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


“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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•  Choosing to be Bitter or Better
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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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“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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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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“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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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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“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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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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The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need.” Psalm 23:1 (NLT)

I started a 40-day fast, abstaining from spending, acquiring and shopping. Thankfully my husband eagerly accepted the challenge to shop for groceries and necessities.

Although as a woman I enjoy shopping, I realized early on that the fast isn’t about shopping. Instead it’s about a deep desire to be clear about how God is calling our family to live. I want to decide from a core understanding, rather than follow the ways of everyone around me. I don’t want to be shepherded by the strength of marketing. I want to follow the One true Shepherd.

These past 20 days I have found that I have a lot more “space and time” to think through what is truly important to our family. I am not busy acquiring, gathering and storing. Instead, I am planning for what we really need, while being creative in how to use what we already have.

Dear Lord, Thank you for being my Shepherd. Thank you for being our Provider. May I never forget that everything good and beautiful and perfect comes from you. Amen.

by Idelette McVicker
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