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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Tell the Children | Kelley Deases

S~  Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. Joel 1:3 (NIV)

O~  As I write this, it the final day of VBS at my church. Every year for the past several years I have helped lead two preschool “stations”: (1) Games – where the kids play a fun, usually outdoor, activity with some tie-in to the Bible story or lesson for the day, and (2) KidVid – where the kids watch a video about a kid doing something amazing for the Kingdom or who turned to Jesus in the midst of a struggle of some sort. Other parts of their morning include Bible story, crafts, snack, singing and skits. In all of this, our aim is to share God’s love with these children and teach them the good news of the Gospel.

A ~ At last night’s picnic, one testimony told to me by a grandmother was how her 4-year-old granddaughter had come home just that day and recited the whole story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, in meticulous detail, to her mother when she got home from VBS. The story obviously had an impact on her and she was able to recite it back hours later. So encouraging to know that all the hours of decorating, lesson prep, teaching, tearing down and cleaning up was for a good reason. This little preschooler, and hopefully many others her age and older, heard something, learned something or felt something that drew them a step or two closer to Jesus.

P~ Father, Thank You for the amazing volunteers who put together a Christ-centered program at West Hills Church, with the goal of telling our children who You are and who they were made to be in You.

Kindness, Gracious and Merciful | Luisa Penaherrera

S~ Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts. 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~ You are gracious and merciful.

A~ I turn my heart to you, my gracious and merciful God.

P~ Father, thank you for your kindness, your mercy and grace.  I need you today and needed to hear that you are there.

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’ve journaled on this verse before, but it still encourages me and I felt maybe a reader needed to see this today?   God is faithful to give us back what is lost. In our situation, the pain and hardship started back in 2009 when our oldest son began smoking marijuana and quickly moved to other “highs”.  Over the next 5 years, we were assaulted with weekly court dates, drug testing, police visits, financial struggles, massive debt and random chaos.  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.  When I stumbled onto this verse, I wept.   I WANTED to believe that God would somehow restore our family,  –I just didn’t see how.  But, I trusted the character of God—that He does what He says He will do.

So today, 7 years later, we are still on a journey that is common with people who have addictions.  We have good times and random nightmare moments.  Still, I see God’s goodness and provision because this “problem” doesn’t consume me anymore and it doesn’t define us as a family.  We are imperfect people who love and forgive and look forward to the future.    –and we have joy.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for holding my heart these past 7 years,  I’ve learned to cling to You.  I treasure each family moment and I’m so grateful that you’ve continued to give us mercy and love.  I look forward to the hope of the future.   Thank you for never leaving my side.  Whew!!!—it was a rough time,  I pray that our pain will not be wasted but that we can use our experience to encourage others.

p.s.  Here’s a picture of our family at our daughter’s wedding last fall.

IMG_2150

Growth Experiences | Michelle Myers

S~ That is why I am suffering as I am.  Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)

O/A~ In no way, shape, or form have I suffered as Paul suffered.  There was a time when I would have acted as if I had.  There was a time when my suffering would have caused me a great deal of shame.  Yet, it is through these experiences, that I have gained a better understanding of what true suffering is.  I now consider most of what I have been through and continue to go through as necessary annoyances, because they help me stay connected to You, make me a spiritually better and more empathetic person, and keep me from getting too cozy in a place, that I was never meant to stay.

I know whom I believe.  I am convinced that You are able to guard what I have entrusted to You. With every inconvenient annoyance that pops up, You continually open doors for things to “work out”, either my way or Your way.  As this happens, my faith grows stronger.  I grow stronger.  There is no shame in that!

P~ Thank you God for Your faithfulness.  Please just help keep me and my family growing!

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Posted on June 25, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. thanks Jill, i never thought things would ever be normal, yet God loves me enough to see these blessings.

  2. Joni – you give me hope that somehow, someday , my family might be whole again.

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