October 9th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 12:1-14:10 / 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:12 / Psalm 79:1-13 / Proverbs 24:30-34

Standout Verse:

Jeremiah 12:10-11

“Many rulers have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion underfoot.  They have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.  They have made it desolate; desolate it mourns to Me.  The whole land is made desolate, BECAUSE NO ONE TAKES IT TO HEART.”

Here, the Lord is talking to Jeremiah about the disturbing state of the nation of Israel. He was near to them in their mouth, but far from their minds (12:2).  God’s people had allowed their hearts to be influenced by the surrounding nations – they’d fallen into idolatry and become a people of mixture.  We can see the same pattern occurring in our nation today.

People have grown complacent, accustomed to worldly thinking, choosing their own way, dulled to God’s truth.  As a result, countless lives are becoming like a desolate, empty wilderness.  We are panic stricken by the state of our nation, yet we fail to see God’s simple solution and hear His still small voice which is OVERFLOWING with instruction, direction, hope healing and restoration!

WHY?...Because “no one takes it to heart”.  OKAY…So, what if we became a people who decided to turn it around and determine to “TAKE IT TO HEART”? 

We have little control over the state of our nation; who governs, who makes laws, who is in control.  What we DO have control over is OUR OWN LIVES, OUR OWN MARRIAGES, OUR OWN CHILDREN – THE VERY LAND GOD HAS GIVEN US!  We must CHOOSE to be ZEALOUS FOR THE THINGS GOD HAS PLACED RIGHT BEFORE US!

In our own lives, we must FIGHT to put God in the CENTER – not just symbolically, but REALLY!  From there, our marriages will be strengthened, our children will grow strong, OUR LAND WILL BE HEALED! 




October 8th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 10:1-11:23 / Col 3:18-4:18 / Psalm 78:56-72 / Proverbs 24:28-29

Standout Verse:

Jeremiah 11:4 and 7-8

“I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, “Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God. (V.7) For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting saying, “Obey My voice.”  Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart…”

Our Heavenly Father is not complicated – He is straight-forward and clear-cut.  He asks that His children SEEK Him wholeheartedly, KNOW His LIFE-GIVING truth and WALK in His ways (obey).  When we do, we get to enjoy God, we are safe (even in the “storms” of life), we get to walk in peace (even through difficult, painful times), and we get to experience the blessings and benefits that come when we are in a growing relationship with God.

God is SO GOOD.  He’s given us His Word and allows us to learn from the stories of those who have gone before us.  We don’t have to do life the “hard way.”  We can CLEARLY see what happens when people turn their backs on the Lord and live lives full of mixture…it doesn’t go well.  When the choice is to “go it alone”, their road becomes long, dangerous and exposed, unprotected and open to “enemy fire”.

Let’s be people who are growing in God’s wisdom, learning His voice, knowing His truth and walking in His ways!   



October 7th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 8:8-9:26 / Col 3:1-17 / Psalm 78:32-55 / Proverbs 24:27

Standout Verse:

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of God DWELL in you RICHLY in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and with spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.”

Dwell: Reside, Live, Stay, Abide, Settle, Inhabit

Richly: Thoroughly, Abundantly, Deeply, Plentifully

As followers of Christ, we are called to have His Word (His Truth) DWELL (reside deeply) in our hearts.  This isn’t a “religious command” given by an authoritative, self-centered God.  His Word/Truth is a LIFE-LINE; a vital, necessary life-bringing tool that our loving Heavenly Father gives us in order for us to experience the abundant, fruitful lives He has created us for.

God wants us to know Him RICHLY– not just know about Him, but really experience Him authentically and daily.  Our knowledge and understanding of Him is meant to thoroughly fill our hearts and overflow out to the way we live and the way we relate to the world around us. 

RICHLY DWELLING doesn’t just happen by osmosis.  It is a DELIBERATE CHOICE we make to feed on God’s Word and walk closely in an ever-growing relationship with Him.

As we fill ourselves with His goodness and truth, the natural out-flow of our lives and our speech will be that of authentic grace and love for others.  We will admonish, exhort and challenge one another in truth (because we know what it is!); not settling for the cultural lies and destruction Satan wants to cripple us with. 

As we surround ourselves with TRUTH-SPEAKERS who allow the Word of God to DWELL in them RICHLY, keeping their eyes, hearts and minds focused on Him and His ways, we will “become the company we keep” in a great way!


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October 6th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 6:16-8:7 / Col 2:11-23 / Psalm 78:1-31 / Proverbs 24:26

Standout Verse:

Psalm 78: 4-8

“We will not hide from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and the wonderful works He has done…that they should make them known to their children; that the generation might come to know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation.  A generation that did not set it’s heart aright, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

As children of God, we’ve been given a shot at this very time in history to declare, with great truth, passion and authority, that we serve the LIVING GOD!  We hold the opportunity in our hands to shout this LIFE-GIVING truth from the mountaintops for this generation to hear, come to know and whole-heartedly embrace! 

We no longer have to get caught up in the “blame game” recounting the ways the generation before us failed us (spiritual speaking).  The truth is (generally speaking), we have become a generation that has allowed ourselves to become spiritually dull, stubborn and unequipped to identify the schemes and lies of the enemy.  Thus we’ve found ourselves sitting on our “spiritual tushes”, living mediocre, powerless lives that we are passing down to the generation to come.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, we must say, “NO WAY – NOT ON OUR WATCH!”  We must commit to NOT be passive and/or “asleep at the wheel” of our marriages, parenting, relationships, etc…We have the wonderful opportunity, by the power and grace of God, TO STAND UP AND COURAGEOUSLY DECLARE the TRUTH that God desperately loves us, He is GOOD, He saves, He restores, heals, brings peace, safety and LIFE!!

Imagine a generation (US!) that chooses “to set our hearts aright”, TRULY LIVING OUT THIS TRUTH AND PROACTIVELY AND PASSIONATELY TEACHING IT TO THE GENERATION TO COME.  Our children will see the life of Christ being lived out in us AUTHENTICALLY (as opposed to hypocritically and religiously), and will come to understand that LIFE WITH GOD WORKS!  As they experience His awesome goodness, their passion will become contagious and will flow out to the generation following them - thus igniting an incredible legacy of relationship-centered living (with God at the center) that brings REAL LIFE! INSPIRING!!!

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October 5th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 4:19-6:15 / Col 1:19-2:10 / Psalm 77:1-20 / Proverbs 24:23-25

Standout verse:

Psalm 77:10-14I WILL REMEMBER the years of the right hand of the Most High. I WILL REMEMBER The works of the Lord; surely I WILL REMEMBER Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great as our God? You are the God who does wonders.

REMEBERING is an ACTION WORD.  When practiced, it is a very powerful tool we can use to maintain a healthy mind and an expectant outlook.  Not only is it fantastic for GUARDING our minds in a DEFENSIVE sense, it’s also an OFFENSIVE tool we can employ as we move forward strengthened, courageous, and ready to face anything life throws at us!

Satan loves it when we FORGET.  If he can keep us busy, on the run and distracted, the chances of us forgetting to recall and think on God’s goodness, provision and faithfulness increases big time.  If we aren’t actively keeping our minds “stayed on Him”, we’ll be overcome by all the wrong thinking and hopeless bologna that the world offers us on a moment-by-moment basis.

God calls us to REMEMBER Him – His powerful works and His past faithfulness.  IF OUR GOD IS FOR US THAN WHO CAN STAND AGAINST US?  Let’s be people who actively practice using the weaponry of REMEMBERING the awesomeness and faithfulness of our God!


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October 4th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 3:1-4:18 / Col 1:1-18 / Psalm 76:1-12 / Proverbs 24:21-22

Standout verse:Jeremiah 3:12-13“Return, backsliding Israel’, says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful’, says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice’, says the Lord.”

It is very possible to be saved and not walk with God.  We can love the Lord and have made the choice to ask Him into our lives, yet find ourselves caught in the business and trials of life, leaving Him on the sidelines.  It’s in those times when we find ourselves sliding backwards, dulled and highly vulnerable to enemy fire, temptation and compartmentalized sin.

Living with sin is like trying to walk around carrying a backpack filled with 100 pounds of bricks.  It slows us, causes us fatigue and cripples us.  Secrets and shadows can bind our hearts and keep us from experiencing all the "WONDERFUL" that our Heavenly Father has for us. 

When we choose to walk through life with the weight of sin, guilt and shame, God gets mad FOR us (as opposed to getting mad at us) and stands ready with open arms to forgive us, cleanse us, FREE us and restore anyone whose heart is yielded to Him!  He is abundantly merciful, ready to forgive and wants to bring us back into fellowship and intimacy with Him NO MATTER WHAT WE HAVE DONE – this is ROCK SOLID TRUTH WE MUST STAND ON!


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October 3rd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Jeremiah 1:1-2:37 / Philippians 4:1-23 / Psalm 75:1-10 / Proverbs 24:17-20

Standout verse:

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests before the Lord; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

BE AT PEACE – do not be anxious!  Give your fears, concerns, and worries over to the Lord knowing He is completely able to hold you up and walk you through any situation you are facing.  You are not alone! 

Standout verse:

Philippians 4:11-12

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content.  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.”

BE CONTENT!  No matter what our circumstance may look like, when we are walking in obedience and seeking after Him and His will, we can rest knowing that what we are facing is part of the process of growing and maturing in Christ.  He wants us to EMBRACE THE SEASON WE ARE IN rather than resist it or try to escape from it.  When we do, we will be in a position to learn and receive all that the Lord has for us right where we are – that leads to contentment.

Standout verse:

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

BE EMPOWERED!  Know that when we trust and rest in His power, leaving behind our anxieties and fears and learn to be content in our season, we have full access to the strength that He promises to provide.  Whenever God calls asks you to do something, know that He is fully able to provide the strength you need to do it. 



October 2nd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Isaiah 66:1-24 / Philippians 3:1-21 / Psalm 74:1-23 / Proverbs 24:15-16

Standout Verse:

Philippians 3:12-15

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

Salvation is the ultimate prize, but our Heavenly Father is SO AMAZING, He not only offers us eternal life, He makes available a truck load of other awesome prizes along the way: supernatural peace, safety, adventure (plans and purposes), fruitful/thriving relationships, creativity beyond our natural abilities, VISION and abundant LIFE right here on earth!

Whether good or bad, our past shouldn’t limit or define us.  Out future depends on the fresh things God is doing in us and through us. 

It’s actually a crazy thought not to wholeheartedly pursue the Lord.  Seriously…with all the “WONDERFUL” that God wants to give us in this life and for eternity, a person would have to be nuts to turn their back and walk away in order to pursue those things that are limited, finite and empty.

So, with all that said, LET’S PRESS ON TOWARD THE PRIZE as we enjoy the prizes God makes available to us along the way!



October 1st deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Isaiah 63:1-65:25 / Philippians 2:19-30 / Psalm 73:1-28 / Proverbs 24:13-14

Proverbs 24: 13-14

“My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb because it is sweet to your taste.  So shall knowledge and wisdom be to your soul.  If you have found it there is prospect (VISION), and your hope will not be cut off.”

It’s funny how, as a culture, we are becoming increasingly concerned about our physical health.  We measure and count the cost of harmful environmental effects - we’re concerned about the consumption of growth hormones in our meat, potential toxins in aluminum, artificial sweeteners, and air pollution. 

Yet, by enlarge, we greatly neglect the concept that we are filling our hearts and minds with cultural poison (destructive media, music, internet trash, faux celebrity voyeurism, etc..) that will destroy our relationships, pollute our minds, kill our vision, wrongly re-shape our thinking and cause us long term pain, confusion, heartache, anddepression.

What good is a healthy body if our hearts and minds are being slowly destroyed by cultural toxins and pollution (that we willingly feed on)?  Our God is a God of COMPLETE HEALTH.  Yes, He wants us to care for our physical health, but HIS MAIN CONCERN IS OUR EMOTIONAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL CONDITION.

Walking daily with our Heavenly Father, and feeding on His Word (our complete source for knowledge, wisdom and understanding) is the VERY BEST PLAN FOR OUR OVER-ALL HEALTH!  God’s ways and His truth WORK! His ROCK-SOLID TRUTH helps us navigate the crazy waters of this world safely, hope-filled, healthy and full of God's vision for our lives!  God’s truth is as wonderful and sweet as honeycomb!  It is SO, SO GOOD FOR US – Good for our minds, hearts, relationships, etc - the ultimate SUPER FOOD!



September 30th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Isaiah 60:1-62:12 / Philippians 1:27-2:18 / Psalm 72:1-20 / Proverbs 24:11-12

Standout Verse:

Isaiah 61:1, 3-4

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, and opening of the prison to those who are bound. (V.3) To give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness… and they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities – the desolations of many generations.”

Philippians 2:15

“…that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of LIFE…”

These verses (from Isaiah and Philippians) go nicely together painting a picture of a world severely in need of a Savior.  In this world we see people literally poor and needy (materially speaking) as well as “poor in spirit” (desperately needing to be saved).  There are people who have been abused and broken-hearted, and people who are in slavery to sin and addiction (at deeper and greater levels than ever before due to the advancements in technology ushered in by the internet age). 

The world we live in is ruled by the enemy of our souls (Satan). The havoc he spreads continues to draw the hearts of people who choose to willingly embrace his lies and deception (which lead to death), thus creating a crooked and perverse generation!


GOD’S PLAN IS TO REDEEM, RESTORE, RESCUE AND HEAL ANYONE who will reach their hands toward Him and say, “Lord, I want YOU!  I want YOUR WILL and YOUR WAYS for me.  I want Your LIFE IN ME!”