Category: <span>thoughts by Kathy Cheek</span>

I don’t like myself when I mess up but I am reminded God’s grace is there for me and I can do better with His help. I want to do better.


I am flawed. Every day I miss the mark. Every day I lose patience and say things the wrong way which means I should not have said them at all.

I keep messing up. Last week I forgot to pray for someone I assured I would remember their prayer request. I saw her at church and the stress of her situation was written across her face and I was reminded that I need to pray. I was also reminded of my negligence.

I stand in the line at the grocery store and chit chat with the cashier or another person in line with me and forget to share the Lord in some way when God opens the door and gives me a moment to open my mouth and be a light in a dark world. When I get in my car and pull out of the parking lot I shake my head disappointed in myself because I let that moment slip out of my hands.

I have negative and critical thoughts about someone and then I am filled with guilt. I should know better. I do know better, and yet…there were those negative and critical thoughts exploding in my mind.

The list is endless.

There is bad news and there is good news.

Bad news: I have flaws and I mess up—consistently. I am not perfect. Not even close. Sometimes I am just a big mess.         

Good news: I am a sinner saved by grace. Then the good news gets even better. There is someone who is perfect. Jesus is the perfect one. He perfectly loves me every day. He loves me although I am flawed and when I miss the mark. I am desperate for this kind of love and He offers it to me freely every day.

I don’t like myself when I mess up but I am reminded God’s grace is there for me and I can do better with His help. I want to do better. God is patient with me and He continues to work in me to make me more like Him. This gives me hope. I am deeply thankful there is hope and grace for this flawed heart of mine.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Fast Of Words: A Different Kind of Fast
•  How to Fall in Love with Jesus by Sylvia Gunter
•  Salvation Explained


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There was a time that I endured a season in my life when several uncertain and difficult circumstances were bearing down on me, and I remember feeling the weight of more than I could handle pressing hard on me. I could physically sense a weight pushing down on both my shoulders and my neck grew stiff from the stress.

There was a serious illness in the family. A messy situation in the extended family. Trouble brewing at a job.

My attempts to change things were futile. My efforts to fix things met with disaster, not improvement.

I had trouble going to sleep at night because it was hard to relax with so many worries running through my mind.

The more I worried, the worse things became.

One night while tossing and turning in my bed, I remembered the verse Isaiah 40:31 about God renewing our strength when we trust and wait on Him. I asked God to please renew my strength for the next day. I pleaded with Him to help me make it through tomorrow without the weight of the world pressing down on me.

I recalled the exact words of the entire verse and received its message into the depths of my heart.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”  ~ Isaiah 40:31

I repeated this beautiful verse to myself several times and found my strength being renewed as I continued to meditate on the meaning of its words. God was faithful to renew my strength! I fell asleep that night and slept a more peaceful sleep than I had experienced in weeks.

I woke up the next morning and the weight of the world was not pressing down on me. I believed I could run and not be weary, walk and not faint. I felt so much lighter it was as if I could fly! God taught me that He never intended our burdens to crush us under their weight. His promise to those who wait on Him is to renew our strength.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From:First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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Further Reading

Going Deeper with God
Jesus is Always There!
•  Salvation Explained

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“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Our Christian walk of faith is often a journey of waiting…and waiting, which we don’t always do with much patience. Put my name at the top of that list, but I am learning. Waiting is hard, because we don’t know what the answer will be. Neither do we know when the answer will come.

Yet, knowing that God holds the answer turns our waiting into trust. As a result, faith renews our strength to wait. And we will need a lot of strength, because we will do a great deal of waiting on our faith journey.

Everything we do, we do by faith. As faith is enabling us to trust and wait, it is also building more faith to help us wait on Him for the results. Many times, those results are a long, long time coming; and yet, faith is required day by day for the journey.

Our journey isn’t necessarily about the end result, but how we endure the unknown. Will we endure when we grow discouraged? Will we trust Him to renew our strength and move us out of the place of discouragement to a place of peace and hope again? In my experience, when I call out to Him with my discouraged heart, He is always faithful to lift me up again; then I can rest once again in knowing He is in control.

Faith is often a waiting journey.
Faith is not a walk of knowing.
Faith is not a knowing journey.
Faith is knowing Him,
Not knowing what the future holds,
But knowing the One who holds the future,
Knowing He is God,
Knowing He is Sovereign.

The choice to trust will help us wait. This choice will help us persevere and grow and learn; it will test us and teach us, and our faith will grow deeper. A deeper faith is the result of bravely waiting on the Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
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Is there a more beautiful passage in the Bible than the 23rdPsalm?  It is definitely in a category all its own and has always been a favorite of mine.

The riches of each phrase wrap around my heart like a cool fresh breeze after a long hot afternoon.

Stepping into the depths of its treasure is a gift to the soul every time we read these six intricate verses.

The weary find solace. The wounded find healing. The hungry are filled. The thirsty are quenched. The fearful find comfort. The tired are refreshed. The worshiper finds intimacy with the Lord.

We will all find God’s immeasurable goodness and mercy.

What do you need this coming week? I pray you will find it in the words of this beloved Psalm.

PSALM 23

A Psalm of David

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•   God is Sufficient
•   Jesus is Always There!
•  Salvation Explained

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I read a devotional the other day on trusting God through the fog, the writer recounting a difficult drive down a foggy mountain road and trusting God to take her safely home.

I have not had that experience of driving down a foggy mountain road. And yet, recently…I created my own fog on a bright sunny day.

Nothing had changed. A blinding fog did not roll in and obscure my view. I just took my eyes off what God can do and let circumstances overwhelm me with doubt and fear. I was not a friend to myself. I was a saboteur of my own journey.

For a while I let a thick fog swirl around me and swallow up my hope and faith and pull me into a dark place where discouragement filled my heart.

We all have those days when praying, waiting, and working toward something are met with discouragement. We often find we derail our confidence in the Lord with our own weakness and wrong thinking because for a while we take our eyes off of Him and instead let a fog of doubt and worry surround us. The fog comes rolling in when I take my eyes off of the Lord.

It is a miserable place to be when we feel like we have lost our way and can’t find a clear solution.

There are multiple possibilities for our discouragement. Here are just a few:

–    We become impatient because we have already waited a very long time for answers.
–    We might convince ourselves we have asked for too much or too big and back down from our asking.
–   We don’t see any signs of change in our difficult situation and hopelessness leads to great frustration.
–    Our task looks too complicated to complete and we feel like giving up.

We will all go through discouragement when faced with the above type scenarios. But will we let discouragement rule our lives, or will we place our trust in God to work those things that we can’t comprehend? Will we remind ourselves how He has worked for our good in other difficult times?

When I realized that all the negativity I was experiencing was a product of my own doing and that my reasons for discouragement were based on feelings and emotions run amuck, the fog began to lift and clear thinking prevailed. I stood my ground with faith and trust and let the sun break through all the fog.

When my self-imposed fog lifted and I experienced the fresh air of hope and faith once more, I truly felt a wave of energy surge through my body, heart and soul. God’s indwelling spirit renewed me and I welcomed His faithfulness to me as His strength overcame my weakness and I felt strong and whole. The sky was blue again, the sun was shining and all fog had lifted away.

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•  How to Have a ‘Quiet Time’ with God
•  30 Day Guide for New Believers
•  Salvation Explained

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“And you will seek Me and find Me, When you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13

I wrote in my journal one morning declaring each day a brand new day to walk with the Lord. Then, as I paused to consider and examine what those words truly meant, I realized that much of that walking is walked out in my thoughts and prayers as I seek Him. This walking can be accomplished without taking one single step. Walking with the Lord is a walk that takes place in the heart—a heart to follow Him.

I went on to write in my journal that “Today, walking with Him required me not to worry about something troubling that happened, but to pray and trust. Today, walking with Him has shown me through the reading of His Word that I am not helpless, but I am an overcomer and more than a conqueror.

Walking with the Lord has also taught me to never give up when visible answers to prayer are slow in coming. Walking with Him has shown me this week not to focus on the natural things of this world and circumstances surrounding me, but to keep my eyes on God and what only God can do.

My journey with the Lord is a walk to seek Him, and this is a walk of the heart I choose to take each brand new day.

By Kathy Cheek
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Further Reading

•   The Re-Knitting Hand of God – What God taught me about ‘little sins’
•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life
•  Salvation Explained

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“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. “ Psalm 34:18

Can you imagine if my crystal vase fell off this shelf onto the hardwood floor below? It would crash and break into innumerable pieces unable to be put back together.

What do you do when your world is crumbling in a thousand tiny pieces and you see it slipping through your hands?

You are grasping to hold on, keep it from falling apart, but all you hold in your hands is shattered, broken pieces.

Nothing is too broken for God.

He wants to put it back together and put it back stronger than before, better than before, and often in a new direction. His process of restoration and rebuilding will bring change. You won’t be the same person after having gone through this. You will be a new, improved you!

He will not put you back together only to have you pick up where you left off before this trial happened. You are not the person you were going into this experience. You have learned many things and you have grown and are still growing. God will use this growth so you can now help others. What a privilege it is to be able to help someone go through a similar storm to one God has just brought us through.

You can trust your heavenly Father to rebuild what the enemy has torn down, if you will lay all the pieces of your life into His hands and call on Him to rebuild what is broken. He will make all things beautiful in His perfect way and in His perfect time. Your heavenly Father wants you to trust Him as you have never trusted before.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


Do you want to start trusting Christ Jesus today to be the healer of your broken heart?  Your healing journey with him can start today with a simple prayer that expresses your trust and belief in him.  If you believe these words, then say this sample prayer and HE WILL come into your life.

Lord Jesus, I need You. 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 the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.  Be the healer of my soul.”

This is just the beginning.  We encourage to read the links below and get connected with a good church.  Also, consider an online mentor which we can connect you to.


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

•  Good News for You
•  A Poem of Hope
•  Salvation Explained

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Endure is a word I have thought about lately.

I have been thinking about it since before the new year even started. It is the word that describes a life of faith and puts the focus on our choice to persevere one day at a time and year after year. To endure is where our faith comes fully alive.

Yes, I pray that  our faith will endure and that our walk will endure. I pray that we will run this race well and that we will diligently persevere and stay the course. Stumbling and getting back up, falling but standing strong again.

Endure through loss,

Endure through disappointment.

Endure through uncertainty,

Tried and tested but proven.

Endure in our Bible reading and in our prayer life.

Endure in having a more giving heart and being intentional with our time.

Endure in our relationships with people and being attentive to all around us.

I pray with utmost sincerity that we will endure in trusting the Lord with all our heart. This will make all the difference between coasting and living out a faith that is fully alive.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
Devotions from the Heart at www.kathycheek.com

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FURTHER READING

•  The Everlasting God
•  The Power of Resurrection
•  The Word of God and the Power of God

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Dawn’s early light didn’t have much light this morning.

Instead, dark clouds stretched across the horizon blocking the morning sunlight just like the heaviness that is trying to hover over me, a heaviness that I must choose to push away.

I could see narrow ribbons of gold and pink behind breaks in the clouds, and I could see that the sun was shining behind those thick clouds.

Peace like a bright shining sun waits for me behind those clouds!

Maybe I am the one doing the blocking as I begin to pile on fretting, stressing, and far too much worrying. Maybe I need to let go of some things, lay some things down and walk away.

Maybe I need to breathe the fresh air of God’s peace.

Sometimes it is as simple as a choice, and if it is as simple as a choice then I am going to choose God’s peace.

It is one of God’s mysterious ways that in surrendering our human failings and drawing on His strength, and not our own—we will ultimately find the peace and the strength we were trying to find because it is found in the Lord.

Yes, I will breathe in the satisfying richness of His peace because this is what He wants for me.

I will push away those dark clouds of heaviness and welcome the light and open my heart to all the peace God has to offer me in great and exceeding abundance.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

By Kathy Cheek
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Photo Credit: Paul Bica https://www.flickr.com/photos/dexxus/ Some Rights Reserved: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


FURTHER READING

Peace or Panic?
Let Your Light Shine

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I think it would be safe to assume we have all experienced a time when our faith became shaky upon being tested with a difficult and uncertain circumstance.

We have found ourselves in a place of wondering in frustration what God is doing, or sometimes wondering why it seems as if He isn’t doing anything.

This is the place we must take our shaky faith and dig down deep to the foundation of our beliefs and strongly proclaim anew our trust in God. This trust will strengthen us to face the uncertain factors in our lives and not be continually shaken by them.

Trusting God requires us to keep our eyes on Him and not ourselves and circumstances around us.  Matthew 6:33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Trusting God invites us to cast our cares on Him and to know they are safe in His hands. 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Trusting God will bring us His peace, and His peace will calm our fears. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Trusting God takes my shaky faith and strengthens me and in this strength, I will be steadfast. I will choose to be unshaken. 1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Trusting God is letting my faith rest in the One who is unshaken, unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Malachi 3:6For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”

Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’

James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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•  When Someone Disappoints Us
•  We Plan, God Directs

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There was a difficult time when I was facing a battle and found myself pressed against a wall of gigantic disbelief.

Yet, God was asking me to believe what I could not find comprehensible to believe. If I was going to know victory in this battle, it would require faith of huge proportions.

Have you ever had a giant of disbelief towering over your circumstances and you are grasping for the faith to believe God will work in a powerful way?

I thought of David as many of us do when faced with giant-sized battles. And in the blink of an eye I could see young David reaching for the five smooth stones and placing one in his slingshot, the others in a pouch. Then God stopped me in my tracks and opened my eyes to see another hand, God’s own hand coming down and wrapping itself in power around David’s hand.

A sudden surge of faith and courage ignited in my soul as I thought about God’s hand sending David’s smooth stone rocketing like a missile toward Goliath. We all know well the glorious end of this story. The giant came crashing to his death and David saw the victory he knew his LORD would bring that day.

I also experienced victory in that moment. I knew in my heart that my giant would be falling too. God’s powerful hand was wrapping around my own and the battle I’d been fighting would soon be the battle I would win! My gigantic disbelief turned to gigantic triumph, all because of the Hand that holds my hand. Once again I was reminded that the battle belongs to the Lord, and it is He who fights for me!

Every time we choose faith in our intimidating circumstances, we are winning the battle. Day by day we can pick up the smooth stones and hurl them at the giants in front of us—toppling them to the ground. God’s hand will guide us and He will bring the victory. Sometimes it is a quick victory and sometimes it is a slower process.

God gave David the victory over Goliath. He can also give us victory against the giants in our lives.

1 Samuel 17:46-50
This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”  So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.”

By Kathy Cheek
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FURTHER READING

•  Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace | by Dr. Muriel Larson
•  The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

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Inside This Trust

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You.Psalm 5:11a

Inside this trust I have in God

Is a place where I am safe

Hopes and dreams live and grow

Heart’s desires slowly unfold

Faith learns how to take each step

Day by day as I follow Him

The best place to be in a relationship with the Lord is a place of complete trust. When I understand God is sovereign and has my best interests at heart, there is no better place to be than a safe and secure trusting walk with the Lord.

When we seek Him first and trust Him with all our heart, the details of our lives fall into the perfect places He has prepared for us. While we have been trying to figure out what to do next, He already holds all the answers and He asks us to join with Him and walk a road of complete faith and fully surrendered lives.

Trust God with every care, big and small, casting them into His hands and leaving them there. Let go of fretting and learn to trust your heavenly Father, and you will find a depth of relationship you didn’t know was possible before. Whatever comes your way, whatever crosses your path, in your heart you must say and believe,

“Lord, I trust you with this, completely, this is in Your hands, Your perfect hands.”

It isn’t always easy to do or the natural way our thinking wants to take us, but as one who has walked with the Lord a very long time I can testify that this choice, this action of complete trust has grown my faith to a deeper and steadfast place in my mind, heart, and soul.

I have found that my life holds the most peace and joy when I choose to dwell inside this trust I have in God.

By Kathy Cheek
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•  Lost Without You
•  I am Thanking You right NOW

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Think About

In the quiet moments of a peaceful morning walk
I let my thoughts drift heavenward
My thoughts are filled with You

I think about Your majesty
That flows from Heaven’s throne
I think about the wonders
Of Creation You have made

I think about the human heart
That You want to invade
I think about this heart of mine
That You have entered in

I think about the mercy
And the grace You freely gave
I think about the love and joy
I found when I found You

I think about the changes
You have made inside of me
I thank You for the love
That brought You deep inside my heart

In the quiet moments of a peaceful morning walk
I let my thoughts drift heavenward
My thoughts are filled with You

Psalm 9:1-2
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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God Is…
Going Deeper with God

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I am going to ask a serious question. We have all faced it including myself, and some of us need to consider it again.

I have heard many fellow believers admit they don’t ask God for help until they are at the end of their resources, and it is at that point they will ask for His help when they find themselves in a difficult situation.

After all, we are capable of doing much in our own strength, but we cannot do everything. Our resources eventually run out. God’s resources never run out.   

But what about the ordinary days? What about the normal days in our lives? I am talking about the non-serious trial days.

Are we charging off into our life with or without Him? Do we sometimes leave Him cast aside? Are there days we go about our business as if we don’t actually need Him?

Although we know He is always with us, do we acknowledge it throughout our day?  

Where is God’s place in your life today?

Is He as near as your heartbeat and every breath you take? Or, is He in the distance on the sidelines, or maybe somewhere in between?

If He’s in the distance on the sidelines, the explanation is the one who moved was not Him, it was us.

He has promised us that nothing will separate us (Romans 8:38-39), that He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5), and that He is not a God that is far off.

Do you know how blessed we are to have a God like that?

This is exactly why the answer should be that His place in our life is as near as our every heartbeat and every breath we take.

Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.  ~ Jeremiah 23:23-24 

By Kathy Cheek
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When did you first meet the Lord today?

When did you make that vital choice to pause and be still and make sure you connected your heart to His? We know it makes a difference when we move into our day already having started the day with Him. It makes all the difference.

Did you thank Him for this day early this morning?

Did you thank Him that you belong to Him?

Did you thank Him for loving you unconditionally?

Gratitude is a wonderful way to start every new day.

Did you invite Him to go with you through this day?

Did you ask for His wisdom and guidance for all that lies ahead in the uncertainty of the day ahead?

Did you acknowledge Him as Lord of your life in every aspect of your life?

Did you praise Him for who He is?

Praise is a wonderful way to start every new day.

When we miss this early and important connection it becomes much more likely that the places of our heart meant to be filled with the Lord will become like a desert, a dry and thirsty land.

But the good news is, when we longingly thirst for Him, He will fill us up with Himself and we can face each new day walking in the joy and strength of our Lord.

Psalm 63:1

“God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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