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Daily Devotionals and Short Stories

AROUND THE CORNER
(Taken from: Alien Living, by Melissa Conkey)

 

What do I do? She thought sadly.

 

Everyone wants something from me. Cheri wants to go to the movies. But I only have enough money for lunch. Danny wants to me to get into shape. Annie says I need to learn to drink coffee. Mr. Smith says if I don’t get my grades up I’m going to flunk. And that’s not even including soccer practice, the piano recital tomorrow, and my dentist appointment next week. This is all too much! I can’t do it all. I can’t make everyone happy. Why is this happening? Why can’t they just leave me alone?

Sarah turns her head and notices her Bible sitting on the floor by her bed.

 

God,

I need your help. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m always trying to make everyone happy all the time. But I’m not happy.

 

Sarah opens up the Bible. The heading reads Psalm 139.

 

She reads, “You formed me in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

 

God,

Thank you for reminding me that I’m wonderful the way I am. You love me. It’s been like living on the moon lately. Hard to breathe. All this pressure. I’m glad that in Your eyes, I’m wonderful the way I am. You love me. Thank you for Jesus. I’m going to stop doing what they say. Help me to live only for you. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Sarah gets up. Peace has flooded her heart. She smiles and thinks

 

I’m going to ask Cheri if we can go to the movies another time. I have some studying to do.

 

 

 

Copyright 2018

Cross Town DiscipleAll Rights Reserved.

Precious to God: Daily Devotional


“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalm 139:14,17-18 KJV

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There she was, a college student heading toward the academic goal of being one of the top students. She excelled in the classroom. Classmates recognized her as studious, kind, and a bit on the shy side. They saw someone who loved to follow the rules and make sure everyone stayed in line. But inside, she was broken. A young adult trying to do everything right, knowing in secret she was doing everything wrong. 


She knew God loved her, but she doubted His love as being enough. She hoped to find something else to fill the emptiness and loneliness her heart felt. So she looked toward other things and people. Nothing satisfied. 


  • School kept her busy...BUT she knew she still fell short of God's standards. 
  • Charity work seemed to make her feel better for a short while...BUT she knew she wasn't loving God fully.
  • Relationships was her next attempt to find what she wanted: ACCEPTANCE.

Do you ever feel frustrated? Like everything you do just doesn't cut it? It's just not enough? You're not enough?


Do you ever wish there was one person who loved you for you, flaws and all?


Do you ever wish you could take off the mask of fake smiles and just be yourself without the judgement, without the stares, without the gossip? 


I know I have. I was that student. I was the girl looking for acceptance in all the wrong places. And even in relationships there was disappointment. If you didn't perform just the way someone wanted, you were left with a broken heart. 


In life, nothing satisfies forever. Nothing and no one will be everything that you need to fill that empty hole inside. That's because only One has what you need and desire: LOVE that never gives up, always ACCEPTS all of you, wants only good for you, and sets you FREE from the chains of "I have to do that! I have to be that! I have to...Or you'll leave me and I'll have nothing; I'll be nothing."


In life I've hit rock bottom more than once. The first time that I recall was in college. My heart was torn, thinking that God was angry with me and that I would always feel ugly, alone, and trapped by a million expectations I could never meet. But those were lies. Jesus came to set me free. Jesus came to set you free. 

 

In God's eyes, you and I are beautiful, precious, cherished, wonderful, fearfully made.

When things get rough, God doesn't take His love away. When you mess up and doing everything right seems impossible, don't stress. Jesus came and did everything right. He died on the cross and took our mess ups on Himself so that we would be forgiven. And when you place your trust in Jesus as Savior, Lord, God, then rest assured you will never be alone. 


God will always love you. God will always be there. You don't have to perform for Him.


He's knocking on the door of your heart. The question is, are you going to let Him in? 


In the end, nothing in this world satisfies for long. It all fades away. And a Love that never quits on us is only the Love God gives. If you want to know this love, all you have to do is believe in Jesus, God the Son, the Savior of the World.


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Prayer:


Dear Heavenly Father,


Thank you for Your love that never fades away. Thank you that You accept me. Thank you for Your Son and our Savior Jesus. Lord Jesus, I'm sorry for trying to find Love in other places and people. Forgive me. I welcome you into my heart now and forevermore. 


In Jesus' Name,

Amen.

The Little Sprout


Everything was set up perfectly! The car gas tank was at a good level. The children were in the care of someone who I was certain would take good care of them. There was plenty of time to arrive at the appointed destination on time. The drive was smooth with very little traffic. The day was warm and sunny. The country-like view was breathtaking. The music was upbeat and cheerful. 


There I was on the road, driving along, following the directions to a very important doctor appointment...Well, going off of memory of how to get there. Then all of the sudden, the traffic began to slow. 


That's okay. There's plenty of time to get there on time. I trust you, God. May this day be what you want it to be. 


There was my exit. But as I turned off the freeway, something was amiss. 


This doesn't look right? Odd. Am I going the right way? 


The further I drove on the more the road and its surroundings looked less and less familiar.


Oh no! I went the wrong way? How do I get to my appointment on time now? I thought anxiously.


God, help me!


Pull over. 


Suffice it to say I pulled over into the dirt on the side of the road. I looked up the directions on my cell phone. It felt like it took a little too long for the phone to work properly. At that point I should have called the office and informed them of the situation. BUT I DIDN'T. 


I can make it! I have 15 minutes to get there. I thought.


Of course, I was already late. And that thought coupled with a slow moving truck in front of the vehicle I was driving, did not help the situation. I began to cry.


"God, I need your help. I've already rescheduled. I really need to make this appointment. I'm so sorry for stressing out. I prayed that this day would be what you want it. I need your help. Please, show me what to do. Thank you. In Jesus' Name, Amen."


Pull over there. Call the office. 


A mobile home park appeared off to the right. I pulled the car in there and grabbed my phone. Thankfully, the phone was answered almost right away. After a short "being put on hold", a woman spoke to me. Aware of the situation, she suggested rescheduling. Knowing this was not a good option at the time, I declined. Then, she left to go speak with the doctor. Praise the Lord! I was given Grace!


With a time extension, past the normal time the doctor saw patients in the office, I was off again, driving down the road and back onto the freeway to the correct exit. Parking the car, I walked in the building, into the elevator, exited the wrong level, entered the elevator once more, and arrived at the appointment. 


Thank you, God, for helping me. Thank you for Your Grace! Amen.

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It's hard going through difficult circumstances that test our patience and our faith. When these seasons come, these challenges, try not to look at them in the view of punishment or of being forsaken. The One who made you, who sent His Son Jesus to die for you, loves you. The blood stained cross and the empty tomb prove His Love for you in the highest degree. 


When we don't understand why, it is easy to give in to temptation and to concoct our own conclusion. God says that trials, difficulties, are not to produce evil nor are they in frightful anger for our imperfections. God loves us. God loves you. In the flood. In the fire. In the hurt. In the loss. 

Yes, these difficulties are for a greater good that reaches beyond simply physical or carnal. It is so we can grow in patience, in faith, knowing God never forsakes His chosen ones, His beloved children who have faithful trust in His Son Jesus. 


So, if you find yourself in a place and time of uncertainty and you feel alone, know you can ask for wisdom; know God's love for you is never a dry well. It is, His love, an ever flowing fountain, an ocean without end. So take heart troubled soul. Pray to God who chose you, loves you, redeemed you, is with you. Open up His love letter to you and be at peace. God is faithful. His Word is truth. Amen.


"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10 KJV


By: Melissa Conkey 
Copyright 2019

The Bee at Bee Corner 

Cross Town Disciple

Devotional of Encouragement

by: Melissa Conkey
Cross Town Disciple  


  "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
Psalm 27:14 NKJV  (A Psalm of David)



           Have you ever found yourself in a period/season of waiting? Perhaps life hasn't turned out the way you thought? Or perhaps you wonder if you are where God wants you to be? Maybe you wonder if you are doing what God wants you to do? Perhaps you are going through a difficult set of circumstances? David went through a lot of scenarios that I'm sure he never imagined to be in when he was just a young shepherd boy.
            David was the son of Jesse and the youngest of many brothers. As a kid, I'm sure he had no idea what was coming his way. But God had BIG plans for David: facing a lion and a bear, being anointed by a Prophet as the future King, fighting with a Giant (and winning), playing a harp for a King, marrying a princess, becoming best friends with a Prince, and running for his life (which included having to leave his home and his wife behind) when he did nothing wrong. And that's not even the whole story!
             Yet, through all this David knew where to place his hope and trust for the future, in God.  And he was chosen by God to do big things. What's great is David had great faith! He wasn't perfect; only God is. And that's the beauty of Grace!

                 God's love is so big for His creation that He made a way so we can be with Him forever as Friends of God, Children of God, Servants of God, Beloved of God. That way (the only way) is through faith in Lord Jesus, God our Savior, who laid down His life to pay a debt we could never pay. A free Gift!Now, that's a present! And a future!
                God loves you!So, no matter what you are going through, know that in God you can place your hope and trust. God has good plans for you too. Maybe they don't feel big now. Or, maybe they feel too big! No matter what, know you can do what David did, place your trust in God. 


God, our Creator
God, our Sustainer
God, our Anchor
God, our Strength
God, our Shield
God, our Security
God, our Refuge
God, our Hiding Place
God, our Defender
God, our Savior
God, our Hope
God, our Life
God, our Heavenly Father
God, our Prince of Peace
God, our Helper
God, our Lovingkindness
God, our Grace



Copyright 2019 

After the Rain: Daily Devotional


“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” -Matthew 8:23-27 KJV

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It has been raining a lot. And interestingly enough part of my Bible reading was the above portion in the Book of Matthew. It is a story that many know of. There is a terrible storm. The disciples (followers of Jesus) are in a boat. Jesus is tired from a long day and sleeping. The disciples see the storm and think the worst: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”


Their cry for help seems like a normal response to a desperate situation, right?
But look at what Jesus’ response is: “But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” To some this may sound like a put down. After all, the disciples are referred to as “you of little faith”. However, a little faith can do much. 


I believe that here Lord Jesus, God the Son, is simply saying, “What’s wrong? Why are you scared? You belong to Me. You don’t have to be afraid. I’m right here.” Now Jesus didn’t have to take a nap right before a Storm hit. He also didn’t have to wait for the disciples to ask Him for help. He could have stopped the storm and even could have prevented it. But that wasn’t the point. Jesus wanted to teach them something.

I’ve heard others say that Jesus wanted His followers to understand that He is God. Only God can control the weather. And Jesus stopped the Storm. I believe this is true. I also believe there was another reason Jesus waited to stop the storm. And I believe it’s worth mentioning.

God loves all people. God also loves to take something that is broken and make it whole. He loves to bring His creation closer to Him. When sin entered the world- and by sin I mean an action that took people off the path of God’s good plan and onto a path they created which only led to death and destruction- when sin entered the world and people tried to play God and do everything their way, instead of God’s perfect and good way, there was a rift that formed. This rift is bigger and wider than the Grand Canyon, mind you. It was so big that it separated man and woman from having a close personal friendship with God. And when that happened, God had already a plan to fix it.

Jesus is the answer. God sent His Son Jesus to show people then and now who He (God the Father) is. God is humble. God is merciful/ loving. God is mighty. God loves people. God hates division. God loves to make the broken whole.

So here are the disciples. And they believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the one to come to save God’s people Israel. But they don’t yet understand what all that means. And they have a problem. The storm exposes the problem. When a problem is exposed, like a weed found in a flower garden, it can then be dealt with, mainly removed. What was their problem? They didn’t understand that there was no need to be afraid, because Jesus isn’t just a man. Jesus is God. They could trust Him to take care of them. They needed to see that “storms”, hardships come. But that they could trust their lives in the hands of the Most High.

It’s always okay to ask God for help. God loves it when we trust Him. We don’t need to panic. I love how God gives us another gift. Lord Jesus is the Savior of the world. And all who believe in Him not only are forgiven, but also become His precious child covered in the righteousness of Jesus and sealed with the promise of God’s Holy Spirit. 


God is with us! Immanuel. So we don’t have to be afraid. Just like the disciples, God uses circumstances around us to expose where we aren’t trusting Him. So that, we can surrender those fears, that bitterness, that insecurity, whatever it is, to Him and be refined. Because when you remove the weed from the flower garden, there’s more room for those flowers to grow. They cannot be choked of their life, because that which was hurting them is taken away.

Are you going through a sort of storm right now? I want to encourage you to pray (that means talk to God). Jesus came for you too. You are loved. And God can calm any storm you are going through. But He will also show you the places of your heart that you still need to give over to Him. Because God wants you to be closer to Him, as His child and as His dearly beloved friend. Trust Him.

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Prayer: 


Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that You are Good and God alone. Thank you for the gift of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus. Please help me today in the areas of my life where I am fearful. I'm sorry. Please, help me to trust You more. Grow me every day. And please draw me closer to You. Thank you for loving me.


In Jesus' Name, Amen.