Saying Yes When No Is Easier

Joni Eareckson Tada is no stranger to pain and difficulty.  Following a diving accident, she became a quadriplegic.  She did not let that stop her and founded Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates  Christian outreach in the disability community.  This organization provides practical and spiritual support to special needs families worldwide.  Tada is also a world renowned author of numerous books including a Gold Medallion Award winner.

One such book is A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day a devotional that to help you “embrace your eternal purpose.”  Tada uses both simple and beautiful language to connect with the reader.  Her daily selections help the reader to both discover how to show God’s glory and how to say “yes” even in the face of difficulties when you want to say “no.”  I loved reading the encouragement that she and her fellow author, Larry Libby, used in the daily selections.  Each day also includes a short prayer and Scripture so you can use this book in your quiet time with God.  You will not only grow closer to God, but increase your own faith as you read and journal each day’s entry.

I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing.  I receive no compensation for a positive review.

Joni and Friends

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Faithgateway Devotional

Freedom: Remember His Marvelous Works by Dr. Richard Lee

Remember His marvelous works which He has done. — Psalm 105:5

On July 3, 1776, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams reflected on that important day:

“The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States.Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not.”

* * Patriot’s Prayer * *

Thank You, Lord, for the men and women who gave their lives for the freedom of the republic in which we live today. Help me to be as bold and brave as they were when it is my turn to protect this land.

* * Patriot’s Promise * *

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. — Psalm 34:17

Your Turn

As Americans celebrate our freedom and our nation’s birthday, we are reminded that Jesus came to set us free that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Thank You, Lord! What freedom has God brought that you are celebrating today? Please share a comment on our blog! Happy Independence Day to our readers in the U.S.A.!

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Recopied from faithgateway.com.

A Letter From God – Inspired Devotional

Friday, June 21, 2013
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If Christians lived according to their faith, there would be no more Hindus left in India.” This great leader was fascinated at the thought of knowing Christ. But when he met Christians, he felt let down. The world is filled with people who feel the same. They are intrigued by the claims of Christ, but they shrink back because of disappointment with His offspring.

“Don’t look at people,” we might protest. “Look at Jesus.” But while that may be true, the sobering truth remains: Whether we like it or not, we’re the only Jesus some will ever see. Dwight L. Moody put it this way: “Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian.”

“You are a letter from Christ…,” Paul reminded the Christians at Corinth, “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stones but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV 1984)

The same is true of us today. We are God’s love letter to the world. We were set apart for a purpose—to communicate his glory to a lost and dying world.

Excerpted from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

Daily Reflection: How have you been communicating God’s love lately?

Reprinted from the Inspired Devotional by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Always There – Inspired Devotional

Thursday, June 20, 2013
“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”—2 Chronicles 7:15-16

God promised, “My name will be there.”

The name above all names; the name that makes seas to boil and the skies to fall; the name that causes every knee to bow and every tongue to confess—that name and all it represents would be there for the people of God. God himself swore that all his character and all his essence would surely be there for his children.

But what does this mean for us?

It means we can count on the One who parted the ocean and calmed the seas to be there for us when the opposition bears down at full speed or the storms of life toss us around like plastic cups caught in the surf. The very essence of the One who lifted up the mountains and raised up the dead will be there to lift us up to new heights and to raise us up with his Son on the last day. The sum of all God’s character and power and authority and holiness—100 percent of everything about him—will be there for
you and me.

Excerpted from Be There by John Trent

Daily Reflection: What does God’s name and the assurance of His presence mean to you?

Reprinted from Inspired from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Rainy Days and Mondays

Just about anyone who listens to contemporary Christian music has heard Laura Story’s song “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops.”  If you have not hear this song before, please listen to it here:

spotify:track:6lV8cAancMB859zfBUqpPZ

Story’s book by the same title breaks down the verses of her song into thirty chapters that can be used as a devotional. For instance, in chapter 18 entitled “When We Cry Out in Anger,” Story writes, “Sometimes, it’s very easy to become angry: angry with ourselves, angry with other people, and even angry with God. Sometimes, we face life-threatening situations that shake us to the very core of our souls. but more often than not, our frustrations are of the more mundane variety. More often than not, we are angereed not by earth-shaking events, but by the inevitable distractions and disappointments of everyday living: jammed traffic, difficult people, financial headaches, and a near-endless stream of minor inconveniences masquerading as major hardships. Our challenge is this: to display anger when it is appropriate and to rein in our tempers when it is not. How can we learn to maintain better control over our tempers? We do so by learning to focus our thoughts, not on the inevitable disappointments of life, but instead upon the innumerable blessings that God has given us (Philippians 4:8). When we allow our faith in God to become the cornerstone and the touchstone of our lives, we cultivate trust in the righteousness of His plans. When we do so, we begin to see God’s hand as it works in every aspect of our lives – in good times and in hard times – as He uses every circumstance to fulfill His plan for us. So the next time you become frustrated by the inevitable challenges of life, do yourself a favor: turn away from anger and turn, instead, to God. Turn to Him, as best you can, with open hands, a clear mind, and a trusting heart. When you do, you’ll discover that defeating anger is difficult but not impossible – because with God, all things are possible.”

In each chapter, Story also includes quotes from notable Christians that are related to the subject of the chapter. She also includes Scripture and a section to journal your own thoughts. She ends the book with additional Scripture on a variety of topics. This small book of 220+ pages is an excellent addition to any library or better yet – your coffee table! Share it with friends and strangers alike.

If you are interested in keeping up with Laura Story:

Artist Web Site

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I received this ebook free for review from Net Galley at netgalley.com.