Faithgateway Devotional

Freedom: Remember His Marvelous Works by Dr. Richard Lee

Remember His marvelous works which He has done. — Psalm 105:5

On July 3, 1776, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams reflected on that important day:

“The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States.Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not.”

* * Patriot’s Prayer * *

Thank You, Lord, for the men and women who gave their lives for the freedom of the republic in which we live today. Help me to be as bold and brave as they were when it is my turn to protect this land.

* * Patriot’s Promise * *

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. — Psalm 34:17

Your Turn

As Americans celebrate our freedom and our nation’s birthday, we are reminded that Jesus came to set us free that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Thank You, Lord! What freedom has God brought that you are celebrating today? Please share a comment on our blog! Happy Independence Day to our readers in the U.S.A.!

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Recopied from faithgateway.com.

Life + God = Hope

When you combine a small town in the South with “the way things have always been done” and then insert faith-filled people and God into the center, what you get is a Kim Cash Tate’s new book Hope Springs. The story is centered around the Dillon and Sanders families who attend Calvary and New Jerusalem churches. The Sanders’ clan comes home for a reunion and Christmas in Hope Springs, North Carolina at the matriarchal home of Grandma Geraldine “Geri” Sanders. Her children, except one, and her grandchildren, except one, gather round her as well as the Dillon family and other friends of the family. They have arrived just in time to bury the pastor of Calvary Church, Jim Dillon.

This story is the story of finding your faith in trying times, of finding your “sweet spot” in spite of yourself, of burying the dead and painful memories, and of the resurrection of hope. The story is about Stephanie Sanders London who finds herself in Hope Springs. The story is about Janelle (Sanders) Evans who finds love and happiness following the death of her husband by reconnecting with her past. The story is about Libby Sanders who finds she can bury the past and find the grace of God’s love with her lost love who now pastors New Jerusalem Church. The story is about Becca Dillon, wife of Todd, who finds that in order to be blessed and exalted, she must first learn to be emptied and humble. The story is about the uncovering of secrets and the reconnection of family when Todd Dillon finds out his father had had a child by Gwynn Sanders. The story is about the building hope in the small Bible study group meeting at the local diner facilitated by the unsure but faith-filled waitress that unleashes hope in the two churches, one for the white families and one for the black families, that bridges the past and blesses an entire community.

Hope Springs is one of those books that is like opening a flower – petal by petal- that leaves you breathless, crying, exhuberant, and praising God. It is a book that will keep you in your seat hungrily reading the words until you find yourself between the pages. Then you will be on your knees bowing before your God and Father with tears running down your cheeks and your arms raised in worship.

I received this book for free to review for netgalley.com.

Rainy Days and Mondays

Just about anyone who listens to contemporary Christian music has heard Laura Story’s song “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops.”  If you have not hear this song before, please listen to it here:

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Story’s book by the same title breaks down the verses of her song into thirty chapters that can be used as a devotional. For instance, in chapter 18 entitled “When We Cry Out in Anger,” Story writes, “Sometimes, it’s very easy to become angry: angry with ourselves, angry with other people, and even angry with God. Sometimes, we face life-threatening situations that shake us to the very core of our souls. but more often than not, our frustrations are of the more mundane variety. More often than not, we are angereed not by earth-shaking events, but by the inevitable distractions and disappointments of everyday living: jammed traffic, difficult people, financial headaches, and a near-endless stream of minor inconveniences masquerading as major hardships. Our challenge is this: to display anger when it is appropriate and to rein in our tempers when it is not. How can we learn to maintain better control over our tempers? We do so by learning to focus our thoughts, not on the inevitable disappointments of life, but instead upon the innumerable blessings that God has given us (Philippians 4:8). When we allow our faith in God to become the cornerstone and the touchstone of our lives, we cultivate trust in the righteousness of His plans. When we do so, we begin to see God’s hand as it works in every aspect of our lives – in good times and in hard times – as He uses every circumstance to fulfill His plan for us. So the next time you become frustrated by the inevitable challenges of life, do yourself a favor: turn away from anger and turn, instead, to God. Turn to Him, as best you can, with open hands, a clear mind, and a trusting heart. When you do, you’ll discover that defeating anger is difficult but not impossible – because with God, all things are possible.”

In each chapter, Story also includes quotes from notable Christians that are related to the subject of the chapter. She also includes Scripture and a section to journal your own thoughts. She ends the book with additional Scripture on a variety of topics. This small book of 220+ pages is an excellent addition to any library or better yet – your coffee table! Share it with friends and strangers alike.

If you are interested in keeping up with Laura Story:

Artist Web Site

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I received this ebook free for review from Net Galley at netgalley.com.

Song Bird

I have never been much of a “lover of the hymns.” That is until I began Robert J. Morgan’s book Then Sings My Soul Book 3. I found his book to be easy to read and loved the “old book” feel of the pages in the paperbook. I cannot read music and have always felt that the hymns were for those that could sing high notes and liked slow music. After reading the history behind the songs and the poetic quality of the songs, I have changed my viewpoint of the hymns. Although I still cannot read the music nor sing the songs, Mr. Morgan advised readers to utilize a hymnal as an additional resource during study and devotion time. He stated that readers could either sing the songs as a time of praise and worship or read the hymn as a poem of praise and worship.

The book is separated into segments discussing biblical hymns, ancient hymns, medieval hymns, German hymns, English hymns, Gospel songs, and contemporary praise. This book helped me to gain a greater understanding of the hymns, hymn writers, and church history. One of my most favorite hymns, that I did not realize was hymn, is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.” I did not realize that this beautiful song was published in 1878 and was written by someone who enjoyed learning as much as I – Edwin Hatch.

I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, who loves hymns, loves poetry, loves history, or just loves God. Your knowledge of music, poetry, praise, and history will grow exponentially. I have gained a love of the hymns and now utilize a hymnal as a resource to praise God even though I cannot hold a tune in a bucket!

I received this book for free for review from booksneeze.com. The book can be purchased at Amazon.

I review for BookSneeze®