Faith is a vital role in the family unit. It draws us together. Holds us tight. Binds us with the ties of God. Keeping faith in our families secures the values of Christ are embedded in our children
DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 8/12/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 46:10 NIV
In elementary school, I was shy, barely having the nerve to raise my hand when I knew an answer. Yet I enjoyed learning, as well as the games we played every day.
One game was the Quiet Game—a genius idea obviously created by a multitasking yet respite-seeking teacher. It begins with the lights off and all students laying their heads on the desks. The teacher asks one student to stand up and search for their quietest colleague. The victor is then tapped on the shoulder. This winning student becomes the new chooser.
Bashfulness aside, I was thrilled to play this game. I discovered I was good at it, which resulted in me being picked more often than others. I mastered the Quiet Game. My secret technique was not just in being quiet—which came easily for a timid student like me—but also in that I had taught myself how to be still. I barely breathed, and I closed my eyes. I didn’t look at the other students around me. My toes were still. As I look back, I wonder if I repeated “Be still” in my mind.
I’m an adult now and rarely engage in group games for leisure. There’s no teacher to push me through the flow of my day. And no classroom. I’ve replaced my “shy” with “introverted.” However, I am continually called to play the Quiet Game.
God invites all of us to play this game. We not only should be quiet and listen for God but also be still with patience before Him. This is how we give Him reverence and acknowledge He is bigger than everything. It’s the way to fully accept that the people and situations in our lives will be pushed through the flow of His plan.
Take part in the Quiet Game today, and practice being still before God.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Marilyn Nutter POSTED 8/5/2018 12:00:01 AM ON John 13:35 ESV
I walked into the hotel lobby, and a sea of lime-green t-shirts met me. I panned the crowd, trying to figure out who the group was.
People dressed in almost blinding neon shirts stood in clusters, laughing. A few seated on sofas were deep in conversation, and many were in a check-in line. I walked to the shortest line to get my room key when a shout calling someone’s name interrupted my train of thought. I turned to see two people embrace. Based on their words, they hadn’t seen each other in a year. The back of the green shirt read, Campbell Family Reunion.
Those who hadn’t attended reunions in a few years, and those who hadn’t seen each other since the last reunion, knew they belonged. Green shirts and their love for each other identified the family.
Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment: “love one another.” He says love will be their identifying mark. They will be distinctively different from others when they show love for each other.
Jesus wasn’t referring to romantic or friendship love, but unconditional love. Love marked by kindness when you are hurt—or by giving up a prime parking spot to someone else. It’s self-control when you feel like responding in anger. Sometimes, love shows itself in patience when you’re in a hurry, but someone else isn’t. It’s the unnatural expression of character Paul says is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
In today’s culture of hurry and get ahead, love that puts others ahead of self stands out. We have seven days of opportunities in our family, neighborhood, school, and workplace to be distinctively different.
Think about your opportunities to show unusual love. You won’t have to wear a lime-green t-shirt, but people will notice.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 7/29/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 John 5:21 NKJV
I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Say that again?” I asked my brother.
“I sold it,” he replied.
The “it” in this case was a cherry red 1967 Chevy II that had been a part of my brother’s life for over forty-four years. He had started with a rusted hulk of a frame in high school and had restored the car from the ground up.
I don’t know how many times I tripped over the Chevy’s transmission and drivetrain in our basement Rec Room. A part of our décor were ‘67 Chevy parts. It became something of a standing joke for Mom and Dad to gift David the money for birthday or Christmas to paint his restoration …. only to have him use the cash for another engine part he needed.
Over the decades—through girlfriends, college, work, marriage, sons of his own, and building a business—the Chevy II slowly came together. It became a lightning-quick show car—a cherry red blur on the back roads of Pamlico County in North Carolina and a favorite at local car shows. It was as well-known as it’s builder ... a thing of beauty and as much a part of David as his middle name.
Now it was gone, sold. But David seemed at peace about it, and indeed he was. “It was an idol,” he explained.
“Do you know how much money I spent on that thing? Not to mention all the time and energy I wasted on it. I spent decades making it perfect. And really, honestly, what did it ever give me in return?”
He had a point. Our Father warned against idols on His stone tablet hit parade (Exodus 20:3), and Jesus reaffirmed it (Mark 12:29, 30). And yet I still have a problem seeing the idols in my life. I tend to think of idols as golden cows or statues of Baal, and since I don’t have those in my closet, I want to consider myself good to go. But idols can come in all manner and forms ... and we should be on guard against them.
David’s idol wasn’t hidden; it was out in the open. He just had to wash the scales from his eyes with the Word to see it.
If you have idols in your life, get rid of them.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 7/22/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Luke 4:30 NASB
In a threatening manner, he came toward me, his knife blade open.
A small table stood between me and the eight-year-old boy. I made good use of it to put more distance between us. As I sent a lightening prayer to heaven, the boy’s forward hand thrust stopped in mid-air. He stood dazed and still. I maneuvered to the telephone and rang the child’s mother. Waiting outside the apartment for her arrival, I reflected on how I found myself in this situation.
Having returned home from a two-year mission trip in China, I discovered my job qualifications had lapsed. After three months and many job interviews, I finally acquired a child-minding position for a couple of hours a day. After the serious threatening posture of the boy in my care, I resigned from the only employment I had.
In Luke 4:28-30, the people in the synagogue objected to what Jesus was saying. Filled with rage, they rose up and cast Him out of the city, planning to throw Him down a cliff to His death. But He passed through their midst and went His way. It was not His time to die.
Father God will protect us until our time has come. Just as the express prayer ceased the boy’s hand from doing any harm to me, Father God will keep you in His care when life-threatening situations arise.
Many years later, I saw the boy’s mother. Her son had grown into a handsome teenager. I was happy to hear his unresolved emotional anger had been dealt with through counseling.
When we go through life knowing God is in control, all goes well. Reach out to Him, and you will survive all that comes your way until it is your time.
DEVOTION BY Martin Wiles POSTED 7/15/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
“No, it’s not okay.” His scream pierced the campground and didn’t subside until I got him to Meme.
My wife and I hatched a plot: take our two oldest grandsons camping. At the time, they were two and five. Our daughter appreciated the three-day break from motherhood.
Things progressed nicely … until we made a trip to the bathhouse. On the way back, our two little munchkins laughed and raced. I didn’t worry too much that they were in the middle of the road. After all, the campground only had a small number of sites and the name was Lazy J. What could possibly happen?
Our smallest grandson—the one we call pig pen or Clumsy Clyde—found a way to fall on the gravel road and skin his knee. He wanted to beat his brother back to the campsite, but stepped out of his shoes and tumbled instead.
I couldn’t imagine the hurt being serious, so I picked him up and told him he was okay. That’s when he screamed loudly enough for the entire campground to hear him: “No, it’s not okay.”
I plopped him into Meme’s lap where he had a good cry as she wiped the blood away, applied some antibiotic cream, and sealed the cut with a bandage. Within thirty minutes, he was fast asleep on grandma’s lap.
Paul says all we have to do is tell God what we need and thank Him for all He has done. Once we’ve done that, His peace will saturate our entire body, soul, and spirit—if we truly leave whatever it is in His hands and don’t take it back to worry over.
Life’s trials have a way of knocking us down, scraping our knees, and making us cry. And they have a tendency to do it when we least expect it … when we’re having fun … trying to beat someone else in life’s race. Before we know it, we’re out of commission and don’t know where to turn.
Been there, done that. And instead of running to the Father where I can receive comfort, healing, and peace, I often go to other sources or other people who cannot do what only He can. Unlike my grandson who didn’t believe what I said, the heavenly Father truly can make things okay.
When life’s not okay, go to the One who can make everything all right.