Temptations of a Generation

John 1:14

Hey guys, 

Over the next few weeks I will be sending out short devotions on topics that deeply affect your everyday life as well as your walk with Christ. This week (7 days worth) we will look at the topic of Temptations. 

Photo by Freefoto.com 
We've all heard the old cliche` "The devil made me do it!" This is an excuse that many people use to justify falling into temptation or losing control. While it is true that the enemy is roaming the earth seeking whom he may devour; it is also true that a Christ follower has the power of God living inside them. Is it wrong to be Tempted? Who is responsible when you give into the temptation or lose control? To answer the first question; NO, it is not wrong to be tempted. In fact, if you are not being tempted- your walk with Christ has probably gotten a little stale and off track. Further more, it is Satan's job to pursue every teenager with lust of the flesh, pride of life, and such temptations like these. To answer the second question; You! You are ultimately responsible for every action. Whether that action is self-control, or loosing control you are responsible for that action. 

So, what are your options during these times of temptation? RUN!!!! The Bible says that there is no temptation that God cannot enable you to handle or escape. You must make the commitment today- that you will guard yourself against these temptations, that WILL draw you away from God. Keep yourself out of situations and circumstances that are displeasing to God. Relationships should have a mutual understanding, that if you can't control yourself- stay in the light of those who can. 

Stay strong and keep watch over your heart. Pray for discernment to know when Satan is tempting you and build up your faith so your spirit will be  stronger than your flesh. 


Take the Risk!

1 John 1

Photo by Winterfest 2011
Would you go skydiving without a parachute? Would you bungee jump without a bungee? Would you go on a roller coaster ride without pulling the shoulder harness down? Would you scuba dive with no air in the tanks? Could I convince you to eat a rotten egg with a dead goldfish in it, just for the fun of it?

The answer to all these questions is a definite "NO!!!" That stuff isn't smart. It's not tempting. It's a no brainer! Why? Because participating in any of those activities would lead to pain for sure, and probably death! Wanna know something crazy? Most teenagers take those kinds of chances every day. they may not be performing daredevil stunts or eating raw food, but they take the chance of living life on their own.

God designed us in His image, as relational beings. He created us to be in a relationship with Him and with other believers. (1 John 1:3). In the Bible, Christians are never divided into those who go to church and those who do not. In the New Testament, wherever Christians were within range of each other, they met. In the book of Acts, every time the apostle Paul went to towns where there were new Christians, he immediately helped them meet with each other, and together they became a little church.

Pray that God would give you a heart for His people and that He would help you make the choice to meet consistenly with other Christians.



No matter what, Jesus is your healer! There is nothing too large or too small that He cannot overcome and empower you to overcome! Be inspired and never give up! 


Get the Crash Cart

© All rights reserved Photo by Chris McGrigor
Matthew 9:9-12

On Animal Planet the other day, there was a guy who was bitten by an extremely venomous snake somewhere in the bush of Africa. The bit him in the ankle and the fast-acting venom hit his bloodstream very quickly. His friends rushed him to the nearest place where he could get a ride to the hospital. It took them several hours to get him treatment. Finally, after a long series of events, the hospital staff identified the type of venom and gave him anti-venom to counteract the deadly poison. 

This man's friends knew he was dying, and they did everything possible to get help for his critical condition. In today's passage, you'll see that Jesus did the same thing, except that he was responding to those in critical condition, spiritually. Jesus cultivated relationships with people who were spiritually dying and in need of serious help. His radical lifestyle was marked by love, sacrifice, and reaching out to people who needed salvation. 

For the past 14 days, (give or take a few) we've been thinking about how crucial it is to be a part of a church- a community of believers. Today, spend some time thinking about the people in your world (e.g. School, work, neighborhood) that God may be prompting you to reach out to. Many people have never experienced the love of God or the hope that He gives. 

What are some ways you can be INTENTIONAL about sharing Jesus with them? How can you introduce them to this idea of community? 


Service that is Beyond You!

Photo by Maurice Odhiambo
John 13:1-17

Service. Not the most fun word out there. It usually means work, so why do it? why volunteer to serve others? Well, there is precedent for it- Jesus did it. I have a saying for all of my students, so I want to pass it along to those who may be reading this today, "If Jesus did it, we should too". In today's reading, we are going to look at the example Jesus set for us by serving others. The photo to the right is a picture taken by a friend of mine Maurice Odhiambo of Mana International Ministries - i want to encourage you all to check them out.  

In this passage, two levels of service are demonstrated: 

1) Jesus engages in ministry He loves. He engages in ministry that He was created for- teaching and preaching to others.  (This is found in the chapters surrounding John 13, so it doesn't say this is exactly. In fact, it doesn't say it anywhere in John 13, because He and those on His ministry team [a.k.a disciples] are taking a break from ministry to relax and eat together.)
2) Jesus serves the people He is working with. It's finally time for a break, and Jesus chooses to serve His team during His downtime. 

Look for ways to serve God using your greatest passions. If you could create your ideal ministry in the church, what would you want to do? Would you sing on a worship team? Help teach kids? Perhaps something a bit outside the box and a bit more unorthodox like demonstrating a song through painting or drama? Whatever you do, try to do it with a group. This group that you serve with could become your closest friends, as you serve God together. If you are already serving in your church, what are some ways you can invest in those you serve alongside?  This video is a great worship song, as you reflect upon today's devo, spend some time in worship to help your focus shift from your needs to others! 


Where's Your Place?

Photo by Pankaj Bhomia
1 Corinthians 12

We've all seen people who seem pretty self-centered. Everything is about them. They are consumed with what others think of them. Some even go so far as to post their pictures on the internet, asking others to rate their body or their face. Even though we're talking about "some people", the truth is we've all been that person at some point in our life... I know I have. Maybe not to the extreme, but we all know what it feels like to get approval from our friends, and we love that feeling. The danger arises when our entire identity and self-worth lies in what others think of us. Compliments can become an addiction, with each one making you feel empty more quickly. Have you ever found yourself caught in this trap? 

One way to avoid this pitfall is to take a step back and look at the big picture. We were all created to be a part of something much larger than ourselves. As followers of Jesus, we were created to be a part of the body of Christ. What part of the body are you? Today, take some time to examine your life and ask God to show you how He created you to be a unique and vital part of His work in this world. 


50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

The formatting is a little off, but I wanted to share this in hopes that it would inspire many of the parents that read this blog, especially the fathers. Enjoy the tears you are about to cry!!! This post has the express written consent of Michael Mitchell.  

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews
15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Photo Credits can be found at the bottom of Michael’s original post.
**9/15/11**This post has resonated so well with daughters and fathers, mothers and grandfathers, and has received many beautiful and heartfelt comments. As much as it pains me, I have had to disable the comment feature. If you have a comment you would like for the author to see, please contact him via his blog, or email me directly at christineATfromdatestodiapersDOTcom and I’ll be sure to pass it along to Michael.


Live. Laugh. Love.

Acts 2:42-47

© All rights reserved Photo by Domesticated Diva
Have you seen those "wall words" that people hand in their homes for decoration? One of the most common sets  is "Live. Love. Laugh." The idea behind those words is to live every moment, laugh every day, and love beyond words. What a nice sentiment. but can you imagine living this way? Or sharing life with a whole group of people who live this way? 

That's exactly what the earliest Christians did when they got together to form what is know as the early church. But they weren't just united by a sweet saying. They were radically changed by the very Spirit of God, and their lives overflowed with life, laughter, and love for each other. 

Today as you read about the early church, spend some time asking yourself, "Do I have relationships with other believers like that?" How does your church compare in theirs? What are some ways you can live, laugh, and love more deeply today? 


Our Ever Present Help!

© All rights reserved Photo by Ruchitmatalia
Mark 2: 1-12

Have you ever experienced a tragedy (big or small) and found that someone that you love was there for you? How did it  make you feel when that person was there to meet your  needs? In the passage you are about to read, the paralyzed man had to humble himself. As you read, think about how he showed humility. Also, take note of ow his friends expressed sacrifice. 

When times are tough, there are two sides to experiencing Christ through community. On the one hand, you may be the one that helps someone, giving your time, talent, and/ or treasure. On the other hand, you may need to be humble enough to receive the help. Regardless of your situation, God loves it when His hurting children come to Him for help. Spend some time evaluating your heart and life. 

Think of some ways to experience Christ through community during difficult circumstances. 


Seeking Community

Hebrews 10:19-39

Photo by Monethicele
What does the word "community" mean? Take a minute to come up with a few things that you think illustrate community. Here are a few to start you off: 

-Eating meals together
-Working together
-Sharing a ride to school
-Playing football, soccer, basketball, etc

What some other things? 

A lot of time when things are going good, we don't seek out community. we can forget to help each other or reach out to others. When things are going well, we often don't feel like we need anyone's help, especially God's. So, we only come around when we need things or we're at a low point in our life. 

Read today's Scripture and plan out some ways that you can be an active part of the body of Christ by encouraging others today! 


Sensitivity to His Manifestation

© All rights reserved Photo by walwilrob on January 28, 2011
Dejected leaders...

Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest about Spiritual Dejection. At first glance my thoughts waivered on the relevance of this devotion to my own spiritual life. How could I be spiritually dejected? However, the conviction was incredibly strong. Many leaders tend to think of themselves more highly than they ought to. Thus, the result is an over active vocabulary and an underactive outreach. In fact, I have found out as a leader that I am no more qualified than the students I lead- the only difference is spiritual maturity and acceptance of the Holy Spirits guidance- spiritual discernment.

Wash whose feet…?

This morning, Amanda and I were discussing John 13: 1-17. Our discussion led to the relevance of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet.

-Was it only an example?
-What was Jesus actually showing them… that they should wash other’s feet too?

In all of this, we came to the resolution when Jesus explained, - "the master is not greater than his servant, nor is the servant greater than the master". Jesus was explaining the simple spirit of humility. No matter how big your following is; no matter how spiritual you may be or the amount of spiritual gifts you exercise- you are never greater than those you lead. This was Jesus’ great teaching to His disciples just before His last moments on earth. So, how does this discussion of washing feet connect with Spiritual Dejection?

It’s all because of me…!

I am quick to blame others for the cause of my rash affections. "They said this... or They did that…" Whether I am depressed, angry or any other outwardly distressed emotion- it is because I have allowed it. What’s more is the Holy Spirit provides copious amounts of restraint against such. Jesus was the ultimate example of a leader- obviously. He always retaliated with a more than appropriate tone and words that stopped the onslaught of hindrances but yet had a clear mind to teach His disciples. That is desire of my pursuit- TO BE LIKE CHRIST!


If we are not careful we will become numb to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Becoming numb to such will only lead to hardened hearts and decreased sensitivity. Loosing sensitivity causes us to fall out of love with the Father due to our inability to clearly hear and see God’s direction. To sum this up, dejection is completely onset by our flesh superseding the Spirit.

What dejection have you dealt with lately? I’d love to hear and read your comments.

Iron Sharpens Iron

Photo by Danielle Swafford,

Everywhere we turn, we find all sorts of advice on how to live a happier, healthier life. Here are a few recent suggestions from magazines, websites, etc:

-Take time to laugh at least 5 minutes everyday to reduce stress and anxiety
-Exercise outdoors for at least 10 minutes everyday to improve self-esteem
-Nap for 15 minutes a day to feel rejuvenated and be more productive
-Go to church once a year to keep a clean conscience- WHAT???

The last one wasn't actually written anywhere, but a lot of people think it's true. The problem is, this couldn't be further from the truth. God created us with a need for others to encourage us, love on us, and just live life with us. This type of community can be found in church, but not if we only go once a year. I like to call these type of people "holiday Christians". 

The book of Proverbs in the Bible is a lot like the list above- it's a book full of tidbits of advice about how to live a happier, healthier life. What's more is that there is a Proverb for each day of every month. It's known as the wisdom book. It's been said that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" - it's also been said "a proverb a day keeps temptation away". 

Today's reading comes from that book. Make sure you read  verse 17  a few times. It says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." As believers,  we can spur each other on  to be who God created us to be, and to live as He designed us to live. 

What are some ways that you could "sharpen" someone today? How could you "sharpen" others by being an active part of a local church? 

The picture in this devotion is a picture of one of my best friends,  Morgan Gravley . He has been a great brother-in-Christ to me and has sharpened me quite a bit. I encourage you to find someone that can sharpen you too. 


Spiritual Disposition

© All rights reserved Photo by Rolex823 11/9/2009

Lately, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect upon my position of spirituality. I have asked myself several questions:

    1. Am I seeking God’s will for my life, or am I only seeking God’s blessings? 2. How is my attitude affecting or influencing others?  3. Are my students seeing me as a leader or a spiritual dead head?

    In all of the questions above, what conclusion have I come to- I AM NOT EVEN CLOSE! I am not even close to attaining my Father’s perfect will.

    Often times, Christians are overly distressed at the sound of "God’s Will". We tend to think that this is a far off galaxy like realm that is unattainable. This is when spirituality begins to decay. Often times, believers feel "if I can’t obtain God’s will I’ll make my own". We start to think of programs and ideas that will satisfy our spiritual decay- essentially filling the void of what we have stopped being sensitive to. I want this post to encourage all believers, that God’s perfect will for you life is not unattainable. It is very much achievable. In fact, God desires for His children to find His will for their lives. It is only through persistent pursuit of God’s will that His Kingdom will advance.

    Like many believers I have fought fleshly emotions to give up during strife. Unfortunately many believers have given in to the falsehood that disagreement from others means that you’re out of God’s will. Or, that dissimilarity means that you’re operating in the flesh- because everyone should be on board if its God’s will… right? WRONG!

    In my experience- disagreement from others (in many cases, not all)  confirms a direction, vision or idea. Jesus did not aim to please people or satisfy their desires- His goal was to complete God’s will for His life and that’s exactly what He did!

    Recently, God gave me a great vision of the church and the believers thereof. While praying for deeper sensitivity and spiritual discernment- The Holy Spirit gave me a vision of the church. A great awakening of visions and freshness will begin to expand across the congregation- but it will not come without growing pains! Medically speaking- growing pains are part of hyper growth. The church is seeking freshness from God, but there are many that are unwilling to welcome the expansion.

    Are you willing to accept rejection and dismemberment from others to pursue God’s will for your life? I raise this caution: It will cost you nothing because it is genuinely a great desire to pursue the Father’s will; but it will cost those that are unwilling to accept it a great deal. Jan 11 My Utmost for His Highest

    What questions do you have about pursuing God’s will? Do you know what God’s will is for your life? What questions to you ask yourself about your own spiritual position?
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