Hope is Contageious

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1 Peter 3:8

This devotional has a quote written by Zig Ziglar.

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Day 166:

Today this is hard for me.  I’ve had a hard morning.  I’ve already been in tears once over things that are out of my control.  So to talk about how hope is contagious is not easy.  But it’s true.  I’m out of hope in the moment.  But I suppose that means all the more I know how easy it is to spread.

The devotional reminds us that has children of God we have every reason to be hopeful.  The entry says we should be beacons of encouragement for the world.  And I know it’s hard.  It’s very hard for me today.  But it’s important that children of God should full of joy. We should be because we have eternal life, we have all the promises of the Bible.  We have Jesus who died for our sins. We have reasons to be joyful.

The point I want you to take away from this mixed up devotional is that as children of God we have the reason to be hopeful.  We are being watched, whether we know it or not. And we need to be showing God’s love through our words and actions.  We need to lay aside our feelings and just live for God.  We need to put aside what we feel and do what God would have us do.

We need to find the good that we can in the day, and celebrate that good.

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An Awesome God

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Proverbs 14:27

This devotional has a quote written by Bill Hybels.

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Day 165:

There was an episode of “Last Man Standing” on TV recently, it was one where Boyd had apparently stolen something and there was a parental disagreement on how to handle it.  I didn’t catch the whole episode but somehow religion played a factor and the character Ryan said a line about how he didn’t want to raise his child fearing a God that would punish you for a small thing.  But that is exactly what he should have been doing.

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This is an old quote, but it still rings true.  Even when things change, like our society has, we should still fear the Lord.  Now does God go around punishing, smiting, destroying–NO.  He will.  He has.  He can.  But I can’t believe that my Heavenly Father, is sitting there waiting for me to fail so he can punish.  If that was the case, I’d be gone, burning in the fires of hell.  Because I have failed.  What I do believe is that God is there creating a path that will lead me to righteousness.  And when I divert (Because only I can remove myself from God’s hand; John 10:29) he waits on me to return, and he greets me like the father greeted the prodigal son from the parable Jesus taught in Luke chapter 15.  He’s not going to punish me.  Now he won’t be there, giving the blessing he gives his children.  So it might seem like a punishment.

Fear of the Lord is healthy.  It keeps up humble.  God can, had, and will do ANYTHING you can think of and things you can’t think of.  Blind men were given their sight.  By the touch of Jesus.  The woman with the blood disorder was healed.  Lazarus was raised from the dead.  These were just biblical healings.  Today I’ve seen women and men healed of cancer.  People who should have died, given years of health.   Tumors have been shrunken in front of doctors.  A three-month-old baby that was literally in the last hours of her life just turned ten this year.  Personally, for me, he’s helped me find rings in parking lots and yards, he’s kept me safe in car-accidents.  He’s provided a way when there seemed like there was no way.  (Financial blessings)  There is seriously nothing that God can’t do.  And that is unfathomable. It’s healthy to fear that sort of power.  But along with fear, there needs to be respect, humility, worship.

Yes, if God wanted he could smite us all. But he doesn’t because he is our creator, our father, our provider.  He wants good things for us.  Fear is wise.  But it’s not because he’s going to kill us if we sin.  Because in truth, we all sin and fall short. (Romans 3:23.)

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The Best Policy

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Proverbs 11:5

This devotional has a quote written by C.S. Lewis.

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Day 164:

I can’t think of ever meeting a person who was okay with someone lying to them.  In fact, lies are one of the most destructive things in any relationship.  So when our devotional today, tells us that God’s policy is honesty, we need to take that to heart.

No matter how small or well-intentioned a lie is a lie. It’s an intentional perversion of the truth.  Which, as Christians, we just can’t be a party too.  We just can’t.

When we lie, we give a foothold to sin.  Then next thing you will know sin has weaved its way back into your life, and you’ll need to hit your knees in repentance again.   There is no such thing, as a little white lie.  Just think about it as you go about your day.

Are you being truthful?  Are you spreading little white lies?  Are you being deceitful? What can you do to change that behavior?

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God’s Guidance

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Psalm 37:23

This devotional has no quote.

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Day 163:

One of my facebook friends shared this video about how the Eagles use football as a platform to spread the Gospel of Jesus.  It was until I watched this video did I know what to write for today’s devotional.

The devotional is about how God guides our path.  The video about the Eagles winning the Superbowl has given them a platform for praising God and giving God the glory is a way that God has guided their path.  Now every person has a different path that God has set for each person.  But in reality, all Christians have one job, to share the gospel of Jesus.  The Eagles are taking steps to show their faith to others, we need to do the same.  We need to make an effort to follow the path that God has set for us while showing our faith to others.  While leading others to Christ.

At the end of the day, you have to decide whether or not you will follow the path that God has laid out for you.  You have to choose if you are going to let God guide your path or not.

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Pats on the Back

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Romans 14:19

This devotional has a quote written by Charles Kingsley.

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Day 162:

There are many passages in the bible that discuss God having the final judgment, to not judge each other.  Today’s scripture in KJV says:

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and thing wherewith one may edify another.

So when we speak to others, we need to speak peace, which helps each other.  It is my personal belief that today is it too easy to say anything (especially behind a keyboard) without thought of who we are directing it at.  I’m guilty of this as well.  In a moment of anger, I’ll spout something out that really hurts someone.  Today our devotional tells us to be encouraging to all those who are around us.  Since we don’t know the inner struggles of a person.

For me, it’s very important to use my words wisely.   It’s not easy, and it’s not something that I’m proficient in yet.  But it’s something that is just needed.  We need to be kind to others in our words.  We need to stop tearing each other down.  We need to let the love of Christ be visible in our words.  if someone doesn’t’ know you are a Christian because of the way you act and speak, that’s something that needs to be re-evaluated for yourself.   Your life should be a living, breathing, walking example of how Christ lived.

Is your life an example of Christ love?  Do your words edify or destroy a person?  God does have the final judgment, so many you can keep your thoughts of others to yourself.

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A Life of Integrity

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Proverbs 10:9

This devotional has a quote written by Franklin Graham.

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Day 161:

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

Living with integrity is not an easy way to live.  Because when you follow a moral standard, everything is looking to tear you down.  So you face serious trials and you have to remain strong.  Living with integrity also means that you are pleasing to God.  Our devotional says we must seek to live a life with discipline, honesty, and faith.

When we live like this, God is pleased with our obedience. When this happens blessing flow.  It’s up to us, to be honest, and living a life that is pleasing to God.

I encourage you today to a look at your life, do your words and actions uphold God’s standards? Are you living a life with integrity?  What changes can be made to improve your life?

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Accepting His Gifts

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Luke 11:11-13

This devotional has no quote.

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Day 160:

“If ye being evil, know how to give good gifts”  I’ve always contemplated this verse in the bible.  (In fact, I wrote a column using this verse for my church.)   It’s something I feel like we as a people seem to overlook.  We know to do good for each other, and we celebrate each other.  But somehow we seem to forget that God will give us gifts as well.  Yet, when we receive these gifts, we tend to doubt them.  Or, when we ask for something, we don’t believe we will get it.  The devotional ask “are you asking God to move mountains in your life, or are you expecting Him to stumble over molehills?”  For me, it comes down to a matter of belief.  Do we believe that God is the almighty God we say he is?   If you can honestly answer yes, then you know how good God is.  But if you can’t say yes, then you need to look at your spirit and see what the hold up is.

God created you, your world, your life, your friends.  He blesses his people.   He gives good gifts, better than the gifts of the evil parent.  He strengthens us, helps us, teaches us, gives to us, guides us.  A million other things.  We should be happy to accept his gift, and not doubt if we deserve it.  We shouldn’t be doubting if it’s coming.   Our God is the biggest and the best.  We should ask him for the mountain to be moved, and know it is

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In Focus

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Proverbs 4:25

This devotional has a quote written by Anne Graham Lotz.

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Day 159:

In focus.  Focus.  In general, I’m really bad at focusing.  My mind is always running at an Olympian runner speed.   My mind is a webpage with as many tabs as possible.   And I’m constantly switching between the tabs.   Like I said, focusing isn’t a strong suit of mine.

Most times it takes me twice as long to get a task done because I can’t just sit down and focus on it.  For an example, this devotional was started around 10 am, it’s now afternoon and I’m still not done.

But the devotional today is about focus.  The book talks about how we need to focus on the blessing that God has given us.  That we need to focus on the joy and the righteousness that God provides.

But I think for most of us, it’s hard to focus, but when we do, it’s about the bad things.   The things that aren’t going right, the people who hurt us.  The things we want to make better.

We need to take a deep breath and look at the task at hand, and our number one task is doing what God commands.  He commands us to trust him.  We should put aside our worries, our pains and focus on the good things that God does for us.

Every day we need to take a moment to breathe and look at the good things that God does for us.  See that God is good and he’s providing what you need.

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Reading Challenge Update

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January Reading Challenge

That is correct, I consider this month a failure.  Here is the breakdown of how things went. January 1st, I was excited.  Energetic.  Ready to tackle the challenge and I had a halfway decent start.  

But this year I didn’t just want to read the word, I wanted to absorb it as well.  And, for me, that meant using plan to write the scriptures as well.  I found a plan on Pinterest and set to using it too. 

With all that being said, I felt really good about going into the new year, with my renewed sense of determination to make my faith stronger, my relationship with God stronger, and strengthen my resolve to have some willpower to stick with it.


Now if you have been following my Reading Challenge page, you know I hit some hiccups.  Like I got off track.  I didn’t read every day.  In fact, there were several days I skipped.  I didn’t read January 11th, 13th, 22nd thru 29th.  The 30th of this month, I hid away while my son was at once a week preschool class, and read Genesis 32 thru Genesis 50.  Meaning I finished reading the Genesis passages.   On the 30th I was supposed to read Exodus 1-3, but that didn’t happen.  Instead, those were read today, the 31st.  So really all the passages were read. That in itself is a win.  And I’ll take any win I can get.

Now with the writing, it was way easier to skip that.  But when I fell into a hardcore funk,  January 25th, I just had to do something about it.  And that was the day that I sat and wrote and wrote and wrote.  I caught up on my scriptures writing.  And seriously, that and alphabetizing my Netflix queue, just centered me.  It made things better and I was able to move past the funk.   So January is a fail. End of story. I didn’t do what I was supposed to on the day I was supposed to, that equals fail.

Here is my good news.  I am not going to let January’s failure wreck the rest of the year.  2018 has 12 months and only one of them is a failure.  I have 11 more chances to have a success mark on my blog.

Finally, in my January Challenge wrap up.  I share my final graphics:

I’m happy that I was able to make sure all the days were crossed off.  I’m also very happy that this month of failure is behind me.  Tomorrow will be February 1st, my birthday month, and I’m very determined to have a success sticker.

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The Last Word

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2 Timothy 1:7-8

This devotional has a quote written by Rick Warren.

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Day 158:

Rick Warren quote:

Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.

Fear, Doubt, Worry.  I’ll admit, I’m plagued by these.  They are always looming in the background waiting for their moment to strike.  When they do strike I’m rendered pretty useless.  Especially when it comes to doing the work that the Lord has given me.

Which is what the devotional today is reminding us.  God is our shield, strength, and he gives us the power to survive.  No matter how hard life can be, the fears that things will come and wreck us.  We have God on our side.  We have to trust that he has us.  We have to follow his directions and know that he has the best for us.  Not the best intentions, but the best for us.

God is good, and in the end, he has the last word, which means we do not have to fear anything the world or the devil has in store for us.

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