365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

Fun to Think About

01/20/2023

Have you ever needed an architect; someone to help you design your home, office, or some other building? In Hebrews 11:10, we’re told that Abraham needed an architect, and guess who he sought? He “

was looking for the city which has foundations, whose ARCHITECT and builder is God.  

Isn’t that fun to think about?!  Abraham. Looking. For a city built by God. It is amazing! And, do you recall what Jesus told the disciples in John 14:2? “I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus is preparing a place for us! We can learn from Abraham. What can we learn? To not set our hope on what we can build on earth; be it a house, career, or whatever. That’s not where we’ll find our true life and joy. Those things are temporal. Jesus tells us not to store up treasures on earth, but rather to store up treasure in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21) How do we do that? We set our minds on the things above. (Colossians 3:2) We love God first and foremost above all. (Exodus 20:3) If we realize we’ve been focused on building a life for ourselves on earth rather than building up the kingdom of God, it’s not too late to make the switch to a heavenly focus.

Jesus, we praise You, our Lord and Architect of our salvation. Fill us with a renewed awe that You are preparing a place for us. Help us focus more on You. Teach us ways we can set our minds on you. 

Prayers of My Heart character trait to journal and praise God: Architect.

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Am I Good Enough

01/19/2023

Have you ever wanted to approach someone to visit or discuss an issue, or maybe just to be near them, but felt the person was unapproachable?  Maybe you felt you weren’t good enough. Isn’t it incredible that our approaching God has nothing to do with our goodness? As a matter of fact, we’re not good enough to approach Holy God. So how can we get to Him? Psalm 65:4 NKJV explains. “

Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts.

Our Heavenly Father is APPROACHABLE not because we’re good, but rather because Jesus opened the way for us to enter His presence through Christ. GOD. APPROACHABLE. Grace. Learn more HERE.

LORD, thank You for being an APPROACHABLE GOD to whom we can come through Christ’s cleansing blood. 

DISCOVERING HIS PASSION – Care about others. Share with them the good news of God’s grace. This study guide will prepare you. 

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Your “Appointment” Pop Quiz

01/18/2023

True or False: God is interested in our lives, relationships, families. True or False: God assigns individuals to particular tasks. True or False: God has set times in history.  If you said true to all three you are absolutely correct. Do you have Scriptures to back up your answers? If not, meditate on the following in terms of your life. Let the reality of God’s hand in individual lives, relationships, times, places encourage you.

“So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the APPOINTED time of which God had spoken to him,” Genesis 21:2.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have APPOINTED you a prophet to the nations,” Jeremy 1:5.

“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.” Ezekiel 3:17

And the LORD APPOINTED a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights,” Jonah 1:17.

“So the LORD God APPOINTED a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant,” Jonah 4:6.

“He (Jesus) APPOINTED twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, Mark 3:14.

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the APPOINTED time will come,” Mark 13:33.

“And inasmuch as it is APPOINTED for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” Hebrews 9:27.

Yes, God appoints times, people, places, events, and more. What has He appointed you to do? Join me for Acts, Part 2 that begins January 25, and find out! In person or by watching on YouTube.

LORD GOD, You APPOINT people, places, times, and events. How exciting! I want to be a part!  Appoint me. 

 

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A Tip for Everyday Living

01/17/2023

Do you like tips on money management, tips on gardening, tips on home organizing, or on some other topic? We do well to pay attention to proven tips. They help us do things smarter and in a more meaningful way.  Hebrews 3:1 gives us a spiritual tip.

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.

What kind of a tip is that? The word “consider” in this verse means to “fix your thoughts.” In other words, as partakers of a heavenly calling, we’re to fix our thoughts on Jesus when we wake in the morning. We’re to fix our thoughts on Jesus when we get bad news. We’re to fix our thoughts on Jesus when we face a difficult decision. We’re to fix our thoughts on Jesusall the time. Why? When we look at Jesus and consider Him, we are more likely to act like partakers of a heavenly calling than if we look at our situation from an earthly perspective and feel overwhelmed, panic, worry, or perhaps even gloat or feel prideful. If you’re not convinced this is a good tip, I encourage you to try it.  You’ll discover that considering Jesus, fixing your thoughts on Him, ushers into your life increased hope, assurance, and purpose.   

Jesus, Apostle and High Priest of our confession, help us remember that our confession of You as Lord and Savior makes us partakers of a heavenly calling. Help us walk out our calling well by considering (fixing our thoughts on) You.

Here’s the Quick Link to sign up for ACTS, PART 2; an amazing 12 week study that YOU are INVITED to attend.  Or, call 830.895-0100 to register. See you Wednesday! Invite a friend to join you. 

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This Makes Me Smile

01/16/2023

It makes me smile to think about where and when Christ spoke the words in Luke 4:18, 

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.

When did Jesus say these words? He had just returned from being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He was led by the Spirit in the power of the Spirit.(Luke 4:14) What was His first Spirit-anointed task following His victory over Satan’s temptations? He went home…to Nazareth. I love that. And get this –

…as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

This is a good place for us to pause and ask ourselves, “Is it our custom to gather with believers to read and hear the Scriptures? Are we raising our children with the custom of gathering with believers to hear the Word of God? If it was what God’s ANOINTED Lord Jesus did, it’s what I want to do. I’d have hated to have missed Jesus speaking in the synagogue that day. I’d hate to miss Him speaking today as I gather with others to worship Him and to hear the reading/teaching of His Word.

Jesus, we praise You, ANOINTED Lord and Savior. Thank You for Your words and Your example of the Spirit-led life.

Prayers of My Heart character trait of Jesus to record in your journal and praise Him for:  Anointed. Prayer to pray:  Anoint me with Your Spirit to do Your will.

Friends, you’re invited to a study of Acts, Part 2 that I’m teaching. Learn more HERE.

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Do We Have Enough Holy Reverence

01/15/2023

“Hey, buddy.” We’re often quite chummy with people, even if while social distancing or on the phone. Some parents even call their children, “buddy.” We love to quote Matthew 11:19 that Jesus was a “friend of sinners.” But let’s not forget that the “friend of sinners” is gloriously exalted and seated at the right hand of God. Prayerfully visualize Daniel 7:9-10.

I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The court sat,
And the books were opened.
And were presented before Him.”

The Son of Man may be our friend, but based on Scripture, a casual “buddy” reverence isn’t how I visualize our relationship with Jesus. Our Lord is the all-powerful, holy, Ancient of Days. Are we daily worshipping Him? Are we sharing Him with others? Are we ready for His return?

ANCIENT of DAYS, glorious One, forgive us when we don’t show You holy reverence. Help us live more for You and less for ourselves. Use us to witness to others about Your saving grace.

Prayers of My Heart character trait to record: Ancient of Days.

YAY!

We’re getting close to beginning our study of Acts, Part 2! Are you as excited as we are? Come for the 1st week of seeing an 8 minute overview, munchies, and gathering with friends. Check it out.  Let us know you are coming so we have a study book for you by clicking HERE. Or call 830.895-0100. You can also email me for info at debbie@debbietaylorwilliams.com. 

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When Waves of Hopelessness Pound Your Heart

01/14/2023

You need hope. I need hope. Our loved ones need hope. Where do we find it? Do we practice “self-talk” and tell ourselves we are “happy and fine” when we aren’t? Or do we kneel, look up in praise, and cry out to the One who has gone before us to heaven and intercedes for us?  Hebrews 6:19 describes our relationship with Jesus in this way,

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered…”

Our hope in Jesus is an anchor for our soul. Personalize that truth. My hope in Jesus is an anchor for my soul. Think about that. It’s amazing!  We don’t have to emotionally drift into an ocean of despair. Yes, waves of hopelessness may at times pound our hearts and seem like they will overwhelm us. But when you feel that way, sweet friend, place your hope in your loving Savior. You are not going to drift beyond His sight or hold. He’s got you. Our hope in Christ is an anchor for our soul.

Jesus, sweet Savior, thank You for being the anchor of my soul. Thank You that I will never drift from your grasp. 

Friends, you’re invited to a study of Acts, Part 2 that I’m teaching. Learn more HERE.

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Let’s Be Amazed

01/13/2023

Throughout the Bible, the word “amazed” is used to describe people’s reactions to God.  Mark 1:22 records that people “were amazed at His (Jesus) teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”  The New Testament word “amazed” means astonished, thrown into wonderment.  Jesus’ teachings astonished people. Matthew  12:23 records that when Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute so that he could see and talk, “All the crowds were amazed and were saying, ‘This man cannot be the Son of David, can He?'”  When Jesus rose from the dead, they were “thrown into wonderment.”  Oh, that we be amazed, astonished, and thrown into wonderment at our Lord. Keep your eyes open, friend, for how Jesus is working in your life and in the lives of others. You’ll be amazed.

Lord Jesus, we praise You, our AMAZING Lord.  

Did you miss Acts, Part 1?  Here’s a snippet from Session 1.  Listening Guide.  Listen on Apple Podcasts

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Why You Can Stop Fretting

01/12/2023

“I don’t know where this is going.” Have you ever said or thought those words in regard to the unrest in our world, nation, or perhaps your family or a personal situation? The past may be a blur and the future uncertain. It’s no wonder we may feel uneasy at times. Yet in the midst of our ever-changing world, believers have this hope and promise: Jesus isn’t going anywhere. He’s right here with us, just like He was with us yesterday and just like He will be with us tomorrow. Revelation 1:8 records Jesus’s words of assurance to us,

I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’

Our Lord was with us in the past. He’s with us at this moment. He’ll be with us tomorrow. We have an ever-present Lord to see us through our days. Breathe a sigh of relief, thank Him, and confidently move forward in your day celebrating His glorious presence.

Christ Jesus, ALPHA and OMEGA, we praise YOU, the One who is and who was and who is to come. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. 

Friends, you’re invited to a study of Acts, Part 2 that I’m teaching. Learn more HERE.

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When We Question God’s Power

01/11/2023
Whether we’re shopping for a car or a computer, we typically ask, “How powerful is it?”  Why do we ask? We want to know if what we’re considering buying can do what we need it to do. We may not say or even realize it, but sometimes we may question God’s power. For example, we pray about something and then we worry. If we really believed that nothing is impossible with God, then worry wouldn’t have a place in our lives. Today is a good day to remember                      1 Chronicles 29:11, that God is all powerful and we can confidently place our trust in Him. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.”

Friends, you’re invited to a study of Acts, Part 2 that I’m teaching. Learn more HERE.

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