July 22, 2014

Here I Am. Speak, Lord

As I prepare for She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries annual speaker and writer conference, I’ve drawn nearer to God and sought His voice and direction. I want to hear from God so that I have somthing of value to offer the attendees. I want to hear from God because it builds our relationship allowing me to serve Him better. As I prayed, the story of Moses and the burning bush kept coming to mind. I’d like to share it with you.

Something on the far side of the mountain was burning. Right away it caught the attention of Moses. Could it be someone’s campfire? Perhaps he wondered. No. Moses had never seen anything like it. Finally, his curiosity got the best of him and Moses went to investigate this site.

“I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, [and discover] why the bush is not burned up” – Exodus 3:3.

God has purpose in the events of our lives. Nothing happens by accident. The bush burned to get Moses’ attention. It burned so that Moses would draw near.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that seem mysterious and confusing. But God knows what He’s doing. He uses such things to draw us near to Him. Because God knows how we will respond, He uses different methods of gaining our attention. It could be something you read that unlocks a deeper meaning or gives insight to something bad that happened. Whatever your circumstance, God is drawing you to Himself.

When he arrived, Moses found a burning bush yet the fire did not consume it. Then, he heard the voice of the LORD.

“When the LORD saw that [Moses] turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am’” – Exodus 3:4.

Moses had been in the desert for 40 years. It was nothing like his comforts he was used to in Egypt. Yet in the desert, God used each day to prepare him for service. It took time before Moses was ready to hear from God. Had God lit the bush sooner, Moses may not have seen it. But now was the right time. Moses drew near and said to God, “Here I am.”

Regardless to how God speaks to you and me, we should respond with, “Here I am. Speak to me, Lord. Teach me what you will.”

So often we miss these opportunities with God. Perhaps we interrupt the situation as something other than God trying to get our attention. I’m learning whether I find myself in a good situation or bad, I should stop to consider what God is saying to me and teaching me in that circumstance. I can do that because I know and trust that God wants the best for me. He wants an intimate relationship with me where I long to hear His voice and walk in His ways.

When Moses drew near to the bush, he took a step into an intimate relationship with God. From that day forward, he spoke with God like a good friend. Moses trusted Him and followed His guidance by faith. Moses was ready for God to use him. Are you?

Are you ready to draw near to God and say, “Here I am. Speak, Lord?” If so, you’re about to take your relationship with God to a new level where you will see God do in and through you what you could have never imagined on your own.

Why not draw near to God now? Open your bible and read until God speaks to your heart. Listen and watch your purpose unfold before you in God’s perfect timing.

(I would cherish your prayers for me this week as I speak and serve at She Speaks.) Thanks, friends!

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July 18, 2014

Free Download For “Unfailing Treasures”

Unfailing Treasures Release PromoWhat woman doesn’t like something for free! Today, I have a free offer for you. My dear friend, Lisa Buffalo, has a new book out entitled, Unfailing Treasures. I’m so excited about it asked Lisa if we could have a sneak peek and she did better than that!

“As my first-fruit offerings to the Lord,” said Lisa, “I’m giving away free download July 15th through the 19th on Amazon. Please pick up a copy and share with your friends.”  http://amzn.to/1kVPUrV

Don’t you love her heart! There’s more. Below Lisa gives us a taste of what you’ll find in her book.

~ Beyond The Vortex ~

Life can be a twirling vortex. The to-do list already has too many things to do and the list grows as unexpected expectations are added.

So how does one do, more than one can do? By keeping the focus on The One who can do all.

As an ice-skater keeps their focal-point on one thing as they twirl on the ice, we can focus on God as life spins around us.

Keep the focus beyond the vortex; stay safe in the eye of the storm with your eyes on The One who calms all storms.

Mining for Treasure

Where is the storm in your life?

Are you focused on your difficulty, or focused on The One who can calm your storm?

“Jesus stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. He said, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm.” ~ Mark 4:39 (ERV)

Download you copy today http://amzn.to/1kVPUrV  And be sure and tell a friend.

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July 11, 2014

Christ, Our Solid Rock

When you hear of someone that’s between a rock and a hard place, you automatically think of something bad. But if that rock is Christ the Rock, it’s a whole different perspective.

To understand what I mean, you’ll need to pause here and read my devotion today, Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place. ____________________________________________________

Are you back? Good.

Now, the next time you find yourself “between a rock and a hard place,” I want you to transform that experience from being stuck between a rock to resting on the Rock of Ages. To change your perspective, you need to know that rocks  provide a good picture of God’s character.

First, if you’ve ever leaned your full weight against a large boulder, you found that it was immovable and fully capable of supporting you. Rocks speak of stability just as our God is stable. He cannot be moved by any circumstance.

Is your life lacking stability? Do you need Christ the Rock to lean against?

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God is also our refuge. Like Moses, we can hide in the cleft of the Rock. Do you need a hiding place where you can hide and find rest?

He is unchangeable. The Rock Himself testifies, “I, the LORD, do not change.” Are you afraid of change? Run to the Rock of your Salvation, the One Who remains the same yesterday, today and forever.”

I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe your circumstances are crumbling beneath you. To Whom do you run? Where do you run when your emotions, your circumstances, your trials, your adversaries appear overwhelming and your outlook seems hopeless?

Run to the Rock, “of Christ Jesus, our Hope, the Rock Who is stable, secure, the source of inner strength, unchanging, immoveable and always reliable. Run to Christ, your personal Rock of Salvation.

I’d love to pray for you today that you’d find rest in the cleft of the rock.

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July 8, 2014

Time To Stop Worrying

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”- Corrie Ten Boom

Worrying can be a vicious cycle that uses up your time. It can keep you from living in the present. It can steal your peace and joy.

One of my greatest fears is losing one of my children. Because of this, I became a fear-driven parent. My first response to anything they asked to do was, “no.” If I couldn’t be there to protect them they couldn’t go.

One day, my anxiety came up in a casual conversation with my friend. After listening to my concern, he asked me a life-changing question.

“Micca, are you the giver of life?”

“No.” I replied, “That’s God’s job.”

“That’s right,” he continued. “Only God knows the day He’ll call your child home. Whatever that day may be, it won’t matter if your child is sitting at home under your watch or skydiving with friends. God will take him home but not a day sooner.”

Psalms 139: 16, confirms this truth.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

I felt a sense of peace wash over me, and a boost of fresh faith, as I believed in what he shared. God knows the number of all our days. –mine, yours, and those we love.

From that day forwarded, when one of my own asked to go skydiving, drive a car, or hang out with friends in a boat on the lake, I let them go. Yes, fear still fills my heart. But I’ve learned to speak to my anxiety. “I’m not the giver of life, but the One who is I put my trust.”

How do I do that? I give myself a certain amount of time to worry and think about all that could go wrong. When that time is up. I stop worrying and start trusting.

images-3Let’s say there is something you’re anxious about—a situation, a challenge, or perhaps your own well-being. Give yourself a certain amount of time to worry, but also determine a time you will stop.

If you decide you’re not going to worry past lunchtime, set your alarm for 12:00. When your alarm goes off, honor your commitment to stop wring your hands and begin to trust in your heavenly Father’s care.

It’s easy when you’ve prepared by writing down a few of His promises. By focusing on God and His might, provides a sense of peace because you know He cares.

Here are a few of my favorite. I’d love for you to share some of your favorite verses, too! That way we can help one another.

Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Hebrews 13:6, “So we can confidently say,  “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Isaiah 43:1-3, “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

May the peace of God guard your heart, sweet friend.

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July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

photoMy devotion for our country is rooted in family tradition. Every 4th of July, we cook out, swim in my parent’s pool, and then headed to the park to watch the fireworks. This tradition continues today with our own children. We go all out by dressing in red, white and blue. But that’s not all. We celebrate our freedom all year long.

My dad has always had a large flag whipping in the wind in our back yard. His parasitism had a great influence on my life.

Today, Old Glory flies in my backyard too. It’s a special flag because my dad and my son dug the hole together, poured the cement, and planted the flag together. There’s just something grand about watching her fly. Our flag gives me a since of peace and security. Yet, I fear. I fear we’re losing devotion for our country. I worry that our freedom is on the decline. That’s why I believe that patriotism starts with the Gospel.

Evangelism Explosion, a ministry organization, recently had this to say about our freedom.

“Across America, we celebrate July 4 as our nation’s birthday, and what a blessed country we live in! But it’s easy to take our freedom for granted. We forget that in more sensitive areas of the world people do not enjoy a simple right such as freedom of speech. Even in the states, we see that freedom eroding.

School officials at a high school graduation ceremony turned the microphone off when the valedictorian thanked God for “sending His only Son to die for me and the rest of the world.” The student did the only thing he could do—he kept talking.

The best way to insure our freedom is to share the Gospel. By grace through faith, Christ broke the chains of our imprisonment to sin and death. His work is our freedom. Share that message boldly.”

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” —John 8:32

Let’s not forget the sacrifice that men and women made for our freedom. And let’s not forgive the sacrifice made by our Savior for our spiritual freedom.

Happy 4th of July!

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July 1, 2014

Celebrating With God

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When my children were little and had good news to share, they all started with the same phrase. “Guess what, mom?”

Usually the exciting news happened at school. He or she would jump off the bus and run to the house as fast as their little legs would carry them. Then, I would hear the back door slam shut—BAM—as they called for me. “MOM! Guest what?”

With a sparkle in their eyes and a huge smile spread across their face, they would share their joy with me.

In those moments I’d tell them how proud I was of their accomplishment and we would cheer together followed by a big hug. Their joy became my joy for three reasons.

  1. They are my children
  2. I love them
  3. I long to share in their happiness and success

In the same manner, our heavenly Father loves to share in our joys too. We’re really good at coming to Him with our problems and pain. But how often do you run to Him calling out, “Guess what?” How many times have you climbed into His lap and rejoiced over good news, an achievement, or answered prayer?

Because you are His child and He loves you, and longs to share in your joy. Besides, the bible tells us in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

If every good thing that occurs in our lives comes from His hand, it seems right He would be the first person we’d tell, throw confetti with, and offer a sincere “thank-you.”

What joy do you have today that you and God can celebrate together?

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June 4, 2014

When You’re Hanging By A Thread

I’m happy to annouce the winner of the devotional book and journal! The winner is…. Jeanie Benson busymominfo@yahoo.com   Congratulations, Jeanie!! 

When You’re Hanging By A Thread

I have a dear friend whose husband doesn’t want to be married anymore. Sure she knew there were problems in their relationship, but the devastating news of, “I want out,” blindsided her. As a sister in Christ, we’ve prayed together. She’s sought counseling and even invited her husband along. Still, no matter her attempts to save her marriage, it was falling apart.

I’ve never seen her so helpless, so troubled, so lost. And yet, I understood the darkness she was in. I know the weakness and heart-wrenching pain because I’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced some terrible news that took us by surprise and left us hanging by a thread.

Perhaps you’re there now. You may be experiencing a broken relationship. Maybe you need to be saved from some addiction or financial trouble. Whatever the case, you feel alone, scared and weak. You’re situation is hard, wrenching and painful. You’re losing your grip on faith.

I could tell that my friend was hanging on by a thread, slipping away from her spiritual foundation. Yet, sometimes in our despair all we’ve got is a thread between God and us. And that thread is more than enough to save us from destruction. Such was the case of Rahab, a prostitute that owned an Inn at the city gate of Jericho.

Rahab had heard about God’s greatness and has came to believe He was the one true God. So when the Israelites finally entered into the Promised Land, she hid the two spies that Joshua had sent into the city.

When the king of Jericho heard that the spies had been to Rahab’s home, he sent orders for her to turn them over. When the soldiers arrived, Rahab hid the spies on her roof. Then she lied to them about seeing the spies and sent them off in the opposite direction.

Then Rahab pleaded with the spies to save her and her household. She made a pack with them. She would keep silent about their mission, and they would spare her family when they invaded the city of Jericho. The spies told her to hang a scarlet cord from her window as a sign, so the Jews could find and protect her.

When the walls of Jericho fell, Joshua ordered that Rahab and her household be saved.

My favorite image from this story is the scarlet thread hung in the window of her home.  It reminds me of the lamb’s blood carefully placed on each door in Egypt.  The scarlet thread that Rahab hung carefully in her window would serve as a reminder that her home was to be spared from the destruction.  It was to be passed over.  Protected.

Each of us needs a scarlet thread in our window.  A reminder that just as Joshua saved Rahab and the Savior can save each of us. He may or may not change our circumstances, but he can save us from the falling rubble that surrounds us.

We don’t read about Rahab again until we come to the book of Hebrews. There she is listed in Faith Hall of Fame. She is not defined in the bible according to her profession or circumstances. She is defined by her faith. Because she put her trust in God, she and her household were saved.

God will also rescue us when we throw out a thin thread of faith. Even at our weakest point, a simple cry such as, “Lord, help me” invites the hand of God to take hold of our situation and save us.

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June 3, 2014

Nothing Is More Important Than God

The winner of the devotional and Journal will be announced on Wednesday. There is still time to enter to win by leaving a commit. If you missed yesterday’s devotion, Are You Devoted To God, click here.

Some of you shared your frustration when it comes to spending time with God. I understand. At first, I didn’t know where to begin even though I longed to be intimate with Him. I desired the Lord’s presence and power in my life, and I knew those things flow from a sweet and sincere relationship with Jesus.

Like you, my feet are running before they hit the floor on most mornings. Life is busy, stressful, and unpredictable. Which are all good reasons for starting our day with the One who already knows what the day holds. Let’s be honest. Nothing is more important than God and meeting with him each morning.

Once I’ve settle into my big, chocolate-brown chair, I start with adoration. First, I choose a passage of scripture that speaks of God’s marvelous wonders. Then, mediate on it. That means to think about what God is saying or what it’s saying about God. This will help you know God, love God, and adore God more than you thought you could.

Today, I chose Ps 145:3-7. “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. 5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”

It’s not always easy to understand God’s Word and grasp the full meaning. That’s why you and I must give it time for His words to sink into your heart and mind. Eventually, if you stay long enough, you become compelled to bow in great adoration before God—for the things He has done and for the things he is doing.

I hope this helps you in your time with God today. Now, go! He’s waiting for you.

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June 2, 2014

My Desire For God

The most worthwhile thing you and I can experience on earth is nothing less than God himself!

I confess with my lips this is true. However, my life says otherwise. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I’m giving myself to my kids, the laundry, and errands. This list is long. So my prayer life consist of reading a devotion and a quick prayer—or plea for God to HELP me get through the day.

I’ve discovered this kind of prayer life doesn’t work. It’s not that God doesn’t want to help me. He does. In fact, he’s already given me everything I need to succeed.

Did you know that when you became a believer in Christ, he deposits within you a portion of His divine power? He does! Yet many believers today are not experiencing the power within to deal with the power of the word that comes crashing in on us each day.

Why?

Devotion to God.

You and I were created to seek, know, and love God. Let’s be honest. It’s not going to happen if we only take 15 minutes a day to converse with him.

As glorious as God is, so is the glory that begins to work in the hearts and lives of those who give themselves to live for God. It a great step forward when you and I truly seek to know God—to adore God—to love God.

This is what God desires from you. It’s though prayer that he enables you, with divine power, for daily living.

It’s what you’re looking for and what your heart truly desires. Let’s make Ps 63:1 the beginning of our prayer every morning.

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirst for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Repeat these words of David until the Spirit makes them real in your heart. Then, wait. Wait on God until you realize what a great blessing it is to meet with him. As you do, you begin to grow in your devotion to God, and also come to expect his presence and power daily.

Dear Lord, I confess that I know little of you. I fail to seek you for Your sake first. Create in me a hunger and thirst for you. And help me to wait on your presence and power to live this day.

I’m giving away a journal today so that you can begin to seek God. Write your prayer in the journal, and then, add to it how God responds to you. This is a great practice for growing your relationship with God. Share your desire to know God, and enter to win!

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May 13, 2014

I Can’t, But God Can

If you’ve tried to visit over the past few days, I apologize. My site was down for updates. Ugh! It was frustrating for me and perhaps for you, too. Good news. Everything is back to nomal–whatever that is!

In case you missed it, my devotion, I Can’t, But God Can, was featured on Daily Devotions, by FaithGateway.com

However, this devotion isn’t just for Mother’s Day, but for every day as we need God’s power to help us live moment by moment. Without futher adieu…

I CAN’T, BUT GOD CAN!  

Doing laundry. Raising well-adjusted kids. Building a good relationship with my husband. Even answering the phone. So often I feel like the responsibility for everything in my life depends on me. And honestly, I doubt my ability to get it all done, and do it all well.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. Who doesn’t feel the pressure of higher grocery bills and mouths to feed? What employee doesn’t carry the weight of doing a good job? What mother doesn’t fear her child will give in to peer pressure? These concerns and a thousand others tangle our thoughts into anxious knots. When we feel as if everything depends on us, we carry a heavy burden.

But we’re not alone or solely responsible for making things turn out fine.

When I feel alone, I’ve forgotten God is always with me. And when I feel incapable, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten to acknowledge God’s presence and power.

However, looking to God’s presence and power won’t help us if we don’t believe He is truly sovereign. We need to know and believe just how mighty God is. Otherwise, we’ll look at our limitations and feel like they limit Him. We’ll end up with a God who is only a little bigger, a little stronger, and a little wiser than us. That makes God small.

And when we have a small God, we feel like He depends on us to do a good job… just like everyone else does.

I felt this way when I became a parent. I thought if I read all the how-to books, I could do a good job. I believed the lie that happy, successful children depended on my efforts. Which made me feel very stressed and alone. It wasn’t until I started to “get” God and grasp the wisdom and guidance He provides that I learned to depend on His provision and direction. I no longer felt like I had to raise my kids based solely on my own knowledge and efforts.

God never intended for us to live under the pressure of everything depending on us. It’s when we lean on Him instead of ourselves that we experience supernatural strength and provision.

Reflect on the wisdom of Amos 4:13 and meditate on God’s greatness. If the Lord can do all this, surely He can equip us for whatever our daily tasks may be – from parenting challenges to project deadlines to folding mountains of laundry.

On the other hand, if we set out to make ourselves the measure of all things, we will never experience the full benefit of God’s greatness. It doesn’t have to be this way. Having the right understanding of God frees us from the weight of carrying our burdens alone and allows us to rest in His exceptional power and presence.

Dear Lord, set my sights on You and Your great attributes. Help me to live in Your presence, dependent on Your guidance each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Remember

God is bigger, stronger, and wiser than you are. You do not have to carry your burdens alone.

Respond

Whenever you feel frustrated, weak, and alone this week, reassure yourself of God’s promised presence. Apply these truths – “I can’t, God can” and “I’m going to let Him” – to every situation you face.

Power Verses

Ephesians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 12:9

Excerpted with permission from Encouragement for Today by The Proverbs 31 Team, copyright Zondervan 2013.

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Your Turn

In what ways have you envisioned God to be nothing more than a super-sized version of yourself? How can reflecting on His true attributes infuse you with strength? Practice today facing challenges saying, “I can’t, but God can!”

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