Devotions By Jan


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Wonder Woman!

0630-wonder-woman-lynda-carter-pants_full_600Scripture for Today: Psalm 17:7 “Show me the wonders of Your great love, You who save by Your right hand those who take refuge in You from their foes.”

Wonder Woman presents an impossible standard.  She is always beautiful, young, thin and strong.  She not only saves the world by deflecting bullets with her bracelets and forcing truth and obedience with her golden lasso, but she looks amazing and fearless doing it!

There is something very appealing about presenting to the world a strong capable image.  We never want to look weak or in need of help.  It is difficult to even admit that we need help.  We want to be perceived as strong, independent and in control at all times.  But who are we kidding?  The other day I heard for the first time the phrase, “Wonder Woman or wonder God?”  No matter how amazing I think I can be, there are no accomplishments that can rival the wonders that God performs.

Our verse for today describes our God as being wonderful.  His wonders are evident in the love He shows.  He proves His strength and power in the miraculous ways He demonstrates that love.  He saves by just one hand those that belong to Him.  There is no enemy that can penetrate the loving refuge He provides.  And His strength is available to all those who fear Him.

I do not have to be Wonder Woman.  I can be honest about my failings, weaknesses and shortcomings.  He remembers that I am just dust (Psalm 103:14).  He loves me even so.  There is the wonder; that He would love me and show that love in spite of my failings!

“What wondrous love is this?”  You are full of wonder Lord, and all praise and honor belong to You!


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Solar Powered

voltaracerreviewScripture for Today: Psalm 119:28 “My soul is weary with sorrow. Strengthen me according to Your Word.”

I know of a sweet little boy who recently got very frustrated.  His solar powered toy car would not work.  It had provided many hours of fun in the sun, but now he was inside the house and the shutters were closed.  The car came to a standstill and would not move.  His mother very kindly opened the shutters and oriented the car in a ray of sunlight coming in the window.  My little friend was thrilled that his car could move again.  Of course, solar energy is a great power source for many more important things than a toy car.  But one thing will always be needed to provide that power; the sun.

Our verse for today describes a weariness of the soul.  It is different than a physical fatigue and it is caused by unhappiness.  Dealing with too much sorrow weighs us down and crushes our spirit.  With that weariness comes deep sighing seeming to rise from the soul itself.  Pleasant activities and sleep may relieve it a bit, but it is still there and felt, especially in those quiet reflective moments.  But there is an answer to that weariness.  Strength is available for our souls and it is found in God’s Word.

When I read God’s love letter to me, the weariness lifts.  I am oriented towards the Son and can be renewed and empowered to go on.  The reassurances of His promises and His control give me new spiritual and emotional strength.  But quite frankly, when I am that weary of soul, I sometimes ignore His Word and remain in a standstill, paralyzed.

Keep me in Your Word today, Lord.  Oh, how I need to be strengthened!

 


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Healthy Bones

d_bloggi_egillScripture for Today: Ezekiel 37:5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.”

Most all of the photos I found of skeletons were either too scientific looking or too scarey.  This one made me laugh!  He/she looks so lifelike, contemplative and deep in thought.  In any case, for this person healthy bones are no longer a concern!

I have osteoporosis in my family and need to be concerned about good bone health.  There are lots of preventative measures to take.  Weight-bearing exercise is recommended as well as a diet rich in calcium.  I am thrilled to see ice cream and frozen yogurt on the high-in-calcium list!  Vitamin D is important which I prefer getting from the sun rather than a pill.  The next time I enjoy ice cream in the sunshine, I can do it without a shred of guilt!

Our verse for today comes from a vision the Lord gave His prophet, Ezekiel.  The bones represent the nation of Israel.  Their bones were dried up as their hope was gone and they were cut off.  God promised to put flesh on those bones and give life through His Spirit.  It was an image of what He would do for them, bringing them back to their land.

There is no life without His Spirit.  We are all dead in our sins without His life-giving Spirit.  Those who reject Jesus Christ are like dried up bones, without hope and cut off from a vital relationship with their Maker.  But with His breath comes true life.  In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  The breath of His Spirit moves me to a living loving relationship with Him.

My prayer today; “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”


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Rocking Horse Collection

horse6Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 1:8 “All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing not the ear its fill of hearing.”

During a move, one realizes just how many of something has been accumulated over the years!  I have been collecting rocking horses for decades, most of which only come out at Christmas.  After taking inventory, I have come to realize that I really do not need to add anymore.  At some point there comes a point of saturation, and I was sure I had reached that point.  However, in checking for just the right photo for this post, I am starting to re-think whether I could not add one or two more!  This Victorian beauty especially caught my eye!

Our verse for today came from King Solomon.  He was able to lay his hands on and enjoy just about anything he could wish.  His wealth was staggering.  Whatever collection intrigued him, he could add to it to his heart’s content.  He was so rich he denied himself nothing his eyes desired (Ecclesiastes 2:10).  And yet, he concluded that it was all wearisome beyond description.  The eye never sees enough.  The ear never hears enough.

The point of saturation never really comes. Whether it is experiences or objects, there is always longing for more and more.  It is never enough.  Solomon concluded that more was meaningless, chasing after the wind.  The world is just not enough.  That is because we were created for something more.  That something more is Someone.  It is in my relationship with the Jesus Christ that I find meaning and satisfaction.  Regardless of how many beautiful things surround me or how many adventures I have lived, it is the Lord who makes my life worthwhile!

Thank you Lord, that You are infinitely more than enough!


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Surrounded!

grenoble1Scripture for Today: Psalm 125:2 “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forever.”

During our four years in Grenoble, France, we were spoiled with beautiful mountain views.  The city sits in a basin, surrounded by several mountain chains.  There is the Chartreuse, the Vercors and the Belledonne chains.  It was nearly impossible to look up and not see mountains!  Grenoble is considered the capital of the French Alps and we never tired of gazing on those magnificent mountains surrounding us!  It was a constant visual prompt to consider the grandeur of our God.

Our verse for today likens the love and protection of the Lord to surrounding mountains.  Jerusalem is not surrounded by a ring of peaks, but it is situated in a mountainous region.  God’s care is as constant and unmoving as mountains.  Those who trust in Him and His care are not shaken (verse 1) but are themselves like Mount Zion.

What a wonderful assurance to know that I am surrounded by God’s constant faithful love!  There is nowhere that I can turn that I cannot see it and feel it.  Like a ring of mountains, His love surrounds me.  He reminds me with every mountain view just how wide, long, high and deep His love is for me (Eph. 3:18).  He especially reminds me when I read His Word with His promises of love.

There is nothing I can do to remove those mountains far from my presence.  His love is too strong.  Nothing can separate me from that love.  My view of it may be blocked by my own waywardness and rebellion, but it continues on.  His love continues today, tomorrow and for eternity!

May I feel His love today surrounding, supporting and reassuring me.

 


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Rocking the Boat

2512077-Falling-off-the-boat--on-purpose-of-course-1Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Everyone knows not to fidget and stand up in a boat.  Those that do are at risk to lose their balance and fall overboard.  Changing places with someone while in a moving boat can be especially tricky!  All that moving around rocks the boat and makes everyone aboard nervous.  There is much less risk of a fall overboard when calmly staying still in one place.

I feel like I am changing places in a moving boat.  With our transatlantic move, everything seems to be in upheaval.  The boat is rocking many times a day as we prepare.  Not only are we preparing our departure with a myriad of details but also our arrival on the other side.  Sometimes, anxiety gets the best of me with so much internal rocking and fidgeting that I feel I am falling.

I know from our verse for today that the Lord does not intend for me to react this way.  Whatever is rocking my boat is included in the phrase,”in every situation.”  For each and every emotion or logistic detail, He is waiting for me to give it to Him in prayer.  When I do, the tension dissipates.  The rocking stops.  I am not falling overboard.  In thanking Him, even in the difficulties, I am recognizing His hand and control.  I can sit still in the boat and feel His peace that goes beyond all understanding (verse 7).

Thank you, Lord, that You offer a life without anxiety and worry.  Your shoulders are big enough and I can give it all to You to bear.  Help me just sit still and enjoy the ride!


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Broken Necklace

Turquoise Heart 2Scripture for Today: Luke 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

I was very proud of my turquoise necklace as I bought it for such a good price.  The stones were rough, uneven and clunky interspersed with smaller beads and I loved wearing it.  But one morning I discovered why it was such a good price.  The cord and closure were weak and it broke, scattering all over the floor.  Getting down on my hands and knees I was able to find most of the pieces, but some of those smaller beads are still missing!

When searching on the floor I could not help but think of the woman losing one of her ten silver coins in a parable Jesus told.  That coin was possibly part of a string of coins adorning her headdress.  She was diligent in searching for that lost coin, lighting her lamp and sweeping her floor until she found it.  Her joy at finding the coin was so great she just had to share the news with her friends and neighbors.

How amazing it is that God should search and search for the sinner who is lost!  Our verse for today describes the joy that even the angels experience when that one sinner repents and is found.  Each of us individually is that important to the Lord.  Each of us has that much value to Him.  In His love He allows me to feel my plight of being lost.  He then scoops me up into His arms with joy!  I am no longer lost when safe, secure and loved in those arms.

Yes, I once was lost.  Thank you Lord, for searching and finding me!