acts of selflessness, love, and kindness. Some of those acts of kindness probably saved my life.
God’s letter of love, the Bible, is filled with good advice. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” “O rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him.” “He waits on high to have compassion on you, to be gracious to you.” “I, the Lord, am your God; open your mouth and I will fill it!”
Being a Christian requires a climber’s faith. Trust in the Lord, and. . . CLIMB ON!
In His Name,
experience seasons in our lives. Transition and change can be both exciting and worry-inducing. Maybe it’s a major life change, a change in our daily routine, or maybe a change of pace from the warm summer months. Whatever season we are walking through, the Lord our God goes with us.
In my own life, back-to-school is a big change of pace for the fall season. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all that lies ahead, both known and unknown. It’s easy to get swept away in the hustle and bustle of it all. Our lives are filled with so much noise in our day-to-day. Worry sneaks into our lives.
BUT, what happens when we reframe our worries into prayer? Praying our worries to God can lighten our load, knowing and trusting that God has got a plan. My encouragement for us all is to take hold of our anchor, and spend intentional time with Jesus each day; slow down, pause, listen, cast out our worries, and rest in Christ’s comfort.
to tell her that she would be having a baby. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me!” (Genesis 21:6) Sarah gave birth to Isaac, which means, “He laughs.” I don’t believe that was a coincidence; I believe God was showing us the unexpected humor in life and that it can happen at any moment of your life.
Here are just a few more moments when I believe God was in a humorous mood. For instance, in Exodus 33:23, God says to Moses, “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.” So, God is telling Moses, “Don’t talk to the hand, talk to my butt.” What an amazingly funny God!
Or what about King Solomon, who solved a dispute by ordering a baby to be cut in half (Kings 3:6-28)? Sounds gruesome, but it’s about two women who are fighting over one baby. So, the king says to cut the baby in half, giving each one half. In the end, God’s humor prevails and all is well (no halved baby!).
Throughout the Bible, God shows us all the different emotions, and I believe that humor is one that is most overlooked. Humor isn’t laughing at someone’s pain, but it’s enjoying life’s mistakes through laughter. Sometimes, that even includes a talking donkey.
If you don’t believe me, read Numbers 22. The Lord opens the donkey’s mouth and says, “What have I done to you to make you beat me three times?” The answer to that will be revealed as you read.
Don’t take my word for it; take God’s words for it. As you continue to read the Bible, you will find more examples of humor that God has hidden for each of us in different ways.
God bless and happy reading!
When an unbeliever asks for prayer, they are often in a situation where they feel somewhat helpless, hopeless, and alone. They may know that you are a Christian because they have seen God working in your life and hope that God can help them also. What a privilege to pray for someone like this, because it might be that God is working to bring this person to salvation. In any case, we are a witness to God’s grace, love, and sovereignty when we pray for others.
My husband and I have a Christian friend, David, who loves to travel. David often takes long drives to different parts of the country, taking different routes each time. On one of these road trips, he stopped to grab a coffee and a bagel before returning home. David noticed a man in the coffee shop that seemed distraught and asked him if he was okay. The man told David that he had an appointment across the street in 15 minutes. Across the street from the bakery was the county court house. David did not ask specifics but got the sense that the man had to go for a divorce hearing. David asked the man if he would mind if he prayed for him. The man’s look was one of surprise and then a glimmer of surrender. The man could not carry the burden alone anymore. After David prayed with him, he told the man he would be praying for him throughout the day. The man thanked him and proceeded across the street to his appointment. The outcome of the appointment may not have changed but the man was no longer alone. He knew that someone cared enough to talk to God about him.
I’m grateful that God gives me opportunities to pray for people because it keeps me in a prayerful mind throughout the day. Sometimes I don’t see an immediate answer to prayer. There are people that I have been praying for for years because God just puts them on my heart. This kind of prayer can be hard, especially when it is someone I love that I know is hurting or struggling and there is nothing I can do about it. It is this kind of prayer that helps me grow in faith, knowing that God knows what is best and will do what is best, even if the result is not what I hope.
Recently a close family member asked me to pray for them because they were struggling with their job. They had made huge financial sacrifices and worked hard to have their “dream job” only to see circumstances change that could crush those dreams. They have the skills to easily obtain other work that is more secure and pays more, yet for them, it’s not about the money. It would be easy to step in and tell them what I would do if I was in their shoes, but I didn’t. I realized that the path I would have chosen may not be the path they are meant to take. All I could do is pray. What a powerful thing! Why? Because it takes me out of the way of what God wants to do in their life.
It has been several months since they asked me to pray for them and God continues to brings this request to my mind several times a day. God has given us some answers, but I do not believe He is done yet. How has God responded so far? Well, the answer was not what we hoped, but this person’s chance of having their “dream job” is not gone. They will have to make additional temporary sacrifices, but there is hope their dream will be realized next year. In the meantime, they asked me to keep praying. They realize that they do not have to face this problem alone and that someone cares enough to talk to God on their behalf. It is my hope that God will use this to draw this person into a personal walk with God.
In His Name, Stephanie
that cause our lives to flow with the “milk and honey” of God’s blessing and presence. The choice is all ours.
We choose our attitudes. Sometimes it is the only thing we can choose or control, and it dwarfs our circumstances. The very same circumstance can feel like the Promised Land or the wilderness depending on our attitude.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart,” Jesus said (Matthew 15:18) Our attitudes reveal who we truly are. We can get our outer behavior in order, but still be a mess inside. We can’t think in a critical, negative, fault-finding, complaining way without becoming that person. Boy, was I that person!
One day as I was searching for a devotional to share with my Christ Care group, this little story just leapt out and really spoke to me. I saved it, and whenever I feel myself going back to that miserable wilderness, I pull it out and once again I’m on my way back to the Promised Land in God’s presence and His many blessings.
So, here it is…enjoy and I hope it brings a smile to your face as it did mine!
Attitude is everything! Let’s be grateful for the things God has given us!
Have a wonderful day!
So much has been said about worry that I decided to focus on the wisdom of Max Lucado:
Tender Jesus, teach us to be like You in all our ways. Teach us kindness, gentleness, generosity, and to be giving, forgiving, loving and caring. Guide us to the place You want us to be; take control. Mold and shape us into the brilliant beings we were always destined to become. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Be quick to pray and pray about everything!
In His Name, Janet
In Genesis 2, God describes something that has always struck me with both awe and sadness; that Adam and Eve felt no shame. What would your life be like if you had never felt any shame? No memories of classroom humiliations, no abusive comments or actions about your worth, no fear of looking in the mirror, no burden of comparing your failures to the successes of your neighbor. The list for shame is miles long, and depending on your culture, shame could have even had the power to make you an outcast in society. Based on this passage, it may be safe to say that Adam and Eve were the only people in all of human history who knew what it felt like to be unashamed.
Sadly, after they had their first bite of shame, they quickly turned to their first solution: coverings. Since I understand shame all too well, it sometimes makes sense to me that Adam and Eve ran for cover. They started by sewing together some leaves, already hunched over with the weight of shame as they made the first human clothing. Since that day, humans have continued to create ways to cover their shame: we don’t talk about things; we lie or exaggerate; we minimize the hurts; we blame others; we abuse our fellow man; and sometimes we turn on ourselves in destructive ways. We may even cover ourselves under religious traditions or legalistic practices.
This new burden of shame must have caused some poor thinking. Adam and Eve knew the plants in the garden, some people believe they may have even named them. We know they ate stuff, so I’m sure they had some figs and must have touched a fig leaf before. So why would they choose to make coverings out of those leaves? Most people have an allergic reaction to fig leaves and end up with some kind of rash. Unless Adam and Eve were extremely small, they would have needed a lot of leaves to cover the essentials. These must have been one of the worst leaves for clothing. Which is exactly like all of our coverings: inadequate and hurtful.
I am so thankful that Jesus gave us a new covering: the cross. You may ask how something that was designed to cause painful shame could be a better covering than my fig leaves. It is not necessarily the wood in the cross that is able to cover, but the act of Jesus finishing the redemptive process needed to destroy the burden of shame. The day Jesus died on the cross was a very different day than the one where Adam and Eve became organic tailors. While as humans we run for the bushes and grab the first small itchy leaf we can find, Jesus took up the cross of our shame and carried it for us. He made a new way, where shame was taken away and replaced with His goodness.
We are so like Adam and Eve, but every day we have the chance to be like Jesus. Because of the good news of what Jesus did on the cross, I can declare like many of my fellow Christians that I am unashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God. We can take up the power of God and rely on His word. We can bring our shame into His light and let Him wash it all away. If you find shame is stifling your heart and mind I urge you to run for cover under the cross where there is no shame.
Serving with you,
allowed the best-behaved children and had a stringent interview process to vet the children and their families. You see, the latter states that they are attempting to make disciples, thus, they need the 'cream of the crop'. I left the conversation feeling uneasy. What kind of message is this sending to children and their families?
I mean, we simply need to take a look at the actual disciples to see that this is not at all how Jesus approached finding his gang of super cool, but also super broken friends and followers. Simon (Peter) was strong-willed and impulsive. He likely would have never passed the "behavior test". James and his brother John were known as "The Sons of Thunder" because they had such stormy personality traits. They were quick to anger and judgmental. Again, I'm not so sure these guys would have made the cut! Then we consider Thomas, he was gloomy and easily discouraged. You can see the trend here right?! Then there is Matthew, he was considered the lowest of the low, a TAX COLLECTOR *gasp*, surely he would not have even been considered. In addition to being a tax collector, Matthew was terribly self-absorbed. Finally, Judas is a man who ultimately showed he was a betrayer, liar, and thief. Yet, these are the men Christ chose to represent him while he was on the earth and afterward.
I think there is a valuable lesson here. We can choose to view people with a critical lens thinking to ourselves, "Man these people simply won't cut it!" or we can choose to support the everyday people who have an open heart and an open mind to learn how to be a disciple for Christ. We are all on this journey together. It is so much more beautiful when we can make mistakes and learn together. I think that is exactly what happened with the disciples and Jesus.
In His Name,
of loss that Mary and the disciples must have felt after the crucifixion. . .hopelessness, despair, darkness, abandonment, and profound sadness. BUT the sun always rises again. The tomb is opened. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have eternity to dwell with God. Even Job’s story has a happy ending.
We lost our beloved Pastor Craig, but I thank God for his ministry, his leadership, and his inspired preaching. I pray his influence will be just as great with our fellow Christians in Oakland, Florida, and I enthusiastically look forward to the arrival of our new pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Coeur d’Alene. Good things are about to happen. Praise God!
In His Name,
their service. We even saw a man dressed in revolutionary costume carrying the flag which represented the original 13 colonies. Everyone seemed excited to be free to celebrate together that day.
The heat was keeping us from being outside more, so we decided to visit the Bird Aviation Museum at the Hayden Airport and the Museum at the Brig at Farragut State Park. Part of the display at the Bird Aviation Museum was a tribute to our military; there were exhibits of planes they used in various battles as they fought for our freedom. The Museum at the Brig surprised us because we were not aware that there once was a massive naval training base at the southeastern end of Lake Pend Oreille. This base trained over 293,000 recruits during WWII! We walked away reminded of the sacrifices that our military men and women made for the freedom of generations that followed them, and are proud of our family and friends who were part of this sacrifice.
Saturday, we watched the Post Falls Festival parade. I was thrilled to see the parade start with students from Post Falls High School proudly carrying a large version of the American flag on their shoulders. Although patriotism was not the main theme of the parade, the community cheered in support of our flag, our veterans, and our police. It was wonderful to see a community showing their thankfulness and pride for the freedoms we share as Americans. We only have these freedoms because of the sacrifices of others before us.
I’m proud to be called an American, but I am prouder yet to be called a Christian. I did not get this name because of anything that I did, but through Christ’s sacrifice. Because of His love, He gave his life to cover my sins and the sins of those He calls His own. His sacrifice has given me freedom from sin and the freedom to follow Him. This is a freedom that nobody can take away from me. And because His sacrifice was motivated by love, I am thankful and proud to be called a Christian.
John 15:12-13 NIV
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.