Saturday, March 30, 2013
In my new devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, I offer a challenge. I ask my readers to get to know God better than they know their own troubles.
The tendency might at first be to think, Oh, yeah, I already know God well.
But how well do you know about the following:
* Your bills
* Your finances
* Your coworkers who drive you crazy
* Your neighbor who runs over your lawn with her car
* Your spouse's irritating habits
* The new house your friend just had built
* The sound of your children complaining
* The sound of your own voice complaining
Do these things---some of which might lead you to worry or become depressed----consume your thoughts? Do you get wrapped up in them?
Do you know how God loves you? Do you understand how much you mean and matter to him? Can His love and attributes come to mind and renew your mind over all your despair and confusion? Can you let that happen?
In Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, I also ask readers to "Push aside all the jargon you might have grown up with—“christianese”—certain phrases you’ve repeated that you aren’t even sure how to explain to a nonbeliever. Read the Bible, perhaps pondering on one passage over and over so that you can fully grasp its meaning for you. Discover ways to express both God and faith in your own words."
For example, can you tell the Resurrection Story in your own words? Can you explain the meaning of Jesus' death on a cross and coming out from the tomb in a fresh way?
Start with one word. Crucified. What are others words you can use in its place? Think: What does it mean to be crucified?
Continue on with other words and phrases we use excessively at Easter-----salvation, died on a cross, rose again, died for my sins, was buried in a tomb.
This Easter spend some time finding new and fresh ways to express how excited you are to know this Jesus Christ who loves you. Read your favorite Easter passage from a new translation like The Message.
Consider how you might tell the story of Jesus' death to someone who has never heard it, or to someone who is not a native speaker of your language, or to a child.
"Discover both God and faith in your own words!"
I challenge you!
To order a copy of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, click here.
[This post can also be found at Alice's Patchwork Blog.]
Friday, March 29, 2013
Today I'm posting all of chapter thirty-seven from my devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning.
I am not saying this because I am in need,
for I have learned to be content
whatever the circumstances.
If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so much written
about how to do it. Paul doesn’t talk about the
pursuit of happiness. He’s focused on a higher accomplishment.
Being content is the ability to be satisfied with
what one has, whether it is a little or a lot. Once we have
reached the ability to be content, we have reached a high
goal. There is a peace that comes with being satisfied. It
causes one to refrain from looking over his or her shoulder
at others, desiring what they have. By no means does the
ability to be content mean that a life is trouble-free; rather,
in spite of those pesky circumstances, the heart can say,
“I am at rest.”
How do we go about obtaining this goal? I think it
comes from knowing and loving Jesus more. Those who
have gone through turmoil often have a high level of contentment.
They’ve experienced the worst fires and storms.
They’ve seen God’s provision, His grace, His mercy. These
blessings are rooted in their core. They aren’t rattled
because they look back and see what God has done in their
history. They trust He will again act. They sing, “It is well
with my soul.”
They also look for ways to be sustained along the way.
Their answers may not come immediately; but as they
wait, they know that God will give them His comfort, His
love, His presence.
Reflections to Ponder
Read Psalm 145. Take some time to write your own
response to it.
You are faithful to Your promises; You are loving
toward all You have made. You uphold all those
who fall, and lift up all who are bowed down. I
thank you, Lord, for Your faithfulness to me.
When You Walk
Commit this to memory as you walk:
The Lord sustains the humble. . . . (Ps. 147:6)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Our human frailty creeps in when we are most vulnerable.
We feel inadequate and unprepared for tomorrow.
Finances are low. Bills pile up. People have betrayed us. Decisions need to be made and we don't know how to handle the situation.
What will I do?
How am I suppposed to live?
Jesus asked why we worry. He asked us to look at the wild flowers and their beauty.
He asked us to look at the birds of the air and note how they don't worry.
"Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6, NIV)
"And you count far more to him than birds." (Matthew 6, The Message)
Can you make your life a dance unto God, showing others how much you trust him?
Bask in who he is instead of worrying about what you aren't.
He is more than enough for today.
Don't let worry wedge its way between you and God's capable hands.
Look up! You are not a plastic bag blown by the wind! You are valued! (Getting Out of Bed in the Morning)
You are in good hands.
"Oh, how he loves you and me."
Monday, March 25, 2013
Stop the negative thoughts from taking root. Hang a sign for your brain to see: Access Denied!
We remember that our God is not one who changes with our thoughts or our feelings. As fickle humans, we slide between feelings of happiness, joy, trust, sadness, and dismay. One day, usually a sunny spring day when the purple lilacs are in bloom, I might feel optimistic, carefree, and my trust in God soars. The next day, I might wake with a headache, back pain, and a heavy heart because of a friend’s recent diagnosis. In all honesty, I find myself admitting, “I don’t feel God.” But the good news is God is not a mere feeling. He isn’t any stronger because we feel Him or any weaker when we don’t.
So, in spite of our sorrow, we hope. I often think that we are creatures of hope, somehow believing as Orphan Annie did when she sang, “Tomorrow! The sun will come out, tomorrow!” We hope that each new day will be better than yesterday, that it might be the day for things to change for the better. And when we run out of that feeling of hope, we rest in the knowledge that God is forever God—His promises do not change, His faithfulness reaches beyond the stars. His truth sets us free.
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. Whatever you have learned or received
or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into
practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Excerpt from Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache by Alice J. Wisler
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
In life there is much sorrow, but there is also much hope.
The Bible speaks of faith, hope and love. (I. Cor. 13:13)
"What does the word hope mean to you? . . . Pray for those who have no hope." ~ Getting Out of Bed in the Morning
Let hope surround you today.
Breathe it in.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
I had fun creating this video for my devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning. I hope it conveys some of what my new book is about and what my desires are for it to achieve.
Please take a minute and a half to view the Broken Psalms video. No sound, just words and some photos.
Order a copy of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning today.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Perhaps it has been days, maybe months, possibly years.
We are in God's waiting room.
Waiting, of course.
Learning as we wait.
Dependence on God. Trust.
But, oh, waiting can be taxing.
We want things now.
Often, in our waiting we don't see the reason for having to wait. So we moan. Groan. Wonder.
Sometimes we doubt.
Oh, Lord, how long?
Then we listen.
We long for God's audible voice.
In the quiet, we are nudged to silence.
In the silence, we are reminded: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
Relax. Chill out. Stop fretting.
Take a few breaths.
Still to thank God for who He is.
Still to praise Him for being sheltered by His wing.
Thank Him for being a Rock, a Redeemer, a Fortress, a Father.
Be confident that He is working His purpose out.
Waiting in His waiting room is a time to bask in His love.
Believe He will call you out from waiting.
When you are ready.
Meanwhile, be still.