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Tue 11/28


God’s gifts are all around for me to find.
Tue 11/28


God’s gifts are all around for me to find.

Is recognizing God’s gifts a key aspect of spiritual growth?




November 28 2023 Story

Small Blessings

Based on a story by Mary Czerak

Motherhood was a blessing to Mary, the answer to her prayers. But sometimes all her blessings—all seven of them aged 4 to 19—were a lot for one mother to handle. One morning seemed more hectic than others. There were missing shoes to find, requests for more chocolate milk, and a number of small crises to resolve.  

As a parent, Mary had weathered bigger storms than lost shoes. Her fifth son, Jeffrey, was born with a heart defect that required two cardiac catheters and three open-heart surgeries. Her husband was struggling to find a steady job after a period of unemployment. A stressful morning at home was nothing by comparison. So why did she feel so overwhelmed today? So close to her breaking point?  

She retreated to the bathroom, the one room in the house where she had privacy, and shut the door behind her. Out in the hall, she could hear the tiny feet on the stairs and the familiar cries of “Mom! Mom! Mom!”  

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and prayed. Lord, help me. I’m having trouble handling all my blessings today.  

She opened her eyes and saw something moving in the crack under the door. Bunches of tiny fingers wiggling to the sound of giggles. All at once, she was laughing too.  

One day, she thought, those fingers are going to be too big to fit under that door. All of her children would grow up and move on to lives and children of their own. When that time came, she knew, she would miss these crazy days with all her heart. She opened the door and swept them up into a hug.


November 28 2023 Story 2

Everyday Mercies

Bassed on a story by: Patricia Houck Sprinkle


What is a mercy?

We hear a lot more about miracles than mercies these days, but the Bible speaks of the mercies of God nearly eight times as often as it mentions the miracles of God. Webster’s dictionary defines a mercy as a blessing, an act of divine favor or compassion. Patricia Houck Sprinkle likes to call mercies “God gifts.” And she says she receives mercies every day:

• The joy of making applesauce with her family from apples they picked together.
• Good roads for a midwinter journey.
• A beautiful ice fern etched on a window.
• A parking space right outside the post office when it’s zero degrees outside.
• Dropping a full jar of mayonnaise from the top shelf of the refrigerator — and it doesn’t break.

All these are daily little messages from God that say: “I’m here! I care!”

But often mercies are taken for granted because they seem to occur so naturally. That’s the reason Patricia’s family hung a banner in the stairwell of their home. It shows a figure with outstretched arms greeting the rising sun with the joyful cry: “Morning by morning new mercies I see!”

Each day as the family comes downstairs to breakfast, the banner reminds them to look for the mercies God is planning for them that day.

Are you watching for your “God gifts”?

—James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”



How will you recognize God’s gifts today?

When I feel negative, I will pause to look for God’s presence.

I will take note of the moments when I feel God’s love.

I will add time to focus on gratitude in my daily calendar, no matter how busy I am.

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

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