Daily Promises (November 12th)

[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)


Content yourself in the riches of God’s mercy. Unceasing are His gifts and constant is His loving presence. This world is but a passing frame—it is not your home, for you, as a believer, are a child to the great kingdom victorious! Heavenly are the rewards you seek! Eternal are the treasures you gain! Therefore, trust in the kingly majesty of the Lord and ever shall you be pleased!


November 13
Still More Consequences of Accessing Grace through Faith
Who through faith . . . escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle. (Heb_11:34)
We have seen that by trusting in the Lord, His people “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire” (Heb_11:33-34). Other testimonies indicate that there are still more consequences of accessing grace through faith.
By faith, some of God’s servants “escaped the edge of the sword.” The prophet Elisha experienced this. The king of Syria sent his army to encompass the city. “There was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ ” (2Ki_6:15). Elisha saw the true situation by the eye of faith, so he prayed. ” ‘LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2Ki_6:17). Then, the Lord struck the enemy forces with blindness and delivered His people.
Others of God’s people “out of weakness were made strong.” King Jehoshaphat showed what this meant. “The people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others . . . came to battle against Jehoshaphat” (2Ch_20:1). In weakness, the king cried out to the Lord. “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us . . . but our eyes are upon You” (2Ch_20:12). The Lord assured them of His victory. “The battle is not yours, but God’s . . . You will not need to fight in this battle . . . stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you” (2Ch_20:15, 2Ch_20:17). Strengthened by faith and filled with expectation, they marched out to watch the enemy armies destroy one another.
Others “became valiant in battle.” Samson exemplified this. “The Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him . . . and his bonds broke loose from his hands. He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey . . . and killed a thousand men with it” (Jdg_15:14-15).
We may face many imminent threats, but we can trust the Lord to provide His escape. “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work” (2Ti_4:18). The Lord can also provide His strength, even when we are weak. “For My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2Co_12:9). Our God can also make us valiant in battle. “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day” (Eph_6:13).
O Lord, You are my deliverer, my strength, and my source of courage. Teach me to look to You when I am in danger, when I am weak, and when the battles rage. I long to walk by faith in the blessed consequences of Your abounding grace, Amen.

When and Why You Should Check a Bag



Airports are some of the busiest places in the world and with an average of 44,000 commercial flights in and out of the United States daily, the crowds don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. And even the savviest traveler has to contend with navigating these crowded terminals as they hop from destination to destination.

Carry-on-only travel has become the norm, as travelers struggle to fit everything they’ll need for their trip into the overhead compartment. But struggling to condense your items and navigate through congested airports with this luggage in tow sometimes causes more problems than it solves. So, should you check a bag before you fly or take a carry-on bag with you on the plane? This question poses a few obvious concerns, like the carry-on bag being too heavy or too large for airline restrictions. But we’ve thought of a few other reasons why you might want to just check your luggage on your next trip.

Your Airline Charges for Carry-Ons

Mother and daughter boarding plane with large carry-on luggage
Credit: FluxFactory/ iStock

Some airlines, especially budget ones such as Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air, charge for carry-on bags depending on the flight. Sometimes, they’ll charge you the same amount as a checked bag and occasionally a little more. For example, Frontier Airlines might charge $39 for a carry-on, but $37 for a checked bag. By choosing the checked bag, you could pack a lot more for a little less money. So, if you want to travel comfortably and have to spend money on baggage no matter what, check a bag instead.

You Have a Long Layover

Interior view of waterfall at Changi Airport, Singapore
Credit: BNK Maritime Photographer/ Shutterstock

If you have one or more layovers during your next adventure, you might want to consider checking your bag. That way, you won’t be weighed down when walking from gate to gate, and you’ll be more comfortable while dining or shopping in the airport terminal. This allows you to explore with ease, especially if you’re visiting an airport with a lot to see, like the Changi Airport in Singapore. If the thought of having no bag at all worries you, pack only the necessities in a small backpack or purse, which is typically free of charge to take on most major airlines.

You Hate Long Security Lines

Side view of travelers waiting in line at airport security
Credit: Pressmaster/ Shutterstock

Airport security can be strict and somewhat confusing, especially if you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place. Research the airline and destination country for your trip since a few are more strict than the U.S. is when it comes to liquids, powders, and gels. If you still aren’t sure of the carry-on restrictions for a foreign country or airline, check a bag to ensure that you’re complying with the rules. This will make going through security a breeze and you can pack things in your checked luggage with fewer restrictions.

You Don’t Want to Pay for Priority Boarding

Side view of empty airplane interior with bags in the overhead luggage compartments
Credit: JodiJacobson/ iStock

Some travelers pay for priority boarding to ensure they will snag the coveted overhead compartment space for their larger carry-on. However, the fee for paying for priority boarding on each flight, especially if your trip has multiple legs, can be more than the price of a checked bag. Typically, the fee is $10 or more per segment. Do some research to compare both fees while booking your next flight.

You Might Have to Pay for It Anyways

Woman with large suitcase working on laptop in airport terminal
Credit: David Prado Perucha/ Shutterstock

Sometimes, airlines will check all carry-ons at the gate for a small plane — free of cost. But if you’re unlucky and your carry-on is a little too large or too heavy, the airline might make you pay to check it. If you’re a risk-taker and have a very large carry-on, be aware of the possibility of paying for it. To avoid this hassle, check your large bag at the ticket counter. This way, you don’t have to tote it around with you and you’ll pay a fair price and not be charged extra for checking it last minute.

You Have Gifts for the Holiday Season

Woman in trench coat and boots with bright yellow suitcase
Credit: Maria Savenko/ Shutterstock

Planning on visiting friends and family during the holiday season? Checking a bag might be the way to go. Let’s face it, most families and friends still give presents during the holidays — even if both have agreed to “no presents this year.” To take gifts with you and get your new gifts back home safely, checking a bag can be a cheaper option than shipping the gifts back. As long as you’re under the weight limit —  which can be up to 50 pounds on some airlines — you can take your gifts without any hassle.

You’re Worried About Lost Luggage

Traveling couple walking through street with luggage
Credit: martin-dm/ iStock

The biggest argument for a carry-on bag? To avoid lost luggage. However, SITA reports that the amount of lost luggage has decreased by 70% in the past 10 years. In 2018, the IATA Resolution 753 went into effect, which aims to improve baggage handling operations as the airline industry grows. We should see the positive impacts of this resolution in the coming years.

If you’re worried about lost luggage, some major airlines like Delta and American Airlines have baggage tracking capabilities on their apps. You can see if your luggage is on the plane with you to make retrieving it easier.

You’re Spending More Money to Pack Light

Businessman carefully packing suitcase in hotel room
Credit: LightField Studios/ Shutterstock

There are endless blogs with advice on packing light for a trip, but if you’re spending a lot of money just to pack lighter, it might be cheaper to pay for a checked bag. Expenses to consider when trying to pack light can include purchasing a lightweight carry-on, multi-purpose clothes and shoes, travel-size toiletries, and travel-friendly tools and electronics. Depending on how much you have to buy, the baggage fee could very well just cost less.

You Want to Bring Souvenirs Back

Female traveler carrying luggage through the streets of Italy
Credit: Marina Andrejchenko/ Shutterstock

You’re strolling through a beautiful Italian town on the Amalfi Coast and you’ve found the perfect souvenirs for your friends and family. But how do you get that bottle of authentic Limoncello back home? Purchasing a cheap suitcase at the airport or a nearby shop can quickly solve this problem. Find one for as little as $30 and then check it on your return flight. That way, you’re only paying for a checked bag one way. This method will be less expensive than paying for international shipping. To avoid breakage, try to find a hard shell suitcase and wrap your newly found treasures in any soft clothes that you might’ve packed.

You Have an International Flight

Male traveler using self check-in machine at the Madrid–Barajas Airport
Credit: David Prado Perucha/ Shutterstock

Before opting for a carry-on on an international flight, read the airline policies for checked luggage. Many international airlines offer one free checked bag per customer. Airlines like Aer Lingus, Air China, Air France, and Emirates follow this policy along with many more. Take advantage of this opportunity to take more with you or save space for souvenirs on your return flight home.

A culture enthusiast and an advocate for environmental awareness, Rachel is a freelance travel writer based out of Jacksonville, Florida.

God, the Flower’s Provider, Day 17


Today’s reading is drawn from Philippians 2:5-18.

God’s Story

While Paul is under house arrest in Rome, he receives a gift from the Philippian church — one of the first churches he shared Jesus with. God prompts him to write them a joy-filled letter of thanks.

God started a great work in their hearts, and he will see it through until Jesus comes back. Paul prays that God will increase their knowledge of his great love for them so they’ll be able to tell the difference between good and evil in order to live fruitful lives.

After unbelieving Jews caused a riot in Jerusalem that resulted in his arrest, Paul eventually appealed his case to Caesar. Now in Rome, he might be executed. But he doesn’t care whether he lives or dies. Whether he lives to tell of Jesus’ love or dies to be with him, either way sounds good to Paul.

Paul urges believers to do for each other what Jesus did for all people: He laid down his life for all of us. As we live like people who have been rescued, we are to show the ways of light and life to a dark, dead world.

The Philippians are to reject teaching that says they can be saved by good works — they are part of God’s family, and their citizenship is in heaven because of what Jesus has done. Paul encourages them to stand firm in the Lord by rejoicing in him always, presenting him with their every need and trusting that he will take care of them.

The King’s Heart

God clothes the lilies. He decorates flowers that live mere weeks with colors that inspire artists. The flowers don’t have souls; they don’t have minds to think. They are fleeting, yet God sees to their needs. From 93 million miles away he sends sunlight to feed them, creates cycles to deliver life-rain, orchestrates our exhalations to be their provision.

God is aware of what a lily needs. And he provides for it. Not only does he provide, but he provides lavishly — the lily blossoms with beauty.

And we are God’s most precious treasures, the ones he loves so dearly that he gave up his Son. He knows our needs too, and he provides for us — his treasures — lavishly. There is no need for anxiety. He asks us to present our requests to him (see Philippians 4:6), not because he doesn’t know our needs, but so that we can recognize him when he answers.


The poem about Jesus in Philippians 2:6 – 11 might have been a hymn of the early Christian church, a hymn that Paul adapted for his letter.

Week 46 Tuesday

November 12, 2019



“Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and one maid came up to him and said, ‘You were also with Jesus the Galilean!’ But he denied it falsely before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you mean.’  And when he had gone out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This fellow was with Jesus the Nazarene!’  And again he denied it, and disowned Him with an oath, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ After a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘You certainly are one of them too, for even your accent betrays you.’  Then Peter began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear. ‘I do not even know the Man!’ And at that moment a rooster crowed.  And Peter remembered Jesus’ words.”

Matthew 26: 69-75

Amplified Bible




“The Guilt Problem”


Guilt can cause me to deny myself – especially the person God wants me to be.


“Deny” – To declare untrue. To refuse to believe or recognize.  To disavow.


“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?  This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.”

Thomas Merton




“Accept me, Lord, as I am, and make me such as thou wouldst have me to be.”

Mary Livingstone

(Missionary in Africa)


He was one of Jesus’ dearest friends.  A disciple who was one of the first to follow and most devoted through the years.  He was what we call a man’s man.  A fisherman. A business man.  An outdoors man. A man of action and ability.  A man who knew his own mind. A man with strong opinions.  And Peter was of the opinion there wasn’t anything in this world that could separate him from Jesus.  On a Thursday evening, when Jesus met with his disciples for a special Passover supper, and Jesus declared, “You will all fall away this night,” Peter wanted Jesus to understand he was not to be included in the “all” whom Jesus spoke about.  Peter told Jesus, in no uncertain terms, “Even if they allfall away and are caused to stumble and distrust and desert You, yet I will not do so.” (Mark 14: 29, Amplified Bible).


Peter thought he knew himself better than Jesus did.  However, Jesus turned to Peter and warned him that later that evening, Peter would deny Jesus three times.  What was Peter’s response?  He vehemently informed Jesus he would never deny Him.  Peter even went further, “Even if it should be necessary for me to die with You, I will not deny or disown You!”  This was Peter’s promise to Jesus.  However, just a few hours later, we find Peter, who thought he knew himself so well and bragged about the way he would stick up for Jesus, deciding, when the chips were down, to “only follow Him (Jesus) at a distance.” (Matthew 26: 58).


It was as though Peter had one foot following Jesus and one foot going in a different direction – and what is so instructive to you and me is that Peter thought he knew exactly what he would do and how he would react in a moment of crisis.


What happened?  The Bible tells us just a few hours later Peter not only denied he knew Jesus, he also denied having ever met Him and began to swear against Jesus and himself.


Let’s take a moment to look at what happened to Peter.  First, he denied he was Jesus’ follower by following at a distance.  Then he denied he was a follower of Jesus by the words he spoke.  Now, guilt sets in!  He realizes he’s blown it.  But, he thinks he’s gone too far so he keeps up the charade and tells everyone that he has never even met Jesus – ever.  He doesn’t even know the Man.  The guilt caused by his denial served only to push him farther down the road to ruin.  Peter went to a new level of low!  When someone said Peter talked like Jesus, Peter began to swear, using language he thought would certainly separate him from any association with the kind and gentle Jesus.


And then, the Bible tells us, a rooster began to crow, and the self-confident Peter who thought he knew himself so well, realized that Jesus was indeed correct.  “And Peter remembered Jesus’ words…and he went outside and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26: 75).  A moment of self-realization.  A moment when the truth about himself hit Peter in the face like a glass of cold water.


The most wonderful part of this story, is that while Jesus lay in the tomb, Peter had plenty of time to search his soul.  The false sense of confidence that led him to deny Jesus, the false guilt that led him to continue down a path of denial, all served to help him realize his great dependence on Jesus.  It also helped Peter to recognize what you and I need to see, too.  And this is that no one understands us like Jesus.  He sees what we are – and more importantly, who we can be through His power.


In the book, Living Prayer, author Anthony Bloom has this enlightening perspective:


“At rock bottom we are made in the image of God…stripping (us) is very much like the cleaning of an ancient, beautiful wall painting, or of a painting by a great master that was painted over in the course of the centuries by tasteless people who had intruded upon the real beauty that had been created by the master.  To begin with, the more we clean, the more things disappear, and it seems to us that we have created a mess where there was at least a certain amount of beauty; perhaps not much, but some beauty.  And then we begin to discover the real beauty which the great master has put into his painting; we see the misery, then the mess in between, but at the same time we have a preview of the authentic beauty.  And we discover that what we are is a poor person who needs God; but not God to fill the gap – God to be met.”


This is the God Peter met when Jesus rose from the grave and told Mary Magdalene to go tell my disciples, and Peter, that I am alive.  Peter, the friend who denied Jesus, was the friend Jesus forgave.  The same friend Peter chose to spend the rest of his life serving.  All because Jesus helped Peter understand who he really was and what he really could be.


“A humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than a deep search after learning.”

Thomas á Kempis










            Prayer of Self-Acceptance


Dear Lord,


Help me to understand who I am.


May I realize that many times I have Peter’s mouth – when what I really need is to have Your heart.


Let me accept both my weaknesses and strengths, recognizing that You can take me, where I am weak, and make me strong…and where I am strong You can use these God-given abilities for the purpose You have for my life.


Don’t let me ever think I am so capable, I will never fall…and don’t let my failures loom as stumbling blocks, keeping me from being everything You intend for me to be.


I pray that the guilt I feel will not push me down into the pit of denial but will push me toward Your hand that lifts.


Like Peter, may I declare that through Your power, all things that are suited and needed in my life will be accomplished by my knowledge of You and Your glory and excellence.”

Dorothy Valcárcel



Your friend,


Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus




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