God Is Fighting Endlessly And Tirelessly For You

3:05 am Unknown 14 Comments

{Guest Devotional by Jenna de Wit}

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10: 29-31 (NIV)

Matthew 10:29-31
Photo & Design by Wendy van Eyck
As a little girl, I chose Matthew 10:29-31 as my favourite verse because it comforted me to know that I am worth so much to God and that he has a plan for my life. 

As the years went by, I got to a stage in my life where that verse was just words in a book. 

I didn’t really believe them anymore and God knew it. 

And that’s where we begin my story:

One morning, bright and early, I was woken up abruptly by a loud knock knock-knocking on my window. This alarmed me, as you can imagine, as my room is upstairs. 

What on earth was knocking on my window? 

When You Can’t Trust Your Feelings

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Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)

Isaiah 54:10
Photo & Design: Wendy van Eyck
It’s been two months since my husbands last chemotherapy session. 

It will be another month before we meet with the doctor and he gives us the preliminary results of whether or not the chemo worked.

This pause, this breathing space, has given me time to reflect on the journey so far, on the ups and downs that characterized most of this year. 

It has given me time to realize that what got us through most days was the knowledge of how faithful God is.

The thing is, in the midst of cancer, or any type of hardship or suffering, it can be hard to feel God’s faithfulness.

Most days I didn’t get through on how I was feeling or what my experience of God was that day. 

Because our feelings often lie. 

I had to learn to trust my knowledge of God rather than my feelings about him.

I realize I got through on what I know to be true about who God is.

Are You Only Living 30% Of Your Life?

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{Guest Devotional by Dean Cothill}

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:4-6 (NIV)

We live in a world where most of us hate Mondays.

Hey, we live in a world where just about all of us live for the weekends. 

You know, if we only live for the weekend, we end up only living around 30% of our lives?

That’s around 20 years of a 70 year life. 

That’s not living. I want - I need - so much more. 

I imagine it was a Monday when the disciples were out fishing and did not catch a single fish all night. Such a bad Monday, that they do not even recognize their closest friend standing on the shore; a friend with whom they have shared the last three years.

Not only do they not recognize Jesus but they don’t even recognize his voice. Sound familiar?

A Dare To Be More

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Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on. Matthew 9:20-22 (MSG)

There is a sign near my desk at work that I wrote a year or so ago which says, 
“I dare to be more generous with my time, my abilities and my availability.”

I don’t see it every day, but this morning it caught my attention, and I read it as I settled in. 

I thought as I processed the words, “Yes, I want to be more generous with these things. I want to offer more of me rather then get annoyed when my time is interrupted.”

As if on cue, at that moment, someone walked in to my office and asked me for a writing pad.

I reacted with annoyance.

I wondered why they were taking advantage of me. Why they couldn’t get find their own paper? Why they didn’t just go to HR and collect their stationary?

I did a bad job of hiding my annoyance as I handed over the paper and they walked out.

But then I remembered what I’d just read and I felt ashamed.

Regretful that I failed to put my colleagues needs above my own.

Ashamed that I failed to look like Jesus.

There’s a story in the bible about Jesus being in a rush to go raise a little girl from the dead. 

While Jesus is trotting to save this small girls life another woman sneaks up behind him and touches his robe.

Jesus doesn’t react in anger.

Jesus doesn’t withhold healing from her or begrudgingly tell her that she is cured. 

Instead he stops what he is doing and offers a kind word, encouragement and healing. He offers it openhandedly and liberally. 

Jesus dared to be generous.

Not because Jesus had too but because he chose to.

Jesus chose to put her needs above his own. And she was well from then on.

As I remembered this story I thought I want to choose to be more like Jesus. 

I want to dare to be more like Jesus. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

I want to choose to be generous. 

Not because I have too but because I want to. 

And for me that begins by really living the words on that piece of paper and living generously.

Where does daring to look like Jesus begin for you? What area of your life is God challenging or daring you to be more like him in? 

Please leave a comment on my blog about what you would like to dare to be more of or tweet this, like my facebook page or subscribe to receive each new devotional via email.

God Is Bigger Than Your Suffering

3:00 am Unknown 8 Comments

{Guest Devotional by James Prescott}

I spoke once, but I have no answer - twice, but I will say no more. Job 40:5 (NIV)

lightening, God, Job
Photo: Creationswap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck
I’ve had a difficult past. My teenage years were hell for so many reasons - broken home, alcoholic parent and bullying at school. 

Then I lost my Mum at only 23. 

I’ve had my rants at God. Shouting, moaning, complaining. 

I’ve looked at how so many of my peers seem to have no suffering and all the blessings I desire, like God is punishing me or I’m just a toy for His amusement.

One night, I was in the middle of one of these rants. I said to Jesus, without even thinking:

“What do you know about going through mental torture, treated unjustly, mocked by your peers, being in unbearable pain with no way out...”

The Blessing Of Lies

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God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. Matthew 5:11 (NLT)

Man holding sign, Lies, blessing, Matthew 5:11
Photo: Matt Gruber at CreationSwap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck
It felt like I said the words for over an hour. I probably only blubbered them for 5 minutes. 

“Nobody loves me,” I gasped through 6 year old tears.

I remember my mother rubbing my back while I sobbed and saying over and over, “I love you. Jesus loves you. Your brothers love you…” 

It was over 20 years ago but I still remember the emotions. 

I still recall the pain from being spoken about in the schoolyard, and mocked and persecuted, and lied about by kids I had called my best friends just the day before. 

It took me a long time to realize what they said was lies, years to wake up to the fact that what others say about me isn’t who I am. 

Crossing The Deep

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{Guest Devotional by Kelly Martin}

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

There are times when we feel alone even when other people are around us.

During those times, we need to remember that we are never truly alone.

Even in a room full of strangers, Jesus is with us… always… even unto the end of the world.

Even unto the surgery we are dreading…

Even unto the presentation we have to give…

Even unto the doctor’s appointment we dread…

Even unto the situation we can’t see a way out of…

Even unto the normal, everyday things that happen in our lives that become mundane…

Always and forever, Jesus is with you.

Is It Okay To Show Weakness?

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Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (MSG)

Old couples hands, 2 Corinthians 12:10
Picture: Creationswap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck
We were laughing at her weakness.

Giggling at how her friend had told her she really needed to get a new wig after it had been burnt in the oven.

Chuckling at the story of how during chemotherapy she had so badly wanted everyone to think she wasn’t sick, she had drawn eyebrows on with brown lipstick for a week, before she’d seen how funny she looked. 

This friend of mine has been cancer free for 8 years. 

We can laugh about these stories now, about how her attempts at hiding her weakness with wigs and makeup failed. 

On my drive home I was thinking about her stories. 

And I was thinking about all the times I’ve hidden depression or anger or insecurity because I think it’s more important that I give out the right impression than let people see my weakness. 

When To Give Up & Let God's Spirit Pray For You

4:18 pm Unknown 2 Comments

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. Romans 8:26 (MSG)

I had a hard time reaching God this morning. 

There was just so much noise around. 

Not the type of noise you can just switch off. It was the kind of noise that runs like a schoolyard of screaming children from left ear to right ear. 

And the worst part is it's all in your head. 

The noise, I couldn't mute, was the sound of to-do lists and worries and fear. 

Through all the noise in my head I was trying to talk to God but he seemed too far away (or maybe I was just too far away).

I tried closing my eyes and praying. 
I attempted journaling. 
I whispered prayers. 
I tried opening my eyes and reading prayers. 
I played with my hair like prayer beads. 
I sat still.
I tried to focus on God.
I said "Jesus" over and over.
I gave up.

Eventually I gave up and told God I couldn't pray this morning.