Tag Archives: devotionals

Leave, leave!

Leave, leave, go out from there!
Do not touch anything unclean;
go out from her, purify yourselves,
you who carry the vessels of the Lord.

For you will not leave in a hurry,
and you will not have to take flight;
because the Lord is going before you,
and the God of Israel is your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:11, 12 HCSB)

I read this bright and early this morning, and God zapped me with this. I’m not sure who this is for – but He said this to me:

You are leaving a place that you have been living for a while, not a good place, but I am coming in and taking you out of it. I will be with you, I will take care of you. It won’t be easy, because you will be purifying yourself, but as I said in my Word – I will be your rear guard. Nothing will get you from behind. I’ve got you, just follow Me.

I’m not sure who God wanted to speak too – maybe me. I don’t know. But, I do know we all tend to get caught up in places in our lives – not physically – but spiritually. We get in ruts. I’m guessing this is for someone in a rut.

That’s it for this morning. When God tells me something that loud and clear, I don’t have to need to add anything to it.

If it was for you – please let me know – email, comment, facebook, text, however you want. I’d appreciate it.

My Big Brother

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15a

Not sure if you all know my family tree or not… I have a strange tree. I have 2 adopted brothers and 2 half siblings. My adopted brothers are really my first cousins. (My aunt adopted me… ) It’s all in my book. (Makes you curious huh?)

Anyway. My adopted brother’s are Nick and Andy. Nick is knocking on 32 (haha) and Andy is only 3 years older than me, at 29. I’m 26.

Growing up, just by age default, me and Andy were closer than me and Nick. What 19 year old wants to play with a 12 year old? Wait. Why would anybody wanna play with a 12 year old, besides other 12 year olds? Who knows. But my big brother Andy – did.

We had one year of high school together. I was a freshmen, and he was a senior. He was a senior who was Salutatorian, played football and baseball, and was pretty popular.

No one messed with me. Not that they would anyway… Weird little 9th grader who was giggly all the time and kinda a dork. Ok, a lot of a dork.

Wesley and Andy were in the same class. I did think Wesley was cute at this point, but if Andy had ever found that out… Things probably wouldn’t be as they are now! My dad and brothers were GOOOD about embarrassing me. They did their jobs well.

This one day, a boy named Chance was picking on me. Andy came in the classroom (he was an office worker, so he would go around and pick up the absentees and stuff). I called him over and told him about the trouble I was having with this dumb boy.

So my 6′ tall athletic brother comes up to this 5’5″ scrawny 9th grader who can’t grow a mustache, and Andy says to him, “Are you messin with my sister?”

Chance got a fear-of-God look on his face and said, “No! No, I was not messing with her. I wouldn’t ever mess with her.”

Chance didn’t talk to me after that for like… 3 years.

It was good having a brother.

Things happened between high school and now.

Marriage. College. Jobs. Etc. Etc.

You know. The stuff that comes after high school. The growing up part of life.

We, in a sense, lost touch a little. We didn’t have a fight and not speak, we just.. started living our own lives. We got caught up.

I would call my mom, and she would tell me what he was up to, and vice versa. We really had no need to call each other.

Then, she passed away. (Now there’s a loaded sentence.)

If I wanted to know my brother, I would have to call him. I would have to do the work.

A series of events took place after her death leading us to last night.

Last night we had our weekly Young Adults meeting at Dwelling Place.

Andy was the speaker. He spoke on divisions, and how sometimes we have to divide ourselves away from things of this world in order to fulfill God’s real plan for us, and that God can mend anything as long as we are faithful to do what the word tells us. He used the verse above.

We can’t be friendlies with things of this world and expect to be friendly with God as well. Its like working for God, but going undercover with the Devil and then losing who you really are, or which team you are really on.

His message was profound, and it was challenging. It was well thought out, and well delivered.

I remember in youth group, listening to Andy speak, and I knew.. I knew he was good. He’s even better now.

I mean.. he’s no Wesley.. (Ha!) I can’t compare them. They are both great, just very different.

I’m so proud that he is my big brother.

He doesn’t know this – but since I posted a link on Facebook tagging him- I guess he will now.. but.. I had been debating inside on whether or not to try and have more kids one day. Thats a big decision. I mean.. BIG. Another human? Yeah.

But I thought about my brothers, and what I shared with them growing up. Andy would be my horse, and I would ride on his back when I was little. We would all three play hide and seek after they tricked me by calling it some other name. Nick would practice lifting cement bags by picking me up.. because I weighed 80 lbs. He worked at a hardware store, that eventually both Andy and I did too.

And now.. Now that my mom is gone. I still have family. I still have my close family. And I want that for her. I want her to have brothers to talk to when she’s older, or even a sister. I’d rather just have boys now. I hear they are easier…

Because I have two great brothers, I want to have more kids. I guess if my brothers were losers I’d be singing a different tune. Anyway.

Andy was definitely right though. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from things, to really follow God. It’s hard, but it is worth it. God knows what we are giving up, and He also knows what we are going to get in return.

I love my brother. I’m so thankful for him. He’s a great man, an awesome brother, and one of my best friends. He is doing what God has called him to do. And really, that is the best feeling ever.

I am Loved

What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
Matthew 10:29-31 MSG

Don’tcha just love the Message bible? I know, I know. It’s hard to believe something so easily understandable is God’s Word – but it IS!

And yes – there is a lot of controversy about it’s accuracy. Let me ask you this? Better for someone to read the Message bible or no bible? Boom. There ya go.

Anyway.. on to the devotion.

Lucy has been teething here the past couple of days. I mean.. BAD teething. As in she screams. She’ll be happy, and then SCREAMING. Poor baby girl. I think she’s getting in 4 teeth. At once.

It is so very hard for my heart to take her screams. I have a hard time listening to them. I almost cry at every wail.

But I can’t do this for her. I can’t pull the teeth in any faster. I can’t numb the pain completely. I give her tylenol. I give her baby orajel. I’m going to go buy some teething tablets later today. But she’s still gonna hurt.

This is a walk she has to make on her own.

Doesn’t mean I love her any less… does it?

Do you see where I’m going here?

Just because we experience pain, or suffering, or turmoil, doesn’t mean God loves us any less. It means He loves us a million times more than we could ever imagine, but it’s just something WE have to do. It’s what our plan was.

One day Lucy will walk up to me, (She’s still having trouble taking more than 2-3 steps at this point) and she will smile and I’ll see a mouthfull of teeth. But not right now.

One day you will walk up to God, and smile, (hopefuly with a mouthfull of teeth too!) and you’ll finally understand why the things you dealt with were yours to deal with, but until then, just praise God anyway.

He knows the number of hairs on your HEAD!

Not even your mama knew that. As much as I’d like to know that about my Lucy, I’m not going to strap her down with ductape and start counting her little soft baby hairs. But my God, and her God, already knows. He knows.

And He loves her desperately. More than me. And He knows she’s hurting, but he also knows its something she’s gotta do. I’d much rather her experience this, than be 12 and have no teeth.

We need to grow up in the same way. We have to learn that we are loved no matter what.

You are loved.

YOU are loved.

Say it…

I am loved.

Ok, now really say it.

I am loved.

Yes.. Outloud. (you can whisper it if you are at work…)

I AM LOVED.

There. Makes your day better huh?

A Time

I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 MSG

That is very simply put. And makes a ton of sense. We need to worship God because the world is going to keep spinning and the seasons are going to keep coming and going, and the sun will rise tomorrow.

I have a pet peeve. Really, I have a lot of them, but I’ll share one particular one with you.

People who blame their sins on their life experiences. For example:

I drink because my dad never hugged me.
I do drugs because my mom and dad divorced.
I am racist because this one time this type of person cut me off in traffic.
I am worthless because my grandma died.

Now, really – people don’t ever say this stuff. (I’ve actually heard some of those before). But you can tell… They don’t say it flat out, but they do say it.

“Well, if my dad and mom were still together, I’d probably be a different person…”

or “I just can’t seem to hold it all together since mawmaw passed…”

I get it. Losing family members (be it death, divorce, whatever) is not easy. It’s hard. Very hard.

But you can’t wallow.

You can roll around in the muck constantly and blame it on someone else.

Sure… it feels better to not take the blame for yourself or your sins. But it’s not the truth.

Stuff happens to us. Sometimes we draw the short straw. That’s God’s plan. He knew you got the raw end of the deal. He knows! Don’t think it caught Him off guard!

Then “WHY ME?!” huh? Yeah.

Yes. Legitimate question. I’ve even asked God that same thing.

You know what his answer was?

That right there. Nothing.

Years later I think He told me my answer. “Because you can, and did, handle it. And you are a better person for it now.”

Don’t ever think God is picking on you. He isn’t. He loves you.

Things do happen. Even bad things to good people. Heck, bad things happen to bad people too. We just don’t dwell on that as much.

But like I said earlier – The world is going to keep spinning. The seasons are going to keep changing. The sun will come up tomorrow.

Don’t let your circumstances or life events determine whether or not you will Praise God.

You are still here.

You are still breathing.

You are still waking up each day.

I can see the sun. I can feel it’s warmth. I haven’t seen it in a few days, but it didn’t Go anywhere. It was always there. Just underneath the rainy skies.

That’s exactly how God is. He’s always there. He’s never left you.

Step it UP

I’m not sure what it is, besides God, that is impressing this upon me. Yesterday was a day when everything seemed to come to a breaking point for me. Not that I was so naïve that I didn’t think these things were happening, but I guess the saying “ignorance is bliss” just fit my life to a T.

You all know I am a pastor’s wife. I am confided in, almost daily. I don’t share people’s business. It’s not what I do. It’s not honest. But, for some reason, yesterday I was confided in more than most days.

It was all God, I know.

What did I realize?

People are broken.

People are hurting.

And people don’t know when to let God deal with their issues.

In the past 48 hours, I have dealt with oppressed people, angry people, jealous people, prideful people. People who don’t understand authority in their life. People who don’t understand how marriages are supposed to work. People who don’t want to change, but don’t want their life to be the same. People who want help, but only in a way that they deem fit. People who aren’t trustworthy.

These people, (and I’m talking about over 10 people who’s business was in a way thrown into my brain) are hurt.

Someone has hurt them.

Something has hurt them.

Maybe a situation. Some of these people are on the lines of divorce. Some are on the lines of giving up church. Some are on the lines of losing it all. Some are just getting started.

But they don’t know how to deal with their life. They don’t know how to respond to the things that are happening to them.

And I’ll be honest – for the most part – their issues are happening because of things they’ve done, not situations God has ordained. Most of these are self inflicted pains, but the person who is in them, can’t see that.

So God and I were talking last night. And He broke my heart for these people. He has made me a leader of sorts. My husband is their spiritual authority. He is their pastor. He will be judged based on how he teaches and leads them, but the bible also says that he and I are one flesh, so I feel like I’ll be judged to an extent as well. Perhaps it will be on how well I held up my husband, and perhaps it will be on how well I helped those that needed it. I’m not sure, and I won’t know until I’m looking at Jesus face to face.

Anyway, God basically pushed my heart into a place last night where I couldn’t sleep. I could only think about these people.

These situations.

These dilemmas.

These sins.

These hurting souls.

These possible solutions.

I was broken. And then this morning it came again.

God asks, “What are you going to do about these things?” Can I do anything? Is there anything I can do to make these situations go away? I know the answers to some, but they aren’t easy answers. They involve people changing. Willingly changing things they’ve been doing their whole lives. It involves people giving up things in their life to better themselves. I can’t make someone do that.

But what can I do?

I can change. I can willingly give up things in my life, to better myself. I can study more. I can read more. I can push myself more. I can be the person most of our church folks think I am already. I can step it up.

I can do this, so when someone comes to me, with a situation, with a dilemma, with a problem, I can give them Godly advice. Not advice out of my own head, but advice from the Father. Advice from the Word. Advice that I’ve studied and learned based on the quiet times I’ve spent with my Father and my Jesus and the sweet Spirit that they bring with them.

I can tell them 1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG: “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.,”

I can tell them Philippians 3:10 MSG: “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.”

I’m going to step it up.

Who’s with me?