Too Bad, Too Late
Flying home from speaking, the gate for my connecting flight was announced: D34. Waiting at D34, I wondered why so few people were there. Checking the flight board, I discovered the departure had changed to C19. Dashing to the gate, I asked if I could get on the plane. “No. The doors are closed. We called for you.” “I didn’t hear you,” I replied. “We called.” My heart sank. There was nothing I could do. It was too bad, but I was too late. So it is with God’s call to heaven. We may think we’re in the right place. Or, we may not be paying attention. But Jesus calls us to enter heaven through Him. Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter through the narrow gate.” Have you heard His call? Have you entered into saving faith through Jesus? He is calling you now. Meet Jesus here.
I So Happy
Years ago our grandson asked if I’d take him on a ride on our Polaris. Soon he was seated beside me and we headed to the pond. After throwing food to the fish, he looked up at me and said three words that grabbed my heart. “I so happy.” Looking at that sweet boy’s face, I realized how it must please our Heavenly Father when we’re happy. Understandably we aren’t happy when faced with problems. However, are there factors that affect our happiness? Does God care if we’re happy? Yes. In John 16:24 Jesus said we can ask in His name so our joy is full. If you’re struggling with your emotions, start writing your prayers and recording God’s answers in the journal, Prayers of My Heart. You’ll discover prayers are being answered and there are things for which you can be so happy.
I’d never looked at the pew before…really looked. However, a few days ago, I found myself studying an antique pew my husband and I’d bought years ago. I wondered if the craftsman had been a Christian who lovingly carved the pew or a hired hand who begrudgingly completed his day’s work? And, what about us? What is our story about our day’s work? Is it that we go about our day mindful of our calling by God? Or do we forget that Christ who saved us as Ephesians 2:10 tells us has placed us on earth to accomplish good works He’s prepared for us to do? To the degree we are mindful of our calling we are able to maintain a peaceful heart and persevering spirit. Learn “How to Live by the Divine Nature” of God so the story of your life will be one of a Christian who walked mindful of their upward calling.
What’s In Your Mouth
Do you know what often rises to the top of people’s New Year resolutions? You may have guessed it: eating healthier. Why is it such a challenge for us to put healthy food instead of unhealthy food in our mouths? How do people successfully make the switch to good habits? They have a plan along with their resolution. What other resolutions do we often make? To read the Bible every day. To pray more. Why are these good resolutions? Because as food is healthy for our bodies, reading the Bible and praying is healthy for our souls. Psalm 34:1 says, ”I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” If you get stuck on what to praise God for, check out Beyond Ourselves, a free devotional you can receive every day that features a different trait of God for which you can praise Him. Resolve to not only put healthy food in your mouth but to also put healthy praise in your mouth…a resolution with a plan.
Record your daily praise in Prayers of My Heart. On sale now!
Soul, Not Clothes
The forecast was proving to be right. The sky darkened. Thunder clouds formed. In anticipation of the much-needed rain, I stepped outside and gazed at the glory of the heavens as the last sunray peaked through the dark sky. The heavens rumbled and I wondered if this was what it would be like at the Rapture when Christ appears in the clouds and believers are caught up to meet Him in the air. Aware of how unpresentable I looked, I took comfort in the fact that all Christ would look for at His return was my soul. Was it sealed with His Holy Spirit? If so, I’d be raised to meet Him in the air. Are you ready for Christ’s return? Revelation 1:7 forecasts Christ’s return and unlike weathermen, God’s forecasts all come true. If you’re not sure you’re ready to meet Christ, visit “Meet Jesus.” Be ready!
“Are you wearing a mask when you go to the store,” a friend asked. I quickly replied yes. “Whew,” she responded. I’m not sure what her response would’ve been if I’d said no, but she seemed relieved. Wearing a face mask is a government recommendation to help stop the spread of a physical virus. But, are you aware of God’s spiritual mandate to stop the spread of sin? Yes, Ephesians 6:10-18 says to put on God’s armor of truth, righteousness, peace, and faith and to take the sword of Spirit which is the word of God. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve trained ourselves to put on a mask to stop the spread of a virus. Are we putting on our spiritual armor to prevent the spread of sin? Learn how to armor up in my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
Our family has had several dogs but one was particularly clever at communicating what she wanted. She would go to the door, which was her way of saying, “Heh, get up from your desk. I need out!” Then, she’d turn and go to the kitchen hoping for a treat. She could certainly communicate. I learned what she wanted by her small prompts. In the same but much more important way, Christians can learn God’s prompts. Jesus explained in John 16:12-14 that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us. What a gift! How can we learn the Holy Spirit’s prompts so we walk in the ways He’s leading us? We ask God to help us learn His voice. We evaluate our thoughts and actions in light of Biblical truths. Learn more about how to know and follow God’s voice and prompts in Listen UP.
I So Messed Up
Looking at the nail holes in the wall after rearranging pictures, my mother’s suggestion came to mind. “Use toothpaste to fill holes.” However, after filling the holes I realized I had messed up because her walls, unlike mine, were white. The toothpaste fillings were worse than the holes. Have you ever messed up on matters of far more importance? When we mess up, as in sin, guilt can consume us, but it’s not where God wants us to stay. Instead, Psalm 32:5 tells us how to move from guilt to grace. “I acknowledged my sin to You; and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.” In whatever way we mess up, we can acknowledge our sin to God, turn from it, and embrace His grace. Learn more in my book, The Plan A Mom in a Plan B World at Amazon or debbietaylorwilliams.†
Bite Into This
Recently I reached into my briefcase to grab some papers but instead grabbed a squishy apple that I’d packed for a snack but forgotten to eat. Making a mental note that good intentions aren’t enough, I thought of Psalm 34:8 that says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” The Bible is like an apple, wonderful for us, but only if ingested. How can we ingest the Bible? Like we do an apple. We take it in our hands. We bite off one verse at a time. We chew on it to digest how it applies to our life. The result? We experience its transformational benefits. An apple can go bad. A Bible can be taken from us. But if it has been internalized, no one can take how it has transformed us. Looking for something to bite into? Enjoy these tasty spiritual resources.
Heavenly Father, thank You that we can taste and see how good You are. Transform us with every bite we take of Your Word. We love you.
On the Fringe
“Sit back. Don’t do anything. It sounds like you’re on the fringe.” Years ago my sister said that to me when I was about to do or say something I’d regret. David gives similar counsel in Psalm 37:7-9, saying, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil doing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.” Choosing to not fret or be angry is not a lack of action. It’s taking the right actions – praying, waiting, trusting God. If you’re on the fringe, journal your thoughts and prayers in Prayers of My Heart Journal and trustingly wait for how God will provide.