What’s Your Favorite Recipe?

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Taste and see that the Lord is good… Psalm 34:8

Our noisy family was gathered around the table for Sunday dinner and everyone was complementing me on my meatloaf with tomato gravy. So, I had to admit that I’d never heard of tomato gravy until Lacey, my daughter-in-law, said it was a family favorite, and shared her recipe with me.

When the conversation shifted to Lacey’s great cooking, Michael, her six-year-old son, declared very loudly so everyone could hear, “My mama is the best cook in the whole world!” Impressed, everyone stopped talking and he continued, “She can make ANYTHING ‘cause she’s got recipe cards!” Michael loves to eat and that was no small compliment.

Kids are great, right? We love giving them good things. Well, we are God’s kids and he has some pretty tasty dishes to serve up for us as well. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” Like Lacey, God has His own “recipe cards.” The Bible is filled with wonderful recipes.

 Just looking into this one psalm, Psalm 34, we find the necessary ingredients for deliverance from fear, for provision, for comfort and peace for a broken, contrite or remorseful heart. We even find the recipe for redemption. This psalm even tells us when we trust in God we won’t be condemned. And in order to taste these good things from God, we are provided with the necessary ingredients. A little of this and a lot of that—like humility, trust in and respect and reverence for God (fear of God), watching what you say and looking for peace, just to name a few. And this is just one psalm, and one passage of Scripture! There are thousands of recipes and promises of good in the Bible.

But a recipe is only good if we choose to follow the instructions, combining all the necessary ingredients.

I once made a beautiful loaf of bread from memory. Because it was familiar and I made it often, I didn’t bother to look at or consult the recipe. The bread rose beautifully and when it was baking, it smelled wonderful. Taking it from the oven, I couldn’t wait to taste it. But after biting into a slice, it was immediately evident that I’d forgotten a key ingredient—salt.

Sometimes we approach God’s tasty recipes the same way. We try to get the good things of God by doing what seems right: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but is end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 NASB). But inevitably, when we leave out a key ingredient, like forgiveness, repentance, or trusting God, we’re left with a bad taste in our mouth.

Are you hungry for something good?  Peace? Provision? Comfort? Hope? Let’s browse through God’s recipes, allowing the Holy Spirit to measure out and stir the ingredients deeply into our hearts, and then submit it all to God by baking it in prayer. Once you’ve tasted the goodness of God, do like Lacey did with her meatloaf and tomato gravy recipe, share it with someone else, so they too can taste and see that God is good.

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What’s Your Favorite Recipe? – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri Clark

About the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation:  What are the spiritual recipes that have had an impact on your life?

We’re all Connected

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.  1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV

I’m not sure what I did, but the doctor said I now have a bulging disc in my lower back. It hurts to walk, sit, stand, or do anything. Then, to make matters worse, and I have no idea how, I got a charley-horse in my calf. Maybe I was overcompensating for my back and overdid it that muscle, who knows? All I know is one day, I am on top of my game, and the next, I’m flat on my back unable to do anything, and everyone is taking care of me.

I’m one of those people who is always doing something. If I have nothing to do, I am looking for something to do. In fact, I kind of feel bad if I’m not working on something. I’m also the queen of multitasking. Going and doing is just in my DNA. I also have a tendency to move quickly—a perpetually, fast-forward kind of person. Grabbing this, tossing that, lifting and shifting is just part of my normal routine. So, when I somehow injured my back, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt.

But it’s interesting how restricted movement can actually be freeing. All the things that normally scream for my attention were silenced. I had to put aside things like laundry, running errands in town, cooking, and cleaning, not to mention computer work and anything requiring long periods of time sitting, standing, or walking.

But the good part of being restricted physically is that I got a whole new perspective of those around me.

My husband, some friends that were staying with us during this time, and the rest of my family all jumped in to do what I would normally be doing for them. They took up the slack when I couldn’t. And then as I healed and was able to hobble around better, they all counted my progress as a joint victory.

Through this whole incident, God gave me a good illustration of how the Body of Christ works. 1 Corinthians says; “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (12:26 NIV).

With this injury, I could not have managed by myself. And neither can we, as followers of Christ, manage alone in our walk with God, especially when we are hurt or going through a difficult time. We need each other. We need each other’s prayers, encouragement, biblical teaching, wise counsel, listening ears, and hugs. We also need to be there in a practical way for each other, just as my husband, family and friends were here for me when I needed help with doing things around the house.

I’m getting around better now, but I won’t soon forget how valuable family and friends are in time of need. Today, take a look around at your family and friends. You are the body of Christ. Is part of your body suffering? When one part suffers, the whole body suffers. Reach out and help.

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5 NIV). It is when we serve each other that the whole Church is built up and functioning in the way it was designed to be.

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We’re all Connected – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: Have you ever been incapacitated? How were you helped by the people around you?

Time for a Nap

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.                                                                                                                               Psalm 4:8 NIV 

I seldom ever take a nap during the day. It’s not that I’m opposed to naps, but I’m one of those perpetually fast-forward personalities that has a hard time slowing down long enough during the day to take one. But the other day, my late nights and early mornings caught up to me. I was so sleepy and sluggish; I couldn’t concentrate on anything and needed a power nap.

Setting the timer on my phone for 45 minutes, I curled up on my bed and started to drift off to sleep, but the room was so cold, I couldn’t relax. My husband keeps the thermostat set at “frigid” in our house. Remembering the quilt folded at the foot of the bed, I pulled it over myself. With the heavy warmth of that quilt wrapped around me, I instantly fell into a deep, restful sleep.

It feels good to have a fresh start; and grabbing a little rest is needed. When my timer went off, I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

We normally just think about rest in terms of our physical bodies, like when I ran out of steam in the middle of that day. But rest is essential for our soul and spirit as well. We tend to forget about our need for spiritual and emotional rest. It’s easy to become weary and worn out when our lives are filled with concerns and worries for our family or marriage, work issues, finances, health, or even ministry.

Hey, let’s face it, we live in a cold world, and as much as I needed the warm quilt to relax and rest in a cold room, we need a covering over our minds and hearts to relax and rest in the Lord. That’s where we find peace for our weariness.

God has provided a covering for us that is even better than my warm quilt. Look what it says in Psalm 91:4 NLT: “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” When our minds are filled with a million thoughts, when we are stressed out, when life seems out of control and when things aren’t going the way we want them to, it’s time to step away and rest under the soft downy feathers of God’s faithful promises.

Our situation may not change right away, but His peace that comes with His covering, allows us to relax and rest. After a time of refreshment with Him, we’ll have what we need to get on with the situation at hand.

So, how about you? Are you in need of a spiritual and emotional nap? Cover up under the warmth of God’s wing. He is there for you. Here are a few more verses to read while you rest.

  • Ruth 2:12 (BSB) “May the Lord repay your work, and may you receive a rich reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have taken refuge.”
  • Psalm 17:8 (NIV) “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
  • Psalm 18:30 (BSB) “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
  • Isaiah 51:16 (BSB) “I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you in the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”
  • John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”

May you wrap yourself in God’s peace and be able to rest in Him today.

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Time for a Nap – encouragement on finding God’s peace from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation:  What are some of your favorite verses that help you to rest?

Mom’s Perfume

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

May my prayer be set before you like incense…  Psalm 141:2 NIV

Several years ago, after my mom passed away, I was given some of her things; clothes, jewelry, special personal items and a very nice, two-inch round locket on a long gold chain. It wasn’t the kind of locket that held a picture; instead, it contained solid perfume. My mom had a business that dealt with a lot of cash. Whenever she counted it, she made her fingers tacky with the solid perfume in the locket. She wore it every day for that reason. The locket wasn’t my style, and I didn’t care about the perfume, but it was a memory and piece of my mom. It went into my jewelry box and was forgotten.

One day, a few years later, while rooting around in my jewelry box, I came across my mom’s locket. Smiling at the memories, I opened it up and rubbed my finger on the solid perfume. The fragrance instantly rose to my senses, activating my memories. It was like my mom was standing right there. I’ll never forget that moment or how I could actually smell the memory of my mom.

The sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memories and emotions.

Just a few days before Passover and the crucifixion, Jesus  was having a meal in a friend’s home. As they reclined at the table, Mary of Bethany opened a very expensive box of perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet. The fragrance filled the room (John 12:1-8). It was such an extravagant expression of love, some of the disciples grumbled at the waste. But Jesus told them, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.”

The scent of that perfume and Mary’s beautiful expression of love and worship for Jesus rose all the way to heaven. I wish I could have been there.

God speaks of Himself as having a metaphoric sense of smell, delighting in the fragrance of our love and worship. Whether our prayers are filled with concerns, needs or worship, it is all a sweet aroma to him. The Bible compares the prayers of the saints to golden bowls full of sweet-smelling incense (Revelation 5:8).

Think about this—If the sense of smell can trigger such emotion in us, as the moment I smelled my mother in her perfume, how much more love does it trigger in God when our prayers rise up to Him? When we worship Him? When we cry out to Him? It is like Mary’s extravagant gift being poured out all over again.

David understood this when he prayed, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2 NIV). In this psalm, David humbles himself before God, asking Him to put a guard on his tongue, and then goes on to pour out his heart and soul before God, comparing it to breaking a vessel of fragrant perfume.

Today, let’s take a moment to break open our most costly gift—spending some time in worship and prayer, letting it rise as a fragrant incense to God.

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Mom’s Perfume – thoughts on #prayer from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: What aromas trigger emotions or memories for you?

You’re Not Listening

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.                                                                                James 1:19 NLT

 

My daughter’s exaggerated sigh, followed with, “Never mind, you’re not listening,” left me knowing I had done it again. I actually thought I was hearing her. But I have a bad habit of listening only until I think I know what someone is saying, and then my ears shut off and my tongue takes over. Even while someone is still talking. I’ve done it to my daughter, my husband, and just about anyone with whom I’ve had a conversation.

I know it’s rude, and it makes whoever is talking to me feel like I don’t care about them. It communicates, “What you’re saying isn’t as important as what I have to say.” I really don’t feel that way, yet I am guilty of talking over people more often than I care to admit.

I’m working on it, but evidently not hard enough, because this morning, as I was reading my Bible, James 1:19 (NLT) hit me right between the eyes. “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” It was as if the words, “quick to listen, slow to speak”, were lit up like flashing neon lights.

James goes on to talk about the importance of “hearing” God’s Word and then “doing” what it says. But that process cannot begin until we keep our mouths shut and listen.

If I could follow that one verse, it would be such a good thing. Both listening to God and to people require a closed mouth—no matter how important or urgent what we have to say might feel. So often, my quick words get me into trouble. I jump to conclusions and stir up anger. And then later, when I’m trying to clean up the mess I have created, I realize it all could have been avoided had I just kept my mouth shut and heard the rest of what they were trying to tell me.

Please tell me I’m not the only one guilty of this.

Jumping in with our two cents, before hearing someone out, not only devalues what they have to say, but they likely will also feel personally devalued. God’s Word is filled with instruction on how to walk out our faith by treating other people as more important than ourselves, and this is where it begins.

In Solomon’s collection of Proverbs, he teaches the advantages of listening carefully before speaking. If you are like me, and struggle with listening first, they might provide help and encouragement for you.

  • “He who has knowledge spares his words,
    and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit” (Proverbs 17:27 NKJ).
  • “When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19 BSB).
  • “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them” (Proverbs 29:20 NIV)

There is wisdom in remembering to hear before responding. It is a matter of simple respect. You will avoid creating a conflict by misunderstanding. There’s no faster way to make someone feel valued and loved than to listen to them.

TWEETABLE
You’re Not Listening – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: How do you make someone feel heard?

 

What’s Your Story?

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11 NIV

We all have a story to tell. Even as a child, biographies were my favorite reads. I love hearing about the journey that made people into who they eventually became. Some stories are adventurous, some rags to riches, others are sad, and still others victorious. It is amazing to hear how someone we know now became the person we know them to be. Their former lives are such a stark contrast to what we see.

A few days ago, a dear friend of mine told me her story. I’ve known her for decades, but only knew bits and pieces. But after hearing the whole story, God can easily be seen in her journey. She now knows that even when walking through many years of pain and hardship, knowing nothing about God or the Bible, He always had his loving hand on her life.

Some of my friend’s pain was brought on by her own bad choices, some because of someone else’s actions, and some from circumstances beyond her control. But once she found true love in Christ, her life was transformed, and she became the person I know and love today.

Every part of our life’s story is important—even the hard times and bad choices. Good or bad, each are part of a whole: small bricks that together build your life. A brick by itself isn’t worth much more than a doorstop, but when laid side by side with other bricks, one upon the other, a house emerges.

Once we discover and receive the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross, our eyes are opened, and suddenly we can see that the mortar holding it all together is the love of God. That’s when our story becomes a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

While living out their lives, many know nothing about God or His great love for them. They might even hate Him or are hardened atheists. But God continually pursues us until we find Him. It may be years before we can look back and see His thumbprint on our lives, but when we do, it is a testimony of His great love.

Some people think their story isn’t worth telling. They might be ashamed of their past or embarrassed by it. But if you look around at the people you meet every day, you’ll find someone who is hurting or struggling with some of the same things you did. Your story can bring hope to someone who has no hope. In Revelation 12:11 it says we conquer Satan, the accuser of the Brethren, by the Blood of the Lamb of God, (Jesus), and the word of our testimony.

No one can argue with your story. It is your own personal experience. We can encourage and lift others up by sharing our story with them. We don’t have to preach, just tell anyone interested in listening, how God worked it out in your life.

Today, take some time and look back. Make some notes on how God’s hand was on you, how He protected you, guided you, etc. Write it down and ask God to bring people across your path that would benefit from hearing your story.

God can reveal Himself to others though your relationship with Him. As John wrote: “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself” (1 John 5:10a NASB).

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What’s Your Story? – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: Have you been able to see God’s hand in your story? Please share!

 

A GPS Story

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 NIV

Since Global Positioning Systems (GPS), have become so common, nearly everyone has one in their phone or built into their car. These systems are so sophisticated; the nice lady’s voice can guide you to just about anywhere. And if you accidentally take a wrong turn or exit, it’s okay, she’ll just recalculate and guide you around to the correct road and back onto the right path again.

My friend Paula and her sister were on a road trip in Maine. Her sister drove, and Paula navigated with the help of her phone’s GPS. They were driving at night and didn’t want to try to add the hotel as a destination in the dark, so they decided to use both of their phones. Paula set her sister’s phone with the directions through the city, then set her own phone with the hotel directions. The first GPS successfully directed them all the way through the city. Paula then switched phones, activating her phone’s GPS for the pre-set directions to their hotel.

After passing through the city, the lady in the phone directed them to take the exit, so they did. Paula thought it weird that they would be exiting so soon, because the picture on her GPS said the turn was still another mile and a half down the road—but they obediently followed to oral directions.

As soon as they took the exit, the lady guided them around and back onto the highway. Once on the highway, she told them to take the exit again—and they did. Then again, as soon as they exited, they were guided back onto the highway. It happened three times. On the fourth time, as her sister was obediently about to get back on, Paula shouted, “Don’t do it! Just pull into this gas station, so we can see where we are!”

Once under the light, Paula could see her sister’s phone in her lap, right under the one she was holding. She had forgotten to end the navigation to the town after passing through it, so the first GPS kept trying to take them back to the city. The two GPS’s had the exact same voice; they thought they were both coming from the phone in her hand.

The competing voices had them driving in circles.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had competing voices trying to take me in circles as well. Sometimes we all just need some clear guidance. It might be in relationship choices, work related decisions, or family matters. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which voice to listen to and which way to go. There are a lot of voices coming at us at the same time and they can all sound pretty convincing.

In order to get on the right road, I’ve had to get into the light of God’s Word. The Bible is God’s GPS (God’s Positioning System). Psalm 119:105 NIV says; “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God’s Word is His voice, and it brings clarity. When you’re in need of guidance, no matter what your situation, He has the answer.

I don’t mean to sound trite, but if we are Christ Followers, so we need to follow Him—learn of Him and have His heart for His people. We do that by listening to His voice and following His instructions. He will never lead us astray. So, today, switch off the conflicting voices, get out God’s Word, His GPS, and listen to the only voice who will lead you in the right direction to a blessed life.

TWEETABLE
A GPS Story – encouragement and insight from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: What voices are trying to get your attention?

Disturbing the Peace

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.     Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Every single morning, he stood right outside my window at precisely 5:40 a.m. and crowed—loudly. Uganda, situated on the equator, where the sun always rises at 6:00 a.m., provides consistency for roosters. For the better part of my stay, at the first hint of daylight, this annoying bird sounded the alarm. The only break from this strutting rooster’s morning routine were the days we were away on mission.

After returning to the U.S., I almost missed him—but not really. I still got to hear him occasionally though, because my friend and host, Monique, planned our phone conversations to discuss ministry when it was late at night here, but early in Uganda, just about rooster crowing time.

On one of our conversations, something seemed off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I realized I hadn’t heard the rooster crowing in the background. Distracted, I just had to ask. “Monique, where is the rooster? I don’t hear him.”

She simply replied, “I don’t have a rooster.”

Confused, I laughed and said, “What do you mean? Of course, you do! He woke me up every morning like an alarm clock.” We went back and forth about it a few times, with her Insisting she didn’t have a rooster, until I finally pressed her, “What happened to him, Monique?”

And in her lovely East African accent, she replied simply, “He was disturbing me, so I ate him.”

Thinking back on that conversation, I can’t help but chuckle at my friend’s solution to an annoying problem. But it also makes me think about how we deal with our own crowing roosters—and I’m not talking about the feathered variety.

Most of us have at least one person strutting around disturbing our peace. We might not serve them up on our dinner table like Monique, but we can be just as biting in our responses. In the blink of an eye, we can verbally chew someone up, spit them out and then find a way to justify it by pointing to their incessant crowing.

But God has a better way for us to deal our roosters, especially if we want to live a life that glorifies our God. It’s found in the Bible: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV).

This sounds like an easy answer—“Just be kind”. But when you have someone crowing in your ear, it’s a lot easier said than done.

The verse just before the one I quoted says: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” God knows it’s hard, but when we hold anger, bitterness and malice in our hearts, especially after we have been forgiven of similar things (and even worse), it grieves the Holy Spirit.

Today, when your peace is disturbed by that crowing rooster, instead of serving him/her up for dinner, take a moment, remind yourself of the price that was paid for you. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. Instead, look for a way to respond with kindness and forgive.

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Disturbing the Peace – insight from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: How do you cope when you are angry?

They Come That Way!

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

Have you ever admired someone and wished you could be like them? Maybe a good friend who somehow always seems to have it all together? Maybe you’ve known someone who’s faced incredible odds or trials and managed to land on their feet—faith and sanity intact? Perhaps you know someone who seems to have the Midas Touch—everything they touch turning to gold?

Have you admired someone with amazing talent, a great singer or musician, perhaps a powerful preacher, or even someone in great shape or athletically gifted? For me, I admire people with great organizational skills and those who manage their time well—they’re never late for anything.

By comparison, we’re nowhere close to that person. We love them, but can’t help but being a little envious. I know I should never compare myself with other people, but sometimes envy does creep into my thoughts.

Realistically though, those we look up to and admire didn’t come that way.

On one of my Ugandan missions, I shared the Gospel in a small church in the bush. Relaxing with my friend during lunch, we noticed two little girls behind us. They were watching my every move, whispering back and forth in Luganda, their native language. After they left to get their food, my friend, Monique, was chuckling under her breath. She leaned over and asked, “Do you know what those little girls were talking about?”

Of course, I was clueless, since I didn’t speak their language. Monique told me the girls were admiring me, the muzungu (white person). Neither had ever seen a muzungu before. The younger one, who was about four years old, pointed out my red fingernails.

In response, the older, wiser, and more observant five-year-old explained, “Did you also see her toes? They are the same. And then, with all the confidence in the world, she declared, “Muzungus come that way.” Silly as it might be, many of us are like those little girls. We see someone and conclude; they came that way.

We might think we don’t have the same value as the one we admire. But if we were to pull back the curtain on their lives, we’d see ordinary people—whose lives include hard work, study, practice and/or preparation that coexists with failures, rejections, heartache, and disappointments.

No one just comes that way. People are people. We all have our issues in life. We all have our failures and flaws. I didn’t come with painted nails and neither does anyone come into this world having it all together.

The good news is what we DO come with—God’s immeasurable love. Our real value is not in our accomplishments and talents, these are external add-ons. Jeremiah 31:3 God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

His love for you is relentless, immeasurable, and infinite. Ephesians 2:4-7 says “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”. Your heavenly Father has planned a magnificent, never-ending future for you, and it doesn’t matter if you can sing, preach, wear a certain size pants, write a book, throw a football, climb Mt. Everest or be on time for every appointment.

It would be wonderful to be able to claim all those things, but it would never be what measures your value. We can’t earn God’s love, we just come that way, possessing His love.

Pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes so you can see yourself the way He sees you. You might be surprised.

TWEETABLE
They Come That Way! – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: How does seeing yourself through God’s eyes change your perspective?

 

 

 

Winter Has Arrived!

by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.  Psalm 23:4 (NLT)

My back yard is blanketed in white and the cat’s water bowl is frozen over. I don’t need a weather report to tell me winter has arrived. Sometimes I find it hard to adjust to the changing seasons. I want it to stay warm a little bit longer. But after the first frost hit, I knew it was time to pull out the heavy coat, sweaters, boots and gloves, and put away the sleeveless shirts and shorts.

Seasons change and we have no choice but to go along with them. In life, we go through seasonal changes as well. In fact, I’m going through one right now, and there’s nothing I can do about it. My dear friend just moved away—nearly 1,000 miles from here. She and her husband moved to be near their three daughters and grandchildren. Having my own family around me is one of my greatest joys, so I completely understand and I’m happy for them. But it doesn’t make the season any less cold.

Nancy and I have known each other for decades and have traveled across the globe many times together. She knows my bad habits and I know hers—and we’re fine with them. We talk easily about just about anything; family, ministry, missions, cultural challenges, or family. Of course every conversation was always over a steaming cup of tea—some we brought from other nations. My husband jokingly calls us tea snobs, and we’re okay with that too. A friendship like ours is a gift.

Seasonal changes occur in everyone’s life from time to time; job changes, loss, divorce, remarriage, retirement, caring for aging parents, health challenges, and good friends moving away. But God is there for us in every season. I love the picture of comfort and protection Psalm 23:4 paints for us: “Even when I walk through the darkest [or coldest!] valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).

We can be encouraged by the fact that we are on God’s mind. Jeremiah 29:11 (AKJV) says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” I love that God is thinking good thoughts toward us, thoughts of peace. He’s not trying to pull the rug out from under our feet—even when it feels like it.

For me, this season feels as cold as the frosty air outside, but I am confident that it is just a season, and seasons change. Spring follows winter. I’ve had many winter seasons in life, some colder than others, but God always brings an unexpected positive end. The key is in bundling up in the warmth of His love, meditating on the promises of His Word, and in taking just one day at a time until you begin to thaw.

It’s like a good book: as one chapter ends, another begins. Each chapter builds upon the last until the whole story is told. If you’re feeling the chill of a winter season in your life, be encouraged, fix a cup of tea, and warm up in the love of God.

TWEETABLE
Winter Has Arrived! – encouragement from @TerriClarkTCM on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Terri ClarkAbout the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.

Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.

Join the conversation: What season are you in right now?