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Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Camp Comes to DVD This August

    Posted on July 9, 2013 by Family Christian

    Word Films announces the August 27 nationwide DVD release of the inspirational film “CAMP.” Inspired by true stories from camps for abused and neglected children, the film’s writer and director, Jacob Roebuck, tapped into real-life events to acknowledge the power of the camp experience and the opportunity it provides to give unconditional love to those seemingly forgotten children who need adults in their lives.

    “CAMP” is the story of a deeply troubled boy, Eli (Miles Elliot, “The Mentalist”), and an apathetic investment advisor, Ken (Michael Mattera), who get paired together at a summer camp for foster kids and discover the meaning of unconditional love. “We are excited for the opportunity to share the story of CAMP,” said Roebuck. “We want to entertain audiences, but we also hope they are inspired to get involved in the lives of abused and neglected kids in their communities. We are thrilled to work with Word on the video distribution of the picture. Not only do they bring a first-class distribution team for mainstream and Christian markets, they also understand the heart behind the film.”

    This inspirational film has received outstanding early acclaim from critics in addition to the Dove Foundation’s “Family-Approved” Seal:

    “This is a wonderful film about healing the wounds of your past... We are pleased to award this movie our Dove ‘Family-Approved’ Seal for ages 12 and over.” - The Dove Foundation

    “Most of the time, movies and television shows spotlight the lighter side of youth camps, but CAMP goes deeper to bring viewers face-to-face with the transformation that happens in the lives of children and even the adults that volunteer. It is incredibly heart affecting, even through the real-life interviews that play during the credits.” - DeWayne Hamby (Christian Retailing, White Wing Messenger)

    “Hollywood loves to entertain us. But CAMP does more than entertain – it inspires. It beautifully illustrates the huge impact the small sacrifice of a week’s time can make in the life of a child in foster care.” – Julie Gumm, best-selling author of “Adopt without Debt”

    Roebuck received inspiration for the film when he joined a summer missions trip and had the opportunity to help abused and neglected children through a program called Royal Family Camp. Once there, he felt the call to help the children he met that so desperately needed contact with loving and caring adults. A portion of the proceeds from the film benefit Royal Family KIDS, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit that serves as the nation’s leading network of camps for abused, neglected and abandoned children.


    This post was posted in Movies and was tagged with Featured, Camp

  • Dancing with Daddy

    Posted on July 9, 2013 by Sheila Mangum

    Sheila Mangum

    "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)

    My father was an alcoholic. Sadly, the disease consumed him and when he couldn't find a way out, he committed suicide. His death affected my life in so many ways, and I missed his presence regularly. But one of the hardest times was at my wedding.

    My wedding day was not what I had dreamed of. I glanced over to where my father should have been and saw an empty chair. The beauty of the father-daughter dance and him giving me away was a moment I would have treasured and framed.

    But there was no photograph of our dance or of him handing me to my husband. Those pictures and memories were stolen from me. My wedding dress hid my vulnerable heart and my flowing veil covered my sad eyes.

    In my brokenness, it felt like my father, by his suicide, abandoned me. I thought I was different because of the shame and loss and never really had a sense of belonging. In many ways, I felt like an orphan. Thankfully, I still had my mother who encouraged me that our faithful God would send someone into my life at the times when I needed a father figure.

    My mom was right. God did send a father to take my dad's place. He arranged for someone to care for my needs, to nurture my wounded heart and be the solid foundation that a girl needs in a father. He sweetly sent someone who would not abandon me.

    God didn't hand-select a pastor, uncle, in-law or godly man whom He trusted to show me love the way I needed. No, God sent Himself as a Father to me and my crippled heart. He fulfilled what He promises in Psalm 68:5, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" (NIV).

    The Fatherhood of God has created a healthy, trustworthy relationship with me that would never have happened if He hadn't helped me overcome the sadness of the loss of my earthly father. He saved me from my doubts and insecurities.

    God has been so very faithful to give to me what the years my childhood of insecurity and immaturity stole from me: wisdom and discernment. He's promised to restore back to me everything that's been stolen, even the memory of a father-daughter dance.

    The Bible describes in vivid detail the beauty that is to come for those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus. Revelation 19:7 says, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" (NIV).

    There is a wedding where my Father will be. His presence will be known. His seat will be filled. His love will surround the place where there will be no tears or pain. At the wedding of the Lamb, I will finally have a dance with my Daddy.

    I will take the hand that created me (Colossians 1:16). I will hold the palm that has my name written on it (Isaiah 49:16). He will lead me to all righteousness, just as He has taught me through life (Psalm 23:3). I will look into the eyes that are watching me now (Psalm 145:20). I will be held in the arms that I have run to so many times (Proverbs 18:10). I will be face-to-face with the One whose love has never failed me (Psalm 31:16). I will dance with my Father on that day.

    Do you need a Father who never will leave you? Do you need security, love and devotion? Your Heavenly Father is the One who holds your heart safely in His capable hands. You are His most treasured possession. He wants to nurture you. Ask God today to heal your heart with His Fatherly love and set your hopes on eternity and a future dance.

    Can He have this dance?

    Father, You are trustworthy, true to Your Word and truly extravagant in Your love. You will never leave nor forsake me. Thank You for Your care for me. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God's Promises by Renee Swope

    The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write this on a note card and place it where you can see it:

    You are MY daughter and I adore you. I watch your every move and direct your every step. I have a future planned and purposed for your good. Your heart is safe with Me. I promise. May I have this dance?

    Love,
    God

    Power Verse:
    Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Sheila Mangum. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Holy Communion

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

     

    Christ calls His children into holy communion by remembering His sacrificial death on the cross.  The night He was betrayed, He explained the significance of what was about to happen. His body would be broken, so broken humanity could be healed by His sinless sacrifice. His blood would be poured out as a pure offering, sin’s final payment for all who breathe God’s free air. Yes, holy communion is a holy encounter with Christ. Sincere saints take seriously this grand gift of grace.

     

    We are privileged as followers of Jesus to experience Jesus in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. We do not enter into this holy moment as a passive ritual, rather we are intentional to engage in intimacy with the Almighty. In prayer we see the mingled blood of our Lord flow from His side, thus, by faith in Him we enjoy His forgiveness. We remember His remarkable pain, His legs disjointed by Roman soldiers, so our pain and suffering could be laid on His bruised body.

     

    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5, NKJV

     

    Oh what gratitude and joy flood our hearts when recount the wonderful cross of Christ! What seemed like just another crucifixion among thousands, turned into God’s megaphone to mankind announcing His love. So, in solemn thanksgiving we taste that the Lord is good when we partake of the bread of brokenness. We humbly drink the new covenant cup of grace and remember that the death of our Lord Jesus gives life. The cross proclaims the pardon of sin for all who believe.

     

    Lastly, are you prayerful in your preparation and participation with the Holy Eucharist? Do you search your heart to see what sin may be active in your actions or passive in your motivations? The Holy Spirit reveals what’s right with Jesus and what’s wrong with us when we remember His righteous act of redemption. Never get over what God has done for you in allowing the sacrificial death of His son. Remember Him and remember how far He has brought you by grace.

     

    Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24, NKJV

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, remind me of Your great love when I take Holy communion with You.

    Related Readings: Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 10:29

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians, Communion

  • Holley Gerth. On a Mission to Inspire Others to Dream.

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by John van der Veen

    Holley Gerth is a bestselling writer, certified life coach, and speaker. She loves connecting with the hearts of women through her blog and books like You're Already Amazing, You're Made for a God-Sized Dream, and Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream. She's also cofounder of (in)courage and a partner with DaySpring Cards. Holley lives with her husband, Mark, in the South.

    I sat down with Holley to talk about how she began her career in the card industry and how that lead to encouraging so many people around the world.

    What I found is a lady who is more interested in having a cup of coffee with her followers than anything else. Holley is a passionate woman who is on a mission to point others to Christ.

    John:                Let's just talk a little bit about Holly and where you’ve come from. You're from Arkansas, right? Have you always been a Southern girl? What kind of inspired you to start writing?

    Holly:               Okay. I'm originally from Texas, which is like a whole different country, really.

    John:                It is.

    Holly:               My grandparents had a Christian bookstore when I was growing up in South Texas. I was the little kid with a big stack of books in the back room. I always dreamed about being a writer when I grew up. That's how I got started and began loving words.

    John:                Were there particular authors that you were kind of drawn towards when you were working at the store?

    Holly:               I was too young to work. I was in elementary school. I remember even in fourth grade, I had Kevin Leman's Birth Order Book. I was analyzing all my little friends on the playground. I would just go straight to the adult Christian living section and pull out whatever I could find and just read and read and read.

    John:                That's pretty funny. Does Kevin know or that he inspired you?

    Holly:               I don't think so.

    John:                No? Have you ever met Dr. Leman?

    Holly:               No. I haven't.

    John:                I think he's published by the same company that publishes you, isn't he?

    Holly:               There you go.

    John:                Maybe someday... That's pretty cool.  How did you come to know the Lord?

    Holly:               I was raised in a Christian family with, the grandparents having a Christian bookstore. I grew up learning about faith and Jesus. I remember just one time being in, it was actually in my grandparents' house, and they have a little Gideon Bible, my grandpa is really active in the Gideon's. I remember just kind of flipping through it. For whatever reason, that was the moment for me. I was about seven, I remember praying and just saying, "Okay Jesus, you know, I'm yours." I got baptized the next Sunday and have had ups and downs in my faith, especially when I went off to college. I had a little rebellious streak for a while. I was fortunate to have a family that was always a part of it.

    John:                 After this and being influenced by Dr. Leman and others, is this when you gave writing a shot?

    Holly:               Yes. Where I really got my start writing was at DaySpring Cards, a subsidiary of Hallmark. When I went off to college, just before Christmas break my freshman year, the DaySpring sales rep went to call on my grandma at their store and she said, "I have this granddaughter who wants to be a writer." You know nanas are irresistible, so the DaySpring sales rep, "She can send some things to us." I did that, clueless at 19 years old and all. But they actually did accept my writing samples and I connected with their editorial team and freelanced when I was in college and interned. Then I spent about nine years there as an editorial director.

    John:                That's pretty wild to think about the fact that your cards or what you have written have inspired and encourage probably thousands of people all over the world. That's pretty spectacular. From DaySpring then you kind of transitioned to taking a stab at writing?

    Holly:               Yes, I started a blog around 2008 when all of that was ramping up, and I loved being able to engage with readers in that way. Then a coworker of mine, Stephanie Bryant, and I co-founded the website (in)courage, with an “I” instead of an “E”. We're at DaySpring and DaySpring was like, "I don't know what you crazy girls are doing, but go for it." We were thankful for that, that they let us go ahead and do that as part of our jobs. That took off in ways that we never expected, it was a God thing.

    I always wanted to write books, but it felt like God was saying it's time to take that step at that point. I always thought I'd be at DaySpring and just felt called to transition into something new. My last day at DaySpring was on a Friday and Revell offered me a three-book contract on the following Monday, that I didn't even know was coming. That was a pretty good confirmation.

    John:                That sounds like a God thing. That's pretty awesome. Your first title ... I don't remember the title of your first book.

    Holly:               You're Already Amazing.

    John:                How did it feel transitioning from one avenue to another?

    Holly:               I had also written two smaller devotionals and published those. It was fun to actually do the kind of books that I read growing up, the longer chapter books. I love the team at Revell. Jennifer Lee, my editor, was awesome. There were a lot of times I was scared in the first go around, and she would say, "It's going to be all right Holly, just keep writing." I loved that.

    By that time, I had also got licensed as a counselor, and certified as a life coach. My life was just full of all these different voices of women, whether it was online through my blog, or face-to-face in a counseling office, or in a lot of other ways. I felt like the conversation was already going and so having a book come out of that just kind of felt like the next natural step. It's really just about what all women struggle with and how God's truth sets us free. It was really fun to take all of that and put it into a book.

    John:                When you write a book, do you think about writing for your audience, or do you feel like you're writing because this is what God has told you to write about?

    Holly:               I would say both. I always say I feel like the first reader of whatever I write, because I feel like that's how God speaks to my heart. My job is first to listen and then just listen to my audience also. I always say on my blog that I'd love to have coffee with all my readers. That's what I think of when I'm writing. It's just what would I want to say if this reader was right across from me and being able to listen to what she is saying is really helpful. I feel like my books really are, in a lot of ways, a conversation between my readers and I.

    John:                Do any of your readers try to take you up on that?

    Holly:               Yes. (laughs)

    John:                Have you?

    Holly:               Yes. Last night we did an event at a store. I got to have coffee with a lot of my readers and it was so much fun. Yeah, if I Facebook, "I'm going to be in ____" like we were in Southern California last week and readers were like, "I live there, let's have coffee." Whenever I can, I do because that's what I love the most, just hearing the hearts of women and being able to be a part of their lives in that way.

    John:                That's great.

    Holly:               Yeah. The coffee helps, too.

    John:                Coffee helps too, nothing wrong with that. I think it's very biblical. (Smiles) Your new book is entitled You're Made for a God-Sized Dream. Want to talk a little bit about that? What's behind that?

    Holly.               Yeah. I felt like I got to go on a God-sized dream journey in the whole transition through launching (in)courage and my work at DaySpring, and then getting to write books. I wanted to come alongside other women, who maybe knew what they were called to do, but were just feeling a little scared to step out, and really equip them to make that transition into their dreams. That's what that book is about. A God-Sized Dream isn't really about size at all; it's about what perfectly fits your heart because God created it for you.

    I love saying to women, "You know what, you can be a dreamer wherever you are. If you're called to stay home and raise your kids, awesome. That's a God-sized dream. If you're supposed to move to Africa and do a non-profit, awesome. That's a God-sized dream, too." Just saying, whatever it is that God's asking you to do, go ahead and say yes. I know it's going to be scary and hard, but it's also going to be amazing and full of joy and it's going to change the world. That's just what that book is, coming alongside those women who are just stepping into that dream that God has for them.

    John:                What do you say with you being a licensed counselor, how do you respond to a lady who comes up to you and says, "I feel like God has a dream for me 'here,' but yet I'm stuck 'here.'" What would you say to that person in attempting to fulfill something that they feel that they've been called to, but feel there are barriers there?

    Holly:               They're in a different season. I would say to start with whatever you can do today. Even last night, I talked to the ladies and I said, "You know what? A dream can happen in 15 minutes a day. So, if you're chasing toddlers and you have 15 minutes to sit down and write one page, that's enough." Dreams are always about a process. It's not about the finish line. It's about the journey along the way.

    Really the best part of a God-sized dream is just going on that adventure with Him. You don't have to wait for that. He's always willing to meet you, every single day, wherever you are. You can get up every day and say, "God, I'm going to pursue this dream. Whatever that looks like today, whether it's five minutes or I get to do it full time, because what I really want out of that dream is more of you." I tell them, "You don't have to ever delay. It's not probably going to be everything you'd like to be doing or that you might be doing one day, but there's something that you can do today." It's really just about living fully engaged and awake.

    John:                What is God teaching you right now, Holly?

    Holly:               God is teaching me that He's never going to stop asking me to get outside of my comfort zone.

    John:                What does that look like?

    Holly:               I think just ...

    John:                Can you share?

    Holly:               Yeah. I'm an introvert.

    John:                Really?

    Holly:               Yes.

    John:                I can't tell (jokingly).

    Holly:               On like the Meyers/Briggs, I'm like 90% introvert. I love being with people, but it's outside of my comfort zone a lot of the time. I feel like this journey is just very much about dependence on Jesus. I say the Help me, Jesus” prayer a lot.  "Help me Jesus. Help me Jesus." Every day, I just pray that He would give me words that are perfect for His daughters. "Give us this day, our daily bread," and "He's the Word," and "He's the Bread of life." I just have to continually go back and say, "I got nothing, but I have you and that's enough."

    He continues to expand, books do well and things, and new opportunities arise. I tell women, "The fear never goes away." That's just part of it. That's what keeps us leaning in and saying, "Okay, I can do this with you Jesus, but I could never do it on my own." I think that's a lesson I just keep continuing to learn.

    John:                Do you ever have a down day?

    Holly:               Yes.

    John:                HA! It doesn't sound like you do.

    Holly:               (laughing) Yes. I absolutely have down days, right? Mark as my witness (Her husband Mark is sitting, nodding his head in agreement). Yes. I get overwhelmed. I get scared. I struggle with depression and anxiety. Every once in a while, I just get up and I think,  "Oh, I don't want to do this anymore," or I'm having a really bad day and my life's a mess and I don't know what I'm doing and these people on my blogs seem to think I have it together in some way, and I don't. I try to tell them that, again. I think that's part of it. We all have down days. None of us are perfect. We all have struggles and we're not home yet. That's not going to go away until we're in heaven. I think it's knowing that we can be used by God even in those times when we feel inadequate or we're really depressed or something hard is happening in our lives. That's really comforting to me that He can use us in spite of us. That's a really reassuring thing to know.

    John:                I'm always amazed on how liberal God's grace is towards His children knowing how much He knows about us. Even when we feel that life is going great, He still sees all the crud in our life. He still says, "Yes, you are the one that I have chosen to be my child, my bride." Pretty spectacular. Do you have a favorite Bible passage that you continually go to?

    Holly:               I tend to have one that I focus on for each book. With this book, it's Matthew 19:26, "All things are possible with God." I love that because "with God" means it's a partnership with Him. That verse doesn't mean I can do whatever I want and God will make it happen. It means that if we partner with Him, and we're seeking His purposes for our lives then nothing is impossible for us. That's really reassuring to me that I can just show up and say. "Okay, I'm willing to be used and God will work out the rest and make His purposes happen.

    John:                What are your big goals for the rest of this year?

    Holly:               The rest of this year? I have another book coming out in September, a devotional companion to this book.

    John:                Is that finished yet?

    Holly:               It's Opening The Door to your God-sized Dream, it goes along with the most recent book that's coming out.

    John:                That's great. That's awesome, Holly. I appreciate you coming in here, bringing me coffee and taking the time to chat with us today. I'm excited to see what God has in store for you.

    Holly:               Thank you. I appreciate that.


    This post was posted in Books, Interviews, John van der Veen and was tagged with Featured, Kevin Leman, Holley Gerth, Dayspring

  • Behind the Songs with Darlene Zschech

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by Family Christian

    The long awaited live worship project from iconic worship leader Darlene Zschech is available now. Revealing Jesus is Darlene’s first worship recording in the U.S., and was produced by four time Grammy winner and Gold selling worship artist Israel Houghton at the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to Israel, Darlene is joined by friends Michael W Smith and Kari Jobe as co writers and performers on the project.

    Watch and listen as Darlene shares her thoughts behind some of the albums songs:

    Bonus video - Victor's Crown


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Kari Jobe, Darlene Zschech, Michael W. Smith, Israel Houghton

  • Take the Plunge

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." Psalm 119:162 (NLT)

    My husband and I had saved for a year to go snorkeling. With all the sacrifices we had made, I couldn't believe we were finally on the white sandy shore. Confidently, I grabbed my gear and prepared to jump into the clear blue water.

    But it wasn't like I had imagined. The mask felt funny once I got it on; how was I supposed to breathe like that? My heart fluttered as anxiety grew.

    My head screamed at me, dive in! Get out there. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! But my feet stayed planted on dry ground. Though Greg pleaded with me, even came and took my hand to lead me out to the deep water, I never got past the rocky shore that day.

    Twenty years later, my chance came again. Starting a few months before the trip, I gave myself a talking-to every day. Go for it, Lynn! It will be worth it. Just dive in and don't look back! I recited this pep talk as I waded in the ocean.

    My heart began pounding again, but I kept going. Encouraging voices beckoned me to come farther out where the schools of rainbow-colored fish swam. Holding my breath, I peeked under the water, shocked to see the cobalt blue and golden yellow creations. I even swam with a sea turtle! Before I knew it, an hour had passed.

    Did I want to quit? Some moments I did, but I reminded myself of all I was gaining by staying out away from the shore.

    There was a time when I avoided "diving" deeper into Scripture. My schedule was always short on time. Not to mention I felt intimidated by stories I didn't understand and challenges that made me feel "less than."

    I relieved any guilt I felt about not studying the Bible by reading a verse or two here and there. Yet, like that young woman on the rocky shore so many years ago, I knew I was missing out by not going deeper.

    When I became part of a leadership team at my church, I had to take the plunge. The group's accountability helped me be consistent in reading and studying the Bible. The daily homework navigated me as I learned to go below the surface. I found I loved it!

    Years later, I can't wait to hang out with Jesus and learn what He has to say to me each day. I still participate in a group Bible study now and then, but what I enjoy most is going through my Bible on my own.

    When we study God's Word, He reveals who He is and His plans and heart for us. As we explore different verses, their original Greek and Hebrew meanings, the culture the text was written in, and how verses tie in together, it's like coming upon a gold mine. See how the psalmist put it: "I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure" (Psalm 119:162).

    It was one thing to hear my husband's experience of snorkeling 20 years ago when I waited on the shore. But, his stories came to life when I dipped my head under water and discovered for myself the beautiful coral, shimmering fish and vibrant colors.

    In the same way, it's wonderful to hear what others have to say about Scriptures they have studied, to listen to sermons or to read books. But it's really amazing to dive in ourselves. Studying God's Word opens our eyes, heart and mind to learn from Him about His ways, His will and His direction for us. So go ahead, take the plunge. What are you waiting for?

    Lord, the only thing holding me back from discovering the depths in Your Word is me. Empower me to be disciplined and help me to hear Your voice as I study Your Word. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Devotions for a Revolutionary Year: 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love by Lynn Cowell is a book to help your daughter get her feet wet and take the plunge for the deep water of God's Word.

    Looking for a way you can connect to your daughter and learn God's Word together? His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You by Lynn Cowell is for girls ages 13-18. It's a great study for moms and girls to bond over!

    Dive deep into Scripture with the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, filled with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team. Take the plunge by clicking here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What hinders you from spending time alone with Jesus?

    In the next 24 hours, carve out a time for just you and God. You may need to set your alarm clock earlier. You may need to stay up later. Be intentional.

    Power Verse:
    Jeremiah 15:16, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Unwise Argument

    Posted on July 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?”    (Isaiah 45:9)

    Do not argue with the Almighty for it is unwise and unproductive. Debating Deity is a vain and proud proposition. How could you know better than God what’s best? People possess a fraction of all knowledge, He owns all knowledge. Your perspective is limited at best, His view is all encompassing. You are the created, He is the Creator. You are worshippers, He is worshipped. You pray, He answers prayer. You receive grace, He gives grace. You sin, He forgives. You are human, He is God. Mind you, God does not mind sincere dialogue that seeks understanding. Questions regarding clarity of purpose and obedience are okay with Him. However, He rejects exerting energy around arguing about obvious obedience to His commands.
    The best way to relate to God is with agreement instead of argument. Agree with Him about who you are, as He has made and gifted you uniquely. You do not need to be anyone else other than yourself. You will stay frustrated trying to fashion your life after someone else’s, so be you. Let others inspire you to become better, but do not be overwhelmed by their abilities. God may have given them a greater capacity for activities and relationships. Be who God wants you to be, and don’t argue with Him about not having the opportunities afforded to others. He knows what’s best for you. Wouldn’t you rather have time to enjoy your family than to make 30% more  income, or even to double your salary? An increase in pay or a move to another city is not worth neglecting your family.
    You may argue with God and even get your way, but there is a price to pay. Guilt, broken relationships, hurt, and anger are not worth the trouble. Maneuvering around your Maker to get something may come back to haunt you. Arguing often means you are not getting your way. Therefore, call a time out. Take a prayerful pause, and align your way with His. Arguments can be resolved with alignment of purpose. Stay true to His call on your life, take responsibility, and do not argue with God or blame others.

    You have an opportunity to deepen your faith during this time of uncertainty. Cling to your Savior for affirmation and direction. Accept the truth instead of resisting reality. God is in control, He can be trusted. He will send you the relationships and resources needed to accomplish His will. The enemy tempts, so debate the devil with God’s word, and align with the Almighty’s purpose for your life. Choose acceptance of God’s will over argument. Acceptance allows you to channel your energy toward eternal matters. Argue less and accept more. This is wise and acceptable to the Almighty. No need to argue.

    Post/Tweet: Accept the truth instead of resisting reality. God is in control. #God’scontrol

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Isaiah

  • Attentive to Children

    Posted on July 6, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places” (1 Samuel 7:15–16). “But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (1Samuel 8:3).

    Children need attention. They spell love T-I-M-E. We can be so busy, even busy doing good things, we miss out on God’s best, which is spending time with our children. They need time to laugh and time to cry, time to run and jump, and time to be still and nap. Children need time to pray, go to the library, make snow angels, ski, play dolls, dress up, make believe, play in the dirt, climb trees, and play hide-and-seek.

    Parents have the tremendous privilege of investing time in their children by having dates, hunting, and shopping together. You can take trips, run on the beach, chase sand crabs, swim, and watch the sun go down. You can eat a peanut butter sandwich and pretzels at their school, attend their sporting events, and proudly watch their school play or awards ceremony.

    If we miss our children experiencing life, we neglect them. If we neglect our children, there is a high probability they will reject us and/or our faith. Indeed, their perception of dad and mom is their perception of God. If we are distant, uninvolved, and disengaged, so they will see their heavenly Father. Therefore, invest time, money, and love in your children.

    Children require, and in some cases demand, a lot of attention. Your role is to be there for them, to be available. Your quality time with your children flows from your quantity time with them. You cannot stage or script quality time, it just happens, and you have to be around them to enjoy its benefit. When children are comfortable, they open up. Sometimes unexpectedly they begin to share their hearts. These spontaneous snippets of time become precious, teachable moments. Remember, quality time requires quantity time.

    For example, after attending their sporting event, affirm and encourage them. They already know about their mistakes. They just need to know everything is okay and they will do better next time. The most important part is showing up. You are the first person they look for in the crowd. When you are there, it shows you care. You cannot make up for these childhood days, but there will be other deals, work projects, ministry roles, and business opportunities. Be careful not to let work or ministry compete with your family.

    When at all possible, integrate two competing responsibilities. It may mean a family mission trip or serving together in the church nursery. If work requires travel, take a child with you. Make it a special trip with just the two of you. Let your children watch you “do life.” Let them see you trusting God with a difficult situation or watch you give Him credit for a great success. Then as they mature into adults, your children feel accepted rather than neglected, they respect mom and dad, and they embrace faith in Jesus.

    Prayer: How does my child like to spend time with me?

    Post/Tweet: Quality time with our children flows from our quantity time with them. #childtime

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Samuel

  • Too Sensitive

    Posted on July 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

    Pride is too sensitive. It easily gets its feelings hurt, because pride has a very high opinion of itself. Indeed, those who are overly sensitive believe they are beyond questioning or criticism. When someone asks for clarification or questions their actions, the proud move quickly to a defensive and/or attack frame of mind. Self focus causes hyper sensitive people to easily get their feelings hurt. Proud people have a protective process of projecting an image of perfection.

    Are you vulnerable and open to other opinions? Or, is your mind made up and no one can persuade you to think differently? Furthermore, how can we think soberly about ourselves? Sober mindedness is a healthy blend of humility and confidence in Christ. Humility sees even in our imperfection, we are loved by a perfect Savior. Confidence in Christ means we can be assured where He calls us, He will empower us. Humility is sensitive to the Spirit and not to self.

    My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:1-2

    There is a calmness that accompanies our heart when it is content and void of conceit. Our spirit is quieted under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit gives us compassionate sensitivity to other souls. The Spirit’s influence keeps us from being consumed with ourselves. We quickly admit our offenses, own them and ask others for forgiveness. We laugh with others at our goofy remarks or silly mistakes. Humility is not easily offended.

    Lastly, look to the Lord for affirmation, approval and acceptance. His nod of approval, His smile of affirmation and His hug of acceptance still your spirit. Your Heavenly Father has given you the faith to forge ahead for Him. Many will support your efforts, some will be indifferent and a few will resist. Regardless, do not take the feeling of rejection personally. Remember, like Jesus  stay focused on bringing glory to God. It is not about you, but Him. Be sensitive to the Spirit.

    You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 2 Samuel 22:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to be sensitive to Your Spirit and not to selfish desires.

    Related Readings: Psalm 101:5, 116:7; Isaiah 2:12; Romans 8:14, 12:16; Galatians 5:18

    Post/Tweet today: Humility sees even in our imperfections we are loved by a perfect Savior. #lovedbyJesus

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Romans

  • Changing History through Prayer

    Posted on July 5, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, 'LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life ..." 1 Samuel 1:10-11a (NIV)

    Hours before I was conceived, my mom got on her knees. "Lord, if You will give me a baby tonight I will dedicate it to You and for Your service all the days of its life. Amen." God answered her prayer that night, and all my days have been devoted to Him in large part due to the fervent prayers of my mom.

    My mom followed in the footsteps of millions of mothers who prayed for their children. From the time of Samuel until this very day, some of our most influential Christian heroes became history makers because of their mothers' prayers.

    Samuel's mother Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord for years, pleading for a son. Eventually, God granted her prayer requests with her son Samuel, who Hannah dedicated to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:10-11a). He grew in wisdom, became a great prophet and judge, and led the Israelites into victory over the mighty Philistines.

    Susanna Wesley raised her sons, John (one of the greatest evangelists of the 1700's, speaking to crowds of more than 20,000) and Charles (who wrote over 9,000 hymns still sung today) in a home dedicated to the Word of God and prayer. In the midst of raising 10 children, she would spend two hours a day in personal prayer. On days she couldn't find a place of solitude, she would lift her apron over her head to be alone with God.

    George Washington was known for his humility, perseverance and dignity. His mother Mary raised him and his siblings as a single mother after her husband died when George was 10. It is recorded that she went to a nearby rock outside her house to pray continually. George wrote letters to his mother while on the battlefield of the Revolutionary War, that he escaped death when bullets went through his coat and horses were shot out from under him. Miracle after miracle happened to George, and he honored his praying mother with these words: "All that I am I owe to my mother."

    Billy Graham has led nearly three million people to freedom in Christ and has preached the Gospel to more than 80 million people during his lifetime. He has said of all the people he has ever known, his mother, Morrow, had the greatest influence on his life. She would gather the family to listen to the Bible and pray together. She and his dad would pray for Billy each morning at 10:00.

    Every Christian mother contending, interceding and praying for her children has the potential to change the course of history for God's glory. Our world is in need of God-filled history makers to rise up. I'm going to pray more diligently than ever for our children and their future and will stand on these promises of God:

    Matthew 21:22, "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive" (NKJV).

    John 14:13-14, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (NKJV).

    I will pray as my mother, Hannah, Susanna, Mary, and Morrow did for their children. I will pray for my children and for generations to come with unwavering passion and persistence. Will you join me?

    Let's rise up and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might as we pray to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine.

    Father, You hear our prayers, and You promise to answer them, according to Your will. Teach me how to pray for my, and other's, children that they might become fishers of men and bring You glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Scripture calls us to care for all children. In Fields of the Fatherless, Tom Davis shares God's heart for children and how we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to kids.

    Prayers for a Woman's Soul by Julie Gillies

    Reflect and Respond:
    Pick several Scriptures to pray specifically for your children.

    Write out your prayers for your children in a notebook or save them in a special file on your computer. As God answers them, record how He works. Keep this to pass down to your children.

    Power Verse:
    Colossians 1:9, "And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding ..." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Prayer, 1 Samuel

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