Day 10: But Who Do You Say I Am?

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Blank Name TagsIt seems 3 year old Jocelyn has discovered the truth about names.

She has figured out that relationship titles such as “mom”, “dad”, “sister” are not the same as a person’s name. So the other day, she asked me, “What’s you name?” And I replied, “Mimi.”

To which she quickly shot back, “No, you other name.”

Jocelyn is wanting to sort through how we all are related to one another. She wants to know who we all are and how we fit together.

One day Jesus asked His disciples a similar question …

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13, NLT)

Why does He ask such a question?

They were in an unbelieving area being followed by crowds. He wanted to know what the crowd was thinking and saying.

The crowds reply quite favorably, for Jesus was a popular guy. Some say He is John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

And then Jesus turns the question onto the disciples, asking …

“But who do you say I am?” (verse 15)

And here we see for the very first time that they knew, they recognized Jesus for Who He was – “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (verse 16).

Peter made the connection between the long awaited Messiah and the Christ, the anointed One.

Peter further demonstrated that he was fully aware of relationships, recognizing Jesus as the Son and God as His Father. Peter, interestingly states that Jesus is the Son of the living God. Peter sees Jesus as the One who imparts life. Peter’s eyes may have been opened to the fact that idols were lifeless but Jesus was alive and living.

We all must answer that question for ourselves as Jesus asks, “But who do you say I am?” Our answer demands a choice, a decision. We will either go our own way or His way. We will either deny Him or deny ourselves.

Our answer will determine how we will live and walk out the days of our lives.
And our answer will also determine our relationship with our heavenly Father.

“But who do you say I am?”


GetInline-7This is Day 10 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Weekend Whispers and Faith ‘n Friends .

Day 9: Who Will Trust You?



I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. All of us writing on that same word. For the month of October, I am going to try to incorporate the word prompts into my series, 31 Questions Jesus Asked.

Today the word prompt is …

Trust Written on Stone

Jesus tells the story of a rich man and his manager, who handles all of his money while he is gone away. Upon his return, he asks for a financial report and was found to have wasted what had been in his care. In the midst of that story we find Jesus asking this question:

“And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with thee true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:11, NLT)

At first glance one might think Jesus was talking about money. But looking more intently, we find He is asking about so much more here.

He is addressing our need to be responsible people, accountable, good stewards of what has been given to us. It goes beyond money.

In encapsulates our time, relationships, and talents as well.

May we not waste that which has been given to us but instead use and manage each in such a way to please and honor God …

  • share with others
  • avoid wasting it away
  • use them in a way that brings a return
  • give wisely

Jesus is calling us to live with integrity, proving ourselves trustworthy – to be reliable and dependable.

In the above parable told by Jesus, the manager thought he could outsmart his manager by looking for ways to get out of accountability.

I love how The Message delivers Jesus’ words:

“I want you to be smart in the same way – but for what is right – using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

May we stand up for what is right.
May we do right.
May He trust us.
It’s the only way we’ll really live.

GetInline-7This is Day 9 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Five Minute Friday and Fellowship Friday and Grace & Truth and Faith Filled Friday .

Day 8: What is a Good Gift?


Boy Opening Birthday GiftAt our house, we shake the gift and try to guess its contents. It is a game we have played for years which has only served to make gift giving more fun for us all.

When the kids were younger, they would often ask, “Is it a good one?” They were asking if it was the one they had on the top of their list.

Sometimes it was and at other times, it was not. But even those times when it wasn’t, the gift was “good” or needed.

Jesus had a question about gifts:

Grilled charr with spring onions, herb butter & toasted bread

“You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11, NLT)

In this passage, Jesus is teaching persistence in prayer. He is wanting us to learn to come to God with an attitude of expectation.

A parent would never trick or deceive a child by giving something inedible when they are hungry and asking for food.

“Good” – seems to be the word He wants us to focus on. He is asking …

“What is a good gift?”

The answer to that question is not – “Everything and anything we ask to receive.”

When our hearts’ desire is exactly the same as His, aligned with God’s will for us, then we are asking according to His good will.

Jesus encourages us to capture a correct view of God:

“He is the heavenly Father, the God of the kingdom, who graciously and willingly bestows the good gifts of the kingdom in answer to prayer.” (taken from The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 8, page 187)

As we pull apart this verse and delve deeper, Jesus is saying, “God will give you what He knows is best.” Scripture tells us, “You {God} are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:68, NLT) We will receive from Him only that which He knows is good, beneficial, and necessary for our lives.

May we keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.

For our heavenly Father
has good gifts to give
to those who ask Him.



This is Day 6 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Thought Provoking Thursday and Everyday Jesus and Looking Up .


The Entitlement Cure



We can see it all around us every day. It is an attitude of thinking everything is guaranteed. But is it? Life demands hard things and hard work which then results in success. But we must do these hard things the right way – God’s way.

In his book, The Entitlement Cure, Dr. John Townsend seeks to help us expose the attitude in ourselves so that our lives fulfill their intended purposes, God’s purposes.

He defines entitlement as, “The belief that I am exempt from responsibility and I am owed special treatment” (page 19). This attitude is universal and insidious and if we do not guard ourselves, we will fall prey to it.

Dr. Townsend points out several common scenarios in which it is easily recognized. It is seen in :

  • the one who is able to take care of themselves but expects others to take care of them
  • the one who performs poorly on their job but expects to receive raving job reviews, pay raises and promotions
  • the one who sees everything wrong in their marriage and knows it is the fault of their spouse
  • the customer who expects to be taken care of immediately because their time is more valuable than others

Entitled individuals are not easy to be spend time with as they put their loads on those around them. And if we’re honest, others cannot carry any load but their own.

So what are we to do?


Dr. Townsend points us to The Hard Way, which is the only way to find success, and that way is God’s way. It is:

The habit of doing what is best, rather than what is comfortable, to achieve a worthwhile outcome.

Following God’s ways may be difficult for a while but they yield the desired outcome …

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6, NIV, 1984)

This book was gentle yet firm, helping me to see areas where this attitude had crept in. Dr. Townsend has written this book in such a way that he has made a difficult topic feel like a personal conversation, or better yet, a counseling session with him.

This is truly a must read for any of us. It is only as we all fight against this attitude that we will make our world a better and more productive place for us all.


*** This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review, which it was my delight to offer.

Today I am joining … Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Mondays .

Day 7: What’s the Cost?


I enjoy watching HGTV. I am especially hooked on any shows that feature home renovations. Often I find one which will feature a homeowner who begins a project but gives up somewhere in the midst of the project and usually when the mess is at its worst.

Homeowner Renovating House

One day, Jesus addressed a large crowd which had been following Him. Jesus was a popular guy. But He knew something many in the crowd did not yet realize – the cost of following Him. So in telling them to follow Him, he also said …

“But don’t begin until you count the cost,for who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” (Luke 14:28, NLT)

Jesus was not looking for a hasty or emotional decision. He was looking for those who would be faithful to Him, choosing to stick with Him no matter how difficult the days would become.

Let’s face it – Jesus was exciting. Miracles were happening and He was turning the social order upside down.

But Jesus knew all things and He knew what lay ahead for His band of brothers in the short years ahead – ridicule, rejection, persecution, disappointments, and death.

9780800726720In her book, Taming the To-Do List, Glynnis Whitwer writes:

“It matters to Jesus that we finish what we start. And it matters that others will look at our lives and see how well we follow through on our commitments. And one way we finish well is to count the cost of our choices.” (page 52)

Taming The To-Do List addresses the fact that we are carrying a burden each day we truly cannot meet. We have more demands on our lives than ever before. But are we counting the cost and doing our best work? This is the one of the questions Glynnis explores.

This book is rich with solid and biblical wisdom to help every woman prioritize her life. The suggestions will help many to choose their best work over their busy work.

We all have choices to make each day as to the responsibilities and activities we will do. We all are given the same 24 hour segment of time, called a day. How will we spend it? The choice is ours to make. And we make it every single day.

God has placed potential in each of our lives to fulfill His purposes while here on earth. But we are the ones who must make the determination to steward our stories well.

May we make Him a priority in our lives each day.

May we not leave any projects left unfinished.

Calculate the cost.



This is Day 6 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Three Word Wednesday and  Wedded Wednesday and Tell His Story and Women With Intention and Literacy Musing Mondays and Booknificent Thursdays .


*** I received a copy of this book from Revell for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.



Day 6: Why Worry About Specks?


Studio shot of two contact lenses on gray background

Contact lenses. I love wearing them as they definitely improve my ability to see. But then, there are those days, when a minute, almost invisible piece of lint can create discomfort and annoyance.

The undetectable source of discomfort will cause my eyes to tear, blink hard and pinch. I remove the contact, rinse it, put it gently back in place only to realize – it is still there. It isn’t always recognizable or easy to find.

Long before contacts were on the scene, Jesus had a question regarding this same problem …

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye”?
(Matthew 7:3-4, NLT)


So very often the fault we criticize in others is the very shortcoming in our own life. We often exaggerate the faults of others while underestimating our own. We notice the speck in the eyes of others as if using a magnifying glass. And the log in our own eye, we do not even observe it or see in ourselves. We minimize those.

Jesus is not telling us that the speck in our friend’s eye is none of our business. Instead, He is telling us to first correct our own faults. We will never see clearly until we do.

Closeup of a woman's blue eye wearing contact lens

May we be merciful and gracious, less critical. Let’s tend to our own faults and shortcomings. I once read,

“If we had no faults ourselves, we should not take so much delight in noticing those of others.” (Francois duc de La Rochefoucault)
(taken from the Key Word Commentary, page 975)

Logs first.
Then specks.


GetInline-7This is Day 6 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Credits: Photo 1; Photo 2

Today I am joining … Testimony Tuesday and Unite and Intentional Tuesday and Reflect and True Story and #RaRaLinkup .

Day 5: Aren’t You More Valuable?


“Hi. My name is Joanne Viola. And I am a worrier.”

There I said it. It has been said that the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting it. I worry. A lot. I worry till I get to the realization that more than worrying needs to be done. This is usually when the light bulb goes on and I do the more, I pray.

The word “worry” means “to be anxious, to be divided or distracted by.” (from The Woman’s Study Bible)

Worry will divide us as we cannot both worry and trust God at the same time. It will also distract us from doing that which we can do to resolve or change our circumstances – it will keep us from praying.

Jesus asks this question:

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him that they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
(Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

A white crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys, perched on a tree.

Jesus indicates our obvious need for food, shelter and clothing. He knows we have need of these. So what is He trying to get us to discover through His questions?

  1. We are each valuable to God. Why are we valuable? Our worth comes simply from the truth that we have been made in His image. We are the only living things created in His image. This one difference, bearing His image, is the very reason we are valuable.
  2. Worrying is pointless. Nothing will improve or change by worry or being anxious. We cannot add a single moment to our lives through worry. There is nothing to be gained through the action of worry.

Rather Jesus points us to the birds who are cared for by His Father. All that they need is supplied to them. And He promises to take care of us as well, providing for our needs and comforting us when worry and anxiety nips at the corners of our minds.

American Tree Sparrow in Snow

Jesus hopes to make us realize, “If God lavishes such concern over the rest of his creation, how much more does he love us!” (taken from the New American Commentary, Vol. 22, page 125)

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NIV1984)

Jesus asks the question to make us realize,
We are valuable to our God.
And He loves us with a love which is great!

Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) male displaying orange crest, Liechtenstein



GetInline-7This is Day 5 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Credits – Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3.

Today I am joining … Sharing His Beauty and #SmallWonder and Inspire Me Monday and Playdates With God .