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With This Ring: Work and Children

Work and Children: Who will care for the children?

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Of the Word

When children join the family, one issue that will test the couple's emotions is deciding whether or not to have two incomes. Do both parents continue to pursue their vocations or does one put work on hold until the children are in school? Legitimate arguments support each option.

On one hand, no one can raise your child the same way you can. On the other hand, both incomes may be needed in order to survive month to month. Ultimately, only you and your spouse can determine what is right for your family. Talk through the values you want to instill in your children. Discuss the goals you have for your family, and share how reaching them might benefit all of you. Being a family means investing quality time in being together. Determine to make that happen no matter which option you choose.

Walking with my Lord

Dear gracious Father, rearing children raises many questions. Guide us as we seek to honor You and parent our children according to Your will. Help us to teach our children what is truly important in life. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 12/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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With This Ring: Having Children

Having Children: Now? Later? Never?

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

The person who is truly wise is called understanding, and speaking sweetly helps others learn (Proverbs 16:21 God's Word).

Of the Word

Crumb crunchers, arrows in the quiver, ankle biters, or gifts of God. No matter what you call them, the prospect of having children often raises questions, emotions, hopes, and fears. For some, becoming parents is simply a natural product of marriage. For others, career choices or infertility may yield a different outcome.

If the decision is made to have children, more questions arise. How soon? How do we know when the time is right? Should we be financially stable before we have children? Should one parent stay at home or work from home? Do we consider daycare? Only you can answer these questions for your unique situation.

As you ponder these questions, seek God's wisdom in His Word. Ask for His guidance through prayer. Talk to people you trust who have "been there." A perfect time may not be apparent, but God is with you in every situation. As you seek His will, He gives courage and strength as you rear the children He gives you, whenever that may be.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, whether children are or are not to be part of our future, help us to live as Your children, treasuring each day of Your love and grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 11/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture passages with the notation of (GOD'S WORD) were taken from GOD'S WORD a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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With This Ring: Intimacy

Intimacy: A Gift from God

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice (Song of Songs 4:10b)!

Of the Word

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth — for your love is more delightful than wine. … Take me away with you — let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers (Song of Songs 1:2, 4). And so begins one of the most passionate books ever written, the Song of Songs.

Reading this Old Testament book helps one realize that God is the creator of sexual intimacy, and it is good! The language of the book reflects a different time and culture, but the concepts are timeless.

Sexual intimacy is the indescribable physical expression of love between a husband and wife that properly occurs within the context of trust, vulnerability, and gentleness. When any of these are lacking, the sexual relationship, as well as the whole relationship, suffers. Fostering this intimacy takes communication on verbal, emotional, and physical levels. Share with your spouse what you enjoy and what you don't enjoy. Discuss what brings you closer together. Rejoice in this special gift of God.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Creator of all that is good, thank You for the gift of sexual intimacy. Help us to care for one another on this level to deepen our love for each other. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 10/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Begin with God: He Gives Strength

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Begin with God … He Gives Strength

In the Word

To whom can we turn for strength?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Of the Word

Physical strength is a powerful thing — just look at a football player or a weightlifter! All over this country people are spending money and hours in fitness centers to improve their strength. Physical strength is necessary; without it we couldn't walk across a room.

But where does the strength come from to sustain us when our heart and mind and soul are crying out in weakness? When we feel fearful and know that we can't do it on our own, God speaks to us.

"I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Is. 41:10b).

When we face temptation we are reminded of God's promises.

… the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

When life just seems too much to bear, we can step boldly, knowing that God is always there. We can proclaim along with King David, "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect" (2 Samuel 22:33).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, be my Strength and Refuge. May I always depend on You to help me be spiritually strong even when I am physically weak. I know You are steadfast and I thank You for Your promise of strength to overcome the evil one. Make me strong to do Your work. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 12/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Begin with God: He Gives Wisdom

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

Begin with God … He Gives Wisdom

In the Word

What is God's gift of wisdom?

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Of the Word

What makes a person wise? Is it incredible knowledge or enormous heart? True wisdom is knowing how to apply God's Word to our lives. God's gift of wisdom leads each of us to discern His will. God's wisdom is revealed through Holy Scripture.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10a).

… you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).

Wisdom is God's generous gift to us. Through wisdom we are taught how to live our lives in accordance with God's will.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Father in Heaven, I know that You are the all-wise God. Your Spirit of wisdom in me is essential for me to live a life pleasing to You. I ask that You give generously of Your wisdom to me so that my life will reflect You in all that I say and do. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 11/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The Joy of Christmas: It's a Revelation

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

It's a Revelation

In the Word

"… Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2).

Of the Word

Epiphany, meaning revelation, begins on January 6. It celebrates the revelation of the Son of God to the Gentiles, reminding us that Jesus came to bring forgiveness to everyone, to make the world right with Himself.

Epiphany continues today as God reveals Himself to us through the words of Scripture and strengthens our faith through the power of His Sacraments. The Holy Spirit works in us, increasing our faith and understanding of the plan and purpose of God for our lives. Responding to His love, we share it with others in both words and deeds.

As God's Epiphany work continues in us, we become God's revelation to others of what it means to follow Him. Our Spirit-inspired words and actions have the power to draw others to ask, as the Magi did, "Where is this Jesus? We, too, want to come and worship Him."

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit into my heart so Your life may be revealed in me. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 32/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The Joy of Christmas: The Face of God

Mustard Seed Daily Devotion

The Face of God

In the Word

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him (Matthew 2:11a).

Of the Word

The Magi, intelligent and educated men, put aside their own understanding to follow a star in the East. When they came to the place where the Child was, they knelt before Him, worshiped Him, and poured out their treasures at His feet. The learned men, by looking to the wisdom of God, recognized the face of God in Jesus Christ.

The Bible shows us the face of God in Jesus when we approach His Word. We come with humility, putting aside our own visions of Him and discovering what He truly does look like. We come with gratitude, love, and praise because God has given us the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus. Finally, we come with willingness to allow God to lead us where He would have us go, confident that He is always drawing us closer to Himself.

Today, wise men (and women) are those who look for the Lord not by the light of their own understanding, but by the light of His Word.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, show Your face to me that I may see and believe. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 31/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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