Posted in Devotions

Expect Nothing

“Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Jesus – Luke 18:17) This year was the first Christmas one of our children gave gifts to the family. Sure. There have been years we all joyfully (read: faked a big smile) received gifts of “home-made” crafts made during Sunday School (read: glue and glitter all over the backseat of the car) or trinkets found in the back of a closet (read: their sibling’s toys). But this is the first year where actual thought, money, and energy went into it. It was nice...

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Comfort, Confidence, and Great Teeth

“Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Earlier this week I went to the dentist for a bi-annual cleaning. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t dread it. Though I didn’t look forward to it necessarily, I was confident my pearly whites would shine when told to “open wide.”  I even had a thought or two of my face becoming the model patient for the dentist office. If you know anything about my history – you will know this is a big deal. Like a REALLY big deal. I haven’t always been this confident. I haven’t...

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The Love of the Camera Man

“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3) College football season ended Monday night. The NFL only has 3 games remaining. In one sense, I am very sad. I love watching football. To quote my 13 year old son: “The day after the last football game is right up there with the day after your birthday.” In another sense, it is a good thing. I get a large part of my life back. If you, like me, have watched a lot of football recently – you have probably noticed something about the television cameras. They...

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Know the Shepherd

In reality, the reason we sheep so often let other “shepherds” guide us is because we really don’t trust THE Shepherd. And, the reason we don’t trust THE Shepherd is because we don’t know Him. The more you know about Him, and the more you experience what He says to be true about Himself, the more confidence you place in Him. Here are 3 ways you can begin (or continue) this journey immediately: 1.GRAZE Nothing can substitute daily feasting on the Word of God for yourself. Nothing. Pardon the word, but in keeping with the 23rd Psalm theme, I cannot...

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The 6 P’s that Keep Us Psycho

According to Philip Keller, there are several reasons sheep never settle. They rarely rest. Their propensity toward pitiful is rampant. This is what makes Psalm 23 so beautiful, so rich, so longed for, so. . . foreign to our souls (if we are being honest). Using some of my own language and terms (borrowed from Keller), below are 6 reasons sheep (real ones and us humans) remain pyscho, not content, restless. Predators  Sheep are frightened at the slightest sign of another animal. The scurrying of a rabbit can cause an entire herd to believe the king of the jungle present...

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What Do You Want?

What do you want? No, seriously. What? What do you really want? I don’t mean like, “What do you want for lunch?” Or, “What do you want to do this afternoon?” Though both of these could play into this. I mean, “What do you want that will ‘fix’ you? What do you want that will satisfy? What do you want that will turn the pain off? Or, what do you want that will at least turn it down for little while? What do you want that you don’t yet have? What do you want that someone else has? Is it...

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I Hate this Verse

“But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.’” (Luke 15:29) I hate this verse. I feel embarrassed for the elder brother. His prodigal brother is home and everyone is celebrating. Except him. The “good” brother has stayed home. Faithful. Obeying the rules. Doing what he’s supposed to do. Now he’s mad that his brother gets to eat the filet mignon. He has stayed home these years and had casseroles. Veggie casseroles with cream...

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Hooked on Wisdom

When I read a phrase like “For wisdom will enter your heart” (Proverbs 2:9a), I lean in to find out how that happens. I long for wisdom, personally. I long for wisdom in my marriage. I long for wisdom for my children. How does wisdom “enter your heart”? According to verse 6, “the LORD gives wisdom” and from “His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” So, answer #1 is by reading and knowing what God says. Gratefully, we have 66 books of the Bible to help us know what He has said from His mouth. But the author of Proverbs continues....

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Confessions of a New Year’s Day Struggler

This morning I wake up fully aware of my need to change. There are many areas in my life that need to adjust. Heck, that is the understatement of the new decade I find myself in. There are many areas in my life that need a radical removal and massive overhaul. A new month, a new me? A new year, a new me? A new decade, a new me? I want to change. I really do. I want to make some resolutions. I want to set some personal goals. I want to have my best life by March. But it...

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Advent 2019 – Merry Christmas!

From Russ Ramsey’s The Advent of the Lamb of God: “Since Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit God told them not to touch, every generation had been groaning with the pains of childbirth, longing to be delivered from the effects of their first parents’ fall. And now their deliverer had come. He was the hero of their story, the perfect spotless lamb sent to adorn the doorposts of their hearts with his own blood. He was the descendant from Eve sent to crush the head of the deceiver. He was Isaac’s ram caught in the thicket, God’s perfectly timed...

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