Friday, September 24, 2010

It Will Only Cost You a Hat

By Bethany Lashbrook

This week’s verse: Psalm 18:30 “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (NKJV)

I recently saw a commercial that caught my attention. It went something like this.

Girl picks up hat in department store. Girl looks at beautiful hat. Then girl starts to dream about this hat and how wonderful she looks in it. Then girl thinks, “Awe, perfect husband with this hat. The perfect family with this hat! Awe, perfect life with this hat.” Then, she places the hat in the cart. And the man with the deep voice says: “and only for $15.99”.

Wow! If I would have known I could have the perfect life for only the cost of a hat – I would have went to that department store years ago. I would have bought more than one too! I wonder if I could switch the perfect hats for a different type of “perfect” life? Ha!

The Bible tells us “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33 (NIV) We can’t get caught up in the perfect home for our children, the perfect life we will share with our spouses, the perfect family we will raise, or the perfect clothes we will wear. But, we can rely on the perfect God to show us our paths!

The bible also tells us "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41 (NIV) Temptations surround us day in and day out. All we have to do to be tempted is log on to the net, watch a little T.V., or listen to the radio. Lies will be told. But, we know the Truth, and we know the answer. We are armed with the word to fight these temptations.

As we go about our lives, running our children to and from soccer games, fixing our families their suppers, driving to and from work – let’s try to focus on the way, the truth, and the light. (John 14:6)

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the word, which enables us to distinguish between the truths we hear and the lies. Thank you for sending your perfect Son to die on the cross so that we may be forgiven of our sins and spend eternity with you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: Have you been listening to the lies of this world? This week, try to stay focused on God and His Word, rather than what the world has to tell us about keeping our perfect lives together.

Power Verses:

Psalm 40:11 “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your loving kindness and Your truth continually preserve me.” (NKJV)

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (NLT)

Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are” just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (NIV)

Ephesians 6:13-15 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (NIV)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lover of My Soul

By Debby Craig

This Week’s Verse: Song of Solomon 5:10 “My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!” (NIV)


*He stops whatever he’s doing & listens to every word when I say, “let’s talk”.

*He loves me even when I am being a brat.

*He is always there for me any time, any place.

*When I feel unwanted, he gently reminds me of how much I am worth to him.

*He is my provider for every one of my financial needs.

*He makes sense when I don’t.

*When I look at myself in the mirror and see “old, wrinkled, chubby and gray” he still calls me the "most beautiful one".

*He really, really loves me just like I am.

*I am so lucky he chose me.

I am talking about my husband.

A few months ago as we heard the sermon series on marriage & dating, I jotted down a few notes and couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the way I feel about my husband & the way I feel about God.

When I was lost and didn’t know the Lord, I thought I had to do it all. I thought I had to fix everything and depend on my own smallness to solve all the problems and mistakes that I had accumulated in this life. Once I found Him it is all changed. He is my soul mate.

The Lord has sent me someone to help provide for my needs. He has sent a man who isn’t scared to take care of me. And, I am not scared to accept his willingness to do so. This is God’s natural way for me to depend on my husband for the earthly things in our relationship. These include (but are not limited to) comfort, financial stability, self worth, loving kindness, gentleness, and peace.

I love feeling this way about my husband and I love knowing that I can also curl up into our Lord’s arms any time I want. Because of this, I feel blessed.

Dear Lord, thank you for being my provider, my caregiver, my healer, my comforter, my friend, and my Father. Thank you for sending me a wonderful husband who also loves to care for me and loves me just the way I am. You know my heart inside and out. Thank you for giving me just as I need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: How long has it been since you have written a love letter? Try writing one this week to either your Father in Heaven, or your earthly love.

Power Verses:

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 7:4 “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” (NIV)

Ephesians 5:25 “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” (NLT)

Friday, September 10, 2010


by Denise Reed

This Week’s Verse: Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few’. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (NIV)


I don’t know about you, but harvest season stirs something inside me. When I see that first combine out in the field I get excited. It means the farmers will finally reap what they have worked so hard to plant (maybe replant), spray, fertilize, and check up on for the past few months. There is something so satisfying about getting the crops out of the field and into storage.

It also brings cooler evenings, gorgeous leaves, and campfires with s’mores, radiant mums and football.

Seeing the first signs of harvest this year brought all these warm, cozy feelings back. However, God reminded me of HIS harvest. God’s harvest is more than just how many bushels per acre your corn and beans made. It is a matter between eternal life and eternal death.

God’s harvest is SO plentiful. Think of how many billions of people live on this earth. That’s how many plants God has in his ‘field’. God has called us to nurture each other with the Living Word and encouragement, just as fertilizer does for crops. WE are his workers. Once the harvest is done, it’s done – no second chances.

God’s harvest is not one of warm, cozy feelings, but one of urgency. Am I fertilizing God’s crops like I should so God has a bountiful harvest? Or have I failed to prevent weeds from growing up, therefore stunting the growth of the plants around me? Have I stopped gossip and negativity when I have heard it? Or did I sit back and listen to it, even without joining in?

As this week’s verse says, the workers are few. We must stand out and be bold under God’s authority. We must take responsibility of informing others about eternal life or eternal death to the plants around us.

Lord, I thank you for the beautiful harvest season I see around me. Your creation is magnificent. Help me to open my eyes and see YOUR harvest. Help me to reach out to those who need nurturing and prevent weeds to stunt my own spiritual growth and the growth of those around me. Amen

Application: As you drive along and see the farmers’ harvest this year, think about God’s harvest. Feel the urgency to go out and be the best workers you can be.

Power Verses:

John 4:35 “Do you not say, “Four months more and then the harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (NIV)

James 5:20 “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (NIV)

Acts 11:23 “When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.” (NLT)

Friday, September 3, 2010

White Noise

By Bethany Lashbrook

This Week’s Verse: Genesis 1:31 "God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!" (MSG)


Recently, my family took a trip to Florida and enjoyed seven days at the beach! I did something that I had never done before – I swam in the ocean. I have been to the ocean several times but never have I went below knee deep. Do you know what I discovered past all of those waves? It’s calm, it’s quiet and it’s nice!

Being out in the ocean – even to where I couldn’t touch – was amazing! I couldn’t hear the kids on the beach. I wasn’t thinking about possible sharks eying my meaty legs. It was just the ocean, God, and myself. It was incredible to me that more than half of the Earth is water, and yet I hadn’t experienced it like God intended it to be…precious, living water. I had been too scared to enjoy the beauty of it. But, internally looking at it gave it a whole new meaning!

I looked up white noise and the definition was so long and scientific that I was frustrated until I came upon this sentence: “white noise is a good masking agent”. John 1:10(NIV) states, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” I wonder what white noise people were listening to when Jesus arrived on Earth? Why didn’t they recognize him? What white noise had I been listening to being afraid all of those years to enter the ocean? After all, it is God’s creation.

When God created the world, imagine how quiet it was before people started changing it. Until recently, I didn’t understand simple practices such as yoga, quiet prayer or (imagine this) just silence.

Deliberately slowing our world down, ridding our lives of the white noise to absorb God’s creation so we can become one with Him.

Now, that’s a vacation.

Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful Earth. Thank you for letting us come across stunning scenery like the open sea on a sunny day, the beautiful snow-capped mountains out west, and the rainbows after the rain. Help us to remember that this world is your Creation and that we need to filter out the white noise some days to enjoy it as you have intended. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application: Is there any white noise in your life? What can you do to slow down and enjoy God’s creation?

Power Verses:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (KJV)

Psalm 23:2 "He makes me to lie down in green pastures; 
He leads me beside the still waters." (NKJV)

Isaiah 32:17 "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." (NIV)