Category Archives: devotional

You Are A Shining Star

Childhood plays.
Piano recitals.
Little League pitcher.

Then we grew up a bit.
Homecoming royalty.
Football playmaker.
College graduate.

Then adult life hit.
Successful career.
Doting spouse.
Proud parent.

The world defines all of these things as “Success”.  Big stars shining brightly above everything else.  But we can be Shing Stars in our universe without having a crown, a trophy or a corner office.

We can shine bright from our homes, in our communities and outside of our churches.

How do we do that?

By being different than the world.
By standing out for Jesus.
By showing love and patience to others.

In Philippians 2:14, Paul says to “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. ”

People dealt with the same junk 2000 years ago that we deal with now!

But let me encourage us all to follow the same advice now as was written then.

Don’t grumble.  Don’t argue.  Don’t fall into the devil’s scheme of chaos and crookedness and evil.

Instead be like Jesus.  Shine like the stars of the universe.  Stand out.

You are a shining star.

Now go shine bright.

You’re Gonna Need Shades!

I was heading to the outside garage at our home that is not attached to our house.  It is the shelter for two vehicles, the lawn mower and some Christmas decorations along with one side that is finished and serves as our home offices.

As I stepped from my house into the sunlight, my sunglasses-covered eyes adjusted to the brightness for the few steps it took to get into the outside garage.  As I opened the walk-in door and took the one step up to the concrete floor, my eyes did not adjust to the newfound darkness.  I took off my sunglasses but it didn’t help.

I could not see in front of me except for a small trail of light that came from the tiny window.  I walked very slow and easy trying to remember if anything was in my path to that office door.  I made is successfully without falling thankfully and was so relieved as I opened the office door to the room full of light.

I turned around to look over my shoulder to see the things that could have been in my path to cause me to stumble.  There was the lawn mower, a couple boxes, the dog crate, a plastic Santa.

And then I realized, there was a light switch as I walked into the garage that I didn’t think to flip.

It reminds me of how our lives are in the world each day.  I wake up and start my day with devotions sitting in the well-lit living room recliner.  I think I’ve got the world by the tail and I have great plans to cling to Jesus all day and not stumble.  But inevitably sin creeps in and I find myself falling.

I reach for the One who brings light and He picks me up and escorts me back into His path.  I look around and see all the ways I could fall just like those boxes, crates and lawnmowers.  I see shiny things and wants and desires and seeds of sin.

But I realize when I hold to the hand of God, He leads me through the messes that can trip me up and guides me right into the light.  If I let go of His hand and stray, I know that He is right there waiting for me to ask for His help and He holds out His hand to cup mine in His and leads me in the paths of His light.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

If you feel like you are in the dark today, don’t keep stumbling.  Stop right where you are, reach out for the Heavenly hand and ask God to forgive and lead you back into the light.

Oh and by the way, you may want to grab your sunglasses because this journey could be a bit bright.  🙂

Let Us Come Together As One

In the midst of all the chaos in this world, I didn’t even know where to begin to write.   I was afraid anything I said would be wrong.  But then I saw this picture and watched this 24 second video from a group in Houston, Texas where the white community bowed and asked the black community for forgiveness for years of racism.  Then the black community accepted the apology and bowed and asked for forgiveness for years of holding back forgiveness and for acting out in anger.

Then they all prayed together.

As one group.

Holding hands and grasping arms and touching the shoulder of the ones in front of them.  They came together as ONE nation under God.  One people created by God.

The media wants to continue to portray only the negative but we must believe there is good in this world and we must do our part and show love to ALL people.

The devil is having a hay-day right now.  He loves chaos.  He loves seeing people turn against people.  He loves violence.  He loves unrest.  He loves when people break the commandments.  He loves hate and anger.

In Ephesians 6:12, Paul clearly tells us that our struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.  We are all fighting the devil, not each other.

It’s sin that causes all of this heartache.  And the only way to fight against this evil is to come together and stand our ground with truth from God, prayers, the Bible, faith and salvation.

Please join me in not pointing fingers, not blaming, not rioting, not hating and not becoming angry but rather in coming together as one body created by God, praying on our knees like there is no tomorrow, witnessing to others about the salvation of Jesus and standing strong in faith that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)

Let’s use this time of chaos to come together as ONE and allow God to give us peace in the middle of our hurt.

You can see the video here.


What’s For Dinner……..Again?

Oh the infamous question that plagues us each night?  What’s for dinner?

I was thinking about the story of Jesus and his disciples having to figure out what was for dinner when they only had a couple fish and a few pieces of bread and a whole hillside full of people!  I love the account in the gospel of Mark.  The apostles had been so busy that day and so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.

People just kept following Jesus everywhere and he realized they were hungry and needed to be fed.  The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away but He said, “let’s give them something to eat.”

The disciples were beside themselves!  I imagine their question was, “what’s for dinner?”  They were telling Jesus how they didn’t have enough money to buy food for everyone and all they had were a couple loaves of bread and a few fish.  They had no idea what to make for dinner.

But Jesus took that little bit that they had and fed 5000 people according to Mark 6:44.  Jesus used the little to bless the many.

What talent or gift do you have that you think isn’t sufficient or is of little value?  Do you think you have nothing to give to others?  Do you ever find yourself just living the same day over and not looking for ways to bless others?

We have to remember that Jesus took a small amount and used it to reach a lot of people.  Don’t trudge along today thinking you have nothing to offer people.  God gave us all something to offer, and He will use it to bless many.  We can always smile at the clerk at the grocery store.  We can offer to take someone’s cart back to the cart corral; buy coffee for the car behind us at McDonalds; babysit a friend’s children so she can have a night to herself;  take cookies to the local fire department; do a chore that your spouse hates to do;  make your kids their favorite dessert.

Whatever your plans are today, take a minute and find something small and do it with big love.  Your “few loaves of bread” can make a difference to someone in a big way!  Maybe even think about what’s for dinner and then make it and take some to the neighbor!  When I think about it this way, it kinda makes planning dinner not so much of a chore!