A New Term – Maybe You’ve Heard of It

It was a big disappointment to discover that a word I thought up recently was actually coined long enough ago to be the name of a book and the name of a ministry, have a Facebook page, and have an entry in the Urban Dictionary,

When I initially thought of the word it was as I was praying for some lost friends and thanking the Lord that he was revealing Himself to them.  As I moved through that prayer I realized that God reveals Himself for relationship.

The Urban Dictionary definition would have to be tweaked to apply to our revelationship to God.

A relationship in which each involved party acquires increasing knowledge through every interaction with one another.

The difference for believers is that God is the only one who needs to reveal Himself because He already knows everything about us.

God reveals himself to us in many ways.   He is reaching out to build relationship with us through Christ.
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Love Our Kids – Impossible (or not)

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37  NASB

This is one of my favorite verses from the Christmas story in Luke 1. And so easy to memorize!

Do you need to change your thinking about something today and embrace that promise?

Do you have a child in your class that you’ve given up on? Maybe she just needs someone to believe her. The Lord can help you with that.

Do you have a co-worker relationship that is challenging and you think it will never get better? Nothing is impossible with God.

Are there things in your family that seem overwhelming and without a solution? Nothing is impossible with God.

Are you dreading the holidays thinking that nothing good can come of them? Nothing is impossible with God.

Lord, remind us that our hope is in you and work in us to change our thinking. Amen.

Morning Prayer

Boldly I come to you, Father.

You bid me in your Word to approach your throne.

In coming I recognize that

You are God and I am not;

You have wisdom that I only have through you;

You have power that I can only have through you;

You have strength that I can only have through you;

You have grace and mercy that I so desperately need.

Thank you for the blood of Christ that has made me able to enter your presence.

Help me to open my whole heart to more and more of you.

Thank you for meeting me here.

Amen.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  Hebrews 4:16 NLT

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited b resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.   18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.   21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT

Love Our Kids: A Devo for Teachers – Loose Lips Sink Ships and Cause Other Troubles

I hardly spend time in my “paper” Bible any more. I am so thankful for the electronic options that allow me almost unlimited access to translations and commentaries. But today I was flipping through my Bible I’ve had since 1990 and reading some of the notes.

On one page in particular in Proverbs I had underlined four verses and three of them were about the trouble your mouth can bring you. For anyone who’s known me for a long time, it is probably not surprising that God has had and continues to have a lot of work to do on me in that area.

“A fool’s lips bring him strife and his mouth invites a beating.” Proverbs 6:18

In fact, my last spanking, at age 16, was for telling my Dad I shouldn’t have to get the milk at the supper table because my brother sat closer to the refrigerator. I’m such a slow learner!

Here I am at age 50+ still needing the Lord’s instruction on listening before answering (v 13) and the power of the tongue being life and death (v21).

Lord, help us to be gracious in all our responses today. There is some child, parent or co-worker who desperately needs a word from You today and I may be the only one they encounter who can give it to them.

Colossians 4:6 NLT – Let your a conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

An update for my ‘bug fixes’

Almost every day there are updates to at least one app I have on my iPhone/iPad. And very often, if I look at the detail, the developer refers to “bug fixes” in the details of the update.

It seems to me that is exactly what our time in God’s Word is intended for. Of course, unlike an app, the developer didn’t make me with “bugs.” But my exposure to the world and my sinful nature allow “bugs” to creep in.

I can’t get my “bug fixes” if I’m not connected to the Internet. If I’m away from a tower or wireless signal, I can’t receive the updates. I must make the effort to get “connected” to God. If I don’t take time daily to study God’s word and spend time with Him in prayer, the “bugs” could grow larger or get a stronger hold. But if I am sincerely seeking an “update” with “bug fixes,” he is faithful to work in my heart to make it more like His.

Psalms 119:11 (NLT) I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

no updates

Sit up straight!

As I sit on my hotel room balcony at Madeira Beach, FL having my quiet time, I find the top of the rail right in my line of sight. To see the birds fishing and the occasional shark fin, I have to change my normal sitting position and sit up really straight, stretching a bit taller than normal.

It made me wonder:

What blessings do I miss because I won’t sit up and take notice?
How do I miss being a blessing to others when I won’t humbled myself.
What message is The Lord trying to send me that I am missing because I won’t change my posture before Him?

Lord, help me be tuned in enough that I am always in the right posture before you. I don’t want to miss anything you have for me because I know it will be good.

James 1:17 (NLT) Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

Are you in Egypt?

As I read my chronological Bible reading plan today (OliveTree Reader) I saw a parallel between Joseph of the Old Testament and me.

Joseph was sold as a slave and sent to Egypt. Are you in Egypt right now trying to figure out how you got there and what the Lord could possibly be doing in your life through this difficulty?

As you know, Joseph’s story ended up in an amazing way and he was able to see God’s hand in it.

4 “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.

I’ve been in Egypt. Many years ago I went through a long separation and divorce with two young boys to raise. It was very difficult. Fortunately, the pain is so distant now that I know I don’t remember how much of struggle it was at times. And even moving to be closer to my family and good male role models for the boys was like going to a foreign country to an extent. I had no close friends, I took a 30% pay cut and working in a family business is not always a bed of roses.

Yet, now I can see that I had to get here to meet my husband of 16 years. Not only that, but God has helped me become a trusted leader in the family business as it has grown. God has been faithful to teach me all along when I was seeking His input.

I’m sure I wouldn’t be as dependent on him now if I hadn’t gone through that time. It was so worth it. One of my favorite songs summarizes how to survive the Egypt time, “When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart.”

If you are in Egypt, seek the Lord through it and He will bring you to the promised land.

Loving Our Kids Devo for Teachers – Getting things in perspective

Matthew 6:33 – Steep your life in God- reality, God- initiative, God- provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

I like this paraphrase of a familiar scripture from The Message.

So today when you’re dealing with the children entrusted to you (or a parent or co-worker), take a second to think about God’s perspective of the situation and take action based on that instead of what your flesh feels.

I find that my first response to a situation is based on how I think it makes me look. That makes me want to start “protecting myself” and making sure I don’t look a fool; making sure I am “respected.” Unless I seek the Lord’s perspective, I am making it about me, when it very often has NOTHING to do with me.

Lord, help us to seek your reality and to see how you are at work. Praise you for your provision in everything.

Humble Benefits

James 4:7
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the a devil, and he will flee from you.

I know this verse – it is very familiar. But yesterday when my day started out with great frustration and then it continued until I left for lunch, it didn’t come to mind. However, I knew that letting the frustration continue to build was going to lead to thinking very negatively about vendors, co-workers and any situation I encountered. The Lord kept reminding me – “This is not really important. Think about the good things that are happening.”

That takes becoming humble and realizing that my current problem is not the biggest thing that is happening right now.

Humility may not be as difficult for you as it is for me, but I want to encourage you today to look at every situation from God’s perspective. Resist the Devil trying to get you all tied up in knots over something very insignificant.

Your day will get brighter in a hurry, the Devil will be defeated and The Lord will be glorified.

Love Our Kids – We Are Not Our Own

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:7, 8 NIV)

I pray that as we go through our days will be very aware of nothing is about us.

If we’re in Christ, everything is supposed to be for him. I’ve been contemplating what kind of difference that should make in my choices, speech, behavior and attitudes.

Lord, we commit everything to you today. Give us a keen awareness of the things that we choose that do not honor you.