Simple Faith-Love Wins

So, I began writing this devotional five days ago. Since then, I have had deadlines, sick children, sickness myself, some relationship conflicts…all taking my time, energy, and just plain stressing me out.
I scrapped the previous devotional because in reflecting upon the message from last Sunday’s service, I realized that I was exactly in the position in which it was time for me to stop freaking out, breathe deeply and hand over my anxieties to God. So, here I am, whipping out this devotional like I am sitting in a comfy chair in your very own living room, just chatting about life.
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We have now talked for hours about the pressures at work, about the latest household project that’s too expensive, about our relationship struggles, about time constraints, about the racket our car is making…and realized that we missed an appointment, or we didn’t call our significant other, or we forgot to pick up groceries for dinner…
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Stop right now…relax…and take a deep breath. Ask God to help you with the unknown—with whatever is weighing you down. Ask Him into your heart so that you can show love the way He unconditionally loves you and sit peacefully in submission to His plan for you. Trust in Him; that’s all you need. (Romans 8)
This is perhaps, the shortest devotional I’ve written. But, who needs any further explanation than the words “stress” and “anxiety”? It’s called life. We all have to face it, but it can be much simpler if we can let go of our tendency to seek comfort in control. Instead, be deliberate in an effort to find comfort in God’s infinite love, for He is the author of your life.
God is with you.



Simple Faith – Me, Too

Simple Faith– Me Too
My dad is the only person I know who, this day in age, goes down to the
local coffee shop each Wednesday morning and sits at his usual table with four
or five other men until nearly lunchtime. Each Wednesday, the owner expectantly
sets up the table with white mugs and fills each one up with black regular
coffee that could very well be brewed from the same Folger’s canister that
resides in our kitchen cupboard. My dad doesn’t go to the café for the coffee,
he goes for the conversation. Stories are unraveled, jokes are told, the latest
household fix-up or car trouble is shared and tried and true suggestions are
given…and for a few quiet moments, each week, vulnerability joins the table:
empathy and silent prayers for loved ones in need are spoken and just for a
moment, each man is remembering when they needed prayer.
Although my dad is retired, the brotherhood that he has formed with this
group of men emanates a basic human need for
camaraderie.
In Luke 24, Jesus walks, unrecognized, with the apostles as they tell Him about the resurrection. After patiently listening, Jesus reveals himself and his wounds, “39 Look at my hands; look at my feet – it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this. 40 As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true.” (The Message) Yet, Jesus did not leave them nor did He scorn them for their disbelief, but continued to walk and talk with them. This is how Jesus leads. He tells us His stories of great tragedy, loss, pain and despair and listens with humility because He is like us.
Take the time to listen to someone’s story and be courageous enough to admit that you, too, have gone through agony, defeat and sadness. Then, tell your own story. Reveal the damage life has incurred and you may hear two simple words, “Me, too”. Live this every day, remembering that we are all God’s children, and like Jesus, we have all suffered and all have a basic need for encouragement and validation.
God is with you.



Vintage Virtues:Freedom

The United States is often referred to as a “melting pot”. It is an icon of diversity
and is serenaded by its citizens as “the land of the free”. Webster’s Dictionary
defines freedom as: “The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice
or action.” Much like the inalienable rights that have been given to all
citizens of America, and the laws created by which the people are expected to
abide, God has given ALL of his children the gift of His Word and inspires us to
accept and act upon what is right even if it may not satisfy our personal
desires.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 shows us that if we accept God and recognize Him as a living
spirit, then we will be free. God does not restrict us, but encourages us to use
His word and to seek His hand in all we do. He has opened the door for us to
walk in and do what He has taught us to do and this pleases Him, “…and so we are
transfigured…our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God
enters our lives and we become like him.” (The Message)

No matter what physical limitations you may have, whatever emotional damage you
have had, whatever hurtles you see in your way, and no matter what is storming
your heart and creating chaos in your mind, own it; offer it up to God and give
Him the chance to come to your aid. God is with you.