Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nonce (Psalm 27:14)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “nonce.”  When is the last time you have given God a worrisome piece of your life?  Sure, we pray. But much of the time it is lip service, rather than a true and unwavering trust that he will take our cares and the burdens that come with them.  The psalmist understood this principle.  When in doubt, fear, or lack of understanding, he knew that sometimes the best action to take was to wait on God.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." ~Ps. 27:14


My question is: Where are you in your relationship with God concerning trust?  Sometimes we just want to reach the destination, and skip all of the tough stuff.  But we must remember that it is the difficult circumstances in life, those of which we are uncertain, that give God room to work and do what he needs to fulfill his purpose.  My prayer is that you trust God today with something that you may have kept from him.  There are a number of reasons that we do not put our faith in him, and instead try to do it all on our own.  So today, instead of taking that lonely road… for the nonce… trust him with something new. Jump out of your comfort zone and into a more accepting and understanding of God’s love.

Praying for you,

MO

Friday, January 29, 2016

Zenith (John 7:37-38)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “zenith.” I remember as a young Christian wondering what it would look like to be at the very top of my relationship with Jesus. And even more than that, I was hoping that maybe one day I would be able to understand the Christian faith enough to feel confident in sharing my beliefs with others. It seemed like a pretty tall mountain at the beginning. When I expressed that to my leaders, they were very eager to help me reach that goal. They constantly pointed me to verses that would help me get closer to that goal.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ~Jn. 7:37-38


My question is: how are you asking God to make you an effective witness for the Christian faith? Sometimes we feel like if we do not have all of the answers that we are not qualified to tell others about the gospel. However, as we see in today’s Scripture, all we really need to do is to approach Jesus and allow him to fill us with the words that need to be said to others. My prayer is that you take a moment and ask Jesus to fill you with rivers of living water. We may not reach the zenith of our Christian faith until the day we stand before Christ, but we can always do more to help move that process towards the day of completion.

Praying for you,

MO

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Insouciant (Matthew 6:25-34)

Insouciant (Matthew 6:25-34)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “insouciant.” out of all the stuff I needed to hear as a new Christian, this was probably at the top of the list. I remember the first time I heard it. It was a sermon given on a Tuesday night youth group meeting by Kevin Cobb. Although I probably did not have the most stressful life, to me it felt like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. And that is what mattered. Kevin reminded me  and the rest of the group that it did not matter how big or small our concerns might be, either in our own eyes or in the minds of others. What was important was that we needed to focus our energy on trusting in God.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matt. 6:31-34


My question is: what are the top couple of concerns in your life at this moment? I know that sometimes it seems as though we are so bogged down that there is little to no way out of the mud. Whatever the case may be, it is important that we remember to always do a bit more to shift our focus from worry, to one that is fixed on JC. He will get us through the tough times in life, even when we do not believe that there is a way out at times.  Take a moment today to lift up a prayer to God, asking him to re-focus your efforts and give you a more insouciant view in your daily activities.

Praying for you,

MO

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pugnacious (Proverbs 29:22)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “pugnacious.”  I remember growing up trying to keep my nose clean.  i needed to be on my best behavior so I could have a social life, play sports, etc.  I think I did pretty good job. My brother, on the other hand, had quite the difficult trek through high school. Part of it, and actually most of it, was probably the fact that he never really did anything bad. But, even worse, he was the one who was there to laugh when one of his friends did something stupid.

Angry people stir up conflict; hotheads cause much offense.” ~Pr. 29:22


My question is: who are the people that you spend the most time with? Like many high school kids, the friends that my brother chose to hang around with had a ton of fun…  many times at the expense of others. They were a pretty pugnacious bunch, always looking for something and someone to hassle. This was a pretty tough few years for my parents.  I realized by watching some of the strife that my brother got into, that much of it could’ve been avoided. My prayer is that you check the company that you keep. If we are the sum of  those we hang around with, it would be wise to make sure that those people have good character traits, people we want to be like. And, also as important, is knowing that you influence others, and should do your best as a Christian to give those people a reason to be more like you.

Praying for you,

MO

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sentiment (Luke 2.8-14)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “sentiment.”  Over the years I have had a ton of favorite Christmas movies.  But one that continues to stand out is A Charlie Brown Christmas.  It never gets old.  When I was a little kid, I loved it.  And, I love it now.  What is amazing to me is that right smack dab in the middle of it, Linus reads straight out of the Bible.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men." ~Lk. 2:8-14


My question is: what is Christmas to you?  There is a lot of emotional power that comes with this specific holiday.  Even though it is a religious observance by about 2 billion Christians, much of the world celebrates with us.  That gives us an open invitation to help others understand what we believe, and why.  My prayer is that you take the next few days and pray for someone that needs to experience the miracle of Christmas.  After all of the presents, cookies, family gatherings, and sentiments that come this week… remember it is the Savior we celebrate this season.  And so, as Linus would say, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Praying for you,


MO

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Clishmaclaver (Proverbs 10.19)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “clishmaclaver.”  Growing up I was always one to speak way before I listened. Then I began hanging out with some people who made wiser decisions than me on a more consistent basis, as opposed to the way I was used to doing them on my own. At first, of course, I did not want to listen to anyone. I believed I knew enough on my own to get through life. But, of course I was wrong. It wasn't until I started listening to wise counsel that I began to make decisions differently.

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” ~Pr. 10:19


My question is: who are the people in life that you give advice… and whose counsel do you listen to most? The mentors in my life have always listened to me and never sought to speak into my life more than they knew I was going to accept their words and counsel. I guess that's why I always went to those specific people. Most of the time they were reluctant to give me any words of advice, knowing that I was probably going to do things the way that I wanted to anyway. And that is why I always hung on every word that these people said. They were never about meaningless clishmaclaver. They always had my best interest in mind, and gave me exactly what I needed. Who are those kind of people in your life?

Praying for you,


MO

Friday, December 11, 2015

Propinquity (Matthew 6.26-30)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “propinquity.” I realize that an occurring theme in my life at the present is that of time.  Use of time, availability of time, understanding of time, etc.  I believe that people do not really think about time in a productive manner very often.  I recall one of my favorite books stating something along the lines of people not being able to manage time, but rather the ability to manage priorities. I now try to live my life as such. Worrying has not gotten me very far, and so I try my best to know that God has control over both the big and small parts of my days.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you…” ~Matt 6:26-30


My question is: what are the places in your life that you are not giving to God in their entirety? When we withhold those parts of who we are, God is not able to work the way he could if we gave him that trust and access.  My prayer is that you take one area of your life that you are holding close to the vest, and see what it would take to give God permission to begin work in that very place.

Praying for you,


MO