October 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Janet Morris Grimes –

I used to wonder if it was possible to have a relationship with a building. An inanimate structure. Four walls made of brick and mortar. They don’t move. They don’t feel. They don’t respond. Or so I once believed.

But now I know better.

Home. If anything, the past four years have taught me that ‘home’ is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Home is the last place our family resided together. Home was the place the friends of our kids gathered with an open invitation. Home was the place we grew up; learned to be a family, let our guard down to renew our strength to face the challenges of each day.

Defined as ‘the physical structure where one may live; a house or apartment, I realized that when painted with laughter, love and cherished memories, ‘home’ becomes much more than a physical structure. ‘Home’ is a point of reference reserved in the heart that means completely different things to different people. This is proven by the countless songs written about the winsome nostalgia and belonging of ‘home.’

None of these are more powerful than the recent hit by Miranda Lambert entitled The House That Built Me. She tells the story, perhaps her own, of a person who has left home and longs to make one last visit to her childhood home.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself.

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothin’ but a memory
From the house that built me.

We have lived in two different apartments since we left our home behind. And those have been fine. And to be honest, God has used this entire experience to sever my ties to things, and for that I am thankful.

But still, there are moments that my heart hurts and I truly miss it. I miss the harmony I felt when I walked through the door. I miss the way I thought it was part of the forever plan for our family. I miss decorating it for Christmas or baking chocolate cakes in the kitchen. I miss the friends who would drop by unannounced.

And then I remember Heaven, and how no structure here on earth was meant to be a permanent dwelling anyway.

How wonderful that home will be for all of us.

The Twelfth Day of Thanksgiving

October 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Janet Morris Grimes –

On the twelfth day of Thanksgiving, my family gave to me:
A less than thankful turkey
2 football games
3 rounds of refills
4 rolls of Tums
5 photo sessions
6 men a snoring
7 naps a waking
8 unknown cousins
9 ladies cooking
10 extra pounds
11 potato casseroles
12 deviled eggs.
We truly do have much to be thankful for. May God bless you all richly this holiday season.
From the Devotional Team at The Christian Pulse

Things I Never Thought I’d Say

September 29, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Janet Morris Grimes –

Sometimes I have to chuckle at what our society has become. Just a few short years ago, the following statements would have made little sense:

“You will never guess who just tweeted me?”

“Did you check me in at this restaurant?”

“I need a good status update.”

“Heading to Starbucks to do my homework.”

“Double click on it.”

“Scan it.”

“Did you Google it?”

“I got an email from my car saying my tire pressure is low.”

“Can you go return these movies to the Redbox machine?”

“I DVR’d the game. Don’t tell me who won.”

“Did you get my Hey-tell message?”

“Hopefully, our video will go viral.”

“Don’t click on that link. You will get a virus or lose your hard drive.”

“I’ve been hacked by someone in Bangladesh.”

“My GPS almost sent me straight into a lake.”

“I am running out of memory.”

These statements make perfect sense to us today, but within a few short years, they are likely to be obsolete as well. It is impossible to keep up with the changes in technology, and at times, the challenge to do so can be overwhelming and exhausting. As soon as we master a new gadget, another comes along to remind us that we will never catch up.

I recently read of a new television series on NBC called “Revolution” that depicts life in the United States fifteen years after an electromagnetic pulse has disabled all electronics. There simply is no power, and survival goes to those who learn to do without it.

I find that frightening as my below average survival skills learned from the Girl Scouts thirty years ago have not been well-maintained. I was forced to clear all remnants of how to weave together a raft made from twigs from my brain so that I could upgrade to the latest version of Twitter.

One only has so much memory available, after all.

I have no idea what the future holds; technology or otherwise. But I know that God has it all in the palm of His hand. And He never changes.

Thank goodness. That is more than enough for me.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).

My Car or My Oversized Purse?

September 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Janet Morris Grimes –

While the gas was pumping, rather than cringe at the rising prices, I chose instead to clean out my car.

I started with the trash, which proved to be a series of receipts or unopened junk mail, and a newspaper that featured the plight of the homeless in our area. Next was my prayer journal and a couple of partially read books, which I slid into a rear seat pocket. The umbrella went into the trunk, where it fought for space with the jumper cables, a bottle of coolant, a quart of oil, and an unexplained decorative glass bottle of Coke.
In the back seat was a box that held my bottle of water with a hook that I take on walks with me, a leaking bottle of Benedryl, and a mismatched series of things that travel best in boxes. A bottle of hairspray. A comb. Some extra deodorant, and exercise clothes, and my tennis shoes with an extra pair of socks.

A flowered bag of clothes no one will claim also rests in the back seat, something I need to ask my daughters about next time I see them.

The keys that I need to get into my mother’s house are in the console, along with a few barrettes or ponytail holders, a broken pair of sunglasses and our GPS system. In the side pocket of the door are some maps, an ice scraper, and a miniature phone directory.

In short, my car has become the place I keep everything I could possibly need at any given moment.

It is my oversized purse.

PRAYER: Dear God, Thank You for the way you care for us, even in the midst of our idiosyncrasies. You created us to be funny, quirky, and to be able to laugh at ourselves. Thank You for this gift, and we hope we bring a smile to your face from time to time as well.

“It Is Finished.”

August 29, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Janet Morris Grimes –

“To-Do List”

Go to grocery
Get hair cut
Get dog’s hair cut
Get oil changed
Clean out car
Clean house from where I cleaned out car
Buy stamps
Mail rent check, but not too early
Pay bills online
Document that I paid bills online
Buy wedding gifts
Get estimates on roof replacement
There aren’t many days I can completely cross anything off my list. Done. Finished in a way that I never have to give it any further thought.

Instead, my life seems to be run by a series of unfinished business. Ongoing appointments at the orthodontist, bills that keep showing up, unexpected expenses on the house that never stop, maintenance issues on our vehicles. The list goes on and on, and on the rare occasion that I do actually get to mark something off it, it creeps back in a few weeks later.

It’s enough to make me wonder if I ever accomplish anything at all. Is anything ever finished?

It is also enough to make the words of Jesus as He hung from the cross resonate even more. The book of John shares it like this:

”Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:28 – 30 NIV).

Jesus had completed his purpose. Done. Completely finished. He was afraid, but He did it anyway. He begged for God to find another way to compensate for our sins, but when He understood that we could never be reunited with our Father except through Him, He gave up His Spirit. Long before Jesus hung from the cross, He made the decision and the commitment.

And it is finished.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Thank You for finishing what You started. Thank You for loving us enough to sacrifice everything. Thank You for the peace that comes in knowing that it is completely finished.

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