Short Devotional for Women:
Waking up with a cough in the wee hours of the morning is actually good for something, I discovered this past weekend.
It’s a perfect time to stargaze.
So this past Saturday morning, around 3 am, I pulled on a robe and my slippers and went out our back door to stand in the yard and look up. It helped a lot that it was still around 60 degrees (we’ve had a warm November here in the Texas Hill Country), but even when I lived in Minnesota, I occasionally braved a frigid winter midnight to admire the star-studded heavens. As always, the simple truth that I’m looking at stars burning gazillions of miles away astounds me, let alone knowing that the light I see actually left those stars even more gazillion years ago! I’m entranced, intrigued, and awed all at the same time, and every time I make a midnight visit to the universe, I can’t believe I’m not spending my life gazing at those stars.
Nerdy? Maybe. Reverent? You bet. Nothing makes me feel smaller, and yet so incredibly blessed, than to witness God’s work of the heavens. I want to set up a honking big speaker system and shout out to everyone to look at what God has created…but I don’t expect my neighbors would exactly appreciate that at three in the morning. So instead, I praise God, I embrace the night sky studded with a million stars, and when I begin to feel the cold seeping in under my robe, I go back inside and get in bed. As I fall asleep, I say a prayer for all the people who are unaware of the nightly spectacle and the nearness and largesse of God, and I thank God for all the blessings in my life.
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.” Psalm 33:6
Jan Dunlap is the author of the new suspense novel Heaven’s Gate: Archangels Book I, the bestselling memoir Saved by Gracie: How a Rough-and-tumble Rescue Dog Dragged Me Back to Health, Happiness and God (Authentic Publishing) and the acclaimed Birder Murder Mystery series (North Star Press, Inc.). She holds MA degrees in Theology and English Studies and lives in the Hill Country of Texas where she spends every clear night marveling at the stars and the brilliance of God’s creation. She is a frequent contributor to FaithHappenings.com and welcomes visitors at www.jandunlap.com and on Facebook at her two author pages BirderMurderMama and Archangels.
More of Jan Dunlap: http://www.jandunlap.com/
Short Devotional for Men:
From: The Cure
By John Lynch
In my eagerness to "fix" conflicts, I often push people to apologize. But no one stays "fixed" when I force the issue. I can say "I'm sorry," but sometimes those are just words. Nothing has been reconciled. We're left each defending our turf, still just as resentful, even if the "right" words have been spoken. Grace always invites rather than demands reconciliation. An apology may push the issue away for the moment, but it won't heal a relationship, and it rarely solves any issue.
I AM FULFILLED WHEN I HAVE EXPERIENCED LOVE. Love completely satisfies our longing, ambitions, and potential. God, the ultimate fulfiller, invites us to trust Him. Those who hang out long enough in the Room of Grace experience too much love to return to their previous existence. Received love turns shaky pretenders into confident dreamers. It turns miserably self-sufficient strivers into wonderfully released receivers. It turns cynical and smug judges into safe and discerning protectors. It turns anxious self-protectors into daring lovers.
These posts first appeared on the TrueFace website or Facebook Page and are shared here with permission. TrueFace works to see hundreds of thousands of high-trust cultures of grace multiplied around the world. TrueFace pursues this vision by building and restoring trust in leaders and those who follow them. We do this by teaching leaders how to "trust God and others with themselves."
More of John Lynch, Bruce McNicol and Bill Thrall - TrueFace: www.trueface.org