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 Diana Derringer POSTED 11/10/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Revelation 21:4 NIV
“Who lives here?”
“We do,” I said.
“How long have you lived here?”
“We live here together. Remember, I’m your wife.”
He stared until recognition crossed his face. “When can we go home?”
“We are home. This is where we live now.” Over and over, I gently prodded his memory.
Following a heart attack, a stroke, a fall that resulted in severe brain injury, and a lack of oxygen when his heart and lungs stopped functioning, my husband seemed a goner by medical staff. Miraculously, he survived, but he would need long-term care.
After four weeks, he walked into our home—a home he didn’t recognize. After several days, he began recalling the move to our house, and his questions changed.
“When did we leave the old house?”
“About nine years ago,” I responded.
“Where do we keep the soap?” Or shampoo, bowls, or countless other items used daily. We found them together.
One part of our routine he never questioned was our evening time of Bible reading and prayer. After I finished reading a Bible passage each night—and before we prayed and turned out the lights—he clasped my hand in his.
My husband’s need for outpatient therapy lasted only a few weeks. He quickly progressed from walker to cane to nothing but supervision. Gradually, he regained almost full independence. Bit by bit, most of his memory also returned. He moved from little long-term and almost no short-term memory to primarily short-term memory loss.
The summer following my husband’s hospitalizations, we took a short vacation. Although a refreshing change, it also proved exhausting. The closer we came to Kentucky on our return home, the more excited we grew. Finally, we crossed the state line. With joy in my heart, I echoed his spoken sentiment: “I’ll certainly be glad when we get home.”
Our experience pales in comparison to the rejoicing we’ll experience when we cross the threshold of our eternal home.
Jesus waits with open arms for you to come home. Are you ready?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 11/3/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Peter 3:11 KJV
I once watched a YouTube video about underwater caves. Explorers entered caves, which had stalagmites and stalagmites, as well as other interesting things from long ago. This is one reason explorers love diving into them.
Several men talked about how scientists had said climate change could destroy the blue holes and the underwater caves within a lifetime. One man said he didn't know how he could go on if he didn't have his “church underwater”—as if to say he thought he'd have no reason for living without underwater caves.
I thought of this verse: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of person ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. I love watching videos about scuba diving, and if I wasn't legally blind and had the chance, I think I would scuba dive—although I may not explore underwater caves.
God says there will come a time when He will burn up the earth. In the book of Revelation, John said he saw no more sea. Although this can be disappointing to sea lovers, what God has in eternity for those who love Him is far better than anything our minds can comprehend or earth can offer.
Peter says we should live our lives to please God so that we'll be ready to see Jesus face-to-face, which will be the most wonderful thing we will ever experience.
Live your life as though you want to see Jesus face-to-face.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 10/27/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Galatians 6:9 NIV
The date was October 17, 1954, and Guy and Bryte Lane were hiking across Oak Island, North Carolina.
Their stroll was not a Sunday stroll. Because the bridge was out, they had to take a makeshift ferry just to get to the island. The roads they had traveled in the past were impassable or obliterated. The majestic oaks that gave the island its name lay in mangled ruin.
Guy and Bryte made their way to Long Beach, where they hoped to find their two-year-old oceanfront beach cottage, Sea Lane, still standing. Two days earlier, Hurricane Hazel had howled ashore just south of Oak Island.
When the couple finally broke out of the trees, they paused in shock. The beach had been wiped clean. Out of the 357 structures that had stood forty-eight hours earlier, only five remained on their foundation. Most cottages were in a jumbled mess, 500 feet from where they had once stood. The hurricane had created a brand new inlet, splitting the island in half.
And so it was with Sea Lane. As Guy and Bryte reached what had once been East Beach Drive, they realized their beloved cottage, like so many others, was gone.
The story could have ended here. Guy could have sold the oceanfront lots he owned and washed his hands of the whole affair. But he didn’t. Half buried in the swamp behind the beach, Guy found a surprisingly intact cottage. He contacted the owner, purchased it for $500, hauled it back to the beach, and put it up on deep-driven wooden pilings. There, his wife and their four children painstakingly cleaned out the mud and swamp water.
This new “Sea Lane” provided generations of Guy and Bryte’s children, grandchildren (including your humble author), and great-grandchildren with years of memories. All because Guy Lane refused to let a hurricane stand in the way of providing for his wife the beach cottage she longed to enjoy.
Paul encountered constant obstacles as he struggled to fulfill God’s will: hunger, thirst, robbery, shipwrecks, snakebite, beatings, stoning, and even a hurricane of his own. Yet he, too, persevered and completed the journey God set before him.
What is God calling you to finish today? Don’t let obstacles keep you from it.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 10/20/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Ruth 1:7 NASB
The tree loppers worked hard.
Our yard backs up to a school playground. We rose one morning to the sound of chain saws. The workers were removing a mistletoe-infested tree from the school yard.
Tall and majestic and a leafy haven for local birdlife, the tree was there one day, gone the next. The sounds of the birds disappeared. All was quiet. No longer did we experience the music of baby birds learning to feed and fly.
Change also occurred for us. Our view changed. Our yard now laid bare and open to all passersby.
Sometimes, God does this to us. When we become comfortable—settled in our ways and content with our rate of growth—He rips something from under us and propels us into another level of awakedness.
At first, we only see what we have lost. But as God gently opens new doors and possibilities, we see our lives afresh as new hope arises.
Ruth, a Moabite who married a Jewish son of Naomi, faced a similar situation. When these two women both lost their men to death, Ruth followed Naomi back to her homeland, an arduous journey with an unknown future. But God had great plans for Ruth. She resettled and eventually became King David’s great-grandmother and an ancestor to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
As we sat in front of the fire during the winter months, we reflected on the change the tree loppers brought to our comfort zone. We gained enough wood to heat our home the whole winter. Birds, too, are slowly returning to our backyard.
Adjusting to sudden change can be traumatic. Sometimes life throws us unto unfamiliar territory. Change gives us opportunity to remember God always accompanies us wherever we go, whatever we do, and whatever happens. Then, peace invades our hearts as we explore those new horizons He opens, which help us mature into the image of Jesus Christ.
Allow God to make the changes needed for you to grow. He is trustworthy.
DEVOTION BY Sheila Krygsheld POSTED 10/13/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 7:37 NIV
Some of my fondest memories have been around our four-legged beast.
Dinner time has always been an event at our house. Our family comes together around our table to eat, but conversations emerge and then laughter—lots of laughter. Sometimes, we toss food around, feed the dogs under the table what the kids don’t want, read the Bible, and make prayers—all the time.
We have signed college scholarship papers for two of our kids on that table, celebrated many birthdays, and completed numerous homework assignments. It's a hallmark of our kitchen. It bids us come, eat, fellowship, be in the vicinity of each other, watch the outdoors when in disagreement, and hold hands to pray in good and bad times.
We've changed diapers on that table when necessary as well as popped champagne and wiped tears. But one thing stands firm: we were never alone around the table. Even when we couldn’t find placemats and had to use paper plates, the table reminded us of love and an invitation to join. Loneliness has never surrounded our table.
God also sets a table before us. He wants us to come, take a seat, and enjoy His company. But more than that, He invites us to commune, talk, reason, and argue. He also invites us to express disappointments and misunderstandings, shed tears, and talk about all kinds of mysteries. He wants us to jump up excitedly about victories won and mourn the losses that break our hearts.
But we have to join God. By doing so, we also let our heavenly siblings love on us and do life with us. Jesus ate with Pharisees, had expensive perfume poured on Him, served friends, prepared a table within eyesight of His enemies, and blessed food—all around a table.
Jesus wants us to spend some time at the table and let Him serve us from the rich bounty of His Word. He can heal us of any brokenness we have.
Feast on God’s goodness. Let Him handfeed you His rich truths.