Monday, May 30, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Life lessons learned from being under construction

Under Construction
A devotional by Shirley A. Denson

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” – Romans 8:28 AMP

Over the past few years, things may not have turned out quite as you’ve expected.

It may have seemed like wherever you turned all you saw was chaos and debris. What used to be “normal” was no longer normal, and life as you’ve once known it was a fading memory. It may have looked like everything around you—everything in your life—was being destroyed or taken away from you. Although a lot has transpired, and these past few years may have looked like destruction, for many it was actually construction happening!

You may have seemingly seen your future lying haphazardly in a heap of carnage amongst unfulfilled dreams, delayed promises, and misguided expectations and thought all your dreams and aspirations were destroyed. When you thought you should have been advancing, you may have experienced major setbacks.

You may have felt like you were losing everything, or you may have lost everything at some point. However, there’s nothing lost that God won’t replenish, in abundance. It may have felt like everything you held dear was being destroyed. Though you may have been struck down, you were not destroyed. Destruction is damaging something beyond repair, but construction is building. Even after destruction, something new can be built. Even loss is a part of the plan. God always has a plan of redemption.

Although the effect of deconstruction and construction may look similar, their results are not the same. Destruction is tearing down, whereas, construction is building up. Your life may look like a battlefield right now, but know that God still has a plan. In some instances, some things have to be destructed so that other things can be constructed. Old mindsets, habits, dependencies, tainted relationships, and toxic environments had to be destroyed so that the plan God has for you can come together.

Everything isn’t always the devil, and even when it is it can be worked for good. If you’re having a hard time right now, press into God’s Holy Spirit more. It may not be for your demise, but for your good. You very well may be under construction right now. Things may look in disarray, but from the ashes of the debris something beautiful will be constructed. You can stand in confidence knowing that because you’re deeply loved by God, He won’t let you fail.

His plan for your life will prevail!

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, I thank You for knowing my end from the beginning. You knew every detail, intricacy, and detour of my life before the foundations of the world were formed. Help me to trust Your plan through the seasons when things seem unclear. Give me faith to endure until everything works out. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Shirley’s devotional message today reminds me of two songs: “Confidence” by Sanctus Real (Listen to it here) and “God is in Control” by Twila Paris (Listen to it here).

Author Bio:

Shirley A. Denson is a native of Statesboro, GA. 

She found out at a young age that she had a creative mind and a way with words. Later on in life, she learned to cultivate her passion for writing as a budding author.

Shirley is very passionate about writing. Each book that she releases will be a product of God stirring and cultivating the gift He’s entrusted her with. She has won numerous writing awards/certificates, and is a published poet and blogger.

For the past six years, Shirley has worked as a professional ghostwriter, editor, and author. It is her joy and goal that through print, she might impact lives and leave the imprint of the King.

Visit her website to stay in the loop about her new book releases, current projects, and to read her blog posts.

Connect with Shirley:

Friday, May 27, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Ways Are Not Our Ways

His Ways Are Not Our Ways
A devotional by Wendy Wilson Spooner

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”—Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

How hard it must have been for Moses to lead the children of Israel for 40 years, and then not be allowed to lead them into the Promised Land.

God raised up Joshua to give Moses a break before his time was over on this earth. At least that’s one way to look at it, and that scenario brings me comfort knowing what an unbelievably humble and patient but never-endingly strong leader the baby in the bullrushes became.

Moses was born to enslaved Israelite parents under Pharaoh’s rule. Pharaoh worried about a revolt with the growing Israelite to the extent that he ordered the extermination of all male babies to weaken the inhabitants in them. The mother of Moses was determined to save her baby. So, she sent her daughter to set him free on the Nile River, out of the clutches of Pharoah’s command. But the King of Egypt never guessed his daughter would find Moses in a basket on the river bank and claim the future prophet as her own.

Read more about this remarkable true story in Exodus 2:1-10.

Two major life lessons can be gleaned from this Bible story:

Life Lesson #1: God keeps His promises.

Always wait on the Lord even when the outcome may not happen as quickly as we would like. Once the Israelites arrived at Jericho, they were not given permission to storm the city. They had to wait seven days while marching and camping, waiting on the Lord. A deepening of faith comes when we wait on the Lord, our trust in Him increases, and when we wait in faith, listening and following each step of guidance, God will undoubtedly renew and transform us. A large amount of time passed from when God originally promised the land to the Israelites, and when they entered and claimed it as their own.

Life Lesson #2: Obedience to the Lord brings great blessings.

God gave Joshua very specific directions to defeat Jericho and claim the city. When we read this Bible story, it almost sounds like a fairy tale because of its simplicity. But the Lord usually keeps things pretty simple for us like asking the Israelites to merely look at the snake Moses raised up on his staff to be healed and to be saved (Numbers 21:8). It’s we who complicate what He commands.

Ultimately, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s instructions, and the fallen walls became a crucial confirmation that God was fulfilling His promise to them as they took ownership of the Promised Land. The strategy the Lord provided Joshua to overthrow the fortified city of Jericho certainly defied all basic military logic. Read about it in Joshua 5 and Joshua 6. However, this story shows us that if we rely on God and His ways, He will always bring the best results in every aspect of our lives if we trust Him.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord, bless us to have faith that our own walls can be overcome when we are obedient to your guidance, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, because we know you see everything from the beginning to the end. Help us to trust and obey You, Lord. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Wendy’s devotional message today reminds me of a song from The Prince of Egypt (movie) soundtrack! Listen to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey sing “When You Believe” here.

Author Bio:

Wendy is a Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.

Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths because she’s found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction.

Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we really are—the children of God, and the descendants of incredible people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. Wendy believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become a better generation.

As an award-winning family history writer, Wendy’s debut novel, Once Upon an Irish Summer, released April 3, 2020. This book is a dual timeline historical fiction novel about a young, gifted artist suffering from debilitating grief, who finds healing and inspiration in her Irish ancestry, and goes on to paint a masterpiece.

The sequel, Celtic Winter: Eliza’s Story, released November 5, 2021. The storyline goes back in time to the little sister left behind in Ireland to keep her family alive, woven with present-day Beth’s continuing story as she races the clock with the young man she loves to find the only person who could save his mother’s life.

When Wendy is not researching or writing, she hikes, paints, loves being a church youth leader, binges on epic Bollywood movies, and hangs out with her greatest loves—her family.

Connect with Wendy:

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: What Dandelions Taught Me About God

A Life Lesson Learned from Dandelions
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”—2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

A few weeks ago, I took a long walk down the gravel road near my home.

The weather was warm and refreshing after an unusually cold week in April. It had recently rained and the creek flowing beneath the narrow concrete bridge was gushing over the rocks before settling in the calm pool a little further down the creek.

On that particular day, dandelions were everywhere, and I had collected quite the bouquet.

Feeling curious, I stood at the bridge and broke the stems off the dandelions, dropping the dandelion blossoms over the edge. I wanted—and expected—the dandelions to land perfectly in the flowing water. But they didn’t. The blossoms would land upside down in the water so only the short, stubby stem was visible. I tried dropping them more gently and even waited for the breeze to calm, but nothing worked. Not even my best efforts would place those dandelions right side up in the creek.

But then, something unexpected happened. The calm water carried my dandelion blossoms to the rocks. The water rushed over the rocks and through the troubled waters, my little dandelion blossoms turned right side up and floated elegantly into the calm pool—just as I wanted them to.

This experience taught me a life lesson. I learned that my best efforts were not enough. So often, this is the case for many of us. We try so hard to make everything absolutely perfect, but the harder we try, the more of a disaster we create. It is our natural tendency to simply ‘try harder’ when things do not work out as we want them to. For years we have been told by our culture that we can accomplish anything if we only try harder. Culture and other influences have told us continuously that failure is weakness. And weakness can only bring about shame. Shame that we did not do enough. Or worse, shame that we personally are not enough.

Even as Christians we do our best to hide our weaknesses. When we are unable to accomplish a task, we make excuses and find a way to dismiss ourselves of responsibility. As Christians, shouldn’t we be joyful in our weakness? Paul was certainly joyful in his weakness. In fact, Paul would glory in his weakness. Paul was joyful in his weakness because he knew it was the best way to bring glory to God (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Consider Moses—he had a speech problem and God chose him to lead the nation of Israel. Why would God choose someone who was completely unqualified for the task? God chose Moses because his weakness would bring God the most glory (Exodus 4:10-12). His strength is made perfect in weakness.

The idea of weakness is such a troubling idea to most of us because it takes true humility to accept it. Humility involves taking the spotlight off of us and placing it on God. We would have to acknowledge that we cannot do everything on our own and that God is the one who should receive all the praise and the glory.

One truth I would like to assure you with, dear reader, is this:
If it is God’s will, He will make it happen. I know that most Christians believe this intellectually, but many of us do not hold this truth in our hearts. God is going to take care of you even if your life seems a little upside down right now. You may have to cross the troubled water. You may have to face a few trials. But you are exactly where He wants you to be. Through all the ups and downs—all your mistakes and shortcomings—His strength is being made perfect.

Not a single dandelion grows beyond our God’s notice. And I assure you, dear reader, God is going to take care of you and turn your world right side up.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord, thank You for taking our weakness and using it for Your glory. Teach us to be humble and search for opportunities to give You praise. Our lives are in Your hands, and we entrust our past, present, and future to You. Help us to know Your love for us that we may be able to live it out each day through faith. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Tessa’s devotional message reminds me of two songs, “I Will Go” by Crystal Lewis (Listen to it here) and “His Strength is Perfect” by CeCe Winans (Listen to it here).

Author Bio:

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois to Christian parents and has known Jesus personally since the age of five.

She is currently attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

God’s dream of Tessa becoming a writer was revealed to her at the age of sixteen and she hasn’t been able to stop since. Though she has not yet been published, Tessa enjoys writing historical romance novels and speculative fiction.

Tessa believes God loves stories, and through her writing, she wants to reveal the happily ever after God dreams of for each of his daughters—one where Jesus is the knight in shining armor.

Tessa loves all things Georgian/Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size. When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, Tessa can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the mixing bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

Connect with Tessa:

Monday, May 23, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Looking for God with Great Expectations

Great Expectations
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.”
–Psalm 123:1 (NLT)

A few weekends ago, our local Air Force base held an air show.

My family spent a good portion of a beautiful spring day squinting into a bright blue sky watching with anticipation for something to happen. We saw everything from vintage aircraft to cutting-edge jets over the course of the afternoon. Anytime we heard an engine rumble, our heads whipped around, scanning the sky until someone pointed, “Over there!” or yelled, “I see them!”

The high point of the afternoon was an aerial display of precision flying by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. We were not far off the runway and had incredible seats to watch this amazing show happen almost directly over our heads.

As we watched with open-mouthed excitement, I was struck a little by how several people, especially during the highlight events, didn’t look up from their phones, or just walked around the grounds, heads down, like nothing was happening. They had made a trip to be there, so they were not unaware of what was going on, yet they did not seem to care.

I admit that I often get distracted by other things and forget that I should be watching for God every day. He is always up to something, in both the ordinary and extraordinary moments of my life. How often do I wander around, not even noticing when He is at work right beside me?

Two of the best stories in the Bible about anticipation are back-to-back in the book of Luke, early in Jesus’s life when He lived and walked on this earth. In Luke 2:25-35, we meet Simeon, a man filled with the Spirit who had been assured by God that he would see Jesus before he died. On that day, it seems he allowed himself to be led to the temple and had the chance to bless Jesus. Simeon lived his life in connection with the Spirit and in anticipation that God was at work. He was rewarded for his faithfulness.

In the next verses, Luke 2:36-38, we see the prophetess Anna, who had spent many of her 84 years in the temple, waiting to see the Messiah. It seems that she expected God to show up, so she prayed, waited, and watched. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the temple that day, she was there, available to give Him the blessing she had waited years to do. What might she have missed out on if she hadn’t been there that day, working and waiting in anticipation?

God’s kingdom is here and is moving around us every day. Spiritual battles are being fought through prayer and intercession every day. People in our lives are in need of Good News every day. If we don’t have an expectation that God is at work, what might we miss?

We see what we expect to see. Those of us who looked up during the air show got a day of excitement and fun, which was just what I was expecting. I don’t want to miss what God has in store for today, so I choose to “look up” in anticipation and wonder. How about you?

Let’s Pray: Father God, remind me to watch in anticipation of You showing up in my life. Keep my eyes open to Your perfect timing and Your amazing miracles. I believe You are here and You are at work in the world. Please stay with me as I learn to see You more and more every day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: This devotional by Glynis reminds me of the song “Look Up Child” by Lauren Daigle. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume. 

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.

Connect with Glynis:

Friday, May 20, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Celebrations and Seasons of Life

A Season of Celebrations
A devotional by Erin M. Handley

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.”
– Isaiah 43:2-4 (NIV)

During this time of year (springtime), there are certain joyous celebrations that are recognized and celebrated: school graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the wedding season.

Simply put, this season is traditionally recognized as a time to acknowledge and celebrate others for the work they have done to reach certain milestones in their lives. Unfortunately, as much as we are there to celebrate others for the milestones they have achieved, we may start to focus on the goals and milestones that we have not been able to achieve in our own lives.

For some people, attending and celebrating the graduations of others may evoke thoughts and emotions that stem from the reminder that they have not been able to obtain a specific certification, diploma, or degree they aspired to secure. During the days that many celebrate mothers and fathers, others find themselves in anguish as they suffer through the constant reminder that they are unable to celebrate their own parents due to frail familial relationships or the death of their parents. There are many who are forced to remember that although they desire to commit to a relationship through marriage, they have not been able to partner with another individual who loves them as they desire to reciprocate in a lifelong relationship.

No matter how we desire to join alongside others to celebrate their accomplishments, sometimes it causes us to focus on the things we were unable to attain in our own lives. Nonetheless, we should condition ourselves to focus on the things we have accomplished such as starting new jobs or reaching career milestones. Some of us have maintained healthy relationships in one capacity or another. Then there are some who have managed to have the desire to keep going despite the spirit of defeat that can sometimes feel overwhelming. No matter how easy it is to focus on what you did not do that you desired to do, remember all of the things that you were able to accomplish.

In Isaiah 43:2 (NIV), the scripture says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

If you find yourself focusing on what you have not done, remember how much you have done. When you do this, you may find that it was in those moments that God kept his hand on you. He covered you and delivered you when the season seemed to go awry. Even when our goals are not met and feel as though they are impossible, remember that God’s love for you is what gets you through that trying season and with His help, you are able to try again.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank you for continuously reminding us that even though we have not been able to do all of the things we may have set out to do, you have allowed us the time to sit, reflect, and strategize so we may try again. We know that is only with your help, love, and guidance that we will be redirected to do the things that you have assigned for us to do. We know that some of the things we aspire for may not be a part of the plan you have for us, but we also know that if we continue seeking you, you will help us pursue the goals that are made for us. We thank you, and we love you. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Erin’s devotional message reminds me of the song “When You Walk Through the Water” by Allison Durham. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

With an ever-growing desire to continually learn the Word of God and present teachings based on Biblical principles, Erin M. Handley is committed to her calling of teaching and inspiring others to ‘be more by doing more’. With this in mind, Erin mentors young women and appreciates seeing the growth and change in the lives she impacts. 

While she sincerely enjoys mentoring and speaking to young people, she is most passionate about educating and empowering women from various stages of life about Biblical Womanhood and how to live out those principles in today’s world.

For over 15 years, Erin has worked with youth and adolescents in the fields of mental and behavioral health, education, and ministry. When reflecting on her experiences in ministry and non-ministry settings, her most memorable encounters have been those that allowed her the opportunity to teach the Word of God in a way that is most relatable to the audience she served in that moment. She has enjoyed writing since her youth, but only recently felt the call to share her writing with the world.

With an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Ministry and Pastoral Counseling, Erin M. Handley has been fortunate to be able to leverage her gifts and her passions throughout her career in Education.

Aside from reading, writing, and mentoring, Erin enjoys dancing, interior design, cooking, and most other activities which allow her to utilize her creativity.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Why Jesus Christ is Our Greatest Treasure

Our Greatest Treasure
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
—Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Thrift store shopping is my Achilles heel, the only hobby that, if left unchecked, sends me on a never-ending treasure hunt. My friend Deb understands my predicament. She can shop like there's no tomorrow, provided she honors her husband's wishes by donating unwanted items before stepping foot in the store.

Bargain hunting, like any other addiction, is captivating. All it takes is a designer top, a piece of jewelry, or a unique knick-knack to itch a place inside we can't scratch. But it's only temporary, and the addictive cycle is stuck on repeat.

Idolatry is like that.

Whether it's more likes on Facebook, a lower number on the scale, a promotion, or that attention-getting outfit, we're all hunting for something. None of these pursuits are wrong in and of themselves, but if we're not careful, we can fall for the lie that something or someone other than Jesus Christ can meet our deepest needs.

The bottom line is that we have an enemy (Satan), and his full-time job is to tempt us into chasing anything other than Jesus by giving it first place in our hearts. But what he doesn't mention is that the cost of idolatry is a thirsty soul on the verge of exhaustion.

We all have a God-shaped space inside, and when we try to fill it with anything else, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Because in the eternal scheme of things, Christ is the only One who can satisfy us. Only He deserves our deepest devotion, and His love, peace, and joy are treasures in an inheritance He bought for us when He died on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 1:3-4). As our Savior, He is everything we'll ever need. We've been searching for Him in all the wrong places; we just didn't know it. Yet He's always been there, ready and waiting for us to call on His name.

Friend, if any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to engage in this battle plan:

First, recognize areas where you're most vulnerable to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Confess anything you've allowed to draw you away from God and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable (James 5:16).

Remember your identity in Christ and how crazy He is about you (Ephesians 1:4-14 and Ephesians 3:16-19).

Put on your spiritual armor before your feet hit the floor (Ephesians 6:11-17).

Spend time with God each day. In addition to Bible study, try out a prayer journal or a coloring book with devotional pages. Or find a prayer partner if you don't have one (Matthew 6:6 and Matthew 6:33).

Ask the Holy Spirit to protect you when you're about to fall prey to one of Satan's traps (Galatians 5:16).

If you're like me, exhausted by chasing the things of this world only to be repeatedly disappointed, it's time to stop spinning your wheels, surrender the counterfeits you've settled for, and exchange them for the greatest treasure of them all: Jesus Christ.

Let's Pray:
Father God, this world offers many treasures that can potentially steal me away from You. When these counterfeits captivate my heart, help me remember that only You can meet my deepest needs. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Sarah's devotional message today reminds me of the song "Treasure" by Meredith Andrews. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. 

Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about her cocker spaniel Gigi was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

During this year (2022) and the next (2023), Sarah’s devotionals will be published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

Monday, May 16, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When God helps you to bless someone in need

A Mother’s Day Blessing
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”
–Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

My husband was on his way to go shopping for me because Mother’s Day was approaching.

Although he was not certain of what he would purchase, he knew what stores he wanted to visit in his quest for the perfect gift. As he was traveling down the road in his car, he realized that he did not have as much time as he thought—he would soon have to return home. Nonetheless, he felt the urge to visit a particular store that was not on his original list of locations to shop.

Once he was in the store, he started aimlessly walking through the aisles. In less than five minutes, he heard a quiet voice behind him: “Excuse me, Sir.”

He turned around and saw a lady standing in the middle of the aisle. As she approached my husband, he noticed that the lady had a robe and a pair of slippers in her hands. The lady started telling my husband about her mother who was now in a nursing home. The lady wanted to give the robe and slippers to her mother for Mother’s Day, but she did not have any money to purchase the items. She asked, “Can you please buy this robe and slippers for my mother?” My husband accepted the request. He walked with the lady to the register and paid for the gifts.

As my husband left the store empty-handed, he thought for a moment about what had just happened. He was not planning to go to that store. A matter of fact, he did not buy anything that he was looking for from that store. He also noticed that there were quite a few people in that store, even before he arrived. He was only there for about two minutes when the lady approached him and asked him to buy the gifts for her mother. He then knew that he was in that store for that purpose. Perhaps the lady had prayed, asking God to provide a way for her to give her mother a gift for Mother’s Day, especially now that her mother was in a nursing home. My husband was part of God’s plan of provision for the lady.

There are times in our lives when we may make plans, but God is the One who already has the agenda. We may not know why things happen in our lives, or why people come and go, but one thing is for sure: There is no such thing as a coincidence in the life of a Christian. Once you give God control of your life, that means you are willing to follow His plan for your life. Even when the plan does not seem to make sense, just trust that God is ordering your steps.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, we are so thankful for You! We acknowledge and thank You for Your presence in our lives. Open our hearts and our minds to receive Your Word and obey Your will. Help us to make ourselves available to be used in Your service. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Angela’s devotional message reminds me of the song “Your Steps Are Ordered” by Fred Hammond. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in NJ. She found her love for writing when she was in elementary school. She continued writing through high school, college, and into adulthood.

Angela is the author of a devotional book titled, Just When I Thought I Knew God, and a children's book that is not yet published.

In 2021, Angela started writing articles for an online magazine called Christian Women Living, where she focuses on writing messages for mothers and sharing advice on parenting. In addition to this, Angela wrote a devotional that is featured in a book published by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The book title is Hope When Your Heart is Heavy.

Angela has a passion for inspiring and impacting others through her writing as well as speaking. She is the co-founder of Anchor Moms, a ministry to cure loneliness in Motherhood. Currently, this ministry meets via a group on Facebook.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson, for 17 years. Together, they have two sons: Thomas (age 9) and Ryan (age 4). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling, and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:

Friday, May 13, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: God watches over the sparrows and you

God’s Valuable Sparrows
A devotional by Karen Marstaller

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 
–Matthew 22:36-39 (ESV)

While in college, a friend invited me to join a new choir that was forming. Not particularly blessed with any kind of singing voice, I went because there weren’t any tryouts and because some of my friends were joining. In all, 350 students came together to sing.

We were a happy bunch, always full of laughter and fun. There was no pressure, so when I knew there was no way a high C was coming out of my froggy throat, mouthing the words became my way to participate. Lip synching wasn’t even heard of back then, but I was pretty good at it.

Our choir received many invitations to sing, and one festival stands out among all the rest.

It was spring, and the weather was beautiful, especially since the venue was outdoors. The day was warm, but the breeze was cool. We’d been on the stage for a long time, running sound checks, and moving people around a little bit. Then our director surprised us by telling us to take a seat. Those of us who stood on the stage ended up sitting on the floor, and I ended up near the director’s stand.

We waited, and then an elderly woman stood up from her seat in front of us and slowly made her way to the stairs. A couple students helped her up the steps, and then she made her way to the microphone that now replaced our director’s stand. Beaming at the audience in front of her, she turned and looked at all of us behind her. Then she said something I couldn’t hear, but the people in front of her did. Gentle laughter rippled across the arena.

An expectant hush prickled my skin, and then the most wonderful, melodious, rich, and full contralto began to saturate the air around us. She sang about the sparrows, a song we all knew. Listening to her that day was like basking in God’s perfect light, and although I didn’t know God personally at the time, I was drawn into her music.

As she reached the end of the song, she began to speak the words instead of singing them. She said, “I know.” She waved an arthritic index finger at the large crowd, and with all the strength in her, repeated, “I know. I know Who holds the future. And I know…” She cupped her hands as though she held her audience. “That He watches….” She turned to her left and to her right, cupping all of us on the stage in her hands, too. Then with both hands full, she brought them together in front of her and said, “Over we.”

At that moment, something I’d always known but had never crystallized before became solid and real to me. We are all citizens of the world God has created, and it doesn’t matter from what country we originated, what language we spoke, or what color our skin happened to be. We are all held in God’s hands as Ethel Waters demonstrated that day. We, all of us, are the collective “we,” the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. He holds us and He loves us, and He knows every beat of our heart, and every tear, along with every joy.

He truly does watch over “we.”

And we, in turn, love Him. Jesus tells us that we are to care for “the least of these” in Matthew 25:40. He says that our care for others is literally the way to care for Jesus Himself. When we love Jesus, our love for others defines our lifestyle. It’s the things that we do, not just the things we talk about. It’s the true, demonstrable love we show for those around us. Care and compassion motivate us, concern for the lost consumes us, and Jesus Christ’s love compels us.

That day so long ago still touches my heart. Ethel Waters was driven by her love for God’s people. Love brought her to that festival, even though she was quickly approaching her final homecoming. Love assisted her up those steps. Love opened her mouth to share her vision of the Lord, and of His care for each one of us. And finally, her cupped hands symbolically holding all of the people around her, remain a beautiful picture of our oneness in Christ Jesus.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord God, You have told us to love You with everything we are, and to love each other the same way. We try, but sometimes we aren’t very good at loving other people, so we ask You to help us. Show us how to love You better than we did yesterday. Help our love to be so rich and pure that it spills out into the lives of those around us. Help us to love Your children, all of them, in the same way we love You. Thank You. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Karen’s devotional reminded me of the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” and I found an old recording of it by Ethel Waters. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. Her heart is for her readers.

She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.

Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.

Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received.

You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Remember this truth when you feel unseen

To Those Who Feel Unseen
A devotional by Jessica B. Turner

“But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” –Matthew 19:30 (NLT) 

Have you ever felt as if no matter what you do or how hard you try, your efforts go unnoticed?

Maybe it’s within the workplace or perhaps at home. Wherever you may be, it can be extremely hard to not grow weary when it seems as if no one even notices you.

Well I’m here to remind you that your Heavenly Father sees you! He sees your heart. He sees your faithfulness. He feels the love you pour out in all that you do. And He gathers all those things, holding them close until the day that you will be face to face with Him.

We live in a world where comparison can be hard to avoid. Everywhere we turn, there is someone who appears to be doing more than what we are currently able to do. Just when we think we are content, we see our neighbor with something that we believe should be ours as well. There is and will always be another out there that appears to be greater than you.

Yet, the words above, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, remind us that what matters to God is often very different than what matters to the world. He is more worried about the motive behind our actions than the action itself. He is more delighted in our obedience over our desire to have the “perfect life”. He is more pleased when He sees us caring for His people understanding the eternal impact that is at hand instead of focusing on how we are seen as a result. He is more concerned with our ability to slow down and spend time with Him than to be too busy constantly focusing on the “next thing”.

His desire is to see His children working on His behalf regardless of the earthly praise we may or may not receive. This can be hard because it requires a humble heart, and a humble heart comes by understanding Who you are living for.

You may not be the greatest. You may not even be known outside of your family. But you matter to your Heavenly Father.

So when you find yourself feeling as if you aren’t enough because of how the world sees you, remember that God cares about the things unseen. He sees you. He sees your efforts. He sees your heart. And He is smiling down upon you because He is pleased!

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for being a Father who sees me for more than who I am to the world. Help me to focus on the work that you have laid out for me instead of getting stuck on what others are doing around me. Help me to find my approval in You alone instead of leaning on earthly praises. Remind me that I am nothing without you; yet I am everything I was created to be when I choose to abide in you. Encourage my heart when I want to give up and remind me that my treasure is waiting in Heaven. I love You and I trust You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine. 

After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.

Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward from past trauma that she had suppressed for decades.

Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other. God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting, form of storytelling.

Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.

Connect with Jessica:

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Story Behind "The View from Coral Cove" by Amy Clipston

Today we have a special guest! Meet my author friend Amy Clipston. She's the author of The View from Coral Cove and she's here today to not only tell the story behind her story but to give away a signed, paperback copy! Read her guest post below for details. 

The Story Behind The View from Coral Cove by Amy Clipston

The View from Coral Cove
is my second contemporary romance book, and I’m excited for readers to get to know the main characters—Maya, Brody, and Ashlyn.

This book takes places goat a fictional North Carolina beach town named Coral Cove. I was first inspired to write it in June 2020 when my husband, Joe, and I took a day trip to the North Carolina coast on our anniversary.

It was the start of the pandemic, and Joe and I wanted to get away for the day. We got in our car and just drove to the beach. After spending some time at Oak Island, we decided to just drive and we spotted signs for Southport, NC—a town we hadn’t ever visited in the past. It’s located on a waterfront that is the mouth of Cape Fear. Later, I learned a few movies were filmed there.

As we drove into town, I immediately fell in love with it. Southport has a small town feel with streets lined with cute little stores—antique shops, cafes, a toy and candy shop, clothing stores, jewelry stores, restaurants—as well as beautiful historic homes. Joe and I found a place to park and then walked around the town. Since we are antique store fanatics, we took our time wandering through all of the amazing shops.

Joe and I ate lunch at a restaurant named Oliver’s, which is located on the waterfront, and as I looked out over the sound, I thought, “I need to write a beach book!” After we ate, we walked along the waterfront, strolled out onto a pier, and I took in the town and felt more and more inspired.

At that time, I had a contract for three standalone contemporary romances with my publisher, HarperCollins Christian, and the first book, The Heart of Splendid Lake, was already written. I had set The Heart of Splendid Lake at a fictional North Carolina lake.

I have always enjoyed the beach since I was a little girl when my parents and I would take day trips to Jones Beach on Long Island. I also lived in Virginia Beach, Va., for 15 years. My first “date” with my husband consisted of driving around Sandbridge Beach and discussing which of the oceanfront homes were our favorites. Joe and I also enjoyed taking day trips to the Outer Banks, where we would drive out on Oregon Inlet and spend the day.

My love for the beach and my discovery of Southport inspired me to brainstorm a contemporary romance plot. Not long after our trip to Southport, I had a brainstorming session with my editor, and we kicked around ideas for my book. My editor suggested that my main character would move to the beach after inheriting a house, and I suggested that my hero be a single dad who works as a veterinarian.

After our phone call, I took those ideas and ran with them. Soon my heroine, Maya, who inherited her great-aunt’s toy store, came to life in my mind. And Brody, the hero, was a veterinarian and a single father who also runs a cat rescue in memory of his mother.

The town of Coral Cove encompasses everything I love about the Outer Banks, Virginia Beach, and Southport. Coral Cove includes the small-town feel of Southport with the stores and restaurants. It also has a sound side without the waves as well as the ocean side with the waves and the beautiful oceanfront houses, which is similar to The Outer Banks.

I hope readers enjoy visiting Coral Cove as well as getting to know my characters who live there.

Author Bio:

Amy Clipston is an award-winning bestselling author and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She’s sold more than one million books, and her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. 

She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan University and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. 

Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and six spoiled-rotten cats.

Blurb for Amy’s book:

When a jilted romance novelist returns to the small beach town she once loved, she discovers not only inspiration but also a romance to call her own. 

Maya Reynolds is recently single after her fiancé chose to move to Europe without her. She's struggling with her heartache-along with her latest novel-when she learns she's inherited her great-aunt Cecelia's store in the small town of Coral Cove, North Carolina.

As Maya arrives and begins combing through her beloved aunt's belongings, long-held secrets from her family's past come to light. Soon Maya is questioning fundamental beliefs about who she is and the people she has always loved.

While working in the shop one day, Maya meets Brody Tanner-the town's local veterinarian. It's clear the handsome vet has some secrets of his own, but Maya cannot help but be intrigued by him and the spunky child she believes to be his daughter.

As Maya works to make ends meet, she and Brody grow ever closer. But will the pasts they're hiding from each other get in the way of a future together?

Connect with Amy:
Facebook Page:
Online bookstore:

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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Monday, May 9, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When God provides for you right on time

God’s Provision for a Yielded Heart
A devotional by Janis Van Keuren

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

As newlyweds, excited for the next step in our married life, we sought the Lord for one of the most important decisions we would make: owning a home.

After one year in our rented apartment, it was time to look for a house we could turn into a home. A home filled with the love and laughter of children and a place to entertain friends and extended family members.

No decision, especially one this major, could be made without seeking God’s wisdom and counsel. So, we penned our request on a yellow-lined slip of paper and dropped it into our Christian community’s prayer basket. Besides relying on the person called by God to lift up the requests, we also had our evening time of worship and praying to God.

When I realized my husband, Tom, was asking the Lord for a four-bedroom house, at a specified price, and close to his work, my jaw dropped. I was astonished at his presumptive attitude. Afterall, I had been a new Christian longer than he, and I assumed you only asked the Lord for what you needed. I did not comprehend why we would need a house that large!

But then I remembered that the Bible says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

Even though I disagreed with my husband’s assumption and explained my reasons to him, I dutifully dropped the prayer request into the sacred basket. Yet, when we prayed nightly as a couple, Tom would request the four-bedroom house while I whispered to God that a three-bedroom would meet our needs.

Our exhaustive search ensued throughout the western part of the San Fernando Valley in California. Each house our realtor suggested either needed repairs, had little appeal, or was located near traffic. On one of our quests, we met a realtor who recommended another house.

We made an appointment to see the house that met Tom’s requirements. We walked up to the house located on a cul-de-sac of homes with manicured front yards and knocked on the door. As we passed through the front door, the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafted our way. The owners greeted us warmly and led us on a tour through their home, sharing family memories colored with love.

We envisioned my grandmother’s dining room table and chairs sitting under the shimmering glass chandelier. Each of the four bedrooms was spacious enough for our meager furniture. The living room boasted a wood-burning brick fireplace and through the sliding glass doors was a small patio fit for a Sunday BBQ. A lush, green lawn stretched beyond the patio to a wooden fence.

“Is this the house?” I asked the Lord silently as the mouthwatering aroma of fresh cookies tickled my nose and tempted my tastebuds.

The price was higher than our prayer request.

I thought, “That’s not a good sign. It exceeds our budget.”

Tom discussed the price with the realtor and the homeowners while I held my breath. The owners were being transferred out of the country and that gave Tom bargaining leverage. Within an hour, the price had dropped to meet our limit.

I was so nervous that we had to walk up and down the street. Taking slow, deep breaths and discussing every aspect of the house with Tom, I asked God again if this was the right house.

We signed the paperwork in the Spring and by June we were moving in. As planned, my widowed mother moved in with us. Two bedrooms were already occupied. We turned the third room into a den/computer room. And the fourth bedroom was eventually filled with guests until our first son was born.

Through this process, God taught me two lessons: First, He knows what we need and will provide for us when we seek Him and His direction. Second—one I keep relearning—is to trust the Lord working through my husband. This means we discuss our decisions with mutual respect. It means I must rely on God’s work in my husband. We all make mistakes, husbands and wives included, but ultimately, I need to trust God’s headship through my husband. I know this is true because of what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:22 (NIV): “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

God confirmed His leading through the lifetime of memories we shared for 17 years in that home. We both learned to seek the Lord often for decisions affecting our family, finances, and our relationship. When we followed our own inclinations, stumbling down rocky paths, God graciously led us back to His wise plan.

Let's Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for leading us and providing for our needs even when we may not understand your plan or your ways. Thank you for your patience with us, your sheep, who may need to learn the same lesson repeatedly. Thank you for your faithfulness in working through those whom You have placed in our lives. Give us hearts of submission to You, Lord. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Janis Van Keuren is a published author and freelance writer with stories appearing in “Divine Interventions,” a Guideposts’ compilation, and in denominational and secular publications. 

She began writing for her high school newspaper and the career stuck through college, despite a temporary blip when she toyed with majoring in economics.

When she hung up her hat as an award-winning professional writer to raise a family, she discovered the Lord calling her to write and edit a publication for her Christian community. Occasionally, she guest posts inspirational pieces on other author’s websites.

Currently, Janis is working on her first devotional book revealing God’s touch in the stories of thirty individual women’s lives.

When Janis is not writing, she and her husband Tom enjoy traveling through God’s majestic and varied creations capturing His artistry in her photography, coupling it with Scripture. Summers find these desert dwellers relaxing along the beaches and rugged coastline of California.

Connect with Janis:
Her website Heart-Filled Moments:
Facebook Author Page:

Friday, May 6, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When you need support and strength

A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”—2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV)

A recent theme in my life is supplementation.

Supplementation infers a deficit in content or deficiency in ability. It may also warn of a dangerous depletion. To supplement is to add content for support and strength.

When I had my annual physical checkup, the doctor called me. I could hear concern and urgency in her voice. She had received the results of the blood tests that she had ordered. My cholesterol was very low. Good. My sugar levels were low. Good. PSA was low. Very good for a man my age. Then she said, “But”. Suddenly, my heart was in my throat.

“Do you have any chronic pain? How much sleep are you getting? You look strong, but are you exercising regularly? Are you moody and/or depressed, lethargic with brain fog?”

To the former, I answered “Not much”. To the latter, I said “My wife might say yes”. The doctor’s tone became very firm and cautionary.

“You, sir, are in pretty good health but you are developing symptoms that could cascade into a catastrophic event. Your weight, blood pressure and cortisol levels are too high. You are stressed with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. You have to get out in the sunshine and exercise. Then you need to supplement your Vitamin B and Vitamin D intake significantly, soon!”

I was sobered. Now B12, D3, zinc, magnesium, more sleep and exercise are regular supplements to my diet and daily schedule. Supplementation replenishes, restores and can be regenerative.

After my daily walk, in the morning sun, I sat down with my English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible and started to read the book of 2 Peter. There it was again—the word “supplement”.

The apostle Peter is not suggesting that his reader’s faith in Christ is anemic or weak. He is prescribing a regimen that will keep their faith and godly lifestyle strong, robust and growing.

Like whey and protein for a bodybuilder, the traits listed in this verse of scripture build and fortify the inner character. The items on the list below are the qualities that quantify the presence of faith and faithfulness in our lives:
  • Faith from Peter’s perspective is the firm conviction or belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah who reconciled sinful humanity with divinity and secured abundant and eternal life for those who believe in Him.
  • Virtue is moral excellence, modesty and/or purity of thought, intent and actions.
  • Knowledge, in this context, is a deep and abiding moral wisdom and discernment that informs right doing. It is a supernatural level of discernment, an inner sensitivity that may or may not be explicable, until the danger is avoided or averted. It is inclusive of and more than conscience and intuition. It is a sense of prescience that serves as a moral guardrail.
  • Self-control is about mastering the appetites—especially our sensual imaginations—into spiritual effectiveness. Redirecting our fantasy life from the sensual to the spiritual is the imperative here. Here Peter is urging the pursuit of spiritual, godly visions rather than satisfied senses.
  • Steadfastness is akin to grit and resiliency.
  • Godliness is a lifestyle of piety, reverence and respect for the presence and preferences of divinity. 
  • Brotherly affection is simply an unflinching, unconditional positive regard for every man, woman, girl or boy.
  • Charity—a sense of benevolence, philanthropy and personal investment in those around us. Love can show up as a smile, a word of encouragement, mentoring someone who needs to learn and grow, or helping someone at a pivotal moment in their experience.
Paying it forward is a supplement to faith. It is virtue in action that senses beyond sight, a divine moment that transcends rationale. Paying it forward makes a respectful investment into someone’s current circumstance, with implications on their destiny.

Ask God to strengthen your faith by directing you to do something that makes you the supplement that someone else was praying for.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, thank You for today and for the opportunities that will unfold before us to help someone else. Make us equal to the task so that we can be the supplement that someone else is praying for. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps. 

Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address,

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Memorials

Memorials, Museums and God's Word 
A devotional by Patricia Russell

Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.” 
– Genesis 28:20-22 (NLT)

When you think about museums what comes to your mind?

Do you picture big buildings, lots of cabinets and expensive items behind glass?

I often remember my childhood. During my elementary school days, we went on field trips to the museum located downtown. Those trips were made of long bus drives, a packed lunch and lots of warnings from our teachers that started with the words "Do not". After telling us what not to do, our teachers  would say, “Have a good time!” But I was too busy keeping track of the all of the things I wasn't supposed to do, so having a good time would get lost in translation.

Once we entered the building, the atmosphere was quite somber. Museums house memories of things that most people may not be interested in, but I have grown to learn the importance of these memorials because they allow us to learn about situations and events that we were not personally involved. Situations such as The Holocaust, World War I and World War II, The Civil Rights Era, slavery and many other events.

Memorials are educational and help us gain a better understanding of what happened, how people lived, how they were treated and some of their experiences during these events.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “memorial” as “something that keeps remembrance alive”. When we look in God’s Word (The Holy Bible), we see that memorials are huge in the mind of God. I think that’s probably because He knew how quickly we forget. Most likely, He wants us to remind future generations about the life lessons learned during those times as well as the importance of remembering those lessons.

One example of a memorial and its importance is found in Scripture (Genesis 28:20-22) when Jacob had a vision. It was such a powerful vision that Jacob set up a pillar to commemorate this. He made an altar to worship and acknowledge what happened.

When something makes such a mark on your mind and life, it’s not a bad idea to write it down, take a picture or create something and place it somewhere where you can reflect on the experience. Do not make it an idol but do have something that you can remember it by.

Most of us celebrate the day we were born, the day we completed a course, a wedding or an anniversary. We see statues made and placed in cities where people can read about the person or the event they contributed to. The Bible is filled with memorials. These are only a few examples: God told Israel to remember the day of deliverance by putting the blood of a lamb over their doorposts (Exodus 12:1-14). The names of the sons of Israel were engraved on stones as a memorial (Exodus 28:11-13). Jesus broke bread and drank wine encouraging them to continue to do this “in remembrance” of the new covenant he was making through his sacrificial death (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

Can you think of some noteworthy events in your life that are worth remembering and sharing with your family and friends? What are the lessons or significant issues you can pass on? If you’ve never considered doing this before, you might start journaling them. Here’s an idea to help you start: Journal to share what was happening when you decided to trust God with your life and allow Jesus Christ into your heart. Now, that’s a day worth remembering!

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for the many memorials that we can read about in The Bible. Thank you for all You have done for us. May we always remember You. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Patricia’s devotional message today reminds me of the song “Remember Me” by Mark Schultz. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Patricia is an encourager. She passionately uses her gifting as an author, speaker, pastor, recording artist, worship leader and coach.

Stronger Resilience: Stories to Empower the Mind, Body & Spirit (a book that she wrote) was an Amazon Bestseller in October 2020.

Patricia sings! She has released two CDs titled Draw Me Nearer and Lord I Trust You.

She also travels to speak to audiences internationally.

When she is not ministering to save souls in God’s Kingdom, Patricia enjoys reading, writing and connecting like-minded people who can sharpen each other in the journey to their dreams and goals.

As a two-time breast cancer overcomer, her desire is to coach others to live life to the fullest by understanding their gifting from God and using it.

Connect with Patricia: