Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today’s Reading: Psalm 120-122; 2 Thessalonians 2

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NIV).

Do you ever just need encouragement? Sometimes this life can be so hard. Sometimes the smallest word of affirmation makes all the difference in how my day goes. Just as words of criticism can tear me down, words of love can build me up so quickly. It’s so nice to hear that I’m doing something right in such a negative world. I’m so thankful for the family and friends in my life that take the time to remind me of this. Their words and hugs mean the world to me. What about you? Is there anyone in your life that encourages you? Whose heart can you encourage today?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

He Fulfills His Purpose

Today’s Reading: Psalm 119:89-176 ; 2 Thessalonians 1

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NIV).

Being a new mother, I feel as if I’m riding a continual emotional roller-coaster. Sometimes I’m filled with thanksgiving, other times I’m filled with worry. It’s such a great responsibility to raise a child. I often wonder if I’m doing anything right. And then I read verses like those above, and I’m reminded of how great my God is. He’s not a God who desires my life to be filled with strife in stress, but instead wants it to be filled with good and wonderful things. He wants to fulfill every good purpose in me life.
As hard as it may be to see at times, this time of my life really is wonderful. It’s filled with the wonder of a new life that depends on me so completely for her well being. It’s filled with a little life that has already changed my heart so drastically and completely, and all for the good. I’m so thankful that my God desires good in my life, and that He leads me gently when that “good” is hard for me to see.
“I cry out to the God Most High, to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me” (Psalm 57:2 NIV).
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:19 NIV).

What purposes might God be fulfilling in your life today? What can you thank Him for?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Casting My Cares At His Feet

Today’s Reading: Psalm 119:1-88; 1 Thessalonians 5

“May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word” (Psalm 119:41-42 NIV).

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

Joy, thanksgiving: things that should be so evident in my life, but aren’t at the moment. Fear, anxiousness: the feelings that are riddling my heart day in and day out. God has given me so many beautiful blessings, including a loving husband and a sweet baby girl, yet, right now, I’m not seeing those blessings in their fullest degree. Instead, the devil is being given control of my thoughts and emotions. Oh how I long to be filled with joy and thanksgiving, but how? How do I grab a hold of these things, and banish the others from my heart?

The answer is so simple it amazes me.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

I give all my anxieties, worries and fears to the one who is ultimately in control. I let Him take them from me, and replace them with His perfect peace. I claim the joy that is so readily waiting for me, if only I let go. If only I let God take control.

Do you have anything you need to let go of today?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quiet Life

Today's Reading: Psalms 116-118; 1 Thessalonians 4

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV).

For a moment the house is quiet. My little girl is blissfully napping, and I am enjoying some time alone with God. The house isn’t quiet very often these days. Instead, it’s filled with the wailing cries of an infant at all hours of the day and night. She cries to express her needs: her need to be fed, her need to be changed, her need to just be held. Doesn’t sound very different from us sometimes, does it? We too, need to be spiritual fed and changed on a daily basis. We are in need of a Savior who will hold us close and tend to our every need. And sometimes we simply need to cry, and know that we’ll be understood. But this doesn’t come without a quiet time. I believe that our hearts long for such times, be they a minute or an hour, when we can come before our Savior and open our hearts up wide. We long for moments of quiet where we can hear His voice. Where we don’t have to “guess” what His purpose and plan might be, but we simply know, because we’re so in tune with Him. Yes, we long for a quiet life, yet we neglect to seek it out. We get caught up in this entertainment world and spend every second of our day listening to music, watching our television, and playing on the computer. We neglect the calling of our heart for peace and quiet and closeness with our Savior. We neglect one of the things we need more than anything.

Do you need quiet time with your Savior today? Seek it out. It may be for one minute, or five minutes, or an hour, but you won’t regret it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lord, Strengthen My Heart

Today’s Reading: Psalm 113, 114, 115; 1Thessalonians 3

Verses to Ponder: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NIV).

Prayer: Lord, today, as in every day, I need my heart strengthened so that I can truly love those around me. My heart feels so weak and human on it's own. Time and again I come to the end of what is humanly possible, and have to depend on you like never before. Time and again I must claim the words you spoke to the Apostle Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). What wondrous words those are. And how often must I come before you and ask you to fill in the gaps.
Please help me as I minister to the needs of my little girl, care for my husband, and be the best friend I can be to those around me today and everyday. Amen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Tears of a Mother

Today's reading: Psalms 106, 111, 112; 1st Thessalonians 2

“Indeed, you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:20 NIV).

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man” (Psalm 112:4 NIV).

“His heart is secure, he will have no fear” (Psalm 112:8 NIV).

When my daughter was born eleven days ago, my husband and I suddenly entered a brand-new word called parenthood. In that moment we were given the responsibility to rear up a sweet little girl, so that she, too, would one day love and serve the Savior of the world. The responsibility is so immense and overwhelming. I’ve cried more tears since this little girl arrived then I’ve cried in years. Many of them were tears of desperation, of second-guessing, of being unsure if we’d made the right decisions already. Many of them were tears of feeling alone, of forgetting how great my God truly is.

In all of the chaos of bringing a new life into the world, I think my heart got a little misaligned. In feeling the great responsibility as caregiver to this little life, my eyes began to lose their focus. In focusing on my emotions, I forgot to trust in the one who gave life to us all.

For when we trust in Him we really have nothing to fear. He is in control of this crazy life we live. He sees the big picture even when we cannot.

And so, as I leave you today to run off and take care of my little girl, I pray for joy in each of our lives. I pray for peace. And I pray that whatever you and I may face today, we’ll face it without fear, because we know where our ultimate hope lies, not in this world, but in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall Is In The Air

Today’s Reading: Psalm 99-100, 102, 104-105; Acts 17:16-34; 1 Thessalonians 1

“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24 NIV).

The weather has been so beautiful here lately. With the clear skies, bright sun and cool breezes, it feels as if Fall is close at hand. Last year I was a bit disappointed in Fall. This place where we now live is far different from where I grew up: the lack of maple trees, apple orchards, and cold Fall weather made for quite a different experience. I found myself extremely homesick—missing the season I was used too.
This year is a little different. While I miss that other Fall, I’m starting to see the beauty in the place I live now. It’s a different sort of beauty from what I grew up with, but it’s beautiful just the same. I’m learning that God’s hand on creation didn’t end with my parents’ backyard but stretches throughout the world. Fall has a different meaning wherever you go, but it shows up just the same. For some, Fall doesn’t mean a change in leaves, but simply a season of Back-to-School shopping and being Thankful. For others, the months of September, October and November aren’t Fall at all, but rather Spring.
I’m learning to be thankful for the moment I’m living in. I’m learning to look around me and be thankful for God’s creation, however different it may be. Although we don’t have very many trees that change color here, the grasses in the fields change into their own hues of browns and reds. The air still gets slightly cooler, and the people still get excited for Fall to arrive.
This land is special in it’s own right. And I’m learning to love it as such.

What do you love about the place you call home? What can you thank God for today?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Today's Reading: Psalm 96- 98; Acts 17:1-15

“Worship the LORD in the splendor of [His] holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations: ‘The LORD reigns. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. He judges the peoples fairly.’ Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound. Let the fields and everything in them exult. Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the LORD, for He is coming—for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His faithfulness” (Psalm 96:9-13 HCSB).

I often like to play the judge. A part of me seems to think that I know best. I look at a person, see a lack of fruit in their life (see Galatians 5) and decide that they must not be a Christian. I’m so wrong in doing this. I can’t see the heart of a person, only God can. As today’s verses remind us, God is the ultimate judge. He is the all-powerful and almighty One who looks into the hearts of all men and women and fairly judges them.
This morning I was once again humbled. I was once again brought to my knees as I realized how wrongly I had judged someone. This person was someone I hardly knew, but I had assumed some false things about. I should know by now that first impressions are often wrong, enough people have made wrong first impressions about me for me to know. Just the same, I looked, I judged, and I neglected to actually reach out and get to know the person.
Once again I was humbled. Once again I was amazed by the great forgiveness God gives me each and every day as I live out this imperfect life. I’m so thankful for the God I serve. He’s so amazing.

What about you? Have you ever made a judgment about someone, only to be proven wrong?

Lord, please help me to leave the judging up to you, but instead learn to more easily love those around me, without making stereotypes or inaccurate assumptions on those around me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Dose of Comfort

Today’s Reading: Psalm 93-95; Philippians 4

“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy” (Psalm 94:19 HCSB).

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 HCSB).

Today I’m tired. I’m not necessarily in a bad mood, or worrying about anything in particular, but I need some encouragement just the same. As I read Psalm 94 and Philippians 4, I was reminded of how great and immense our God in heaven really is. He’s ready and waiting to take our problems, big and small. Even when we don’t have the words to express what we’re feeling, He’s there, arm’s outstretched, ready to take the matter into his own hands. How wonderful is that?
And He doesn’t just take our burdens away, no, He replaces them with comfort, joy, and peace. These are gifts that can be given during the middle of a horrific storm. And oh can this life get stormy! Sometimes I’m at my very whit’s end, surrounded by worries, concerns and heartaches. But God is ready and waiting to take me in and cover all those concerns with His love.
While I’m not doing horrible today, I could still do with a dose of His comfort. What about you?

Lord, please take whatever is on my heart today and replace it with your peace. Help me to share your all-encompassing peace with others as I go about my day.