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    Playing Favorites

    Family Favorite

    We all have desired to be the ”favorite” at one time or another, so that we can feel special. An athlete wants to be the fans’ team favorite, a beauty contestant practices to be the judges’ favorite, and a celebrity wants to the favorite on the Red Carpet. Growing up, my oldest sister Debbie, was often called my parents favorite by my other sister and me. She will deny it, but it’s still true. (laughing out loud so she hears)
    Have you ever considered the meaning of the word favorite? Webster defines the word favorite as “preferred before all others of the same kind.” Some synonyms for favorite are chosen, favored, treasured, and closest to one’s heart. Just take a moment, close your eyes and listen to our Heavenly Father singing those words over you. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “He will sing over you with joyful songs.” He treasures you.
    When life is unexpectedly tough, remember that God preferred you before all others of the same kind to walk in faith in that very situation that you are in. He trusts you to declare His glory with the developing testimony. He knows the obstacles are too big for you alone. So, he graces you with His strength to endure.
    Regardless of the circumstances that you may be facing today, declare, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Chronicles 16:4

    As I observe my parents’ day to day routines, I believe that they live with God’s favor over them. They don’t appear to be living out the Hallmark Movies’ golden years, because they are each carrying their own cross of this fallen world. Both of them are in their 80s. My once active dad has given up hunting guns and fishing rods for long boring days in bed relying on my mama to take care of all his needs. Mama must feel trapped at times. She plays the part of nurse, cook, maid, tv remote locator, all the mundane things. Once when self-pity had scarfed her heart, she confessed her secret thoughts to my dad, “God must really love you.” My dad emphatically replied, “I know He does. He gave you me.” That proves that they are actually each other’s favorite.

    This kind of long-suffering love is only trumped by the love from our Heavenly Father, who sacrificed His only begotten son so that who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

    Denise Wilson

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    T’s a Matter of Trust

    Pretty soon schools will come alive again with the excited and anxious voices of children and teachers. The first days of school can be a time of great fear and stress for the little guys starting school for the first time. As a kindergarten teacher, my heart aches for those new babies who walk through my door uneasy, worried or down right terrified. Some students have never been away from their family for such a long time. Then all of a sudden they are left with a complete stranger. Students don’t know that I have long been planning for their arrival and have good things in store for them. I want the very best for them and will do all within my power to protect, teach and love them. Of course, since they don’t know me yet, kinders don’t trust that I plan every moment and activity for their benefit. In time, they settle in because they experience my love for them daily in every activity, lesson and in our every interaction. A trust is established.

    Sometimes we feel anxious, like a new kindergartener. Difficult and new situations where we cannot see past the pain or fear surrounding us can cripple our faith. In Exodus, the Israelites leave Egypt where they have been slaves for hundreds of years. God does amazing miraculous signs and wonders including parting the Red Sea when bring them out to freedom. The Israelites praised God and cerebrated their victory. Yet less than two months later these same Israelites began to grumble to their leader Moses because they were thirsty. How quickly they lost their trust in the God who demonstrated his great power just a few weeks before. They didn’t have faith that their God would provide for their every need. Exodus goes on to tell us that the Israelites continued to complain as they traveled through the desert, all the while God was providing for them the whole way. Their lack of trust kept them from entering into the promise land. They wondered around the desert until a new generation, that had learned to trust God, had grown up. The faithful generation entered the promise land.

    Oh, how many times have I panicked like the Israelites when faced with new or scary situations.

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future.”

    Jeremiah 29:11

    Despite how things look or how I feel, I know God is faithful to all his promises. The older I get the less time it takes for me turn to Jesus for help, instead of grumbling. I am learning to trust just like my little kinder babies.

    Beth Hamon, Kalos Ministry

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