Growing with God in Love

Scripture: James 1:17-27

Shirley Bachelder is a 94-year-old woman who lives in Franklin, Tennessee. Shirley has been keeping a bucket list since she was nine years old, listing all the things she wants to do before she dies. Crossing off items on her bucket list, Shirley travelled across the world, took a ride in a hot air balloon, and when she was sixty years old graduated from college with a degree in art. She is a former missionary, an active member of her Methodist church, and someone who has lively conversations with God. One time long ago, Shirley asked God, “What can I do for you?” She got a curious reply: God wanted her to buy a 5-second ad on primetime television to share God’s message. It would “cost a bundle”, she said, so Shirley added it to her bucket list, where it sat for years.[1] But last month members of Shirley’s Bible study class told a local TV news reporter, and the station ran a human interest feature about her. In the middle of the story, they included five seconds with Shirley Bachelder’s message from God. White type on a black background carried three words: “love one another”. Shirley’s story has been shared countless times in the weeks since, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, China and the Philippines.[2] Everyone could use a reminder of God’s message through Shirley: “love one another”.

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Growing with God in Wisdom

Scripture: 1 Kings 3:3-14

George Washington, our first president, was the most honest man who ever lived. He would tell the truth, no matter what it cost him. In fact, one time as a boy George got so angry at something that he took an ax and buried it into the closest thing he could find—a cherry tree on the family property. He chopped that whole tree down! Then, afraid of what he’d done, he hid the ax and went away. But it wasn’t long before his wrongdoing caught up with him. George’s father found the tree and confronted the boy: “Did you do this??” Knowing that he was going to get a whupping, George nevertheless told the truth. He took a licking for it, but he kept his word intact. Because George Washington was the most honest man who ever lived.

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