Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Devotional : Closed Door Blessings

You try one door after another, yet no one responds to your résumé. No university accepts your application. No doctor has a solution for your illness. No buyers look at your house.

Obstacles pack your path. Road, barricaded. Doorway, padlocked. Do you know the frustration of a blocked door?

God uses closed doors to advance his cause.

He closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display his power to the elderly one.

He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator.

He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon.

And Jesus. Yes, even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane so he could say yes to us at the gates of heaven.

It’s not that our plans are bad but that God’s plans are better.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8–9 NLT)
Your blocked door doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. Quite the opposite. It’s proof that he does.

God's Story, Your Story
This devotional is from Max Lucado's book "God's Story, Your Story"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Devotional : Power Moves In

Power Moves In - by Max Lucado

What got into Peter? Seven weeks ago he was hiding because of Jesus; today he is proclaiming the death of Jesus. Before the crucifixion, he denied Christ; now he announces Christ. From wimp to warrior in fifty days. What happened?

What got into Peter?

God’s Spirit did. Ten days after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). The followers experienced a gushing forth, a tremendous profusion. They were drenched in power. They all were: “sons and daughters…young men…old men…servants, both men and women” (vv. 17–18). The Holy Spirit, in his own time and according to his own way, filled the followers with supernatural strength.

The Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm, compassion, or bravado. He might stimulate such emotions, but he himself is a person. He determines itineraries (Acts 16:6), distributes spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7–11), and selects church leaders (Acts 13:2). He teaches (John 14:26), guides (John 16:13), and comforts (John 16:7 KJV).

“He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17 NKJV). Occasional guest? No sir. The Holy Spirit is a year-round resident in the hearts of his children. As God’s story becomes our story, his power becomes our power.

When God’s Spirit directs us, we actually “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). He is the drum major; we are the marching band. He is the sergeant; we are the platoon. He directs and leads; we obey and follow. Not always that easy, is it? We tend to go our own way.
To walk in the Spirit, respond to the promptings God gives you.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isa. 30:21)

If Peter and the apostles needed his help, don’t we? They walked with Jesus for three years, heard his preaching, and saw his miracles. They saw the body of Christ buried in the grave and raised from the dead. They witnessed his upper room appearance and heard his instruction. Had they not received the best possible training? Weren’t they ready?
Yet Jesus told them to wait on the Spirit. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4–5).

Learn to wait, to be silent, to listen for his voice. Cherish stillness; sensitize yourself to his touch. “Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene” (1 Cor. 1:7–8 MSG, emphasis mine). You needn’t hurry or scurry. The Spirit-led life does not panic; it trusts.

God's Story, Your StoryThe same hand that pushed the rock from the tomb can shove away your doubt. The same power that stirred the still heart of Christ can stir your flagging faith. The same strength that put Satan on his heels can, and will, defeat Satan in your life. Just keep the power supply open. Who knows, you may soon hear people asking, “What’s gotten into you?”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekly Prayer Focus : Health

Weekly Prayer Focus:
The health and well-being of our Team Members
(those who are sick, who are fighting some physical battle against disease, those who are just tired, and feeling worn out)

If you aren't sure where or how to start, let this be a guide, but not an absolute. Communicating with God should be from your heart, not just your mouth.

Heavenly Father, 
I thank You, Lord, for this team. I thank You that a body of believers can come together in one place and share openly and honestly with each other. Lord, some of our members are in pain, some are sick, some are just worn out from the road of life. Lord, we lift those members up to you. We lift them up to you for healing, for restoration so they may feel rejuvenated and full of your energy and life. Lord, remind us that we are not a body, we are a soul. Remind us that this body is only a temporary cloak. Lord, help us to not focus on our physical ailments but to focus on you. To trust in you to bring us healing. To trust in you that even if healing isn't in your plan, that we have peace and joy in your truths. Lord, we love you, we want to be near you always, in Jesus' name, AMEN. 

I encourage you to pray this prayer, or (any) prayer regarding the financial worries of our team members, daily. 

If you have any answered prayers in relating to this prayer focus, please share those in the comments below.

Also, if you'd like to pray more for this team, as a team member you can visit our team forums and view some threads regarding prayer needs. You can find all the threads here, and find specific prayer needs herehere and here

Love you all, 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Devotional : God's Truths and satan's temptations

Today’s Truth
“The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Adam and Eve had a wonderfully fulfilling life. They lived in God’s presence. He walked and talked with them in the cool of the evening, and He met all of their needs.
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food,” (Genesis 1:29-30). 
God placed only one restriction on the pair. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die,” (Genesis 2:16-17).
In Genesis chapter three, we see where our ancestors made a grave decision that affected every person born thereafter. Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her with the one restriction placed on her by God. How did he do it?
1.    He questioned God. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2.    He denied God. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
3.    He caused her to doubt God’s justice. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 
Satan is the great deceiver who takes what worked in the Garden and continues to use the same tactics today. He is not very creative, but he is highly effective. It is very important to understand his tactics in order to recognize and defeat them.  Paul said he was not ignorant of the devil’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11 NASB), and we shouldn’t be either. Satan tempts us to question God. Has God really said you must stay married to a man who doesn’t meet your needs? He tempts us to deny God. God wouldn’t count it as a sin for you to seek happiness elsewhere. He tempts us to doubt God’s justice. What kind of God is He who would deny you the right to find happiness in the arms of a different man who appreciates you? These are lies, my friend. And just as God warned Eve, they are deadly.
The basis for Eve’s temptation and for ours as well, is the lie that God is somehow holding out on us. Think about it. Can you think of any temptation that does not have its root in that lie? Eve had it all! And yet, Satan came to her and whispered, “God is holding out on you. There’s more to be had than your perfect world. You can be like God. You can be in control.”
Girlfriend, do not be deceived. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He still tells lies today. He still deceives those who will listen in the same way he deceived Eve. So recognize the lies when you hear them, and stand on the truth of God’s Word to watch him flee.
Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me everything I need for a life of godliness and the truth (1 Peter 1:3). Help me to be keenly aware of Satan’s lies and recognize them for what they are.  When I have a tempting thought, I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict me, help me replace the lie with truth, and give me the power to walk the other way.  I want to be like David who said, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:11).
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
I asked a question earlier, but let’s think about it again.
Can you think of any temptation that is not based on the lie that God is holding out on you? 
How did Jesus fight Satan’s temptations when he was in the desert? (Matthew 4)
What did Satan do after Jesus answered him with Scripture?
What will Satan do when we fight him with Scripture? (James 4:7)

[this devotional is by Sharon Jaynes of Crosswalk]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekly Prayer Focus

It's interesting how so many times I hear, "Well, all I can do is pray" as if prayer is just some off-handed thing. Prayer isn't "all you can do" it should be the first thing you do. Prayer is a wonderful thing, and it's something we should do as often as possible. 

Here on the team blog, I'll give us a weekly prayer focus that we will hopefully all cover in prayer. The idea is to have all of us, from all over, praying specifically for one thing. Of course, do not let this be the only thing you pray about each week, but please include it in your daily prayers. 

Weekly Prayer Focus:
The Financial Concerns of the Team Members
(people who are in a financial crisis, a financial pinch, who need help in managing their finances, who are stressed or worried about finances)

If you aren't sure where or how to start, let this be a guide, but not an absolute. Communicating with God should be from your heart, not just your mouth.

Heavenly Father, 
I thank You, Lord, for this team. I thank You that a body of believers can come together in one place and share openly and honestly with each other. Lord, we are people who get concerned. We worry about things, even though You have told us repeatedly not to worry - that You are in control. Lord, we repent of that worry. We repent of letting the enemy create a foothold in our hearts by making us worry. Lord, we give that worry to You. Lord, we may not know how we're going to be taken care of, but we know that You will take care of us. Lord, I ask that You bless those of this team who are worried about their finances, give them peace Lord. Create in them a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in them. Renew in them Your peace, Your joy that they may know that whatever happens, You are working for the best for them. 
Lord, I also ask that You stir the hearts of us that we may be the hands, doing Your will. Show us what we should do, and give us the strength and courage to do it. In Jesus' name, AMEN. 

I encourage you to pray this prayer, or (any) prayer regarding the financial worries of our team members, daily. 

If you have any answered prayers in relating to this prayer focus, please share those in the comments below. 

Also, if you'd like to pray more for this team, as a team member you can visit our team forums and view some threads regarding prayer needs. You can find all the threads here, and find specific prayer needs here, here and here

Love you all, 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Devotional : Deny Yourself

'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.'" (Matthew 16:24-25, NIV)

What an impossible task. Deny myself? Really? Does anyone hear what myself is demanding?

And yet, Jesus says it plainly and simply: "Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves..." That's a lot to ask, Lord. You see, there are so many many things that want my attention and so many many things that I neeeeeeeeeeed to do! And if I'm going to be honest, I have to be in control. I like being in control. When I'm not in control, everything falls apart. So, really, isn't that asking a little too much? Can't I be Your disciple without denying all of myself?

But it's not a question. It's a command. He doesn't say, "It would be nice if you let some things go and follow Me." or, "Just give Me a little time and money and you can be My disciple. And if you act NOW you can also sit at My right hand in heaven!" He says "DENY YOURSELF." That means I can't be in control. It's not about me.

Denying self means giving up our freedoms. We tend to rationalize that we're pretty decent people who go to church and tithe and occasionally pray for missionaries overseas. But give up my Sunday afternoon football to serve in the soup kitchen? No thanks! That's too much! Give an extra $20 in the offering? That's too much! Do you know how much I have to paint or crochet to earn $20? Stop and ask your widowed neighbor if she needs her lawn mowed today? That's too much! My favorite show is on tonight!  Lord, can't I just do those fun Christian things that bring attention to me? The fear of what we have to give up to follow Jesus is a ploy the enemy only has to whisper in our ear. He has our attention already.

But Jesus lovingly knows that denying ourselves is the opposite of our nature, and He came so that we might have LIFE and have it to the full!

[this devotional is from Tracy at olsentrademarkcrafts]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weekly Devotional : Back to Jesus

"'I'm going out to fish,' Simon Peter told them, and they said, 'We'll go with you.' So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing." John 21:3 (NIV)
Have you ever found yourself in a place where all your hopes and dreams have fallen apart? What did you do?
Jesus' disciple Peter had betrayed his Lord, and watched Him die. Now Jesus was gone. So what did he do? In John 21, we see Peter going back to what he was doing before he met Him. I sometimes wonder what he must've been thinking as he sat aboard the fishing boat and scanned the horizon.
Did he wonder if it was all just a dream? Did he worry about the future? He had been at a spiritual pinnacle—walking with Jesus, hearing from Jesus, planning for a future that included Jesus. But in the blink of an eye, he and his comrades were back to their old pursuits as though nothing had happened at all.

God was still at work, but during this time He let Peter and the other disciples go back to fishing. He let them have those days of wondering and worrying. He allowed them to scan the horizon looking for Him—and find nothing. For a time He allowed them to feel alone and even forsaken.
When we feel that way, we tend to go back to what we knew before. We might go back to old habits or old friends who weren't necessarily the best for us. We might go back to old pursuits or old crutches that once propped us up. We might be like Peter and find ourselves sitting in a place we never thought we'd see again.
And yet, this time, something is different. This time there is that glimmer of hope that—while we might have gone back—we don't have to stay back.
I love that this story ends with Jesus on the beach waiting for Peter and his friends to stop fishing and come to Him. And, when Peter saw Jesus, he jumped out of the boat to get to Him.
Perhaps you've walked away from your own dreams and returned to what is familiar. Maybe disappointment or failure has left you wondering where God is. I hope you will cling to this story today. I hope that as you scan your horizon, you will see God waiting for you to return to Him. And when you do, you will run towards Him as fast as you can.
He may have let you go through an alone time. He may have allowed you to wonder if He was still there. But in that time, I pray that the flicker of hope did not die out for you. You may have gone back to "fishing," but He doesn't want you to stay there. He's got so much more for you to do. He is still at work. His plans involve going forward, not going back.
Dear Lord, I have felt alone and forgotten. I have wondered if any of my spiritual experiences were real. I've gone back to what's familiar because it was all I knew to do. But I know You don't want to leave me there. I want to see You when I scan the horizon. And when I do, help me to have the courage to run toward You as fast as I can. I trust that You still have a plan for me. And that plan involves going forward, not going back. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

This devotional is by Marybeth Whalen and can be found on 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly Devotional : Blindness

Mark 8: 23-25 (NKJV)
So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

Last year I was diagnosed with a devastating eye condition called "severe keratoconus with corneal ectasia" (now that's a mouthful!). The condition developed as a result of complications from laser surgery to correct poor vision  I had 10 years ago. The deterioration was gradual so my brain compensated for my vision loss -  so much so that I didn't know there was a problem. You can imagine my surprise when, at my checkup, the eye doctor said, "Tracy, you are virtually blind. You will never see correctly again without the help of RGP contacts (the hard, uncomfortable ones) or a corneal transplant. And even after a corneal transplant, you will most likely need  RGP lenses. Glasses can't fix this, soft contacts can't fix this. I am so sorry. There is no cure."

Blindness that I didn't even know I had. I had "gotten used" to it and accepted it as normal. Until I was shown the truth, I didn't really think there was a problem. How like our lives! Even as Christians we can so easily slip into patterns, rationalize "little" sins, let things slide, and avert our eyes so slowly from Jesus and the Truth. Before long we are patting ourselves on the back, comparing ourselves to other Christians ("At least I am not commiting THAT sin!") or to the world ("Those people are disgusting and going to hell - I would never be like them!"), and becoming less and less like Jesus. We start to see "men like trees walking" - enough for us to just get by.

I believe Jesus cured this man "partially" at first for our benefit as much as the man's. He wanted to show us that we can think we are living according to His Word and teaching - but without ALL of Him, we are blind. When we embrace Jesus and surrender our lives to Him, we, too, are restored and see clearly.


Heavenly Father, in this day and age where we are pulled, drawn and tempted on all sides by things of this world and even spiritual endeavors, we ask that You help us to SEE Your Son, Jesus - remind us when we are looking away from you, when we are focusing on ourselves and when we are slipping. Keep us close to You, open the eyes of our hearts to Your Truth, and show us those areas in our lives that don't please You so that we can be restored and can become more and more like Jesus. 

In Jesus' Name, Amen

{This weekly devotional is from Tracy of olsentrademarkcrafts.}

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Team Blog Poll

Hi everyone! It's time to update the team blog! Fall is quickly approaching (or here for some of us) so we have a new updated look to the team blog. Don't you just love Autumn!?!

But now it's time to update the content of the team blog as well. What would you like to see on the team blog? Fill out the poll to the right. You can select as many (or all) as you wish. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them as a comment in the team blog. 

If you would like to help with the team blog, please email Regina at livedelightfully (at) yahoo [dot] com. 

Thanks and have a wonderful day! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

TTC - April Showers/Easter Winner

Good morning everyone!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We definitely did at our house!

Moving on, we have a definite winner for the TTC, although she only won by 1 vote! Whew, it was a close race!

Congratulations hARTjewelry on winning April's TTC!!!
Please convo Angela of Hampton House to discuss your prize.

Also, we do need a sponsor for the May TTC prize if anyone is willing to sponsor that. Just convo me HERE or email me at

Thanks & God bless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

TTC - April Showers/Easter Voting

Good morning all! Well, we had several participants for this TTC and now I have 4 lovely treasuries ready for you to vote on. :) Here's how this works: Look at each lovely treasury below, decide which one is your favorite, and then cast your vote using the voting poll to the right --->

Good luck to all the participants!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

TTC - April Showers/Easter

Hello everyone! Welcome to the April Edition of our Team Treasury Challenge (TTC). If this is your first time joining in the fun of TTC, no worries!!! It's LOADS of fun and if you aren't sure how to make a treasury just click HERE for instructions. And moving on...
Well, I don't know about where you are, but here in west Texas it is WAY too dry. We haven't had some good rain in so long and the fire danger is extremely high! In fact, we were getting text messages from kids in our youth group last night who were in danger of having to evacuate their home because of a wildfire! April is supposed to be the month of April Showers and I'm definitely praying that we get some April Showers this month. Besides, I love the rain. You get to wear golashes, it cleans the air, you don't have to pay to water your lawn, and... with April showers comes May flowers! Sounds wonderful right? :) I think so. Anyway, in honor of April Showers, our theme for the TTC this month is... that's right, you guessed it: April Showers. And here's a little inspiration for you:

But that's not it... there's MORE! This month, because we also have the wonderful holiday of EASTER, we actually have TWO themes. I mean, how was I supposed to NOT include Easter as a theme, right??? Sooo... the second theme is Easter. And for some Easter inspiration:


1. All team members are allowed to participate.

2. To participate, you must make a Treasury that is your interpretation of the Challenge Theme. In this case, the Challenge Theme is April Showers or EASTER

3. You must include at least 10 items from TeamCAC members. I cannot stress this enough, this is the #1 reason beautiful treasuries aren't included in the voting. They just didn't have enough team members present. This isn't to be mean, but the point of the TTC is to get more TeamCAC exposure and that doesn't work if you don't have enough team members in your treasury. :)

4. You must tag your Treasury with "teamcac", "challenge", "april", in order for your Treasury to be counted as an entry. You can use any other tags you want, but to be counted as an entry, it must include those three tags.

5. The top 10 (TEN) Treasuries with the most COMMENTS (not views, not clicks but COMMENTS) will be entered among the "Finals". The "Finals" will then be posted to the Team Blog where we all get to go vote for our favorites.

6. There is no limit to the number of Treasuries you can make, but you are only allowed ONE Treasury (per shop) in the Finals.

7. I haven't asked this before, but it would be AWESOME if you could post your treasuries in the Team Treasury Challenge thread of our team forum. This will help me to find them more easily so hopefully I can check them beforehand and any adjustments can be made prior to the deadline. :) Here's the link to the thread. CLICK HERE!
The TTC will be open until Sunday, April 17th Then I will start sifting through the Treasuries to determine the Finals and they will be posted on the team blog next week. So have fun and of course...

...if you have any additional questions regarding this TTC, please email me at or convo me on Etsy. ♥
(If you are interested in sponsoring a prize for the TTC, please email/convo me.)
OH... and I suppose you would like to know what the prize is. Well, this might just be your lucky day! The winner of TTC - April Showers/Easter will get to select one item for Angela's Facebook Page Hampton House. Awesome huh? THANKS ANGELA for sponsoring this month's TTC.
Alright, now go, make your beautiful treasuries and be sure you follow the rules of the TTC. ♥