Nudge

January 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

by Elaine James –

When my Grandma was in the nursing home, others kept saying “you should visit your Grandma every other day.” Everyone had advice about how and when I should visit. I was fretting over the right time to go and how often my schedule could handle this. I finally had it with being “should-ed” by others. So I prayed the following.

“Lord, You know everything; I need a nudge to help me know when to visit my Grandma at the nursing home.”

Days went by with no nudge until I got up one morning and thought ‘you need to go see Grandma.’ I asked God, “Was that from you?” The thought persisted.

On my way to the nursing home, God prompted me again. I heard Him tell me, bring your Grandma her favorite food. I knew exactly what to get. Wendy’s Chili! The chili was a delicacy and the visit was divine. The next day I got a call to come to the home quickly because my Grandma had a stroke. After evaluating her they found her throat to be paralyzed and she would not be able to swallow. God nudged me to help my Grandma have her last solid meal. Thank you God!

Instead of worrying, do you talk to God about the many decisions you have each day?

I read a story recently about a husband who had a sick wife. He had trouble sleeping at night because she would wake up and need to be administered medicine for a life threatening disease. He feared he would not wake up. He prayed “God could You nudge me when I need to be awake and take care of my wife.” He told story after story of how God woke him to help his wife.

Instead of freaking out, trust God to nudge you.

Think about where you should turn first.

PRAYER: Father in heaven I turn to You first not last! Continue to help me to hear Your nudge and trust and act on it! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:5-6 NIV).

Volunteer of the Year

December 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Serving at the homeless shelter has given me the opportunity to work with many wonderful people.

Ms. Pam makes crafts with the children on Tuesday night, so the mothers can enjoy spending time in God’s Word.

Ms. Carole and her husband, Jim, have Sunday school around the kitchen table every Sunday morning. The residents learn about Christ through their ministry.

Mary Z. serves as a Spanish interpreter and drives residents to doctor’s appointments, work, and helps with miscellaneous chores at the shelter.

Jake has been visiting the shelter since it opened. He lives close by so it’s just a short walk for him, and he visits at least twice a day.

I lead a Bible study on Tuesday evenings. During the summer we sit on the back porch and Jake usually joins us. Sometimes Jake arrives late, but he quietly finds a seat without being disruptive. Even so, when he arrives, all eyes turn to him, all faces grow soft, and all mouths turn up in a smile.

When Bible study is over, Jake jumps up, and wastes no time greeting each resident. Everyone, from toddlers to grandmothers, quickly comes to love Jake. For this reason, Jake is definitely the volunteer of the year.

Jake has that quality we all strive for – unconditional love. There’s not one ounce of prejudice in him. He doesn’t care about anyone’s past. He’s glad to get to know everyone, and gives them love, comfort, and companionship.

I’m sure Jake doesn’t brag about his “volunteer work.” Jake’s own family may not be aware of his frequent visits to the shelter. But they should be proud of him. They must have modeled kindness and shown him a lot of love. They also taught him some other really neat tricks – like how to sit, how to shake hands, how to roll over.

Yes, Jake is a four-legged volunteer, and we don’t know his real name. Someone started calling him Jake and the name stuck.

I’m thankful God planted the seed for a homeless shelter in the hearts of those who worked to make The Shepherd’s House a reality. I’m thankful God provides board members, staff, and volunteers who have a heart for homeless people.

I’m also thankful God sent a big, ol’ yellow lab who touches the hearts and lifts the spirits of all of us at the shelter.

QUOTE: A pet is someone who listens with their heart, speaks with a look, and teaches with love (Seen in vet’s office).

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you…In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7 & 10 NIV)

Every Survivor Dies

December 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

On February 4, the world’s last surviving veteran of World War I died.  Florence Green signed up for the Women’s Royal Air Force 98 years ago at age 17. Ironically, she was afraid of flying. She worked as an Officer’s Mess steward.

Before passing away at age 110, she had been in a nursing home for fewer than three months. Previously, she lived at home with her daughter, who is 90! By every account, Mrs. Green was a wonderful lady.

My Great Uncle Carl also fought in World War I. When I was a boy I visited him and felt as if I were touching history in the flesh. This man who held my hand had been in the trenches and fired a gun. Until he died, his physical presence connected me to an otherwise faded past.

Now there is no one left from that war, or any war before it. Every last survivor eventually died. And every war from now on will have its last survivor die.

I think of the unspeakable horrors World War I unleashed. And now, all of those involved are gone. Every last person. It no longer matters what side they were on in that senseless conflict. Nor does it matter whether they died on the battlefield or years later in a nursing home. They are all in eternity, for better or worse.

How they spend eternity has nothing to do with which uniform they wore, but with the condition of their hearts. So many things seemed important back then, just as so many things seem important right now. But eventually, even the survivors eventually surrender to death.

If we can truly grasp this, what would it do to us and the way we face conflicts, whether as a nation or in our own lives?

“You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
‘”Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?’” (Acts 4:25 (NIV).

PRAYER:

“Lord, You see beyond every world conflict to that which is of your purpose and plan. Open my eyes to see beyond conflicts in my own life to that which is of Your purpose and plan.”

Invincible

November 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Elaine James –

During a weekend retreat recently, I asked some teens to rewrite ‘Victorious Christian Living’ in their own words. They chose two phrases: ‘Truthful living’ and ‘staying closer to God.’

I quoted this verse: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Next I asked them to rephrase ‘Divine Power,’ and they came up with ‘a strength that is unexplainable.’

Look at these words that they identified as keeping them from such ‘Devine Power:’ loneliness, discouragement, worry, anger, worthlessness, unforgiveness, procrastination, doubt, fear, guilt, temptation, resentment, failure, jealousy, lack of confession, and lack of prayer.

Which of these words are keeping you from truthful living and receiving God’s ‘strength that is unexplainable?’

One of the teens shared a personal struggle with unforgiveness in a relationship. When she decided to forgive, she said “I realized that this is a key to life and when I realized how important it is to forgive, I felt invincible.” Another girl admitted to a lack of confession and prayer.

I had a simple outline for the weekend, but it became evident that God was filling in the lesson with more detail from our discussions. One more verse was added to the lesson “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10 NIV). We agreed that going to the cross with a humble heart brought an incredible promise from God that “He will lift you up.”

We recounted the story of Jonah and the fish. We found that Jonah’s word was “fear” and because he had fear, he did not experience “Victorious Christian Living.” When Jonah was in the belly of the fish, he finally humbled himself, acknowledged God’s divine power, confessed and prayed. Once God instructed the fish to vomit Jonah onto land, he felt “invincible” enough to do what God had asked Him to do in the first place.

Our final conclusion was that if you choose to humble yourself, pray for divine power and live out the three key spiritual disciplines (forgiveness, confession, prayer), you can be “invincible.”

My prayer is that you choose the word or words that are keeping you from being invincible with God. Remember that becoming unconquerable is not an overnight task. It requires time and effort.

PRAYER: The pressure in life sometimes is too much. At times I want to run, like Jonah. Help me to remember the past and how You have rescued me. Thank You for the promise to never leave me.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (ROMANS 8:38-39).

Too Tired to Budge

November 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Carin LeRoy –

Do you ever feel like life is too busy? I do. When we take on more than we should, life seems to pass by in a blur of activity and busyness. At the end of a day, we’re stressed and exhausted.

The Bible gives a great example of this in Exodus 18. When Moses was leading the Israelites, he served as judge for the people each day settling disputes from morning until evening. I’m sure when his day was finished, he felt much like we do at the end of our hectic days – too tired to budge.

When his father-in-law, Jethro, came for a visit and observed his long days, he said, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone,” (Exodus 18: 17,18 NIV). Jethro then suggested that Moses should train and appoint godly leaders to help him do the work. Moses saw the wisdom in Jethro’s advice and listened to him. By doing so, his own load lightened.

Just as Jethro observed Moses’ overload of work, do we have friends or family that think our days are too full of activity? Do they advise us to reduce the stress and busyness in our lives? If so, then maybe we need to take their advice to slow down and evaluate how to change our schedule to lessen our own workload. There’s nothing “spiritual” about having a to-do list that goes from morning until evening. Maybe we need to take the advice of others, like Moses. Slowing down, delegating or eliminating might just be the right thing to do.

PRAYER: Lord, if I need to lighten my workload, please give me wisdom to know what I need to eliminate from my schedule. Give me a heart, like Moses, to listen to the wisdom of others that desire to speak truth into my life.

“Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves” (Exodus 18: 24-26 NIV).

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