Wednesday, May 22, 2024

There Is No Easy Button

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“There Is No Easy Button”

Luke 9:23 NLT

Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.”


Remember many years ago the commercial for Staples store with a button that says, “That was easy”?  We actually have one of those buttons at my work on top of the corner of a cubicle.  One of the IT guys usually walks by and hits it and we laugh.  I remember through the years talking about that commercial and how so often it would be nice if certain things were easy.  Don’t we all feel like that?


As a parent, I often hear my kids make comments and complain about how they wish life were just easier.  As much as I lecture them about this, I have to admit I do feel the same way many times.  There are times in life when I just wish things could be easier.  Why can’t raising kids be easier?  Why can’t my job be easier?  Why can’t marriage be easier? Why can’t school be easier?  The list could go on and on. 


As I think about how we’ve become so accustomed to comfort in our lives and finding the easiest way to do things, I can’t help but think about how this is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught us about life.  He came and lived anything but an easy life.  Pretty much everything He did was the opposite of easy.  People around Him often complained about how hard things were.  But He taught so often that “hard” is good.  It teaches us and creates character and perseverance in our lives.


Jesus was very clear to us about how we need to carry our cross daily.  If we want to follow Him, we cannot expect an easy life.  We cannot live daily wishing that everything was easy.  Even though we would often want this, living easy does not produce growth in our lives.  The challenges I experience in my life are often not wanted or easy, but they definitely help me grow as a person and in my faith. 


Friends, we must stop holding on to the “easy button” and wishing so much in life was easier.  We must remember the life that God called us to live should be anything but easy.  God’s call and challenge to us is to grow and be stretched in our faith every day.  Through the pain and trials of carrying our cross daily, we learn what it truly means to live a life that Jesus calls us to. 


There is no easy button for our lives in Christ.  We were meant to live a life that is full of challenge and growth.  An easy life will not produce growth and character.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Get Back Up And Go

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“Get Back Up And Go”

James 1:2-3 NIV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.


Last week, I shared how I was moved by the numbers on the scale and I decided to get it in gear and start walking and jogging regularly again.  Well, one of the days I got home from work and went for a jog, I must have stepped into a groove on the sidewalk at just the wrong time.  Next thing I know, my body shot forward and I hit the ground.  I ended up dropping my phone and breaking part of it (I don’t know why I didn’t just have it in my pocket!), skinning my left knee, left thigh, left elbow and right palm.  It hurt bad, but I got up, took a little bit to regain my composure while limping.  After a bit, I thought, “I think I can still do this”, and I started jogging again.


I was actually questioning myself in my head why I chose to continue to jog after I just got injured.  I have motivation to keep jogging and getting exercise and I didn’t want the injury to stop me.  I mean, if I had broken something, I probably would have stopped and limped my way home.  But, I was determined to see how it felt to keep going.  I got home, wiped my cuts off and went on with life.  The next day, I was very sore and it hurt a lot to move my left leg.  I was limping a bit for the next day or so, but got better soon.  I’m still sore and healing from the wounds, but I’ve been out almost every day still jogging and walking.  When I come to that place I fell, I go a bit slower and try to be more aware of the sidewalk so I don’t do it again!


Friends, we all have had numerous experiences where we fall in life.  Sometimes, it’s just figuratively speaking with a bad decision we’ve made, or it could literally be physical where we experience an injury to our body.  Either way, when we fall, it’s often scary and difficult in some ways to get back up and go again.  We might think, “What if it happens again?”  Well, the only way to know is try again.  We can either be filled with the fear of it happening again or be confident that we’ll do our best to not let it happen again.


We all experience trials and hard times.  God uses these times to strengthen us and help us to continue to live life.  We gotta pick ourselves back up and keep going.  Maybe not the same way we chose before, but we keep going again.  I used to tell my girls years ago about how the gymnasts experience setback after setback and mistake after mistake for many years and you never see that.  And, even though they become professionals in many ways, they STILL mess up!  And, so will we! 


We will continue to fall down, but how we handle that means everything!  We gotta make the decision to get back up and keep going and let God guide us.  I hope that we can all strive to move forward, regardless of the falls we experience in life.  We will have them, but it’s our choice how we deal with them.  Let our motivation for life keep us going!

Thursday, May 2, 2024


 You Tube Channel Video Devo


Hebrews 12:11 NIV

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


About a week and a half ago, I decided to get on the scale one morning because I hadn’t weighed myself for a long time.  I just stood there and looked at the number and said, “You’ve got to be kidding!”  I was not happy about it.  I thought about all the days that I’ve laid around doing nothing when I should be moving around and then all the times I probably overeat with meals and snacking.


As much as I did not like what I saw, it was the reality that really hit me!  The numbers stared me right in the face.  I couldn’t say, “Well, the scale is broken!” or “batteries need changing”.  I knew they were right and I just felt fat.  I was ashamed I had let the numbers get so high.  I hadn’t really been taking care of myself as I ought to.  That has changed since then.  I’m starting to eat less at meals and not snacking so much.  I’m also getting back out to walk and jog again.  That feels great!


Numbers have a way of showing us reality.  Scores from a school test.  Numbers from blood lab work.  Numbers when we get a bill we didn’t expect.  So many different ways we are told numbers that leave us in a state of shock.  It’s reality and it has hit us.  There’s no sense in arguing about it or trying to make excuses.  We have to own up to the reality and start making changes or just facing the reality of what we might have to live with if we can’t change the numbers.


Numbers can be a powerful way for God to get our attention.  When we aren’t taking care of ourselves, the numbers we see on a test or a scale can slap us upside the head back into reality. Maybe we shouldn’t eat out so much.  Maybe we should have ice cream so often. 


I did not like what the scale showed me.  And, you know what?  That number isn’t going down fast.  I have to work at it.  I have to be diligent.  I have to stay consistent with being mindful of what I eat and getting out for exercise.  We have to make a conscious effort to change things when we don’t like what we see.  We cannot keep on living how we’ve lived and expect things to change. 


Friends, when we don’t like certain numbers we see, we need to practice discipline.  It’s hard to do.  Numbers often do not lie.  I’m not saying every test is 100% accurate, but the numbers should jolt us into thinking better than we usually do.  We need to be more disciplined in life and take better care of ourselves and be mindful of things before they spiral out of control. 


God definitely disciplines us in life and we often need it.  Let’s heed God’s discipline when He’s trying to wake us up to reality.