Welcome 2015!

This is going to be an amazing year!  It’s such a fun thought to know that there are bunches of us who want to know God better and are waking up and beginning everyday meeting with Him.  It makes those blurry-eyed mornings a little more “doable” when you know you’re not the only one in the world who is going for it! 

The Daily Reading section is going to be used for notes about the daily readings. The purpose is to simply highlight the fact that God wants to speak to us every day.  He isn’t silent!  Sometimes we just need a little extra perspective to see the things He may want us to see.  Our hope is that these daily comments would provide encouragement, open your heart in a new way or simply just “add to” your own personal time with Him. Wewill have new entries each day that correspond with the daily reading schedule – so keep checking in! 

God bless,

Phil Joel


Daily Reading


JANUARY 31st deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 12:14-13:22 / Matthew 20:29-21:22 / Psalm 25:12-22 / Proverbs 6:12-15


Standout verse: Psalm 25:14-15
“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.  My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”

The fear of the Lord isn’t a kind of panic or terror; rather, it describes an awe and reverential fear - it is a foundational point in our personal devotion to Him.  From this place, one will begin to grow in wisdom, discernment, knowledge and understanding.  We can be assured that if we fear the Lord and walk in His ways, not only will we develop in these extremely important, practical areas, we will receive these promises: He will prosper us spiritually; He will show us deep and mighty things that only He can reveal and He will deliver us from evil (pluck our feet out of the net!).  The fear of the Lord brings depth, safety, and a place from which to grow in all manner of life skills – it’s a good thing!


JANUARY 30TH deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 10:1-12:13 / Matthew 20:1-28 / Psalm 25:1-11 / Proverbs 6:6-11 


Standout verse:

Matthew 20:26-28

“Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave.  Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”

We live in a crazy mixed-up world that tells us success is taking care of #1 (us).  It tells us that “getting to the top”, “15 minutes of fame” and becoming the next American Idol are the things that measure a person’s worth.  We must shoot to succeed in these areas if we truly want to attain the “new” American dream. 

But, the fact is, as we seek to become great, our misery and dissatisfaction increase proportionately.  God’s measuring stick is the total opposite of the worlds’.  His economy says those who are the “greatest” are those who are the greatest servants.  They live God-centered, others–centered lives…NOT self-centered.  He doesn’t measure our worth by fat bank accounts and numbers of Facebook “friends”, but by the condition of our hearts.

When we seek first His Kingdom and truly love our neighbors, living eyes wide open, others-centered lives, we will be rich and our cups will overflow with all measure of His blessings.  We will then be a sign post to those who need Him – just as we do!


JANUARY 29TH deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 8:1-9:35 / Matthew 19:13-30 / Psalm 24:1-10 / Proverbs 6:1-5 


Standout verses:

Exodus 8:15

“But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them as the Lord had said.”


Matthew 19:20-21

“The young man said to them, “All these things I have kept from my youth (the 10 Commandments), what do I still lack?”  Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven, and come follow Me”.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful – for he had great possessions.”

Jesus calls us to live wholly for Him.  Exodus shows us that in times of trial or pain, our desperation can temporarily drive us toward the Lord (just as Pharaoh’s desperation caused his heart to yield for a short-lived moment).  Sadly, after the pain passes, we often return to our “old ways” with us in charge and the Lord “somewhere in the mix”.

God wants our hearts in the good times and the bad – the times of desperation and the times of plenty. 

Matthew shows us that God isn’t interested in leading us in “bits and pieces” of our lives – He wants us to give every part to Him.  God doesn’t like compartmentalized living where we say, “Ok Lord, You can have this area, but I’ll stay in charge over here.”

For us to truly thrive, our lives must be fully His – every part, good times and bad – a lifestyle of whole-hearted devotion to Him.  It’s then that we can truly become the people He created us to be!


JANUARY 28TH deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 6:1-7:25 / Matthew 18:21-19:12 / Psalm 23:1-6 / Proverbs 5:22-23 


Standout Chapter: Psalm 23...

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Our Good Shepherd takes care of ALL our needs.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.”

Lord, You refresh us and brings rest to our souls.

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.”

You make it possible for us to live in this crazy world in a way that is clean and right and in Your will for us.

“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil – for You are with me.  Your rod and Your staff comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

In every challenge, trial and difficulty You are right there beside us guiding us through as we keep our eyes on You.  You bring comfort even in the darkest days – You calm the storm.

“You anoint my head with oil – my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.”

A life spent with You is filled with peace that depends on You, not on our circumstances.  It’s possible to live abundantly, with our “cups running over”,  enjoying Your goodness and mercy when You are at the center of our lives. 

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”

What a great finish line – a beautiful way to finish this race and begin eternal with You!   So awesome!


JANUARY 27TH deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 4:1-5:23 / Matthew 18:1-20 / Psalm 22:19-31 / Proverbs 5:15-21 


Standout verse:

Exodus 4:10-15

“…but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.  So the Lord said to him, “who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind?  Am I not the Lord?Now therefore go and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you should say.But Moses said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”  So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses…(v.15) I will be with your mouth and with his (Aaron) mouth and I will teach you what you should do.  So he shall be your spokesman to the people.  And he himself shall be a mouth for you and you shall be to him as God.”

Sometimes God calls us to do things that seem impossible or way beyond our abilities.  We can’t possibly see how to do it and we feel totally inadequate for the job.  The truth is, on our own, we probably are totally inadequate and most likely we will struggle and fail.  

However, with God and the strength He offers us, we can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING He calls us to.  He will never ask us to do something He doesn’t intend to equip us and strengthen us to accomplish.  If God has called us to do something, we can rest in the truth that He will help us from start to finish as we lean on Him and rely on His supernatural strength!  That makes me feel way more brave!!