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


Because He suffered, we can find comfort in the midst of pain and chaos.


He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Isaiah 53:3 (NIV)

How human we are.

How broken is our world.

How incomplete are our relationships.

And yet, in that brokenness and pain, we can come to Jesus and see Him bent over, agonizing in the Garden. He’s been there. He understands. And He provides comfort for those who mourn; He binds up the broken-hearted. He proclaims freedom for the captives.

My deepest comfort can be drawn from Jesus, the man familiar with suffering. He laid down everything He was, every ounce of dignity and honor, to be despised and rejected so we don’t have to carry it. He deserved nothing but glory and yet He chose the simple life of a carpenter and allowed a shameful death on a cross in exchange for Life

My deepest comfort can be drawn from Jesus, the man familiar with suffering. He laid down everything He was, every ounce of dignity and honor, to be despised and rejected so we don’t have to carry it. He deserved nothing but glory and yet He chose the simple life of a carpenter and allowed a shameful death on a cross in exchange for Life

I can draw strength from a God who has experienced every broken human emotion. Because He was despised, I can turn to Him for Love. Because He was rejected, we are accepted. Because He suffered, we can find comfort in the midst of pain and chaos. He took it all upon Himself.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! You deserve our unending praise. I am so grateful for what You did on the cross … so grateful. Thank You. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission


If you have never surrendered your life to Christ, and would like to know Him in the way the author does,  you can start today. Simply say this prayer and your journey with Christ will begin:

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.

Another Sample Prayer:

Dear God, today I bring you my life, my hopes, my dreams, my deepest yearnings … You know me intimately. You knew me even before I was formed in the womb. You called me into this world to do good and live the life I was uniquely and specifically created for. I ask for Courage and Wisdom to live this life–the life of my dreams. Show me where to start and help me be open to hearing your Voice today. I ask for a greater consciousness of your Presence, today and every day of my life. Amen.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Further Reading

•  At the Foot of the Cross  Powerful Poem

•  I Want to Know Him! Christ and his Resurrection Power

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)

About two years ago we shared our home with a young family for a few months. There were four adults and five children (all under five years old!) living under one roof. Life was often chaotic and yet extraordinarily beautiful. As we all laid down our lives, we received the blessing of life in community.

The three-year-old boy left a very specific deposit in my heart. Whenever we would get ready to go somewhere, he’d say: “We go together.” He was so excited to do things together. For me, his enthusiasm spoke of the “together”. God meant for us to live on earth. 1 Corinthians 12:27 reminds us that all of us together are the temple of God. The Kingdom cannot come, on earth as it is in heaven, in just one person. It has to come in all of us, together. Together, risen up in the resurrection of Christ, we begin to take shape, looking like the Bride.

Reflection:
Does “together” come easily for you? If so, thank God for this blessing. If not, ask the Spirit to reveal to you why.

Prayer:
Thank you, Jesus. You sacrificed your “together” as part of the most intimate Trinity to come teach us what it means to come together, sharing our lives and our Light with others. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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FURTHER READING

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

•  Bloom Where you are Planted – the Diane Willis story

Choosing to be Bitter or Better 

thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’” Luke 11:27-28

The woman in the crowd had such admiration and love for Jesus. She couldn’t imagine a greater blessing than being the woman who carried and raised the Son of God. Jesus shifts the perspective, however. He says Mary is blessed not because she carried and birthed him, but because Mary heard God’s word and obeyed it.

In the same way, we are blessed, not because we fulfill the great calling, but rather when we obey the voice of God. God looks at our heart and sees the willing servant. Is this where I am positioned today? Am I listening for God’s specific word for me and responding as Mary did?

I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38, NIV)

The blessing comes as we walk closely with Him, moving on His shouts and His whispers, willing to follow and trust the Divine.

Thank You, Father, that You value my willing heart and my obedience. Speak to me today, Lord. Your servant is listening. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

•  The Walk of Obedience – by Mary Pinckney

•  The Thrill of Obedience – by Charles Stanley

•  God Requires Risky Obedience – by Jon Walker

thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


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
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Christmas Section
Stories:  Why I Choose God
•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and stealMatthew 6:19-20 (NIV)

We often encounter this verse about laying up treasures in heaven, rather than on earth, as soon as we enter into a Christian walk. Jesus emphasizes hearts directed to God and not centered on material things. We know to invest our money into the work of God to invest in heaven. It shows that our hearts don’t hold anything back from God. However, it struck me recently that investing in heaven also means to invest into the hearts of people right here on earth. I lay up treasure in heaven every time I invest into the heart of a person, every time I lay down my life for another person, for the sake of the Kingdom.

Reflect:
– Who am I investing my life into at the moment?
– How am I laying up treasures in heaven?
– What do I treasure?

PrayerLord, It’s easy to get distracted by the noise and buzz of life on earth. Help me focus my attention on what truly matters to You. Help me invest my life into heaven, and not get bogged down by the seemingly urgent matters of earth.

By Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

• Heaven on My Mind – by Katherine Kehler

How to Be Confident You Will Go to Heaven When You Die

Shunning Materialism by John Grant


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


Read: Matthew 1


I was reading the genealogy of Jesus again when it struck me how there are only three women mentioned by name in the whole genealogy: Tamar, Rahab and Mary.

Tamar was a widow who pretended to be a prostitute, slept with her father-in-law and got him to restore her honor. Rahab, a prostitute, helped the Israelites conquer Jericho. And Mary was already pregnant when she married Joseph, something that would have been severely frowned upon in her own Jewish community.

These three women became part of the genealogy of Jesus, in spite of the labels they might have carried within their own communities. I recently heard a young woman from a respected Christian family tell how she fell into adultery. When the story came out, she went to her father. He said to her, “That’s what you did, my daughter, that’s not who you are

God, our Heavenly Father, sees who we really are, not the labels placed upon us by ourselves, our families or society. God sees our hearts.

Reflect: If God were to look at your heart today, what would He see?

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

Indonesian Women who Ministers to Muslims

Becoming Wonder Woman – by Glenda Duranao

Nine Principles for Effective Leadership – by Katherine Kehler

photo credit: Anthony Janeaud    https://www.flickr.com/photos/leyeti/
creative commons license:  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


“The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)


My eldest will be going into Grade one this year. For nearly six years we have been speaking into her young life and heart. Sometimes I am encouraged by the fruit; sometimes humanly disheartened. I am reminded and challenged to speak words that belong to a category of blessing. They are words of acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval and attention.

In the same way, we can use our words “and our looks” to curse. These words are: degrading, derisive, derogatory, destructive, displeasing and disapproving.

There is so much power in our tongue. We can shape and build lives with words that strengthen and give life. Or we can choose to hurt and harden the hearts of those around us.

Today let’s ask God that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in His sight.

Prayer:

Father, please help me to use my words to build up, strengthen, encourage and ultimately bless. Help me not to break down what You are intending to shape in the lives of those around me. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Hold My Tongue – by Laura Rath

•  The Power of the Tongue – by Katherine Kehler

•   Why is What I Say So Important? by Dr. Henry Brandt


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


The time is coming”, declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.Jeremiah 31:31(NIV)


I recently heard this wonderful illustration to show why God couldn’t continue covering us under the old covenants or agreements. It is like taking a clean dinner plate and filling it with spaghetti Bolognese. Someone would be happy to eat it. Then, instead of cleaning the plate, place a napkin on it and add the next meal, let’s say a broccoli chicken casserole. Someone who’s hungry would probably still enjoy it. Then again, instead of cleaning the plate, place another napkin on top to cover up the old food and add another layer of food. With every covenant God renewed in the Old Testament, it was like a new covering over the old sin. But when God sent us Jesus, He came to clean our plates. He washed away our sins and gave us a clean start.

Thank You, Jesus, that You clean my plate. Thank You that by Your life we may have a new covenant and that we can start fresh every day, in spite of how messy our lives may get sometimes. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  How to be Saved

•  Reading the Bible – Where to Start?

•  How to Pray


thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 (NIV)


A recently read Anne LaMotte’s book, “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.” In her dry humorous style, she writes about visiting a prison with a friend “to teach inmates how to tell stories.”  She then shares a quote from Reverend James Forbes that has stayed with me for many days. He said, “Nobody gets into heaven without a letter of reference from the poor.”

Rev. Forbes bases his thoughts on Matthew 25 where the Son of Man separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep, “those who cared for the poor and the prisoners” are allowed to share in the kingdom inheritance; the goats aren’t.

Our culture is so focused on popularity and individual gain, it’s easy to get caught up in this. But when we get quiet before God and sit at His feet, we are reminded of Jesus, a friend of sinners and a friend of the poor.

Lord, when our hearts are turned towards You, we can’t help but also see the poor, the prisoners and the unloved. Help me to see those precious souls the world disregards and reach out with love, grace and compassion.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  An Invitation to Adventure – by Allan Mitchell

• Two Penny Offering – by John Fischer

•   Cry of the Poor – by Phil Ware


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.”  Matthew 20:32


It might seem kind of obvious that when two blind men call out to Jesus for mercy that they want to be healed. But Jesus stops, calls them closer, and asks them directly, “What do you want me to do for you?

I have noticed, sometimes, when I’m sitting by the side of life’s road, crying out to Jesus for mercy, he stops, calls me closer and asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”

It’s one of those questions that clears the cobwebs. It cuts through to the core issue. After all, if I’m enlisting the Creator of the Universe on my behalf, I’d better know what I want.

How am I really feeling? What’s the real issue here? What do I need from God today?

There is power in clarifying your true need. And there’s power in bringing it before the throne of grace.

Today, what do you need Him to do for you? Ask for what you need – even when it seems kind of obvious. Ask. And watch how He moves heaven and earth on your behalf.

Dear God, Please help me be clear about what I really need and want. Thank you, that when I ask, you listen. Help me see the power of your hand upon my life, even today. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•   Crying Out to God   by Charles Stanley
•   The Stones Cry Out by Charles Spurgeon
•   Crying from the Cave by Bill Strom
•   How to Cry Out to God   by Charles Stanley


thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23 (NLT)

Advent marks the season of preparation and waiting. In a sense, it is our taking part in the pregnancy of the Christ child, carrying our part of His story. We prepare our hearts to receive Him; for Him to be born into our humble and broken lives.

It struck me today that as we prepare for Christmas, our hearts focused on the birth of our Savior, in a greater sense we are also participating in a kind of Advent season every other day of the year. Whether it’s Christmas season or not, we are preparing for the return of Christ. We are preparing our hearts for Jesus to come again. Our world is pregnant with His return.

Reflect:

Is your heart ready to receive Him at this time in history?

Where are you making room for Christ this season?

Prayer:

Come, Lord Jesus, come … Help me prepare my heart as a welcoming place that receives You today and every day to come.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  Visit our Christmas Section

•  Surviving Christmas: “be still and know that I am God”

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women


“Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrong.” Proverbs 10:12


I am in a season of life when I am confronted daily with the idea that I am, well, not perfect. I am making a lot of mistakes and pray for grace constantly. That’s when I started thinking about my own upbringing and what made the difference. In spite of the humps and bumps of growing up, my mom’s love carried me through. Did she make mistakes? Yes. Was she perfect? No. Did she show me an amazing love, rooted in an unshakable faith? Absolutely.

In Proverbs 10:12 we read, “love covers all wrongs” We find the New Testament version in 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” It’s a spiritual principle that gives me a fresh perspective on parenting, relationships and doing life well. The amazing power of Love means that even when I make mistakes, as long as my Love is even greater, I am covered. No wonder Jesus breaks the commandments down to this one action: Love.

Reflection:
How big is your Love?
Where do you need the power of Love to cover your sins and your mistakes?

Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank You for covering my life with Your amazing Love. Grant me the grace to love well, so those in my world will remember my love, rather than my mistakes. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  God is Thinking about You

•  God WILL take care of you

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume”  Luke 7:37 (NIV)


Imagine bringing something worth as much as one whole year’s salary and pouring it out on the feet of Jesus. The woman who worshiped Jesus with the alabaster jar of oil brought a gift that was extremely extravagant, by any account. She took everything she had – her very best – and chose to pour it out to Jesus. This was her simple, but oh, so extravagant thank you.

Jesus loved her act of worship; He saw her heart. He knew her story and He understood her worship. She had a heart filled with love for the God who forgave her sins.

What does my worship look like? Does it spring out of a heart of gratitude? What have I brought to God that is most precious to me?

Jesus, thank You for pouring out Your life on my behalf. I want to bring You my very best. Thank You that You know my story and that You see my heart. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  Stories:  Why  I Chose God

•  Getting Life Back on Track by Marvin Kehler

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.Hebrews 12:1


I love that God has created us to do good works and that He has prepared them in advance for us to do.

(See Ephesians 2:10) Even before we were born, God had a purpose for our lives and there are good works He needs us to do on this earth. On the other hand, there is an Accuser, an enemy of our souls, who does his best to keep us from fulfilling our purpose. I have noticed that it often is the same things that keep coming up to entangle me. Hebrews 12 verse one calls it the sin that so easily entangles us. Is there one sin in your life that keeps creeping up on you, trying to entangle you?

When the Holy Spirit points out our sin, it is to turn our eyes back on to Jesus and to set us free. It’s never about condemnation. God wants to put iron in our souls as we respond to His discipline, because ultimately He wants us to fulfill our purposes and not be held back in a life of sin. How wonderful to know that God calls us to freedom, godliness an great purpose.

Create a clean heart in me, O Lord. I want to live out the purposes You have for me and walk in the good works You have already prepared in advance for me to do. I love You, Lord. Amen.

By Idelette McVicker
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Further Reading

•  He Put a Song in My Heart

•   Heart Fully Committed to Him

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4


My best friend’s mom is in the hospital with cancer. She’s been battling the disease for over a year, but she’s come to a place now where they are basically unable to manage the pain. My friend knows they’re saying good-bye.

At night, especially, this brave lady has been struggling with incomprehensible pain levels. It was during one of these “sessions,” while doctors and nurses were trying to comfort her, that Jesus spoke to her:

Yes this process is painful, my dear … Do you remember giving birth? Being in labor? You are now in labor, except you are the one being birthed. Take courage. You are being reborn, with a brand new body. No more pain.”

This is the Jesus I worship, the One who feels our pain and meets us in its midst.

by Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women