Archive for February, 2011

I don’t watch the news.  It is too disturbing to listen to the negativity and yet because of those around me, the Internet, emails and other means of communication I am way too aware of the current political climate and battles for the hearts of our children, friends and neighbors.

Through this month of February, our devotions have re-visioned how we love our children, our spouse and our neighbors.  This week will explore practical suggestions on how we bring the world the hope of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

With busy lives and so much negativity in the news we can be pulled into a spiral of doom and a sense of futility.  Yet, Jesus Christ offers us this overwhelming love and in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commands us to go and assures us that we don’t go alone, but He will be “with you always.”  So, what does going out into the world look like?  How do we reach out to be that light in the darkness? What does offering the world God’s love look like to our neighbors, friends and family?

Prayerfully, our hearts will be filled with His love sufficiently that with courage we will encourage each person that they are not alone, but that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior loves them and walks with them constantly.  This week we will explore practical ideas on how we can be the light in this dark world and offer those around us a perspective that will bring Hope.

Lord God, as we look at the condition of our world, it is confusing to say the least.  There are so many conflicting stories in the media—give us wisdom to discern truth.  More importantly, focus our hearts and minds so fully on You that we walk consistently in Your love and light. Amen.

This week in our Daily Devotionals we are talking about ways we can love our world.  We hope you will join us!


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Stories about difficult neighbors abound and they range from funny to rude to just plain sad.  Ask anyone…they will have at least one good story to tell you from personal experience.

Most neighborhood cultures have specific people groups represented.  There is the neighborhood gossip who delights in sharing all the gory details.  There is the recluse with “no trespassing” signs and shut curtains.  There is the party-house, the association activist, the super-friendly talker, the yard competitor… all kinds of people and personalities lumped together on a few acres of land.  And undeniably, we are the normal ones.  Why can’t everyone be more like us, we wonder to ourselves.

Friendships with our neighbors can be tricky, but in the end it is well worth our attention and effort and it pleases God. (Luke 10:27-37)  How can we show a little love to our neighbors and pursue healthy relationships with those we rub elbows with?  This week in our Daily Devotionals we are talking about ways we can love our neighbor.  We hope you will join us!

*More Details about the Give-Away: Register to win one of four free gift cards each valued at $50 by leaving one comment on each weekday’s DailyDevotional posting(click on Daily Devotional to get to the page).  One gift card will be given away at the end of each week in February. One comment per day and per person, please.  Inappropriate comments will not be published or entered in the contest at the blog administrator’s discretion.  We will give away one gift card per week for the next four weeks. And don’t worry…your email address will be kept confidential and can only be seen by the blog administrator. You may use your initials if you like instead of your full name. You will be notified by email after Friday of each week if your comment has been randomly chosen to win.

**Want to receive the Sunday blog in your email?  Go to the top left hand side of this blog to subscribe.  To also  receive the Daily Devotionals in your email you will need to subscribe on the Daily Devotional page.

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I like gifts!  I like giving gifts and I really like receiving gifts from my husband on Valentine’s Day.  Out of the 22 Valentine’s Days we have shared together, I do have an all time favorite Valentine gift he has given me.

In a time that we were quite poor and unable to take money from our budget for luxury items like chocolate or a dinner date,  my husband copied off a dozen pictures of a rose and pasted them on cardboard.  When I came out in the kitchen that Feb. 14th, he had them propped against the counter wall where I could see them in all their glory.  It was pathetic and hilarious… and so very precious to me!

What quality did that gift possess that it would be the one that pops first in my memory?  Humor can draw two hearts together but it was really more than just sharing a laugh.  That special “bouquet” communicated loud and clear something that money could not buy.  It was a gift that said, “I love you.”  My husband valued me enough to take time to create something goofy yet sweet.  I valued him enough to appreciate the gesture and have fun with it.  We didn’t have any money, but as the Bible says, “Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:8)

Have you ever given or received an extra special or creative Valentine gift ?  Leave a comment and share it with us.  We would love to hear some more great ideas and stories!

And this week in our Daily Devotionals we will be looking at five gift ideas from I Corinthians 13 and practical ways we can choose to give to that special someone in our life this week and all year long.  These gifts are sweet and precious and absolutely free yet invaluable for maintaining healthy relationships.  We hope you will join us!

**Want to receive the Sunday blog in your email?  Go to the top left hand side of this blog to subscribe.  To also  receive the Daily Devotionals in your email you will need to subscribe on the Daily Devotional page.

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In sharing with my daughter the other day, I made the statement, “that is what a grandmother does….” It made me pause and reflect on what not only a grandmother is called to do, but what a mother is called to do.  One of the hardest responsibilities of a mother in all of nature is to release their child to the world and to the consequences that flow from their decisions.  A mother eagle must push her baby out of the nest and risk letting them fall in order to teach them to fly.  Similarly, a human mother, at some point, must step away and trust their child[ren] to fly.  How do we do that?  This week in our Daily Devotionals we will take a closer look at letting go of our children.  But today let’s look at Hannah’s story.

There is a woman from Scripture (I Samuel 1 and 2) that set a very good example for me and in sharing her story, perhaps she might offer you wisdom, comfort and encouragement as you go through the painful process of release—whether that is releasing your child to the military, to college, to marriage, or, even perhaps to that first time riding a bike out of your sight.  These are the times in life that challenge us to let go and let God.

Hannah was barren in a culture that saw that as an ultimate disgrace. Yet, rather than allowing the deep pain in her heart to become bitterness, it drove Hannah to seek God more intimately—so intimate was her relationship with the Lord God that she trusted Him with her deepest longings.  Hannah conversed freely with God and received her request to have a child.

After Hannah’s encounter with God her attitude changed before her condition did. She started to live a normal life again prior to having a child (1 Samuel 1:18).  Contentment comes with believing God and finding rest in him.

Hannah soon gave birth to Samuel. When the child was weaned she gave him back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:24-28).  That meant at the age of two or three, Hannah released her child to live at a distance from her and placed him in someone else’s care.  She saw him but once a year.  So intimately did she trust her Lord God that she knew her child could be entrusted to His care—she could let go.

All mothers know that the time will come (or has come) when their children will grow up and leave. There is a time to let them go. No more holding and pulling their emotional cords. It’s time to stop influencing them. Surrender them to be what God has called them to be.  This might involve calling them and praying over them, releasing them to go and fulfill their God given destiny. You will always be their parent but no longer their guide. For some parents this is not easy. On your part it might involve a few tears. But it is the right thing to do (Genesis 2:24). The first 10 verses of 1 Samuel 2 record Hannah’s song of praise to the Lord for answering her petition. And the Lord blessed her with more children.

God didn’t just answer Hannah’s prayer, but gave the world a prophet—a testimony of God’s abundance beyond all Hannah could have asked or imagined as she cried out to the Lord for deliverance from her barren condition.   As we mom’s cry out for our children, we are reminded that God’s ways are not our ways and we can trust Him with our children and with their future.

Oh, Lord God, help me today to let go and trust you.  It isn’t easy to release this one I love into your care, but I know Your ways are best and You love this child more than even I do.  Strengthen me with Your joy and with Your courage.  I entrust this one I love to Your loving arms.  Amen

**Want to receive the Sunday blog in your email?  Go to the top left hand side of this blog to subscribe.  To also  receive the Daily Devotionals in your email you will need to subscribe on the Daily Devotional page.

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