A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Faith & Family

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

Love One Another

Years of rich fellowship in college Bible studies and group gatherings left me unprepared for the different environment of a small local church. Would they follow Jesus’ command to love one another?

Instead of college-age students, I sat among people ranging from a newborn baby to a ninety-two-year-old widow. Rather than listening to a charismatic, enthusiastic speaker, I heard a message that felt barely adequate. Even the music seemed odd and out of date rather than upbeat. I dearly missed the enthusiasm and joy found in my college friends.

My husband and I attempted to reset our expectations for the local church, but it was a slow process. Dutifully, we attended Sunday services out of habit and obedience but were more disillusioned each week.

My husband’s job in the high school eventually led to relationships with teenagers and a Bible study in our home. We were refreshed and encouraged by their openness to explore a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our church opened its doors to the teens when the Bible study outgrew our tiny house.

Every Thursday, a small crew of faithful saints prepared 6:30 a.m. breakfasts for scores of high schoolers. No questions asked. No suggestions given. The church we found lacking loved and supported us as teenagers showed up week after week. Those dear volunteers were thrilled to minister. And we discovered new eyes to appreciate our local church.

God provided people who modeled love like we’d not expected. The love of Jesus in their hearts was freely passed on to a hungry roomful of teens. Many years later, we would continually learn of a long-lasting impact on the lives touched during those years.

Connecting with a local body of believers can be challenging. I get it. In the current culture, it’s far too easy to abandon the practice of going to church. But don’t give up. Find a group of believers who faithfully love one another. You, too, will find yourself soaking up the generous love of saints.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and pexels.)

Through the Fog

It was a beautiful morning for a walk. Dew clung to the wildflowers lining the rock path, and pine trees towered into the mist. A fog hung over the lake, keeping me from seeing to the other side. But instead of feeling invigorated by the cool morning before the heat of the July day, my feet felt like lead. My whole body was weighed down like a backpack filled with rocks. I couldn’t see through the fog.

As I walked, I unpacked the rocks I had collected and carried over the past week—worries about a child’s struggles in a friendship, financial concerns, a new business, and my health. One by one, I brought them to the Lord.

“Lord, I have been carrying this burden, and it is weighing me down. Yet I know that I can’t control it. I can’t bring the outcome for which I hope. Help me remember, Jesus, that You are with me. I give You this concern.”

Peter implores us to cast all our anxiety on the Lord because He cares. But why is that sometimes so difficult? The verse preceding it may hold the key. Peter tells us to humble ourselves.

As much as I hated to admit it, my anxiety revealed pride. Believing I could and should be able to fix the problems I saw. Was I depending on the Lord and recognizing that His sovereignty and wisdom far surpassed mine?

No great epiphany came that revealed a clear path out of any of the situations I faced. The way was still as hidden as the path before me lay shrouded in the fog. But I felt lighter. I had released my cares to the Lord, who cares for me and knows best.

What cares have you been shouldering? Give them to the Lord, even when you cannot see the path ahead.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Peggychoucair.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Holding On

Though her family dearly loved Grandmother Smith, they realized she simply would not tolerate any inquiries about her age. In short, it was a forbidden subject at all family gatherings. However, one time, a gathering included some family members who were infrequent attendees and unaware of the taboo subject.

“This is Grandmother. She’s your great-grandmother,” one mother said, introducing four-year-old Kathy. The last time we saw her, you were just a baby.” Kathy’s eyes grew wide as she absorbed the information.

“She’s shy sometimes, but she’s usually very curious,” the mother said to Grandmother.

Kathy continued to regard Grandmother, but finally, curiosity won out, and she asked, “How old are you?"

Recognizing childish curiosity but maintaining her dignity, Grandmother replied, "I'm 39 and holding."

Before Kathy’s mother could intercede, Kathy spoke again. "How old would you be if you let go?"

While this was a question for Grandmother to consider, it's also something I can ask myself—particularly when I need to let go of the worries and anxieties on my spiritual journey so I can cope with adversity. 

This is an ongoing problem—one that is futile for me to worry over. I could easily trust God to handle everything and then rely on Him to provide me with reassurance that would give me confidence. After all, He knows what I’m dealing with and has perfectly planned solutions for me.

Ultimately, we all need to let go of our worries and anxieties and let God sweep in with the encouragement and faith that enables us to deal with the problem. Then we can resume our spiritual journey with a new purpose.

Think of some things you are holding on to that you need to let go of.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and geralt.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


Pumpernickel, the cat, has been with us for almost a year and a half now. She is nearly sixteen months old and has finally moved out of her kitten stage and into the early stages of the cat she will become.

She knows I keep a container of kitty treats on my desk, and every so often during the day, she will lightly jump up on my desk to ask for a snack. It is amazing how cats seem to defy gravity when they set their sights on a destination above, sometimes way above, their heads.

And so it was one day that Pumpernickel—that sweet, loving, intelligent cat—did one of her floating jumps up to my desktop, landing lightly beside my keyboard. She settled patiently on her haunches and fixed me with that “Papa, may I have a treat, please?” stare.

I was reading off my computer monitor at that moment. So, without taking my eyes off the screen, I absent-mindedly reached over to the kitty-treat container, snapped open the top, and fished out a treat. Sliding the little snack into the palm of my hand, as I always did, and while still reading off the computer, I held out my hand to my precious little Pumpernickel. Whereupon said precious Pumpernickel happily emptied the contents of her stomach into my hand.

Fortunately, it wasn’t much. And equally fortuitous, I have a relatively low gag reflex. Still, it was touch-and-go there with my own stomach for a minute.

Pumpernickel looked at what she had done and then at me with those big green eyes that distinctly said, “Oops, that wasn’t supposed to happen.” With a long-suffering sigh, I cleaned and washed my hand, stroked her for a minute to tell her it was okay, and fished out another treat.

The Word tells us after our Lord freed the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, even as they basked in the glow of their new freedom, they wasted no time diving into ugly, ungrateful disobedience. Ten times we are told, before they even got a good start toward the Promised Land, they revolted. Accounts of ungrateful disobedience to our Lord fill the Bible from beginning to end, from Adam and Eve to Revelation.

Then there are my personal “Oops” moments in my walk with the Lord. Those things that only He and I know about that must smell like vomit to Him. And yet He forgives me.

How incredibly deep and everlasting must our Lord’s love be to still call us His children after all that? Thank you, Father, for your incredible love and forgiveness.

Take some time daily to thank your heavenly Father for every good and perfect gift.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and TeamK.)

A Mountain of Provision

We had gotten through nearly thirty years of marriage without running out of gas. Then it happened.

We had our ten-month-old twin grandbabies in the back seat and decided to drive up the canyon to walk in Estes Park. Noticing my tank said, “low fuel,” my husband stopped at the gas station. Unfortunately, all the gas pumps said, out of gas. I tried to remember when the low fuel warning appeared. Did we have enough gas to make it up the mountain? Since I drive a hybrid, maybe that would help.

Halfway up the canyon, we heard a strange sputtering sound from the car. Luckily, we were next to a fly-fishing parking area and quickly pulled over. Two other vehicles were parked there, and a man with two teenagers stood by the river’s edge. He was visiting from out of state. In fact, he was from the very town where Chad and I grew up.

While he drove Chad to get gas, I waited with the twins, thankful they were sleeping. The sky grew darker quickly, and the other car left the parking lot. I wondered how long it would be before Chad returned. I checked the locks on the doors. One of the twins woke up, and I climbed into the backseat to give her a bottle. As I did, the setting sun cast a rose gold shaft of light on the canyon wall, illuminating violet lupines. The creeping anxiety about being stranded was suddenly replaced by wonder at the beauty surrounding me.

How many times during our marriage had we gotten ourselves into one mess or another and seen God graciously provide exactly what we needed?

God provided for the children of Israel as they wandered in the desert—manna, water, and shoes that did not wear out. God provided a ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son. Later, God gave His own Son as the provision for our need for a Savior. And Jesus promised that if God cares for the birds and flowers, He will surely care for us.

Can you remember a time when God provided exactly what you needed, regardless of the predicament you were in? Learn to rejoice in the Lord’s provision.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and sasint.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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