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There is a phenomenon among babies and infants called “failure to thrive.” This may happen when newborns or infants have their physical needs met but do not respond normally. Sometimes the bond between child and caregiver isn’t strong enough. Orphans raised in institutions with overworked staff also suffer from failure...

Lord God, you provide for all our needs. May we turn to you to address our spiritual needs even when our physical needs are being met. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 6–12, 2018
Scripture Overview

David’s family was a mess. Among his children there was rape, murder, and a plot to overthrow him by his son Absalom. Violence followed, and Second Samuel tells the story of Absalom’s death. Even though Absalom had betrayed him, David still loved his son with a parent’s never-ending love—the kind of love that God demonstrates perfectly for us, as David celebrates in Psalm 34. The author of Ephesians warns against acting out of anger, wrath, and malice (the very things that tore apart David’s family). We should instead forgive, as God in Christ has forgiven us. In John, Jesus restates that he is the path to God because he teaches God’s truth. Jesus will give his own life but then raise up those who believe in him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33. When have you been called to “deal gently” with a loved one?
• Read Psalm 34:1-8. Reflect on a time when you were able to intimately “taste and see” God’s goodness in your life.
• Read Ephesians 4:25–5:2. Are your words and actions imitating Christ?
• Read John 6:35, 41-51. God comes to us in unexpected ways. Who have you discounted as a servant of God? How can you support their ministry?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Herocover july18

I wish . . . when I was a child . . .

"This is absolutely lovely! How I wish I had been exposed or otherwise taught this beautiful lesson exactly as it is written here when I was a child. Going on 60 years old now, I am just coming to believe the words contained in this piece. As I look back on my life now, I suspect that my feelings of unworthiness of God’s love began at a very young age. Not explicitly, by which I mean to say that I was never told that I was not worthy of God’s love and mercy, but rather implicitly, through my experiences with simple human error and a constant focus on perfection and pleasing others. I cannot express to you how beautiful this piece is to me; I can only tell you that it touches me very deeply. Thank you!" Read more about Pockets.