What Are We Known For?

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, thEach of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11ey should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Driving home from my daughter’s wedding yesterday, my husband and I marveled at all the beautiful moments that had taken place during the beautiful, weekend. God overwhelmingly was present. On account of Him, the day went spiritually wonderful, smoothly and sweetly. Though so very grateful, I was determined not to cry my happy tears too much, so I could focus on Kellie and serve her best on her wedding day.

Just before Kellie was to be married, the bridesmaids and I gathered to pray. With her bridesmaids’ heads bowed and their hands on her, a calm came over me like never before. My heart was so full of joy and thankfulness for these special friends and the man she was to marry, that I had no room for tears. I poured out my thankfulness to Him. I was literally like, “Wow, God, look what you did for my Kellie! You knew all along we would be here today doing this! Thank you!”

After the prayer, one or two bridesmaids/precious friends commented that they were impressed by how calm I was, that I held it all together. (We all know how hyper emotional I can be when it comes to my girls, so I was just as shocked at my calm.) It was not to my credit at all. The Lord was evident all day.

I may be known for being calm in certain situations, but I would hope that others really know me for having to totally depend on God. It is Him that accomplishes anything I appear to do! I hope also, that others know that it is ONLY because Jesus answers prayers for peace that I was not a basket case on Saturday….at least until the actual ceremony… then I lost it! God’s so good to join Kellie to such a new loving family and husband.

I realized, during the wedding, how our Lord and King had served us all, in a way. We prayed for good weather, no problems and no stress for Kellie. We prayed for His hand on the whole day, so we would feel Him there in full force. He owes us nothing at all! Yet, He answered all of our prayers. He is amazing, isn’t He? (Even when He doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want.)

Jesus was known for service too! He was known, is known, for His pure love and obedience to His Father. As Jesus leaned into His Father’s will, He served Him. Thinking of Jesus as a servant sort of shakes up my idea of Him. But He was a servant to His Father in that He obeyed Him with all that He had. He wanted to please God more than He wanted to escape the trial. He wanted to save us more than He wanted to save Himself. He wanted to endure torture more than He wanted for us to endure punishment for our sins. He put God first as we are meant to do.

Wow! All day Saturday I kept thinking, “What am I known for?” and “Have I been a good servant today?” “Is my life about serving and loving Jesus more than myself?” That is a high calling to which I have never been able to accomplish fully, but as I stressed over this a bit, I felt the Lord say to me…”It is the desire to be a grateful servant that pleases me.”

We may be known to others by our gifts and personalities, but above all that, it is what we servant-like give to the Lord and others that sticks in people’s minds. One last thing, and I am sorry this is long, but when we desire to be a servant, God always sends an opportunity and the ability to do that work for Him. So, I leave you with these thoughts…

You are special. You were made for God’s purpose. You are unique in your personality and makeup. God intended for you to be just that way, because He has a plan that only you can accomplish with Him. He gives us grace when we mess up and strengthens us so we can do His will. Being a servant to others is always in His plan. Not only does it help someone, it shows our allegiance to God and shines HIS glory. Just think….someone can come to know the Lord because you are known for knowing Him! That’s pretty cool! You know the saying… “It’s who you know!”

Again, sorry so long with this devo. God just filled my heart with so much joy and wonder this weekend. He showed me that a wedding is more than a pretty event. It is an opportunity to serve. Any event is an opportunity to serve others! I hope you have a great week and God blesses you with new wonders and blessings, as He loves to do. With all praise to Him,

Tina

Grace Is An Eraser

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

Grace is like an eraser, I think, in that it can make mistakes disappear. That random analogy popped in my head as I was trying to decide whether to give grace to someone. I’m embarrassed to admit that!

I mean …Who am I to even contemplate withholding grace, or forgiveness? Didn’t the Lord forgive me and doesn’t He still? (Yes!) Does He ever say, “No, I won’t forgive you. I am not feeling gracious today?”(No!)

It is not always easy to forgive, but it’s what God wants, simply put. God gives opportunities for us to practice our grace-giving skills on others. I have seen that lately!

The next time someone makes a mistake that affects or hurts you, remember…Jesus’ love covered our sins. Now, it’s our turn to love others, give them another chance. Although they may not ask for forgiveness, let’s give it anyway!

Loving that person is a testimony to our grace-full God! Grace’s eraser makes us not focus on the number of mistakes, but the amount we can love, with the Lord’s help.

We need to remember that our mission on earth is to love and serve God first and others second. It’s not about how WE are treated but how WE TREAT others. We can make a plan to love as He does, fully and freely.

Jesus was treated WAY worse than all of us, yet it did not stop Him from forgiving those who hurt Him. He was fully God but also fully human, so He felt pain as we do, meaning He understands what we are feeling. Forgiveness may seem impossible, but nothing is impossible with God! 🙂

My loving Lord…Thank you for your abundant grace that that forgives me. Please help me to apply that to others generously and freely, as a testimony to how grateful I am to you. You saved me when I didn’t deserve it. Help me to remember the world doesn’t revolve around ME, but YOU. I love you so much! Amen

Have a grace-filled day! With love from the Father to you,

Tina

Can’t Touch This…

Inflation can’t touch salvation. Its price will never go up. It is readily available. The supplier bought it for all of us. Best “product” ever! Thank you, Jesus!!❤️✝️

Watching the news, I was broken-hearted that baby formula is in short supply and that gas prices are crazy high. People are desperate and inflation is rampant.

I started to think how blessed we are to have an unending supply of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. He already bought our salvation so it will always be free. We are desperate for peace and guidance and salvation that He bought 2000 plus years ago and had never marked up. It’s still free and unending!!!

Thank you, Jesus, for this thought that makes me grateful.Please help those who are struggling. I love you, Lord!

Christina

Just One Touch

Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. Mark 1:41-42 NKJV

One Touch.

Just one touch from Jesus.

Nothing remains the same after He has touched it.

Ask the blind man, the leper and the woman at the well.

Ask the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus and He multiplied it, so it would feed thousands.

Just one touch from Jesus changes everything.

And change is good. It means growth, healing, forgiveness, cleansing, hope and peace can take place!

Fifty years ago in June, it took just one touch from Jesus and my life and direction was forever changed. He saved me:)

Have you asked for a touch lately? Have I? Is there anything we need to ask Him to touch, to fix, to make better? There’s no better time than now. As I end this and pray for you and for me, please know that time may be short.

Ask Him today for a touch. He is always reaching for you and me:)

Dear King Jesus, my precious Savior, healer and handler of my soul, I ask You now for a touch, Your touch. I need to feel Your presence as I navigate this evil world. Keep me from doing or saying anything that is not in line with God’s Word and righteousness. Thank You for touching my life fifty years ago. Happy Anniversary, my Lord. I will continue to surrender all I am and have and know to Your will. Thank You for dying and living for me, for reaching out to me. Help me to help others with words You give me. Thank You for giving me a Momma that loved You. I love You too! You are amazing!Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a blessed weekend.

Christina

*** No way! “He Touched Me” just NOW came on my spotify that I had set to gospel. Thank you, Jesus. I praise You for Your faithfulness!

“Sticky Fingers”

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:32-33 NIV

I am actually surprised that TJ MAXX still allows me in their store. I have broken something of theirs twice in the last two months! Both times, I was in the checkout line and reached for something and ended up knocking something off their way-too-crowded shelf. It was just as embarrassing both times! People look at you like…”I am glad that’s not me,” but actually say nothing, nor do they offer to help me. I made the mess, so I get it!

As a child, my Dad used to call me “sticky fingers, because I picked up everything in the store to look at it.” He would warn me, “Your hands are gonna get you in trouble some day. Don’t pick everything up. You might break something.” I guess he was right! (Many times, he threatened to make me wear mittens in a store.)

To my credit, I never broke anything in a store until this year, lol. However, lately breaking a frame and a glass vase impacted my thinking about breakable things and how to handle them. We are not meant to have everything we see, nor are we meant to have everything we want. We are meant to have everything we need.

Spiritually speaking, Jesus is all we need. Though we may aggressively reach for things we want, it is better that we wait on the Lord to give us what He thinks best.

Sometimes I think my heart, our hearts, have “sticky fingers.” We may have strong desires for things that are not meant to be ours, like fame or popularity or material goods. These things look fun and wonderful when we see someone else having them, but they are not meant for everyone. Plus, these things are fragile and easily breakable.

God has a plan that may or may not include pleasant things. I was thinking that I should start reaching more for Him than anything else. He is our life coach, spiritual health coach, our life’s planner. Reaching for Him is the best way to use our hands!

Sidenote…I was reminded by my daughters that grace for others is a worthy thing to seek. Every day, we need new grace for the day. Just one dose won’t be enough. As God gives us grace to cover our imperfections, may we daily ask for grace to love others better. It is not all about us. It is about them, the people God puts in our reach.

May we never ever stop reaching to others, when they, like me, make a mess of things. May we give them grace and just love them regardless.

Have a great day and weekend! With love from the Father to you,

Tina

God, What Do You Have Planned?

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:16-17

I do not have time for, nor do I plan for trials, but they happen anyway! Funny how that works! It’s a good thing we have trials, seriously, as awful as they are. That’s how we learn to trust God, among many other benefits. That’s what I learned four years ago…

My husband and I were coming home from a beach vacation and life was glorious. He was sleeping and I was driving and belting out gospel tunes, having the time of my life. (Yes, he can sleep through my singing, lol!) Then…BAM!!! Yep! Someone t-boned us! I don’t remember how I got off the road and missed steering us down the steep embankment while also avoiding traffic coming in from the right and oncoming traffic. This was not how I saw our day going. I wish I could say I rejoiced in my trial but I didn’t. In shock, I did thank Him that we were not seriously injured!

Long story short, I had lots of questions for God about timing and trials and how to get back home with a totalled car. The contradiction of the beautiful day and the ugly accident eventually taught me something cool about God’s timing though…He has HIS own reasons and HIS own timing. HE made me and HE made time. He knows me, so He knows what trials will teach me and how much time they need to take. He loves us so much that He has it all figured out, even though we don’t! And that was, and is still, a comfort to me. Thank You, Lord!

Have you ever felt that way? Bewildered, unable to figure out the reason for a trial, have you begged God to end it? That’s when I feel like asking, “God, how much longer?” It’s like saying, “I trust You, God and I know YOU know what You are doing, but I am a bit anxious.” It is not unlike a child in the back seat of a car asking, “How much longer, Dad? or “Shouldn’t we be there by now?” I am reminded of David asking God to take away his trial…

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalm 13:1-2

David may have been frustrated with his trials, but he knew, deep down, that God loved Him:) He trusted God’s plan.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 139:5-6

Friend, He has your life in His loving hands. May you find comfort in the fact that He is with you and has your best interest at heart. Have a wonderful day:)…Tina

How High is Your Hope?

“My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:18-22 NKJV

Jeremiah was sorrowful. He had hung his hope on God’s promise to bless the Israelites if they worshipped according to His law. But many turned from God to false gods and sin pervaded the area. And now Jerusalem was in ruins. Here is what God promised the Israelites, for worshipping Him.

Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously. 2 Samuel 7:10

I get why Jeremiah was lamenting. Jerusalem had so much going for them, but sin invaded and so did Babylonians. They came in and destroyed everything, even the temple. This makes me think of the war going on in the East. My heart is broken for Ukraine as I am sure yours is. As I read Lamentations, I wondered… ” How can Ukraine have hope when the enemy is after them and their world is crumbling?”

They do have hope and I think it’s because they believe in something bigger than themselves. They believe in freedom! This is an ‘Aha!’ moment for me!

If WE are in crisis, personally, we can only get through if we have hope in something bigger than ourselves, the Lord! And we will all be in crises at some time. The Bible says so:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. James 1:2 ESV

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 ESV

Both of the verses say WHEN we have trials, not IF we do. When they occur, when we have a ‘Jeremiah moment,’ instead of despairing at things around us that have leave us at our wits’ end, we can look high to our hope that will never end! That is exactly what Jeremiah did! Despite the destruction, he still had hope. (Lamentations 3:22) We never ever have to be without hope. God, is always there:)

Hmmm…How high is my hope? Does it rely on everything going according to MY plan? When disaster strikes (not if) will I look up and see hope?

Dear God, Thank you for sending hope to the world through Your Son. That You would give us something eternal, knowing we would have trials, shows what a loving God You are! Please help us during stressful times and grant us hope enough to share with others. Amen

With love and hope from the Father to you, have a wonderful day!…Tina

The Jelly Bean Story

Happy Wednesday! Here is your poem devotional for today. March 17, 2022
Gloryinthemorning.com

*I wrote this poem last Easter…

The Jelly Bean Story
I have a bag of jelly beans, a treasure meant for me,

The colors tell a story that’s meant for all to see.

Purple is the color of the robe that Jesus wore,

When on the cross He died for us, as all our sins He bore.

Black, the color of our heart that makes a home to sin,

When we come to Jesus, though, He makes us clean within.

Red the blood that Jesus shed, a gift to me and you,

It washes us from all our sin and we are made brand new.

White, the color of the lamb that took our sins away.

And white our hearts become when we just ask the Lord to stay.

Blue, the color of the sky, our new eternal home,

We’ll live with Him forever and never be alone.

Yellow is for bravery, for telling others this:

My candy tells a story that you don’t want to miss!

So when you buy some jelly beans to have a treat or two,

Remember to share candy but share the story too!

©Christina Crute gloryinthemorning.com

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for what You did on the cross for us. You gave us everything You could. As your servants, we want to give You all WE can. We might need help doing that, as we are human. Touch us, Jesus with unselfish love for others. Give us people and opportunities with which to share Your love and our blessings and Your story. We love You so much! Amen

Love and prayers to all,

Just me. Just His.

Tina

An Awesome Roomate

I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

The unwanted Covid pandemic showed me what a great ‘roommate’ of a husband I have. Staying home, away from germs, meant being with him 24-7. We did everything together….chores, entertainment, reading and eating meals and even crafting… and we enjoyed it! Many months into the pandemic, he remarked that he felt sad for some couples. I asked why and he explained that WE like each other and like being together all the time, but not everyone is made like that or has that. He made me consider those who were struggling during this time, with confinement or their ‘roommate.’

Please allow me to make a big jump here and compare finding the perfect roommate to finding the Savior. We all need a roommate and friend of the heart and soul. We need Jesus to take up space in our hearts and live with us…and IN us! When we do not have His presence, we seek to find something or someone else to fill that space. I know because I have done that in the past. I chose things other than Jesus to be obsessed with and I was wrong.

At any time, money, fame, work success and promotion, even our kids’ achievments can easily fill our hearts. That joy does not last and we will get caught in the trap of looking for something better and better. But you know what? Jesus understands what we REALLY need in that space in our heart that longs to be filled…HIM:) He is the best roommate ever. He never makes a mess in there. All He wants to do is clean our heart space with His forgiveness and abide with us in peace.

I hope this all makes sense. Abiding with Jesus and Him abiding in us is the perfect roommate situation. Whatever shape your heart is in, Jesus will move in and improve your living situation. He will help you purge the space of things that clutter or take our focus from Him. He will be with you and help you as much as you ask Him to.

Hmmm…Do I have anything in my heart that takes my focus off Jesus? Do I have clutter in my heart? Do I love things too much? Do I have dirty corners of my heart that need a cleaning? Just food for thought. The more we release things that we hold in our hearts as our treasures, the more room we have for Jesus! Time for Spring cleaning, I think!

May you have a blessed day in the Lord. May you know the wonderful love of the Savior who longs to be with you and live in you, dear friends! Love to all….Tina

Praying our Praise

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I almost cried during a recent prayer! At my daughter’s bridal shower, I was asked to pray. Uh-oh, why didn’t I plan a special prayer? Up in front of everyone, behind the microphone, my brain whizzed. With a quick prayer, “Help me, Lord,”

I began thanking Him for all He did that caused everyone there to be in that gathering place on that special day of Kellie’s shower. Words would not come at first, but then my heart grew in gratefulness as I thanked God for His immense goodness over the years. These people in the room were special!

He brought my two daughters and I through a seemingly impossible situation. He supplied the right friends at the right time. Right pastors, mentors, coaches and godly men appeared in their life. Right teachers taught and befriended them and prayed and watched out for them. Parents of kids they themselves coached and still coach, have taken them into their friend and family units with love.

These things were no accident. God knew they needed those angel friends. What more could a Momma ask for?

That’s why I almost cried…because of His goodness through all the days and years. Do you ever do that… sit and marvel at how God has carried you and provided what you needed? Then you know what I mean!

This moving experience reminded me to not just be grateful, but to proclaim it publicly, to share how glorious God is, so I am attempting to do just that. To Him be all the glory for whatever His plan is!

David’s words remind us to TELL of our thanks:

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psalm 107:121-122

The phrase, ‘Thank offering’ made me smile! Praising Him is a sort of thank offering, isn’t it? You never know…someone may need to hear YOUR thankfulness to a loving God in word or in song. All I know is…it makes God happy when WE know that HE knows it all and controls it all and we are happy about that! He is so faithful:)

I hope you have a great day knowing God is faithful and working in your life. Sometimes it is hard when things do not go as we expect. He is there with us always, though. Isn’t He the absolute best? Love and prayers to you all!…Tina