This is the week of our nation’s Independence Day. And in today’s times there is a greater need for bright lights of the gospel and  people of faith living out their Christianity.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD . . .” Psalm 33:12 NASB

and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14)

In Devotions for Women on the Go and Devotions for Men on the Go, we quote leaders and their view of building a nation- and a family. Two favorite quotes from two vital presidents in our nations’ history are:

George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Abraham Lincoln: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”

Be a Legacy Builder. Today, take time to lead your family in a prayer of thanks for your family, for your nation, and for the men and women who bravely give their lives protecting your freedom. Ask God to guide ALL the leaders of the land by turning their hearts toward Him.

 

Pam and Bill Farrel are the Co-Directors of Love-Wise, and they often speak for the military, Business, churches and non-profits with a desire to help build and bless marriages, families, churches and communities.

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The upcoming Independence Day holiday is all about fun, food, family, and celebrating America’s freedom from Britain. Here are five interesting facts about the U.S. flag you can share with your kids while waiting for the fireworks to start.

  • History states the red, white, and blue colors of the U.S. flag represent valor (red), liberty and purity (white), and justice and loyalty (blue).
  • There have been twenty-seven official versions of the American flag, each with a different number of stars.
  • Of the six American flags that were planted on the moon, five of them are still standing. Which one isn’t? The first one, planted by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission.
  • President Eisenhower received thousands of ideas for an updated flag when Alaska and Hawaii become states. Robert, a seventeen-year-old high-school student from Ohio, submitted his version, which he created for a class project. It was accepted and remains in use today. Can you believe that Robert got a “B” on his project?
  • The Pledge of Allegiance has changed four times since it was composed in 1892.

Enjoy celebrating with your family, and remember the freedoms we have, especially the freedom to worship as we wish.

(Flag photo courtesy Pixabay)

Vickie McDonough is the best-selling author of fifty Christian fiction books and novellas. Her stories are sweet romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie’s books have won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best and the Inspirational Choice awards. Find her online at www.VickieMcDonough.com

 

 

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This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4b-5).

She rested on her deathbed with saddened eyes and asked her clergyman, “How do I know if I’ve been good enough?”

She had believed that Christ was the Son of God, trusted Him for salvation, confessed her hopelessness to absolve her sins, and given her life over to God. Yet, somewhere along the line, she held to a misconception that her good deeds, which were bountiful, measured her worth in God’s eyes rather than her relationship with the Savior.

A second woman lay dying. Although she struggled with the scars from her former life, she never wandered far from God, visiting him daily with her fears and joys. Because of the external blemishes, I experienced angst over where she would rest for eternity. God pinched my disbelief.

“All you see is the imperfection … I see a heart that loves me, and I’m bringing her home to be with me forever.” Peace that passed all understanding shrouded her last moments.

From John’s short epistle, one might assume the early church struggled with that same tendency to measure faith through accomplishment rather than a relationship with God. John reassures believers that those who love God will keep the commandments naturally as an extension of that belief rather than a pursuit of the commandments for the sake of pursuit.

I’m grateful for the lesson God taught me through observing the final hours in the lives of these two women. It is not our puny regimentation in spiritual exercise that enriches our spirituality, but rather a heart that stands ready to receive God, his Goodness, and His offer of salvation.

Linda Wood Rondeau, multi-published and award-winning author, is a veteran social worker. Her books examine the complexities of human relationships. Her blog, Snark and Sensibility, hosts writers of various genres. She manages a Facebook page, Having the Prime of My Life, a positive look at aging issues. Linda resides in Hagerstown with her husband of forty-plus years. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

 

 

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In Discovering Joy in Philippians, I share that the book of Philippians, while known as the book about JOY, is also full of great relationship information.

We see Paul’s priority of relationships in Phil 1:3-6

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Make a list of those you are thankful for and those you are in partnership with. Call them, send a card, text a thank you, post a praise on their social media wall.

Pam and Bill Farrel are authors of 48 books, international speakers, and relationship experts who minister to people through their Living Love-Wise community. 

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On Mother’s Day morning we witnessed the baptism of our baby granddaughter in a wonderful service filled with praise and worship. Though I believe every new life is a miracle, we waited a long time for this baby girl since my daughter-in-law was told she would not be able to have children. It was a very special morning for our family.

Later that afternoon, I received a call from my sister telling me that my ninety-seven-year-old mother would soon be entering heaven. I was a few states away and quickly booked a flight to my hometown. My mom’s funeral was a beautiful celebration of her life, which was defined by unconditional love. It didn’t matter if her children, grandkids, and great grandkids were born into the family, married into the family, “stepped” into the family, or were adopted into the family. She loved us all the same.

In the days that followed, as I processed my emotions, I found myself grateful for a new addition to our family, and grateful for a mother who showed me what it means to love and accept others the way Jesus did.

In life and in death, our hearts can be filled with gratitude to our heavenly Father—the one who gives life and holds us in His hands.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High
(Psalm 9:1-2 NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest book is Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms (Harvest House).

 

 

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