"Helping people become deliberate in their pursuit of God is the mission of my heart. The message and music serve to communicate God's desire for His people to experience and enjoy a true relationship with Him that will effect all our other relationships." - Phil Joel

For more info, including tour dates please visit philjoel.com

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

Sunday
Apr262015

April 26th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

 

Judges 6:1-40 / Luke 22:55-23:10 / Psalm 95:1-96:13 / Proverbs 14:5-6

Standout Verse:

Proverbs 14:6

"A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands."

This verse isn’t about our intelligence – it’s all about our hearts. If a heart becomes hard and cynical then the truth will be difficult to see and apply. But, if our hearts remain tender and free of diseases such as hidden sin, bitterness, and pride, then knowledge, learning and wisdom will be revealed and received with ease.

If we’re not learning and growing in our knowledge of the truth of Jesus, or if our relationship with Him feels stagnant, we may want to ask the Lord to scan our hearts for blockages.

Saturday
Apr252015

April 25th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Judges 4:1-5:31 / Luke 22:35-54 / Psalm 94:1-23 / Proverbs 14:3-4

 

Standout Verse: JUDGES

The book of Judges is an account of the roller coaster journey of the Israelites.  As they repeatedly fell into sin, turned their hearts toward other gods and joined themselves to people who didn’t know the Lord, they would find themselves in a place of captivity and oppression.  After a time of suffering, they would realize they had gotten themselves into trouble because they’d turned their hearts away from Him.  They would then cry out to God and repent.  He would hear their cries, forgive their sin, rescue, and restore them back to Himself and things would be good for a season.  However, as time wore on they would become complacent in their relationship with Him, their hearts would gradually turn away and they would find themselves in full blown rebellion, sin and unfaithfulness all over again.

Some important things to see in Judges…

1. We serve a LOVING FATHER who deeply desires to be in a close, growing relationship with His children.  No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, He is ALWAYS ready and willing to forgive our sin and bring us back to Himself. 

2. ROLLER COASTER LIVING STINKS.  Life doesn’t have to be that way.  A “drop in, drop out” relationship with the Lord will only produce frustration, hopelessness and confusion.  Our relationship with Him is meant to be strong, steady, growing and green – even in hard times!  It was never meant to be up, down, distant, or flat-lined.

3. We need to learn from history.  The Israelites are the perfect example of “what NOT to do” in terms of their crazy, volatile lifestyle. The book of Judges is a gift that the Lord has given us so we can learn by study rather than first-hand experience. 

4. The story of the Israelites doesn’t have to be the story of our lives.  We can learn from them and CHOOSE TO BE FAITHFUL, DELIBERATE, AND STEADFAST IN OUR WALK WITH GOD as we simply SAY “NO” TO CRAZY ROLLER COASTER LIVING!

Friday
Apr242015

April 24th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Judges 1:1-2:9 / Luke 21:29-22:13 / Psalm 90:1-91:16 / Proverbs 13:24-25

 

Standout Verse:

Luke 22:27

“For who is greater, he who sits at the table or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”

Again, Jesus stated He came to serve and not be served. His ways and His Kingdom are completely contrary to the value systems that the world holds dear.  The enemy of our souls is a hustler, telling us that fame and fortune, position and power will make us feel significant and whole…the more people we have working for us, serving us, or "following us", the more validated we will be. He’s a liar.

If we are not walking closely with the Lord, we will feel an emptiness that will make it hard to see beyond our own neediness to the needs of others and we’ll find it difficult to serve without looking for some kind of worldly return.   However, as we CHOOSE to walk closely with the Lord, our neediness will be filled with His life-giving truth and our eyes will be opened to see those around us that we can serve without any hidden motive that desires recognition and praise.  

Serving and loving others well is an up-side-down concept that the world stands contrary to, but it is completely logical, beautiful and life-giving to a person whose  heart has been regenerated by Jesus.

Thursday
Apr232015

April 23rd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Judges 1:1-2:9 / Luke 21:29-22:13 / Psalm 90:1-91:16 / Proverbs 13:24-25

 

Standout Verse:

Proverbs 13:24

“He who spares the rod spoils his son, but he who loves him disciplines him PROMPTLY.”

The key focus of this verse is the word PROMPTLY, meaning “right away” or “on time” - while they are still young and most able to be shaped.  As parents whose job it is to raise Godly children whose hearts are set on the things of Him, it is absolutely essential that we have TIME to do our job well…it is the KEY INGREDIENT to parenting!

God has given us the task of raising our children so they will enter into adulthood with strong, steadfast foundations.  This requires years of hands-on shaping, discipline, molding, and encouraging them in the way they should go.  This kind of focused work doesn’t just “happen”.  We can’t expect to have amazing results if we don’t have time to do our jobs well.  We can’t “relax”, ‘take a break” or leave our job to someone else…if we do this at any point, things won’t go well.

Parenting can definitely be an overwhelming job at times, but the TRUTH is WE CAN DO IT WITH GOD”S HELP – that’s His design!  He calls us to FIRST to LOVE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, MIND AND STRENGTH, and then TEACH THIS LIFE-GIVING TRUTH TO OUR CHILDREN.  The love we have for our children should propel us to examine ourselves and make the time in our lives necessary to teach and train them up to know their Heavenly Father! 

Get the vision for your family and go for it (whether you have a family yet or not).  He will never give us a job too big or too difficult for us.  God promises to walk with us each step of the way.  Where God guides, He also provides! BE ENCOURAGED and INSPIRED!

Wednesday
Apr222015

April 22nd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Joshua 24:1-33 / Luke 21:1-28 / Psalm 89:38-52 / Proverbs 13:20-23

Standout Verse:

Joshua 24: Re-capping the Israelites journey in the wilderness

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(v. 15) “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

In this fast-paced world we live in, it is essential that we SLOW DOWN long enough to REMEMBER God’s continued faithfulness in our lives.  If we don’t do this, our finite, human minds will forget the amazing things He has done and we end up susceptible to falling prey to the enemy’s lies and discouragement making it easy to lose our way.

As we REMEMBER the journey and think about the miraculous ways He’s delivered us…the sea’s He’s parted, the manna He’s provided for us, the ways He’s met our daily needs, and the battles He’s won for us it builds our faith and helps us acknowledge His mighty hand in our lives.  When we do this, our hope is ignited, our courage grows, and we are able to walk forward trusting Him to a greater measure. 

It makes the decision to CHOOSE WHOM WE WILL SERVE all the more clear-cut.  As our eyes are fixed on Him and we acknowledge the Lord for all He has done in our lives, the decision to continue to CHOOSE Him and walk with Him in whole-hearted devotion is an easy one!