Speedo the catfish goldfish!!
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
When we lived in Louisiana our kids attended a Christian school that loved to host a Fall Festival which our kids loved to attend. One of the games they had to play was where you tossed ping pong balls into little glass bowls with goldfish in them. If you were able to get a ping pong ball in the bowls where the fish were then you won the goldfish.
My son actually landed a ball in a bowl with a fish on the first attempt. He was so excited and this started a 7yr relationship with his new goldfish he appropriately named “speedo” because it swam really fast.
One dreadful morning I woke up early and noticed Speedo was not in his bowl. I thought he had met his fate and my wife had flushed him down the toilet, but upon closer inspection, I noticed him laying on the floor lifeless and white on one side. He jumped out of his bowl during the middle of the night and when I found him I thought he was gone. I knew how much my son loved this fish so I quickly washed him off in the sink and then began to do “fish CPR”. After a few minutes of this the fish began to show signs of life and went on to live several more years.
As Christ followers, God has brought life back to us...His Spirit not only gives life to us each day, but we will experience this life forever in eternity!! Have you allowed God to bring new life to you? Are you depending upon His life-giving Spirit to have all of you? Allow God to bring you life as you focus all you are on Him today.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
The Apostle Paul’s encouragement and challenge to the Christ Followers in Ephesus reminds me of my grandmother on my Dad’s side of the family. She loved the Lord and loved His church. She very seldom missed attending church each Sunday wither she was at home or away on holiday. In fact, when she died, I discovered some small chevrons attached together in a long row, each with a different year on then. The last one had “43 years” inscribed on it. I found out that each chevron represented a year of perfect attendance in church and specifically Sunday School.
It took me a long time to really understand what all this meant, but what I came to understand was that this award did not represent a legalistic adherence to church attendance, but a deep love for God and His church!
what would our world be like if we all took this same mindset about not only our commitment to God And His church, but yet an even greater commitment to spending time with Him in prayer?!? I am convinced our lives and faith walk would be so much better. Let’s not let laziness or apathy or distractions keep us from spending time with God and joining Him in His redemptive work.
“I can do it myself!”
Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
As a small child the title of this devotional was my anthem. I always tried to do things on my own and often failed miserably! One of these times was when I was helping my grandfather work in his garden. I was tasked with pulling weeds and went at it quickly without waiting for instructions on how to do it. My grandfather kept trying to show me the proper way to pull the weeds but I kept telling him, “I can do it myself!” He eventually let me do it my way and when I had finished, I only pulled the tops of the weeds and did not get the roots. Afterwards, my grandfather sat me down and shared how I had done it wrong and that I would have to go back and do it the right way....which took all day!
it wasn’t until many years later that I learned how much it hurt my grandfather to see me struggling so. My grandmother told me how he kept wanting to go out there and help me but knew I needed to learn a very important lesson which would help me in the future. After a long day of struggling my grandfather loved on me and shared how he was there for me to guide me even when I didn’t think I needed it.
I know today you will meet lots of people who are struggling and in need of help, just like the people of Nineveh. Don’t be like Jonah and have no compassion for them, but allow God to show His love and provision for them though you. Ask God to help you see Others like He sees them and then be motivated with love and compassion towards them.
No lunchbox needed.
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
Im sure you remember the story I have often told if the bully who would pick on me as I walked home from school. Back then it was a sign of maturity for your parents to let you walk home from elementary school. This kid for some reason would single me out and try to push me around. He was so much bigger and stronger than me, there was really not much I could do but take it and hope I didn’t cry!
But one fateful day my older sister happened to be riding by and saw me getting picked on. She came running over and in one move, grabbed my metal G I Joe lunchbox and slammed it into the side of his face! She then walked home with me daily for over a week to make sure he didn’t come back. Truthfully, I don’t remember ever seeing him again.
I wonder what people or situations you have in your life right now that at too strong for you. King David sure had them and the only way he overcame them was to allow God to do it for him. Whatever is too big and strong for us, is no match for our God! I pray today you will let God walk with you.....it will be the best decision you make today!
Blooming where you’re planted.
O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
I remember taking my first youth summer camp trip as an adult leader. We went to Glorieta New Mexico and it was so beautiful! As we hiked in the mountains I noticed how some of the prettiest flowers grew in the cracks of the rocky hills and mountains. It was strange to see something so delicate and beautiful thrive in a less than perfect environment.
We as followers of Jesus, find ourselves “planted” in situations or circumstances which are harsh and seemingly impossible to endure or even thrive. Today’s verse in Isaiah encourages us all to not give up when we are found in less than desirable circumstances. God has us there for a reason and we must stay before Him and allow Him to be His witness to those around us. Whatever situation you find yourself in today, consider it an opportunity for God to use you to bring His message of love, joy, peace and restoration.
Beach Retreat Packing List
What to Bring:
• Sheets, blanket, pillow, sleeping bag (for twin bunk beds)
• Towels & toiletries, Snacks
• Modest swimsuit
• Bible, pen & notepad
• Good attitude & desire to hear from God!
• Permission Form(access here)
Also bring money for one fast food meal for on the way home Sunday and a little if you want to hit up the gift shop!
Since it’s beginning days way back in 1947