Today’s Truth

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

James 4:14

Friend to Friend

On a recent visit to meet our new granddaughter, our son called to say he was running late and asked if I could take our seven-year-old grandson Jaydan to baseball practice. “I will meet you there, Mom. You can stay and watch if you want to, or you can head home,” Jered said. But I heard the hopeful tone in his voice. I stayed.

It was a beautiful night … in more ways than one. The years fell away as I remembered the countless times my husband and I had watched our son play in a game of some kind. Jered tried T-ball, softball, baseball, soccer, basketball, and football before finally settling on football that took him all the way through college. It seemed like only yesterday when I was the one sitting in the bleachers watching Jered play while my husband coached his team.

Jered is now married, has four children, and coaches his own son who seems to be a natural athlete like his dad. As I thought of all the wonderful experiences in store for Jered and his family, I wondered where all of those years had gone.

No doubt about it. Life is short. And this brief life is nothing more than a dress rehearsal for eternity. Every minute of every day is either spent or invested. What makes the difference?


Resting in God while wholeheartedly pursuing God’s plan.

Surrendering every part of every day to Him, knowing that nothing touches our lives without passing through His hands – with His permission.

Those interruptions we complain about may very well be God-ordained opportunities through which His grace, love and forgiveness are poured.

We need to live each day with the mindset that we are God with skin on. Our heart desire should be for God to use us to accomplish His plan and purpose in the lives of each person we meet.

Truth is for today. You will never live this day again. Are you living it for Christ or for yourself?

He wants you to tell others about Him – today.

He wants you to look for ways to help those in need – today.

When God finds a willing heart, the doors of opportunity to serve Him are endless. We can’t do it all, but we can certainly find all that God has for us to do … and do all of that. Christ does not want us to live as if this life will continue forever. It won’t. We need to live each day with eternity as our backdrop and make everything we do count for the kingdom.

Our son, Jered was a beautiful baby. I remember getting a coupon in the mail from Sears for their special picture deal where you get 100 photos for $2.99. We headed to the mall where we met one bored photographer who was thrilled to see his first customer for the day. Jered loved having his picture taken and put on quite a show. After the advertised special pictures were taken, the photographer asked, “Listen, I don’t have any appointments today and really need some new pictures for wall displays. Would you mind if I took more pictures of Jered?” What mother is going refuse that offer? Not this proud mama! We went to work.

The photographer handed me a box of clothes and asked me to choose several different outfits for Jered. First came the tuxedo. The photographer pulled down a silver backdrop, making Jered’s curly black hair stand out and his blue eyes dance. Next came the blue snowsuit against a red backdrop. With every backdrop, Jered’s appearance changed and his eyes seemed to change color – and an eternal truth lodged in my heart.

How we view this life depends on the backdrop against which we live it. The right backdrop for us as believers is a manger – a cruel cross – an empty tomb – and eternity itself. That backdrop changes everything.

Let’s Pray

Father, please help me remember to live each day as if it were my last. Let me make every moment count for You and Your kingdom. Give me Your eyes to see those in need. Teach me how to invest each day in ways that please You.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

What are your life priorities? Do they reflect your life plan or God’s life plan for you? What changes do you need to make in order to make the most out of each day God gives you? What part does rest play in that plan?

More from the Girlfriends

I often wonder how different our world would be if we listened for and acted on the instructions God gives us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit. Today, listen for His voice, and look for ways to share His love.

Need help? Mary’s CD, Celebrate Life will give you practical steps to living each day to the fullest and finding ways to share His love. Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

10 Responses to “The Backdrop of Heaven”

  1. Mrs r says:

    Dear Mary. I loved this devotion, however, I was sad to see this:

    “We need to live each day with the mindset that we are God with skin on. Our heart desire should be for God to use us to accomplish His plan and purpose in the lives of each person we meet.”

    Please note:
    We are NOT God. Yes we are children of God but we are not God. We as Christians should be representatives of God’s character but we are NOT God.

    1 Timothy 2:5
    Deuteronomy 4:35, 39

    Isaiah 44:6
    1 kings 8:60
    Isaiah 45:18, 21

  2. ROSEMARIE says:

    You are a blessing.

  3. Pam says:

    I love that phrase”God with skin on”. In fact it comes to mind often, especially when I’m seeking Gods spiritual guidance. I’ve used it when leading women in studying the Bible. It perfectly describes what is said in the following verse: Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    Thank you so much for courageously writing the words God lays on your heart

  4. Diane says:

    I really needed this one today. Life truly is so short and just as you said we have to live it focused on “the manager, the cruel cross, the empty tomb and yes eternity” Thank you so much for all your wonderful encouraging words and stories.

  5. Vicki says:

    Thank you Mary for all your devotions shared in girlfriends in God. I love he way you share personal experiences and often have many things in common from my own life.

    I would like to ask if there is anyway the site could be changed so one can enlarge the print on the devotiona and have the print darker. I have an iPad and used to be able the stretch the screen and enlarged it. The new website doesn’t allow this, and it is difficult for those of us with reading peoblems. Thanks.

  6. Gina says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to invest rather than spend our time here on earth, storing up treasure in that very real place called heaven.

  7. Jessica says:

    I needed to read this devotion today. I have been caught up in the stress of every day life, and I made a comment yesterday that maybe it is time for me to change professions. I know that is not true. I believe God placed me where I am for a reason. I can’t let the stress of one thing get in the way of God’s plan, but unfortunately I have in the past. I am very fortunate to have been blessed with The Heaveny Father who is Patience, full of Grace, Love, Mercy, Guidance, and Forgiveness.

    • Miriam says:

      Thank you for sharing your testimony, this gives me encouragement about where I am today. A wonderful reminder of the Heavenly Father’s grace, mercy, guidance, and forgiveness towards me in the place I am in today.

  8. Thank you all for your thoughts on this devotion. I love it when one of my devotions makes us all think and study and consider God’s Word in a new light and perspective.

    Iron really does sharpen iron.

    Please know that I fully understand that we are not God … never will be … we are frail humans.

    I really will never understand why God allows me to serve Him. But He does.

    And He dwells within me. And sends me out to be His love and grace and mercy. Let’s continue to call each other up higher. Hold each other accountable. Love each other and look for the good each other. And when we find that good, let’s cheer it on.

    I love and appreciate each one of you.


  9. Deanna says:

    I look forward to reading your devotionals…so insightful. I’ve heard the phrase used in sermons “God with skin on” many times and it makes me think of a song that says “to be Your hands and feet”. It also brings to mind a scripture I recently memorized: “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10 (HCSB)

    I can recall times in my life that I thought I was walking in the good works, doing what God wanted me to do, but did not have positive results. It was more of me being impatient and not committing it to and waiting on God to direct me that was problematic. I’m 57 and still struggle with waiting, but thankfully, God isn’t finished with me yet. Thank you, Mary, for your transparency and willingness to share as God directs you to share.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8