Sunday, October 31, 2010

Completely Clean

By Cindy Hess Kasper

Read: Hebrews 10:1-18
It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. —Hebrews 10:4
Bible in a year:
Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me-ee. Happy birthday to me. . . . Happy bir . . .

After humming the “birthday song” a second time, I turned off the faucet’s running water. It is said that singing the song through twice while washing your hands (about 20 seconds) is a good way to remove most bacteria. But it doesn’t last. I need to repeat this process each time they are contaminated.

In the Old Testament, the people of God offered sacrifices over and over to cover their sins. But the blood of the animals didn’t actually “take away sins” (Heb. 10:11). Only the precious sacrifice of Jesus could do that!

Animal sacrifices are no longer needed because Christ’s sacrifice . . .

• was once for all—unlike animal sacrifices, which had to be offered “continually year by year” (vv.1-3,10).

• cleanses us completely from all guilt and sin—unlike the blood of animals that was a reminder of sin’s penalty and could never take away our sins (vv.3-6,11).

“By one offering [Christ] has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (v.14). Only through Jesus can we be declared completely clean.

Once for all, O sinner, receive it;
Once for all, O brother, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all. —Bliss

Christ’s cleansing power can remove the most stubborn stain of sin.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lingering Damage

By Dave Branon

Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-14
The sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite. —2 Samuel 12:10
Bible in a year:
Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4

A young teen who was constantly getting into trouble always apologized when his parents confronted him. No matter how much he hurt his parents with his previous wrong-doing, he would soon turn around and do something else wrong—knowing he would be forgiven.

Finally, his dad took him out to the garage for a talk. Dad picked up a hammer and pounded a nail into the garage wall. Then he gave his son the hammer and told him to pull out the nail.

The boy shrugged, grabbed the hammer, and yanked out the nail.

“That’s like forgiveness, Son. When you do something wrong, it’s like pounding in a nail. Forgiveness is when you pull the nail out.”

“Okay, I get it,” said the boy.

“Now take the hammer and pull out the nail hole,” his dad replied.

“That’s impossible!” the boy said. “I can’t pull it out.”

As this story illustrates and King David’s life proves, sin carries consequences. Even though David was forgiven, his adultery and murder left scars and led to family problems (2 Sam. 12:10). This sobering truth can serve as a warning for our lives. The best way to avoid the lingering damage of sin is to live a life of obedience to God.

A Prayer: Thank You for being slow to anger and filled with compassion. May I not presume upon Your mercy by assuming there will be no consequences for my sin. Help me to confess and then to sin no more. Amen.

Our sins can be forgiven and washed away, but their consequences are ours to pay.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Truth Or Error?

By Anne Cetas

Read: 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God. —2 Timothy 2:15
Bible in a year:
Jeremiah 18-19; 2 Timothy 3

Steve often witnesses to his co- workers. But when he mentions something directly from the Bible, someone frequently responds: “Wait! That was written by men, and it’s full of errors just like any other book.”

The following letter to the editor in our local newspaper expresses a similar thought: “Believers cite that the Word of God is infallible, but I see no apparent reason to believe that the words written in the Bible by man are any more infallible than the words written in a science journal by man.”

How do we respond when the Scriptures are so readily dismissed as being just man’s words with errors? Most of us aren’t biblical scholars and may not have an answer. But if we do some reading (2 Tim. 2:15), we’ll find the evidence that it’s God-inspired (3:16) and therefore trustworthy.

For example, consider this: Over a period of 1,600 years, 40 different authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible. There were 400 silent years between the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament. Yet, Genesis to Revelation tell one unified story.

While we accept the Bible by faith, there’s plenty of evidence that it’s true. Let’s be diligent to study and share what we learn with others.

More Devotions...
* Forgive and let God do the rest
* We are commanded to serve God
* God has seen your future and it is good

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quotations about Hope & Dreams

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, It is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

“Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing.”


“Never let yesterday's disappointments overshadow tomorrow's dreams.”


“To those who can dream there is no such place as faraway.”


“A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top.”


“We judge of man's wisdom by his hope.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You can often measure a person by the size of his dream.”

Robert H. Schuller

“When you reach for the stars, you may not get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud, either.”


“The uncommon man is merely the common man thinking and dreaming of success in larger terms and in more fruitful areas.”

Melvin Powers

“It may be those who do most, dream most.”

Stephen Leacock

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gift from God

Mark Peterson set down chips and sodas on the tables as he prepared for what should have been a routine church get-together. He had no idea his life was about to change. At the moment, he was simply a man putting out snacks on a Thursday night.

Soon he heard voices, a murmur from the small group of men that had embedded itself deeply into his life. On this summer evening in 2008, Peterson was a homebuilder trying to hang on to his business in a crumbling market. Raising two young children with his wife in uncertain and turbulent economic times occasionally kept him up at night, but like most men, the powerfully built 36-year-old never let on he was worried. His men’s Bible study group at East Park Church in Vancouver, Washington, was beginning to teach him that his stoic cowboy image was foolish.

Once a month, the 15 men in the group gathered for two hours to grapple with tough and sensitive issues—family, relationships, jobs—and to share their doubts and concerns. They had helped Peterson see faith as more than a once-a-week obligation. Growing up in a remote section of Oregon, Peterson, his parents, and his five siblings would pile into their wood-paneled, nine-seat station wagon on Sundays for an 80-mile round-trip to church. But Peterson felt no personal connection with God, and eventually grew bored and then disillusioned with religion.

Though the concepts of God and Jesus Christ remained vague to Peterson, he knew that when he and his wife, Becky, had children, a church life might be good for the kids. A friend told the Petersons about East Park Church, not too far from their home, and they asked to meet the pastor, Dave Williams. The meeting took place in a noisy fast-food restaurant. Over hamburgers and French fries they discussed God’s love and the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Peterson wondered if that’s what he’d been missing in his church experience growing up. He wondered if that is what he desired. He and his wife joined the congregation and found their answer, soon committing their lives to Christ.

Having set out the snacks on this particular Thursday evening, Peterson spotted a newcomer—a pale man he’d never seen at the church before. The newcomer, Wayne Yancey, was also 36, and married with a couple of kids. That Yancey was even in church was a Christmas Eve miracle. As a boy, Yancey hadn’t attended church. Later, he joined a Catholic church only because his high school sweetheart wanted to be married there. They eventually dropped out because they just didn’t feel any personal connection to God.

Then on Christmas Eve 2006, Yancey’s wife, Gina, suggested they attend East Park, a church she’d heard about from a friend. Yancey felt more like spending the evening at home but gave in to his wife.
The moment he stepped into East Park, Yancey felt something warm and accepting about the place. Somehow, he felt like he was home, almost as if God had been waiting for him there. Commitment followed. Soon he and Gina were attending every week.

One day, Gina spotted an item in the church bulletin: Pastor Williams was promoting small groups for men. “You should go,” she told Wayne. After the Christmas Eve experience, Yancey had learned to trust his wife’s instincts. “I’ll give it a try,” he said.

The men’s meetings always ended with prayer requests, followed by a time of group prayer. Peterson had recently discovered how profoundly prayer would always connect him to the Holy Spirit. True faith, he was struggling to learn, was trusting in God to provide without knowing exactly how he would do that. During the previous few years, Peterson had felt God’s spirit poking and prodding him not to worry about the future. He considered the nudges little tests, almost as if God were trying to draw him closer and toward something bigger.

Prayer went around the circle and then the new guy, Yancey, screwed up his courage to speak. “I’d like you to pray for me,” he said. “I need a new kidney.”

Five years earlier, Yancey’s doctor had become worried during a routine physical exam. He sent him to a specialist, who found that Yancey’s kidneys were deteriorating rapidly. Without mechanical help from a dialysis machine, his kidneys would soon not be able to filter waste, regulate fluids, and help the bone marrow create blood cells. His body would slowly poison itself to death.

Over time, Yancey’s kidneys had failed to the point where he now needed 15 hours of dialysis a week to stay alive. He told the group that the process left him exhausted, depressed, and bitter.

When the meeting ended, Peterson walked out to the parking lot with Yancey. “Tell me about the situation with your kidneys,” Peterson said. Yancey explained that dialysis wasn’t working well anymore, and if he wanted to live, he needed a new kidney. “I need to find a donor,” he said.

Yancey had been on the organ donation waiting list for two years. He’d learned that he was one of more than 85,000 people in the United States waiting for a kidney, and that each year only about 16,000 of them get one. More than 4,500 would die in 2008 while waiting.

Doctors had told Yancey he was free to find a living donor on his own, but he’d had no luck in that search.

“Can just anyone donate?” Peterson asked. He listened carefully as Yancey explained that the living donor had to be a genetic match. And that no money could change hands, that it is illegal to sell body parts.

“So you’re telling me that you’re just waiting for a kidney?” Peterson said. “You’re just waiting for one that works?”

“That’s right,” Yancey said. The two men looked at each other for a long moment. Finally Yancey pulled out his wallet and fished out a business card. He handed it to Peterson. It read “Legacy Transplant Services, Portland Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center.”

“If you want to know more about transplants,” Yancey said, “these people can tell you everything.”

Peterson realized how little he knew about this guy Wayne, but felt his chest swell with emotion. He was overwhelmed by a question: Was he supposed to give his kidney to Wayne? There was doubt, but he couldn’t discount that little voice he was hearing.

“Lord,” he prayed, “is this something you really want me to do?”

By the time Peterson arrived home, the answer came to him, filling him with fear. Walking into his new, 3,000-square-foot house, he greeted Becky.

“How was your group?” she asked.

“There’s this guy there,” Peterson said. “I don’t know much about him, but he said he needs a kidney.” He paused, not sure where to start. “Becky,” he said, “I feel God’s telling me to give this guy one of my kidneys.”

“What are you talking about?!”

He chose his words carefully. “I want to try to be his donor,” he said. “I feel I’m supposed to do this.”

Becky finally broke the silence that followed. “This is a lot of news to digest,” she said.

“There’s a lot more I need to know,” her husband said as he tried to reassure her. “I would have to get tested to see if I’m a match.”

Becky relaxed. She felt the odds were slim he would be a match. Besides, with his background, no doctor would recommend him as a donor. Five years earlier Peterson had contracted chicken pox and ended up with viral pneumonia and a blood infection. He’d been rushed to the intensive care unit where he slipped into a coma. The doctor put him on a ventilator and told Becky that he might die.

His recovery had been long and rough. The illness, and the drugs to fight it, had caused his organs to shut down. Becky felt certain her husband’s own kidneys had been compromised by all that he had been through.

Later that night, Peterson said one final, silent, prayer: “God, if you don’t want this to happen, please stop it.” A part of him hoped that God would say, “Stop.”

On his way to work the next morning, the reality of what he was contemplating crashed in on Peterson. What about his own health? Was he risking complications in surgery? What would happen if his one remaining kidney was compromised? How would it affect his family? Should he really do this for a man he barely knew?

What Peterson did know was that Yancey was a brother in Christ and a member of his small group. Wasn’t that what a small group was for? To be there for each other? Peterson prayed for God’s guidance. Then he picked up his cell phone and punched in the number Yancey had given him. He reached the transplant coordinator and left a message. Days passed. No reply. He called again. Still nothing.

It was almost a relief. God had put him to the test, and Peterson had answered the call. Maybe that was the confirmation he needed.

But a week later, his cell phone rang. It was the transplant coordinator. She told him she’d like to start the screening process. She mailed him a packet of information, then set up two visits at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, where they took two separate blood tests to determine if he was a potential candidate.

During their ensuing small-group meetings, Peterson revealed nothing about what he was doing. But he did ask around the church to learn more about Yancey. He found they were the same age, born just four days apart.

At home, Becky was growing increasingly worried. One night, when the kids were asleep, she told him they needed to talk. “You have to tell me more about this,” she said, and there was an edge in her voice. “I want to meet these transplant people.” He said okay.

The meeting took place in an examination room. The Petersons were joined by the coordinator and a kidney specialist, a gentle doctor who understood Becky’s fears. He explained what the surgery entailed. There were risks, as in any surgery, but he assured her the operation was safe. And, he said, Peterson’s remaining kidney would actually grow to compensate for the increased work. Her husband would live a long and healthy life with one kidney.

Becky told the doctor of Peterson’s near-death experience in the ICU, and her worries about his damaged system being further strained by the removal of a kidney. The doctor said that her husband had to be in perfect health to be a donor. And he had to be a close match, or Yancey’s body would reject the kidney.

“We’re not yet even sure if your husband is a match,” the doctor said. “Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

“Can he back out?” she asked. “Can he say no?”

The coordinator spoke. “Listen to me,” she said. “He can back out anytime. Even when he’s on the operating table.”

That night, Mark Peterson prayed: “Lord, I’m going to take the next step and the next. I’m in your hands.”
Two days later, the coordinator called to say Peterson had made it through round one. Both his kidneys were healthy, with no signs of damage.

Becky Peterson took the news as a sign: If God had healed Mark’s body from his previous medical scare, then he could heal both Mark and Wayne together.

Five months had passed since the small group meeting where Peterson and Yancey had met. “Lord, I am ready.” Peterson prayed.

Not much later, Peterson was in his truck, moving between job sites, when his cell phone rang. The transplant coordinator was stunned. She told Peterson that he was not only a good match but a perfect match. She gave him some dates for the operation. After discussing it with Becky, Peterson chose a date three weeks later, in November.

“How should I tell Wayne?” Peterson asked Becky. He had not mentioned a word of it to Yancey. Becky told him to ask Wayne to lunch.

Peterson called Yancey and invited him to meet at a local restaurant. Aside from the conversation in the parking lot in June, the two men had never spent any time alone. Yancey assumed that Peterson was simply reaching out in friendship to a fellow small-group member.

After a casual talk, Peterson asked about Yancey’s health.

“I had a tube surgically implanted in me,” he said. “That’s great news.”

“Why?” Peterson asked.

“I’m not getting better,” Yancey said, “but this means I can do dialysis at home. I’ve had to go to Portland three times a week. I’ve missed work and time with my family.”

Peterson took a deep breath. “Say,” he asked, “what are you doing November third?”

Yancey shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “Working, I guess. Why?”

Peterson was about to answer when the waitress appeared to fill their water glasses. He shifted in his seat, tapped his foot impatiently, and waited until she went to the far side of the restaurant.

“Would you be up to meeting me at the hospital?” Peterson asked. “It’s about your kidney.”

Yancey looked at him for a long time. “You want to be tested?” Yancey asked.

“No,” Peterson said. “I’ve already done all that.”

Yancey was speechless.

“Wayne, we’re a match,” Peterson said. “A perfect match,” he said. “I’m going to give you one of my kidneys.”

Yancey felt himself choking up. He struggled to find the words to express his surprise. And gratitude. This person sitting across from him—almost a stranger—was giving him the gift of life. “Mark,” he asked, “are you sure?”

Peterson nodded. “This isn’t a gift from me,” Peterson said. “This is a gift from God.”
Yancey’s wife, Gina, burst into tears when she heard the news, and called everyone in the church she could think of to tell them what had transpired. Word spread from member to member about the miracle taking place in their midst.
Just before 8 a.m. on the morning of the surgery, nurses began prepping Yancey. They inserted an IV line into his arm, and another that led directly to an artery near his heart. He heard the muted beeping of the machines monitoring his vital signs. During his life, Yancey had struggled with being in control and had difficulty letting God lead the way. But he felt at peace, that God was with him, and had been all along. He could tell that his wife was frightened by what was happening, the machines, the tubes, everything—but he was not. Yancey took her hand in his.

Peterson appeared in the doorway, the two men shook hands, and nurses led them away to finish preparing them for their surgeries. Once ready, the two men were wheeled into separate operating rooms across the hall from each other. A five-person donor team, including two surgeons who would remove Peterson’s kidney, coordinated via speakerphone with a five-person team that would transplant it in Yancey.

Yancey’s surgeons would open him up only when Peterson’s team was sure there would be no complications. The operation had to be timed to the second. Peterson’s kidney had to be cleaned and prepared, and then implanted quickly so surgeons could start blood flowing to the organ and get it working.

Surgeons made three small incisions on Peterson’s side, then slipped in tools and a small camera to guide them to the kidney. Next, they began cutting delicately. Finally, a surgeon made a larger incision that allowed the team to remove the organ. Once out, it was placed in a waiting basin, covered with ice, and hustled across the hallway. There Yancey’s surgeons moved swiftly, giving hope to a man whose life had been slowly ebbing the last several years.

Nerves were tense in the waiting room where the two wives and other members of East Park Church had gathered. When the doctor appeared, he grinned.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “I couldn’t have found a better match for Wayne.” Both wives and several East Park members wept at that news.

Four hours after the first incision, both men were recovering in different wings of the hospital.

“You’ll be amazed at how Wayne looks,” the transplant coordinator told the two wives. “He’s a new man.”

The next day, Peterson felt well enough to ask his wife to get a wheelchair and take him to Yancey. The Petersons were stunned when they entered the room. The Yancey they knew as pale and generally grim now had rosy cheeks and a smile on his face.

Becky pushed the wheelchair close to the bed. The two men gave each other a high five.

A Bible passage came to Yancey. He remembered it was somewhere in James but couldn’t remember it word for word. But the essence, he knew: Faith without deeds is a dead faith. This man sitting beside Yancey’s bed had heard God calling to him, and he had the faith to follow even though it went against all worldly logic. Both men had trusted God for the impossible and God had provided a miracle.

“Thank you,” Yancey said. “You’re my brother.”

“You’re welcome, my friend,” Peterson replied.
In the weeks that followed, the match turned out better than doctors could have expected. There were no complications for either man, nor would there be even a year later. Life returned to normal. But not really. How could it?

Two men—once strangers—had been guided to the same church and then led to a small men’s group. One man gave life to the other. They would be forever bonded. Blood brothers. Blood brothers in Christ.

On the Sunday before Christmas, Yancey sought out Peterson at church services. For weeks Yancey had been searching for an appropriate gift for this friend who had given him a second chance at life.

What do you give a man whose sacrifice has given you a new future? What do you give a man who allows you to come home healthy, ready to play with your kids and spend time with your wife?

He handed Peterson a wrapped package about the size of a hardback book.

“Merry Christmas, Mark.”

Peterson shifted, embarrassed. “Come on, Wayne. You didn’t have to do anything,” he said. “You know that.”

The two men shook hands. “Merry Christmas, Mark.”

“Merry Christmas, Wayne.”

Outside the church, Peterson carefully pulled the paper apart. Inside was a color photograph in a wooden frame. The frame had the word “friendship” printed on it, and surrounded a photo of the moment when the two men met in the ICU after their surgeries: Two men, clasping their hands, smiling.

Mark Peterson walked to his car, started the engine. He had to get home. Christmas was coming, and he’d been given the perfect gift. He would display the photograph on the living room mantel.

He knew that Christmas would have new meaning for both the Peterson and Yancey families. And indeed it did. Last year, the children of both men discovered what giving is really all about. It isn’t about video games and toys. It’s about reflecting how much God loves us by passing on that love to someone else. Sometimes it’s a gift that requires sacrifice. Sometimes it brings new life. But always it shares the truth of him for whom Christmas is named.

As Mark Peterson turned the car out of the church parking lot and merged with the traffic, words of prayer came to his lips: “Dear Lord, thank you. Thank you.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You Make the Difference

As the old saying goes, "No man is an island unto himself." Life is a group experience. We need people in our lives, and the people in our lives need us. You have unique gifts and talents, and you have the power to inspire the people around you. You are the spice of life created to bring zest and flavor to others just by being yourself!

In our family, I tend to be the one who's always laughing about something and trying to find the humor in everyday life. One time, we were all in the kitchen, and I was making a joke about something that happened. Admittedly, it was a little corny. My teenage son, Jonathan, just rolled his eyes and shook his head, but managed a big smile. (I could tell he wanted to laugh, though.) We all knew the joke was a bust, but Joel immediately piped up, "You know, Jonathan, if it weren't for your mother, it would be pretty boring around this house." I took that as a huge compliment because, of course, no one wants to live in a boring house!

The point is that just by creating a light-hearted atmosphere you can enjoy your relationships more and be more productive when you work together. A good sense of humor and a positive outlook can add so much value to the world around you. The Bible says that you are the salt of the earth. Salt brings out the flavor and makes people thirsty for a higher level of living.

Today, recognize that your unique personality and characteristics are qualities that people need. You can inspire others to greatness and motivate them to be all they were created to be. When you live from the heart and give from the heart, you are able to make an impact that cannot be erased!

…Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out (Ephesians 6:13, MSG).

Another devotions
* 50 ways to better you
* Becoming like Jesus
* Which one are you
* You are valuable

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Are Uncontainable

I saw a report on television not too long ago about a young girl who had severe Autism. Her name is Carly. For years, she had never spoken a word or communicated in any way. It looked as if she were mentally retarded. All through the day, she would flail her arms and have uncontrollable fits. At seven years old, the authorities tried to talk her parents into putting her in a special home. They said, "She's never going to get any better. She doesn't even comprehend the love that you're showing much less what you're constantly saying to her." Her parents wouldn't hear of it. They just kept loving her, training her and speaking faith into her.

One day out of the blue at eleven years old, Carly sat down at the computer and typed these words, "I have Autism, but this is not who I am. Take time to know me before you judge me. I am smart, cute and funny, and I love to have fun." At that point, the parents realized Carly was in there. She just hadn't found a way to communicate before. Later she typed, "Dad, thank you for believing in me. I know I'm not the easiest child in the world to love, but you are always there for me to pick me up when I fall." The father said those words were worth every frustration and every sleepless night. They even discovered that Carly has a sense of humor. When asked about her little brother, she sat down and typed, "Matthew smells so bad even skunks run and hide." Today at fourteen, Carly is still amazing people everywhere. She's in the process of writing her first novel. Even though she still has severe Autism, still confined to a body that doesn't function normally, she cannot be contained. Nothing will stop her from fulfilling her destiny.

Today, I'm asking you to get rid of any excuses that would try to hold you back. Quit thinking, "I'm not talented enough. I've made too many mistakes. I've got this handicap." No, you are a barrier breaker. You are uncontainable. God wants to use you to influence others. If Carly can do it, you can do it. Unlock the seeds of greatness within you.

Those seeds are waiting to take root and flourish. And know this, right now, God is breathing in your direction. Vision is increasing. Faith is rising. Dreams are coming back to life. You have not seen your best days. You may have had some victories in your past, but what God has in store in your future will supersede anything you could even imagine. Keep pressing forward, keep stretching your faith and believing for bigger things because God is going to pour out His favor in unprecedented ways!

You are....
* You are the friend of God
* You are blessed to be blessing
* You are capable
* You are valuable

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hearing the Voice of God

God wants to lead you by His Spirit. He wants to help you make the right decisions and know the right things. The Scripture says in John 10, "My sheep hear My voice." If we are going to be His sheep, we have to learn that voice. We have to know that voice. We have to tune into Him so we can hear Him clearly. God doesn't speak to everyone in the same way, and learning to hear Him for yourself is a process. Sometimes we are going to make mistakes, but He is a patient teacher and knows how to get our attention.

Years ago when our son was only a year old, we had just moved into a new house, and all week long we had servicemen coming in and out. One afternoon, I put my son down for his nap in my bedroom downstairs and went upstairs to unpack some boxes. As I was working, I remembered that a repairman was supposed to call me to schedule an appointment for something, and then the thought came that I left my phone on the kitchen table. I was tired of people coming in and thought, "Oh well, I'll just reschedule that later." But then the thought came again, "Go get your phone off the kitchen table." This time it was stronger. I tried to reason it away, but it wouldn't go away. "If you take care of it now, you won't have to do it later." Well, I finally walked downstairs to get my phone, and as I came around the corner, there was a huge ball of smoke and a fire in the middle of my kitchen! I was shocked; but thankfully, I had a fire extinguisher and was able to put out the fire. I found out later that it was because I had a candle burning that was sitting too close to a dried flower arrangement on the table.

I can't even imagine what would have happened if I would have ignored that inner prompting. See, God knew exactly what it would take to get me to go into the kitchen. What if He would have brought the thought to my mind, "There's a fire in your kitchen." I would have thought, "Nah, that's silly!" or "Get behind me, Satan!" I probably would have thought it was just me. But God knew how to reach me, and it taught me more about how to trust that inner prompting.

I want to encourage you today to listen to that still, small, inner voice. So many people wonder, "God is this You or is it just me?" Well remember, as a believer, God is in you. If the thought is reasonable and right, do it! If it lines up with the Word of God, do it! Whether it's helping someone, sharing an idea, or even getting your phone off the kitchen table, God knows how to lead you. Trust Him because you can hear His voice today and every day!

Related post about confidence
* Does God still speak to people
* God delights in us
* Miracle

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Confidence In What?

By Bill Crowder

Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-12
Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. —1 Corinthians 10:12
Bible in a year:
Psalms 33–34 & Acts 24

While walking through a home-improvement store, I saw a man wearing a bright red T-shirt bearing this melancholy message: “Confidence: The feeling you have just before you understand the situation.”

I laughed at this humorous concept, but I also realized that the shirt carried a sane and sound warning. It’s a reminder to all of us who try to get things done through confidence in our own ability or credentials but without consciously trusting in the strength of God. If we think we can accomplish life’s tasks in our own strength, that false confidence will inevitably become our undoing—and we’ll collapse under the weight of our own failings.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this by recalling ancient Israel’s penchant for self-confidence and self-sufficiency. He described everything the Israelites thought they had going for them; then he told how they had turned those benefits into a license to sin and an almost arrogant confidence that would prove to be their undoing.

Paul said their self-confidence should warn us. His conclusion? “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Psalm 118:8 shows us the best way: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man,” or in ourselves. Where is your confidence?

Let all who think that they can stand
Take heed lest they should fall;
These words remind us of the truth
That God is Lord of all. —Branon

Confidence in Christ is the right kind of confidence.

Related post about confidence
* Replace condemnation with confidence
* Be thankful for what you have
* Positive thinking can bring good health

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mother and Son

My mom only had one eye. I hated her, she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market.She collected little weeds and such to sell, anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment.There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I'd wanted to say all this time.

Maybe it was because my mom hadn't punished me, but I didn't think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night...I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.

Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I'm living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it's a place that doesn't remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me "What?! Who's this?!"... It was my mother...Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom's eye.

And I asked her, "Who are you? I don't know you!!!" as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her "How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out here now!" And to this, my mother quietly answered, "oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared. Thank good ness... she doesn't recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn't going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Then a wave of relief came upon me... one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house...just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand.... it was a letter to me.

My Son,
I think my life has been long enough now. And... I won't visit Seoul anymore... but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school.... For you... I'm sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you.

You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye... so I gave you mine... I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, 'it's because he loves me.' I miss the times when you were still young around me.

I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me. My world shattered! Then I cried for the person who lived for me. My Mother.

Another story about mother
* Journey of mother
* Real love
* Should we divorce?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


By Dave Branon

Read: Proverbs 12:17-22
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. —Proverbs 12:22
Bible in a year:
1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19

Today is National Honesty Day in the United States. It is a little-known designation for April 30, but an important one nonetheless.

Author M. Hirsh Goldberg established National Honesty Day in the early 1990s as a way to honor the honorable and encourage honesty. He said that April 30 was selected because “April begins with a day dedicated to lying [April Fool’s Day] and should end on a higher moral note.”

Honesty Day would be a good time to review the value of this trait according to God’s Word. Honesty is not as easy as it seems—but we please God by striving for it.

An understanding of honesty begins with recognizing that God—our ultimate example—is truth (Deut. 32:4) and that He cannot lie (Num. 23:19; Heb. 6:18). Also, He hates falsehood (Prov. 6:16-19). Beyond that, all lies have as their originator Satan himself (John 8:44).

For our part, we can use these Scriptures as our guide: “A righteous man hates lying” (Prov. 13:5); love rejoices in truth (1 Cor. 13:6); lying is part of the old nature (Col. 3:9); growth means setting aside deceit (1 Peter 2:1); and speaking truth declares righteousness (Prov. 12:17).

Let’s make every day Honesty Day.

Help me, dear Lord, to be honest and true
In all that I say and all that I do;
Give me the courage to do what is right,
To bring to the world a glimpse of Your light. —Fasick

People who trust God’s Word should be people whose word can be trusted.

Renungan yang mengajarkan kita untuk menghargai orang lain
* 42 tips for succesful life
* 7 ways to save relationship
* Maya Angelou
* Most powerful three words
* You should do

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bring Them To Jesus

By Anne Cetas

Read: Luke 18:15-17
Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. —Mark 10:14
Bible in a year:
1 Chronicles 22-24; John 8:28-59

The Scripture reading from Luke 18 about children seemed unusual at the memorial service for David Holquist. After all, he was 77 when he died.

Yet the pastor said the verses fit David, a long-time college professor, perfectly. Part of his legacy was that he took time for children—his own and others’. He made balloon animals and puppets, and helped in a puppet ministry at church. When planning worship services with others, he frequently asked, “What about the children?” He was concerned about what would help the children—not just the adults—to worship God.

Luke 18 shows us the concern Jesus had for children. When people brought little ones to Him, the disciples wanted to protect Jesus, a busy man, from the bothersome children. But it seems that Jesus was not at all bothered by them. Just the opposite. The Bible says that Jesus was “greatly displeased” at the disciples, and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them” (v.16). Mark adds that Jesus took them in His arms and blessed them (10:14-16).

Let’s examine our own attitude about children and then follow the example of David Holquist. Find some ways to help them come to Jesus.

To those who are teaching the gospel,
With love in their hearts for its truth,
Comes the gentle reminder from heaven,
“Forget not the children and youth.” —Anon.

God has great concern for little children.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don’t Just Retire

By C. P. Hia

Read: Numbers 8:23-26
They may minister with their brethren . . . to attend to needs. —Numbers 8:26
Bible in a year:
Psalms 31–32 & Acts 23:16-35

The first people to climb Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain, were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Hillary was just 33 years old. His feat afforded him fame, wealth, and the realization that he had already lived a remarkable life.

So, what did Hillary do for the next 55 years? Did he retire and rest on his laurels? Absolutely not.

Although Hillary had no higher mountains to climb, that didn’t stop him. He achieved other notable goals, including a concerted effort to improve the welfare of the Nepalese people living near Mt. Everest—a task he carried on until his death in 2008.

Did you know that God told the Levites to retire from their regular duties at age 50? (Num. 8:24-25). But He did not want them to stop helping others. He said that they should “minister with their brethren . . . to attend to needs” (v.26). We cannot take this incident as a complete teaching on retirement, but we can see a godly implication that continuing to serve others after our working days are over is a good idea.

Many people find that when they retire they have nothing meaningful to do with their time. But as the Levites and Sir Edmund Hillary did, we can refocus when we retire—giving of our time to help others.

The Lord will give you help and strength
For work He bids you do;
Serve others from a heart of love
Is what He asks of you. —Fasick

Life takes on new meaning when we invest ourselves in others.

Monday, October 18, 2010

For The Sake Of His Name

By David H. Roper

Read: 1 Samuel 12:19-25
I will never leave you nor forsake you. —Hebrews 13:5
Bible in a year:
1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

The ancient Israelites gathered at Gilgal for the coronation of Saul as their first king (1 Sam. 11:15). The Lord was not pleased that His people had asked for a king, yet on this occasion Samuel uttered these words: “The Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people” (12:22).

We too are God’s “own special people” if we have trusted Jesus as Savior (1 Peter 2:9). He will not forsake us even though He knows we will fail Him. He knows what we are like—sinful, weak, and frail. He knew it before He called us and drew us to Himself. The certainty of our salvation rests not in ourselves but on the character of God (1 John 5:20). He will keep us to the end.

This does not give us an excuse to continue in sin. Paul said, “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom. 6:2). Our choices do reflect on God’s reputation, our witness in the world, and our fellowship with Him. But God will never reject His people, those who are truly His. The Lord cannot and will not forsake His own (Heb. 13:5).

We can rest assured. What God saves, He keeps—for the sake of His great name!

“Able to keep!” how sure is the word!
He is my Keeper, Savior, and Lord.
“Never shall perish,” one of His sheep,
Glory to God! He is able to keep. —Anon.

Lives rooted in God’s unchanging grace can never be uprooted.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

False Hope

By Cindy Hess Kasper

Read: Ephesians 2:1-10
By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works. —Ephesians 2:8-9
Bible in a year:
2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

The name of a pretty Bavarian town in Germany shares the name of a place of horror—Dachau. A museum on the grounds of this infamous Nazi concentration camp attracts many World War II history buffs.

As you look around, it would be hard to miss the misleading words welded to an iron gate: Arbeit Macht Frei. This phrase—Work Makes You Free—was just a cruel lie to give false hope to those who entered this place of death.

Many people today have false hope that they can earn a place in heaven by working at being good or by doing good things. God’s standard of perfection, however, requires a totally sinless life. There’s no way any of us can ever be “good enough.” It is only through the sacrifice of the sinless Savior that we are made righteous. God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Eternal life is given because of God’s gift of grace—not because of our good works (Eph. 2:8-9).

Don’t let Satan trick you by giving you false hope that your good works will save you. It is only through Jesus’ work on the cross that you can have real freedom.

Accept the teaching of the world
And hopeless you will be,
But trust in God’s eternal plan
If you want life that’s free. —Branon

We are not saved by good works, but by God’s work.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our Co-Pilot?

By Joe Stowell

Read: Galatians 2:11-21
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. —Galatians 2:20
Bible in a year:
2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

The bumper sticker “Jesus is my co-pilot” may be a well-intentioned sentiment, but it has always troubled me. Whenever I’m in the driver’s seat of my life, the destination is nowhere good. Jesus is not meant to be just a spiritual “co-pilot” giving directions every now and then. He is always meant to be in the driver’s seat. Period!

We often say that Jesus died for us, which of course is true. But there’s more to it than that. Because Jesus died on the cross, something inside of us died—the power of sin. It’s what Paul meant when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). We were essentially co-crucified with Him. With Jesus in the driver’s seat, the old destinations are off-limits. No more turning down the streets of self-centeredness, greed, or lust. No more off-road ventures into the swamp of pride or the ditch of bitterness. We were crucified with Him and He is at the wheel now! He died so that He alone can drive and define us.

So, if you’ve died and Christ lives in you, He’s not your co-pilot. Your joy is to let Him drive and define your life. There may be a few bumps in the road, but you can count on it—He’ll take you somewhere good.

Lord, I thank You for salvation,
For Your mercy, full and free;
Take my all in consecration,
Glorify Yourself in me. —Codner

Still at the wheel of your life? It’s time to let Jesus drive.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Make My Brown Eyes Blue

By Anne Cetas

Read: Matthew 16:24-28
Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. —Matthew 16:25
Bible in a year:
1 Kings 3-5; Luke 20:1-26

As a young girl, Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) wished she had blue eyes instead of brown. She even prayed that God would change her eye color and was disappointed when it didn’t happen. At age 20, Amy sensed that the Lord was calling her to serve Him as a missionary. After serving in various places, she went to India. It was then that she realized God’s wisdom in the way He had made her. She may have had a more difficult time gaining acceptance from the brown-eyed people if her eyes had been blue. She served God in India for 55 years.

We don’t know for sure that Amy was more readily accepted because of her eye color. But we do know and believe that it is the Lord “who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. 100:3). As we submit to His wisdom in everything, we can serve Him effectively.

Amy knew what submission was. When asked about missionary life, she replied, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.” Jesus said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25).

That describes the devoted Christian’s life as well— total surrender to God’s plans and will for us. May we submit to Him today.

Although I may not understand
The path You’ve laid for me,
Complete surrender to Your will—
Lord, this my prayer shall be. —Sherbert

Our lives are never more secure than when they are abandoned to God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rescue Business

By Philip Yancey

Read: Romans 3:10-22
There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. —Luke 15:10
Bible in a year:
2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

Living in Colorado, I climb mountains. On summer weekends, I see casual hikers who have no idea what they are doing. In sandals, shorts, and T-shirts, carrying a single container of water, they start up a trail at mid-morning. They have no map, no compass, and no rain gear.

My neighbor, who volunteers for Alpine Rescue, has told me stories of tourists rescued from certain death after wandering off a trail. Regardless of the circumstances, Alpine Rescue always responds to a call for help. Not once have they lectured a hapless tourist, “Well, since you ignored the rules of the wilderness, you’ll just have to bear the consequences.” Their mission is rescue. They pursue every needy hiker, no matter how undeserving.

The central message of the Bible is one of rescue. Paul points out that none of us “deserve” God’s mercy and none of us can save ourselves. Like a stranded hiker, all we can do is call for help. Quoting the psalmist, he says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God” (Rom. 3:10-11; Ps. 14:1-3).

The good news of the gospel is that in spite of our state, God seeks after us and responds to every plea for help. You might say that God is in the rescue business.

Thinking It Over
What keeps you from calling out to God for spiritual rescue? Your pride? Do you fear that you are too bad for God’s grace? What does Romans 3:23-26 say?

The heart of repentance is turning from sin and toward God.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Fence

By Author Unknown

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.

His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

As William Arthur Ward once said,
"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people;
to focus your energies on answers - not excuses."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Poor Examples

By Marvin Williams

Read: Matthew 23:1-13
Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for Rata Penuhthey say, and do not do. —Matthew 23:3
Bible in a year:
2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

A woman in Oregon was caught driving 103 miles per hour with her 10-year-old grandson in the car. When she was stopped by the police, she told them that she was only trying to teach him never to drive that fast. I suppose she wanted him to do as she said, not as she did.

The Pharisees and teachers of the law seemed to have a similar problem. Jesus had a scathing assessment of them: They were spiritually bankrupt. He held these two groups directly responsible for this sad spiritual condition. As the successors of the lawgiver Moses, they were responsible for expounding the law so that people would walk in God’s ways and have a genuine and vibrant relationship with the Lord (Deut. 10:12-13). But their personal interpretation and application of the law became more important than God’s law. They did not practice what they preached. What they did observe was done not to bring glory to God but to honor themselves. Jesus exposed who they were—image managers, posers, and hypocrites.

The test of the effectiveness of following Jesus is not just in what we say but in how we live. Are we telling others God’s Word and doing what it says? Let’s model by words and actions what it means to follow Him.

Christians, remember you bear His dear name,
Your lives are for others to view;
You are living examples—men praise you or blame,
And measure your Savior by you. —Anon.

A good example preaches a powerful sermon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Wrong Reading

By Dennis Fisher

Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
Wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, . . . have suffered shipwreck. —1 Tim. 1:18-19
Bible in a year:
2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35

William Scoresby was a British seafaring explorer in the 19th century who responded to God’s call to the ministry. An interest in the workings of navigational compasses stayed with him during his work as a clergyman. His research led to the discovery that all newly built iron ships had their own magnetic influence on compasses. This influence would change at sea for various reasons—leading crews to read the compass incorrectly. Often this led to disaster.

There is a striking parallel between the misread compass and false biblical teaching. In 1 Timothy 1, Paul warned against “fables and endless genealogies” (v.4)—-man-made changes in the doctrines of God’s Word. People who teach false doctrines “have suffered shipwreck,” Paul concludes (v.19). Two people who opposed the Word of God by placing false teaching in its place, and who thus faced spiritual shipwreck, were Alexander and Hymenaeus (v.20).

Biblical truth is being questioned and in some cases even replaced in the church today. Our opinions must never replace the truth of God’s Word. The Bible, not man’s erroneous opinions about it, is the ultimate guide for our conscience in navigating life’s changing seas. Beware of wrong readings.

God’s words of pure, eternal truth
Shall yet unshaken stay,
When all that man has thought or planned,
Like chaff has passed away. —Anon.

The first point of wisdom is to know the truth; the second, to discern what is false.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Wrong Stuff

By Dave Branon

Read: John 14:1-6
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. —Acts 4:12
Bible in a year:
1 Samuel 19-21; Luke 11:29-54

It was a simple task, but I was in over my head. One of the items on the grocery list was soy. Problem was, I didn’t know what kind of soy my wife, Sue, had in mind when she made the list. After searching the aisles and asking the advice of a worker who was stacking soup cans, I grabbed a bottle of soy sauce, placed it in the cart, and went on my way.

Only after I unloaded my bags at home did I discover that Sue didn’t want soy sauce. She wanted soy milk for our granddaughter Eliana. I was sincere in my search. I even asked for help and confidently pulled my selection off the shelf. But it didn’t do me (or Eliana) any good. I had the wrong stuff.

Sadly, some people are walking through the grocery store of life with “heaven” on their list, but they are not getting what they need. Despite their sincerity and the intended help of others, they grab something that won’t get them to heaven because they find a “different gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4).

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). And Peter said, “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Trust Jesus. Don’t settle for the wrong gospel.

Not all roads lead to God,
As many people claim;
There’s only one true way—
Christ Jesus is His name. —Sper

Christ is the only door into heaven.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Agents Of Change

By Joe Stowell

Read: 2 Timothy 2:19-26
If anyone cleanses himself . . . , he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. —2 Timothy 2:21
Bible in a year:
1 Samuel 27-29; Luke 13:1-22

With 4 years of seminary under my belt, I walked into my first ministry with a long agenda. As a new pastor, I thought I was there to change that place. Instead, God used that place to change me.

The board members were supportive, but they relentlessly kept my feet to the fire in administrative details. I needed to learn how to work with lay leadership, how to be careful in my work, and how to dream with others.

We often think God has assigned us to change the world around us when in reality He is interested in changing us. Why? To make each of us “a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). God often uses the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places to teach us some of life’s most difficult lessons. And just when we think we’ve arrived, He is instructing us further.

Not long ago I entered a new season of ministry. I may be a “seasoned veteran,” but I’m still learning, still growing, and still amazed at how God continues to shape this vessel for His noble purposes.

If you want to be an agent of change, don’t resist the true Agent of Change. He has your best interest—and His—at heart!

What changes we would love to make
In others’ lives, for Jesus’ sake!
But first we must learn at His feet
The things that will make us complete. —Branon

Only when we are changed can we be agents of change.

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Inspirational Short Story

Tears streamed down my face as I sat at my grandmother's funeral. My grandmother lived a very full life, and was full of energy, love, and wisdom. She always said the right thing for the situation. And, whenever we had a problem, we knew we could talk with Grandma.

As a teenager, I can remember many conversations where Grandmother would give us her worldly wisdom and she would always end up saying you have an angel smiling on you dear I know you will do the right thing. Now, here we were at her funeral, and I could almost hear her saying, the angels are smiling on us. Now, I really knew I had an angel smiling on me as I am sure Grandma was in heaven smiling down and watching out for us.

I offered to help my Mum sort through Grandma's apartment. The next few days were filled with memories, and filled with laughter, and filled with tears. As we sorted through Grandma's stuff, it brought back some wonderful memories. I was packing the last of the dishes when my mum called to me. I went into Grandma's bedroom, and my mum handed me a package with my name written on it. I opened the box and read the poem:

May this little Angel shine upon your home
Filling your days with cheer
Know that She stands on guard for you
To help you smile all year.

And Grandma had handwritten, "hang this stained glass angel in your window to remind you of your angel Kate! Love Grandma"

To this day, I have the stained glass angel hanging in my bedroom window. And, every time I look at it I can hear Grandma saying:
"You have an angel smiling on you dear, I know you will do the right thing."

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