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Showing posts from February, 2018

All the Father Has Is Yours

February 28, 2018by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”Luke 15:28-32 (NIV) When our family plays games, we play with a fierce desire to win.  There have been times that kids (or adults) have refused to finish a game because our strategy is ruined by another player, or we may even “accidentally” knock over the game board, abruptly ending a game. Each year, we enter some of ou…

Be The Sun

A few days ago, my son jumped into the car.  He excitedly showed me the bracelet that he had made in class.  It said, “Be The Sun.”  He told me, “It is just like your key chain!” For a moment, my heart smiled.  Even though he didn’t know what those words meant to me, my son had observed and imitated a phrase that had been a life line to me. Before I carried this phrase on my key chain, I was exhausted.  I spent my days desperately trying to be a good mom, a good wife, a good pastor’s wife, a good attorney, a good friend, and a good person.  As I frantically worked to be good enough, I was plagued by guilt and shoulds: You should spend more time playing with the kids because they are growing up so fast.             You should work more and take on some additional projects.             You should volunteer with that organization.             You should serve in the new ministry at church.             You should cook more, keep a neater house, and keep up with the laundry.             You sho…

What Really Matters

February 22, 2018by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:2 NIV The past few months have been all consuming.  Thanksgiving, Christmas and family celebrations filled our social calendar.  At work, I was overwhelmed as I tried to complete matters at year end.   My kids were busy finishing school projects.  As we rushed from activity to activity, I felt overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated.   In the midst of the chaos, I worried about everything - from what I should wear to the office Christmas party to whether we would have time to clean our house to host family celebrations.   Then, in the midst of the busyness, a friend died.  Her death and funeral forced me to step back and re-evaluate what really matters. My husband loved our friend deeply, and he prepared the message for the funeral.  When he spoke about our friend, he did not mention how big her house was, instead, he talked abo…

Lent

I did not grow up observing Lent. Now, I love Lent. Beginning on Ash Wednesday (which is tomorrow), Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
It is a time of self-examination and self-denial. For years, our church has challenged people to not only give up something, but also to take on something. If you have not observed Lent and are trying to decide what to give up, you can look at it a number of ways. You can give up something that you feel like distracts you from your relationship with God (people have given up television, social media, etc.) You can also give up something that you feel like you rely on to much or "need" too much. For example, people sometimes give up soft drinks, desert, etc. By giving up something that you crave, it forces you to tu…

Behind The Veil

February 2, 2018by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion “The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words. The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless. The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.”  Proverbs 10:19-21 MSG What do the voices in your head say to you?  When I am frustrated, tired, or depressed, the chatterbox in my head is loud and incessant.   When I do something that upsets my child, the voice says, “You are a terrible mother.  You do not know what you are doing.  You are messing up your children because you are making too many mistakes.  Your child will look back on their childhood and resent you because of all the mistakes you make.” When I have an argument with my husband, the voice says, “He only loves you for the things you do.  He doesn’t love you for who you are.  You are a terrible wife.  You never do enough.  Your house is too messy, you never cook, and you do not spend…