Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Are You Ready for a Workout?


By Andrea Merrell

Following a recent back surgery, I was not referred to physical therapy or rehab. My only instructions were ... WALK!

Now, I enjoy walking, but between a hilly yard and road, the only flat surface anywhere close to my house is my driveway. When I first came home from the hospital, I pushed my little walker up and down the driveway. After a while I graduated to a cane. It was slow-going, not much fun, and definitely a workout. But if I wanted to heal and regain my flexibility, I needed to follow the doctor’s instructions.

It’s the same in my relationship with the Lord. If I want to be spiritually healthy and live the life I was created to live, I must follow the Great Physician’s instructions.

This Christian life is a journey, and we are instructed to walk:

  • In the Spirit (Romans 8:1 and Galatians 5:16)
  • In love (Ephesians 5:1)
  • By faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • In unity (Ephesians 4:1)
  • In the light (Ephesians 5:8 and 1 John 1:7)
  • In wisdom (Ephesians 5:15 and Colossians 4:5)
  • In peace (Isaiah 57:2)
  • Uprightly (Psalm 15:2)
  • In integrity (Psalm 26:1)
  • In truth (Psalm 26:3 and 3 John 1:4)
  • In the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31)
  • In newness of life (Romans 6:4)
  • With those who are wise (Proverbs 13:20)
  • Blamelessly (Proverbs 28:18)
  • In all His ways (Deuteronomy 10:12)
  • According to His commandments (2 John 1:6)

That’s quite a workout, but the benefits are totally worth it.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Photo by Dave Goudreau on Unsplash


Monday, May 22, 2023

Learn to Embrace Change


By Andrea Merrell

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV


“I don’t like this,” the woman said to me. “My life used to be so simple. I just want everything to stay the same.”

Change is inevitable. We all resist it from time to time, but it’s the only constant we can count on. People change. Rules change. Situations change, sometimes for the good, sometimes not. But the more we resist—and try to hold on to the past—the harder it becomes to go forward, grow in our faith, and maintain our peace.

This world is in a constant, ever-evolving state of transformation, but God and His Word never change. The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). His Word is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119: 89). And when we give our hearts and lives to Him, our name is forever engraved on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).

Seasons come and seasons go. There is a time and purpose for everything. Don’t fight the changes in your life. Embrace them and trust God for the outcome.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Monday, May 15, 2023

Are You Trying to be Politically Correct?


By Andrea Merrell

Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

Psalm 119:89 NIV


“You can’t say that word anymore,” the daughter said to her mom. “It’s no longer politically correct. People will get offended.”

Her mom frowned. “Says who?”

I’m with the mom. Who gets to make the rules? The government? Society? Hate groups? I know one thing for sure … it certainly isn’t the Christian community.

I guess you could call me old-school and a bit stubborn because I’m not about to try and blend in with the crowd. Even if I wanted to, the rules change from one day to the next. It would be exhausting—not to mention nearly impossible—to stay up with the most current trend of acceptable terms.

In these days we’re living in, it’s far more important to be scripturally correct. We need to know God’s Word—which never changes—and not be afraid to speak truth whenever we have the opportunity.

This world and all its evil ways will one day be gone. But God’s kingdom and His Word will go on for all eternity. We can either keep trying to please the world and the powers that be or know that we are pleasing God by standing strong in faith on His truth.

Politically correct or scripturally correct? The choice is yours.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Monday, May 8, 2023

There’s No Such Thing as a Problem-Free Life


By Andrea Merrell

In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.

But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.

John 16:33 MSG


As I sat quietly one morning, I found myself dwelling on recent circumstances that threatened to take me down. Steal my peace. Rob me of my joy. “It seems it’s always something, Lord,” I complained. “I get over one problem, then here comes another. When do I get a break?”

I’m sure the Lord was smiling as I opened Jesus Calling and read that day’s devotion by Sarah Young:

Do not long for the absence of problems in your life. That is an unrealistic goal since in this world you will have trouble … Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours. Discuss everything with Me. Take a lighthearted view of trouble, seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle. ~Jesus

I had to smile too. Busted. Again. Longing for something never promised to me in this fallen world and forgetting that God is always with me, holding my hand and walking me through the fire. Giving me a chance to use my faith, without which it is impossible to please Him. And reminding me that each trial I face produces patience and spiritual growth.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a problem-free life on this earth, but one day it will be our reality for all eternity.

Are you ready for eternity?

Photo by Dmitrii Ko on Unsplash

Monday, May 1, 2023

Retrace Your Steps


By Andrea Merrell

But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. 

Colossians 1:21-22 MSG

I rushed into the room and stopped short. As I took in my surroundings, all I could think was, why in tarnation did I come in here?

The older I get, the more this happens. While on a mission, my mind slips into neutral and by the time I get to my destination … brain freeze. I lose my purpose. That’s when I have to retrace my steps. Sometimes I can do this mentally, going backward one step at a time. At other times, I have to literally go back where I started and begin again.

I’ve lost my way in life a few times as well, wondering how I got from point A to point B and what I was even doing there in the first place. Finding myself in the wrong place at the wrong time required retracing my steps back to where I started—the cross.

Someone once said that all paths lead back to the cross, the place where Jesus paid the ultimate price. The place where He bled and died to give us abundant life on this earth and eternal life in heaven with Him. It’s the place where everything changed for all mankind. The place where the old covenant was fulfilled in the new through the shed blood of our Savior. It’s the place that always keeps us pointed in the right direction.

If you’ve lost your way, retrace your steps—all the way back to the cross. That’s where you’ll find the clarity and direction you need.

Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash

Photo by Alicia Quan on Unsplash