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What are you worried about today? 'Reminder', United States, Alaska, Naknek, Bering Sea, Bristol Bay Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Luke 5:1-11. Sometimes people compartmentalize God's compassion.  Some believe God cares about "this" but not "that."  Some believe God cares about the "sacred" but not the "secular." In our text, Yeshua cares about the crowd and He cares about Simon. Yeshua cares about preaching and He cares about fishing. Yeshua cares about spiritual needs and He cares about physical needs. No area of life is outside the care of Yeshua. "Cast all your care (anxieties, worries, concerns, stress-inducers, etc.) upon Him because He cares for you."  (See 1 Peter 5:7.) Let's cast all our worries into the net of Yeshua.  Haven't we kept them long enough? Photo courtesy of Chris Ford.

Today is Throwback Thursday! Complaint Jar Click here to rekindle the conversation we began 5 years ago. Photo courtesy of John.    

Are you glad today? Birthday shoot Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Psalm 32:11. When I was a little kid, I can remember not getting my way a lot of times.  During those times, I would say, "I'm mad!" My Dad would always respond the same way, "You can get glad in same pants you got mad in!" My father was trying to teach me a very valuable lesson: gladness is not the result of getting everything you want.  You can miss out on a few things but not miss out on gladness. The Psalmist is telling us to "be glad in the Lord." Today, if you are anything like me, there are things in your life that are not producing gladness. Sickness doesn't make us glad. Lack doesn't make us glad. Heart ache doesn't make us glad. Loss doesn't make us glad. Kidney stones don't make us glad. But regardless of those things, we can be glad in the Lord. This psalm begins with something that should make us extremely glad: the forgiveness of sins.  Because of the finished work of salvation completed by Yeshua, our sins have been forgiven. Being forgiven is a great source of gladness. Today when things do not go as planned, don't get mad, get glad in the Lord. Photo courtesy of Travis Swan.

Do you finish what you start? Half Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Numbers 7:1-3. "Moses... finished setting up the tabernacle..." It might just be a personal pet peeve, but it bothers me when things are not finished. Have you ever picked up your lunch from a fast food drive through and not received all of your order? Have you ever been grocery shopping and upon putting your groceries away you discover that some of your items were not placed in your bags? Have you ever had a mechanic not completely tighten something? Many people do not finish what they start. Thankfully, Yeshua is not one of them.  He is the "Author and Finisher" of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:1-2.) What Yeshua starts, He finishes. Paul encourages us by telling us that the good works that Yeshua begins in us, He will complete. (See Philippians 1:5-6.) Three cheers for Moses!  He started the Tabernacle project and he completely finished setting it up. May you and I be found to be finishers today. Photo courtesy of Daniele Marlenek.    

Are you a morning person? sunrise Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Exodus 34:1-2. As we begin a new work week, let's consider that there is something that some people dislike more than Mondays: early mornings. As Moses was being instructed on what he needed to do to get a second copy of the Ten Commandments, God told him, "Be ready in the morning." God did not say, "Get up in the morning." Many people are "up" in the morning, but not "ready." These are the folks who come dragging in ten minutes late and their first stop is at the coffee pot. Most people think I am a morning person.  I'm not.  I just believe in being ready for whenever my work shift begins. Being ready in the morning, or whenever, begins long before the morning.  Being ready means getting the appropriate amount of sleep so that you can give 100% when your shift begins. Yeshua rose early in the morning.  He was always ready.  Let's follow His example. Photo courtesy of Paul van de Velde.

Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Psalm 119:105. directions Today is Throwback Thursday.  Click here to rekindle the conversation we began five years ago. Photo courtesy of Tobias Leeger.

There is something you need to know about what you are going through. Barn Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Psalm 70:4. You are probably going through a big situation today in your life.  It may be sickness, debt, job loss, a family problem, or something else. God is bigger than what you are going through. If you compare your problem, however big it is, to God, God is bigger, a lot bigger.  God is magnified. God is bigger than cancer. God is bigger than bankruptcy. God is bigger than divorce. God is bigger than addiction. Does God's magnitude mean that our problems are going away today? I don't know the answer to that question. But I do know that God is bigger, a lot bigger, than my understanding. I also know that the best course of action in life is to look at our problems through the lens of a magnified God. Will you magnify the Lord with me today? Can we exalt His name together? As we do, we will see our mountain-sized problems become little hills. Photo courtesy of Robert Levy.

Is thinking before speaking becoming a lost art? Car Lot, State Hwy. 561, Louisburg, NC Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Proverbs 10:22. A lady told me, "Pastor, the Lord blessed me with a new car!" I was happy for her and excited that she finally had some dependable transportation.  But then I made a mistake. I asked, "How does it feel to have a new car and no payments?" She answered, "Oh I have payments." I should have kept quiet, but further asked, "Didn't you say that God blessed you with a new car?" Maybe I see things differently.  I believe that blessings are blessings, period.  No strings attached.  No fine print. Wise King Solomon teaches us that God's blessings are sorrow-free.  To me,  60 or 72 monthly car payments are sorrow producers. When God truly blesses you with a new car, He will not bless you with a payment book. Look for God's real blessings today. Also, encourage those around you to think before speaking. Photo courtesy of DPImage Capturing.  

Do you ever feel unqualified? Tee Ball Slugger Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is 1 Samuel 9:20-21. In our text, the prophet Samuel is letting Saul know that he is about to become the first king of Israel.  Saul is shocked.  He does not feel qualified. Saul believes that there are already three huge strikes against him: his tribe, his family, and himself. Well... God does not have a "three strikes, you're out" policy.  In fact, the very clear teaching of scripture is that God usually chooses the unqualified.  (See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 and 2 Corinthians 3:5-6.) As you and I begin a new week, let's remember that God has qualified and equipped us.  Others may not see it.  That's their problem, not yours. Through Yeshua, we can do all things.  Let's do them.... even if it's Monday! Photo courtesy of Kaigani Turner.

Today is Throwback Thursday. Untitled Click here to rekindle the lively discussion that we began two years ago. Photo courtesy of Daniel Oines.

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