Comfort

What comes to mind when you think about comfort? A favorite sweatshirt or sweater? Perhaps a cozy blanket or a delicious dish at a restaurant? Whatever your “go-to” for comfort has been, today I am going to challenge you.

I have thought a great deal about my comfort. What makes me feel comfort, comfortable… and I have determined that I have become all too comfortable.

Too comfortable in my “American Freedoms”, too comfortable in my lax as a Christian, too comfortable in my routine. Comfortable has a tendency to lull us into a false sense of security, falsely tells us to “relax, don’t be so concerned.” I like my “ways”, the known paths, the “not ruffling” of my feathers, but this is what makes me soft, weak, and vulnerable to attack.

It is okay to want to relax and be comforted. We all need moments to reflect and relax. As I am writing this devotional, the following scripture keeps popping into my head:

Revelations 3:16

15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

Berean Bible Study

Being “lukewarm” reminds me of being too comfortable. I can’t continue to live my life orchestrating my day keeping myself comfortable. I need to be challenged, and in being challenged- graciously accept the challenge. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and develop.

As we enter a new year, with a new government I am reminded that my comfort is being challenged. That I am an eternal citizen of heaven, living on planet earth. My work here has eternal consequences and I can no longer remain comfortable in the old routine.

-Making myself uncomfortable right along with you.- Michele

Who’s Afraid?

The recent tumultuous weeks have me concerned and I can say sometimes I am afraid. I find myself flowing in and out of confident hope, to feeling scared and defeated.

Maybe you don’t feel the same way. I just struggle with the fact we are VERY divided. I wrestle with and am stumped by many people who believe that this election was completely fair. No fraud anywhere. Just accept that and give in.

Where has true truth gone? How did we lose the ability to rightly divide truth from a lie? When did lying become the truth? How will we EVER be able to tell truth again? Why is truth being hidden? Lied about? And most importantly who is behind this all?

I am grateful to God for giving me a good sense. Meters and red flags that go off when I encounter things that “don’t seem right”. These things have saved me more often than I can count. They are warnings and I need to heed them.

I know God has this all in his control, perfectly being played out according to his plan. But I don’t like what is coming if socialism takes over this beautiful republic. Socialism is selfishness. An “I will control it all and have all that I want, but you will have only what I say you can have, do what I say you can do and be who I say you can be, live, or eat.” “I keep the best for myself because I have decided you have ruined life here on earth through your living, so I will do your thinking and you shouldn’t think for yourself.”

I am so glad that there is freedom in Christ. He lets me make my own choices, encourages me in goodness and the Godly, loves me in my weaknesses, and welcomes me to his table no matter my skin color or talents. God’s love is our equality and our giftings don’t make us more special or valued more over someone else.

I am praying. Praying hard day and night. If you are a solid, Patriotic, Constitutional loving American, you won’t see this as a race to win for one political party, you’ll see this as life or death of freedom for the human race.

-Praying hard against a big giant with you.

Creation is Preaching You a Message

I love Romans 1:20:

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

NIV

Did you catch all the verse goodies? “Invisible qualities”, “Eternal power” and “Divine nature”. And then the zinger- “Have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.” BOOM! And as they say “Mic Drop!”

Every day God puts on a show through creation. It does spark constant questions in my mind of “how?”, “why?” and it also leaves me breathless.

Are you searching daily for these invisible qualities of God? Are they leaving you breathless? Friends, nobody can say God doesn’t exist, or that they never knew he was reaching out.

There are so many things pressing down on us as American citizens as well as Christian citizens of heaven. These are weighty, often frightening… but do not let those things of this world bog you down. Look to God’s creation to fill you and give you additional strength to meet the day.

I find strength and am humbled watching a sunrise or sunset. I am encouraged by the spring frog croaking, quiet starry nights, lightning strikes, and thunderstorms. Amazing! Awesome!

I pray today you can come up from under the “yuck” of life and marvel at the invisible!

  • Looking for the invisible with you and MARVELING at what we are finding. God is here and he loves us so much he leaves us notes everywhere. AMEN

Comfort

Comfort. Just saying the word “comfort” makes me think of soft pillows, warm blankets, a timely hug, and laying my head on my mom’s lap. If I were to look at my life I can definitely see areas of my life I have designed for comfort.

Comfort itself isn’t something bad, but as an adult, I think we can design life so focused on comfort we are not challenged. And that friends are where the problem comes into play.

I have thought a great deal about my life as a free American. That freedom didn’t come cheap and I think there are some folks who have forgotten that freedom isn’t free. They have grown to comfortable in all their “freedoms” that it has brought on complacency. That’s maybe the downside to such a free society, we have so much and so many choices we forget how this ability to choose came to be.

How comfortable are you in your walk with Christ? Are you satisfied just being in your comfy “Christian” leggings with fluffy sweatshirt, doing the daily usual?

I know for me prayer is challenging. I like to rush through and get to reading the bible, or doing a devotion- things that make me comfortable. Prayer stretches me. I calls me to go beyond what is in my heart, it calls me to say it out loud.

We live in a challenging time politically. We stand to lose some major freedoms if we don’t speak up and pray up! We can’t wear the same fluffy comfortable Christian outfit, we need to suit up for a serious battle. What we are fighting is evil. It is a spiritual warfare unlike anything I have seen.

Satan fights to keep you bound, to keep us all bound. Our only weapons are prayer and praise. Prayer binds/loosens and praise is completely distracting to Satan and his helpers. Time to stop being comfortable.

-Getting uncomfortable with you and leaning into prayer and praising like never before.

Vampires in Your Life

I thought with Halloween approaching talking about “vampires” would be appropriate. Now, I am not talking about the mythical scary vampires written in novels. I am talking about the people, jobs, hobbies, or event volunteering that is sucking the life out of you.

Take a look at your life right now. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Who am I putting first? Who SHOULD I be putting first?
  • What is demanding my time?
  • When (certain time of day? certain person? certain conflict?) do I feel a draining of my energy?
  • Where (pinpoint and be specific) are these “drains” leading?
  • Why do I keep allowing this to happen?

These may be difficult questions to ask yourself. The answers may be hard to hear. But we all need to address “vampires” in our lives. God needs to be first because he supplies “all that we need for the moment”.

-Looking for vampires in life with you.- Michele

Nourish Your Soul

What images are conjured up in your mind when I say nourish? Do you see a hot bowl of soup? A warm mug of tea? A beautiful sunrise or sunset? We often forget that our living soul needs nourishment.

Nourishment restores and encourages. Nourishment gives strength to fight life’s battles. I often think of the Super Mario game I played a long time ago. As Mario ran, jumped, and hopped he needed to pick up “nourishment” to sustain his super animated strength. This nourishment came in jumping up and catching stars or whatever the game offered as extra.

We are finite human beings whose souls need to be nourished. Are you taking time for God’s word? Are you taking the time to pray? Are you worshiping him as you go throughout your day? Filling your soul with positive words, filling your mind with positive thoughts. Encourage others with a positive word, great devotional, article…

Philippians 4:8 New International Version

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Today as you go about your I pray you nourish your soul and are nourishment to others as well!

  • Nourishing my soul along with yours. Dwelling on lovely, true, admirable and pure! Amen

Broken Vessels

A few weeks back we had returned to Wisconsin to clean and sort through what remained of my mother’s belongings. Piles were made to get rid of, or go through/split up.

It’s hard to put into words sorting through your parent’s belongings. I would just have to say it was deeply emotional and very personal. Being in my childhood home with your parents no longer residing inside was emotional as well.

We had rented a U-Haul and filled it up with things from my mother. Most of what I got were practical things, a few sentimental items from mom, and the rest was what I had bought at my family auction.

Upon returning home we unpacked my items into the garage and there, for quite of few weeks they sat; I just didn’t want to sort through them again. But finally, I got the nerve and began sorting through.

One day I unpacked a box that was clearly my dads inherited stuff. I began to unwrap and pull apart a beautiful tea seat. Unfortunately the spout was damaged and several cups and saucers were as well. Part of me just wanted to cry as I felt, yet again, just about everything of beauty and value was broken.

As I continued through the box I found pieces that looked like a spout. Setting them aside I went into the kitchen to get the Super-Glue. Returning, I set out all the pieces and started to put the spout back together. Once I was satisfied I could assemble the spout correctly I began to apply the glue.

Slowly, piece by piece, the spout was reconstructed and my heart began to flutter at the beauty of the tall pot. I arranged the remaining cups and saucers around the teapot to complete the look.

In the weeks to follow I discovered that it was made in Germany and that according to “google” it was vintage. I gave it space in my china hutch and look forward to pouring tea from it sometime.

God reminded me while I repaired the teapot, even though the pot was broken it could be repaired and beautifully restored. With His help, we can work to “fix” what is broken and still be useful-restored.

Restoration brings a different perspective. It also repurposes your life and gives you the experience to share and encourage others.

  • Grateful with you for our broken vessel that is being repaired daily, piece by piece by my Lord. Amen

Michele


P.S. This post is being linked-up at the Five Minute Friday Link-up. Inspired by the prompt “Fix”. Head on over there and read what people have written in five minutes on the topic. You will be inspired.

Friends with Swords

Is God not good when he gives you a “friend with a sword”? Today I was completely blessed by a friend’s words as given to her by the Holy Spirit. we fight similar battles for our children.

“Our reality is not determined by the lies of the evil one, the siren of hopelessness and despair. Our reality is determined by God’s Word! Therefore we must BOLDLY proclaim the name of Jesus is GREATER than the deceit of the evil one over ________. We stand on YOUR promise Lord, that YOU FIGHT FOR US! We choose to live by what YOU SAY, LORD. Exodus 14:14.”

It’s Fight Club everyday friends. Sometimes we are tired and can hardly put on our armor. But today be emboldened by God’s gift to you through Friends with Swords.

-Raising my sword by God’s power and His might! AMEN

The Compass

I recently was chatting with a good friend and we were discussing kids and life directions. As she shared she used the analogy of a compass and raising children.

Everyone is given a compass. As parents and mentors, we teach our children what the compass is for and how to use it. God is everyone’s true North.

As children grow and accept more responsibility they begin to use the compass more and more on their own. Once they turn 18, you let go of teaching and let them “use” their own compass.

Some will do well, others will not and some may need to refer to you from time to time. Whether or not they fail, GOD is still true North.

Handing off the compass can be hard to do, especially when we see them use the compass to take them to places they shouldn’t be, doing things they shouldn’t do. We need to remind ourselves it’s not our personal compass; we have our own.

-Handing over the compass with an open hand with you. -Michele

Consequences or Love?

I was listening to Real Recovery last night- it’s one of my favorite shows. I like Real Recovery because it’s about redemption and renewal. As the show’s hosts were talking with the guest, one of the hosts asked the guest this question: “Do you chose not to sin because of the consequences or because you love Jesus?”

The guest answered he said that his old self would have said consequences and not for the love of Jesus. As I listened to them talk I questioned myself as well and I have to admit I thought immediately about the consequences of doing particular sins and didn’t really think about my “love” for Jesus.

How did you answer that question? Do you refrain from sin out of Love for Jesus or are you more concerned about the consequences?

-Re-adjusting my thought process with you, wanting a relationship and my savior’s love first.- Michele