Go to Work

Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 – “Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. Work because you know that you will finally receive as a reward what the Lord wants you to have. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Most of us, at some point in life, will have to get out of bed and go to work. It is during those times in life that we often gain identity from the work that we do. Whether it be a carpenter, an attorney, a doctor, or a teacher, our work becomes an important part of who we are.

Scripture tells us a very important truth about our work as Believers. No matter what our job is here on earth, our real occupation is being an ambassador for Christ.

At the end of our work week, we will receive a check from our employer as a reward.  But at the end of our career as Believers in Christ, we will receive a reward that is far greater.

Today, take time to focus yourself on who you really work for. That is where you will gain your real identity.

Stay healthy and have a blessed day!

~Dean Burnetti

Serving the Underserved

Philippians 2:3-4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

When she was eight years old, Chelsea Phaire lost her swim instructor to gun violence.  To help her cope with the trauma, she was introduced to art.  Inspired, Chelsea yearned to help other children.  On her tenth birthday, Chelsea started a charity with her parents called “Chelsea’s Charity.”  She creates art kits with markers, paper, coloring books, and other supplies, and gives them to children in foster care and homeless shelters.

Within five months of founding her charity, Chelsea and her mother gave away 1,000 art kits!  The pandemic has not stopped her from her work.  Since March, she has sent over 1,500 kits to children in twelve states.

chelsea-phaire

With schools closed, many children in shelters do not have access to art supplies that they usually find at school.  Chelsea’s kits have given children a fun and creative outlet to cope with the emotions that come with adjusting to the current pandemic.

Friend, I encourage you to look for opportunities to serve the underserved during this trying time.  Many of the neediest are greatly limited with all the closures.  They may only have the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet.  Take a moment to clean out your closet or deliver a meal.  There are so many opportunities to serve.

As Believers, this is our time to shine and lead the underserved to Christ through acts of service.  No matter how big, or small, each act can make a difference.

To God be the Glory!

Stay healthy and have a blessed day!

~Dean Burnetti & Jeff Sheloske

Curve Balls

Acts 9:8 – “Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus.”

Most of us are familiar with the story of Saul. He approached religious leaders seeking blessings and legs to the plans that he’d made to persecute the Christians. He had planned well and was executing his plan with precision.

Along the way, Christ met up with him. Not only did he end up on his knees, but he also ended up without his sight! What a change of events. What a curve ball to be thrown in his life. One can only imagine the fear and uncertainty that he must have experienced, wondering what in the world would happen next.

On this Memorial Day, Patti and I are arose from sleep intending to have a nice breakfast and to start what we thought was going to be a great day.

We went into our gym and started to workout. But during the process, a 10 pound  weight plate fell on Patti’s right hand. We both knew that it was probably broken. It didn’t look good.

We loaded up and went to the urgent care clinic where we spent a good part of our day.  As you might imagine,  our day changed rather dramatically. I spent a good part of my day praying that God would heal Patti’s hand.

Today, her hand is much better. She may be wearing a splint for the next few weeks.
But God has blessed her, and she will have a full recovery.

Just like Paul, we had plans made that we thought were consistent with exactly what God wanted us to do. We were going to have a blessed and wonderful day of leisure and rejuvenation. But the path that God takes us through is not always the one that we make.

curve

We will often experience the unexpected in life. The question is how do we react and how do use those events to grow in Christ.

I can’t say exactly why God causes some experiences. But what I can say is that I am convinced and persuaded that each thing that happens on my path, it will be used by God to conform me to be more like Him. If for no other reason, it made me more thankful for having Patti in my life.

God is good. Forever.

Stay healthy and have a blessed week!

~Dean Burnetti

My Ears Are Burning

1 Peter 3:12 – “For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers….”

Recently, I could not seem to answer the phone fast enough.  At some point, my ears began to hurt. I’m not sure if it was from mashing the phone against my ear or if it was from the volume of my phone.

ears

Although my temperament held out well, at some point in the day, I just had to stop and take a break.  I really do like to talk to my clients, and I love to convey my help and concern. For me, it is part of my ministry. It is how God uses me.

But no matter how much my heart is willing, there are still limitations to how much I have to offer. I sometimes hate that I cannot do more. But my ears can only give so much.

While taking a break today and writing this devotional, God prompted my heart that He has no limitation. And that even more, He has a passionate desire to share His help and concern for you and me.

It is from God’s Spirit from which our gift of caring for others originates.  Know today that God is listening to you without limitation.

His heart is focused on you.  He is my model and my hero.

Stay healthy and have a blessed and safe Memorial Day weekend!

~Dean Burnetti

The Spirit of Hope

John 14:15‭-‬19 – “If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.  No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.  Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.”

Today I met a gentleman who has been watching his dear wife suffer with medical conditions which will, more likely than not, cause her to continue to deteriorate. He told me that he used to go to church, but hasn’t been for quite some time because of his wife’s condition, as he cannot leave her alone.

I asked him if I could pray for his wife and him, which I did. He told me that for quite some time, he has lost hope in his walk with God.

It is easy for us, in times of stress in our life’s circumstances, to lose our way. For many, it is a sense that they have lost hope. That they feel abandoned.

The difference between Believers and the world is that Christ has promised that no matter what our circumstances are, He will never abandon us.  We have the Holy Spirit as our personal Advocate to guide and lead us through even the darkest times in our lives. It’s what makes the difference in a valley of darkness.

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Today, embrace and be filled with the Spirit that brings hope.

Stay healthy and have a blessed day!

~Dean Burnetti

Animal Crackers

James 1:13‭-‬14 – “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”

Sesena has few things that I can point to as her weakness or kryptonite.  But for an animal cracker, she will do a myriad of tricks. She will dance like a ballerina. She will roll over. She will play dead. She will even count out the number of fingers that I hold up. (Not really.)

Animal crackers are, without question, a source of temptation for her. In comparison, if there is no animal cracker present, she cannot be tempted to do anything. Her biggest limitation is that she cannot get into the cookie jar on her own.

sesena

When confronted with temptation, we all have our animal crackers.  I’ve often wondered, though, why God allows me to be tempted?  Was it to condition me? To make me grow? To make me better? To see me fail?

As believers, we must be careful to recognize that God is not holding our cookie jar of temptations. The Bible tells us that our temptations arise out of our own desires. It is Satan who uses those cookies.

God is not purposely using temptation in your life. Nor is He choosing to make you miserable by tempting you with animal crackers.  God’s desire is to help you control your desires.

Seek His face. He will help you keep your hands out of that cookie jar.  You can overcome.

Stay healthy and have a blessed day!

~Dean Burnetti

Run to the Father

Luke 15:20 – “So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

In 1988, two-year-old Mao Yin was kidnapped and sold to another a childless-family for $845.00.  His mother, Li Jingzhi, never gave up hope.  Li and her husband spent 32 years looking for their son.  She distributed more than 100,000 missing child flyers.

Li’s perseverance didn’t stop there.  She appeared on television shows to raise awareness of the thousands of missing children in her country.

This Mother’s Day, Li’s faith was rewarded.  Police contacted her telling her that her son, Mao, had been found alive and well.  In response to the news, Li said, “This is the best gift I have ever got on Mother’s Day.”

During a press conference, Li and her son broke down in tears and hugged one another.  “I don’t want to be separated from him anymore.” Li said.  Mao is making arrangements to soon live with his parents.

CHINA-CRIME-FAMILY-RIGHTS

We all have a father who is longing for us to run to Him.  His name is Jesus.  It doesn’t matter how good or how bad our relationship with our earthly parents might be, our Heavenly Father longs for us.  He is perfect in every way.  The catch is that we need to go to Him.  It is our choice.

When we seek a relationship with Him, we will have a warm welcome like the prodigal son.  No matter how much the son strayed from his father and rebelled, his father anxiously awaited his return.  When his son did return, the father greeted him with open arms.  The father was so happy that he didn’t even wait for his son to come to him, he ran to greet him.

Friend, if you haven’t yet run toward your Heavenly Father, I urge you to do it now.  Do not wait.  If you have strayed from Him, for whatever reason, I also urge you to run back to Him.

Jesus is waiting for you with open arms.  Run, don’t walk to your Father!

To God be the Glory!

Stay healthy and have a blessed day!

~Dean Burnetti & Jeff Sheloske