Our Value to God = PRICELESS!

Our Value to God = PRICELESS!
"Allow God to place His own values." - A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Worship the Right God

Tonight I watched a neat sermon titled, "Worship the Right God." The pastor talked about how our view of God's commandments are limited and reminded us of 4 reasons why we were given the 10 Commandments. Here are my notes below if you are interested in hearing more:

10 for Today (the 10 Commandments): Worship the Right God
Heritage Church – John Bray

Hug a Porcupine Skit:
“I just like porcupines.” “Porcupines are dangerous.” “Don’t knock it until you try it.” “I don’t have to try it to know it’s not good for me.” “Can you believe that guy? Trying to impose his judgments on my lifestyle?! If I want to go around hugging porcupines, that’s my business. It’s his job to get rid of my chest pains.”

We tend to do the same thing – we take worldly things that are damaging and hug them tightly to ourselves. Most of us don’t like it when others tell us what we have to do. There’s something in us that makes us want to push back. We tend to think of the 10 Commandments as rules and limits - that are old-fashioned and things that are trying to keep us from enjoying life. But anytime we do something God tells us not do to, it’s like picking up a porcupine. Anytime we violate God’s plan, we bring damage to ourselves.

Exodus 19
Vs. 5, 6 – “If you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be My own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth… You will be to Me a kingdom of priests, My holy nation.” Does that sound limiting to you?

4 Words to Remember (about our attitudes on why the 10 Commandments were given):
1. Protection – the 10 Commandments were given for our protection; they are to act as guidelines to keep us from harm (ex: parent and child relationship – parents tell us no to things they know will harm us; they do this to keep us safe). The Lord loves us and wants to protect us.
2. Promise – “covenant” or treaty; He wants us to obey Him, so He can bless us. We need to remember that we pay the consequence for our actions. We are known to pay attention to Him some of the time, yet we want Him to bless us all of the time.
3. Personal ¬– “Love the Lord YOUR God.” God is a personal God and He wants a personal response.
4. Synecdochical – define: a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole, the whole for a part, the specific for the general, and the general for the specific, or the material for the thing made from it; we have to take God’s Word as a whole and obey all of His commands rather than choosing which ones we will follow.
First Commandment = Have no other gods but Me and Me alone (idolatry – putting our trust in something in place of God)
Examples: Pleasure/Happiness (“I just want to be happy.”) God wants us to be holy and when we are holy, then we will be happy in return. Popularity is another example. We say or don’t say things in order to fit in, because popularity is more important to us than honoring God. Possessions/Security can also be an idol. We need to remember that possessions cannot protect us.

The problem is that we have made God the God of American culture rather than viewing Him as the personal God He has always been.

We tend to use these phrases:
“This isn’t exactly what God commanded, but I think…”
“I know this isn’t exactly right, but I think…”
“God may not be entirely happy with this, but I think…”
Or the ever popular, “This may not be the best thing to do, but I think…”

We think and so we do. And we think that is good enough. But in the end, these things do not provide enough security and they eventually will leave us empty. Seeking pleasure outside of God’s path often messes up our lives. We need to remember how fleeting popularity is.

Let us stop trusting ourselves to know what is right or to make decisions on our own rather than trusting in God and putting our faith in Him.

3 Affirmations to Consider:
1. Say, “God is passionate about me.” In the rest of the world, you matter based on what you can produce, how much money you make, if others feel you can help them, or how much power/popularity you have. But God looks at you and simply says, “You matter!” God values you. Not because of what you look like, how much money you have, or how much power you have. He just looks at you and says, “I am the Lord your God. And because I say you matter, you do.” Your life has incredible value. And since your life matters to God, it matters what you do.
2. “God can be trusted with my life.” God wants us to find true purpose, true satisfaction, and ultimate meaning. He loved us so much that He died for us.
3. Decision – “God is God in my life.” Acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. Place Him on the throne and keep Him there. Do not push Him off so that you can make room for your plans.
So what? So what am I going to do now that I have heard this message?
May we listen to God’s instruction, decide in advance to obey His commands, and stop picking up porcupines and squeezing them and then wondering why we’re in pain. I pray that today we say to God, “You are God, my God. I choose to live Your way.”

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“I Am New” – Jason Gray

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Are His - written by Bobby C.

I was driving home from work today and while I was listening to 103.7(country) the song “If I die young” by The Band Perry was playing (which I recommend to everyone to listen to.) There was one line in the song that really stood out to me. The line is “Funny when your dead how people start listenin’ Take a second to let that verse sink in...Funny when your dead how people start listenin’

In a lot of cases this is a true comment. Only when someone close to them passes away is when they realize how short life really is. It is when people figure out the truth that there is more to life then on this earth. For all throughout the Bible it states that the days are evil. Why do we come together and think about Heaven and God at funerals,but not on a daily basis. How many people do you think take time out of their day to think about God and other people other then themselves? Are you one of them?

For it says in the Bible Luke 16:8-9: And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

This passage was told by Jesus to his disciples. Not only was Jesus warning the disciples, He is warning us. We are ALL children of the light! People who are homeless,poor,middle class, rich, different background, you name it we are all The children of the light. We are all chosen by God to live for him and not ourselves. For when we live for ourselves we will never know the truth even if were right in front of our eyes.

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said,”There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothes in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. The rich man shouted,”father abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. A am in anguish in these flames.’ But Abraham said to him,” Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there’ Then the rich man said,”Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment. But Abraham said,”Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ The rich man replied,” No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.” But Abraham said,”If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.

Brothers and Sisters of Christ I dare you to live outside the box. Extend your hand to someone in need. It could be someone you are very close to or to someone you do not know at all. God knows your heart. He is the beginning and the end of everything you do. Do not lose sight of the fact we are all His.

God Bless

Bobby C.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

“For When I Am Weak…”

Just recently I was listening to a worship set from LifeChurch.tv and I heard the most amazing message. I felt it was well worth sharing! Enjoy

"So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Too many times we focus on our weaknesses, instead of the power and the strength that we have in Christ. You see He overcame all of our sin and our guilt and our depravity and our weaknesses on the Cross through the blood of Jesus Christ. And when we put our faith in Him; when we acknowledge Him as our Savior, that power comes and it lives inside of us. So when we trust in Him to take care of our problems, to be our strength, we can overcome anything. It says, “In Him all things are possible. (see Matthew 19:26) I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. (see Philippians 4:13) But apart from Him we can do nothing. (see John 15:5)”

See the enemy wants to take us over here and isolate us. He wants to get us alone where we surely will fail. He wants to distract us and just keep us wallowing around in our own pride and in everything else. Because we are such a prideful people, we equate weakness with being weak. A lot of times we feel like we need to do everything ourselves.

After reading this message, I encourage us to remember the Truths in God’s Word and proclaim to the Lord the lyrics:

“You are stronger. You are stronger. Sin is broken. You have saved me. It is written, ‘Christ is risen. Jesus, You are Lord of all.’” – Stronger by Hillsong United


Note: I have posted the lyrics to this song on the Day by Day Devotional wall.

I pray you were as encouraged as I was after hearing this message. It is packed with Truth and promises that God can, in fact, get us through any trial when we give our burdens to Him and claim His strength. May we remember these Truths when we face the hardships in life and praise Him for the work that He will accomplish through our difficult circumstances.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“Give Me Faith” – Elevation Worship

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late - Bobby C.

Have you ever heard of the quote, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them?” Everyone lies. Sorry to be blunt, but it is true. Whether it was in your past or is still in your day-today life, you’ve lied. People cover their situations and twist their story to benefit themselves. By all means, who is ever gonna know except for me, right? Wrong.

For this devotional I’m using text from Acts 5:1-11:
“1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.”

After reading this, does it remind you of someone you know? Does it remind you of yourself? Every day Satan is at work, filling peoples’ hearts just as he filled the hearts of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira were not thinking about God, but were thinking about money.

Believers and non-believers all know earthly life does not last forever (All part of God’s design). Know that if you are trying to hide something from just one person or from a whole classroom of people, God knows! Why risk your salvation for temporary earthly pleasure (lying to get: money, girls, guys, etc.)?

Last thing I want to mention is from the last sentence from the reading (Acts 5:11):
“Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.”
God’s mercy is beyond what anyone could ever imagine. He is patient and He is just. He knows your heart and He is willing to forgive no matter where you are in life, but don’t wait. Don’t be the one who waits until you stand before your Creator, continuing to lie to cover things up – the time is now.

God Bless

Bobby C.

One Ear Toward Heaven

Isaiah 30:21
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Today while traveling to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my dad and stepmom, I had the opportunity to hear from God through the sweetest elderly couple, Bill and Phyllis. Once I was sitting down and reading Bill Hybel’s “The Power of a Whisper,” the older man asked me if I knew Bill, the Christian author. Apparently he knew a number of Christian authors and was a retired pastor for a Baptist church.

After talking for a short time, Bill (the older man sitting next to me) spoke some great Truths into my life that I feel are worth sharing. The first thing he said was, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of changing the past.” He then continued to remind me of the famous quote that says, “Love like you have never been hurt.” Bill went on to say that this is how the Lord loves us. No matter how many times we hurt Him or turn our backs and walk away from Him, He is always faithful and His love never changes.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reminds us of this unconditional and sacrificial love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

I am still in awe of this God-orchestrated meeting!! It came at just the perfect time! God seems to do that – always putting the right people in our lives at the right time! :) I had just been reading about shutting out the distractions in life so we can hear the Lord’s still small voice and then this couple came into my life!

“Live in every circumstance of life with one ear toward Heaven.” – Billy Hybels, The Power of a Whisper

As Bill Hybels writes in his book, God did not just speak during creation and throughout the course of biblical days, but He also speaks to us today. My experience of meeting Bill and Phyllis is evidence of this Truth. So this week I challenge us to open our hearts to the Lord and turn one ear toward Heaven. And once we hear from Him, I dare us to have the guts to respond.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“Take My Hand” – Shawn McDonald

I Believe

I believe in a God that is faithful and just. Whose presence I long to remain in. His love everlasting and grace that reaches the Heavens. He can't help but love and nurture His children. Like an earthly father, our Heavenly Father cares enough to discipline us when we need correction, guide us when we are lost, and protect us when we seek shelter. He is a tree that cannot wither and a voice that cannot be shaken. Our different types of laughs, personalities, and sense of humors all express our Lord's creative and diverse nature. When the storms come He remains strong, willing and able to rescue us when we seek Him. Let us praise God for He is good!

The Role of The Church

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 18:10

The other day I listened to a great sermon on LifeChurch.tv. It was called, “Stop Acting Like a Christian and Be One.” The speaker made some great points about God’s intent for His Church.

“When The Church stops BEING The Church, and The Church just starts DOING Church on a Sunday…when we just start going through the motions of some boring, religious ritual or obligation…and stop being engaged in what Jesus is passionate about, then we’ve just become a dead, empty, monument – nothing more than just a ritualistic kind of building that someone goes to and just goes through the motions.”

She went on to say that we need to make sure our heart beats for the same thing that God’s heart beats for and that is for a lost and a broken world. Luke 18:10 (the Bible verse posted above) emphasizes this point. John 3:16 also shows us who God is passionate about. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Since God’s heart is for the lost and broken, we should also tune our hearts to the needs of the least of these. In Matthew 25:40, God says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” May we humble ourselves before the Lord, start BEING The Church, and love the “whosoevers.”

God bless,

“Your Love” – Brandon Heath

God's Plan - written by Bobby

I read through Jeremiah 1 and I was blown away! It really hit the spot if you ever feel your life is like living on a roller coaster. Something very important that everyone needs to realize is that we serve the same God that Jeremiah served, We are praying to the same God as Jeremiah, and most of all our God that walks with us each and every day is the same God that walked with Jeremiah. In this message it talks about Jeremiah thinking he was too young to speak the word of God. A lot of people think the very same thing. Society does have it as the older are much wiser and have lived longer so why would they take advise from younger individuals. Why? because thats the norm. Its not written in any text that older individuals are always right and younger individuals are always wrong.

The Holy Bible is Gods word. It prophesies so many things long before we were even born. Even way before Jeremiah was born. In this message it talks about trusting our God completely with all of our heart, all of our mind, and all of our soul. God’s word says that all throughout the Bible old/new testament and He promises He will be with you and protect you for He will fulfill his plan.

We are Gods plan. Let me repeat this.... We are God’s plan. God knows everyone who he puts in and out of life. He knows every struggle there has ever been. He knows every move you are taking and will take in the future. He knows your heart. For it was in his plan for you to be alive right where you are at. He knew he was going to send Jesus into the world for his plan was to have you alive right now, to spread the Good News of hope. To Glorify His name. To boast about the everlasting God.

One day you are going to give account for your life. Are you going to tell God you were to young or not wise enough to talk to people about the One who put you into this world, or are you going to take the leap out of any comfort zone and know that God has a hold of you?

God Bless

Bobby C.

Jeremiah 1-15

Jeremiah son of Hilkiah.

The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah. The Lords messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son.

The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in you mother’s womb. Before you were born i set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nation.”

-”O Sovereign Lord,” I said,” I cant speak for you! I’m too young.!”

The Lord replied,”Don’t say i’m too young, for you must go wherever i send you and say whatever I tell you and don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,” Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.

- Then the Lord said to me “ Look Jeremiah! what do you see? And I replied,” I see a branch from an almond tree.” and the Lord said,” that’s right, and it means that I am watching, and i will certainly carry out all my plans. Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked,”What do you see now? And i replied,” I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.” “Yes,” the Lord said,”for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdom of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord have spoken.

Warnings from Paul

Here is a devotional written by my amazing boyfriend :)

Have you ever took the time to research all the different religions there are in the world? The number is growing everyday. Reasons for this range from following in parent/relatives footsteps to even popularity. On top of all the religions in the world there are many people that don’t even believe in a God and claim to rely on science itself. I could go on and talk about all the different denominations and what they believe in, but that isn’t the point. The point is that a lot of people lose sight of who God is. Have you ever been in a conversation with a person who thinks he/she has it all together and tells you how things run in the world? I know I can relate to that personally.

Biblically speaking so did Paul as he warns the Churches of Galatia.
Galatians 1:6-10: I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: Of anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Paul, an apostle was not appointed an apostle by any group of people or any human authority. Paul was called by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.( Galatians1:1)

What was then is still today. There are places you can go today where pleasing the people instead of God is the only reason why they stay open. There are places that twist the Truth, not only twisting the Holy Bible around, but also their own religion around to fit their needs. It is also true for many non-Christ followers that focus on science, yet it was early scientist such as:Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and Galileo who thought their belief in God made it easier to do science. All these different practices constantly change. Playing the favoritism card and changing their own beliefs day by day. I agree that today is not the same as yesterday, but God’s word always stays the same. He knows every situation you have been in and will be in the future. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.(Revelation 22:13)

No matter where you are in your life know that God is waiting on you to call upon him alone. No human can say or do what God has already done for you.

God Bless
Bobby C.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It’s All About Him

Colossians 3:23,24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Last week I had the craziest dream! I will spare you the unimportant details, but I had a “Samuel moment” – I felt God speak to me through a dream (see 1 Samuel 3). My dream was about giving glory to God and how we should remember that the life that we are living should be a role in God’s story.

Since I woke up at 3am from my dream and the sermon I had fallen asleep to had somehow replayed itself in the middle of the night, I decided to stay up and listen to the entire sermon again. It was so neat, because God had revealed certain Truths and Bible verses in my dream that related to the sermon, but were not word for word what the pastor (Louie Giglio) said. I ended up writing 4 pages of notes on the sermon, but I will give you the main points that stuck out to me to keep this devotional short and sweet:

God created us on Day 6 of Creation. This shows that He already had His story up and running before we were even created. Therefore, we cannot think of life in terms of living our story and letting God be a part of it, but rather it is God’s story. Whether we choose to follow and obey Him, He is still going to fulfill His will as He planned long before we were born. [It’s all about Him.]

When considering what God’s will is for our lives, we must start with God. By putting God first, we see that God’s will for our lives is God’s will, period. We were created to bring Him glory, not ourselves, and live for Him. We were not on the first page of the story. God invites us into His story.

We need to understand God before we can start thinking about ourselves and our journey. We must lean into God’s story with everything we are if we want to get God’s best for our lives. God is not waiting for our vote to support His will. He is already committed to His will with or without our support. God is going somewhere – let’s be in on where He’s going.

There is no glory but God’s glory.

Go to where God’s story needs to be told and tell it! Stop trying to make a story for yourself. Let’s tell His story until the day we see Him. We don’t have to wait until we get out of school, get a job, or find a partner. We can join God’s story right now! And when we do join His story, lives will be changed!!

Let us move our glory aside and move our heart with His. Join His Church and serve it with everything you’ve got! Look up and consider most people do not know the Gospel – figure out what you can do about it today. Ask God to help you live a holy life. Open a bank account to “The Ultimate Party” (in Heaven) and start putting money into it.

And finally, let us ask ourselves, “What is God’s will,” and then start doing it! :)

I pray that today we will be like Samuel and make the commitment to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening,” and then obediently follow His calling. May we be so filled up with awe of all that God is doing and all that He is, that our relationships will be overflowing with love and compassion.

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Glory to God Forever” – Fee

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Praying for God's Wisdom

This week I have been seeking God’s wisdom in regards to my future. Since l have a passion in Christian Counseling, I realize I need to get my Masters for this to happen. I am currently working to help with finances, but I have begun to ask myself how long I should stay with this job. I have also been wondering where I should go to seminary school or if I should get more work experience with Christian ministry at a Christian organization first. Ultimately, I have been asking Him to make the path He has for me crystal clear so I may be able to know His will and follow Him obediently. Just last night I was reading God’s Word and praying about a few issues. During this time, He used particular Bible verses to speak to me as well as put a few Biblical truths on my heart. After giving it some thought, I felt these truths may also speak to some of you who are in need of some guidance or direction, so I have included some of them below.

Biblical Truths:
-Pray about everything
-Put God first
-Remember God does everything for our good and His glory
-Trust God even when we don’t understand
-Know that when we trust Him, He will give us peace of mind
-Praise God no matter the outcome
-Have faith: never give up, never lose faith, always be hopeful, and endure through every circumstance

Insightful Quotes:
“God’s plan and His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom and understand.”
“In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sense.”
“Faith to trust in God in adversity comes through the Word of God alone.”
“We must believe that God is sovereign, infinite in wisdom, and perfect in love. And we must trust that God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.”  This is the quote that spoke most clearly to me :)
“God does not exercise His sovereignty capriciously, but only in such a way as His infinite love deems best for us.”

Bible Verses:
1 Timothy 6:15 – “God…is the Blessed Controller of all things, the King over all kings and the Master of all masters.”

Romans 11:33 – “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!”

Psalm 50:15 – “Trust Me in times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.”

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I pray that at least one of these truths spoke to you today. May the Lord open your eyes to see the path He has set before you and may He give you the strength and patience as you wait on Him to make it known to you.

God bless,
<3 Shannon

“Give Me Faith” – Elevation Worship

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taking The First Steps

Recently I have been praying that God would reveal His will for my life in regards to the near future. I am currently working and loving my job, but I had planned on working a couple years and then going to seminary school. As of this past month or so I have had different opportunities come up that made me question if God had a different plan for me. The other day I was praying and felt God lay this message below on my heart for myself and those who feel stuck, not sure where to move, afraid of taking a wrong turn and missing God's path...

God taught me that if you do not know God's will for your life, the most important thing you can do is to simply take a step - take a step of faith. This way God can work through you. We are like parked cars, unable to move if we are not willing to take the first step. And God is more than capable of closing any doors He does not see fit if you are headed in the wrong direction. Therefore, we must continue to walk with the Lord and trust that He is in control, that He is good, and that He wants the best for us, His children.

Romans 8:32 - "Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?"

Psalm 84:11 - "...No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right."

So I'm still not sure where God wants me in the next year or two, but I do know that He wants me to trust Him and to continue taking steps with faith that He will lead me in the right direction.

I pray that today we remember the ancient Chinese saga, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step." And may God give you the courage to step out in faith so He can begin carrying out His will in your life.

With love and prayers,

"Walk By Faith" - Jeremy Camp (plus his testimony)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Glimpse of God’s Love

Tonight at work I got a glimpse of God’s unconditional love for us. For those who don’t know, I work for Family Resources as a Residential Counselor for kids who have behavioral problems.

It hit me around 8:00pm - The kids were in their rooms getting ready for bed and one of them knocked out. He asked if he could have a second snack. Since it was past lights out, we had to tell him no and we directed him back to his room. He became verbally aggressive and started pounding on his window. Within minutes he became even more escalated and started hitting and kicking the other staff I was working with and me as well. He ended up running out of the cottage. When he was brought back in, he was able to calm down and then asked me to tuck him in.

At that moment I understood how God can love us even when we disrespect Him or turn away from Him. One moment these kids are hitting and kicking me, and the next they are asking for a hug or to be tucked in. After seeing the innocence in their eyes and the love and acceptance they are seeking, I cannot help but hurt for them. This is similar to how we are with God. One minute we are showing disrespect to Him through our selfish choices and the next we are on our knees crawling back to Him, admitting our failures and inability to live life without Him. I can imagine how frustrating it must be for God to see us continually turn our backs on Him, but even so, He loves us with unconditional love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” - Romans 8:37-39

I pray that today you will have a better knowledge of God’s love for you and extend this love to others. Even when the road is long and bumpy, He is there every step of the way with His sleeves rolled up and ready to face the trials with you. May you firmly hold onto this Truth and know that you are loved with an EVERLASTING love! :)

God bless,

“Beloved” – Tenth Avenue North

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Alone Can Rescue

“You Alone Can Rescue” – Matt Redman

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

I recently heard this song for the first time at my church a few Sundays ago. I was just blown away at the Truth this song speaks of. So often we try to live this life on our own, doing things our way and on our clock. But when we do this, we miss the greatest adventure of all - of living life God’s way and allowing Him to lead us to Eternity’s best!! :)

This summer I have had a few things happen to me where God has had to speak loud and clear that His will is so much better than mine and I need to step aside and trust Him. Whether it is future plans falling through with school, work disappointments, or setbacks in pursuing a particular ministry in church, He has continued to amaze me at the work He is doing in my life. It is just like Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will make your paths straight.” While I was busy making my own plans, God was kindly shaking His head and telling me to submit to His will for my life. When I finally acknowledged that He was not trying to ruin my plans, but bring me to even better ones that I couldn’t ever imagine, I was amazed beyond measure!!!

So I encourage us today to “lift up our eyes to the Giver of life” as the song says and trust Him with the results. I pray that we will stand firm as we follow the Lord and continue to praise Him through the storms.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in His loving arms.
<3 Shannon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Raised to New Life

This week my small group read Colossians 3:1-17. I wasn’t able to make it this week to discuss my thoughts/notes on the passage, so I figured I would share what God revealed to me to you all! :)

“Since you have been raised…” (vs.1)
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, He lifts us up to a place of honor. He has made us righteous, whereas without Him, we’d still be spiritually dead in our sins.

“…to new life with Christ,…” (vs.1)
Christ formed us in our mother’s womb and gave us life physically. Once we gave our life back to Him, we were spiritually given a new life that is in Christ.

“…set your sights on the realities of Heaven…” (vs.1)
Rather than focusing on the problems of this world and earthly reality, we should look to God and Heaven’s realities. I like how the verse talks of the realities of Heaven, because Heaven is often seen as a fantasy land rather than a reality.

“Let Heaven fill your thoughts.” (vs.2)
Not only are we to look to the Lord and shift our focus to Him, but we should also let our thoughts center on Him and Heaven.

“Do not think only about things down here on earth.” (vs.2)
God knows that we are going to have earthly concerns, but He wants our focus to be on Him and on Heaven (also see Philippians 4:8).

“For you died when Christ died and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.” (vs.3, 4)
I thought of these verses while listening to the song, “Where I Belong,” by Cory Asbury. It starts off with Cory praying to God that God’s presence is all that he longs for. Then he goes on to say, “here in the secret place…Here in the quiet place…My soul waits for You alone…And here I’ve finally found the place where we’ll meet, Lord, face to face…I’ve finally found where I belong in Your presence...to be with You.” I believe this is what the passage is talking about. Our soul longs for that real life that only God has for us. And He has this secret place tucked away, hidden for us so that it may not be ruined for us. He wants us to be able to enjoy His secret garden and delight in His presence! That’s how much He loves us!! :)

But before this gets too long I am going to end it here and continue my notes on the rest of the passage on a different devotional. I hope this devotional brings you comfort and gives you hope, knowing that we have been made new in the Lord. He loves us so much that He has tucked away a special place for us to meet with Him. In His mercy, He picked us up from our filthy state and made us righteous and beautiful in His sight. What a great God we serve!! Today, I pray we will remember our value to the Lord and let our thoughts center on Him. Let us not let worldly concerns hold us down and keep us from living the life God has called us to live.

May the Lord bless you and always keep you close to Him.

In Christ,

“’Wonder of the World” – Rush of Fools

Monday, July 12, 2010

Prayers for Jessie

Hi everyone!

I was recently notified that a family friend's 4 year old daughter, Jessie, is in the hospital. She was critically injured from the horse accident at the fair in Bellevue, IA. For those who do not know of this accident, here is a brief news article:


Her parents have been giving updates of her progress at:


If we could all be praying for Jessie's recovery and for her family to find comfort in the Lord's embrace, that would be great! After reading their updates, I know they are remaining hopeful and continuing to praise God through the pain they are currently experiencing. Their family is such an inspiration!!

Thank you to all for taking the time to read this!


Friday, July 9, 2010

1 Samuel 2:1-11

The other day I was reading from 1 Samuel and I came across a few points I’d like to share…

The first chapter in 1 Samuel ends with Hannah giving her son to the Lord as to thank Him for blessing her with a son she had been praying for. Chapter 2 then starts off with her praising God for His goodness and faithfulness:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord! Oh, how the Lord has blessed me! Now I have an answer for my enemies, as I delight in Your deliverance. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God.” – vs. 1-2

Hannah praised God at probably the lowest point in her life. She had to give up the son she had JUST received – how devastating!! Can any of you mothers imagine what that must have been like? The point I want to make is that this is how we should be. We should never get so attached to anything (lifestyles, people, possessions, etc.) that we wouldn’t be able to give them back to the Lord. If you think about it, we wouldn’t have these things in the first place without Him.

Let’s take another look at the last line in verse 2 – “There is no Rock like our God.”
Hannah chose to stand on God as her Rock while she was going through this difficult time. And because she did this, her footing was secure and she was satisfied in Him! :)

Verse 6 goes on to say, “The Lord brings both death and life; He brings some down to the grave but raises others up.”

Hannah recognizes this Truth and, full-well knowing she was one of the people who God brought death to (in a way, as she felt sorrow, pain, and went through hardship), she still praises God for His goodness. I wonder if we could do this on a regular basis. I think about how often we have blamed God in the past when He brings us to a season of hardship. But is this really the best response? Wouldn’t we grow a whole lot more in our faith and build our character if we learned to praise Him during our pain and trust that He has our best interest?

I pray that we will learn to thank God in the midst of our storms – not because we are in pain, but because we know He will get us through the storms and bring us closer to Him as a result. May the Lord remind you of the strong Rock that He is and always help us stand firmly on His foundation.

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Holy and Anointed One” – Skillet

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Savior, Please

The other day I found this neat story that depicts the Truth that God works in our lives for our good and His glory.

Why does it hurt so much when God works in our lives?

The following may sound cruel but it is true and apparently very effective. If a little lamb continuously strays from the rest of the flock, the shepherd will break one of its legs and then carry the lamb everywhere until the leg mends. This creates a bond between the shepherd and the lamb and the lamb never strays again.

When God needs to interfere in our lives because we are straying, He sometimes has to break our leg (figuratively speaking). During the healing process we are always aware of His presence and the bond between us grows stronger. When the healing is complete, not only are we stronger in the Lord, but we have also learnt a valuable lesson.

In times when you know God is busy changing you, cling to the hope that you will be better off in the end, despite the painful process. Never take your eyes of Him and ask Him to give you the strength to persevere.

May the Lord hold you close in the sometimes painful, changing process and remind you of His wonderful plans for you. And I pray you remember Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Savior, Please” – Josh Wilson

Facing the Giants clip

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Praise Him Always

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

I recently have seen this verse play out in my life dramatically. Since this summer began, I feel as though God has put a number of blessings in my life - from a new relationship with a great Godly guy, getting plugged into my church and meeting new people, to God providing me with one of the most rewarding and fun jobs!! The other day I was just thinking that I am doing all the things I’ve wanted to do since I started following the Lord and I am still serving Him.

I say this, because I know sometimes we may feel that if we give our lives over to Christ and start following His path for our lives we will not be happy or not get the things we want. However, this is just the enemy feeding us lies. This summer has definitely proved this Bible verse to be true for me!! When I drew close to the Lord, He provided me with people and opportunities that are beyond anything I could ever have asked for! :)

However, I have to be careful because if I get too caught up in the blessings, I may forget to thank the Giver. Realizing this, it has become my prayer that I do not forget to praise God in the peaks AND in the valleys of life. No matter the season, I need to remember that God is good!

May the Lord bless you and keep us always praising Him!

In Christ,

Instead of a song, I have a clip to share from the movie, “Facing the Giants” that fits well with this devotional:
Note: I apologize for the poor quality – it’s the only one I could find :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Relying on Him

“Every single day of my life, I come to the place where I realize I can’t do it…Every day of my life, I come to the place where I fall on my face and say, ‘God, I can’t do it. I give up.’ And God says, ‘Finally, I’ve been waiting for that. Now I can get involved and give you My power and My strength’…When we give ourselves to God as the Source of all the power in our lives, then we see results we could never attain on our own.”

Recently I’ve been reading this 30 day challenge called “One Month to Live.” It is all about encouraging us to live the life that God has called us to live and making the most of every day. I included the above excerpt, because it was such a good reminder for me that I cannot do anything on our own, without God’s help. I cannot show unconditional love, practice patience, experience surpassing peace, or show mercy toward others without help from the Lord.

Psalm 121 – “1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip— He who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Since every day is a gift from the Lord, let us not waste it! I pray that today we will remember this and allow God to work in our lives and stop working so hard to control everything. Life is so much better and peaceful when we give our burdens to Him.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

I’d Need A Savior – Among The Thirsty

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finding The Good

How can God create something positive out of something negative?

A man was shipwrecked on an island. Fortunately for him, there were lots of fruit available so he did not go hungry. What did get to him, though, was the fact that it rained a lot and he frequently had to spend long period of time being cold, wet and miserable. He started building a hut to protect himself from the elements using wood and vines that he gathered from the woods.

Finally, after weeks of struggle, he managed to complete his 'dream' house. A few days later, a violent thunderstorm broke out. e took shelter inside his hut, safe from the rain. Lightning cracked at regular intervals and the rain poured down but he was content - his shelter was holding up. Then, unexpectedly, his hut was struck by a lightning bolt. This set his hut on fire. Huge black columns of smoke rose into the air.

Naturally the man was downcast. Not only was he wet again but his hut, that he had worked on for so long, was burning to the ground. He pondered his fate - how could God allow this to happen to him? Why did he have to loose the most important thing in his life?

Then, suddenly, a ship appeared on the horison. Soon a small boat landed on the beach and a man approached him. "Hi there", he said, "I saw the smoke in the sky and I wondered where it was coming from, so I decided to investigate". The man was duly saved and returned to his home.

So often, things goes well in our lifes, only for bad luck to strike. We then also question God as to why it happened. But, as with this man, the bad situation (smoke) is sometimes required so that someone else can come to our aid. And often we end up being better off due to the experience. God can and will come to our aid in times of distress when He gets our signal (prayer) that all is not well.

Trust in Him, talk to Him, He IS faithful.

I wanted to send out this analogy that I found, because it is such a great reminder to look for the good things in every situation and to trust that God is in control! The other morning on my way to work I was listening to a sermon by James MacDonald and he said something very cool – “God never says, ‘Where was I when that decision was made?’” This is so true! He is not surprised by our circumstances! We just need to keep trusting in His goodness and faithfulness! 

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Apologize” – 33 Miles

Friday, May 14, 2010

Forgetting the God of Things

Forgetting the God of Things

Recently I have been feeling God tell me that I am doing too much “stuff,” rather than just spending time with Him. Just like any relationship, we can do nice things for each other, but often it means the most to others when we just sit and spend some quality time with them. Today I came across a neat analogy that explains this well, so I have included it below:

Did you give God enough building material?
A woman died and went to heaven. As she was walking the streets with God, she pointed at a beautiful house and asked: 'Whose house is that?". God replied that it was the house of a woman who had attended church with her. She again pointed at another, even bigger, more beautiful house and asked whose house that was. God replied that it belonged to their servant who had passed away a couple of years before. A little later they came across a beautiful, but very small house. "Whose house is that?", the woman asked. "It is yours", God replied. The woman then said that there must be a mistake. She had served on various church bodies, belonged to various charities, gave to the poor, read Bible, went to church, basically being a "good" Christian. How come then was her house so small compared to the servant's house. God said that, while the woman was so busy to work in the world, doing the right things, her servant was busy praising God, talking to Him constantly - whether she was on her knees scrubbing the floor, or making food or cleaning the toilet - she would never stop talking to God. "So", God said, "She gave me a lot of building material to work with."
Are we so busy in this world doing the right things that we forget the Person for Whom we are doing these things? Are we so busy with the things of God that we forget about the God of things?

These questions really challenged me!! I have been finding a lot new Christian books, movies, and music to check out lately and I have had a number of conversations ABOUT God, but I have failed to spend much quality time with Him. I pray this devotional encourages you to examine your heart and spur you to meet with your Heavenly Father today as this analogy has done for me!

Blessings to all!
<3 Shannon

“Moving Forward” – Free Chapel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Time of Silence

The other day I read a neat devotional that talked about how when we find God silent, it is a great opportunity for us to learn discipline. But before I expand on this idea, I want to encourage you to think about how much faith you have in God to fulfill His promises in your life. For me, personally, I know I sometimes find myself saying I trust God to come through for me in tough situations, but my anxious heart tells me something different.

Yesterday when I was pondering this thought I came to the conclusion that I believe greater miracles happened in Biblical times, because they had greater faith! The people in Jesus’ time waited for years before any visible signs of God answering their prayers, yet they stood firm and had confidence that He would come through for them. They used their time of silence as a time for discipline as they waited in anticipation. Isn’t that humbling, yet also encouraging for us?! I often feel that a week of silence (or no signs of God answering my prayers) is a long time! Can you imagine a year? 10 years?

To give you a better idea, here are just a few examples from the Bible:
-Abraham persevered through 13 years of silence before God fulfilled His promise to him. (Genesis 15)

Abraham trusted God to do what seemed the impossible: make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation. God fulfilled this promise in the birth of Isaac and then later Jacob, through whom the twelve tribes of Israel were born. Abraham’s descendants did indeed become great nations. More importantly, however, God promised Abraham that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Through the birth of Christ—direct descendant of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, and Judah—God fulfilled this promise as well. In this way Abraham’s “seed” has indeed blessed all the nations of the earth!

-Abraham’s son, Isaac, waited 23 years for Rebecca to have children. (Genesis 25:21)
-Moses stood 40 years of silence before his vision of delivering his people from Egypt was carried out. (Exodus 3:7-10)

Today I pray that we will re-assess our trust in the Lord and I encourage us all to take a leap of faith so that God can work some great miracles in our lives! And I also pray that we will learn to turn our season of waiting into a time of discipline where we learn perseverance and, as a result, increase our faith!

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Our God” – Chris Tomlin
I just recently heard this song and can’t stop listening to it. It’s pretty powerful!! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Looking Straight Ahead

Proverbs 4:25-27
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked.”

This week I learned a valuable lesson that reminded me of this verse. I learned that we cannot reach the next season in our life if we do not accomplish our tasks in the here and now. If we become so focused on future opportunities, we will never reach them because we have become too distracted.

God brought this to my attention the other day when I was thinking about all the things I am excited about that will be happening in the next few weeks – graduating, starting a new job, spending time with my mom, etc. But as stated above, these things cannot happen if I do not continue fixing my eyes on what lies before me. If I only think of the future and become so distracted with that, I will lose my concentration with school and get behind. Being a student in this season of my life, God has called me to work hard on my homework, study, and pay attention during my classes. So this is what I need to fix my eyes on at this time.

I am not sure what God has called each of you to fix your eyes on during this season of your life, but I encourage you to seek Him out and ask Him to reveal this to you. Once you know what it is, I pray that God will give you the strength and undistracted devotion to stick to that path.

Ecclesiastes 7:13 – “Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don’t fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what He has made crooked?”

Ecclesiastes 11:4 – “If you want for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

And lastly…
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under Heaven.”

With love and prayers,
Many blessings!
<3 Shannon

“Captivate Us” – Watermark

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let’s Stop Playing It Safe

This weekend I went with my friends to their church and the man who was filling in for their Pastor gave a wonderful message on faith! He was discussing the difference between taking “safe jumps” and leaps of faith when following God. The man told us a story of a time he went rock climbing to demonstrate this idea.

He said he was about halfway up and he came to a spot where he could not reach the next ledge to grab onto. He yelled down to his friends that he was stuck. They suggested he jump up to reach it. He was a bit apprehensive of jumping, afraid he would fall, so he took a “safe jump” and completely missed the ledge and fell. The second time around, he took a “leap of faith” and grabbed onto the ledge. After a few more steps, he reached the top!

In Hebrews 11, we see a number of Biblical examples of people who took leaps of faith for God:

•Noah (verse 7) - believed that God would send rain even though he had never seen it before.
•Abraham (verses 8-19) - willingly left for an unknown land and trusted that God would keep his promise to make him father of a great nation even though his wife had no children.
•Moses (verses 23-29) - led the people even against difficult odds.
•Gideon (verse 32) - that God would use him to defeat his enemies even though he felt insignificant.
•Samson (verse 32) - that God could still use him despite his mistakes.
•David (verse 32) - God can use even young and small people!
•Samuel (verse 32) - listened to God's instructions and obeyed them.

“All of these people, we have mentioned received God’s approval because of their faith” (vs.39).Because they had faith, “their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight” (vs. 34).

The story above does a great job at portraying the Truth that in life we must take leaps of faith when following God. We must demonstrate our faith and trust in the Lord by completely abandoning ourselves to His plans. Safe jumps will always miss the mark.

"Everything is possible for him who believes.” – Mark 9:23
“That’s what faith is. It’s putting your belief and trust in something or somebody outside of yourself, and then acting on that belief. “ – Joe Stowell, RBC Ministries

Today I challenge us to be “Faith Leapers!” Let us trust that the Lord is in control and has our best interest in mind. I pray that the Lord will give us the courage to stop playing it safe and make that leap of faith. After all, we can’t get anywhere if we aren’t moving. 


“Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot

Friday, April 9, 2010

Letters to God

Tonight I went to an AMAZING Christian movie called “Letters to God.” Some of you may have heard of it, but if you haven’t, here’s the trailer:


There are so many lessons that I learned (or was reminded of) through this movie! I know a few devotionals back, I mentioned that I was struggling a bit to keep my focus on God and remember His goodness and faithfulness…Well today, through a number of experiences (Bingo at the senior center, praying with a friend at Bible study, and this movie) I was reminded just how great our God truly is! :)

One thing I was reminded of was how our prayers are like letters to God. Even more so, the Bible is ultimately God’s love letter to us. How encouraging!? This definitely gives me a desire to read it more!! Who doesn’t like getting letters explaining how much someone cares about you and how much they value you?! :-D Since prayers are like letters to God, and some of us (including me) may struggle with prayer at times, I recommend writing down your prayers if you’re struggling to find the words. I definitely find it a lot easier to write things down than say them aloud…helps me think through what I want to say. :)

The song that I chose to include today (that is from the movie) brings up another lesson: Even the weak can be used by God! (Actually, it may be better to be weak so that we are humbled before the Lord and not too prideful in our strength to allow Him to work in our lives.) The main character, Tyler, is an 8 year old boy who has cancer yet, rather than blaming God for his circumstance, he uses it to draw closer to Him. This was so encouraging to me, because if I am going through a hard time, this may result in me feeling spiritually weak. Whereas, Tyler, who is fighting for his life, continues to write to God and share with Him the pain and trials He is going through. The main thing is that Tyler does not let his cancer get in the way of his faith and he allows the Lord to work in His life, and therefore, impacting many. I think we could take a lesson from Tyler in that, throughout the whole movie, he was the one person whose faith remained strong and he inspired so many others to turn to God in prayer (through letters).

The other lesson I took from this movie was a lesson of finding strength in the Lord. I’ve written a devotional on this before so I won’t say too much. But I do want to encourage us all to go back to God and find our courage and strength in Him alone. For me personally, I know I sometimes rely too much on my friends or family for assurance and encouragement, so this movie did a great job of convicting me to be filled with the Lord’s power. It’s crazy how we dismiss Him so often when we know He is the only One who can give us anything that’s worth Eternal value! I’m referring to the need for approval from others. So often we go to boyfriends/girlfriends or anyone else who will make us feel good about ourselves. But in reality, this is only temporary and the cycle will continue with us wanting more assurance. However, when we go to God in prayer and read His Word, we will find our worth in Him and see how much He values us. Knowing this Truth will give us more than the strength we need to face any obstacle!! :)

As you can probably tell, I absolutely loved this movie and it has some great insight into living a life for Christ and loving others! I highly recommend everyone checking it out!!

I pray that today we are reminded that we are like fine china to our Heavenly Father – we are treasured possessions! Let us find strength in knowing God created each and every one of us as He saw fit and not allow the enemy to feed us lies that cause us to believe anything different. And remember…


God bless!
<3 Shannon

“You Give Me Hope” – Between The Trees

Lastly, here is the movie’s website:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It’s Not About What You Know

As this title states, it’s not about WHAT you know, but WHO you know on Judgment Day.

I was just going through a journal from last year and I was reminded of a neat analogy my friend Jennie said during Bible study. She told of how some people are #1 fans of artists and bands like John Mayer. They could be waiting in line to get backstage passes to one of his concerts, while talking about all the facts they know about him. But when they get to the guard with the list of people who will be admitted, they are not on it. They start protesting that they know him, his middle name, wife’s name, favorite color, etc. The guard, however, proceeds to say, “You may know about him, but he does not know you.”

This basically means that it he doesn’t matter if you know about God if He does not know you. This can only happen by having a personal relationship with Him. It’s just like any friendship – you must spend time with them, talking with them, sharing experiences in order to feel close to them.

Think of it another way – If you were to describe a rose to a blind person, they would be able to recall what they know about that rose, but unless they experience it for themselves through their senses (ex: smelling and feeling the rose), they will not fully have a grasp of what a rose truly is. This analogy may be a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the idea. :)

John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”

Matthew 10:32 – “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in Heaven.”

Let us not mistake a knowledge of God to be a relationship with Him. I pray that on the Day of Judgment we will be able to “shout for joy” when we hear our name’s being called by our Heavenly Father!

In Christ,

“Watch Over Me” – Aaron Shust

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slow Down

“Stop interfering with God’s plans and with His will. Touching anything of His mars the work. Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time. You may be able to rush the unfolding of some aspects of God’s will, but you harm His work in the long run. You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to Him, without exception. ‘Not what I will, but what you will’ (Mark 14:36).” – Stephen Merritt, Streams In the Desert devotional

Tonight I read this devotional after getting ready for bed. I really liked what the author was getting at. We are so impatient that we try rushing God’s plans for our lives. I can attest to this. Just this week I was becoming impatient because I hadn’t heard back from the grad school I mentioned last week and I was waiting to hear back from a company in regards to a summer position. There was nothing I could do to speed up the process, so I was pretty anxious. This above message was such a great reminder for me!

The line, “Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time,” really spoke to me. I can think of a number of times when I have done this mentally, whether that was to speed up time or to slow it down. However, in reality, I know that God is the only one who can control time and I need to remember that when He created everything, He called it “good” so I need to develop this attitude as well. As long as God is in control of our lives, everything is “good!” :)

I pray today we learn to slow down and appreciate the time the Lord has given us and not wish it be any more or any less. May we find joy in every moment and never take for granted the people God puts in our lives.

To God be the glory!
<3 Shannon

“In The Blink of an Eye” – Mercy Me

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moving Mountains

God can use our lowest valleys as the start of our greatest journeys!! I heard a quote similar to this in church about a year ago and I was reminded of it tonight when I was watching a clip that a friend sent me earlier today. I will let you check it out first! :)


I was just blown away by Francis Chan’s story!! So many bad things happened to him, yet through it all, look where he is now!! He is a successful pastor, author, and man of God! :) He could have easily blamed God for his past and turned to the world for answers and fulfillment, but instead, He turned to God. It is not hard to see the reward He received from God for his faithfulness and obedience.

Like Chan, we must trust the Bible verse, Romans 8:28 - “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

This video also reminds me of a conversation I had with another friend tonight. We talked about taking risks and how the more we risk, the bigger the results. This can relate to how we are with the Lord. When we give up much and risk our reputation, status, etc, we are giving Him room to work in our lives and “move mountains.” We must let go and let God.

Mark 8:36 – “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

“May your day be fashioned with joy, sprinkled with dreams, and touched by the miracle of love.” – Barbara Johnson

Soli Deo Gloria!
<3 Shannon

“With Everything” – Hillsong United

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pursuing God Wholeheartedly

“Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love

The above is a quote from one of my favorite books, “Crazy Love.” It comes from a chapter about not giving God our all and ultimately, serving Him our leftovers. I chose this quote, because it really spoke to me since I have been doing this to God lately.

Chan continues later in the chapter, “What scares me most are the people who are lukewarm and just don’t care.” This really hit me hard, because for a couple weeks recently I had been going through a difficult time trusting God’s plan for my life and having faith in His sovereignty. The worst part was that I became so “lukewarm” that I really didn’t care. My thoughts and actions were selfish. I knew my heart was in the wrong place, but I did not care enough to make a change. I went on reading my Bible and going to church, but I did not let the sermons or God’s Word transform me. Fortunately, by God’s grace, He has humbled me to my knees and my desire for following in His footsteps and wholeheartedly living for Him has returned. It has been a slow and gradual process, but I believe I am back on the right track.

James 2:17 – “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

I’m sure many of us have experienced “dry spells” in our faith in the past. Some of you may even be experiencing one right now. So I really want to encourage you to keep yourself in the Word and continue surrounding yourself with Godly people. The Lord will use your circumstances to work in your life. He loves you too much to let you go! If you just give it time, He will get you through any trial!

Luke 18:27 – “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

The other day my uncle told me that many times we ask God for patience (or fill in the blank) and then rather than giving us patience, He will provide us the opportunity to learn patience! I think this is really neat, because He is giving us room to grow but not leaving us to fend for ourselves! Just another example to show how much He cares for us! :)

May we always remember the love God has for us and the forgiveness He continues to bestow upon us. I pray that today we will be challenged to pursue God with all our hearts and give Him first priority in our lives.

With love and prayers,

“Grace Like Rain” – Todd Agnew

“Center” – Charlie Hall

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rooted In Faith

2 Peter 3:17 - “I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing.”

Today while watching a sermon by Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church, I heard the above verse when he was talking about persevering until God is finished with us. It was all about trials and being patient in God’s timing. Although this is an excellent topic, I wish to talk about “secure footing.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”

I think the most obvious way of building up our faith and maintaining our firm roots in Christ is to spend time with Him in His Word, prayer, and worship/praise. I believe to have a firm faith in Christ, we must also stay focused on Him above all else. When life throws distractions on our path, we must not let them take our focus off of the Lord and His plan for our lives. The last thing I will suggest - so this devotional doesn’t get too long :) - is to continue living for Christ alone and desire to honor Him with the way you live. I know some people like the saying, “What Would Jesus Do?” And I think that’s a great phrase to keep in mind when making decisions. But overall I think it should just go back to the heart issue of a desire to please Him by the way we act, think, talk, dress, etc. When we are seeking the Lord and His will for our lives, our faith will be rooted firmly in Christ Jesus!

Ephesians 6:10 –18 “ 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

I pray that today we will find strength in knowing that the Lord is always with us and has given us victory over the enemy. May we hold firmly onto the Truth that we have freedom in Christ and He is not shaken!


“Stand In The Rain” – Superchick

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finding the Joy

Tonight while watching the heart-warming film, “The Bucket List,” I was inspired by the attitude of Carter, one of the main characters. On one of their many excursions, Carter was talking with Edward about life after death. He was explaining the ancient Egyptian belief that when our souls get the entrance of Heaven, God asks us two questions to determine whether we may enter:

1-Have you found joy in your life?
2-Has your life brought joy to others?

Although I do not believe this Egyptian belief about the two questions, I was really inspired Carter’s attitude on this, because throughout the entire movie he was so focused on others and helping others find the joy in their lives. It really challenged me to ask myself these questions, but mainly the second one (not so much the first, because I have found joy in the Lord.) I think of the people who have touched my life and how much they have made an impact in my life for the better. It is very encouraging for me, because it makes me want to be that light for Christ in others’ lives.

Nehemiah 8:10 - "’… Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'"

It also makes me think of how I wrote about being set apart in a devotional a couple days ago. When we are set apart for Christ and allowing His light to shine through us, we are able to affect the lives of those around us. However, when we get so caught up in our own lives or distracted by worldly things, we are letting opportunities to bring joy in others lives slip through our fingers. Let us not get so caught up in our own lives that we forget to help and love on those around us.

Matthew 5:14-16 - 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”

I challenge us today to reach out to our loved ones and even those we don’t know. Give them our undivided attention, time, and unconditional love. Determine to not let divine moments pass us by! If you’re looking for a suggestion on how to put this into action, you could try calling one person a day and seeing how their week is going and ask them how you can be praying for them. I’ve been attempting to do this as well, so please don’t think I’m suggesting you do something I won’t try myself. :)

May our hearts be open to love others and bring light into their lives by the way we live.

Blessings always!
<3 Shannon

“You Are My Joy” – David Crowder Band

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Feeding on God’s Word

Deuteronomy 8:3 – “…real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord.”
(New International Version) – “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”

I included both of these versions, because they give different insight into the main theme of today’s devotional that God’s Word has living power. To be more specific, when we read and study God’s Word, we are able to grow spiritually.

I really liked the first version where it speaks about feeding on God’s Word. It got me curious what exactly this meant so I looked up the definition of “to feed.” I found out that feeding on God’s Word is like getting nourishment from the Bible. Just as we need to keep our brains nourished with knowledge and our bodies nourished with healthy food and exercise, we need to nourish our soul as well. And the best way to do this is by spending time with God in prayer and His Word!

1 Peter 2:2 – “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment…”

Ezekiel 3:3 – “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’ So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.”

I pray that today we will take time to spend time in God’s Word so that we will continue to mature in our faith. After all, “If we aren’t growing, we are dying.” Let us continue to draw near to the Lord and allow Him to work in our lives.

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“You Give Me Hope” – Ryan Kirkland

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Set Apart As Holy

Tonight I was reading a bit of Exodus and a number of times God told Moses to instruct His people to cleanse or purify themselves so that they may be set apart as holy. God commanded them to do this so that they could enter the Tabernacle and, as a result, His presence as well. I wrote a devotional on the Tabernacle and the importance of the people to purify themselves before entering the Holy of Holies in an earlier devotional this year so I will not say too much about that, however I want to discuss what it means to be set apart for Christ.

Romans 12:1,2 – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This makes me think of how sometimes I try to rationalize my actions by saying, “Well it doesn’t say I can’t do this in the Bible.” However, I feel this is missing the whole point. Just because something is “acceptable,” doesn’t mean it is honorable to God.

As Christians, we are called to be the light in this dark and perverse world (see Philippians 2:15). God wants us to be a light for others to see the love He has for the world. If we are living in the world and not standing up for our faith or the convictions we have, we are hiding the light that Christ has put inside of us. If we are going to just slip into the world’s way of living and not stand out for Christ, then we are just wasting God’s gift to us! It’s similar to receiving a gift but never opening it… or receiving a gift at Christmas but never using it for what it was meant for. Think of how the giver must feel when we waste this gift!

Today I challenge us to stand up for Christ, let our light shine brightly for all to see, and not falter on our convictions.


“Revolution” – Starfield

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reverence for the Lord

Exodus 20:20 – “’Don’t be afraid,’ Moses said, ‘for God has come in this way to show you His awesome power. From now on, let your fear of Him keep you from sinning!’”

As stated in previous devotionals, “fearing the Lord” refers to great reverence for God that leads us to seek to please and honor Him in all we do, think, and say. Consequently, genuine fear of the Lord is seen in obedience to God’s Word.

Proverbs 8:13 – “To fear the LORD is to hate evil.”

Recently I have noticed that since I have been placing other things before God and not giving Him first priority in my life, I have been showing God that my reverence for Him is lacking. It is crazy how easy it is to get distracted by life and leave God ten steps behind!!

I heard a great message last night at a young adult service where the pastor made the statement that when we stop seeking God, His Word, and His guidance in prayer, it is as if we are saying, “It’s alright God, I got this one.” How humbling is this?! Obviously we probably do not feel this way, but how true it is that we are giving God this message when we leave Him out of our lives.

Today I pray that we will realize our need for the Lord’s work in our lives and acknowledge His power so much that it leads us to a deep-rooted fear for Him.

With love and prayers,

“Remain” – Starfield

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Expect God

Expect God
Today I heard a great sermon at my church so I wanted to include a bit of what I learned and add a bit of my own touch for a devotional. The topic of today’s message was “God-Given Trials.” The Director of Jr. High Ministries talked about how we should expect 3 things – that God will put us through trials, that He will protect us through these trials, and that He will bring us through them as well.

The main point that I want to discuss is how we are not to let our present circumstances dictate what we believe about Christ. Rather, we are to let the Cross and Christ’s work dictate what we believe about Him.

When we are going through a difficult time, it is easy to make the assertion that God is unfair or that He is not good or loving. However, if we take into consideration the entire picture and remember all that He has done for us in the past, we will see that this is not the case. He is, in fact, good, faithful, and just. Our Heavenly Father provides us with unconditional love, strength to face our trials, and comforts us when we are weak.

To get a better idea, think of a child being punished by his parent. Initially the child may yell the famous line, “I hate you!” and think the parent is mean. But once the child realizes that he was wrong and it was only just to punish him, he will see how loving his parent truly is. Don’t we want a God who cares enough about us to correct us and help us grow and mature in our walk?!

Psalm 91
“1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Today I challenge us what my church challenged me this morning – Let us ask ourselves, “What am I showing others about God by how I go through trials?”

May we trust God’s purposes for our lives and remember that we are never alone.

God bless!
<3 Shannon

“Times” – Tenth Avenue North

Friday, March 19, 2010

Never Disappointed

Tonight I went down to my favorite spot in LeClaire. I was so excited to have a free night to go down there and read, but when I got there I was pretty disappointed. The lights I remembered that would reflect off the water were no longer there, the weather was a bit too cold to stay outside for too long, and the sky was bare of any stars. My favorite thing about my spot in LeClaire was that in the past I have always been able to watch the sunset. As you may be able to guess, tonight there was no sunset.

Although I had many disappointments, if I changed my point of view, I can see all of the great things about driving out to LeClaire, for instance, being able to fulfill my need for speed with a drive hah. However, this devotional is not on different point of views, as I have already discussed this earlier this week. Tonight I want us to remember that when life sends us disappointments, whether that’s through heartbreak, failures, loved ones letting us down, or experiences that do not reach our expectations, God, however, will never disappoint us.

Romans 5:5 – “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”

You may object at first glance, but when we take into consideration God’s perspective of our situation, we will remember that He does everything for our Eternal good. There is no reason to be disappointed by this!

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I pray that today we remember all that the Lord does for us, especially in time of great need. May we be able to stand firm in our faith and trust that He is working the situation for our Eternal benefit. Praise God that we never have to be disappointed when we approach Him! :)

In Christ,

“My Help Comes From The Lord” – The Museum

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Right Fight

Excerpts from Cornerstone Podcast – Todd Nighswonger

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but when you talk to people and ask how they’re doing, a lot of them are saying, ‘I’m tired’…that or ‘busy.’ It’s no wonder why when you watch the news. Israel’s mad and Iran’s gonna get a nuclear bomb… It makes me want to just check out for a little while. And then you add on top of that the reality of people you deal with. It’s everything! Loss of jobs… And the common theme is people are tired. I think that’s actually a great place for us to be! I’m glad we’re tired!”

He goes on to explain that he is glad we are tired, because it demonstrates that the world doesn’t have God. “When all of us get tired and we quit trying to run the world; when all of us finally give up and submit ourselves to God, God comes in and does things through us that we can never imagine.”

1 Corinthians 12:9,10 – “9But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

When I first started listening to this sermon and hearing how we are becoming tired and busy, I thought this was going to be a message on how we have become too caught up in our own lives that we are too busy for others. However, I was humbled when he went on to talk about how it is good that we have become worn out in that we are at a place where God can use us the best! :)

I pray that today we submit our lives and agendas to our Heavenly Father and trust that He only wants the best for us.


“Take All Of Me” – Hillsong United

Faith Like A Rock

Faith Like A Rock

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Tonight, while watching the movie “King Arthur,” I was inspired by the faith of the main character, Arthur. Here is an excerpt from a dialogue between him and Lancelot where Arthur defends his faith to the Lord.

[Lancelot finds Arthur praying in the stable]
Lancelot: Why do you always talk to God and not to me? Pray to whomever you pray that we don't cross the Saxons.
Arthur: My faith is what protects me, Lancelot. Why do you challenge this?
Lancelot: I don't like anything that puts a man on his knees.
Arthur: No man fears to kneel before the God he trusts. Without faith, without belief in something, what are we?

Doesn’t that last line touch your heart?! :) King Arthur acknowledges the importance of humbling himself before the Lord and he reminds us that when we trust God, we are trusting His will for our lives before our own. And how cool is it to have something to stand for?! This reminds me of the quote, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Do we have the kind of faith that can stand the test of time? How about the test of trials or persecution? King Arthur sure did! Another man of God who demonstrated great faith was Abraham. Abraham is known as the “Father of the faithful.” He was continually faithful in putting God first. When God asked him to sacrifice his son, he displayed great trust and confidence in God by his willingness to do so. (see Genesis 22:1-2,9-14)

“A little stone with big faith can conquer a big giant with a little god.”

May we grow in our knowledge of the Lord and be rooted in our faith. Let us stand up for Him always and continually trust Him with our lives.

In Christ,

“Blessed Assurance” – Third Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Construction of a House

Tonight after going for a walk with my friend, Joe, and learning about the construction of houses he has worked on, not only do I have a new appreciation for architecture and the people who go to great lengths to build these houses, but also an appreciation for all the many different perspectives God has blessed us with.

What I mean by this statement is that before tonight, I would look at a house and think “Oh, that’s a really cool house.” My comment would be referring to the outside appearance, possibly of the color of brick or the bay windows on the 2nd floor. Ha notice, my limited wisdom in this area? However, when Joe looks at a house, he has a different perspective – seeing how many windows the second floor has and thinking how much time and energy goes into figuring out the specific angles of each gable. It’s so amazing to think that when we look at our trials and think that God is trying to punish us, God is looking down on our same situation and seeing the full picture and knowing how He just wants to see us grow and know Him more intimately! :)

As I have stated in previous devotionals, I feel we are limited in our wisdom and cannot fathom the entirety of God’s plan. To expand on this thought, I am reminded of the sermon I heard this morning on wisdom. The main point my Executive Pastor made was that true wisdom can only be found from the Lord. So often we run to friends, family, therapists, or self-help books for answers, and forget that the One who knows all is the best place for us seek wisdom. As we all know, friends, family, and therapists are great sources when we need help with life, but it is important to seek God first when needing guidance. (Note: I did not say self-help books because they focus solely on the self and that is not how God wants us to live – focusing solely on ourselves, that is.)
Matthew 6:33 confirms this by saying, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Lastly, I want to leave you with a passage from Proverbs that was the basis of today’s sermon. It gives a better picture of what true wisdom looks like and how it should be attained (refer to verse 7).
Proverbs 1:1-7
“Prologue: Purpose and Theme
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

May we seek the Lord’s perspective first and foremost when needing answers and guidance for the unknown. I pray that today we will have a better understanding of how limited in wisdom we are without our Heavenly Father and Creator. And let us cling to the hope we have in Christ!


“Run To You” – Third Day