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  • Our Heavenly Father

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this: Our Father in heaven, let Your name remain holy. Matthew 6:9, The Voice

    Our prayers are directed to our heavenly Father. It is out of a community of believers that we are able to confidently petition ‘our’ Father in heaven. The prayer of Jesus was inclusive of His disciples and all who would follow Him. Indeed, we do not pray only as individual followers of Christ, but as the Body of Christ. Our heavenly Father is able to commune with all who come to Him in relationship, repentance and renewal. God is an engaged Father to all who trust Him.

    Furthermore, we cry out in prayer to our loving heavenly Father. His love is what comforts our hearts and enlightens our minds. His love lingers long, as we long for His compassion and care. The love of our Lord is like the vast sea in its ability transport us like a ship from a shore of sin to a shore of salvation, from a port of pain to a port of peace, and from a harbor of hell to a harbor of heaven. Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good.

    “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20).

    Our heavenly Father is also the giver of all wisdom. He is generous with His gifts from heaven above for what we need on earth below. Hallelujah, our Father does not leave us to flounder in confusion, but He has given us a course of action based on His character. His Spirit offers direction in a decision. He brings clarity to what’s best long term, not just what’s expedient in the short term. He discerns how to best relate in a challenging relationship. He gives forgiveness, understanding and patience to stay involved. Yes, our Father’s wisdom is counter to the culture.

    Just as any good and loving Father disciplines his children, so our heavenly Father reminds us of what’s right. When we feel the gentle correction of our Father, we are wise to change immediately and not require a more severe scenario. Yes, His discipline is meant to deter us from destructive behavior and protect us from painful outcomes. Distant dads do not care about correction, only those who are close, interested and involved. God disciplines us because He loves us. Our Father is in heaven, but He walks with us on earth. We pray to our ever faithful Father!

    “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief” (Psalm 143:1).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a joy to seek Your loving kindness and faithful love in focused prayer.

    Related Readings: Psalm 32:6, 42:8; Isaiah 55:6; Luke 11:13; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 1:17

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • The Perfect Parenting Formula

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2a (NIV)

     

    When I was a young mom, I was desperate for a formula. I truly thought there must be a formula I could plug my family into that would yield great kids. And there were plenty of moms who tried to convince me they had the formula.

    "Bottle feed and never let them sleep in your bed."

    "Breastfeed until they are 3, and give them the security of sleeping between you and your husband every night."

    "Don't ever send them to pre-school. It will be detrimental to their social development."

    "Send them to pre-school right away — it's crucial for their social development."

    "TV is good."

    "TV is bad."

    "They must read by age 5."

    "Let them take their time learning to read. You'll ruin their love for books if you force them."

    "Step in and model healthy conflict resolution when they argue with their siblings."

    "Let them handle things on their own."

    "Be there 24/7 for your kids."

    "Don't be a helicopter mom. Give your kids room to discover who they are without you hovering over them."

    Seriously, it's a wonder we moms figure anything out with all the conflicting information and advice we get. I spent the first five years of motherhood convinced I was messing my kids up beyond repair. And it wasn't for lack of trying. Heavens no. I was serious about gathering every morsel of information I could and trying with all my might to decode "the formula."

    Well, here's the deal. I now have kids ranging in ages from 26 to 15, and this is my very best advice in regards to the formula: There isn't one.

    There is no perfect parenting formula. What works for one child may not work for another. The seemingly perfect algorithm one family follows could be disastrous for another.

    We weren't made to follow formulas. We were made to follow Jesus. Period.

    This is true with parenting, but it's also true with every other aspect of our lives as well. We were made to follow Jesus' lead in our marriages, our jobs, our ministries, our churches, our friendships, our everything.

    In Romans 12:2 Paul so powerfully reminds us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will."

    We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level, what does this look like?

    It's a simple woman who humbly acknowledges how much she doesn't know about life and readily admits how much she needs Jesus. Not just in a spiritual sense ... this woman needs Jesus in every way. All throughout her day, she can be heard whispering heartfelt pleas to her Jesus saying, "Show me the way, show me the way, show me the way."

    And as she does this, she loosens her grip on all the formulas thrown at her and courageously embraces His gentle voice behind her saying, "This is the way, now walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

    Dear Lord, help me to follow You and You alone — not a pre-planned formula. Help me to see that I need You more than anything else today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (NIV)

    John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What parenting formulas (if any) have you been following or holding onto?

    This week, take some time to pray over each of them to discern if they are in accordance with God's plan for you and your family.

    © 2014 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 Romans

  • Join us for fun from around the world!

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Family Christian

    Bring your child to our Summer Play Event!
    Saturday, June 28, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Bring your child or grandchild with you! See you on June 28!

    This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Featured, World Vision

  • Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today - June 25, 2014

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Prayer of Jesus One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord,teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdomcome.” Luke 11:1-2

     

    The prayer of Jesus, otherwise known as the Lord’s prayer, is our model for prayer. Jesus, in customary fashion, created consistent time to be with His heavenly Father. One day, upon conclusion of His private prayers, a perceptive disciple asked Jesus for prayer instruction for himself and the other disciples. Yes, this prayer of Jesus’ was birthed out of intimacy with His heavenly Father. He instructed on prayer with authority, because He prayed with authority.

     

    The prayer of Jesus is as much about the spirit of the prayer as it is the words of the prayer. Indeed, the Lord spoke about prayer having just prayed. Only minutes before He bowed in humble worship seeking the face of His heavenly Father. He gloried in the glory of the One from heaven who sent Him to earth to save the world. Oh, what a privilege to pray in the presence of our all wise God. Our spirits are expunged of all selfish pride and replenished with selfless humility. The reverent and submissive spirit of our Lord’s prayer is the navigator for our prayers.

     

    “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

    Our flesh seeks to dismiss the power of prayer by questioning its effectiveness, “Does it really matter if I pray or not?”“Are things truly any different after I pray than before I pray?” In His prayer Jesus desires all men and women everywhere to pray with hands lifted high in praise and hearts bowed low in protracted submission. He’s heavenly minded with earthly aspirations. He prays for God’s Kingdom to be ushered onto earth with the splendor of heaven’s resources. Our globe governed by God, for God and with God. The prayer of Jesus pronounces God king!

    Furthermore, the prayer of Jesus is our model of how and what to pray. Begin and end with Him.  Satan shrinks back at the supplicants set forth by our Savior. Thus, we take to heart the heart of our Lord in His instructions to pray. The words are not a magical chant, rather a divine mandate to: seek the love of our heavenly Father, fear His holiness, align with His will, ask His provision, receive His forgiveness, trust His power and announce His glory. Pray His prayer as your prayer!

    “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested” (Jeremiah 42:4).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my prayer is for the prayer of Jesus to be my pattern for prayer.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:10; Daniel 9:3-4; Acts 4:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:12

     

    Post/Tweet today: The prayer of Jesus is our model of how and what to pray. We begin and end with Him. #wisdomhunters

    Free eBook when you sign up 5 friends for the free email devotional...http://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com

     


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

  • Sometimes God Doesn't Choose the "Perfect" Girl for the Job

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there." Joshua 2:1 (NIV)

     

    I used to believe if God needed something important done, He would ask someone who had it all together. You know those women. They never yell at their kids or have an emotional meltdown in the craft store over which tie-die kit to buy. They know what they're having for dinner each night and come to Bible study with their homework done.

    If God is going to assign an important job to someone, it's going to be a woman like that. A "good church girl." Right?

    That's what I thought until I read the story of Rahab in the book of Joshua. It gave me hope that sometimes the best woman for God's job doesn't have a perfect life or a perfect faith.

    In fact, Rahab's story tells me sometimes God chooses women with rough resumes, gritty pasts and dauntless attitudes to get a hard job done. Which is why God chose Rahab when He needed a brave and bold person to protect His warriors.

    Rahab was a prostitute who lived within the walls of the city of Jericho. Jericho was a great city, except for the fact that God told the Israelites to conquer it.

    The people who lived in Jericho weren't following God, but they had heard of Him and how He helped the Israelites win many battles. When the residents of Jericho learned the Israelites were camped outside their city, they were rightly concerned.

    As part of the reconnaissance, Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, sent two spies into the city. The Bible seems to indicate they made a beeline into an unusual place of refuge: Rahab's home.

    Now why would God direct them to the house of a woman? And one who didn't have the best reputation?

    There are many reasons why God might have chosen this particular woman to help the spies. But the one that strikes the deepest chord in my heart is that other people might have underestimated Rahab's potential based on her past and present circumstances. But not God.

    Rahab had guts and grit. When the spies arrived, instead of quivering in fear, Rahab thought fast and hid them on her roof. Then she redirected the king's men, making a way of escape for the spies.

    God could have chosen someone with a perfect pedigree to help. But on that day, inside the walls of the city, facing warrior spies in danger, none were available.

    Rahab, however, was in the perfect position, with the perfect disposition, to do the most good. And God must have seen something tender in the heart of this life-hardened woman and knew He could trust her.

    I love this about God. When God looked at Rahab, He didn't see her profession or her past. He saw her potential.

    And in spite of the challenges and choices of her life, He knew there was a part of Rahab's heart that was open to Him. And Rahab did not disappoint.

    The story ends with the spies escaping and God destroying the city of Jericho and everyone in it — except for Rahab and her family.

    I'm so glad Rahab didn't send the spies away, explaining that she didn't have the best track record with men. Instead, she used her smart, quick mind to devise a plan. She used her boldness to defy the king's men. She drew from her bravery to protect her family. She risked greatly, and it paid off.

    Rahab's story tells me that although I might list all the reasons why God wouldn't use me, God prefers I take my personality, my experiences, even the parts of me that seem less-than-pleasant and give them to Him ... every part of me.

    It doesn't mean He's going to leave me as I am; God is always refining me. But in His hands, my mess has meaning.

    Have you ever stamped "disqualified" on yourself due to your personality or something in your past or present? If so, I pray Rahab's story encourages you. God has a plan, and He wants you, in all your uniqueness, to make it happen.

    Sometimes God doesn't choose the "perfect" girl for the job ... and I'm so glad He doesn't.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for looking deeper than what others see, and for seeing my potential. Please help me trust that You want me just as I am and have a plan to use me in Your kingdom. Help me to trust You and Your plan for my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    I Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What good characteristics did Rahab have, based on what we can tell from her story in Joshua 2?

    Many times we disqualify ourselves based on our wrong choices, or the flaws we see in our personalities. As God looks at you through His lens of love and potential, what does He see?

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 Joshua

  • Our latest and greatest

    Posted on June 24, 2014 by Family Christian

    Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey
    Duck Dynasty: Season 5 2-DVD set
    Sing Through the Bible DVD
    When Calls the Heart: The Dance DVD
    I’m Not High Maintenance Just Low Tolerance DVD

    This post was posted in Music, Movies, Kids and was tagged with Featured, Duck Dynasty, Buck Denver, Anita Renfroe, Danny Gokey

  • Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today - June 24, 2014

    Posted on June 24, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Unlimited Vacation There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

     

    I have mixed emotions returning from vacation. Mostly, I am rested and revived; but a part of me wants to remain at the beach or linger in the mountains without deadlines, bills to pay or problems to solve. This suspended time of freedom from responsibilities, I have to admit, is tempting to wish for all the time. Staying up late, sleeping in, eating more fried foods, reading and having uninterrupted conversations with my sweetheart is heavenly. Fun, but only for a limited time.

     

    I have to remind myself that vacations are meaningful, but they are not real life. If my life were a continuous vacation, it would cease to be a vacation. I would not be vacating from work and the real world, I would be in my own little world without true meaning and purpose. Only vacations with a limited shelf life are appetizing and enjoyable, otherwise they lose their novelty.  Vacations are the Lord’s reward for hard work and faithful stewardship. We vacate to recalibrate.

     

    “All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:23).

     

    A mind without rest becomes restless, drifting from its purpose. A mind with too much margin becomes marginalized. Thus, we seek a healthy mixture of work and play, reading to learn and to relax, traveling and spending time at home. Our goal is not a life of leisure to spend on ourselves, our goal is to stay engaged in growing God’s Kingdom. Our hearts stay clean by keeping our hands dirty in service. Our investment in others creates unlimited fulfillment.

     

    Have you taken an extended vacation from serving in your church or community? Or, is it time for a vacation so you can recalibrate for Christ? Either way, see vacations as a means to an end, not the long term goal. Even retirement years are an opportunity to reengage in mentoring and discipleship. Spiritual, emotional, financial and face time availability are God’s gifts to invest in others. Use limited vacations to seek the unlimited opportunities of engaging in God’s Kingdom.

     

    “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33, The Amplified Bible).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me into a healthy time allocation of vacating from work and engaging in Your Kingdom activities.

     

    Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:9-14; Isaiah 28:24; Romans 11:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:11

     

    Post/Tweet today: Our hearts stay clean by keeping our hands dirty in service with the Lord. #wisdomhunters

    Free eBook when you sign up 5 friends for the free email devotional...http://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com

     


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

  • You are Never Alone

    Posted on June 24, 2014 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Now he had to go through Samaria ... and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'" John 4:4, 6-7 (NIV)

    Alone again. That's what she must have thought as she walked alone to the well that day. No friend laughed by her side. No small fist gripped her skirt. No sister to help pass the time.

    Maybe it was better that way. Being alone was easier than hearing the condemning words and seeing the scornful looks of others. But she wasn't alone for long. She didn't know who He was and couldn't help but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.

    When He spoke, she heard gentleness in His voice. Kindness and humility in His simple request for a drink. In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment. Love, not hate.

    Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her Sam. It makes her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled with hurt, rejection and loneliness.

    Today's key verse says Jesus "had to go through Samaria" (John 4:4). Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them. In fact, usually they would travel around Samaria — but not Jesus.

    He had to go through Samaria. Could it be because He knew Sam would be there?

    Typically women traveled together to the well in the cool of the day, escaping the heat of the sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam walked by herself during the hottest part of the day.

    Instead of avoiding the scorching sun, many believe she went to the well at noon to avoid the scorching pain of others' rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five times, and now she was living with a man who wasn't her husband.

    The weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but the weight of her neighbors' words, reminding her of her failed marriages, was more than she could take.

    When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand and running from those who knew of her failures, shame and imperfections. Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into Him.

    He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer: water. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

    Sam stopped and listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken, insecure, empty places of her heart.

    In the same way Jesus intentionally pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day, He is there in the midst of your sometimes lonely, imperfect life. He is there when your disappointments and failures leave you empty and make you doubt your worth and purpose.

    He is there when you're going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how you're going to do it all.

    He is there during endless days filled with projects, diapers or laundry when you're wondering if you'll ever find meaning in the monotony.

    He is there when you're criticizing yourself and questioning whether you have what it takes to be a godly woman.

    He sees you. He notices all you do, and He knows what you long for. In fact, Jesus is the only One who can meet your deepest need to be known, accepted and pursued simply because of who you are.

    Today He is pursuing you with His gift of perfect love — love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of your wrongs, love that won't give up on you or me.

    Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, He is there. Will you take time to stop and talk to Him and then quiet your thoughts so you can listen to His voice?

    Dear Lord, thank You for pursuing me. I want to know and rely on the love You have for me and live in the security of it! When I feel afraid, insignificant or alone, help me turn to You and remember You are there! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Jeremiah 31:3b, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    How does it make you feel to knowing Jesus is pursuing you in every moment of every day? Take a minute to tell Him what assurance you need from Him today.

    © 2014 by Renee Swope. 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 John

  • Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today - June 23, 2014

    Posted on June 23, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Imagine But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blamelessand at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:13-14

     

    Imagine a place you have never been before. No sin, sorrow or death, but full of righteousness, joy and everlasting life. No deranged shooters of school children, but many children sitting on the lap of Jesus. No demons, but armies of angels. The Hallelujah chorus being sung by a heavenly choir that no human ear has heard. Yes, praise and worship that brings pure joy to the worshipper and to the one being worshipped, Jesus Christ. Imagine God’s glory fully exposed.

     

    Imagine this new world created by God for God and His children. A world without end, cleansed by the Holy Spirit. A church without blemish presented to its glorious groom, Jesus. No more church splits, child abuse scandals or leadership failures. Gone are church politics, abuses of power and misuse of money. The church and Christ are one. Oneness with the One who gave His life for His bride, rose from the dead to give her life and ascended to heaven to receive her. Imagine the unimpeded and uninhibited intimacy of Christ and His bride--love perfected.

     

    “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).

     

    Imagine a home prepared by Jesus just for His followers. The light of His glory illuminates each room, with no need for electricity. Never a power failure, natural disaster or divorce. Think about God’s blessings on a new earth: peace, forgiveness, joy and love. He is the Blessed One who will give us all we need wrapped up in the abundance of His presence and provision. Worshipfully, we will reign and work for Him. Imagine serving the King of Kings--Jesus, for all eternity.

     

    Therefore, while we wait in this life we train in righteousness,preparing to reign with Him in righteousness. We avoid vain imaginings that distract us in the temporal, instead focusing on the eternal beauty of what awaits us on the other side. Yes, we look forward to being with the Lord forever. We can only imagine with our finite understanding what our infinite God has for those who love Him. We have tasted but a morsel, maybe an appetizer, from our salvation in Christ Jesus. Glory, hallelujah we have a full course meal in heaven that is an ongoing celebration of the Lamb of God, Jesus. Heaven is for real, so by His Spirit conceive what’s to come and prepare for His coming. Imagine!

     

    “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I yearn for that day to be with You forever. I can only imagine You and what You have in store for those who love You.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 8:27; Job 25:2; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 19:1, 9

     

    Post/Tweet today: Imagine the unimpeded and uninhibited intimacy of Christ and His bride in heaven--love perfected. #wisdomhunters

    Free eBook when you sign up 5 friends for the free email devotional...http://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Peter

  • A Key to Remembering

    Posted on June 23, 2014 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

     

    God used a hard circumstance to teach me a powerful lesson this week. I lost my keys. It was the ring with my car key, electronic door opener and house key. Because of my schedule that day, they could only have been in two places: inside the house or outside in my front yard. Where someone could pick them up. And break in. And murder my whole family. Can you feel my rising panic?

    I was calm at first, certain the keys would just be lying in an unusual place. This is something I can handle, my subconscious murmured, so I started to search. I scanned the house quickly, but the keys didn't appear readily. Then I crawled through each room on my hands and knees trying to get a new perspective and looking under furniture. Not there.

    Soon my husband and son got home, and we armed ourselves with flashlights to search the yard many times over. No keys there either.

    Since it was long past bedtime, I finally prayed half-heartedly, wedged dining room chairs under the doorknobs and went to sleep, tossing and turning through the night. In my heart, though, I was sure I would find those keys.

    As dawn broke, I re-searched all the places from the day before and places I'd missed. Frustration and fear set in. I began having visions of hundreds of dollars spent on rekeying locks and replacing the door opener.

    Finally, in a conversation with a friend, I asked her to pray earnestly. I hung up the phone, leaned against my fireplace and cried out to God: "God, You know we need that money for college tuition. I'm really afraid someone has found those keys and is going to break into the house. Please help me. You know where those keys are. Will You show me where they are?"

    I didn't have any immediate fresh ideas, so I headed to my back deck to uncover the flowers I had tucked under a sheet the night before to save them from a freeze. As I yanked off the sheet, something shiny caught my eye. My keys dangled off the side of the flowerpot, where they must have fallen as I worked the day before!

    As I headed into the house, my thoughts were overcome with wonder. I understand God is not on my timetable, so prayers aren't always answered immediately. But in this case, my prayer was answered instantly. Why had it taken me so long to turn to God?

    I thought about the month before when I got a callback after a mammogram. I instantaneously turned to God in prayer, and I continued to pray for one and a half weeks until I could be rechecked. In that harrowing, seemingly "big" circumstance, I experienced the blessing of peace that resulted from prayer long before I received all-clear results.

    I processed how often my own pride, the conviction I can handle things on my own, keeps me from instant prayer ... and from the comfort, peace and power of God's presence.

    Now I'm going to use my keys as a reminder. Will you use yours, too? Each time we pull them out to use, let's remember to humbly pray about the big and little things. As we do, we'll experience the peace of God together, washing over us as well as all our circumstances.

    Jesus, make me humble. Help me run to You in prayer for all things, the big and the little. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    James 5:16b, "... The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (NIV)

    Ephesians 6:18a, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." (NIV)

    Psalm 123:1, "I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What are the big things in your life that need prayer? What are some things you've been managing yourself that you need to give to God in prayer?

    Make a list of both big and little things that need prayer. Break them into seven groups for the seven days this week. Set aside time each day this week to talk with God about your list. He'll be listening!

    © 2014 by Amy Carroll. 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 Philippians

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Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
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