Thursday, June 9, 2016

Night Light for Couples - Tomato Juice Wars

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:2

One of the things that first drew me to Jim was his wonderful sense of humor. Even on our first few dates back in 1957, he made me laugh more than any guy I had dated. I loved that about him. He had a clever way of seeing the world around him, and his graphic descriptions were legendary at Pasadena College, where we met. After all these years, we still love to laugh together.

Once when we were flying home from a conference, the flight attendant set a glass of tomato juice on the armrest between us. We both forgot it was there, and Jim knocked it off on my side. About half of the contents landed in my lap.

For some reason, Jim thought that was funnier than I did. While he was laughing with his eyes shut, I poured the other half of the tomato juice in his lap. He was still chuckling when the cold juice soaked through to his skin. Then the shock hit him, and the two of us laughed until we had tears in our eyes. It was very difficult to explain what had happened when friends met us at the airport. We looked as though we had attacked each other with chainsaws!

We don’t do wild things like that every day, but we try to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy life. I know that it has helped us cope with the pressures we’ve experienced along the way. It will help you and your marriage, too.

- Shirley M Dobson

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Girlfriends in God - Action Breeds Confidence

Today’s Truth

“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go” (Josh. 1:9).

Friend to Friend

How do you react to fear of the unknown when it comes to stepping out in faith or living bold? Everyone has his or her own unique way.

Some respond to fear by retreating to the safety of cul-de-sac Christianity, which is actually one of the most dangerous places of all. Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

You will not become more courageous and learn to live bold by avoiding your fears. Courage based on the faithfulness and love of God is strengthened with every step of faith, no matter how small. Write the letter. Start the conversation. Sign up to volunteer. Create the blog. Make the donation. Mend a relationship. Each step of obedience creates momentum that breaks through the stronghold of fear.

The woman who lives life to the fullest is generally the one who is willing to do and to dare. Allow God to infuse you with an enthusiasm and gusto that gives fear the boot right out the door, with you following close behind.

As you consider what might happen if you step out in faith, you must also consider what will happen if you play if safe and don’t. When we live bold, we experience God’s blessings. When we don’t, we won’t.

The fact is, we all experience fear at one time or another. We fear things we can’t control, and fear things we can. We fear terrorist attacks and breast cancer. We fear losing a child and the death of a spouse. We fear financial loss and relational ruin. We fear being alone and being lonely.

Some researchers say there are more than 366 verses in the Bible that encourage us to not be afraid. I’m not sure if that number is correct, but I do know it is a continuous thread weaving a tapestry of truth throughout the Scriptures. Why is that? God knew we would struggle with it!

“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go” (Josh. 1:9).

God encouraged the Israelites:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).

Your fear is fueled by your focus. Your faith is fueled by your focus. What are you focusing on today? What thoughts are fueling your tank?

I don’t want to die with gas still in the tank. I want to live bold—for God to use me until I’m all used up. But in order to do that, I must put the fear of failure, of embarrassment, of humiliation, or intimidation aside and take a step of faith.

Let’s Pray

Lord, help me to live bold today. I want to be a woman who does not shrink back because of fear of the unknown, but moves forward because You are known. Today, I choose to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to do all that you have called me to do.
In Jesus' Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

The Psalms are a storehouse of verses encouraging us to respond to all of life’s situations and difficulties through bold believing, tenacious trust, and courageous faith—verses that embolden believers to take action despite the trembling knees. One example is Psalm 56. David had been seized by the Philistines in Gath and had started to feel afraid. So rather than give into his unsettling fear, he changed his focus to His unchanging God.

Write this verse on a note card or sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror, car dashboard or refrigerator door.

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3–4, repeated in similar words in verses 10–11.)

Notice David did not ignore his fear. Rather he spoke to his fear, and the truth of God’s faithfulness shooed it away.

We can follow David’s example and profess with him: “When I am afraid of ___________, I will trust in God.” What would you put in that blank? Click over to my Facebook page and let’s compare answers.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from my new book, Take Hold of the Faith you Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. And if there is anything we need to let go of in order to move forward it’s shame and condemnation. A mediocre, mundane faith is not what you were made for! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! Click on the book cover to download a sample chapter and view a quick video. And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311Huntersville, NC 28070

Standing Strong Through the Storm - MEDITATE ON GOD’S WORD

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Over and over the Scriptures direct us to meditate on God’s Word. This activity takes time and discipline but brings much spiritual benefit and reward. Meditation is focused thinking about a Bible verse or passage in order to discover how we can apply its truth to our own lives. 

In applying Scripture, we need to ask three primary questions.

• What did it mean to the original hearers?
• What is the underlying timeless principle?
• Where or how should I practice that principle?

Here are six specific ways to meditate on a verse or passage:

Picture it. Visualize the scene in your mind.
Pronounce it. Say it aloud each time, emphasizing a different word.
Paraphrase it. Rewrite the verse in your own words.
Personalize it. Replace the pronouns or people with your own name.
Pray it. Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.
Probe it. Ask the following questions:
- Is there any sin to confess? Is there any promise to claim?
- Is there any attitude to change? Is there any command to keep?
- Is there any example to follow? Is there any prayer to pray?
- Is there any error to avoid? Is there any truth to believe?
- Is there something for which to thank God?

When Laos was taken over by a communist government, the leading pastor, Rev. Sail was put into a prison camp for three years of “re-education.” He referred to it later as his university experience. During that time he led five men to Christ in the camp. He had no Bible so he discipled these new believers on scriptures he had memorized and internalized. Later those men became leaders in the church.

RESPONSE: Today I will learn to meditate on God’s Word.

PRAYER: Pray for Christians in prisons of the world where they do not have a Bible.

His Princess Every Day - Praise Through the Pain

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

My Princess Warrior,

I will not waste your pain, my beloved. I will use every tear you have cried to put a passion in your heart to do something great for My Kingdom. You can find comfort in your darkest hour by praising Me through the painful place you’re in. You will not remain in this painful place for long, My love. Soon you will see that I carved something in your character through it all that will draw you and others closer to Me. You are my precious princess and I will shake the earth if that is what it takes to see your chains fall to the ground.

Your Lord who feels your pain

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! - Acts 16:25–26 (NLT)

A Prayer Through Pain

Powerful princess! I pray that you will know joy and peace in the midst of your pain. I pray as you praise him you will feel him unlock the chains of depression and hopelessness--and you will be free to rejoice in the Lord and worship freely as you walk through this trial. I pray that you will find renewed strength and divine deliverance--just as apostle king David did as He praised God in a cave. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD. - Psalm 40:3 (NLT)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Verse of the Day - June 09, 2016

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) [ The Narrow and Wide Gates ] “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Read all of Matthew 7