People like to start the day on a positive note. Christians like to read something inspirational as a way to start the day with an uplifting spiritual thought. Reading in a devotional book is a daily exercise for many of us. Most devotionals start with a small scripture text and then weave in a short story or thought written to encourage the reader’s faith. Devotionals meet a need for spiritual relevancy. They vary in intensity from lightweight content to heavyweight. The following list are the devotionals I have read over the years more than one time through.
1. My Utmost for His Highest: by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Scottish evangelist and teacher.
I’ve read this My Utmost for His Highest original version every year but two since 2002. It is still my all time favorite.
A Tribute to Faith Swihart Weigold
A visit with Grandma Weigold in her home. Great Grandma with Josh and LaVonne. 1984
I HELD THE LETTER in my hand after reading its contents, struck by its difference from all the others. My thoughts were journeying as I reflected on recent times of anguish and hardship. Grandma Weigold’s letter was one of the last in a short stack of envelopes addressed to my erring mate, letters he had gathered over the past few months received after he had disappeared and abandoned the children and me and then resurfaced in another state a couple of months later. In the letters were pleas and concerns. Some I had penned to him. Now he was back and we were trying to figure out a way to forgive, heal and put the past behind us. It was painful reading. My grandmother’s letter to him, despite his actions, was one of hope and affirmation. She saw the needy person rather than his hurtful actions. She let him know of her concern for him and that she and God loved him. The other people’s letters read more like a scold or remonstration by telling him he needed to get “right with God,” and “care about his family” which was also true, of course, but not something he would acknowledge or could internalize at the time. Given the circumstances, her loving words were remarkable. A few years later, he would publicly speak of Grandma and her goodness to him at her memorial service.
Grandma didn’t judge. She loved.
LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW (HarperCollins Reprint 1995, 1959)
Little Blue and Little Yellow is a delightful children’s book about two concepts, friendship and color mixing. The master storyteller, Leo Lionni, does it well. I don’t care what age you are, this little book delivers a warm, heartening message. We join Little Blue and Little Yellow as they are enjoying their friendship. Toward the end of their day of adventure, their colors accidentally get mixed. Oh no! They are no longer Little Blue and Little Yellow. They both are now Green! The illustrated images in this book are like pieces of colored paper in a collage. In this book’s simplicity we find a secret joy. It makes us think about friendship and family and what that means to us. This book was a yearly read in my classroom. I read it as a way to introduce a unit involving the color wheel. Every teacher of young children should have Little Blue and Little Yellow in their personal library for those quick-read fill-in times.
If only… I wish… Not fair….
Oh No! Stinkin’ thinkin’ crops up once again.
I decidedly do not like it when I feel pangs of envy.
Often envy stems from a sense that someone else has it better than I do. For me, my feelings of envy are not in the areas of material possessions or others having more than I have, even though I can wish for things like nice homes and beautiful furnishings. That is not where I get envious. My feelings of envy come out of a negative place in me, those times when I compare myself to others in the area of our accomplishments (or lack there-of). I can be envious of others when I see them achieve in areas in which I have tried to be successful.