Devotions Archive

mary
Mary Southerland

The Circle of Encouragement

Today’s Truth

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…and we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11,14)

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Sand hill cranes are not only interesting creatures but also great illustrations of biblical encouragement. These large birds that fly great distances across continents have three remarkable qualities. First, they rotate leadership. No one bird stays out in front all of the time. Second, they choose leaders who can handle turbulence well. Third, all during the time that one bird is leading, the rest …

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sharon
Sharon Jaynes

Jump Into Abba’s Arms

Today’s Truth

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).

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One night a family was startled from sleep by the piercing blare of their smoke detector. The house was on fire and smoke swirled up the wooden staircase. The father bolted from his bed and ran to his children’s room. He grabbed his eighteen-month-old baby out of his crib, and dragged his four-year-old son by the hand. They were half-way down the stairs when the little boy remembered his favorite teddy bear in his room and broke away to …

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mary
Mary Southerland

My Job … God’s Plan?

Today’s Truth

“She works with eager hands.” (Proverbs 31:13)

Friend to Friend

I have had many jobs over the years. I started babysitting when I was twelve years old. In high school, I worked in a clothing store, as an aid for my choral director, and as a recruiter for an employment agency. In college, I was a secretary for the president of our social science honors program and often gave tours to visiting dignitaries. Some jobs I liked more than others, but working in an insurance office when my husband attended seminary was one of my least favorite jobs. …

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gwen
Gwen Smith

Connecting the Dots

Today’s Truth

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26, NIV)

Friend to Friend

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved connecting dots. In my childhood it was dots with numbers on paper that stranded together to form an object. As I threw my attention to the page and followed the numbered steps, a picture developed. A new creation appeared that brought joy to my little-girl heart.

My grown-up dot-connecting challenges are far from a …

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sharon
Sharon Jaynes

Whatever You Need, God Is

“I am God Almighty (El Shaddai); walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (Genesis 17:1-2)

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I was exhausted. I was drenched in sweat. I was filled with inexplicable joy – a joy I had never known. It was the day Steven Hugh Jaynes, Jr. emerged from the God pocket of my womb and made his grand debut into the world.

When my son was born, I never knew so much love could be wrapped in one tiny package. After twenty-three and a half hours …

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mary
Mary Southerland

Got Faith?

Today’s Truth

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV)

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The greenest grass is always found in the valley. Shepherds and sheep are well acquainted with the fact that both mountains and valleys are an inevitable part of life. Again, the shepherd is the one who has to figure out a way over the mountain and through the valley. If a sheep is injured, the shepherd must carry his sheep and tend to its wounds until they are healed and the sheep is ready to …

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sharon
Sharon Jaynes

The Ancient of Days

Today’s Truth

“I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool.” (Daniel 7:9 NASB)

Friend to Friend

Hip huggers. Bellbottoms. Tie dyed t-shirts. Platform shoes. Guitars. Loud Music. Pass it On. Bibles. Teenagers. Long stringy hair parted down the middle on both boys and girls. Put all that together and you have a snapshot of some of the best days of my teen years.

I became a Christian when I was fourteen. It was called the Jesus Movement back in the seventies, …

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mary
Mary Southerland

God is More Than Enough

Today’s Truth

“Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)

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I have a unique philosophy about my hair. I believe one of the reasons it exists atop my head is to provide a conduit for change and adventure in life. You might say that my hair is in a constant state of transition and experimentation. I’ve been known to tear a picture out of a catalog, thrust that picture into my hairstylist’s hands, …

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gwen
Gwen Smith

Yes and Amen!

Today’s Truth
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20, NIV) 

Friend to Friend

When my son, Preston, was in sixth grade he chose to plant spinach for his science fair project. He planted seeds in four plastic cups and watered each batch with a fixed daily amount of four different liquids: water, orange juice, cola, and milk. (Yes, you are correct! By day three of his fourteen-day project, the milk cup reeked to high …

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sharon
Sharon Jaynes

When God Shows Up, Don’t Forget It

Today’s Truth

“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water,” (Genesis 21:19 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Yesterday we looked at Hagar and how God spoke to her in her deepest time of need. Let’s visit that one more time, because Hagar, like you and me, forgot about her encounter with God.

When Hagar encountered God the first time, she fell on her face and gave God the name El Roi, the God who Sees Me “I have now seen the One who sees me,” she cried. She had heard God. She had seen God. More importantly, God …

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