Undecided YouVersion Devotional

Work in Progress
The writer of the book of Hebrews says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He’s always been the pursuer, and we are the objects of his pursuit. Not only has he pursued us, but he has been writing the story of our salvation. Like scraps of paper on the floor of a fiction writer, some stories will be discarded and never experienced. But Jesus is prolific, and he’s comprehensive in his pursuit. There’s a salvation story for everyone.

He’s already drafted your story, even the parts that haven’t happened yet. It’s more than a story. You might think of it like a blueprint, an itinerary, or a plan — God’s plan — for you. I’ve heard it so much that it sounds bogus.

“God has a plan for your life.”

But He really does. I don’t know everything that your plan entails, but I do know it contains a moment where you choose to accept God’s forgiveness and become a Christ follower. If that’s a moment you haven’t lived yet, you have a choice.

Fiction writers often write entire chapters that never make it into the final draft. Sometimes a writer will draft alternate versions of a chapter. Only one will make it into the published book.

There are alternate versions of your story laid on God’s desk, and he’s waiting on you to see which one makes it into the “published” version of your life. He’s the author of your faith, but he’s also the finisher. In the Bible we read “that he who began a good work in you will complete it.”

It seems strange that a God who knows everything is waiting on us to decide which story we’ll choose, but that’s the fragile nature of the world we live in. Horrific things happen every day because God has given mankind the power of choice. We can choose evil or good, action or inaction. Ultimately, God already knows what you’ll decide, but that doesn’t nullify your ability to choose.

How will your story end? Will there be a chapter where you discover the forgiveness, peace and joy that is waiting for you. Or, will it end with the sad irony of knowing that salvation was standing just within your reach but you were reluctant to reach out in the darkness and risk looking foolish?

Prayer

God, give me boldness to reach out to you. Help me to make wise use of the choice you have provided me. I want to live the best version of your story for my life.

Entry from, ‘How To Weave The Character Of Christ Into Your Life’. The God Who Knows Us When We Cannot Find Him. (A book written). By Timothy Baugh. For April 29, 2019.

(Read Job, Chapter 23, verses 3 and 10-12 first.)       “Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!”   “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Job 23: 3, 10-12. (English Standard Version.)       God knows and sees us though we may complain that we cannot find His Presence in our lives. When we finally acknowledge that God is everywhere, knows everything, and is that in which we live, move, and have our Being; then we will not find God so distant. Nor will we think that we are lost from Him. Jesus Christ knew that God, His Father, was aware of His character. He knew that the cross of Calvary was a test, a trial of His obedience. All that was necessary for Him was to fully surrender Himself to the moment at hand. Never during the hard times, the tests, or trials of our lives does God not care. Rather, God, who knows the outcome from the start; only wishes to find if we totally trust in Him no matter what may transpire.       Prayer– All knowing Father God, You are aware of all outcomes from the beginning. Help me to surrender trustingly all to You this very moment. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

5 Snowiest Cities in the World

Unless you live in one of the cities listed below, you have nothing to complain about when winter rolls around. Accuweather compiled a list of the world’s snowiest cities based on average annual snowfall. These are the cities that get buried under the powder every year.

Syracuse, New York, U.S.A., and Quebec City, Canada (Tie)

Syracuse, New York, U.S.A., and Quebec City, Canada (Tie)

Credit: NicolasMcComber/iStock

Averaging 124 inches of snow per year, these two cities are tied at fifth on the list. The snow in Syracuse, New York, is often a result of a lake effect from the nearby Lake Ontario. In an effort to make citizens’ lives easier, the city just released a snow plow map, intended to help drivers navigate better during snow storms. Quebec City also embraces its snowfall and beckons tourists with wintry and exciting activities during the snowy months. Boasting ice hotels, winter carnivals, dog sledding and skiing, this winter wonderland seems to think that snow isn’t so bad after all.

St. John’s, Canada

St. John’s, Canada

Credit: Carolyn Parsons-Janes/Shutterstock.com

St. John’s, a coastal city on the island of Newfoundland, averages 131 inches of snow a year. St. John’s is subject to Nor’easters, a term for a hyper tropical cyclone in the North Atlantic. As a result, the small city will receive big snowstorms that drop a foot or more of snow at a time. With 13 feet of snow a year, it’s not surprising that it’s been known to snow throughout the spring, with snowfall recorded as late as June.

Daily trivia question

Which country was not originally in the EU?

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Toyama, Japan

Toyama, Japan

Credit: Jayson_Carr/Shutterstock.com

The city of Toyama, Japan, receives an average of 143 inches of snow per year and it has a snow wall to prove it. The snow wall is located along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a thoroughfare that runs from Toyama to Tateyama and ends in Omachi. Depending on snowfall, the wall can be as high as 65 feet, equivalent to a seven-story building. The road is only open from mid-April to late June and is a popular tourist attraction, with many tourist buses and pedestrians making passage through the massive walls of snow.

Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo, Japan

Credit: Guzsudio/Shutterstock.com

Located on the island of Hokkaido, the city of Sapporo is at the number two spot with 191 inches of snow a year — almost 50 inches more than Toyama. Often referred to as “Snokkaido,” Hokkaido has a reputation for its record amount of snowfall. With numerous ski resorts and mountains for backcountry skiing, Hokkaido is a powder skier’s paradise. The city of Sapporo also celebrates its snowy status with the Sapporo Snow Festival, an event that includes the International Snow Sculpture Contest. With almost 200 snow sculptures located across the city, visitors can witness these incredible pieces of art in person, some of which reach over 30 feet tall.

Aomori, Japan

Aomori, Japan

Credit: PixHound/iStock

With a whopping 312 inches of snow a year, Aomori, Japan, beats out every other city in the world for annual snowfall. Located on the tip of Japan’s main island, Aomori is situated between the mountains and the sea, which may just be the perfect recipe for snow. The nearby Hakkōda mountains are home to Hakkōda Ski Area, a powder paradise dotted with fluffy snow-covered trees resembling cotton candy. To witness the beautiful snowy landscape without having to struggle through the snow, take the Tsugaru Railway Winter Stove Train, a railway which travels through the snowy countryside for your viewing pleasure. In mid-February, the city also hosts a Snow Lantern Festival at Hirosaki Castle, an event that highlights the quiet and majestic beauty of snow.