Neither To Young Or Too Old

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 1:7-8 (NIV)

What a great follow-up on my post from last time. I am quick to disqualify myself to be used by God, but reading this scripture let me know God uses those who feel the least qualified. This allows Him to display His glory and mercies through us. I guess that means I qualify, because I feel so unqualified. I am a Christian and I have gone through enough unhappiness in my life to understand what people are going through. I’m beginning to understand I am qualified because He uses my inadequacies.  Through all my confusion, He will have His words touch those that need a particular message. He’s got my back.

Do you feel like you are not mature enough or smart enough? Those are not the requirements that God is looking for.  What ever disqualifications you or I may put on our service, He is there to help us. He  only wants us willing to obey His direction. You know that little nudge you feel to help and you talk yourself out of it, that’s when He needs our help the most. Remember if it is beyond your comfort level, you are the person best qualified for God’s plan. We just need to go where we’re sent, say what he asks, and not to be afraid. He is always with us and will rescue us. 

Lord, thank you for using us as we are. Thank you for helping us conquering our fears, rescuing us from our mistakes, and becoming what you call us to be. Amen

Spiritual Grounding

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. – Luke 10:21 (NIV)  

It scares me, when I sit down to write a devotional. There are so many implications in each Scripture. I know no matter how much I study or learn; my dependence is on the Father to open my heart to understand each Scripture. I’m still not sure. I have to remind myself prayer and study go hand in hand. If I don’t study and pray my writing is just an exercise in intellectual vanity. Prayer without study produces spirituality with no grounding. Both are necessary for what is placed in my heart. I accept that someone else may read the verse and find a different meaning for them and that’s okay. It’s how the scripture touches each of us.

No matter what we write, we need to be careful where we lead one another. I always think about the fact that long after I’m gone, my words may still be there. I don’t want them to haunt me, I want them to be good words that make a lasting impression. We may mean well, but unlike speaking our words aren’t spoken. People can’t see our facial expressions or hear the inflection in our voice. Without those additions our words can wound or send someone in a direction we didn’t plan. Words are powerful. If you’re ever on Facebook, you can see how that happens every day. Putting prayer with our writing is an asset, not an annoyance.

Father, if we need prompting, prompt us. We give our writing to you and want to please you. Help us to do that each time we put ink to paper or fingers to the keyboard. Amen

Treasure of the Heart

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Luke 12:32-34 (NIV) 

If God were to look into where my heart is, what would he see? According to scripture, one of the first spots he looks at is how I use my resources. God has already assured me that He wants to give me the kingdom. The way to accept his promise is in giving freely to others. If God wants to know what I really value, the first place he would look is my checkbook. By checking my spending He will see where my treasure is. Do I give to the poor, or do I hang onto my treasure for a rainy day?  I am truly fearful of those rainy days. However, He is assures me that the more I give, the more I will have. Not necessarily money, but the goodness I feel in my heart. This is something that can never be destroyed. By keeping my heart and pocketbook opened, I am a happier person.

When you give some of your resources to those in need, you will feel something special in to your heart. By giving to the poor, He will supply your needs. He understands our fears, especially now days with all the disasters around us. He’s asking us to not be afraid for anything and help Him take care of his flock. He will give us what we need. We don’t need as much as we think. He doesn’t care if you give a little or a lot. Many of His flock are hurting right now. Find a meaningful charity and share. Remember each one of our dollars multiplies many times over, each can of food at the food pantry adds up and each piece of clothing given to the Good Will grows. We will be giving ourselves purses that will not wear out or that no one can destroy. Remember Luke says, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”  

Lord help us to remember that you are always with us. You are aware of our needs and will take care of us. Help us to depend on you and not be afraid. Amen

Encouragement Through Scripture

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.– Romans 15:4 (NIV)

I recently reread an article explaining that the Bible is God’s gift from the past to give us the endurance for today and the hope we need for tomorrow. When I’m in deep conflict over a situation, I can’t think straight, as I look for a way to make sense of things. Because I have the Bible and my prayer-book, I am not left without a witness of His work on the earth because once I have prayed over it, I can leave the problem with Him. I always get an answer or God points me in the right direction. I am at peace with his answers.

When you are hit with doubt all you have to remember is that anything you are going through has probably happened before. God hasn’t left either of us without a witness of  His work here on earth. I never realized that the bible contains 66 books written by 44 authors over a span of 1500 years. That’s amazing and is a lot of witnessing and knowledge. God’s word covers an enormous amount of love, care, healing and knowledge that we all find an answer in and grow from. His word will touch our hearts just the way He wants it to. The writers of the Scripture give us encouragement and hope. God has given this enormous gift to put courage in our souls, as we wrestle with our own opportunities and failures. I have many failures, but He won’t deny either of us because of this and will always encourage us through His word and blessings.

Lord as we read your word, give us an understanding in our heads and hearts. Help us to get through our grief or problems without failing You once again. Give us the strength in this messed up world to continue to reach to you and the others in our life. 

Temptation

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV

I hate being tempted because it’s so easy to give in because of my human nature. I never have done well on tests. Especially now that I’m retired and there’s no one around to monitor my actions, but me. I know what’s good for me, but it’s so easy to give into that one cookie or helping of chips. It’s a small amount, but they add up. Just like sin. To whisper some gossip or post a snide remark online doesn’t seem important, but it could add to someone else’s sin and I wouldn’t know it. I try to be careful with what I say, but sometimes I fail.

Even though Jesus was fully God and fully man He didn’t give into temptation. We have to call on him daily for His help in this area. It’s so easy to give others a piece of our mind online. It’s anonymous. Thank goodness His Divinity helps deliver us from failure. His humanity brings Him to our side when we need His help. Even though Jesus was God, He experienced the same suffering that we do when we face temptation. He’s aware very of the anxiety and fear that we face. Remember he sweat blood. Therefore run to Jesus when you are tempted-for He has the power and the compassion to help.

                                                                 Lord help us through our temptations. Help us be godly people and reach to others in kindness.

Many Parts-One Body

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.– 1 Corinthians 12:12 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 

When I put it in the context of writing, I really didn’t know which part of this seemed more important, so I chose these two verses that spoke to me the most. I immediately thought of my critique group, which is made up of many wonderful individuals. Unfortunately, I always felt uncomfortable and out-of-place because most were accomplished writers. Some of us writers are weaker and feel less important than the more experienced and knowledgeable ones. These verses have helped me realize that I do have a place in the group. Being one of the weaker writers I was led with great care to encourage my strengths. God also put us together so the more accomplished writers can hone their leadership skills. I will be rejoining my group once again.

Pray about it and if you want to belong to a critique group, don’t hesitate. It may take a few tries before you mesh with a group, but there’s one out there for all of us. Sit, listen and take in all you can from their experiences and corrections. We all have a purpose in a group. Even though we may appear the weakest or less important, we are most necessary for everyone’s growth.

Lord help us to reach out to each other with love and care. Help us to grow in our writing and honor your choices for us. Help us to believe that even though we may be the weakest and feel less important that we are a necessary asset to the group. Amen

Rest and Be Well

“Come away alone with me and get some rest,” –Mark 6:31

God is so concerned about my wellbeing that He asks me to stop working and rest. Christ always went to be alone, when he needed to get some rest and pray. God wants me to rest, too. I need to hear from Him before I start a new project or get into a situation that will require a lot of time or energy. I’ve been using my mornings to do meditations and journal about my prayer time. I find the early morning a great time to sit on the front porch (that’s nine or ten for me) relax and be with God. I search for more free meditations for this special time. If I don’t have meditations, I use spiritual music and my special prayer-book. I walk away with a lightness in my heart that carries me through the rest of the day. I can start my writing or housework having pleased God.

We all need to take the time to get away and get this rest. Daily distractions don’t allow our spirit to open to the Holy Spirit. A time  comes in our spiritual walk, when we realize any action short of obedience pulls us out of sync with God. God will allow us to wobble through these lessons as precursors to trusting us with more. In so doing, He refines us and affirms us. Like work, rest is important. Jesus did it. God expects us to do it and through it He will help us find our way. How about it? Are you willing to lay down your agenda and rest in God’s love? If you can’t do this first thing in the morning, end your stressful day, in prayer. Lay your worries down in the evening and rest in the love of the Lord.

Lord, even though we know it’s in our best interest to start our day with you, we don’t always  take the time. If we hurry through our morning, help us to at least bring our burdens to you at the end of the day. Help us to rely on you and rest in your comfort and care. Amen

NATIONAL PLUS SIZE APPRECIATION DAY

 

Extraordinary beauty comes in all sizes. I don’t know about the extraordinary beauty part on my part :), but I didn’t want to use someone else’s picture, so I used mine. Today recognizes National Plus Size for the gorgeous men and women who may be larger but are also larger than life in so many ways! National Plus Size Appreciation Day recognizes the talent and elegance of our plus size population. When it comes to being bigger, taller or curvier, we need to put out best self forward.  Show your style, flair and gorgeous self!

We are put into many stereotypes that I could fill this page to describe plus size men and women. However, more than half the U.S. population is plus sized. Not a good thing health-wise, but we are who we are until we change it. We have big and tall, full-bodied and robust persons, who still fill roles that require them to be well-rounded and amply skilled people.  Along with their talent pool comes buying power some retailers just don’t appreciate.

Women Rock, Inc. founded National Plus Size Appreciation Day in 2016. It’s am is to boost the confidence for the many women and men around the world who are plus size. Women Rock INC is on a mission of self-love despite the stigma society has placed on how we are supposed to look. The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Plus Size Appreciation Day to be observed annually beginning in 2017.

No matter our age, we should observe how our appearance affects our daily lives. Whether you are plus size or not, take account of the value you place on your outward appearance, contributions to others lives and relationships. Build your confidence into someone you would like to know.  Celebrate your accomplishments and appreciate yourself and one another. Use #PlusSizeAppreciationDay to share on social media.

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Chosen Ones

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

There was great joy and freedom when I realized that I didn’t choose God, but He chose me! Someone wanted me. As a kid, I always waited to last to be chosen for a game. As an adult, it was wondrous to realize I was chosen before I was born. God had a predestined plan for my life. I realized that’s why, even as a  child, I always had  in my heart a desire to write. I’m ashamed to say have been very lax in my writing in the past few years, but it’s always there nagging at my heart. God wants me to get involved in my writing life, once again. I love writing, but sometimes I let the ups and downs of my life dictate, when I write. I’m so glad God works with me on my weaknesses. He keeps urging me on in my destiny. He may not have a great book in my future, but He has the confidence in my will to move on with my life, writing and desire to share and help others.

This great love we have for writing is nothing compared to the love we will face when we come into the kingdom of heaven. The overwhelming desire to please the Lord with the talents he has given us should be used with respect. Whether you write for children, spiritual, fiction, or non fiction, God chose you for a purpose. God’s choice in me or you didn’t just happen at salvation and it will continue throughout our lives. God is working things out in ways that you aren’t even aware of.  Get involved in your writing life. God works in ways that are invisible to our view. Rejoice in that truth. Trust in His unending love. We will fail at times, but need to pick up where we left off and continue on with the talents he gave us and the love he is giving us. I am and will continue to follow His lead.

Lord, lead us and we will follow.

A Force of Power

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:17-18 (NIV)

After reading a commentary on this bible verse, I have a better insight about prayer.  Elijah is described as a man like us. He didn’t have special prayers. I know God answers prayers, but Elijah’s were answered in such a great manner, it can make one feel their prayers might be lacking. What I read a made me understand that it wasn’t the person who was praying, but it was the fact that he prayed. Sometimes, I can get in a place where I feel that my prayers alone won’t make a difference in our world today. I am sometimes at an impasse in my prayer life, like during my husband’s illness. These times were so confusing. In the commentary it was said, ” Elijah didn’t make the prayer powerful, but what if prayer was the force that made Elijah powerful?” Wow, what an awakening.

Perhaps our prayers will become the force that make us powerful in our life. We’re not alone in praying for the safety of our country, livelihood’s and families. Millions of Americans are praying for the same outcome. This isn’t the time for us to doubt the power of prayer. We need to pray with all out heart. Pray inside, pray outside, with friends, or alone; just pray for peace in all countries right now. We should all pray as soon as we read something disparaging on FB or in the newspaper. I’m sure there will be a lot of prayers about the same situations, if we’re reading the same news. We can’t physically change these problems, but we can pray right away. If we are joined by others who are reading or listening to the same disheartening those prayers at the same moment, it will make us a united force to be reckoned with. Our prayer will be the force to get us through it all. How much power do we think is in prayer? I believe it can turn people like us into people like Elijah! Pray and watch what God will do!

Lord, we are praying for our country and the countries who are under tyrannical rule. All over the world people are suffering and praying for a better way of life. Please be our guide and stand beside us in our times of need. Make our country a Godly and great country again. Amen