Showing posts from 2016

A Timeless Prayer from Psalms

Psalm 86, a psalm of David. The Message translation: 1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me.     I’m one miserable wretch! Keep me safe—haven’t I lived a good life?     Help your servant—I’m depending on you! You’re my God; have mercy on me.     I count on you from morning to night. Give your servant a happy life;     I put myself in your hands! You’re well-known as good and forgiving,     bighearted to all who ask for help. Pay attention, God, to my prayer;     bend down and listen to my cry for help. Every time I’m in trouble I call on you,     confident that you’ll answer. 8-10 There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord,     and nothing to compare with your works. All the nations you made are on their way,     ready to give honor to you, O Lord, Ready to put your beauty on display,     parading your greatness, And the great things you do—     God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you! 11-17 Train me, God, to walk straight;     then I’ll follow your

The Life of a Leaf

The following devotional is from LIFE OF A LEAF by  Heather Cofer  |  November 14, 2014 I was sitting in my living room one sunshiny day a couple of weeks ago, looking out our window at the changing leaves—soaking up all the beauty of fall. I began pondering autumn, and what it means when the leaves begin changing color. It means they are beginning to die. “Only God,” I thought, “would be able to design something that is dying to be so beautiful.” In the spring, the leaf begins budding with the excitement of new life; it grows and matures until it is a full [leaf?]. Then, as summer comes to an end, it turns a brilliant yellow or red or orange, going out in magnificent splendor before finally falling to the ground, where it becomes nutrients for the tree to produce more healthy and beautiful leaves the next year. This holds so many parallels to the life of a Christian. We have such a short season on earth, but we have a specific purpose and calling: to displa

Urban Dictionary said...

Recently I was given the task of giving the devo for our Fall National Board Summit, held in no other than, my current hometown, Greenville, NC. Anyone who knows me, and this town, knows that it 1) is centered around ECU 2) bleeds purple and gold and 3) is full of passion, pride, and spirit for all things pertaining to the Pirates. I often joke that my chapter “doesn’t fall far from the tree” (me). They are ALWAYS pumped up and go full force 110% into whatever they are doing. Which, if you know me at all, is exactly how I am as well. So I took this devo super serious and took it upon myself to get everyone PUMPED UP for the year to come. PUMPED for how our chapters are going to reach people for Jesus. PUMPED for all the lives that will be impacted and transformed along the way. And PUMPED for just all that SAO stands for and the passion these fearless leaders have to lead their chapters with grace and wisdom. So bring it into the huddle...we’re gonna be ALL IN this year. You with

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Have you ever read the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by the incredible Dr. Seuss? If not, stop reading this and go get a copy of this amazing piece of literature. If you have, then I’m sure you remember the great encouragement given throughout. For example... “Today is your day! You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” “Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.” “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)” “Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” But, the real life advice comes in the pages between the above quotes, where we are reminded that sometimes we “won’t”... (see what I did there?!? Yes, I love me so Suess talk… anyway…) In John 16:33, Jesus tells us “In this world you will have trouble.” Not that we might or its possible, but that we will. Dr. Seuss refers to these troubles as silly rhymes, but the truth of life is still there. “I’m sorry

(Not) Selling Jesus

My father-in-law is a pharmaceutical salesman. He is an expert at selling not only prescription drugs to doctors and hospitals, but also at selling decisions to be made at the most minor level, of which he always has an opinion. He preaches the importance of a roadside safety bag, having cash handy, and avoiding putting information out on the internet. To his children, these things are good advice, but they are also worth an eye roll or two when he gets into his dreaded "sales-dad" mode. I am not a salesperson. I remember the first retail job I ever had was so uncomfortable for me because of the sales commission I had. I worked at a boutique for bath products, like make-up and skin care. I was terrified of rejection from customers. Most of the time, I could not even convince myself to buy some of the overpriced items, so, I reasoned, why would I want to push someone else into doing just that? Our faith can feel like we are "selling" Jesus to others, and, for many

An Open Letter to Our Graduates

Dear Graduate: Congratulations!   You've completed your undergraduate degree and are moving on - a new step in life, lovingly coined "adulting..." Before you go, let us bestow a few parting words (ok, a lot of parting words): 1.  It is a great, big world out there!  Be careful not to loose focus on the big picture by getting lost in the muck.  Remember, too, that even though it is a great, big world, God fearfully and wonderfully made you!  (Psalm 139:14).  He placed the stars in the sky, and he knows them by name (Psalm 147:4) -- and just the same, He calls you by name, His beloved!  (Isaiah 43:1).  YOU are HIS child!  And with forces like that at work in your life, how can anything happen, but that which was meant to be?  He is in control.  He's got this.  And because He's got this, YOU'VE got this! 2.  Don't forget ΣA Ω!   I truly believe this organization is ordained by the Lord and serves such a powerful purpose (both during undergrad

The Four Letter Word… BUSY

We’ve all said it, “I’m just soooo busy.” We say it when we are asked to do something we don’t feel we have time to do, we say it to our friends when work is keeping us late and we are missing yet another coffee date. We say it to our spouse when they ask if we can help with this “one” project… Sometimes it is truly legitimate, sometimes more of an excuse in disguise… but either way, the truth is always the same, we have time for something, just not for what we are too busy to do. Now, confession time… In 2015 I was truly the busiest I have ever been. My husband was job hunting and then took a job pastoring at a small church, I had two little ones, I worked my “real” job, volunteered with the sorority, did children’s ministry… and was failing at everything. Ok so maybe “failing” is bit of an exaggeration, but at the time, it's truly how I felt and even in hindsight, I was not doing anything incredibly well. Occasionally, I would have a week were one area was ok, but only at the

If I have the Gift of Prophecy… and the Faith that Can Move Mountains, but Have Not Love, I am Nothing

One of the hardest things about being a Christian in an increasingly doubting world is being forced into defending our belief in God and in Jesus.  Every day there seems to be new scientific, philosophical, or historical evidence splashed across the headlines which provide proof of an absence of an all-knowing creator for doubting or nonbelievers.  But what if I told you that this is only the enemy at work?  What if I told you that the Bible has never been proven incorrect, ever?  What if I told you that scientific, philosophical, and historical evidence actually proves that Christianity has been the ONLY constant in this world since the beginning of time?  And what if I could give you the keys to prove all of this?  I can.  But you don’t need those keys...     On Sunday my pastor delivered just an incredible message on the Bible and how we, as Christians, can guarantee it is written by man, but the Words are His, and His alone (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with

New Year, New You

I was invited to a "Anti-Resolution Post-New Year's Party," which I had to laugh at. Really, it was just a get-together of some friends, but the host accented the fact that there would be unhealthy food, you'll probably stay up too late and not want to exercise, and it will prevent you from finishing that book you avowed to finish. It's like this almost every year. I can only think of one year where I did make a lifestyle change (it was "drink more water"), but a new year always feels like a blank slate. But, what are we doing when we establish goals and fail at them? But, isn't that exactly what our spiritual walk is? We know that we will fail, but we stand up after falling down, over and over again. Because what we do know is that God's way--the "straight and narrow"--is one worth pursuing. If you have ever been in a platonic or romantic relationship (HINT: you have), then you know that even if you get in a fight, or someone