Saturday! I wonder what is like in your part of the world. In Florida, where I am, it will be a sunny 76 degrees. In Indiana, where I live permanently, it is snowy and cold. Whatever it looks like for you, I encourage you to have a restful and blessed day. Thanks for stopping in.

The readings I selected may seem random, and yet there is a common thread tying them together – trust. Who will you trust?

Reading: Proverbs 19:3; Isaiah 8:19; Psalm 118:8

Here is an bit of trivia – Psalm 118:8 is the center verse of the Bible. It’s also a great foundation to build your life upon. My prayer for you is that you put your trust and take refuge in the Lord our God!

Genuine is a synonym of authenticity. Genuine can be defined as free from pretense, affectation or hypocrisy; sincere. As I ponder what that looks like in my life the words “free from pretense” stands out to me.

Living free from pretense is literally without the need to pretend. I don’t need to pretend I am something I am not, I don’t have to pretend at all about anything. Read the following scriptures and see what they say about living without pretense.

Read: ; Matthew 15:12-14; Galatians 2:11-14

Notice in these passages what happens when we don’t live from a place of authenticity. What do you see? When you lose sight of who you truly are, what might happen as a result? How far will ripples of pretense go?

Authenticity means to represent one’s true nature or beliefs. It can be so easy to know in our depths that we are one person, but just as easily we live in a way that does not represent that knowledge. I think it is often because we are afraid – afraid we will be dismissed or misunderstood, minimized, not taken seriously. It might be because we don’t see that real person inside as flashy enough. But if there is anyone who lived authentically, it is Jesus.

Reading: John 2:24-25; 5:41-44; 10:17-18

In these verses, how does Jesus display authenticity? How can you live in a more authentic way and more like Jesus? Who do you look to for approval?

I believe Jesus is the most authentic person who ever lived. When I read the gospels, I am always inspired with the way Jesus lived from a place of being completely at home in his shoes. He knew who he was, he knew where he had come from and where he was going, he knew what he was here to do and when he was finished. That is exactly how I want to live – from a place of knowing and settledness.

Monday I gave you the following as a definition of authenticity: having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence. What do the following passages tell you about Jesus’ origin?

Reading: John 1:1-4, 14; 6:27c (Notice the last sentence!)

Some did not agree that Jesus was who he said he was. What do these verses tell you about what others thought?

Reading: John 1:10-12; 7:27

Jesus knew that he had come from God and that he would return there. In the next couple of days we will look more closely at how he lived from that place of security.

What can you learn from the way Jesus’ lived? Do you have full assurance that you come from God and that one day you will live with him forever? What do you do when others diminish you or question your authenticity? Before you leave this blog today, ask Jesus what he did when others did not believe he was authentic. I think he will have an interesting answer for you.

I colored my hair for many years…like 25 years. In the beginning it was because I could. You know, one month I was Cherry Cola and the next month it was Dark Chocolate. In the summer, I added highlights to give my hair a softer, sun kissed appearance.

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What does it mean to be authentic? Many of us have discovered ways to live from a place of authenticity some of the time, but what if we could live from that place all of the time? What exactly does that look like?

This week I want to take a look at what it means to be authentic, not only with people around us, but more importantly, with yourself.

My first step was to look up the word “authentic” in the dictionary. What does Webster say it is? This week we will explore what I learned there and compare it with what it says in the Bible. It’s going to be a great week!!

Authentic: having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence

Read: Psalm 139:14-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 2:10

Are you secure in knowing that you are created uniquely? Do you believe that your Creator knew you even before you were in your mother’s womb? And that he has a good plan for your life?

Good morning! As you prepare for your day I hope it includes some kind of community fellowship or corporate worship. In a day of so many online choices in addition to physical buildings, the choices are endless. Kind of like standing in the chip aisle at the grocery store – is there really a difference in all these brands? (Yes! There is. Ruffles plain are the best ridged chip! I don’t eat chips often, but when I do I choose Ruffles!)

There are so many different flavors of church to choose from – traditional, contemporary, contemplative, modern, liturgical….and then what does any of that even mean? These are the two I enjoy and both have online services to check out: Maple City Chapel, Goshen, Indiana and Bayside, Bradenton, Florida.

Whatever you do today, make it a day of gratitude for God’s guidance and care for you!

Read: Psalm 37:5-6; Proverbs 3:5-8

I love Saturday! It is a nice break from the routine of the week. We often go somewhere for breakfast and the rest of the day follows a less structured pattern. I hope today is just what you have looked forward to all week.

It’s also a great time to start turning your heart toward Sunday and anticipating community worship.

Read: Psalm 15

This psalm really challenges me. What word or phrase stands out to you? What does the Holy Spirit want to teach you about that particular character quality?

Today I was talking with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. It was one of those times when, as we talked, I had an alternate conversation running inside my head. The conversation you could hear regarded the selection of our lunch spot. The other one, the one only I could hear, concerned an area that I need to SHOW UP!

Of course, all this happened in a split second, but as I listened to the words running through my head I made an amazing discovery. It isn’t really new – just to me in that very moment.

In order for me to be really successful showing up in a life changing way, I need to be accountable. I needed to tell my friend the change I want to make. So I did.

Read: Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The idea is that together we are better. Sharing our goals with others we trust actually strengthens and sharpens what we are trying to accomplish.

Today while I was flying, I heard the flight attendant coming down the aisle with the drink cart. I was really sleepy and not at all hungry or thirsty so I decided I wasn’t going to get anything — not even the free snack. But, of course, there was no one to tell except my seat mate and I am positive he didn’t care.

When the flight attendant came near you know what I did? I put my tray table down and said, “I’ll have coffee and the snack mix.” Now, that isn’t a big deal, but anything we keep secret has less chance of becoming reality in in our lives. We are better together.

Who are the one or two others you will share with regarding where you are SHOWING UP?

It’s possible that you don’t have an answer to the question regarding where you need to show up. And quite frankly, you might even be thinking that you are just fine the way you are. And you know what, you are! You are just awesome and so deeply loved! But I’m going to ask if you are experiencing all that God has for you in the measure he intended.

I was really challenged as I was reading 2 Peter this week. Read the following verses and see what they say to you.

Reading: 2 Peter 1:2, 5-8

Too many times I find myself satisfied with just enough. Just enough joy or peace; just enough grace for others to get by; just enough knowledge, self-control, moral integrity, patience. Just enough. When what God offers us through Jesus is abundance. Pressed down, shaken together, full and overflowing. And we have settled for enough.

Is enough okay for you or do you want the abundance that Jesus offers? Your answer does not affect your eternal destiny in any way, only your life right here right now. You decide.

As for me, I want abundance – overflowing, lavish abundance.

According to His grace that he lavished on us! Ephesians 1:8

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash