Archive for January, 2011

Several years ago my husband and I were given tickets to a professional basketball game.  We knew they were good tickets but didn’t realize how great they were until the usher kept leading us closer and closer to the floor.  When he pointed to two front row seats on the half court line we just about fainted.  Our feet were literally on the wood floor and we could have reached out and touched the players as they ran by.  It was an amazing experience to be so close to the game.

At times, I have also found myself the unwilling recipient of what feels like a front row seat to view life at its hardest.  Is this true for you too? Children tragically die and spouses are widowed; physical and mental illness attack without warning; failed businesses, bankruptcy and job loss devastate homes; divorce and rebellious children tear apart families.  With a front row seat to trials such as this where you can almost reach out and touch pain, it isn’t surprising that our thoughts would naturally turn towards questions of God’s love.

We have five Daily Devotionals that looks at this real-life question through the eyes of five women. Click here to find the Daily Devotionals entitled Where is God’s Love for Me?These women will share their experiences with personal trials and the question of God’s love in the midst of trials.  As we kick off this month of February filled with conversations about love, it is appropriate to begin with the biggest question…Where is God’s love for me? We hope you will join us each day this week.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword…No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

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Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

(entire hymn printed at end of post)

The classic hymn, Abide With Me,  holds such strength and peace as it reminds us that drawing on God’s grace and power for our challenges today requires abiding.  But what does abiding look like?  How do we abide?

Click here to find our Daily Devotionals entitled Abide, where we are going to explore a number of the aspects of abiding in Christ and find strength for the journey for ourselves and our loved ones.  We hope you will join us!

Lord, This is the prayer of my heart today.  First, abide with me that I might abide with You.  As this great hymn reminds us, only Your grace can foil the power of this world and guide us, so please Lord, strengthen my heart.  Show me how to abide with You so closely that I have confident assurance of Your abiding grace and power in my life.  Amen.

Additional Study:  John 15:4-11, Phil 1:6, Col 1:27, Matt 7:21

Abide with Me

Henry F. Lyte, 1847

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

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I was walking in the grocery store last week and noticed a young mom struggling with a toddler in her cart.  She was clearly trying to hurry as the child was becoming more dis-enchanted with the shopping experience.  The mom tried to soothe and before long, anxiety and tension were clearly reflected in her voice and emotions.  Wow! Did that take me back.  I could have been that unnamed woman when my daughter was the age of that child.  What mom of a toddler hasn’t experienced that?

It made me stop and reflect on so many of those experiences that life has thrown at me and other women.  How can we keep those situations from causing our emotions to spiral negatively into the abyss?

For five Daily Devotionals on five women who all experienced life as we do, click here. We will examine how they kept out of the pit of negative emotions, depression and despair.  Join us as we walk through each day with these mentors—these unnamed women who have wisdom to offer us; to guide us how to cope with life.

Father God, I love you and I know in my heart you are in control of each situation but sometimes in the circumstances of my day, life seems so overwhelming and out of control that I can’t even take a breath to look up let alone find you in the midst of this chaos.  Show me Lord, how to find you today and help me sort through my emotions to find Your Love and Grace for my hurting heart as well as for those I love.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Phil 4:13, Psalm 23, Lam 3:22-23

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I am not a science minded person.  Start talking global warming and greenhouse gasses, or solar power, wind power and geothermal power and my eyes glaze over.  I hear panic in the voices of people, fear and concern about conditions in our world and while I respect the responsibility we each have to be good stewards of what our Creator God has given us, I must admit I have a more immediate need to focus on my own renewable energy and the power to make it through the various circumstances of my day.

Last week’s Daily Devotions on Mighty Power talked about the power of God and His work in our lives…things we desperately need in 2011.  This week we will continue in this topic and look at the often Unclaimed Power, the renewable energy, which God makes available to us to meet all of those daily challenges we face as women. Click here to find the Daily Devotionals for this week entitled Unclaimed Power.

Click here to read about God’s power in overcoming depression.

To read about how you can begin a relationship with God, click here.

Lord Jesus, You are the supplier of my renewable energy.  Restore in me your Power so I have the ability to act and complete the responsibilities You have given me today.  You, Lord God, are my strength.  Because I am doing each task today to bring glory to Your Holy Name, help me to do each with excellence and for those tasks that seem overwhelming or beyond my ability, give me the confidence that I can attempt each because I can do all things because of Your Mighty Power at work in me.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Phil. 4:13, I Cor. 10:31, I Tim 4:7, Col. 1:29

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We don’t usually post on Saturday but we received the following feedback this week from one of our regular Given the Time gals and thought it too good to not pass along to everyone.  Enjoy your day!

As I was reading the Bible a week ago, I came across a verse that seemed to just jump off of the page!  I felt like the Lord wanted me to see it (hence the flashing neon light effect) so I could be encouraged that THIS was the year that God wanted to set me free in some areas of my life that I have been held captive for years.  I trust that this scripture will bring you such hope that 2011 can be the year that God, through Jesus Christ, will bring freedom to you where you need it most….maybe you struggle with fear, worry, depression, loneliness, addictions of any type… whatever it is that binds you, God knows and wants to bring health and healing to you so it truly can be a ‘Happy New Year’.

” The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,  because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn…to give them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit….” Isaiah 61:1-3

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God does not lie. God’s Word is Truth.  Ephesians 1:19-20 and Colossians 1:29  remind us that we have Christ’s “mighty power” within us.  What is that “mighty power”?

It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and the Lord God tells us in His Word that power is within me.  So why do I think I am not able or not “enough” when clearly the “mighty power” that raised Christ from the dead is mightier than I can comprehend?  Why do I refuse, fail or otherwise dismiss or diminish the amount of power Christ has said is within me? Why do I walk in fear? Why do I think “I can’t” or allow the lies of the enemy to negate the power?

Click here for five daily devotionals exploring that mighty power. We will learn some practical steps we can take to allow that power free reign to work within us for not only His Glory and Honor, but that so our joy may be complete as we learn to walk in trust.  (John 15:11)

Oh, Lord God, I need your mighty power at work in my life today.  You are my strength, you are my refuge.  Show me how to tap into that power and walk in the confidence that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Amen.

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