Devotions By Jan


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Hurricane-Force Winds

Scripture for Today: Job 8:2-3 “How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?”

The images of hurricane damage are impressive! Ian, the most recent, wreaked havoc in Florida with maximum wind gusts over land reaching as high as 140 mph! To put that number in perspective, wind gusts are considered severe beginning at 58 mph. So many interviewed described that wind like the noise of an approaching train. Roofs were sheered off and boats lifted in the air. Trees were flattened and power lines were downed in an instant.

Today’s verse describes words spoken like a blustering or mighty wind. And just as hurricane-force winds can do so much damage, so our words can be damaging to others. Job is struggling with what was happening to him. Despite the suggestions of his three friends, Job was not aware of any obvious sin for which God was punishing him. Understandably, it did not seem fair. Job’s questions came from the anguish of his spirit and the bitterness of his soul (7:11). But Job’s words could be damaging if they questioned the justice of God.

So many times I do not have a clue as to what God is doing or why. In my life or in the lives of others it can seem that God is not dealing fairly. If I were to widely and publicly put into question God’s justice and fairness, my words could wreak havoc to the faith of someone else. If I express to others that He is unjust, then my words can cause untold damage around me. My response needs to be absolute trust in His righteousness, justice and control, whether I understand or not.

I may wonder what You are doing, Lord. But may I always cling to the truth of Your justice!


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Two Passions in One!

Scripture for Today: Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

My husband is passionate about cars and I am passionate about chocolate. This creation seems to cover all our bases! Randy always turns his head to see one of these “Deux Cheveaux” go by. But my head turns at any sign of chocolate! This Citroen is made of 2,645 pounds of chocolate so both our heads turn! It was created by eleven students in France as part of a project at their school for restaurant management.  This masterpiece took 4,000 hours of painstaking effort and the result is impressive.

Satisfaction with cars or chocolate is not so easy to find. Today’s verse tells us where true satisfaction can be found. This psalm is a prayer of Moses. After recounting all the times the Lord disciplined the Israelites in the desert, Moses recognizes that God’s love remained faithful and constant. The people had experienced “trouble and sorrow” over many years. Now Moses prays for the satisfaction that comes from God’s unfailing love. That satisfaction will bring them joy and gladness every day, despite the hard times.

Chocolate, cars, or any other earthly passion can fail to consistently bring me satisfaction. But God’s love does not fail. His love and compassion are renewed every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). When I am feeling an emptiness and lack inside, lots of good things can be a temporary distraction. But nothing can reach that deeper longing of my soul like an awareness of His love. That reassurance not only satisfies but replaces the emptiness with a song of joy! And what a wonderful way to begin a day, to be satisfied in the morning!

Lord, thank you for Your love that never ever fails me!

(Look familiar? This is a re-post from 2017.)


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Woody

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Meet Woody (the one on the left!). This well-loved quarter horse belonging to our cousin was cared for and cherished for thirty seven and a half years! This particular breed is listed along with four others as likely to live the longest. But that just makes their departure so much more devastating. Woody’s gentle loving spirit will be sorely missed. But what was especially heart-wrenching was learning of those last moments. The vet allowed Jenny to lay down over Woody’s heart as it slowed and stopped, assuring him of her love.

Today’s verse is all about the heart. Not only is it the seat of our emotions and will but the heart determines everything in life. It is with our hearts that we ultimately make our decisions. Everything we do flows from what our heart is telling us to do. If we could just understand our hearts then we can faithfully follow it and all will be well. Except that the heart is deceitful and no one can understand it (Jer. 17:9). That is why we are told to carefully guard the heart.

How do I guard my heart? Because it is deceitful I need the truth of God’s Word to have any kind of perspective. When I face a life-changing decision, I do not trust my fickle heart. It is through my prayers, petitions and thanksgiving that I can guard my heart and mind with the peace God promises (Phil. 4:7). His peace replaces the anxiety and second guessing. With every beat of my heart, His peace reassures me of His love and presence!

Lord, guard my heart with Your truth and Your peace.


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Queen for a Day

Scripture for Today: Psalm 90:4 “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by or like a watch in the night.”

I risk dating myself by admitting to watching this television program as a child. The contestants would share their difficult circumstances and the audience would vote on who was most deserving to be crowned, “queen for a day.” Much was made of the crown, robe and roses and the lucky lady was given gifts and paid nights out. In contrast, much is made today (and rightly so) of the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, seventy years on the throne!

Today’s verse gives us another perspective on the passage of time, be it a day or seventy years. The One who created time is not bound by it. He sits above the heavens and in the light of eternity His view is completely different than ours! A thousand years to the God of the universe is just a blink of the eye. And the span of our years, however many there are, is nothing before Him (Ps. 39:5). Our years pass too quickly, and then we “fly away.” (Ps. 90:10)

It all sounds pretty negative until I realize what is ahead! Queen Elizabeth’s faith in Christ means that she is now in a different Kingdom where she herself bows the knee to the King of Kings! And my faith in Christ also means an eternity with my Creator and the Lover of my soul! In the meantime, this same psalm tells me to number my days (verse 12) and so live wisely. My days are to be spent focused on serving my King. And being “heavenly minded” means I can be of the most earthly good!

Lord, may this day be lived for You.


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EV Charging

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:27-28 “Cause me to understand the way of Your precepts, that I may meditate on Your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word.”

by Ivan Radic https://www.flickr.com/photos/26344495@N05/50952695061

The electric vehicle charging station is making its appearance more and more frequently in daily life. This change to an alternate source of power has its share of controversy. But it seems that this change is here to stay in one form or another. And as the situation evolves, there is one truth that everyone can agree on and that is the continuing need for sustainable energy. Regardless of the form it takes, no one wants to read the word, “Empty” on that dashboard!

Today’s verse reminds us that God’s Word can be our “charging station.” It is His Word that strengthens a soul. Understanding how He wants us to live, thinking long and hard about what He has already accomplished and spending time in praising Him gives solace to a soul lethargic with sadness. It is sadness that can so quickly deplete our strength. But He promises that through His Word our souls are strengthened.

My alone time with the Lord is my charging station, renewing my strength and even lifting my spirits. But I do not need to wait until I am dangerously low on power to come to Him! I do not want that needle anywhere near empty before turning to His Word for the encouragement I need. Being “charged up” not only strengthens me but puts me in a state of readiness for whatever challenge is around the corner. It is only in being connected to Christ and His Word that I can be at full strength to face whatever this day may bring!

Lord, fill me with Your strength today.