Decisions, Decisions? 

Decisions, Decisions? 

Betty Carlson couldn’t decide what she wanted in life.

She bicycled around Europe after World War II, attempting to find herself. As she traveled, she jumped from one obsession to the next.

Finally, a friend invited her to the home of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. They had opened a ministry in their home called L’abri to counteract the liberal theology sweeping the world at the time.

In the Schaeffer’s home, Betty discovered answers to life’s dilemmas in Christ. She could ask questions and receive honest answers. Plus, God’s love abounded. Based on what she learned, Betty devoted her life to helping others. She wrote many books and penned a syndicated article in the “Rockford Morning Star” in the 1960s.

The Schaeffers touched many lives as they combined hospitality and faith.

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” -1 Peter 4:9

Welcoming June 2024

Welcoming June 2024

Dear Father, as we transition into summer, we praise you for the infinite wisdom you demonstrate in the design of our world. How wonderful are your deeds! Please, keep our hearts close to yours as we vacation with our families, and grant us the rest we need to continue to serve you. May we find new and creative ways to open our homes and engage with friends and neighbors. Bless us with your unfailing love. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

CLICK HERE for your monthly encouragement so you can download the June 2024 Calendar Challenge.

On Mission?

On Mission?

Jacqueline Kennedy adored her children. While she served as First Lady, she designed a secret play area for her preschoolers, Caroline and John. She picked a spot just outside her husband’s west wing office. The playground included a tree house, swings, a slide, and pens for various animals. Kennedy could glance outside to observe his children, and sometimes he stepped outside and frolicked with them.

One afternoon Jackie asked Mr. West, head White House usher, to meet her at the southwestern gate. When West arrived, she pointed out that tourists could see her young brood at play. She requested large bushes to screen the children.

The National Park Service obliged by planting eight-foot rhododendrons, but the president worried the bushes would obscure that view of the White House. The newspapers also complained. Next, the police protested that the huge plants interfered with guarding the building. But the public couldn’t get a glimpse of the Kenney children.

As mothers, we can understand Jackie’s desire to protect her children. On the other hand, we often feel endangered by the encroaching evil of our world. Every news report reveals assaults on our fragile freedoms.

At times like this, I remind myself Jesus left us here in the middle of a sinful world. In John 17:15, we see He prayed to the Father before He left, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” After he returned to heaven, he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us, and he gave us a mission to share our faith with the world. We are safe. Let’s revel in that.

 

Welcoming May 2024

Dear Father, we lift our hands to you as we enter this new month. Help us embrace those who graduate and move on to another stage of life. We pray for those parents who watch a beloved child leave the nest. Bless us as we remember our mothers and grandmothers and assist us as we strive to fulfill our roles with grace and kindness. Enable us as we continually strive for holiness. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

CLICK HERE for your monthly encouragement so you can download the May 2024 Calendar Challenge.

“What Is Faith?” she Asked

“What Is Faith?” she Asked

As a girl, Julia Dent (later Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) sat with her mother during a sermon. The minister expounded at length on the importance of faith. He proclaimed if one had faith, he could move mountains or walk on water. The pastor’s persistence convinced Julia.

Soon afterward, Julia and her younger sister Nellie wandered the fields around her house collecting flowers and butterflies. They spotted a clematis blooming on the other side of their creek and longed for a sprig. However, the water from recent rains had swelled the stream and covered their usual
stepping stones. The dancing waves seemed to laugh at Julia as she wondered how to cross.

Suddenly, she remembered the sermon. “If we have faith, we can walk on the water.”

“What is faith?” Nell frowned.

“Simply believe you can.” Julia chose the smoothest part of the stream and got a running start just in case. However, she sank into the water up to her armpits. Nell tried another spot, but she went under too.

Julia had to rescue Nell. Their clothes, flowers, and butterflies got drenched.

The girls confused spiritual realities with physical. God acts in the spiritual realm when we have faith. For instance, when Abraham had faith, the Lord counted that as righteousness. Further, as believers walking by faith, we can avoid sin and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. When you consider we were born with a sinful nature, that’s like moving mountains.

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Heb. 11:6
Choose to keep walking by faith and pleasing the Lord.

Welcoming April 2024

Welcoming April 2024

Holy Father, as we watch the leaves budding with the onset of spring, fill our hearts with your praises. Your creation radiates your power, glory, and wisdom, and we stand in awe of your majesty. Teach us, Lord, to humble ourselves before you. Keep us focused on our eternal home, which will be grander still than the beauty we see around us… In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

CLICK HERE for your monthly encouragement so you can download the April 2024 Calendar Challenge.

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