“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. “-John 15:12 (NKJV)
It was a stormy night, and most people had already filtered out of Bible study to head home. As the pastor, I’d spoken with a man who was at our church for the first time and welcomed him. I’d been teaching about grace and how weirdly resistant we can become to Gods good news.
We had a nice conversation and then he left. But he returned a few moments later; his car battery was dead and he asked if anyone had jumper cables. I always keep some, so I volunteered.
I followed him out to the car. Rain splatted against us as I handed him the cables and went to open my hood. He hooked them up to his battery and handed me rain-slicked cables to hook up to mine. I double-checked first: “Red to positive, right?”
“Right,” he said. “Red to positive.”
The instant I touched the clamp to my battery, sizzling sparks and a loud pop told me something was wrong. We both jumped back. I took a deep breath and checked under his hood; he had put red to negative. Doesn’t he know that reversed polarities can make a battery explode? I was mad but held in my anger.
We righted the cable connections, got his car started, and off he went. As I drove home, God’s Spirit gently nudged me and made me think. Can my heart have reversed polarities too? Can I be weirdly resistant to grace? Am I shooting off my own sparks by getting angry? I reconnected my heart to God’s grace: receiver to Giver, child to Father, forgiven one to Savior. By the time I got home, the storm was over. Loving One, shelter me within Your grace and teach me to show others the same grace You’ve shown me.
-Bill Giovannetti
Digging Deeper: Colossians 4:6
A man went to the doctor for his yearly checkup.
As his doctor was examining his patient he commented on his pale complexion. “I know” the patient said “It’s my high blood pressure, it’s in the family.”
“Your mom’s side, or dad’s side?” questioned the doctor.
“Neither, my wife’s.”
“What?” the doctor said “that can’t be, how can you get it from your wife’s family?”
“Oh yeah, I am telling you the truth!” Why don’t you come meet my wife’s family sometime!”


God Knows Everything We, never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all: -1 Corinthians 8:3 (MSG)
We live way out in the country and often have no phone or Internet service. To complicate matters, our long gravel driveway gets muddy when it rains. I work from home, and to communicate by cell phone I have to walk to a certain spot in the driveway and hold my head at just the right angle.
Alter several days of this nonsense, I became unglued. I’d been waiting for an important e-mail regarding a project I’d completed. Had my colleague tried to reach me but couldn’t?
Our home phone service had been out multiple times. Now the cable that was buried under our driveway had broken because the cable repair workers had plowed a ditch through the middle of the driveway. I decided that my car wouldn’t make it through the deep grooves and mudslide, so I crawled into my son’s pickup to weave my way through the machinery and workmen toward civilization and Wi-Fi. But there were no keys in his truck, and he wasn’t home. I slammed his door and marched through the chaos, swatting flies and mosquitoes, hoping. I could find one spot where we had service. Walking toward our mailbox, I clicked the e-mail icon on my cell phone. Hallelujah! I was connected. But there was no response on my project.
I typed out a long-winded e-mail to my colleague and explained the dire situation. Seconds later, I received a calm, gracious reply: “Julie, sorry you’re having a disconnected and discombobulating day. I should have an answer for you in the next week or so. Hope your day improves.”
Lord, You had it under control the whole time. You always do.
-Julie Garmon  
Digging Deeper: Psalms 23:1-3, 139:5-6
Wife: I have a bag full of used clothes I’d like to donate.
Husband: Why not just throw them in the trash?
Wife: But there are poor starving people who can really use these clothes.
Husband: Anyone who can fit into your clothes is not starving.
The husband is now recovering from an injury on his head. …


When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. -1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
My youngest son lost his first tooth, and .he flashed the biggest smile to show off the empty space. HIS excitement collided with my heartbreak.
The disappearance of his sweet baby smile hit me harder than I expected. This was my last child. His small, straight, perfect teeth would soon be replaced by clumsy, giant ones-too big for his little face. They’d probably grow in crooked like mine did-grown-up teeth and their grown-up teeth problems. The infant who used to curl into a ball on my chest was growing up. Soon he’d be a teenager, then a man. His life so far has been as perfect “his little boy smile.
He is loved, protected, clothed, sheltered, and nurtured. He’s never lost a loved one in death, never known tragedy or violence, But now the open space in his mouth represented the open space of the unknown. What would the next chapters of his life look?
As much as I want to protect him, my job is also to prepare him for the harsh realities of life. I don’t want him to experience heartache and pain, but I know trials grow us into the people we’re meant to be. “Oh, my baby,” I sigh. But he’s not a baby anymore. The proof is under his pillow. A tiny, perfect tooth, now just a souvenir of his childhood.
Life can be difficult, Lord. I want to protect the ones I love, but help me to let them go as You mold them into the ones Youve called them to be.
-Karen Valentin
Digging Deeper: Isaiah 40:11
Three psychiatrists who are attending a convention decide to take a walk. “People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears,” one says, “but we have no one to go to with our problems. Since we’re all professionals, why don’t we hear each other out right now?” They agree that this is a good idea. The first psychiatrist confesses, “I’m a compulsive shopper and deeply in debt, so I over-bill patients as often as I can.” The second admits, “I have a drug problem that’s out of control, and I frequently pressure my patients into buying illegal drugs for me.” The third psychiatrist says, “I know it’s wrong, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep a secret.”


CONFIDENCE IN DIFFICULTY: My Hope Is in the Lord Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. -Psalm 31:24 (NIV)
Get me out of here!” Maggie demanded.
My daughter was back in the Connecticut hospital after her meltdown, awaiting word from the wilderness program. The readmission set off new waves of trauma, with flashbacks from the awful hospitalization in New York. A week’s worth of hospital bills later, the wilderness program said they didn’t think they could meet Maggie’s needs.
“Now what?” I wailed to the doctors and God. A mad scramble ensued. The hospital finally found us a spot in a day program in New Jersey. It meant a two- hour bus commute each way, five days a week, but we took it.
Maggie came home Friday, and we went to the intake interview on Monday. My daughter’s needs were too complex; the program said they couldn’t take her. I immediately called Connecticut for help in formulating another plan. They didn’t call back for two days. When they did, it was only to say a bed wouldn’t open up there for almost two weeks. Other problems surfaced: my daughter Elizabeth moved back to the Midwest and was struggling; my son John became depressed and dropped out of college; my daughter Mary’s foot became infected, my son Stephen was wildly anxious; my husband, Andrew, withdrew emotionally.
“Pray for us,” I emailed my friends. They did-and also sent meals, I was positive God could untangle my family’s knots, yet that didn’t seem to be part of His plan. What was I supposed to do if God wasn’t going to fix this nightmare? Framed that way, the answer was clear: I had to figure out how I would go about loving God, serving Him, and trusting Him in the midst of it.
Father, I put my hope in You rather than in what You can do for me.
-Julia Attaway
Digging Deeper: Psalms 118, 136
​Albert’s Leaving Presentation
Today we would like to thank Albert for his service to our company. Albert is someone who does not know the meaning of impossible task, who does not know the meaning of lunch break, who does not understand the meaning of the word no. So we have clubbed together and bought Albert a dictionary. …


“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” -Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)
I love social media. You can share that gorgeous cake you decorated, snap a shot of your just-planted garden, or even send a quick video of your latest fun dinner out. But social media has also changed how we spend our downtime. Instead of grabbing a magazine or book, or lingering over the sunset, we tend to reach for our phones and try to capture each moment or scroll it away as we idly browse updates. While that can be harmless, it can also be disheartening.
Social media is a highlight reel, one that slants toward winning moments. This year, I decided to be more authentic. I shared the photos that showed my kitchen in a less-than-perfect state, talked about my miscarriages, and opened up to display my wonderfully, painfully imperfect life. In return, I received a wash of renewed, deepened connection.
While we think we want to see perfection, we in fact strive to know the real us. Our online life is an ever-present ministry, one that is worth being authentic in daily.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me in my shining moments and in my dark nights. Life is beautiful and hard and oh so worth it!
-Ashley Kappel
Digging Deeper: Matthew 5:13-16; John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Yogi Berra Quotes
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.” “
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”


The path of the just … shineth …. -Proverbs 4:18 (KJV)
I want you to take these to your teacher tomorrow,” my mother was saying as she wrapped my beloved alligator shoes in tissue and put them in a bag.
“They’re like new because you only wore them on Sundays,” she continued. “Noooo, not my alligator shoes! I love those shoes! I want to keep them forever!” I wail.
“They are beginning to hurt your feet,” my mother explained, “and your teacher said there’s a girl in your class who needs nice shoes for your Christmas program.”
It was true: the shoes were too tight for my fourth-grade feet. But my alligator shoes-nobody I knew had shoes as beautiful as these.
“We’ll get you new Sunday shoes. But right now you need to remember that there are girls in your class who aren’t so lucky.”
My mother’s look erased my pout.
“Pamela, it’s what we do in this family. We care about others. When the world’s not fair, we try to help.”
The next morning I dutifully delivered the package to my teacher, And on the night of the program, I spotted my alligator shoes dancing across the stage. I didn’t say a word, but I felt like my entire being was one giant smile. In this life I will never again have anything as grand as those alligator shoes. Because, you see, they are always out there in front of me, buckled on the feet of a dancing girl, leading the way down the shining path my mother set for me.
Father, keep me on the path. Let me be a bringer of justice to those who need what I can give.
-Pam Kidd
Digging Deeper: Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 21:3; Philippians 4:8
My husband was going on a diet, but when we pulled into a fast-food restaurant, he ordered a milkshake. I pointed out that a shake isn’t exactly the best snack for someone who wants to lose weight. He agreed, but he didn’t change his order.The long line must have given him time to make the connection between his order and his waistline.As the woman handed him his shake, she said, “Sorry about the wait.””That’s okay,” he replied. “I’m going to lose it.”​ …


With the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
A retired relative of mine was widowed some years ago. When we talk on the phone, we always discuss her “purpose in life.” Before her husband died she never really thought about her purpose, she says.
Now she realizes her purpose was being with him: going on trips, sharing meals, talking, collaborating on the Sunday crossword puzzle.
We discuss other purposes that she might consider: friends, volunteer work, church, getting a job. None of these is an adequate substitute for what she’s lost, she says. Sometimes she cries. I never know what to say, how to comfort her, except to listen.
And beneath the listening, I’m worrying. Is this me? Is my husband effectively my purpose in life too? How would I spend my days if Kris died? Who would I talk to when I got home from work? Sure, I have
Friends and relatives, but they’d have their own families to occupy them. Would I be okay on my own, with nobody to eat dinner or play a game with before bedtime, nobody who even knew my schedule?
When I got off the phone with my relative, I kept pondering this idea of my husband as my “purpose in life.” Initially, it made me uncomfortable, but the more I thought about it, the more the thought of losing him made me nervous. And I realized why: after creating the world, the only part God called “not good” was for Adam to be alone. If it wasn’t good for Adam, it’s probably not good for anyone.

Our assigned purpose in life, I concluded, is to counteract others’ aloneness-by eating together, talking on the phone, sharing our days.

Father, help me to remember others in their aloneness and let me be remembered in mine.
-Patty Kirk

Digging Deeper: Genesis 2; Psalm 68  

BACHELOR–Footlose and fiancée free.
BUDGET–A family quarrel.
BUS DRIVER–One who thought he liked children.
BUDGETING–Orderly way to get into debt.
BRAT–A child who acts like your own, but belongs to someone else.



Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV) I  had worked with the same staff for many years; they had become my family. Then, out of the blue, a series of resignations began taking place. Most were responding to a new call in their life; some left for better opportunities or retirement. When I thought the leave-taking finally had ceased, I was surprised by one more. This individual had been with Guideposts for eighteen years and then decided to switch fields. All of these changes occurred within eighteen months. I, developed wonderful relationships with each and everyone of these people. They not only became my friends, but they also helped me to become a better leader, manager, and person. They were a gift to our ministry and proved that a mission is accomplished through the efforts of a team. I know that God ordains each of our steps, but seeing colleagues leave is never easy. As each person moved on, I prayed for God to bless them. This was a season of change. From where I stand now, I can look back and see that God had everythinng under control. Today’s ministry is stronger than ever with new and old staff members working together. My hopes are high because God will guide us. Thank You, Lord, for watching over my colleagues, old and new. May our work always be for You. -Pablo Diaz Digging Deeper: 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6: 1 DAILY GUIDEPOSTS   The good Lord didn’t create anything without a purpose, But bedbugs and mosquitoes come pretty close   When you get to your wit’s end, You’ll find God lives there.   People are funny; they want the front of the bus, Middle of the road, And back of the church.


Friday, October 5
FALLING INTO GRACE: Seeds of Compassion
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven …. ” -Matthew 5:44-45 (NRSV)
He looked so ill I almost didn’t recognize him. The old man shuffling down the aisle at church was a former city official who’d opposed our city’s homeless shelter at every turn. I’m not proud to admit that I’d despised him for this and spoken disparagingly of him on many occasions.
Seeing him haggard, thin, and pale sent a different kind of pain through me, almost as sharp as those I’d been having since my fall. It was more than guilt at past harsh thoughts and words, though remorse was part of it. There was something else-a sense of empathy for someone I once thought it impossible to feel anything for but dislike.
I whispered to my husband how ill the man looked. Surprised, Charlie said softly, “I told you last year that he was sick.”
I had some vague memory of this but had dismissed it because I just hadn’t cared that much. Now silent in church, I began to think about God’s timing. If I’d seen this man before my accident would I have experienced this compassion? I had to admit the answer was no, which left me with conflicting emotions as I faced the fact that God was shaping something good in me out of my pain.
I have been praying for this man ever since, and once I even surprised him by saying hello. At first, he looked ready to rebuff me, but then I saw a spark of recognition in his eyes. I imagine it wasn’t much different from what he saw in mine. Lord, plant seeds of empathy and compassion in me and help me to harvest love
. -Marci Alborghetti
Digging Deeper:
Isaiah 32:16-18; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2   
*Your glasses slide off your ears when you perspire
*You can’t look up the correct spelling of a word in the dictionary because you don’t know how to spell it
*You have to inform five different sales people in the same store that you’re just browsing
*You had that pen in your hand only a second ago and now you can’t find it 
*You reach under the table to pick something off the floor and smash your head on the way up .


Wednesday, October 3
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee … write them upon the table of thine heart. -Proverbs 3:3 (KJV)
Oh no,” I groaned one morning as I negotiated the traffic on my way to work. On the radio, the newscaster was reporting on an effort to “rid the streets of those homeless ‘paper-people.” He reported on a local newspaper called The Contributor. Like other papers, it covers a range of subjects from lifestyle articles to important issues facing our city. But one thing makes this paper different: it is written, illustrated, and marketed by Nashville’s homeless community.
In so many ways, I’m proud of Nashville. It’s been nationally ranked as one of the “It Cities,” with a strong economy and rich diversity. Many move here for Nashville’s friendly lifestyle and varied career opportunities. But there is another side to our city. People have been left behind, marginalized by our fast-paced growth. The Contributor is one way that those who are down on their luck can lift themselves up. Driving through Nashville, you’ll see Contributor salespeople on many street corners. In freezing cold rain and in the sweltering heat or summer, they are there. Offering their papers to passing motorists, they smile, dispensing friendly words and frequent “God bless you’s.” It made me sad that a few unhappy folks wanted to make their street-side selling unlawful. All of us Nashvillians did what we could: made donations to support the paper, and let our friends and family know to do the same.
In the’ end, the “It” city responded with a resounding, “Yes! Our Contributor vendors are important. We want them to stay.” I’m proud to say that mercy and truth trumped cold hearts and our Contributor salespeople still grace Nashville’s streets with hope.
Father, empower us to create a city and a world where all are allowed the mercy of Your love.
-Brock Kidd
Diggin Deeper: Psalm 85:10; Hosea 12:6; Matthew 5:7  
Definitions  AMISS–A woman who is not married.  
ATP–what Indians live in.  
ADULT–One who stopped growing except in the middle.  
ANT–a small insect, always working, but still finds time to go on picnics.
 BABY-SITTER–Someone you pay to watch your television and eat your food.


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