The Miracle Suit

April 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Ever needed a miracle like… now?  My son called to say his wedding, postponed the previous summer, would take place in one month. Anticipating the first wedding date, I’d bought a dress that fit perfectly.

I hung up the phone and dropped my head into my hands.

How will I ever lose the fifteen pounds I’ve gained since summer?

I began working out and counting every calorie. Holding my stomach in, I got into the dress without bursting any seams.

Maybe another day without food and I’d look just right.

However, when time neared for the big event, a vision flashed before my eyes of the groom’s mother waddling down the aisle in a beautiful, lavender dress with bulges everywhere; around her waist, around her hips, and around her thighs.

I dashed to the mall in search of the perfect slimming garment, and spotted a sign boldly proclaiming Miracle Suits. I snatched that garment from the rack and practically danced my way into the fitting room. I pulled, tugged and stuffed myself into the suit. My now-bulging eyes told me I was enhanced, slenderized, and shaped as the label claimed.

So I bought the suit, returned home, and removed my purchase from the bag.  My family stopped what they were doing as their mouths fell open. They agreed I could not wear that suit of armor under my elegant dress. I realized the only thing slenderized was my brain.

Sanity returned to my panicked mind and I returned that miracle suit to the mall. The day of the wedding, I put on my dress and found that those huge bulges I’d imagined existed only in my panic mode.

Later I was able to laugh about the suit of armor I’d almost worn to my son’s wedding, but I also realized that many times I react the same way in a perceived crisis. I take the problem to God in prayer and then, rush out to try to fix it myself.

I’ve learned with a little discipline; physical, mental and spiritual, and putting on the armor of God daily, I don’t get myself into situations where I have to struggle with pleading to God for a miracle.

PRAYER:  Father, thank You for the privilege of being able to bring all my requests, big and small, to You. Thank You for Your Spirit that gives me power, love, and self-discipline.

BIBLE VERSE: “For the Spirit God gives us power, love and self-discipline” (II Timothy 1:7 NIV).

Shock Absorbers

March 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

I grew up in Florida, not far from the beach. One of my favorite teenage memories is of the day a friend bought a dune buggy. Now most of you probably know what a dune buggy is, but for those who don’t, it has a Volkswagen chassis and a jeep body with roll bars. It is made for riding over the sand dunes – fast. And that we did.

When my friend showed up at the house to pick me and a girlfriend up, he pointed out all of the features of his new “girl.” “…and look at these babies,” he said, pointing to these huge tube-like things connected to the wheels. I later learned that those “babies” were the shock absorbers. Without the shock absorbers taking the beating for us, we wouldn’t have had as much fun as we did riding the dunes. God calls us to be His “babies,” his shock absorbers in the world.

To receive a blow and not pass it on takes great strength. God asks us to do just that. We are to absorb the blows others send our way, not in our own strength, but because of the One we are connected to. Because of our relationship to God, we can take the blows and transfer the force to Him. This is how God expects us to repay evil with good, to give to everyone who asks, especially those who don’t deserve it, and to love others as we would like to be loved…even when they aren’t so loveable.

PRAYER: Thank You God for being the shock absorber for me, transferring my sins onto Your Son so I might be free. Help me to, likewise, be Your shock absorbers so others might come to know the freedom of forgiveness.

BIBLE VERSE: “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:30-31 NIV).

Then and Now

March 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Rosemary Flaaten –

We all love life-change stories. Someone was once a drug addict, living on the streets, and now they have a family and are a contributing member of society. Someone was bankrupt, and now they own a multimillion dollar business. Someone chose adultery, but now have returned to their marriage and are loving, honoring and devoted to their spouse.

Then-and-now stories are inspirational. They give us hope that, despite the mistakes we have made, we can enter a new present that will enable a future of change.

Reflecting on then-and-now stories made me think of my own story of transformation. No, I never lived on the street, suffered bankruptcy or cheated on my spouse. But, before asking Jesus to be my Lord, I lived a life without God.

The apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian church gives a then-and-now story that mirrors my life: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22 NIV).

Before I committed my life to Christ, I was fearful of death, failure and just about anything that went “boo” in the night. Now, I have an abiding trust in God’s goodness and His plan for my life. I may not get it right all the time -– actually I will not get it right all the time – but God, in his amazing grace and love, picks me up and sets me back on the path of grace.  He never shames me, but simply loves me and draws me further to a likeness that reflects His character.

What’s your then-and-now story? How has God’s presence in your life brought about transformation? What change has come about in your life because of God? I encourage you to tell others your story of transformation. Don’t ever feel its not dramatic enough to speak about. Every little step of change is worth celebrating. The angels are rejoicing, so let’s celebrate on earth, as it is in heaven.

PRAYER: Lord, I ask for opportunities to share my story of the difference You have made in my life.  Use it for Your glory and to further Your kingdom.

BIBLE VERSE: “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” 1 Peter 3:15 (The Message).

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).

A Grand Event

March 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Aubrey Spencer –

Nana and Papaw’s house is the greatest place on earth. At least it is for my children. No matter how often my parents see our kids (which is quite frequent now that we live only ninety miles away), they treat it as a grand event. Oliver and Ava
are showered with attention and sugared with kisses. There is no doubt, they are both loved and adored.

The last time we visited there, I tucked Oliver in his bed for a nap, and thought back to the very first time we took him to his grandparents’ house. He was a few months old, and we lived thirteen hours away. So it’s not too surprising that it felt like a grand event. My parents were over-the-top excited for their grandson to be there. They told everyone they knew that he was coming. They bought him a new wardrobe. They bought him a great little mobile for his car seat (which came in quite handy on the thirteen hour drive home.) They also went out the day after we arrived to purchase him a totally tricked out exersaucer activity center, because they said he “needed” it. But the biggest display of grandparent craziness was Oliver’s room. That’s right – Oliver had his very own bedroom at Nana and Papaw’s house. (Both kids have their own rooms there now.) His room housed a crib bought just for him, complete with adorable construction truck bedding. Everywhere we looked, we saw diapers, wipes, trucks, decorations and more. They went nuts. We melted with gratefulness. There were even blocks with his named spelled out sitting on one of the bookshelves. It was too much! Talk about making us feel special. Oliver was a blessed little boy to have grandparents like that. And now Ava gets to enjoy the same sort of royal treatment.

I started thinking about my parents and their excitement over Oliver’s first visit. I wondered how many of us live with such excitement about our God. Does He consume our thoughts and dictate our actions? Do we smile every time we think about Him? Do we long to spend time with Him, eager to be in His presence? Do we tell everyone we know about Him? Do we clean out areas in our lives to make room for Him to dwell there? In fact, does He have His very own place in our hearts, or does He have to share space with other “gods” in our life? Is He the center of our attention? Is His name written on us, displayed proudly, like the blocks in Oliver’s room?

What a powerful reminder for me to check my heart, my priorities, and my excitement level for my God. What about you?

PRAYER: Lord, I long to fill my heart and my life with Your presence, Your will, and Your Word. But, I must confess that I can easily allow myself to crowd You out of my thoughts and my actions when I put other things before You. Help me to treat every moment with You as a grand event. Remind me to share my excitement about You with the world around me.

BIBLE VERSE: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:1-3 NIV).

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