that are in our homes and our hearts. When we don’t allow evil to have a foothold, it gives God the territory.

When we do these two things, God gives us strength and hope. It is counsel far wiser than Job’s friend who said he should curse God and die. It builds up our faith so we are ready when trouble comes. It keeps us from doing things that would separate us from God, when times are tough. Following this formula we will find the strength to face our struggles with a faith perspective.

“Then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by” (Job 11:15-16 NIV).

A Child’s Perspective

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Some days it is difficult to accept the changes in our lives. We look around for someone to blame, or complain that the world is different. But really, change can also be a sign of growing. What used to feel right is suddenly not.

My son Micah is the most amazing child. I know, I’m mom, but he is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He takes on life with tenacity, always living on the boundaries. No matter what happens, he embraces each moment.

One day when Micah was four years old, he taught me something so important about Godly perspective in life.

Micah is all arms and legs. I call him forty pounds of wonderful, because he is still so thin at age eight. Despite how thin he is, he grows at an amazing rate. Shoes are a six month change at best. One moment his shoes fit perfectly. The next, his toes are pushing through the leather.

On this sunny summer day we were headed to the park. My kids all had their shoes on except for Micah.

Micah crammed his feet into those shoes like a pro, but they were pinched tight. He looked up at me as seriously as possible and said, “Mom, my shoes have outgrown me.”

He still says that today when it is time for him to change shoes, or clothes because of another growth spurt. It could be a devastating ‘I’m getting too big for all of the things I love.’

Not for Micah.

For him it is all about those shoes not being ready to be part of the journey he is going on. He chooses to view life with a joyful perspective. All is well with him. It is the shoes that are having trouble.

Do we look at life with a Godly perspective? Or do we focus on the negative side of the things around us?

In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about keeping a Godly perspective when things may not be going our way. We aren’t to lose heart, because eternal glory outweighs it all.

Has your life outgrown you?

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).

Be Quiet! I Can’t Hear God

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

If you have ever tried to get a large family in the car and on the way to church, you know that chaos is the norm. Everything from missing shoes to mismatched socks and a solid dose of arguments thrown in is just the routine.

One such morning my family and I were celebrating the close of the garage door as we backed out of the driveway for church, when my daughter asked to listen to some music.
We were more than happy to turn on the worship CD in our van and cruise to church with the sound of joy instead of the chaos we left in our wake.

Just when we thought we were in the clear, my son in the back seat started to complain.

“I don’t want any music. Turn it off.”

Like any good parent I reminded him that we don’t always get our way.

Like any sister, my daughter piped up with, “I want to listen to music.”

I was ready to intervene when my son said something that gave me pause:

“Be quiet! I can’t hear God.”

That day we left the radio off and were quiet on the way to church. My son needed to hear God and as a family we couldn’t stand in the way.

How about you? Do you feel the chaos is so overwhelming sometimes that you can’t hear the voice of God? I know that I do. It is difficult to carve out time in our crazy schedules to just sit and listen to the voice of God.

When we get in the toughest spots in life, we need to hear from God more than ever. We can’t fill the silence with chaos and our own solutions. We just need to be quiet so we can hear from God.

My son taught me something that day that I will never forget. Even in the midst of chaos we can quiet ourselves to listen to God’s voice. It is merely a decision to draw a line between the chaos and ourselves and stop to listen. Only then can we get the answers we need for our day to day lives.

“Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:3 ESV).

Perfect Recipe

February 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Over the holidays we come up with perfect cookie recipes and New Year appetizers, all in the hopes of impressing our guests.

In February, we long to come up with the perfect recipe for love. The perfect recipe for love occupies the attention of romantics all over the globe. Could it be true that opposites attract? Or are we looking for people with something in common?

No one really knows for sure what the perfect recipe is for each person, because every individual is unique.

How about the recipe for success? There are scads of books out there to address this question.

Somewhere in the midst of it all we forget one really important recipe; the perfect recipe for life.

A recipe has a variety of ingredients depending on the desired outcome. If you try to make peanut butter cookies with the recipe for ranger cookies, they wouldn’t turn out. When you finished you would have a batch of ranger cookies.

Why do we think that there is a perfect recipe for life that is the same for everyone?

The other day I was grousing about something that happened. Why did it happen to me and not someone else? Then God showed me that I am a ranger cookie minus the sprinkles.

God designed me to be a ranger cookie. I have a unique recipe of life experiences that create the person God designed me to be. If I use the peanut butter cookie recipe, I will not become who God intended and will not fulfill the perfect recipe He has for my life.

Sometimes there is nothing perfect about the ingredients. After all who wants to be pressed into the blender and spun mercilessly? But God is right there with us the whole time. He doesn’t bring the disaster, but He allows it to bring about His perfect will in our lives.

What kind of cookie are you? Do you wish you could be something else? God intended something amazing for your life. You have a perfect life recipe to bring about God’s amazing design.

David’s life was turbulent. There were times when he ran for his life and times when he served as Israel’s King. But some of his life must have felt like a recipe in the blender. Still, after he had run for his life, faced many hardships, and reveled in victories he still said this:

“Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:8 NIV).

Babysitting Popcorn

January 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Michelle Lim –

Kids are the most creative moochers alive. If you don’t think so, just ask my five year old about babysitting popcorn.

I love popcorn. Thankfully, most of my kids prefer a different kind of popcorn than me. But my youngest will delight in whatever is available. He likes to shadow me to enjoy both his snack time and mine.

On one such afternoon, I’d popped a bowl of Kettle Corn and sat down to check email. Before you know it, two little eyeballs topped off with a carrot-top cowlick popped up over the edge of the blanket. Then, a shuffle of feet.

He is sitting next to me, feet extended, grabbing a handful of popcorn and cramming it in his mouth before I catch on and stop him. The phone rang and the next thing I knew, I was half a bowl down.

He folded his hands in his lap as I hung the phone to stare in my deplenished stash. Of course my son was feeling a bit sheepish about overtaking my snack, right?

NOPE!

His next words told the story. “Mommy, I think I’d like to babysit your popcorn for you.”

“You realize babysitting involves taking excellent care of them, not eating them?”

He giggled.

If I let him babysit my popcorn bowl, I’d have had not a kernel to spare. All in good fun, I would have feared the worst, anticipating bad news.

Our faith is much the same way. Sometimes we lay out our plans filled with all of the right ingredients, but it is hard to leave it in God’s hands. After all, in the process of watching over them, I often let my plans morph into something I didn’t intend at the beginning.

Just like my son thought he’d only eat one piece of popcorn, pretty soon he was babysitting popcorn and changing the whole picture.

Are you babysitting popcorn? Are you changing the picture in your own way because you just can’t trust it to God? I relate to this way more than I should.

Believe that God can handle your dreams. It is time to let God do the babysitting. After all, how can you chase your dreams and put the work in necessary to succeed if you can’t trust God to follow through?
“They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them” (Psalm 112:7 NIV)

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