Sunday, August 17, 2008
Day 34 - Monday, August 18
Note: This is mine! It is a tribute to my mother whom I lost on May 7, 2002 due to complications of diabetes and kidney failure. Today, August 18 is her birthday. She would have been 65.
Bible Verse - Mark 10:15-16 (NIV)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
God has blessed my husband and me with two beautiful daughters, though it has been at times a hard road to travel. I often look at them sleeping and realize what a great responsibility we have in teaching them to become strong Christian women. It is a responsibility that we do not have alone. God tells us we are all one body (Rom. 12:5). We have been charged with the nurturing of each other’s spirits (Heb. 3:12-14).
In teaching the preschool class, I see the love and the awe that our little children have for God and Christ. I pray that we all have that same attitude when we are faced with living for the kingdom of God.
As we bow our heads in prayer to you, I pray that we can look to our little children as examples. Let us look to your kingdom with no reservations, falling into your arms as our sole provider. Lord, thank you for giving us your love and your blessings. And thank you for your Son who is the greatest example of all.
In His name we pray, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... As I have said in a previous blog thought, our children are a blessing. We know the love that God must have for us because of the love that we have for our children. It is unlike any feeling I have ever felt.
As Christians we must be like children. They are innocent beings that look to their parents for everything. We should be that way with God, our Father. We should learn to stop depending on ourselves. We should depend on our Father for all we have. He is our Provider, our Comforter, our Redeemer, and our Friend. We can come to Him with anything.
The reason I say "it has been at times a hard road to travel" is because my pregnancies were troubled. During my first pregnancy I was nauseated (and all that comes with that) and lost over 30 pounds. I also had a miscarriage about 7 months after my mother passed away. When I finally did get pregnant again (over a year later), I had to be put on bed rest for most of the pregnancy due to spotting. I had the nausea and weight loss with that one too. I went into labor 2 months early, had her a month early, and she spent almost 2 weeks in the NICU. She has had some issues since then that are associated with being premature, but besides a few allergies she is fine now. We have been told by the doctors to continue to look for signs of other problems like learning disabilities that she could encounter later. However, we have not seen any problems with that. She will be 4 in September. She can already write her name, recognize most of her letters, and can sound out most of them too. We have two healthy, beautiful daughters and are truly blessed. (I have a picture of them on my spark page.)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Day 33 - Sunday, August 17
Note: This young man is a high school student. He is one of the sons that were adopted by G.P. and B.P. who wrote two of the previous devotionals. He is active in our teen program and is a volunteer for our youth program.
Bible Verse - Psalms 22:25 (NKJ)
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
When God’s people come together, they usually praise Him. That’s what He expects. So when you get together with other Christians and praise Him, think of His greatness, His power, and His awesome love. And ask Him to fill your heart with praise.
I pray that when we praise you that we will do it in a manner pleasing to you. Thank you for sending your Son to die for us.
In Your Son’s name, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... Many people get up on Sunday morning with the thought, "I HAVE to go to church today." I don't think that way at all. It is a privilege to go to church. I look forward to coming together with my brothers and sisters in Christ. How can there be a better way to show you love one another than to come together in praise to our Father?
Special Note: Today is my nephew M.R.'s birthday. He turns 8. (He's the smaller one on my blog page who is in Oompa Loompa costume.)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Day 32 - Saturday, August 16
Note: This young man is a middle school student and the grandson of one of our elders. He's one of the quiet ones, but he is very outgoing in his own way. At the school's lip sync contest, he and his friends won third place. A kindergartener entered the contest and was well liked by the crowd, but he didn't win. He started to tear up after he found out he didn't win. J.B. and his group gave their trophy to the kid.
Bible Verse – John 11:35 (NIV)
Jesus showed that he cares enough for us to weep with us in our sorrow. He wept openly. If Jesus can show true emotions and feelings, then we shouldn’t be afraid to show our emotions. Sometimes boys are expected to hide their emotions to appear more “manly,” but we must never be afraid to show our true emotions especially in our relationship with God.
Thank you for giving your son to die on the cross for our sins, so we could walk in his path. Thank you, Lord, for teaching us to show our emotions through our love for you in our daily life. Help us to always show our true feelings in all that we do. I ask all of these things in His name.
Additional Thoughts... We think about a lot of the emotions that Jesus portrayed in his life. He was humble, calm, and sincere. We often think of him walking slowly with his hands clasped together in front of him, his robe flowing softly from his body. We also think about the anger he displayed in the temple when he overturned the money changers tables. But, we hardly ever think about him crying. He didn't just cry, he wept bitterly. Lazarus, his friend, had died. Mary and Martha had lost their brother. He was hurting. We need to know that Jesus understands the feelings that we have. We can come to God through Christ with anything. He will intercede.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Day 31 - Friday, August 15
Note: The writer of this devotional is the wife of one of our previous writers. She is the mother of two adopted little girls. A former teacher, she became a stay-at-home-mom when they started trying to adopt their first little girl. They are unable to have biological children of their own.
Bible Verse - Luke 17:3-4 (NKJ)
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.
We all need forgiveness; but for some of us, extending it is harder than accepting it. I don’t struggle with forgiving those that wrong me once. However, extending forgiveness to a “repeat offender” is a huge challenge for me. Yet I am a “repeat offender” in the eyes of God! Forgiving others is a prerequisite for my receiving God’s forgiveness. Keeping my own need for forgiveness in mind helps me grant forgiveness and extend mercy to others.
When the sting of betrayal seems more than what I am able to forgive… please help me draw closer to You, realizing the infractions in my own life are great. Grant me the ability to graciously extend mercy and forgiveness to others as You have so willingly done for me.
In Christ’s Holy name, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... As I stated in yesterday's additional thoughts, I am one of those who needs to practice being slow to anger. I am also one who needs to practice being quick to forgive. I can hold a grudge. I don't really mean to, sometimes; but it is hard to forgive someone who hasn't asked for forgiveness.
When I was in my early 20's, I was in an auto accident with a cop driving an unmarked vehicle. It was his fault. He tried passing me when I was making a left turn. But because HE said he was running his lights and siren (which he wasn't, but there were no witnesses), I am the one who got the ticket. Not only did I get a ticket, but I got sued by the police department he worked for. He got up and lied on the stand. Of course, they believed him. The worst thing of it all was that he was supposed to be a friend of my dad's. He was supposed to be a Christian. Some example he turned out to be. He never apologized for everything that he put me through, but I know that I should forgive him. I know he's probably already forgotten it ever happened, but it is something that has scarred me for life. Should I forgive him? Yes! Have I forgiven him? Yes! Can I forget and act like it never happened? NO! and I never will! Does God require that of me? No, I don't think he does. He just asks that we forgive one another. I have forgiven. I can't forget.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Day 30 - Thursday, August 14
Note: This devotional was written by one of our elders. He is a quiet, but remarkable, man. He and his wife adopted their granddaughter. Even though he is retired military and was also ready to retire from his job at a tire manufacturer, he decided to stay on to make money to put back for her college. Then, his wife passed away suddenly. He went ahead and retired and is now raising her by himself.
Bible Verse - Proverbs 16:32 (KJV)
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
In this fast-paced world, there are still some things that remain better off slow, and being slow to anger is one of them. The God of all creation knows the value of this great virtue. He knows without it one can encounter life’s biggest regrets. Jesus is remembered warmly for His control and anger management. He did not do what we all know He had the power to do. The world would be nowhere had Jesus gotten angry at the crucifixion and retaliated against His tormentors and killers.
May we practice and study the control of this wonderful characteristic and use it each time that we are overpowered with angry ambitions.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... I am one of those people who needs to practice being slow to anger. I typically speak before I think and most of the time put my foot in my mouth. While I try not too, I tend to hold a grudge. I'm really trying to work on those bad qualities.
God wants us to mirror our Savior. He was slow to anger, but he did get angry when it was necessary. I pray that I can be more like Him. While there may be a time and a place for anger, I know that my human frailties sometimes get the best of me.
Get An Email Alert Each Time LONKEN Posts