Monday, June 21, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Promises and His Perfect Timing


It’s On the Way
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” 
–Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

It was New Year's Day. I just received the news that my friend had given birth just a little earlier than her due date. The baby was healthy and my friend was doing well. She was relieved that the delivery was over. My friend and I went through the ups and downs of our pregnancies together.

We both experienced morning sickness and all of the special conditions that pregnancy had to offer. We encouraged each other through the process and we both wondered if we would make it to 40 weeks. Well, her waiting period had come to an end. As for me, I was still pregnant and I felt like my waiting period had no end. Secretly, I wished that I was the one who had given birth on New Year's Day. I wanted this pregnancy to be finished and I especially wanted the delivery to be over so that I could hold my baby and then continue with the next phase of raising a newborn.

The doctor strongly suggested that I induce the baby. I really did not want to choose that option, but I was running out of time. I was 39 weeks pregnant, my due date was steadily approaching, and there were no signs indicating that I was close to delivery. This would be my second child and I was getting uneasy about the inaction. I had frequent check-ups and stress tests to make sure that the baby was alright. All of the tests results were fine, but why wasn't anything happening? At this point in the game, the baby was supposed to drop, I was supposed to be dilated, and there was a slew of other symptoms that I was anticipating. None of these things had taken place. I felt like I was in limbo. The uncertainty was excruciating!

I scheduled the induction for a very early Wednesday morning. The day before, a good friend who is also a midwife came to visit me at my home. She told me about a few natural formulas and strategies that would hopefully prepare me for the next morning when I would be induced. I still was not dilated and there were no changes from the previous week. I followed her instructions at the beginning of the day on Tuesday, and I continued the natural procedures all day into the evening. Still no change.

As I was making plans for the next morning, my friend suggested I soak in the bathtub to relax since it had been a long day. I soaked only for a few minutes when all of a sudden I felt movement in my abdomen. I got out of the tub, my friend took one look at me and then informed me that we would not make it to the hospital. The baby was coming now! Much to our surprise, my baby was born in my bathroom that Tuesday evening. Thank God my friend who is a midwife was there to help me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for delivering a healthy baby boy safely into my hands!

And just like that, God's promises to you will be born. It may seem like nothing is happening and everything is at rest; but God is moving and He is working on the inside. Your talents, gifts, skills, and abilities may be laying dormant, but they are waiting to be set loose so that you may reach the potential that God created in you. It's like pregnancy. There is something growing and developing inside of you and at the appointed time, everything He promised will come forth and you will give birth to God's purpose for your life. In the meantime, you have to pay attention to the opportunities God brings to you and pursue His will for your life at all costs. 

It will be worth it in the end.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, we want You to fulfill Your promises in our lives. Help us to discover Your will and to follow Your purpose so that we can reap the blessings that You have in store for us. We love you and we thank you. In Jesus's Name I pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a Christian home in New Jersey. Angela dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 12. 


As a child in elementary school, she developed a penchant for writing book reports and entering writing contests. By high school, she was taking advanced placement courses in English and Speech & Creative Writing. Angela’s love for journaling also had its beginnings in high school and it evolved into prayers journals and detailed notes for prospective book ideas. As a result, Angela is the author of a published 40-day devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God. She also wrote a children’s book that is not yet published.

Although Angela wanted to somehow incorporate writing in her life, she is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional. Angela graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a double bachelor’s degree in Labor/Employment Relations & Sociology. She also has an MBA from Strayer University.

Angela founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization called Head to the Sky, Inc. It was formed in order to assist those in prison with their transition into society and to reduce the rate of recidivism in the community. During this venture, Angela received a certification in grant writing from The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. Angela was very passionate about teaching, training, and sharing the love of Christ in this ministry; but she had to refocus her passion when she and her husband decided to start their family.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 16 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 8) and Ryan (age 3). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

~*~
Connect with Angela:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/angela.thomasanderson
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:
https://www.facebook.com/jwitikg/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelanderson1104/

Friday, June 18, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: A Lesson On Childlike Wonder and Heaven


Releasing Your Inner Child
A devotional by Jessica Collazo

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 
– Mark 10:14(b)-15 (ESV)

My family and I recently visited Disney World.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of excitement leading up to the trip. As we spent the day at one of the parks, we entered an area dedicated to Star Wars. There was an experience that you actually had to register ahead of time to participate in, and well, my very determined husband was able to ensure that we secured a spot.

As we walked through the experience, my husband’s face lit up. There was an excitement and wonder on his face that cannot be described any other way than childlike. It was as if the little boy in him surfaced as he explored the exhibit. I took picture after picture of his reactions because there was a refreshing ease about him at that moment.

Without realizing it, the next day was my turn to have a similar experience. As we entered Magic Kingdom, and saw the Cinderella Castle, it was as if the little girl in me jumped out in excitement. There was a pure moment of joy that was unadulterated.

I reflected on those moments at the parks and felt that the Lord was reminding me to embrace that childlike excitement, but to focus it on Him. To allow myself to approach His throne with awe and wonder once again. Those moments at Disney were a small glimpse of reality for me. I was able to see that it is possible to allow my inner child to surface and experience God’s goodness in a pure simple way.

Life has a way of making us forget about the simple things that bring a smile to our faces. As kids, we are in a hurry to grow up, because we think that there is freedom that comes with adulthood. However, as adults, we tend to get bogged down with the troubles that this world brings us and we quickly lose the awe and wonder that we had as children.

If life has you a little uneasy these days or maybe even feeling a little hopeless, I urge you to pause and try to think about the last thing that took your breath away or brought you pure excitement. Think about something that made you remember God and His faithfulness.

Let’s Pray: Father God, thank you for the reminders all around us that you are a good Father. Lord, allow us to see things with childlike eyes, to look at you and your creation with awe and wonder, and to allow the child in us to believe in you when the troubles of this world try to distract us and keep us from you. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Collazo is a Chicago native with a heart that beats for Jesus.


Her passion is to challenge women to think differently, gain a new perspective and live confidently. Because she knows, it’s possible. 

Using God’s Word, a little bit of humor, strategic way of thinking and personal stories, Jessica offers a fresh take on where to go when women feel stuck, overlooked or overwhelmed.

Jessica’s greatest passion is to help women take off the identities they have been given by the world and realize who they are in Christ: known, dearly loved, set apart, and chosen.

Jessica is the senior manager of operations at Proverbs 31 Ministries who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Jerry, two sons and dog, Sawyer. Prior to working at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Jessica has over 10 years of experience working in women’s ministry, marriage ministry and outreach.

~*~
Connect with Jessica:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_jessicacollazo/
Website: https://jessicacollazo.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: A day with Jesus can change your life forever


Where Do We Go From Here?
A devotional by Malinda Fugate

Key Scripture:
Luke 5:1-11, John 21:1-14, Ephesians 2:10

An ordinary day at the office can be the day that your life is changed.

When Peter, Andrew, James, and John began their usual night of fishing, they didn’t know that morning would bring an encounter with Jesus, a miraculous bursting-the-nets catch of fish, and walking away from their jobs to follow Christ. They didn’t anticipate the wild journey of the next three years as they witnessed healings, began to understand the kingdom of God, and learned how to be “fishers of people.” Nothing about them would ever be the same.

Suddenly, their world was turned upside down again. Their Teacher was brutally killed on a cross. Then, days later, He walked alive among them after defeating death. Life as they knew it was completely transformed. The challenge was that Jesus was not with them in the same way He had been the past three years. The rhythm of traveling, teaching, and healing had been disrupted. They were frightened of the officials angry enough to cause them harm. What were the disciples supposed to do now?

One particular night, they decided to return to what they knew: fishing. Unfortunately, even that was a discouragement as the sun rose over their empty nets. They saw someone on the shore and heard a voice cry out to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. With nothing to lose, those nets splashed into the sea. In a moment, they were filled with fish! This had happened before and they were immediately struck with recognition and familiarity. They shouted, “It is the Lord!”

Peter jumped into the water, eager to reach their beloved Teacher, even if it meant swimming. Soon, they were all reunited on the beach, enjoying the breakfast their Lord provided.

The repeat fishing miracle must have reminded the disciples of that morning on the Sea of Galilee when they took their first steps alongside Jesus. Here they were again—same body of water, same amazing catch, same Savior. Did they remember those words from years ago, “From now on, you will fish for people”? Did this clarify their direction, guiding them into their next steps of spreading the gospel? One thing was sure: They were never intended to return to their previous life of boats, nets, and fish guts.

Jesus Christ had changed the disciples from their initial encounter. And when we are changed by Christ, there’s no going back to who we were before. The disciples had a God-given purpose, and so do we. When we met Jesus the first time, He transformed our lives for good. We entered a journey alongside Him with many of life’s ups and downs. With every mountain and valley, we grew. Our faith was strengthened and everything about us matured, all with a purpose for our good and to bring Him glory.

The past year has been full of mountains and valleys, one after the other. We are tired, bewildered, and uncertain about the future. We might understand how the disciples felt post-resurrection – tired, bewildered, uncertain – but full of hope in Christ. They couldn’t go back to who they were and neither can we.

Through this year, God has refined us in the fire of difficulties, preparing us for where He will take us next. In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). There’s no going back to old ways or even standing still in a life following Jesus. So what does going forward look like for each of us?

That answer may look different in our individual circumstances, but there is something we have in common with the disciples. We are intended to spread the gospel and bring glory to the Lord. We aren’t meant to quietly keep the good news to ourselves.

God has brought you to this point with purpose. Where are you planted? Who do you encounter daily, or who are you connected to that needs more of the love of God in their life? What skills and experiences have you gained this year? Give them to the Lord and seek what He has prepared for you.

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 (ESV), “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Remember where you’ve gone with the Lord and take the next steps with Him. This is a new beginning. The adventure continues!

~*~
Author Bio:

Malinda Fugate writes from the heart.  


Though she serves full time as the Children’s Education Director at a church in Southern California, she is also a crafter of words published in books.

Her writing includes children's faith resources, commercial copywriting, and various faith-based stage and screenplays.

Malinda invites you to explore the various 3:16s in the Bible with her new book, The Other Three Sixteens (published by Ambassador International in May 2020).

She also invites you to read her previously published books: Bible Time for Active Kids, which is an activities-based devotional that is available for purchase on Amazon.com, and The Pen and the Sword: Connecting With the Word of God, which is an interactive creative writing journal.

Malinda earned a communications degree with a theatre emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, and then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA.

When she's not writing or working at church, Malinda might be creating art, reading, or exploring the many adventures to be found in the Los Angeles area.

She lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi.

Visit Malinda online via https://www.malindafugate.com.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Romantic Reads: Delayed Justice


The Story Behind Delayed Justice by Cara Putman:

If you've followed along with my writing for any length of time, you know I love writing. It's also one of the hardest things I do. Writing is hard work plain and simple. To give readers an emotional experience I have to dig deep. I need to cry. I'll want to chortle. For any emotion to resonate, I have to be willing to go there.

For some books that's relatively easy. I'm writing a book set in WWII on the home front. There's rationing. There's boys going to war. But there's also dances. And games. And the importance of family.

Then there are the books that require deep things from me. Delayed Justice was one of those books. Jaime Nichols was a character who was shy to make her story known. In Beyond Justice, she said a few snarky lines and gratefully slid into the shadows. In Imperfect Justice, she hinted at darker secrets, but kept her difference. But in Delayed Justice her story erupted. It oozed with pain and angst...and to get her to a point of healing and hope, I had to walk through the pain, too.

That meant I had to research the lingering effects of childhood abuse on adults. I had to explore the trauma's impacts in emotional and physical ways. I had to talk with survivors and read their stories, so I could honor their experience in the telling of Jaime's. I also wanted to write the story in a way that conveys hope without triggering those who may have experienced the painful realities.

To do that I balanced Jaime's journey with her stand-offish cat Simba and a lovable Golden Retriever named Aslan. The two of them provided comic relief and a mirror for the growing friendship between Jaime and Chandler Bolton. The animals also reflect the shifting nature of Jaime's spiritual journey. I also surrounded Jaime with friends, and made sure she couldn't escape one. It was impossible for her to continue to hide behind a mask when Caroline is around. We all need friends like that, don't we?

The other element that made Delayed Justice a challenge to write is that Jaime doesn't know God as her personal Father. She's heard about Him from her friends, but He's not good and He's not safe. If He were, He would have protected her. As I was writing Delayed Justice I was wrestling with those questions in a very personal way. I'll be writing more about that in the coming weeks, what God's been showing me and what I'm trying to learn.

God actually used the writing of this story to allow me to wrestle with some of these hard questions. Where is God when things don't go well? When we obey and follow Him and He drops us off the cliff? Where is He when we're hurt or abused? How do we reconcile that reality of living in a fallen world with the truth that He is good?

These are hard questions. They don't have easy answers.

And Jaime wrestles with them, just as I wrestle with them. Maybe you do, too.

Isn't that what a faith journey is about?

Some days we are running down the path God has in front of us. The path is clear. The light shines brightly and I can see Him. I can see His smile. I can feel the warmth of His love.

Then there are other days, weeks, and months, where the path is shrouded in fog and darkness. In those days my journal is filled with questions. God, where are You? What did I do? What am I supposed to learn? Help me follow You when I can't find You or see You. These are the days that faith is hard. Some days I have wrestled to continue believing what I know is true, when my heart is broken and hurting.

But I'm finding after the deconstruction comes reconstruction. It's hard work, but God meets me in it. Jaime gets to discover some of that truth too.

~*~
Book Blurb for Delayed Justice:

Jaime long ago gave up the desire to be loved. Now she only needs to be heard.  


Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

~*~
Author Bio:

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history.


There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently writing book 35 and dreaming up future books, not hard when she sees what-ifs everywhere.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW and gives back to the writing community through her service on Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, full-time lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women's ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is.

She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com.

~*~
Buy Cara’s book:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ CBD ~ Target ~ Walmart ~ Cara’s website

~*~
Connect with Cara:

Website: http://caraputman.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cara_putman
Facebook: http://facebook.com/cara.putman
Instagram: http://instagram.com/caracputman
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cara-putman
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/939004.Cara_C_Putman

Monday, June 14, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Way


My Way or The “Most High” Way?
A devotional by Cyndi Staudt

“This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing Him and what he does.”— Romans 4:16 (MSG)

I keep a journal where I write down what I study in the Bible, how God speaks to me, prayer requests and sometimes even my prayers themselves. Sometimes I like to go back to my journal and read the things I've written, specifically the prayers I've prayed to see if and how God has answered.

Do you ever read back through your journal and see a pattern of you asking God for things for yourself and others? Do you see yourself asking God to bless your plans and ideas? I would be lying if I said I didn't. How often do we ask God what His plans are for us? If I were to read back over the last couple months of entries, I might be disappointed in myself to see how few times I asked God what He had planned for me or what Kingdom work He had going on that He wanted me to be a part of.

While God wants us to be productive, He is far more concerned with whether we are walking in our purpose. He places passions and desires in us, but their main purpose is to be used to further His kingdom and bring Him glory. God created us for a purpose, and we will be happiest and feel most fulfilled when we are pursuing that purpose. Our job is to get on board with what God wants us to be doing and how He wants us to be doing it. Our best efforts are useless if they are not aligned with the will of the Father. And God (our Father) tells us this, more than once, in His Word.

Have you heard the saying, “It’s my way or the highway” yet? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:12 (NLT) as well as in Proverbs 16:25 (NLT), “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” All of a sudden “my way” doesn’t sound so appealing, does it? 

I have known God to repeat a recurring theme or topic to emphasize its importance. I have even seen in the Gospels where exact words are repeated as different writers recounted the same story. But I don’t recall many times where the exact same words are repeated in two different places within God’s Word (The Holy Bible), were completely unrelated to each other. Seeing these two verses that read exactly the same makes it pretty clear God doesn’t want us to miss this. I’m also pretty sure He knew we’d need to hear those words more than once.

One of the many things I love about God is that He doesn’t place expectations on us without giving us the means to fulfill them and usually examples of how to carry them out. This topic is no different. Romans 4:2-3 (MSG) states, “If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”

We see here that “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him” instead of asking God to enter into what Abraham was doing. How many times have I tried to write a “Cyndi story” with God’s stamp of approval on it? Far too many times, I can assure you. And I love that we see here that “God was doing something for Abraham”. When we align our plans with God, He will not only work with us but also for us. That’s when we tap into the full power of the living God.

This verse also tells us Abraham "trusted God to be right" and set him straight "instead of trying to be right on his own". Does that feel like a Holy Spirit punch to anyone else? 

So often I think I know what’s best for me and my life only to find out over and over again that God’s ways are not only higher than mine, but far better (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Often, I think I am working so hard to accomplish something for God and yet it feels like I’m swimming against the current. Usually, I discover I am trying to bring God on board with my plans, plans I wasn’t called by God to carry out. Instead, I should be trying to do something with God and then He will do something for and with me.

Romans 4:16 (MSG) above makes it clear that if we want to experience fulfillment of God’s promises then we have to trust Him entirely and then embrace Him and what He does. We have to decide, daily, that even when things seem hopeless, we are going to live on the basis of what we know to be true about God, rather than what we see or feel in the natural. This is the “Most High way” and it’s so much better than our own way! 

Let’s Pray: Gracious God, we know Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts and Your ways are higher than our ways. Yet we still often try to take control of our lives usually leaving a mess in our wake. You are always faithfully waiting to pick up our pieces and lead us back into Your will and Your ways. Help us to more consistently seek You first and to always be on the lookout for the Kingdom work going around us that You prepared in advance for us to be a part of. It's our heart’s desire to walk confidently in the path and purpose You created us for. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Cyndi Staudt is a Jesus-loving, adrenaline junkie who is devoted to living her life for Jesus Christ until the day she is living with Him. 


With a passion for cultivating a craving for God’s Word, her devotions and Bible studies are saturated with faith and hope to stir your soul to connect with God in deeper, more intimate ways.

Through her writing she hopes to ignite your desire to read God’s Word, invite your heart to experience God’s love, and inspire you to live your live life “souled out” to the One whose love has no limits.

~*~
Connect with Cyndi:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/souledoutcyndi/

Friday, June 11, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Don't Quit!


Get back up, again!
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” –Proverbs 24:15-16 (ESV)

I have learned that failing and falling are essential to excellence. When I learned to ride a bicycle, I fell. Several times. When I learned to skate, I fell, several times. When I became more confident and began learning tricks on the bicycle and my skates, I fell again, often. But, I fell with a bit more grace and with determination, then I got back up and tried again.

In karate classes, one of the first and most important lessons is how to fall, how to roll and how to quickly recover. When learning to play scales on my flute and cello, I did not get it right. As I practiced, over and over, my hand placement and breathing became synchronized with the notes on the sheet music. Pretty soon, instead of noise, I was making music.

The text above is one of 30 wisdom sayings found in the middle of the book of Proverbs. The first of them is in Proverbs 22:17. They are what I call a compendium for character development. They were written in Hebrew, but they seem to reflect a similar collection of wisdom sayings from Egyptian literature, attributed to the philosopher Amenemope. This may suggest that character and faith development is similar in every culture.

The development of a person’s character demands repetition in failure. The repetition creates confidence. Confidence leads to mastery. In the process of falling, failing and recovering, grit and determination become a part of our personality. The fundamentals of success become automatic.

In contrast, when a person does not fall, fail and learn how to recover and try again, there is less confidence. Fear, unwillingness to persevere, closed mindedness, shortsighted pessimism and lack of adventure are traits that accompany those who will not risk falling or failure. These are those who are overwhelmed when they meet crisis and calamity.

By the time I was five years old, I was riding my bicycle without training wheels. Since then, I have almost always owned a bicycle. Last year, while following my son who was also riding his bicycle, I fell, again. We were about two miles from home. As life had taught me, I got up, mounted the bike again and rode home.

The gospel singer, Donnie McClurkin, popularized this concept with his song “We Fall Down.” He said, “We fall down, but we get up. For a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up.” Falling is not failure and failure is not fatal. Failure in deeds are lessons learned. Failing to try is failure indeed.

As you rise and meet today, do so with the confidence learned from the times in your past when you fell or failed. You are still here. You know what did not work. Get back up, again. Do it, again! Instead of being bitter, get better!

Let’s Pray: Dear God, thank you for today. Please unfold Your desire for me. Put within me the grit, discernment and desire to grasp what you have placed out there. Help me to use Your mercy and gifts to be all that I can be and to help others. Make me a blessing in the path of someone else. If I should stumble and fall, if I should fail in some endeavor, please make me rise. Make it so that when I rise, that I learn, that I grow and that I thrive. Be with others who like me have fallen or failed. Put within them the buoyancy and resilience to get back up again. As they do, let them see success and be successful, for your glory and according to your will, I pray. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps. 


Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address, psanderson75@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Obedience


Worship in Obedience
A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14:15-17 (NIV)

As parents, when we give instructions to our children, obedience is the expected response. But how often do we hear “Why” in reply? Children do not always find rules easy to follow and we, as adults, can find them hard at times as well.

Psalm 119:33-34 (TPT) says, “Give me revelation about the meaning of your ways so I can enjoy the reward of following them fully. Give me an understanding heart so that I can passionately know and obey your truth.” This verse encourages us to enjoy following God’s ways and to walk in obedience to His truth.

In the Bible book of Daniel, we find a perfect example of how obedience and worship go hand in hand. Daniel was a Jewish prophet in the Old Testament who was gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. He was living in exile in Babylon but was well-liked by the king due to his gift. The Babylonians did not worship God and at the urging of some of his trusted officials, the king outlawed worshiping any god other than the idols of their culture. Anyone caught doing such would be put to death in the lion’s den.

In direct disobedience to the king’s decree, but in obedience to God, Daniel knelt and worshipped the Lord three times a day. He knew the ultimate consequence could be death but his love for the Lord ruled his life. He did not veer from his principles. Due to those actions, Daniel was condemned to death by the king.

We can learn four life lessons from Daniel’s obedience:

Lesson #1: Daniel was in the habit of prayer. Daniel 6:10 (NIV) says, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daily prayer was a pattern in Daniel’s life and not just in times of crisis. God knew the sound of his voice.

Lesson #2:
Daniel trusted in the sovereignty of God. He bent down on his knees to pray—reminding himself of the authority of God as he bowed before him.

Lesson #3: Daniel gave himself entirely to God. He knew he did not have the strength on his own to walk this path, so he prayed for God to give him strength.

Lesson #4: Daniel asked for God’s intervention. He may have asked for the edict to be overturned or possibly for God to be glorified in his death. God did not deliver help in the way Daniel expected but rather He sealed the mouths of the lions and Daniel was spared.

In Colossians 3:17 (NIV) we read, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When this is how we live our lives, we give honor to the Lord, and we acknowledge that He alone is worthy of our worship and praise.

The One who calls us to obedience gives us everything we need to obey Him (2 Peter 1:3).

Theoretically, we know this to be true but do the Lord’s commands bring you joy? Do you accept that they are for your good? If we are honest with ourselves, we often balk at following His commands despite having all we need to live a life of obedience. Obedience begets worship. It is the outward result of a heart that is unimpressed and uninterested in anything but God.

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, despite what you were facing at Calvary, you humbled yourself and became obedient to the Father’s will. We do not face death each day, but we ask that you bestow on us that same spirit of humbleness and obedience so that you are glorified in our actions and in our words. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

*Note from Alexis: Kay’s devotional today reminds me of the song “Pray On” by Babbie Mason. Listen to it here

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Author Bio:

Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty. 


Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. 

She is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego, California. 

Kay enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

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Connect with Kay:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kay.m.pflueger
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