Welcome 2014!

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


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

Jeremiah 42:1-44:23 / 2 Timothy 2:1-26 / Psalm 92:1-93:5 / Proverbs 26:3-5


Standout verse: Jeremiah 42:6
“Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord.” Jeremiah 42:10-11 “If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pull you up…(v.11) Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him”, says the Lord, “for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hand.”

The Israelites were afraid, in pain and desperate for God’s direction. They vowed to obey His leading no matter what. But, when Jeremiah the prophet delivered God’s word to the people – to remain in the land and plant crops and live under the His promise of protection - they decided they couldn’t possibly bear it.  They chose their own way - the way that seemed more comfortable and less risky: they returned to Egypt.

Often times we find ourselves at a “crossroads” situation in our lives, and we cry out to the Lord for His leading/direction and clarity, promising that no matter what, if He will just give us an answer, we will obey.

This passage challenges us to ask ourselves if we are crying out to Him simply because we want to get rid of the pain and anxiety, or, are we seeking Him because we are truly willing to obey what He calls us to do?

Let's ask ourselves these questions:

Am I truly willing to do what the Lord is asking of me no matter what the personal cost looks like in the moment? Do I really trust Him? Do I really believe He is GOOD? Do I really believe He loves me?  Am I prepared to obey Him and breakthrough into the awesome plans and purposes He has for me (even if the process is difficult, challenging and painful at times?)  


Will I choose to ‘play it safe’, take what looks like the “easy way” and ‘return to Egypt’?


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

Jeremiah 39:1-41:18 / 2 Timothy 1:1-18 / Psalm 90:1-91:16 / Proverbs 26:1-2


Standout Verse:
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.”

That’s right!  As we commit our hearts and minds to seek the Lord and walk with Him, we can take hold of the promises He gives us.  With Him on our side, there is NOTHING to fear.  We can walk strong and confidently asking Him to supply us with all the strength and power we need to effectively do the things He has called us to (personally, in our marriages, with our children, and as we relate to the world around us). 

It is God’s kindness that draws our hearts to Him.  It’s His great love for us that gives us hope for our future and fills us so we can authentically love others and, and feel care and concern about their lives and futures as well.

And finally, in a world where confusion and chaos is the “norm”, our God promises that, as we seek Him, He’ll give us minds that are “sound” - able to think clearly, strategically and with the understanding of the times.  We are never at the mercy of the enemy’s chaotic barrages – we serve THE LIVING GOD who will fill us, help us and enable us to live powerfully, effectively and strong!  That’s great news!


October 21st deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

21 Jeremiah 37:1-38:28 / 1 Timothy 6:1-21 / Psalm 89:38-52 / Proverbs 25:28

Standout Chapter:

Jeremiah 37 Jeremiah was misunderstood, falsely accused, slandered, beaten and thrown into prison. Yet, despite all of his afflictions, he continued to TRUST God, speak His truth and remain obedient to Him even as he actively faced prison and potential starvation.

Jeremiah is a great example of a person who is STEADFAST, ‘SOLD OUT’ AND SURRENDERED TO THE LORD’S WILL - NO MATTER WHAT. We can find ourselves changing our position so quickly whenever the 'fire' gets too hot or if we get uncomfortable doing the things we know the Lord has called us to do. Are we willing to be unshakable like Jeremiah; standing on God’s truth, walking in obedience, hoping in a certain future (because we can – because GOD IS GOOD and He has incredible plans and purposes for our lives!!!)?

Jeremiah trusted and feared God and his actions backed up his BELIEFS. IF WE SAY WE TRUST THE LORD, LET’S LIVE THAT WAY - FREE OF FEAR, FULL OF FAITH AND PEACEFUL - no matter what our present circumstances may look like!


October 20th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 35:1-36:32 / 1 Timothy 5:1-25 / Psalm 89:14-37 / Proverbs 25:25-27


Standout Verse: Proverbs 25:26
“A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”

When keeping company with other people who are walking with the Lord, it is much easier for a person to keep their mind stayed on Him and make choices that are in line with God’s design. 

However we can’t assume (because we live in this fallen, crazy world) that we will be able remain in the safety of our Christian “bubble” at all times.  Remember, there is an enemy out there who hates God and hates us, and his number one job is to come in between us and the Lord and destroy our walk with Him (which will in turn compromise and damage every other relationship we have.)

Our own firm, personal, foundation, rooted and grounded in God’s truth and our relationship with Him is KEY.  We can’t live off other people’s strength/relationship with God.  We can’t live off a spiritual experience we had “years ago” – we need to be actively filling ourselves with God’s truth and growing in our relationship with Him currently if we want to remain strong and steadfast. 

God promises us that when we encounter things that oppose Him (and we will – especially if we own a computer, cell phone, a television, or simply leave the "safety" of our homes and venture out to the grocery store) WE DON”T HAVE TO FALTER OR BECOME POLLUTED!  We can be PRUDENT, FORESEE EVIL and walk through any situation STEADFAST AND UNSHAKEABLE IF WE KNOW HIS LIFE-GIVING TRUTH AND CHOOSE TO KEEP OUR MINDS AND HEARTS STAYED ON HIM!

This is GREAT, ENCOURAGING news!  If our God is with us, NOTHING CAN STAND AGAINST US!


October 19th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 33:1-34:22 / 1 Timothy 4:1-16 / Psalm 89:1-13 / Proverbs 25:23-24


Standout verse:
1 Timothy 4:8
“For bodily exercise profits but a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Our world gives a great deal of value to physical exercise. Gym memberships, home exercise equipment and work out plans are big businesses that continually compete for consumer dollars.  We’ve become a culture that believes if a person is physically fit, they are doing well overall. The problem is, we can have a “six-pack”, ripped muscles and be at the top of our cardio game, and still have lives that are falling apart. 

Physical health is important, but our spiritual health FAR OUTWEIGHS IT BY A LONG SHOT!

God says, “Seek FIRST My Kingdom (your relationship with Me/My ways) and all these things will be added to you.” Matt 6:33

When we place our relationship with God as the TOP PRIORITY in our lives, He will redirect all the other priorities of life, including physical. He promises to direct our path, give us His awesome strategies for how He wants us to “do life”, and open our eyes to His LIFE-GIVING TRUTH.  This allows us to be healthy, strong and profitable in EVERY WAY!