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Thu 10/19


Just as God loves me, I love others.
Thu 10/19


Just as God loves me, I love others.
–Hebrews 10:24-25
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”



October 19 2023 Devotion Audio

Answering God's Calling

By: Pablo Diaz



Answering God's Calling

By: Pablo Diaz

One morning, as I prepared to begin my workshop, Don’t Let Limitations Stop You, I looked out at the audience and noticed it was made up of younger and older male inmates. These men came from different religious, economic, and social backgrounds but were all eager to learn how to reach their goals. 

This wasn’t my first training session at this federal correction institute. The first time I volunteered there was for a job and career fair to help inmates prepare to reenter society. After the event, a few of the inmates requested that I return to the prison to lead personal growth programs. This was a surprise to me, but I happily accepted the offer to continue my work to help the inmates gain different life skills 

When I hold these training sessions, the men are engaged, ask great questions, and share their insight on the topic at hand. And my heart is filled with joy. I have been blessed with an opportunity to help people who need a chance to rebuild their lives. 

I never envisioned myself conducting workshops within a prison, but God did. We never know how and where God is going to use us to serve others. I’m just grateful that He knows where we are needed and how to get us there. When I first came to this prison, I thought I would be volunteering for one day. Now, a few years later—and thanks to God—I am still helping this population and truly enjoying the experience.


October 19 2023 Story

Finding the Perfect Faith Community

By: Anita Winkelman

I was curled up on the couch, playing solitaire on my cell phone, when the ad popped up. By reflex, I scrolled past it. Then I noticed the ad was for a church—Passion Church of Tucson. I scrolled back to look.  

I had moved from Angola, Indiana (population less than 9,000), to Tucson, Arizona, five years earlier, after meeting my husband, Gordon. Though he and I shared a strong faith, we had different styles of worship. Gordon preferred quiet, solitary prayer. I was more of a joiner. We belonged to a Bible study that met once a week, hosted in the homes of different members. I enjoyed it but found myself hungry for live praise and music.  

Still a small-town girl at heart, I found the size of Tucson, with its more than a half million residents, intimidating. There were just too many churches to choose from! This ad, though… I didn’t feel as if I should ignore it.  

I looked up The Passion Church online. It was close by; I wouldn’t have to drive across the city. And the photos posted to its website suggested the church had a lively faith community. I decided to check it out.  

The following Sunday, I got a friendly welcome at the church door. I took a seat near the back. The music started. I relaxed and joined the singing. Then I smelled it—the unmistakable aroma of baking bread.  

Warm, malty, sweet, a little buttery. Was there a bakery nearby? Or perhaps someone in the church kitchen was baking rolls that we would have with coffee later.  

The service continued, and the smell faded. By the time the pastor came to the podium, I figured I must have imagined it. Until he started telling us of a vision the Lord had given him, one in which Jesus was using a wooden paddle, like the ones used in pizza parlors, to slide bread into a stone oven. As he spoke, that scent of baking bread wafted up again. Oh, it smelled so delicious!  

As it turned out, there weren’t any baked goods offered after the service. Nor were there any bakeries next to the church; I checked on my way out. The church’s kitchen was small. No baking was done there —certainly not bread.  

Instead, God was cooking up a sign, telling me this place would feed my spirit. And he was right! I’ve been attending ever since.


How will you keep love at the center of your daily life?

I will recognize how my actions encourage and lift the people around me.

I will turn to God for guidance on where my love will make the biggest impact.

I will look for a community of faith and love wherever I am.

May God’s love encourage and guide your steps today. We’ll see you again soon!

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