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Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Family (97)


The Family of God

By Pat

The daily devotional I like best consists of short devotions written by people all over the world, regular, ordinary people just like me. Many of their thoughts and feelings echo mine, and I can relate. Others write about things I have not encountered, and from them I can learn. Some of the stories submitted include pictures of the writers. They are men and women, young and old, black, white Asian, name it. I don't know them, but yet I feel a kind of kinship with each one, a bond I cannot explain.

We are all different, but yet the love of God, the blood of Jesus makes them feel so familiar to me. They are my brothers and my sisters. The common bond of faith makes them dear to me. The blood of Jesus is like that-it turns strangers into family. This love unites us in a way unlike anything else I know. It's nothing I can really even explain coherently, but I feel it just the same.

Jesus took twelve strangers in different classes, occupations and walks, and just by being Jesus, He joined them together and created a force. The common sharing of their love for Him enabled them to change the world. And we, too, by joining with our brothers and sisters around the neighborhood or around the world, can make a difference, for it's not the blood running through our veins that make us family. It's the blood of Jesus covering us all. What an awesome power-what an awesome love!

"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


Child's Play

By Sarah (Living Between the Lines)

This Christmas, I got—um, shall we say, drafted—to assist with a children’s Christmas program. This particular church only has about 15 children and they’re all below the age of six. A single, childless lady in her twenties volunteered to direct the program and found a play that was age-appropriate for these children. And she has spent the last several weeks herding cats attempting to direct this play. She got all of the parents to agree to help direct traffic to the stage, and on the stage. And she recruited another young childless friend of hers to help with the sets and costumes. And then, because nobody else would, she began learning lines so that she could also—in addition to directing—be the narrator of the play.

This woman was quite possibly the bravest—or most naïve—woman I have ever met.

Because I don’t regularly attend this church, I missed all of this pre-program fun. I missed the practices and the costume-making and the set-building. I just knew I needed to be there at 10:00 on that Sunday morning, to assist. By 10:03, I was ready to jump ship!

When I walked into the dressing room at 10:00, there were 15 children and at least as many adults. The oldest boy—wearing his costume—was standing on one side of the room bellowing, “WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE! WEE!” When I finally left the room twenty-five minutes later, he still hadn’t stopped. Both of his parents had been in the room and neither said anything to him.

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Storm Clouds and Silver Linings

By Michelle (Graceful, Faith in the Everyday)

The storm sweeps in suddenly, swaths of torrential rain reeling across the neighbor’s roof as the wind shudders fierce. Into the basement we flee, the boys all a tizzy.

“Do we get cheese? Do we get cheese?” Rowan squeals, and I am puzzled until I remember that the last time the tornado sirens blared, Brad had doled out mozzarella sticks as we piled into the closet beneath the stairs.

But then, as quickly as it gusted in, the storm fizzles to a smattering of raindrops and bolts jagged across dramatic sky, leaving a trail of tree limbs, severed branches and dangling wires in its wake.

The next morning front doors open, and neighbors stand on wet cement in bare feet, arms crossed over chest. We survey the honey locust split in two and marvel that it’s only brushed Martha and Charlie’s place, tearing the gutter from its hinges but leaving the house intact. Todd (the kids refer to him as “that muscley guy”) fires up his chainsaw, and sawdust sprays into the humid morning as Gary drags branches to the curb. We introduce ourselves to neighbors we’ve never even seen before and shake hands awkwardly. Everyone is outdoors – it’s too hot to stay inside without air conditioning.

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Fingerprint Friday: Giving Hearts & Gardens Found

By Ginny (MAD21)

I haven't been around the online world very much the last few weeks. I got involved in a project that I had originally scheduled to be just for one ten-hour day with about 20 people. It turned into six days over two and a half weeks, 320+ man-hours, and about 40-50 teens and adults.

I have an amazing mother-in-law (MIL). She is imperfect, just like the rest of us, but she has a heart of gold. She has spent most of her life serving her family and the people at our church. Aside from a few really great teens who have been able to help me out occasionally over the last seven years, she has been my only help as a parent. Pretty much any time I've needed a babysitter whether I had an appointment or just needed a few hours to regain my sanity, my MIL was, and is still, nearly always available to watch them for me. For those of you who can relate to my situation, you can understand my desire to do something to bless her.

Her yard is a haven to a ton of butterflies!My MIL has always been an avid gardener. So you can imagine what her yard has always looked like. Anywhere there could be a flowerbed, there was one, even now. The problem is that she is getting older (she's 88) and can't tend to them anymore. Over the last several years, they have all just become so overwhelmed with weeds and overgrown bushes, that there was very little "flower" in the bed. To say everything was overgrown is a gross understatement. If you live on the east coast you know that if you leave any piece of ground untended for more than a week or so, there is something growing. So you can imagine leaving it unattended for a few years!

More than two years ago I wanted to organize a day when I could get a group over to her house to get things cleaned up. But then she had some health issues and I spent more than a year driving her to all of her appointments and doing her shopping. But things have been much better for her for the last 6-8 months and she's driving (locally) again, so there has been more time to focus on other things. I decided late spring that we really, REALLY needed to get the yard worked on this year. But even I didn't realize how big that project would become. It took on a life of it's own.

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God Says...

By Ginny (MAD21)

Awhile back, I was discussing topic ideas with the guys who have been writing for my series on Mondays. We had started organizing one of the ideas but stopped when Jay came across a fabulous article on faith by Donald Borsch, Jr. called, "Sonship: The Reality of Faith." After reading his post and seeing the "God Says" list he included, we decided we wanted to expand on what he shared, by making his list (and a few more we added) the topic for our next series.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that even if we can do all kinds of amazing things, if we do them without love it means nothing. The lesson here is obvious. But when preparing for this series, I read: "if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." I wondered... what if you love, but you lack faith? What happens when you've been beaten down by a situation so far, for so long that you really begin to question how strong your faith is?

We have all been there. That place of doubt.

"I'm not good enough."

   "It's impossible."

      "I can't."

         "I'm afraid."

            "I can't resist."

               "I can't forgive."

                  "I want."

                     "I feel all alone."

Many of us put on a good face no matter what we are going through in our lives. I think for the most part we all just "go with the flow" and deal with things as they come along. But there are those times when doubt, or a lack of faith, get the best of us. It can last for a moment, a day, or much, much longer. It's for those times that we must prepare ourselves. We must work hard to build our faith before it's tested, before we face the challenges. If we can build that strong foundation, it won't matter what comes our way. Because with faith comes it's companion: hope.

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