Christian Growth, Devotionals, Relationships, The Church

Listen to Your Body


I easily understand the four-word-sentence. “Listen to your body.” As a senior adult, I have my share of ailments; though none is life threatening, they are chronic. I have learned to listen to the inaudible sounds of symptoms alerting me to trouble. When I hear a message, I pay close attention. I have learned that dealing with a problem, when it first surfaces, averts more serious discomfort and trips to see my doctor. I listen to my body.

As a member of the body of Christ, His church, I listen to my body. “ For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) (1 Corinthians 12:12 Amplified Bible).” If one of the members cries out in pain, or causes conflict within the body, I listen closely. I am no medical doctor; yet, I know I am wise to seek early prevention in all matters of the church body.

“So there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25 Amplified Bible).” I am hard-of-hearing and plan to invest in an affordable hearing aid soon. I tire of missing parts of conversations and repeatedly telling my husband, “I can’t hear you.” My body is talking. “I beg your pardon, what did you say? “

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Family

Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey… We use the expression to describe a sudden cessation of a bad habit. We resolve to quit smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages or other addictive behavior. Bravely, we decide to go it on our own, declining outside assistance of support systems or medications to take the edge off the withdrawal. I think I can, I think I can!

Turkey and Thanksgiving are partners in time. The traditional family Thanksgiving dinner features the fowl and stuffing with all the trimmings. The aroma of basted baked birds tantalizes our appetites, and we can hardly wait to gather around the table to view carving of the golden browned center of attraction.

What do we do with leftovers? Is cold turkey something merely endured until a skeleton remains on a spacious platter? Maybe cold foreshadows our feeling of sadness at the realization that another family gathering has passed and mundane routines will return.

Our attitude of gratitude must never grow cold. We do not receive bountiful blessings by picking leftovers from a dead carcass. The resurrected Lord sustains life and through His gift of grace dishes out trimmings of unexpected joy and fulfillment. I come to Him daily with a hearty appetite, knowing He desires to fill me with His Holy Spirit. Thanksgiving is not a tip on a plate; it is praise on my lips! “Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done (Colossians 2:7b The Living Bible).”

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Proof Propensities

We are a people of proof propensities. We want to see before we believe. Gullibility is a liability; we would rather see proof than pay the price of wrong choices and consequences. It is with this in mind that I share the truth that God shows me proof positive of His sovereignty.

“From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse (Romans 1:20 HCS).”  He is the only true God.

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Unanimous Decision

It’s unanimous, the issue carries! Are you involved in critical decisions at home, office, church, community, state and nation? Your opinion counts; God expects us to be light in darkness, salt to preserve and add flavor, being his ambassadors of reconciliation and peace amidst conflict.

How often do votes reflect a unanimous decision? Very often the vote is split down the middle, there is no clear winner. Those involved may postpone a final answer till a later date, calling for recount or run-off. It’s hard to get people to rally around any issue with little enthusiastic backing.

Is a unanimous decision a guarantee that we have made the right decision? “So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: ‘O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den (Daniel 6:6-7 NAS).” The public officials were in total agreement, their unanimous decision would lead to persecution of Jews.

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den (Daniel 6:16a NAS).” His fate did not rest in the hands of a bad decision; he found protection in his deliverer! “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6:22a NAS). Believers rejoice in their unanimous decision; God is in control!

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Superstition Systematic

Superstition is systematic, based in fallacy and gullibility. One day, I may set aside time to research perceived sources of ludicrous superstitions. Today, I focus on one I have pondered lately, the jinxed number thirteen. To my surprise, in my curiosity I found both examples of believed good and bad fortune through the number thirteen.

As the year 2012 rushes to a close, I anticipate a great new year ahead. 2013 holds adventure and surprises. I want to prove naysayers wrong and foolish. Time and calculation is in the hand of the creator. He who numbers the hairs on my head sustains me, and is able to bless me as richly in the thirteen year as he did the twelfth. “So you should say, ‘If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that (James 4:15 ERV).” I defy superstition; I trust sovereign God.


Christian Growth, Devotionals

Con Man

In our futile attempts to be accepted, and ward off rejection, we conform to the ways of the world. Satan, the greatest con man of all time, persuades us to avoid separation and sanctification.  In moments of weakness, we conform to godless society as the Lord urges us to submit to Him and His transformation!

“I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2 NAS).” Submit!


Christian Growth, Devotionals

Mighty to Save

I am small in frame and no one would ever consider me a physical threat to his or her safety. Why would I be foolish and fancy myself mighty in managing my life? The issue is not my “might” but my “faith.” The LORD will guide my steps.

“I know, LORD, that a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps (Jeremiah 10:23 HCS).” He who guides is mighty to save! (Isaiah 63:1) “Not by might, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts (Zechariah 4:6b HCS).”  

Christian Growth, Devotionals

A Quick Glance

Do you frequently skim articles in newspapers and magazines? I’m a skimmer from way back; I’m not sure how much I do it out of disinterest or impatience. I take a quick glance, often gaining only bits and pieces of information. It has gotten me into trouble. Once when speedily reading an email, the writer did not say what I thought she did. Oops! Believers in Christ should refrain from skimming the scriptures. Those who examine God’s word, prayerfully, receive bountiful blessings and have wisdom to discern false teachings.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed (Acts 17:11-12a RSV).” They did not have the New Testament writings; yet, they could substantiate the messages by searching Old Testament scriptures. It was an “open book” test. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21) True servants of God are delighted when we measure their messages aside scriptures, or ask honest questions following their sermons.  No skimming, please!

Bible Studies, Christian Growth

Ananias’ Assignment

Ananias, available and alert, he arose and acted. God could have used any means to minister to Saul, following his Damascus Road blinding encounter. He might have appointed an angel. Barnabas would seem a good candidate. Soon, Saul would become Paul, and Barnabas would be his co-laborer in carrying the gospel. God would bring that to pass. First, He would entrust the care of Saul into the hands of Ananias.

The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision. He knew that he was available for service, always at His beckoned call. He was present and accounted for. “Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias (Acts 9:10a HCS)!” Just as a student, answering roll call, “Here I am, Lord!’ he said (Acts 9:10b HCS). Ananias, available and alert!

The Lord had his attention and gave him detailed, specific instructions, telling him where to go, what to ask, who to see, and what to do. (Verses 11-12) He was to go to Saul, lay hands on him in order that he would regain his sight. Ananias undoubtedly trusted the LORD’s guidance; yet, he also trusted him enough to share his doubts. (Verses 13-14) Saul had persecuted the church. He came to arrest those who called on Christ’s name. Ananias heard an affirmation from the Almighty.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles, kings, and the sons of Israel. I will certainly show him how much he must suffer for my sake (Acts 9:15-16 HCS)!” Ananias, available and alert, arose and acted. “So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17 HCS).” Saul met the Savior. Ananias acted on God’s word.  

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Persistence Pays

“I’ll say this much for him; he’s persistent!” At times, all of us are simply not suited for a task. Yet, with persistence, we not only finish what we start, but we do it well. I’m more likely to give in to discouragement, give way to feelings of inadequacy, and give Satan the accuser, the upper hand. He knows discouragement is detrimental to my spiritual health. I have no valid reason for lack of persistence in resistance. The devil is persistent in his spiritual attacks; I must resist him!

“So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7 Living Bible).”  Persist and resist! “Be careful-watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks (2 Peter 5:8-9a Living Bible).” Resist and keep resisting! “So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is over, you will still be standing up (Ephesians 6:13 Living Bible).” Don’t give up; don’t give in! Persistence pays high dividends!