Making the Most of Hard Times – Philippians 4:11-13

Do you get cranky when temperatures rise? I’m enjoying our spring weather so far, but you might want to back off if I’m in the sun too long.

Photo from Stocksnap – pixabay.com

When I was a baby, my parents took me to Indiana to introduce me to our relatives at Anderson Camp Meeting. As the day wore on, the summer heat got to me. Soon my fussing made those around me equally miserable. My ever resourceful mother found a bucket, drew a little water, and sat me in it. Dad snapped a photo of the transformation, his whiny child now grinning and splashing in the water. All because they’d met my most pressing need.

Sitting in the bucket, I had no concerns about food or clothing, or where I would take my afternoon nap. All I needed that moment was a bucket of water and my loving parents.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13 ESV

In these difficult times with the virus and its effects on our lives, we can be content with what we have. We can face seasons of having much, as well as those of lack, through Jesus who strengthens us.


Helping others

My longtime friend, Laurie, a missionary in Uganda, is working to feed the hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what she wrote a couple days ago.

Today, Gerald is on his way to go and help another 6 families. One story that has really touched me this week: When Gerald was buying posho and beans for one family, a young woman came up to the vendor with a baby on her back and a young child in tow. She asked the vendor how much the very cheap (not milled well) rice was. They said shs3,000 (less than $1).
She said, “Oh, I thought it was only shs1,000.” (less than 30 cents). Then she walked away, not having enough to buy even the worst rice you can buy. Gerald said she looked hungry, but he had no extra money to get her anything. So, now when he goes to buy for the ones we know, I send him with extra so he can get something for those who have nothing–like this young mother.

Laurie Dickerson

I share Laurie’s story because I want to remember there are people suffering much more than I am from the effects the virus. Having spent time in communities like hers, I’ll never forget the tremendous need.

She serves where most people go to work, receive their pay and buy their food the same day. Few have refrigeration or canned foods. If they don’t work, their family doesn’t eat that day. Many have lost their jobs and are going hungry. (If you’d like to help, contact me and I’ll get you connected.)


An app to try

No matter what state I’m in, I’m more aware of God’s presence when I read the Bible every day. Because of the convenience of having the scriptures via Biblegateway.com accessible on my cell phone, I’m happy to be a #BibleGatewayPartner and share this resource with you. I am not paid to share my opinion–my desire is to promote Bible reading.

I recently downloaded Bible Gateway’s free Bible Audio App and it’s great! When my hands are busy, like when driving or stretching, I can listen to Scripture. The only downside is that currently the English Standard Version, the version I prefer, isn’t an option. Hopefully, that will change.

This app is also a great tool to help with memorization. The verse text appears on your screen as you listen, and changes when the spoken verse changes. And you can swipe to navigate between verses or set it to repeat the verse or passage being read. I like that.

Remember, the Bible Gateway Bible Audio App is free.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

When More than a Football Game Brings us Together – Isaiah 60:4

I pulled the Blockhead box off the shelf when the kids were getting antsy. I understood their restlessness. Football doesn’t hold my interest very long either, although I do cherish the times when four generations of my family come together for Duck games.

Spreading the pieces on the floor where we wouldn’t interfere with the football game, I explained a few Blockhead rules. Use one hand to place your block, and don’t let go of it until you’re sure it’s where you want it. Try to play so that blocks will topple during the next player’s turn. That way she’ll be the blockhead and not you!

I don’t have anything against watching football, but participating in a game instead of being a spectator, even at risk of being the blockhead, is WAY MORE FUN. It’s also a great way to connect with the kids.

While the girls got more comfortable with each other, I realized I’ve been seeing a lot of healing in relationships lately. It seems every time I turn my head someone I’ve been concerned about is doing better.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Psalm 133:1 ESV

I know this coming together season might not always be so encouraging. These are human relationships, after all. But for now I’m enjoying a glimpse into the kingdom of God where nothing separates us.

That’s pretty sweet.

Lift up your eyes all around, and see. They all gather together, they all come to you. Your sons shall all come from afar, your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult . . .

Isaiah 60:4-5a ESV

You might call it the Ultimate Family Reunion in the Sky, that day when we see God’s people come together forever. Since Jesus paid our entrance fee we’re all invited to his place, not just to watch a game, but to see all that’s broken united and whole again.

Are you in?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

The fantasy portrait in this blog post depicts me (in my red camping jacket) and my family heading toward the kingdom of light. If you’re interested in seeing more art like this check out my son’s work at AJoshofAllTrades.com.

Here’s 1 Tip for Choosing a Children’s Bible – Jeremiah 15:16

Every child I have cared for loves a good story, but when considering a Bible for my grandson I didn’t search for a collection of Bible stories. This time I wanted an actual Bible. The New International Reader’s Version Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids meets my criteria.

I have to admit I have it easy when it comes to finding gifts for this particular kid. He lugs his favorite books everywhere, often finding them more desirable than eating (a trait he did not get from me).

Cover image of The New International Reader's Version of The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids with a link to its website

Who ordered this book?

His Grandma Kathy likes books, too. In fact, when one arrives in my mailbox I usually scratch my head wondering what in the world I ordered now. This happened again last week as I carried a brown package as heavy as a college textbook into the house, scrutinizing the label to be sure it was for me.

Tearing the package open brought a splash of color to my delighted eyes, but I still thought there might be some mistake.

Oh yes, now I remember

Since I’m a member of the Bible Gateway blogger grid, and a #BibleGatewayPartner , they offered to send a free copy of The New International Reader’s Version Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids in exchange for a review. I jumped at the chance to see what Zondervan had come up with for our youngest readers.

Though my first impression was that the book was too beefy for children, my opinion changed when I remembered lifting my grandson’s backpack. And when thumbing through the pages I found nothing that should be cut. All its components would contribute to a great reading experience.

I was happy to see that difficult subjects lined up with truth and were handled beautifully for a child’s sensibilities. I checked the account about Adam and Eve’s sin, because really, that subject has to be clear for the whole thing to make sense. I wasn’t disappointed.

Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart . . .

Jeremiah 15:16a ESV

The font, maps, pictures–everything is geared to please my favorite 8-year-old. I’ve even used it myself for night time reading.

For kids who to read on their own or with an adult nearby, this is a wonderful resource. I received my first Bible at the age of nine, and I cherished it early on. This illustrated Bible is also one a kid couldn’t help but love.

Sample pages of the Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids depicting passages from 2 Samuel 9-10 and an image titled "David is Kind to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth" and another titled "David Sees Bathsheba Bathing."

by Kathy Sheldon Davis


From the publisher’s back copy:

The NIrV, The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids is a brand-new kind of Bible. It allows kids ages 4-8 to read the full Bible without chapter and verse numbers or footnotes that are helpful for adults but can be very distracting for kids.

This Bible presents the story of God’s people in a single column format with an extremely legible font. With nearly every turn of the page, children encounter full-color illustrations and kid-friendly maps that illuminate the Bible stories within.

Features of the NIrV, The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids include

  • Bonus full-color double-sided poster
  • Over 750 full-color illustrations
  • Full-color, child-friendly maps
  • Single-column text
  • Easy-to-read exclusive Zondervan NIrV Comfort Print(c) typeface
  • The complete text of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible, created at a third-grade reading level just for developing readers