Psalm 46:1-11 (NIV)

1 God is our refuge1 and strength,2 an ever-present3 help4 in trouble.5 2 Therefore we will not fear,6 though the earth give way7 and the mountains fall8 into the heart of the sea,9 3 though its waters roar10 and foam11 and the mountains quake12 with their surging. “Selah” 4 There is a river13 whose streams14 make glad the city of God,15 the holy place where the Most High16 dwells.17 5 God is within her,18 she will not fall;19 God will help20 her at break of day. 6 Nations21 are in uproar,22 kingdoms23 fall; he lifts his voice,24 the earth melts.25 7 The LORD Almighty26 is with us;27 the God of Jacob28 is our fortress.29 “Selah” 8 Come and see the works of the LORD,30 the desolations31 he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars32 cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow33 and shatters the spear, he burns the shieldsa with fire.34 10 “Be still, and know that I am God;35 I will be exalted36 among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob37 is our fortress.38 “Selah”

1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV)

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!1” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

DEVOTION – Valerie Battle Kienzle (Missouri)

My life can be hectic and hurried:  rushing out the door to work, caring for children and other loved ones, preparing meals, dealing with unexpected interruptions and emergencies.  On some days, I don’t slow down until I stumble into bed.

Early in the year the church pastors offered us a challenge: Slow down.  Let God get your attention. Look around. Listen.  Take five minutes each day to notice life.

I accepted the challenge, and the results have been surprising.  I stopped to watch the purples and pinks of a sunset become more vivid with each passing minute.  I noticed movement behind my house and saw deer, romping like children.  I lit a fire on a cold night and felt its warmth surround me.  I listened as a friend talked about challenge in her life.  Her comments helped me deal with situations in my own life.

By slowing down for a few moments to be open to God and the life around me, I saw that each day is full of blessings.  The challenge is to take time to notice.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will slow down and be thankful for life’s blessings.

PRAYER: Dear God, thak you for the many blessings that come to us each day.  Help us to slow down and to appreciate all that you give us.  Amen.