Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Are We Really Thrilled?

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

https://youtu.be/Q_nGIrElum4


“Are We Really Thrilled?”

Psalm 92:4 NLT

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!  I sing for joy because of what you have done.

We get thrilled about a lot of things in life, don’t we?  Just take a few moments and think about some of the times in life when you found yourself getting really thrilled and psyched up about different things.  We all get excited, pumped up and thrilled about a lot of things in life.  It’s a great feeling when we get excited about certain events coming up, people we are going to see and places we may visit. 

As a kid, I really got into roller coasters as theme parks.  I loved the thrills of going fast, going long and going upside down!  The adrenaline rush of going on rides lasted all through my young life.  I don’t do this as much anymore, but would still like to.  I also think about going to different restaurants where I know I’m going to get a great meal.  Or how about coffee shops I go to with excitement to get a blended iced or hot drink?  Starbucks and Caribou, here I come!!!  There are certain places we go as a family and I’m so excited to get there.  One of my favorite destinations is Duluth, MN.  It’s absolutely breathtaking each time we go and it never gets old!

I or we could all list so many different ways we get thrilled about things in life.  While there’s nothing at all wrong with getting excited about different things, places, foods, drinks, people and such, sometimes we need to reconsider how thrilled we are getting about these things compared to our thrill about God.  It’s so easy for us to get thrilled about different things of this world, but so often we tend to get less thrilled about our relationship with God. 

I read about, watch movies about and see video clips of others who get totally worked up and thrilled about God and all He is doing in their lives.  Just from the reactions and ways they are, I can tell they are really psyched about God.  Often I think to myself, “Am I like that?  Do I get that excited?”  Too often, I cringe at my answer of “Ummm….maybe…not as much”. 

I am reminded that every single day, I should be the most thrilled, excited, worked up and psyched about following God!  He should be the biggest thrill of our lives.  Nothing else should even come close!  However, too often other things do.  Maybe in the coming days, weeks and months, we should all be reminded about this when we get excited about something in life.  Just take a few moments and consider if you would get this excited or even more about God?  Just something for us to consider as we move forward in our lives.

Are we really thrilled about God?  I hope we all are!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What Would You Do?

 YouTube Video Devo

https://youtu.be/UnoLABnYGsU


“What Would You Do?

Daniel 3:6 NIV

“Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

 

The past few Sundays our pastor has been going through Daniel and as he shared Sunday morning, I was convicted of so many instances of my life where I have given in and compromised to go along with the crowd.  I tend to think of the show “What Would You Do?” that has been on ABC in the past.  My family and I have enjoyed many episodes of this in the past.  If you’re not familiar with it, scenarios are set up with actors and then others who have no idea what’s going on are surrounded with the feeling of “What am I going to do”?

 

It’s very interesting to see what people will do in situations that make them uncomfortable.  Unlike this show, oftentimes in life we are faced with situations that come up that are real and people get very pushy to try getting us to do things we shouldn’t do.  Peer pressure isn’t just for young people growing up.  Adults struggle with this all too often as well.  Actually, it doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s tough to go against the flow.

 

What would you do if you were faced with a blazing furnace and were told to bow down to a statue or you will die?  That’s pretty blunt!  Either fall down and worship this idol or lose your life.  However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not give in and they stayed strong. 

 

I know I’ve written about this story in the past, but it came back to me.  I think about how so often it’s hard for me to stand up for what’s right because it REALLY makes you stand out in the crowd. 

 

We have to really ask ourselves what is more important, obeying man or God?  When faced with certain situations, it’s downright hard to be different.  Our face may turn pale and we may feel lightheaded just with the situation at hand.  It’s uncomfortable!  However, God often asks us to go against the flow and be strong, just as these 3 men were.  They were faithful and would not go with the flow.  Their faithfulness paid off and God was praised!

 

Ask yourself, “What Would I Do?”  How would you react?  It’s not something we need to get all freaked out about and scared about it happening, but we do need to be prepared and ask God to give us wisdom whatever situation might arise.  We need to be prepared and pray for constant guidance to be a light when we get surrounded by darkness. 

 

It’s in these situations where we have an amazing opportunity to be a light for God!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Don't Miss The Moments

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

https://youtu.be/hIwiY8xwMEE


“Don’t Miss The Moments”
Luke 10:41-42 NLT
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Anytime I’m at home or out and about somewhere and I see a sunset, I know I have to get to a good place to view it quickly because there is very limited time to take in the moment. You can’t wait very long and still expect to see the majestic display of God’s glory! Sunsets are one of the most beautiful types of scenery ever! If you don’t act quickly, you miss it. The glow of the sky as the sun is just setting is one of the most beautiful sights ever!

Just like these limited time moments with sunsets, there are so many other moments in life that we must act fast and take in because they don’t last long. I think about the moments I have at home with my daughters or when we’re out and about. There are times when they want to share something with me and I find myself wrapped up in something else and I tell them to hang on for a bit. Instead of dropping whatever it is I’m doing (which is usually not as important!), I continue on and I end up missing the moment with them. The excitement wanes a bit and my heart breaks because I know I have missed yet another moment.

I often think about the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus comes to visit. It’s one of my most favorite stories because it shares a powerful message. (As I was typing this, my youngest daughter walked in the room and wanted to share a moment with me in showing me something. I actually paid attention!) Martha is all bent out of shape because her sister is taking time to chill and take in the moment with Jesus. While Martha is flipping out, Mary just takes the moment in and chills for a bit.

This is a fascinating story because it’s powerful in sharing a simple concept, but one that many of us fail to live up to. We get so busy with so many things and we fail to take the time to stop and smell the roses. We forget what’s often really important. Taking care of life stuff is vital, but we have to make time for moments that pop up. We have people around us that need us and these limited moments are important to take in.

We all need to be a little less like Martha and more like Mary to take in precious moments that won’t last. Just like the sunsets that don’t last long, take in the precious moments you have with people you love. Chores and other duties will always be there, but sometimes we just have to stop and take in these moments that are truly a gift from God.

Don’t miss these moments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Show And Tell

 YouTube Channel Video Devo 

https://youtu.be/wNZgcNrjD5A


“Show And Tell”

1 John 4:9 NLT

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

 

Do any of you remember having “show and tell” in school when growing up?  I remember how excited I was to bring something from home to show off to my class and explain the uniqueness of whatever it was.  Many of us probably recall special times when we brought something that was of value and showed it off to our classmates.  We were proud and excited to share our treasure, whatever it might have been.

 

Through the years, I think of the numerous times that I’ve been really excited and proud of something I made or did and wanted to share it with others.  There’s just something about showing and telling other people about a completely project or treasured item that we get excited about.  Sometimes, we go to great lengths to show others cool things we think are neat and are proud of.  We take time to tidy up and present the project we’ve completed or item we just purchased and show it off to family and friends. 

 

It’s great and fun to show off things we are proud of to others.  It’s exciting to see their reaction and hear their responses about what they think.  While thinking about this, I cannot help but think if we are always this excited and even more to show and tell others about God when we have opportunities to do so?  Think about how much God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us.  That’s the great act of show and tell ever!  Nothing could compare to that! 

 

I have to wonder how excited and anxious we actually are to share with others what God has done for us.  Do we carry an excitement with us at all times ready to tell and show others what God has done and continues to do in our lives?  Are we anxious and excited to share His love and what He can do for others when we get into conversations?  Do we look forward to showing and telling others of the wonderful things He has done in our lives that only He can do?

 

I hope that our desire to show and tell others about God’s love far outweighs anything else we may get excited about in our lives.  Unfortunately, all too often, this is not the case and we get more excited about other things of the world rather than God.  It isn’t wrong to get excited about different things in life, but when that excitement outweighs our excitement to share God’s love more than anything else, then we have a problem.

 

Are we ready and excited for show and tell about all that God has done for us for others to see and hear?

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

We Need Wise Company

YouTube Channel Video Devo “We Need Wise Company”

“We Need Wise Company”

Proverbs 13:20 NLT

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get into trouble.

I remember numerous times while growing up how my parents warned me about not hanging out with people who would influence me in wrong ways.  As a kid, you often want to be accepted and noticed by others so badly and are willing to go to great lengths to be liked.

I am very grateful for my parent’s advice and guidance to help me through choosing good friends that would encourage me rather than get me into trouble.  That didn’t always keep me from trying to make friends with people who were troublemakers, but I learned through the years that I needed to be wise in who I hung out with. 

Wanting to be accepted and liked isn’t just for kids or teens, it’s for adults as well.  We so often want to surround ourselves with people who will accept us and like us.  There’s nothing at all wrong with wanting to be accepted and liked.  Who wouldn’t want that, right??  However, we have to be very careful in what company we surround ourselves with.  This proverb is very clear that if we walk with the wise and surround ourselves with wise people, then we ourselves will become wiser and learn great things.  However, if we associate with fools who are troublemakers, we will be influenced and find ourselves falling into temptations to be troublemakers as well.

Just as our parents warned us to not get into trouble by hanging out with people of bad influence, God wants us to be wise in who we surround ourselves with.  We definitely need to make choices to be around those people who will mentor, encourage and help us become better people.  Through experiences and connections, we can learn better to surround ourselves with people who truly care about us and want us to become better people.  We definitely don’t want to surround ourselves with people who just like us when we do want they want us to do.

Walk with the wise and become wiser, but walk with fools and we get into trouble.  Trouble can bring some nasty consequences that could last a lifetime.  But, walking with wise people will bring great experiences to last a lifetime. 

We all need wise company.  Question is do we seek wise company out?


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Hold On To Something!

 YouTube video devo  https://youtu.be/l60e0nnYokc


“Hold On To Something!”

Hebrews 10:23 NLT

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

 

I think we all have had our fair share of hearing this phrase throughout our lives.  Maybe it was when we were outside with other people and the wind started blowing extremely hard.  Maybe it was when we were with someone walking across a bridge or walking down some rocks and we felt the surface begin to crumble below us.  We could come up with numerous scenarios in which there’s a situation we are not prepared for and something happens causing us to panic and grab something so we don’t fall and get injured.

 

There are a lot of unexpected things that come up in our lives that send us running for cover and searching for something or someone to help and protect us.  That’s how we are wired.  When we’re in danger, we immediately want to seek help and relief.  We want to hold on to something or someone. 

 

It’s so tempting to reach out and hold on to earthly things or other people for hope and comfort when life throws us curve balls and/or devastating circumstances.  While we definitely need each other in difficult times, we must always remember to first and foremost hold on to God and the hope we have in Him rather than putting our trust in other people or other things.  Again, we definitely need to support and lean on one another to encourage and, but we must never put our hope solely in people or things.  God must be our supreme source of hope. 

 

I know that through the years I’ve found myself holding out for hope in things of this world, and I still do!  I look for things that I think will hold me up and keep me safe and secure, but they all fail at one time or another.  People and things were never meant to complete us and keep us afloat like God can.  When we get scared in life, where do we run?  Who do we turn to?  What do we turn to?  We definitely get bombarded every day with marketing tips that persuade us to turn to anything and everything other than God. 

 

Instead of just holding on to something in life when we get scared, we must always remember that our hope comes from Christ alone and He is Who we need to hold on to.  God will keep His promises.  He will always help us when we reach out to Him.  When the ground beneath us shakes, we can trust and hope in Him, no matter what. 

 

What or who are we holding onto?  God or worldly things?

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.