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The Upright Thumb

According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.

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Broken But Beautiful

Recently, my daughter showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken.

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Divine Perspective

Jason took a trip to New York during spring break. One afternoon he and some friends piled into a cab and headed for the Empire State Building. To Jason, the ride on the ground seemed chaotic and dangerous. But when he got to the observation deck of the skyscraper and looked down on the city streets, to his amazement he saw order and design. What a difference a change in perspective made!

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Looking For Zacchaeus

Alf Clark walks the city streets looking for Zacchaeus. Well, not the actual one in the Bible—Jesus already found him. Alf and some friends who serve with an urban ministry do what Jesus did in Luke 19. They go purposefully through town to meet with and help those in need.

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Small Ways In Small Places

Often I meet with people who serve in what they think are seemingly small ways in small places. They are frequently discouraged by loneliness, feeling that their acts of service are insignificant. When I hear them speak, I think of one of the angels in C. S. Lewis’ book Out of the Silent Planet. He said: “My people have a law never to speak of sizes or numbers to you. . . . It makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great.”

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Living Bridges

People who live in Cherrapunji, India, have developed a unique way to get across the many rivers and streams in their land. They grow bridges from the roots of rubber trees. These “living bridges” take between 10 to 15 years to mature, but once they are established, they are extremely stable and last for hundreds of years.

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The Growth Chart

If my family ever moves from the house where we live now, I want to unhinge the pantry door and take it with me! That door is special because it shows how my children have grown over the years. Every few months, my husband and I place our children against the door and pencil a mark just above their heads. According to our growth chart, my daughter shot up 4 inches in just 1 year!

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Focus On The Process

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well, he says that many writers suffer from “the tyranny of the final product.” They are so concerned with selling their article or book, they neglect learning the process of how to think, plan, and organize. A jumbled manuscript, Zinsser believes, is produced when “the writer, his eye on the finish line, never gave enough thought to how to run the race.”

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The Day My Dad Met Jesus

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

My grandfather, my father, and his brothers were all tough men who, understandably, didn’t appreciate people who “got up in their faces about faith.” When my father, Howard, was diagnosed with a rapid and deadly cancer, I was so concerned that I took every opportunity to talk to him about Jesus’ love. Inevitably he would end the discussion with a polite but firm: “I know what I need to know.”

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Smile!

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

A recent study that I read concluded that smiling can be good for your health. Research shows that smiling slows down the heart and reduces stress.

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33 thoughts on “Smile!

  1. apitt13 says:

    After about an hour of not being able to fall asleep I had forgotten to read today’s devotional. There is a lot going on in my mind tonight mainly stressing me out causing me to stay up and think about it. But after reading tonight’s devotional I smiled, prayed giving me comfort and happiness. Time to sleep now with god watching down on me and relieving my stress. God bless.

  2. bettyburton427 says:

    When we know Jesus, our hearts are filled with love and joy and even meekness!

  3. OU12C-HIM-2 says:

    God had smiled on me. He had set me free. God had smiled on me. He’s been good to me. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, God has smiled on me. So how can I not smile? It’s inevitable…..

  4. steviepowell says:

    Well, thank You, Lord! You ALWAYS know me & just what I need. After being down for a few days this lesson & these verses remind me again that You are always with me, always knowing what I need. Your love is amazing! Not only am I now reminded, but I promise to smile for You, give smiles to others and help others smile. I love you.

  5. cabow says:

    Thank you Lord for smiling on me and all the blessings I know I don’t deserve.

  6. myst3riouzbeauty says:

    I smile because I am a Child of God. We are suppose to be the light to draw people near Christ. And if I am not smiling and glowing people aren’t going to want to draw near to Him, It’s like going to your favorite restaurant and the floor is dirty, and they sit you at a table where the previous customer food is still on the table. And then they bring you your favorite meal on dirty dishes and say “Our food is really good, enjoy!” It’s all in the presentation.
    I smile cause God is good to me through the good and bad. I smile because I am a Child of God!

  7. clsevents says:

    Lord God I thank you for continued Favor upon my life. So undeserving, but you choose to bless me anyway and again I say thank you!

  8. gyoboue says:

    May the Lord smile on us all and be gracious to us all today and forever. Shalom!

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