Category: <span>thoughts by Idelette McVicker</span>

My children often show me the very basics of our humanness.


Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

My children often show me the very basics of our humanness. The not-yet-redeemed parts: how we are innately selfish, greedy and impatient. They also show me the heavenly parts: how to play and dream. How to move and make up stories. How to love and come in for a cuddle. Children are not afraid of intimacy and adventure. Their hearts are wide open, ready to love, happy to explore. Children are eager to learn; not yet set in their ways.

While most people love babies, not all people tolerate children. And yet, Jesus said: Let the children come. Children interrupt our ideas of perfection. How often I think of heaven as a perfect place where every duck is in a row. But Jesus said, Let the children come. In a way, I have come to think that He says, Come, let’s invite in the chaos. Let’s fling open the skies and let the noise come in. Let’s learn together and play, like the family I meant for us to be. It’ll be fun.

Prayer:
Lord, help me to come to You, like a child. Help me to learn from You, like a child. Help me to be more open to the chaos and noisiness of Life. Help me to see You in these moments. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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What is the Father Saying to You?

Open My Eyes

•  Salvation Explained


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Where is my heart today: focused on the news around me or rested in the Savior of the world?


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.” Luke 2:1-3

Jesus was born into a world taken up with Caesar Augustus’ census. People were travelling to get to their own towns so they could register. Bethlehem was bustling with activity—all the inns were full—and I’m sure everyone was talking about the census. It shouldn’t surprise me that this is the time God chooses for Jesus to be born into the world. While everyone is focused on the seemingly important events of the day, Jesus, Savior of the world, is born in a manger.

There is so much demanding our attention in the world every day. Elections, climate change, economic fluctuations, war, natural disasters, personal struggles. It is into this atmosphere—this hustle and bustle—that Jesus chooses to be born into again and again. He pierces through our activity and calls us to come and adore Him … to see the wonder of His birth.

Reflect:  How can I invite Jesus into the activities of my day today?

Where is my heart today: focused on the news around me or rested in the Savior of the world?

Jesus, thank You for coming into my very own story and calling me to see You. Today I adore You and I thank You for the wonder of Your birth.

By Idelette McVicker
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Christmas Section
Stories:  Why I Choose God
•  Salvation Explained


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Jesus sees us. Even before anyone sees what we are capable of, He knows us and He sees us.


I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
John 1: 48

Nathanael didn’t quite believe Philip when he said Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. In fact, Nathanael’s response was, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

When Nathanael checks Jesus out, ‘instead of confronting Nathanael about his unbelief’ Jesus speaks to him about a part of Nathanael’s life that no human would know. He reveals to Nathanael that He, as the Son of God, knows him. “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you,” Jesus tells him. To me it says that even before Nathanael started his ministry work, Jesus saw him. Even when no one else knew what Nathanael was capable of, Jesus saw him.

It’s in this instance that Nathanael believes Jesus truly is who Philip said He is.

In the same way, Jesus sees us. Even before anyone sees what we are capable of, He knows us and He sees us.

Jesus sees you. He has been with you, watching you, walking with you. He has seen the pain, the struggle, the depth of your desire. He also sees you today, where you are working, where you live and where you love. Jesus sees you and He is wanting to draw ever closer as you spend your life in Him.

Reflect:
Jesus, where did You see me?

Prayer:
Thank You for seeing me today, Jesus. You see me. You see me. I am right here. Thank You, Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?

Learning to Listen – by Max Lucado

•  Salvation Explained


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God knows the depths of our possibility, the depths of our potential. God knows the depths of our capacity and the depths of our destiny.


Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it is Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.” Genesis 32:28 (Msg)

The story of Jacob speaks to me of someone desperate for a deep, deep blessing from God. Jacob wanted it so much that he was willing to wrestle with God through the night. He wasn’t about to let up and, in fact, said, “I’m not letting you go until you bless me.” Genesis 32:26 (Msg)

Jacob had a deep need to be restored at the core of his person. There are depths in each of us that only God knows. He wants to go there with each of us. He wants to bless us in the deepest place. He wants to meet us at the core of our being.

God knows the depths of our possibility, the depths of our potential. God knows the depths of our capacity and the depths of our destiny. Jacob was more than a dreamer. He was willing to wrestle with (even) God to get his blessing.

Reflect:
– What is your deepest need today?
– What are you willing to wrestle for?

Dear Father, Thank You that Your perfect love means You desire to bless us. You want to meet us in our deepest places and bless us at the core of our being. Meet me there, today, Lord. I need Your blessing. I love You. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  Hope for the Hopeless

•  A Passion for Helping Others – Business leader, Ken Kolek, talks about putting others first and how this affects his business dealings.

•  Salvation Explained


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“Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” Luke 11:1


Leonard Sweet recently wrote (on Twitter):

When my mother died, I set her Bible on a table and let it open itself. Psalm 91, to my surprise. Where does your Bible open itself?”

I decided to take the fun challenge and let my Bible open by itself. It’s a small Bible because I like to carry it in my purse, so honestly it kept falling over. Finally it opened to Luke 11. Jesus’ teaching on prayer. I read it with fresh eyes. I was struck by verse 8:

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

Jesus prescribes boldness in our asking. How do I approach God – Am I asking for the world? Am I stepping out in faith, asking for the miraculous? Once I have aligned my heart with God’s purposes, God wants to work through His children as we pray. God wants us to ask for brokenness to be restored, slavery to end, abuse to stop, mountains to move.

Today, let us align our hearts with His and be bold in our asking.

Father, we want Your Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Today, help me direct my prayers in such a way that Your Kingdom will come through me.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  How did Jesus Pray?
•  Intercessory Prayer Story
•  Salvation Explained


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As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.” Psalm 84:6 (NIV)

Our faith isn’t made only for the mountaintop experiences.

Sometimes we pass through dry seasons and valleys in our journey. It is in the valley that we discover what our faith is made of. Can it survive when we have to walk it out, day by day, even when the height of experience attained on the mountain is merely a memory?

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were thrilled to move into the promise of a better future. But they had scarcely left, or they began to complain. They’d forgotten God’s faithfulness and provision and they had lost sight of the promise. When God gives us a promise, rarely are we transported there instantly. We always need to walk it out. It is in the journey that character is revealed and built. We all need to pass through the valley. What makes the difference, however, is how we pass through. Our heart attitude determines whether we spend 40 days or 40 years in the desert.

Where are you at in your journey?

How are you turning your valley into a place of springs? May you always find the treasure of Jesus in the midst of your own valley.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  Struggles, Despair -Articles
•  They Say I’m Nothing, but I’m Something A poem
•  Salvation Explained

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But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family.’ The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you …’” Judges 6:15

How often do I look within or to another before I look up? Gideon looked at where he came from. He looked at his own accomplishments and his personal sense of identity, trying to establish whether he was equipped for the task, but God had a different answer: “I will be with you,” God told Gideon.

Sometimes, living in our fearlessly independent society, we forget that we don’t have to rely on self. We don’t need the perfect credentials to walk in the call God has for us.

Instead, we are partnered with the God of the Universe who promises: “I will be with you.” It’s the promise of Emmanuel—God with us. We don’t have to do it alone. We can look up and fix our eyes on this God who can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …”

Thank you, Lord, that You are my partner and my strength. Thank You for the promise that You will be with me as I set out to do what You are calling me to today. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•   Broken but Made Beautiful
•  Alone But Not Lonely
•  Salvation Explained

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You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are, no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” Matthew 5:5 (MSG)

Contentment. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, to be contented is “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.” This past summer I watched neighbors buy luxury SUV’s and new furniture and paint their homes. Some have elaborate play structures in their backyards; others are constantly remodelling. For the first time in my life, I had to come face to face with the notion of “keeping up with the Jones’s.” At the same time, I’ve  read Raising Kids for True Greatness by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

My inner world felt turbulent as I grappled with my own notions of success. How do I define a successful life? Is that really what God calls me to? Instead, Kimmel suggests, we follow in Jesus’ footsteps and aim for true greatness. It’s still hard when you watch what feels like an entire neighborhood marching to a different drummer. Recently I caught a snippet of a radio broadcast on our local Christian station. One of the speakers shared how his children were constantly saying, “It’s not fair.” He challenged them through the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20) to realize that when we compare our lives with others, we lose our contentment. Instead we focus on what we have and turn our hearts to gratitude. “Comparison ruins contentment,” he added. That’s exactly what I needed to hear. In our home, we have decided to follow Jesus and follow the beat of His heart. What a relief not to have to live up to any other expectations.

Reflection:

– What moves you out of your place of contentment?
– What are you grateful for today?

Dear Lord, Thank You that You are my shepherd and I have everything I need. Your love covers me, lifts me and fills me. Today, again, I choose to dance to the beat of Your heart. I love You, Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  A Thought about Gratitude
•  If He Closes One Door, He Opens Another!
•  Salvation Explained

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“I know the greatness of the Lord -that our Lord is greater than any other god.”  Psalm 135:5 (NLT)

Dictionary.com defines “devotion” as “profound dedication; consecration” and “earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.”  We know that devotion is our 24/7 way of being with God. At the same time, setting aside consecrated time daily to spend with God is my act of devotion; of showing God my profound dedication to Him. It is not a matter of habit or religious duty, but rather it flows out of love.

During this time before our Lord, our Heavenly Father becomes the central focus of our devotion. We worship Him, and only Him. We can come, not only because we love God, but also because we know that God loves us unconditionally. We can come without our armor. We can come expectant and with our hearts opened up to Him. From this central place of devotion, we can move out into the rest of the day, pointing our life towards our King.

What brings you today to spend time with our Lord?

Dear Father, I am devoted to You. May I center my day around You today, so that I can walk in the great Love You have for me.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  What is the Father Saying to You?
•  Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly
•  Salvation Explained

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“Make yourselves at home in my love.” John 15:9 (MSG)

I have lived in three countries and in many different places. For many years I was on a quest to understand what it means to be home. Home used to be the place where I grew up; later it became the place where I rested my head at night. After I got married, it became the life I shared with my husband.

Home may carry many different meanings for those who have crisscrossed the world. But even those who have stayed home all their lives, may not have come home yet.

Jesus makes it very simple. He says, “Make yourselves at home in my love.” We don’t need to go looking for home; we may simply come home to Jesus. He invites us in. Because of His great love, He has already prepared a place for us. Come in, today. Open the door wide and enter into Love.

Where are you standing in relation to Jesus today?

Are you at home in His love yet? If not, is there anything keeping you from entering in?  What is it?

If you already know the Love of Jesus, what is He saying to you today?

Thank you, Jesus, that You have gone to prepare a place for me. I have a home in You, in Your everlasting arms of love. I come today, to be scooped up and embraced in your love. I am here, Your child. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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FURTHER READING

•  Choosing to be Bitter or Better
•  Bloom Where you are Planted

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“Make yourselves at home in my love.” John 15:9 (MSG)

I have lived in three countries and in many different places. For many years I was on a quest to understand what it means to be home. Home used to be the place where I grew up; later it became the place where I rested my head at night. After I got married, it became the life I shared with my husband.

Home may carry many different meanings for those who have criss-crossed the world. But even those who have stayed home all their lives, may not have come home yet.

Jesus makes it very simple. He says, “Make yourselves at home in my love.” We don’t need to go looking for home; we may simply come home to Jesus. He invites us in. Because of His great love, He has already prepared a place for us. Come in, today. Open the door wide and enter into Love.

Reflect: Where are you standing in relation to Jesus today?
Are you at home in His love yet? If not, is there anything keeping you from entering in?  What is it?
If you already know the Love of Jesus, what is He saying to you today?

Thank you, Jesus, that You have gone to prepare a place for me. I have a home in You, in Your everlasting arms of love. I come today, to be scooped up and embraced in your love. I am here, Your child. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Testimonials
• How to be Saved
• How to be fill with the Holy Spirit

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“I am the vine; you are the branches; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)

Life tends to get busy. I had a meeting with two women in our home yesterday and we shared some of what our week was like. Let’s just say our plates were full. (A third friend called to cancel, because she simply hadn’t managed to finish up her work in time for the meeting.)

I don’t mind being busy, but I always want to have time for the people and activities that are truly important in my life. When life gets full, I find it crucial to know my priorities.

I was reminded again of that when visiting a friend’s house recently. When her husband opened up his computer, the following words flashing across his screen: “Tap into the Source.”

I can’t do anything disconnected from my Source. My Source offers me peace in the midst of chaos. My Source offers me strength when it feels like I have nothing left to offer. My Source offers grace beyond what I deserve.

My Source offers everything I need for every situation I may encounter. My Source feeds my soul.

Thank you, Jesus, that you are my “Source” of everything I need for today. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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“Make yourselves at home in My love.” –John 15:9 (Msg)

I have lived in three countries and in many different places. For many years I was on a quest to understand what it means to be home. Home used to be the place where I grew up; later it became the place where I rested my head at night. After I got married, it became the life I shared with my husband.

Home may carry many different meanings for those who have crisscrossed the world. But even those who have stayed home all their lives, may not have come home yet.

Jesus makes it very simple. He says, “Make yourselves at home in My love.” We don’t need to go looking for home; we may simply come home to Jesus. He invites us in. Because of His great love, He has already prepared a place for us. Come in, today. Open the door wide and enter into Love.

Reflect:

  • Where are you standing in relation to Jesus today?
  • Are you at home in His love yet? If not, is there anything keeping you from entering in?
  • What is it?
  • If you already know the Love of Jesus, what is He saying to you today?

Prayer:

Thank you, Jesus, that You have gone to prepare a place for me. I have a home in You, in Your everlasting arms of love. I come today, to be scooped up and embraced in your love. I am here, Your child. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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FURTHER READING

A Moving Mountain – Have you ever heard of a mountain moving a person?

Up from Depression Story – Barbara Epp shares her journey with depression and the misconception that Christians shouldn’t get depressed.

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“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Whenever I get to a place where life seems more than I can handle, there’s that still, small voice that nudges me: “Remember, Idelette, be still and know that I am God.” Often it’s easier to run and accomplish tasks rather than putting on the brakes and quiet my heart. On those days, it is what I need most. My Creator reminds me of that often.

Where do I need God to be God? What are the questions in my heart? Where is it that I need to be still today and invite God in?

What will this day bring, Lord?
Be still and know that I am God.

Is there a relationship that needs healing?
Be still and know that I am God.

Am I anxious about finances?
Be still and know that I am God.

Someone I love is sick, Lord.
Be still and know that I am God.

Am I concerned about my work, my future, my purpose?
Be still and know that I am God.

Prayer:
Thank you, God, that You have already saved the world. I don’t need to. I only need to do what You require of me. Help me return to that place of stillness where I find perspective and strength.

By Idelette McVicker
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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.” Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

One of my close friends suffers from chronic headaches. She lives with pain. It is something I am, thankfully, rather unfamiliar with. Her suffering, however, has introduced me to the huge realm of those who suffer from severe pain. Sometimes I just feel helpless. Most days I stand on the sideline and watch her endure.

While reflecting on the power of the cross again, it dawned on me that dying on a cross meant, for Jesus, enduring unfathomable pain. He doesn’t stand as a bystander, removed from the pain. Jesus became intensely familiar with pain. When you talk to Him about pain, He knows. He knows what you’re talking about. He has entered into Pain with you. This is the amazing God we love. There is nothing too far removed from Him. I may not be able to enter into the pain with my friend, but her closest Friend can and already has.

Reflect:

We have all suffered pain, whether emotional or physical. Imagine Jesus being right there with you. Then thank Him for enduring a pain that is so far beyond our imagination. Thank Jesus for being willing to suffer, so we may call him Friend in the places where we need Him most.

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for Your incredible sacrifice on the cross. Not only did You carry the sins of the world, ”past, present and future” but You died an extremely painful death, all for us. You are the best Friend we could ever ask for.

By Idelette McVicker
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