september 20

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

Most of you just said that verse in your head along with me. It’s probably the most popular Bible verse ever! And rightly so! The Bible says God loved us so much that He gave His only son! This isn’t a new concept, but goodness, it’s so powerful.

Those of you with children: I want you to think about giving up your own son or daughter. For someone who is undeserving. Ungrateful. Someone who would make a million mistakes. Someone who would turn his/her back on you at times. Someone who would even potentially deny your existence!

What love! What great love! That God would give up His beloved. His cherished child. His very own son. I know I wouldn’t/couldn’t make such a selfless sacrifice. You likely wouldn’t either.

Think on this tonight. And then thank God for His unmatched kindness, grace, loyalty and love toward you!

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september 19

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” – Psalm 27:8

If only it were that simple! That’s what God asks us to do, though. To seek His face. What if we just followed that command? No matter the circumstances? First? Before we say “yes”? Before we say “no”? Before we take a trip? Before we get married? Before we change careers? Before we make any decisions?

It’s not going to be easy. But our lives will reflect what God has planned for us, instead of what we anxiously and perpetually plan for ourselves.

september 17

I read the verse below this morning, and I wanted to take this opportunity to lift up my friends who are struggling with infertility. I have a special place in my heart for women who struggle with the one thing we believe, as females, that we should be able to do. For whatever reason, infertility is rampant. Maybe it’s just in my small circle of friends and family, but I’m sure it has affected you or someone very close to you as well.

During the time that my husband and I struggled to get pregnant, I would search and search Scripture to find a nugget of hope. Because you, too, maybe seeking a word from the Lord, I wanted to share this verse with you. Committing our ways unto the Lord will not result in the picture perfect masterpiece that we envision. It doesn’t mean God will wave His magic wand of fertility upon all those women who struggle. Committing your ways unto Jesus means that you relinquish your idea of what should happen, trust that He is for you, and believe that He will bring it to pass. Your journey may end up very different than how it began. You may adopt. Foster. Undergo medical intervention.

Whatever happens, seek the Lord first and He will direct your path. I am praying for you.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” – Psalm 37:5

september 16

Recently, I saw a commercial for the show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”. It showed a woman named Teresa lying on her bedroom floor with her eyes closed, asking God for help and protection. Apparently, she and her husband were/are being indicted for mortgage and bank fraud. Being convicted could result in hefty fines, jail-time and even deportation back to Italy for her husband. The couple has four young children.

I remember watching this show in the past and I never saw nor heard Teresa mention God. Or Jesus. I never saw her pray. Or open her Bible. (Of course, this could be more editing in production than what really took place.) I don’t say these things to judge. Goodness, no! Just before I embarked on the plane to Martha’s Vineyard (which would forever change my life), I don’t know that I could have been seen doing any of the above either.

There’s something about trials that point us in the Only direction that counts. Surely you have been like Teresa and I. We all have times in our lives where the reason we don’t hear from God is because we aren’t in communication with Him. Our Bibles get dusty. Our reaching out to others wanes. Our church attendance may even fall off. But one thing’s for sure: God always calls His children back to Himself.

I’ve found in my life that He almost always uses pain or loss to draw me closer to Him. It’s in those times (for Teresa too!) that we go back to the Source. That we return to the only One who can give us peace and hope. The Only One who loves us enough to give us tribulation in the first place. I’m so thankful for the times that aren’t perfect. The messy ones. The keep-the-doors-to-this-house-closed ones. The times that remind us where our faith lies. And God always, always welcomes back His children. Thank Him for this truth today!

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.” – Psalm 37:9

september 15

“The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” – Numbers 6:26

When I read this verse today, I thought about how WE are supposed to lift OUR eyes to heaven! Right?! I’ve read this verse before (I don’t remember it, but I assume I have since I’ve read all of Numbers.) This was a new concept for me today. God lifts up HIS face to look upon ME?!

I don’t know about you, but I need God to look upon me today. To give me peace that only He can. I need Him to search and try my heart, to show me if there is anything unbecoming. I need Him to shine His light into my life, so that I’m rejuvenated with His watchcare and love.

That the God of the Universe looks UPON ME? Wow! That’s something worth smiling about today!

september 14

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” – Romans 13:8

Wow! Did I just read that correctly?! If I love others, I have fulfilled the entire law? Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.

Isn’t it hard to love others? Sometimes it’s more difficult for me to love the people I know than it is to love strangers. Why is that? Because we KNOW the people closest to us. We know their flaws. Their opinions that differ from ours. We are sometimes the subject of their chatter, maybe even the recipient of their negative behavior. It’s so difficult to overlook mistakes, isn’t it? Especially if those mistakes directly affect us!

With the help of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, we can concentrate on what really matters: loving the people God has places in our lives. When we spend time in the Word, and in prayer, we have far less time to engage in criticism of other people. Spend some time today thinking about whose life you can impact this week with an act of service or encouraging message.

I find that the more I love on others, the more loved I feel in return! And who doesn’t love that?! 🙂

september 13

I read the following verses this morning and I felt nothing but sheer conviction:

“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” – Romans 9:20-21

See what I mean?!

It may help to read the verses in a different translation, but I can paraphrase. Who are we to question God? Who are we to put ourselves on the same level as God. We think we know what’s best for us. After all, isn’t that what we demonstrate when we get angry and upset with God? If we didn’t think we could to “it” (whatever “it” is!) better than God, we would accept what we’re given. We would open our hands willingly to grasp whatever God places in them. But that’s not what we do.

We pray for healing, for new opportunities, for a child, for a spouse, for comfort, ease, financial provisions. When we don’t receive what we believe we deserve (because of our diligent prayer or simply because we are selfish), we get mad. Real mad. Or upset. Disheartened. Depressed. Why? Because we don’t trust God.

We are our own idols. We worship our wants and our needs. Our dreams and our goals. Our existence in the very world God created for us. And when our life takes a different or drastic turn, we question God. We question His goodness. His love for us. His intentions.

Let’s break the cycle. Let’s open up our hearts, minds and empty hands to receive whatever God offers to us. And then, with a thankful heart, let’s praise Him for who He is to us. I’m going to start today! How about you?