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Devotions by Barb -- December 20, 2023

Devotions by Barb -- December 20, 2023

Barb ovalIn this space, I am sharing devotions written by our dear Barbara Meade.

Barbara grew up a Quaker and is a regular attendee at Spiceland Friends Church. Her faith and Quaker roots go deep as her uncle was a Quaker pastor, evangelist, and artist. Barb's writings about her many life experiences reveal her faith in Christ and highlight the memories of a great family, her years in the banking industry, and her time as a local small business owner. Barb's desire is to serve those around her through her encouraging devotionals and writings from her life. Barb has recognized that our relationship with Christ grows throughout our lives, both in good times and through life's challenges.


October 4, 2023
Experiencing Death
This week’s devotion is the words of Billy Graham; in his devotion, “Peace for Each Day, he said an atheist sees death as a hopeless end to life. The Christian sees an endless hope. Jesus said he that believeth in me shall never die.
He spoke of the ones he watched die. They see into the future and the ones that have gone on.
I experienced this myself. My Grandmother told me Grandpa was standing at the foot of the bed two hours before she joined him. He passed away when I was three, holding me in his arms. I felt his presence.
John 11 5-6 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
We all face death, and it’s essential we talk about it. No one knows about tomorrow.
October 11, 2023
Coping With Worry and Stress
Stress is a cousin to worry. Stress attacks us physically and worries us mentally. I know worry solves nothing; stress means we are on overload.
The Bible tells us about worry and stress in Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us most worry and anxiety is a failure to trust God and his goodness or to believe what he told us. Worry and stress have been with us as long as man has been on this earth. It doesn’t mean our hearts hurt any less or that we aren’t sick with concerns and grief. It means to pray more and honestly give it to the Lord. He has told us he’ll give us peace.
Luke 12:25 Who of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to your life?
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled.
Peter 5:7 Give all your worries to him because he cares about you.
Just remember, Faith, isn’t believing God can. It’s knowing he will.
October 18, 2023
Wanting Everything Now
When looking at society today, the young are growing up receiving all their wants now. The middle-aged group feels the need to provide it now. The older folks shake their head in disbelief.
I’m one of the older folks. What happened to buying something when you had saved the money for it? We called that getting the cart before the horse. Working toward something meant something.
This very logic taught us self-discipline. The Bible tells us much about the importance of saving and self-discipline.
Genesis 41: 34-36 God reveals Pharaoh's dream to Joseph. He told Pharaoh to gather up food of the good years and store up grain. The food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine to come.
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 21:5 The diligent's plans surely lead to abundance, but everyone who is in hast comes to poverty.
So, when you see a child having a tantrum in the store because Mom or Dad said, “no, not now,” you are wise parents.
October 25, 2023
Going Home
This has a special meaning to me.
A few weeks before Don passed on, he said to me, “ I want to go home.” Not realizing what he meant, I replied, “Pop, you are home”. Then it hit me: he was ready to go to his heavenly home.
I talked to him about what awaited him. That he was going to see wonders we can’t imagine, he said “ I hope so”. Without a doubt, he is.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “The eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.”
For Christians that know what awaits us, there is no fear. God’s promises are quite clear. All earthly sins and evils will be destroyed; Heaven will be perfect.
Revelations 21:4“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Nothing impure will ever inter it.”
November 1, 2023
When Life Isn't Fair
My first instinct is “I’ve got to fix it,” which seldom works. It’s these times we need to remember, change the things you can accept the things you can’t, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
When feeling hurt, sad, and not in control, is the time to give it to the Lord. Pray for advice and wisdom.
Peter 5:7 says cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.
Giving hurt and anger to the Lord means knowing the need to free yourself of these feelings. Don’t let the situation create more hurt. We must learn to let go.
Philippians 4: 6 Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he’s given you.
November 8, 2023
Make Me a Blessing
From the Spiceland Friends Church service, March 5, 2023. This was one of the songs from the morning service.
The choir goes, “Make me a blessing, make me a blessing, out of my life, may Jesus shine. Make me a blessing, O Lord, I pray, make me a blessing to someone today.
This touched me and certainly gave me a thought. This would be a great prayer to begin each day. Start the day with a positive attitude; let the Lord use you for his purpose.
Even if the day doesn’t go as planned, know the Lord has other plans. So put Jesus in your heart, put a smile on your face, and pray. Dear Lord, make me a blessing to someone today”.
Exodus 9:16 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me: your steadfast love endures forever. Do not for sake the work of your hands.
Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, God who fulfills his purpose for me.
November 15, 2023
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I have always been guilty of thinking I can fix it, change it, etc. It wasn’t until I realized I had to give it all to the Lord it was God who fixed it. He gives us wisdom. We have to apply it.
Accepting those things we cannot change is so hard. This is when Faith comes in. Give it to the Lord, and pray diligently about it. He will take care of it.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
God bless you one day at a time.
December 13, 2023
Strange Things
Growing old makes us think of strange things. One day, we will be the last to tell those family memories, the generation that is gone.
Have you ever wanted to ask a question and realized no one is left to ask? The memories with no one left to remember.
Now is when you realize how important those pictures are. The stories someone was thoughtful enough to write down. That little thread that keeps it together. Memories are priceless gifts and blessings.
As I said, growing old makes us think of strange things. All these thoughts are worldly thoughts, and like worldly things, they pass away.
Philippians 1:3: I thank God every time I remember you.
Genesis 9:16: “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Psalm 103:18 To those who keep his covenant, and remember to do his commandments.
John Newton 1725 – 1807
At age 82, near death, almost blind, and with fading memory, he spoke these words. “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things. I’m a great sinner, and Christ is a great savior”!
In this world's best-loved hymn, Amazing Grace, John Newton lives on today.
From Genesis through Revelations, we are taught God’s purpose and the rules to live and die by. We’ll be with those loved ones one day, sharing those memories and rejoicing.
December 20, 2023
The true meaning of Christmas is love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
I got to thinking about priorities and how we lose the true meaning of things.
Matthew 6:33 asks the question, what is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete. If you don’t actively choose to give God first place, he won’t be.
This week, we prepare for Christmas, let’s remember those priorities. Rejoice in the birth of our Savior, treasure time with family and loved ones.
In today’s world, where things change so fast, the one thing that remains the same yesterday, today, and forever is God’s love and promises.
Amen, and Merry Christmas.


Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor. Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.

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