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Category Archives: devotion

Words

What are the last words you spoke to the last person with whom you spoke?

To be fair, I’ll share mine: “I love you, too.”

But if you’d heard my words yesterday, they would’ve sounded less beautiful. More… ungrateful. Untrusting. Unkind.

Words have the ability to encourage or the ability to destroy. When you add emotions, exhaustion, and ego to the mix, communication can be a minefield. The paradox? We frequently mete our harshest words to the individuals we love the most.

Why is that? Don’t you hate it? I do. I want to be a better listener. A better problem-solver. I want to end a conversation with someone knowing that I’ve affirmed him. In times of disagreement, my desire is that when the conversation is over, the problem has truly been resolved instead of postponed. I want to stop falling into the same speech traps that constantly leave me disappointed and defensive.

The gift of speech is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, but I’m so inept at utilizing the spoken word. That’s why the Proverbs wield power. These wise sayings help me to love God and my neighbor.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Sometimes the best use of the tongue is to keep it sealed behind our lips. Silence is a powerful form of communication. The best Communicator who ever lived, Jesus Christ, chose to remain silent even when He was unjustly accused and on the way to His crucifixion. I would’ve been screaming. But He was silent. He knew He was right. Therefore, He had nothing else to say. His final action of love was all that was necessary.

It’s tough to control our words. We should think before we speak, and if we do have to say difficult words, they must be spoken in love. One of the scriptures most difficult to apply is this: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

Father, give me wisdom. Use my speech to glorify You and encourage others. Make my words agents of Your healing.

 

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Under the Weather

cold-1947995_640I’ve been under the weather for the past week and a half. I can’t even remember when I’ve been this sick and for this long. I’m past the achy body and sleeping for hours on end, but there still is something lingering in my head and sinuses.

Throughout my time of being sick, I’ve had a terrible sore throat. One that was only appeased with a Wendy’s frosty. It hurt too much to swallow regular liquids. I tested negative for the flu and for strep throat, but still I was left with feeling lousy and medicines weren’t doing much in the way of relieving the pain I endured.

Through the pain, the Lord kept reminding me to pray for a man from my church who was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He had a sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I’ve missed two Sundays of going to church, so I haven’t heard how he’s doing or the results he heard from further testing. But through my pain and discomfort, God prompted me to pray for someone who is going through much more than I can even imagine.

How can God use your ‘inconveniences’ to point you to pray for someone in need?

 

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Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in devotion, Writing

 

Are you frustrated yet?

3753584003_95eef4f7ce_oYou’re 18 days into the new year, and you still haven’t lost those ten pounds, finished that novel, or gotten your kids in line. Your plan to get the house clean seems to have disappeared beneath a fresh layer of dust, and you’ve apparently misplaced the organization chart you spent hours crafting. Your decision to work out daily was waylaid by a nasty cold, and your resolution to make it to church every Sunday wasn’t quite enough to drag you out of bed on time.

You started the year with such hope lo, those many months…er, days ago. And now, all is lost.

Or maybe you’re like me and quit making resolutions years ago. If we don’t aim for anything, it’s impossible to miss.

Impossible to hit, too.

I jumped on the word-of-the-year bandwagon awhile back, so every year around the first, I pray about what word God would have me focus on for the next 365 days. Guess which one he gave me this year?

Perseverance.

I wasn’t happy when the word came to me, because it means that those things I want might not come so easily. The ten pounds won’t just slip off like pants two sizes too big. The words of the novel won’t glide effortlessly from my fingers onto the screen. The teenagers won’t suddenly behave like mature adults.

So I’ve decided to look at my word from a different angle. Perhaps my word is not about the goals at all. Perhaps it’s about trusting God with everything and slogging forward—“straining toward what is ahead” as Paul so aptly put it (Philippians 3:13).

Would God ask me to persevere in a lost cause? Would he expect me to keep fighting a losing battle? I think not. I think he wants me to fight for what I want and trust him with the results, so that when I do achieve what I’ve worked for, I’ll have truly accomplished something. And I’ll know he was with me all along.

There are still 347 days left in this year to persevere. Imagine what God can do with a servant unwilling to give up.

Bring it on, 2017. I’m ready.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Check out my latest releases, Convenient Lies and A Package Deal, at my website. Or read more about them below:

Kindle CoverConvenient Lies

What happens when a woman marries her greatest enemy?

When investigative journalist Reagan McAdams discovers her new husband Julien is part of a powerful international crime family, she flees Paris with their newborn, returning to her childhood home in Nutfield, New Hampshire. She plans to gather her inheritance, collect her beloved grandmother, and disappear forever. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect her son from his criminal father. 

But when Reagan arrives home, her heart breaks at the news of her grandmother’s death. Finding her missing inheritance—hidden somewhere on the property—is as impossible as a second chance with her former boyfriend, Brady. Reagan’s feelings for Brady are stronger than ever, but when Julien harms innocent people to smoke her out, Reagan must make a choice.  

What—and who—will she have to sacrifice to save her son?

Only Mine

A Package Deal

Jo didn’t know she wanted children until she learned that cancer had likely ruined her chances to have them. Dared by her friends to try online dating, Jo meets a man who would be perfect—if not for his obvious desire for a family and her too recent cancer scare. 

Carter can’t believe his luck when his first match through the online dating site is the pretty woman from the UPS store. He figures he’ll tell Jo about his five-year-old daughter if things get serious—which he doesn’t figure they will. He’s been burned by enough women not to get his hopes up. 

As Jo and Carter start to fall for each other, they realize the secrets they’ve hidden could tear apart the tenuous bond they’ve created. They both come with baggage. 

Can either of them accept a package deal?

 

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Can You Believe It?

We’ve lost a lot of famous individuals in 2016, most recently Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. We’re shocked to hear of the deaths of talented and wealthy people. We expect them to live long lives and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

As confusing and sad as death is, everyone has a death date. When someone dies very young or tragically, I’m reminded how short life is and how fearful we become because we don’t know which day will be our last. Death raises questions like Why was I born? What is the meaning of life? Why do people die?

The Holy Bible answers these questions.

  • We were born to bring glory to God and enjoy fellowship with Him.
  • The meaning of life is to honor God with our reasoning, creativity, and productivity.
  • We die because we’re rebels.

Humans are created in God’s image, and as such we were created to live forever. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created in perfection. But they disobeyed their loving Creator. They were told before they disobeyed that they would surely die if they disobeyed. God called their lack of trust and subsequent disobedience sin. No longer were Adam and Eve in an eternal state of perfection, but in an eternal state of condemnation. Stiff penalty. But it’s all about who makes the rules, and clearly, we don’t.

How merciful that God didn’t cast them out of His perfect garden in their wretched state. He shed the blood of an animal to provide reparation for their wrongdoing and clothed them with the animal skin to cover their shame and remind them of His provision.

Since we are the offspring of Adam and Eve, we’ve inherited their sin nature and its consequences. It’s why we die. We’re born rebels. Left to ourselves, we would go our own way instead of trusting and obeying God. But God gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the death penalty that we deserved. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was crucified to save from their sins those who trust Him by faith.

Even though our physical bodies are decaying each day, we don’t lose heart because through Christ, our inner person is being renewed day by day.

Glorify and honor God. Enjoy Him, knowing that our times are in His hands. Don’t fear. Only believe.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Current Events, devotion, Scripture, Writing

 

Surviving Holiday Anxiety

file9221293737060Christmas is coming! It’s the time of year when all is merry and bright. But… what if it’s not? Losses, financial difficulties, travel advisories, and social gatherings can cause anxiety. Here are some suggestions to encourage you if you’re anxious about the upcoming Holiday.

Focus on God’s provisionJoseph was a godly man, but how must he have felt when the innkeeper told him there was no room in the inn? Regardless of Joseph’s feelings, God was divinely orchestrating–with pinpoint precision–the location where His Son would be born. God is working out His plan in our circumstances as well.

file9731293737665Expect the unexpected. Like Mary and Joseph on the first Christmas, we can experience Christmas surprises that are stressful and messy. But if we complain about changes instead of celebrating new opportunities, we’ll miss the blessing of the journey on the way to the destination.

Anticipate joy. Shepherds rejoiced at the announcement of the Savior’s birth. Rejoicing is an act of the will, a mental resolution. The Savior’s birth is still reason to rejoice today.

When anxiety threatens to steal your joy, be thankful for God’s provision, remember His sovereignty, and rejoice evermore!

 

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in devotion, Jericha Kingston, Writing

 

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Halloween and Christians

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Manasseh made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. ~ 2 Chronicles 33:6

I’ll come clean and admit that I’ve never understood Halloween. Other than sending children out to beg candy from friends, neighbors, and total strangers, what’s the point? In this day and age where parents need to have their kids’ candy x-rayed before it’s deemed safe to eat … I really don’t get the point. But let’s explore it a bit anyway.

The rationale that it’s all fun and games is one I’ve heard often, from both Christians and non-Christians. Okay. But aren’t there better ways to have fun and games than sending children out into the night, dressed in costumes that often depict evil, to face decorations often glorifying evil? I hope so.

It’s just about the candy is another rational I’ve heard. Every grocery store in town sells candy. Every. One. There’s no need to send children out to beg for it. But that’s just my take.

If our children don’t participate, they’ll be made fun of. Yeah? Like Christ didn’t foresee that already? But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”~ John 15:21 Halloween is a great opportunity to model this for children, not to deprive them of candy (available at every grocery store), but to emphasize that you believe they have been bought at a price. That price includes denying things that are against God. Trying to find anything spiritually redeeming about Halloween is like sitting in pigeon poop to view statue you can see better while standing. 

Manasseh messed up big time. He dabbled in evil. He angered God. Does dabbling in Halloween once a year put your children at risk? Maybe not. But what if it plants a seed you can’t unplant? What if it delivers that underlying message that Christ is for Sunday at church and the rest of the time … you can go along to get along? Is that worth a bag of x-rayed candy to you?

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in devotion, Pegg Thomas, Scripture

 

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Evidence

scales-of-justice-982903_640My husband and I recently watched the movie, God’s Not Dead 2. It’s one of those movies that makes you think and ponder long after the final credits have rolled.

One main thought has been…if I were on trial for my faith, how much evidence could be shown to support it? Would the scale be heavy balanced on one side? I don’t know that I have a ready answer, but it has been something I’ve been ruminating on. 🙂

Jesus is who we look to and try to emulate. I believe that those that were around Him could easily sense that something was different about the man. Perhaps at first they didn’t recognize what it was, but I think that within minutes it could be detected.

Are we the same way? When others are around us, do they notice that we are different? Can they see Christ in us? I love this from Acts 4:13 (NIV): When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” The crowd recognized that these men had been with Jesus.

I have to ask myself, can the same be said of me? Can others tell I’ve been with Jesus?

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in devotion, Living for God, Writing