Traveling Between Blunders and Blessings

September 19, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Mollie Bond –

It was the best worst day. I traveled by myself to downtown Chicago for the first time for an interview. I sent out oh-so-many applications and resumes. This was one of two companies that called back. I put on my dry-clean only clothes, prepared my answers, and gave myself pep-talks. While on the elevated train, I got a phone call from the interviewer. They cancelled. I got off at the next stop, and started the train ride into despair.

After the train ride, I still had a 20-minute drive home. While sulking, I didn’t retrieve my paid ticket. I couldn’t get out of the garage. I didn’t have $40 for a new ticket. I kept putting my credit card into the machine, praying for the gate to let me out.

Eventually, a garage employee found me crying. I couldn’t catch my breath to tell my story. She said she’d pay my way out. A single working mom footed my bill. I couldn’t believe it, and instantly felt guilty as a single person. As that gate lifted, my spirits did too. I wanted to take a minute to thank God for this employee.

I pulled into the nearest gas station and prayed. The car jolted when a woman hit my parked car. She recently lost her job and didn’t have money to fix the “fat lip” from a previous accident on her front bumper. It bounced me off my recent rise in spirits. It was the worst of days.

After I quit wallowing, God repaired everything in one swipe. Later I got the job without the interview. I was let out of the gate without paying extra and I never again forgot to grab my paid ticket. The woman who hit me gave me job tips that I passed along to others. The car was not damaged.

Those plans and the pep-talk I gave myself that morning could not have prepared me for that day, yet God made it successful.

QUOTE: “When men have done their worst and finished, it is the time for God to begin. And when God begins He is likely, with one blow, to reverse all that has been done without Him.” F.B. Meyer

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30 NIV).

Debates, Digging and Discernment

September 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Hally Franz –

We are in debate season. While I am not a political activist nor particularly informed regarding current campaign issues, I have tuned in to the debates. And, one of the things I find frustrating is how information presented as facts is so often disputed by the opposing candidate as exaggerated or simply untrue. How can facts be false? I mean, is there nothing in this world that is an undisputable absolute?

Why does it seem there is always some alternative way of arriving at a given statistic, some slight interpretation deviation that renders what should be very clear-cut pieces of truth as questionable or open to dispute? It is maddening!

Given this circumstance, it becomes the burden of us voters to delve deeper into the claims of the candidates, and to investigate the numbers a bit more for ourselves.

Our Christian faith is like that as well.

While we recognize the Bible as God’s holy and eternal truth, are there not various views on what we find written in His word? Some books of the Bible, like Job or Daniel, may be quite straight-forward and viewed similarly by most religious leaders. Others, like Revelation, for example, are seen quite differently by Biblical scholars.

I trust the wisdom of the elders and minister at my church home fully, but I know that other church groups in my community and world do not completely concur with the beliefs held by brethren whom I worship with weekly. Many of us share the most important truths surrounding our Christian faith, but we find differences as we dig deeper into God’s holy word.

So, in that way, growing into an informed believer is like becoming an informed voter. We need to do our own searching of the material that is available, the Bible and works of Biblical scholars. We need to become educated for ourselves and arrive at a place of peace and comfort concerning our own beliefs.

While the stakes of this election may be great, those connected with our faith are even more important. November may come and go without me figuring out truth from fiction. Likewise, I have no doubt that I’ll leave this world with unanswered questions for my Creator. In the meantime, my time may be better spent researching the mysteries of our Heavenly Father rather than the records of our earthly leaders.

PRAYER: Almighty God, help me to continually study Your holy word, so that I may become an ever-more confident Christian, able to thoroughly understand and articulate the Biblical truths that I hold.

“The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15 NKJV).

Homeless With or Without a Home

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

I spent two and a half days with a group in my church on skid row in Los Angeles (thank you to Pastor Tony who hosted us). If you go there any time day or night, you’ll see hundreds of people on the sidewalks. We served in the missions and walked the streets with Pastor Tony, getting personally acquainted with some of the people. We also got a tour of the rehabilitation efforts going on.

I was astonished to see the clinics, rehab centers, and even a high school for the homeless. Our guide, who had once been on the street himself, told us 99 percent of the people who end up on the street don’t have to stay there. There is help.

The most important efforts are those of rehabilitation. Feeding and sheltering are essential, and serve as the doorways to getting and staying off the streets. Mental illness, addictions, and fierce independence keep many from getting that help.

I thought about all the people who have homes. But they can be spiritually homeless. Outwardly they may look fine, but inwardly they may be lost and hurting, covering up confusion and pain with the nice things money can buy. And just like the physically homeless, they don’t need to stay that way. There is help.

When Jesus walked the earth, He tended to hang out with less-than-reputable people. Religious types didn’t like that. But He told them He came for sinners, for people who need transformation.

If I think about it, and without judging, I suspect there are spiritually homeless people all around us. Are you in any way spiritually homeless? Or do you know someone who is? What difference could you make in that person’s life—or even your own?

PRAYER: Father, in Your arms is my true home. Lead me to turn away from everything that would hinder me from You. I seek you and set my heart on you for both my life that is seen and that is unseen.

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71:3, NIV).

Seasons or Scenery

August 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Mollie Bond –

Seasons or scenery: the top two reasons I move and change jobs. I may move because I need a change of scenery, but mostly it is because I need a change of seasons.

It’s like this—a crew of Muppets comes to a fork in the road. Their decision mimics my decision. The fork the Muppets see, literally is a fork. Great for comedy, but in real life, forks have prongs that hurt, so I’m careful with my choices. I can find a job based on the scenery (where is it?), or I can find a job based on the season (what I’ll be doing).

Two signs in the fork in the road point to two directions. One sign says “move first.” If I choose scenery, it usually requires a move. I risk moving to a town I like and try to job search. I’ll walk into companies in hopes for the impromptu interview.

The other sign says, “job first.” Find the job you like, then move. That risk is to wait where I am (in search of seasons), and pour resumes into the Abyss where my resumes might also see the Abysses’ city dump.

Sometimes I’ve chosen the Abyss. (I’ve heard it’s a nice place in the fall.) Sometimes I’ve waited at my current location. Here’s where my Bible knowledge comes in handy.

God has an opinion. That opinion on whether you go or stay is straightforward. Seek Him, find Him, and then glorify Him. I first will search for Him.

Okay then. The next step after seeking Him is that I’ll find Him. Check. Then glorify Him. I can glorify Him in this scenery or this season. He is close by us no matter where we are in life. He gives us two choices of scenery or seasons so that we will “reach out for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27). Pray lots, continue to seek Him, find Him, and glorify Him in day-to-day living. As time goes on, the answer will come, and maybe it will be both seasons and scenery.

PRAYER: God, thank You for creating both scenery and seasons. I pray no matter which situation I am in today, that I seek You, find You, and glorify You.

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27 NIV)

Bucket of Rocks

August 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Michelle Lim –

Have you ever tried serving your children a bucket of rocks for supper? Me neither. If we did, there would be a major coup.

Why? Because they come to the table expecting a delicious dinner. The kind of dinner only you can make.

We often go to prayer with the same kind of expectations. We want something amazing from God. We even know just what that is, or so we think.

Let’s take a look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11 NIV)

A year ago I was praying for something that I thought was the best thing for me. God didn’t think so. I read this verse in my devotions and felt rejected. I asked God why when I prayed I only got a bucket full of rocks.

In that prayer time, God showed me something that has changed my view on prayer. You see, I thought I was hungry for a certain thing. . . bread. But if God gave me what I thought that bread was, it wouldn’t feed my hunger.

My real hunger was for more of God in my life. He would feed my real hunger.

It’s like my kids asking for candy for dinner. They might get full, but it wouldn’t feed their need for nourishment. The vitamins and nutrients needed for healthy living.

When I go to God in prayer, He will always feed my real hunger if I ask. There are times when what I ask for really is bread, but often it isn’t what I really hunger for.

Have you thought about what you are really hungry for? Do you blame God when you don’t get what you pray for? Maybe it’s time to stop asking for a bucket full of rocks and believe that God will feed your real hunger.

QUOTE: “God answers first the prayers we should have prayed. ~Robert Brault

Next Page »