"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Sunday, July 31, 2022


In the Radio Teaching Series with Pastor Rick Warren on Awesome RELATIONSHIPS,  the Message is divided into 4 parts on "Fighting for an Awesome Family". I believe we all would like to have Awesome Families - the one we originate from and the one we have as adults. I have an awesome extended family but only 2 left in my original biological family, I love them dearly, but at times, our relationship seems strained or distant over the years. So My Church Family, for many years, is the one I counted on, because 'they' (many of the members in the Church) became and were Family to me (and my kids) which exemplified the role of a good, healthy, spirit-filled family. In many ways, 'they' took us under their wings (so to speak) and included us as part of their families, showing us care and so much more. I can never adequately thank any of them, but tried to do so often during those years.Since I brought our kids to church alone and frequently throughout the week, not just Sunday, Church, for me, is/was my family. Yes, I had my biological family and a spouse, so I was not a single parent, yet 'they' nourished the spiritual aspect of family and helped us even have fun. That is the Message of today's devotional from Pastor Rick Warren: "Families Should Be Fun" - I couldn't agree more, however I realize that wasn't always the case then and now, even with our grandchildren, which saddens me. But I skipped ahead quite a few of the devotionals, so let me go back to the first devotional on "...Awesome Families" because it is/was essential to begin this part on Families. 

"Five Things You Must Learn in Your Family"
Awesome Families encourage growth

I will just list the 5, so you'll need to go and read the short devotional linked to understand them better and to get the full context.

1. You learn what to do with feelings.
2. You learn how to handle conflict.
3. You learn how to handle loss.
4. You learn which values matter most.
5. You learn good habits.

You can use this to evaluate your own family relationships - both your own personal family from which you came and then the one you were part of as an adult (created or adopted or otherwise - like my spiritual family became later). I'll just say that in both of the families, I lived with - I do not fare well in these 5 - either having learned or instilling through teaching and example. And not because I did not try. I agree with Pastor Rick's opening that "they create an atmosphere of lifelong learning." Some, I'm getting better at personally, but I'm still learning in my old age, because I never learned, nor do I think (feel) that I knew how to pass them on or function as a healthy family/individuals (at least in 3 out of the 5). I believe that values and habits were part of both families yet the question may be - how good? As in the previous "Awesome RELATIONSHIPS" of Marriage, that I do not feel qualified to write or share about - the same goes for Families.

"Fighting for an Awesome Family" Part 1 (July 29, 2022) Radio/ available as a Podcast too on Spotify or probably wherever you listen.  The other 3 parts of the Radio teaching will be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. However, here are the devotionals: 
How Family Members Help Each Other Grow   7/28/22

Relationships Are a Raincoat in Life's Storms  7/29/22

Leave a Legacy of Hospitality                        7/30/22

Families Should Be Fun (linked above)           7/31/22

{I'm thinking that if you read these after the broadcast, the links may not work, because the messages will be archived, depending on when you read this. Sorry.}

[I, even include many dogs as part of our family, which you dog owners will understand. I believe that caring for animals and loving them teaches invaluable lessons on values and good habits. Yet dogs, for me (even though I've had horses and other animals, to care for as an adult) love unconditionally and they have taught me many lessons. In Mexico, for the 20 years I lived there, dogs were a big part of my life there - they were my family away from people family back home. All of those special dogs, my family for years, some since birth or soon after- so 15 years+) are now all gone, but I have the hope of Rainbow Bridge and I know that they are/have been teaching me #1 and #3, even still in their absence. I also have a beautiful Mexican (people) family that included me there. As far as dogs, I am just starting over with one, rather than 6 and also a rescue one that I share with the owner. An excellent author on pet loss is Kate McGahan (and her Jack), but of course, there are many others. Also there are great books written on Lessons Learned from Dogs ... Horses, etc. So, if humans seem to be failing you in this, try a loving pet or a good book.] 

Let's keep building (and learning) on Awesome RELATIONSHIPS!  

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Strong Marriages ... part 2

I am still mulling over the devotional on "Strong Marriages..." by Pastor Rick Warren from July 26th (in my email and also shared at Daily Hope) that I posted about in my last post (now says Strong Marriages, part 1). {I even went back and added a personal part to that blog post right before the last boxes marked with an *} Perhaps this is why I am still mulling over this. And of course, this causes me to do a Google search ... Topic: Strong Marriages (defined, Biblical, etc.). I just needed to know what Pastor Rick meant by 'strong' in regards to 'marriages' since last year my One Word was Strength, and now followed in 2022 with RELATIONSHIP. There are many opinions out in search world but I also found that many changed my search on a 'strong marriage' to 'happiness in marriage' or 'successful' (good, great, etc.)- it definitely widens the search, instead of sticking to 'strong marriage'. So I pondered some more and kept some of the articles to read while noting the characteristics given for a 'strong" (successful, happy, good, great) marriage. The definition of 'strong' (16 given in Merriam Webster) does not include happy, successful, good or great, not even in the synonyms. 

The first article that is cited (in the search) is "Building a Strong Marriage" by Julie Baumgardner (October 4, 2017). Now that may seem outdated but I don't think anyone's opinion of the 'strengths" in a marriage or how to build a strong marriage becomes outdated. The key message shared on the search page had this from the article:

"Strong marriages have a balance between separateness and togetherness. These couples prioritize togetherness, ask each other for help, enjoy doing things together and spend most of their free time together."

I found this to be very interesting so I clicked on it to read the rest. Julie (the author) shares 10 strengths and 10 problems (according to a survey). I really liked her conclusion on taking time to prepare for your marriage. 

"Learn how to build on your strengths, creatively address differences and work together for the best interests of your marriage. It will probably be the best wedding present you can give to each other. "

I particularly like the suggestion and wisdom to "Learn how to build on your strengths ..." yet, although the author writes this for those preparing to marry, I believe that acknowledging the other's strengths throughout your marriage is vital also. Lifting someone up and encouraging them in your marriage is much better than looking for the negative or tearing the other one down, as time goes on when real life problems and situations arise, Godly strength is needed.  

Then I came across another more recent article (May 2020) asking what I've been pondering: "What does it mean to have a strong marriage?" from "4 Women (at different life stages) Share what Makes a Strong Marriage". This capsulizes some, but the personal stories are very interesting - worth the casual read. Good points.

"There are so many layers to having a strong marriage, and although couples can't always accomplish all of them, it may be in our best interest to work towards most of them. Trust, respect, communication, laughter, closeness, faithfulness, open-mindedness, and a will to forgive are just a few of those things."

Later, I read this helpful insight elsewhere: "There are many areas of closeness that can enhance a marriage/relationship, help it to remain strong, and help it get back on track when it has become distant/difficult." I also found in this article a list of characteristics (they call "factors that contribute to a satisfying marriage/relationship").

In the various articles of my search, I found these characteristics to be the consensus:

Communication (good, including listening)







... and the list goes on ... with LOVE, Patience, Responsibility, Willingness/Ability to Compromise - but the ones that stand out the most to me are:

Spirituality and Values; Empathy and Sensitivity; Ability to Deal with Crises and Stress (many of these were part of the article:"12 Characteristics of Successful Marriages" by Natalia Walcott, which mentions some really good ones, not listed). There's also this good article "12 Practical Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship..." - both are very insightful. 

As I reflect on some of these articles and the characteristics mostly, I realize what I have (we have), what I thought there were (when we first married) and now what exists ... and I have to emphasize the 1st part I shared again: balance and building on your strengths [the 1st 2 boxes have the full quotes]. However, the biggest struggle in my own marriage was my own misunderstandings as regards his spirituality and my own. His humanitarian and educational concerns I thought we shared in common as a Christian bond of our beliefs being the same, but I confused what I saw with what I wanted to see or be. He described what he wanted from (with) me as being authentic. Again, there was a discrepancy. Those values are bigger than what is seen on the surface. Those differences or misunderstandings added to so many other problems we faced. However, he has strengths and I have strengths ... and these many years later they don't hold up to the many faults and failings in our basic relationship, and that is why the ability to deal with situations (not just crises and stress) with respect and love honestly in good communication and consideration, all are essential to build a "strong marriage". I don't differ with the characteristics given in any of these articles. Yet, having strengths and weaknesses as humans, we bring these into any relationship and we need to accept that they do exist and allow grace. Much grace. Having strengths is not the same as being strong individuals or strong willed or strong headed. We bring the good and the not so good with us into our relationships. As I stated back in part 1; the part on "fighting for an awesome marriage" that the 'fight' also means the struggle to endure as we(I) put forth a determined effort - too often we give up in the struggle or the weariness or the difficulties, but it takes forgiveness and God to move beyond all the struggles and failings of each other. Both sides have frailties that hinder building or rebuilding - it's in our natural personalities and character. But God! Only with surrender and help from God, do we arrive at becoming stronger or a strong marriage, moving forward. 

It isn't easy to have a STRONG MARRIAGE. You may not agree with the other about what that even is ... you may not agree with me, however STRENGTH from God, through His Spirit, by Jesus' beautiful example and teachings can restore any RELATIONSHIP, if their is a willingness to listen, compromise and rekindle love. Without love, it will seem hopeless. Without God/Jesus; love is not seen the same way. Without hope, there is more and more hostility and futility. Without Jesus (no Jesus ... no peace) there are constant unresolved conflicts, but if you Know Jesus, you will know Peace. And His Holy Spirit will guide and lead you closer, give you hope and rebuild the main foundation in Christ. That's when it's strong! 

Today, Pastor Rick Warren is finishing with Part 4 of Fighting for An Awesome Marriage if you are listening online at Daily Hope. However, yesterday and today in his devotionals he has moved on to the FAMILY. 

The You Version reading plan, Awesome Relationships, as I mentioned already does not sync well with this study, even though they are both with Pastor Rick Warren and I must say that the reading plan has some very insightful devotionals. They certainly relate to the Daily Hope devotional and study & add greatly! I already linked to Day 2 at the end of my previous post because it was the BEST!

Here are Day 3, 4, and 5 of the 10 given in the YV reading plan: 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Strong Marriages ... part 1

"Strong Marriages are Good for Everyone"  is part 2 of Pastor Rick Warren's Daily Hope message on "Fighting for an Awesome Marriage". I read and reread & listened to this, and I am the least likely person to write or comment on Marriage - strong or otherwise, even though I have been in this RELATIONSHIP for 50 years & as a marriage, it will be 46 years. Sufficient to know or I still really do not know, yet I wonder how many marriages are like this. As I read Pastor Rick's daily message email, I had many thoughts to insert as comments, so I decided to do so in a blog post. If you have not read or listened to pastor Rick's message, I suggest you do that first in full context before continuing to read here. 

I will start out with what the image says that "God uses marriage to perfect your character" {... ain't that the truth?} (lol) However, I would like to rephrase this quote to include all RELATIONSHIPS that God uses each one to perfect your character in some way - not only in marriage. Pastor Rick has done a great job in including and pointing out how other relationships do also. And I agree - that in every stage, single to married, God will and can use other people to build your character. Clearly, all relationships impact your character to the good or not, build or destroy parts of your character. This I know from a lifetime of experiences! So this quote strikes me even more -

"If you get married, no relationship will have a greater impact on your life."

Pastor Rick has so many good points in such a short message!

It's at this point, I will leave his main message and ask what came to me ... if "Strong Marriages are Good for Everyone" then, if or when you do not have a "strong marriage" and it is lacking or weak, this would mean that this is not good for everyone (and as Pastor Rick mentioned briefly in his second paragraph ... "When marriages and families weaken, cultures decline.") In fact, he does write before this that ...

"Throughout history, marriage has been the fundamental building block of every society and culture. When marriages have been strong, nations have been strong. ..."

This is my concern, looking at the world (our nation) {and even personally at my lifelong marriage that has not been "strong" (healthy, functional)} we have not done well in building strong marriages and families, or passing on an example to follow. Currently, we are witnessing the destruction in our nation. We have not been a very good example in showing how to love.{sadly not even in the church} Relationships are so interconnected, and yet we have still not stopped being selfish or show that we realize it's not all about us, as Pastor Rick wrote about "maturity" (5th paragraph). What we need to know and show is how to love and serve rather than be self-serving, as far too many are right now in our country. And it starts at home, in our families and relationships built.  This is why we fight. But we need to be fighting to build - not tear down. (Ecclesiastes 3)

Building or Fighting for an Awesome Marriage is "fighting the good fight",       
(1 Timothy 6:12) not the kind that is stirring all around us. We have forgotten how to love as Jesus, to be inclusive rather than divisive, or exclusive, we've forgotten the basics of love. (1 Corinthians 13) Our character is lacking. I'm thankful for the good people that have good character. The problem is that we see too many lacking good, strong character and morale fiber. We need to develop and grow up much better than we are doing or showing to others, whether it's our spouses or our families or our communities or the world. Fighting, does not just mean in a physical, violent way (as we see far too much of this in society nowadays) ... it can also mean to struggle to endure; putting forth a determined effort (we need more of this)! 

* My marriage may not be strong, but it is a RELATIONSHIP of 2 strong-headed individuals (God is breaking that in at least one of us that surrenders to Jesus daily). Back in the mid 80s, I fought for ReBuilding our marriage in a small group called ReBuilders, but you can't rebuild alone, at least I couldn't. I fought hard for my marriage early on, because I wanted (needed) to prove to my parents it would work (pride - broken) and then later delivered from my rebellion to my father (& asked for his forgiveness). I fought hard in the 80s for my marriage because we were blessed to be able to adopt two siblings of 3 and they deserved a home with two parents and a family. I was determined (pride) to make wrong - right. Years later, I gave up. I was tired of the unhealthy control. I surrendered (but not to my spouse) to God. Again I was determined to be free, Spirit-controlled, yet I must not have done that right either. It's been a continual daily surrender, to crucify myself to allowing God to work. Some days, I succeed, some days not ... really I should say, some days, God succeeds with me. (sigh) That old flesh takes long to die. I left (ran away) from what I could no longer deal with and returned later. However, the situation and the marriage has still not healed. I gave up fighting for something that really never should have been. I repeatedly have asked for forgiveness, yet have found & received only God's. I live continually paying the consequences for a very wrong choice and decision, made for a lifetime, but with many transgressions. I press on, trying to do my best, but that will only happen when I allow the Holy Spirit to control and help me daily. Not on my own, not by sheer will or determination. I need God and God's wisdom each day and his direction.*

 These final words of wisdom from Pastor Rick would benefit all of us to heed:

"If you’re married, the number one tool that God uses in your life to build Christ-like character is your spouse. Every day you get hundreds of opportunities to think about the other person instead of yourself."

"Excel in showing respect for each other so that you grow to be more like Christ. It will lead to a stronger relationship for you and a stronger society for everyone."

Let us learn to strengthen 


with more of the

Character of Christ!

Too many of us have forgotten -

Jesus Christ is gentle, compassionate, kind!


as HE GAVE HIS LIFE for us

completely selfless!

I need to learn how to build a strong marriage, one with the character like Christ, but marriage takes two working together. Or else it doesn't work, it just exists.

God is not finish, please say a prayer.

And DAY 2 of Awesome Relationships by Rick Warren at You Version 
has a very valuable devotional with great insights to
"Be Courageous in Your Relationships"

* returned and added this part *

Monday, July 25, 2022

"Positive Prayer Makes Strong Relationships"

starting * today

However, back in my 2016 emails from Pastor Rick Warren & Daily Hope, I came across this title "Positive Prayer Makes Strong Relationships" (which I almost added to my Sunday blog post, but it already was long enough, but I did mention it. It's day 8 in YV plan). As I begin "Awesome Relationships..." I felt this was the best place to start - with prayer. 

Pastor Rick share this scripture verse:
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV). "

and then asks

"I want you to think of somebody who irritates you — maybe somebody you’ve got a strained relationship with or who just rubs you the wrong way. I have two questions for you:
One, do you pray for that person? Or do you just complain and grumble and nag and nitpick? If you prayed more, you’d have a lot less to grumble, complain, nag, and nitpick about. It’s your decision."

I have a person in mind, surely you do too. {c'mon at least one}. 

The key part of this teaching, for me, is the following, from Philippians 1:9-11:

... "From these verses, we can learn to pray for the people in our lives in four ways:

Pray that they will grow in love: “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

Pray that they will make wise choices: “... so that you may be able to discern what is best ...”

Pray that they will live with integrity: “... and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ ...”

Pray that they will become like Jesus: “... filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.”

Pray these for yourself and anyone else in your life, and watch how God turns around the relationship you thought was hopeless. Nothing is impossible with God!

Here are a few sites with helpful prayers to start you off praying:

"7 Prayers for a  ... Relationship"

Positive prayer and declaring biblical truths over our RELATIONSHIPS is a great place to trust God & release all RELATIONSHIPS into God's hands & direction.

{So I ended up ordering a used copy of this, but it doesn't arrive until August 1-7 ...}
It's a good gift to myself if it arrives August 1st.

Series Summary: 
 Message 1: Fighting for an Awesome Marriage (4 parts)
Message 2: Fighting for an Awesome Family
Message 3: Making Friends for Eternity
Message 4: What Destroys Relationships and What Builds Them
Message 5: Finding the Love of Your Life
Message 6: Becoming Best Friends with God

* I may be wrong about Pastor Rick's Daily Hope starting this one today.
I will try and let you know in the comments or right here. 

I had received an email (June 25) mentioning this starts July 25th on
Daily Hope, as July Preview Studies. I hope that it starts today & I'm right.

It's OK, it does start today! 

Awesome Marriage Messages

Marriage is Meant for Connection 7/25/22

Strong Marriages are Good for Everyone 7/26/22

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Building RELATIONSHIPS and Making Changes

Starting July 25th (tomorrow)


Pastor Rick Warren

on Daily Hope 

  "One of the great tasks of life is building awesome RELATIONSHIPS." ~Rick Warren

The 10 day plan at You Version begins with "Authentic Friendships", whereas the previous Pastor Rick teaching series on Daily Hope (back in 2016) began with "Fighting for an Awesome Marriage" (parts 1, 2, 3, 4) followed by "Fighting for an Awesome Family" (4 parts) and then "Making Friends for Eternity". The next part in the Daily Hope teaching series is "What Destroys Relationships and Builds Them". For me, this is the major message that I need, since having and making healthier RELATIONSHIPS really is what I need to change and work on in my own personal life the most. Dysfunctional RELATIONSHIPS throughout my life have weighed heavily on me and my life journey, when I finally discovered that they were. So, in addition to my 365 days of daily devotions for Christians in difficult RELATIONSHIPS, entitled "Change My Relationship" by Karla Downing, M.A. (her fabulous website and You Tube channel) share invaluable information & help.

The teaching series ends with "Becoming Best Friends with God" (3 parts) which so far has been my main concern, but it's my earthly RELATIONSHIPS, which need more work (and prayer). "Positive Prayer Strengthens Your RELATIONSHIPS" is day 8 in the You Version plan - I couldn't agree more in the necessity of this. All of your RELATIONSHIPS will benefit from positive prayer and strengthen them. Even though I am far from an expert on RELATIONSHIPS, I know and have learned through God's Word (in the Bible) what I should aim toward & change. I really am not the one to explain how to build RELATIONSHIPS but I'm sure Pastor Rick will share key points. The following are the scriptures that he shares in the 10th message of the series in the message outline (pdf)- (of course, this new teaching may change or maybe it won't; we won't know until we see it) but these are the scriptures that "destroy or build RELATIONSHIPS" in his teaching notes:

“Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.” Rom. 12:5 (GW)

“What causes fights and quarrels? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don’t get it.” James 4:1-2 (NIV)

“Selfishness only causes trouble.” Pr. 28:25 (TEV)

“Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.” Phil. 2:4 (TEV)

 “The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – and ignoring God – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, and eternal life.” Gal. 6:8 (Mes)

 “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.” Gal. 5:16 (Mes) 

 “Pride leads to arguments.” Pr. 13:10 (LB)

 “Pride will destroy a person: a proud attitude leads to ruin.” Pr. 16:18 (NCV)

 “First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Mes) 

“Live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (GW)

 “ …Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves…your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God.” Phil. 2:3, 5-6 (NCV/NLT)

“The fear of human opinion disables.” Pr. 29:25 (Mes)

Adam: “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Gen. 3:10 (NIV) 

 “Love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid… it shows that His love has not been perfected in us.” 1 John 4:18 (NLT)

“All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them… We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in Him. God is love … And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid…” 1 John 4:15-17 (NLT)

“To worry yourself to death with resentment is a foolish, senseless thing to do.” Job 5:2 (TEV)

“Since my heart was embittered and my soul deeply wounded, I was stupid and could not understand.” Ps. 73:21-22 (NAB)

“Look after each other… Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Heb. 12:15 (LB)

 “You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Col. 3:13 (NLT)

 “Once our lives were full of resentment and envy. But then… Christ saved us – not because we were good enough to be saved but because of His kindness and love – by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit… all because of what Jesus our Savior did so that He could declare us good in God’s eyes.” Titus 3:3-7 (LB)

The Lord says, “Forget what happened before and do not think about the past. I am going to do something new… I will make rivers on dry land.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (GW)

God can turn around any RELATIONSHIP, even ones that seem hopeless. Perhaps God is showing you that this RELATIONSHIP is one that needs work; or one that you should consider leaving (due to its dysfunction) but still nothing is impossible for God; so first take the RELATIONSHIP to Him for healing or rebuilding or restoring; and let God determine the transformation needed and how you (& your mindset) may need to change, as you learn & discover healthy RELATIONSHIP standards versus the unhealthy or habitual rut that you have allowed to take root.
God is in the business or REDEEMING, RESTORING & REBUILDING our RELATIONSHIPS, because He can & He wants to establish with the right tools & plan. Your life and RELATIONSHIPS can be different. We all want a better life so key RELATIONSHIPS need boundaries and true truths and guidelines. 

[Rick Warren's message on Mother's Day at Saddleback Church]

Karla Downing shares 10 RELATIONSHIP-changing Principles (which is another book I have but also available to read by following that link to her website) and then each principle for specific details. Right now, I am reading "Dealing with Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics" and have found her Resources with Challenges & Quizzes to be so helpful as well as her many videos available. Her words of wisdom and clear teachings are just what I need - my personal licensed, Christian therapist (marriage & family) and a daily dose of her 365 devotions offer me great insights into RELATIONSHIP dynamics & possibly changes I need. It does not take long for me to find a devotion that seems to be meant just for me.

God definitely is guiding and directing this 2022 One Word RELATIONSHIPS for me - I hope and pray that your lifetime RELATIONSHIPS also are being blessed by His changing, transformative - aMazing Grace & Principles of His Love - always available, always the best, as He's building us to be better at all our RELATIONSHIPS, deepening the most important One with Him, and then all the earthly ones that He deems are in need of more work and more healing and more Godly principles! I believe both Pastor Rick Warren & Karla Downing have valuable lessons to share with us. Perhaps you'll give them a try. 

Let me know if you plan to join me either with the YV reading plan Awesome Relationships or with Pastor Rick Warren at Daily Hope. Blessings on all of you and your RELATIONSHIPS!

Friday, July 1, 2022



[image credit: You Version/Rick Warren]

This is not my title so I'm borrowing it to share an upcoming study in July with Pastor Rick Warren (he has done this one before in May of 2016, but is doing it again) at Daily Hope, however, I also found a 10 day sample version at You Version BUT I mostly like this title because it contains my One Word for 2022 and I hope that ALL my RELATIONSHIPS become better & more AWESOME by the time I complete this year! [This also is a book (DVD small group) by Pastor Rick, who (by the way) is retiring from Saddleback Church & has now shared his new successor.] 

[image credit:Rick Warren]

"The bedrock of every friendship is trust. It takes time and intention to create awesome relationships. In relationship we learn to be unselfish and we learn to love. Life is a laboratory for learning how to love. We crave the safety of a relationship where we are fully known. Everybody wants soul intimacy. We all long for genuine connection." (book description)

According to a daily devotional email I receive from Daily Hope, this "Awesome" study begins July 25, so I will start my You Version plan then. 

relationship (n.)

1640s, "sense or state of being related" by kindred, affinity, or other alliance, from relation + -ship. Specifically of romantic or sexual intimacy in 1944.

Since 2022 began, I have wanted to do an "etymology"of RELATIONSHIP (my One Word) but decided it was just a compound word of relation + ship so I wasn't thinking it was necessary, although I found this short version - interesting, plus the definition: 

relationship (n.) noun

relationshipplural nounrelationships
  1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
    • the state of being connected by blood or marriage.
      "they can trace their relationship to a common ancestor"
      the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave toward each other.
      "the landlord–tenant relationship"
    • an emotional and sexual association between two people.
      "she has a daughter from a previous relationship"

Clearly, RELATIONSHIP is how we RELATE with one another. God created people to be in RELATIONSHIP with Himself and one another in friendship, marriage, family, society and the church. Yet I believe what's important in each RELATIONSHIP is that it is healthy and built on godly principles. I found this article from Christianity Today to sum this up nicely: "What Does RELATIONSHIP mean in the Bible?" and I can agree with almost entirely. From my own personal life journey, I realize that I lack much in having 'healthy RELATIONSHIPS' and I don't think I had any clear model of this except later in my observation of church family RELATIONSHIPS. I found many I respect and wished to emulate yet knew I need(ed) to discover in my own RELATIONSHIPS how God would show me to develop and not compare to others. I'm still working on this and know that it will be a continual lifetime (improvement) project - my best example is Jesus, found in His Word, with God, the Father & then unconditionally with other humans, by His Spirit (because truthfully, some RELATIONSHIPS will take the work of the Holy Spirit to be able to do this). We might get parts of it wrong so that's why we keep on working on it to develop better and healthier aspects by following after those godly principles, given by Jesus, in the Bible - His Word & basic instructions for our time on earth. Here's another good article on "what does the Bible say about RELATIONSHIPS?I am sure that Pastor Rick's "Awesome Relationships" study starting on July 25th will share good building block material on helping us have and make our RELATIONSHIPS Awesome! Perhaps you might consider joining me in this endeavor either through the Daily Hope program (you can watch or listen online) or by reading the one at You Version (or both). I'm positive it will bless you!

God is always open to having a closer & better RELATIONSHIP with us and showing us how to do that in our earthly RELATIONSHPS with others to draw them closer to Him while making our RELATIONSHIPS more healthy and changing us so that we love more authentically and extending much grace as we do. I hope and pray (one of the best ways to connect with God) that your summer is filled with better days and better RELATIONSHIPS with one another as Jesus fills you with the fruit of the Spirit and power to accept & build godly ones. Our world is desperately in need of Jesus and His LOVE which starts with us & how we RELATE.

Wishing you a Happy 4th of July weekend! Stay safe and enjoy the freedom we have in Christ Jesus! (little by little our country has less freedoms, but that is an entirely different topic and one which brings me great sadness and concern). 

May Almighty God bless America once again, have mercy on us, and bring revival hopefully as  we repent & humble ourselves, with liberty & justice for ALL!

[*image is a snapshot from Jesus Listens, Sarah Young, p.195]

this 4th of July

that everyone in your circle of love is

and that your celebration is

is so

*may need to remove due to copyright

{if you follow the link to Amazon, it's marked down & also has used copies, 
great book for the entire year - one of Sarah Young's best (imho)!}


To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!