Personal Devotions: Sonship


Welcome to the first Personal Devotions post for 2011!

I have started to use Youversion on my Blackberry to get back into reading the Word.  Last year I was interacting with the Scripture using the Daily Audio Bible website and community, but in November I couldn’t keep up the momentum… it petered out.  So although I almost made it, I didn’t finish reading the entire Bible last year.  It was becoming a lot to take in all at once – Brian reads from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms and the Proverbs every single day – as well as gives his own inspired commentary on what was read.  Then he would pray, and there was also be a section where people from the community could call in and ask for prayer, pray for others in the community or give a praise report.

It was  great. But it was a lot to take in as the year progressed and my battle with depression deepened.   So this year, on the advice of a few good friends, I have endeavoured to look for another strategic Bible plan that will ease me back into the reading of the Word.

I had downloaded the Youversion app on my Blackberry for a while, but hadn’t really used it much until I was challenged to read the Word more – specifically the Psalms.  I decided that I would find a short Bible plan using the smartphone.  And this is day two.  I’m reading a Psalm and a Proverb.  that’s’ it.

But today I heard God speak through his word in a way that I have not heard in a while.  I was arrested by Psalm 2:7

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

I heard him: YOU ARE MY SON.  I cried out to him, “I have not felt like your son in ages!”  But in spite of what I feel or don’t, his word still rings true to my heart today.

This Scripture naturally makes me think of Romans 8:15 as well

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, Abba,[b] Father.”

And looking at Proverbs 2, I was also arrested by the beginning two words: “My son”  The entire chapter spoke to me, but I am picking out the part that I really feel impressed on my heart right now.

1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

I have had so many depressed moods, so much negativity, so much pain – that focusing on the positive was a welcome change.  So here is my devotion for today.

Lord, I have not felt like your son for ages. I can say like the Prodigal, “I am not worthy to be called your son.” But you call me son anyway. Even if I fail.  Even if I fall. Even if I decide that I am still feeling rebellious… all of this time you still call me son, and still seek my heart turning back to you. I ask that you will acknowledge my baby steps, and help me to increase my momentum. Thank you Jesus. AMEN

One Word – Momentum


(Author’s note: I will return to Bajan culture in my next post. This, however, is where I am right now…)

My friend Alece of  Grit and Glory has started a tradition at her blog called One Word … where you condense the tradional New Year’s Resolution into a single word and focus on that one word all year.  You can read about it in her latest post.

My word for last year was ‘Resurrection’.  In a lot of ways, there has been a lot of death in my life.  Death of relationships, of trust, of the passion that once drove me into the arms of the Saviour… a whole lot of death.

I have had some great friendships and people who have pulled me from the brink of the abyss, and some who have even walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me.  I have great respect for them, and, though the majority of them I have never met in person, I hope to rectify that pretty soon.

As I stated in an earlier post, “I guess I’m in the perfect place for God’s resurrection that he has been talking to me about since last December, because I have no fight left in me whatsoever.”  But that has changed somewhat.  I now am feeling the urge to MOVE – to move forward and not stay in my state of death.  Now I am convinced that the only one with the power to lay his life down of his own accord and pick it up again is Jesus himself, but I also acknowledge that resurrection is possible only through him.  I can’t do it.  I can’t make myself get up and be back to my old self – but I can move forward as much as I can and continue to press in whatever way I can.

Therefore, my One Word for 2011 is momentum.  This is defined by http://www.dictionary.com as:

force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical objector course of events:

The car gained momentum going downhill.

I have started to try to work on myself and will continue to come out of my cocoon of pain along with some wonderful friends, both here and online.  But as I have started, I will attempt to continue.  Here’s to FORWARD MOMENTUM!!!!

What areas in your life do you need to focus on for next year?  Go over to Grit And Glory and read the post – and come up with your own One Word focus for 2011!

Personal Devotions – Trusting in the Power of the Resurrection


A couple of days ago I was stuck at this Scripture verse – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11  (MSG)

8-11We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. (emphasis mine)

These verses have struck me ….  I really HAVE felt as though I won’t make it, that it is all over for me …and OH how I’ve felt like a death row inmate over my past indiscretions.  But the concept of the fall out of my actions forcing me to trust God totally – that spoke to me.  There’s nothing else without God.  And he is the God that raises from the dead! He is the God of the resurrection!

This Scripture gives me hope, because God rescued in the past, and he’ll do it again – “… as many times as we need rescuing!”  That is so awesome to me, because I’ve been in a cycle of trying to get out of needing rescue, and then needing it again, for a while.

And “[you] and your prayers are part of the rescue operation.”  I would probably be much further away if I didn’t have so many wonderful people praying and interceding and standing beside me….. I am humbled by the support of so many I have never seen face to face, as well as those I know personally.  “I can see your faces now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of [me]….”  Well, okay, not physically see your faces – yet – but I can see them in the Spirit… and I am grateful for each one of you….  And just like Paul said, I don’t want you in the dark about that, either.  Your prayers HAVE played a crucial part in my life – and I am eternally grateful.

Please continue to pray for me – and for a couple other people who need it:

  • Amy Woodell – suffered a stroke at 24  (more details here)
  • Mandy Thompson – recently finished a blog series on her struggle with infertility –  read her blog series “The Waiting”, and pray!
  • Lost Sheep – My friend who is going through a major set of oppression, and recovering from spiritual abuse.  Read her blog here.
  • Darla – Also going through some internal struggles …. read some more here.
  • Alece – Not only personally, but for her ministry at Thrive Africa – I wrote a post about her and her ministry.  Read it here – and go over and support the Ten Buck Tuesday initiative.
  • And anyone else the Lord lays on your heart today.