Views

The views expressed here are those of each individual devotion writer. Thank you to our writers for their contributions to this ministry!

Friday, February 3, 2023

Think of Spring

Think of Spring. During these cold winter months as we shuffle in the snow to our cars in the pitch-black morning. The winter solstice is past us. The days are going to start sooner and last longer. I long to wake up with the sunrise to see to the dew on the grass and flowers. Rebirth is coming, spring will be here. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12. Warmer days will come. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us strength during the winter. Remind us of hope and the many blessings of spring. Help us to think of spring even as the cold wind blows around us. In your name we pray, amen.

Charles Kendeigh

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Asking in Faith


But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 


Editor's note: this is intentionally posted on Groundhog Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Words from the book of Joel


Turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. Joel 2:13  

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Trust God Through the Tough Times

Yes, though I walk through the deep, sunless valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me…Psalm 23:4 

When walking through such sunless valleys, which we all do at times during our life spans, it is human for us to experience fear, dread, despair, hopelessness, worry, pain. Psychologically speaking, it is probably somewhat healthy to acknowledge and accept those feelings without letting us be consumed by them.   

It is by our faith in God that we can trust during those difficult periods of our life, that He will ALWAYS be with us during such times. God will not always rescue us from rough patches, but He will always be with us. We must trust this, read His word, and listen for direction and guidance from Him.   

Because He is with us, we can go through trials and hardships with stability, and positive attitudes. We can trust Him completely.  

One of my favorite quotes has for years been: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.” If we put our trust in God, we can find moments of goodness and joy in the scariest of times, knowing that there is hope.   

Prayer: Father God, author of love and hope, help us to turn to you in faith during the toughest of times and in doing so, have positive expectations. Let us praise you and be thankful for your love and guidance in the toughest of times. Amen

Connie Barry

Monday, January 30, 2023

Understanding "I AM"

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14

There are seven “I AM’s” in the gospel of John-

  1. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:35, 51
  2. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  3. Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” John 10:7-9
  4. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
  5. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
  6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7
  7. I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:1-4

God has helped me through many crises. He is the great creator of all the world and the people in it. But at Christmas He came to us in the form of a little baby which grew into Jesus who died for me and all who believe in him. Jesus tells us he came down from heaven and gave his life for us. Through him we can have eternal life and never die. Jesus wants me to be fruitful and tell others who he is. He wanted me to tell you so you can be fruitful too and have everlasting life.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help each and every person I give this devotion to, which has Jesus’ spoken words, believe you are our savior and have them never die, but have eternal life. Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck 

 

Friday, January 27, 2023

The Lord's Prayer

                                        "Pray this way:

                                        Our Father in heaven,

                                         hallowed be your name.

                                         Your kingdom come.

                                         Your will be done,

                                         on earth as it is in heaven.

                                         Give us this day our daily bread.

                                         And forgive us our debts,

                                         as we also have forgiven

                                         our debtors.

                                         And do not bring us to the time of trial,

                                         But rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13                                   

As a child, my mother had me pray every night before bed. I learned several children's prayers for bedtime, but when I was 5, my mom taught me The Lord's Prayer. Each night I learned another verse and then we talked about it. I especially remember the "give us this day our daily bread". My mom explained that God would always provide us with food, but that also meant God would take care of us. I also remember her talking about God forgiving us of our sins, but we also have to forgive others. I remember that after this when The Lord's Prayer was said every week in church, it no longer was just a memorized part of worship, but had real meaning thanks to my mom's teaching before bed.

Also, when I was 5, I spent a night with my grandparents. My grandma prayed with me at bedtime a Danish prayer from her childhood. She made sure I had it memorized in Danish, and then explained that it said, though I was little, God would always take care of me.

I've learned a number of prayers over the years, but the prayer times with my mother and grandmother seem to mean the most to me as I get older.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the people in our lives who have taught us prayers and prayed with us. Thank you for Christ sharing The Lord's Prayer with the disciples. Thank you for having prayer available anytime and anywhere so we can communicate with you. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who inspires us to pray and for your Son Jesus who assures us that our prayers are heard and will be answered. As the Jews in the Old Testament were reminded to pray 3 times daily, help us to remember to pray to become closer in our daily relationship with you. Amen

Nancy Hall

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Prayer


 

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.’” Matthew 6:5-13