Happy New Year, 2022!!

Happy New Year! I want to encourage you to pull in closer to Jesus this year. There is no better way to get to know Him than to get into the Bible – the Word. John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Understanding that we have been given a tangible piece of God through the written Word is paramount to a growing relationship with the King of Kings. We can experience Him in so many ways – through nature, relationships with others, emotions, life circumstances – but to truly know Him and understand His character and personality through these things, we must read the Bible. And there are so many ways we can do that in our technologically driven culture. If you own a smartphone, you can download The Bible App and listen to the Word while you drive, while you exercise, or when preparing a meal, even cleaning the house. We spend hours a day engaging in some form of media so plugging into the Bible instead of binging on the latest season of Longmire is absolutely a better way to start the new year right! Or you may choose to go old-school using your print Bible (this is my favorite way to connect to God).

I am going big this year after being inspired by a friend to do the “Bible in a Month” plan. I am attaching two different plans you can follow if you’d like to join me.

The first is a Book by Book plan making it a little easier to listen straight through several chapters/books at a time. The second is a plan which takes you through some of the Old Testament, New Testament, the Gospels, and Psalms & Proverbs each day. I prefer the second plan as it breaks things up, but the first plan would be more convenient for those of you listening in your vehicle or when it’s not as easy to flip between books. However, the plans are not interchangeable. Choose one plan from below and stick to it:

Get started today. Get started tomorrow. Just get started.

We’d love for you to follow us on social media on our Facebook page. Once on our page hit the sign-up button and invite your friends to join us too! Leave a note for us in the comments about what you’re most excited about in this new year! There is so much to look forward to in 2022!

Transformed Christmas

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

Prepare Your Heart
Read Romans 12 & Luke 10:25-37

There is never a bad time of year to renew our minds. Honestly, the holiday season might be the best time to focus on getting our minds off of the pattern of this world and more focused on being transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we renew our minds? We get in God’s Word.

The holidays can bring unwanted and unwarranted stress into our lives in which we need to be prepared. From long-lasting gatherings with family to holiday work parties, we find ourselves in settings that are not the norm to our day-to-day. Thoughts and interactions may not go the way we expect them to go but the Bible provides us a wonderful outline in the twelfth chapter of Romans as to what we can put our focus on during this season. Let this be a springboard for the future in every area of your life.

What does it look like to have a transformed mind?

  • don’t think more highly of yourself than you think of others (don’t be a disrespectful know-it-all)
  • think sensibly (put down that 3rd, 4th Christmas Cookie; don’t go into debt to give gifts)
  • love without hypocrisy (don’t plaster on a fake smile to talk nice to someone’s face then turn around and gossip about them -hold on, isn’t that “Maturity 101”? Oops, I better practice what I preach LOL)
  • detest evil
  • cling to what is good
  • show family affection and brotherly love
  • outdo one another in showing HONOR (NOT outgiving with expensive gifts unless that is what honor needs to look like in your specific situation)
  • be diligent
  • be fervent in spirit
  • serve the Lord (and those around you)
  • rejoice in hope (nothing, absolutely nothing is hopeless when Jesus is involved)
  • be patient in affliction (there will be a lot of people who have buried hurts that try to surface during the holidays – read all of the above if you’re tempted to judge them in that hurt)
  • be persistant in prayer (not prayer that is consumed with you thinking everyone else needs to change)
  • share with the saints in need
  • pursue hospitality
  • bless those who persecute you (and gossip about you, and say false things about you, and turn their backs on you – yeah, those people)
  • rejoice with those who rejoice (that will help with your struggle with those who persecute you)
  • weep with those who weep (don’t tell people they need to just “get over it”, cry with them have a little empathy)
  • live in Godly agreement (you don’t know everything but God does)
  • don’t be proud; associate with the humble (in other words, let some humble people rub off on you)
  • don’t be wise based on your own opinions (Proverbs 3:5)
  • don’t repay evil for evil
  • do what is deemed honorable by as many as possible
  • be at peace with everyone as much as it depends on you
  • don’t try to get revenge (ooooo, this doesn’t always look like criminal behavior, revenge comes in small packages too – like giving the cold shoulder, gossip, slander, etc)
  • feed your enemy
  • conquer evil with good
  • bear the weaknesses of those who have no strength (you sometimes have to dig a little and let others express their hearts to know when this is needed)
  • don’t live to please yourself (don’t apologize just to ease your own conscience; don’t exploit others in order to look good)
  • build up your neighbor (who’s your neighbor? Read Luke 10:25-37)

Only do what promotes peace this season – and every season for that matter, but start today. If peace will not come by a decision you’re making, reconsider that decision through prayer and ask the Lord to give you wisdom to make the adjustments toward the outcome of peace. If chaos, frustration, and confusion will likely be the end result – change your approach. Use the above “guidelines” to lead you into heavenly peace; brave grace by choosing to practice a renewing lifestyle according to Romans 12.


  • Continue reviewing this list throughout the season.
  • Where are your strengths and weaknesses in regard to renewing your mind in Christ Jesus?
  • How can you incorporate Romans 12 on a personal level in your day to day life?

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Enjoy a Christmas Song

Grace for Distractions

“….you are worried and distracted by many things….” ~Luke 10:41

Prepare Your Heart

Read: Luke 4 & Luke 10:38-42

Between the months of November and December, our family celebrates a couple of birthdays on top of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cannot say that it doesn’t add to the possibility for things to get hectic. Ironically enough I woke up today with many distractions going on in my mind. As I sat to read my bible I found myself wandering off into those thoughts and this same passage from Luke 10 – not a passage we would usually associate with Christmas – kept creeping into my distractions….”you are distracted by many things….” and then I was reminded about a wonderful quote I found from Oswald Chambers that reads like this:

Lord, in my consciousness this morning a crowd of little things presses in and I bring them straight to your presence. In your wisdom say, ‘Peace, be still,’ and may my ordered life confess the beauty of your peace.

Oswald Chambers

This is the status of my heart on many mornings. A “crowd of little things” can become the norm for us during the holidays. But in all of the distractions of life let’s press in close to Jesus today and begin to make that the norm so that our lives become a confession of the beauty of His peace.


  • What is the “crowd of little things” that keeps your mind distracted throughout your days?
  • Do these distractions cause chaos or frustration?
  • You have been given the mind of Christ. If you’re facing many distractions today, give them to Him and thank Him for renewing your mind.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Protect Your Peace.

Prepare Your Heart

Isaiah 9:6
Philippians 4:9
2 Thessalonians 3:16
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Romans 16:20

I think we can all agree, the holiday season can be stressful if we are not careful about protecting our peace. It is not always something we consider doing but we should make it our chief aim to preserve peace in our lives. Guarding your peace means making a choice to not allow things (or frankly people) to take your peace from you. It is a choice. It might look like chaos all around you, but you can choose to walk in peace regardless of the circumstances. It may not seem possible because shutting out noise and distractions can seem impossible, but 1 Peter 3:11 tells us that we are to, “seek peace and pursue it”. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Peace is already part of us when we are believers. It’s one of those free gifts we are given just waiting for us to open and use. Even better than peace being part of us through the Spirit, Peace is a person. Peace is the One in whom we put our hope. His name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. His name is Jesus. The reason for the season. The reason for every season. Jesus promises His peace and it is always available to those of us who believe in Him.

Let’s take Christmas back. Let’s choose peace.


  • Are you dealing with conflict in your life during this season? Maybe family drama, a financial struggle, or a health concern?
  • What areas do you allow chaos or frustration to steal peace from your home or relationships?
  • Today, make a concerted effort to reign in any negative or peace-stealing thoughts or actions and press into the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth concerning peace.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

Seeking Him. Jesus.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Jesus ~ Matthew 6:33

Prepare Your Heart:
Read Matthew 6:25-34

How do we seek God’s righteousness during this Christmas season? Wise men still seek Him. The “easy” answer is that we pursue right living – making good decisions, being honest, living with integrity, being kind, etc. It’s interesting how we are so trained to default to our own efforts.

If we look at what Jesus said here, we find that He didn’t tell us to go work hard to become righteous. He said to seek God’s righteousness. This means that righteousness is something to be found, not something to be done.

Righteousness is right-standing with God.  The righteous person can stand in God’s presence without guilt or condemnation, fully free from judgement. The reality of Jesus is that without Him, no one can achieve righteousness. If we could do it on our own, His sacrifice wouldn’t be necessary. If we didn’t need a Savior, we wouldn’t rejoice at His birth.

In this season of grace, we are reminding ourselves to focus on the one thing that really matters, which is Jesus. Do we focus on Him by doing good things? The more righteously we behave, does that help us to focus on Him? Or is it the reverse?

Romans 5:17 tells us that righteousness is a gift that we receive. We don’t earn it. But let’s take it a step further. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says:

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .

Do you see it? Jesus became for us righteousness. The KJV says “who is made unto us.”  Became for us, is made unto us – Jesus is God’s righteousness on our behalf. When we seek the One who matters, when we pursue Him in His Word, in prayer, in faith, then we are seeking His righteousness. And from that place, righteous living will follow. We don’t seek righteousness by trying to be righteous. Rather, we become righteous when we seek Jesus. After all, He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Spend this season seeking the One and find the gift of righteousness. And all the things will be added.


  • What are ways you can spend time seeking the things of God with as much intention as you seek for the perfect gift for friends and family members?
  • Do you receive God’s gift of righteousness as an actual gift or are you still trying to earn it?

We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or prayers in the comments below. We are excited to be part of your Christmas! To receive notifications and stay engaged with this Christmas devotional series, please follow us. And please share this with your friends and family!

More on Grace

I found this from an old social media post. It's no less true today than it was the day I wrote it 8 years ago. It is probably even more relevant to current life circumstances. I pray it blesses you. 

For several months, God has been dealing with me in the area of grace. I have always loved the biblical principle, “for whom much grace is given, much grace will abound.” I will say, and I truly believe it, recently I have come to a new revelation and desire to understand how I can walk in the type of grace seen in the Word; it is not easy.

2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all the grace you need, you will abound in every good work.” It is very difficult to “abound in every good work,” when we are constantly at odds with others. We can fill our lives with “every good work,” going on about doing great things for God, yet never truly understand the concept of grace. We might even walk in His grace over our own lives, accepting it for ourselves but never accomplish the one true “good” work God desires for all of us – Love others as well as you love yourself, this is the second greatest command given by Jesus as He fulfilled His early ministry. yet, many of us do not walk in that love, again, we accept that love of God on our own lives, even to the extent of doing nice things for others, but we still seem to esteem ourselves above all others. This is not walking in grace.

I found it so interesting that one word used to describe grace was the word, “clemency”. Clemency means to have the disposition to show forbearance, compassion, or forgiveness in judging or punishing; leniency; mercy. Those concepts are the basic foundational truths of the New Testament. We are called to receive God’s grace so that we are able to walk in grace and extend grace, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy toward all others. These things should be extended toward everyone, not just those we choose or think deserve it. Deciding who deserves our grace is the antithesis of the Christian doctrine.

Grace means relinquishing our right to be right not sometimes but at all times. In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul learned that God’s grace was sufficient for him, that God’s power was made perfect in weakness. I don’t think he was talking about weakness of the physical body because if you continue in the passage Paul says:

"I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong. I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it."  

He boasted in his weaknesses concerning his reaction to insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties dealing with those people who were wanting to defame the message he was bringing in the name of Christ. These were people who he was trying to reach for the sake of the Gospel yet they refused to hear him, continuing to walk in opposition to him – insulting him, persecuting him, to the point of death. Ha! Now that’s what I call grace! He turned the other cheek, so to say, to the point of looking like a fool!

Grace allows you to do that. It allows you to show a person so much compassion even when they are insulting you or hurting you. To the world you look like a fool, heck, even to most of your Christian friends you are looking pretty foolish in those moments. But God’s power is made perfect in those moments! Resting in that truth is a beautiful freedom. I would suggest anyone try it!

Although it would be much easier to remove the “thorn” (seen earlier in 2 Corinthians 12), grace abounds all the more when we allow ourselves to walk in it through those difficult experiences, loving people through His strength and not our own. An entire world was changed because one man walked this perfectly, and we are called to emulate Him – Jesus!


“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Matthew 12:30 (NKJV)

We are living in a time where it seems everyone must take a side. Some people are calling this, “The Age of Us Against Them”. And if you’ve spent any time outside of the four walls of your own home, you’ve probably experienced this phenomenon on a personal level. Someone is always to blame, it’s never two-sided, and motives are always being questioned.

This mentality has also infiltrated people in the church over the years. Paul warns against it in Galatians 5:15 when he said, “…if you keep biting and devouring one another, watch out or else you’ll be consumed by one another.” And that fully embraces what Jesus meant when he addressed the Pharisees in Matthew 12. Jesus brought a new command – “to love your neighbor as yourself…” Paul mimics this in Galatians 5:14 – yes, the verse right before Galatians 5:15 – “The entire law is fulfilled in this single decree: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” THE ENTIRE LAW IS FULFILLED – So, no more need for legalism, Pharisees. Get your motivation in check.

Jesus wasn’t condoning a “for us or against us” mentality when he was addressing the Pharisees. He was addressing a the desire to keep rules, laws, traditions, regulations, “me first” thinking, and legalism instead of embracing His message of Grace. Jesus wasn’t worried about being the one to win an argument with the Pharisees. Jesus wasn’t trying to defend Himself. Jesus was gathering the masses toward the Way, the Truth, and the Light. The Pharisees would have rather seen people continue living in a way that kept them bound to a law that would not save them from the clutches of the enemy. They were not concerned about people being set free and being given the opportunity to embrace the powerful and active Holy Spirit. They were more concerned about being right. They wanted to continue perpetuating the narrative of legalism. Their motives were threatened by Jesus and the message He was bringing to the masses; you have to be born again and there is no way to do that but through Jesus Christ Himself – “No man comes to the Father except through me.” This revelation message to humanity drove the Pharisees bonkers. When Jesus proclaimed there was no more need for the law what the Pharisees heard was, “there is no more need for you, Pharisee.”

When people feel their motives are being threatened in any way, it is prime opportunity for much assumption and offense to take place. We see in the relationship Jesus had with Nicodemus the Pharisee that He was willing that none would perish – even the Pharisees – if they would only be receptive to the message He was bringing. It was in the beautiful interchange between Nicodemus and Jesus that we were given the most famous verse of the bible – John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever should believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus would go on to say, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” This message was one that would in some ways, put the Pharisees out of a job. This message threatened the existence of Pharisaical mentality. Jesus came not to condemn but to save the lost; the Pharisees believed their existence was to condemn the sins of others. Because of Jesus and His message of a life by the Spirit, the Pharisees could not co-exist within the confines of Jesus’ message and continue to believe the way they believed. This meant their own message was replaced with a new message. This meant they were, well, wrong.

As believers, our only agenda should always be Christ first. If there is any other agenda in our hearts, it is time to cut that up into tiny pieces and offer it up as a sacrifice of praise. The agenda and motive of the Pharisee did not have the heart of Jesus and His love for other attached to it in any way. These were men who studied God’s Words and His Law, yet their actions did not line up with those truths. Jesus made every effort to call out this behavior and stir the waters in order to bring attention to their hypocrisy because it hurt the people He loved, and it had the potential to distract people from embracing their true love.

An, “us against them,” attitude in Christian circles is nothing shy of what Jesus dealt with from the Pharisee. Always looking to point out the faults in others, always investigating motives & agendas (Matthew 7:1-2), or painting narratives to make ourselves look better is not Christ-centric (it isn’t putting Jesus at the center). It is a lifestyle based in fear and control and has no place among us.

It’s easy to know if your motive is Christ-centric, or if it is YOU-centric:

If you are consistently more concerned about being right than for the hearts of others: YOU-centric.
If you are not loving and addressing people the way you would like to be addressed and loved: YOU-centric.
If every conflict leads to you hurrying to write the narrative of the situation to others: YOU-centric.
If you are more concerned about your motive than celebrating what God is doing in others: YOU-centric

A Christ-centric life looks something like this:

If you are consistently concerned about giving others the benefit of the doubt: Christ-centric.
If you are loving and speaking to others the way you would liked to be loved and spoken to: Christ-centric.
If your conflicts lead to you allowing others space to share their hearts with each other: Christ-centric.
If you are celebrating what God is doing in others knowing He is the motive: Christ-centric.

You see, Jesus had His own motive, He said it loud and clear in Luke 19:10, “…the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” If our motive and agendas are not simply to seek and to save those who need the message of Jesus, we are living from our own reserve and that will ultimately lead to a place where you live with the “us against them” motive.

I encourage you today to get with Jesus and ask Him to reveal the motives of your heart to you. He is faithful to complete that work in you. Plus, the Bible says that no one knows the motives of a man’s heart other than the Lord, so it’s safe to say that Jesus is willing to get you on the right track with your motives if you’d just let Him.

Be Blessed, and share in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!


Grace and Courage to Enter

You can now hear this blogpost on Spotify to listen on the go! LISTEN HERE!

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4 
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.  Ephesians 2:18

David’s desire in Psalm 27:4 is something I pray on a regular basis. There is a sense of wonderment when I consider that David did not have the culminating end point of a relationship with Jesus, he only had the promise of the coming Messiah. The level of passion and obedience it required to stay in right-standing with God without ever seeing Jesus is worthy of human envy. (Maybe that is why Saul hated him so.) Yet, the Lord dubbed David, “a man after God’s own heart.”

So many people are waiting on a man to give them permission to be set free, to let them know they are redeemed, counted worthy, and seen as righteous.

I was watching an episode of King of Queens called “Patrons Ain’t”. In the episode Doug and Carrie, the lead husband and wife duo, donate money to a school library in order to feel better about themselves. When Carrie notices they aren’t listed on a plaque as giving as much as they had, she wants to tell the director of the library. She and her husband bicker about how uncouth that would be – Doug not wanting to embarrass himself with something so petty. Somehow the situation becomes a “spiritual” matter and they find themselves sitting in front of a priest asking him his opinion with Carrie hoping for permission to be recognized. The priest finally encourages them to drop it and Doug feels justified.

This silly sitcom example reminded me that we have a great high priest named Jesus and we don’t have to go to a priest for advice or to know what God would have for us. When Jesus died and rose again the veil that hung in the temple was torn from top to bottom. That meant that everyone could have access to God through the Holy Spirit and no longer through a priest or an infallible man. It meant we could come straight to God with our requests and our needs. It meant we could receive Him as our ultimate sacrifice and we would not need to put on a performance or prove ourselves to receive His grace and blessing.

When I watched the King of Queens episode it reminded me of how often we feel the need to seek out validation or agreement from people who may or may not always have our best interest at heart; even really nice, Christian people; even our family members who are believers. We have to have confidence in who we are in Christ more than we have confidence in someone else. We already know that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us, we know what is right, but I believe that we trust the opinion of the people around us more than we trust the still small voice of the Spirit. And I certainly believe that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, but when the counselors are not in agreement with THE Counselor, we must have the courage to enter into obedience with the plan of God over what others might think they know is best. God gave us permission to fully trust Him when He gave His Son to die on that cross.

Today have the boldness to enter in to a conversation with your Heavenly Father. If you are facing a holy discontentment, or maybe an unsettling in your soul that you just can’t quite put your finger on, stop asking everyone else what they think, and just ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what He’d like to show you. He is always faithful. Even when we can’t see the end from the beginning, we know He will complete what He started. We are His temple and He wants to show us where to take it!

Grace and Peace,


Control Your Time, Please!

As I sat in my chair after the question was asked of the panel of leaders, sweat beads started to form on my brow. “How do you balance motherhood, work, family life, and everything else you do to help lead others?”  Sure, a question that many women sitting in the room were probably wondering. Just like the women who were chosen to inform and inspire us, we had a desire to lead well in our homes and in our vocations.  As the question was asked, the entire panel laughed out loud, shaking their heads up and down, making quick little remarks to one another as if to assure us, “yes, we get it, our schedules are a crazy mess too!”  But the heat was crawling up my back until the moment I heard these amazing words come from one of the speaker’s mouths:

“Time management is one of the most important things to finding success, but it can also be a huge SACRIFICE for some of you sitting in the audience. It does not come natural to everyone, even to people who are successful. But it must become important to you if you want to be successful as a high-capacity leader.”   

I wanted to jump up and down and yell, “YES!” For years, I have been told that I am a high-capacity leader. Frankly, I haven’t always known how to say, “NO,” well and ended up with more on my plate than I should.  Yep, I could get the tasks done, make the trip, lead the group, but only at the expense of everyone around me – sacrifice. The sacrifice of family time, the sacrifice of sleep, even the sacrifice of happiness – this panel speaker confirmed that Time Management is in fact a sacrifice. That day I realized, I must decide what I’m willing to sacrifice in the time I have been given in order to accomplish what God has given me to accomplish.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” The chapter goes on to list out the different things that take up time in our lives. Birth, death, taking time to sow into dreams, tearing down things that do not belong, building up things that do, crying, laughing, grieving and dancing, even a time to decide what things to keep and those things to throw away.  That’s a lot to accomplish day to day.  And according to Solomon, God already knew that we would be faced with having to make priorities and having to decide how to manage our time in this life well. And one of the New Testament writers reminded us: “God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3)

God gave us the ability to control ourselves – it is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, self-control.  Time Management is largely about managing and organizing the hours of each day – controlling our time. It is not some magical day planner, an alarm buzzing from your smart device, or an app you can download to your phone. Sure, all of those are great tools to help us manage our days but, when it all boils down to it, managing our lives and our time to reflect our priorities is something in which we must be intentional.

First and foremost, we must determine those things that are priority.  If we do not recognize our priorities it is going to be difficult to manage our time. Secondly, we need to prioritize our priorities.  Because sacrifice is involved in managing our time, we need to determine those things we are willing to put on the altar each day. Each day may change. I may determine that today I am going to sacrifice a little time with my kids because yesterday I took them to the beach and had a picnic. Sacrifice does not have to hold negative connotation. In regard to time management it can look like prioritizing each day, one day at a time, even if you do that monthly. You can look at your calendar to see if you have or haven’t spent time with a friend or a child. Maybe you do not physically keep a calendar but you still know if it has been days since you have taken a much-needed exercise break.  Either way, prioritizing your priorities is a must!

If you struggle managing your time and knowing when to say NO to one thing in order to say YES to something else, I would like to challenge you to take 15 minutes to do two things:

1) Write down anything in your life that is a priority. It can be people, events, activities, personal care, etc.

2) Then, using your priorities list, make a second list and organize those priorities in order from most important to not as important.  (I didn’t say least important because ALL priorities are important, right!?!) 

Once you have done these things pray over the list. Ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life that you are making higher priority than necessary. Pray that He will show you what your “most important” priorities need to be and those you can push a little further down the list. Ask Him to help you recognize when things need to shift. And then thank Him for giving you the ability to control yourself and your time. 

For those who love technology:

LIFEHACK is a great tool to use for time management. And the great thing about Lifehack is that they just updated the latest and greatest tools for 2021!

I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts about today’s blog devo in the comments below!


Scripture References:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
2 Peter 1:3
Matthew 6:25-34

Grace in the Mediocre

Hebrews 13:5 “…be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

The word mediocre has several synonyms. Words like, ordinary, average, and second-rate. These are all words that you rarely want people to use when describing their thoughts of you. “Oh, she is a nice girl, ordinary in her appearance.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want people to say I’m ordinary! I want people to think I’m extraordinary! But in the grand scheme of things most of us will lead a life that is fairly average, ordinary, middle of the road. Heck, let’s just admit it…down right mediocre. The problem is we are not satisfied being average and ordinary. There is something deep inside of us that desires to be something more! The culture we live in testifies to everyone’s desire to be a rockstar by airing shows like, The Voice or America’s Got Talent. These shows give us the hope that those average, ordinary people just like us can really go somewhere, do something memorable with their lives. We talk up our children to help them feel that they are the best at what they do, allowing them to compete in sports by the age of 3, awarding them trophies and words of affirmation that go far beyond their ability. This mentality sets us up for serious disillusionment when real life begins because not everyone can be a rockstar. Not everyone can be the star athlete. Not everyone can be a Billy Graham or a Joyce Meyer. And that’s OK! Someone had to be their mother, or their father, or their hairdresser or their plumber.

Paul said that he had become content in every station of life, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12-13). There is a reason every Christian needs to embrace the ability to be content in every situation. If we do not embrace contentedness we open the door to become frustrated with the call God has on our life at that moment. It is in the ordinary that God creates in us the extraordinary. If we take hold of the ordinary moments in life and find the pleasure in being an “average Joe” God has time to prepare us for the greater things to come. Just because we may never stand on a stage to speak in front of millions, become the NFL’s first draft pick, or have a number one song on the charts does not mean that God can’t use our daily sacrifice to do memorable things.

Today while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner (a mediocre dinner at that), scrubbing toilets or whatever it is you find so monotonous and dull, remember that you serve the God of the Universe and He made you and He’s your biggest fan! In God’s eyes, when we are going about His business, we are all superstars! Nothing about that is ordinary or mediocre!

Daily Grace

“Chasing White Mice”. I think that sounds like a good title for my first book. Or maybe, “Icebox Mayhem”. Or wait!! Maybe, “Bats, Bats, Everywhere.”

Are you wondering to yourself, “what in the world is this lady talking about?!?” Well, let me explain myself….

On July 3 – yes, the day before a major holiday – our 2.5 year old refrigerator decided to go on the fritz and let us know that at some point in the last few weeks it had been dying a slow death from a lightning bolt surge that apparently targeted it’s life over all other major appliances in our house (silver lining moment – take pause; saying Selah would probably be a little sacrilegious, but I do need a moment to process)! (And no, before you ask, we did NOT buy the extended warranty, and yes, we know we should have.) Anyway, we went to find a new fridge because everyone knows that it’s almost as much to repair an appliance then it is to just go get a new one! Sadly, it was going to be an entire month before any store from here to kingdom come would have something available to deliver. Yep, the effects of factories shutting down during covid are starting to ripple. So, we did what we thought was the next best thing – we found a little used appliance store and bought a “hold over” garage fridge until we could either get a new one for the kitchen or have the fried one repaired. That same day, I saw an appliance repair guy at my neighbor’s house and asked him to come over. He ordered a new circuit board, came in a week later, didn’t work! That’s another story in and of itself. While all of that is going on, I notice that the used fridge in the garage doesn’t feel too cold in the refrigerator section, but the freezer was really cold. It DOES have a 120 day warranty so another guy came out, both defroster control units are bad! Yeah. I could go into more detail, but you get the picture, right!?! Oh, did I mention we have four kids – 3 teenage boys and a daughter!?! You don’t go without a fridge with 6 adult humans in the house!!!! It doesn’t end there, people!

Rewind about a month – we could rewind a few months and start with Covid but that’s a null issue at this house right now. About a month ago, after telling my husband that I kept hearing little scratchy sounds, like the ones I heard when squirrels decided to take up residence in our gutters, my kids came running into the house, “Mom, Mom!! There are bats flying out of our roof, there’s a ton of them!!” So I run outside, mumbling to myself, “I knew it, I told him there was something living in our gutters, but he didn’t listen and now corona is living and breeding in my gutters!!!” Sure enough, BATS! OH. MY. WORD. What!?! Again, I could go on about this story, but you get the picture, right!?! It doesn’t end there either!!

Now let’s get back to the refrigerators where the saga continues….

Used garage fridge was fixed yesterday – Holla! As Mark went out to the garage to make sure all was well after the repair guy left, he is startled when he notices a white mouse with beady little red eyes sitting at the door as calm as could be just hanging out. Said mouse doesn’t scurry away quickly, he just waddles off behind the bins and waits for us to look for him, I guess? We set up a pet-friendly trap. Nothing happened over a 24 hour period. Nice! But weird! Was this mouse just a figment of Mark’s imagination (I did not see the mouse)? Did it have some weird spiritual significance? We asked ourselves those questions, because who finds a white mouse hanging out in their garage – FYI, we don’t live in a rural area, we live in a normal neighborhood, we don’t see a lot of mice. During the day. In our garage. Today we gave up being concerned about the mouse and were going about our business when low and behold, I catch a glimpse of that furry white pest having a good time running around my neighbor’s backyard! I quickly yelled for Mark, he grabbed the trap, and we went on a mouse hunting adventure! Let me just tell you now, IT WAS NOT A MOUSE! IT WAS A FREAKING RAT!!!!! Yes, it was a rat!! Definitely a rat! We almost had him, but he escaped into the neighbor’s banana tree. Eventually we had several neighbors running around the yards like a bunch of crazy idiots trying to catch this rat! Oh what a sight to behold! But, we got that rat! It took four grown adults, but we got that rat! Apparently, according to my friends on the city Facebook page, these white rats have been seen in the adjoining neighborhood also. Not cool. To set your mind at ease if you are an animal lover, the white rat was gently re-homed to the woods far away from our house.

As you can tell, there has been a LOT of BRAVING GRACE in the day to day around our house! Along with all of that, our teenagers had the disappointment of having their annual youth camp cancelled this week. It was a wise decision for leadership to make that move, but still a major blow. (I didn’t even mention the giant gecko who decided to have babies in my bathroom – yes, it’s like stinkin’ animal kingdom over here! We have sent three of them outside and today I can gladly announce, mom gecko joined them after she jumped on my shoulder as I ran out the house to help catch the mouse/rat! Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up!) I hope you are keeping up with the madness!

THIS. This is what it looks like sometimes to BRAVE GRACE! It is in the summation of the day to day hassles, heartbreaks, and heaviness, that life can start to feel overwhelming. Sure, it’s funny to tell these stories – seriously, I have been biding my time before sharing publicly because it’s straight ridiculous, and everyone can laugh at straight ridiculous! But the reality is, the day to day can get really old, really quick. Frankly, these moments have created financial burden, cost us time, they have caused damage to our home; all of these things have been extremely frustrating to deal with, even in the midst of the shear hilarity! Really, who does this happen to? Wait, wait, I can’t go there!

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wonder, “Who does this happen to?” There are days and weeks and months, and even years, heck decades, that people go through where the ridiculous doesn’t seem to end. One more pop up out of the waves for a quick breath, and maybe the next one will take me close enough to shore to rest. You. Are. Not. Alone. These things do happen to the rest of us. It might not be rats, or bats, or lightning strikes, or leaping lizards, or the death of a loved one, or a diagnosis, or a teenage heartbreak. But all of those things are happening to people all around us.

To live through the day-to-day without becoming completely overcome by bitterness & anger, we have to live BRAVING GRACE. We have to be willing to believe God is for us, that He does not leave us nor forsake us. We have to believe that God’s word will not return to Him void, and He will accomplish what He started in us – even amid the ridiculous. In all reality, that is where grace is braved the most. The apostle Paul walked into the most ridiculous of ridiculous situations and sang the shackles off of prisoners, smacked a ship into the shore, and from everything we know, surrendered his life in order to BRAVE GRACE! When we focus on the eternal, and strive less to protect ourselves from the temporary, we are BRAVING GRACE. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel the moments deeply. It doesn’t mean we ignore what’s happening. There is a song called, “Man of Your Word,” by Maverick City Music. One of the lines says, “you are present in every step; you are patient in every heartbreak.” That’s the sweetest picture of the grace God has for us. He isn’t glibly telling us to get over our daily frustrations; He tells us to remember He is right there in them with us. The grace He extended on the cross doesn’t end at a prayer of salvation. It takes up permanent residence in our hearts – but unlike those bats in my gutters, He never leaves. Unlike that stupid white rat, He doesn’t need to be re-homed because my heart is His home. And absolutely unlike the cheap excuse for major appliances, He doesn’t break and fall apart needing to be replaced. He takes my brokenness, and my moments of falling apart to gently remind me of His grace – His unfailing grace.

Go Brave Grace my friends! Today is ending and tomorrow we are promised new mercies!


The Grace of Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

The more I study grace, the more I am amazed at how it pops up everywhere I look! You will find a running theme throughout our website here at Braving Grace – Grace is not something you can earn! It is not something you can work for! It is the free, unmerited favor of God.

I was all prepared to write a little something about grace providing for us when it pertains to having self-control, but I was so blown away by the last six words of Galatians 5:23. I had to take a hard right turn and not sure where to start now!

Ok, so here goes…….

Self-control always seemed like such an odd part of this list we find in Galatians 5. To me it gives the impression that it is something we need to do for ourSELF. This immediately leads to us believing we are able to prove something or work for something in order to have the beloved control over something – restraint from a bad habit or lifestyle, not indulging in sugary snacks, the sheer will power to avoid that thing! But that’s not what it’s about at all! Self-control is a gift, and we already have it!

As you’ve probably read or heard many times (simply because it’s true), is that it is easier to understand what something IS if you first understand what it isn’t. I say this concerning self-control because many of us have ourselves fooled that if we keep ourselves focused and able to stick to the schedule or follow the calendar or stay on that diet, or avoidance of a toxic relationship, that we are masters of self-control. That is NOT necessarily what self-control looks like. It might appear like self-control, but really it is legalism at it’s finest because its masked in things that look good. It’s masked as something we’ve accomplished.

Anyone who is horrible at time management can tell you that the person who keeps a calendar (and actually follows it) is enviable because of their own “out of control” day! But what if that person who keeps the perfect calendar is secretly harboring agitation and inner turmoil making every effort to make it to the day that says, “Self-Care Day”! That’s not self-control at all – that’s being completely controlled by a piece of paper with numbers on it, suffering through a tedious week all for a couple hours of so-called rest!

Or another example: That one relationship. It causes hurt and you aren’t quite sure how to confront it with peace? So you avoid the person. Sure, you’re not talking to them giving the appearance of self-control to those who know you should put boundaries in place, but you are still poking around on social media to see if they’re being nicer to other people and still enjoying life without you. First off, there is no grace in that situation at all. And secondly, there is no peace. Heck, there is no peace or grace because if avoidance is what you think is helping you control yourself and the feelings you have with this person, you are working to change something that is not yours to change. It is the goodness of God that changes people, not our co-dependent relational habits disguised as caring about people. Avoiding the relationship to control your self is really more about self-righteousness than it is about control. Whew, I am worn out just thinking about it!

You see, grace gives the space for circumstances and people (including ourselves) in our lives to change. Grace gives us the space to allow self-control to be part of the gift, not an action in which we have to fight! Of all of the fruit of the spirit, none of them are ours to be worked for – against such there is no law – they are ours for the taking. Consider our study in the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians 1:13-14 it says this:

“…when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession…”

Do you see it!? When we believe in Him we are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, He guarantees our inheritance so we can possess ALL that God has for us by His grace. The verse goes on to say, “for the praise of HIS glory!”

You guys! That is exciting stuff right there! You don’t have to ask God for more patience, or more joy, or more self-control!! YOU ALREADY HAVE IT sealed on the inside of you – it’s a promise! And God doesn’t break His promises.

Those six little words – “Against such things there is NO law,” change the game! You can NOT work to gain self-control. You can try for as long as you live, but until you accept the fact that you don’t need will power anymore, that you already have Holy Spirit power, you will fight til the end without freedom from whatever it is. If you have to work toward a self-care day, finding no rest or peace in the days surrounding it on your much too busy schedule, you are not walking in step with the self-control provided by the Spirit. You are walking in law. You are trying to attain something that you already have! “Against such things there is no law.”

Be encouraged. Read this list of what you already possess inside of you through the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Read it again, and again, and again, until you are fully convinced!!

Braving grace means thinking outside of your old ways and toward a life that sets you free from thinking it is about you in any way. It is not about you. It is all for the praise of His glory!

Be blessed and have an amazing day of brave grace! “Against such things there is no law.”

Love, Angela

Show some love: Visit our FACEBOOK page to follow and like us!

Grace and Gifts Abound

Read: Genesis 26:17-22 

We see here in Genesis that Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”

An unlikey passage that made for an amazing devotion one morning as I sipped my coffee and waited for a revelation.  I love those moments when God drops a word into your heart from a portion of scripture that you would never imagine He would speak directly to your life.  To get to the story and application…

Isaac had settled in Gerar and goes about his business sowing seed, raising cattle, growing richer and richer as the days went by.  Well, this made the Philistines jealous so they went and filled in the wells which were dug by Abraham’s servants (Isaac’s daddy).  The King tells Isaac he is too powerful to stay among the people and sends him on his way.  Isaac then moves into the Gerar Valley where he is faced with disgruntled shepherds.  No one twittered so these shepherds could know that Isaac was coming to pitch a tent and make the valley his home for awhile. So it’s to reason they were frustrated but it was how they handled their frustration that spoke to me. 

In this story, Isaac prospers so much that the King sends him away.  I was moved by the fact that Isaac faced a group of people who determined to argue with him over the blessing of the fresh water when he was in a land that was able to provide more than enough for everyone who inhabited the region.  They were arguing over the blessing! 

I believe that is like many people today.  We don’t recognize that there is blessing, according to God’s riches in glory, for everyone.  Each one of us is given gifts and abilities in order to serve and encourage others.  Instead of recognizing that God has given to us all an equal measure we decide to argue and walk in accusation towards others.

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

1 John 3:17

When we shut up our hearts for love toward others, we’re acting as the Philistines who shut up the wells of Isaac’s father, which was provision for the people.  God wants us to use our resources to love others, not to argue and dispute over who has the rights to the resources – the Word says:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…”

James 1:17

None of anything in this life is for us anyway, it’s all meant to be spent for the good of others.

Don’t spend life involved in arguments and discord. Rather, get along with what God is calling you to and pray that you are able to spend the resources to bless and not to accuse others of taking what is yours.  There is enough to go around! 

Braving Grace in Ephesians

Week 1 Devotional of BRAVING GRACE in EPHESIANS is now available!!

The message of grace is found on every single page of the bible if you look for it. Some passages come easier than others. But, in the book of Ephesians, you cannot miss the role grace plays in the promise of our salvation and living a full life.

Foundationally speaking, we can see the many results that come from the courage to see our lives through a lens of grace. God’s rich blessings are not merely an insurance of a Utopian eternity, but the many results that are provided for our current eternal relationship to our Heavenly Father – including this side of glory. Many people miss out on the hope of glory with a morbid idea that eternity doesn’t begin until death. That is not what Ephesians teaches us. That is not what the Bible teaches. Grace results in peace, mercy, power & love, and healthy relationships – right here, right now. Living life through the message of grace means leading a life of influence as we minister to others. Our relationships will be full of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. These grace-filled attributes are not confined to help us feel better about ourselves or to win God’s approval, but to help us live a consistent Christian life, already made righteous and new. Grace will in turn affect our marriages, our family relationships, it will even extend into our jobs. When we decide to brave grace, we are giving the Holy Spirit full access to our lives. Understanding the free gift of grace ultimately results in living a life directed by and infused with the power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Next week we will begin diving into the book of Ephesians with all new devotional pages for you to study. We look forward to encouraging you in your walk of BRAVING GRACE!

Until then enjoy our BLOG and check out our DEVOTIONAL IN GALATIANS.

Audacious Grace

The audacity! How dare he push such a ridiculous ideology on us! How dare he try to come in here and tell us that he has a better way! Who does he think he is telling us we have to change?!


Jesus was audacious. Jesus was bold. Jesus was confrontational. Jesus was brave. Jesus was bold, daring, and fearless! This is the character of Jesus. I am not making up the life this man led. I am not interpreting scripture to make Jesus into something I want him to be. I am looking at stories in the Bible and I am seeing a man who was so brave, so confident, and so capable of obedience to the Truth that set people free, that people actually got set free. People genuinely changed, some physically through healing, some spiritually through repentance. No matter, people cannot come into contact with this bold and fearless man and not be changed!

Account after account, Jesus did not seek to answer every criticism that came his way. He stayed the course of the call on his earthly life. He knew that long before he was, I Am would send him. He knew the past tense was working within the present tense of who God, his Father was and is, and is to come. He did not veer from that promise, or that calling, because he knew the end from the beginning, the Alpha and Omega. He was there when it was all created and he is still here to complete it!

The audacity of Jesus, the audacity of the gospel message of grace, is what has kept the gospel alive for centuries. Consider the story of each and every person who decided to pick up this mantle of grace, a mantle of complete courage, in order to see to it that others might come to know of this gift of liberty and love. If grace was passive, I would not be writing this post. If grace was passive, you would not be reading it. If grace was passive, tables wouldn’t be turned over, lives would not be changed, and we would be living in bondage with no hope or future. Grace confronts what needs to be confronted in order to bring the love of the Father to light. Otherwise people stay prisoner to fear and death. This side of grace might feel uncomfortable to many, but we are told to emulate Jesus, just like the Apostle Paul did throughout his evangelistic journey.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are found evangelizing Europe with the message of Jesus Christ and the unmerited favor of God. This was not appreciated by many leaders or by the religious. While the two men were headed to prayer on the day of Sabbath, they were arrested because Paul became aggravated by demonic activity and in boldness (not passivity) commanded a spirit out of a young woman. Her owners became so angry that they dragged Paul and Silas to the officials saying, “These men are seriously disturbing our city! They are Jews and are promoting customs that are not legal for us as Romans to adopt or practice.” (Acts 16:20-21) Does what Paul and Silas were doing sound passive to you? Not only were they doing the work of God on the Sabbath day, they were also preventing a fortune-telling business from succeeding. The audacity of these two men to cast demons out of this girl! Their willingness to confront the darkness landed them in the stocks. But that is not where the story ended. Their boldness to believe God showed itself in probably history’s most memorable worship service. One that caused “such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken and everyone was loosed.” (Acts 16:25-27)

The story of Paul and Silas’ courage created a domino affect that would end in the salvation of a jailer and his entire household. Their courage met their calling that day. They did not back down to old thinking, or to religious mindset. They did not keep grace in a box. They opened that gift up wide and bold and loud. They didn’t let the fear of man or the tradition of religious thinking keep them from boldly walking out grace through faith! They believed what God said was true and that what He started He would finish because of Christ Jesus!

Our faith cannot be passive. We must walk in grace, and at times it will be confrontational. It will address grievances produced by legalism and works-based teachings. The message of grace has the power to transform any life. It transformed mine! Someone daring enough to proclaim the Lord Jesus to my mother led to her entire household being saved. Just like that jailer and his family in Acts 16. Your audacious obedience to tell someone else, that it is by grace they are saved through faith, will lead to their hope and future. Our boldness does not need to be directed toward telling everyone the are wrong; our boldness needs to be used to point people to the truth of Jesus and that grace that saves! “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household!” (Acts 16:31)

So today, be audacious. Brave Grace!

Acts 16:11-34
Jeremiah 29:11