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


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

Joshua 19:1-20:9 / Luke 19:28-48 / Psalm 88:1-18 / Proverbs 13:12-14


Standout Verses:

Joshua, Chapters 13-19

The Promised Land is divided between the 12 Tribes of Israel

Joshua 13-19 is a detailed description of the borders of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Clarity and understanding of these boundaries was critical for the people in order to avoid problems and confusion between the tribes. It may seem odd that such meticulous detail is given, but what can be understood from it is this:

OUR GOD IS CLEAR AND SPECIFIC.  He isn’t sitting up in heaven with His fingers crossed, hoping we will stumble onto some good choices, or “luck out”. He wants to lead us, individually, into our “Promised Land”.  However, He can only lead us there if we are yielded to Him, passionately pursuing Him, and walking in an abiding relationship with Him.

We need to ask Him, “Lord, in this season, what are the boundaries and parameters You have set for me? Please show me, so I can walk in obedience, fullness and uncompromised clarity and peace.


April 18th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Joshua 16:1-18:28 / Luke 19:1-27 / Psalm 87:1-7 / Proverbs 13:11


Standout Verse:

Joshua 17:12-13

“Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants if those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in the land.  And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.”

God had commanded the Israelites to utterly destroy and drive out all the inhabitants of the land so they could fully seek Him.  The Lord knew that if those people who served other gods and whose hearts were not His were allowed to remain in the land, they would be continual “irritants” and “thorns in their flesh” eventually influencing the Israelite’s hearts away from Him.

Some great questions to lay before the Lord are these: “Lord, are there things in my life that must go?  Are there things that I need to get rid of that are drawing my heart away from You?  Am I allowing pollution and junk to remain that is causing a wedge between us?”

The great news is, as we ask this of the Lord, He WILL show us those things that need to go and/or need to be utterly destroyed.  And, He will show us how to get rid of them because He wants us to be clean and clear and functioning in spiritual strength and courage.


April 17th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Joshua 15:1-63 / Luke 18:18-43 / Psalm 86:1-17 / Proverbs 13:9-10


Standout Verse:

Psalm 86: 11-13

“Teach me Your way, O Lord.  I will walk in Your truth.  Unite my heart to fear Your name.  I will praise You O Lord my God with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.  For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”

When a heart is truly yielded to the Lord, it’s easy to tell.  There is a thankfulness that cannot be quieted.  There’s an openness and teachability that is filled with hope and expectancy.  And, there’s a determinedness to walk out each day united with the Lord. 

This kind of living is contagious – it’s a “city on a hill” and a sweet fragrance to those who, likewise, desperately need the Lord (That’s each and every one of us!)!


April 16th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Joshua 13:1-14:15 / Luke 18:1-17 / Psalm 85:1-13 / Proverbs 13:7-8


Standout Verse:

Luke 18:17

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

There is a huge difference between being childish and child-likeCHILDISH suggests immaturity, irresponsibility, juvenile thinking and behavior…a total contrast to CHILDLIKE, which is defined by uncomplicated, simple, pure, and trusting.

GOD WANTS US TO BE CHILDLIKE IN OUR DESIRE FOR HIM.  This means realizing that we desperately need our Heavenly Father for EVERYTHING!  He is our provider, our confidant, the One who walks with us, gives us strategies, fills us with truth, teaches us and leads us in ALL areas of life. 

Being childlike means living out everyday with UP-STRETCHED arms, knowing and believing, “MY FATHER CAN DO ANYTHING!”  We shouldn’t end up growing more independent from Him – that isn’t the sign of spiritual maturity. TRUE SPIRITUAL MATURITY is realized as we grow MORE CHILDLIKE and MORE DEPENDENT ON OUR HEAVENLY FATHER THAN EVER BEFORE!


April 15th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Joshua 11:1-12:24 / Luke 17:11-37 / Psalm 84:1-12 / Proverbs 13:5-6


Standout Verse:

Psalm 84:5-6

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on a pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain covers it with pools.  They go from strength to strength.”

Life is a great, adventurous, pilgrimage that is meant to be journeyed with the Lord.  Our lives will surely be filled with great joys, ups and downs, struggles, difficulties and drought.  Yet, through it ALL God promises to walk WITH us and be our STRENGTH. 

Baca is a plant that is able to survive dry conditions…these verses underscore that a person whose strength comes from the Lord will be able to REMAIN GREEN AND NOT WITHER - even in the driest of times.  With the Lord by our side, we can emerge from challenges, times of leanness and difficulties stronger than we ever were before.  Such hope-filled TRUTH!