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Summertime

Two Minute Tuesday

How has your summer gone? Have you been enjoying the warmer weather, time off from school or work, and carefree days to just enjoy yourself? That, of course, is what summers are for, but it can also become a time to take a vacation away from God. Maybe we are too busy going here or there to go to church regularly during the summer months. We take vacations which can limit our attendance at church on Sundays. Our schedules are different and it is easy to skip doing devotions or reading the Bible as regularly as we normally do.

James 4:8a states Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. God wants us to have a continuous relationship with Him. He wants us to enjoy the blessings He provides and He desires us to involve Him in all that we do. LWML has many resources that you can use to stay connected with God even though you may be away from home or our usual routines. Visit lwml.org and you will find many devotions and Bible studies that you can print out and take with you as you travel. Take along the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly to read as you relax at the lake. Praise God for the beauty of His world as you visit different areas of the country and spend time with family and friends. And remember He desires a relationship with you.

Valerie Biberdorf
LWML North Dakota District President
2016–2020

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Firmly Planted

Two Minute Tuesday

I love working in my vegetable garden. It is my relaxing quiet time with God and His creation. One summer, the weeds were plentiful and surrounded each row of vegetables. As I pulled them one by one, I noticed my vegetables begin to stand tall without the many weeds trying to choke them out by taking all the water and nourishments away. I began to reflect on my life and those around me.

When the worries of life, the deceitfulness of others, and our own sinful desires try to choke us out from God's nourishment, we are like those weeds I pulled. We need to nourish ourselves on God's Word. Then we can encourage and equip those around us to be firmly planted in God's Word so that the weeds of daily living can't choke them out.  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10).

Who can you nourish today?

Becky Haltaufderheid
LWML North Wisconsin District President
2018–2022

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Peace

Two Minute Tuesday

It all started long ago when I was just a young kid, super excited to get my very own personalized book for Christmas. It was an adventure story where I traveled all over collecting letters. Once all the letters were collected together, it spelled the word PEACE. 

Flash forward to my confirmation day. On the front of my keepsake certificate, I was given my confirmation verse: Peace I leave with you; "My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

As a mother, I had two premature babies, with one who struggled so much, that I longed for him to have peace, wherever that may be. After two months, he found that peace safe in the arms of Jesus.

My favorite part of a church service is the end ... when the pastor gives the benediction "... and give you His peace."

It took me a while to catch on to this theme throughout my life. God's peace has been such a comfort and energizer for me. Do you have something similar that draws you closer to the Lord wherever and whenever you are in need? Do you remember your confirmation verse? Have there been extra special moments in your LWML journey? Reflect on how God sustains you, and how in doing so, He does great things through you.

If you would like to take this further than two minutes, click on this link, ( Stillness in the Seasons of Life ) to view or print "Stillness in the Seasons of Life," one of the many wonderful Bible Studies and resources LWML has for growing your faith. Once refreshed through His Word, let's go out and "Serve the Lord with Gladness!"

In Fervent Gratitude,

Jane Morris
LWML Iowa West District President
2018–2022

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Eyes Opened

Two Minute Tuesday

“I was blind, but now I see!” (John 9:25b NIV).

Jesus appeared before Mary Magdalene, but she did not know that it was He. Her eyes were opened when He called her by name.

She told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” They did not believe her because they had not seen Him.

Jesus joined Cleopas and Simon on the road to Emmaus, but He did not reveal himself to them. Their eyes were opened when Jesus broke bread with them.

Poor Thomas is known throughout history as doubting. In those days, I would have been that doubting person.

Thankfully, we have God’s Word to open our eyes and hearts. We have our LWML sisters to Engage, Encourage, and Equip us to Serve the Lord with Gladness. May our hearts burn within us as the scriptures are opened to us, and we share the Good News of Christ’s abundant love and saving grace.   

Easter Blessings.

He Is Risen. He Is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!

Marilee Ryan
LWML Washington-Alaska District President
2018–2022

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The Power of Prayer

Two Minute Tuesday

Pray without ceasing, (I Thessalonians 5:17).

The power of prayer cannot be measured, often cannot be seen, but is a certainty. There are almost 100 references to prayer in my Bible’s Concordance. Prayer is important. Jesus himself prayed. He taught us to pray. 

Mustard Seeds and Mustard Seed Devotion Booklets are great resources for prayers when you find yourself wondering what or how to pray for someone or something. As a musician, I mentally sing prayers — verses of memorized hymns or the first lines of a hymn that really spoke to me at a recent worship service. In today’s world of pain and suffering, I find Psalms and hymns filled with just the words that I need and the certainty that my prayers are heard by my Heavenly Father.

Margaret Kistler
LWML Iowa East District President
2018–2022

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Connected to the Vine

Two Minute Tuesday

Abide with me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me (John 15:4).

For a long time, I had a grapevine heart wreath on the wall of my home. It was beautiful, but never produced any grapes. It was dead and not connected to any source of life. In John 15 Jesus uses a grapevine as a metaphor for an abundant, productive life. We as believers are the branches and Christ is the Vine. When we are connected to the vine, we bear fruit.

How do we stay connected to Christ?

1. Be in the Word
The best way to stay connected to Christ is spend time daily in the Word. A few minutes every day will keep you focused on the truth of the Scripture in an ever-changing world. Sign up for LWML Daily Devotions at www.lwml.org. These short devotions are delivered right to your email inbox.

2. Pray without ceasing
Taking time to pray every day will help you focus on the blessings rather than burdens. Pray for our LWML mission grants. A prayer journal allows you to look back and see God’s faithfulness to answer your prayers.

3. Be in Worship
When we attend worship services we grow in our faith. We can work together to share God’s love with those around us and support one another in joy and sorrow. We don’t have to go it alone.

Abide in Christ.

Debbie Yocky
LWML Rocky Mountain District President
2018–2020

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Words

Two Minute Tuesday

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

Recently, this question has been asked: “What is your word for this year?” There are joyful and loving words, encouraging words, healing words, hurting words, and courageous words. As the day unfolds before you, think of the words you will use in sharing the love of the Lord. At times it may be the silent words of a hand reaching out or the words of opportunity to simply say “thank you.” The most precious words are the words of the Lord.  “but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you (1 Peter 1:25).

What words will you use today? And how will you use them? If words do not come easy, perhaps sharing an LWML Mustard Seed Devotion may be all it is necessary to encourage someone’s day. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Carmen Nagel
LWML Oregon District President
2016–2020

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