Rebecca Duvall

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Peace

grapesThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Peace. I’ve chosen grapes because they grow together in a group, a community. We grow best, when together with a community, rather than alone. A community does better as a whole when its members feel at peace and not restless.

Peace has many different definitions and is described in assorted ways by various people. How would you explain peace?

Those who experience peace are not easily disturbed and feel calm and not worried about life in general. People who encounter peace live and work well together with others in a friendly way.

When you are at peace, you feel secure, your mind is free from annoyance, distraction, anxiety and obsession. You are untroubled, tranquil and content. Are you at peace within your circumstances today?

Experiencing peace has nothing to do with having an easy life or your circumstances. How you react in different situations in your life can show others if you are at peace or in turmoil. Would other describe you at a person at peace or in turmoil?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9 

I find this passage in Philippians is comforting as well as encouraging. It reminds me to bring every situation, with a thankful heart, to God, because God alone can offer us peace as we walk through the trials and tribulations of life. As we pray, talk with God, seek to have a relationship with Him, He will be with us. God doesn’t wish for us to be anxious about anything. He calls us to bring all our troubles to him, so we can experience the peace He desires us to have. How have you experienced God’s peace?

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the peace you offer us, regardless of our sinful nature. I pray we would turn our troubles over to you before they can cause havoc in our heart and mind. My we seek Your peace and not the peace offered from the world, Amen.

 

 

 

Patience

pomegranateThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Patience. I’ve chosen a pomegranate because it’s a fruit that takes time and effort to eat. You cannot simply grab it and take a bite. You must work at it. First open it, and then get through the maze of its inner pieces to get to the scrumptious juicy morsels inside. This my friend takes patience.

Patience is being able to stay calm and not get annoyed under any circumstance. A patient person can also bear provocation, misfortune or pain without complaining, losing their temper or becoming irritated. A patient person is quiet, works with steady perseverance and is even-tempered.

Patience is the one thing I often hear we should not pray for, because God will answer by giving us a situation in which patience is needed. I don’t know about you, but I think patience is the most difficult Fruit of the Spirit to master. When have you seen someone demonstrate patience? How did it affect your mood or behavior?

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14

As it says in Colossians, we as believers in Christ Jesus, have the ability to call upon His power, which will strengthen us, equipping us with the patience needed within our circumstances. When we lose our temper or become irritated, it’s because we have taken our focus off our heavenly Father and looked to our own selfish desires or needs. You see, only God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit can enable us to demonstrate true patience in all situations.

I lack patience with my family more often than I should. I lose my temper when they don’t treat me the way I think they should and then I fail greatly at being quiet. I can even get irritated when they don’t take my advice and do what I think they should. Imagine that! When have you lost your patience? Without a doubt, I always seem to lose mine when I don’t take that second to call upon Jesus in the difficult times.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank You for Your patience with us. You shower us with love, grace and mercy every day, offering guidance. I pray we would call upon the power of Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit, so we too may serve with patience in all areas of our lives, Amen.

Kindness

AppleThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Kindness. I’ve chosen an apple to represent kindness because students often give teachers an apple as a way of saying thank you, or at least they use to. When a student gives a teacher an apple, it’s an act of kindness.

Kindness is a state of being. It’s when you choose to be friendly, generous or considerate of others. I think kindness is contagious. When we act this way toward others, it inspires them to respond kindly to those they encounter, which causes a ripple affect.

You are acting with kindness when you behave in a gentle, caring and helpful way toward others. When you make an effort to help clean up a mess, even when you didn’t take part in making it. Kindness is shown when we check in on someone that we know is going through a difficult time. Who in your life is God calling you to check in on?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Kindness is not causing disruption or preventing something from happening, as it should. I have a hard time with this one. I tend to argue with God and His plan and timing of things. I get excited, then impatient, and try to make things happen in my way when I think it should happen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

We are not being an example of kindness when we behave in a mean, harsh or cruel manner, showing ill will or hostility toward someone or something. This means that when you don’t get what you wanted (when eating out or going to a movie) having a bad attitude is not an acceptable behavior. It’s seen as being rude and unappreciative. I know I’m guilty of being one of the first to point out when someone else has a bad attitude but am usually blind to my own bad behavior.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

As it says in 1 Peter, we are to be a blessing, show kindness, even when kindness is not being shown to you. Who in your life can use a dose of kindness?

My prayer to us today ~ Father God, You lavish us with your kindness daily, even when we do not deserve it. I pray the Holy Spirit would open our eyes and heart to see how we may lavish others with kindness, Amen.

 

Goodness

bananaThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is goodness. I’ve chosen a banana to represent goodness because a banana is a good addition to many things, such as pancakes or oatmeal. People have the choice, multiple times a day, to be a good addition or not so good addition to circumstances throughout their day.

Goodness is the quality of being kind, helpful and honest. When our actions portray these qualities, we are choosing to bring goodness into our situation or circumstance. Other characteristics of goodness are when we strive for moral excellence, act generously or think and do what is right.

Too often, people act in a way that is not good because they let their feelings over ride their common sense. This could cause us to act in an unfriendly way, create white lies or intentionally hinder another in their efforts.

We constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Isn’t that verse in 2 Thessalonians encouraging? We can ask God to fill others with His goodness. When we feel someone is not being good in a situation, we can pray for God to give them the desire to do the right thing as well as help us see the goodness in this person or situation.

Better yet, we can ask others to pray for us to be filled with His Goodness. We don’t naturally have the desire to be good. Naturally, we want to do what we feel is good for us, which is usually not good for us or anyone else around us. By God’s power, and His power alone, we can be filled with the desire to do what is good, in God’s eyes, in all situations. We still have to act on this desire, but having the desire is half the battle.

I often have a hard time knowing the difference between what is good for me or a situation or circumstance. Others easily sway me, especially when they speak passionately about something. That’s why I lean heavily on the counsel of the Holy Spirit to discern between what I feel is good and how God desires me to portray His goodness. When have you made an effort to show goodness when you felt like acting badly? How do you think that situation would have turned out if you let your feelings run the show?

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, You are good to all, regardless of our circumstances. I pray You would teach us to be good to one another, regardless of how we are feeling, Amen.

 

Faithfulness

lemonThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is faithfulness. I’ve chosen a lemon to represent faithfulness because a little lemon goes a long way. If we add a little to avocado it keeps it from turning ugly and brown. Adding a little to water gives it a sweet refreshing taste. If we add just a little faith in Jesus to our daily life, He can quench our thirst in the areas of our lives that are dry and parched.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~Hebrews 11:1

Someone who is faithful will remain firm in their belief and support of something and/or someone, regardless of what the world around them says.

Faithfulness is having the ability to give an accurate account of things without speaking falsely.

Remaining faithful means not neglecting something and/or someone because it’s easier or more convenient. When have you avoided something because you felt the task was just to big or difficult?

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13

This verse in 1 Corinthians is one of my favorites. It a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness to people. God not only knows about every temptation I’m faced with and what I need to defeat it, but He offers me His help to defeat it while filling me with His peace. That’s pretty amazing don’t you think?

So what does it look like for us to be faithful to God in our daily lives? For starters, I think it’s spending time in God’s Word every day, along with quiet time with Him so He can reveal His truths to us. I think being faithful to God also includes being faithful to those He puts in our lives, whether it is for a brief season or a lifetime.

Someone who is faithful to others is known as reliable, loyal and trusted. They are true to their word, meaning their actions match what they say they will or will not do. Do others describe you this way?

My struggle with faithfulness is my expectation of others being faithful. I take it too personal when they fail to be true to their word or when they neglect me or something I need/want. I often put my happiness or contentment in the hands of others. I must remember my true happiness, joy and peace can only come from God. When someone falls short of being faithful to me, it’s because of their struggles and temptations. It usually has nothing to do with me. These are times I can be faithful to God, by offering my grace to those who disappoint or hurt me, just as Jesus offers His grace to me each and every day.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, You are faithful and true and sent Your Son, Jesus to be our perfect example of faithfulness. Lord, I pray for your compassion so we may be faithful to others, Amen.

Gentleness

PeachThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is gentleness. I’ve chosen a peach to represent gentleness because they are easily bruised, so we need to handle them with care. Similar to the people in our lives. We must treat every relationship delicately, because people are easily bruised.

Having gentleness is behaving in a kind, calm manner, being polite and soothing regardless of the people or environment around you.

The dictionary says gentleness is a person with a mild temperament or someone who isn’t harsh or rough. It also says it’s someone who isn’t affected by criticism.

Gentleness is an attribute of God I struggle with daily. I find myself being more abrasive than mild when seeking things to fulfill my to-do list. I often show up to the church mid week with a list of things I need to take care of or check on and feel like I’m always on a time crunch. I know it should always be about the people I work with, not the job or task I do with them, but I struggle it. I think I more often than not, run in, blast a list of needs and run back out leaving everyone’s heads spinning. It takes every ounce of effort I have to interact in a gentle manner and not like a crazy person who’s had too much caffeine.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5

Gentleness is asking someone how their day is going before asking for help. It’s gently encouraging someone to make a change without judging their actions. It’s a willingness to accept a decision or suggestion gracefully from another. It’s being friendly and social in an uncomfortable or awkward situation. Do people find you easily to approachable?

Gentleness is not yelling when someone accidently breaks a tile on the kitchen counter. It’s not reacting harshly when a flying dart hits you in the face. It’s choosing not to tell someone how much they annoy you when they’ve decided to let you know how stupid they think you are. It’s politely explaining yourself even when it’s the 20th time. It’s completing a task for someone, without being asked, and expecting nothing in return. When was the last time you stepped in to help someone without being asked?

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Jesus is our one true example of someone who is gentle. He offers us the gentleness we need to experience in our life as well as teach us, through the Holy Spirit, how to be the example of gentleness to others.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, You gently call us to You, through Your word and those You place in our lives. I pray we would be a reflection of Your gentleness, Amen.

Self-Control

Lime SelfControlThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is self-control. I’ve chosen a lime to represent self-control because when we don’t have self-control in front of others it can leave them with a sour taste.

Having self-control is the ability not to show your feelings or not do things that your feelings make you want to do.

The dictionary states self-control is to refrain or avoid or be stable, calm or harmonious. It also says having self-control means not to agitate, excite, indulge or upset. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very tall order. I find myself challenged with all of the above almost hourly, especially when with my family.

Self-control is not cursing loudly when you step in a pile of cat vomit as it squishes between your toes. It’s not reacting rudely when someone interrupts you. It’s not screaming at someone when they accidently ram their scooter into your leg.

Self-control is asking politely with a smile, even when it feels like it’s the 100th time you’ve asked. It’s being careful with others things, even if they have not been careful with yours. It’s smiling and calmly listening when someone’s yelling at you because they’re upset. It’s resisting a third cupcake even though you know it would taste oh so good.

Self-control is not letting your circumstances dictate your thoughts, words or actions. Having self-control is putting the feelings of someone else above your own and acting or speaking in a way to be helpful, not harmful.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ Titus 2:11-13

As hard as I try to be an example of a wife, mom, daughter, friend or Christian who has self-control, I fail miserably every day. Whenever I do appear to have self-control, it’s not by my own doing. It’s only by the grace of God, the help of the Holy Spirit, that I am able to resist reacting in a hysterical awful ridiculous manner throughout my day. Praise be to God for His goodness!

What does self-control look like to you? When have you witnessed it? How have you been an example of self-control? When do you find it difficult to have self-control?

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, You gave us Your Son, Jesus, who was the perfect example of self-control. I pray for strength to choose what is right, even though it may not be easy, Amen.

Fruit of the Spirit

Over the past few months I’ve been meditating, studying and praying over the attributes of God because I desire to know my Creator, Abba Father, more intimately. While doing this, God has given me the desire to know the attributes He calls all who live by the Spirit to live by. The attributes He enables all who believe in His Son, Jesus, to have.

LiveTheFruit

Galatians chapter 5 tells us not to get caught up trying to justify our actions within the law. We are to faithfully follow Jesus, who is all about relationships. We are to act in a way that mimics how Jesus lived while here on earth. Our lives are to be pleasing, glorifying and honoring to God, our creator and sustainer.

We should not blame others for our actions because we are each given freewill and the ability to make choices. Do you choose to be persuaded by the lies of Satan, who wants to steal, kill and destroy everything good? Or do you choose to look past the frustrating, hard, painful, sorrowful circumstances you may experience occasionally throughout your life? Which do you think is pleasing to God- causing confusion or bringing encouragement to others? Which do you prefer, being confused or encouraged?

We are reminded that the freedom we are given through Christ Jesus was not so we could gratify our desires, but rather to humbly serve one another in love. The law we are to focus on and live by is to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to treat everyone, regardless of how they treat us, the way we wish to be treated. Would you rather receive love, grace and mercy from those around you as you stumble through difficult times in your life? Or would you rather everyone around you have high expectations and demands regardless of the your personal struggles?

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:26

Galatians chapter 5, verses 22-23 is where we find the Fruit of the Spirit. Over the next 9 weeks I will take a look at each attribute to see what it should look like in our lives as we live them out in our every day lives. Today I’d like to look at verses 19-21 and verse 26 where we are given attributes not to live by, which are as follows:

  • Sexual Immorality~ Going beyond proper bounds with our bodies
  • Impurity~ Doing things to please man, not God
  • Debauchery~ Lack of restraint, easily allured from your duties
  • Idolatry~ Placing something above God
  • Witchcraft~ Seeking wisdom, guidance and understanding from something other than God
  • Hatred~ Intense dislike or hostility toward
  • Discord~ Lack of harmony with others, being harsh with others
  • Jealousy~ Desiring what other have
  • Fits of Rage~ Violent anger toward another
  • Selfish Ambition~ Doing things to help yourself not others
  • Dissensions~ Quarreling with others
  • Factions~ To purposely cause division
  • Envy~ Being upset others have things you desire
  • Drunkenness~ Overcome by power
  • Orgies~ Uncontrolled gratification of desires
  • Conceited~ To flatter and talk about yourself above others
  • Provoking~ To purposely annoy someone

I don’t know about you, but I struggle, on a regular basis, with many of these attributes. I often find myself feeling jealous when hearing of others doing things or going places I wish I could. Sometimes I purposely do something to annoy someone just because I can and I find their reaction funny. It’s cheap entertainment. The word debauchery sounds like such an evil thing (at least in my mind it does). But I must confess, I’m easily lured away from my duties. SQUIRREL! Which attribute listed do you struggle with most often?

The wonderful news is God does not expect us to change who we are or stop being who we think we need to be. God knows we can’t. As we seek to know God, study His Word, spend time with Him in prayer, He and He alone will change our heart. This will cause a ripple effect that will cause our thoughts, words and actions to change. The attributes of the old will fade away as the new attributes of the Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit, will pour out of us naturally.

My prayer for us today~ Father God, You know our heart and our deepest desires. I pray You would show us an attribute of ours that does not bring glory to You and help us replace it with an attribute that honors You, Amen.

Mark 12-30

 

Ashes

Justina PageMeet Justina, and take a peak into the moment her life was dramatically changed forever.

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As a child of God it is hard to believe that something horrible can happen to you. But when the unimaginable happens how does it affect your perception of God? How does it affect your perception of yourself?

At the crack of dawn on March 7, 1999, our family faced an unimaginable nightmare.

Me, my husband and six sons awoke to explosions, smoke, and utter darkness. The house was on fire.

Our family was jolted from our peaceful bliss and thrown into chaos in a home totally engulfed with flames. The sound of appliances exploding was deafening. The heat and stench threw us into confusion and shock.

My husband, James, began frantically jumping in and out of windows, desperate to save me and our young children. The three oldest boys grabbed their younger autistic brother and waited at a pre-designated point for their father.

I was the first to be dropped from a window, and I was hysterical. I reentered the inferno, determined to reach my twenty-two-month-old twin boys. I was pinned by a large, burning, oak bookshelf that fell on me. I was trapped, burning, and unable to speak above a whisper. My husband saw me under the bookshelf and shoved me out our bedroom window again.

I crawled from the window to the front lawn, leaving pieces of burned flesh as I went. My hands were so badly injured that I could no longer use them to support myself. I shouted from the edge of the street where a neighbor was steadying me by pressing her head to mine.

“I have six sons! Get my babies!”

But the count of sons who made it out never reached six.

The house collapsed before my husband was able to get our son Amos out. He died in the fire.

Amos’s twin, Benjamin, and I were severely injured.

I drifted in and out of oblivion. The paramedics tried their best to rouse me. “Breathe,” one of them said. “Please breathe, baby!”

Tears were falling down his face. That can’t be good, I thought. I heard panic in his voice.

Then I heard another voice, an unearthly voice, the cry of a fearful, wild animal. But it was Benjamin’s voice.

I could not bear the thought of Benjamin feeling the horrific pain I was experiencing.

I passed out, succumbing to utter darkness.

I awoke from a six-week coma, intubated, disoriented, and in excruciating pain. I plummeted into a full-blown panic attack. The fire! Who lived? Who died? Do I have a home? The pain was severe; it hurt to think. I wanted to talk, but I was unable to. I had lost the ability to do anything on my own. I was dependent on everyone for everything. My orderly world was out of control, and I was not in command of anything.

I had lost every earthly possession I owned. Most excruciating was the loss of my precious 22-month twin son Amos. Everything in my life as I had known it had turned into ashes. Residue of a past life of joy turned to deep sorrow.

Despair said I was nothing. I had to reach deep to clothe myself. I knew I was a fighter, but I never had to fight at this level before. I was a woman of faith; the horror of the devastation brought that to the surface. I loved my kids. I had run through and not away from fire to save them. I loved and trusted my husband. He was a source of consolation daily. I loved Jesus. I trusted him to bring me through. I was blessed. The evidence was everywhere.

I have now shed the layers of pain, anger, unforgiveness, fear, and guilt. Beneath that skin is a more stable, wise, and thankful person. My faith is intact and as strong as ever. Life is wonderful, not because trials have never come my way nor because I believe they will never surface again. Rather, life is perfect simply because I have it. I feel better prepared for it.

Who we really are is normally buried under visible things, such as clothes, friends, status, and accomplishments. A burn trauma has a way of stripping you bare, showing you for the person you really are. I found myself lying in a hospital bed, owning nothing but my integrity. After the fire destroyed my home and ravished my body, who was I then? I was known to be the lady who loved purple, an enviable homemaker, and a confidant. But when I owned nothing, and purple didn’t matter, when I didn’t have the ability to take care of my household, and couldn’t shoulder a burden for the life of me, who was I then?

I was more than my ashes. In Christ we are more than conquerors. All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose~ Romans 8:28. But it is work.

Never let the trials of this life dictate defeat. If your world has been set on fire and all you see is the ashes of defeat…take courage. You are not your ashes. Stand on top of the pile and build again.

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Circle-of-Fire-cover-250Justina has dedicated herself to helping families affected by burn trauma. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Amos House of Faith, a nonprofit organization established to provide post burn support to children and families affected by burn trauma. She’s also the author of The Circle of Fire, a journey of discovering that personal tragedy is not a life sentence to despair, anger, and continual pain and suffering. Instead, it is a discovery of how something positive can be salvaged from every agonizing experience, even when your faith has truly been tried by fire. You can find out more about Justina and The Amos House of Faith at justinapage.com and theamoshouse.org.

 

Forgiveness

forgivenessDid you know that 1 in 9 American adults have Kidney Disease and 1 in 3 who don’t already have it, are at risk to get it? There are currently over 101,000 Americans on the Kidney Donor List waiting to receive a donor. Of that 101,000, twelve of them will die each day while waiting.

March is National Kidney Month and Thursday, March 10th, is World Kidney Day. It’s all about bringing awareness to the world how important the kidneys are, and different ways to keep them healthy.

The National Kidney Foundation lists 5 easy things we can be doing today to help keep your kidneys healthy.

  1. Find out the condition of your kidneys with an ACR urine test or GFR blood test. Go to www.kidney.org/KEEPHealthy to find out how you can be tested for free.
  2. Reduce your intake of over the counter pain meds with an anti-inflammatory component (NSAIDs).
  3. Eat more foods rich in nutrients and less that are processed. They suggest the DASH Diet
  4. Exercising at least 30 minutes per day.
  5. Manage your blood pressure and sugar levels. High blood pressure & diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease and kidney failure.

So what about those who already have kidney disease and are in kidney failure? There are many ways you can help them as well.

  1. Cash donation
  2. Donate an old vehicle
  3. Give a stock gift
  4. Join a kidney walk
  5. Participate in a NKF Golf Classic Tournament
  6. Volunteer
  7. Become an organ donor

You can go to the National Kidney Foundation Donate page for details.

The kidney is near and dear to my heart because over three years ago, God gave me the opportunity to save my husbands life by giving him a kidney. Since doing this, God has also given us many opportunities to share this story; a story about God saving my husband, as well as renewing our marriage. This video, from The 700 Club, is a peak into our story and how forgiveness played an important roll in how my husband received a new kidney.

Another way God has allowed us to share our journey to a renewed marriage is through the book I have written, In His Way, which is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Christianbook.com.

Throughout much of my married life, I lived under the illusion that I had it all together – it was everyone else that needed fixing. Several years into my second marriage my husband, a Deputy Sheriff, became a workaholic and was never home. Meanwhile, I became a volunteeraholic, too busy to face the fact that we had become two strangers under one roof, raising three kids.

God revealed Himself to me through the different women I volunteered with. As my heart slowly opened to God’s presence, my marriage came crashing down around me. As I cried out for God’s help, I discovered my husband’s affair. I found myself surrounded by faithful people who gave me the strength to face the problems in my marriage and the tools needed to begin fixing it.

Over the next four years, my husband’s health deteriorated and he was forced to retire. Through this God continually showed me I was In His Way and then, when He knew He had my attention, He would proceed to show me how to do things In His Way. In the end, what God told me to do, saved my husband’s life, and our marriage. What was broken is now fixed by the grace and love of God.

My prayer for us today~ Father God, thank you for the forgiveness we receive through Your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. I pray we would extend forgiveness to everyone in our life that has, or will, hurt us, Amen.

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