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Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This post is part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain. Our theme for October is "discover." Each Wednesday this month I am writing on that theme. Please click on the links to the right to read what my friends have to say about "discover."

Today is Halloween. It’s a tricky wicket trying to join up Halloween with the theme of "discover." This post then isn’t something *I* have discovered but hopefully is something you will discover that you didn’t previously know about Halloween.

So in honor of the day, here’s a repost from last Halloween, slightly revised. I hope you discover something new or re-discover something you’d forgotten about this holy day, All Hallows Eve.


Halloween is a time for pumpkins and popcorn; trick-or-treat and tooth decay. But it began as a holy day.

All Christians—living or dead—are saints. Not because we’re so good, but because we have been made holy through the blood of Christ. Sometimes in scripture this is translated as "holy people" or "God’s people." But saints we are.

One of the first things the early Christian church did was to set aside November first as "All Saints Day." Back in the fourth century, merely 300 years after Jesus, the Roman Catholic Church established this day to recognize martyrs who had died for their faith. November first ultimately became a time to praise God for His plan of salvation and to remember all of Christ’s saints (not just the ones with the capital "S") who had died and returned home to Glory.

Whether you are a member of today’s Roman Catholic Church or not, the fact remains that Greece (home of Orthodox Christianity) and Rome (home of Roman Catholic Christianity) were the first two places where Paul and his gang took Christianity to the gentiles. It’s where Christianity took root and flourished. And amid all that flourishing, All Saints Day was founded—a holy day set aside by the Church for God’s glory.

But what’s Halloween?

Christians celebrate the evening before Christmas as Christmas Eve. Similarly, early Christians celebrated the evening before All Saints Day, referring to it as All Hallows Eve. "Hallowed," as we know from the Lord’s Prayer, means "holy."

This pre-All Saints Day observance gradually became known as "Hallows Eve" and eventually "Halloween." The meaning? Holy Evening.

Today’s unholiness

There is nothing holy about gangs of 4-foot tall aliens, fairy princesses and red-cloaked vampires roaming our neighborhoods with bulging bags of candy. And admittedly, the true evil one has a party every year as he encourages us to look to him for the glory, rather than to the true Master of the universe.

But the fact that Satan uses a holy day for his purposes does not mean the day itself is evil. Does not the evil one use every day for his purposes? It is our responsibility as children of God to remember the holiness in everything—including and maybe even especially—days originally set aside by man for God’s glory.

Christmas has become a commercialized season in the secular world. Should Christians therefore no longer celebrate the birth of our savior? Not on your eternal life!

Me and my house

I will be spending today in preparation for All Saints Day. I’ll be praying in gratitude for God’s plan and for including me and my loved ones in it.

And if there’s any candy left in the bowl after the miniature ghouls and goblins have finished grabbing, then there’ll be one more thing to be thankful for.

Holy Eve (Halloween) blessings to all.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please remind us that all of your days are holy days. Please show us ways to thank you for your plan and to see your holiness in everything. Please protect us from the evil one during these and every day. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What was your favorite costume from your childhood?

Monday, October 29, 2012


Each month I create prayers for people we love based on the meaning of their names. These additional names are then added to the ongoing list at the tab to the right titled, "PRAYING NAMES."

If you don’t find the name of your loved one listed, please leave a comment below and I’ll research it and create a name for a future month.


George: farmer

Heavenly Father, I pray that George will live the meaning of his name. I pray that he will be a worker in your harvest; that he will sow seeds of faith in others and live his life in a way that brings glory to you through fruit of the Spirit living in him. Amen.


Gertrude; Gertie: strong spear

Heavenly Father, I pray that Gertrude will live the meaning of her name. I pray that she will be a fierce warrior in your army. I pray that she will be strong in her faith and piercing in the truth she lives for your glory. Amen.


Norma: Thor’s courage

Heavenly Father, I pray that Norma will live the meaning of her name. I pray that she will have ultimate courage in her faith in you; understanding that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. Amen.


Wayne: wagon driver

Heavenly Father, I pray that Wayne will live the meaning of his name. I pray that he will help others carry their burdens and be a conduit to lead others to Christ. Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2012


The seventh Beatitude is this:

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God
. (Matthew 5:9)

Who are peacemakers? Peacemakers live peaceful lives and try to bring peace and friendship to others. They also try to preserve peace between God and man.

Jesus wants us to be filled with his peace that comes from an understanding of the Gospel. He then wants us to communicate the peace and the Gospel to those who need it. Romans 14:19 tells us: So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Peace-receivers thus become peace-givers.

Peacemaking however, may not mean seeking peace at any cost. A peacemaker does not avoid taking a position. A peacemaker has strength and Godly wisdom and uses that to establish proper relationships between people based on truth and righteousness. Think Jesus in the temple. Think Jesus with the Pharisees.

A peacemaker realizes there is only one way to have peace: by trusting in Jesus. It was by the cross that Jesus brought peace between God and man and provided a way for peace between men.

At Jesus’ birth the angels sang:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)

Jesus was God’s way of showing good will toward men; of providing peace on earth between man and God.

Because of Christ's death we have access to God and can come into the presence of God and the peace that surrounds Him.

By his death Jesus also destroyed another barrier to peace: that dividing wall of hostility between fellow men. Ephesians 2:14 "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall".

The reason we can love other people and have peace with them—including our enemies—is because Christ destroyed the hostility between man and man when he died on the cross. Colossians 1:20 "And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross".

By being peacemakers—between ourselves and between man and God, we are blessed. God calls us His sons and daughters. Children of the King? Yep, that’s a blessing.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us peace and providing a way to have peace among men. Please show us ways to share your peace with others so that we, as peace receivers, can become peace givers, and thus be called "sons of God." Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? In what way are you a peace giver?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. The theme for October is "discover." Please click on the links to the right to read what my friends have to say about discover.


When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.
(Ecclesiastes 7:14)

Ecclesiastes is one of those books of the Bible, sort of like Job. If you start reading it in a good mood, you’ll feel pretty bummed by the end.

Ecclesiastes. There’s nothing new under the sun. There’s no meaning to anything. Might as well give up the ship. Throw in the towel. Sit in the corner and twiddle your thumbs. Or as Job’s wife suggested: just curse God and die.

But this little verse is one of the bright spots in Ecclesiastes. Not that we can’t discover anything about the future. Not that there are bad times. But this:

God has made the one as well as the other.

It’s a subtle restatement of Psalm 118:24

Today is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

It’s also a restatement of a Peterson family saying:

If today is a good day or a bad day, whose fault is that?

Hey, that’s almost as wise as a proverb.

In other words, every day the Lord has made is a wonder and a blessing. It’s up to us to make the most of each day He gives us; not to worry about the future. Not to worry about what has gone wrong. Simply to rejoice and be glad in it.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, your Word is filled with jeweled reminders not to worry about the future but to live for today. Help us today to leave our worries at your feet and to rejoice and be glad in this gift of 24 hours that you have made. Thank you for them. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What’s your favorite scripture to remind you to live for today?

Monday, October 22, 2012


We know that God spoke the universe into existence. We call the Bible the "Word of God." God certainly has a voice.

But did you consider that God sings?

His creation sings. (Psalm 104:12; Psalm 19:1-4)
The angels sing. (suggested by Revelation 5 and Job 38)
The saints in heaven sing. (Revelation 5:9)
We sing. (Ephesians 5:19)

This morning though I was staggered by Zephania 3:17:

Zephania? That tiny little book at the end of the Old Testament. The one a couple of books before Zecharia that makes you wonder if the ancients tried to organize the Old Testament alphabetically, but didn’t quite get it right?

Zephania, one of the minor prophets. Not minor, as in, he wasn’t important. But minor, in the length of the book. A mere three chapters. Three and one-half pages of text in a large print bible; a few finger swipes on Kindle.

Yes, Zephania.

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephania 3:17)

Did you see it? That wee small line of text? Those 7 little words. So full of meaning and insight.

Can you picture it? God sings. For us.

Imagine the sound. Imagine the glory. Imagine when we get together and sing with Him.

Better than the best opera.
Better than Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
Better than whistling while you work.

A celestial sing along. With God leading. God providing all the Words, and singing every part.

Until then, shall we be still and listen? During those times when we hear His voice, is He singing? When we sleep, can we sense His lullaby?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking and thank you for rejoicing over us. Please help us come closer to you so that we can hear your voice when we are still. Please show us ways to please you so that when you love us we can hear you sing. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you ever thought God was singing over you? What might His voice sound like?

Friday, October 19, 2012


This is the sixth Beatitude:

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God
. (Matthew 5:8)


That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within the man, and they defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23)

The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)

How can we be pure in our hearts when they are filled with filth and sin? How can we be pure in our imaginations, in our thoughts, in our words, in our decision making, and in our desires? How can we think what God thinks, will what God wills, desire what God desires, hate what God hates, and love what God loves?

We know that God looks at the heart rather than at our appearance, behavior or achievements. We do not need education, business success, social position to please God. How then can our hearts be pure?

We can't do any of these things on our own. We can't clean ourselves through self-denial or self help. The path to a pure heart begins with the understanding that our hearts are evil.

God must clean us. The pure in heart are free from evil desires and evil purposes. God has a plan to save us and make us holy in thought, word and deed. That plan is stated in Romans 8:29, that we are "to conform us to the image and likeness of His Son."

God's plan is to make us like his own Son, like Jesus Christ. His purpose is nothing less than that we be pure in heart just like Jesus Christ is.

How does God clean us? When we surrender ourselves to Jesus and put our trust in him, God will then give us a new nature and we become a new creation.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

As a new person, we can walk arm and arm with Jesus Christ on a road toward spiritual purity because:
It is no longer I that live, but it is Christ that is living in union with me. (Galatians 2:20)

This Beatitude tells us if we are pure in heart then we will see God. Not only will we see God as we pass into heaven, but we will see God right now spiritually. The pure in heart will see God’s glory in everything.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for cleaning us up and giving us a pure heart. Please Holy Spirit, guide our lives and keep our hearts sparkling clean and pure like Jesus’. Please help us see your glory, Father, in all things. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a technique or reminder to keep your focus continually on Jesus?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. The theme for October is "discover." Please click on the links to the right to read what my friends have to say about discover.

Today is Dad’s birthday. He’s no longer with us on this world but I’m thinking his mother might have made him a celestial War Cake for his birthday in the heavenly kitchen—you know that cake that’s so rich you need a swig of milk right in the middle of the first forkful?

Recently I was digging through Mom’s recipe file. Sprinkled amid the frayed-edged index cards were bits of notepads and scraps of ruled paper with hand-written recipes in slanted cursive, the blue ink faded by time and flour.

In their midst I discovered my father’s mother’s recipe for War Cake with Buttermilk Frosting. I made it once for my dad, the year before he died. I’d never made it before—or since. It’s a shame because it’s just that delicious.

So I’ll share it with you at the end of this post. I hope you’ll make it and enjoy it as much as I did and Dad did. It’s a Shartz family heirloom. Maybe it’ll become one of your family’s heirlooms, too.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for family heirlooms. Thank you for making us a part of your eternal family. Thank you for sharing with us the greatest family heirloom of all—salvation through Jesus. Help us find ways to share your family heirloom with others. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What’s the super, uber best heirloom in your family recipe box?


Grandma Shartz’ War Cake with Buttermilk Icing


1 box of raisins stewed in 2 cups water until liquid is half gone. Remove from stove and add, mixing thoroughly:

1 cup cold water
½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Pour into angel food pan. Bake 45 minutes at 375. Cool a few minutes and turn out onto plate.

Boil the following together on low heat until it reaches "soft ball" stage (drizzle a small amount into cold water. If it forms a soft ball when squished between your fingers under water, it is at the right stage. If not, cook a bit longer). Cool 10 minutes and pour over the cake. Eat warm or cool.



Monday, October 15, 2012

The 10 + 1 Building Blocks Of Relationships: Attention

Welcome again to my blogging friend, Chris Vonada as he shares with us the next building block of relationships. Please visit him often at his own site.

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Our world today is noisy... and busy. I've noticed this in my life... how there has been such an explosion in social media over the past few years, how it has impacted our world. In many ways, it's been really positive. I can keep in close contact with my family and close friends more so than ever before. It's pretty cool really... you know how some folks say our cyber friends are not really friends... I don't really buy into all of that though. Here's a good example of why: I meet new people at the Planet Fitness all the time. When I do, sometimes we'll friend up on Facebook. Every time this happens, the very next time I see that person we exchange the big smile... Every Time. It's like we have connected in a way that deepens our friendship. I like that.

Certainly there is a contrary opinion to all of that, in some respects, but our world today, in so many ways, is what we make of it.

I guess as I think of my world... and my priorities in my day to day life, I find relationships with other people, and with Jesus to be most important. I spend a lot of time with my grandson Nolan, so I'm going to our morning quality time as the example for Attention. Usually 3 days a week I get to help Nolan get his day going. This is our special time together... his mom and dad get moving pretty early, so I go over to their home and work from my MacBook Pro until about 8 a.m., then gently rustle Nolan out of bed. We spend about an hour together before I drop him off at his daycare.

Now 3-year olds are pretty sharp... this is one of my favorite ages for children, because they are super goofy (and, therefore, I can just be my goofy self too... hee hee...). One thing I quickly picked up on with Nolan is how he can tell if he has my attention... or if I'm distracted, and doing something else. This is amazing to me, that a 3-year old is in tune with how we focus our attention. So during this time I stop working and just chill with my little buddy.

I was reading an article at, titled "The Risk Of Becoming A Multi-tasker." You know, I used to be really good at this... multi-tasking. I'm not so good at it anymore, a change that I've attributed to aging. However, I wonder if it really has more to do with how I focus my attention?

Similarly, if I'm hanging out with the SC... I'm not really all that inclined to try to multi-task. Why? I savor the time we have together, and I want to absorb all of that experience. Same thing with little Nolan. Maybe that's just a fact of having the same love language value for Quality Time, I don't know... but it does seem to work... and I feel the same love back from these people who are close in my world today.

Unconditional love has the spirit of giving, one where the focus is really all about you and has very little to do with me...

Being mindful of our focus... and being grateful to God for what we do have... two keys to enjoying and sharing the love in our relationships... through attention.

What are some ways that you find helpful to focus your attention in your relationships?

Friday, October 12, 2012


The fifth Beatitude is this:

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy
. (Matthew 5:7)

The merciful are tender-hearted. They feel the pain and suffering of others deeply. But then in addition to feeling, they step out in faith and help. Having compassion isn’t enough. Doing something is what mercy is all about.

We as believers must show mercy. The tricky part is to do so with readiness, gladness and affection; ready to give and forgive.

It’s about what Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

To be merciful as a Christian does not mean to perform isolated, occasional acts of charity. A Christian is to be habitually merciful. And to do so with gratitude. It’s saying daily: "Thank you Father for letting me be on the giving end of mercy."

This Beatitude also deals with mercy through the act of daily forgiveness, by showing mercy towards people who wrong you. Jesus demands that we forgive one another just as he is constantly forgiving you.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6: 14-15)

God shows us mercy, not when we are good, but when we are wicked and powerless. Yet God is merciful. He feels our pain and extends mercy freely. It’s God’s example for living: be merciful toward others and we will be blessed by God’s mercy to us.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy. Please remind us each day that you love us—wrecked sinners that we are. Please help us show mercy to others, whether they deserve it or not. Break our hearts as your heart is broken and then help us do something about it. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there an area of mercy you need to work on? For me, it’s doing it with "affection."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


CW Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. The theme for October is "discover." Please click on the links to the right to read what my friends have to say about discover.


…then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it. (Ecclesiastes 8:17)

As much as we cannot comprehend what goes on "under the sun," we have a harder time trying to comprehend what goes on "above the sun." In heaven.

Oh, to know God completely! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Of course, we can’t define God. We can’t completely know Him. We can’t explain His plan or see it from our human frame of reference. Even if God allowed us to know Him completely, our feeble human minds would probably explode with the glory of it all.

Still, it would be nice to be able to define God. To write out a thorough and complete description. To put that description in a box; label it "God" and set it on our shelf. What a reassurance. What a thrill in the knowing. What a divine blessing.

"Do you want to know God?" We’d show our friends our God box and lift the lid. "Look, this is who God is."

They’d see and believe. Souls saved. Heaven enriched for eternity.

But would we get it right? Could we ever understand, much less describe God in words? Doubtful.

But does He mind us trying? Probably not. He gave us those imaginations, after all. And surely He loves that we try.

So we’ll keep trying. We’ll keep reading scripture and praying and seeking God. Even when we arrive in heaven and see Him face to face, He’ll still be completely unknowable. But imagine…what an enormous box the saints must have sitting on heaven’s shelf!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we seek to know you. Please understand that we only try to define you because our hearts long to know you more. Please show us as much of your character and your glory as we are able to understand in this life. But please keep our hearts yearning after yours. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?  Do you have a God box?

Monday, October 8, 2012


Today’s post will be short and to the point.

Did you make goals at the beginning of 2012? We talked about making SMARTER goals in January and we reviewed our goals in March and July. It’s time for one more quarterly review. We’ve got three more months before it’ll be time to make new goals for 2013.

How are you doing?

What do you need to revise?

What do you need to change to accomplish your goals?

What’s keeping you from accomplishing them?

Now, get going!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for placing desires in our hearts. Please help us continue to pursue those desires as long as they are pleasing to you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Leave a comment with an update on the progress of accomplishing your goals.

Friday, October 5, 2012


The fourth Beatitude is this:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

(Matthew 5:6)


Righteousness encompasses those things Paul lists in Philippians:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Righteousness is a life style. It means subjecting our will to the direction of Jesus. It is accepting our duty to live a life like Christ; doing what he would have done and doing it how he would have done it. Being righteous means understanding whether something is right or wrong, just or unjust, godly or ungodly because the Holy Spirit, living in us has the power to convict.

The Holy Spirit’s conviction leads to transition and then to conversion.

For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; And the upright will behold His face. (Psalms 11:7)

Seeing God’s face? That’s righteousness.

Hunger and Thirst

Hunger and thirst are ongoing appetites. We eat a hearty breakfast and are hungry again for lunch. We have a glass of water in the afternoon and another before bedtime. Hunger and thirst must be satisfied often.

Similarly, we seek constant nourishment of righteousness. As a person seeks after God, his thirst for righteousness must be met continuously. This Beatitude is God’s promise that a hunger and thirst for righteousness is pleasing to Him. The person will be blessed by God’s satisfying that hunger and thirst. God desires to be sought and He desires to be known.

A child of God seeks righteousness on a second-to second basis, desiring to be possessed by righteousness, to constantly live in it, to be absorbed into it and by it. A righteous life fills the true believer with peace and joy.

That’s a blessing!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we love you so. Jesus, we desire to live a life like you did—following your example of righteousness. Holy Spirit, we ask you to help us attune our minds and hearts to your leading so that our hunger and thirst for righteousness can be increased and then filled in a way that is pleasing to you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? In what practical way do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. The theme for October is "discover."

Please click on the links to the right to read what my friends have to say about discover.

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When our daughter was three, everything was new and exciting. She’d come running in from the kitchen carrying a wire whisk or a corkscrew and announce, "Look what I found!"

She’d do the same at Grandma’s house, to which Grandma would reply, "What do you mean you found it? It wasn’t lost!"

My daughter used the sense of "found" like the meaning of discovery as—not finding something new —but finding something anew

When I seek God, I use a different meaning of discover: to make known. To see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown). God reveals more of Himself to me the more I seek His face.

But Jesus does the seeking, using a third definition of discover.  He located, attained, or obtained my soul by effort on His part. He stood at the door of my heart and knocked until I let Him in.

It reminds me of that line in John Newton’s hymn, Amazing Grace:

I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.

Just like Grandma said. At one time in my life I would have thought, "I’m not lost." But just because I didn’t know I was lost didn’t make it less true. I was lost but now am found. Jesus found me.

Jesus found me and I discovered that He was always there.

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you so much for not giving up on me. Thank you for finding me when I was lost and bringing me with you to your safe haven of love. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Which definition of discover most describes your faith?

Monday, October 1, 2012


There are two birthstones for the month of October—tourmaline and opal. And they both remind me of Jesus.

Tourmaline comes in a variety of colors. More interestingly, tourmaline often contains several colors in the same gemstone.

The watermelon tourmaline is a great example. It is banded in green, white and pink. In gemstone symbolism, the three colors in watermelon tourmaline bring together compassion and spiritual love. Sounds like Jesus.

Wearing pink tourmaline supposedly brings out a person’s inner child. Since Jesus reminds us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the little children (Matthew 19:14), maybe we should wear pink tourmaline every day.

Opals are formed when silica gel seeps into the sedimentary strata and hardens. As a result of this process, opals contain a high amount of water—up to 10% of the total weight of the stone. Thus, opals are both a stone and water—just as Jesus is our cornerstone and is also the living water.

Tourmaline and Opal

What is unique about these stones is that they both frequently display several colors in the same stone. It’s as if each stone contains its own little rainbow—God’s promise to us and to Himself after the flood. That promise was fulfilled through Jesus who came to save us—not just from a flood—but so that we might live with him in heaven.

Happy birthday to everyone born in the month of October.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for creating so much beauty in this world—even in the very building materials that make up this world. Thank you that you have placed these reminders of your glory everywhere. Please open our eyes to see them and open our hearts to see you around us. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Which of these two birthstones do you prefer?
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