DC Devotions

This page is especially created for children and families. I hope you find some encouragement in the Devotions I post here!

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Someone’s Example, Someone’s Hero

I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Have you ever noticed that no matter your age, someone is always looking up to you? Who do you look up to or admire? I bet if you made a list it would include older siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, parents, grandparents, sports figures, teachers, and even your Pastor.

What do all of these people have in common? For the most part, I would say they are older than you! It is normal for us to admire and look up to those who are older than us.

Elementary kids look up to the teenagers in their church and school. They want to be just like them. They hope to attain that status soon. Similarly, the teenagers look up to college students, college students to young parents, and young parents look up to older adults.

Where does this leave you? Say you are ten years old.  Does it matter what you do? After all, you’re just a kid. No one would look up to you! But wait, hold your horses!

What about those younger kids, you know the ones? The little kindergarten, first, and second graders that hang around and get in your way? The ones that annoy you until you think you will scream!? Why don’t they just go play with their friends and leave you alone?

Here’s why. They look up to you. They admire you. They want to be just like you when they are ten.

Gulp! That’s right. They are watching you, imitating you, learning how to behave from you.

So, when you are tempted to fudge the rules, think! Who (besides God) is watching me? Who am I influencing?

Believe it or not, you are someone’s example. Someone’s hero. Be a good one.

 

Keep Your Eye On The Line!

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

“How much further to Cade’s Cove, Dad?” Bryce leaned as far forward as his seatbelt would allow. May Lynn looked up from her book, waiting to hear their dad’s response. Bryce and May Lynn had been looking forward to this trip to Tennessee for several weeks.

Mr. Neely glanced into the rear view mirror. “A little over an hour, I think. We’re just getting to The Gorge.”

“What’s The Gorge?” May Lynn asked.

“You’ll see,” he said. “It’s the road they built through the Pigeon River Gorge between North Carolina and Tennessee. It’s windy, narrow, and steep. It’s a lot of fun.”

May Lynn covered her face with her book. Bryce grinned. “Sounds fun to me.”

“Tell me when it’s over,” May Lynn said

Soon the curves came more often and were tighter. Bryce could tell they were entering the gorge. Semi trucks lined the right lane and Mr. Neely carefully navigated around them. Bryce found himself leaning toward the middle of the car and away from the trucks as they passed.

May Lynn grinned at him. “Dad, I think Bryce is a little nervous.”

“Why is that?”

“He’s leaning toward me whenever we pass a semi.”

Mrs. Neely turned around and smiled at them. “I don’t blame him. It made me nervous too until your dad explained how he does it.”

Mr. Neely nodded. “See, I keep my eyes on that outside yellow line as I pass. That’s where I keep my focus. That way I don’t wander into the truck.”

“But what if the truck comes toward you?” Bryce bit his lip. This was freaky.

“Good question, Bryce.” Mr. Neely held the steering wheel with both hands and his eyes never left the road. “My focus is on the yellow line, but out of the corner of my eye I watch the truck.”

Bryce relaxed. “That makes a lot of sense.”

Mrs. Neely tilted her head to one side. “You know, life is like that in a lot of ways. You need to keep your focus on God and pointed ahead, toward the goal, not on the world and all of the things going on around you.”

May Lynn piped up. “So, that way you don’t get sucked in by the bad stuff and start worrying.”

“Right,” her mother said. “You have to be aware of the dangers and what is around you, but you sure don’t want that to be your focus.”

Mr. Neely let out a big sigh. “Whew, I think I’ve managed to get around that long string of trucks. Oh, look here is a tunnel.”

“Honk the horn, Dad,” Bryce said.

Mr. Neely glanced back at his son. “That’s just what I was thinking, Bryce. Tell me when!”

May Lynn and Bryce looked at each other and at the same moment they called, “Now!”

HONK!

 

 More Than a Casserole and a Bag of Toilet Paper

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

James 1:27

“Mom you know what Mrs. Mount told me tonight?” Dorie rested her hand on Carly’s shoulder and leaned forward from the back seat of the van.

“What, dear?” Mrs. Rawson turned sideways in her seat.

“Did you know she and her husband lost their house in a fire years ago?”

Mrs. Rawson looked at her husband. “I don’t think I knew that. Did you, honey?”

Mr. Rawson scratched his head. “Yeah, I think I did. It was twenty years ago, or more.”

Carly turned sideways in her seat so she could see Dorie. “That’s awful.”

Dorie nodded. “Well, she mentioned it tonight when she was signing up for the cookies. She said cookies were the least she could do for Mr. Crosby. Evidently, Mr. Crosby and his wife paid for three months of rent for them in an apartment after the fire. Mrs. Mount said that without them, she didn’t believe they would have ever gotten back on their feet.”

Max shook his head. “I knew Mr. Crosby liked to help people, but three months of rent? That’s more than a casserole and a bag of toilet paper, isn’t it?”

“It sure is,” said Carly. The van turned onto 8th Avenue, then pulled into the driveway. Carly leaned against the window and stared out into the darkness. Across the street Mr. Crosby’s store looked lonely. No wonder Mr. Crosby doesn’t have the money to fix up his store. We have to help him. We all do. But will we be able to get enough money?

Excerpt from The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure, pg. 55.

In Everything

 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

 “What are we going to do, Carly?”

Carly and Molly stood in the middle of the sidewalk. They stared at the twenty dollar bill in Carly’s hand like it was a snake in the grass.

“I know Mrs. Moore doesn’t have extra money.” Carly shook her head. “I didn’t expect money for helping her clean her basement.”

“Let’s give it back,” said Molly.

“Good idea. I don’t think we should take it either.” Carly twirled and ran up to the house and tucked the money in between the screen and the front door. “She’ll find it there when she opens the door to get her paper this afternoon.”

Five minutes later the girls rushed through the kitchen door to find their mom pulling cookies from the oven.

“How’s Mrs. Moore?”

Carly plopped down at the table and reached for a cookie.

“She’s fine. She gave us twenty dollars.”

“But we gave it back,” Molly said. “We left it between her screen and the front door.”

“Oh girls. You shouldn’t have done that.” Mom sat down.

“Why?” Carly asked. “She doesn’t have to pay us. She already said thank-you.”

“We thought she probably doesn’t have much money anyway,” said Molly.

“Those things are true,” agreed Mom. “But, she knows what she can afford. Besides, it gives her an opportunity to thank you in the way she believes God wants her to.”

“I don’t get it.” Carly shook her head.

“Look at it this way,” Mom said. “Remember the verse that says ‘In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning you?’”

“Sure, Mom.” Molly grabbed another cookie. “What does that have to do with us? Isn’t that talking about when bad things happen?”

“It does get used a lot in that situation, but it says everything, not just the bad things. I think you should be thankful that Mrs. Moore decided to say thank you with money. It’s a good thing all the way around. Mrs. Moore receives a blessing by saying thank you in this way, and you receive a blessing by receiving an unexpected gift.”

Mom smiled at the girls. “I’m thankful for girls who aren’t selfish but I think it would be best if you accept her money.”

“You’re right, Mom. Let’s go  get that money, Molly before Mrs. Moore finds it.”

“Hurry back.” Mom pointed to the table. “There are more cookies.”

kids at ranch

 

Not The Kind Of Boy Who Likes To Work

The other day I made a long list of tasks that needed to be accomplished. Then I dreamed about a new invention. It would be a “to-do list doer.” Wow! Wouldn’t that be awesome? I sighed and proceeded to do the list myself. I worked hard all day. The things I wasn’t able to finish I put off until today. I finally completed the list and learned something in the process. Doing the list myself was a lot more satisfactory than having a little robot “to-do list doer.” It reminded me of the truth some of the Double Cousins learn about in this story. I hope you enjoy it.

 Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8

 

“Dad, can I go to Reggie’s today?” Max reached for the pancake syrup.

Dad shook his head. “Nope, today we clean out the garage.”

“Ugh.” Max flopped back in his chair. “Not again, we just did that.”

“It was a year ago, Max. Yesterday I almost ran over a skateboard trying to get the car parked.”

“My bike won’t fit in anymore, either,” said Dorie.

“But I’m not the kind of boy who likes to work.” Chad slouched down in his chair.

Dad chuckled. “I’m not sure any of us are. But, God expects us to learn. Can you think of any places in the Bible where God talks about work?”

“Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise,” Max quoted.

Dad nodded. “So, God says it is wise to work.”

Dorie grinned at Chad. “Isn’t there a place where it says if you don’t work, you don’t eat?”

“I think that’s in Thessalonians,” Mom said.

“I like to eat,” admitted Chad.

“Me too,” said Max.  “But I still don’t want to clean out the garage.

“I know, Max. Neither do I,” said Dad. “I’d rather sit in my big chair and read a book. But, I do know I’ll be happy when it’s done.”

“Remember how nice it was last year when we finished?” Dorie giggled. “Mom said she thought she heard angels sing.”

Mom laughed. “It was such a relief to have it done. Work isn’t always fun but the satisfaction it gives is wonderful.”

“It’s more fun when we do it together,” Max said.

Dad nodded. “No doubt! So, let’s get started right after breakfast. Maybe if we work hard we’ll be done by lunch time and you can go see Reggie and I can spend the afternoon in my chair reading my book!”

“I’m thankful for that, too,” said Carly.

 

A Ripe Heart

God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance but the LORD looks at the heart.

 I Samuel 16:7

“Grandpa, can we get a watermelon?” Molly could almost taste the cool sweetness.

“Sure.” Grandpa knocked on one with his knuckles.

“What are you doing, Grandpa?”

“I’m picking our watermelon.”

Molly pointed to a dark one. “This looks prettier.”

Grandpa knocked on it. “Nope, that isn’t ripe.  Here, listen. Can you hear the difference?”

Molly’s eyes grew wide. “Yours sounds deeper.”

“That’s right. A lower sound means it’s riper and sweeter. You can’t tell by looking. It’s like the story of David in the Bible, Molly.”

“Watermelons are like David?”

“That’s right, Molly. When God chose David to be king he was just a kid. He was the smallest and weakest.  But God could see his heart. That’s why the Bible says that man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart.”

“I hope God sees a ripe heart when he looks at me.”

“He will if you are like David and love God with all of your heart. Let’s go see how we did with choosing a watermelon.”

 

Three Hundred Cures For Lonely 

 

Lisa stomped her foot and glared at the bulletin board on the library wall. “There’s nothing for kids at all.”

“What are you doing, honey?”

Lisa straightened her shoulders and brushed the tears away before turning toward her mother. “I was looking at the notices for activities in town. There has to be something a ten-year-old girl can do in the summer.”  Lisa gritted her teeth, trying not to cry again. “I thought it was going to be easier moving in the summer cause I wouldn’t have to start a new school in the middle of the year. But now I don’t have any friends at all.”

Mom pulled her close in a hug.

“I’m so lonely, Mom. I miss my friends from church and the youth writers’ group. There’s nothing in this town.” Her voice rose. “Nothing except three hundred boring old people and the smell of cow manure. I want to go home.”

Mom sighed. “I know, honey. This move has been hard on you, especially moving from the city to such a small ranching community.”

“A ranch community surrounded by stinky feed lots.” Lisa wrinkled up her nose.

Mom laughed. “That’s true. But, you remember how we prayed and God definitely gave us all peace about moving here?”

Lisa nodded and swallowed hard trying to get rid of the huge lump that seemed to have found a new home in her throat.

“Excuse me; I’m sorry to interrupt.”

Lisa jumped and looked up to see the librarian, Mrs. Shell, standing beside her mother.

“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation and I think I might have an idea for you, young lady.” She reached out and touched Lisa’s shoulder. “I have a need and I believe you might be the perfect answer.”

“What is it?” Lisa asked.

“My sister.” The librarian played with the reading glasses that hung around her neck on a chain. “She lives with me, just across the street from the library. She recently had a stroke and can’t get out much anymore, because she can’t walk.”

Lisa shook her head. “I’m not a nurse-y girl.”

Mrs. Shell laughed. “She doesn’t need nursing. She just needs someone to come by a couple of hours a day to keep her company. She used to write for a newspaper and she loves to read. I think you two would get along really well.”

“A newspaper? She’s a writer?”

“Oh my, yes! She has written for newspapers and magazines for years. Now she spends her days reading, but she gets lonely.”

“I know about that,” Lisa said. “I never knew what lonely was until we moved here. Can I go, Mom?”

“I think that would be great.” She squeezed Lisa’s shoulder. “You do have a gift of encouraging people, even older people.”

The next afternoon Lisa burst into the house. “Hi, Mom. I just came home for a minute to get something.” She dashed through the kitchen and down the hall to her room. A few seconds later she appeared in the kitchen again holding her journal.

“Mrs. Moore wants to hear something I’ve written. She’s the most amazing woman. She has written for thirty magazines and ten newspapers. She says that she will help me with my writing. She’s going to teach me how to do an interview. She. . . “

“Whoa!” Mom held up her hand. “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Lisa grinned. “Sorry, Mom. I’m just so excited to have a friend. And she’s a writer!”

“Oh, Lisa. I’m happy too. But I do have a question.”

“What’s that?”

“I wonder what the other two hundred ninety-nine old people in town have to offer.”

Lisa grinned. “I don’t know, but maybe I’ll interview all of them and find out.”