Category: thoughts by Idelette McVicker

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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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“He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” 1 John 2:2 (NLT)

A few years ago, I participated in a course called The Ancient Paths put on by Family Foundations International. It was a time of beautiful healing for me.  After bringing my stuff to Jesus time and time again at the cross – every detail, every bad thing, every lie that had been whispered to me, every wrong turn I
had taken, I was amazed again by the power of Jesus, and especially Jesus on the cross.

I got a glimpse, even in just a small way, of what He must have experienced on the cross. Besides the humiliation, besides the physical pain, He took the sins of the
world on him. As I looked at the stuff I had in my life – the pain, the disappointments, the sin, knowing how heavy these things had been in my heart, I couldn’t imagine Him carrying the sins and pain and disappointments of every person who has ever lived and will ever live on this earth. But He did. He broke through and created space for each and every one of us. That power is now available to us as we bring our lives to Him.

This is our Jesus, amazing God who became man, my Superhero.

by Idelette McVicker
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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.


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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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Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others (the armies of heaven) praising God and saying, “˜Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14 (NLT)

Jesus was not born into a quiet moment in history. I need to lay down my perception of Christ coming when there is nothing else pressing going on in my life. Instead, Jesus is born right into the chaos of life on earth. With His birth, God pierces earth with His Son from Heaven and with it, gives us the greatest gift of Peace. Our responsibility is simple to receive Him. Jesus doesn’t come when all my dishes are clean, all the laundry is done, the house is perfect and the children are happily playing – Jesus beckons me to come join Him in the midst of everything that calls my attention and calls me away from Him. He calls me to come and be with Him. Quiet moments don’t come by themselves; instead I focus on Him and move everything else to the periphery. I make room for Him in my inner life. I invite Him into the center of where I live and move and have my being.

Prayer: Forgive me for the times I have shut You out, Lord, so You had to go find room somewhere else. Today, I invite you into the center of my life. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

by Idelette McVicker
Used by Permission


Have you come to the place in your spiritual journey where you realize that Jesus Christ died for your sins (all acts of active rebellion and passive indifference)? Would you like to be free inwardly from all of your sin and guilt? Would you like to have Jesus Christ, your Creator, direct your life from now on?  If your answer is “yes” pray the following prayer and your sins will be forgiven, your guilt will be removed and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as Savior ad Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.


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My three-year-old has been very aware of her strength. “Feel how big my muscles are,” she says, thrusting her arm out. This morning as I was driving her to preschool, she said, “Mommy, Katie doesn’t think my muscles are big.” As we talked through it, she suddenly added, “Mommy, I can’t slay a big lion.” She connected her strength with what we’d been reading – the story of Samson who was so strong that he could kill a lion with his bare hands.

After a little thought I asked her: “Do you think you can slay a little lion?”

Sure” she said. “I can slay a little lion.”

I thought about the challenges we face in our lives – the lions that come on our path. I realized that God allows us to grow in our capacity and confidence to fight the lions. Samson started with a lion and moved on to Philistines. David learned to keep the lions and bears at bay before he faced Goliath. With every challenge we conquer, we grow in strength and capacity. We build on experience and face the new challenge, knowing that God has seen us through the previous trials.

Reflect:
– What challenge are you facing in your life right now?
– What “little lions” have you slain in your journey up to now?
– How does your past experience inspire you to face your current challenge?

Thank You, God, that You grow me in my capacity and strength to face the challenges of every day. I bring my lions to You right now and I ask for the confidence and strength to conquer these new challenges. Remind me of what You have already brought me through successfully. Amen.

Bu Idelette McVicker
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“Do not say, “Four months more and then the harvest.”  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 (NIV)

I have felt a rising urgency in my heart. Whether it’s about understanding the times and the seasons, or responsibility in taking care of our personal matters, the urgency is growing.

At first I experienced it with increased anxiety. Then a wise friend reminded me that even the disciples lived from the perspective that the end was near. This was how the New Testament was written – with an urgency – because Christ is coming soon. Now, a few thousand years later maybe we can smile at the disciples’ sense of urgency, but perhaps Christ wanted us to understand that part of living the Christian life is grasping this urgency. It’s not intended to invoke fear in us; instead we may understand that while every day is closer to His coming, it is also one more day in which we can give and love and work to help establish God’s Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.

We can look up, today, and see that the fields are ripe for harvest. And as Isaiah 61 reminds us, “This is the year of the Lord’s favor.” We need to make the best of today.

Reflect:

– How are you living from an understanding of the urgency of the day?
– How will you seize this day?

By Idelette McVicker
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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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“I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

In my daughter’s preschool, they learned this song early on: “Let’s make room for our friends”. The school’s philosophy is clear: they foster an environment where students learn inclusivity. They make space for each other. I’ve watched the children grow into this atmosphere. On the playground after school or on occasions when we have gone out in a group, they all romp together. They naturally gravitate towards certain friends, but it is not at the cost of other friends. Each child is respected. No one is left behind.

Let’s make room for our friends” has become a philosophy in our home too. When the neighborhood kids or other friends come over, we make sure we include everyone, especially the younger ones.

Jesus came to make room for each one of us. He came, so as a family of God, we make room for each other. How ironic that right from the start, there was no room for the Prince of Heaven. His life defied this exclusion and He opened doors. He still knocks on the doors of closed hearts. “I stand at the door and knock,” He says. He moves right into the tight places we create around the marginalized. He makes space for each of us. We can love in His welcome and in turn, open doors for others.

Reflect:
Have you made room for Jesus today?
Where do You need Jesus to make room for you?
Where are you called to make room for someone else?

Thank You, Lord, that You have prepared a place for me. Even when life may exclude me, You are there, right beside me.

By Idelette McVicker
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“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 21:6 (NKJ)

An eighty-something-year-old beautiful woman of God reminded me of one of the keys to living a Divinely inspired life: praising God in the midst of the most difficult, un-Kingdom-like circumstances.

At a time when she was feeling very stuck—hopeless even—she heard the whisper of God: “When you start praising Me, I will bring them in.”

What am I going to praise You for?” she thought. “Everything I see is a mess.

For who I am,” came the answer.

She started doing exactly that: praising God for who God is, not for the circumstances she saw all around her. She focused on the character and nature of God, not the fragments of relationships and human emotions scattered everywhere. She started singing in the midst of her trouble and one by one God began to pick up the pieces … God, our amazing, faithful God, proved true to the promise.

Prayer: Thank You, God, for who You are: faithful, loving, patient, great, kind, compassionate, just … I look to You today and I praise You for who You are. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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This is my body, given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19 (NIV)

I remember waking up in a narrow twin bed. I was at a women’s retreat: two nights away from home, with time to spend with God in the company of other women. It was still early. I reached for my Bible and opened it to Luke chapter 22. I heard the women in the hallways, getting ready for the day. There was cheerful chatter and noise that can only happen at a women’s retreat where thirty women have to share bathrooms and hairdryers.

I was still reading when the Spirit stopped me in my tracks:

This is my body, given for you;
This is my body, given for you;
This is my body, given for you!

The words rang in my ears as I heard the sound of the women in the background. Thoughts and emotions collided. This is my body given for you. These were members of our church “the Body of Christ” and they too were given to me. I had always thought only of Christ’s physical body and His offering when taking communion. For the first time, I felt the sacred gift in the presence of my fellow members of the Body. These are the people we share our lives with, our community. A gift to everyone who is willing to partake.

By Idelette McVicker
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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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Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.”  Psalm 54:2

Once, after walking the streets of the most destitute area in our city, I asked a friend who lives there as a missionary about taking a person through the process of coming into freedom. As a couple, my missionary friends have spent their lives working with people who want to grow whole in Christ.

Knowing my own healing journey, I could hardly imagine the time and commitment required for someone who has suffered deep trauma and beyond.

He said that once, while in prayer, his wife felt God saying that the hours and hours they put in for someone to be set free is so they would appreciate when Freedom comes in an instant.

I look forward to the day when we can all be healed and well in an instant. In the meantime, I look forward to appreciating the miracle as we put in the work and the love.

Thank you, Jesus, for taking us through the process of life. We long for your healing and your renewal of all your people, however you choose to pour it out on us. May your Kingdom come. We love you, Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

Earlier this year I visited the former Berlin wall. I found a segment that was kept in tact for historic purposes and I stood there and prayed. What once seemed so impossible, happened. The wall came down! What once seemed indestructible, crumbled.

One of the inscriptions at the Wall Museum reads,

It was the first wall in history to be built around an entire city and nearly around an entire country.” And Michael Gorbachev said, “The wall not only embodies the split in Europe but in the entire world.”

Standing at this physical wall reminded me of the walls we carry within ourselves. The walls we build in our heart by holding on to things like unforgiveness and anger, separate us from God. Walls between ourselves and others keep us from experiencing the fullness of relationship.

Standing at the wall, however, filled me with hope. Here was a very vivid picture that walls can come down. Besides, Jesus came to break down the walls that keep us from experiencing life to the full. He offered His life to be spilled out and broken, so that we can get break through walls and walk in freedom and the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

Reflect: Which walls do I see as insurmountable?

Lord, thank You for giving me hope. Please help me to break through the walls in my heart and the walls that oppose my relationships. Help me to walk in freedom and experience all You have for me today.

By Idelette McVicker
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