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Therese Marszalek… 40 Day Devotional

What’s the Purpose? (click to see her book)

Do you know your purpose today? Is it just another day? Are you going through the motions of the same old routine? Maybe you, like me, have a bulging list of “to dos” and your appointment calendar is brimming over. You may know your schedule, but do you know your purpose?

If you’re a child of God, the King of Kings designed a divine purpose for your day today. Before you were born, God had already planned your schedule and prepared good works in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). Your purpose lies in the midst of the tailor made plan God prepared for you.

Since I’m an organizer and thrive on a structured schedule, I sometimes lose focus of my purpose somewhere between my prayer time and checking off items on my to do list. While giving my full attention to my plans for the day, I sometimes forget that I’m on this earth to fulfill God’s purpose, not my self-designed, self-willed purpose.

Fulfilling your purpose doesn’t mean every item will get checked off your endless to do list and it doesn’t mean everything will be completed as planned. Why? Interruptions! Unplanned and often irritating interruptions arrive at the most inconvenient times, forcing you to put your much thought out plan aside to instead give attention to something you’d often rather not deal with.

If you submit yourself to God’s plan for the day, interruptions will still come, but they won’t induce stress or flustration (flustered and frustrated). As you make your way through God’s to-do list, you won’t sigh in discouragement when incomplete items on your to do list glare at you.

God’s plan for this day and for this hour may be different than your plan. It’s wise to create a plan and to set your course for the day, but surrender that plan to God and allow Him to have His way with it. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart, a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” As you orchestrate the course you’ve chosen to reach your destination, allow God the freedom to determine how you get there.

I remember times I’ve hesitated to answer the shrieking phone, frustrated because the unexpected call interrupted my precious schedule. I recall hearing the doorbell ring in the middle of my prayer time; I felt so put out that someone had the nerve to interrupt such a holy time. Yet, after listening to the heartache of a friend or offering a neighbor comfort and prayer, I realized that what I thought was a frustrating interruption wasn’t a frustration at all. It was a divine part of God’s ordained plan for my day.

What’s your purpose today? To fulfill God’s divine purpose for each moment. As you purpose to know Jesus, He’ll flow through your life to fulfill God’s purpose. Today, as you set your course, allow God to guide your steps and be willing to change your schedule to fit God’s heavenly schedule.

The Resurrection Released a Power

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”” John 11:25 NJKV

While listening to a recent message by Jack Hayford on the “Spirit Formed” broadcast, I heard him describe Easter in this way…

The whole message of Easter is not that there was an event. The whole message of Easter is that Easter released a power that guarantees to everyone who will come to Him that there is a force that will reverse any situation that looks like its been a set up for a put down…to reverse everything in our lives that looks dead. But there is no promise of a schedule, of a schedule that will suit us.

Easter released a power into our lives that is available to us every day. Jesus is ever-present with us and He’s given us the Holy Spirit to forever abide in us. He is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). When we believe in Him, life is present ALL THE TIME. There is a constant release of divine life and grace that’s always there for us.

We need to not only be conscious that it is there, that HE is there, but we need to RECEIVE this power so it can work in our lives. God will never force His will upon us, but His will for us is always for life and health and fulfillment.

If there is any area of your life that seems “dead” as we celebrate Easter this year, look to Jesus and receive His life-giving power for that situation. Receive His wisdom as your answer. Receive His strength to continue on the journey. Receive His deliverance.

There is no promise that it will happen on OUR schedule, but there is a promise that it WILL happen. Hold fast to that promise and you will see it realized!

Simply say, “Thank You, Jesus, for Your resurrection power that is available me to today to breathe Your divine life into my situation. I receive from You this free gift of power and declare that it will infuse my situation with life. Thank You for reversing anything that looks like a put-down in my life, for promising to turn it around for my good, and for using it to bring glory to the Father. I trust You and look to You as the source of the answer for every problem I am facing. In Your Precious Name, Amen.”

Seeds of Spring – Christian Recovery Counseling

Did you read yesterday’s post????
What feeling did it leave?
Did you feel a calling to help others? Did you reflect on YOUR gifts that you can share?

This spring on April 14th from 10-12, join the Christian Recovery Counseling for their Seeds of Spring Event.

Therese Marszalek will be speaking. She is a close and personal friend of Celebrate Your Faith.

We hope to see all of you from the Twin Cities there! Click here to learn even more about the event!

Romans 12:4-8

Romans 12:4-8

New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

February Birthstone – Amethyst

Amethyst is the official birthstone for the month of February, according to the National Jewelers Association (USA).

Amethyst is associated with spirituality, piety, wisdom, sobriety, and security. It has been used to ornament churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by bishops and priests.

Amethyst is often given as a symbol of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is also given as a representation of a strong bond in a love relationship.

Amethyst, as a precious stone, carries the following meanings:

  • Calmness
  • Peace
  • Inner Strength
  • Courage
  • Balance
  • Sincerity
  • Stability

Having a distinct gemstone assigned to each month of the year can be traced back to the Breastplate worn by Aaron, which is described in the book of Exodus.

“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:17-21 KJV

The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year.

The idea of wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of a person’s birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders in the region. The modern list of birthstones has been unchanged since its initial definition in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, which occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. Deposits of this popular gemstone are found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States. An amethyst is always purple, but it occurs in a wide range of purple shades.

The Gregorian calendar has poems (of unknown author) matching each month with its birthstone:

The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear.

To learn more about gemstones, visit the website for the Gemological Institute of America, http://www.gia.edu/

Celebrate Your Faith has many popular items in Amethyst. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there are many great gift ideas in Amethyst available.

Search Amethyst Gifts

February Gift Ideas

Let’s Be Ready – Our Daily Bread

An excerpt from today’s daily bread… Happy New Year!
All of my life I’ve had to ‘be ready.’ As a child, I had to be ready for dinner by washing my hands. As an adult, being ready for important responsibilities continues to be an ongoing reality. But I’ve come to realize that nothing is more important than being ready for our reunion with Jesus.

As we consider the possibilities that Jesus could return this year, let’s be sure that we are ready. Let’s strive to be pure as He is pure, anticipating the day when tears and sorrow, pain and death will all be replaced with the everlasting joy of His presence. Joe Stowell

(click here for link to one year bible)

Journaling – Our Daily Bread

An excerpt from today’s Our Daily Bread…. 20 Years ago I began keeping a spiritual journal. AS I reread my first few entries, I am amazed o ever kept it up. But now you couldn’t pay me to stop~

I see that progress and failure are both part of the journey. I gain insight from past struggles that help with issues I am currently facing. And, most important, journaling shows me how God has been faithfully working in my life.

Journaling may be useful to you too. It can help you see more clearly what God is teaching you on life’s journey and cause you to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Dennis Fisher

(link to the journal on CYF)

For unto us…

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Celebrate Your Faith – Weekly Prayer Guide – Samaritan’s Purse

SUNDAY: Pray for the children and their families who receive a shoe box gift, that hearts will be opened to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

MONDAY: Most children who receive shoe box gifts live in desperate circumstances. Pray that God will meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

TUESDAY: Pray for our ministry partners in countries around the world, especially that the shoe box gifts and follow-up discipleship programs will be effective evangelism tools.

WEDNESDAY: Pray that doors will be opened, so the Good News can be shared in countries that are you not receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

THURSDAY: Pray for those who fill shoe box gifts this year, especially for children, that they will see that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

FRIDAY: Pray for those involved in collecting, processing, transporting and delivering shoe box gifts, including the tens of thousands of volunteers.

SATURDAY: Pray for Samaritan’s Purse staff located throughout the world as they handle the logistics of Operation Christmas Child.

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