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Archive for the ‘Daily devotional’ Category

I wrote a post awhile back that seems to fit well with Faith Barista‘s Faith JAM for today. So…JAM away!

Making the Right Choice | Daily inspiration

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Thought we’d try something a bit different today. See what ya think. 😉 Click on the play button below.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

I love that song. It was my go-to song when my son was little, and I needed to lull him to sleep. What’s your favorite song, and why? Drop me a comment below.

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To-do list book.

Image by koalazymonkey

Have you ever felt like screaming that from the rooftops? I know I have. Others often comment on my ability to remain calm and patient under challenging circumstances. In reality, I think it’s just that I’m calm as long as I feel in control of a situation.

And sometimes, that’s just not possible. Sometimes, life comes at us hard, and all we can do is hold on tight. 😉

Today’s reading: Exodus 18:1-27

Dirty dishes lining the sink. Toys littering the floor like mini-landmines from kitchen to family room. Bills piling up. House to clean. PTO committee meeting to attend. Children to drop off at before school care. Children to pick up from school. Children to drive to volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, cheerleading, karate, tumbling…you get the idea. Supper to fix. Lunches to make. Baths to give. Homework to supervise. Boo-boos to kiss. Spouses to talk to.

Oh…and work. Did I mention work? Yeah, that other stuff is just what many of us do after we get home from “work.” Like the other stuff doesn’t count as work? Hah!

*Whew.*

Share the Load

It’s no wonder we often feel overwhelmed and are running a bit low on patience, feeling as if throwing up our hands and throwing in the towel are our only options.

Moses felt the same way, and his father-in-law had the perfect solution: “…you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” (Exodus 18:18)

So he didn’t. Instead, he shared the work. And you know what? That not only gave him much-needed time to focus on his top priorities, but also enabled others to grow in their responsibilities and God-given talent.

What “duties” are you holding onto that you could share with a family member, a friend, a coworker? Would it free up your time to focus on your top priorities? Would it enable someone else to grow in their life?

Maybe it’s time to say, “I just can’t handle it!” and turn it over to God.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

~Matthew 11:28

Discovering Our Common Grounds

Drop me a comment to share how you deal with all your to-do’s. Do you share the load? Rotate the chores? I’d love to hear your ideas and solutions. 🙂

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Through Rose coloured glasses

Image: pangalactic gargleblaster

Do you ever think back fondly to a previous time in your life and think, “If only I could go back to the good ol’ days; how great life was then.”?

But, was it really that great?

Faced with difficult circumstances today, it’s often easy to discount the negative things that once happened. Instead we tend to put on our rose-colored glasses and focus solely on the positive, “great” things life delivered at that time. “I had a boyfriend that respected me, a job that I loved, friends galore, no responsibilities, no debt and money to spend. Ah, the good ol’ days.”

What more could you want?

One-year track reading:Exodus 15-16

Focused reading: Exodus 16:1-36

Manna From Heaven

The Israelites faced the same nostalgia. After being oppressed, enslaved and beaten down for years, they finally manage to escape thanks to a powerful, promise-keeping God. Pharaoh’s armies were swallowed by the sea, yet the Israelites were allowed to pass over dry land, and still, they grumble.

They complain of lack of food and water to the same God who delivered them from their bondage. Why?

It Takes Time

Maybe the same reason we do. God often provides passage through difficult days, delivering us from our oppression. And yet the next time we’re faced with an obstacle or seemingly insurmountable challenge, we begin grumbling, complaining and blaming again.

We ask God, “Why? Why me? Why again?”

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

~Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Yet, we sometimes forget that God’s love may not instantly remove all our discomfort. God hasn’t promised that life will be all smooth-sailing and easy. He’s only promised we won’t go through it alone. He’ll be with us, to comfort and support us through all of our trials and tribulations.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he. I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

~Isaiah 46:4

So the next time you’re longing for the “good ol’ days,” take off those rose-colored glasses and realize that things maybe weren’t as perfect as you’re remembering they were.

Today’s Reflection

  1. In what ways have you been “delivered from oppression”? What circumstances cause you to look back? What do you look back to?
  2. How often do you blame others for circumstances God has allowed in your life?
  3. How has God graciously provided for your needs despite your grumbling and complaining? Spend some time praising the bread of life, Jesus Christ, for feeding your soul.

Related readings: Deuteronomy 8:2-3; John 6:32-35; Philippians 4:6-7

~Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan

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Join me @CommonGrounds_ on Twitter!

To better share pertinent info about this blog and the many others I follow (check out My Favorite Blogs in the sidebar), I’ve created a new Twitter account: @CommonGrounds_.

For those of you who currently follow my marketing-focused account: @laura_maly, I’d like to invite you to follow me at the other one as well.

The @CommonGrounds_ account will focus primarily on positive, Christian-focused family content, comments and links; whereas the @laura_maly account is primarily centered on marketing and social media-related topics.

I hope to see you all as followers on @CommonGrounds_ soon!

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Stillness n' Peace (View in full size)

Image: . Dileepan .

What are you afraid of? Is there anything that makes you truly scared – irrational or not? Fear of pain? Fear of loss? Are you scared you’ll lose your job? Go without? Are you facing money troubles? Illness?

One-year track reading: Exodus 11-14

Focused reading: Exodus 14:1-31

Fight or Flight

How about fleeing from the most powerful empire in the world to follow an 80-year-old shepherd into the desert? There’s no escape because the ruler of this land and 600 of his best chariots are hot on your trail, penning you in with the sea to your back. Now what?

Do you flee? Fight? Panic?

All of these seem like normal responses in a situation of this magnitude. Instead, Moses tells the people to “be still.”

Do not be afraid…the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

~Exodus 14:13-14

That had to be a hard pill to swallow for Moses and his fellow Israelites. It goes against the whole fight or flight instinct that seems ingrained in us.

And yet, it worked. By being still, they were able to listen to and observe God at work. He parted the sea, allowing them to pass safely to the other side – a wall of water standing tall on either side of their passage.

And what about those 600 top-of-the-line chariots? Swallowed by the sea when God release those imposing walls of water.

Finding Time to ‘Be Still’

So how do we conquer our fears? The same command applies: You need only to be still.

Easier said than done, right? Especially in today’s go-go-go world. So how do we do it? We carve out a portion of our day anywhere we can to spend quality time with God. To be still and listen. To be still and know he is God.

Today’s Reflection

  1. What do you most fear?
  2. How has your fear caused you to fight or take flight rather than be still and trust God?
  3. Take some time to “be still” before the Lord and ask him to deliver you from your fears.

Related readings: Psalms 37:1-7; 46:8-11; Mark 4:35-41

~Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan

How will you conquer your fears today? Drop me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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Thunderstorm 12

Image: Shivayanamahohm

Do you ever wonder why bad things happen? Why it seems you have to go through something horrible before coming out on the other side? Why you have to face obstacle after obstacle sometimes? Why something always seems to block your path to success, happiness or freedom? Why it seems to rain somedays, followed by thunder, lightening and even hail with no blue skies in sight?

Why doesn’t God just step in and make it all better?

One-year track reading: Exodus 5-10

Focused reading: Exodus 7:1-24

Some say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Let My People Go

Moses and Aaron may have thought the same thing. Why did God send them to try to convince Pharaoh to “let my people go,” when he knew Pharaoh wouldn’t – at least not right away? And God knew this because he was the one hardening Pharaoh’s heart!

Why?

And the Egyptians will know that I am Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.

~Exodus 7:5

God had a plan. He wanted to show the Egyptians that he was the one true God. To challenge their beliefs in their pagan gods. If he’d just come in and saved the day for the Israelites, how would the Egyptians have come to know him?

Light and Dark

I think that to appreciate the beauty in life and the sheer awesomeness of God’s power, we sometimes have to first face darkness. There has to be a contrast to the light and beauty to truly revel in it. To appreciate it. To be awed by it.

And how we react to events and circumstances in our lives– especially those that are less than ideal – can demonstrate to others that even through the rain God is still the one true God.

How do you celebrate the rain in your life? How do you share the miracles God reveals to you with others? How do you respond to the “Why’s?”

Today’s Reflection

  1. How do you see God revealing himself to you as the one true God?
  2. How can you share God’s power in your life with others?

Related readings: Psalm 46:8-10; Isaiah 10:33-11:10; 12:1-6; 2 Peter 3:9

~Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan

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