• $6.97 VeggieTales DVDs

Family Christian

  • Nothing Wasted

    Posted on March 26, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy

    "When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.'" John 6:12 (NIV)

    Sparkles from the scalloped, green glass bottle sitting in the window fill my mind with memories of my grandmother. She was the original owner of the bottle, and once it contained sweet perfume.

    The bottle was once stored in Grandma's basement, where I'd go on treasure hunts as a little girl. Shelves in a dimly lit room held mysteries like my grandfather's fossil collection and my grandmother's collection of Avon perfume bottles, of which my precious green bottle was one. There were tall bottles and short ones. There were shiny glass bottles and heavy ceramic jars. My favorite one was covered with elegant ladies in 18th century voluminous dresses.

    Each bottle was unique. Many were in perfect condition, but a few were chipped and worn. I can envision Grandma pouring over her catalogs choosing each bottle with time and care. Her collection carries scents and memories of people and places, some sweet and others bitter.

    Those bottles are like the circumstances of my life. Some are happy, but sadness infuses others. A few have left me with scars, but lots have left me better than before. Just like the bottles, the collection of events in my life is more beautiful when viewed together than individually.

    It comforts me that God doesn't waste anything. Every piece - broken, incomplete or whole - in the collections of our lives is made beautiful and significant in His hands.

    Just think about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 hungry people in John 6. The people had followed Jesus out of town to listen to His teaching and watch Him heal. They were all still gathered as mealtime approached. The disciples asked Jesus how He planned to feed the crowd, and Jesus miraculously produced enough food for the crowd from a boy's small lunch of five loaves and two fishes.

    Once everyone was fed, it seemed the story would end, but Jesus had one more lesson to teach. He instructed the disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted" (John 6:12b NIV). It wasn't enough for Jesus to feed the people until they were full. He wanted every last crumb collected.

    There's nothing that escapes the notice of God. Everything matters to Him. Not only does it matter, but if you are His child, He promises that every part of your life will be used for your good and His glory.

    Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV). This verse tells us that God uses our grief, our joy, our loss, our gain, our trials and our triumphs. Nothing is wasted.

    Today may hold hard things—a sick child, a grouchy boss, an unforgiving friend. Or it may hold beautiful things—a new love, a chat with a neighbor, an affectionate pet. Either way, we can trust God that He is collecting the pieces of our life in His hand and creating something more beautiful than we can imagine.

    Dear Lord, I trust You with every circumstance and moment of my life. Help me to see glimpses of how You are making my life beautiful for You. I trust that You don't waste anything, but You use everything. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    We would love to join you as you grab a cup of coffee and curl up in your favorite spot to find hope and purpose within the pages of Scripture. The NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, featuring devotions from our Proverbs 31 Ministries' writers, unpacks verses with you.

    Reflect and Respond:
    List some of the hard circumstances in which you've yet to see God's redemptive work. Pray and release them into God's hands. Ask Him to help you entrust them to Him.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 36:5, "Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." (NIV)

    Psalm 78:35, "They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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

  • A Greater Forgiveness

    Posted on March 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? Luke 7:41-42
    There is a greater forgiveness that accompanies greater sins. The generous grace of God covers the multiple sins of an adult reprobate, as fully as He forgives a sinful child raised in church. However, the Lord’s greater forgiveness invites a greater gratitude. Forgiveness that is fresh on the mind thinks of ways to show love and appreciation. A grateful Christ follower rushes to give good, even expensive gifts to God. Public appreciation flows from a personal transformation.
    Those who become too familiar with their faith can forget the generous grace of God. One sin condemns us to hell, but one act of faith in Jesus delivers us to heaven, now and forevermore. Glory to God; whether it's our extravagant sins or our modest sins we are forgiven by the lavish love of the Lord! Therefore, there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, our gratitude toward God keeps the greater forgiveness of God at the forefront of our faith.
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
    Moreover, make a big deal out of your forgiveness from your Heavenly Father. Celebrate your conversion by publicly illustrating your life change with baptism. Come out of the closet for Christ and He will bless your boldness. He died publicly for your sins, so you could publicly confess your sins. Encourage those in your community who have recently left much of the world’s trappings behind to follow Jesus. Invite them to study the Bible and serve with you.
    Gratitude to God is unashamed to show love for God. Perhaps you share something expensive with someone who loves the Lord and in the process you honor the Lord. You give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. Gifts to God are an opportunity to get people to God. Yes, your love for the Lord leads those you influence to love the Lord. Be generous with those around you, so they’ll desire intimacy with your generous God!
    But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your greater forgiveness that motivates my greater love!
    Related Readings: Jonah 2:9; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philemon 1:18-19; 1 John 2:15-17
    Post/Tweet today: We give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. #generousgiving

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

  • Trying to be Strong

    Posted on March 25, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie

    "For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?" Psalm 18:31 (NIV)

    To someone else, it may have been just a simple two-letter word. But to me, it was a divine message from a holy God.

    During an activity at a women's retreat, we were to pull from an envelope a specific name of God from Scripture. We were given time to journal about it, and what that particular name meant to us personally in that moment.

    Snuggled up on a comfy couch, I opened my envelope and slipped out a piece of paper with the word El, meaning "The Strong One." I looked up the Bible verses at the bottom of the paper, which included today's key verse Psalm 18:31.

    As I prayed, my heart began to stir as this name of God sunk in. Words poured into my journal: "Jesus, I'm tired. I confess that I always try to be the strong one. Strong for my mom ... my dad ... my sister and brother ... my husband and children ... my friends. Trying be strong for everyone is exhausting and stressful."

    I jotted down the names of loved ones I felt obligated to be strong for and the reasons why. It was as if justifying why I tried to be their rock made it okay. I also journaled about being strong regarding my own circumstances ... relying on my own strength while wearing a mask that I could shoulder the weight of everyone's burdens.

    Exhausted, I turned to God for help. It was then I felt Him assure me I didn't have to be strong all the time-because He is "El," The Strong One. I realized I had tried to be the rock for those I loved, instead of leaning on the Rock who is the true strength they need.

    In Psalm 18, David praises God for being his source of strength. He looks back and reflects on all God has done, thanking the Lord for not only delivering him from the hands of his enemies, but for giving him strength to overcome them. In Psalm 18:31, David acknowledges the only reason he experiences victory is because God is his Rock. His Strong One. His strength.

    I felt my heart lighten. With a sigh of relief and gratitude I journaled words of praise. Just like David, I thanked God for being my strength and my Rock.

    Although He didn't deliver me from the hands of physical enemies like David faced, God helped me find victory over the habit of being strong on my own. He reminded me I needed to rely on "El" for strength, whether I am carrying the weight of other's burdens and hurts, or just making it through another stressful day.

    We can offer support, prayers and a listening ear to others, but we can't be someone else's rock. It is God's job to be the Rock. He's capable and willing if we give Him room to be.

    Dear Lord, forgive me for thinking I can live in my own strength or that my strength is sufficient to support those I love. Remind me to fully lean on You. Thank You for being "El", our One, while paving the way for victory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond:
    What would it look like if you stop trying to carry the burdens of others and allow "El" to be their Rock?

    Spend time journaling your thoughts about this topic of the Rock, and how God's Name "El," The Strong One, might be applicable in your own life.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 28:7, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." (NIV)

    Psalm 18:1-2, "I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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

  • A Gentle Answer

    Posted on March 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

     

    A gentle answer is not easy to come by in stressful situations. Financial pressures tend to push buttons that arouse my flesh, and in my own strength I say things I later regret. It is hard not to be harsh when the weight of the world weighs us down or when we feel misunderstood or under appreciated. Indeed, this is when the gentleness of Jesus can replace our juvenile gestures. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

     

    Harshness seems to hibernate in a heavy heart, awakening when it feels violated or disturbed. However, by God’s grace, a soft reply allows reason to run its course rather than passionate words that provoke insult. Emotion is kept in check by calm communication that promotes peace and understanding. Consider reaching out patiently.

     

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

     

    If you find yourself in a heated argument, take a deep breath and pray together. It is hard to remain angry when you are on your knees confessing sin and sorrow to your Savior Jesus. Take the lead to apologize and ask forgiveness. Humility disarms explosive conversations and brings back the calm of Christ. Remind each other of Jesus’ words, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

     

    Lastly, a gentle word from God lowers your blood pressure and gives you a peaceful perspective. Listen to the Lord before you lash out, and His Spirit will restrain you from stupid stunts. The work of the Holy Spirit in your heart moves you from harshness to holiness. Pray, “Lord, forgive me and fill me.” It is the fullness of the Spirit that frees you from the foul flesh. As a Spirit-filled believer, you smell sweet to your Savior Jesus and all who love Him.

     

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).

     

    Prayer: Lord, my heart desires a daily surrender and refreshing of Your life-giving Spirit.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 9:11–13; Proverbs 25:15; Matthew 12:36–37; Colossians 3:12

     

    Post/Tweet: The Spirit’s fullness frees you from the foul flesh and you smell sweet to your Savior Jesus. #Spiritfilled

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

     

  • Leadership in Adversity

    Posted on March 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:5).

     

    Adversity invites leaders to lead. It is your time to trust the Lord and lead by faith, not fear. In hard times a leader asks, “Will I panic or pray?” “Will I stay calm or be sucked into the chaos?” “Will I serve the team or stay secluded in silence?” Jesus faced death, but He was determined to stay focused on His heavenly Father and the mission at hand. Adversity is an opportunity to prove the point of Providence. Christ is in control.

     

    How can you use adversity to your advantage as a leader? One way is to unify the team around common objectives and goals. There is no better way to bring people together than in the fires of hardship and difficulty. In fact, you probably will not succeed without the team rising to its next level of leadership and team support. So reward creativity, because limitations lead to innovation. Lead the team to accomplish more with less. Paul said, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses” (2 Corinthians 6:3–4).

     

    Moreover, use hard times to create a culture of hard work and honesty. It may mean longer hours and less pay, but sacrifice is the price to be paid for productivity. Invite honest feedback so you accurately and effectively improve process and products. Raise team expectations beyond just surviving to thriving. They look to you for leadership; so lead.

     

    Lastly, serve at home and work with appreciation. It is easy to demand more and more while under pressure and forget to say “Thank you.” Perhaps you give the team a day off, leave a grateful voicemail, buy everyone lunch, or send flowers. Wise leaders honestly inquire, “How can I out serve others, especially in the face of misfortune?” “Where do I need to take responsibility, not blaming outside forces?” Leaders model the way.

     

    Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15).

     

    Related Readings: Exodus 4:28–30; 1 Samuel 17:22–24; Acts 10:4–8

     

    Post/Tweet: Adversity invites leaders to lead. It is your time to trust the Lord and lead by faith, not fear. #leadershipinadversity

     

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • God Is Working

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. Mark 4:26-27

    God’s work is not rushed or rattled. He quietly gets things done. While man sleeps, the Lord neither sleeps nor slumbers. The effective work of the Holy Spirit is not bound by human efforts. Indeed, the Spirt softens the heart, so when the word of God is sown, it grows. There is a divine dynamic  taking  place that may seem delayed in its outcome. For example,   a small child who  hides hymns in his  precious heart, will result in  music to their ears as teenagers.

    We do not always understand how or where God is at work, but we can be confident that His Spirit is on the move to grow His kingdom. He is at work in your work, since you have sown  seeds of integrity; He has harvested a culture of honesty. He is at work in your single adult life: since you have sown seeds of purity, He has harvested a relationship of respect. He is at work in your finances; since you have sown seeds of generosity, He has harvested a heart of joy.

    Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:6

     

    You may feel frustrated by  the lack of progress in your personal finances. If so, remain faithful in sowing seeds of wise stewardship, because God is at work growing good habits in your giving, saving and spending. Consequences from unhealthy money decisions that took years to accumulate, will take time to correct. However, the Lord is working, so surround yourself with wise money managers and loving friends who model generosity. Give your way out of worry.

     

    God is working in the hearts of friends and family who do not know Jesus. You keep sowing a life of love and one day they may love to know the Lord. As you comfort those whose hearts have been crushed, plant the seed of their need for a Savior. Tragedy makes a mind teachable to spiritual truths. Each day scatter the seed of a committed life to Christ. The Spirit will grow those around you to be more like Jesus. His quiet work never ends,  one day it brings a holy harvest.

     

    It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7, The Message

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to sow Your seed and trust You for the harvest.

    Related Readings: Psalm 62:12, 121:4; Isaiah 55:10; Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 9:11

    Post/Tweet today: Keep sowing a life of love and one day the lost may love to know the Lord. #lovethelost

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • A Q&A With Finding Favour

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by John van der Veen

    Gotee Records signed the south-Georgia band, Finding Favour. On their new ep, they  collaborated with acclaimed producers Rob Hawkins (Building 429), Christopher Stevens (tobyMac, Sanctus Real, Mandisa) and Dustin Burnett (Kingsfoil) to produce the six-track release.

    1 - What is your background? Where did you guys grow up? What made you interested in music?

    My background is similar to what I do right now actually. I'm from a place called Vidalia, GA (the sweet onion capital of the world!) and I grew up singing in the church with my family. We traveled almost every weekend singing southern gospel music and that's where my love for music and ministry started.

    2 - What are your biggest influencers? Musically and spiritually?

    Spiritually some of our biggest influencers have been our families and pastors. We're actually pretty careful about letting any and everyone point us in a thousand different directions. In all things we try to be led by the Holy Spirit for our decisions and actions. Musically our influences range from Collective Soul to Chris Tomlin with everything else thrown in the middle!

    3 - What does your live show look like?

    Our live show are always a work in progress. We try to bring energy and honesty to the platform every single night with stories, songs and a corny joke here and there.

    4 - Coffee or Mountain Dew?

    Definitely coffee!

     
    Slip On By (lyric video)

  • Standing Apart from Everyone Else

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy

    "You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own." Leviticus 20:26 (NIV 1984)

    Our daughter got the call ... the invitation she had been waiting for. It was the party everyone wanted to go to and she'd been invited!

    She was so excited. However, one step remained: securing her parents' permission. She knew it would be difficult. But she was sure once she explained the significance of the invitation, we would say "yes."

    We did not.

    "Everyone else is going. I will be the only one not there. It's not fair!" To which, we firmly replied, "We are not like everyone else. There will be no parental supervision. You absolutely may not go."

    This happened often throughout our daughter's middle and high school years. And because she could not always do what everyone else did, she often felt left out.

    As her parents, we were establishing boundaries and limits. Our actions, though hard at times, taught her a powerful biblical truth: Because we don't belong to everyone else, we don't live like everyone else.

    We belong to Someone else; we belong to God.

    Because we are His, God has set us apart to be different. He does not want us to squeeze into the mold set by everyone else.

    This struggle has existed for thousands of years. Israel desperately tried to fit in with the nations around them. They wanted to be like everyone else. But God refused to allow this. He set Israel apart to be a holy nation. He established boundaries for His children just as we do for our children.

    In Leviticus 20:26, God commanded Israel, "You are to be holy to me, because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own" (NIV 1984). God set Israel apart to intentionally distinguish them from everyone else.

    God did not do this to punish the Israelites or deprive them. Just the opposite. He specifically chose them for good. Being set apart not only was a privilege but also carried with it amazing blessings, far more than they could ever imagine.

    Keeping that in mind, it's exciting to know God calls us to be holy too. He calls us into a personal and intimate relationship. And when we say "yes," we receive good gifts just as the Israelites did. God gives us a fresh start with Him ... a new life where our past is wiped clean. God sees us through the eyes of His Son, Jesus. We are no longer like everyone else. God sets us apart to live a new life in Him.

    My husband and I make those same hard choices for ourselves. A few years ago we stepped out of a dinner club. We felt uncomfortable with the direction the group was taking. It wasn't easy being left out of some fun parties. The night of those events, I missed being with everyone else. I felt what my daughter felt.

    You and I may have to make the same hard choices. We may not be able to watch certain movies with our friends on Girl's Night. Or we may have to speak up on an issue close to God's heart, causing us to stand out, rather than fit in.

    What I have learned through making the hard choices is they come with a great reward: enjoying the pleasure of our heavenly Father.

    We belong to the Creator of heaven and earth. He created us in His image and loves us with an everlasting love. Today, let's be set apart from others and set apart for HIM by making some hard choices so we may live in the fullness of all He has for us.

    Dear Lord, thank You for choosing me and setting me apart to live for You. Keep me from wanting to be like "everyone else." In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down one choice you can make today to say "no" to everyone else and "yes" to God. Take an action step toward making that happen.

    Read 1 Peter 1:15-16. What does it look like in your life to be holy?

    Power Verses:
    1 Peter 1:15-16, "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" (NIV 1984)

    2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come!" (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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

  • For A Season

    Posted on March 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

    Most everything in life is for a season. Jobs are for a season. Relationships are for a season. Hobbies are for a season. Homes are for a season. Small children and teenagers are for a season. Grandchildren are for a season. Youth is for a season.  Economic upturns and downturns are for a season. Family vacations are for a season. Formal education is for a season. Income generating years are for a season. Good health is for a season. Life on earth is for a season.

    Perhaps you find yourself in a season within a season. You are eager to move on to a new stage of life, but the Lord still has lessons for you to learn before you transition. Or, you may not want to let go of where you are for fear of what lies ahead in the next chapter of your life. Either way, Jesus will show you the right way, and He will walk with you through the process. So, enjoy this season (do not wish it away), slow down, engage with God and all He wants you to experience.

    Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. Jeremiah 8:7

     

    What does the Lord require of you in this season? You have an 18 year span of time for your child to be under your roof and under your direct influence and authority. Now is the time to travel less at work or not at all, so you can be all there for your son or daughter. Moreover, it is stressful as a mom to give 24/7 emotionally, physically and spiritually. But, your sacrificial love carries Christ’s love into the life of your child.  Yes, the intensity of parenting is for a season.

     

    Is it time to let go of your role at work? It may be better stewardship for a leader with a different gift mix to be responsible. Don’t wear out your welcome. It's better to transition out on friendly terms than to be forced out in resentment. The peak of your performance is the best time to prepare for a new season of service. Wisdom watches for the winds of change and rides them on the wings of faith. Hold this season with an open hand and your next season will be significant!

     

    Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:20-21

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience to enjoy You and others in this season of waiting.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 20:4; Song of Songs 2:12; Acts 14:17; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:3

    Post/Tweet today: Wisdom watches for the winds of change and rides them on the wings of faith. #change

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Why I'm Breaking Up With My "Quiet Time"

    Posted on March 21, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

    I'm taking a break from having a quiet time. Because sometimes I can get in a rut. Even with good things. And having a daily quiet time is a good thing. Until it becomes more about routine than actually connecting with God.

    When God becomes routine rather than revival, it's time to switch things up.

    Otherwise, I might start seeing this time as less important. It becomes the second or third thing I do. After other things. Seemingly more pressing things. Before I know it, it's been days since I connected privately and personally with Truth.

    And then my soul feels a bit off and sluggish. Like when my stomach has been denied food, a desperation starts creeping over other parts of my body. That happens with soul hunger too.

    Only the triggers for stomach hunger are much more apparent. My brain quickly reminds me, "You feel awful because you need to eat."

    Sometimes my brain isn't as quick to pick up on soul hunger. So I just lumber forward but wonder, "What's wrong?" I think of a list of reasons ... I'm tired, I haven't had enough fun, or my butt looks big in these jeans.

    And while some of those things may be true—it's not why I feel off.

    I need more time with God.

    Not more quiet time.

    More listening time. Like the writer in Psalm 63:1 needed. "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." (NIV)

    This morning as I sat with God with nothing but willingness to listen, three things popped into my mind. I can't say "God spoke to me" but it felt right. I need to do some new things as I listen.

    Study wisdom by reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday.
    Ask God to reveal "my verse" for the day and think of ways to apply it. I listen.

    Read something from someone I admire.
    I need to study leadership in this season of my life. So, I pick up a book written on this topic by someone I admire and glean from their wisdom. I listen.

    Read something from someone I trust.
    There's a book I'm reading right now that is whimsical and grounded all at the same time. It makes me feel like this writer gets me. They get my struggles and offer up advice I know I can trust. I listen.

    Maybe you think all this still sounds like a quiet time, but to me it's different. It's a listening time. A time to shake things up a bit and get outside my normal routine. A time to listen to God speak. And He does speak ... through His book of wisdom, through someone I admire, and through someone I trust.

    And this morning? My soul felt that thrilling and comforting full feeling. Complete. Satisfied. Deeply nourished.

    Dear Lord, I'm seeking to grow a stronger relationship with You today. Help me to break out of the routine so that I can connect with You and hear You speak. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    It's important to exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. In the just released Unglued Devotional, Lysa TerKeurst shares practical ways of capturing meaningful time with the Lord.

    And if you missed Lysa's New York Times bestselling original Unglued book, click here to get your copy today.

    Take time to gather with a few trusted girlfriends who get your struggles and study Unglued together. Click here for more information on the Unglued Bible Study bundle.

    Lysa shares more of her encouragement in the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible from Proverbs 31 Ministries, filled with devotions from her and the P31 Team. Click here for more information.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What do you need to break up with so you can connect more closely and listen more intently to God?

    Write a list of things that you are placing as priorities before your time with God. Consider how you can prioritize so that God comes first, and to make sure that your time with Him isn't just another thing on your "to do" list.

    Power Verses:
    Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (NIV)

    2 Chronicles 7:14, "... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

Items 1421 to 1430 of 2149 total

WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

Loading... Loading...