Summer Devotional August 18th, 2017

1 Chronicles 29:16:  “…this abundance…comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.”

Imagine how your life would be different if you realized nothing you own is yours.  It’s all God’s.  He’s given it all to you.  He can take it away.  One day it will not be yours.  Imagine how this world would be if we thought not in terms of possessions but in terms of giving.

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Summer Devotional August 16th, 2017

2 Chronicles 20:15:  “‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'”

Sometimes we fight against things in our lives that are completely out of our control.  We forget whose battle it is: God’s.  He’s the redeemer, the one who’ll make all things right.  The administrator of justice.  The final say.  So quit taking on battles that is not yours; leave them to God.  He’s in charge, not you.  Use your strength and energy for much more productive things.

Summer Devotional August 14th, 2017

Habakkuk 3:19:  “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

I’ve been reading a lot lately about goals and this verse reminded me how God is behind us every step of the way. He’s the one who enables you to reach your dreams, your goals, your heights.

Summer Devotional August 11th, 2017

Jeremiah 31:25:  “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

I’m tired.

Physically mainly.  But taxed in other ways as well.

So Wednesday I said to take care of animals.  Today I’m telling you to take care of yourself.  God will refresh you and give you renewed energy.  Pray.  Ask.  For Him to come.  Fill you.  Renew you.  Give you strength for the next step in life.  Literally and figuratively.

Then do something for yourself:  Buy a latte at Starbucks.  Get a massage.  Take a nap.  Read a good book.  Work up a sweat.  Splurge on a hair cut. Or a new coat.  Little things add up to brighten your day.  Refill your emptiness with what works for you.

Summer Devotional August 9th, 2017

Genesis 1:26:  “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'”

Caring for animals.  Some people devote their entire lives to caring for animals:  Veterinarians, animal shelter workers, animal rescues, zoo keepers, etc.  Many make a living through farming and caring for chickens, cows, horses, sheep, etc.

Most of us either has a pet or had a pet at some point in our lives.  God gives these animals to us to care for and in return they give us their hearts, their souls, and their undying devotion.  They are simple creatures; never asking for much.  Sometimes annoying like nudging you to feed them NOW!  Or kneading your leg in the middle of the night. Yes, they are animals that need their poop picked up, their puke cleaned up, and when they are old, their butts picked up to make it out the door or into the car.

But no one can say these little hindrances take away from what we receive in return.  They are always happy to see us.  Happy to be petted and cuddled.  Quick to comfort.  Always nearby.  We laugh at their quirks and what they do.  We nap with them.  We play.  We grieve when they are sick and die.  But most of all we love them right back and can’t imagine our lives without them.

So hug your pet today.  Or someone else’s.  Donate to the raptor or cat rescue.  Stop to move the baby bird out of the road.  Boycott ivory.  Support the humane treatment of animals.  It is our God-given responsibility.  And you’ll be rewarded in unimaginable ways if you do.

Summer Devotional August 7th, 2017

1 Corinthians 15:33:  “Do not be misled:  ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”

We tell this to our kids all the time, but sometimes we ourselves don’t follow this advice.  Hanging out with sinners only leads to sin.  Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, which can lead to a lifetime of penance, is often from the company we keep.

God tells us to keep company with Christians for a reason (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).  We are stronger together.  The opposite is also true:  we are weaker together.

The Bible has a ton of verses on keeping good company (link HERE for more).

My advice:  hang out with those whom you admire, emulate, and want to become.  Those who have morals and values and a good heart.  Those with a desire to help others.  Those with a desire to help you achieve your goals, aspirations, and dreams.  Helpers not inhibitors.  Light not dark.

Summer Devotional August 4th, 2017

Proverbs 12:25:  “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

“How are you?” you ask.

“Fine,” your friend says.  “Good.”

This is an automatic response.  Most of us never think to say anything else.  How often do we say this when it’s untrue?  Most of the time?  How many of us say the truth when asked.  “Ya know, today has been one of the worst of my life.  All these things happened….”

No, we bottle this up, especially to strangers.

My challenge for you today is to say something kind to everyone you meet, run into, or have a conversation with. Compliment their clothes, hair, smile, laugh.  Thank them for holding the door.  Encourage them if they look glum. Smile.  Be cheerful.  Be warm.  Be happy.

Because odds are that person is anxious about something and will never tell you.  But your little extra effort will go a long way to easing their path.