Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Overflowing Cup - Terrie Chevaillier

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. 
Psalm 23:5

You have a cup that you walk around with.  So do your friends.  I have a cup.  It’s an invisible cup that we hold out each day.  No one can see it, and you don’t really know you are holding it out and walking around with it.

The cup says, “Fill me up, I want to overflow.”  Maybe you hold it out to your husband and expect him to fill it up.   Perhaps it is food, excessive exercise, the approval of others, tennis, kid’s sports, kid’s accomplishments, or a fixer upper house complete with Magnolia Market furnishings (who doesn’t want that?). 

We wake up each day and are unaware that we pick that cup up and take it into our day asking it to be filled as we move in and out of our circles and places.  Our hearts say to the things of this world….fill my cup today.  Some people wish you didn’t have your cup because they are hurt and tired of trying to be the one to fill it as you continually come towards them holding out your cup.

I have a personal name for my cup.  It is called The Contentment Cup.  When I am discontent, I hold it out to all sorts of people and places until it reaches the mark of contentment.  The hard thing about that is that the next day my cup is empty, and I have to take it back out and plan and go and do and fret and work, sometimes deep into the night to get it filled back up again.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding the promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

We have an unlimited source of supply each morning that is just waiting to fill that cup up till it overflows.  And when you let Him fill it up each morning, you then get to take it into your home and into the world and instead of asking it to be filled by limited sources; you spill your overflowing cup out and over into the lives of others. Godliness spills out all over you and whoever you bump into.

Are you holding out your cup today?  If so, there is One who is waiting to fill it till it overflows.  Take it to Him, and it will never run dry.  Not only will it bring you happiness, but others will be happy too.


Monday, April 18, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God Hears You

Family Fun Icebreaker: Have you arranged or received a random act of kindness? What?

Question: How Does God Relate to Others?

Today’s Big Idea: God and the Israelites
The relationship God has with the Israelites in the Old Testament illustrates the compassion of God. God listens. When the people of Israel receive provision from God, they complain. God hears their grievances and answers. Read Exodus 16:4-13. Typically people whine, especially when they think no one is listening. The Israelites grumble about the lack of food on the journey away from Egypt. They remember how plentiful the food is back in Egypt and wonder why God brings them into the wilderness to starve. The Israelites complain about God. Since a grumble is usually private and said to oneself, God surprises them by answering their protests. God is everywhere and hears all things—even your thoughts. As Moses and Aaron tell the Israelites about how God hears their complaints, they realize that God’s glory in the image of a cloud, is always listening. Don’t you think that makes the Israelites wonder? When you are in a relationship with God, He hears you.

Talk with God: Read the scripture aloud.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the Israelites complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’” Exodus 16:11-12 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
God is listening, even when you don’t think He is. He knows your needs even when you don’t say anything about them. He wants you to talk to Him, openly sharing your desires with Him.

Discuss with your family: God knows what you need, even if you don’t. Have you seen your needs provided for when you didn’t even think to mention them to God in prayer? What? If you witnessed God’s answer to unspoken prayer, how did His reply encourage you? How did you respond to God?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for the wisdom to know to ask God for help. I will be praying for you!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Man's Best Friend - Terrie Chevaillier


One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,     but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 
Proverbs 18:24
Let me just start by making it very clear that I love our dog Starsky.  He brings so much joy and fun to our family.  In fact, he was an answer to a very specific prayer I was praying in regards to a perfect pet who would fit uniquely into our family.  God answered,and Starsky found his way to our home through a series of very random and stray events.  God wove a lot of twists and turns for him to make his way through our front door.  We have enjoyed his unconditional love towards our family for eight years and we hope for many more to come!   
With that said, I have had a few interesting conversations with young girls in their 20’s who have this same love for their dog.   They arrange their work schedule and time away from home around their best friend and make sure they aren’t gone too long.  The care and concern that these girls show their pets is excellent, I must say! 
So far so good. 
What’s not so good is they have all shared that they are just done with relationships.  Guys have let them down, other girls talk behind their backs, they don’t have a safe circle of friends to process life struggles with and so guess what…?  Their dog seems to provide a safer and more loving place of companionship than the world seems to offer.  One girl even went on to share that she now preferred to just go home from work and hang out with her dogs and search online dating sites. When I asked her about her experience with church, she went on to say that girls she meets at church seem to have their own circle of friends and they just aren’t interested in meeting anyone else. 
The first conversation I had that went along those lines wasn’t disturbing and didn’t really seem that abnormal.   But when I was in a place to serve and be around some other unmarried girls in their late 20’s, the theme seemed to be somewhat common.   
So what’s a mom with young children or teens in the home to do?   Pray, model, encourage, teach, and train that relationships are God’s design for His people!  He created us to love Him and love People.  Animals and all of the rest of His creation are to be enjoyed, but first and foremost we are each other’s gift and relational blessings to one another to show the love of Jesus to the world. 
Teach them how to be a reliable friend as you model how to be a reliable friend in your circles.  Allow room to widen your perfectly designed circles to those outside who might be looking in and desire to share in the fellowship or fun they see you having.   Show them what it means to stick close even when things are messy in relationships.  Share with them how you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and “do hard” with others in the trenches.  
After you have done that, then go love on your dog and enjoy all the other gifts of God’s creation that are meant for our pleasure!