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Inspiring Generations

Black Friday/Good Friday

November 27, 2015

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”(II Corinthians 9:15)
The biggest shopping day of the year—”Black Friday”. Time for confession. Were you one of those who was up before the sun rose to get the best deal on your Christmas gift list? The day after we pause to be with family and give thanks, we find our selves in a sea of humanity clawing for the last item on our Christmas list. The greatest gift ever given died on what we call “Good Friday”. Jesus is the greatest gift ever given and He is a gift worth sharing . The death of Jesus gave us life and it is the gift of eternal life that alone retains and multiplies in value. What a contrast in Fridays. Getting versus giving, rushing versus resting , forgiving versus forgetting, temporary satisfaction versus eternal significance, just a few of the differences between these days. The gift of Jesus is beyond words.

Perhaps the ushering in of the Christmas Season could begin with reflection on the reason this season is so special to begin with. Perhaps we could consider how to make this Christmas the one where we share the “indescribable gift” in creative and life-changing ways with others. Perhaps a loving gesture or an invitation given, a sacrifice made or a talent shared. Be intentional in building bridges to those you know to discover Jesus for the first time. By the way Christmas is on a Friday. Let’s make it a Great Friday.

Personal Application: Make a list of ways you can share the gift of Jesus this season.

Home Application: Share your list with each other and find ways to do it together.

What ways will you share Jesus this year?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis


November 26, 2015

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Some time ago when struggling with my faith the Lord brought the truth of this verse home to me. I read a quote from Henri Nouwen that changed my understanding completely. He said,” We tend to divide our past into good things to remember with gratitude and painful things to accept or forget. This way of thinking, which at first glance seems quite natural, prevents us from allowing our whole past to be the source from which we live our future….Gratitude in its deepest sense means to live life as a gift to be received thankfully. And true gratitude embraces all of life: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not-so-holy. We do this because we become aware of God’s life, god’s presence in the middle of all that happens.”

How would our hearts change were we to put this truth of giving thanks in all things into practice? Lord thank you for exposing my selfishness. Lord thank you for revealing my blind spots. Lord thank you for a friend who cared enough to point out my faulty logic and convoluted motives. Lord thank you for a time of illness that I might seek my peace in you. Lord thank you for the fearful struggles that brought me to trust you alone. Thank you for opening my eyes to misplaced values and priorities. Lord thank you for helping me to see how I have hurt others and my need for forgiveness that led me to embrace your mercy. For all these things and countless more I thank you Lord.

Personal Application: Make a list of things you find it hard to be thankful for.

Home Application: Share one thing that you have learned to be thankful for that was once difficult to be thankful for.

What is the most difficult thing to be grateful for today for you?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis

The First Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015

Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today I want us to be reminded how our country’s first Thanksgiving came to be.  I believe it’s very important  for us as parents and grandparents  to make sure the children in our influence have a good understanding of why we celebrate this very important holiday.   Unfortunately our public schools and our society in general down play the real reason this holiday came to be.

It is our job to make sure the next generation fully understands how very much we have to be thankful for!  The bottom line is this….there is nothing we have, nothing that we do, and nothing that we are, that we can take credit for….God provided everything we have and need, made us who we are, and deserves all the credit, praise and thanks!

Did you know that Thanksgiving was not just an isolated event we read about in history books, but instead a uniquely inspired Christian celebration — the culmination of a long journey of faith in which the Pilgrims had relied on God and trusted Him through many adversities? If we want our children to truly know our country’s history we must share the truth of the story of Thanksgiving.  This insightful article came from the website Crosswalk .com

In the early 1600s, the Wampanoag (Wam-pa-NO-ag) Indians covered the coast of what we now call New England. They raised crops, living close to the ocean in summer for seafood, moving inland in winter to set up hunting camps. Their encounters with Europeans over the years were mostly friendly.

One exception: In 1614 Captain Thomas Hunt captured several Wampanoag, along with a Patuxet named Squanto, to be sold into slavery in Spain. A Spanish monk purchased Squanto’s freedom, taught him English, and introduced him to Jesus Christ. In 1619, Squanto returned to his native land, only to find his tribe wiped out by an epidemic. Thereafter he made his home with the Wampanoag.

Meanwhile, in 1608, a British group called the Separatists fled to Leyden, Holland. There they found religious freedom, but also poverty, grueling work hours and a secular culture that threatened to undo the values they had carefully instilled into their children. In 1620, they sold everything and indentured themselves for seven years to finance their journey to America.

On the Mayflower, the Separatists were joined by those seeking the new land for other reasons; these they called the Strangers. The two groups, 102 altogether, were called the Pilgrims.

Their journey lasted nine weeks. In one of those “accidents” which change the course of history, the ship lost its course and landed far north of its destination at what we now call Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Once outside the territory covered by the King’s Charter, the Pilgrims became responsible for their own government, and so they wrote a set of laws called The Mayflower Compact.

On December 21, 1620, they began their new life at the place they named Plymouth.

It was a devastating winter — whipped with wind and sleet and snow. Half the Pilgrims died. Still the Separatists clung to their faith; not one chose to return to England with the Mayflower that spring.

But spring brought unexpected relief w the help of a noble and generous Christian brother — Squanto. He taught them how to grow corn, use fertilizer, stalk deer and catch fish. William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, wrote of Squanto that he was “a special instrument sent of God for good beyond their expectations.”

And so their first harvest was good. Governor Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God and the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends. Chief Massasoit and 90 members of his tribe came, along with Squanto, bearing venison and wild turkeys for all to share. Together in harmony, the Pilgrims and the Indians feasted, played games, ran races and showed their prowess with bow and arrow and musket.

Personal Application: Thank God for His hand in the history of our nation so many years ago.

Home Application: Spend time sharing this true story with your family reminding them that God has had His hand on the United States of America and your family from the very beginning. Spend this Thanksgiving season in pure Thanksgiving to God!

How thankful were the Pilgrims? The first Thanksgiving took three whole days! Let’s join them this Thanksgiving by being so very thankful to God for all He is and all He has done for us!


Devotional written by Carla Dillard

The Only Choice

November 24, 2015

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

This is my very favorite time of year! I love Thanksgiving!

I love friends and family all gathered around the table together! I love the smells of all the amazing foods cooking in the kitchen!

I love pumpkin!

I love the sweet spirit that is present in everyone!

I love that the whole reason for this holiday is to remind us to be THANKFUL!  Kind of sad isn’t it?  Do we really need a holiday to remind us to be thankful for all our abundant blessings?

Paul tells us in Philippians 4 that we are not to be anxious or worried about ANYTHING, but that in EVERYTHING we are to pray with THANKSGIVING!  Can you do that?  Can I? Guess it’s easy to be thankful when all is going well, but God really calls us to be thankful even when things aren’t going so well.

Wonder why that’s so important to Him? Could it be because He knows how much good it will do for us?  Of course we know He and He alone is worthy to be thanked, but have we thought about how thanking Him helps us?  For me, it reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for.  A wonderful husband, a beautiful family, an amazing church, a job I love and every possible need met on a ridiculously generous basis.  And every time I spend time Thanking Him I am filled with a sense of peace and blessing.  Of course the opposite is also true….when I’m complaining and griping, my spirit is troubled and worried….It should be an easy choice shouldn’t it?  Thank God for who He is and all He has blessed us with or gripe, complain and worry about the little we don’t have?

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

I believe we‘ve been given a choice…..Which will you choose today?

Personal Application: Ask God to open your eyes to all of your many blessings and focus on them in thanksgiving to Him.

Home Application: Begin tonight at the dinner table going around the table sharing what each family member is most thankful for.  Make this a habit.

I believe we‘ve been given a choice…..Which will you choose today~Thanksgiving or griping?


Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Are You Breathing?

November 23, 2015

Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in his mighty heavens.

Praise Him for His acts of power; Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.

Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, Praise Him with the harp and lyre,

Praise Him with timbrel and dancing, Praise Him with the strings and pipe,

Praise Him with the clash of cymbals, Praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150

Why yes!  I’m breathing.  Why?  Because Psalm 150:6 clearly says “Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise the Lord.” Sounds so simple but is truly so very profound!

Who do we praise?  The Lord of all the earth

Why do we praise Him?  Because there is NO ONE like HIM!

When do we praise Him?  Morning, noon and night

How do we praise Him?  With the sounding trumpet, with the harp and lyre, with timbrel and dancing, with strings and pipe, with clashing and resounding cymbals

I can’t speak for you, but I can’t live without my Lord!  From the morning my eyes open until they close at night, He is always on my mind.  Everything I am, everything I have, all that I get to do and am able to do, is because of Him!  He is My LORD!  HE IS my EVERYTHING!

And I know this….when I stop to praise Him and my focus is on Him, all the cares of the world fade away.  He is all I see, He is all I need, He is all I want.  My heart soars with joy when I praise Him.  He inhabits our praise!  What a beautiful reciprocal relationship!  When was the last time you truly praised Him? My challenge to you especially this season is to stop and take time to praise your Lord!  It will change your day.  It will change your perspective. It will change your life.

 There is no one like our God…..We will praise You, praise You

There’s no one like our God…..We will sing, we will sing

There is no one like our God…..We will praise You, praise You

Jesus, You are God, we will say

Lord of all the earth…..We shout Your Name, shout Your Name

Filling up the skies…..With endless praise, endless praise

Yahweh, Yahweh…..We love to shout Your Name, Oh Lord

Personal Application: Stop for a minute and think about your praise life.  When was the last time you simply spent time praising your Lord?  Praise Him right now.

Home Application: Make your home or your car a place of praise!  Turn on your favorite praise music and sing together with your family at the top of your lungs.

Are you breathing? Then better get busy PRAISING THE LORD!


Devotion written by Carla Dillard





Why In the World?

November 20, 2015

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

What in the world was God thinking when He called us to LOVE! Didn’t HE know how hard that would be?  Doesn’t He know how challenging it is to love that neighbor? Doesn’t He know how impossible that relative can be?  How demanding that boss is?  Could it be He knows something we don’t?

How do we even know what love is?  We know because Jesus Christ laid down His life for us when we were unlovable!  Wow!  Could it be that as we love our neighbors they too will see this AMAZING LOVE?  Could it be we will better grasp this AMAZING LOVE?

The abundant life that He promises us can only be experienced as we understand and extend love.  Relationships are enhanced as we love.  Families grow and blossom as we love. Churches enjoy unity as we love. Love is the key to life and living.

Personal Application: Ponder His great love in your life and how it’s impacted and changed you.  Seize the opportunity to let His love flow through you so that others lives will be impacted for Christ.

Home Application: Share with your family how great the Father’s love is and acknowledge all the ways it’s impacted your home.

So, how about it?  Will you start loving TODAY?


Devotional written by Carla Dillard

LOVE~It’s ALL You Need

November 19, 2015

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4: 10-11

Just 4 little letters packed with so much power!  How can that be?  Maybe because LOVE is the reason God created the world!  Maybe because LOVE is the reason when we so bitterly disappoint HIM, HE doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, but puts them as far as the east is from the west! Maybe because LOVE is the reason He willingly sacrificed the one and only perfect lamb, His only son Jesus to redeem us!

So what does your life say about how you feel about LOVE? Are you daily choosing to love others? Is it full of examples of how you show that love to others?  Is it conditional or unconditional love?  Is it seasonal or continual love?  Do you pick and choose whom you will love?

God says LOVE!  For this is the message you heard from the beginning: Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4: 10-11

As we approach this incredible season of Thanksgiving with every reason imaginable to be thankful including the most important reason of all~Salvation through our Savior Jesus Christ, will you put aside your differences, your grievances, your grumbling and simply choose to trust Him enough to love?

Personal Application: Ask God to show you any areas or people in your life where you might not be loving well.  Look for ways every day to show love to everyone you come in contact with.  Start with a smile or a wave!

Home Application: Sometimes our love is most lacking at home with those we love most.  Talk as a family about ways you can best show love to each other and then how to show love to those outside of your family.

As we approach this incredible season of Thanksgiving with every reason imaginable to be thankful including the most important reason of all~Salvation through our Savior Jesus Christ, will you put aside your differences, your grievances, your grumbling and simply choose to trust Him enough to love?


Devotional written by Carla Dillard

They Are Your Life

November 18, 2015

Deuteronomy 32:46–47 - He said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law.  They are not just idle words for you—they are your life ….”

The people of Israel had journeyed in the wilderness for 40 years.  They had learned their lesson about walking in faith rather than “shrinking back” when God calls for an advance.  Deuteronomy is a book that was written at the conclusion of this wilderness journey, and as they prepared to enter into the Promised Land.  Moses is reminding them of everything God had done for them.  Some of his final words to the people are in this chapter.  Like a parent telling a child that they are about to let go of the handlebars, in essence, Moses is saying to them, “When you go into the land, keep your hands on God’s Word.”  The worst thing that could happen was for Israel to go in and possess the land and forget about the God who gave them the land.  Moses wanted them to know that God’s Word was not just important, it was critical to their prosperity.  God’s Word is not just good advice, it is the most absolute and critical element of our very existence.  Without God’s Word, we cannot know God.  If we can’t know God, we are cut off from the Source of life itself.  Moses was saying, “Cling to this Word as if your life depends on it.”  Moses warns parents not only to cling close to the Word, but to pass on the Word to their children so that subsequent generations will know the deeds of God and they, in turn, will learn to walk in obedience to Him.

Personal Application:  The Bible is God’s Word.  By it we walk with God.  God wants us to cherish His Word and walk with Him according to His Word.  To know God’s Word is to know God.  To obey God’s Word is to obey God.  We should be a people who hold God’s Word in our heart as our very life.  May we be a people who “take to heart all the words of this law.”

What would it look like for us to consider God’s Word “our life” every day?

Devotional written by Ky Faciane

Where do you turn?

November 17, 2015

2 Chronicles 20:12 (ESV) - “…We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah and lived in Jerusalem.  He was told that there were hoards of armies that were preparing to come against Judah.  He knew there was no way he would be able to stand against them.  He responded by asking Judah to fast and seek God’s face, and then he called a sacred assembly to pray.  The last portion of his prayer is a beautiful statement of a humble servant of the Lord displaying absolute dependence on God in the midst of an impossible situation.

Personal Application:  Have you ever been in a circumstance where things seemed complicated, frustrating or even impossible?  Our first instinct is to rush out and try to fix it in our own strength.  What if the first thing we did in these times was to go to God in prayer?  Perhaps circumstances like these are within the sovereign plan for our lives to get us to have this attitude of dependence.  However, this statement in the prayer of Jehoshaphat would make an incredible verse for anyone to put as a banner over his or her life.  It acknowledges that we are totally dependent upon God for everything in life.  It is the absolute best place to be.  It is the best place to live.  The Lord desires us to be dependent upon Him, and He desires to take care of us in the way that only He can.

Are you in a circumstance where you are trying to fix it rather than go to God with it?  How can you make this simple phrase a way of life to you from now on?

Devotional written by Ky Faciane

No Doubt

November 16, 2015

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to  give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” - ‭‭Judges‬ ‭7:2‬ ‭ESV

In the Ancient Near East, superior numbers were a critical factor in whether an army would be defeated or see victory.  The Lord was using Gideon to lead Israel out of the bondage they had been experiencing.  But the Lord says something very interesting to Gideon here.  God wanted Gideon and Israel – as well as the world – to know Who had accomplished this deliverance of Israel.  God did not want Israel to ever be tempted to think that their own strength had saved them from their enemies.  So, the Lord commanded Gideon to go on a series of exercises that would reduce the army down to the point where it would be impossible for them to defeat their enemies. The Lord wanted to make it impossible before they would enter into battle. Why?  He wanted there to be no doubt that the reason Israel was in bondage was because of their rebellion to Him. He also wanted them to know clearly that their deliverance would not come from themselves, but from Him. He left no room for bragging about their strength. God does something very similar in our salvation. Paul said, ““For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-9‬ ‭ESV).‬‬

Personal Application: God delivered us from the bondage of sin and death through the Cross.

Is your life centered in bragging about the Cross or bragging about you?

Devotional written by Ky Faciane

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