June 25 Joel 1,2,3; 2 Timothy 1

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Save Us From Our Own Foolishness | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful.  He is not easily angered.  He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you.  Joel 2:13 (NLT)

O~ God is loving, merciful.  Here, God is ready to punish the people, yet he is also just as ready to show mercy.  He does not wish this punishment on the people.

A~ My youngest son announced yesterday that he was quitting college and moving back to Nebraska.  This broke my heart and sent it into panic mode.  This was a place of destruction for him… his lifestyle, his choices, his companions.  I just prayed and prayed for him.  I didn’t want this for him, but I can’t choose for him.  This is what he was choosing.  Is this how God feels? I believe God’s heart is aching when his children are making harmful, destructive choices; this verse is clear, “he is eager not to punish you.”  My heart was aching to hear my son wanting to go back to his Egypt. This morning, my husband said our son approached him last night and told him he doesn’t think going back is what he should do.  YAY!! Thank you, God!!!

P~ Dear Father, I can imagine how your heart breaks when I don’t choose to open my heart to you, because without you I walk in my foolishness and that leads to destruction.  I need you.  My son needs you.  Thank you for speaking to him, for helping him with his thoughts and bringing truth in there.  Thank you!

Re-finding What Was Lost | Joni Tyner

S~ The Lord says, “Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent the great destroying army against you.  Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you.  Joel 2:25-26 (NLT)

O~ The book of Joel is just 3 chapters.  It’s theme is God’s power and judgment to the unrighteousness. It gives a detailed account of the plague of locusts that covered the land and destroyed crops.  It then goes into the need of repentance and affirming God’s goodness and blessings.

A~ I found this verse a couple of years ago when I was going through some tough, tough times as a parent. Our oldest son was just 18 when he had his first of many legal encounters.  Things over the next 4 years spiraled into territory no parent wants to walk.  We were assaulted with weekly court dates, drug testing, police visits, financial struggles, massive debt and random chaos.  We honestly never knew when the phone rang what would be dumped on us.  That season of family life is becoming more of a blur, but I remember countless days of crying in my car, in my closet, even the grocery store. I didn’t understand how the God I loved could seemingly turn on us. I questioned if He would ever show us mercy and stop the crazy in our life. We were chronically sad and found it difficult to laugh and celebrate anything.

This verse was such an encouragement to me when I found it.  I literally sobbed as I read that God was going to give us back what we had lost.  He would, once again, give us all the food we want and we would be joyful, praising Him for His blessings.  I knew it wouldn’t be the same holidays, birthdays, etc,  but God would be faithful and give us back our joy.

I just had to hang on and trust Him when my circumstances didn’t make sense.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we celebrated with a family picnic and impromptu fishing outing.  We didn’t get all big production; I threw together ham and turkey sandwiches, chips and some yummy watermelon.  The “lake” is more of a pond, and is a mere 5 minutes from our home. We stayed less than 2 hours.  Yet, in that simplicity, we celebrated God’s goodness. We celebrated being a family and laughing over whose fish was the largest, (probably about 5 inches) and who caught the most pond slime. We took turns quieting our toy poodle who was waaaaay too excited about our outing.   We might not ever be able to get back the lost opportunities of  2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,  but, we can move forward and celebrate with new memories.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for never abandoning our family while we circled the mountain in the desert.  I pray that we will use what the Enemy intended as evil to bring ripple effects for Your Kingdom. I pray we will not live in the past but see that our future holds so much opportunity to be happy again.  Please infuse our family with gratitude and praise and an appreciation for all of life’s simple gifts.

Thais, Susie, and Linda | Kelley DeAses

S~ I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)

O~ Faith in Jesus Christ does not just spring forth out of thin air.  It must be learned and observed and nurtured and practiced.

A~ I had two grandmothers who helped shape my early years, and a mother I have watched grow in her own faith and who inspires me immensely to this day.  My grandmothers emphasized going to church — one used to take us with her to her small town church every time we’d visit for a weekend; the other spoke so much wisdom into my life, to include telling me I should always go to church every week without fail. (I can’t tell you how many times I have heard her voice in my head over the years, especially on Sundays when I have wanted to make an excuse to sleep in!)  And my mom has shown by example a faith in action, a deep compassion for others, a servant’s heart, a ministry of meeting practical needs and of encouragement both inside and outside the church.

P~ Lord, I thank You so much for these role models of faith You gave me to raise and nurture me, just as Timothy had his mother Lois and grandmother Eunice to pour into his life and help equip him for ministry.  Have Your hand upon me, too, as I seek to pour into my children’s spiritual lives and, hopefully one day, their children’s as well.

Not Easy, but Courageous | Michelle Myers

S~ Protect the truth that you were given; protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:14 (NCV)

O~ In this world, following God is not easy.  Speaking the truth that God has placed on my heart, is not always easy.  Especially when it makes me or others uncomfortable, or goes against what they want me to do or say. It is also something, that when I am upset, I have a hard time doing in a loving way (especially with my kids and husband).  That is why I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to protect the truth and my integrity when I speak it.

A~ The Bible notes that introduce this chapter say, “What do you have left Paul?  What do you have left to show for your life?  Had you stayed a Jew in Jerusalem, you’d have a seat of status and a house of retirement.  Had you been more compromising, you might have gone unnoticed by the Romans.  Had you been less passionate, you might have pastored a church and stayed in one city.  But you were too convinced to compromise–too convicted to stay home.  And now, with the end in sight, with the verdict rendered and the end in sights, what do you have left?”  (The Devotional Bible, New Century version)  It goes on to say that Paul has his faith left.

I am in no way, shape, or form a Paul.  I am AMAZED by him and his faith.  Yet, yesterday, I was asking myself some of the same questions and making the same statements, that were presented in the Bible notes……. “What do I have left?”…….What will I have to show for my life?”…….”Had I done this or that, then…….”  I was just was not feeling wise, courageous, etc.  After my meeting, I went to the book store to kill time, and just happened to pick up Brene Browns, “Daring Greatly”.  The little bit that I read, talked about,  what many people and the world think is weak, actually takes a lot of courage and strength.  She gave situation after situation….quitting your stable job, to open a business….making final plans with someone who has a terminal illness…..taking responsibility for a mistake that you made…..all of which, really do take a lot of courage and are not done by weak people.

This helped change my perspective in regards to my life and some of the choices I have had to make. Looking back over the last five and a half years, I can honestly say that my faith in people, has lessened; but my faith in God has strengthened.  That doesn’t mean I don’t wrestle with Him, am immediately obedient, or try and push my own will; but I know that if anyone is going to have my back, it is going to be HIM.

P~ Thank you God for your intervention during my questioning of my life yesterday.  Thank you God for your word today.  Please help me protect the truths that you have placed on my heart, and help me do it in a loving way.

 

 

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Posted on June 25, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. thanks Jill. It’s not fun being in the desert, especially when God sends you back there after an oasis. (whaaaaaa!!) I’m just leaning into Him and trusting that He loves my kids more than I do. His ways are not our ways.

  2. Jill, it’s hard! Not gonna lie. But I’m so grateful for God’s words of hope that he gives to us. Miss you! Hugs!

  3. Joni and Luisa, – Thank you so much for sharing what happened with your sons. It helps those of us still in the midst of these things to have hope that maybe one day there will be healing.

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