Monday, January 15, 2007

New Postings on McFadden Circle

We are transitioning new devotional posts to McFadden Circle. The new Blogger makes creating Labels so easy that now we don't need to maintain several blogs.

Just go to and click on the Devotional Label.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Absolute Surrender

A good friend Erin Kerr, personal PEACE pastor at Saddleback send me this note:

"Ad Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria , and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine and all that I have" (1 Kings 20:1-4).

What Ben Hadad asked was absolute surrender; and what Ahab gave was what was asked of him—absolute surrender. I want to use these words: "My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have," as the words of absolute surrender with which every child of God ought to yield himself to his Father. We have heard it before, but we need to hear it very definitely — the condition of God's blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! If our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow.

Absolute surrender — let me tell you where I got those words. I used them myself often, and you have heard them numberless times. But in Scotland once I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ's Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is; and there was in our company a godly worker who has much to do in training workers, and I asked him what he would say was the great need of the Church, and the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly and simply and determinedly:

"Absolute surrender to God is the one thing."

The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the workers with whom he' had to deal, he finds that if they are sound on that point, even though they be backward, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always improve; whereas others who are not sound there very often go back and leave the work. The condition for obtaining God's full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.

And now, I desire by God's grace to give to you this message — that your God in Heaven answers the prayers which you have offered for blessing on yourselves and for blessing on those around you by this one demand: Are you willing to surrender yourselves absolutely into His hands? What is our answer to be? God knows there are hundreds of hearts who have said it, and there are hundreds more who long to say it but hardly dare to do so. And there are hearts who have said it, but who have yet miserably failed, and who feel themselves condemned because they did not find the secret of the power to live that life. May God have a word for all!

Let me say, first of all, that God claims it from us.

—Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Learn from Your Mistakes

By Dr. James MacDonald

"Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure." Proverbs 4:26

"The prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless." Proverbs 14:15-16

When I make an honest mistake, I don't get too mad at myself, but when I make that same mistake again...that's another story. I know better than that! What's my problem?!

It's not foolish to make a mistake. James 3:2 says we all fall in many ways. But foolish describes the person who falls in the same way over and over. A common Hebrew word translated "fool" says this person never learns. Repetitive foolish decisions are their long-standing pattern.

A foolish person has careless feet-they don't think through the consequences of their actions. They never fear until they fall. As they walk near a cliff they never sense, " Whoa, this is a little dangerous; I should be careful ." They don't consider what will happen if they take another step or wonder if they'll be able to put the pieces of their lives back together again. Only when they're broken at the bottom of the cliff do they start thinking about how to fix their situation.

What's more, let a little time go by and they're back at the cliff again. They don't remember, " The last time I came over here, I got hurt ." Instead they walk back into the same situation again.

How about you? Are you learning from past mistakes or do you find yourself in painful repeats? How many times have you realized:

* If I work too many hours and neglect my family, it leads to breakdown and heartache?
* If I run my credit cards up to the limit, it produces more pain than doing without what I thought I had to have?
* If I don't get into God's Word and take care of my soul, my life unravels really fast?

I commend to you a verse that God has used in my life. It is Proverbs 4:26, " Ponder the path of your feet ." Think about where this road is taking you. If you go three more steps in this same direction, are you going to like where you'll end up? The foolish never think about that. The wise always do.

Let every choice you make, every place you go, every relationship that you nourish and develop be an intentional pursuit of God's best and what is good for you and for those you love. That's wisdom.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pick Your Friends Wisely

By Dr. James MacDonald

The righteous should choose his friends carefully. Proverbs 12:26

The old saying is right, “you’re known by the company you keep.” The corollary to this truth is-so pick your friends wisely.

Proverbs 12:26 clearly warns, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully.” Not everyone is good friendship material so we’ve got to be mindful of this counsel. Like another old saying Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” No matter your age, your friends will affect your life for good or for bad.

I remember my first day of high school. I walked into that big building feeling lost in the crowd. I knew I needed to make friends fast but was overwhelmed by the many options.

I saw students from the music department; they were talented, but kind of isolated unto themselves. There were the brainiacs. I knew right away I would never fit into that group. I saw the jocks walking down the hallway, acting like they had it all together. Maybe they’d be good friends; maybe they wouldn’t. There were the geeks who seemed pretty uncool to my young eyes. (This was long before Bill Gates made his billions and changed the perception.) Then there were the druggies, who hung out behind the cafeteria, pretending they were having fun but actually striking out against some internal pain.

Here’s the point: after all the years since then, when I think meet people from high school, the similarities are amazing. They have almost all tracked in the direction of the group they chose to associate with in high school. They became like the people they hung around with.

So do we all.

It follows then that you need to choose your friends wisely. Whether you’re a high school freshman or an empty-nester in your fifties-choose who you would like to become. Don’t just let work associations or next-door neighbor proximity dictate who you spend the bulk of your time with. Don’t let a chance meeting, or family ties, or even the church you go to determine that for you. Make deliberate choices about who you want to invest in and who rubs off on you. Decide the kind of people you need to associate with, the ones who will be your real, heartfelt, lots-of-time-together friends. Then choose them and love them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Leadership Summit [interview with Bono]

I finished reading several posts from Tony Morgan and I would highly recommend spending some time on his site. It's quite informative, inspiring and thought provoking. If you a few minutes check out the recap on the Bill Hybels and Bono interview.

I need thee every hour

This morning I listened to this hymm (I need thee every hour), which was re-recorded by Jars of Clay and available on thier CD "Redemptive Songs"

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord
No tender voice like thine can peace afford
I need thee, oh, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now, my Savior
I come to thee

I need thee every hour, stay thou nearby
Temptations lose their power when thou art nigh
I need thee, oh, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now, my Savior
I come to thee

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain
Come quickly and abide or life is vain

I need thee every hour, most Holy One
Oh make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son
I need thee, oh, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now, my Savior
I come to thee

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yes, I CAN!

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.—Hebrews 10:36

On a cliff overlooking the sea in Cornwall, England, sits a theater built into the rocks. If you were to see a picture of this theater, you might immediately assume that many workers and machines built this picturesque place. However, you would be wrong, for it was the work of one woman by the name of Rowena Cade, who spent the better part of her life planning, building and funding her vision. She spent from 1931 until 1983 building, rebuilding and creating a magic environment on the cliffs of Cornwall to give theater lovers an unparalleled experience. To this day, visitors from all over the world sit in the hand-carved seats and enjoy various productions.

People must have thought Ms. Cade was crazy to spend her days carving seats out of stone to create this theater. It reminds me a bit of Noah. Remember that God gave him the task (and not a small one for that matter!) to build an ark. He built an ark that would hold at least two of every animal and would survive 40 days and 40 nights in the biggest storm in history. Can you imagine what his neighbors thought? What would you do if you came out of your home to see a man building a giant ship? If you are anything like me, you would lock your doors up tight at night and warn the police about your crazy neighbor.

Unwavering vision and perseverance are what I believe people like Rowena Cade and Noah have. Vision that does not waver. Vision that is steadfast. No one can tell them they are inept, no one can tell them they can’t – they won’t hear it. They know what they intend to do and they head forward with determination and a steadfastness to complete their task.

So what does the Lord have for you? What vision has He given you? To what purpose have you been called? I believe each of us has a unique purpose that is waiting to be discovered. When you pray, ask the Lord to show you what He has for your life. And when He tells you what that vision is: Motherhood, speaking, evangelism, teaching, serving…hold onto it. Cling and press on with unwavering determination. For if you do, in the end, His will and purpose will be accomplished and He will have been able to use you for greatness in His kingdom.

1. Many people have visions and dreams, but not all of them come to fruition. What do you think is the difference between the people who think and the people who do?

2. How can you be someone who accomplishes his or her dreams and not just someone who dreams them?

Genesis 7:11-12; Hebrews 10:35-39; 1 Timothy 4:11-16

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sweeter Than Honey

By Dr. James MacDonald

“My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 24:13-14

Imagine the biggest bite of your favorite dessert melting in your mouth right now. Double chocolate fudge cake. Hot apple cobbler. Caramel brownies a la mode. Can’t you just taste it?

Proverbs 24:13-14 says that what all that sweetness is to your mouth, wisdom is to your soul. It drips like honey and satisfies every craving of your heart’s desire. Even more, wisdom helps you believe God’s promises and assures you of hope.

“My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Wisdom promises a destination beyond this unpleasant place we’re in. When you set your feet on God’s path, wisdom holds out hope-even when you think you’ve blown it so badly that there’s no return. Hope says as long as you want to learn and grow from your mistakes, you’ll have a way out. Proverbs 4:7 says that getting wisdom is the beginning of something good... something really good. It gives you confidence that your best times with the Lord are still in front of you.

Do you want to have better days this coming week?

Do you want to make wiser decisions?

Are there priorities you want to establish?

Ask God to build a hunger in your heart for wisdom. Claim His promised help to choose the correct plan to gain the desired result (James 1:5).

God’s wisdom is available upon request, both to stabilize and satisfy you. It’s not too late, it’s not too far away, it’s not impossible to contemplate your life taking a turn for the better. The best things in life arrive on the strong back of God’s wisdom as He leads you to make sound choices and eternally-minded decisions. It’s like honey-or that hot apple cobbler-in your mouth, as sweet as the promise of good things to come, of restoration, and blessing.

Go ahead, eat your dessert first. Get all you can of God’s wisdom by feasting on His book.

For more information on Dr. James MacDonald, go to