Does God Care?

10:50 am Unknown 0 Comments

Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5:7 (MSG)

live carefree before God 1 peter 5:7
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“You need to talk him. Next year, things need to be different.”

In our house, my husband and I have been having this discussion for the last 3 or 4 months. 

The same words. Every. Time. 

But we have bigger things happening in our lives at the moment. We have chemotherapy to get through, every 3 weeks, and somehow this conversation - that is hard and uncomfortable to have - never happens. 

But at the back of my mind it’s being worrying me because the outcome of it will change just about everything in our lives. 

Then last week my husband mails me and says, “We spoke. Next year things are going to be different. And the best part is, he brought it up, I didn’t have to start the conversation.”

And just like that I remember that God cares.

God. Really. Cares. {Tweet this}

There have been plenty of times when I’ve wondered if God cares. 

Then something small happens like God orchestrating a difficult conversation and all of sudden my soul knows God does care. 

God cares for the big, hard, tiresome stuff and for the little, insignificant, tedious stresses too.

God not only cares about me, but he is careful with me. {Tweet this}

I’m trying to learn to relax and live carefree before this God who is so, so, so careful with me. Won’t you join me?

What prevents you from believing that God not only cares about you but is careful with you?

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Is It Okay To Question God?

6:00 am Unknown 27 Comments

{Guest Devotional by James Prescott}

I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked? Job 10: 1-3 (NIV)

Wrestling with God
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Have you ever prayed something like this verse from Job?

I have. 
A lot. 

Because it often feels like God is completely against us. He’s letting painful, difficult circumstances overwhelm us. We know He’s capable of stopping them.

But God doesn’t.

In many ways suffering is even more difficult to deal with if you know Christ - because you believe in a God who can do anything - who has infinite power, and is infinitely loving. 

Suffering makes no sense whatever you believe. But when you believe in God, then it makes even less sense.

The endless question goes on, “Why?”

  • Why did my parents marriage end so painfully?
  • Why was my Mum taken from me so young?
  • Why do my peers seem to get all the blessings I desire?
  • Why is suffering poured on me at young age, whilst others get blessings lavished on them?

I’m sure you have your own versions of these questions. Why that relative is suffering from cancer? Why your friends’ marriage is falling apart? Why was that person allowed to die so young?

We all have our ‘why’ questions. 

And lets be honest about it, we often don’t want to ask these questions of God, because we are led to believe we shouldn’t question God. We shouldn’t doubt the divine. 

“It’s all part of God’s plan”
“God will bring good out of this”

How often have you heard this from well meaning friends during times of suffering?

And is it really what we need to hear?

Not me. I don’t want nice comfortable answers. 

I want to wrestle with God. I want to keep asking why. I want to explore, to delve deeper with the divine. (tweet this)

I may never find out why. 

But maybe if I keep asking, if I keep diving deep, I will begin to understand. Maybe, if I keep wrestling, I will discover some answers. Maybe, in time, I will begin to see my life with a God’s eye view.

How do I know this? I don’t. 

But I do know God is real. And I have no choice but to somehow trust He’s in control. 

God has a plan. (tweet this)

It’s not suddenly going to make it all okay. It won’t take the pain away or make it easier for me to deal with. But at least I will have hope. At least all is not completely lost. 

What is your “why” question today? Why not take your frustration and pain to God in prayer like Job did? 

{About the author of this devotional: James Prescott}
James Prescott is a writer and author from Sutton, near London, UK. He blogs regularly at He recently released his first e-book, ‘5 Steps to Encouragement: A Manifesto for Changing the World’ which can be obtained free here.

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A Story Of Baggage & Unknowns & Grace

6:00 am Unknown 0 Comments

My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (MSG)

God carries the heavy stuff
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There is an anecdote that has been sitting in my heart for a while. 

It is a story about baggage and unknowns and grace. 

A tale of being content to leave things we don’t understand in our Father’s keeping. It is a story that I’m learning to live at the moment.

It is a story that Corrie ten Boom tells about asking her father about a word she’d overheard as a ten year old:
“Father, what is sexsin?” He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. 
At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. 
“It's too heavy,” I said. 
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” 
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father's keeping.”

It is these words I’ve been allowing to turn around my heart for the last few days. 

It is these thoughts about how God carries the heavy stuff for us until we’re ready to bear it that I’ve been massaging into my soul.

We have a Father in heaven who carries the hard stuff for us, who shoulders the burdens that are too heavy for us to carry.

And that is grace. 

That is God’s grace.

It is a grace that is enough. A grace that comes into its own in our weakness. A grace that carries the heavy stuff when we’re struggling just to stand on our own two feet, a grace that reaches out to steady before we even know we’re faltering.

I don’t know about you but I find too often we’re stubborn. We want to prove to God that we’re strong and can shoulder the heavy stuff.

When really all we’re doing is telling God we don’t really need him. 

We take the thing that is too heavy for us, the thing that God is carrying for us, and it crushes us. And then we turn to God and ask him to rescue us, to lift us up in our time of trouble.

And God does. He comes to us, and he doesn’t take the baggage, but he helps us to carry it. 

God doesn’t hide our baggage from us, or pretend we don’t have any, but he helps to lift the weight of it. (tweet this)

And that is grace. 

That is God’s grace too.

Where have you experienced God’s grace in your life this past week?

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What If My Faith Fails Me?

6:00 am Unknown 0 Comments

{Guest Devotional by Ellen Williams}

…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith… Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) 

faith like a child
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Have you ever attempted to encourage someone with what Christ has done in your life? 

Or maybe you speak His promises, that gave you hope during a dark time, only to find yourself in another trial that is testing those very promises you just proclaimed?

This has happened to me so many times that it scares me to the point it paralyzes me.  Instead of just releasing what God has placed on my heart, I weigh it. Questioning, at what cost do I share this? 

I’m scared my faith will fail when it’s put to another, bigger test. 

Lord, save me from myself…

It is I who constantly try to thwart God’s plans for my life, and lives of my loved ones, in fear of what God’s plan entails.

God’s words flow into me, and I literally breathe them in, knowing that my very life and the choices I make, deeply depend on them.  His Word flows into me with purpose, to not only fill me up but to overflow into the lives He has placed in my path. 

God’s life giving words were never meant to be contained within me, or even filtered through me. 

Yet I contain and filter them even though I know that I do so against His will.  I filter them because I doubt and fear I didn’t hear God correctly, or worry what I heard will be questioned, and what-if I don’t know how to answer those questions. 

I restrain God’s word in fear it will be tested for authenticity. 

Then I’m reminded, Jesus initiated my faith and will perfect my faith, so really worrying that my faith will fail, is worrying that He will fail. (tweet this)

My spirit knows God NEVER fails. 

And that come what may God is ALWAYS good and only allows what He can and will use for my good.  But my flesh puts my face on His and therefore sees failure as being inevitable.

As I was typing this, the truth written on my heart began to come alive and whisper: 
Faith comes from hearing, Ellen! Even when it’s your own voice speaking of My unfailing and unending love.  

Don’t be fearful that you will be tested through a trial, but trust you WILL BE and look forward to that testing, because it gives you a clear opportunity to SEE with the eyes of your flesh that God went ahead of you.  

And God knew what you would go through and those words you said to someone else were also meant for you, because He knew you would need them.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for opening my eyes to see that Your faithfulness is fully displayed when my authenticity is tested. Give me courage to believe and fully trust in the very simple fact that whatever happens today you knew of in advance. And because You knew, You have engraved Your truth on my heart and given me the Holy Spirit to help me recall that truth exactly when I need it.  Lord, I pray Your love rushes through me so swiftly that I could not possibly contain or filter it, in any way, no matter how much my flesh tries to. Amen

Ellen WilliamsEllen Williams says, she was a girl who became a teenage mom, who became a teenage wife, who was out to prove “I” could do it...and God let me…knowing “I” would fail but that He would pick me up, dust me off and give me a hug while gently whispering “Let’s keep going E, but this time follow ME”. She blogs about her walk with the One who saved her and the mess of life WE encounter at who is leading e

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How Do I Find Peace?

5:55 am Unknown 11 Comments

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10 (NIV)

Photo: Matthias Rhomberg via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
“When the two of you walk into the room there is a peace about you. It’s a certain aura that you have. Do you work on it?”

My husband and I are a bit taken back by this question. We look at each other over the dinner table and wonder how to answer our friend.

This man has just about everything money can buy - and enough money to buy everything he could ever want - but he’s asking us where our peace comes from.

All I can think is, “Jesus. He’s seeing Jesus in us.”

I think about saying it, I think about just blurting out, “Jesus”.

But the “Jesus” answer seems too clichéd, too cheesy, too tainted by association with religion. (tweet this)

So I keep quiet. 

And my husband talks about other things and the moment passes. 

As we drive home I tell my husband, “I feel like a bad Christian…shouldn’t we have told our friend about Jesus?”

We talk about whether we missed a God appointment, and we pray that if we did God will give us another, and that we will be braver next time. 

I wonder about what Jesus might have said to my friend and a story in John pops into my head. 

It’s the story of Jesus talking to a woman at a well. She comes to the well with a jar to draw water and Jesus stands next to it empty handed. Jesus asks her for a drink. 

She tells Jesus they shouldn’t even be talking, let alone sharing water from the well. In fact, she reprimands him for even asking. Jesus replies, “If you knew who I am you would ask me for a drink and I’d give you fresh, living water.”

Jesus. just. didn’t. care. He gave himself away freely. (tweet this)

Jesus told the woman that what she really sought was him. 

Jesus didn’t worry if he’d sound crazy or clichéd or like a religious nut he just spoke the truth. 

The truth is if you’re looking for life you’ll find it in Jesus.

If you are searching for peace you’ll find it in Jesus. (tweet this)

Jesus is life and peace. 

I’m realizing that Jesus is worth offering even when he sounds too clichéd, too cheesy, too tainted by association with religion. 

When was the last time you offered Jesus to someone? What made you do it or what stopped you? 

Prayer for courage
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When God Calls

5:54 am Unknown 5 Comments

{Guest Devotional by Renee Fisher}

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” Exodus 3:5 (NIV)

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There is a person in the Bible who tried to figure out his calling by killing an Egyptian slave driver.

Remember Moses? He settled the argument between an Israelite and an Egyptian master by ending the argument forever. In the moment, Moses probably thought he was being the hero, but God had [much] bigger plans.

When Moses was found out, he fled to the desert only to find his calling was herding sheep for the next forty years.

I am sure there were days that Moses felt discouraged, depressed, and helpless. (tweet this)

He knew God had plans for hope, and that some day he was to release his fellow Israelites from the bondage of slavery–but that day was yet to come. 

I am also sure that Moses felt he was the right person for the job because of the many privileges he had growing up in the palace: 
  • He was smart. 
  • He knew how to read, interpret the times. 
  • And he was also a trained fighter.
It says in Hebrews 11:25-26 that Moses “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

I wonder if Moses knew that day on the run that God would eventually call him back one day. And maybe you feel like Moses in the desert hoping one day that you’ll be back!

With the way the economy is going, maybe you’ve been hoping for a stable job and place to live or maybe you’re praying to have someone significant to share your life with. 

Companionship and financial means are two very good things to pray for.

Like Moses–you may come to the place when it is your turn. You see the phone ring, you turn and listen to the bell, realizing that today you are standing on holy ground!

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you that there is no cell or phone plan you cannot afford. There is no place we can go to be outside the range of your service. When you do call us God, may we stand ready and waiting to do your will. Amen

{About Renee Fisher: The Author Of This Guest Devotional}
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Star. Learn more about Renee at

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The Sickness I Hide

6:06 am Unknown 7 Comments

Don’t ignore the wooden plank in your eye, while you criticize the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eyelashes. That type of criticism and judgment is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust. Matthew 7:4-5 (NLT)

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“So many people with cancer. I feel so sorry for them.” My husband discards this comment as we climb into the car.

I reach out and touch his head where just a few weeks ago – pre-chemo - his hair grew.

My heart reaches out to him, this man I love, who so longs to live free of cancer that he can’t even identify with the people who are fighting for health the same way he is. 

We drive away from the hospital, where in just over a week my husband will be returning for another session of chemotherapy, the 15th in just over a year. 

As we drive I think how like my husband we all are - how in some way we are all cancer patients who believe that we are not sick - everyone else is. 

This sickness is in my heart, in my soul and in my tongue. 

This is the sickness I hide. The belief that everyone else needs Jesus more than me.

It’s in the part of me that looks at others and thinks, “So many people living in sin. I feel so sorry for them.”

We keep driving, and I keep thinking about the bible verse in Matthew where Jesus talks to us about a speck of dust. 

I wonder about how we’re so busy trying to remove that tiny dust particle from our friends’ eye we don’t take a moment to step back and see our vision is blurred by the log in our own eyes. 

This is an uncomfortable story that Jesus tells. 

I don’t like to picture a person with a tree growing out their eye anymore than my husband likes to think of himself as a cancer patient or I like to think of myself as a sinner. 

The truth about our selves often isn’t pretty. And it rarely makes us feel comfortable. 

Truth unsettles us but it can also set us free. (tweet this)

When we realize we’re not better than anyone else - that I’m just like you and you’re just like me - we can hand out grace and hope and love like we’re made of the stuff.

And we can receive grace and hope and love from the One who gave them first. 

And as we do this healing comes. 

So truth is, whether I like to admit it or not:

My husband is a cancer patient.

I am a sinner. 

We are both of us – all of us - utterly dependent on Jesus to heal us. (tweet this)

What sickness are you hiding in your life? Ask God to speak truth into your life so you can receive grace and hope and love from Him.  

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Love Is Slow…

6:00 am Unknown 10 Comments

{Guest Devotional by Alison Lam}

Love is patient. 1 Cor 13:4a (NIV)

Often, we get so used to certain phrases in the Bible, hearing them so much that they lose their ability to affect us, to have a deep impact on how we live our real life.

1 Cor 13:4
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Such is the case for me with the passage from 1 Corinthians 13, the famous “love chapter”. I often skim over this passage and think, “Oh, I’ve got this one. Love is patient? Yup. Check. Got it.”

I think I’ve always just let the phrase “Love is patient” be a nice reminder to me to lovingly put up with a loved one’s shortcomings, not holding it against them. I’ve thought of it as a call to let others grow and mature, and love them through it. 

That’s all good stuff (and I believe it’s true), but recently, there’s been something else that God has wanted to highlight to me. Something more to do with the nature of love, and less about how I have to act or what I have to do.

Recently, I took a look at this well-known chapter again and something stood out to me.

I saw patience in a new light. 

After I read the phrase, “Love is patient” it was as if the Holy Spirit nudged me and said, 

“What if you saw patience in light of something being slow – slow…er than you want it to be. It feels too slow for you.”


I think that just pressed a button in me. Ouch.

I’m often in such a rush to have life happen to me. I often think life and love is lagging behind me. I’m in such a hurry to go forward. To begin new chapters. To turn to a new page. To take hold of what’s next. 

C’mon, momentum, I want my portion and I want it… yesterday!

So, love is… slow. Yes, Holy Spirit, that’s a good way to look at it. You’ve got my attention.

Love is definitely slower than I want it to be. 

I have such a hard time accepting love on love’s terms sometimes!

Love doesn’t happen overnight. Love forms like a tree. It starts as a seed going down into the ground. It takes time, and it must break out of the soil in the right season. You cannot force it or rush it. If you do, you weaken it, possibly even kill it.

Love takes time. 

Love is intimacy, and intimacy takes time. (tweet this)

I recently heard a song from the musician Luke Wood with the chorus going something like this, “Time, time, precious time. Intimacy requires time.”  It hit something deep in my heart, something my flesh fights against.

It takes time to know someone, to become intimate with them in the truest sense of knowledge.

Love is not (and cannot be) a check-list to do on a random, occasional rainy day. It’s a life-long thing. Yes, it’s practical and, yes, it involves doing things on the check-list but love is conceived, birthed, formed and matured over years. Over a lifetime.

Love is slow! (tweet this)

So, if love is slow…er than I want it to be, that means I need to slow myself down. I need to savor the present moment a little longer than I thought I had to. I need to appreciate and accept the growing and maturing process of love and relationships, embracing the day after day investment of myself and my heart into the making of love, the forming of love.

Love is not in a rush. It’s not in a hurry, and if it is, maybe it’s not really love. (tweet this)

Real love forms in the garden of a resting heart – a heart at rest with God’s timing, God’s seasons, God’s pace and God’s way of doing things.

I think there’s something about this I need to surrender to. I need to surrender to the pace of love, because love seems to happen on a timetable that I naturally resist – nothing happens fast enough for me!

But, ultimately, it is better to slow down and set my heart’s pace to walk with Love. To stay in step with Love. In the end, love that is slow and unrushed will be the most fruitful, producing the most tangible, tasty fruit. 

And that’s what we really want, isn’t it? Something real. Something good. Something really good.

Yes, God, you’re right. Love is slow, and that’s a good thing. The real thing takes time.

So, how about you slow down now and take a moment to reflect:
See if there are areas in your life where you are rushing ahead, frantically hurrying to make something happen. 
Ask God to give you a vision of real love that grows and forms slowly. 
Ask God to slow you down to stay in step with His pace, letting love form rightly. 
Give love permission to take its sweet time. In the end, you’ll look back and say it was so worth it.

{About Alison Lam: The Author Of This Guest Devotional}
I'm a combo deal of serious and silly, deep and dorky. East meets West. I'm a "plant-roots-at-home" girl and a "go-ye-into-all-the-world" girl. I've followed Jesus all around the world over the years and now He's brought me back to Canada. I'm learning what it means to be a missionary in my own homeland. If my adult life has taught me anything, it's to say "YES" to becoming as childlike as possible in the hands of the Father so He is free to set His love in all its fullness upon me. For more about me, visit: and on Twitter: @alisonjoyful

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God Will Find You In Your Dark Place

10:56 am Unknown 11 Comments

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute-you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. Psalm 139:7-12 (MSG)

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I crawled into bed and pulled the duvet over my head.

I felt my husband reach out and hug me. 

“What’s going on?” he whispered.

“I don’t even want to be here,” I said.

“Where do you want to be?” he enquired, and drew me closer, as I thought about all the places I’d rather be. 

How I’d rather be in a place where my husband didn’t have cancer. Or a place where we weren’t being told we have 0% chance of conceiving a child naturally. How I’d rather be spending the weekend somewhere beautiful rather than sitting at my home with a husband recovering from chemo.

But I wasn’t living any of those dreams. 

I was right here in the midst of a life that is full of pain and sickness and disappointments.

I was in a dark place.

I was in a place light didn’t penetrate and I couldn’t see hope. 

Maybe you’ve been there before? Maybe your circumstances were different but your feelings were the same?

Despair, loneliness, anguish, hopelessness – just a few of the feelings that characterize dark places. 

As I lay under the duvet my husband started to move the duvet off my head and let little shards of light in, he started to speak hope to my heart.

You might not have a husband that crawls into your dark place but you do have a God who does. 

God will find you in your dark place.

God doesn’t leave you because you’re feeling down or hopeless or desperate. (Tweet this)

When you’re in a dark place, God crawls into the darkness with you, tells you He’s with you, and then he holds you till hope begins stirring in your soul.

God gently exposes your dark places to his light. 

And somehow, instead of baring more pain, heartache and broken dreams, God’s light reveals his plans to take care of you, to never abandon you, and to give you the future you hope for. 

As you struggle to see through the dark you notice that those promises have been there all along, that the darkness was only hiding them. 

The promises God whispers in the light don’t change when the sun sets. (Tweet this)

And you realize that you are still in the midst of a life that is full of pain and sickness and disappointments but that there is one greater than all of these who will not leave you to handle them on your own.

Prayer: God, come and shine light in my dark places. Help me to remember the promises you gave me in the light so I can see you in the dark. Thank you that my feelings don’t change who you are.

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