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Sold to Secret Place for Summer 2012 Devotional Quarterly

Read Ecclesiastes 4:12 Imperfect People, Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

My wife and I courted each other for about fifteen months. We have been married for only a few months longer. Yet, at times, our maturity and depth of love, seems stronger than some of our counterparts who have been married longer. We sometimes credit this to our ages, because we were both in our early forties, but in reality we know it is a gift from God, “A peace that surpasses understanding…” (Philippians 4:6-7). We try to be available to each other, we talk through ideas and feelings, and we make important decisions together. We also realize that neither of us needs to be perfect, or fulfill all of the other persons needs. Only Christ supplies all our needs. We have already encountered some challenges, but we discussed ahead of time how we would handle difficulties; by focusing our lives on the One worth trusting in.Prayer: Lord, I pray that we would continue to put our trust in you, as a couple, and as the united body of Christ.

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Also Sold to Secret Place for Summer 2012

Read: Nehemiah 3:1-4:23 Impossible Possibilities

“When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, fight for your brothers, you daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:1

Will Smith, actor in some thirty films and director for dozens of others, talks of his humble Philadelphia childhood. When he was twelve and his brother was nine, his father tore down a brick wall of his business and told them to rebuild it. They thought it was impossible but, a year and a half later they had finished. Their father made them look at the wall, and then told them, “Don’t you ever tell me that there is something you can’t do.” What a lesson in long-term goals. In the Old Testament, Nehemiah was burdened by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem which were demolished. He assembled the needed people and since most people worked on the part of the wall in front of their own household, they were also willing to guard their ground. Though there were setbacks, ridicule and discouragement, that wall was raised against the odds. What has God given you to rebuild and defend right where you live? What lives can you help restore? Are you listening to the voices that say it can not be done? It is time to listen to Jesus who says, “…with God all things are possible.”

Prayer: God, Open our eyes and help us to see your possibilities.

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Sold to Tyndale Kids for the book The Young Believers Case Files

Sea Dad

Barry sat on the couch on his knees. His elbows were resting on the windowsill, his chin in his hands. He knew his Dad would not be home until tomorrow, but he was playing a game with himself pretending that today was the day. Imagining that if he would stare out the window long enough and hard enough his Dad would walk up the driveway. Then he would rush out to meet him. Mom walked into the room and saw Barry sitting there.

“Oh Barry what are you doing? Your dinner is getting cold. I thought you said if I let you eat in here today you would watch your video and eat dinner.”

“I know Mom, I was just pretending. I was pretending that today was the day that Dad would be home. I wish it could be today. Then I’d sit at the table and we’d tell Dad about how much we missed him, right?”

“Yes, Honey, I wish it could be today too. It won’t be until tomorrow though and we have to go to pick Daddy up.”

“Yeah, that’s why I get to miss school!”

“Yes, but right now you need to eat your dinner. Then you need to finish picking up your things. Then get a bath and get some sleep so we can get up real early, ok?”

“Ok, Mom.”

As she helped Barry with saying his prayers and helping him into bed, Barry remembered all the prayers he said for his Dad since he’d been gone. Barry’s Dad was an officer in the United States Navy and he’d been on a six month mission. Tomorrow the ship would pull in at 8:30 am. Barry and his Mom would have to get up much earlier.

The next day it was still dark outside when Barry’s Mom woke him up.

“Wake up Billy. Today is the day,” said Mom.

It took a minute for Barry to wake up, but then he got excited. He had so much to tell his Dad. They got ready and headed to the military base.

Once they were waved through the gate they went to where the ship would come in. While they were waiting Mom opened the breakfast they had bought. They talked about all the things they would tell Dad when they saw him.

Finally the time came and they spotted Dad coming down the walkway making his way toward them. Barry ran up and gave his father a hug. Mom was only a second behind. They hugged for a long time. Suddenly Barry couldn’t remember any of the things he wanted to tell his father. He was just glad that he was there. Dad knelt to look Barry in the eye.

“Son, I missed you so much.”

“Dad I really missed you too, and I was worried about you. Weren’t you scared, and lonely?”

Dad smiled, “I was missing you both. Sometimes it seemed difficult, sometimes even a bit scary but I was never alone. I knew you were praying for me. It felt lonely sometimes, yet I knew I wasn’t alone.”

“Because God was with you, right Dad?”

”Yes, Barry, that’s right. I thought of you and Mom and God a whole lot. I read my bible and prayed for you both too. There is one verse that really gave me comfort. Would you like to hear it?”

“Sure Dad.”

”It’s here in Psalm one hundred and seven verses twenty-three, twenty-four and twenty-five.

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they have seen the works of the Lord, and the wonders of the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.” (NASB)

”Wow, that’s neat Dad. So you were reminded every time the ship moved that God was with you! How cool is that, Mom?”

“That is cool.” Mom smiled at Dad. “Come on let’s head for home.”

As they got into the car, Barry started to remember all the things he wanted to tell Dad about and on the way home Dad hardly got a word in edgewise.

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