I try to come up with 1-something to give up 2-something to start new and 3-something to change.
My family loves that every other year I give up french fries OR diet coke. They would much prefer that I DON’T give anything up for Lent. They are sometimes the beneficiaries of the other two options. Sometimes it is writing a note in their lunch boxes or cleaning out the toy closet for them. Or spending some quality time with my husband each and every day. It is amazing how much time can go by where you and your hubby act as ground control in your home. “Off to take X here” or “You are needed for vocabulary testing in Y’s room”.
Well this year, I am going to do all three in one. I am going to give up some of my personal reading time to DEVOUR the book 40 Days. I assume working the assignment will help me change many of the things I do today and help me create new and better habits.
Would you consider joining me on this JOURNEY?
This spring on April 14th from 10-12, join the Christian Recovery Counseling for their Seeds of Spring Event.
Therese Marszalek will be speaking. She is a close and personal friend of Celebrate Your Faith.
We hope to see all of you from the Twin Cities there! Click here to learn even more about the event!
New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Amethyst is associated with spirituality, piety, wisdom, sobriety, and security. It has been used to ornament churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by bishops and priests.
Amethyst is often given as a symbol of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is also given as a representation of a strong bond in a love relationship.
- Inner Strength
Having a distinct gemstone assigned to each month of the year can be traced back to the Breastplate worn by Aaron, which is described in the book of Exodus.
“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:17-21 KJV
The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year.
The idea of wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of a person’s birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders in the region. The modern list of birthstones has been unchanged since its initial definition in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, which occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. Deposits of this popular gemstone are found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States. An amethyst is always purple, but it occurs in a wide range of purple shades.
The Gregorian calendar has poems (of unknown author) matching each month with its birthstone:
The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear.
To learn more about gemstones, visit the website for the Gemological Institute of America, http://www.gia.edu/
Celebrate Your Faith has many popular items in Amethyst. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there are many great gift ideas in Amethyst available.
Search Amethyst Gifts
I have a DREAM that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: / we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a DREAM that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a DREAM that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
– Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.
(I have a DREAM wasn’t part of his written speech. He strayed from his written speech and reacted to a cheer from the crowd asking him about his dream.)
An excerpt from today’s daily bread… Happy New Year!
All of my life I’ve had to ‘be ready.’ As a child, I had to be ready for dinner by washing my hands. As an adult, being ready for important responsibilities continues to be an ongoing reality. But I’ve come to realize that nothing is more important than being ready for our reunion with Jesus.
As we consider the possibilities that Jesus could return this year, let’s be sure that we are ready. Let’s strive to be pure as He is pure, anticipating the day when tears and sorrow, pain and death will all be replaced with the everlasting joy of His presence. Joe Stowell
I see that progress and failure are both part of the journey. I gain insight from past struggles that help with issues I am currently facing. And, most important, journaling shows me how God has been faithfully working in my life.
Journaling may be useful to you too. It can help you see more clearly what God is teaching you on life’s journey and cause you to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Dennis Fisher
(link to the journal on CYF)
MONDAY: Most children who receive shoe box gifts live in desperate circumstances. Pray that God will meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
TUESDAY: Pray for our ministry partners in countries around the world, especially that the shoe box gifts and follow-up discipleship programs will be effective evangelism tools.
WEDNESDAY: Pray that doors will be opened, so the Good News can be shared in countries that are you not receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
THURSDAY: Pray for those who fill shoe box gifts this year, especially for children, that they will see that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
FRIDAY: Pray for those involved in collecting, processing, transporting and delivering shoe box gifts, including the tens of thousands of volunteers.
SATURDAY: Pray for Samaritan’s Purse staff located throughout the world as they handle the logistics of Operation Christmas Child.