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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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Foundation

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

What is our foundation set upon? What are we building our life on?

Do we plant our feet in the fading, crumbling "foundation" of this world and its ideas?

Do we cement our feet in the firm, everlasting foundation of God and His Word?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friendship (part 2)

To Be a Friend
Though it is wonderful to be blessed with good friends, we must also ponder what type of friend we are being. Every relationship that we have in life will involve us not only receiving, but also giving. Are we being the type of friend that we would like to have?

It is a good idea to consider some questions, “Am I being the friend God would have me to be? Am I encouraging others in the Lord? Am I living my life in line with God’s Word? Am I a good example to my friends?”

Broken Friendships
May I speak frankly for a moment? I do not believe that “broken” friendships are Biblical. Before you judge me, let me explain. A “broken” friendship is broken: it hurts, it brings pain, and it often cannot be “stitched” back together.

There are, however, times when a friend that we have is detrimental for our spiritual growth (Note: this does not include “she offended me” or other emotional issues). Such friendships are mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 3:“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15)

Photography by Amanda T.
No, this is not talking about “broken” friendships, but “withdrawn” friendships. If you notice, though, it is not on just any terms. This is talking of a friend who is not walking with God, not encouraging us in Christ, and living according to the world. With such a case, there are several things that we can do:
1.      We must talk with our parents about our concerns with this person and if they deem best then,
2.      We must pray about how God would have us treat this person and ask Him to dissolve the friendship
3.      If God so shows us, we must avoid their company when possible – without being rude

I have seen personal examples of how God can easily withdraw a friendship, leaving no hurt feelings or scars. However, it must be done in a Christ-like manner. This does not mean:
1.      Speaking badly of a person (look at James 4:11)
2.      Turning others against them (look at Proverbs 10:12)
3.      Shunning them completely (look at 2 Thessalonians 3:15)

When a friendship is simply withdrawn (in a Biblical fashion), we can still love them and pray for them. We must realize that withdrawing from a friendship is meant for our protection and their growth.

The end results of broken and withdrawn friendships are significantly different. In a broken friendship, the two “used-to-be-friends” generally do not resume a friendship. In a withdrawn friendship, God can bring the friends back together years later when the “disorderly brother (or sister)” decides to live their life in accordance to God’s Word.

Who are our friends? Are they good, solid, Biblical friends? Or are they worldly, wavering, detrimental friends? Are they friends with whom we can have Godly conversations? Or are they simply friends that we laugh and joke with? Do we grow by their friendship, or are we pulled away from what we know is right?

We must also consider these in relation to who we are as a friend. God has given us such a blessing in friendships, but we must choose to use His Word as a guideline with these friendships.

About Amanda:
Amanda is a homeschool graduate living with her parents and eleven siblings in Louisiana. Their family sings together, sharing God’s love through music in churches and nursing homes.

Until God shows her a different path, she enjoys teaching piano and music theory, hymn-arranging, photography, writing, spending time with her siblings, and home economics. In the past few years, Proverbs 3:5-7 has been a passage that God has used in her life, showing her how vital it is to trust Him in any issue. You may visit her blog:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friendship (part 1)

By Amanda T.

Friends. The very word sends our thoughts to a special group of people that we tenderly call “friends.” At the same time, some of us might feel a sting as we think of past friendships that are now dissolved. Friendship, in all of its blaze and glory, is not without its bruises and tears.

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship. From good examples (Jonathan and David) to bad examples (Samson and Delilah), to blessings, to warnings, we see friendship woven throughout the Old and New Testament.

People also have a lot to say about friendship. Our pastors and youth pastors preach about it, our parents and grandparents fuss about it, and our friends (obviously) encourage it! Is there really a need to look at it any longer?

Not Just Any Friend
In the world today, girls are thrown together with many different types of people. However, we do not need to befriend everyone with which we come into contact. We must choose our friendships carefully and wisely. One way to choose friends is through the guidance of our parents. Though many girls do not care to have their parents “interfere with my life,” God has given our parents to us for this very reason! Perhaps if Samson had listened to his parents’ counsel and desires, he would not have fallen into Delilah’s traps and ultimately imprisonment and an early death (read Judges 14-16).

Another way to choose friends is through the guidance of Scripture. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 27:12) Consider wisely the choice of friends you have.

What is a Friend to Be?
Friends laugh hysterically with each other at midnight; friends share their dreams and desires; friends wear matching outfits; friends sing duets; friends write notes and emails. Such glorious, happy-go-lucky types of friendship are what a girl often has, but is that all there is to being friends?

“And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.” (1 Samuel 23:16) The last part of this verse struck me: and strengthened his hand in God. A valuable friend to have is one who shares our beliefs and will strengthen our relationship with God. A true friend will pray for us, share verses with us, share how God is growing them, and . . . a true friend will even come to us and give us some (maybe unwanted) Biblical advice.

What types of people should we have as friends?
Older friends to mentor us (Titus 2:3-5)
Women such as grandmas, aunts, moms, our pastor’s wife, and other godly ladies should be special friends. God has placed them in our lives to help us live holy before Him. Older women have lived through the struggles we live through, they have learned from difficult mistakes, and they are full of wisdom that should be a treasure chest to any young lady.

Photography by Amanda T.

Friends that we can learn with (Proverbs 27:17)
Our peers are probably the friends we seek out the most. These can be the “iron-sharpening-iron” relationships (those who are growing in Christ, reading the Bible, and striving to live a Christ-like life) or detrimental relationships (those who are living for self, without a thought of God). We need to evaluate our friendships to be sure that they are building us up in the Lord and not causing us to fall away.

Friends that we can encourage in the Lord (Galatians 6:1-2)
There are special friends in our life that may not be at the same maturity as we are (emotionally and spiritually). These are the friends that we can encourage and build up. At the same time, we must be careful that these “ministry friendships” are not pulling us down. It requires a lot of prayer and discernment (as well as counsel from our parents and older friends) to have this type of ministry friendship. Our younger friend must be growing, seeking to learn, and maturing; if such is not the case, we must carefully weigh if it is a friendship that God would have us to continue.

The Ultimate Friendships
“But I don’t have any friends,” some might say.  Please, please, please do not count this as a curse!!! This “friendless” time could be used in many ways by God. First, it can cultivate a warmer relationship between you and God. Secondly, it can draw you closer to your siblings (who are, in reality, your life-time friends). Thirdly, it could be a way of God protecting you from a harmful friendship. Remember that no friend at all is much more desirable than mixing with bad company.

{To be continued on July 26}

About Amanda:
Amanda is a homeschool graduate living with her parents and eleven siblings in Louisiana. Their family sings together, sharing God’s love through music in churches and nursing homes.

Until God shows her a different path, she enjoys teaching piano and music theory, hymn-arranging, photography, writing, spending time with her siblings, and home economics. In the past few years, Proverbs 3:5-7 has been a passage that God has used in her life, showing her how vital it is to trust Him in any issue. You may visit her blog:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our Giving

God does not look at what we do not have,
He looks at what we do have.

Photography by Amanda T.

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 2 Corinthians 8:12

Are we giving God what we have?

Monday, July 16, 2012


By Bethany

I love looking at wedding photos. There’s nothing sweeter than the nervous grins of anticipation, the bride practically fainting from happiness, and the groom with an exuberant grin plastered on his face. The way they look at each other makes me smile and almost fills me with the same amount of joy that they have. It’s beautiful. They love each other.

Images from

Being a gal, I naturally focus on the bride. I like to dissect her mysterious smile as she grasps her father’s arm and steadily gazes at Mr. Someone standing at the end of the aisle. The world might crumble beneath her feet, but I’m convinced her gaze wouldn’t falter. She wasn’t looking where she was walking, anyway.

I think we can learn a lesson from her. The church was often called the bride of Christ. Through reading the scripture and daily life itself, I’m truly convinced that our half-hearted, lukewarm “ daily Christianity” doesn’t even qualify as halfhearted "girlfriend" of Christ – if you understand my metaphor.

As Christians, God is not our “religion”. He’s not “part” of our life. He is our life. Yeah, so what? If you haven’t heard this before, I certainly have. I don’t think I quite understood what I got myself into. Or what “life” really means.

Take up your cross and follow Me. Is it just me? But when you think of cross, it doesn’t remind you of an hour worship time on Sunday morning. And, to be frank, it doesn’t remind me of even five hours of “spending time with God” each day. Actually the whole verse goes like this: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” ~ Luke 9:23 emphasis added.

A cross wasn’t five minutes. It wasn’t even an hour with a toothache (I’ve heard that’s painful). It was agonizing – for who knows how long. Could you imagine doing that daily? Hourly? Every second? Exhausting?
Yes, exhausting. And frankly, impossible. Truly.
This was probably one of the things that stumped me. Once I realized how ridiculous I was, and how half-heartedly I was, I decided it was time for serious action. Only made the mistake of doing it, myself. Need I say how it went? God has a new lesson for me each day, and one I keep relearning over and over again is that I can’t do it.

Someone once was talking about endurance. He said that it’s like gazing at Jesus – being that adoring bride – and not focusing on anything else but Jesus. Steadfastly, eyes locked, determined to continue past anything as long as you get to Him.

That endurance of a completely in love bride of Christ – I can’t do it. The only One who gave me sight, and the strength, and the muscles to gaze straight at my Goal, is the very One I’m walking towards.

Life is not just breathing and “living”. Life is a passion. If you don’t have a purpose, the point of living is hopeless. It’s meaningless. And it certainly is unfulfilling. Once you find that purpose, namely Jesus Christ, it’s not to be dumped on the “to-do list”.

Jesus isn’t just something we do, He’s something we are.

You may read Bethany's blog here:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Edifying Speech

By Ana Renee

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)

How quickly do we “let things slip” out of our mouth without a thought? In Ephesians 4:29, we are challenged to use only words that edify (or “build up”), words that are gracious to the hearers.

Let us pretend that we have a pile blocks in front of us. Each time we spoke of others (especially those closest to us, like parents, siblings, spouses, and cousins) in a positive way, we would add blocks. But each time we spoke in a way that would tear them down, we would take away a block. What would our block pile look like after a day? 

Would it have a miserable few blocks left or none at all? May we all be challenged to use our words in a way that will build up those around us.

This was originally shared with our 52-verse challenge.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Praise - Stones or Me?

By Erika T.

Photography by Amanda T.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

It is 2012.

~This is the era of improving technology, of easy travel and of rapid communication.

~This is the time of passionate sinners and lukewarm Christians.

~This is the epoch in which loud unbelievers cry out their indignation while believers cringe in shame.

As I meditated on that today, I read Luke 19. The Pharisees asked Our Lord Jesus Christ to make people stop shouting His praises. He answered in verse 40, “if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” It made me think of our position today. I’m not saying Christians should be obnoxious and overly-sensitive activists. Also, I realize that this specifically refers to praising the Lord, not spreading the gospel, social change or any other message. It did leap out at me, however, as I thought of what we should be doing. I don’t believe we should be trying to outshout everyone who is not a Christian, but we should certainly not be embarrassed about praising our God.

The above sentences should read like this:
~This is the era of improving technology, where we can more quickly share the Bible; of easy travel where we can more generously support missionaries; of rapid communication, where we can more freely speak the gospel.

~This is the time of passionate sinners and yet more passionate Christians.

~This is the epoch in which loud unbelievers cry out their indignation while believers quietly live out praise for their Lord.

Will you live so that the stones have no need to cry out and praise Him?

Read Erika's blog here:

Thursday, July 5, 2012


By Gail Puruth

“Please forgive me for what you think I did.”

We’re excusers, defenders, and egotists by nature—our fallen nature. Our knee-jerk reaction is self-defense. And as Christians we often Christianize it with "un-apologies"—some as creative and meaningless as the one above.
Image from

But there’s more:

• “I’m sorry you were offended” — a way to apologize without admitting blame.

• “ I’m sorry if I did anything to offend you”— vague enough to keep our ego intact.

• “Please forgive me, but….” — giving us the ability to tack on excuses and accusations thus voiding the apology.

• "You misunderstood" — allowing us to justify rude or selfish acts by explaining our motives (i.e. it's not what I did, it's what I thought that matters).*

We can’t do anything about others' un-apologies, but we can ask the Lord to free us from the bondage of our own self-defense.

Capture us by your love, Lord, so we can honestly repent of sin.

See James 4:8-10 and 1 John 1:8-10.

Unfortunately, all of these un-apologies I've heard or used myself.
* There are times when explanations are in order, but we often use this excuse to explain away things we've done wrong. Just because we didn't mean to be rude doesn't mean we weren't rude!

About Gail Puruth
Gail Purath has been married to her best friend for 41 years, has two married children and seven grandchildren. Her blog Bible Love Notes ( features one-minute devotions each weekday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

All Our Needs

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

I love the simplicity of this verse: God will supply all that I need in life – not necessarily what I categorize as “needs,” but what He knows are true needs in my life. He sees the largest and the smallest needs I have in my life – both physically and spiritually. He has the resources to provide for these needs – after all, my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (see Psalm 50:10)!! How blessed I am to be the child of such a loving King!

Originally shared with our 52-verse challenge.

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