By Debbie Legg
One of my favorite podcasts is author Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing. In 12-15 minutes she imparts wisdom on things like making decisions, handling decision fatigue, and “doing the next right thing in love.” She also has what I consider to be a perfect voice. I love to listen to her speak. But, that’s beside the point.
Back in June I was listening to Episode 86 entitled Decision Making with James Bryan Smith. In it, Emily talks with Smith about a few of his sentences that have had a profound effect on her, and on others she has shared them with.
I know one thing for sure: I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights.
I live in the strong and unshakable Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom is not in trouble, and neither am I.
The peace and rest in those sentences make me exhale and smile. I have them written on a sticky note attached to one of my kitchen cabinets so I can be reminded every day.
As followers of Jesus we are called to believe in things we can’t see. Things like a spiritual world, an Enemy, a Savior, a grand story of humanity far larger than what our five senses can perceive.
Not only are we called to believe these things exist, but to trust that they are more real, more true, more reliable, than the world we can see.
No wonder we are a peculiar people.
To be delighted in, to be safe and sound in an unshakeable Kingdom…that’s balm for my sometimes weary, sorrowful soul.
Which words or verses are balm for your soul? Let us know in the comments.
And if you have a favorite podcast, share that, too.
By Amy Kemp
Proverbs 21:1 -" Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; He directs it to whatever ends He chooses."
Several years back I took a great interest in studying leadership. In fact, I even taught a couple of leadership seminars. The topic is expansive, and surely no one can be considered a true expert, though authors like John Maxwell and Brene Brown have some terrific insights.
If you've read any of my blog posts from the past, you know that I dissect words. I try to feel them, imagine them, smell them, taste them. . .understanding scripture (words) from all senses.
Recently, I attempted the process of dissection on Proverbs 21:1. I invite you to dig into it as well.
A "God-controlled" stream or channel of water is or can be any or all of the following.
Maybe you've read that list and thought, "Ehhh... okay, but I'm not a leader, so no application here." Wrong.
Every single one of us is a person of influence. You are looked upon by someone. Your decisions and your actions are observed by neighbors, children, co-workers, and friends. Your influence, like it or not, may translate to leadership in their lives. They are watching you. So, just for today, re-read that scripture and consider yourself a stream, a "God-controlled" stream. Carry them along, keep them safe, and reflect the Son.
By Becky Payne
As I opened my FaceBook news feed yesterday I was bombarded with images and memories of people reminiscing about where they were 18 years ago when our country was attacked by terrorists. As I scrolled through numerous posts, the theme that was repeated over and over again was “We will not forget”. Many will remember those who lost their lives, the terrorism that caused it, and the sacrifice that many gave in efforts to save others; however I think that we often forget what happened over the next few weeks/months after the attacks. Through these awful events, people were united together. And, in those few weeks, the world was a more peaceful place as people joined together and loved each other.
As I was writing this blog I realized that UNITED Flight 93 was the only plane that did not reach its intended target. Why is that? I am sure there are many reasons, but one thing we know is how the people on this plane joined together and united as one to take on the terrorists. Even though they sacrificed their lives, their bravery and unity saved the lives of many people. I believe that their flight name is very fitting for those who were UNITED on Flight 93.
On 9/11/01 and the weeks that followed people joined together to help those in need, loving each other. For a short time, our country was united across race, religion, gender, political party, and age. Sadly that spirit of unity has worn off, moving us further and further away, to the point where people are tearing each other apart for the sake of their religious or political beliefs. This is causing our country and the church to fracture from within.
What Christ came to unite together is being splintered apart! Many Christians have missed the mark of what Jesus taught and lived out...loving others and working to draw all people to him. I believe that God is saddened when His children live contrary to His word. As a Christ follower, we are called to obey God’s Word in all things.
Psalm 133:1 & 3b says: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!...For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
Ephesians 4:1-3 states, As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Colossians 3:14 says And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
According to these verses, living in unity is many things...It is good and pleasant; it leads to peace; and it is bound together by love.
Can you imagine a world that is bound by love, filled with peace and that is good and pleasant? Try unity! When we unite together our lives and the world is a much better place!
Because it is Thursday evening and I forgot it was my day to post, this post is taken from my book JUST WALKING. I went to mailbox this morning and walked into one of these lovely, sticky webs. Reminded me of this devotion and thought probably few people remember it...don't intend to do repeats but for today I will share this.
by Clella Camp
As I step outside my front door, I walk into a spider web. It stretches across my face like a mask at Halloween. I detest the sticky, creepy feeling. I reach to wipe it from my skin. In the early morning fog, I see spider webs are everywhere-on the grass, on the fence, even in the branches of the trees. The droplets of dew highlight each one, and then the sun slides through the fog and illuminates each masterpiece! I stop in awe and gaze at the webs that had been such a bother to me a few moments before. I see the promises of God.
I walk in the beauty of God's world as the sun makes rainbows in the spider webs. The intricate, thin thread spun into each individual, lacy pattern reminds me that I am God's unique creation. His beloved child! He knows the number of hairs on my head and promises me he will take care of me if I will let the light of his Son shine through the fog of my life. Just as the sun coming through the fog turned spider webs into works of beautiful, shimmering, woven lace, so can I be beautiful to God.
Too often I let the fog of worry and the fatigue of everyday concerns engulf me. A I let the entanglement with the spider web obliterate the beauty around me, I also let the concerns of life keep me from the beauty God has prepared for my life as his child. I could be the witness he intends for me to be here on earth if I would let the light of his love create rainbows in my daily life. Clinging to God, my life could be like the sun reflecting through the damp spider webs clinging to the fence-a thing of beauty.
The problems in my life become so like the spider webs across my face-clinging and sticking to me as I, by myself, try to wipe them away. Jesus told us, "Do not worry about your life. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they...and why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these"(Matthew 6:25-29)
And then he tells us what I so often forget, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33)
I encourage each of you to enjoy this season and let God provide for all of us.
A Little Bit More
A special place where we take turns sharing our hearts, minds, and God.