Saturday, July 4, 2015

Put Your Regret In Your Back Pocket

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23: 1-3

Commentaries believe that Psalm 23 was written later in King David's life. If you haven't read anything about David, let's say that he had a lot of experiences just like you or I...lust, murder, disobedience but in the end he returned to God and became a man like God.

And so we can learn from David.  This Psalm tells us that the Lord will bring a time of quiet into our lives (after we decide to give up the old ways) and that He will restore our souls. I find that so peaceful and promising.

Today's is a short devotion but I hope you can have peace in knowing that there will come a time of rest and reflection in your life. God wants you to have a full and meaningful life with no regrets - we just need to be willing to give up the addiction or hurt or hang-up.  I gave mine up -- are you ready?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Getting a Lucky Do-Over

But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. 1 Corinthians 8:3

Ever notice that in life the more you try to control the situation, the less you really are in control?!  I mean maybe you liked the outcome because you got what you wanted but how many other lives did you hurt in the process of getting what you wanted?

Many people feel that in order to be a good Christian that you have to give up complete control to God and that life is going to be so boring, no fun and all full of service to others at all times.

Both of these ideas are wrong. Yes we need to just let God do "His thing" but it's not going to be boring.  Goodness, look how creative He is!!!  One glance outside at the world around us should be enough for us to understand that he has an imagination that outdoes ours every time. Look at the human body - umm.. we didn't create that!  He did! Heck, we are still trying to figure out how it all works!

So, consider yourself lucky. Give up the addiction or hurt or hang-up and just let God be God. The verse for today tells us that if we love God He will be leading our lives.  And frankly, I think an addiction is proof enough that we don't have control ourselves.  So why wouldn't we let the Man who created everything and made it amazing finish His story - and see how much better He can end it.

I consider that getting a chance to have a lucky do-over.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

God's Purpose

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Last week I wrote about purpose and legacy and the fact that Jesus loves us. And I think today, this verse pulls all 3 of those pieces together. Jesus DOES have a purpose for us. That's why he created us. 

But what is that purpose? Well, first, for those who are dealing with an addiction..we must be rid of it. There is NO WAY we can hear God's voice clearly about what our purpose is if we keep listening to the lies of Satan about how our addiction is an OK way of life.  Only once we shed that can we begin to hear God's voice.

Now what is our purpose? Our legacy? I don't know. But what I do know is that this verse promises that "God works for the good of those who love him". Honestly, it would be awesome to know exactly what that is - but sometimes just rest in the promise. It takes a lot of energy to be here on earth and be sober - and so sometimes just resting in the promise is enough.  

I thought it was important for you to know that...often we get so caught up in trying to "be" that we need to be reminded that He has it all worked out.  So take time to rest and let Him do the work (but be listening in case He is calling you!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Musical Devotionals - My Jesus by Todd Agnew

My Jesus by Todd Agnew
Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet would stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despised the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Late Arrivals Welcome

Late Arrivals Welcome from Our Daily Bread

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anne Rice - I Am Second (and her Christ-haunted life)

Anne Rice - The Story 

After thirty-eight years of authoring books about vampires and darkness, Anne Rice grew up in a devoted Catholic family, knowing the importance of God and obtaining something in life beyond materialistic things. Still, she felt unshakably confined within the parameters of religion. At the age of eighteen, she walked away from it all and chose to live a life believing that ,”In order for me to grow up, I have to put God aside.”
Though her professional career was very successful as an author of Vampire tales, she was a Christ-haunted person. “I knew that as long as I denied Him, I wouldn’t know rest or peace. You must know that you can’t save yourself through art of music. You can’t do it through travel or wealth. Your attempts to achieve salvation alone ultimately amounts to nothing.” She found herself very ready to go back to God.
Anne had to stop. “Writing about vampires were no longer relevant in my life because they were stories about a person in a godless world. They were stories about me.” That, however, is no longer the case. Now, I have to write for Him.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jesus Loves You..But What Does That Mean

Jesus Loves Me..Umm..yes, I know This. But what does this really mean?

Well, I've heard it said that if Jesus really loved us then he would have totally eliminated hunger, or disease, or sin when he came to earth. But he didn't so how can someone who "picked and choose" who he helped really love us all?

Well, the thing is, yes he could have done all that. And then I believe as a people we would have been in awe - but not enough to change our ways. See, Jesus came to save everyone. But the key here is that we must believe in Him. If you read the Old Testament you will see over and over again that God did save his people..but yet they returned to their broken ways.  And so finally God sent his son Jesus so that we might have an intimate, personal relationship with Him.  Ever notice in life that you are moved to help those you know and you tend to get more involved because it's an intimate relationship, but when it's a mass of people you do a little but then let someone else step up.  Well, here Jesus is asking for that one on one relationship with you.

The thing is - He can get rid of the "ugliness" in your life. As you begin to really cultivate your relationship with Him,  you will see that He will meet YOUR needs exactly as you need them to be met. But not exactly as you want them to be met.  You are loved by Him because He made you - He wants to know you. You just have to let Him.