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The Word: Wisdom for Living- A Direct Line to God

nullA Direct Line to God

In the Word

O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. Psalm 54:2

Of the Word

Don’t you find it awesome that our prayers, no matter how ineloquent they may be, reach the ear of the almighty God? Also amazing is the fact that our great and loving Father always answers.

Sometimes He says, “Yes, I want this for you, too.” Sometimes His answer is “Not just yet, because I have something different in mind.” Sometimes His answer is “I heard you, but that’s not a good idea.”

God wants us to come to Him with the needs and desires of our heart. While we may not know God’s specific will for all that we ask, He is always ready to listen.

… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

A Point to Ponder: Do I pray about everything, or do I often think, “I can handle this one alone?”

Walking with my Lord

Lord, thank You for the gift of prayer as my connection to You. Through Your Holy Spirit teach me to offer prayers of praise along with requests about my needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Word: Wisdom for Living. Authors: Marcia Gomulka and Myrna Lou Meyer. 16/32 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40198
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Everyday Celebrations- How Many Candles?

nullHow Many Candles?

In the Word

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.” Isaiah 46:4a (NIV)

Of the Word

The cake was smothered in candles to accurately commemorate Grandma’s milestone birthday. When the family gathered to sing, the youngest grandchild stared at the glowing cake and announced, “Wow! Grandma’s birthday is getting dangerous!”

As the number of candles increases for each of us, it can be surprising. We question, “Who is that old person looking at me in the mirror?” We see the proof of passing time in photo albums and clothing sizes; yet our minds want to argue the facts.

The loving Father of all ages reassures us, Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you (Isaiah 46:4a NIV). Aging can bring concerns about good health and financial security. That is when we remember we have a merciful Redeemer who controls all of our days. God has promised to sustain us at all times and to carry us through all circumstances. He wants us to entrust our life to Him. We can live each day in joyful service and confident hope.

Walking with my Lord

Lord of the Ages, let me be grateful for the blessings represented by each candle on my birthday cake. Help me be ever faithful to You in the coming year. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 15/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) 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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Everyday Celebrations: A Family of My Own

nullA Family of My Own

In the Word

[Jesus came] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:5

Of the Word

The couple held the young girl’s hands as the judge signed the documents. After years of waiting, the adoption was legal. Her delight in belonging was evident in her laughter.

Only those who have been part of an adoption process can fully understand the joy it brings. The joy of answered prayer, of being chosen, of family. Yet, this is exactly the joy Paul meant when he wrote, [Jesus came] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5).

A child wishing to be adopted is powerless on his own. The parents-to-be choose to create a family, fill out the paperwork, and pay the fees. They work to make it complete and legal. Our heavenly Father did the same for us. He desired to make us His children. Jesus chose to redeem us by fulfilling the Law in our place and paying the price through His death and resurrection. We are no longer orphans but truly members of the family of God. That is definitely reason for celebration!

Walking with my Lord

Holy Father, I thank You each day for my adoption into Your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 14/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118. Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Everyday Celebrations- Filled to the Brim

nullFilled to the Brim

In the Word

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Of the Word

The glass sits on the table filled to the halfway mark. Is it half full? Or is it half empty? Some people give one answer, and others say the opposite. The goal is to be the positive person who looks at the glass and says, “Half full.” The reality is that the glass is completely full! Part of it is filled with liquid; part of it is filled with air.

Sometimes it is easy to focus on the emptiness in our lives. We want to be full of joy, full of peace, full of hope. But often that seems impossible because too many people and situations drain our joy, peace, and hope.

These are the times we must remember that God’s Holy Spirit is always in us like the air we cannot see in the glass. He desires to fill us with good things and to assure us that God is at work in our lives. He enables us to focus on our loving God who cares for us. Then we can know true joy and the peace that surpasses all understanding. They are ours through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Walking with my Lord

Lord, keep me full of Your Holy Spirit and help me to celebrate the joy of knowing You today and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Everyday Celebrations. Authors: Elaine Bickel and Jan Struck. 13/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40195
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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The Race of Faith- Celebrate the Little Victories

nullContinuing to Train – Celebrate the Little Victories

In the Word

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Of the Word

Did you run those three miles faster than last time? Go ahead and do a little happy dance. Finally made it up that hill without walking? Let out a big WHOOP – if you have any breath left! Finished your first 5K? Don’t be afraid to give someone a high five.

Unfortunately, moments of celebration are sometimes rare and hard to come by in day-to-day life. Too often people mark their days by sufferings rather than victories. For this reason even little victories need to be celebrated every day.

Jesus knew a lot about the eternal treasure and happiness of heaven. But while on earth, He made it a point to celebrate feasts and weddings. They are little celebrations in light of what is to come, yet at the same time a foretaste of the final victory of life everlasting.

So celebrate all the little victories. At the same time hold onto the hope and assurance that a bigger celebration is still to come for those whose faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope of eternal life. As I await the glory of that day, help me to celebrate little victories instead of focusing on sufferings. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 15/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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The Race of Faith- A Positive Mind

nullContinuing to Train – A Positive Mind

In the Word

[Jesus] said to them, “ … For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20-21 (RSV)

Of the Word

Negativity most often leads to negative results. However, positivity brings about different results. Running goals – or any other goals – can only be achieved with positive motivation, hard work, and perseverance.

As strong as a dose of positive thinking is, faith in God can do infinitely more. Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand why they couldn’t cast out demons (Matthew 17:19 RSV), how the fig tree withered (Matthew 21:18-22), or how five loaves of bread and a couple fish could feed over 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21). But Jesus explained that even the smallest amount of faith can do seemingly impossible things.

What things are on our minds right now that we have been told are impossible to achieve? What are our deepest worries, our darkest fears, and our biggest dreams? In faith, we approach the throne of God with our prayers. He will hear each of our seemingly impossible requests, and He will give answers that are good for us.

Walking with my Lord

Awesome God, You make all things possible. Increase my faith so that I may confidently approach Your throne, knowing that You hear and answer each of my prayers. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 14/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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The Race of Faith- Do Not Stumble

nullContinuing to Train – Do Not Stumble

In the Word

I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:11-12

Of the Word

Have you ever fallen flat on your face while running? It could have been the uneven terrain. Maybe you got tangled up with someone or something. Or you just simply tripped over your own feet. But it was one of those falls where you didn’t even think to look around to see if anyone else saw what happened. You were just so stunned to be on the ground in the first place.

We have those kinds of falls every day. Things are going great and suddenly something awful or surprising happens. We are stunned to find ourselves flat on the ground in pain or humiliation. This is when faith becomes more than just a word.

As we run the race of life, faith in the promises and work of God will keep us upright. Then when something awful or surprising happens, we will have God’s solid Word to hold onto as we pass through uneven terrain.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, guard my path and keep me upright. Through Your Holy Spirit, increase my faith so that I may have Your solid promises to hold onto when I begin to stumble. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Race of Faith. Author: Amanda Stacy, DCE. 13/28 ©2015 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, P.O. Box 411993, St. Louis, MO 63141 Code: #40196
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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