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Daily Devotions - Lutheran Church Charities

There’s Nobody Like Him! – Part 2 - April 16, 2014

Played: 1 | Download | Duration: 00:03:04

There’s Nobody Like Him!
 – Part 2

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

In a world out of control we like a god we can control: a comforting presence who blesses, provides, and advises. Kind of like ‘God in a box.’ But when it comes to Christ, no box works. His contemporaries designed an assortment of boxes for Him, but He didn’t fit in any of their boxes. They called Him a revolutionary, but He paid taxes. They labelled Him a country carpenter, but He confounded scholars. They came to see His miracles, but He refused to entertain them. He was a Jew who attracted Gentiles, a rabbi who gave up on synagogues, a holy man who hung around with prostitutes. In a male-dominated society, He recruited females. In an anti-Roman culture, He opted not to denounce Rome. He talked like a king yet lived like a pilgrim. People tried to put Him in a ‘box,’ but they couldn’t. And we can’t either; indeed we must not! ‘... Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God... ’ (Proverbs 9:7-12). Most of our fears are unhealthy. They rob us of peace and joy. But the fear of the Lord does the opposite. One author writes: ‘There is nothing neurotic about fearing God. The neurotic thing is not to be afraid, or to be afraid of the wrong thing. That is why God chooses to be known to us, so that we may stop being afraid of the wrong thing. When God is fully revealed to us and we ‘get it,’ then we experience the conversion of our fear... ‘fear of the Lord’ is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God.’

Heavenly Father, help me fear You and let You reveal Your true nature to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


There’s Nobody Like Him! – Part 1 - April 15, 2014

Played: 32 | Download | Duration: 00:02:55

There’s Nobody Like Him!
 – Part 1

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

The Israelites were commanded not to make any ‘graven image’ of God. Why? Because God made us, we didn’t make Him. A god you can make is a god you can control and make do whatever you wish. The ancient Greeks had a host of gods, all created by men. Some demanded human sacrifice; others permitted prostitution, and even promoted it in their temples. When we reverse the order and start to create God in our own image (according to our own imagination) we get the following things: 1) A god who’s liberal or conservative, a hawk or a dove; a god politicians conveniently pull out of a box at election time to gain votes even though they don’t truly serve him. 2) A flexible god who permits you to do whatever you want, and you can then say, ‘I just felt led to do it.’ 3) A god who promises to bless his children but never discipline them. 4) A god you can ‘keep in his place’ until you need him. 5) A god who is not supreme, but happy to be one of many deities offering many ways to heaven. Not so! God says, ‘I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.’ Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6). Jesus doesn’t need a makeover to bring Him into alignment with the Internet and the space age. He is Lord! Indeed, if He is not Lord over all, He is not Lord at all!

Heavenly Father, forgive me when I try to give You a “make-over” instead of You doing that to and for me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Earning the Right to Lead – Part 2 - April 14, 2014

Played: 43 | Download | Duration: 00:03:03

Earning the Right to Lead – Part 2

if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:8

Earning the right to lead calls for asking yourself: 1) Can I live with the results of this decision? Before you launch into something be sure you have what it takes to handle it. If you can barely cope now, how will you handle more? Before God builds the ministry, He builds the man or woman, because with added success comes added responsibility. 2) Is the return worth the investment? When you overcommit and overextend yourself, the first thing that suffers is your time with God. The next thing that suffers is your family. And without the covering of both, you’ll be vulnerable. There are a lot of good causes in this world, but God will only prosper you when you focus on what He has called you to do. 3) Are my expectations realistic? Hudson Taylor said, ‘Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.’ When human wisdom and ability won’t take you a step further, faith will, because faith holds the hand of God. And with God, ‘All things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). Just make sure you’re operating in faith and not presumption! 4) How can I survive today in order to thrive tomorrow? Obstacles and opposition are inevitable; they’re part of the journey. But you must not allow them to make you doubt God and what He’s called you to do. Be like Abraham—don’t ‘stagger,’ stand on God’s Word. ‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was also able to perform’ (Romans 4:20-21).

Heavenly Father, help me to be a leader who follows and trusts in Your leading me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Earning The Right To Lead – Part 1 - April 13, 2014

Played: 46 | Download | Duration: 00:02:40

Earning The Right To Lead
 – Part 1

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? Luke 14:28

Earning the right to lead calls for the following things: 1) Prayerfully evaluating before you act. The very thing that makes leading others so appealing to your ego makes you vulnerable to their pressures and praise. ‘When Jesus perceived that they were about to... make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone’ (John 6:15). Let’s be honest - who amongst us doesn’t want to be ‘king’ sometimes? But Jesus wasn’t led by the applause of the crowd, He was led by the will of His Father. And you must be too. 2) Not just filling the slot, but filling it with the right person. Sometimes we give people jobs because we can’t find anybody else to do them. But what happens when the job outgrows them? There’s more at stake here than sparing somebody’s feelings. Your fear of confrontation will permit people to languish in the wrong place, slowing down the vision and discouraging the gifted people around you who keep wondering, ‘How long are you going to put up with this?’ 3) Seeking the best counsel you can find. ‘Be with wise men and become wise... ’ (Proverbs 13:20). Don’t pay twice for the same information. Seek advice from someone you respect, someone who’s already done what you want to do, particularly when your decision affects others and will be called upon to stand the test of time. What looks good to you today, or in somebody else’s polished sales pitch, may not look so good tomorrow when you’re presented with better options. Jesus gives the bottom line: ‘Don’t begin until you count the cost.’

Heavenly Father, help me to lead in a God honoring way. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen


God’s Disaster-Preparedness Kit - April 12, 2014

Played: 54 | Download | Duration: 00:02:49

God’s Disaster-Preparedness Kit

They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 2 Samuel 22:19

A phone call in the early hours, a malignant tumor, a police officer at your door, a child addicted to drugs—if you live long enough you’ll be confronted with ‘the day of... disaster.’ And it’s the strength of your relationship with God that will dictate your response. C. S. Lewis said that we can either acquire the wisdom assigned to a trial, or keep repeating it until we ‘get it.’ One author points out that God’s “disaster-preparedness kit” is found in Psalm 31:24: Be strong. Why? Because God is fighting for you. You must know God, know your convictions, and know how to tap into God’s unlimited power. You are not who you, or anyone else thinks... God says you are strong. Believe Him! Take heart. Don’t let your pain shut you down. Take the broken pieces and offer them to God... choose to live with love. A closed heart isn’t worth fighting for. You’ve worked too hard to get this far, so work with Him to see your healing all the way through. Hope in the Lord. Put no stock in emotion, circumstances, or gossip... Place your hopes and dreams at the altar... God makes all things new and possible. Anything other than the real thing will fail... No matter how long I’ve spent in God’s workshop, my progress is proven only in the moment of peril. We prepare in advance so our responses are involuntary... There isn’t a situation, a temptation, or a question where Ephesians 6:10 doesn’t apply: ‘Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power’. On multiple-choice tests it’s the answer... God isn’t telling you to be tough on your own... rely on His strength and let Him do for you what He knows is best.

Heavenly Father, help me to be prepared before, in, and through the disasters that life throws me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


God Is Committed To You - April 11, 2014

Played: 53 | Download | Duration: 00:02:26

God Is Committed To You

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:18

Be careful around people who don’t value themselves, because they’re incapable of valuing you. Look for those who enhance you, not inhibit you, who fertilize your mind and fortify your faith. When you’re around them, you’ll see your best qualities mirrored, and be nurtured by the words that come from their lips. When you encounter somebody who says you have nothing to offer, be sure to laugh - it’s impolite to hear a joke and not laugh. When God made you He stepped back and said, ‘That’s very good’ (Genesis 1:31). So stop entertaining contrary opinions. You have so much potential that the word ‘possibility’ is written all over you. By God’s grace you can be everything He desires. ‘God decided to give us life through the word of truth, so we might be the most important of all the things he made.’ You say, ‘But I’ve so many regrets.’ If you’ve repented and learned from them, get your eyes on the future! God’s love isn’t based on your performance. He didn’t pick you because of your virtues. ‘While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). He’s the God of second chances, and third ones too. Paul writes, ‘There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish’ (Philippians 1:6). The God who brought you this far will take you the rest of the way - He’s committed to you. Just make sure you’re committed to Him.

Heavenly Father, help me to see and know that I am valuable because of You and what You do! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Caring For Those God Cares About - April 10, 2014

Played: 56 | Download | Duration: 00:02:57

Caring For Those God Cares About

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Miriam Neff says: ‘With my husband Bob’s exit to heaven... life changed: my calendar, my checkbook... the contents of my refrigerator, and the look in my children’s eyes when they step through the door on holidays. My living space is more cluttered. I seldom use make-up... there are other changes so personal they can’t be shared. Loneliness and solitude are not descriptive enough... Widows experience so many firsts, we stop counting... As a widow I’ve learned that we all change. And much of the change is good. We become faith-filled because we can’t face the day any other way. We become strong because we’ve no choice. We’re compassionate because our heart has been broken.’ The fact is, women whose husbands die lose 75 percent of their friendships, 60 percent experience health issues, one-third are clinically depressed one year later, and most face financial hardship. As one pastor says, ‘Widows move from the front row of the church to the back, and then out the door. They go from serving and singing in the choir, to solitude and silent sobbing.’ God cares so much about widows He mentions them over one hundred times in Scripture. He’s a ‘defender of widows’ (Psalms 68:5). He ‘watches over... and sustains [them]’ (Psalms 146:9). James says, ‘Religion that God... accepts as pure and faultless is... to look after... widows.’ Miriam Neff adds: ‘No one can comfort a widow like another widow... when we see another woman enter this experience... we want to comfort her... While the need for financial support and help... is common, the need for connection is more pressing... we need believing friends near us.’

Heavenly Father, help me to be a defender of widows and all others who experience loss or are lost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Know When To Be Quiet - April 9, 2014

Played: 12 | Download | Duration: 00:02:29

Know When To Be Quiet!

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11

Carol Kuykendall writes: ‘My very pregnant daughter got her hair cut... from long to stylishly short. She was trying to get used to her new look when we ran into one of her friends. ‘Oh no!’ her friend wailed... ‘I don’t like it!’ Then as if to rationalize her words, she quickly added, ‘You know me. I’m a Truth-Teller!’ As we walked away my daughter told me she could’ve done without the truth that day!... It made me more aware of that critical moment in conversation when I’m faced with a choice: Do I say what I’m thinking? Or do I zip it? I keep hearing that ‘telling it like it is’ and ‘being real’ is good for relationships. Reality TV, confessions on talk shows and Twittering the Truth add to our reverence for authenticity. But here’s what I know about myself: if I say everything I think I can slaughter people in my path. And just because I think something—doesn’t make it true... A good question to ask is: Is it helpful—or hurtful—to the person or our relationship? What about the timing and tone? [For example] a comment about a spouse’s appearance is hurtful when they can’t do anything about it, and will only make him or her self-conscious the rest of the evening.’ The Bible says, ‘Fools vent... the wise quietly hold it back.’ Knowing when not to speak is often more important than knowing what to say. That’s what Paul had in mind: ‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up... that it may benefit those who listen’ (Ephesians 4:29).

Heavenly Father, give me discernment to know what to say and when to say it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


There You Are - April 8, 2014

Played: 50 | Download | Duration: 00:02:50

There You Are!

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4

Thousands have attended the Women of Faith conferences every year. Many have gone in search of hope, meaning and self-worth. After hearing one speaker after another describe God’s love for His children, an attendee sent this email: ‘In the movie Hook, Peter Pan had grown up, become old and overweight, and looked nothing like the Peter the lost boys knew. In the midst of the boys’ shouting that this was NOT Peter, one of the smallest boys took him by the hand and pulled him down to his level. Then he placed his hands on Peter’s face and proceeded to move the skin around, reshaping his face. The boy looked into Peter’s eyes and said, ‘There you are, Peter!’ The woman who attended said, “I brought a lot with me to Women of Faith, things that only God could see. But throughout the weekend I could feel God’s hands on my face, pushing away all the ‘stuff’ I had brought. And then I could hear Him say, ‘There you are. There you are!’’ Listen. God is saying the same words to you today, finding the beauty the years bury, the sparkle that time tries to take. Seeing you and loving the you He sees. Saying, ‘There you are. There you are.’ You say, ‘I’m afraid I will never find someone to love me.’ Don’t you believe it! God says: ‘Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you. Therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life.’ If you seek God, and reach out, God will bring the right people into your life.

Heavenly Father, thanks for feeling my face and pushing away the things that hide me. Thanks for shaping me and loving me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Don’t Go There - April 7, 2014

Played: 58 | Download | Duration: 00:02:35

Don’t Go There!

I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Psalms 101:3

Fearing the population growth of the Israelites, Pharaoh told the Hebrew midwives, ‘When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him... ’ (Exodus 1:16). This word ‘stool’ is the same word that’s used to describe a potter’s wheel. If Satan can destroy you while you’re still on the wheel, in the process of being formed, he’s accomplished his goal. And today one of his strategies for destroying men and boys is pornography. David’s affair with Bathsheba began with the words, ‘From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone [to get] her’ (2 Samuel 11:2-3). Looking back on this painful chapter in his life, David wrote, ‘I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. According to the Chicago Tribune, a man named Joe from Rockford, Illinois, ran a live Internet sex site called Video Fantasy. Joe had a ten-year-old son. On his home computer Joe installed filtering software to limit what his son could do on the Internet. Joe explained: ‘It’s not that I keep him sheltered, but my wife and I pay close attention to what he reads, what he watches on TV and what he does on the computer, because we have a responsibility to him to be the best parents we can.’ What hypocrisy! Pornography is as addictive as any drug. It puts images on file that mold your mind, images the devil can replay and use to enslave you. So, don’t go there!

Heavenly Father, keep and protect me from things that scar my mind and keep me from loving You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion – Part 4 - April 6, 2014

Played: 52 | Download | Duration: 00:02:59

Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion! – Part 4

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Colossians 3:22

Keeping your job and earning a promotion calls for: 1) Initiative: Think outside the box. Better still, throw the old box away and ask God for a new one! Intelligence is more than just IQ. The average employee with initiative will always excel over the graduate without it. If you don’t believe it, read history. Education alone won’t make you productive, but the Spirit and the Word of God will. Paul writes, ‘Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes’ (Ephesians 4:23). Peter writes, ‘... I have written... to stimulate you to wholesome thinking’ (2Peter 3:1). Let God stimulate your mind with ideas that make you an in-demand employee. 2) Perseverance: What is it? It’s the energy and desire to achieve. It’s motivation, determination, commitment, faithfulness, patience, resilience in the face of difficulty, and a willingness to work hard. Those who avoid the more demanding route and choose the easy way are costly to employ, decrease morale, reduce quality, and lessen the company’s productivity. Paul challenges his readers to persevere in their assignment. ‘Here is my advice... you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now’ (2Corinthians 8:10-11). 3) Respect: Always consider the rights and needs of others. Treat them sensitively, kindly, courteously, and within the limits of law, conscience and Scripture. Do what you're told by your earthly masters... Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God. When you become such a worker God guarantees your security and professional success.

Heavenly Father, help me to be a person others want to work with and for. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion – Part 3 - April 5, 2014

Played: 52 | Download | Duration: 00:02:47

Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion! – Part 3

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Succeeding at your job requires: 1) Empathy: Always show consideration for other people’s situation, needs, feelings and perceptions. Try to understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes. By doing this you increase their motivation, improve the working environment, and raise the productivity level. ‘Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ You are supposed to ‘wear’ these qualities to work every day. 2) Flexibility: It’s the capacity to adapt, adjust, and advance. In an environment driven by economic difficulty and downsizing, rigid and reactive employees are often the first to be made redundant or fired. Learn to ‘roll with the punches.’ Paul did that. ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances... in any and every situation... I can do everything through him who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4:11-13). When the winds of change blow, flexible people bend rather than break. They live to stand again, and even get promoted. 3) Humor: Start seeing yourself and the world around you with a sense of enjoyment. Refuse to take yourself too seriously. Look for the humor hidden in life’s serious moments and you’ll find it. People who are dispensers of misery just drag everybody down. God’s Word says: ‘A cheerful disposition is good for your health... ’ (Proverbs 17:22). ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine... ’ (v. 22). A good sense of humor improves things and makes the workplace better for everybody.

Heavenly Father, help me contribute to a productive and happy workplace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion – Part 2 - April 4, 2014

Played: 50 | Download | Duration: 00:02:44

Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion! – Part 2

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

In his book, Emotional Intelligence, psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman says that IQ amounts to only 20 percent of success. To keep your job and earn a promotion, you need more than intelligence. Goleman suggests several things to help you succeed on the job:

1) Confidence: Confident workers trust their God-given abilities. And where do you get this confidence? From God! ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’ (Psalms 118:8). Confidence in God gives you the assurance that you ‘can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you]’ (Philippians 4:13). 2) Curiosity:Get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ Curiosity is eagerness to know, learn and understand more. Curious workers are interested in what’s not obvious. Others presume that a solution doesn’t exist or is too difficult, so they quit at the point at which they should be starting. But when others are saying, ‘It’s way beyond me,’ the curious employee says, ‘There’s an answer. There’s a better way. We just need more understanding.’ Every boss wants curious workers. 3) Decisiveness: ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (2Timothy 1:7). Fear is a ‘spirit.’ It’s an attitude that makes you pull back, or freeze in place, or give up. That spirit doesn’t come from God, so resist it. Don’t be afraid to take a prayed-over risk, or accept responsibility for an outcome.

Heavenly Father, help me work with more confidence, curiosity, and decisiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion – Part 1 - April 3, 2014

Played: 47 | Download | Duration: 00:02:44

Keep Your Job, And Earn A Promotion! – Part 1

He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. Proverbs 28:19

Even in a bad job market ‘good help is hard to find.’ So when employers find it they do all they can to keep it. Even in a long economic downturn, there are still practical rules that increase the likelihood you’ll keep your job, and maybe earn a promotion. These rules line up with what’s taught in God’s Word: 1) Understand that hard work is a blessing. God created paradise, and then He created us. Then He put us to work, saying, ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food’ (Genesis 3:19). God rewards ‘sweat’ (Proverbs 28:19). Giving your job, even a menial one, your best pleases Him. And ultimately He, not your boss, controls your future. 2) Accept reality. Wishing away your present circumstances while feeling entitled to better will just make you feel worse and get you nowhere. Our ‘God [turns] the curse into a blessing’ (Deuteronomy 23:5). He gives ‘beauty for ashes’ (Isaiah 61:3). In hard times, God raises up people with fresh ideas that actually make the future better than the past—not only for themselves but for others. And you can become one of those people. 3) Make God your source. ‘... I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go’ (Isaiah 48:17). Make God your life coach. Give your boss the hard work he or she deserves, but trust only in the One Who promised to ‘use his wonderful riches... to give you everything you need’ (Philippians 4:19).

Heavenly Father, help me to do my work to the best of my ability, always, every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Break Free From Perfectionism – Part 2 - April 2, 2014

Played: 47 | Download | Duration: 00:02:46

Break Free From Perfectionism – Part 2

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. Romans 12:6

One Christian writer says: ‘When my friend had her first child she applied all her career talents to making a smooth transition into motherhood. She kept a rigid schedule, napped her son on time, planned time for grocery shopping, and always managed to have a nice dinner prepared by the time her husband got home. She kept up this façade till she could handle the stress no longer. Finally, she cracked. She left the house a mess, forgot to shower, never went to the supermarket, and when her husband came home she handed him the dirty baby... and declared the house a dinner-free zone! What did her husband do? He fell to his knees in an exaggerated ‘Hallelujah!’ then spun his long-lost wife into a magnificent hug. ‘You’re back!’ he declared... Her gifts, apart from being a great wife, mom and businesswoman, are her sense of humor, her spunk, her fun, and her authenticity... all the things her husband missed when her personality went on a postpartum hiatus.’ If you’re ‘trying to become perfect by your own human effort’ (Galatians 3:3), it’s not going to happen! ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.’ When you strive to be somebody other than the person God intended, you end up feeling angry, inadequate and frustrated. God purposely gifted us all in different areas. Once you realize that, you can start to minister from your particular area of giftedness. Remember, every one of us is a work-in-progress, so cut yourself some slack. Instead of trying to become perfect, begin to thank God for making you one-of-a-kind.

Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting me for not being perfect and being perfection for me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Break Free From Perfectionism – Part 1 - April 1, 2014

Played: 56 | Download | Duration: 00:03:01

Break Free From Perfectionism
– Part 1

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:3

American columnist Ann Landers wrote, ‘Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals. Nobody wants to read the small print in dreams.’ The small print in every dream is reality. You may fulfill your dream, but you won’t do it perfectly. Looking back you’ll say, ‘If I knew then what I know now.’ But if you could live all over again you’d probably say the same thing. The truth is the journey will take longer than you hoped. The obstacles will be more numerous than you thought. The disappointments will be greater than you expected. The lows will be lower than you imagined. The price will be higher than you anticipated. Stop expecting more than what’s reasonable. Stop seeing minor mistakes as major catastrophes. To break free from perfectionism, Dr. Chris Thurman says: ‘Humble yourself: repent of being so filled with pride that you think you’re equal with God. Be reality focused: accept life as it is, not how you think it should be. Establish attainable goals: make them realistic and achievable in the here-and-now. Set reasonable time limits: instead of spending time struggling to do one thing perfectly, prioritize and dedicate a reasonable amount of time to each activity. In less-important areas, accept good-enough; not every job has to be (or can be) done exceptionally well. Lose the all-or-nothing thinking: not every situation is black and white - most contain shades of grey. Learn from your mistakes, then move on. Confess your shortcomings: acknowledging your weaknesses releases you from the pull of perfectionism. Find your worth in God: not in ‘your own human effort,’ in what you do and how well you do it.’

Heavenly Father, Help me accept the fact that I am not perfect, only You are. Help me do my best but not kick myself over the imperfections along the journey! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


A Word to Single Parents - March 31, 2014

Played: 42 | Download | Duration: 00:02:46

A Word to Single Parents

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Are you struggling to bring up your children on your own? If so, teach them these three principles. As you do, they’ll be reinforced in you. You’d be surprised how many instructors learn while they teach. So: 1) Teach them how to love imperfect people. Let them know that loving is a risk, but it’s worth taking. Hearing you say that will help them to grow up and not become cynical because of what they’ve been through. Explain that when you love people, you must love what’s good and accept what’s still under construction. And it’ll save them heartache if you teach them that sometimes we’ll disappoint each other, and that God’s remedy for this is, ‘Love covers over a multitude of sins.’ 2) Tell them that the future can be better than the past. We are fuelled by the past, but fuel only works when it’s combusted into another form. So allow the pain of the past to fuel your future with compassion, wisdom and hope. Many of the people we admire have experienced failure. This year’s winner was last year’s runner-up. So learn from your mistakes and seize the new day. Once you do that, ‘... All things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). 3) Show them how to adapt to change. When you get stuck in the past, it’s always at the expense of the future. After the initial shock is over and your anger has subsided, start making plans. Draw closer to God and decide to live again. Don’t get stuck in a stage that was just meant to be part of a process. This too shall pass - let it!

Heavenly Father, help me to raise my children knowing that You are their Father – and that You have no grandchildren! In Jesus’ Name, Amen


Believe God for ‘Good Things’ - March 30, 2014

Played: 52 | Download | Duration: 00:02:42

Believe God for ‘Good Things’

O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28

We strive each day to ‘walk by faith, not by sight’ (2Corinthians 5:7). But it doesn’t come easily. It takes a mind saturated in scripture to make a faith choice when you’re staring down the barrel of a situation that seems impossible. So how do you develop that kind of faith? For a relationship to thrive, both parties must invest time and energy into getting to know one other. Lasting connections are based on trust, and an intimate knowledge of the other person’s habits and character. And it’s the same with God. Over time, as you prove His faithfulness it becomes easier to let go of your fear and replace it with trust. One author writes: ‘Getting to know God means walking with Him, spending time in His Word, getting to know His spotless character and the countless examples of His unfailing love illustrated in His ironclad promises. It means praying, talking, sharing all the details of your life and the inner workings of your heart. He knows it all already, but He enjoys the intimacy of the conversation. And like any balanced relationship, we can’t always be the one talking. We have to make time to listen, to come before the Lord and get quiet, by silencing the noise of our thoughts and the rush of our emotions.’ Remember, the only place fear has to work is in the empty space where your faith should be. Fear is based on what you see and hear. Faith is based on knowing that God’s Word is reliable, and that He has promised ‘good things’ to those who believe Him for them!

Heavenly Father, fill my fear with Faith in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


I Matter, Because God Loves Me - March 29, 2014

Played: 41 | Download | Duration: 00:02:48

I Matter, Because God Loves Me

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

The fear of being nothing but a big zero can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It works like this: When it’s time to go for a job interview your fear kicks in and you think, ‘I’ll never impress them, I’ll look stupid. They’ll ask me questions I can’t answer.’ A mouse in a lion’s den has better odds of success. So you fail miserably, and descend yet another level into the basement of self-defeat. Or consider the girl who’s asked out on a date by a good looking guy. So good looking, that she wonders what he sees in her. She’s sure that once he gets to know her, he will finish with her. So insecurity drives her to use the only tool she trusts, her body. She sleeps with him on the first date for fear there won’t be a second, and she ends up feeling like the disposable woman she didn’t want to become. The fear of insignificance creates the very result it dreads, and arrives at the very destination it tries to avoid. Stop! You’re disagreeing with God! You’re questioning His judgment and second-guessing His taste. His Word says He can’t stop thinking about you. If you could count His thoughts of you, ‘They would be more in number than the [grains of] sand’ (Psalms 139:18). Why does God love you so much? For the same reason an artist loves his paintings. ‘We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.’ So when you get up each morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘I matter, because God loves me!’

Heavenly Father, my worth is in You and what You have done. You love me and give me worth. Help me live knowing that. Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, amen


God Is Able - March 28, 2014

Played: 47 | Download | Duration: 00:02:31

God Is Able

being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:21

The reason we don’t turn to God more often is because at some basic and unconscious level we are not ‘fully convinced’ He is able and willing to move on our behalf. Being able to admit that to yourself is humbling; it’s also the point at which you begin to deal with your lack of faith in God. Nothing in your life will change until you pray, ‘Lord, help me. I say things with my lips that I don’t follow through in my behavior.’ Once you begin to pray that way you can start walking through your Bible, rediscovering that ‘God is able.’ He’s able to provide for you when you’re in a wilderness. He’s able to defeat the giants that stand in your way. He’s able to go through fiery trials with you and bring you out unharmed. He’s able to promote you when you’ve been overlooked or opposed. ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’ (Ephesians 3:20). Whatever it takes to own the words, ‘God is able,’ do it; otherwise you won’t be able to pray with confidence. You’ll make a few wishes on your knees, but you won’t be able to persevere in prayer until you know in your heart of hearts that God is able—and that He’s willing! Nothing is too difficult for Him. He’s just waiting for you to recognize that, and come to Him in faith asking for help.

Heavenly Father, why do I doubt that You are not able or don’t care? Help me to trust You in all things knowing YOU ARE ABLE. In Jesus’ Name, Amen


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