Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Thorn In My Flesh

A Thorn In My Flesh
Have you ever had a thorn stuck in you?  I recently had one and I didn’t even know it for a while.  To this day, I have no idea what I did to get the thorn inside my flesh.  I ignored it for a while, but within a few days, that thorn made sure I knew it was inside my skin and that it had to be dealt with.  

The thorn was inside my left thumb.  It turned red, got puffy and if anything touched that thumb, you can be sure I had a grimace on my face.   So, I finally made time and grabbed a needle and started digging deep.  It took some time, but I finally found the culprit and was able to pull out the thorn.  When I looked at it afterward, I couldn’t believe it.  That thorn was so incredibly tiny, yet it had caused me a lot of pain and affected a lot of things that I did for a couple days until I finally took the time to get it out. 

When you think about it, there is much we can learn about ourselves when we look at these little thorns.  Many people have “thorns” in their lives that they ignore as long as they can until the pain becomes unbearable.   Deceit, envy, hate, broken friendships, estranged family members and definitely cancer are all types of thorns that can burrow deep within us -sometimes without us even knowing until we can hide them no longer .  These thorns can cause us great pain and we long for them to be removed so the pain will be gone.  Sometimes if we look deep within ourselves and are honest with ourselves, we can take actions to rid ourselves of the thorn.  But, there are times when those thorns are so deep, we can’t get them out and we have to do our best to live with it knowing God is there to give us strength and peace. 

The apostle Paul addressed these thorns that you can’t get out in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:  “So, to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But, he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, “ I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I hope you get rid of the thorns that YOU can and for the ones you can’t, I pray you will seek God’s strength and contentment that is always available to us through prayer and dependence on Him.    
Let us know if we can serve you in any way.  Email us at and visit our website which has lot of resources to encourage you at  .   Also, please email or give us a call to let us know if you enjoy these devotionals-256-767-3170 Woodlawn Church of Christ. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Feed It.... See It

Millions of people go on diets each year.  Though there are thousands of different diets out there, they all have the common thread of us giving up something to lose the weight.  Have you ever noticed that whatever it is you are trying to avoid seems to stay on your mind constantly?  For example, you’ve decided sugar is the enemy only to find company provided doughnuts at work, the aroma of freshly made funnel cakes at the school’s fall festival and it seems every commercial on TV involves pies, cookies and sugary delights of every kind.  

We are told that we "see" 25,000 things every day, but we only "notice" about 12 things.  We notice what we focus on.  The medical science behind this relates to a part of our brains called the Reticular Activation System (RAS).  It's the part of our brains that control what we notice.  Whatever we focus on or give mental energy to, is what we see everywhere.  By focusing on NOT having sugar, we see sugar everywhere.  In other words, what we SEE depends on what we are feeding our brains--it all depends on our focus. 

If you are going through cancer or any other problem in life, it is easy to focus on how bad you feel or how much worse things could get physically, mentally, spiritually and even financially.  Feeding your RAS these type thoughts will only cause you to feel more depressed, to notice every ache and to view the future through a dark lens.  

Knowledge, however, is power.  By realizing the power of our focus, we can change our lives. If you feed your Reticular Activation System thankfulness and gratitude, you will see even more to be thankful for.   Philippians 4:8 gives us perfect advice for focusing on excellent things….     “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 

If we will truly focus on these things and refuse to let the devil control our focus, God will help us see the blessings of our lives in ways we’ve never noticed before.   Our moms always say that we “are what we eat.”  So, if you want to live a more peaceful & joyful life, remember this motto when you’re tempted to focus on the bad…. If you FEED it… you SEE it!!!     

Let us know if we can serve you in any way.  Email us at and visit our website which has lot of resources to encourage you at  .

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Encouraging Videos For Cancer Survivors

Do you know of someone dealing with cancer?  Newly diagnosed, going through chemotherapy or in remission?  No matter their place along the cancer journey, we have developed three short inspiring videos that we believe will encourage all survivors along their journey.

These videos look at what advice a 10 year cancer survivor would give himself or herself if they could go back in time and speak to themselves at the various spots along the road of cancer.  These videos have been well received thus far and we hope they become a link you can forward to someone that needs a little encouragement.  Hitting the forward button on your email is so easy, please do it today for someone .  The link to the videos are below or you can find them on our website at and click on the video hub tab.

Video Link:

As always, please let us know how we can serve you.
God Bless!