Going With the Flow

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Have you ever tasted water flowing from a natural spring? There is just something special about knowing it is all natural, that God made every drop of it, isn’t there? What comes out of our mouths has a flow, too. In James, chapter three, he points out that, through our mouths, we can either bless God or curse God. The “flow” of words can be godly or ungodly.

With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. James 3:9 NKJV

A spring, however, cannot have two types of water flowing from it. James tells the Christians this to have them consider what one type of flow they put forth. We should do the same! I think our “natural” flow would be selfish and perhaps ungodly, but I would like to think we, as Christians “go against the flow!”

“Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” James 3:11-12 NKJV

Only with God’s help can we be godly and put forth what is pleasing to Him. And He is only too happy to help us do that! That’s how great He is!

Dear God,

You amaze me every single day with the way You take such good care of me. You are so good! Thank You for my blessings and trials, which You allow for my good. Thank You for helping me with the flow of my words. It is my desire to please You and praise You with my mouth. Amen

I hope you have a nice weekend! With love from the Father to you,


Taming the Tongue

Happy, Smiling, Boy, Kid, Tongue

We are studying James chapter three today and it is a doozy! What I mean is…it is one of those chapters that is chock-full of both wisdom and wonderful analogies. The subject is the tongue. Though it is a small part of the body, James describes it as being evil and unable to be tamed.

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 NKJV

What does he mean? James is saying that, although small, the tongue can cause much damage, much like a spark causes a great forest fire. There he goes again, using extreme terms. James holds nothing back in getting his point across, that the tongue is a dangerous part of the body. He also admits that no one is perfect.

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:2 NKJV

As a bridle causes a horse to move a certain way and a spark causes a great fire, so a ship’s rutter causes the ship to go in a certain direction. What great analogies!

Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. James 3:4 NKJV

That’s amazing isn’t it, that a small rudder can direct such a large ship! It would be great if our tongues had a rudder then, wouldn’t it? Then we could control our tongues ? That is wishful thinking, perhaps because we aren’t that good; only God is. Which brings me to this idea I want to offer:

We DO have a rudder and it is our heart. Our hearts determine where we want to go, what we want to say and what we want to do. As a rudder directs the ship where the pilot wants to go, so the rudder heart directs us where WE want to go. We choose.

Now I am going to be like James and propose two extreme kinds of rudders or hearts, that we can choose. We can have a heart that desires to go in the direction of self. It is the most popular model of rudders these days and is available to all. This rudder, or heart, will go the direction that the pilot wants, the direction of his or her own will. And that can be dangerous territory!

On the other, better, hand…We can choose a rudder or heart that wants us to go only where God wants us to. Being directed by this rudder requires a daily surrendering of our will to God’s direction. We may not know what direction that will be, but we trust God. We desire our heart to be controlled, instead of controlling our own heart and thus the direction.

I want the model of rudder that is controlled by God. You? That type of rudder, or heart, is free for the asking! And it works great! Hope this makes sense. See, when we choose a heart for God He gives us a desire for our heart to go HIS direction, AND He directs us. His way is safe territory! Isn’t He awesome to help us? He is a wonderful, caring Father!

Here is a verse to think about, to set us up for tomorrow’s devotion:

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NKJV

Please pray with me?

Dear Father,

My heart is so full right now because I am so aware of how good You are. You do not leave us to my own to try and control my tongue. Any struggle I have or any desire I have to do Your will, You help me with. You are everything! Thank You for shedding light on how our hearts determine what comes out of our mouths and what direction we go. I will do better, Lord, in dedicating not only each day, but each word to You. Help me to do Your will, whatever that may be. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that lights my way. I love You so much! Amen

Tomorrow we will finish chapter three. James makes another comparison that is so cool!

I hope you have a great day and week! With love from the Father to you,


Is My Faith Alive?

Woman, Leap, Jump, Air Jump, Path

Today we are studying James 2: 14-26 which is the second half of chapter two. James gives another warning to Christ followers, to take time to consider the condition of their faith. Is it active, alive? Have we let it die, although it used to be very active? James describes faith as being either alive or dead. That’s pretty extreme, huh? Only two choices, no in-between!

Sort of a sidenote…I have always been awed that the Bible is full of extreme opposites…good and bad, right or wrong, righteous or unrighteous, life or death and truth or lies. You don’t read that Jesus partly died for us or partly rose again. We are not called to be sort of righteous. It is all or nothing. We do not kind of tell the truth. God’s Word is not kind of true. It is totally true!

So when James says faith is either alive or dead, we fit into one of only two extreme categories. He gives a hypothetical example of someone being naked or hungry and a person of faith responds by telling them to go peace and be warm and full. Then, he asks the important question:

“(If) you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:16b-17 NKJV

Wow. He tells it like it is. What good is faith if we do not act on it? It makes sense though! What if Abraham did not act on what God told him to do? Have you ever thought how it would be a whole different story in that case? James explains how faith and works go together. Abraham had faith AND works.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. James 2:21-23 NKJV

Rahab, in the Bible, was also justified by works, James says…

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? James 2:25 NKJV

I love how James used examples of faith with, and without, works to help Christians understand how to live out what we believe. I like that he is blunt and to the point! He is extreme in his care and concern for the Jewish Christians. He may think, with all the trials they had, that they may need reminders of things to watch out for, so the enemy does not get a foothold.

And don’t we all need reminders! James’ final thought in chapter two is a powerful analogy. It is a great thought on which to end this devotion.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 NKJV

Faith is like a body full of works. If we do not have works, then our faith is dead. It is that simple but that profound. I can compare this working faith to a working car. If a car does not run, is it any good? Is it helping anyone? Cars were made to run and we were made to act. A car runs on gas and we run on the Holy Spirit!

I don’t know about you, but I feel challenged to step up my faith a bit. Will you pray this with me?

Precious Father,

More than anything I want to please You. Please forgive me for paying too much attention to my own to-do list when I can be doing for others too. Will You help me make a to-do list for those that need my actions? Oh, that I could glorify You in that way! Please keep me in remembrance of James words that You inspired him to write about a living faith. Thank You for each new day that You give me. Show me how to best use them please. I love You so much! Amen

I hope you have a great day! With love from the Father to you,


You’re My Favorite!

Worshipping God, Happy, Grateful

We all have favorites…favorite foods, destinations, actors, cars, and the list goes on. Why? I think it is because they make us happy or fill a need, or both. However, sometimes we have favorites based on popularity, what everyone else says is desirable. Take, for example, vacations. A beautiful beach vacation is the envy of many on social media. It is highly esteemed by society. What is my point?

We have patterns of behavior based on what our society values. Now, beach vacations really are beautiful in their own right, but I hope you get what I am saying, that the world and society have their own rating system. Even people are rated. We are valued for our popularity, wealth, success and connections. Why that matters so much is…we may treat people differently, based on what societal habits are. We have a higher standard for how to treat others. Today, we explore God’s Word, James chapter two, for guidance. James gets right to the point in the first verse, about favoritism.

My brethren, DO NOT hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. James 2:1 NKJV

What does that mean? Can we have faith and also partiality? James says, “do not.” I think he means that we should not treat others a certain way based on their possessions or position or popularity. In his time there were clear class levels, upper and lower class. People were treated based on their wealth, or lack of it. Richer people got better treatment, just like in our world. It is sort of the law of the land. James says wealth should not determine how we treat others. He gives an example:

For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”  have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:2-4 NKJV

We do that don’t we? We sort of become judges and therefore treat someone based on their success, maybe even what they contribute to our lives. But you know what? What if Jesus did that to us? What if He only died for those He preferred or that had wealth or status? I would be in trouble! Thankfully He died for all that He preferred, ALL of us!

This partiality that James speaks of, was a problem then and it is a problem now. It is a trap that we can fall into very easily. We often do not realize that we are doing it. I will give you a personal example that I am not very proud of.

I have been in church all my life and chose to receive forgiveness and Jesus in my heart at an early age. Without realizing it, over the years I became committed to being the best Christian I could be. That’s not bad, but it became a source of pride for me, I am ashamed to admit. When I searched my heart one day, I realized God does not love me better than anyone else because I have been a Christian longer or followed the rules better. He loves us all the same. In fact, I was worse than many because I made a competition out of Christianity.

See, I thought God expected me to be the best Christian, when in reality He wanted me to love Him and others the best that I could. His standard of behavior for us relies on His amazing love and impartiality. So should we strive for those behaviors to please Him and point others to Him. James explains it this way, what law should govern our hearts. This is a great summary of the first half of James chapter two….

So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13-14 NKJV

Jesus bought our freedom without judging us and treating us like the sinners we are! Therefore, we are to freely love others, not judging, but loving with lots of mercy. What a beautiful picture of selflessness and humility Jesus showed us!

I would have posted this yesterday, but I direly needed to keep praying until I felt I was ready, not to write my own ideas, but whatever the Lord wanted me to say. I asked Him because this chapter, to me, is one of the most important shapers of our purpose here on earth. It focuses on how God’s law gives freedom from the world’s standard of judgement of others and instead, gives mercy and love actions, without judgement. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could say that our favorite person was everyone? Maybe an impossible feat for us, but not with God. We are all His favorites!

We will go over the second half of James chapter two tomorrow!

With much love from the Father to you,


James has a Heart-to-Heart

Sao Tiago, They Are The Biggest James

I love the phrase, “heart-to-heart” to describe a conversation. The book of James is just that. It is also a shepherding, pastoring guidebook to a healthy Christian life. He is writing to Jews, displaced by much persecution. Can you imagine how stressed they were? James cares and writes what he knows to be true about living a life for the Lord. His book is great for everyone! I am so excited about what he writes, so how about we start day one of A Study in James? We will dedicate a day per chapter, so in just a few days, you will be very familiar with James’ message to the Jews…and to us.

Chapter One

What a beginning! James sets the tone for his upcoming words in the best way possible. Chapter One, verse one says,

“James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” James 1:1 NKJV

What exactly is a bondservant? According to everything I researched, a bondservant is a servant that was released by his master but willingly remained in service to the master, out of gratefulness for their freedom. We are bondservants! Jesus freed us but we love and respect Him so we CHOOSE a life of service to Him. That’s pretty powerful stuff! We choose to be bonded with Him!

James is a great pastor and cheerleader! He wants to encourage the Jewish Christians who have been persecuted. With easy to understand language, he tells them how to look at all the trials as a testing that produces patience. He reminds them that being rich is not the goal, but being lowly and exalting in belonging to Christ. He admits there will be temptations from the enemy, because that is what the enemy does, he gives us lies that could lead us astray. On the other hand, the Lord only gives good gifts!

The second half of chapter one is like a playbook of how to navigate the battle for our souls. The first thing to do is to realize we will be tried, but not just randomly tried, but tried to produce something, the righteousness of God. What a daunting idea! I can only wrap my head around that when I consider that I, myself, produce nothing close to righteousness, but it is the Lord that does good and seemingly impossible things in us. He is that great!

You could say James likes to warn others, sort of like a safety monitor. who tells others what to look out for, what to be prepared for and how to handle tough situations. He tells the Jews to be careful to actually DO what the Word of God says and not just KNOW it. Ouch! How easy is it to know what we are supposed to do but not do it because we get distracted or think someone else will do it? I am guilty of that! I like the way James describes that needed focus on God’s Word as the “law of liberty.”

But He who looks into the perfect LAW OF LIBERTY and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25 NKJV

He ends chapter one with an if/then proposition. He basically points out a possible pitfall that Christians can fall into…. He explains that IF we think we are religious but we don’t control what we say, trying to trick our own heart, THEN our religion is worthless. James 1:26 Thankfully, he then tells the Jews what real undefiled religion is:

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 NKJV

…And that is James chapter one! I love the detailed way he teaches the persecuted Jews to hold onto hope because there is a reason for suffering. It produces righteousness. Only God in His perfect wisdom and power can accomplish that! We are just the loyal servants who, not only know what His law says, but we want to actively do it. That means treating others as the brothers and sisters that they are meant to be. If they are in trouble, it is our job to help them. That is something the Lord has been urging me about lately, the need to help each other more.

I hope you will read chapter one of James and then join me for Chapter two on Monday. It’s good stuff! Have a great and safe week. No matter what trials you may have, the Lord can use it to produce something useful to Him. Watch out for the schemes of the enemy, praying always. Help someone today and tomorrow and the next day and I will do the same!

With much love from the Father to you,


Who Am I?

Faces, Silhouette, Search Bar, Finger

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts,
and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:14-16 NKJV

As I was praying this morning, asking God to clarify some things for me, I began to feel an overwhelming sense of peace. Why? Because I know He knows me better than I know myself and He will guide me. See, I have tried to “guide myself” and find my own purpose in different ways over the last few years. More health issues than I would like to count have changed what John and I can and can’t do. Have you had that challenge, too? It’s tough, isn’t it, to navigate life’s changes?

I am definitely not the worst off of people around me. John and I simply have had life changes that demand we change course a bit. It is just that adjustment of so many things we used to do has leaves us wondering, “What are our lives supposed to look like now? What other direction should we go in, to be useful to the Lord?”

When praying for my concerns, the term “organic” came to mind, as I want to get at who I am, who God means for me to be. To me, organic means, made by God, natural, not artificial. So guess who I am! I am organic if I am made of all that’s from God. I can add things to my look, my life, my goals, my plans, but organically, I am just plain ‘ol God’s child. And that’s enough! The more organic, the healthier, right? If I want to be authentically God’s, I must not try to add to my self, but rather have Him add to me, all that is good and healthy for me, all that is of Him.

God’s Word, love, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and prayer are all things that make up who He wants you and me to be. Those are the things that will determine who we are. It is up to us to pursue them. I have found it to be true that whenever we come to a place where we are not sure what we need to do, or who He wants us to be, that He says, “Follow me first and all the rest will become clear in my time.” Isn’t it great that we can leave our burdens with Him and even without immediate answers, we can trust He will guide us? When we want His will, He will always guide us. He likes doing that, guiding His children:)

As humans, we try to add things to our life to make it better. We want to be useful, have purpose, use our talents in big ways. (Preaching to myself here!) But…since God gave us gifts, it is up to HIM to show us how to use these things that are a natural part of us. All my thinking and planning to become something better is actually a barrier to me finding out what HE wants. Less is more when it comes to what we should plan or add on our own. It is what God can add that we need to pursue, like our lives depend on it, which they do!

At times, I have underestimated the importance of prayer in my life. I am learning that I am nothing without that lifeline. It connects me, like an umbilical cord, to nourishment from the One who made me. Oh that I would never struggle again with a decision! That will never happen, because we are meant to depend on God. Organically fed by His truth and praying for more every day, we will become what He meant us to be.

I love this question that Jesus asked. Simon Peter answered it perfectly,

But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16 NKJV

We can answer that for ourselves! Who do say our Lord is? Does He control all of our life? Do we worship, obey and trust Him for who He is? When we do that, He will guide us! That’s good news!

Today is a great day for dwelling in the presence of the One who made us, the One who saved us and the One who abides with and guides us. He is just perfectly great, isn’t He?

With love from the Father to you,


Today is a Perfect Day

Perfect, Hands, Silhouette, Sunset, Dusk

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

I know that title may sound silly, but that is the thought that is in my mind right now. There is something special about a Monday. It is a perfect chance to start a week with the right mindset. I admit my mind, from the moment my feet hit the floor this morning, was focused on a to-do list for the day. Then I remembered, “God first.” That’s just something I decide every morning, because otherwise my day wouldn’t start out perfectly.

See, we need Him so, so much. Our pastor focused on that yesterday. We need God. In humility, we can admit that need every second, minute, hour and day. Doing this, at the beginning of the week and the beginning of the morning is about as close to perfect a start to a day that I can think of.

The verse above reminds us we are made for Him, for His good works, not for our own works. Today is a perfect day to declare from the onset of this week, that we will do what He made us to do, His good works. We will gladly do them because we love Him and we love others. We want others to know the joy and peace we have, so let’s make this a perfect day by looking to our perfect Father for HIS plan for today.

Will you pray this with me?

Dear Father,

Sometimes I feel so imperfect. I wish I could be more consistent in doing good works that glorify You and Your love for us. I dedicate this morning and every morning to Your will. With Your Holy Spirit, nudge me when I get off track and plan my day around my own wants first. You come first. Forgive me for putting myself first sometimes. I am made by You, FOR You. I submit my heart and mind and soul to Your use for this day and week. I will consider Your plans for my day and life first, before I plan. You know perfectly well what I need. That gives me joy and peace! Thanks for being my perfect Father. I love You so much! Amen

With much love from our awesome Father to you, may we start each day in a perfect way, with our King:)


I’ll Sing Glory Hallelujah

Concert, Singer, Singing, Stage, Lights

Do you ever miss the old hymns? Maybe you still sing them every now and then at your church. I love the constant message of redemption by Jesus’ blood. I never want to take it for granted that the Creator of the universe sent His perfect Son to die for us, to save imperfect humans from sin. How loving is that? Mind blown! As I was thinking about this, an old hymn, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus” came on in my earbuds, on Spotify. Aah… If I could just express my love for the Lord with a song to this same tune…

To give credit, “Just a Little talk With Jesus” was wriiten by Cleavant Derricks © 1937 Stamps-Baxter Music, renewed 1965 Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing Inc.

These are the words the Lord gave me after I asked Him to help me express what was in my heart. I hope these words encourage you and you try singing these words to the tune of “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.”

                                                              I’ll Sing Glory Hallelujah

God knew our deepest need

From sin we must be freed

His Son was sent to die upon a tree

My heart is clean within

He paid for all my sin

Forever I will sing this song to Him


I’ll sing – glory hallelujah

I will – praise the Lord forever

He is – greatly to be praised

And I will – love Him all my days

Even if – every now and then a trial

I’ll still – trust Him every single mile

And sing – glory hallelujah, He is by my side

Look up It won’t be long

We’ll be in heaven’s throng

And joining in the angels’ happy song

We’ll see our Savior’s face

Inside that heavenly place

We’ll sing this tune of His amazing grace


We’ll sing – glory hallelujah

We will – praise the Lord forever

He is – greatly to be praised

And we will – love Him all our days

Even if – every now and then a trial

We’ll still – trust Him every single mile

And sing – glory hallelujah, He is by our side.

Copyright ©2021 Christina Crute

With love from our awesome Father to you,


Our Parent’s Opinion

Mature mother and daughter talking. Serious mature mother and daughter talking in home royalty free stock image

My adult daughters still come to me for guidance on decisions. They ask my husband John, too, but when they need mom’s advice, can you guess how appreciated that makes me feel? They can very easily make all decisions on their own, but having Mom’s vote seems to mean something to them. It warms my heart. I know that they do not come to me because I am the wisest mom in the world, but because I love them so much and want the best for them. They also know that God is my wisest One!

One question I always ask them, before they make a major decision is, “Will you regret it later if you say no to this thing?” “Is there a chance you will wish you had said ‘yes’ to this?” Very often, that seals the deal for them and myself, when I have questions, because it gets at the heart of our desires. Now, I am not proposing to them that, if they make a wrong decision that they live with the angst of regret. It just seems practical to think, “What if I did not do this thing?” Later on, will I wish I had at least tried?”

Our Father in heaven loves us and wants the very best for us. Like a parent, I imagine it warms His heart when we come to Him for guidance on decisions. It honors who He is, all He has done for us and tells Him we need Him so much that we cannot make important decisions without Him. I don’t know about you, but very often, when I make wrong decisions, it is because I did not fully consider what HE wanted. I do have some regrets, but I do not wallow in them, as I used to.

How come? Because I am not perfect, was never meant to be perfect and never will be perfect. God is! He knows we will make wrong decisions, or decisions earlier or later than He would like. He knows we can be selfish and impatient and prideful, so naturally we will not do everything perfectly. BUT, when we come to Him and ask for forgiveness, He always says, “yes.” Plus, we learn from wrong decisions, too-fast decisions and those based on our own selfishness or wisdom, such as it is. Learning is good!

My encouragement for today is to pray at the beginning of every day, every meal and before every major decision. Coming to God on purpose is not only vital for growing spiritually, it will keep us in His will, by us asking for it. It is pretty simple but pretty awesome!

Though we have heard this prayer a million times, it bears repeating with a full, sincere heart, a child’s heart to a loving parent, Father God. Let us come to Him knowing He wants our best and trust Him to lead us in that way. He is that good at what He does!

Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food again today, as usual, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.  Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.’ Matthew 6:9-13 The Living Bible

May you have a day with Father God that makes you both smile,


Peace, Love and Cookies

Girl, Cookies, Cooking, Cook, Little

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:14-15 NKJV

This morning, I feel like story-telling, because I am so grateful for the Lord’s love and patience with both me and my older brother, John. We could not have been more different in personality. I am shy and he was wild and crazy with a million friends. It took the Lord and cookies for us to form a real bond. I will explain…

I miss John so much since he went to be with Jesus last year. The things I miss most about him are the little things that happened over and over. I remember how excited he got every time the family got together and I handed him a box of “preacher cookies.” That became the basis of our relationship for awhile. We were very different in lifestyle but we had one thing in common. We both loved cookies! It was my privilege to make cookies for him and his to make me feel like they were the best in the world. Yeah, I know he did that so he would get free cookies often, but it still stands out as one of my favorite memories of Him. I would barely get in the door to a family gathering when he would say, “Hey sis, did you bring cookies?” And usually, before the family gathering was up, he would tell me, “I will text you when my box is empty.” Would that I could hear those words one more time! He made me feel he needed his little sis.

What else stands out? The fact that I and my siblings were so concerned for his soul. It is tough to talk to your own family about the Lord, because you don’t want them to feel judged, but loved. I still question whether I did enough, soon enough. Did I tell him enough that I was praying for him? Did he truly know I loved him regardless of our differences? Could he see that his little sister only wanted the best for him and the best was the Lord?

In the end, yes, He knew. See, he was an amputee and his phantom pain was unbearable. Nothing gave him relief, that is, until he started reading a devotional I bought him and he started seeking the Lord out of desperation. I would like to say I was always that intentional with him, tending his need for God, but I wasn’t, until he reached out to me during a period of depression that scared him. That gave me the go-ahead to tell him how I really felt about what he should do. He flat out asked me, “Sis, can you please tell me what to do? I feel depressed. I will do anything you say.” That was something he never ever came close to asking me before, so I thanked the Lord for this opportunity, asked for right words and what came out was, “John, just pray.” Then, “Make an appointment with your doctor right away.”

He needed a simple answer. He could not handle anything more at the time. He said, “Okay, but will you pray for me , too?” “will you check on me every day for awhile?” Though my heart was breaking for him, I struggled to hold it together so he would hopefully hear the peace of Jesus in my voice. I was shell-shocked…Was this my wild brother I was talking to?

Though I was thrown by this sudden turn of events, it was a happy turn, my brother asking for me for guidance. It was daunting, though, because I am so imperfect and still have much to learn for myself. I felt inadequate for this task. But, by leaning heavy on the Lord, so I didn’t mess everything up, I did my best. John and I began to text and call each other every few days. John made me promise to do that. Baby step by baby step, I saw God work on his heart. I won’t go into details, but some God-things happened that blew his mind and he began to believe and want the Lord.

The last time I saw him, he was so happy and joking. There was a peace about him. He made a point of cracking joke after joke and causing my sister and I do our loud, embarrassing cackling laugh! He didn’t mention any pain that day. Something was different, I realized later. As I write all this down, I am so thankful for answered prayer. John may have taken the longest, hardest road possible to peace in Jesus, but he got there, I am sure. I knew, when he started sending me Bible verses and got excited about how good God was, that he was finally happy in the Lord.

Side-note, but an important note. I owe a debt of gratitude to a couple of John’s friends that took him to church and loved on him so much the last year of his life. How do you thank someone for influencing your sibling’s eternity? God is so good. He used those two saints to do His important work:) I will forever love you two. You know who you are because I now call you my sister and brother in Christ.

Thank you for reading. I just wanted to reminisce about how good our God has been and continues to be. I believe it is our job, as His children, to tell stories about what He has done in the lives of people we know. Why? So others will know that there is hope available and His name is God. So God will be glorified. Is there anything more important? Nope!

Father God, thank You for every opportunity, trial, blessing and joy you allow. Help us, as imperfect as we are to recognize that every experience can be used to glorify You and it is our honor to do so. We love You so much! Amen

With love from the Father to you,