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Priests Without Collars

“As priests, we are responsible to each other and to our culture to encourage, to challenge, to walk alongside one another on this journey with Jesus. God wants to use you to make an impact for Him each day by serving as a reconciler, as a go-between for other people and Himself.
Though Jesus bridges the gap between God and people, He commissions you to lead people to God and help them find reconciliation. When I think of this, my first reaction is to feel unworthy. The images of the deeds I’ve done and the words I’ve said make for a pretty squalid rerun. But when, at the prompting of God, I reach out and intentionally help others as a priest, I get an amazing benefit back. I feel stronger, more empowered, renewed. I live with eyes wide open.”

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The Invitation

“But what stood out most to me was the fact that when Jesus scolded Martha about her busyness, He wasn’t condemning her efficiency and hard work or her can-do personality. He wasn’t telling her she had to be just like Mary to please Him. Jesus simply didn’t want Martha to be so caught up in Kitchen Service for Him that she missed out on the joy of Living Room Intimacy with Him.

Jesus offers the same invitation to you and me today.”

Excerpted from At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver

Daily Reflection: How can you merge Mary’s work ethic and Martha’s love to accept Jesus’ invitation today?

Where He Wants You to Be

October is Depression Awareness Month

It may be comforting to know that God did not create us to live a life filled with sadness, fear, and depression. So as you have those thoughts of injustice—of wrongness—when you are feeling so depressed, you’re right. You feel angry and frustrated and irritable for a good reason. You weren’t meant to live this way—it is wrong. God’s intention and desire for you is something completely different. The question is, how do you get from where you are to where he wants you to be?

Excerpted from Turning Your Down into Up by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

Daily Reflection: Understanding the reasons behind depression directs the steps toward change. How can you make time to understand the underlying reasons for depression for yourself or someone you love?

Guilt & Self-Condemnation

Self-condemnation can be like a plant with prickly thorns. Its roots snake underground in a complex web and rise near the surface to thrust new sticker-bushes into the path of anyone who might come along. But—and here’s the good news—it also is an invitation to come to Jesus. Too often we focus on the guilt of our wrongdoing and sense that it separates us from God.

Yes, guilt should make us feel separated from God. And this spiritual estrangement should make us miserable. But God did not design us to stay separate and miserable, nor to try to fix our own guilt. I can’t repair it, and neither can you. Both of us should realize that by now.

Jesus welcomes sinners. So we can come to Jesus for his healing, his forgiveness, his freedom, and his cleansing and renewing. Instead [ … ]

He Will Not Be Denied

“Your heavenly Father will never desert you, never abuse you, never fail to forgive you, never hold back His grace, and never condition His love on your performance. He’s determined. He is in relentless pursuit of you, and He will not be denied… To be a son who is relentlessly pursued like that can turn a man around in his tracks.”

Excerpted from Man Alive by Patrick Morley

Daily Reflection: How will you live differently today, knowing God won’t leave you—no matter what?

God Wastes Nothing

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. –Psalm 34:11

I can imagine some might look at Psalm 34:11 and think, "Oh, yeah? Well, I’m the middle of affliction right now and I haven’t been delivered." Understandable reaction, especially when we’re hurting whether physically or emotionally. But you know what? Deliverance is coming. We don’t know how, we don’t know when–it might happen on earth, it might happen when we are welcomed into Heaven. But God keeps His promises, so you can rest assured…you WILL be delivered. In the meantime, lean into His strength. Use the current hardship as an opportunity to grow in patience or perseverance or grace. God wastes nothing–not even our hardships. And He WILL bring you through.

Original Devotional by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Author of What Once Was [ … ]

Shaping Parents

I used to think raising children was more or less a task of shaping and guiding a future generation. I still do. But I also think God uses children to shape parents. And the trials that come into our family circle aren’t necessarily to make us “better.” They are to “empty us out” so that God can fill us up with more of Himself.

Excerpted from Espresso for Your Spirit by Pam Vredevelt

Daily Reflection: Do you feel that your children have helped shape you to be closer to God?


Instead, remember two truths: our perspective is limited, but our God is unlimited. We can only see part of the picture—one frame of the movie—at a time, but God sees it all. And although our resources may be limited, our faith stretched, and our fears multiplied, our Father can provide for all our needs, and he delights in loving us more than we can know. He is the ultimate chief of the construction crew of our lives, and he builds and shapes, tears down whatever is unneeded or in the way, and constructs a masterpiece, a work of significance, out of our lives. Under his direction, we can have the confidence to grow into all that we were meant to be.

Excerpted from 99 Bible Promises for Tough Times by Randy Petersen

Daily Reflection: How can you trust [ … ]

Inner Health

Maybe you have a favorite old mug. Into it you pour your morning coffee, your afternoon tea, or your bedtime cocoa. It might be stained, dulled by many washings, chipped, or cracked—but it still warms your hand as you enjoy its contents day by day.

That mug is like you. Outwardly we show the chips and cracks of everyday wear and tear, but inwardly we are renewed daily with the outpouring of the Spirit. Just before this promise of renewal, the apostle Paul described us as “jars of clay” (see verse 7), perhaps thinking about Adam being fashioned from the dust of the earth. We are indeed earthen vessels, but don’t focus on the fading exterior. Feel the warmth of what God is pouring into you.

Excerpted from 99 Bible Promises for Tough Times by Randy Petersen

Daily [ … ]

The Steadfast

October is Depression Awareness Month

God is the ultimate recycler—nothing goes to waste. He is able to use every experience, even your depression, to help you to grow. Chuck Swindoll, in his book Hope Again, puts it this way: “This variety of trials is like different temperature settings on God’s furnace. The settings are adjusted to burn off our dross, to temper us or soften us according to what meets our highest need. It is in God’s refining fire that the authenticity of our faith is revealed. And the purpose of these fiery ordeals is that we may come forth as purified gold, a shining likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.” Even amidst the fiery trial of depression, God is able to bless you and help you to grow. You must decide to meet him in this challenge for [ … ]