“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”– 1 Peter 5:6-7
When I was younger, I relied on my parents. Later on in life, I relied on others until they proved untrustworthy. For too many years, I relied on myself. Then, God showed me I could always depend on Him. I like this acronym:
Is it hard for you to rely on others? What about God? Do you have a hard time relying on Him? Why or why not?
Begin Day 2 of your journaling journey with the following prayer starter:
Dear Abba Father,
I want to completely trust and rely on You for everything in my life. I know you care for me. I am counting on You to show me how to rely on you fully.
Faith Step: Whom have you relied on in the past? Other people? Yourself? Consider what steps of faith God is asking you to take today to learn how to rely on Him fully. Read and memorize Proverbs 3:5-6. Write it down on several index cards and post them around your house.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another,forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” — Ephesians 4:32 (NIV).
Are you harboring a grudge? Angry with someone? Is bitterness holding you back from enjoying life? For years, I carried around bitterness and hurt. Until I learned to forgive, I was not free. I like this anonymous quote:
“When I forgave, I set a prisoner free. Then I realized the prisoner was me.”
I want to forgive those who have hurt me. I want to forgive myself for poor choices in the past. Please show me how to do this, Father.
Faith Step: Learn to forgive. Journal about those things that have led to your bitterness and anger. Now choose to forgive. Pour out your heart to the One who knows you better than you know yourself.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you”–James 4:8(NIV)
Where is God on your priority list? If you were to rate your relationship with Him on a scale of 1-10, like a daily to-do-list, would He be at the top or closer to the bottom?
Did you know that spending time with your Heavenly Father is the best relationship you will ever develop? When you spend time with Him on a daily basis, the more your other relationships will improve.
How do I know? Because I’ve been spending quality time with my Abba Father every morning for almost 13 years. Not only have I found peace within, but I’ve made peace with those whom I needed to forgive, including myself. More importantly, I am on the path to becoming the person God created me to be?
Never let a day pass without spending time with your Creator. This simple practice will change your life forever.
Begin your Day 1 journal entry with the following:
Dear Abba Father,
I want to know you better. Please teach me what I need to learn in order to draw closer to You.
(Sit quietly and listen for that still, small voice leading you on a new journey to know Him better. Then pour out your heart to him on the lined pages of your journal.)
Faith Step: Choose to put God above all else each day by getting up earlier, if necessary, to read the Bible and journal your prayers to Him. What would you like to say to Him today? What is He saying to you?
“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
Can you imagine what it would be like to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with your Savior? Can you picture yourself sitting together on a carpet of clover near a small mountain river? No one is around to interrupt your dialogue. The only sounds are of the water as it flows on its course downstream, the occasional rustling of the grass as a forest creature timidly checks out the intrusion in his world and the call of a bird seeking its mate.
What would you discuss? What questions would you have? What would He ask you? How long would He be able to spend time with you before He had to move on?
One of the hymns I recall from my childhood is “In the Garden,” by Charles Austin Miles. The refrain dances through my mind when I think about spending time with Him.
And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there;
None other has ever known.
It is a joy to spend time with my Savior. Although I cannot physically walk through the garden or sit by a stream to talk with Him, through prayer journaling, I have found a way to draw closer to Him.
“This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another” —1 John 3:11( NLT).
Pulling into the vet clinic early one morning, I spied a yellow sports car and a large SUV taking up two of the three parking spaces. Since I was only dropping my dog off for some pre-surgery tests, I stopped near the clinic’s front door, planning to run in and be out quickly before someone else came in.
I’m a curious type, so I wondered who was driving the sporty vehicle—not that I want one—but I was surprised when I discovered the owner. At first, I pegged a young woman, dressed in knee high boots and tight jeans as the driver. Wrong. She climbed behind the wheel of the SUV.
Entering the clinic with my dog, I noticed a client waiting at the counter. Because she was the only other person in the waiting area, I assumed she was the owner of the yellow car. She was and I had to laugh at my preconceived notion of who I thought would be driving that sporty automobile. Let’s just say, I pictured this woman driving a four-door sedan or a mini-van, not a two-seater with barely enough room for one, let alone two bodies. Her license plate revealed she must be a Beach Boys fan. Emblazoned on the specialized plate was “Kokomo.” I had to laugh—at myself.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Psalm 139:13-14(ESV).
Have you ever watched toddlers discover their shadow for the first time? A video posted on Facebook captured my attention recently and I laughed, along with the adults who were trying to allay the fears of the youngsters frightened by the shadow of their own bodies. Some children cried. A few played with their shadow while most ran away screaming, trying to escape what they perceived as a threat to their secure world.
As I watched the video, I recalled a song called “Me and My Shadow,” written in 1927 by Ted Lewis. As the song’s title suggests, it is a light-hearted take on loneliness and disappointment and artists throughout the decades since have parodied the song.
Parts of the original lyrics are included below:
Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to
Just me and my shadow
All alone and feelin’ blue.
A 2006 “Christianity Today” article cited a study from the “American Sociological Review” as disturbing. “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades” noted a “remarkable drop in the size of people’s core network of confidants—those with whom they could talk about important matters.”
“For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations”—Psalm100:5(ESV).
“What is love?” was the most searched phrase, according to Google, in 2012. Love, the most profound emotion known to human beings, is most often equated with romantic relationships.
While Valentine’s Day has its origins in Christianity, the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century. According to statistics, more than 150 million Valentine cards are exchanged annually, over $1 billion dollars worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the U.S. and approximately 110 million roses, mostly red, will be sold and delivered within the three-day Valentine’s Day time period. The day we celebrate romantic love has become a lucrative holiday for the card companies, chocolatiers and floral shops.
When I googled the phrase, “What is love,” I found articles on the topic, ranging from psychology websites to sites on dating. Those were the sites, along with a list of YouTube videos, which came up first in the search results. While I found some paid ads at the bottom of each page promoting the love of Christ, I didn’t find any websites or articles concerning biblical love until approximately the tenth page of my search results. I wondered what the people who were googling the phrase, “What is love,” discovered in their search. Did they find the answer they were seeking?