Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Miracles: Week 3, Heaven's Perfect Timing Scripture Reading: Matthew 2

This week's devotion is centered around Matthew 2.  Karen Kingsbury tells the story of a girl who travels home from college in the midst of a horrible storm.  God speaks to her by urging her to stop and eat.  In the end, we learn because she listened to God's urging, she avoided a deadly accident.

In Matthew 2, we learn how God appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee Egypt.  God knew that Herod planned on killing Jesus as soon as he was born.  Joseph listened and saved Jesus from dying right after he was born.  After Herod died, God once again appeared to Joseph in a dream.  He told him to return to the land of Israel.  Joseph listened.  Matthew 2:23 says "So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth.  This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: "He will be called a Nazarene."

What is God trying to tell you to do? Are you listening?  Think of how differently our world would be today if Joseph didn't listen and stayed in Egypt.  Think of how differently the life of the girl Amy from the story mentioned above would be if she wouldn't have stopped for something to eat.

I believe God is constantly whispering in our ears what we need do, where we need to go and how we need to live our lives.  (Just be sure to know what His voice sounds like so you can hear him loud and clear.)  It's amazing how if you really look around you, God is closing doors for you and opening the next.  Looking back at my son's journey through autism since his diagnosis 7 1/2 years ago, I can see where God has purposefully closed doors for us so that the next one can open.  Therapists who moved away and couldn't work with my son opened the door for the next therapist to come in and help him master out goals that only she could have done.  Doctors who stopped taking our insurance closed the door for a therapy that God wanted us to stop doing but opened an incredible door to one that will provide more gains.

We have to listen for His guidance.  He's trying to help each and every one of us.  The first step in all of this is to know His voice.  Spend time with Him.  Read your Bible.  Even if it's for five minutes each day.  You will be amazed at how much easier it is to hear God's voice.

I trust in you, O Lord; I say "You are my God."  My times are in your hands.....Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.  -Psalm 31:14-16

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Miracles: Week 2, Scripture Reading Acts 27: 13-26

This week's devotion is centered around Acts 27: 13-26.  Karen Kingsbury tells the story of a doctor who is approached by a little girl begging her to come save her mom.  She leads her to her mother just in time to save her.  After the mom thanks the doctor, the doctor says she could have never done it without her daughter's help.  Her daughter died a month earlier.

In Acts 27: 13-26, we learn about a storm that is constantly battling a ship and it's crew.  Finally, after the third day, Paul stands up and tells the men they should have listened to him on which way to go. Then, he encouraged them to not be afraid and to trust God.

Think of the different storms in your life and how they can persistently tear you down.  Some days it's like hurricane force winds attacking you in every direction.  Other days, it's a rocky storm throwing you in every direction.  We know we need to get out of the storm but we are too scared and don't know which way to go.  Sounds like the men on the ship, right?

We need to remember Paul's advice and take courage and trust in God.  Every one of us out there has storms.  Some storms seem worse than others.  However, we all have storms to go through.  There's only one way to calm these storms, and that is to trust in God.  Find the way he needs you to go in your life.  Spend time with Him so you can hear the direction He wants you to go, not the direction you want to go.  The key is to spend time with Him.  Read your Bible, attend church, and pray consistently throughout your day.  Go to Him before you go to anyone else.  He will not steer you wrong.

Looking back at the story that Karen Kingsbury told in Week 2 of the doctor and the little "angel", this doctor was overworked, tired, and probably feeling like she was in the middle of one strong storm.  Then, a little girl knocks on her door.  She stands courageous and follows her because she just knew God needed her to follow her.  That's what we need to be able to do.  Go, when God asks us to go.  Stay, when He asks us to stay.  Be there for others, when He needs us to.  The only way we will know what He needs is for us to do is to listen for Him to tell us.

Your Word and guidance will never steer us wrong.  We are very quick to call on others for their guidance before we call on you.  Our storms in our lives are strong and sometimes come on very quickly.  You know this and only You know the right path for us to take.  Please help us stay faithful in the storms as you guide us in the path we are to take.
In Your Name we pray,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Miracles: Week 1, Scripture Reading Psalm 124

This week's devotion  is from Psalm 124.  With this devotion, Karen Kingsbury tells of a story of two girls who were in trouble and how one of the girls was able to clearly hear from God to get to safety.

After reading the scripture and then the devotion, I re-read Psalm 124 to find how this applies to my life.  The following verses immediately stood out to me:

"Blessed be the Lord, who did not let their teeth tear us apart!  We escaped like a bird from a hunter's trap.  The trap is broken, and we are free!  Our help is from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth."  -Psalm 124:6-8

We can all relate to these verses.  Although, we are all most likely not being physically "trapped" by something or someone, Satan throws his traps on us daily.  Being a parent to a child with autism brings many "emotional traps."  Traps of worry, anxiety, heart break, doubt. Traps of not trusting God and trying to handle things on our own.  Satan knows how important our children are to us.  He also knows how to "trap" us with our worries.

Worries like:
"Am I doing everything I possibly can for my child with autism?"
"Should I keep homeschooling him or enroll him back into the public schools?"
"How will we find the money to do this therapy?"
"Is he too old for this help him?"
"Am I doing enough?"

These thoughts over take us and we are consumed with every trap Satan can throw on us to keep us connected with our children.  We spend more time researching and finding things out on our own, instead of trusting God.

How easy is it for us to forget the Jesus broke that "trap"!  We are set free!  We don't need to worry about our children.  He will provide.  However, instead of praying and asking God to help us, we want to carry it all on ourselves which keeps us from doing what God truly needs for us to do.  If we are so overwhelmed with worry, doubt and anxiety then we can't focus on what God needs for us to do in our lives at that given moment.  In other words, if I am filled with worry and doubt, how am I going to do the work Jesus needs me to do for others?

Yes, worry, doubt and a lot of other emotional traps will come our way on daily basis.  We must remember what Psalm 124:7 says....the trap is broken and we are free!  Free of worry, doubt, anxiety.  This can be us if we remember to give to God and keep pushing forward!

Dear Lord,
You are such an amazing God who knows exactly what is going on in all of our lives.  No matter what happens in our lives, you are not taken by surprise.  You know what's best for us and what we can do to help others.  We all fall short of trusting you 100%.  We ask that you will help us relinquish all of the emotional traps that Satan sends our way, and show us how to always hear from you.  Thank you for our amazing children and all of the wonderful blessings you send their way.
In Your Name we pray,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Next Study

We finally found it!  It may have taken quite a bit longer than expected but we found our next study. We are going to do something a little different with this study.  It is a 52 week devotional.  We are supposed to read a devotion each week.  (This may change due to vacations or we may double up on some weeks when we have time.  However, we will give you notice of this.)

Our next study will be Miracles: A 52 Week Devotional by Karen Kingsbury.  Each week, we will be given passages from the Bible to read, learn and reflect on.  There will also be a short story with each passage.  

We will start this devotion on Wednesday June 12th with Week 1.  So grab your Bibles and a copy of Karen Kingsbury's Miracles:  A 52 Week Devotional!