Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Thankful For Simple Things

 Video Devo  https://youtu.be/8NSOuMNuAgc 


“Thankful For Simple Things”

Psalm 100:4 NIV

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

 

A little over 1 year ago on June 7, 2021, I underwent the process of a dental implant.  I’ve had numerous problems with this tooth and when my dentist tried to remove the bad crown to put another one on, I was sadly informed there wasn’t enough bone structure to do another crown.  At the time, it was very frustrating news.  He explained my options to me, but the only one that seemed the best was getting an implant.  I was told it would be a very long process. 

 

Got the tooth pulled, waited 4-6 months.  Then, got the post put in, waited another 4-6 months.  Got fitted for my final crown and waited another few weeks.  Finally, this past Friday, I got the final crown placed.  The kicker in all of this was that I wasn’t allowed to chew on my right side for an entire year.  At first, when I heard this news, I was really frustrated.  However, I got used to it and after a while it didn’t even bother me.  I just got accustomed to chewing on my left side.  After last Friday, I was so excited to finally chew on both sides.  As that happened, it reminded me of the simple blessing and pleasure of just being able to do that. 

 

I share this experience because as I was going through all of this in the past year, every time I was frustrated and wanted to chew on my right side, I thought of all the less fortunate people who are experiencing way worse problems than this.  I think of people who can’t even eat and need feeding tubes and what not.  Every time I got frustrated about it, God reminded me of how I need to thank him for the simple blessings and pleasures that I do have.  I was reminded that I still could at least eat whatever I wanted to, but just have to on the left side. 

 

It’s so good for us all to have these reminders when we get frustrated about little setbacks when others are experiencing so much worse.  It’s easy to get down and think we have nothing to be thankful for, when in reality, we have SO MUCH to be thankful for.  I hope this devotional serves as a simple reminder we need every day to be thankful for the little things we take for granted.  We need to be thankful for the abilities we have that some other people don’t have. 

 

Now, each day, as I chew on my right side, I am thankful after waiting a year to do so.  The waiting was challenging, but I got used to it and I just longed for the day I got my final crown.  I was so thankful and it’s reminding me each day to be thankful for the simple blessings and pleasures I have.  I don’t want to take these things for granted. 

 

Let us be thankful for the simple things. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

His Amazing, Unfailing Love

 YouTube Channel Intro Video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5essWJy_eA

“His Amazing, Unfailing Love”

Psalm 103:11-12 NLT

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

I often take for granted how very amazing God’s unfailing love proves to be in my life.  I tend to think so highly of other earthly people and things more often than I should.  I find myself becoming fascinated and in awe of so much this world offers and I am ashamed that so often my life shows little fascination and awe of Him. 

Why do we get so caught up and immersed into what this world offers and find ourselves less and less immersed into His Word and the amazing promises He has waiting for us?  It happens all too often.  We just tend to find so many things in this world great and amazing instead of focusing our appreciation and awe on Him Who saved us and gave His life for us.

There is no one else in this life with the same amazing and unfailing love.  No one can hold us like He can when life pulls us down.  People will fail us and let us down, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.  I often find myself putting way too much faith and hope in the things of this world and in people rather than the One Who created me and wants the best for my life.

Father, forgive us when we look to the things of this world and other people as more amazing than You.  We often become so caught up in what we think is amazing and unfailing.  Lord, we want to become immersed more and more with You.  Thank You for forgiving us and removing our sins as far as the east is from the west.  Your love is truly amazing and unfailing.  We will never be able to fully comprehend how amazing You truly are.  We can never measure Your unfailing love and how great You are. 

I just wanted to share this prayer with all of you today and encourage us all to come to Him each day with gratitude for His amazing and unfailing love.  Let us work hard to not become more amazed by the things of this world rather than being amazed by Him and all He has done. 

I pray that we would make more effort to be aware and appreciative of what our Heavenly Father has done through His amazing and unfailing love.  He has never failed and never will!  That should bring us pure joy and amazement!  No one in the world could ever live up to that!  He and He alone will always be amazing and unfailing.   


Sunday, June 5, 2022

He Is Awesome, No Matter What

 “He Is Awesome, No Matter What”

Psalm 44:8 NLT

O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.

I know that I should give glory to God all day, every day, but there are days when I just don’t feel like doing that because life just gets discouraging and challenging.  There are days when I know I should be doing more for Him, but I just want to do my own thing and bury myself in my own selfish desires.  It’s often hard to know that you should be doing something you know is right, but you just don’t feel like doing it or just aren’t up to it.  This is just how life sometimes is.  It’s not that we don’t love God, but often we just don’t feel like praising Him because of what we are dealing with.

I have learned and continue to learn that no matter what I am dealing with or what I experience that is frustrating, it never changes how awesome and amazing God has been and continues to be.  I need to remember that no matter how I am feeling or what I experience that discourages me, I should still praise Him because He is always working in my life and that He deserves all the glory.

No matter what we deal with in life, He still deserves praise.  It’s often easy to sulk and mope because something or someone did put us in a bad mood, but we always have something to praise God for.  No matter what, He always deserves praise.  No matter what hardships or confusion life is throwing at me, there is always something I can praise God for. 

This psalm is great to remind us that we need to be giving glory to God all day long and praise His name because He is always working in some way in our lives.  He never stops working and never leaves our side. 

I know there are a lot of people out there going through some seriously difficult life circumstances right now and they need a lot of encouragement.  It’s easy for me to sulk and mope often times, but then I am reminded that there are always other people who are experiencing much more difficult things that I cannot comprehend.  Many of these people are probably still praising God even in their storms!  That gives me no reason to mope and sulk.  I need reminding to praise God and keep my eyes completely focused on Him.

I hope that no matter what you are experiencing today, this week, this month or this year, you will pull through, lift your head up and know that God is still working in and through your life to do wonderful things.  As hard as it might be to see and feel it, believe that He is and give praise to Him.

No matter what, nothing ever changes how awesome and amazing God is!

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

We Always Need Reminding

 “We Always Need Reminding”

Isaiah 46:9 NLT

Remember the things I have done in the past.  For I alone am God!  I am God, and there is none like me.

It seems the older I get, the more things I need to remember.  Usually they are things that I need to get done or want to accomplish.  Whether this be at home, work or church, there are so many different tasks and other things that I need to be reminded to do. 

At home, I have a routine list of chores to take care of each day and through the week.  Then there are the projects I am trying to take care of.  At work, I have responsibilities to take care of and remember all day long.  That can get very exhausting if it’s a busy day!  Then at church there are things to remember to do as well whatever the situation may be.  Wherever I am, there are things I need to be reminded of.  As you all will probably relate to and agree with, all the things we need to remember to do can be very mentally draining.

With all the things we try to remember to take care of, the most important thing we must always be mindful of is all that God has done in the past for us and all that He continues to do for us.  How much effort do we put into remembering all that God has done?  How often do we need reminded how amazing and wonderful He is and what He has done?  Out of all we have to keep track of and remember each day, the most important is taking time to be mindful of our Awesome God and all that He has done. 

As important as it is to keep in mind and remember our responsibilities each day at home, work, church and other places we go, we should never forget and always be reminded all that we have because of what God has done for us. 

Maybe we need to set reminders around the house, in our vehicles or at work to remind us to praise God and to take time to remember His great sacrifice.  There are so many options and ideas of ways to remind ourselves these days.  Take advantage of these ways and get creative to set reminders.  God loves when we take time to remember how great He is and spend time praising Him for all He has done and continues to do.

We always need reminding, don’t we?  No matter what we do or where we go, we always need some kind of reminders.  We need the same in our walk with God.  We need daily reminders to keep us in step with Him and to never forget or take for granted how awesome He is!

Let us always be reminded!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Are We Connected

“Are We Connected?”

Exodus 33:18-20 NIV

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”  And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.  I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

One of many amazing encounters we see in the Old Testament between Moses and God.  Moses was connected and was about to have a major connection session with Him!

As I think about how we connect these days, I feel like we are focused on connecting every way we can in our world and with our world these days.  We want to be connected on social media.  We want to be connected with events happening in our church.  We want to be connected to events happening in our community.  We want to be connected with what is happening in our children’s schools.  We try so hard to stay connected so that we don’t miss anything!

With all of the technology we have available today, we are so concerned to miss anything that we peruse our social media accounts and check to see what texts and e-mails are coming in.  We seriously do not want to miss ANYTHING!  I admit I have become one of these people.  I don’t want to miss any important info that I need to know from whatever sources I feel are important for me to stay up with.

As much as we have become addicted to staying connected in whatever ways possible to not miss anything, it breaks my heart when I think how unconnected we have become in our relationship with God.  I’m not saying we don’t care about growing in our faith, but we have to admit we focus a lot more on staying connected in our world events rather than with what God wants to teach us. 

How often do we find ourselves with the deep desire to connect with God as Moses did?  He wanted to be so close to God and he made it a priority.  That’s what we need to take time to consider in our lives these days.  How important is it for us to be connected to God and what are we willing to do in order to make that happen?  Do we really want to connect with Him?  Will we let all the other connections we try so hard to maintain go by the wayside in order to make sure God remains our top priority? 

This doesn’t mean we ditch other things in our lives, but it does mean that God needs to be our main connectivity above all!  What are we willing to do about this and how badly do we want to connect with Him? 

Are we connected more with Him or with the world?

Monday, April 25, 2022

Strategies To Defeat

“Strategies To Defeat”

Ephesians 6:10-11 NLT

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

We all have experience with putting together different strategies for various things we’ve been involved with through our years of life.  There are many different situations and activities in which we put much effort into strategizing. 

In school, we may develop certain strategies to accomplish things in our classes or extra-curricular activities. 

At our job, we may come up with certain strategies to do the work better and build up to more promotions. 

We become involved with various sports and develop strategies to not only work together as a team, but to defeat our opponents during games.

In different hobbies we have, we can develop certain strategies to learn more and get better at what we learn.

When we buy a home, we can develop strategies to make the house better and build equity.

There are so many different ways in life that we become involved with developing strategies to do different tasks for various reasons, whether professionally or personally.  The list could be endless!

As we consider different strategies that we put our time and energy into through the years, I cannot help but to think how much more effort we often put into the strategies of earthly matters and how much less we focus on the strategies of growing in our relationship with God by defeating our enemy, Satan.  How much time and energy do we invest each day by reading God’s Word and developing mental and spiritual strategies to defeat the flaming arrows of what Satan throws at us? 

I so often find myself becoming defeated because I have put so much time and effort into other worldly things in my life and much less time and effort being smart about how the enemy might attack me.  I don’t build my spiritual ammo up to defeat Satan. 

What would our spiritual lives look like if we put much more effort into being prepared daily for spiritual battle?  Paul meant it when he told us to be prepared.  We should heed that encouragement and always be prepared for the strategies the enemy throws at us.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Just Like He Said He Would Do

 “Just Like He Said He Would Do”

Matthew 28:6 NLT

He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come, see where his body was lying.

I think we would all agree that we like when people follow through on what they say they will do for us.  We like it when our food comes out fresh and hot in a fast food place or restaurant.  We like when installers show up on time to do what they say they will do and do it correctly.  We like when repair people show up on time and get the job done that they promised to do.  When a good friend or family member says they will show up to some event, we appreciate them making it a priority to actually be there.

As we like it when people do these things for us, the exact same is expected of us when we give our word to doing something or being there for other people.  When we say we are going to do something, people put trust in us and expect us to follow through.  Granted, life happens and there are understandable things that come up to prevent this at times, but we must always make the very best effort to be there and do what we say we will do.

As we celebrated Easter, the great story of the amazing Resurrection of Jesus Christ this past weekend, I got to thinking more about this passage.  What stuck out to me was the phrase “just as He said he would happen”.  Jesus predicted what would happen and it happened.  People were totally amazed and dumbfounded at all that happened.  It is truly amazing to remember that Jesus not only died, but He rose again victorious! 

I was reminded this weekend, and am reminded each day, that He keeps His promises and does what He says He will do.  He has never let me down and He has always come through.  He always will!  As we continue our thoughts of Easter weekend and the praise of Him rising from the grave as He said would happen, I think it would be good for us to all do some soul searching and examine our lives to all the things that we “say” we will do. 

When we say we will do something, let us make the most effort to keep the commitment.  People are counting on us just like we count on others.  None of us are perfect, I get that, but we definitely need to do better on what we commit to and actually following through.  Look at all that Jesus followed through on and He went through more than anyone in history will ever go through.

Let it be said of us from others that we did “Just like we said we would do”.