Last updated: July 10. 2014 10:42AM - 192 Views
By Becky Spell Vann Contributing columnist

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Do you have a favorite devotion book that opens and closes your day with ‘food for thought’? Family devotions are a fantastic way to stay connected. Individual time with the Lord, His Word, and a good devotion book is a piece of paradise on earth. If your schedule doesn’t include time for devotions, I encourage you to plug in a few minutes before your day begins and before it ends. Finding the right place, time, and source to glean His Word from will help make your daily devotion time just that: Daily! The power of setting aside time to pray and share together as a family at home, peers at work, family of God at church events, friends at social events, buddies on a hunting or fishing trip, girlfriends on a shopping spree or week end at the beach, children at birthday parties or sleepovers, even people carpooling on the way to work. We are given endless opportunities to share words of encouragement and prayers with people God puts in our paths. Of course, being time sensitive - with common sense approach and delivery - makes for effective devotion time. If we come across as super spiritual with never ending words and lengthy prayers, people will be hoping we will hush instead of hearing the message. If you are not already doing devotion time, try it and see the difference it makes in your day.

One of my favorite daily devotion books is A Pocketful of Hope by Mary Crowley. Her book was written in 1982 and dedicated to “the thousands of members of the Home Interiors’ “Family” whose loyalty, labor, and love have made the building of this business a ‘thing of beauty and joy.”

The forward tells about the author’s life. Her friend penned words that show a snapshot of Mary that I feel led to share with you. “Mary is a person who lives what she talks about, who is very honest and real in her attempt to live on the basis of the Bible – not just attempting to ‘hear’ the Word, but to DO it.

Mary is a successful business woman with integrity, who treats human beings as human, who keeps her promises made so clearly to the Lord and to others, and whose giving consists of a tremendous diversity of costs. The cost of giving includes so much more than a sharing of material things if it is to be in accordance with thoughtful love and true concern for others. It includes a giving of self…which has no set of ‘how to’ rules, but is to be original, creative, and diverse from day to day.

Mary has taken literally God’s admonition to give compassionately to others with a wholehearted generosity and involvement which is sheer hard work. “When I was sick you visited me…when I was hungry you fed me…” Matthew 25. How else can we be involved in doing things directly for the Lord? Mary has written a book of daily devotions, but the ‘book’ that can be read so vividly by all who know her is the day by day life which spills over with true devotions to the Lord and her ‘doing’ things for Him in what she is doing for others – the least of His children.”

While writing about Mary, I flashback to Home Interior parties and the pretty things that still hang on my walls from her business. I think of the words that describe her life and wonder how our lives would be summed up in words from a friend. We truly are a devotion…read daily by those who know and love us…and strangers God places in our paths. Let us be a good read.

Sharing Mary’s July 4th and 5th devotion with you seems right ‘for such a time as this’! Remembering she penned these words 32 years ago, relevance and reality of her message seems ‘time on’ for America today.

“…With a great sum obtained I this freedom.” Acts 22:28 Courageous men came long ago to this land, and it blossomed under their hands. They contended with the greatest tasks of human society and government, and a great republic was born. They cherished noble ideals, and their country reached out to lead and influence the world.

They built upon supreme, universal, eternal principles. They saw weaknesses in their small country, but they turned them into goodness. They beheld enemies without fear, opposition without despair, problems without evasion, and sacrifices without cowardice.

As long as the principles of our forefathers remain, no storms of destruction will prevail. Out of every strife we have grown stronger, until we are welded into one secure, unbreakable nation.

We celebrate the ideals of our great republic, ideals of freedom and justice and equality of opportunity, to which the founders dedicated our nation. These are the thoughts that should come to our minds on Independence Day.

A nation is only as good as its people. We should be People who: respect its laws and flag, appreciate its heritage, honor God, and respect the rights of others.

We read and hear many things we wish were not true. In the USA, we have a government of elected officials. We elect them. They are our representatives. If then, there are problems of honor, integrity, or right priority of values among our representatives – and there are – it stands to reason there are similar problems among us, the people.

We stretch the law all we can – even break it – as long as we don’t get caught. A recent survey of high school students were asked the question, ‘Is it all right to cheat if you don’t get caught?” A large majority indicated they thought it was all right. Where did they get that idea? They got it from adults, of course.

Integrity is the cement that holds the building blocks of ability and opportunity together, that cement is cracking severely in America; it is only natural that it would reach into high places.

Am I discouraged, NO!

We, who name the name of Jesus Christ have a great responsibility and challenge to do something to help change the climate of America.

Just as cities build ‘corridors of green’ to keep the concrete and pollution from taking over, so we can build corridors of honesty, of fellowship, of love, of free enterprise – and it will be contagious.

Keep the light of freedom burning! “All the darkness in the world cannot put out a single light.”

Dear Father, may our light so shine before men that we will glorify our Father in Heaven

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