Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A P31 Devotion Day!

Today I have a P31 devotion running, so welcome to all of you who stop by after reading! This devotion was a fun one to write, as it is something that happened to me and just flowed out of the experience. I love it when that happens!

Today I would love to ask the question of you all-- has something like what I shared ever happened to you? Did you obey God's prompting immediately or did you resist like I did, giving God a hundred reasons why the idea might make a fool of you? When you did it, were you surprised, as I was, to discover that what you did blessed the person as much as it did?

What silly, insignificant thing is God nudging you to do today? It might be no big deal to you, but it might be a huge deal to the recipient. Maybe today is the day you will do it... let us know if you do so we can celebrate with you!
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Robin said...

Hi Marybeth,

I enjoyed the sweet memory that your P31 Devotion brought to my mind this morning.

Several years ago, a dear friend of mine was at the store and felt God urge her to purchase an extra bag of chicken breasts. You know, the big 5 pound bag of boneless, skinless variety. Well, she didn't understand why. Hers was only a family of 3 at the time and that would be A LOT of chicken! :) The very next day, a friend that she hadn't seen in awhile dropped by for an unannouned visit. She was hurting. She didn't explain it all, but my friend could tell that her family was having a difficult time. As the visit came to a close, God once again urged her. He asked my friend to give the extra bag of chicken to her visitor. In her mind, all she could think was, "God, you're kidding, right? I can't just say--'oh by the way, here's a bag of chicken...bon apetite!'" God made it clear to her by the uneasiness within to trust Him and give her friend the bag. As her guest was about to leave she excused herself to go to the kitchen. Embarassed, she explained that she didn't know why, but God was asking her to give this bag of chicken to her. The woman proceeded to break down and cry. Things were so financially strained at the time, that all they had eaten for the past several days were potatoes cooked a variety of ways. A family could eat several meals off of a 99 cent, 10 pound bag of potatoes. Grateful beyond words, this woman said her goodbyes and headed out the door. My friend said after she left, all she could do was collapse to the floor and lay mesmorized in the glory of God's greatness and His care in all of the "little things" that we so often take for granted. God is so very good to us, is He not?

Thank you, again, for your lovely posting. May I have your permission to link it to my blog with this story of my own to share along with it? I would love for even more ladies to be reminded of how intimately, how personally our God loves us! I will await your reply before posting.

God bless,
Robin :)

Bonita said...

Great story and devotion! I've been both on the giving and receiving end. Once God laid on my heart to give a particular sum of money to a couple in our church that we hardly knew. My husband and I decided to do it anonymously through a friend. Our friend couldn't wait to come back and give us the report on what happened. The couple needed a certain amount of money to pay their car payment that month and they had literally nothing to pay it with. The amount we gave them was exactly what they needed to the penny!

On another occasion I was the receiver. We had just moved into the house we currently live in and I was planning to make a macaroni salad for supper, but I needed a cucumber. Because of the move I was exhausted and we were short one car for some reason so I had no way to go get the cucumber. That afternoon a neighbor came by with a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift, a bag of produce from his garden. There on top was the biggest cucumber you've ever seen in your life. God is so good and cares about every little detail.

Shannon said...

Oh yes....I recently felt the nudging of God to start a non
Without HIM, I couldn't do it. I can easily talk myself out of things like this..."I am to insignifacant to do something like this." "It will take to much energy to do this" Where am I suppose to get $750 for tax exempt status?" All things will be answered financially because I am obeying God. When I am tired at the end of the day...I know to just close my eyes and rest, because in the morning He will renew my resolve to keep on keeping on......Thanks for the devotion. It was what I needed to read today.

Karen said...

This morning’s devotional was wonderful. It brought to mind many times God has "caused" me to do something and I didn't understand why until later. One of those times was a particularly cold winter and I decided to make a pot of pasole that turned out to be three pots because I made too much. That evening, a new neighbor came by to see if she could borrow a vacuum to clean up some glass. Someone broke into her house and took everything, including the food in her refrigerator and freezer. This began a wonderful opportunity to get to know her and her family and share Jesus with them. I thank God that He knew the reason I made way too much pasole!

Susan Stitch said...

Once when some friends in ministry were visiting, for some reason God told me to give her the extra crock pot lid I had in the basement. I argued that this was a really silly and unusual thing to give someone. But the urging was so strong that I joked about how I saved everything, even an old crock pot lid. She lit up and said 'Oh, I've been saving a crock pot, but the lid broke.I was hoping to make soup this week.' I gave her the lid and we laughed at how much God cared about our littlest needs and how he used even a lid to show it.

Carissa said...

We're starting a woman's group today and when I sent out the email to all the ladies I said "just bring you and your Bible for the first session" but then was prompted to add "let me know if you don't have a Bible and I'll provide one for you." One of my dear friends who just happened to have watch my cat this past weekend while my husband and I were away emailed me back to let me know she didn't have one. Like you I have old ones lying on the shelf but they're mostly written in and falling apart... lol. God urged me to buy a Bible and inscribe her name on it. This will be her first Bible as a follower of Christ. I'm so proud of how far she's come and I'm excited to know that she will have God's word at home now to read and study and share. Thank you for your devotion today, it always helps to have that extra nudge to know what you're doing is right.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Wow. This is the most awesome story. How very, very precious.

It's so wierd that you ask if God's nudging us. I don't feel that He's told me something specific but I do feel the need to give, to send a card, to buy something, to do something for someone. I just don't know what it is. In recent months I've been blessed by little gifts from fellow bloggers. I've enjoyed sending them thank you cards. I had one blogger friend who's been hard up financially and I enjoyed sending her a surprise check. I sent weekly get well cards to one friend. I've sent a few sympathy cards lately. I guess I'm just itchin' to give in some way to some one but I haven't a clue. I've been looking around, keeping my eyes and ears open. I just want to do for someone. It feels like there's someone I'm suppose to do something for but I can't see it yet.

Thanks for this reminder to keep my eyes open.

Karan said...

Our wonderful heavenly Father doesn't force us to obey, but the gentle nudging that I have had many times reminds me of His unconditional love for me.

One of the most recent events of His gentle nudging was at the gym where I had been working out. A friend and I were leaving the gym when she commented how she liked my new tennis shoes. (These were shoes, I thought, were an answer to my prayer for shoes given by another friend of mine.) Little did I know that when I looked down at my friend who was leaving the gym with me and see the exact same shoe in a different color on her foot. Her's, however, were 4 years old and had been taped and patched as best they could. My friend is a runner and was fitted for those shoes 4 year ago and told for her feet these were the best to keep from having other issues with her knees and legs. These were expensive shoes and she complimented me on my shoes I asked her what size did she wear, 8 1/2 "no way". (This was the size I was wearing.) I told her that this was my trial run on the shoes and they hurt my feet, my toes went numb and I couldn't wear them anymore. To my amazement, these were the exact brand, make, size and series that she needed for her feet. I took them off immediately and handed them to her. I knew that it was a "holy" opportunity to bless my friend and even though I didn't have any other shoes to put on, it was a divinely appointed opportunity God used me to bless my friend.

We are still praising God about how specifically He answered her need.

Thank you for your encouragment each day! You have a beautiful family! Praise God for these one of a kind gifts!

Lynn Cowell said...

A couple of years ago, we were getting ready for company when my son came to me and said, "Mom, I think I am suppose to give my electric guitar to Aaron." I was shocked! Such an expensive item! But, we try to teach our kids to be generous and to listen to the Holy Spirit, so I said ok. Aaron came over and the boys headed up to Zach's room to play video games. Aaron's mom and I headed outside to have tea. I shared with her what Zach was going to do. She was in awe. That very day was Aaron's birthday. He had wanted a guitar, but they did not have any money to buy it for him! The Lord gave him a wonderful birthday present.
Jesus totally used that gift. When Zach gave the guitar to Aaron, Aaron had never played one. Today, Aaron is a part of a well known worship band and studying to become a Christian music producer!
How cool is God!

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Mary Beth: I love your devotion today and your blog post. It was fun for your readers, too! Thank you!

I get excited when I hear how God is working and speaking to His children! It's so exciting!

And when we hear His voice and obey and see the fruit, it reminds us that indeed "His sheep hear His voice".

Two quick ways He spoke to me...really fun ways! I'm sharing these because they are P31 gals.

One day in my quiet time, He put on my heart to send Lysa Terkeurst chips. Chips. Not chocolate, not jewelry, not pretty note cards. Chips. I had never sent anyone chips. Long story short, they day she received them, she wanted to fulfill her daughter's request for "interesting chips for lunch" but did not have the extra time to do it. Is He totally in the details or what!?!? He loves us so much! He takes care of the little details.

Also, He put on my heart to give Rachel Olsen the "Pierced by the Word" book by John Piper. I wrapped it up days before the She Speaks Conference 2008 and left it for her at the P31 registration booth. She had wanted that book. Here, God blessed her with it! He gave her the desire of her heart! :)

Both of these "His Story for His Glory" stories are told in further detail on my blog.

This is a fun subject! And God is glorified! Thanks!

Warm hugs,
Sharon :)

Debra said...

Our God is so wonderful! Thank You for your devotion today. This happened yesterday. A friend of mine had emailed me her concern about a mutual friend of ours who lives in Baton Rouge, LA. She was concerned about her safety with the recent storms in New Orleans. The Holy Spirit just touched me and said contact this friend in Baton Rouge. Well i sent a email and within 15min i received a reply from her husband who was in another state, telling me that my friend and her children had to evacuate Baton Rouge due to power outage in the area and go stay with her grandmother for a week in Mississippi. So this morning I am giving God all the Glory for keeping our friend and her children safe and letting us know all is well. It wasnt all clear to me that it was God, until this morning when I read the devotion and your blog.
Thank You Jesus!

Melissa said...

I have been on the receiving end of someone listening to God's nudging...the day a doctor confirmed my dad's diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, I received not one, but TWO cards in the mail from friends I have known for years but don't see regularly. What a pleasant way to be reminded of others who care about me but had no idea what was going on with my dad's health. These friends had obviously listened when God prompted them to send me a card. And He is in the details...One of the cards had been mailed from Thailand, as friend #2 was a short-term missionary there. When I think about how many days in advance my friend had to purchase the card, write in it and then mail it in order for me to receive it on the VERY day I needed it...well, can I just say God is good?

Anonymous said...

I love God's nudgings. Here's two different experiences. I was on a missions trip with our youth group. We were getting off the plane in Atlanta. My prayer before entering the terminal was that our group may portray Jesus. I felt the nudge to pick up garbage. I thought, "Really, garbage?" When I entered the terminal, there was a piece of garbage on the floor. I walked on by being "too good" and "God couldn't be serious". I will never know what blessing I robbed from some one because I didn't listen.

Fast forward to a month or so ago. I was having my tire repaired and I saw a young woman with a young child outside in the heat while a mechanic was working on her battery. I went to one store close by and then passed her while I went to another. Finally, I went to pick up my vehicle. She was still there. I felt God tell me that I needed to give her $60 - the amount of cash I had in my purse. I walked up to her and asked her if it was an unexpected expense. She said very. I handed her $40. (Better than nothing I thought). God continued to nude as I pulled away. After three blocks, I turned the car around drove up to her and handed her another $20. I told her God wanted her to have $60. Once you start listening to the nudgings, He can get pretty insistant. :)

Laurie Ann said...

What a great devotion! I used to ignore God's promptings and then realized how much of a blessing I held back from the people I was to bless and myself. I was stubborn! Now, for instance, when He said, "Text this verse to Jimmy, even though he's sitting at the doctor's office with his cell phone off..." I don't ignore it. There are no coincidences - just God-incidences. His cell phone wasn't off, the verse I texted Him was one He had been trying to remember and as he was replying to me his name was called to go into the oncologist's office! Wowza?

Vern ~ Inspired said...

That is Sweet!
I love stories like that!!

I have been on both ends and have learned so much in becoming a good well as an obedient joyous giver.

As you know I have a ministry that involves jewelry and accessories.

God prompts me often to give jewelry away...even if I am wearing it. He continues that rippling affect with those that purchase accessories from me and are wearing it...I always warn them that I pray of the jewelry and not to be surprised if they are nudged to bless someone with it. The stories are amazing,funny and beautiful as ladies and husbands have shared with me about their experience in passing it to someone else.


Vern ~ Inspired said...

OOPS...I meant to type...
"I pray OVER the jewelry"


Rinna said...

Thanks so much for your beautiful 'devo' this morning!
I love how God can use people to bless us so much and vice versa.

Something happened to me a few months ago while sitting in church, I felt the prompting of God and my fabulous friend Donna over at Thirsty - - has already blogged about it so i thought i'd copy and paste it here... it's my story though so I figure I can steal it - LOL. So here it is...

Two of my very close friends told me this story and both suggested it would be good to share it with you.

The offering bag came along at church and my friend paused a moment before putting anything in. Due to serious medical conditions, the family hadnt received any income for some time. My friend considered putting a gold coin into the bag, but chose instead to put in a $10 note, knowing they had little cash to get them through the time ahead.

At the same time, another friend was having a little word to the Lord about what was in her purse. You see, she felt for some reason that God wanted her to give the $100 note that she had, to this other lady. She was very politely telling him that he must be mistaken because she doesnt usually have that kind of money in her purse and surely she could have used it for other things. But my friend was obedient and, after the service, gave the $100 note.

Heres where the story gets really cool - When the first lady got into the car after church, she told her family what had happened, and her son said "Its a miracle!". When asked why, he explained that he saw his mum put $10 into the bag when he knew they could not afford it, and now he saw God give her back 10 times that amount! What an awesome lesson!

Its not very often we get to see both sides of the story, or God working so clearly, but I know he does and Im really glad he let us in on this one!

How important it is for us to join God where he is working! He has huge plans that I am totally oblivious to, but if I listen to his promptings, feel and respond to his tug at my heart, then I can join Him and Oh what a privilege it is!

But I dont serve Jesus cause He is my boyfriend, I dont try to please Him cause it makes me feel good. I serve Him with my whole heart cause He is the creator of the universe, the most Awesome God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Even though I deserved to be separated from Him for eternity because of my choice to go my own way, He chose to take that punishment on Himself and be crucified and die and rise again so that I could be with Him forever. And now that I know who He is, there is no higher honour I'd rather than to kneel in service for my King.

BTW, Your King requests your presence in the throne room :)

Cam said...

I really enjoy and get a lot out of P31 devos each week,thanksand great job!
Since you asked, I thought maybe this story would help someone else.This one gets told many times over so thought it was worth telling again.
My husband and I used to live in a row of only 4 townhouses. One afternoon I drove in the parking lot and noticed my Christian neighbor who lived 2 doors away was home. I'd been wanting to talk with her as I hardly ever catch her at home. But because I needed to get some dinner and then head off to my Bible Study group I decided I just couldn't go see her now, it would have to wait. Well God had other plans. When I got inside my house I tried to walk further inside and I felt a strong sense that I needed to go to my neighbor's now. I wanted to eat dinner so I just brushed it off. But the harder I tried to stay inside the Holy Spirit just prompted me even stronger to go over and see my neighbor. So because I couldn't do anything without this strong sense, I decided I've got to go over and see my neighbor.
So I knocked and she answered the door in tears.
She was a widow and had been dating this Christian man who decided to break up with her. So she was very upset over this and just needed a Christian sister to talk with. So I stayed with her for awhile and it all worked out in the end. She fed me dinner. And when I arrived late at my Bible Study group, I found out the couple leading it that week did the study from the week before by mistake (they had missed that week and thought we were on that chapter) so in the end I didn't miss anything and got to help my neighbor out. Most important God taught me to trust Him and how He speaks through the Holy Spirit. My neighbor called me her "angel" because I came just when she needed someone.
By the way, you mention Sharon Glasgow in this devo.
she doesn't happen to live in VA does she? I recently met a lady with that name in line at the bank.
I recognized the name and now I know where I've seen it. Would love to know if this is the same one:-)
Thanks again, God Bless!

Michelle said...

Hi Marybeth,

my husband and I were leaders on the last Alpha course run at our church and prior to the weekend away my husband was prompted to buy a bible for one of the young boys in our group who did not have one. On the saturday this boy was consumed with doubts and unanswered questions and felt he needed to leave. But he felt he should give the bible back before he left. However he didn't want to throw the bible back at my husband and disappear without an explanation so he stayed for the last session of the day and was going to leave after that. During the last video session which then became a time of ministry to the group, all his questions were answered and he was enveloped in a peace that he didn't have to have all the answers at once anyway. If it wasn't for my husband giving him the bible he would have left the camp. I was not able to attend the whole weekend and as I was driving down on the Saturday I was praying for those at the camp and praying that God would use me somehow to bring them closer to him. During the ministry time I was prompted to pray for peace in each person's heart and was reduced to tears in our next sharing time as several members of our group shared how during that time they had been overcome by the presence of that peace. Thanks for P31, love reading it everday.
God bless, Michelle

Kate said...

My heart was really touched by your devotion and the testimony of your readers. God is amazing. My faith has been touched today as well. Thanks!

Sandy said...

I am in awe of God's faithfulness. After my daughter (now 5) was born, my husband and I decided I would go from working full time to part time. Money was tight, but we always had enough. When we received my husband's Christmas bonus, we felt called to give it away. Our pastor gave us the name of a single mom in our congregation who needed gifts under her tree for her 2 little boys. I went out and shopped for the items on her list, a few toys, underwear, and winter pajamas. We anonymously gave those to her that year and I never heard anymore. Then last year she gave me a bunch of clothes for my own son. those pajamas I had bought were in the bag as well! Now she has been able to return the blessing (unknowingly) by passing on clothes to my son.

Sharon65 said...

I concur with all who said God is faithful, God is amazing, and God is so good. Now for my story...

Several months ago, I purchased a teapot with blooming teas. A friend in ministry admired it when she was once visiting our home. The Lord told me to give her the teapot not long after I purchased it. But because of a misunderstanding, I chose to be disobedient to what the Lord told me to do. I thought of reasons not to give her the set like the fact that I'd already used it or she might not like the tea. I continued to try and justify my actions. Just last week, the Lord spoke to me again. He asked me why I had not given her the teapot yet. I had no answer. I knew I was supposed to do this months ago, but because I'd been obedient in other areas, I thought I was covered. Yeah, right!

I could hesitate no longer because God gave me another chance to bless my sister in Christ. I simply said "Yes Lord, I will give her the teapot." As soon as I got home, I reached into my china cabinet where the teapot sat (collecting dust), searched for a bag to put it in, and off I went to my friend's home. She was absolutely thrilled with the set, and I informed her there was a story to go with it. We talked about what happened months ago which she’d forgotten about. I thought I was over it, but apparently it was one of my reasons NOT to give her the set. I tried to tell myself otherwise, but deep down in my spirit, I knew keeping the teapot for myself was out of spite. Now that I have obeyed the will of God, I feel a burden lifted. Thank you, Lord for another chance to be obedient to your will. Yet your will, not mine!

Melodie said...

Mary Beth:

Thank you sooo much for your devotions! I was truly blessed by this one
today. I have had a similar thing happen to me. A couple of years ago I
had met this woman. She and I sang in a choir group together but lived 2
hours away from one another. I had just met her and really didn't know her
very well. What I did know about her was that she was a single mom with
two beautiful daughters under the age of 10. Her ex-husband was giving her
grief about everything. And she was trying to do the best she could to
raise those girls in a God fearing home.

One morning as I was leaving for work, God laid her on my heart. The nudge
was sooo strong that I needed to send her a card. I mean, God was
"screaming" at me as I got in my car that morning. You see, God does that
to me often so I have a drawer at work with a collection of cards just in
case... Anyway, I picked out one of those cards and found myself writing to
her that I thought she was a good mom and that she was doing a great job
raising her girls. After I put the card in the mail, I thought about that.
I really didn't know if she was a good mom or not, but I was just doing
what God told me to do.

About a week later, I was with her for a choir concert. She pulled me
aside and told me that the week prior she was having a such a rough time.
One of the ladies at the church camp her girls stayed at after school told
her that her youngest was real quiet and they were worried about her. She
was upset about her dad and some things that were going on. My friend said
that she beat herself up all the way home that day. She was thinking, "I'm
such a bad mama. What am I going to do?" Then she checked her mail and
got my card! God's timing is perfect. He knew she was going to need a
little encouragement that day and He allowed me to be a part of His plan to
bless her! WOW!!! That day I realized that whenever God nudges me to do
something I think may be crazy, HE HAS A PLAN!!!

I just thought I would share that with you.
Thank you for your ministry!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the devotions a couple of days behind schedule but when I read this one today, I was astonished. I have a couple of God's urgings to share.

First, I had been feeling the call of God to begin a winter coat giveaway ministry. Our church began the study by Rick Warren "Community Together" (or something such as that) and as a small group we were to do a community project. I told the group I was in of my desire to collect and giveaway winter coats, and noted I would not be able to handle this project on my own. They jumped on board and we are about to begin our campaign for year #4. God is wonderful!!!

The second calling is very recent and still in the "process". God placed on my heart and my husband's heart to invite a 9 yr old girl from our church into our home to live. She had been living with an aunt and uncle for the previous school year, and they felt they were not going to be able to provide her the attention she needed. We began praying about what our part in this would be and God said, "Take her in"! Wow, you talk about planting your feet in and not budging. But God would not let us have any peace until we said "Alright! Enough! Yes, Lord we will." She has been at our house for 5 weeks now. Things are good, getting better each day. We were empty nesters and it has been some getting used to again, but God knows what is best. And another PRAISE!! Our church family has climbed into the boat with us by providing financial assistance when needed and the ladies of the church recently held a "shower" for her to decorate her bedroom at our house. It went from a teenage boys room to a very Pink and girlie room.

I urge everyone to let God lead you and be prepared to just nod your head and your heart.

Cindy Maynard