Sometimes an encouraging word can turn your whole day around. Other times, all you need is a good laugh. Then there are times a personal insight lets you know that you are not alone. Or a bit of wisdom connects God's Word to your everyday life. You'll find them all in The Women of Faith Daily Devotional. This beautiful, warmly written book illuminates twelve aspects of faith that will help you start the year with hope and finish it in peace.
With 366 brand new devotions, the Women of Faith Daily Devotional is filled with the best heart-to-heart writings of six women who have strengthened and inspired thousands of readers. Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, and Thelma Wells open up their lives to share with you the bright, the amusing, the painful, and the hard-won wisdom they contain.
You'll treasure this wise and encouraging book. Spend a quiet moment with it each day to renew your spirit and connect with God.
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About the Author
Patsy Clairmont is a popular speaker, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of such best-selling books as 'God Uses Cracked Pots' and 'Sportin' a 'Tude.' She and her husband live in Brighton, Michigan.
Barbara Johnson was the founder of Spatula Ministries, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of numerous bestselling books, including Boomerang Joy, Living Somewhere between Estrogen and Death, and Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy. Barbara Johnson es fundadora de Spatula Ministries [Ministerios Espatula], organizacion sin fines de lucro creada para despegar con una espatula de amor a todos los padres que estan incrustados contra el techo y encaminarlos hacia la recuperacion. Barbara y su esposo, Bill, viven en La Habra, California.
Marilyn Meberg is a captivating speaker, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of 'I'd Rather Be Laughing and Choosing the Amusing.' She lives in Frisco, TX.
Luci Swindoll is author of Celebrating Life and a co-author of various Women of Faith devotionals. She has served as a business executive of Mobil Oil Corporation and as vice president with Insight for Living. She lives in Frisco, Texas. Luci Swindoll es conferenciante internacional y autora de numerosos libros. Su participacion es destacada dentro del movimiento Women of Faith [Mujeres de Fe] donde desarrolla un ministerio activo. Anteriormente fue ejecutiva de Mobil Oil Corporation y vicepresidente de relaciones publicas de Insight for Living [Vision para Vivir]. Desde l992 reside en Frisco, Texas.
Sheila Walsh is the creator of Children of Faith and the Gnoo Zoo, a ministry to children that communicates God's love for them. She is the author or co-author of several books including 'Honestly', 'Gifts for Your Soul', 'Living Fearlessly', and 'The Best Devotions of Sheila Walsh'. As an accomplished musician, Sheila has recently released the CD 'Love Falls Down'. Sheila, her husband, and their son, live in Texas.
Thelma Wells is a popular author, speaker and businesswoman. As an African-American woman, Thelma was instrumental in bringing racial diversity to the Women of Faith conferences. Thelma has had her own television show, been an assistant vice president of a bank, and an inspirational public speaker/business consultant. Thelma Wells es una conferencista popular de Women of Faith (Mujeres de fe) y presidenta de A Women of God Minsitries(Ministerios de una mujer de Dios) de Dallas, Texas. Ha recibido mas de doscientos galardones por participacion civica en la comunidad, en la iglesia y en la nacion. Obtuvo el titulo de magisterio en el ministerio pastoral, y es autora de varios libros de exito de venta. Thelma describe a su esposo, George, como su animador, sostenedor y mejor amigo. Tienen tres hijos y casado, diez nietos, y un bisnieto.
Read an Excerpt
The Women of Faith Daily Devotional366 Devotions
By Patsy Clairmont Barbara Johnson Marilyn Meberg Luci Swindoll Sheila Walsh Thelma Wells
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2010 John Ortberg
All right reserved.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. -Psalm 25:21
Hope is a beautiful thing. Like a flower that thrives on sunlight and water, hope relies on the daily sustenance of the Word of God, of prayer, and of experience shared with others who have received the gift. Hope is an elusive bird to those who have no relationship with God or reservation in eternity. Hope requires more than simply clicking red shoes or crossing our fingers. It is a sweet and magnificent benefit of walking with Christ. Hope looks at all that is true about the present, lifts the circumstances of life into the tender, loving hands of God-and exhales in trust. Hope makes it possible to live with our feet firmly planted on earth while our hearts and minds are committed to a vision of life that is far bigger than we are.
A new year is like the fresh, crisp page of an untouched journal. We lift our pen to the first day. This year will hold unexpected joys and sorrows, moments of faith and fear, wishes fulfilled and dreams abandoned. There is much we do not know. But there is much we do know with absolute assurance. We know that God is in controland that his heart is good and merciful toward us. We know that we are not alone. We know that everything that happens in our lives and in the lives of those we love has already passed through our Father's hands. And we know that we are loved.
January 1 Ripping into the Gift of Another Year
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. -Psalm 5:3
The first of the month has always been my own personal holiday. I just love ripping the old month off all my calendars and starting fresh on a whole new page. How wonderful to look at those clean, fresh, unblemished squares representing days I haven't messed up yet! And if you think I enjoy throwing away the old month, just imagine how much I love celebrating a whole new year!
God has given us measurements of time so we have some perspective on our lives. Think how hopeless we would feel if we were stuck in some stressful situation and thought it would never end. But God gives us a new morning-a new month, a new year-to start over again and again. With each new start we lift our voices heavenward, laying out our hopes and prayers. Then we "wait in expectation," as the psalmist said, to receive the gifts and blessings-and, yes, challenges-God has planned for us.
Whatever comes, we know he will be there with us, throughout the day, throughout the night, and as we begin afresh tomorrow. Without him, our lives stretch out to a hopeless end. With him we have the endless hope of a heavenly tomorrow.
Father, thank you for giving me a fresh, new start every day, every year. Amen.
January 2 Anchored
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. -Hebrews 6:19
The word anchor is used like this only once in the New Testament. The context of Hebrews 6 underscores the impact of each word of verse 19. What is "this hope" that the writer to the Hebrews speaks of? It is the hope that when God gives his word, he cannot lie. In verse 17 we read, "Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath." When a person swears an oath, the solemn affirmation of the truth of his or her words is anchored loosely in human imperfection. But when God makes an oath on his own name, it is immovable and unshakable. It is firm. It is anchored securely in his flawless character.
The writer goes even further by saying that our hope enters "the inner sanctuary behind the curtain." The New International Version Bible Commentary tells us: "That little room symbolized the very presence of God, but people were not allowed to enter it. But hope can. The Christian hope is not exhausted by what it sees of earthly possibilities. It reaches into the very presence of God."
Christian hope has nothing to do with what is going on in this world. Our hope penetrates right into the holiest place, the inner sanctum of God's presence, where it anchors itself to Hope incarnate.
Almighty God, thank you that you are not like imperfect human beings who break their promises. As I place my hope in your solemn word, I can enter the very throne room of heaven and anchor myself in you. Amen.
January 3 New Year's Commitment
Commit your way to the Lord. -Psalm 37:5
One of the most reflective times for me is the start of a brand-new year. It wakes up excited anticipation for the days to come.
I don't make New Year's resolutions. No! I have learned that my best intentions collapse into an early grave by January 15. I have been resolving to lose thirty pounds by the end of the year for the past thirty-six years. Baby, please. I have resolved to be completely out of debt by the end of the year. Yeah, sure. Every time I make that my goal, I see something else I "need" within twenty-four hours.
But there is one promise I have been able to keep from year to year: My commitment to grow closer to the Lord. A personal reminder of my commitment is under the glass cover on my desk.
Instructions for a New Year
Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. -Colossians 4:2
Show wisdom by your good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. -James 3:13, 17
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. -Psalm 34:1
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. -Psalm 103:1-2
Now those are New Year's resolutions I want to make!
Lord, I commit my spirit and my life to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.
January 4 The Paste of Hope
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. -Job 13:15
Job's amazing resolve first attracted my attention many years ago, before I had any experiences in my life that would allow me to fully understand it. Sometimes after years of faithfulness, Christians suddenly find themselves greatly tested and in deep distress, seemingly without reason. We may have terrific battles with doubts, fears, and unbelief, feeling God doesn't care about our problems. I know all about it. My husband was badly maimed in a devastating car crash, two of our sons were killed, and another son was estranged from us for eleven years.
But through it all, I have learned that God has a special purpose in withholding immediate relief. He faithfully uses even our most heart-wrenching experiences to fine-tune us for his glory. I have seen this happen in my own life and in the lives of countless others.
God knew Job's heart. God knew Job would cling to him no matter what. Similarly, we must hold fast to God, allowing our afflictions to not break or embitter us but to push us closer to the Father. I like to say my heart is wallpapered to God, never to be separated or torn away. The wallpaper paste that holds me there is hope.
Dear God, my life is in your hands. I will hope in you alone, no matter what. Amen.
January 5 It Is Well with My Soul
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
Horatio Spafford waited a long time for a son. He had four girls before his baby boy was born. His family was complete. He was a successful attorney in Chicago and life was good. But his baby son died, and that tragedy was quickly followed by the Great Fire, which wiped out everything he had.
One of Horatio's friends was the preacher Dwight L. Moody. Moody was holding a crusade in London, and Horatio decided to send his wife and daughters to England for a few weeks to lift their spirits.
It took twelve minutes for the ship they were on to go down. All the girls were lost. His wife sent a two-word telegram: "Saved alone."
Horatio boarded another ship to join his wife. As he reached the point in the ocean where the vessel carrying his daughters went down, the captain joined him. "This is where your daughters lost their lives," he said.
"No," Horatio replied. "This is where their real lives began."
He then took a piece of the ship's stationery down to his cabin and wrote,
When peace like a river attends my way, When sorrow like sea billows roll Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say It is well; it is well with my soul.
Horatio was a man who had found God so faithful in the past that even as he stared into the cold waters of the North Atlantic, the peace of Christ flooded over him.
Lord, because of you I overflow with hope eternal. Amen.
January 6 What If I Mess Things Up?
My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure. -Isaiah 46:10 NASB
Take a minute and reread those astounding words from the book of Isaiah. Now read the equally astonishing words which follow in verse 11: "I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it" (NASB).
When my friend Judy Hampton was seventeen, she was pregnant and single. In a hastily arranged service she and the baby's father, Orvie, were married. She says in her book, Under the Circumstances, "I was convinced our future would be ... hopeless. We were two teenagers with only ten dollars between us and a baby on the way." From a human viewpoint, the future looked bleak for this young family. But God's purpose was not thwarted by the circumstances they faced. They suffered tremendously as they grew through the hard times, but today both Judy and Orvie are vibrant Christians whom God is using to point the way to Jesus. God certainly accomplished his good pleasure in them.
God doesn't say that he will accomplish his purpose if we go off and get pregnant, take drugs, or get a divorce. He simply says, "I will do it." The "it" he intends is that we come to know him personally, and he can use anything-anything-to establish his purpose. His ultimate purpose is that we come to know Jesus so that when we enter the gates of heaven God can say, "See ... here you are. I have accomplished all my good pleasure."
Lord Jesus, my hope for this life and the next is found only in knowing you. Thank you that I cannot do anything to mess up your perfect plan to bring me into your kingdom. Amen.
Excerpted from The Women of Faith Daily Devotional by Patsy Clairmont Barbara Johnson Marilyn Meberg Luci Swindoll Sheila Walsh Thelma Wells Copyright © 2010 by John Ortberg . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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