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40 Days

Lent has arrived! This is a solemn time of repenting of our sins and remembering Jesus’ journey to the cross. Lent lasts for 40 days, from Ash Wednesday until Easter, without counting Sundays.

As a number’s person, I find the occurrence of certain numbers in the Bible fascinating. Lent is 40 days because it mirrors the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to each of the Gospels. Jesus spent 40 days on earth between the resurrection and the ascension.

Yes, numbers are fascinating. However I more excited about what the Bible tells us! It is more than just an instruction manual for living on this earth. It shows us the life we have in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Scripture is … profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

Journey with me over the 40 days of Lent by taking time to study God’s Word. LWML has many resources available to help you: sign up for LWML’s Mustard Seed Daily Devotions at www.lwml.org/stayintouch, or find a Bible Study at www.lwml.org/bible-studies.

Karla Koehler

Honoring our Leader

I wrote the following article in 2018. I want to repeat it again this year and hope you take time to click on the devotion, reflect on the Scripture, and recognize that you are HIS!

Monday, February 17 (date changed to reflect the current year), is celebrated in honor and memory of all United States presidents, specifically George Washington, the first USA President. It is good to honor and remember these leaders of our country.

As Christians, we honor and remember our Lord (our Leader) and Savior, Jesus Christ. The LWML is founded on His promises of forgiveness, mercy, and love. Each Lutheran Woman in Mission honors our Triune God by ministering to the people of the world to His glory and in His name. And even as we are blessed to remember our Lord, He remembers us! Take a moment to read this short devotion and find comfort in His Word. We love because He first loved us.

If you are not yet involved in LWML I encourage you to find a local group near you and join their Bible studies, their mission service projects, and find joy in contributing to mites (mission dollars) to reach the lost with Jesus’ love. Find basic information on LWML here, and find out how to get involved here.

In His service, surrounded by His grace,

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Love Makes the World Go Round

With Valentine hearts, chocolates, and red flowers filling store aisles, who could escape seeing a message about love this time of year?

Would you like to actively spread the love of God by serving as a writer? If so, a wonderful opportunity is coming with the first-ever LWML Writers’ Workshop scheduled for October 24-26, 2020 in St. Louis. Watch for more information at your district convention!

LWML offers many reminders of God’s most wonderful act of love for us. You can access an article, Finding Hidden Talents, in the February reSOURCEs for Planning Programs, or reach archived devotions like Abounding in Love or His Overflowing Love on the LWML website. Click on the “WORD” dropdown menu, then on “Program Helps.” There are several options at the bottom of the page to explore additional resources, organized by type. Use them individually or with a group.

your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing (2 Thessalonians 1:3b).

Love,

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Train a Child in the Way He Should Go

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

Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfill the rite of purification. As He grew older, they brought Him to Jerusalem yearly to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. Following their example, we also need to continue to expose our children to the Holy Scriptures at an early age. Take them to Sunday School, have devotions at home, pray with them every day, and teach them to share God’s Word with others.

As they get older, look for ways to keep them active in their faith. If you have a daughter, check out the resource “How to Start a YOUth in Mission Group”. LWML YOUth in Mission, formerly known as Teen LWML, has as its objective to suggest ideas on how to make youth feel they are valued members of the Body of Christ.

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When the Unexpected Happens

Several years ago, I taught an English as a Second Language (ESL) summer course for a group of Japanese students at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. My day began as usual, but when I walked out to the driveway, my face fell when I saw the flat. What now? Do I call someone? Do I fix it myself? That part of the story doesn’t matter, but the next part does.

Although rather late, I made it to class and began the lesson. God helped me turn my unexpected happening into a teachable moment. How? My students learned new vocabulary words — flat tire, unexpected, etc.

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Maybe you’ve been asked an unexpected question, like a friend from church pleading, “I need a resource — now! — for tonight’s LWML gathering! Help!” Good things will happen if you refer her to this link: LWML Winter Resources.

When we fully rely on God, I believe He can turn any unexpected event into good thing. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

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Sending Hugs

Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:2).

This week the very first meeting of the LWML Presidents Assembly will be held in St. Louis, Missouri. God willing, I will witness this event. Presidents from the forty LWML districts will come together to learn, sing, share, and hug.

Did you know that January 21 is National Hugging Day? If you have ever watched LWML sisters greet one another, there are numerous hugs given and shared. Why do we hug? Hugs with our sisters and brothers in Christ convey our thanks to God for blessing us with a Savior and giving us the opportunity to serve and praise Him.

Filling our Mite Boxes is a unique way we can send “hugs” to people all around the world, so they can learn of Christ and be blessed for eternity in the presence of God. Share a hug with someone today; tell them how God loves them and sent His Son to be their Savior.

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Prayer Warriors

Prayer warriors are people who consistently pray for others. By our interceding, we put ourselves between the problems and the other person, standing there in the armor of God. We put aside our own cares, and care for them.

Paul was a prayer warrior like no other. He repeatedly prayed for many of the churches he visited. His letters begin with a prayer for the people, that their faith would increase.

As women of the LWML, we are always praying for others. We pray for our members who are hurting, or sick, or suffering. And we ask our friends to pray, too, and it multiplies exponentially. I have seen this and know that God is listening and will answer. Are you a prayer warrior?

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Arrange a group Bible study on prayer, using one from our LWML resources.

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