Janice Boekhoff
 

Devotion

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

Phil 3:10

Ever have one of those days or seasons in your life where everything comes at you at once? When that happens, some people yell at God, asking Him to back off a little. Now, I don’t mind a little attitude directed at God. He’s heard me sass Him more than a few times. But it seems to me we might be sending our attitude in the wrong direction.

Certainly, God allows things into our lives—He’s the one in control after all—but that doesn’t mean He’s throwing all this stuff at us. Satan is more than willing to chuck our way anything he can find.

Yes, God allows it, because He knows we can stand up to the devil—with Jesus’s help. And anything that makes us lean more on Jesus advances God’s perfect will.

So you could tell Satan to back off instead, but I think we should take our big attitudes and tell Satan to bring it on! The more grief he gives us, the more God can be glorified.

Don’t be afraid of the evil one. Fear is his only weapon. The deeper the pain we experience, the greater the joy of deliverance.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us Your way to overcome the suffering and evil of this world. Help us to lean on You. We need not fear, but we need Your strength. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Painful Landing

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I don’t get migraines, but I get another type of headache that’s less common. I thought it was just me, until I was talking to a friend while we were on a flight this past weekend. She said she hoped she didn’t get a splitting headache when we landed. My mouth dropped open and I said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”

She described the pain and it sounded just like mine—sharp, stabbing pain in the sinus area just above the eyebrows. On the two occasions this has happened to me, I’m doubled over, holding my forehead, praying for it to go away. And just after landing, it does. It disappears as quick as it came.

During an episode, it literally feels as if someone is repeatedly stabbing ice picks into the front of my skull. I tend to have a pretty high pain tolerance (I know everyone says this, but my first naturally delivered baby was 10 lbs 5 oz, so I know what pain is) and even so, the first time it happened, I thought there was something drastically wrong in my head, like a tumor maybe.

I figured it had something to do with pressure since it happens on landing, but I never looked into it. My friend told me it has an actual name. Aerosinusitis, also known as Barosinusitis, is pain or damage to the sinuses usually caused by a negative pressure gradient, such as when landing a plane. If you’re sinuses are blocked in any way, the air inside them contracts on landing and the pressure can’t be equalized, resulting in the negative pressure gradient and a squeezing of the sinuses.

Most people don’t have this issue and I don’t have it every time I fly. Isn’t it amazing how God made our bodies to compensate for the pressures of high altitudes? Still, I’m glad to know this has a name and is a real issue, although I suppose my career options are limited now. I’ll never be a flight attendant.

Has this ever happened to you? Does it happen every time you fly?

P.S. If this happens to you, it’s probably a bad idea to sky dive or go deep-sea diving without talking to a doctor because the same type of pressure is involved in those activities.

References: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/862964-overview#a5, http://www.cnbc.com/id/47226552

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/99713555@N00/9176684046″>7dd_6309680-big-bif</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Devotion

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

John 15:7-8

This devotion is for those who have loved ones or people close to you who do not believe in Jesus. For me, this would be the rest of my immediate family and several friends. When I try to explain what life is like with Jesus, they can’t understand because they haven’t experienced it. Sort of like trying to tell someone what it’s like to fall in love. They can imagine it, they can watch it on television, but until they fall for that special person, they can’t understand.

Sometimes I get discouraged as I wait for my loved ones to fall in love with Jesus. Part of the reason for this is because no one knows the true dynamic interaction which happens inside a person. Each person has a choice and must choose Jesus or not. And yet God also says He is the one to open hearts (John 6:44).

Are my loved ones not choosing God or is it not the time He has chosen to open their hearts? Either way, the wait seems too long for me. When I get anxious or impatient, I try to remember the verse above. This verse says that if we remain close to Jesus, we can ask whatever we wish and we will receive it—as long as it’s in God’s will. Since God wants none to perish (2 Peter 3:9), then the salvation of our loved ones must be in His will.

Keep believing. Practice patience as you trust God’s timing. Stay close to Jesus and earnestly pray for those who need Him.

Dear Lord, we release our loved ones to You. You love them even more than we do. Let our lives show them the joy of knowing You. And bring them to You in Your time. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Conference!

This week, I’ll be at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer’s) Conference! I’ll be having a great time visiting with other writers who totally understand the craziness of this writing life (and who don’t judge me when I talk to myself…ahem… I mean my characters). There’s also wonderful classes to help me make every novel my best one. So, I’m taking the rest of the week off because my brain will be like jelly after shoving all that information in at once.

Have a  great week and I’ll see you here next Tuesday, September 22nd, with a new devotion.

Blessings,

Janice

Devotion

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles an creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:7-8

The other day I betrayed a confidence. Not on purpose, and it was actually out of excitement for the other person, but my tongue slipped just the same. The shame of it ate me up inside for days.

James understood how hard it is to tame the beast in our mouths. Over the years I’ve seen the reality of Luke 6:45—For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

What we harbor in our heart comes out of our mouths. Of course, we try to control it, keep a lock on our lips, but when we let our guard down even just a little, what’s in our hearts comes out through our mouths.

I tend to have a dry sense of humor, some might even say sarcastic. Years ago the remarks which would slip from my mouth would be sharp and cutting, not meant to hurt anyone, but certainly not kind. My heart overflowed and sewage came out. God has dealt with many of those heart issues in me and I’m grateful that my slips now come from excitement and happiness, although I still need to listen closer for the inner promptings of the spirit telling me to keep my mouth shut.

If you have trouble, as I do, wrangling the beast we call a tongue, try committing this scripture to memory. It has done amazing things in my life.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Dear Lord, cleanse my heart, so my words can honor You. I give You the keys to my heart, so You may be the gatekeeper of my mouth. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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