• Store Locator
  • Savings this Summer - up to 80% - shop now

Family Christian

  • Leadership in Adversity

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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"

    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

  • Do Your Best

    Boyd

    Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land. Numbers 13:20

    Do your best and trust God with the rest. Your best in the hands of your Heavenly Father is all He needs to get done what’s needed. He can bless less than your best, but normally His favor rests on your best efforts. His blessing stays with those who remain trustworthy stewards of their time, gifts and skills. As you are faithful with what you have, the Lord may very well expand your capacity. Excellent stewardship is a low risk investment with a high return probability.

    Are you in school? If so, do your best in your studies, so you develop a disciplined mind,  managing well your parent’s money. Are you a writer? If so, do your best to write when you don’t feel like writing,  trusting you can break through any writer’s block. Are your parents alive? If so, seek out a relationship of love and honor. Children who care for their parents model for their children how to become compassionate caregivers. Do your best and trust God with the rest.

    Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

    Commit your free time to becoming better at what you are called to be and do. Perhaps you take an online class that is a survey of the Old or New Testaments. Teach or lead, so you are more accountable to model what you tell others to do. Maybe you serve the mentally challenged and the physically handicapped in ways that make them feel special and beloved by their Heavenly Father. Do your best with the time you have and trust God with the rest that needs to get done.

    Most of all concentrate on being your very best for Christ. In your thoughts, think on things that are lovely, wholesome, true, noble and without shame. With your eyes, watch images that feed your spirit with good and starve your flesh from bad. Read books and experience films that ignite your imagination with big God ideas  that deepen your love for humanity. Listen to music that lifts your spirits and leads your spirit in worship. Do your best to become His very best!

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am committed to do my best and to trust You with the rest.

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 42:3; Proverbs 16:3; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:12

    Post/Tweet today: Do your best with the time you have and trust God with the rest that needs to get done. #doyourbest

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • I Like Soccer Balls

    One boy with a love for soccer imagined more and filled children’s hearts around the world. You’re the captain of your life. Become part of the change, and put your faith into action. What does it mean to live a life of generosity?

  • The Day Forgiveness Set Me Free

    Renee

    "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ... Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:2, 32 (NIV)

    I thought I was over the hurt. I was sure I had moved on. But as my thumb slipped under the seal of the invitation to my 10-year college reunion, it hit me: I had not forgiven her.

    During our last semester at school, the harsh tone and accusing anger of a friend had been more than my heart could handle, especially in the middle of my year-long battle with depression. A deep sense of sadness and self-doubt, that I couldn't explain or escape, had left me feeling depleted.

    When she questioned something I had done and expressed deep frustration toward me, I didn't have the mental or emotional strength to process her criticism without being pulled into a pit of condemnation.

    If I attended our class reunion I would likely see her and other friends who had gotten tangled in our mess. With that possibility came a flood of memories and emotions that made me feel the same yuck I felt the day our friendship ended. The day that pretty much ruined the last few weeks of our senior year.

    Holding the envelope in my hand, that hurt took hold of me again. Instead of simply deciding how to RSVP, I stood at the edge of a pit filled with insecurity that threatened to pull me back in.

    After weeks of holding onto the invitation I finally decided I was tired of living as prisoner to my hurt. I wanted freedom. The kind of freedom I'd come to know in the ten years in between. The freedom of forgiveness Jesus died to give me.

    I spent hours praying and reading my Bible over the next month. Listening to worship music and messages on forgiveness, I asked God to drench me with His perspective and give me His assurance so I could walk into my reunion as a secure child of God.

    By the time I arrived, my mind was filled with God's grace and promises. I literally wanted to find my old friend and restore our relationship. The confidence that came as I followed God's command to seek and offer forgiveness came as a surprise.

    Forgiving those who hurt us is hard. Often we are afraid to forgive because it might open us to be hurt again. Or we're afraid if we bring something up it might unearth bitterness we don't want to deal with, so its left buried.

    But any time we bury a hurt alive, it will keep rising from the dead to disturb us.

    God used today's verses to show me how to let forgiveness set me free from the hurt I had buried. "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ... Forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you." (Eph. 4:2, 32)

    Forgiving in the way this scripture describes has helped me recognize I need God's grace as much as anyone else. Although pardoning an offense is not easy, it is possible when we follow God's plan of being humble and gentle, patient and bearing with those who've hurt us. It's so worth what it takes to be set free.

    Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves when we offer it to others. In doing so, we don't forgive so we can forget. We forgive, as we have been forgiven, so we can find freedom from our past and live with confident hope for our future.

    Lord, I need Your help. Help me process my hurt with You and let go of any bitterness that keeps me from wholeness and hope. Empower me to forgive just as You have forgiven me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Conflict is hard and unhealed hurts can make us doubt ourselves, as well as our ability to have healthy relationships. In her life-changing book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises, Renee Swope empowers us to overcome the hurts that hold us back as we move forward in the confident assurance of all God has for our lives!

    Reflect and Respond: Is there unresolved conflict or unforgiven hurt that could be holding you back you from living in the freedom Jesus wants for you? Journal thoughts that came to mind while reading today's devotion and commit to take one step towards the freedom of forgiveness God is calling you to today.

    Power Verse: Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Spiritual Prayers

    Boyd

    And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

    Prayer is not meant to be perfunctory, but powered by the Holy Spirit. When I am preoccupied and attempt to pray, I short-circuit the Spirit’s work. However, when I pray in the Spirit there is full contact with Christ,  my mind engaged,and my heart  fully focused. The flesh seeks a quick fix, but the Spirit desires a deep affection that develops over time. The Spirit is like a key that unlocks the door of my spirit. He searches the rooms of my life for total trust and obedience.

    Spiritual prayers flow from praise and worship to Almighty God. Yes, songs and hymns offered in humility and gratitude ignite intimacy with our Heavenly Father. He receives the prayer aroma of His daughters and sons, as the sweet smell of a holy sacrifice to Him alone. The Holy Spirit is our prayer whisperer. He is able to soothe our heart and translate our cares into the language of our loving Lord Jesus. When our flesh is weak, the Spirit strengthens our spirit to pray in faith.

    In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

    Therefore, pray on all occasions. With bowed head recognize Jesus as the provider of a delicious meal. Before you partake of the tasty morsels, taste His grace. Pray and prepare your heart prior to a hard conversation, so any anger or harshness is replaced by patience and compassion. Pray as you think about a big decision; ask questions like, “Is my motive to glorify God?” “What counsel would I give to someone else in a similar situation?” Spiritual prayers have the Spirit’s leading.

    Moreover, variety is the spice of an effective prayer life. Yes, employ a plethora of prayers that protect you from familiarity that can breed boredom. Pray for patience, so you are slow to anger. Pray for the sick, so they might be healed. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, so the seeds of salvation will grow in the hearts of lost souls. Pray for those who suffer, so their comfort comes from Christ. Pray for forgiveness, so your heart is healed and filled with the Holy Spirit!

    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that my prayers are full of praise and thanksgiving to You.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 11:2; Micah 3:8; Mark 14:38; Acts 4:31; Colossians 1:9; Jude 1:20

    Post/Tweet today: With bowed head recognize Jesus as the provider of a delicious meal, before you partake of the tasty morsels, taste His grace. #prayer

     

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

Items 1721 to 1730 of 2445 total

Loading... Loading...