My Daly Outreach Ministries

My Daly Outreach Ministries

Friday, October 25, 2013

Half of a Candy Bar

 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries. Matthew 10:29-31

This morning I decided to get myself a breakfast treat at a quick service snack station within my building here at Liberty.  The ladies that work at this station have been so friendly since my arrival several weeks ago and we always chat while I am making my selections and being checked out.  This morning was just different and very special.  It will sound very simple to you at first, but when I finish I hope you see the beauty in half of a candy bar.  

As I came toward the counter I saw one of these sweet ladies eating a candy bar.  She quickly without any hesitation looked at me and said, “Here, this is for you.”  Normally I would have never taken half of a candy bar from a stranger but this was my favorite, an Almond Joy, and if you enjoy these you know it is made up of two mini candy bars.  I started to refuse but then I felt that it was a gift from her to me so I needed to accept.  I also became overwhelmed with emotion for my daddy and I have enjoyed these candy bars together for years.  Each time I eat one I think of him and eating them from a cooler on a hot summer day while on our family’s boat making memories.  Isn’t it funny that how half of a candy bar could make all those memories come rushing to my mind within only one short moment?  

I also quickly realized that God had shown His love for me in this gift for it could have been any kind of candy bar, yet He chose one that He knew I would like, want, and connect with.  That’s how awesome the God we serve really is.  That’s how much He cares about the simplest details of our everyday lives.  I looked at this dear lady and explained that it was special for it was a token from the Almighty and He used her to bless my heart.  She smiled and agreed, which only confirmed what God had already shown me to be His hand touching my life in every single possible way.  

I wonder today if you are noticing the ways in which God shows His love to you in simple yet precious ways.  When others show kindness to you, do you realize it is God’s hand at work?  Do you see the ways in which He blesses you all throughout your day or do you stay too rushed and too busy to ever see Him as He tries to gain your attention and affection around every corner?  Please, stop and notice Him.  He’s pretty amazing!  As for me, I will continue to serve and adore my Lord and why not?  I mean, there’s nothing than can top a Savior who not only died to save me but then turns around and gives me half of my favorite candy bar.  God really is that good!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jesus Is In the Boat!

" He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat."  Luke 5:3

For the past few days God continues to give me Luke chapter 5 and until I share it with someone who needs to hear it He won't stop.  This scripture seems pretty simple when you first read it.  We know a large crowd was pushing in on Jesus and He realized He would be more effective in His preaching if He were standing in a boat just off shore.  Then God revealed something much deeper to me, like He usually does!  

Simon allowed Jesus to enter his boat and after doing so some amazing things took place.  First Jesus was able to share the love of God.  When I allow Jesus to enter my "boat" or life, He is able to reach others!  Wow!  Hang on, though, because more happens for Simon after he allows Jesus to use his boat to reach others.  

Jesus goes out with Simon and others to fish but things are no going well at all.  They can't catch anything.  Boy can I relate to that.  As long as I am trying to make things happen for myself nothing really happens of any significance, but when I stop doing things my way and listen to the advice of the Savior miracles begin to take place!  Jesus tells them to cast the nets again on the right side of the boat.  They had to be thinking, "We have done this over and over.  Why should we keep trying and what will be different this time about that side of the boat?  Last time we tried there was nothing there."  I have felt the very same way about many things in my life, too.  Thankfully, they listened and tried once more for they were overwhelmingly blessed beyond anything they had ever seen before.  

That's how God works for His people and for those who are obedient to His instruction.  Are you strong enough to listen to the Father when it doesn't make sense?  Are you willing to listen to God when you have already tried what He tells you to do 100 times already?  I pray you do for He will open the doors that were meant for you to walk through and the windows that will rain blessings from heaven into your life!  Let Jesus climb into your boat today and just watch what happens!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Picking Up a Check

Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.

Recently, I had to pick up a check at work in the finance department.  Being new to the Liberty campus I knew which building to go to but wasn't sure where to find the office I needed.  I was escorted by a kind woman right to the desk of a woman named Penni.  I had no idea what God had in store for me during the next few moments.  

I was greeted with a smile and Penni quickly found the check I had come to pick up.  Before walking away I asked her another question dealing with my first paycheck.  She explained that it was a question for the HR department.  I asked if she could write down the name of the person I needed to contact.  Instead of getting me a piece of paper, she picked up her phone and explained to me that she was going to call and find out the answer for me!  

Before leaving Penni, I hugged her and thanked her for being so helpful and kind to me. Once I returned to my own office I couldn't get her off of my mind.  I sat down at my laptop, found her email, and sent her a message thanking her again for her help and then shared a little about myself and MDO Ministries.  Within minutes I received an email back from her explaining that she had been a caregiver to her husband who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  She went on to share her love for him and how difficult it was to be a caregiver.  She ended by explaining how she had lost him last November.  I sat at my desk and cried.  My heart broke for this caregiver.

What I want you to understand is that God has a purpose for everything you do and for everyone who crosses your path.  I just went to pick up a check and now have a connection with a caregiver and a new friend in Christ.  God longs to work in our daily lives if we only open our eyes, ears, and hearts to experience it.  I praise God for this amazing woman named Penni and for her story as a caregiver.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Words

A gentle response defuses anger,
    but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Proverbs 15:1

Recently, I was blessed to sit under the teaching of pastor and author Pete Wilson.  He spoke about a simple yet very powerful topic which was the words we speak to others.  It really is amazing how our lives are impacted by the words we speak and others speak to us.  There were three things that Pete said every person has in common and I wanted to share those with you today.

1st - Everyone uses words.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that our words hold the power of life and death.  That's pretty strong.  No matter who we are or what our present circumstances we all use words.

2nd - Your deepest joys and pains were all accomplished by words.

This nearly knocked me over because of the truth this statement holds.  The words of someone getting a job or being pregnant are words of pure joy but then words announce people's death and horrible news, too.

3rd - Your world of words is a world of trouble.

We all have conversations and say things we wished we had not had or said.  The difference comes in what we do and how we handle it once the damage has been done.  Do we not only apologize but admit what we said or did to the person?  Do we admit our words and as hard as it may be acknowledge the hurt we caused?  We have to take responsibility for our words.

The last thing I want to share is a statement that Pete said and I immediately wrote it down.  I know it has been true in my life and I'm sure in yours as well.

"Every word comes at a cost.  There is a long-term shelf life to painful words."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So Much To Do

My husband, Brian, says that I become this “crazy lady” when I know people are coming to visit in our home.  He says things like, “Calm down, the house looks fine,” which only aggravates me and doesn’t help.  The problem is that I see all that needs to be done in preparation for their arrival.  I want my guests to feel welcomed and special.  I will admit that I do go overboard.  I mean, I know I’ve never looked at the dust on top of someone’s refrigerator.  Have you? 

In this passage Jesus has come to visit in the home of Mary and Martha, two sisters.  Martha is very much like me when I have visitors.  She is the hostess with the mostess!  She is cooking and taking care of all her guests’ needs while her sister, Mary, is just hanging out at the feet of Jesus.  Martha has taken all of this she can handle and says to Jesus, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore tell her to help me” Luke 10:40.  Jesus is so cool and in response He lovingly tells Martha no because Mary is putting being with him before all else.  Whoa!  That’s powerful! 

The Holy Spirit used this to speak to my heart by saying, “Jessica, how often to you spend time with me instead of all this running around and busy work you do?  How often do you find quiet times for only you and me to be alone?”  I had to answer, “Not often enough, Lord.  I am so sorry.  Please, forgive me.”  This is a daily struggle for we Martha’s.  So much is around us that needs to be done and something inside of us tells us we are the ones to take care of it all.  I believe there can be a balance.  I long to be half Mary and half Martha rolled into one.  I want to serve my Lord but at the same time I need to stop and just be with Him, too.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blessing the Latter

I want to give a disclaimer before I ever begin by saying that I am NOT comparing myself to Job!  I would never want to even come close to his absolute suffering, but at the same time I think he endured so many different things so that as believers there is at least one area we can ALL relate to Job in.  He definitely was the ultimate package when it came to suffering! 

With that perfectly clear, I will move along. Ha!  What I am pulling from today is a specific scripture from the book of Job.  Chapter 42 verse 12 is simple yet powerful.  It tells us, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life with more than the former part.”  Job was a godly man, wealthy in property, animals, and family.  We would say today that Job had it all.  Then as we read the book of Job, which I don’t encourage on a down day, we see that everything was taken from him.  He lost his family, his wealth, even his own health.  But, we know that even at the lowest point Job would not curse our God and for his faithfulness God rewarded Job in the later part of his life.  I too, can relate to Job in several ways.

In 2006 I had it made, or so I thought.  I had married the man I loved and we had a beautiful two year old healthy daughter.  I was in the career field I had dreamed of all my life, which was teaching and did so at a school only minutes from my dream home and neighborhood.  My husband had a very successful job as an estimator for a large construction company and money was plentiful for the first time.  I drove a new car which was traded every other year and I wore very stylist clothing.  I had friends and family that I enjoyed being with and could not have been any happier.  Then one night it all changed and I lost it all slowly over the following two years. 

My 27 year old husband lay in a hospital bed and I was told his heart muscle was not functioning.  I was also told that he would not be able to ever return to work.  I became his caregiver as I continued to work full time and support a family on a teacher’s salary.  We sold one of the cars and got a very old used vehicle that we could afford.  We stopped shopping and I stopped buying new clothes.  Bills began to pill up and it seemed things could not have gotten any worse, but I didn’t know they really could.  In 2009 after selling our dream home and downsizing, our daughter was in an accident that nearly took her life and I then became her caregiver for over three months of recovery.  Soon after this problems arose in my career.  I then found myself working for a principal that did not understand my situation.  Things worsened and I was forced to resign from a 17 year career in education on October 31, 2011 after much persecution.  During this time the stress of work had also began to affect my own health and had caused me to develop severe anxiety as well as stomach issues.  I can say with confidence that my God never left my side.  Over the past seven years I have become solely dependent on my Savior and creator!  I have learned that He alone is my caregiver and that He will never leave nor forsake me.  I did have doubts and terrible fears but when I called to Him they were taken away.  He always found ways for me to escape and make it through.
We see that Job was blessed in his later years which always gave me home.  God also gave Job much greater than he had in the beginning.  I can tell you today that God is doing just that for me.  My husband’s heart function has increased from 5% to over 35%, which we are told is medically impossible.  My daughter was healed completely from her accident.  God took care of all our medical bills and we don’t owe one penny! When it comes to my career, well let’s just say that God gives you back even greater for instead of being a public school librarian as I once was; I am presently a research librarian for Liberty University, the largest and fastest growing Christian university in the world. Then a ministry in January 2011 for the spiritual encouragement of caregivers around the world, which would have never happened unless I had become a caregiver!  God is doing what His Word says He will do.  I am just excited about what is to come. 

Are you?  Do you believe that what is happening to you today is not forever?  Do you believe that your best days are ahead?  Do you believe that God can use anyone at any age to do outstanding things for His kingdom?  He can and He will if you only believe.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Write Your Future Down

And then God answered: “Write this.
    Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
    so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
    pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
    And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
    It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

When I read this powerful scripture I see that God says very specifically that we are to write what we desire to see in our future.  The message translation even says to write it in big block letters so that it can be seen even if a person runs by.  I love picturing that in my imagination!  Would any of us be brave enough to write all our dreams on a billboard along the highway?  It says to do so because it is a witness to what is soon to come.  My favorite part is when it calls it a "vision-message."  We must see our dreams coming to pass in the spiritual realm long before they actually take place in reality.

Next, God says that our future aches to come and can hardly wait!  I don't know about you but that excites me.  There is something that I have dreamed of doing for several years and today I actually wrote it in large letters on a piece of paper and attached this scripture to it.  I love knowing that God can't wait to see this dream become a reality in my life.  God also says that our future is not a lie.  God never lies.

The end of this portion of scripture is as if it were written just for me.  I can't stand to wait and it specifically says that it seems to be coming slowly, but that I have to continue to wait.  BUT, God says, "Don't worry, sweet child for it is on the way!  It will come right on time."  Never doubt the power and love the Lord holds and that His desire is for us to love Him.  I am waiting and watching. Won't you join me in claiming your future and your dreams?  Write them down and watch them happen in the Name of Jesus!