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.

Listen to Fran’s January 4, 2020 live radio interview with Nancy Solari, CEO of Living Full Out, Inc. Nancy lives in Oregon, is blind, and after participating in a communications career, started her own show to assist others in overcoming various life challenges. The interview includes commercials and a couple of call-in’s to Nancy in her capacity as a Life Coach before Fran’s interview begins.

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

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The Magnificent Gift

By Fran Caffey Sandin

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (I John 4: 8).

It’s Valentine’s Day! Shall we buy a funny card, a serious one, or just make our own? In our early days of marriage, a hint to my husband cancelled some practical gift items he had in mind. A car battery, new hand mixer or waffle iron are all appreciated, but maybe not exactly what cupid had in mind 😊. As wives we can encourage our husbands to think of other things.

Hubby might consider a night out to dinner, flowers, chocolates, perfume, or whatever would qualify as “special.” As wives, we will plan something for our husbands, too, maybe his favorite dessert, something new to wear, an interesting book, accompany him to a ball game, or whatever would make his day “special.”

In today’s media-crazed culture, love may be portrayed as a Hollywood-style romance where “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 self-centered approach is unfulfilling and ignores the Biblical challenge of love as commitment.

God-centered love sustains us through every season and every situation of our lives. As husbands and wives draw closer to God, we nourish one another emotionally, mentally, 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 staff, missionaries, those who need healing, our nation’s leaders, and more. We ask for wisdom and opportunities to bless others. Respect, honor, and love for God has permanently sealed our relationship.

I was impressed with the apostle Paul’s gift to the church at Ephesus. A prisoner at the time, Paul wrote his letter from a dark, dank cell. Not complaining about his circumstances, he 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 (I Corinthians 13: 13); deep and compassionate (John 11: 35). Human love can be superficial, and earthly gifts are temporary, but God’s love is faithful and eternal.

Dear Heavenly Father, we were in a dark place because of our sin, but You sent Jesus to rescue us!  Thank you for sending your magnificent gift of sacrificial love, mercy, and compassion! 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.