Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

Read Fran's 10/15/2018 Interview with Helene T. Steilian

Read Fran's 9/9/2018 Devotional on ARISE Devos website

Read Fran's 8/26/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

Read Fran's 7/14/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

Click to listen to Fran's interview with Carol Graham's Never Give Up Hope Blogspot

Click to read Fran's interview with Smashwords.com


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May God bless you in your journey of faith.
Warmly,
Fran


The Magnificent Gift

By Fran Caffey Sandin

It’s Valentine’s Day! Shall we buy a funny card, a serious one, or just make our own? Sometimes a hint to our husbands will ward off some practical items they might select such as a car battery, new hand mixer, waffle iron, or fishing lures--all gifts appreciated, but maybe not exactly what cupid had in mind 😊. Instead, they might consider something we would normally not buy for ourselves such as flowers, chocolates, jewelry, perfume, or anything to make us feel special. Of course, all purchases (something for hubby, too) are made within the family budget.

In today’s media-crazed culture we can be duped into thinking that love is a Hollywood-style romance, but it doesn’t take long to realize man-made “love” is often just another word for “meet my needs.” If it doesn’t work out, the search is on for someone who will.  That ignores the Biblical challenge of commitment, and is self-centered, unfulfilling.

In contrast, God’s love never fails. It sustains us through every season and every situation of our lives. As husbands and wives draw closer to God, we will be nearer to each other emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My husband, Jim, and I hold hands and pray together each morning. We worship God for who He is and for what He has done. Then we continue to pray for our family, church leaders, missionaries, our nation, those who need healing, and other concerns. We ask for wisdom and to be a blessing to others. Respect and love for God has permanently sealed our relationship.

In studying the Bible, I was impressed with Paul’s gift to the church at Ephesus. A prisoner at the time, Paul wrote his letter from a dark, dank cell. He did not complain about his circumstances but rather sent a message back to his beloved congregation to remind them of the magnitude of the Father’s love. After sharing the good news of the endless treasures available to them through Christ, he penned the following message:

            “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”(Ephesians 3: 14-19 ESV). Just as Paul wrote, divine love is the real deal every day, not just Valentine’s Day.
God’s love is wide which means it is unconditional (Romans 5: 8), long or unlimited (John 3: 16), high and invincible (Song of Songs 8:6), deep and compassionate (John 11: 38). Human love can be superficial, and earthly gifts are temporary, but God’s love is faithful and eternal.

Dear Father, we were in a dark place because of our sin, but You sent Jesus to rescue us!  Thank you for your magnificent gift of sacrificial love, mercy, and compassion --Jesus! Please help us share His love with others in a way that will bring joy to Your heart. In the name of Jesus, the lover of our souls, Amen.