Why Become a Member?

Soul Care/Family & Marriage Care

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. ” 

-Matthew 7:24-27

Cycle of Change Renews Us -    

What’s so special about the last day of August?

Crunchy leaves—yellow, orange, and red variants mixed with the vernal green— crinkling beneath my shoe.

The smell of new crayons in crisp, cardboard containers—bold colors like Granny Smith Apple and Tropical Rain Forest. Number two pencils rattling in their plastic school boxes.

Spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, and theme covers peeking out of cartoon-covered packs bouncing on the backs as children soon return to their classrooms.

The feel of fall is in the air, and though the autumn equinox won’t officially occur until the 22nd of September, this day reminds me that another cycle is passing and change is ahead.

Solomon wrote about this never ending sequence in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” He saw that “there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do while they live. That each or them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” (verse 12)

 Regardless of our circumstances, life marches on. In Ecclesiastes 3:15 Solomon writes:  “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.”]  The flowers I’ve enjoyed throughout the summer will come again in the spring. The garden I tended will wait for me to return. The birds who have bathed in my fountain to stave off the heat will fly to their winter homes to avoid the cold. Trees and bushes that have swayed in summer breezes will grow dormant, sleeping away the winter and bringing quiet to the landscape.

 God, in his eternal wisdom, planned renewal into our lives. He meant for us to slow down, reflect, and seek him in the silence. Busy lives hound us with noises that drowns out the still, quiet voice of God. What message is the great creator of the universe trying to send you today?

Patricia Lee, an author from Oregon, loves to write and read contemporary fiction. Her blog is a reflection of her desire to help people who are struggling with faith issues discover a God who loves them and wants the very best for them. 

More of Patricia Lee: www.authorpatricialee.net/blog/

"Slow Down" Therapy - 

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalm 127:2, NLT 

Talk slower. Talk less. Don't talk. Communication isn't measured by words. 

Give yourself permission to be late sometimes. Life is for living, not scheduling. 

Listen to the song of a bird; the complete song. Music and nature are gifts, but only if you are willing to receive them. 

Take time just to think. Action is good and necessary, but it's fruitful only if we muse, ponder, and mull. 

Make time for play -- the things you like to do. Whatever your age, your inner child needs re- creation. 

Watch and listen to the night sky. It speaks.

Listen to the words you speak, especially in prayer. 

Learn to stand back and let others take their turn as leaders. There will always be new opportunities for you to step out in front again. 

Divide big jobs into little jobs. If God took six days to create the universe, can you hope to do any better? 

When you find yourself rushing and anxious, stop. Ask yourself "Why" you are rushing and anxious. The reasons may improve your self-understanding. 

Take time to read the Bible. Thoughtful reading is enriching reading. 

-- Author Unknown 

www.holybible.com

Used with permission from Forest Hill Church. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/slow-down-therapy-2#sthash.Fzdbzs7Y.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Do People See Jesus in You?

This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

 

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:27

 

Today, I’m passing along a story (author unknown). It asks a powerful question: do people see Jesus in you? After you read it, pray that everyone would see your Lord in and through you each day!

 

I SAW JESUS

I saw Jesus last week. He was wearing blue jeans and an old shirt. He was up at the building we call our church; He was alone and working hard. For just a minute, He looked a little like one of the people who regularly attend our church. But it was Jesus, I could tell by His smile.

 

I saw Jesus last Sunday. He was teaching a Bible class. He didn't talk real loud or use long words. But you could tell He believed what He said. For just a minute, He looked like my Sunday School teacher. But it was Jesus, I could tell by His loving voice.

 

I saw Jesus yesterday. He was at the hospital visiting a friend who was sick. They prayed together quietly. For just a minute, He looked like the guy I saw at the worship gathering last week. But it was Jesus, I could tell by the tears in His eyes.

 

I saw Jesus this morning. He was in my kitchen making my breakfast and fixing me a special lunch. For just a minute, He looked like my wife. But it was Jesus, I could feel the love from His heart.

 

I saw Jesus this afternoon. He was cutting the grass in the community where I live. He was smiling and waving at everyone who was driving down our street. It made me feel special even if it was only for a moment. For a minute, I thought it was just another person we paid to keep our community clean. But it was Jesus. No one else has that much joy.

 

I saw Jesus tonight. He was sitting out in the street looking for someone to help him. For a minute, He looked like just another homeless person. But it was Jesus. I could tell by the look of sincere suffering in his eyes.

 

I see Jesus everywhere. Taking food to the sick, welcoming others to his home, being friendly to a someone who needs love and for just a minute I think he's someone I know.

 

But, it’s always Jesus. I can tell by the way He serves.

 

May someone see Jesus in you today.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Where have you seen Jesus lately? What was He doing?

 

2. Ask someone you know when she or he last saw Jesus in you.

 

FURTHER READING:

Matthew 25:31-46; Ephesians 5:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-10

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Do You See What I See?   

This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

 

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." —1 Samuel 16:7

 

According to research at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole.

 

Give the theory a shot, and see if it’s true:

 

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

 

Isn’t it amazing? I love this illustration of how the mind works to put words together. It goes against everything I was taught in grade school and totally ends the need for spell check! It’s the perfect example that confirms what you see may not be what you get.

 

Here’s a reminder: God is searching our hearts. He doesn’t care about our outward appearances. In fact, many of us have gotten so good at hiding who we really are, that even we don’t recognize our true selves. And, it’s often Christians who put masks on so quickly, fearing that if other people really knew them, they would be rejected, condemned, or cast aside like yesterday’s paper.

 

Today, if you are hiding behind a mask, afraid to reveal your true self, allow God to peel back the layers of fear, pain and deception in order to find your true self…the one that was made in the image of God. 

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Is there anyone you’ve judged by outward appearances? If so, what can you do to make things right?

 

2. If you are preventing people from getting to know the real you, ask God to give you the courage to remove the “mask” you wear.

 

FURTHER READING:

Psalm 139:1, 23; Jeremiah 17:10; 1 Chronicles 28:9

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

FaithHappenings Blogs