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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.



Day 5: Shoes Just Her Size

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:8


Eme had outgrown her dance shoes. But it was just two weeks before her recital and the end of the season.

And really, Eme only needed one shoe. She has one foot larger than the other. They buy shoes to fit the larger foot. Unfortunately, the larger foot was growing quickly.

Eme’s mom, Liz, tried to make do with the pair she had. But Eme cried that her foot hurt so much.

Liz tried to find a hand-me-down pair of bigger dance shoes. But nothing.

The family budgeted carefully. They didn’t have extra money for dance shoes right now.

But Eme’s crying continued through the week. Liz couldn’t bear to watch her suffer anymore. So, she went to the shop that sold dance shoes to see what her options were.

While Eme tried on different pairs, Liz told the clerk her story about having different sized feet.

Then the clerk remembered a pair of mismatched shoes they had received from the manufacturer. The shoes were two different sizes. When the clerk checked the sizes, one just happened to be Eme’s size. Both the clerk and Liz burst in to tears.

They both knew this was no mistake or accident. God had orchestrated that pair of mismatched shoes to be there when Eme needed them.

What is your need?

Stories like this remind us that God cares about the details.

After all, He knows the number of hairs on our heads.

What details worry you? Talk to God about them. He already has a plan to meet your needs.
Stacy

Day 4: Walk with the Wise

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, 
for a companion of fools suffers harm.


I remember getting some parenting advice as a newlywed — four years before we would have children.

We talked with a Christian family raising five kids. After praying and reading many parenting books, they decided to do church differently from their friends.

Instead of putting their kids in a children’s or youth program, they found a church with a multi-generation Sunday School class. Rather than separating family members by age, they all studied the Bible together in a small group and went to the worship service together.

Their reasoning? Children haven’t had time to become wise. So, if you put them together, they will be a companion of fools. They homeschooled their kids for similar reasons.

I’m sure many would disagree with our friends’ approach.

However, the concept follows Proverbs 13:20.

We must choose to walk with the wise. How we do it may look differently. And that’s OK.

Here are three principles I learned from this family on walking with the wise. My husband and I try to emulate them with our two boys.

1. Spend time with people of different generations — not just your own age group. You are guaranteed to learn some different perspectives!

2. Find your closest friends with growing believers. We all need to know non-Christians. Otherwise, how will they come to know Christ? But we need the prayers and support of believers who are studying the Bible and active in church.

3. Serve with others. We teach Sunday School to third-graders as a family. We don’t know any other families who do this — but it works for us. My boys, ages 15 and 12, get to practice serving these 8- and 9-year-olds. We all end up learning from the experience.

How do you make sure you walk with wise people rather than fools?

Stacy

Day 3: One Glove for One Arm

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said.
Matthew 14:17-18


As my friend got ready for her garage sale, she found one lonely ski glove.

Who needs one ski glove? She thought and almost threw it away. After all, it’s highly unlikely that someone with one arm would ski.

But for some reason, she left it in the garage sale anyway.

And that’s when she saw God work.

To her amazement, a one-armed man came to the sale looking for a ski glove. It happened to be just the perfect fit for his one hand.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Bible story where the boy brought his small lunch, which Jesus multiplied to feed 5,000 people.

Sometimes we fall into thinking that whatever we have is not enough. Our prayers are too weak. Our dollars are too few. Our knowledge is insufficient.

Yet these two stories — one old and one modern-day — prove that God can use whatever we have. We just must be willing to offer it.

I’ve found this true in my life. Sometimes God can use small gestures to meet big needs.

Have things you don’t use? Be willing to give those up.
Know someone with a need? Ask God how you can help.
Then resist the negative thinking that sometimes comes!

Stacy

Day 2: Can You Point Others to God in 10 Seconds?

Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. 
Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. 
Be gentle as you speak and show respect.
I Peter 3:15, New Living Version


As the mom of two boys, I’ve learned to love Major League Baseball games.

But not for the reason you might think.

I love going to games to hear the walk-up music. I call it batting music because a short clip of the song plays as the batter walks up to the plate.

My boys sometimes laugh about it. I may not know who plays what position, but I can tell you if I like their music!

You only hear about 10 seconds of the song, but sometimes that’s enough.
That’s true of David Murphy, former Texas Rangers’ outfielder.

My first impression of David Murphy was his walk-up song.

“All I know is I’m not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus,” were the words I heard over the loud speaker in 2013.

That’s when he became one of my favorite players.

I had the opportunity to talk with David Murphy last month. I asked him what his walk-up song would be today if he were still playing baseball. He said it would be the same because it’s hard to find the perfect words to play in that short of time.

That made me think about how we all can point others to Jesus — even in a few words or a few seconds. For some, it may be the way you describe yourself on social media. For others, it could be a life verse you write when you sign cards.

I know David’s example has gotten me thinking about small ways I can point others to Jesus.

How do you point others to Jesus?

If you’d like to hear David’s own words about his walk-up song, check out this video. If you’d like to hear the entire song, watch Building 429’s official video for Where I Belong.


Stacy

Day 1: Three Lessons from Joseph

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, 
and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.


We teach third-grade Sunday School each week, and we’ve been studying Joseph’s life.

These Bible stories aren’t new. Yet I’m amazed at how practical they are for us today — no matter our location or stage of life.


1. Give God the glory.

In Genesis 41:15-16, Pharaoh hears that Joseph can interpret dreams. Joseph says he can’t do it but God can.

I think this is significant because Pharaoh probably wasn’t a Christian. Joseph remained bold in his faith — even in a pagan environment.

The next thing we know, Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of Egypt.

What success have you had recently? How did you give God the glory?

2.  Prepare for the lean times.

Good times and bad times. We all have them. Egypt experienced this with seven years of abundant grain, followed by seven years of famine.

Fortunately, Joseph knew the tough times would come and put away grain — enough that would help the entire world.

Which season are you in now? How are you/did you prepare for it?

3.  It’s OK to sell your extras.

When the rest of the world needed food, Egypt had plenty. Yet Joseph didn’t give the grain away. He sold it. (Genesis 41:56)

I found this concept interesting because some people today would argue that he should have given away the grain.

Even when the people were out of money, Joseph didn’t give away the grain for free. The people traded livestock and land. Then eventually, they worked in exchange for food.

How can use your abundance to help others?

Stacy