Trash to Treasure

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken. Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34: 17-22 (NRSV) Along the coast of Maine, artisans were selling jewelry made from sea glass, which begins as bottles or glass left on the shore as trash. Over time, they are broken into pieces and become

"I Still Love You"

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been j

The Good Shepherd

Read Psalm 23 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. Isaiah 40:11 (NRSV) Clare Drew, from Gauteng, South Africa, was chatting with her cousin when she recalled a visit to his farm in Tulbagh, South Africa. Sensing a lamb was in distress, her uncle invited Clare to go with him into the fields. Dusk was falling as they headed in the direction of a faint sound. They found a lamb that had fallen into a ditch and was trapped. They were both awed by the prompting that led to the rescue of one lamb. That memory reinforced Clare's faith in the love of the Good Shepherd, and Clare reflected on how Go

Everyone Invited

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet. But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he

Hornet's Nest

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:23-29 (NRSV) Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights

A Little Tweaking

Read Ephesians 1: 15-23 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him... Ephesians 1:17 (NRSV) During Connie Cousins exam, her eye doctor said, "I may tweak your prescription a little." Connie hadn't noticed any problem with her eyesight, but she replied, "Well, if a little tweak is going to improve my vision, that's good. Who wouldn't want that?" Connie began to think about tweaking other areas of her life. She had often tweaked a recipe or a pattern in hopes of making it a little better. What would happen if she tweaked her devotional time? Connie had a regular habit of meeting the Lord in the morni

Grandmother's Kitchen

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4: 8-10 (NRSV) Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action, 1 John 3:18 (NRSV) Mark A, Carter, from Oregon, found that his grandmother's kitchen was a special place; it still evokes warm memories. His grandmother didn't need any written recipes for her meals because she had memorized just how much of each ingredient to put in. And every meal was delicious. She was especially good at baking sweets, and ever

Finding Rest

Read 2 Samuel 15: 13-26 David flees from Jerusalem I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5 (NRSV) Awlwyn Balnave, from British Columbia, was walking on the beach with his wife when they came across a very large green turtle lying by the water's edge. It lay motionless on the sand throughout the day, opening its eyes briefly only when someone went close to it. Awlwyn wondered why it was there and what it was doing. Later they went to a local marine observatory, and the staff taught them that green turtles rest on the shore where they are safe from harm. Second Samuel 15 details David's flight from Jerusalem. David did not know what the future held for him. Yet

Homemade Cream of Mushroom soup

Ingredients: * 6 tablespoons butter * 1/4 cup minced yellow onion * 1 pound thin sliced fresh mushrooms * 2 regular size cans chicken broth * 4 tablespoons flour * 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons salt (optional) *1 cup light or regular whipping cream To Begin: 1) Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large sauce pan, then saute' onions until soft, about 3 minutes. 2) Add mushrooms and saute' another 4-5 minutes. 3) Pour both cans of chicken broth into a measuring cup and add a small amount of water to equal a total of 1 quart liquid. Add this liquid to the mushroom mixture and simmer approximately 15 minutes. 4) In a separate small sauce pan melt 3 tablespoons butter, gradually stir in flour and cook over

True Freedom

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 (NRSV) For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each

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