Hopelessly Devoted

Thursday brings new thoughts from my devotions this week.


Today’s devotion challenged the way I look at work. One of the scripture references comes from Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (NIV).

The phrase that jumped out at me is “with all your heart.” In the myriad of translations, you might read: heartily, willingly, enthusiastically, or with all your soul.

My husband is quite exceptional. I know a lot of wives feel that way, but Nelson knew about my calling before he married me, but nothing could have prepared him for this journey. And I will admit some of my choices have made things considerably more challenging than they needed to be.

One of the most difficult things has been finding meaningful employment that also provides the necessary financial support with each move. I knew I was probably never going to be paid enough to support our family.  I didn’t answer this call thinking it would make me rich in worldly possessions.

Right now Nelson is traveling weekly to the Buffalo/Niagra area to work. That’s about five hours from home. He works long days: 3:00am to 6:00pm. Monday through Friday. And it’s a job he used to do and hated.

So why would he go back to that work? Why would he do leave family and home?

Because God provided.

And because he decided long ago to live his life—which includes his work—for God.

This “with all your heart” is not a mushy, sentimental thing. The apostle Paul is speaking about a matter of will, of choice. Being willing is like in the marriage ceremony when the officiant asks, “Will you take this man/woman?” And the response is “I will.” It’s a choice, a commitment of the will.

So today, will your commitment be to rejoice in your work? Not because it’s your dream job, or you love what you do—but because whether it’s wonderful or drudgery, it’s a gift from God.

May your grind be grand today as you go through it with God.

(And don’t think you’re off the hook just because you’re “retired.” Paul is very clear this is about “whatever your hand finds to do.” Not punching a time clock doesn’t buy you a free pass 😉)



Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 3, Day 6

Saturday Repair (to make strong and firm—no quick fix)

Text: The Old City Gate[a] was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. (Nehemiah 3:6, NLT)

Yesterday we considered the rebuilding that took place on the wall. Today let’s think about the repair.

As I read through the chapter I noticed there were many more references to the repairs the people were doing to the wall and gates.

According to Wiersbe, the word repair is used thirty-five times by Nehemiah, and it means “to make strong and firm.” (Be Determined, p. 40)

WP Neh 3-6 no quick fix

So many times we want the quick fix, the easy out. How many times have we seen someone shove things under the bed, or sweep the dirt under the carpet instead of doing the cleaning that really needed done?

The people’s lives depended on the sturdiness of the wall. There was a sense of national pride that infused their work. And a love for and honoring of God.

When God looks at our work, does he see our pride and love for him, or does he see us cutting corners and trying to get by with as little as we can?

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, NLT)

WP Neh 3-6 with all your might

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 3, Day 1

Monday Concept of work
Text: Read through chapter 3 and notice the different references to work.

WP Neh 3-1 work

In “A Passion for Faithfulness,” J.I. Packer helps us understand the biblical perspective of work: “When the Bible talks about work it has in view much more than what we do for money or gain, what we call our job or our employment. In the Bible, work as such means any exertion of effort that aims at producing a new state of affairs. (p. 73)”

WP Neh 3-1 back to work

It seems appropriate to think about work on a Monday, the day most people ‘get back to it.’ People head into Mondays with a mixed bag of feelings. Some love their jobs, while others struggle to persevere.

What about the spiritual work we have to do? What job has God given you to do?

In John’s gospel we are told that God is at work and he invites us to join him.

Pray today for eyes to see where God is at work in the world around you and ask how you can join him.

WP Neh 3-1 work as if

How Long Does Love Last?

The total number of days between Saturday, February 17th, 1979 and Monday, February 17th, 2014 is 12,784 days.

This is equal to exactly 34 years and 12 months.

This does not include the end date, so it’s accurate if you’re measuring your age in days, or the total days between the start and end date. But if you want the duration of an event that includes both the starting date and the ending date, then it would actually be 12,785 days.

12,784 days is equal to 1826 weeks and 2 days.

The total time span from 1979-02-17 to 2014-02-17 is 306,816 hours.

This is equivalent to 18,408,960 minutes.

You can also convert 12,784 days to 1,104,537,600 seconds.

I have been married more of my life than not.

I don’t think in terms of me, for I am we.

To say that my life has been blessed doesn’t even come close to how I feel. No one thought this marriage would last. No one counted on his fierce loyalty and commitment to commitment…or my keen awareness that while he is not perfect, he is perfect for me.

We have 35 years of memories and few pictures to go along with them. We have punchlines, but don’t remember the jokes. We have favorite places and lots of favorite foods. Two beautiful and amazing daughters and four delightful grandchildren.

And we have hopes and dreams for the future. Plans that include less work, more enjoyment, and a warmer place to call home.

We recognize that each day is a gift.

At the end of our wedding ceremony, we each took a red rose from a vase on the altar table and gave them to our mothers. Then we sang Henry Mancini’s song, “Sometimes.” Actually, I sang because Nelson got pretty choked up. It didn’t sound as good as Julie Andrew, but you’ll get the gist:

Then as now, I am aware that there are many people who have aided us in this journey, cared for us, prayed for us and with us. Thank you. You mean so very much to us.

And now to quote one of my favorite professors, and dear friend, who often quotes Dag Hammarskjold, “For all that has been–Thanks! To all that will be–Yes!” God bless you all.