Bug Eyes

September 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

In the opening scene of the movie It’s a Bug’s Life, Flick and the other ants are in a long line walking single-file in a begrudging task. They are carrying “heavy” crumbs to the mound when a giant leaf comes barreling toward them. Flick is paralyzed with fear as this “giant” obstacle blocks his sight. As he stands there, knees knocking, the lead ant comes to his rescue by saying, “Keep your eyes on me, walk toward me, and don’t panic.” He then guides him and those who are following him around the obstacle so they can rejoin the safety of the line.

Even though we can laugh at the humor, it touches a place in our hearts because, at some point, we have all become paralyzed with fear.

God comes to our rescue by saying ‘keep your eyes on me.’

Paul is writing to Timothy, a young student of the faith, and he is telling him not to allow his youth to make him to be fearful. He is told to be bold and confident, not in his own strength and knowledge, but in Jesus.

When we take our eyes off Jesus, the obstacles that seem to float from the skies and threaten to block out the sun, seem bigger than our ability to handle them. When all we see is the obstacle, we cannot find a way around it and we stand paralyzed in fear. We are like Flick, with knees knocking.

But God is saying to us, “Keep your eyes on me, I know the way, walk towards me, and don’t panic because in me you have enough power, love, and self-discipline to handle anything.”

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for walking with me on my faith journey. Help me learn to keep my eyes fixed on You, and not the obstacles. Please give me Your eyes to replace my ‘bug eyes.’ I praise You for giving me the power, strength, love, and self-discipline to say to any obstacle, “I am not afraid.”

Vulnerable to Love

September 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

If you are alive on this planet, there is a good chance you have been betrayed at least once in your life. If we count all the little betrayals, or instances of being treated unfairly, I am sure you would be unable to count them on your fingers and toes. A common reaction from teens I’ve counseled over the years is to say, “I’m just never going to let someone do that to me again.” And so they wall themselves off, believing that if they never let someone get close to them again, then they can protect their hearts. I’m afraid that we, as adults, do the same thing. Although we’re much more sophisticated about it, many of us have decided that being vulnerable makes us targets so we put up walls, act tough, and back away when intimacy is required.

But God has shown us a better way.

For God so loved…He gave. He gave knowing we would reject. He gave knowing we would not believe. He gave in spite of our sin. He gave knowing one of His own would betray and another would deny even knowing Him. He gave until He bled. He gave until it was gone. He gave it all so we might have it all. He gave so we might know how to give and how to love. He was vulnerable to love and that is what it means to love. Yes, we will be hurt, but it is also the only way we will ever know the depth of true love.

So, every time someone annoys you today, every time a driver cuts you off or someone makes a nasty comment, every time you remember the pain someone has caused you—say to yourself, “For God so loved the world…He gave.” Then act in accordance with that love.

PRAYER I thank You, Lord, for giving when You knew it would cost you everything. Help me to focus more on the giving of love and less on how much it will cost me. Help me to be vulnerable enough to experience the true depth of love.

“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. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him” (John 3:16-17 The Message).

Priceless Treasures?

August 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Janet Morris Grimes –

Truck rented. Check. Everything that fits, and a few things that clearly do not, crammed into boxes. Check. Boxes labeled. Check. Utilities disconnected. Check. Cable box returned. Check. Mail forwarded. Check. Final walk through scheduled. Check. Keys turned in. Check. Papers signed. Check.

And, 350 miles down I75, we repeat the same process, in reverse. Papers signed. Keys accepted. Walk through completed. Mailbox key tested. Cable box picked up. Utilities turned on. Truck unloaded. Truck returned. Check.

And we are left with what seems like a million boxes, stacked against every available wall, with‘too much stuff’ waiting to see if it finds a new home, or gets sacrificed to the eternal dumpster.

As Ty Pennington would say, “Welcome home, Grimes Family. Welcome home.” But instead of running to see what treasures lie in wait in our perfect home, we are exhausted, with countless hours of work ahead of us.

This is the second time we’ve done this during the past 3 years, and last time, downsizing from a 3000 square foot home to a tiny apartment was quite humbling. It brought us face to face with the fact that our stuff owned us, instead of it being the other way around. As with our previous move, we found ourselves doing everything our ‘stuff’ told us to do.

Life, mixed with a tumbling economy, has changed our perspective on the meaning of the word ‘home,’ and all that can be found inside it. Just a few short years ago, I treasured our house, especially during holidays when it was decorated, and filled with family and friends.

However, ‘home’ is now wherever our family can gather to create memories. For the moment, it may be a tiny apartment. As I survey the boxes, I can say that only a few of them held what I would refer to as “treasures;” mostly family photos and hand-written letters from the kids when they were younger.

Perhaps God knew that a family that moves together creates some fun and crazy memories together. 2012 begins with us sitting on the floor, eating pizza out of the box, and entertaining one another because of the lack of internet access, and wondering if the dumpster might hold virtually all of our boxed up ‘treasures.’ Wouldn’t it be easier to simply start over?

Thankfully, this world is not our home.

And with each move, we prove that more and more.

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for creating a place for us. Please guide us as we find a place to worship, friends that draw us closer to You. We trust You with our future, no matter how unsettled we feel at this moment.

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves to not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20 NIV).

Call Me Cheap!

August 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Carin LeRoy –

I have a confession: I’m a chronic bag washer. It seems a waste to throw out a useful Ziploc bag when it only needs a wash for another use. I also save cereal bags because their sturdiness is perfect for freezing quantities of meat that I buy in bulk. Rather than cleaning up things with wads of paper towels, I use rags. They are great for scrubbing, polishing and wiping up spills. I throw them in the washer and then store them under the sink for my next use.

Not only am I a bag washer, but I love to find a good deal. You’ll find me checking out clearance merchandise, browsing the Goodwill or stopping at a yard sale. I’ve even been known to pull my neighbor’s furniture off the street (after asking, of course!). My family groans if I pull out left-over food too many times. Now, they’re thankful that our puppy gets some so that I don’t feel too wasteful. Call it my missionary cost-saving background, but the bottom line is: I’m cheap. (Well…maybe that’s what others think, but I think I’m frugal!)

In these challenging economic times, we all need to cut corners and stretch our dollar. The price of gas, food and utilities take a chunk from the family budget, so finding ways to save in other areas has become a necessity for many of us.

In Scripture we see that even Christ was careful with provisions. After feeding the 5,000, he sent the disciples to collect the food not eaten after the crowds left. “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted. So they gathered them and filled 12 baskets,” (John 6:12,13 NIV). I’ll bet they ate it for days and gave it to others in need. Even Christ felt it important to be careful with the resources they had.

Not everyone feels compelled to wash Ziploc bags like me, but we can all find ways to be resourceful. God promises to supply our needs, but I think we can use His example to know that Christ wasn’t wasteful even when His own miracle supplied 5,000 people with food.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You have promised to supply our needs. Help me to learn in these hard economic times to be resourceful with what You have given to me and find creative ways to stretch the budget.

BIBLE VERSE: “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty” (Psalm 37: 16-19 NIV).

We’re Having Triplets!!!

August 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

We have triplets!!! My husband and I are proud parents of three baby mockingbirds. I’m sure that sometime in your life you have experienced the joy of watching the maternal care of one of God’s creatures. There is no training camp, no apprentice program, and no how-to baby book for these moms, yet they seem to know what to do.

I have heard many mothers say that something happened to them when their baby was placed in their arms for the first time. They didn’t have all of the answers, and especially the first time moms were afraid they would do something wrong. Yet, they instinctively knew their main role: to love and care for that child with a depth of love that can only be described as unconditional.

In the book of I John, John was an older man when he wrote boldly of begetting and birth in the passage listed below. He tells of the intimate relationship between Christ, God the Father, and the Christian. He explains that the “seed” of God’s nature is placed within each believer allowing that seed to be nurtured until it becomes a mature tree in the likeness of God. Verse 1 tells us who we are- God’s child, verse 2 tells us we are becoming reflections of God; verses 16-18 shows us how we are to respond to the gift of God’s love. Love is an action, not a feeling, and He wants us to learn from God’s love how to sacrificially love others.

PRAYER: Thank You for being my Heavenly Father, for showing me Your great love on a daily basis through the gifts of my relationships. I Praise You for placing the seed within me that allows me to become more like You every day. Help me learn from Your example how to love more sacrificially and more unconditionally today and every day.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:1-3, 16-18 NIV).

Next Page »