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Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • God’s Plan

    Posted on August 31, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

    God’s plan is what is best. It is a good plan. It may not seem like a good plan right now, but God’s plan is good. This apparent contradiction is where it gets confusing. A messy life is not always a fun life. Currently you may be experiencing heartache and hard times. His plan does not seem good in your current circumstance, but God is still good.

    Perhaps your spouse has been unfaithful. God’s plan seems to have taken a detour down a road of disappointment. You lost your home. God’s plan seems wrong. You were asked to resign. God’s plan does not seem fair. Your health is withering away. God’s plan seems premature with its invitation for your homecoming. Every step you take, every choice you make, and every place you go seem to lead toward more confusion and chaos.

    So how can God’s plan be good, prosperous, and not harmful? This is a fair question. To answer this question accurately and fairly, we need to consider God’s long-term plan. To walk wisely today requires a reminder of hope tomorrow. It is our future hope with God that inspires us to live for Him today. Wherever Jesus is, there hope resides. When we have Jesus, we have hope. Hope is heaven’s righteous rope that lifts us out of our despair.

    “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for” (Job 6:8).

    Therefore, you can look forward to a better day. But do not miss what God is teaching you today. Hope for tomorrow does not preclude learning from the Lord today. This is all a part of God’s big plan. In the big scheme of God’s plan, there is suffering. Your suffering may even last a lifetime, but this does not cancel out the goodness of God’s plan. Suffering is our springboard into the depths of God’s love and grace.

    “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

    Current challenges are preparation for His prosperity, His hope, and His future for you. On the other hand, you may be living large right now. Life looks good. God feels good. His plans seem to be rolling out flawlessly. Use this time to go deeper with Him, because the realities of His plan for you go much deeper than a surface, spiritual sentimentality.

    His plan is robust and challenging. You can acquiesce to a plan of lesser consequence and miss His best. Or you can trust the Lord and follow hard after Him, even when His plan seems to have gone awry. Indeed, this is not your home. You are on assignment from heaven; so explore and enjoy His eternal exit plan. It is full of prosperity, hope, and a future. You can trust God’s providential plan works out for the purpose of His will.

    “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

    Prayer: Is His plan what is best for me? Am I aligned with the Almighty’s plan for my life?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 21:30; Isaiah 14:24; 2 Corinthians 1:17; Hebrews 11:40

    Post/Tweet: To walk wisely today requires a reminder of hope tomorrow. #God’splan

    © 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 Jeremiah

  • Own A Passport

    Posted on August 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

    Christ commands Christians to go into all the world and make disciples. The Lord’s vision is for all nations to come to know Him through faith in Jesus. There is a divine burden for the burden of sin to be lifted from those who need forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father wants all people around the globe to hear the good news of Jesus and to grow in a personal relationship with Him. Disciples are made by hearing the gospel, believing, and obeying Christ’s commands.

    Is your faith expression land locked for fear of leaving your comfort zone? Have you experienced the joy of taking Jesus to other shores outside your homeland security? Jesus states very clearly that He accompanies us as we go forth by faith to share His love. He energizes. He empowers. He engages. His Spirit invites the lost to Himself. His overseas mission mobilization is not limited to the few “navy seals” of the faith. All disciples are called to make disciples.

    I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. Isaiah 49:6

    Yes, there is spiritual preparation before you experience cross cultural missions. Make sure you are ministering to those in your home before you export your faith to foreign families. The Lord’s first opportunity to live out what you believe is with those who know you the best. Furthermore, unpack emotional baggage here before you attempt to make disciples over there, so you do not carry a weight of guilt or shame. Emotional health frees you to serve in the Spirit.

    Moreover, manage your money well, so debt is not an obstacle to obeying God. Be free from the shackles of financial entrapment, so you are free to serve the Lord in different time zones. Perhaps you start with a short-term mission trip to “test the waters.” In fact, most will not be called to a permanent overseas assignment in disciple making, but many can travel temporarily. Own a passport, so you are ready to follow Christ’s command and make disciples of all nations.

    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow me into a faithful disciple, so I can make disciples of all nations.

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 16:8; Psalm 48:10, 67:2; Zechariah 2:11; Luke 24:47; Acts 13:47

    Post/Tweet today: Disciples are made by hearing the gospel, believing the gospel and obeying Christ’s commands. #ownapassport

    © 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 Matthew

  • If God Does Not Rescue Us

    Posted on August 30, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods ..." Daniel 3:17-18a (HCSB)

    She whisked the tears away fast, like a sailor scooping water from a sinking ship. My friend was trying hard to keep her heart from going under.

    She'd been carrying the joy of what she thought was a new life on the way. But this was a hope to be deferred. It wasn't time. She wasn't sure if it'd ever be time.

    Desperate aches to hold a baby of her own had begun to dictate her thoughts, emotions and actions. And she recognized she had to face a few big questions before they consumed her.

    Would her longing to rest her cheek against a soft head crowd out her praise to God? Might her days be full of trust in Him, even if her womb remained empty? Could she stand in awe of all God had already done ... or would she bow to discontentment and disbelief in His goodness and power?

    As she sat with me, my friend knew it was time to stand and face the music. Much like three young Israelite men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, did in the book of Daniel.

    These Israelites had been captured by the Babylonians. Many years into their captivity, the fanatical King Nebuchadnezzar held a ceremony. To fulfill his craving to be feared and obeyed, he demanded the people bow and worship a 90-foot golden idol when special music was played. If they didn't, death by a scorching furnace was certain.

    Everyone kneeled facedown; everyone but these three men of God. They stood above the crowd and literally faced the music.

    Going against the royal edict had sealed their fate, or so the king thought. Scripture tells the rest of their story: "Then in a furious rage Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. ... 'if you don't worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?'" (v. 13a, 15b HCSB).

    Little did the king realize the depth of confidence these men had in their God. They knew their fate was held by Him, not determined by the king's whims. Listen to how they responded. "If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king.

    But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods ..." (v. 16b-18a HCSB)

    Their strong rebuttal threw cold water on the king's burning demands. I love their resolute belief. Especially because the word rescue in this context indicates possibility, not certainty.

    They were assured in knowing that God possibly would ... and definitely could ... but He certainly might not save them.

    God miraculously rescuing them from the antics of Nebuchadnezzar wasn't their focus. Instead, they fixed their hearts on the fact God is good and wise and can be trusted, no matter the outcome. They stood against the lure to desire anything—even their lives—more than God.

    Almost a year after our conversation, I spotted my friend at church. I knew it hadn't been an easy year for her. Though her arms still didn't hold a baby, she was clinging tightly to her God—facing the music, remaining faithful. She was worshiping with all her heart.

    God, sometimes I don't understand Your ways. They fly in the face of my desires. Help me recognize doubt, frustration and fear as an indication that I am longing for something more than I long for You. Help me trust and love You. Amen.

    Related Resources:


    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to feel the gravity of the declaration Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego made: "But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods ..."

    Is there a desire of your heart that God has not granted? What would change if you actively chose to long for God more than that desire?

    Power Verse:
    Mark 12:30, "And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. 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 Daniel

  • Mom’s Godly Example

    Posted on August 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. Psalm 86:16

    Mom’s who serve the Lord are a gift from the Lord. Like a cool breeze over a warm sweaty brow they quietly refresh those under their watch. Instinctively, they discern a wounded heart and offer words of comfort. This sensitive servant of Jesus listens for the real meaning behind the spoken words entrusted to their confidentiality. They have attractive moral authority because they model The Way. Mom’s under the influence of Christ relationally influence others for Christ.

    Are you a mom who loves Jesus? Do you celebrate the fruit of your faithful life? Give yourself permission to enjoy the character of Christ that continues to grow in those you have invested in all these years. Behind most godly leaders, parents, pastors, teachers, diplomats, executive assistants, custodians, chauffeurs, care givers and athletes is a praying mom. Because you model Jesus, your child wants to be like Jesus. God gives strength to those who serve Him like momma.

    Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. Psalm 116:16

    There is freedom when you follow the godly example of your mother. She is the Holy Spirit’s emissary for you to emulate. Serve in the power of the Spirit and you empower humility to have its way in your heart. Serve when you are fatigued and God will give you strength. Serve when you are conflicted and Christ will give you clarity. Serve when you don’t feel like it and your emotions will catch up and care. God strengthens those who selflessly serve like a godly mom.

    Moreover, make sure you do not take advantage of the giving heart of your mom. Help her for a change without her having to ask. Anticipate what she might need, rather than waiting for her to meet your needs. Call her before she calls you. Visit her before she visits you. Pray for her before she prays for you. Share scripture with your mother that strengthens her heart.  Most of all, serve Jesus like a godly mom. Continue to be a person worth modeling, because you model Christ.

    Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for godly moms who show us how to serve You.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 14:3; John 2:5, 13:15; 1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17

    Post/Tweet today: Moms under the influence of Christ relationally influence others for Christ. #influenceothersforChrist

    © 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 Psalm, Mothers

  • The Day My Fragile Identity as a Mom Melted

    Posted on August 29, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

    She had the most angelic sweetheart lips. Eyes blue as the most tranquil oceans. Blonde ringlet curls. Chubby cheeks begging to be kissed over and over. Little hands that instinctively curled around my finger while simultaneously melting my heart.

    Pure sweetness wrapped in a pink blanket.

    And then came the day this little creature pursed those lips, gripped the toy in her hand, tilted her pigtailed head and screamed, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

    The fuss was over a small red toy my friend had let her borrow. My friend who was much more organized than me. She had brought along toys and baggies of Cheerios to keep the kids entertained during our coffee date. The plan to use this toy as temporary entertainment had worked beautifully. Until it was time to go.

    I could feel a burning flush of embarrassment rush from my chest to my face.

    Of course my friend's child was shining her halo with one hand while happily handing over her yellow toy with the other.

    "Mine! Mine!" My daughter screamed as every eye in the small java joint stared at me.

    I pried the toy from her hand, thanked my friend, and hoisted my kicking and screaming daughter out of the wooden highchair. And then in slow motion, I watched in horror as she knocked my paper coffee cup from my hand and sent it careening across the floor.

    I felt my fragile identity as a mom melt into the puddle of spilled coffee. What happened to my angel? My beautiful daughter was ... not so angelic.

    It's been many years since that day in the coffee shop.

    But oh how I wish I could go back and sit with my little inexperienced mommy self on the drive home.

    I would say, "Your daughter is a child in need of a parent. She needs to be taught. And some of your best teaching opportunities will come when she puts her sin nature on display. Don't fear or fret or feel like this is some sort of failure on your part. Her outside demonstrations are an internal indication of her need for guidance. So guide her. Love her. And always remember to be the parent. Not her friend. Not her buddy. The parent."

    I needed to know what Proverbs 22:6 teaches, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

    That daughter is 19 years old now. And is an absolute delight.

    But growing her up wasn't always easy. There were many more times when she put her sin nature on display. And each time I had to choose to be the parent.

    It's not easy to be the parent. It seems less and less popular to tell kids no.

    As parents, we need to set biblical boundaries. Teach our kids the difference between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Not cater to their every whim. Draw lines between what's appropriate and inappropriate for language, entertainment, and the length of a hemline. Model manners. And what it looks like to seek a life of godliness, not just religious activity.

    Glory knows I've been so imperfect with all this.

    But holding the line on being the parent, even when done imperfectly, is good.

    And will be worth it.

    Even in those seasons where you feel as if they're doing everything the opposite of what you've taught them. All that parenting is in them. And the fruit of that will emerge one day.

    Yes, be the parent. Teach biblical truths. Stand strong in saying no even when it's not the popular choice.

    That's what our kids need so desperately.

    And be encouraged, friend ... you're doing better than you think you are.

    Dear Lord, You know better than all of us that parenting is hard. Help me to see each day as a teaching opportunity to raise up a child who loves You. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to think: how and what am I communicating to my children?

    Read today's power verses for a better understanding of just how important it is to raise a child to follow after the Lord.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 54:13, "All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace. (NIV)

    2 Timothy 3:14-15, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Proverbs, Mothers

  • Pray Hard

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12

    Prayer is not a passive undertaking, but an aggressive engagement with God. It is a labor of love. It is a toil of trust. It is a work of the Holy Spirit through holy intercessors. Indeed, prayer without spiritual perspiration lacks the intensity the Spirit requires. Pray in the face of fatigue and you will find God. Pray proactively as a servant of Jesus for those who are servant’s of Jesus. Pray earnestly for a friend who faces disease to be healed. Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray.

    We can pray effectively for one another, because we are like one another. Since Epaphras was one of them, his prayers oozed with empathy and emotion. Prayer is much more than a mental interaction with the Truth, it is an intense intimacy with our Heavenly Father motivated by our compassion and fueled by faith. The gift of earnest prayer may be the most valuable asset we have to give to those we love. Who needs to know that you are really lifting them up to the Lord?

    Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

    What is the substance of our supplications for those who need our prayers? We fervently petition our Father in Heaven for our friends and family to stand firm in the will of God. We ask Jesus to give them a righteous resolve not to waver from where He has them. Better for our loved ones to be on a stormy sea experiencing God’s will, than on a calm shore outside His will. A firm faith flushes out fear and aligns with the Almighty. Pray hard for a friend under pressure to persevere.

    Lastly, pray hard for those God brings into your life to mature in their faith and be fully assured of Christ’s faithfulness. A mature faith is not easily deceived by sin or Satan. It is on the look out for cheap imitations of intimacy that only lead to disappointment. Pray hard for leaders you know to have a humble dependence on Jesus and to rest secure in Him. You join in another’s struggle as you send forth supplications to heaven. Pray the hardest, when it is hardest to pray!

    I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Romans 15:30

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to pray hard for those who are having a hard time.

    Related Readings: Matthew 7:7; John 9:31; 2 Corinthains 1:11; James 5:17-18

    Post/Tweet today: Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray. #prayhard

    © 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 Colossians, Prayer

  • New Video from Sanctus Real - Pray

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Rather than simply glossing over struggles, Sanctus Real has never been afraid to shine a light on challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real have written songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times. Through both their struggles and victories, the guys in Sanctus Real have come to realize there’s only one place to run, and that’s into God's arms, and to his word and promises.

    The band continues to build on their best-selling and 2010 Grammy nominated album, Pieces of a Real Heart, that carried the breakthrough song of their career. “‘Lead Me’ was a cry from the heart that resounded with families everywhere. We've devoted the better part of our lives writing songs that we pray will matter. Hearing countless stories of how God can use a song has been both humbling and inspiring,” says frontman Matt Hammitt.

    Rather than glossing over their struggles, Sanctus Real is never afraid to shine a light on their challenges and hardships. On the band’s sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real presents songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times.

    Songs like the first single from Run, "Pray," will find you exactly where you are, sharing the struggles and victories that make up the life story of a band that wears its heart on its sleeve.

    Watch the video here:

    What do you think?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Sanctus Real

  • Hidden Hardships Behind Closed Doors

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3 (NASB)

    Hidden behind the door of many homes is the reality of hardship. A devastated home isn't always apparent on first impressions, is it?

    Take Susanna Wesley's life for instance. A quick glance reveals she was married to a preacher in the late 1600s. They had 10 children, two of which grew up to bring tens of thousands of people to Christ: John and Charles Wesley. Sounds like a sweet story, doesn't it?

    But if we look behind the door of her home, hard conditions were the norm. Her husband, Sam, couldn't (or wouldn't) manage their finances well. They disagreed on everything from money to politics. This couple actually had 19 children; sadly, nine died in infancy. Sam left Susanna for long periods of time—sometimes over something as simple as an argument—leaving the duty of raising their children to her alone.

    One of their children was unable to walk. Another couldn't talk until the age of six. Susanna herself was desperately sick most of her life. Their home burned to the ground twice; everything they owned crumbled to ashes. One of her daughters became pregnant out of wedlock. They had no money for food or necessities. Sam even went to debtor's prison.

    Long before Susanna had an inkling of how difficult her married life would be, she made the Lord a promise. When she was young, Susanna committed that for every hour she spent in entertainment, she would give the same amount of time to Him in prayer and in the Word.

    Taking care of the house and raising so many kids made this commitment nearly impossible to fulfill. She had no time for either entertainment or long hours in prayer! This wife and mother worked the gardens, milked the cow, schooled the children and managed the entire house herself.

    It would have been understandable if Susanna reneged on her promise to the Lord. But she didn't. Instead, she gave the Lord two hours a day in prayer!

    As you can imagine with 10 kids, she struggled to find a quiet place to get away with God. So she advised her children that when her apron was over her head, that meant she was in prayer and couldn't be disturbed.

    Susanna was devoted to her walk with Christ, praying for her children, and growing in the knowledge of the Word ... no matter how hard life was.

    This dedicated woman's story may have never been known to anyone but the Lord and her children, except for the fact that her example greatly inspired two of her sons. They both said that their mom influenced them more than any other person.

    John and Charles Wesley became powerhouses for the glory of the Lord. John preached to nearly a million people in the 1700s. He brought revival everywhere he traveled and taught the Word of God! Charles wrote over 9000 hymns, many of which we still sing today.

    In the middle of great hardships, Susanna consistently tapped into her source of strength. She connected intentionally with the Lord every day. It's amazing how her choices influenced not only her family, but also countless individuals, families and worshippers over the years.

    Hidden behind the door of my home, I want my children to see a mom who prays, no matter how busy I am or how hard my circumstances. I'm going to continue letting Susanna's example influence me. How about you?

    Dear Lord, I need Your wisdom, peace and strength. Help me to rely on You and not myself. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    How much time are you spending with Jesus every day in prayer and in the Word?

    Make a plan for how you can increase your time with Him. When your kids grow up, how will they describe how you handled hardships?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 31:28a, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed ..." (KJV)

    1 Chronicles 16:11, "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually." (KJV)

    © 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 Psalm

  • Vision Regained

    Posted on August 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Romans 11:3-4

    We tend to exaggerate our plight when we feel alone and distant from the Lord and His followers. The half full glass of water looks half empty, when we are empty of the grace and mercy of God. Elijah struggled with spiritual amnesia. He forgot the thousands of faithful believers who had not capitulated to the idol of Baal. His aloneness blurred his judgment. Like the sun’s rays burn away morning mist, so clarity comes from prayer time with God’s son Jesus.

    Those who feel lonely need community and the closeness that comes from another who understands. We are all vulnerable to the trap of fatigue that fuels our fears.  This misguided state of mind fosters a feeling of abandonment, however the truth is many others experience what we experience. We are not alone in our genuine commitment to Christ. Yes, there may be a closet Christian at your work waiting for you to offer them a prayer. Look for other lovers of the Lord!

    Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. Acts 18:9-10

    Do you need to regain your big vision of God and His extraordinary work in you, through you, around you and across the planet? He has reserved for Himself millions of righteous saints who have not wavered in their love for Jesus. Some suffer from paranoid persecutors with their zealous death threats, yet these humble believers believe: “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Like a warm blanket of comfort the world is encircled by Christians with a big vision of God.

    Yes, sin abounds, but grace abounds even more. Evil grabs the headlines, but good still seeds the majority of stories less read. For every terrorist who thumps their chest in contempt, thousands bow a humble knee in prayer to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Regain your vision by renouncing a victim mindset and reengage in church. Celebrate ten blessings before you take one concern to Christ. Embrace God’s global vision of hope . Hope in Him!

    I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
    Philippians 1:20

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep my focus on You and on the million faithful ones, who have gone before me in the name of Jesus.

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 19:10-14; Matthew 28:20; Philippians 1:21; 1 Peter 1:13

    Post/Tweet today: Embrace God’s vision of hope that is global in scope. Hope in Him! #visionregained

    © 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

  • Pat Williams on Adoption, Basketball and Living Life with Passion

    Posted on August 27, 2013 by John van der Veen


    Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. As one of America’s top motivational speakers, he has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Citrix, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Tyson Foods to name a few. Pat is also the author of over 80 books, his most recent title being The Difference You Make: Changing Your World Through the Impact of Your Influence.

    Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 26 to 40. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. Currently, Pat has 12 grandchildren and counting…with twins due in July. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Focus on the Family as well as all of the major network and cable television news channels.

    I sat down and talked with Pat about his legacy as a father. To find out what motivated this man.  What follows is a candid overflow of his heart. This man is truly living with a passion.

    John: Pat, you certainly have had quite the legacy within both the basketball industry and within the sports community, but then you've also had a legacy over on the adoption side of things as well. Can you share a little bit, before we get in and talk about your book, can you share a little bit about how you and your wife were introduced to the concept of adoption or foster care, and why you as a family have pursued that?

    Pat: For the first 10 years of our marriage, my wife talked non-stop about adopting children that didn't look like us. She talked about almond eyes and I just couldn't fathom it. We had three birth kids and life was good. Finally at the 10-year mark, it became a major issue. Big issue. I realized that I had to take the initiative and get moving on this. Long story short, we learned about two little girls from South Korea who were available. We talked to our children and let them vote.

    John: This was a family process then?

    Pat: Family discussion and a vote. The vote was unanimous, let's do it. What an adventure that was. On September 12, 1983, these two little girls, two and three years old, arrived from Seoul, escorted by a couple of off duty flight attendants. There they were in the Philadelphia airport, handed to us, the new parents of two Korean girls. That launched it. Then I caught the bug. I kept thinking we can take two more. What's four more boys, or two little girls from Romania. At the end of 10 years, we had 14 adopted children. People ask all the time, "Was there a master plan here?" There wasn't. We just kept hearing about these children and felt God saying, "I'll provide." He always did, amazingly. We had enormous food bills and clothing, it was just massive. But to this day, God has always provided what we've needed to get the children raised and educated. I think there's a verse in the book of James. He's very, very big on widows and orphans. God has a special heart and these obviously were orphaned kids that we adopted. That promise is that if you take care of the orphans, God will make sure it works. That's what I've learned. I wish I could tell you that we've got a whole bunch of widow stories, but I don't at this point.

    John: I appreciate your honesty here.

    Pat: Maybe someday.

    John: Someday. Do you think, Pat, that adoption and foster care, the idea of looking at James 1:27 and putting that verse as a stamp on your family, has that influenced the work community that you have been participating in? Have other people within the sports category approached you or they been influenced by that type of methodology?

    Pat: Well, let me just say this, John, when we adopted these children, as years went on, we certainly were not reluctant to do media events. We did many of them, even though the kids were not all that thrilled about it. Nevertheless, we did a great deal of television and newspaper work. My thought was, let’s get the word out and see if we can inspire some other families to get into this whole adoption world. There are millions of kids that need homes, not all of them are available, but there certainly are a bunch of them. That was really the method behind the madness there. We did everything we could to spread the word and inspire other families. From time to time, we will hear from somebody, either with a letter or in person, who said, "We heard about your story, that was the trigger for knowing we needed to go and adopt." They'll talk about their two adopted kids from somewhere in the world. That always makes me feel good, real good actually.

    John: You've inspired, I'm sure, countless others. You have a new book coming out, called Coach Wooden's Greatest Secret. Why don't you just give us some background information about that. What is it about?

    Pat: Coach Wooden was a real hero of mine, as well as for millions of others. He let me into his life in the last decade of his life. I wanted to write a book called, How to be like Coach Wooden. He gave me his blessing, which I was thrilled about it. We did that book. I interviewed about 800 people who knew him or were in his world. That was all encompassing. Then, three years ago I had an idea, which we ended up doing. It was called, Coach Wooden, The Seven Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours. That goes back when he was in the eighth grade in a little country school in central Indiana. His father gave him a card with a seven-point creed on it. Coach Wooden lived his life by those seven points. That's the meat of that book. This latest book, called Coach Wooden's Greatest Secret, comes from having dinner with him one night years ago. I said to him, "Coach, is there one secret of success, perhaps, that you feel is preeminent, or really most important?” He thought for a minute, and then, in that understated way, said, "The closest I can come," (he wasn’t one to ram anything down your throat), "The closest I can come to one secret of success, is that it’s about a lot of little things done well." That was his little message over dinner that night at the Valley Inn near his home in Encino, California. As we begin thinking, I began to put together all these thoughts about where little things pay off. Little things done well really does make sense, if you do enough of them over a lifetime, it's going to be a pretty successful life. It's a good little reminder, I think, to people to focus on the little things, to do them well, patiently, and in the proper sequence. You really build a good foundation that way.

    John: What would be one of those little things that you have held close and dear to your heart through all these years?

    Pat: I think it would be the way I write books. I save everything, whether it's a story, a little quote, an antidote, or something I read in a book, I’ll mark it. For 30 years or so I've been doing that, just collecting daily something that might be valuable in a book somewhere along the line. If you were to come into my office and the credenza, you know, with the eight drawers that come out, I would think there're probably at least a million cards, which a woman types for me. She takes my material and types it on a card, which is really the research I do for books.

    John: What do you call that filing system?

    Pat: I call it priceless.

    John: [chuckles] Priceless, I love it.

    Pat: If you had ever told me 30 years ago that this would be the result of that accumulation, with no end in sight, but just day-by-day, little by little, I would have been amazed. I've been writing books for 30 years in my head, and these cards make it a reality. There they all are, by category, just capturing one day at a time--a little every day. I think Coach Wooden really has hit it on the head. Successful people just do what is right in front of them, however small; they just get it done. Then John would talk often about making each day your masterpiece. “Make each day your masterpiece.” I think about that a lot. The importance of taking each day—each simple, little day—and maxing it out. Draining the cup dry today. You can't change yesterday and tomorrow. Absolutely, suck the marrow out of the bones today. We can do that.

    John: Coach, as we're sitting here, you're kind of sitting on the edge of your seat, your kind of moving around, you are a passionate man. As I'm just noticing you, you seem like you are full of a passion towards something. What is the one thing you are most passionate about?

    Pat: I think I'm passionate about a number of things. Obviously, my family is a huge passion. I'm passionate about the Orlando Magic basketball team. I'm passionate, always, about the latest book. I'm passionate about my speaking world, my public speaking world. I'm passionate about Jesus. I'm passionate about my Christian walk. It will always be consistent and leave an impact on people. I'm not passionate about golf. I'm not passionate about fishing. I'm not passionate about stamp collecting, I'm passionate about those, maybe five areas of my life, and I stay pretty close to them.

    John: What has God been teaching you lately?

    Pat: That life isn't always the way we plan it. Two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which I'd never heard of. It's cancer of the bone marrow, actually the blood in the bone marrow. That came out of nowhere. Obviously, it rocked my world and the family's world. I've been dealing with that for the last two and a half years. Responding quiet well to the treatments, which have gone well. I feel good, and am able to keep my full schedule. When an illness like that comes into your world, and you begin to think, "Lord, this is me, your buddy down here. You know, I've got a lot more to do for you, what's the deal here with this?" That was the initial reaction. Then, I realized that God was calling me to another ministry here in the closing years of my life, and it's a ministry to the world of cancer, which is such a huge issue in our country. Huge, one out of two men will deal with it in their lifetime, and one out of three women. Suddenly I'm in a fundraising position. I'm a hospital board member... I'm into things, who would have thought? At least once a day there's a phone call or an email about somebody who's struggling with some form of cancer and needs to talk. Needs a word of encouragement, just to hear that there's hope. I've been called into that world. I never saw that one coming.

    John: Coach, how can we be in prayer for you?

    Pat: Obviously, I covet prayers for my health. For a complete healing. People have prayed so consistently for me. I couldn't begin to thank them all. I'm so grateful. An old ball player, my good friend Bob Boone, who I've know for many, many years, called several months after all this happened and just said, "How are you doing, how are you doing?" I told him, "I'm really responding well; the doctors are pleased. I'm on the road to healing." And Boone, he said to me, "Boy," he said, "This prayer stuff works, doesn't it." That was pretty direct, wasn't it? I appreciate prayers for my health. I also really hope that this next book will impact people. We have so much to learn from the life of John Wooden, who lived till he was 99. He would have been 103 in June. He got close to 100. He was far beyond just a great coach, too, he was the greatest coach of all time. There’s so much wisdom there. So hopefully we're able to capture that in these books that I've done on him. This next one, Coach Wooden's Greatest Secret, is one I’m especially eager to see do well. We also covet prayers for our family, with that many children, 19, and now the grand children, which are coming pretty consistently. We've got 12 grandchildren and two more on the way in July, twin boys. There are a lot of moving parts in the Williams family these days.

    John: I love it.

    Pat: I appreciate that very much John.

    John: Great talking to you.


    This post was posted in Books, Interviews, John van der Veen and was tagged with Featured, Fathers, Adoption, Pat Williams

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