by Susan Sampson

Who am I under my makeup?
Am I someone who’s afraid to be seen?
Or am I a daughter of the King?

Who am I under my makeup?
Am I someone who’s afraid to be real?
Or have I been marked by the Holy Spirit’s seal?

Who am I under my makeup?
Am I someone who’s defined by my wrinkles and flaws?
Or have I been set free from the laws?

Who am I under my makeup?
Am I someone who just isn’t good enough?
Or am I covered in Jesus’ blood?

Who am I under my makeup?
Am I someone who doesn’t like my own story?
Or was I created in the image of God’s glory?

Who am I under my makeup?
I am someone who chooses to believe,
That I am a daughter of the King!


This poem appears in the Thistlebend Discipleship Study Falling in Love Again with Your Lord available here.

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:43-50 ESV

43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing,
Jesus said to his disciples,
44 “Let these words sink into your ears:
The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
45  But they did not understand this saying,
and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it.
And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.
47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts,
took a child and put him by his side
48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child
in my name receives me, and whoever receives me
receives him who sent me.
For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting
out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him,
because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him,
for the one who is not against you is for you.”


The disciples were all amazed and in awe at everything
He was doing. They were captivated.
Here was the Son of God right before their eyes
working miracles, and they had front row seats.
They were His disciples.
They were in the in crowd.

One time my son won two seats to a special,
very exclusive concert on the riverfront.
There were only 50 seats.
One of, if not the most popular, super hip band amongst
his age group was playing in town,
and he had put his name in for a drawing.
He was told he would receive a last minute call at
9 am if he had been selected.
9 am passed and no call.
At 11:30 he received a call.
Someone had cancelled.
He had two tickets.
They got front row seats on the Belle of Louisville.
They were up close and personal!
They met the band and the lead singer.
It was an amazing concert.
A concert before the concert…
before the other 16,000 people arrived.
They were amazed and in awe at the entire experience.
But, they weren’t a part of the band.
They were just spectators.

The disciples were a part of “the” group.
They were in the “in” crowd with God.
Or so they thought.
They were where it was happening.
Jesus knew what they were
thinking and what was in their hearts.

What kind of pride is this?

Be careful.
Spiritual pride is very deceptive.
All pride is deceptive.
If we knew we were being prideful we would be
too prideful to be prideful and we would be less prideful.
Or would we?

While the disciples were being carried away
with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads,
Jesus sought to bring them back to reality.

Luke 9:44
“Let these words sink in to your ears:
The Son of Man is about to be delivered over
into the hands of evil men.”

In other words,
be careful where you are going with your thoughts.
God’s ways are not man’s ways.
You are not thinking like God thinks but like men think.


We think so much like humans!
We get so caught up in the way we think.
We get caught up in pride.
Both sides of pride:
thinking we are so great and that we are in the right group,
or thinking we are so small and not in the right group.
Oh so so subtly thinking strange things like…
we go to such ‘n such church,
we are friends with so ‘n so,
we belong here,
we live there,
we don’t belong there,
we don’t live there,
we do this,
we do that,
we don’t do that,
we pray like this,
we don’t pray like that.

In and out,
up and down,
all around.

When we are weak in faith
we are prideful.


Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.


Lord, let your words sink in to our ears,
our hearts, and our heads!
Please forgive our sin and
deliver us from pride.

In His hands for His glory,

by Angie Thomas

As I have been meditating on and wanting to really soak in all the rich truths in Ephesians, I read Ephesians 1:3-12 in the Message and was really blessed and encouraged to hear the paraphrase of this passage.  It seemed to help summarize and solidify even more Paul’s message in this portion of Scripture.  A message that is still so timely and important to us today.  May you be encouraged and blessed as you read it:

How blessed is God!  And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him.  Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.  Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.  (What pleasure he took in planning this!)  He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.  And not just barely free, either.  Abundantly free!  He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.  He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.  Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.*

Wow.  God has designs on us for glorious living.  I have to confess that I have struggled to experience any type of glorious living this week.  I have two very dear friends who are having significant challenges in their pregnancies.  Several good friends have recently moved away.  My sweet 6 month old baby has had a cold and has not been sleeping well.

What are the challenges you are currently experiencing in your life?  We all have them.  But God is asking us, begging us to not focus on the challenges and difficulties.  He is asking us to look up, look beyond them to Jesus and believe by faith that even in the muck and mire of our lives He has designs for our glorious living.  And that my friends, takes incredible faith that only God can grant to us.

But, I am finding that as I confess to Him that I am unable to see His glory in the trials and need His help to lift my gaze, to enlighten the eyes of my heart, He does it.  He brings peace to my heart when the turmoil around continues.  He gives strength when my body is weary.  He gives hope in even the worst circumstances because He promises to be near and be faithful.  May He pour out His grace over us and may we accept it and allow our hearts to believe in the promise of glorious living, even if our circumstances shout hard and painful!  May we live up to what we have already attained in Christ!


*Editor’s Note: This passage from The Message certainly captures the spirit of what Paul is saying in Ephesians 1:3-10.  However, we do not feel that every detail of this paraphrase is true to the original intent of the passage.  We encourage readers to compare The Message at this point to a translation of Scripture such as the ESV available here.