Monday, January 8, 2018

God is With You in Your Crisis: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145: 18-19 NIV).

I have recently gone through a crisis and can testify that God was with both my husband and I during the last six weeks. On Nov. 25th my husband fell down some steps and broke both arms. He had to have surgery and a plate and screws were put in his wrist to stabilize the bones. I am not a good person in a crisis. I usually panic, cry, and become hysterical. This time I was completely calm and drove him to the hospital emergency room. I prayed all the way there for my husband and that God would help us both. God helped me remain calm in a situation that was out of my control. I could not have done it on my own. His surgery went well and then came six weeks of healing and not being able to take care of himself. I had to take care of all of his needs since he could not use either arm. I am not a nurse and never wanted to be one, but was thrust into the role. I prayed a lot for God to help me. He gave me the strength I needed every day to help Rick with his needs, and I did not even have a fybromyalgia flare during that whole time, which was a miracle.
Now I cannot say that I did not ask God why this had to happen. But when I did, I was reminded of Job, which I was so glad I had read. Job lost his children, his animals, and was covered in sores. Job did not know why all of this occurred but still refused to curse God. He did cry out to the Lord though and wondered why all of this was happening. God answered by asking him questions that Job could not answer. Such as, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job: 38:4 NIV). Job was humbled and this is the verse I love the most. “Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy-- how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40:4 NIV). You see Job was being tested to see if he truly loved the Lord. Sometimes we do not know why bad things happen to us, but we must trust God to be there for us and love us in the midst of our crisis.
Rick and I felt God’s presence every day. He gave us strength, patience, and peace in the midst of our problems. I knew it would not help to question why it happened, because accidents happen. I did know that my God was big enough to help us through it and He did.
We all have to go through some sort of crisis as we walk on this earth. Please know that if you trust in God, He will not fail you. He will give you peace in the midst of your crisis and fill you with His strength.
Dear Lord,
Thank you for the peace that only you can give during a time of crisis. Thank you for the strength to carry on even when our own strength is failing.
In Jesus’ name,

Monday, November 6, 2017

Let Your Light Shine: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV).

It seems lately that the news has been filled with fatal shootings across our nation. This last Sunday many Christians were killed in a fatal shooting at a church. It seems like evil is prevailing and it can be very discouraging to say the least. But please know that even in a world seemingly filled with darkness, you can still be the light of hope to others.

I want this devotion to challenge all of you to be the light to the people all around you. Even though the news tells us about these people who are doing evil things, please know that there are more people doing good things. I gave my mother-in-law a book from Chicken Soup for the Souls filled with stories of people who did acts of kindness for other people. It is uplifting to read these stories because it reaffirms our hope in humanity.

You must be the one to make a difference by the way you treat others in your everyday walk of life. You need to meet people’s needs when you can. Jesus spoke the above words to his followers and they are just as relevant today as then. If everyone did good deeds for others wouldn’t this world be a better place? Show kindness to others, speak encouraging words, pray for and with those who are struggling, be a Christian example to those you work with, give money to those in need, and be a good listener. These are only a few ways you can be the light to others. It only takes one person to change another person’s life around. Reach out and care! God is with you!

Dear Lord,
The world seems so full of hatred and evil right now. Help me to let my light shine for you so that others will see my good works and praise you.
In Jesus’ name,

Saturday, October 28, 2017

God Has A Plan For Your Life: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

Why was I ever born?” Have you ever said that to yourself? I believe there are those reading this right now who think this. Please know that you were born for a very special purpose that God has prepared for you. You are one of a kind and nobody else is like you. God has given you special talents and gifts that you need to use to serve others. I love the verse when Jesus says that the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:30) God knew you before you were born and loved you. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” (Psalms 139:13-14 NIV). “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies”(Psalm 57:10 NIV).
God wants you to trust Him with your future and know that His strength will empower you to do His will even when it seems impossible. My favorite verse is: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NIV). Also, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 3:16 KJV).
God has a special purpose for your life and with his strength you can show Jesus’ love to others in your special way. You have a gift that can be used to help others. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Romans 12:6 NIV). It could be encouraging others, teaching, contributing to the needs of others, leadership, etc. You must pray and ask God what you can do with your gift and then, with God’s strength, use it.
Dear Lord,
I know you have a purpose for my life. Help me to use the gifts you have given me to serve others and be a witness of your tremendous love.
In Jesus’ name,

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Be Still: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

It seems that there is little time to be still and worship God each day doesn’t it? Life is filled with so many responsibilities and work. A person can be in constant motion all day until bedtime. If you never take time to be still and commune with God you will become burned out quickly. Not only that you will find yourself having a problem with controlling your temper and emotions. Stress will build up and then you will have physical responses that will not be pleasant, such as headaches, stomach pains, stiff necks, to name a few.

Jesus took time to commune with his Father in Heaven during his ministry. He knew how important it was to be still. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16 NIV). Take this example and try to take time every day to be still, read the Bible, and pray. I can guarantee that your attitude will be changed for the better as you lift your worries to God and give them to Him. Let Him fill you with the peace that only He can give you in the midst of your crazy schedules. Early morning would be good, because then you could face your day knowing that God is with you and will help you with your daily concerns.

Personally, I like to read my Bible and then walk in the woods and pray to God. I just feel closer to him there. I can be really stressed when I start out, but as I go and pray it seems like my burdens are lifted. I always come home with a better outlook about my concerns.
You must find the time and place that is suitable for you. But I encourage you to take some time every day to be still, read the Bible, and pray. Then you will find peace in your soul.

Dear God,
Life gets very hectic sometimes. Help me to take time every day to be still and worship you. I know that it is during this time that you will fill me with your peace so I can be your ambassador in a world full of strife.
In Jesus’ name,

God is With You in Your Crisis: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

“ The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears the...