May 2016

A Place of Refuge

“If I can just get home, everything will be okay!” Wouldn’t it be great if every member of your family knew there was one place where everything will be all right? Your home should—and can be—a place of refuge. A place for healing. A place for renewal.

Look around your house or apartment… inside and out. And while you’re looking, make a list of the things that need to be added, repaired, or set up to create an ambiance of a peaceful haven. And don’t forget your attitude. That’s where we’re sometimes put to the test. What is that one attitude that if it were improved-transformed by God-would enhance the feel of your home?

I encourage you to take a new look at your home and how people interact there. Take whatever steps you need to improve the sometimes calm, sometimes fun, and always supportive atmosphere at home.

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Jesus, I so appreciate having a place my family and I can call home. Bless everyone who walks through my doors. I want my home to echo Your love and care. Amen.

Long-Distance Loving

His mother used to make him a little robe.

1 Samuel 2:19

How does a woman who loves God and her family fill her days when her nest is empty?

That’s the challenge Hannah faced. After her many years of suffering, grief, and prayer, God graced Hannah with a son (1 Samuel 1 tells the whole story). As she loved and trained Samuel, her days were happy, full, and rich. But she had wanted a baby so badly that she vowed to “give him to the Lord all the days of his life” if she got pregnant. Because her love for God was genuine, Hannah kept her promise and took her young son to the house of the Lord.

So how does a mom fill her days when her children have moved out? Rather than give in to sadness, Hannah worked on long-distance love. Each year she made Samuel a robe and took it to him. Hannah, whose life was such an exquisite weaving, became a weaver herself-making clothing for the next generation.

Imagine the rich variety of colors she carefully selected for Samuel’s warm and beautiful coats. And imagine the memories she rehearsed before the Lord-memories of lessons she’d learned from the Lord through the years. And don’t you think Hannah, who prayed so fervently for a son, prayed for him also as she made his robes?

What can you do today to love your children and grandchildren across the miles? As a loving, praying mom after God’s own heart, reach out to your children today-and every day!-with your prayers and your love. Call, write, text, send emails, give gifts (large and small) — and always tell them you love them.

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Take Care

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Take care of yourself—it’s part of God’s plan for you!

When you don’t exercise, your back goes out. When you’re not careful about what you eat, you lack energy and develop health concerns. When you don’t get the proper sleep, you’re wrung out for days.

I think you get the picture! It’s dangerous to neglect your health. After all, there’s physical energy involved in living out God’s priorities in your life. Nurture your ability to serve your family and God by taking care of yourself with a little extra discipline and planning. The Bible says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And Galatians 5:23 says to develop self-control. It’s for your good and for your life—and for your loved ones at home.

Lord, when I replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones, I better serve You, my family, and my purpose in Your will. Help me to care for my body-this temple of the Holy Spirit-so I possess greater energy for honoring Your plan and priorities, and blessing those around me. Amen.

The Mother of All Living

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Eve… was the mother of all living.
Genesis 3:20

“Guilty!” God pronounced after Adam’s wife listened to the tempter, ate of the forbidden tree, and involved her husband in rebellion. It reverberated in Eve’s heart and mind. There was no doubt about her guilt. But as darkness settled in, she heard Adam declare, “Your name shall be called ‘Eve… the mother of all living.'” With these words Eve glimpsed a fresh ray of light.

Having been given a name filled with promise, Eve realized she, the guilty sinner, could still serve her gracious and forgiving God. How? By bearing Adam’s children and becoming the mother of many generations (1 Corinthians 11:12). Her name reflected the role she would play in spiritual history.

“Eve.” From death sprang life. From darkness, light. From the curse, a blessing. From a sentence of death, hope for the future. From the stinging despair of defeat, the strength of budding faith. Eve was the mother of all living!

Do you know your life counts too? True, you share Eve’s sentence of physical death (Romans 5:12). But you also have life to give and pass on! How?

  • You give life through your physical efforts to care for others.
  • You share spiritual life by telling others about Jesus.
  • You are the life of your home, bringing the sparkle of laughter and joy to others.
  • You pass physical life on to your children.
  • You can pass the potential for eternal life on to your children by teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Feed your spiritual life by sending your roots deep into God’s love. The energy of life, the purpose of life, all you have of life to pass on is from the Lord!

10 Ways to Love Your Children

There’s nothing more important than the value of spending as much time as possible with our children. We have the awesome privilege and joy of loving them and molding them in godly directions. Here’s a list of 10 ways you can love your children:

  1. Teach them and train them.
  2. Do not provoke them (Ephesians 6:4).
  3. Talk to God about your kids.
  4. Talk to them about God.
  5. Read up on mothering.
  6. Read to your children.
  7. Teach them to pray.
  8. Take care of them.
  9. Tell them about Jesus.
  10. Do your best to model godliness.

A very wise person said, “If we don’t set aside ungodliness today—it will show up in our children tomorrow.”

Lord, I love my children! Help me care for them just as You care for me-consistently, compassionately, and creatively. And help me daily to point them to You. Amen.

Love Your Children

Hang in there, Mom!

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Have you had a day filled with driving carpools and assigning time-outs? Of homeschooling, overseeing homework, and making sure chores get done? If so, reminding you that children are a blessing from God probably isn’t what you need to hear right now! Or – is it?

Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” That “behold” is a huge exclamation mark! Children are a blessing, and motherhood is a privilege. Setting aside the reality of a bad day, how do you feel about your children? Do you cherish them? I’m guessing you do. Sometimes you just need a little reminder.

Your children are created in God’s image. And you have the privilege of teaching them, training them, loving them, and prizing them! I want to encourage you on the good days and the bad-that as a mom after God’s own heart, a mom who loves and cares for your children, you are right in the center of God’s perfect will.

Into my hands and heart You, my all-wise Father, have deposited Your gift of my precious children. When I wonder how on earth I can manage, remind me to look to You for perspective, patience, and a growing capacity to love and cherish my children—even more! Amen.

Honoring Your Parents

How much thought do you give to honoring your parents? It’s definitely something God has thought a lot about. In fact, He promises that if you respect your parents, He will bless you: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land” (Exodus 20:12).

Once you marry, this command and promise applies to both sets of parents-yours and your spouse’s. Your motive for loving and honoring your parents is to obey God’s instructions, not just to receive some personal benefit. But it’s great to have God’s special blessings as a result of your obedience.

Do you desire to honor and bless your parents? Then God’s promise “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:3) is yours-as you will honor your parents.

God, I know my parents sacrificed much, so much for me. They have cared for me, and it is the desire of my heart that I care for them and honor them. Please show me more ways to honor them with my words and my actions. Amen.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Love

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There’s nothing that thrills my mother’s heart more than two or three little ones sharing chocolate chip cookies at my house. We have so little control over most of the events of our lives, but we do have a measure of say in establishing the atmosphere of our homes. And that includes filling the house with the wonderful aroma of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven… just waiting for little hands to grab.

What’s under your roof reflects your love for your family and friends. Cherish and manage it as a place to love your family. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by housework and upkeep-take heart. Creating a home is done one step at a time, one day at a time-one cookie at a time! Begin today.

Father, I love creating happy moments for my children. Show me how I can make my house even more comfortable so family and friends will feel welcome and safe the moment they step in the door. Amen.

Energized by Love

There is no greater example of loving service than that seen in a mother. It’s remarkable the great sacrifice a mom makes for her children when they’re feeling sick or struggling with something in their life.

The apostle Paul served with this kind of love. In his letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, he wrote, “We were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children… we were well pleased to impart to you… our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

Is your service energized by love? Do you show love to those you serve? “Love is patient and kind. Love does not become angry easily. Love patiently accepts all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

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Lord, I thank You for Your constant love for me. The desire of my heart is to pour out the love You have shown me to those I meet today, starting right under my own roof. Amen.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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