The Message That Wasn’t From God – Lamentations 3:22-23

My heart was warmed when I read the Verse of the Day in my inbox, a personal message from God. At least, that’s what I thought it was.

“All the saints greet you.”

2 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

How sweet that God arranged that particular scripture to come to my inbox the day after my birthday. I’d been responding to greetings from people far and wide, thanking them for visiting, sending texts or leaving messages on social media. So the verse was true—many saints were greeting me.

Then it hit me, or I guess you could say, wisdom kicked in. Come on, Kathy, anyone on the internet can see it’s your special day. My emotions slumped. The verse may not have been sent directly by God after all.

I wanted to gripe, but the truth is, I am a blessed woman. And there really are non-auto-generated communications that come my way from friendly people most every day.

But even if they didn’t, God’s mercy greets me without fail every. single. morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

So yes, there is a good reason for me to feel loved. Because God’s mercy is extended toward me, I’m not consumed by anything in this world, including my sin. Thank you, Jesus!

So, whether or not “all the saints” acknowledge me, I can proceed with my birthday dance of thanksgiving. Great is his faithfulness!

Kathy Sheldon Davis

A Prayer for Safety – Psalm 16

Laurie, my friend for more than four decades and my only bridesmaid who wasn’t a family member, easily tucks into the rhythm of my life when we’re together.

She sat with me in Max Porter’s last week, holding a hot drink in one hand and sweeping the air with the other as we caught up on our families’ news. Laurie is a missionary to Uganda, and our discussion led us to her personal safety when she’s away.

My mistake

At one point I harped on a conclusion I’d made from Scripture, that the apostles never prayed for God to keep them safe.

We remembered that in their letters they asked their readers to pray they would be bold in their speaking about Jesus, but never that they’d stay safe. They gave accounts of harrowing experiences as they traveled and preached, and seemed to expect risks with the job.

My presumption was, if the apostles didn’t ask God for safety, then neither should we.

How could I have been so smug, presuming I knew everything the early followers of Jesus brought before God?

The truth

Their teachings and prayers, like those of Jesus, centered on historical scriptures. Here’s an ancient psalm that asks God for safety.


Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (italics mine)

Psalm 16:1, 8-9 ESV

Scriptural takeaway

My heart, my whole being, rejoices because he is always with me, he is my refuge, I will not be shaken, and he will not abandon me.

The truth is, safety is important. Without it, my friend and I would live in constant fear. The need for security drives us in our seeking and following of God and his ways, into his place of refuge where there is peace and safety no matter where we are on this planet.

A Bible for a Child – Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Simon’s eyes lit up when he saw me at our regular table at Max Porter’s this week. He’s my five-year-old grand nephew, and he knows his auntie often brings interesting things to share at our weekly lunches.

This time I brought the new children’s NASB Adventure Bible.

Since I volunteered to be on the Bible Gateway blogger list as a #BibleGatewayPartner , I was offered a free copy to review. I accepted knowing Simon would probably agree to help me.

It turns out I was right

He was delighted to get his hands on it. A very discerning lad, he immediately asked, “where’s the table of contents?” This wasn’t at all what I expected his first question to be. I helped him find it and explained the meaning of chapter and verse numbers (until he was done listening to explanations).

We discovered a page that lists stories about children in the Bible. He skimmed and recognized quite a few of them, like the story of David and the giant.

He soon figured out how to locate the Genesis account of Cain and Abel, put his finger on the chapter number, and started reading it to me. Again this boy surprised me. I hadn’t expected one so young to be able to read the New American Standard Bible version.

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul . . . You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 ESV

Simon laughed when he read the interpretation of the second commandment – that we must not worship anyone or anything but God, not a sports hero and not a skateboard. That was on the The Ten Commandments for Kids page.

Sharing this Bible with Simon reminded me of the great blessing my Bible has been throughout my life. I received my first Bible at the age of nine, and its words are seeds that took root early and continue to comfort, instruct, and encourage me.

Thank you, Bible Gateway, for this opportunity to share my love of the Scriptures with one of my favorite little boys.

-Kathy Sheldon Davis

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