DIRECTION FOR EVERYDAY LIFE

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S –  Scripture: Jeremiah 42:3 (NLT)
‘Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.’

O – Observation
The people that were left after the fall of Jerusalem approached Jeremiah from the least to the greatest, asking him to ask the Lord that He would show them “what to do” and “where to go”  

A – Application
They were in desperate times, some taken captive, and some, of the poorest people in Judah, left with nothing to fend for themselves.  Do we have to wait for desperate times before we ask him – ‘what to do and where to go’? Should this not be our daily prayer? My daily prayer? At times we don’t know what to do or where to go, and that’s the whole point, we were never meant to make it on our own, have it all together, we are sheep in need of a Shepherd.

P – Prayer
We come to you Jesus, we don’t have it all figured out, we don’t always know the way to go or what to do, so we ask for your help, your wisdom, that you would show us in the circumstances of life we are facing, what to do and where to go. Thank You!

HIS LOVE

Journal Entry by Grant Schofield

S –  Psalm 18:19 (TPT)
His love broke open the way and brought me into a beautiful broad place. He rescued me – because his delight is in me!

O – Observation
I find it so interesting of how this scripture starts, “HIS LOVE”. That through all that we struggle through, in the pains and hurts of bad reports, through the disappointments and even the unexpected shock of loss, it’s HIS LOVE that will break open the way for us to find a beautiful place of rest, peace, hope and comfort instead of being hemmed in by the things of the enemy. When it feels like we have no room to move because of the pressures, HIS LOVE will bring us into an ample room, where we can be free.   

A – Application
As people we can find ourselves staring at the issues and trails of life. It’s like the hardship of life is a box sitting on a table, and all we do is stare at it. We don’t let our eyes move away from that box. What this does unfortunately is it stops us from enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. We have to let the Love of God enter into our space of despair to break us out of our fixated mindset and see that He has rescued us because He loves us and is so for us.

P – Prayer
Lord, I ask that you will help me to not fixate on issues that come my way. I ask that you would help me see the beauty surrounding me, because of the love You have for me. I pray that I would walk in freedom with my head lifted knowing you have rescued me even when I can’t see it.

FAITH OUR WRAP AROUND SHIELD

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Ephesians 6:14-16 (TPT)
14 Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armour that covers your heart. 15 Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace.

16 In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One! 17–18 Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God.

Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.

O - Observation
Ephesians 6 talks and warns of the serious battles that we face and tells you how to fight them.  I love the way the passion translation describes the armour of God.  So helpful to be reminded of the weapons we have access to, and what they do.

A - Application
Sometimes in the midst of the battle or if it takes you by surprise it’s hard to refocus and get back up, it feels like you’ve been struck in the heart or taken a mighty blow knocking the wind out of you.   I know I have felt completely flattened at times.  But God…. But God has given us the way through and I love the way it says that in every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield.  Like a blanket it covers, protects and gives security in the midst of it all.

P - Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the provision you have made knowing that we would be going through tough times.  Help me to grasp hold of these weapons of warfare.

LOVE IS GREATER THAN LEGALISM

Journal Entry by Ethan Mortomore

S – Scripture: Luke 14.1-6 (ESV)
“One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.” “And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?" But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?" And they could not reply to these things.”

O - Observation
The Sabbath was an extremely important day to the Jewish People. A day of rest and focus on God and all He had done for them, individually but also collectively as a nation - a way of keeping their covenant with God (Exodus 20).
But the Sabbath had become a day filled with rights and wrongs, so legalistic in its keeping that the focus was no longer on God but on self. Jesus, knowing He is being watched closely by the Pharisees, looking for any time He might slip up, challenges their hearts and the pride that they had let build up inside.

A - Application
This passage reveals a saviour who has not come to be held back by the rules we place on ourselves or others. Rather Christ has come to set people free from the things that shackle and hold them down, and our role? Is to play a part. The Pharisees were meant to be guides and helpers for God’s people, but instead they got in Jesus’ way of bringing healing and restoration. For us love must be greater than legalism, and bringing forth His kingdom here on earth must be greater than our needs or pride.

P - Prayer
God would you always remind us to realign our focus with you, day in and day out. Would I be a servant that doesn’t get in the way of furthering your kingdom but instead plays a part in bringing the Gospel to those who need it (to everyone). Lead us in the path you have for us Lord, that we may be your hands and feet always. Amen.

FREEDOM

Journal Entry by John and Jann Rice

S – Scripture: Psalm 107: 10-16-v22 (TPT)
Some of us once sat in darkness, living in the shadows of death we were prisoners to our own pain, chained to our regrets. For we rebelled against God's word and rejected wise counsel of God most high. So, He humbled us through our circumstances, watching us as we stumbled with no one there to pick us back up. Our own pain became our punishment. Then we cried out, “Lord help us Rescue us!" and He did! His light broke through the darkness and He led us out in freedom from death's dark shadow and snapped every one of our chains. So lift your hands and give thanks to God for His marvellous kindness and His miracles of mercy for those He loves! For He smashed through heavy prison doors and shattered the steel bars that held us back, just to set us free!
V22 Bring your praise as an offering and your thanks as a sacrifice as you sing your story of miracles with a joyful song.

O - Observation
Unknowingly we can be prisoners by rejecting God's wise council and finding ourselves stumbling in difficult circumstances. When our response is to call out to the Lord to help and rescue us He will come to bring light, freedom and break every chain and smash prison doors. With thankful hearts we lift our hands and sing of His mercy with joyful song.   

A - Application
Let the word of God dwell in our heart, so as to be sensitive to the wise counsel of God, this will enable us to avoid the pain and regrets of going our own way. lf we are misled we can call out  "Lord help us Rescue us" and He will bring light, smashing prison doors, break steel bars, enabling us to rejoice with songs of thanksgiving and praise.

P - Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father we thank you that you know where we are in life, and your wise counsel will guide and keep us from the deception of the enemy. Lord we thank you as we walk through the unknown pathway before us, if we fall you will hear our cry and rescue us and bring deliverance, we lift up hands of thanksgiving with songs of praise for your marvellous kindness and miracles of mercy that we enjoy each day. Amen.

OUR FATHER

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Psalm 68:5-6 (TPT)
To the fatherless he is a father. To the widow he is a champion friend. To the lonely he makes them part of a family. To the prisoners he leads into prosperity until they sing for joy. This is our Holy God in his Holy Place! 

O - Observation
We are in all different circumstances in our lives, some of us have had great dads and others not so great in fact some have been abusive, violent, addicts to drugs, alcohol and gambling and some have just been absent.  I am sure there are many other descriptives out there both positive and negative.  Some are grieving the loss of their dad or both parents and still struggling with all the emotions that this brings including the sense of aloneness and loss that can follow and go on for years because of the heartbreak.
  

A - Application
For me the solution was to press in to God not turn away.  I have found that just like any relationship I needed to spend time to grow it and to develop a trust and a bond. I can’t rely on the past although it’s a great foundation.  I have to work on the relationship all the time even when its difficult.  I love that when Jesus was asked by one of his disciples how he should pray.  Jesus started with “Our Father” this is the relationship that is intended. I love the quote from Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Please if you are struggling with grief, its ok, but talk to someone.  Sometimes we need professional help to give us the tools we need in life to walk through some of our life’s challenges.  Don’t think that this is wrong.  Seek help and should you need guidance in this let us know. (You can contact HopeCare via our church app, website or just call the office).

P - Prayer
Thank you that you are my father and that I can come to you.  Help me to see you more clearly every day.  Lord I ask that you bring healing and wholeness to the broken hearted and restoration and peace to their spirits in the mighty name of your Son, Jesus.

MY GOD IS SO BIG, SO STRONG AND SO MIGHTY

Journal Entry by Jared Lawson

S – Scripture:  Psalm 81:1-2, 10  NIV
Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre……… I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

O - Observation
This Pslam was often recited at festivals. One of those being the Festival of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23). During this festival, Israel was commanded to take some rest, worship and, for a portion of the festival, live in tents. This was done to celebrate and remember the Israelites being led out of Egypt. The Psalm starts with God being their strength. It was God’s strength that led Israel out of Egypt, fed them in the wilderness and destroyed Egypt’s armies. How they needed God’s strength.   

A - Application
I find it easy to get wrapped in my own strength and because I am not limitless this leads to anxiety, frustration and negative self-talk. When this happens I know I have forgotten God’s promises. I love verse 10 in this Psalm, God wants to take care of me. I need to rely on him, his word, let him be my strength and be obedient. When I do this, the results are better and so is my mental state. 

P - Prayer
Heavenly Father, you are stronger, smarter and wiser than I am. May that be my rest, your love for me and your willingness to be strong for me. Help me to take full advantage of who you are and everything you’ve done even though I am so unworthy.

LOVERS OF GOD

Journal Entry by Jenni James

S – Scripture:  Psalm 25:14 The Passion Translation
There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation secrets of his promises.

O - Observation
When I think of God I often think of a loving God, but this verse seems to take things to a whole new level! It describes a closeness, an intimacy,  a deep connection that is available to the “lovers of God”!! The Lord has in fact RESERVED a private place for us! He has thought ahead, he has anticipated spending quality time with us where he can share with us revelations that he wants us to know. Reading this verse reminds me of an old hymn we used to sing with this particular line in it “ours is not a distant God, remote, unfeeling”. I would sing along not really paying attention or understanding the words I was singing, but now as I read this verse those words come flooding back and I can declare that our God is not remote, He is not distant, He is closer than close!. He thinks ahead, he reserves a place just so we can sit near Him and talk intimately with Him. This is a God who truly cares and loves us.

A - Application
As a lover of God I want to carve out time to spend in that private place with just God and myself, so I need to look at my life in a practical sense. How can I carve out time? Where can I go so that I am uninterrupted? Do I need to set time periods in my diary for the whole year so that I make sure it happens? Now that we know this is what The Lord wants let’s do it! Let’s make the time, let’s sit near him, let’s be close and deeply connected and receive the revelation secrets of his promises!

P - Prayer
Father God, thank you that you want to spend deep connected time with each of us. Thank you that you place such high value on relationships and that we have this opportunity to spend this time with you. Help each of us to desire you more and more with every passing day. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

FOR YOU ARE GOOD

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S - Scripture - 2 Chronicles 7:3 (NKJV)
‘For He is good, For His mercy endures forever’

O - Observation
As Solomon finishes praying the people bowed their faces to the ground and worshipped and praised the Lord by declaring who He was – He was good – His mercy, his faithful love endures forever and ever.

A - Application
There are many times when serving and following Jesus, that we go through things – hardships that we don’t understand. Pastor Bill Johnson from Bethel puts it beautifully – “when we face things we don’t understand, we go back to what we do understand, and what we do understand is that God is good – He is good” So there are times in my life in good and bad that I have to stop, lift my hands, lift my voice in praise to Jesus, and declare what I know to be true, You are good, you only do good and your loving-kindness, mercy, and love endure for ever, and abound to me, right where I am at.

P - Prayer
I stop right now and praise you, I bow before you in worship, and declare you are good and you do only good. Thankyou for your goodness, and your faithful love that abounds to me everyday.
 

NEVER INVISIBLE…

Journal Entry by Gary and Christine Skinner

S – Scripture Psalm 94:9 (The Passion Translation) 
“God isn’t hard of hearing… God isn’t blind…  He’s watching all you do”

O - Observation
God is omniscient… He knows everything… there is no hiding from Him!

A - Application
“You’d better wise up! Why would you act like God doesn’t exist?” Psalm 94: 8. As parents we watched our boys play soccer (real football). More than once we observed the opposition were employing illegal tactics, playing too rough and the referee seemed blindsided, but… no matter how much pain we felt as parents we couldn’t intervene. It just seemed so unfair!

Sometimes, we may think God’s not taking note of what we do or is being done to us. But… He can, and does hear and see so let’s avoid being RED carded and play within His rules… even if it doesn’t seem fair.

P - Prayer
Father God, You Are listening and watching over us today. May the life we lead, our words and actions bring glory to Your name… that the world may know You exist, and You care.
 

STIRRING

Journal Entry by Esther Lawson

S - Scripture  Ezra 1:1 (NLT)
‬‬In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom


O - Observation
The book of Ezra begins in this way. This seems like a fairly ordinary verse but the phrase ‘He (God) stirred the heart of Cyrus’ caught my attention. As I read, I saw the phrase repeated in Ezra 1:5 ‘Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord’. The proclamation mentioned in verse 1 released the Jews to go and rebuild the Temple. In chapter 2, there is a list of those who returned after being given considerable gifts of silver, gold and livestock by those remaining behind including the King


A - Application
Without going to deep into the history, the long and short of it is this: good things happen when we listen to the God-stirrings within our hearts. When we act on what He has told us, promised us, whispered to us and stirred within us we become agents of change. Easier said than done sometimes. Knowing what God is saying to us requires that we be close to Him, to know Him. In Psalm 27:8 we find this verse ‘My heart has heard you say “Come and talk with me.” My heart responds, “Lord, I am coming”.’ I love this verse. It’s a reminder of a simple, wooing and uncomplicated faith.


P - Prayer
God, thank you that you always want to speak to us. Help us to respond like the psalmist ‘Lord I am coming’ so that we can hear your voice. Attune our hearts to your voice and help us to be obedient to the stirring of our hearts for your purpose and glory. Amen. 
 

HELP - GOD!

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Romans 10:14-17 (Msg)
But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?

O - Observation
How can people call out to God if no one has told them about him? We go through a lot of things in our lives and it doesn’t matter if we are new Christians or one of those that have been around for a while.  We all have a story to tell about the faithfulness and love of God.  It was brought new to me again this morning how I felt when I first realised the depth of God’s love for me and in that great love - he would sacrifice his son for me. 

A - Application
I believe that God gives us opportunities to share His love to people in our world (workplace, friends, school, neighbours, etc) and yes it may be challenging, but if you are obedient what joy that can bring.  Sometimes we blow it, but that’s ok; sharing with love and compassion about the love of God is life changing.  I would love to hear your stories. God wants to work in us and through us every day and I have found that it’s usually when it’s not convenient for me that opportunities arrive but find that rather than a distraction they are moments God had in his planner and Oh! how wonderful it is to be active about his business.

P - Prayer
Lord let me walk close enough to you to hear your voice and recognize the opportunities you give me to change lives and play my part in your plans and purposes.

FACTS & FAITH

Journal Entry by Paul Davila

S – Scripture: Romans 4:16-25 (NIV)

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.



O - Observation

Reading this account of Abraham really drives home the point of why he is and was held in such great esteem with the Jewish people and rightly so. He was an extraordinary man.
The line that stood out to me today was verse 19 where it says that “he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead…. And Sarah’s womb was also dead”.
They were a hundred-year-old man and a very old woman with a promise from God yet to be fulfilled.
How easy it would have been to just “accept the facts” and move on. To give up on what would have been a crazy idea. Just the thought of these two old people having a child would have seemed ludicrous and impossible.
But these verses also tell us that:
- His faith didn’t weaken or waiver regarding the promise of God.
- His faith was strengthened.
- He gave glory to God.
- He was fully persuaded of God’s power to do what He had promised.

A - Application

My take home from this amazing passage is this:
“Faith doesn’t deny the facts – it just overrides them”.
Abraham did not deny the fact that he and his wife were old. He knew that naturally speaking, what they wanted was near impossible, however he did not let this reality govern his future.
He held on to the promise and let that be the final say on the matter.
This is so encouraging, and it teaches me/us today that having faith doesn’t mean we deny facts.
Whether it be a bad medical report, or a relationship gone sour, a work crisis or any harsh reality we may be facing.
Denying there is no problem when there genuinely is, is not the solution.
Neither is just accepting that things could never change.
The key lies in believing and trusting in God’s promises over and above the situation we find ourselves in.


P - Prayer
Lord thank you for the example that Abraham gave us. Would you help me today to learn and practice this truth in my day to day life. Help me to acknowledge the facts/realities of life but let me not be governed by them. Let faith in your promises be my ultimate guide.

NO GOOD THING

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S – Scripture: Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those that walk uprightly”

O - Observation
The Psalmist declares in this Psalm his longing and thirsting for God. That blessed are those who dwell in your house – they will ever be praising you. Then the Psalmist make this declaration, a prophetic declaration, on the basis of who God is, and that He hears our prayers. ‘No good thing will God withhold from them that follow Him, walk uprightly before Him’

A - Application
As I follow after God – As I walk in paths with integrity – I will not lack for He will provide all I need.  This is one of many scriptures that we are to memorize and speak over our lives and family. ‘No good thing will He, God withhold from me as I walk uprightly before Him.’ Speak that now over your life – ‘No good thing!’ 

P - Prayer
I speak your word over my life and over the lives of our church who will read this today, You are not a stingy God – You are our Father – Our provider – Our helper, Our God and No Good Thing will You withhold – for that is what your word says, from them that follow after you, thirst after you, walk in your ways. 

A WAY OUT OF NO WAY

Journal Entry by Cristian Tobar

S – Scripture: Psalms 81:6-7 (NLT)
“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude'

O - Observation
In these verses we see God bringing to remembrance what He has done for His people when they were in slavery in Egypt. He lifted the burdens from their shoulders, from the hard labour that was placed upon them.  He removed them from the oppression of slavery. He heard their cry and delivered them. He even continued to show His favour as He tested their faith at Meribah, where there were quarrels about whether God was with them or not.

A - Application
As I reflect on these verses I am reminded of what God has done in my life, in retrospect, I can see His goodness, His favour, His deliverance. At the time it looked like there was no way, yet He made a way out of no way. I’m also reminded of God’s redemptive story through His son Jesus, that through the power of the Cross, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, when Satan thought he had the victory, God made a way to reconcile man to God. Now, like the Israelites were encouraged in the first 4 verses of this Psalm to sing praises to God for their deliverance, how much more am I to sing praises to God for the work done through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.

P - Prayer
Father thank you for the reminder today that you are there through life’s challenges and struggles. You faithfully make a way for us. Thank you that you made a way through Jesus to bring us back to you. May I always celebrate and praise you for your goodness towards us.

A PATIENT REFUGE 

Journal Entry by Brenda Jones

S – Scripture: 1 Kings 19:13, NLT
When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

O - Observation
Chapter 19 displays a beautiful picture of the refuge Elijah found in the Lord at a time he felt depressed & worn out. God has been with Elijah all along, from the high on Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal & along the journey to Mt Sinai as he fled in fear from Jezebel. But it is the physical care afforded to Elijah that brings great comfort. Patience to allow Elijah time to rest; the supply of his basic need of food & water to strengthen him; a 40 day journey of contemplation; & not 1, but 2 opportunities for Elijah to pour out his heartache before the Lord. And all the while, God was there, patiently allowing Elijah to feel his pain & find the peace of the Lord’s presence as seen in verse 13, when he was ready to receive God’s response.

A - Application
The waiting times can be wrought with pain and desperation. They are times where depression can bring a deep sense of overwhelm, failure & inadequacy as Elijah displayed here. But I feel such a peace in what I can learn from Elijah’s experience:

1. I can trust God. He hasn’t failed me, or those who have faithfully gone before me. When the fear of opposition comes my way I can stand tall in His promises. But when my human weakness fails me, & I find myself in a place of fear & running away from all He’s called me to, I can rest assured He doesn’t condemn me. But rather is full of grace & mercy, restoring my brokenness & guiding me back to His plans & purposes for my life.

2. God is so patient & loving. He knows my needs when I am burnt out & have not even the energy to talk with Him. He doesn’t leave my side, even when I don’t recognise His hand & providence in my life. And His gentle hand brings me rest, strength, reflection & a listening ear during these times, to return me to the place of His presence.

P - Prayer
Thank You Lord that You are a patient refuge that we can run to in our times of distress. But that even when the pain of our situations can seem insurmountable, that You hold & lead us gently by Your mighty hand back to the place of Your presence. It is only in all You are, that I can find the strength to continue in all You have planned for me. Amen

MY SOUL THIRSTS FOR YOU  

Journal Entry by Dave Semeri

S – Scripture: Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

O - Observation
Wow ! I want what he’s having lol .. King David is in the wilderness, no water, food or shelter but he wholeheartedly sought God (my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you) so instead of just focusing on the fact he needed  water and to be out of the desert, he recognised that it was God himself that can only satisfy him. 

A - Application
Through the circumstances that I find myself in whether of my own making or otherwise, I need to push through “desert“ like times (dry and weary) and constantly seeking God’s amazing love for me and acknowledge that only God alone can  satisfy .

P - Prayer
Thank you Lord for who you are. I will continually sing and Praise your name for evermore ...

IS GOD BIGGER THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES?

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Psalm 74:16-17 (TPT)
You own the day and the night.  Sunlight and starlight call you Creator.  The four corners of the earth were formed by your hands, and every changing season owes its beauty to you.

O - Observation
Sometimes I forget how big God is and focus on where I am at or what I am going through, the circumstances that I find myself in whether of my own making or otherwise. (sound familiar)


A - Application
To change focus I read God’s word daily and see what he has to say to me, after all His word is alive and is just as applicable today as the day it was written.  I allow time to invest in my faith.  For me first thing in the morning works, I sit in my arm chair while the house is quiet and its still dark outside and do my daily readings; and do it with a view of getting something out of it,  Allowing yourself to focus on the greatness of God and His promises to you as your heavenly father is powerful.  I like David’s advice to Solomon when he was dying” ….but you; be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you.  Walk in the paths he shows you;  Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, His course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go.”(1 Kings 2:1-4 MSG)

Sometimes we have to be strong and courageous and stand in the promises of God.


P - Prayer
Help me not to be overwhelmed by the circumstances I find myself in, but rather be strong and courageous and stand in your promises for me recognizing that you are bigger than anything I am facing.

DON’T BE IN SUCH A HURRY YOU MISS THE GIFT!

Journal Entry by Grant Schofield

S – Scripture: Acts 1:4-5 - NIV
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

O - Observation
In this verse Luke (the author of Acts) is referring to a previous verse he wrote in Luke 24:9. He is reminding all the disciples of the command Jesus had given them. To not leave, but wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit to come upon you.


A - Application
There are so many times that I will not sit and wait. I will attempt to do things in my own strength. I assume that I know what is right and proceed down a particular path, only to find that the path is harder than expected or that it’s completely wrong and I’ve wasted all this time and energy on something I didn’t need to. This scripture reminds me that I need to be patient in waiting for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. That my decision will never come close to the Fathers and that when I’m led by the Holy Spirit I’m in the best hands possible.


P - Prayer
Lord, don’t let me be so concerned with living where I am and missing the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let me be diligent in the season of waiting and allow me to learn and be transformed through the Holy Spirit as my Guide and Helper. Amen

THE DISCIPLES ARE JUST LIKE US

Journal Entry by Chris Watling

S – Scripture: John 18:17 - NIV
“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.  He replied, “I am not.”

O - Observation
Often I make fun of the disciples but they are so like me, Their responses and their actions are not far from my own. Sometimes I scoff at the fact that they are with Jesus and they should respond better than the way they do, but I do the same. He is near to me, He has sent his spirit to guide and teach me, yet often my response is the same.

Peter responded in fear here. He did not do it deliberately or with evil in his heart but despite his best intentions, he failed. Maybe he didn't fully trust who Jesus was at that point of his journey or maybe he allowed the circumstances of the current situation, which probably would have been overwhelming, to rule his words and actions. From this test, Peter learned a lot and became the courageous leader that he needed to be to push the church forward.

A - Application
Trust: Sometimes fear can strike when circumstances don’t look like I think they should, so I need to trust Jesus and what he wants for my life. To know that He is in control and He wants the best for me. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to transform my heart
Humility: Don't be proud, he knows if I'm going to fail but don’t give up keep going.
If I fail, use Peters example of how he became a different person after this incident. He was full of courage and knew who he was in God and what he was destined for.


P - Prayer
Jesus, please give me courage and wisdom to know when fear is ruling my decisions rather than your love and hope. Please help me to remember that you want the best for me and that I can trust you.