September Devotion, Day 25

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 25
Faithful

“Well done, good and faithful servant.  You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
Matthew 25:21

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I think as Christians all of us would love to hear these words at some point in our lives. But we would have to know clearly what it is we are called to do.  Jesus has made this clear by commanding us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

This would take submission to our Master with a true desire to do it His way, and not our own.  When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and Paul tells us to, “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

It would take dedication and commitment on our part, seeing it through to the very end no matter how long it might take.  Hebrews 3:6 tells us, “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”

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It would also take a life of godliness and 2 Peter 1:3 says that Jesus has taken care of this on our behalf, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Titus 2.  Now pick the portion of Titus 2 that applies to you and write it out in your personal journal.  Now let’s take time to pray that God will help us to be faithful servants in the portion that He has given us.

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I am so enjoying writing these devotionals for the month of September!  I pray that they are a blessing to you as well.  I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.  Thank you 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, and September 24

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 21

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 21
Return to Me With All Your Heart

“‘Yet even now’, declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.’
Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”

Joel 2:11-13

Blinkin Squiggle

I had a conversation with a Christian friend whom I had not seen for a couple of years. I knew her life had taken a path of hard decisions and I continued to pray for her, unsure of exactly how she was doing.  On this particular day, I was glad I was able to rejoice with her in a new season of life, as I listened intently to all she had to share with me.

As she spoke, I was reminded of the qualities that I really enjoyed about her from so long ago.  She is a very sincere, intentional, and loving person.  I have always liked hearing what she was thinking, because she had amazing eye contact that held my attention, and when I spoke with her, she seemed to drink in every word.  This is such a rare thing to find.

Although she did speak a little of the hardships she had endured, she mostly chose to praise God for all He had brought her through.  She was attending church again, and she felt so glad to be back in the arms of God after many decisions that had led her away.

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When we were done talking and she had to gather her kids to go, I thought to say only one thing, “No matter where we go, God is always right here, steadfastly waiting for us when we return.  He is always faithful even when we are not.”  From experience, she was now able to wholeheartedly agree.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s first take time to read Luke 15:11-19 and then write a few very important verses in our personal journals today.  Remember to use your most beautiful handwriting as we write out the wonderful homecoming of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20-24.

Take time to consider what your response might be as the parent of this young man. Would you welcome him as cheerfully as this father did?  Would you prepare a huge feast and rejoice by giving him new clothing, a ring and new shoes? Does grace and forgiveness come easily to you or is it a struggle?

Praise God for His faithfulness to always give us grace and forgiveness!  Now, let’s take time to finish the story by reading verses 25-32.  

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I pray that you are enjoying these devotionals for the month of September.  I am loving writing them.  Please take time to pray for me today and ask God to continue giving me wonderful Scriptures to pass on to you for the rest of this month.

Each of us are precious to Jesus and He loves to spend time with us in His Word.  Thank you for taking time to stop by and spend time with me as well.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, and September 20

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 7

SeptemberDevotionTop  September 7
The God Who Works Wonders

“Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?

      You are the God who works wonders;
    You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

      You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
            The sons of Jacob and Joseph.”
Psalm 77:13-14

Blinkin Squiggle

I love to tell this story, but it seems to me that I have told it so many times that you may have heard it already.  If you are visiting today and have already heard this amazing story, please forgive me for repeating myself.  However, I do believe it is worth repeating – so you might want to stick around and read it again.

After my husband and I had our third child, we considered that we should sell all of our baby stuff at a garage sale.  Deep inside I didn’t want to sell everything because I really wanted to have another child, but we went through with the garage sale anyway.

I was so sad, especially to sell my white wicker bassinet set that my mother-in-law had purchased for me at a garage sale when I was pregnant with our first child.  But a lovely Christian woman in her forties showed up with her three teenage daughters and she was happy, but somewhat overwhelmed because she had found out that she was pregnant and she didn’t have baby stuff around her home anymore.  I couldn’t think of a better person to sell all of my precious things to.  She was so blessed as her girls helped her load up her car.  I went in my house and cried.

Fast forward to the fall a few years later and our friends who lived about an hour from our home, north of Seattle, called to schedule our usual once-a-year dinner around Thanksgiving time. I was excited to get together with them and catch up on all that had happened over the year. They had two girls and had a baby boy that was growing quickly and I couldn’t wait to see them all.

After dinner my friend asked if I’d like to go up stairs and help her box up some of her little boy’s baby things he had outgrown to send to the Good Will – I was glad to help.  As I knelt on the floor at his little bed, she began handing me things from his closet to put in the boxes. Some clothes that I must have handed down to her, some toys that looked familiar, then some fitted sheets for a bassinet, and a bouncy chair…

A conversation began that went something like this.  “Did I give these to you?” She said, “No, I got them from my sister-in-law after her baby grew out of them.”  Then she handed me the folded up white wicker bassinet along with the lacy ruffles that hung around the bottom and the toys that hung on the bouncy chair and I knew without a doubt that they were mine!  I asked where her sister-in-law lived and she said in University Place – exactly where I was living when I had my garage sale a few years before!

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What do you think about miracles?  Have you ever witnessed first hand the working of God’s wonders?  How did you feel at that moment?  Did it change your perspective of who you thought God was?  What did it do for your faith?

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read through Psalm 8 and then write out this entire Psalm in our personal journals, using our very best writing. According to this Psalm, what was David considering when he wrote it?  Let’s consider the work of God’s fingers and all that He has done – all that He is able to do.  In your journal, under Psalm 8, write the following question:  Is there anything too difficult for God? Really search your heart and then answer the question.

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My friend gave my baby stuff to me to take home that night and not long after that event, I became pregnant with our fourth child. She is now 12 years old, but I can still remember the details of that evening clearly and how God can work wonders beyond our comprehension.  There is nothing too difficult for Him.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5 and September 6

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

Konnichiwa Is My Nickname

Banner3333333threehearts2In 1982, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the first group of students in the Sister City Exchange Program to travel from Moses Lake, Washington to Yonezawa, Japan.  It was an experience of a lifetime and left me with a tender place in my heart for the Japanese people.  Since my name is Connie, pronounced with a long “o” in Japanese, they affectionately called me “Konni-chiwa”, which means “a good day”.

Almost seventeen years ago, I was blessed again when our family was able to be a host family to a young girl from Japan named Hitomi who came to stay with us through a Christian exchange student program.

It was an honor to share our Christian home with Hitomi and after she graduated from high school in Japan, we were so amazed and blessed that she returned to our area, graduated from college with honors through a nursing degree, got married, and had a baby boy.

For my youngest daughter’s 12th birthday this year, she asked if we could consider hosting some Japanese girls in her age group from Japan.  I was once again amazed when our church requested host families for Japanese students, 12 to 13 years old, to arrive on my daughter’s birthday!  Of course we put in our request right away and a month later met “Peanut” and “Bell” as they affectionately wanted to be called.

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Starbucks Every Day!

My heart was stolen away by these two beautiful and loving Japanese girls. They came through a Christian school called MeySen Academy and I highly recommend looking into this school if you are interested in hosting Japanese students or if you would like to consider teaching English in Japan.

While the girls were here, we had lots of fun.  They had only two requests:  Eat cheeseburgers, and go to Mount Rainier.  Here are some pictures of all the fun we had for the short three days they stayed in our home…

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Cheeseburgers at Burger King!
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Jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath!
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Visiting my oldest daughter at Starbucks!
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Peanut, Naomi & Bell
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A lovely day on Mount Rainier!
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The weather was perfect up on the mountain, we could see for miles!
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Pike Place Market in Seattle!
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Lunch at Seattle Red Robin with a friendly seagull!
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More Cheeseburgers!
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Yes, he demanded to have his own picture!
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Looking out over Seattle from the Ferris Wheel!
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And a sad good-bye with hopes to see them both again!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance