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Devotions

in Devotions, Faith

Go Fish!

I have never gone fishing. Not only because I’ve never had the opportunity, but because I think I’d be horrible at it. I’m told the key to being a good fisherman is to have patience (I got this mainly from one of Papa Pope’s well-executed rants, so correct me if you’re a skilled fisherman and I’m wrong lol), and as I’ve said before, I have the patience of a 4-year old. Can’t wait, don’t want to, won’t do it. And then there’s the process of cleaning the fish after you’ve caught it. Growing up as the youngest daughter in a Ghanaian household, you know I had to learn how to clean fish – and boy did I hate it. Getting off all the scales and pulling out all the disgusting innards and blood and guck everywhere – ick. It was such a painstaking, time-consuming, and gut-wrenching process. Needless to say, I like my…

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in Devotions, Faith

Heart Check!

But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. (Matthew 15: 18 & 19) The story of Jonah is one of those Bible stories that will be embedded in my brain for all of eternity. It’s one of those stories you’re told over and over again in Sunday School – and I low-key think it’s used to scare children into obedience: obey God or you’ll get swallowed by a big fish! I know I was definitely on my guard after hearing it lol.  It’s an important lesson though: how running away from God will, essentially, get you nowhere. But that’s not the part of the story I want to talk about today.  No, today, I want to talk about what happened after Jonah got OUT of the big…

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in Devotions, Faith

Acting on Faith

I was talking to a friend this past weekend about how I’ve always had difficulty balancing waiting with moving.  That is, do I ‘Be still and know that He is God’, or do I start commanding mountains to move in the faith that they budge?  “But what if I move and it’s not God’s time? Or what if it’s not God’s will?” I ask. “Or what if I just move and nothing happens?”  So 9 times out of 10 I find myself with one foot through the door and the other still stuck inside not sure what to do.  And yet, as I searched the Bible, I couldn’t find one instance where faith was unaccompanied by action. In fact Hebrews 11 alone outlines 14 times where faith was expressed through action.  When Moses reached the Red Sea, not knowing how or when God would deliver them, kept staff raised in faith that…

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in Devotions

Getting To Know God

Over the past couple weeks I’ve had the opportunity to ‘debate’ my faith, and one of the questions that kept coming up was, why would I want to serve/believe in a God who demands your obedience? There are good people in this world, but your God says if they don’t believe in Jesus, they’re going to burn in Hell. What kind of God would do that? Let good people be punished because they don’t choose HIS path? What then is the point of free will? And honestly I didn’t know the answer when these questions were posed to me. I myself had questioned these things at times. But that’s what I love most about discussing my faith- it pushes me to seek answers to what I don’t know, and allows God to reveal a new layer of who He is to me. It gives me the opportunity to find clarity…

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in Devotions, Faith

Taking the Promised Land

I’m going to ask that, for a second, you imagine yourself in Joshua’s shoes. Moses has just passed, and you’re now proud leader of an estimated 2 million loud-spoken and stubborn Hebrews. Your objective? To [finally] get these people into the land God has promised them – a land that you’ve spent 40 years waiting for. You’ve seen the land and how good it is, so you know God’s word about it and promise to be true – now all you have to do is actually get there. Easy right? Errrr…Not so much. And you’ll soon see why. SO! God gives you your first set of instructions to get to the promised land: “Cross the Jordan!” He says. No biggie. You’ve crossed seas with these people – this is only a river. You’re good. You got this. Or rather, God got this. “Circumcise yourselves!” He commands. OK, this might be a little…

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in Devotions

“Come, see for yourself!”

I have always found immense comfort and understanding in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. While Jesus himself may honestly sometimes be hard for my human mind to relate to (being the son of God and God himself and all), the disciples I REALLY get. I get their fears. I get their doubt. I get their hesitations, their enthusiasm and their over-zealousness. They were doing back then what we are essentially trying to do today – follow Jesus! And so in looking at what Jesus taught them, what he asked them to do, what they did (or didn’t do), and what they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to do, we find a simple understanding of the very basics of what it means to be a follower of Christ. Last night I found myself in John 1 – as I always find myself in the gospels when I’m trying to get…

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in Devotions, Faith

Being Patient With the Promise

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness     while I am here in the land of the living.  Wait patiently for the Lord.     Be brave and courageous.     Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. – Psalm 27:13, 14  Have you ever asked for something from God, but given up somewhere along the way? Or He’s promised you something, but it’s NOOOOOWHERE in sight? Like not even a glimpse of it?  It’s like those faith-deadlines –  when you tell God, I need this by then, or I’m trusting you for that promise by that time, and so you start praying and investing and seeking God’s direction towards it? Or God tells us, ‘I’m going to do this’, and we’re just waiting expectantly? Whether it’s a successful project, or a degree, or a baby, or a job, or…

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in Devotions

But Even If He Doesn’t

Growing up, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was my absolute favorite. There was something spectacular about knowing there was a God who could deliver me from fire… aaaand Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were the coolest Bible names ever lol. I’ve been meditating on the story and I’ve known there was a message in there I wanted to share, but it was one I was in a battle with myself, so I shoved to the back of my mind. Yesterday, I was reminded of it, and I just have to share. Some background for those who don’t know the story: Around 605BC, Babylon under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, laid siege to Jerusalem, destroyed it, and took many Israelites captive- among them the youth of royalty, including Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (these were their names before they were taken captive). The Bible says: The king told Ashpenaz, head…

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