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Begin with God: He Gives Life

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Begin with God … He Gives Life

In the Word

Who has given me the gift of life?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13–14).

Of the Word

Living organisms on earth are amazing. From tiny gnat to huge blue whale, from smallest wildflower to giant sequoia, we can see the hand of the Creator. And among all these is God's most wondrous creation: us! God created us to love and serve Him. He loved us even before we were born.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13–14).

Not only did God create us, but He gave us the beauty of the earth and relationships with others. He gave us everything we need to live our daily lives. And yet, all too often we are worried about future events or past experiences. But God tells us not to worry about our daily lives.

"So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:31–33).

Walking with my Lord

Creator God, I thank You for the gift of life. Lord, I confess that I sometimes worry about material things instead of trusting You to provide for my needs. Remind me to always seek You first. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 7/28 ©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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Living in the Spirit: Is God's Choice for Me

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Living in the Spirit … Is God's Choice for Me

In the Word

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last” (John 15:16a).

Of the Word

Life is filled with choices — what car to drive, what clothes to buy, which TV channels to watch, which foods to eat. Sometimes the choices bring satisfaction, and sometimes they bring great disappointment.

In and of ourselves, there is one choice we cannot make. We cannot choose God. Instead, Jesus assures us, I chose you … It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to hear God’s call.

And what is our response? We know how to handle life’s other choices: we drive the car, we wear the clothes, we laugh and learn from TV, we get nourishment from foods. Our response to God’s choice is to follow His direction, … go and bear fruit …

The fruit may be as simple as smiling at the harried supermarket clerk or helping the toddler get his shoes on the right feet. It may be as difficult as “parenting” an aged parent or working in a special church or community ministry. These are fruits that will last because they are responses to God’s gifts to us.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for choosing me. I know that I could never have chosen You on my own. Thank You for the gifts You have given to me. Help me to use them to bear lasting fruit for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 5/30 ©2007 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®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Living in the Spirit: Helps Me Be Thankful

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Living in the Spirit … Helps Me Be Thankful

In the Word

… be filled with the Spirit. … always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:18b, 20).

Of the Word

A certain church member was very critical of his pastor. The pastor had never been able to do much of anything to please that cantankerous parishioner. But the pastor took the high road, never repaying hurt for hurt. He tried, and tried hard, to find good things to say. One day he said with a wry smile, “You know, Joe has the cleanest car in town.” Instead of concentrating on his parishioner’s criticisms, he found one small thing to commend.

“… be filled with the Spirit …,” says St. Paul. Spirit-filled people have no room left over for grumpiness, faultfinding, negativity, or thanklessness. Instead, they have an “attitude of gratitude” to God that spills over into relationships with others. And when bad attitudes invade, as they will because of Satan, the Spirit is there to strengthen God’s people once more.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15).

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, fill me with Your Spirit so that my life will be a chorus of praise to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 6/30 ©2007 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®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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With This Ring: Romance

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Romance: Keeping the Spark Alive

In the Word

Lover: You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice! Beloved: Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains (Song of Songs 8:13–14).

Of the Word

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” This quote by Martin Luther was written at a time when husbands left the house to work and wives stayed home. Even though this scenario may be less common today, the intended advice is still excellent. It takes two to keep romance alive!

A romantic interaction is not determined by location, food, clothing, or ambiance. These things can certainly add to the experience, but they don’t necessarily add up to romance.

Care for your spouse throughout the day. Speak as the Lover and Beloved did in the Song of Songs, and romance is in the air wherever you are. What makes your mate feel special? How can you show your love? Be intentional in giving those things and watch your romance flourish!

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You created marriage as a relationship of love. Help me to show love to my spouse in meaningful ways throughout the day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 6/28 ©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.

Martin Luther quoted from Proverbia.net.

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With This Ring: Alone Time

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Alone Time: A Time to Refresh and Rejuvenate

In the Word

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God (Luke 6:12).

Of the Word

No matter how much you love each other and enjoy being together, there are times when you want (and need) to be apart. That doesn't only mean apart, but alone. “Alone time” gives you time to consider relationships, to pray, to consider what you value most in life. It helps you get “centered.”

For Christians, being “centered” revolves around repentance and forgiveness, understanding that Christ is our very life. Having a period of rest and solitude, in turn, will enrich time spent with your spouse. Encouraging each other to spend time alone is a gift as genuine as any you might give. Allow these special alone moments for God, through His Word, to renew, refresh, and rejuvenate each of you.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord of the Sabbath, You are our Sabbath rest and our hearts will not rest until they rest in You. Give us courage to be alone with You and Your Word. Refresh our hearts through repentance and forgiveness in order that we might enjoy life to the fullest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 5/28 ©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: A Night Out

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A Night Out: Hanging with the Guys, Dishing with the Gals

In the Word

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).

Of the Word

Tonight’s the night you’re supposed to go out with friends. It’s only once a week, but sometimes you wonder if, now that you’re married, you should give it up. Maybe you really want to go, but you feel guilty because you think you should want to spend every minute of every day with your new spouse. Perhaps you’re afraid that your friends aren’t “good for you” anymore.

As you consider the situation, be honest with yourself about your feelings and your reasons. God has given you friends to fill needs that your spouse cannot. Spending time with friends away from your spouse is important, and even healthy, as long as such relationships are supportive of your marriage. Be honest with your spouse, too. Talking about what you do with your friends will help lessen any jealousy your partner may feel about the time you spend apart. Assure your spouse that your marriage is your priority and that your friends are just that — friends.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, thank You for giving us friends with whom we can share our life and experiences. Be with us as we learn where those friendships fit into our life together. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 4/28 ©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 Is Faithful

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Begin with God … He Is Faithful

In the Word

Will God always be faithful?

The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made (Psalm 145:13b).

Of the Word

We live in a world that is not always faithful. Spouses are unfaithful, children are rebellious, families are torn apart. Human love that was pledged does not last.

But God is different. He comes to us and says, “I am always here. I will never leave your side.” The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made (Psalm 145:13b).

God never finds someone He loves more nor does He run off and leave us alone. Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations … (Psalm 119:89–90a).

God’s Word is eternal … it will last forever. He has been faithful to those who came before us and will be faithful to those who come after us. His words and promises are unchanging. God is aware of the heartbreaks life brings. He knows when we have challenges in our health or work or family. To lighten our burdens He calls us to come to Jesus for the help He promises.

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). No matter what we face in life, we can depend on God. He is faithful.

Walking with my Lord

Faithful God, I am grateful that I can depend on You at all times and in all circumstances. Forgive me for the times when I have been unfaithful to You and to others. Help me to remember that Your faithfulness is forever. Send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen me. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 6/28 ©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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