God's Special Harvest

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 We have completed our children’s lessons on “Growing Up in Christ”. As I am writing this devotion, we are planning the Fall Family Festival for the church. Our theme is God’s Special Harvest. By the time you read this devotion, the festival will be over. I certainly hope you were able to attend and had a good time! Our prayer for the fall festival was to bring to everyone’s attention (especially the children), how special they are to God and that they are appointed a special purpose. In the “Grow Up” series we spent a lot of time studying what we needed to do

Dealing with Hurt

In life you are going to encounter hurts, some might be intentional and some might be accidental, and the sad truth is the ones that hurt the most also come from your closest relationships. But you cannot live on guard you have to live in a place of forgiveness. Forgive the hurt - a hurt is like a splinter you cannot ignore it or try to minimize it by covering it up. The more you cover it up the more infected it gets. Most times the person that has wronged you is doing it out of anger and when they think about what they have just done will feel guilty and come asking forgiveness. Don't let a hurt turn to bitterness and hate it will destroy you if you let it. “For if you forgive others for th

Mighty Warriors for Christ

In Judges 6:12, when the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, He said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." I am convinced that Gideon must have looked around and thought, "Who is He talking to? Are you talking to me? No, no, you're not talking to me. Surely you're not talking to me. "This man was lacking in faith; this man was lacking in vision; this man was lacking in courage; this man was lacking in credentials. He was lacking in background; he was lacking in preparation. This man was hiding and threshing some wheat so he could feed his father. This man felt defeated and negative and hopeless, and God loved it because He can do something with that! Why did the Lord call him "mighty wa

Idols

I had started reading two different devotionals through a new Bible App on my phone last week. I started one devotional Wednesday night and started the other one on Saturday morning. The one from Wednesday was for women and it was my last day of it and the topic was on worry, especially idols that we worry about. Idols like marriage, kids, promotion, sports teams, television, or doing great. The one from Saturday was for mothers and the topic was Idols. It was strange that I would be reading two different devotionals that had nothing in common and for some reason they would both cover the same topic on the same day. God must have been speaking to me about idols this morning. I had not though

Worry, Worry...Unreasonable, Unnatural, Unhelpful, and Unnecessary

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25 NIV) Worry is essentially a control issue. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. We can’t control the economy, so we worry about the economy. We can’t control our children, so we worry about our children. We can’t control the future, so we worry about the future. But worry never solves anything! It’s stewing without doing. Jesus gives four reasons why you don’t need to worry in his Sermon on the Mount. 1. Worry is unreasonable. Matthew 6:25 says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your

Do You Smell? Aroma

Author Rita Snowden tells a delightful story about visiting a small village in Dover, England. Sitting outside a cafe' one afternoon enjoying a cup of tea, she became aware of a beautiful scent. Rita asked a waiter where it was coming from, and was told it was the people she could see passing by. Most of the villagers were employed at a nearby perfume factory. As they walked home, they carried the fragrance that permeated their clothes out into the street. What a beautiful image of the Christian life! As the apostle Paul says, we are the aroma of Christ, spreading His fragrance everywhere (2 Cor. 2:15). Paul uses the image of a king returning from battle, his soldiers and captives in tow, wa

Benefits of Being a Child of God

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 103. David begins with praise to the Lord! He says Praise the Lord my soul and all my inmost being (with everything he has). Praise his holy name. He has a spirit of admiration and gratitude. I imagine him being able to hardly contain himself. Bubbling out from his heart, oozing from his pores his praise is almost desperate. David then begins to list multiple benefits in being a child of God. It's as if he doesn’t want to forget what the Lord has done for him. We should take note of this. We are forgetful beings. Sometimes I sit quietly and try to list the things the Lord has done for me, and then I can just hear this Psalm in my spirit. Those that wa

Our Mediator

John 8:4-11 “and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman

Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. Psalm 111:10 How many times have you said, “I wish I knew what to do about....”. You can fill in the blank. We all have decisions that we need to make. God’s wisdom is our hope for making the right one. God’s word says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5” It sounds simple, right? We certainly need to seek God’s face and ask for His guidance. God’s word does not stop with just telling us to ask. There are additional instructions for us to follow. Verse 6 in James 1 says, “But when you ask,

Our Past is not an Excuse for a Bad Future

As I was watching a couple children playing, the older of the two became upset about something the younger did. She was crying and screaming at him and it quickly got my attention. When I inquired as to what was going on, her little brother had done something she didn’t like. In my adult opinion, I thought it was no big deal, and certainly not anything that she hadn’t done to him at one time or another. As I spoke to her, trying to calm her down, she said, “you don’t understand, I had a hard time when I was younger.” I said, “What?” She repeated the statement. “We’ve all had hard times in our lives, but that doesn’t give us the right to throw a fit.” She found that statement a little hard to

Integrity

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9 NIV) Integrity is very important to me for many reasons, I have lived my life without integrity, I have lived my life with people that lack integrity and I have seen the damage it causes. For these reasons God has made the pursuit of the highest level of integrity in Him one of my life goals. It is not only something I desperately want in my own life but I want to be able to show and encourage others to pursue as well. Here are some things God has been teaching me about what integrity should look like in our lives. People with integrity live by fairness, even when fairness puts them at a dis

Where Are You Planted?

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB Your life is greatly affected by the location of your root system. One thing that I have learned is to evaluate where I put my roots and what has influence on my life. Who has influence in your life? Are they giving you life or are they draining the life out of you? A person has to judge where they put their roots in order to keep growing in the Kingdom of God. Just like a real tree, it only takes one of

Renewing Our Relationships

On our 25th Anniversary, Doug and I renewed our vows. As we repeated the words, we realized how much more meaningful they were. We had lived those vows and through the years our relationship grew stronger because of the experiences. As with the Word, the more we live accordingly, we experience the truths of God’s Word and His faithfulness in keeping His promises to us. Thus, my relationship with Him grows deeper daily. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 Kathy Uland

How Firm A Foundation

“Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.” Psalm 119:89-94 (NIV) Chapter 119 of the book of Psalm has several special features including the length, using the Hebrew alphabet in defining the sonnets and writing style. One of the strongest themes of this chapter is the importance of God’s Word to us. The writer makes

Endurance

Keep your focus on Me—and on the crown of Life I have promised to those who love Me. There is a sense in which life on this earth is an endurance contest. It can be helpful to view your life this way, because then you’re not shocked or disappointed by the many trials you encounter. Nonetheless, I do provide splashes of pleasure even in the midst of your hardest times. Among the many blessings I have for you, the Joy of My Presence is always available to you. The crown of Life is similar to the wreath that was awarded for athletic victory in biblical times. However, those athletes competed to get a perishable crown— a wreath of greenery— and you are competing for a crown that will last foreve

God Wants to Reveal Himself...but Hide and Seek is His Game

In the world there are 2000 or more cactus that have many different shapes and of various sizes. But probably the most valuable to man is the barrel cactus. This is a stubby, dome- shaped plant, growing from a foot to three or four feet in height. Inside this cactus is a juicy pulp which many times has saved the life of a traveler crossing the desert. The pulp, when pressed out, yields from a quart to a gallon of slightly bitter water. Knowing the value of this strange prickly looking cactus, the contents bring life to those who find it similar to God’s word. Such as in the world of cactus, also in the world of books, the Bible can be just another book or it can hide the most precious resour

Spiritual Meal - Course #2: The Soup

The second course in our 5 course meal plan to maintain our “Spiritual appetite”, is the Soup course. A good soup brings a new layer into the meal. The soup prepares the meal for the hot courses to come. The kitchen may tend to heat up now, as we reflect on a layer of our meal that requires slowing down to examine or “sip” on what we are filling up with daily. When we looked at why we would have a spiritual loss of appetite; one area addressed, was stop filling up on junk food! Do not starve on a full stomach! Isaiah 55:1-2 states, “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk- it's all free! Why spend your money on food that does not gi

Spiritual Meal-Course #1: The Amuse Bouche

In our previous devotion, we looked at a 5 course meal plan to maintain our “Spiritual appetite.” The first course in a 5 course meal is called the amuse bouche, or amuse. It sets the course and brings the “theme” to the diner. This course should excite and prepare us for the dinner to come. It should stimulate our appetite! The amuse is brought to the table....served ”To Remind Ourselves How much God Loves Us”. This part of our meal should excite and stimulate our craving. Let's take a bite and wake up our spiritual “taste buds” of how much God loves us! We looked at Ephesians 3:18-19 earlier, seeing where Paul prayed for the Ephesians; to have power, together with all the saints, to grasp

The Power of Prayer

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16 When I was a little girl, my aunt went on a 21 day fast. A short time later 10 members of her family were saved. My parents, my sister and I were saved at that time. I was blessed to have Godly parents who showed me the way of the Lord. I often thank the Lord for my aunt who was willing to fast and pray. Being a military wife for a number of years, I often needed the Lord’s help. On one occasion when my husband was overseas, one of our daughters got very sick in the middle of a winter night. The weather was too bad to go to the base hospital; I cried out Jesus and she was instantly healed. The hymn says, “Great is Thy faithf

What a Mighty God We Serve

O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 There was a man with a history of violence, who was paroled from prison, where he served time for selling machine guns. He was to report to his parole officer within three days. Instead, he stole a car, changed the license plates, drove two hundred miles to where his ex-girlfriend lived, kidnapped her and her two babies at knife-point, and headed for California. Needing money, he drove to my city and went into a mall, looking for a Western Union office. He left the woman in the car with the keys. Coming out, he realized she had driven off and called the police. He was desperate, and he saw me co

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