Devotional: How to Get Back on Track Away From Sin

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When I go to work, I do what I’m supposed to do. Sometimes, I do more. Even then, I do it because if seems to be the right thing to do. When I’m at home, though, it’s a different story. I find myself spending hours playing on my iPad. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think playing a few games is wrong but when it takes up all my time, and I don’t get anything else done, it’s wrong.

I should be spending that time writing. I love writing. Why wouldn’t I spend the time creating stories and honing my craft? It’s like the devil knows God wants me to write so he distracts me. Unfortunately, I’ve been giving into those distractions.

In 1 Samuel, David was a great war hero. He killed Goliath. The first King of Israel, Saul, tried to kill him but David wouldn’t take revenge. He was a man the people trusted. They knew he would save them from the threats of the countries on Israel’s borders. Yet, he was a murderer and an adulterer.

In 1 Samuel 13:14, Samuel was speaking to King Saul and said, “but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”

So how is it that we still say King David was a man after God’s heart? Several reasons actually. We know from his writings found in the book of Psalms, that David was humble and revered God. He loved God above all else. When David became aware of the wrongs he’d done, he asked God for forgiveness and accepted the consequences of his actions.

When I confront my own actions or inaction, in this case, I recognize that I am doing wrong. I’m not doing what God has called me to do and that is a sin. To help me with this I will do the following things:

1. Pray, read my Bible, socialize with other Christians.
2. Purge my iPad of all but one or two of the games. Put a cap on how often or how much time I will spend playing.
3. Refocus on the reasons I believe God wants me to write. Let my mind explore the stories rolling around in my mind.

Lord, forgive me for neglecting what you have directed me to do. Help me to focus on your calling, once again. Thank you.

 

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Devotional: Praising God Every D​ay

“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 HCSB)

I don’t know if I said this or not, but I sing in the choir and on the praise team Sunday mornings. One song from this past Sunday keeps running through my head. That is: “Today is the Day” by Lincoln Brewster. So, I thought I would share it with you to see if it gets stuck in your head. There are worse things.

Every day, every living thing, everything he lets us have is reason to praise him. Hope you enjoyed this video.

Lord, we have had some struggles lately. Help us to see the good in everything and remember that you have made it all.

Devotional: 9 Ways to Help Natural Disaster Victims

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

imageLet me first say that I’m not an expert on overcoming things out of our control but in light of the natural disaster that happened here in Louisiana, I thought I would share a few thoughts.

It can feel devastating to some who have lost mementos of memories; pictures of great-great grandparents or baby clothes held onto for grandchildren. It can be hard to move past the effects, but it can be done over time.

There is one thing that may help to remember and that is: “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9c HCSB) In the past, there have been floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and many other natural disasters. This means you are not alone. Someone has been in a similar situation. There are people around you who have a good idea of what you’re going through.

If you know someone who has been through a natural disaster and you want to help but don’t know how, here is a list to consider:

  1. Pray for them.
  2. Pray asking God what He wants you to do.
  3. Go through your closets; yours, your spouse’s, your children’s.
  4. imageIf you have the time and/or ability help clean up, move out, and/or build.
  5. Prepare meals to give away if that’s what you’re good at.
  6. Some churches and organizations put meals together either to be picked up or delivered. You can spend time helping with that.
  7. Care packages could be put together. You could do that on your own or with a group, organization, or church.
  8. Some churches and organizations collected school supplies, cleaning supplies, and bottled water. If you have the means, buy extra of these items to give away.
  9. If your time can’t be given to any of these endeavors, give a donation if you can.

As you can see there are quite a few things that can be done to help. These are only a few of the things that were done here in Louisiana. I have to admit that I’m proud of what I saw my community do. I heard several stories that went beyond the list above.

My favorite story comes from a friend of mine. She and her husband are barbers. Many of their clients are in the military. When the flood waters rose, the military was called as first responders. One of my friend’s customers was videoed rescuing a man by helicopter at the same time his own home was being flooded. He was not able to go check on it until he could be relieved from duty.

When the flood waters receded, my church sent out crews to help clean up homes. My friend put her customer’s name on the list but there were so many homes that it would be a while.
By the end of the week, my friend and her husband were going to help after work, but before the day was over his home was taken care of. Now for my favorite part: when a local bank found out that while he was rescuing others as  his own home flooded, they decided to go clean up his home for him. They did such a thorough job, too. They sanitized the baby’s high chair, cleaned and packed all the dishes, and washed and packed all the clothes.

There is something wonderful in the act of helping and receiving. Everyone benefits.

Lord, I understand that bad things happen beyond my control, but it’s sometimes just the way of things. I believe with all my heart that You don’t want these things to happen, but when they do You will protect me and not let more than I can handle happen.