The Christmas Yearbook

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16 NIV). When I was a junior in high school, we had a spirit week that led up to homecoming. During this week, every day was a fun dress up day. On mismatch day, I went all out. I wore the tackiest, most uncoordinated outfit that I could imagine. It actually felt quite liberating not to fuss over whether my ensemble was fashionable, put-together or even well-received. I was unrestrained by high school Continue reading

Granola Bar Devotional–The Pink Butterfly

I was zipping up my five-year old daughter’s pink jacket, and I noticed that the zipper was a cute pink butterfly. “Oh!” I exclaimed. “Your zipper has little butterfly. How sweet!” My daughter sighed and replied, “I know, Mommy. I saw that a long time ago.” And Jesus’ words about the little children hit me square in the nose: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19.14 NVI). I’m realizing that I’m missing a lot of the precious details of my everyday life–the same Continue reading

Jesus in the Details

My husband and I took our family to our friend’s ranch for the first part of our Thanksgiving vacation. Yesterday, as my kids played with the goats, dogs, chickens and other animals, their shoes became muddy. When I saw the mud-cakes shoes, I knew right away that I would be cleaning them that night. My mind sees these small details, and though they seem minuscule to some, I know how important the small details are to the larger picture. As I smacked the shoes together, grassed mixed mud flying every which way, I had to smile. Jesus had already prepared Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Amos 9.13

New Wine “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it” (Amos 9.13 NKJV). The writer of Amos prophesies that a New Wine would soon drip from the mountains and flow through all the hills of the earth. This wine represents redemption and salvation from the sins and efforts of humankind. The land will be so full of abundance that the people harvesting will gather the fruit just before a new crop is being Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Amos 8.4-5

A Harvest of Choices “Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances’” (Amos 8. 4-5 ESV). Amos lived in a society where his own countrymen were prospering at the expense of the poor and destitute. Israel and Judah were amassing wealth and times looked good for them; however, they were Continue reading

Verse Meditation– Joel 2.25

Never Wasted “The Lord says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you’” (Joel 2.25 NLT). The Lord sent devastation to God’s chosen people because they had forsaken Him. They disobeyed His commands and took control of their own destinies–no more relying on an All-knowing God. Therefore, the consequences of their decisions were devastating. God had already warned them to choose blessings or curses (Deuteronomy 30.19). However, once God’s people repented, He was quick to redeem and restore Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Joel 2.18

  Two Kisses “Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people” (Joel 2.18 ESV). Several emotions get a bad wrap but none more than jealousy. Like almost everything, there is a holy and an unholy expression of it. Christians are so quick to label things as inherently good or bad without realizing that it is the intent filling it that makes it so. Judas gave Jesus a Kiss of Death, yet Paul exhorts Believers to give each other a Holy Kiss (Luke 22.48 & 2 Corn. 13.12). A kiss is not inherently good or Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Joel 2.13

Torn Hearts “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish” (Joel 2.13 NLT). Tearing the clothes was symbolic of deep grief, mourning and repentance; however, like many symbolic traditions, the “rending of garments” had become a hollow action with no implication of true humility. When Caiaphas, the High Priest, tore his clothing, claiming Jesus (God in the flesh) to be blasphemy, he did so in an atmosphere of self-righteousness. Pride caused Caiaphas to Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Hosea 1.10

Children of the Living God “Yet the number o the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ it shall be said to them, ‘Children of the living God” (Hosea 1.10 ESV). Hosea is not a very uplifting book in the Bible. In fact, many harsh prophecies are declared against Israel because of their unfaithfulness to God. Just like an adulteress wife, the Children of God have been lusting after other Gods, namely Baal. God who Continue reading

Verse Meditation–Daniel 11.35

Persecution “And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come” (Daniel 11.35 NLT). There are many layers to Daniel’s prophesies–some speak to actual events throughout time and others speak metaphorically to a Believer’s personal life. Just like the Bible influences the world-view of all history, the Bible also dives deeply within each of us, applying truth to our inner and outer lives. Daniel has a vision of a time when God’s Children will Continue reading