Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flapdragon (Romans 12.1-10)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “flapdragon.”  If your family is anything like mine, each year you have your ritualistic boardgames, flapdragons, and such that bring in the new year.  I remember vividly growing up and having different families over at the house, engaging and all the fun and festivities of bringing in the New Year.  I am also reminded of a renewing of my faith and a continued understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Rom. 12:1-2


My question is: what are your resolutions for the New Year, and is God a part of them?  My mentor has me make resolutions each year and defined my goals for the next 12 months.  I’ve been doing this for quite some time now.  Because I am an avid Journaler I am able to look back at this year and those previous to see what kind of progress, or changes that I’ve made up my life.  My prayer is that you would look forward to the New Year and make sure that God is a part of any of your decisions to change.  Use this time as a refresher in your faith, and make decisions that will last a lifetime.

Praying for you,


Mo

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Evanesce (1 John 2.16-17)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “evanesce.”  This season is pretty crazy.  There are some parts of it that I really enjoy, because it seems there is more time off to reflect.  At the same time, we are all trying to get stuff done like shopping and family time.  So, that makes it a little bit hectic.  But I think there’s a really cool biblical truth in all of this.  We spend a lot of time investing and stuff that is important in this world, but will soon not be a part of eternity.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
~1 Jn. 2:16-17



My question is: what are your motivations in the stuff that you choose to do in life?  I know that choosing to follow Jesus is not always the easiest thing to do.  In fact, when I began to pursue life the way that God might want, it caused me to change my entire way of doing stuff.  My prayer is that you realize the importance of living and acting for God.  Take the last part of the season and really reevaluate the important stuff, and put it up against worldly things, which will eventually evanesce as we enter eternity.

Praying for you,


MO

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mirth (Psalm 126.1-3)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “mirth.”  When I first started reading the Bible, my mentor told me that whenever I was in doubt of what I should be reading, if I opened up to the Psalms I would be in good hands.  Not only are the Psalms spot on when you need to hear something, but they are easy to read and even if you don’t understand the whole thing, you can pretty much get a good concept of what is happening.  Today’s Psalmist is speaking for those returning from exile, and about the feeling of God bringing his people back.

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. ~Ps. 126:1-3


My question is: how do you approach God delivers you from the hard stuff in your life?  As we see in today’s a Psalm, God restores his people and gives them everything that they need, when they need it.  Lord has done marvelous things in my life, and I suspect that if you looked into your own, you might be able to see and say the same.  My prayer is that you approach today with the spirit of joy and mirth, or laughter.  Give God a chance to show you his mercies and allow him to be a part of your life today.

Praying for you,

MO


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Frenetic (Job 9:1-13)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “frenetic.”  I really enjoyed reading the book of Job. In it we see that this man followed got pretty intensely, and dealt with temptation and anguish.  A lot of the stuff that was happening was not under his control.  So, during this whole ordeal he talks to different people and is trying to figure out why bad things are happening.  At one point, Job senses his inadequacy after being told that he should be feeling a certain way about what he was going through.  In the following verses show how much Job did trust God, and understood His power.

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.” ~Job 9:8-9


My question is: what kind of power do you give God in your life we see that Job struggled in his relationship with his Lord, just as each of us do.  We do know, however, that Job did understand that God was not a God of confusion, one who was frenetic, but instead realized that there was a plan even when he did not understand it in part, or as a whole.  My prayer is that you understand that God does perform miracles daily, most of which are unseen.  Just the fact that you and I have the ability to have a relationship with God is reason enough to believe that although sometimes we cannot see or even perceive Him in our midst, he is at work.  Take some time today to thank God for working in your life and being the powerful God that he is.

Praying for you,


MO

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moosemilk (Luke 2:1-11)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “moosemilk.”  I don’t think I really even need a reason, do I? What an awesome word. Well, when JC first began his ministry there were a ton of peeps that wanted him to do certain things. He knew that he had a mission, a reason for being on this earth.  And, he knew that with the help of his Father, he was unstoppable. But, as JC would learn early on, navigaing through what he needed to do and what he should pass up would cause him to make tough decisions each day.

“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.” ~Luk 2:7-9


Talk about some of the best moosemilk ever made - the all-new Wine de JC Label… an instant hit with the crowds!  How crazy is that? Even though Jesus did not really think his time had come, he obeyed his mom and took care of business.  My question is: Are you constantly on the lookout for God to do extraordinary stuff in your life, or are you just getting by? My prayer is that you take a moment to thank God for the awesome stuff he has done in your life. If we remember the good stuff that he has done for us, we can focus on what is important, which is expanding our relationship with Him in hopes that others will experience the same joy.

Praying for you,

MO

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmastide (Luke 2:1-20)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “Christmastide.”  This being the day of our Savior’s birth we can look back and think of our own lives, and when we first began to follow Jesus.  The Christmas story is one of awesomeness and miracles, worthy of our respect.  I love to read these verses each year and try to put myself in the place of each of the characters, and wonder what they might have been thinking.  Whatever it was, I wonder if they knew how we would be celebrating so many years later.  That their actions in history would be forever remembered.

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” ~Luk 2:16-18


My question is: what does the season mean to you?  There are a lot of things that call for our attention.  Family, presents, stress, and everything else that goes along with this season can sometimes take center stage.  My prayer is that you approach the Christmastide this year a little bit differently.  Take the next several days and instead of just thinking about how you are going to take down all of the decorations, remember that Christmas doesn’t end at the end of today, but is representative in our lives daily.  Continue to spread joy and extend the season!

Praying for you,


MO

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Consanguinity (Isaiah 7:1-16)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “consanguinity.”  Christmas is the season where people often remember that we are all connected by one commonality, and that is the relationship that each of us share with our Lord and Savior.  I love looking at the nativity scene and wonder what it must’ve been my way back at the first Christmas.  It’s pretty exciting to know that those of us who are Christians can celebrate this holiday together.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” ~Is. 7:14


My question is: What do you celebrate most during this season?  I know that I am especially thankful for friends and family with whom I share a belief in God.  Without that understanding this season becomes full of self-centeredness and a lack of understanding for what this season is really about. My prayer is that you stop and remember your Savior in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of shopping, food, family, and trees.  Each of us have given our lives over to Jesus celebrate the consanguinity of adoption by God.  Let’s let others know why that is such a wonderful thing.

Praying for you,



MO

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Edutainment (Matthew 13:12-14)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “edutainment.”  The book of Matthew is pretty awesome.  Jesus knows that to get his message across he needs to speak in terms that everybody will understand.  We have to understand that this had to be pretty tough.  He had to be able to relate to followers, those who doubted him, religious leaders, ordinary everyday people, and every other kind of person you might imagine.  So, it is no wonder that he spoke in short stories to help others understand the points he was trying to convey.

“This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” ~Matt 13:13



My question is: how do you best respond to learning the stuff that God thinks is important?  Jesus was pretty astute when I came to knowing his audience.  In fact, we see that in this passage that Jesus changes the entire method that is needed to help others understand the truth that he was bringing to them.  My prayer is that you find out what is most appealing to you concerning Bible stuff, and use that to your advantage to learn more.  Just as Jesus used a kind of edutainment, or education and entertainment all rolled up into one, so can you learn from God’s word in a bunch of different ways.  We only need to do a little bit of searching to understand how we will best learn the principles God has in store for us.

Praying for you,


MO

Monday, December 22, 2014

Seedy (Matthew 4:23-25)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “seedy.”  I remember when I was a young Christian, always enjoying the stories about Jesus interacting with people who needed help.  We see that in the New Testament, during Jesus’ ministry, that the word got out he could heal sick people.  In fact, when he went through Galilee, he would be teaching in the local synagogues and people would just bring random sick individuals to be healed.  These were people with physical ailments, demons, other kinds of pains, all right to the foot of Jesus.

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” ~Matthew 4:23


How amazing would that have been, to be a part of these interactions with Jesus?!  My question is: what are the limits that you put on Jesus?  I find it pretty cool that peeps back in the day didn’t just listen to his words, but came to him in full faith that he was able to heal great ailments.  I know that each of us probably know a close friend or relative that has some kind of sickness or ailment that we would like to see healed.  And, although we may or may not see them beat these sicknesses, or be healed miraculously, we do know that there is a plan that comes directly from the Lord… and so I always pray for miraculous healing, and above all else a changed life.  

I’m sure for you, as it is for me, it’s not always easy to follow Jesus and faith.  However, my prayer is that you continue to lean on God with your questions, and pray fervently that those who are seedy, or living in sickness, are healed – both physically and spiritually.  Don’t put limitations on God.  Allow him to work in your life and increase your faith.

Praying for you,


MO

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Larrikin (James 3:15-17)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “larrikin.”  I have always been told by my mentor that wisdom is one of the most important traits of a Christian.  We see in today’s passage that James is pretty adamant about helping people look towards serving others rather than trying to gain personal position.  The people in this church were being attacked by the Evil One and it was up to James to set them straight.

“This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy…” ~Jam 3:15-17


My question is: what is the wisdom that you seek, and to whom do you look to receive it?  I think there’s a lot that one can learn by just reading God’s word, but it takes a whole new level of faith and understanding to put your trust into someone that knows more than you.  As we see in today’s passage, wisdom comes from heaven.  And if we want to avoid the larrikins – those who have ill intentions, and cause commotion - we must look to gain wisdom daily.  My prayer is that you put aside any personal negative thoughts and decided to get a little bit better each day; ask other strong Christians to help you through the journey.  Why not start today?!

Praying for you,


MO

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mysophobia (Isaiah 64:1-10)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is "mysophobia.”  We see some pretty strong language from Isaiah in today’s prassage.  We have to realize that at this time in history, God had done some pretty miraculous things for the people of Israel.  However, they looked right past all of the great things that the Lord is doing and attributed the blessings that they had received to their own righteousness.  For this, God set a pretty hard rebuke on them.  In fact, we can see by his language in this passage, that Isaiah grouped himself with these simple people.

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” ~Isaiah 64:6


My question is: where do you look to find justification in righteousness?  I learned early on in my Christian journey that my own acts and deeds were not going to be good enough to get me through this life and to heaven.  That was the essence of accepting Jesus into my life.  No matter how good I thought I could be, it would never be adequate to pay for the innumerable sins that plagued my life both before and during my time as a Christian.  My prayer is that you heed the words of Isaiah this morning, and that you think God for the blessings he has the stowed upon you, because of his righteousness.  We must live somewhat of a mysohpobia, or fear of filth.  We need to stay away from that which makes our soul unclean.  Nothing that we have done warrants the blessings of God, and we should always remember that it is by his grace and mercy that we continue to have favor in his sight.  Live in the truth of that righteousness today!

Praying for you,


MO

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Beforetime (Galatians 3:27-29)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “beforetime.”  I love this time of year because I always seem to have pretty good conversations with people who have yet to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Today’s passage gives us all reassurance that God is in control and that the changes he made, deciding to allow each of us into his family, is a representation of his abounding love and yearning to have a relationship with his people.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ~Gal. 3:28


My question is: during this season of reflection, what are the areas of your life that most come to mind?  I know that God has made us very unique, but Christmas time is a reminder that we all do share one thing in common.  As a follower of Christ, my prayer for you is that this season reminds you of your acceptance into God's family.  And, that you help others to see why they would want to have a relationship with God.  We are not living as beforetime without him; we are called to be in his presence and give glory by calling others into relationship with the Most High.

Praying for you,


MO

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Subfuscous (Psalm 113:1-9)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is "subfuscous.”  I have been to more Christian camps then I know what to do with.  The funny part is, I didn't really start going until I was a senior in high school.  I actually remember what Kevin went through to make sure that I was able to fit camp in my schedule prior to that school year.  From then on, I was hooked.  I began to do more, serve more, and be at more camps each summer.  My favorite was always junior high camp.  Those kids are awesome!  They are all over the place, and their faith, as well as the rest of their emotions, they wear on their sleeves.  The following verse sticks out in my mind and reminds me of junior high camp every time I read it.

“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” ~Ps. 113:1-3


My question is: how do you praise God?  My favorite song to ever sing at camp was one that included these verses.  I can still remember like it was yesterday, as I sing them in my head.  That song and that verse made such an impact on my life that it will be etched in my memory forever.  From the early morning sunrise, to the waning subfuscous hours of the early evening… God will make his name known.  My prayer is that you have more encounters with God where he impresses upon your soul and writes on your heart his words.  The more you read and hear God's word, and the more you actively remember, the more affect it can have in your life.

Praying for you,


MO

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thalassic (Mark 4:35-41)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “thalassic.”  Jesus had a ton of authority.  But the funny thing is, even though the disciples were with him every single day, they still do not completely get it.  In fact, and our passage today we see that the disciples did not trust Jesus fully.  And, I guess we can’t really blame them.  If you are in a pretty crazy storm, I think that any of us might feel the same way.

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” ~Mark 4:35-41


My question is: how much do you trust Jesus in each area of your life?  Sometimes we give lip service to the reality, which is we do not necessarily believe in God’s power or have as much trust or faith as we would like to think.  I don’t blame the guys in the boat with Jesus necessarily for having little or no faith. It seems like they had a pretty tough day.  But, I think that this story is an illustration of how Jesus is definitely Lord over all things, whether on land, or in thalassic matters, which is itself on the sea.  My prayer is that you trust God a little bit more today than you did yesterday.  This process is long, and sometimes arduous, as the disciples found out the hard way.  You could do it though.

Praying for you,

MO

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Whippersnapper (1 Timothy 4:11-13)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “whippersnapper.”  One of the things that I really like about the book of 1 Timothy is the encouragement that Paul gives in.  We know that Timothy is a young man because of the stuff that Paul says to him.  In fact in today’s passage, we can kind of tell that Timothy might’ve been feeling discouraged, maybe that others did not take him seriously because of his youthfulness.  But, could you imagine having Paul as a teacher?  I think the people that were ridiculing Timothy had no idea how uninformed they were.


“Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching…” ~1 Timothy 4:11-13


My question is: what are the inadequacies that you feel in your life?  Is there anything that holds you back from getting out there and achieving the goals that God would have in front of you?  I remember at the beginning of my professional ministry, I was very young.  My mentor pointed to this book in the Bible, and specifically this passage, on more than one occasion.  He told me to rise above the ridicule and that even though a lot of people might think that I was an unqualified whippersnapper, I was really a child of God who was called to spread the word.  You have been called to do the same!  Go out and make a difference today.

Praying for you


MO

Friday, December 12, 2014

Verbigeration (1 Timothy 1:1-7)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “verbigeration.”  During my initial years of the Christian life I was often drawn to this book in the Bible.  The reason is that my mentor, and the man who had eventually led me into a relationship with Jesus, told me that my life needed to be similar to the young man to whom Paul is talking.

“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men and women, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.” ~1 Timothy 1:5-7


My question is: what are the things in life that you give most of your time?  The Apostle Paul understood the importance of keeping one's heart pure, and new that the words that came along with this task were pertinent.  As Christians, we do not have the luxury of engaging in verbigeration, but instead our words need to have complete and full meaning.  In your quest to become a better person, my prayer is that you choose your words carefully, and help others to feel encouraged.  One of the most significant ways Christians can keep themselves separate from the ways of this world is to speak truth, and love.

Praying for you,

MO

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Philosophaster (Proverbs 18:1-15)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “philosophaster.”

Most of us think we are pretty smart when were little kids.  But, somewhere down the line we realize that we don’t know very much… a philosophaster of sorts.  The sooner you learn this, the better chance we have of actually learning something that is worthwhile.  I have found over the years that if I invest my time into mentors, those people who can help me be a better person, I have a better chance of setting myself up for success.  I have bypassed a lot of frustrations over the years by listening to my mentors and having them give me advice when I didn’t necessarily wanted, but I really truly needed it.


"The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” ~Pr 18:15


My question is: where are you on your appreciation for acquiring knowledge?  What does that even mean to you?  I was always told that I was only as good as the people that I hang out with, and the books that I read.  I try to do both with the best possible.  My prayer is that you look towards others that have something to teach you.  If we associate ourselves with knowledgeable people, and read the things that we are supposed to, we can continue to become better people.  Not just because we have knowledge, but the way that we applied allows us to serve God a little bit more intentionally.  Go out today and seek some wisdom.

Praying for you,


MO

Monday, December 8, 2014

Famulus (Matthew 10:24-33)

Good morning ladies,

The word of the day is “famulus.”  It seems that in today’s passage that Jesus had to remind the apostles that he would never ask them to do anything that he was not willing to do himself.  At this point Jesus had cast out a bunch of demons and fought some pretty difficult powers that were not of this world, yet the apostles did not necessarily believe him completely that they would be able to endure, or even follow him to the very end.  They were having a problem with obedience to God.  Luckily for them, Jesus was pretty lenient and understanding.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.” ~Matt 10:24


My question is: are you willing to follow Jesus to the point of experiencing all of the stuff that he endured?  I think that the disciples had a pretty good wakeup call during today’s passage, and would soon find out that following Jesus would have some pretty stiff repercussions.  My prayer is that you fortify yourself with the word of God.  Invest time in others who have a like-minded understanding of what it means to become a little bit better every day.  Each of us has the unique opportunity to be a famulus, or servant, to the greatest of all teachers.  Take inventory today in your own understanding of what it means to be a complete and dedicated servant to Jesus.

Praying for you,


MO