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Verse for Today

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8

Monday, October 31, 2011

How Our Relationship with God Affects Our Sibling Relationships (Part 2)

By Guest Writer, Grace

As we have already seen, a life lived for Christ will have a wonderfully positive effect in our response to those around us, namely our siblings. The Scriptures are full of examples of this. I love the story of Joseph as it gives us a prime example in how Joseph followed the Lord, and he was able to demonstrate remarkable love and forgiveness to his brothers.

But just as our relationship with our siblings can be affected in a positive light by our relationship with God, the opposite is also true.

When we are lazy in our devotions, or turn a deaf ear to the Lord’s prompting for more study, Bible memorization, or prayer, we distance ourselves from the only One who can help us to have true love and appreciation for our siblings and those around us.

I’m sure we have all had times when we were struggling with a specific concept or conviction, and we found ourselves in a very touchy and irritable mood. Our responses to our siblings were probably not as they should have been, and we find that we had dug a pit of hard and hurt feelings that we later have to go and try to fill with repentance and apologies.

There are many things we do wrong that affect our relationship with the Lord that will also negatively affect our relationships with our siblings.

“Only by pride cometh contention; but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4)

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

These are just a few, but as we can see, there are a number of things that can cause conflicts in our relationship with God. Conflicts in our relationship with God will cause conflicts in our soul, which in turn will cause conflicts in our sibling relationships.

We see that this has been a problem from the very beginning of Scripture. The story of Cain and Abel is found in Genesis 4, and from reading it we see that Cain’s conflict with God caused a very harmful and deadly response in his sibling relationship.

“Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3: 10b-12)

We would be wise to learn from this example and take our relationship with God seriously. All righteousness comes from the Lord, and if we are not living our lives in Him, we may very well sink down to doing some very painful or destructive things against the people we love and are closest to.

Come back for Part 3 tomorrow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How Our Relationship with God Affects Our Sibling Relationships (Part 1)

By Guest Writer, Grace

Sibling relationships can be one of the most difficult things for us to be Christ-like in while living our everyday lives. After all, even in the Proverbs it says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (17:17) :-) It is so much easier to be pleasant and God-honoring when we are with friends than when we are with our siblings day in and day out. Of course, I may be miss-using this passage just a bit, but it seems to be used in this way quite often.

I find that if we really look, we can find a multitude of articles and books that address the issue of proper relationships between siblings, and some of them have a lot of practical and helpful information. But when we really dig down to the heart of the issue, we find that most of the time it is missed altogether in these how-to writings.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

How often do we need to be reminded that if we work on having our relationship with God where it needs to be, He will work through us and help us in every area of our lives?

The number one focus for each and every one of us as believers is to tune our hearts and lives to the One who gave us life. Our Creator is more than worthy to be first in every aspect of our lives, and this includes relationships.

A very important factor in our relationship with God is to establish exactly what we believe about Him, or how much we believe in Him. If asked, I’m sure we would hasten to assure the questioner that we believe in God with all our hearts! This may be so in our hearts and minds, when we are alone, and in the quiet of our devotions, but what about in our everyday lives?

For many, believing in God is deciding that they are going to believe in this invisible Creator, whether or not they feel He is real. This is what most people call faith. But if we are truly striving for a live of intimacy with Christ, this will not be enough. We not only have to choose to believe, but act on it.

 “Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?” (Psalm 113:5-6)

We must realize that God is an actual, real being and that He is not somewhere in heaven or the sky looking down at us every once in a while to see if we are following Him, but that He is RIGHT HERE. He stays close beside us every moment of every day, taking deep interest in our interests, sorrows with us in our sorrows, smiles with love and pleasure when we serve others, and many times stands by in sad disappointment when we chose to disobey Him.

Once we realize this, we will find that this knowledge affects every action and decision we make. Thus we see how a heart in close unity with God will spread to our response and reactions to those around us.

Just as God’s love no depth knows,
His love our hearts will overflow.
Whence can it flow? Out of our lives.
With those around we’ll harmonize.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)

As this verse plainly states, if we keep the eyes of our hearts focused singly on Christ, our whole life will reflect the light of His presence. How awesome!

Come back for Part 2 on Monday.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sibling Appreciation (Day 5 of 5)

Compiled by Amanda Tero

Showing Thankfulness of our Siblings {Day 5 of 5}

Photo from PrintMaster Gold 5.0

 “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” Psalm 107:22
 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today, find at least seven different reasons that you can thank God for each sibling. Continue watching through the day so you can add to this list of thankfulness for each sibling.

Some tips to help you through today’s challenge:
       1. Start your day in prayer, asking God to help you have a true gratitude for your siblings.
       2. Review Psalm 107:22 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 at least four times throughout the day to keep focus on why you are doing this particular challenge.
       3. Keep a small journal of your day. As God brings your list of thankfulness to mind, write them down.
       4. End your day in prayer, thanking God for your siblings and for the blessing they are to you.

~ ~ ~

Just because the challenge is ending today does not mean that you should stop showing your appreciation for your siblings. God wants us to always live our life according to Philippians 2:3-4, 1 John 3:18, and Ephesians 4:29. It is my prayer that these five days are just the beginning of a life-time of loving and appreciating our siblings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sibling Appreciation (Day 4 of 5)

Compiled by Amanda Tero

Blessing our Siblings {Day 4 of 5}

Photo from PrintMaster Gold 5.0

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10
 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

Today, focus on the good of each sibling instead of the negative. Find three good things about each sibling and write them down in your journal. Bless your siblings outwardly: thank them for a job well done, a good attitude, their help, their diligence, or something else that blessed you. Express your admiration for something they accomplished (a task, a project, a creation, etc.). Praise godly character exhibited in their lives. Find a way to build them up with the words you say to them.

Some tips to help you through today’s challenge:
       1. Start your day in prayer, asking God to help you see ways to sincerely bless your siblings by your words. It may help to compile a list of positive points for each sibling.
       2. Review Ephesians 4:29, Romans 14:10 and Luke 6:31 at least five times throughout the day to keep focus on why you are doing this particular challenge.
       3. Keep a small journal of your day. If you have failed to bless or praise your sibling in an area, write it down; if you have succeeded in another area, write it down as well.
       4. End your day in prayer, thanking God for your siblings and the opportunity to bless them by your words.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sibling Appreciation (Day 3 of 5)

Compiled by Amanda Tero

Helping out our Siblings {Day 3 of 5}

Picture from

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Today, make it your goal to help your siblings all you can. Take them by surprise and show them your love in action. Do their chores, assist them, read them a book, or do something that they would appreciate. Do not do it to be “seen of men,” but rather to glorify God and serve our siblings.

Some tips to help you through today’s challenge:
       1. Start your day in prayer, asking God to help you see ways you can show love to your siblings.
       2. Actively look for ways to serve. It may be helpful to think ahead of things you can do for each sibling.
       3. Review 1 John 3:18 and Colossians 3:23 at least five times throughout the day to keep focus on why you are doing this particular challenge.
       4. Keep a small journal of your day. If you have failed to serve in an area, write it down; if you have succeeded in another area, write it down as well.
       5. End your day in prayer, thanking God for your siblings and the opportunity to bless their day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sibling Appreciation {Day 2 of 5}

Compiled by Amanda Tero

Lifting up our Siblings in Prayer {Day 2 of 5}

Photo from PrintMaster Gold 5.0

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” 1 Timothy 2:1
 “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15

Today, set aside time to pray for each sibling individually. Do not use this time to complain about your siblings’ faults to God but to dedicate your siblings to God. If you cannot think of anything positive to pray for your siblings, pray that they would grow in God and exhibit Godly qualities in their lives (you will find some of these qualities in 2 Timothy 4:12, Galatians 3;22-23 and other similar passages).

Some tips to help you through today’s challenge:
       1. Start your day in prayer, asking God to help you faithfully keep your siblings in prayer throughout the day.
       2. Set aside time to pray for each sibling individually (if you are keeping a journal, write down your prayers for each sibling). As the day continues, lift up your sibling in prayer instead of thinking negatively about them.
       3. When tempted to be irritated or impatient with a sibling, choose instead to pray God’s blessing on their life.
       4. Review 1 Timothy 2:1 and 1 John 5:14-15 at least five times throughout the day to keep focus on why you are doing this particular challenge.
       5. End your day in prayer, thanking God for your siblings and the blessing it is to pray for them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sibling Appreciation {Day 1 of 5}

Compiled by Amanda Tero

Every individual who has a sibling has received a special blessing from God. Many times, however, we take this blessing for granted, and instead of appreciating the blessing of sisterhood, we view it as a drudgery and trial.

For the next five days, I would like to issue a challenge to all of you sisters: Instead of focusing on the negatives of siblings, I would like us to focus on the positives! To help us do this, we will focus on one specific area each day, starting today!

As you work through this challenge, I strongly encourage you to keep a journal for each day. This journal will help you to see areas that need improvement, encourage you when you do right, and give you a place to jot down your prayers and thoughts as you take this little journey.

Note: I recommend starting "Day 1" tomorrow as you will have a full day to serve your siblings!

Placing our Siblings First! {Day 1 of 5}

Photo from PrintMaster Gold 5.0

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Today, view your own things as unimportant and your siblings’ as important. If a sibling asks you to do something, carefully determine if you are looking “on the things of others” or “on [your] own things” before you answer.

Some tips to help you through today’s challenge:
       1. Start your day in prayer, asking God to give you the strength to carry out this challenge.
       2. Review Philippians 2:3-4 at least five times throughout the day to keep focus on why you are doing this particular challenge.
       3. Keep a small journal of your day. If you have failed in an area, write it down; if you have succeeded in another area, write it down as well.
       4. End your day in prayer, thanking God for your siblings and the opportunity to share His love with them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Joys of Being a Big Sister

By Ana Renee
Bear hugs

Sticky kisses

Baking lessons

Reciting Bible verses

Seeing first steps and hearing first words

Building with Legos

Fixing hair

Comforting their hurts

Testing out their toys

Tickling, teasing, laughing

Changing all those diapers

Learning vehicle names

Playing dolls again

Cleaning up their messes

Hearing about discoveries

Playing games

Night-time chats

Throwing football

Bike rides

Building forts

Reading books . . . and more books

Ironing their clothes

Feeling tiny hands cling to my own

Hugs that come “just because”

Birthday cards with misspelled words

~ ~ ~

How often do I take all these precious joys for granted?

What better way to grow up than having younger siblings to share my days with?

How often do I dwell on the negatives and neglect the many positives?

How soon will they grow up and no longer need help “taking down the blocks” or “opening the door?”

Lord, help me to daily count the joys of being a Big Sister.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Giving Sisterhood

By Ana Renee

“Read me a book.”
“Can you cut this for me?”
 “Please fix my hair.”
“Can you hold this?”
 “Can you iron my clothes?”
“Can you get that dish down for me?”
“Can you cut my hair?”
“When you get a chance, could you please hang out these clothes?”
“Can I borrow your shirt?”
“May I use your laptop?”

Images from

Every time I turn around, it seems like I am being asked to help or give. I will admit that I am not the perfect sister; sometimes, I bluntly refuse to satisfy my sibling’s desire. One day, though, God brought a verse to my attention during my Bible reading: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (Matthew 5:42) This verse puts no boundaries on our giving/lending. It simply says “Give.”

Give . . . if they ask for help.

Give . . . if they ask to use my things.

Give . . . if they want to help out.

Give . . . if they ask for a favor.

Give . . . if I see a need.

Give . . . even if I don’t feel like it.

Give . . . even if my logic doesn’t want to sort it out.

Give . . . even if they “shouldn’t be asking.”

Give . . . even if I’m busy.

A good passage to keep ever before us is Colossians 3:23-25, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” May God be honored as we give our time, help, and life to our siblings.

Monday, October 17, 2011


My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” 
1 John 3:18-19

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: 
therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 
Romans 13:10

How can we apply these verses today?
How can we show love to our siblings?
By our actions, do our siblings know that we love God?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

To Be a Sister . . .

What does it take to be a sister . . . a real sister . . . a sister that exemplifies Christ?


S   -  Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore.

I   -   If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not
                his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
S   -  Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

T   -  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That
                 in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
E   -  Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether
                it be right.
R   - Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
               If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

(Psalm 105:4, 1 John 4:20, Proverbs 3:30, Matthew 18:12, Proverbs 20:11, Romans 12:17-18)

What are some verses that challenge you in sisterhood?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; 
in honour preferring one another; 
Romans 12:10

What does this verse mean to you?
How can we obey this verse?
What are ways that we can "prefer one another?"

Please comment and share your thoughts!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mopsey's Mistake

Author Unknown, taken from “The King’s Daughter and Other Stories”
Uncle came in one cold evening, looking for all the world like a bear, Louie thought, in his big overcoat. He caught Louie up and gave her a real bear-hug, too.

"Hello, Mopsey! where's Popsey?" he asked.

Popsey was Louie's baby sister, two years old, and her name wasn't Popsey any more than Louie's name was Mopsey, but Uncle Jack was all the time calling folks funny names, Louie thought.

"Her's gone to bed," she said.

Then Uncle Jack put his hand in his pocket and made a great rustling with paper for a minute before he pulled out two red-and-white sugar-sticks and gave them to Louie. "It's too bad that Popsey's asleep," said he. But I'm afraid Louie was rather glad of it.

"Aren't you going to save one stick for Grace?" asked mama. Popsey's real name was Grace.

"No," said Louie, speaking low. "I don't believe sugar-sticks are good for little girls. 'Sides, I want it myself."

Just as she swallowed the last bit there came a little call from her bedroom: "Mama?"

"Hello!" said Uncle Jack, "Popsey's awake!"

And in a minute, out she came in mama's arms, rosy, and smiling, and dimpled.

Then there was another great rustling in Uncle Jack's pocket, and pretty soon, "This is for Popsey!" said Uncle Jack.

She took her two sugar-sticks in her dimpled hands and looked at them a second—dear little Popsey!—and then she held out the larger one to Louie.

"Dis for 'ou," she cooed, "and dis for me!"

Poor Louie! She hung her head and blushed. Somehow she didn't want to look at Uncle Jack or mama. Can you guess why?

"Dis for 'ou!" repeated Popsey, cheerfully, pushing the long sugar-stick into her hand.

"Take it, Louie," said mama.

And Louie took it. But a little afterward mama overheard her tell Popsey: "I won't never be such a greedy thing any more, Popsey, dear. And I's always going to divide with you, all the time after this, long's I live!"

Yes, this is just a “cute little story,” but how true it is!! I have often found myself (as an older sister especially) place down rules and regulations for my younger siblings that I myself do not follow. If I said, “Just have one cookie,” I would take two. Not only was I viewing myself as superior, but I was also leaving a negative example for my younger siblings to follow when they are in the position that I now am.

How are we treating our younger siblings?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Siblings, Friends

By Staff Writer, Erika T.

I did NOT want to move to Guadalajara. In a town where everyone knew who I was, I was living a life I loved. Moving was not on my agenda. However, it was on God’s. Despite my internal objections, in the months before I turned 17, God made it obvious that it was His will that we move. Of course, it was a blessing to all concerned: the church we left, the mission we moved to, our family… One of the blessings I appreciate the most, which stemmed from the move, was my changed relationship with my brother.

It’s not that we used to fight like cats and dogs, or even avoided each other. We got along well. Once we moved, though, we went from being friends to being each others’ only friends. You see, we moved to a mission where the attendance to the services consisted of our family of five and about four more people, not one of which was near our age. We had to be friends!

I thank God for the fact that we were thrown together in transportation duties and Sunday School work. We began spending enormous amounts of time together; this, coupled with the fact that we had no acquaintances our age around, forced us to be friends, good friends. It was during hour-long transportation routes, picking up people for services that we learned – I, that if I cared about him I’d listen to his lectures on physics no matter how boring they were (and that physics actually was interesting if I paid attention!); he, that… well, I don’t know exactly what he learned. But I do know he did a lot of listening as well!

At first we talked about our separate interests. Several years later, we have learned to talk about each others’ interests. We went from discussing engines and books to talking about friendship to confiding dreams to each other.

Why have I told you all this? Well, God had to force us into a situation where the only person we had anything in common with was our sibling. It was uncomfortable. I was used to chatting with other girls after services. He was used to sitting with his friends outside our house. Now, before and after services, at home, during school (we were homeschooled) and going to stores we were always together. And we got to know each other as never before.

Through the move – something I disliked – God gave me one of my best friends.

You could wait, as we did, for God to push you into being friends with your sibling – though He may never do it. Or you could start trying to do things together. If you decide to spend time with your brother or sister, you’ll probably find you have more in common than you thought. Your sibling doesn’t have to be your only friend, but could easily become your best.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Do We Love?

Image from

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:9-11

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sibling Relationships

{A month late . . .}

It is with excitement that we launch into a month of studying Sibling Relationships. So much can be covered in this topic because of the many different relationships between siblings: sisters to brothers, sisters to sisters, older sisters, younger sisters, and middle sisters. So much is involved in being a sister: selflessness, servant-hood, being an example, loving, helping, and much more! We pray that this month we will be able to cover many of these areas.

I encourage you to share your thoughts with us by commenting or submitting articles. It is always neat to hear different perspectives on a topic. So join us as we look deeper into the relationships that God has established in each home.

Ana Renee
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