Devotions

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - Jesus Crosses Borders – Asheritah Ciuciu

In Jesus’ day, strict rules defined appropriate behavior between genders, classes, and ethnic groups. Interactions
between a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman were clearly demarcated: ideally, avoid interaction if at all possible.

But in His conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus defies these human regulations and shocks even His
own disciples.

But Jesus knows the heart and love compels Him forward. He invites the woman into a conversation, allowing her
to voice her frustration until reaching her predicament: even if she could worship the one true God, where could she
worship Him? The Jews had destroyed the Samaritans’ holy place, and as a Samaritan woman who had been
married five times and was living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, she had no hope of worshiping God in
His temple in Jerusalem. She was excluded from true worship of God and relegated to a life of quiet desperation,
yet her questions reveal a deep longing for God.

Her only hope was to wait for the coming Messiah, the true prophet who followed Moses, who would set all things
right. She was burdened by her past choices and trapped by her present circumstances. If only the Messiah would
come.

When Jesus asked her to call her husband, she admitted she had no husband, most likely feeling shame because
of how often she’d already been married and now she was just living with a man.

Jesus does not rush her for her answer.

He doesn’t chastise her.

He doesn’t belittle her.

Instead, He does the unthinkable: Jesus reaches across every man-made boundary to quench her deepest longing . . .
with Himself. And as if that weren’t enough, He honors this Samaritan woman by choosing her to be the first person to
whom He reveals His identity as the Messiah: “I am he.”

What’s more, Jesus chooses her to witness Him not just as Messiah for the Jews, but the Savior of the world. His love
truly knows no limits.

 

Saturday, February 17, 2024 – “Wonderful Days” by P. Williams

Since Winter is my favorite season
I haven’t had Much to “Crow About” this Year.

But I must admit that this Past week
Almost every day was Sunny.

Sunny Makes me feel Happier
The bright Sunshine… the beautiful blue sky.

Some days I feel so much “Happy”
The Rainy days… Cloudy Make me Kinda Sleepy

No Matter what… God is Giving Us
His unimaginable gift of Joy and Peace

We Celebrate His Love and Care
And offer Up many Prayers

Prayers for the sick, Prayers for the Grieving
Prayers for the Lost and the Sad

Today I tell you from my Heart “I wish You Happy”
Many Smiles… Many Prayers… Much Joy…

        Wonderful Days!

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - "Jesus Loves Perfectly"

You likely know many stories of God’s people longing to restore the relationship that Adam and Eve had, and their
botched attempts to maintain a loving relationship with God in the meantime.

And then Jesus enters the scene. After His public baptism, at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry on earth,
the Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness for forty days of fasting, prayer, and obedience-training. Throughout
Scripture, God’s servants often faced this kind of extensive testing and preparation before public ministry. Consider
Moses’s fast for forty days and nights or Elijah’s forty-day journey to the mountain ofJ. But mostly, this wilderness
experience would have called to the original hearer’s mind the Israelites’ forty-year wandering.

The tempter challenged Jesus to turn bread into stones, to jump off the temple, and to skip the pain and rejection
He would endure by just bowing to him in worship. Yet at His most vulnerable point, Jesus declared His continuous
trust in His heavenly Father, ending with an exclamation of love for Him.

“Be gone, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” (Matt. 4:10)

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Father’s purpose for His wilderness testing, because where God’s people failed to obey
God time after time, Jesus demonstrated perfect trust and obedience every time.

And He did it all for love. He was establishing God’s kingdom so that everyone – young and old, poor and rich, sick
and healthy, Jewish and pagan – would be welcomed in.

 

Saturday, February 10, 2024 – “Enough?” by P. Williams

What is Enough?
Have We Had Enough Rain?
Has the Wind Blown Enough?
Are the Total Daylight Hours today Enough?
Are 8 hours of Sleep Enough?

If I put Butter on my Toast is it Enough?
Do I Have to Add More
More Jelly or More Anything

Do We pray Enough?
Is Praying every Morning Enough?
If I am just talking to God is it Enough
How About if I Pray Once at Bedtime… Enough?
Is how long I pray Enough?
If I Keep my Eyes Open is that OK?
How about if I am Working and Praying
Mowing the Yard… Planting flowers… Weeding beans

How Much is Enough? Who decides?
I think You Decide… How about You? Enough?

I think the Answer is Simple.. God Loves Us Enough
Everything Else is icing on the Cake of Life.

 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 – “Why Go to Church” - from a post on Facebook

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church
every Sunday. He wrote: “I’ve gone for 30 years now, and in that time I have heard something like 3000 sermons,
but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time, the preachers and
priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for
weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I
cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me
the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.
Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today.”

When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible & receives
the impossible! Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment!

B.I.B.L.E. simply means: Basic instructions before leaving earth!

 

Saturday, January 27, 2024 – “God’s Music” by P. Williams

When the Wind blows in the Wintertime
You can Hear the Wind on the Oaks Crinkle

Swaying in the Wind. All the twigs and limbs
Along With the Whispering Pines… Beloved in the South

Down Here We Love the Year Long Evergreens
The Cedars… the Pines… the Magnolias. So Majestic.

Guarding Many Houses & Making Yards Look Special
Pines that are Tall… Crusty bark… Oozing Rozen

Here Comes the Rain and it drips from the Needles.
Needles of the Pines… Huge Magnolia leaves…
from the Brown Oak it Drips.

Know What I think that Wind Blowing Through
the Trees sounds like?

It Sounds Like God is Making Music
Sending Us a Song to Enjoy… Over and over Again.

God Sends Us Many Songs… Today
I Heard the “Song of the Oakes & Pines”

Listen… See if You Can Hear God’s Music Today

God Bless You Each One - Amen

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024 - January 24, 2024 – excerpt from “Just Pray” by Joretta K. Klepfer

Acts 17:27-28:  “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not
far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets
have said, For we are also his offspring.”

 

Saturday, January 21, 2024 – “Cold Enough” by P. Williams

This Kind of Cold is Not Much Fun
Nose and Toes get Cold… Nose Runs… Toes Can’t

Wind Cuts Through My Clothes
Makes Me think I forgot My Coat

Steering Wheel is Cold… Need Gloves to Drive
Got to Get Gas… Not looking forward to that

No flowers in Bloom… No Gardens Planted
Have to Wait Until Spring Has Sprung

For Now, I choose to Look on the Bright Side
Muffins baking in the oven

Hot Chocolate to warm My hands
Cinnamon Toast for Breakfast

Chicken Soup Will Warm Me Up
Soup and Crackers and a Slice of Cheese

Sounds like a great Lunch
Thank You Please.

God Bless Each One of You - Amen

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2023 – “I Don’t Know”

Did you know there’s a prayer called the “I Don’t Know” prayer? It’s very spiritual. You just go off somewhere quiet
and hidden and you walk right up the heart of God and you say “I don’t know.”

I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what is happening. I don’t know how to process this. I don’t know
what to do with these emotions. I don’t know how to handle this situation.

It covers a lot of “I don’t knows”.

And then, with whatever dusty little sand grain of faith you have, you say, “But you know.”

And you leave it there.

God most certainly hears that prayer.

 

Saturday, January 13, 2024 – “Forgiving” by Peggy Williams

Let’s Separate the Word Forgiving into 2 Words.

FOR

We Know it Connects 2 thoughts
This Gift is FOR you
FOR You are my friend
My Love is FOR You

Then there is GIVING
We all Understand “I am Giving you This Gift”
I am Giving you this Sympathy
I am Giving you My Attention
The Love in My Heart, I am Giving You

God Puts them together….

He is Forgiving Us All our Sins
He is Forgiving our Faults and
Raising Us Up To His Level… Praising God
Letting Him into Our Hearts
He teaches us Forgiving
Giving us a Strong Heart So We Can Forgive Others

FORGIVING… One of God’s lessons We are Gifted.

 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 – Poem from “Just Pray” by J. Klepfer

I Peter 5:8-9a – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for
someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…

 

Saturday, January 6, 2024 – “We Miss You” by P. Williams

So many of our Folks are feeling Poorly
I just wanted them to Know You are missed sorely

Your Smiling Faces are Missed
And our Chairs Remain Cold

The Snacks have leftovers
And the Cheerful Discussions are Missed on Sunday

So if you Didn’t Know It by Now
We Want You To get to feeling Better

We Miss You and Want You
To Know You Are In Our Prayers

Get Better Soon Mount Pleasant Folks!

 

Wednesday, January 3, 2023 – Reading from “Just Pray” by Joretta Klepfer

Psalm 25: 4-5 Show me your ways O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You
are God, my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long…