Posts Tagged ‘daily’

Developed by Daily Devotion

Daily devotionals can keep a believer grounded.  Believe me.  I know that from personal experience.

Some years back, when i really started taking my Christian walk seriously, I got wind of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  It changed my entire approach to my daily encounters and interactions as a Christian.  I began to have Chambers’ words mixed with tidbits of the Scriptures on my heart and mind as well as on the tip of my tongue as I went through my day.  It made a major difference in how I dealt with people.  I began to have a different experience with others as I continued my daily readings and reflections.

Visit Crosswalk’s devotional section and see what it has to offer.  I also like C.H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook as another option for devotional reading.

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God Hears Us

Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry.- Psalm 88:2 (NKJV)

Prayer is the believer’s direct connection to God through His Holy Spirit.  Seek the Lord in regards to all of your affairs.  Let the Lord know of your heart’s desires and concerns.  Do not worry about what words to say.  The Lord can even discern the groanings and grumblings of our very spirits.  Speak openly and honestly with God.

The psalm is called a contemplation.  It is set to music as a song.  Like many other psalms, while it is poetic in style, it is a song.  Its very lyrics speak both from the heart and to the heart.  Its opening words entreat the Lord: “O Lord, God of my salvation…” These words give an indication that the writer of the psalm seeks the Lord’s attention immediately and directly, beginning with such an invocation and plea.

What are your initial words to the Lord as you open your prayers? Do you find yourself opening your heart as much as you are opening your mouth? Are you words seeking God’s inclined ear? Have you made your prayers and supplications an honest appeal to the Lord’s inclined ear?

Speak openly with God.  Seek God’s graciousness and goodness for all that you need in this life.  Be certain that God hears your words.  Know assuredly that God hears your heart through your prayers.  Understand that God surely hears you. Make certain that you offer your prayers to God, seeking His ear with every single word of prayer.

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Christian writers need to tap into their creativity just as much as any other writers.  It is especially necessary when you are a freelancer, when your gigs are not a steady of stream of syndicated newspaper columns or a growing base of endearing readers due to all of the advertising and marketing dollars that go into your books from the big-time publishing houses.  You need to have some creative ways to develop both content and commerce.

  • Publications: You may never get a major book deal with a large publishing house.  Don’t throw away all of those prayer journals and scribbled notes for that Christian memoir yet.  Publish it yourself or go to a small press.  If you have tried a small press already, try an even smaller press like a small Christian college.  You may need to work it through their journal or magazine-like publication first as a beta test prior to publishing, but it is a far cry from those outright rejections from the big boys on Madison Avenue.  Self-published books are in a whole different arena nowadays, but you have to do your homework.  They won’t simply jump off the shelves (or, out of the warehouse).  The smaller you go with publishing the more how-to knowledge you are going to need to get you through to making it.  Look at www.lulu.com or www.blurb.com to publish yourself.  Check out www.pw.org for some small press and online havens for Christian writers.
  • Products: I am a big believer in making more out of my sermons than simply a preached message.  I look and see if they could be used as blog posts, Bible lessons, MS PowerPoint slideshows, program curriculum or e-books and articles.  If they can pass the so-called “t-shirt test,” can they be placed on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, even a button, and sold? Develop products that can be sold as fund-raisers for your church or small group.  Perhaps, if you are sincere, honest and earnest, the church or the small group may be willing to partner with you or support you by purchasing some of your products and books just above costs and reselling them as a fund-raiser for a special event or certain cause.  You have to make your products something that people would buy with their hard-earned money.  With more and more people using laptops or iPads than desktop PC’s, you may do better making some cool, graphically-appealing iPad and laptop cases and covers, even sleeves, rather than mousepads.  Use a site like www.cafepress.com or www.zazzle.com, even www.spreadshirt.com.
  • Presentations: Convert your short stories into videos with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie on Mac.  Use your scripts to make mini commercial spots that offer a sneak peak of your play in production for mobile devices or on www.youtube.com or www.youversion.com , even see if you can uplaod it on www.godtube.com.  See about your slideshow being used as a presentation on your faith journey of recovery that highlights portions of your book detailing and chronicling your experience of leaving drugs behind for a new life Christ.  Share this with rescue missions, shelters and recovery centers.  Many of these programs pay their presenters.  Sign your book after the presentation.  In lieu of payment, or in addition to payment if at all possible, sell your books to the program with a volume discount.  Upload your presentations on your own site, your blog or www.slideshare.net or www.box.net, even www.christianarchives.com.
  • Postings: Let it flow out of you and online.  Post to a blog consistently.  Look at www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com.  Some people like www.tumblr.com, too.  Your blog can be read by subscribers and you can add an RSS feed to your site, too.  Technology is so cool.  Twitter is a form of “micro-blogging.” I say combine your Twitter and Facebook accounts to a degree and hit up your fans and followers through Tweetdeck.  It simplifies the whole thing and it’s splendid.  You can even add your Google Buzz and LinkedIn accounts, too.  Post links to your press releases about your new book in print, upcoming author events such as poetry readings or signings, and the storefront that carries your e-book or your podcasts.

As a believer, you want to keep the faith.  Your writing is similar to your walk.  You have to pray for some breakthroughs to keep you from some serious breakdowns.  Trust the Lord with all year heart, but be active with your faith.  Writing is a broad field.  Be sure to exhaust your resources and networks getting your writing career off the ground, up and running.  Keeping praying and stay active.

This post originally appeared on RedRoom on Rev Bruce’s Page

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“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” -Mark 1:35-37

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”  Psalm 5:3

What is your morning ritual?

Do you rise up early and find your own personal time with the Lord?

How do you start your day?

Seek the Lord’s face early.  Find a way to find time to spend time with God.  Place an emphasis on making your personal time with God a special time that kicks off your day.  Make it special.  Seek a special time with the Lord.  Do it daily.

Rise up early.  Get to a place that allows you to have some privacy.  Talk openly with the Lord.  Share the burdens of your heart with Him.  Be both open and honest.  Pour out your heart to Him and with Him.  Let your tears run down your face.  Hear yourself crying out for mercy.  Listen closely as the Lord whispers comfort into your soul.

Find the time and you will find a new level of Christian experience.

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The fruit of a life in Christ is a life like Christ.”- Andrew Murray

 How are you living?

Have you been down in the dumps? Have you kept your head in the clouds? How have you been living your life?

If you have been living yours anything like I had been living mine up until a few days ago, you had been dreading the of daily doldrums or the weakness of weekly weariness.  You live day to day without much excitement or enthusiasm, usually doing just enough to get through, to get by and to simply get on.  Then…

Then, after some searching of your soul and retracing of your own steps, you discover that you have not been living  at all.  You have been breathing, but you have not been living a real life.  Yes, you have been active, but you have not been actually living.  You know Christ, but you haven’t been living like Christ.  You have accepted Him, but you haven’t accepted a life that is lived like Christ.

The life that you should be living in Christ is available to you.  It is an abundant life.  It is the type of life that abides in Christ like Andrew Murray, Brother Lawrence and so many others have written of ages ago.  It is the life that Christ offers us in Christ.

I have come to believe that we have to live like Christ.  It is a learned behavior.  There is nothing innate about it.  We have to learn about it and learn how to do it, gaining more and more knowledge as we go along the way.  At some point, all of our learning about Christ will cause us to have an ah-ha moment and start living like Christ.

Just ask yourself: How have you been living?

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.- John 10:10 (KJV)

You Can Make It Happen Every Day

Order Lamentations in the Storm by Bruce Jackson

A collection of inspirational poems and prayers for the weary soul

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Give us today our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

Let us face it.  We easily become consumed with the matters of tomorrow.  We worry about tomorrow.  We fret over it.

The Word speaks about worrying about tomorrow:

  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.- Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
  • Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.- 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:13-17 (NIV)

What about today?

God offers us today.  We must make the most of today.  We cannot neglect the importance of handling the matters at hand.  We cannot afford to bypass what must be done today.  Otherwise, any hopes for tomorrow are null and void.  Handle today in an appropriate manner and manage your affairs accordingly.

Today’s challenges cause us to truly search our own souls.  We must ask ourselves what we are living for moment by moment.  We must question each and every move that we make.  We must consider where everything fits in the big scheme of things.  Let’s not lose sight of what we should do in His name, looking at Christ as our example of humility.

This is the day the Lord has made.We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

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Luke 14:28 speaks of counting up the costs for building a tower.  It is a metaphoric example presented by Jesus in relation to discipleship.  However, it is a practical example about business structure.

You want to build your business.  You do not desire to build a weak business with low-grade structures and systems.  You would be hard pressed to find someone who desired such a thing out of their business hopes and dreams.

Start thinking it out.  Build a business structure that leads to a strong business.  Don’t try to be what you are not equipped to do in business simply because that is what the other guy does across town.  Distinctively design your business to stand on its own.

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How to Stay Motivated-Changing The Picture

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”- Zig Ziglar

Dream Big: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dreams and Laugh at Your NightmaresStarting up a business may require you to scale down your big dream.

Your Dreams Are Too Small (Middle English Edition)

Don’t read into that.  I did not say it may require you to drop or dump your dream entirely.  I just said you may need to scale it down at the start to get things started.

How To Eat An Elephant: A Slice-by-slice Guide To Total Quality Management - Third EditionBusiness Development for Professionals: How to eat an elephant, one bite at a time (Volume 1)You may need to slice it up into manageable pieces, so that you can get things set up and in place to advance to new levels, stages and phases.  I tend to favor a modular approach when I work with clients on programmatic funding or business planning, identifying phases where new components, services or features can be added based upon the state of the core business.  There it is.  I seem to have have given it away, but that should be the focus; your core business.  Scale things down to the core.  Get things down to the bare essentials and build from there.

Beauty and the Business: Practice, Profits and Productivity, Performance and ProfitabilityAvon: Building The World's Premier Company For WomenI think Avon does an excellent job at providing a business model based on a similar cocnept.  You may like fashion or cosmetics, even costume jewelry.  Avon isn’t trying to get you to open a kiosk at the mall or storefront on Main Street.  The company provides each “Avon lady” with the essentials to the catalogs and ordering forms as well as support that allow her to experience success on a small scale and grow from there.  It is obvious that Avon’s core business is beauty products, not blue jeans or handbags.

Start out small, while continuing to think and dream big.  Post photos, sketches and anything else related to your dream above your PC’s monitor, on your car’s dashboard and taped to the fridge.  Keep it visible, but be sure to set things in order first
The Big Idea: How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, From the Aha Moment to Your First MillionBusiness for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace (Christian Worldview Integration Series)
Share the Dream, Build the Team : Ten Keys for Revitalizing Your ChurchLeading Your Business to the Next Level: The Six Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable GrowthDon’t get tripped up that you haven’t accomplished or achieved the full dream yet.  Just get started. Get started right.  Get started doing the core business of your dream and build from there.

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Jesus shared that he came to seek and to save the lost in Luke 19:10. In essence, we need to become more like Jesus.

How? We need to find a way.

Find a way to:

  • Reflect His Acquaintances: Jesus hung out with tax collectors and sinners, not to mention the “unlearned” fishermen and zealots among His own disciples.  he was inclusive of the poor,  sick, needy, and others.
  • Reflect His Actions: Jesus went about teaching and preaching, healing and performing other miracles, wonders and signs.  We could sum it up into “good works.”
  • Reflect His Attitude: Jesus showed compassion, patience and sacrificial love.  Having an attitude like Him requires one to be a true servant-leader.

As you go about your day, see where you can perform similar good works and offer yourself as a servant, a minister, to others in your comings and goings.

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 10 Hear the word of the LORD,
   you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
   you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
   what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
   of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
   in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
   who has asked this of you,
   this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
   Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
   I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
   I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
   I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
   I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
   I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!

Isaiah 1:10-15 (NIV)

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, the Lord was not pleased with the condition of Israel.  He shared his deepest sentiments regarding her sacrifices and offerings to Him.  He was truly displeased.  In fact, at one point in verses 16 and 17, of the same chapter, He says for the disobedient nation to wash and “learn to do right.” The Lord was truly offended by all that Israel tried to do outwardly without any sign of inward change.

This is for those who may not have heard it before today.  It is for those who my never have read where the Lord calls His people harlots and idol-worshipers.  This is for you just in case you never heard such things from God Almighty in His Word. 

It can also serve as a reminder for those who have heard or read it, but they somehow forgot that they ever heard or read them before.  It should help convict and reprove those who know better to do better.  Let it serve as a strong reminder to all that God will not stand our disobedience and defiance for long.  Turn from your ways and start doing things God’s way.

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
   says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
   they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
   they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
   you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
   you will be devoured by the sword.”
            For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 1:18-20 (NIV)

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