These devotions are to encourage and inspire others in their relationship with our Father. Praying you see, hear and feel His Presence in your life daily... because He's there, for you.
"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider; God has one as well as the other." Ecclesiastes 7:14 Like many, i am thrilled winter is over, and spring is here. I am not a fan of dull gray skies, bare trees and frigid temperatures. But spring does not blossom without its shortcomings too. Pollen reeks havoc with all ages, and rain boots are a constant companion for the feet.
But even with its drawbacks, spring provides us with much to celebrate. After all, we can't have the beauty of new life, lush green trees and brilliant flowers without some misery... like a rise of allergies and illnesses due to an increase of pollen and disease-ridden insects, fruits and veggies.
Happy is the heart that can still rejoice in the midst of tough times... just because God is still good. He has the power to bring excellence even out of hard, trying times. Love where you are because God is there -- no matter the season. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19
As you take hold and believe the immense love our Father pours freely out on you, may your roots dig deeper in faith. His glorious Sonshine flowing through you is meant for others to see, so they may know and believe Him too. You are blooming and beautiful. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." Psalm 28:7 It's still raining, but we are a day closer to Sonshine.
And look! Bursting through the wet soil, flowers are already showing up. Thank You, Father. It's all about FAT ... Faith, Attitude and Trust. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You." Psalm 5:11 The weather is harsh and unpleasant. Whether it's showers, torrential downpours, storms, floods, gusty winds, thunder and lightening, shelter is required from the elements. As a child of God, no matter what our day brings, we are under the umbrella of God's love and assured of His complete protection. With Him, we have nothing to fear.
Through it all, just hold tightly onto Him. In His perfect time, April showers will end and brilliant May flowers will bloom again. Singing in the rain is possible, thanks to God. He reigns, we sing. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 The damaged library book was an opportune moment to discuss book care. Ms. B showed the class a book with a footprint on the page and asked, "How can this be prevented from happening?" Without any hesitation Braden shouted, "Clean your shoes!" Although his answer was basically correct, it was not the one desired.
Sometimes when nudged by God, i'm sure the responses i mumble are not what He's wanting... I'll do it later. She doesn't deserve my help. I need more time... more money... more resources. I don't have enough to share. I rather do something else. But he gets on my nerves. Father, help me to see my struggles with Your eyes. Clean my soul and heart, for i am often short-sighted, self-centered and hasty in making decisions. Sometimes it's helpful for footprints to remain. Any prints or handiwork left behind is good, when it comes from You. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 Exasperated from her student's relentless questions on the upcoming activity, the kindergarten teacher spun around on her heels replying, "Can you just trust me?? Please."
Waiting. It's not an easy or welcomed state of being, whether we are 5 or 75. We are accustomed to instant answers, explanations and results. Ms. Long's response reminded me, it's not necessary we know and understand everything happening in our life. We need only trust and rely on our Teacher. God has a plan for us, and it is good. All is revealed as He desires in His perfect time. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7
As your roots run deep into the rich love of God, the bounty of blessings will multiply, feeding you and others. Father, as Your grace and mercy flow freely through You to me, may i grow in the Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - so others may taste and know Your Almighty goodness. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
a guard,' Pilate answered (the Pharisees). 'Go, make the tomb as secure as you
know how.'" Matthew 27:65
is quiet.The rush and excitement of the
past week is on hold. You can call it the silence before the storm.
Come Monday the chains will be broken and our freedom guaranteed. How eerie and dark is the silence.But not for long!
All silence is not golden, some is torturous.There is silence at the
tomb.Jesus, the Son of God, the King of
kings, is dead. His body now guarded in a tomb with a massive stone covering
the opening. No one can possibly enter.But, they forgot to consider the possibility of Someone coming out.
"Hakuna Matata! Oh, ye, of little faith. There will be an awakening! What
a glorious day to come!Thank You,
"... there they crucified Him, along with the criminals ‑ one
on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, 'Father,
forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'.. One
of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him... But the other rebuked
him... Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'
Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be
with me in paradise.'" Luke 23:33‑43
Jesus, weak and nearly unrecognizable from the lashings, could not
drag His cross up the rocky path. Help came from a stranger, not His followers
nor His disciples. The women followed in tears, the men scattered in fear. Jesus' last walk on earth shook the ground with raw emotions, not
with cheers but jeers... the people expected more. But, hold on! The Last
Act is yet to come. It will not only bring down the house, but will rip the
temple's curtain in two from top to bottom!
Even at the very last minute on the cross, one criminal chose to
acknowledge and accept Christ. One went to paradise, the other didn't. It's all
about forgiveness. It's what Jesus was born to do. It's God's greatest gift and
sacrifice to man.
We, like the criminals, are either on the right or left side of
Jesus. With our speech and/or actions we are denying or accepting Him. He
humbly gave His all, so we may live. God is willing, waiting, and wanting to
receive all into His Kingdom. May we remember and honor His love
for us by loving Him and others. we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
Jesus prayer -
"My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for
those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be
one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You."
Sweat rolling down His back and legs and tears spilling from His eyes, the dirt
on His knees change to mud. The fury of the week left the disciples too
exhausted to stay awake in the Garden. Three times Jesus wakes them... and
later, three times Peter denies Him. Under the full moon, Jesus is alone on the
path to the Cross.
The brilliance and beauty of the moon the past few nights is mesmerizing. So
full and bright; it is breathtaking. How can anything so beautiful, hold so
much sorrow too?
It was under that same
moon, over 2,000 year ago, Jesus prepared to be betrayed and disowned by His
own, and unjustly accused by others. In the Garden after the Last Supper, He
committed His final act before captured -- He prayed.
He prayed for Himself and the ability to be obedient... Father,
if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. He
prayed for His disciples and their strengthening. And He prayed for you and me.
His final prayer -- for us to be one in Him.
May you see the moon in a different light tonight... His eternal Light for all.
The sorrow of this night will fade as His path fills with believers. Victory
over darkness is guaranteed. Thank You, Father! we are loved and chosen by God, veneal
And Judas said...
"'What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?' So they
counted out for him thirty silver coins." Matthew 26:15
Jesus relentlessly pushes onward His final days -- performing miracles,
praying, reaching people for God's Kingdom. The sweet perfume oil from Mary's
fingers, drips from His head and puddles in the dirt. His disciples grumble
over the waste. Is Jesus making a difference, just what is His real mission, is
His time almost over for good?
The evening performances for our school play, sold
out in just a few days. The money paid for meaningful, needed items --
costumes, props and other necessities. Not all sellouts are as honorable.
Judas sold out the whereabouts of Jesus for the mere price of a
slave. Realizing Jesus' kingdom was of a spiritual nature and not of power or
money, he sold Jesus' life for the immediate security of a few coins... coins
offering temporary pleasure in place of eternal joy. Are you still holding on to Jesus' Hand? Tomorrow the path we
travel down is dark, difficult and necessary. And one He chose, so we
could have eternal life.
Jesus said --
"... Come, you who are blessed by my
Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation
of the world." Matthew 25:34
He's rattled the temple, He's called the Chief Priests out, He's comforted the
prostitutes. It's fair to say Jesus kicked up dust on the path to the cross.
Are you still holding on to His Hand? It's total turmoil, but with God, peace
will fill our soul.
With the school year ending in less than 40 days, we are engulfed with required duties and deadlines. Each day's tasks must be completed in order to wrap up our job on time.
Jesus found Himself with such deadlines, His last week on earth. Knowing His
days were numbered, He unleashed many lessons --
To His followers He encouraged them to choose rightly and righteously. To His critics, the religious leaders, He scolded them for
misguiding His sheep. To the unbelievers, He gave warnings. He told believers about being ready and watchful, as He instilled
in them the hope of things to come.
Jesus holds nothing back for He has nothing to lose, and
everything to gain... another believer, joining His family for eternity. He did
and will do whatever it takes to reach even one more.
As we leave behind the glorious entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem
on Sunday, the palm branches and cloaks scattered on His path are also
gone. The bare dirt and pebbles along the path now squeeze between His
Monday Jesus' first stop in Jerusalem, the Temple... Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying
and selling there. He overturned the table of the money changers and the
benches of those selling doves... He said, "My
house will be call a house of prayer, but you are making it a den for robbers."
Later that day, He tells His disciples... "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do
not doubt,... you can say to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,
and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask
for in prayer."
Jesus' last week on earth was not a walk in the park; it was
filled with difficult and trying work. The Army wants a few good men, but
God wants ALL to come Home -- to His amazing, saving grace and eternal