CcOoNnFfUuSsEeDd?

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written Tyrel Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
January 5
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 10-11; Matthew 5:1-16

CcOoNnFfUuSsEeDd?
Devotional Text: Genesis 11:1-9


Here’s a fun group exercise everyone will enjoy. For the next two minutes, each person in the group needs to make up their own language. Think of fun, unique words that no one else will understand. On the count of three, begin speaking to one another in your own language. Give someone directions, tell them how your day went, tell someone how much you love them. Just communicate the best way you can. Now, on the count of one, two, three…..!

Making up words is fun, isn’t it? Did anyone figure out what you were trying to say? Did you understand anyone else? Think of how the room sounded when everyone was talking at once. Chances are it was loud and confusing. That’s exactly what the descendants of Noah heard when God confused their language while they were building a great tower and city. But why confuse their efforts when they were just working to be closer to God?

First, it was always God’s intention that man multiply on the earth (Genesis 8:17). Second, man’s efforts to build a great city and tower were not to glorify God, but are summed up in these words, “Come let us build for ourselves...” (Genesis 11:4).

They were building a great tower to be closer to the heavens, but it was really for their own glorification, not for the glory of God. Our God is mightier and more powerful than anything man can build. That’s why our God had to “come down” (Genesis 11:5) in order to see the highest thing that man could build. God imposed His will and man was forced to scatter abroad. When you begin to delight in your own accomplishments, don’t be confused about who’s in control.
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Building Character

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written Tyrel Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
March 9
Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 5 – 6; Romans 5

Building character
Devotional Text: Romans 5:3,4


I’ve learned many lessons in my short time on earth. I’ve learned that stove tops will burn you when turned on, I’ve learned that trash does not take itself out, and I’ve learned that “cuttin’ wood” builds character. “Building my character” seemed to be my dad’s favorite pastime. He would wait and take his vacation time when my brothers and I were out of school on fall break so we could all go “cut wood.” Our father was a sick man with a sick sense of humor. “Why do we have to cut wood?” we would bellyache. “Because it builds character!” was always his response. Builds character? How was “cuttin’ wood” going to build character?! But never-the-less, “cuttin’ wood” was much better that a “whippin’ and cuttin’ wood”, so I always made the right decision.

As much as it kills me to admit it, dad was right. Those miserable fall breaks spent “cuttin’ wood” did build character. They assisted in shaping the person I am today. When we are placed in situations like this we can learn many things from it. I learned the value of hard work, endurance, and submission to my father’s will. I even learned how to handle an axe. In view of the discipline and submission I learned from my father, how much more should I submit to my Heavenly Father? Listen to Hebrews 12:9, “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” Our earthly parents are parents of our bodies, but God is the author of our spiritual life. Through events and trials in our lives, he molds and makes us. And how we respond to these events reveals our character. When faced with events in my life that don’t fit my agenda, I need to remind myself who’s in charge. (Read devotional text) So next time your parents give you a job you’re not happy with, just be happy and think, “I’m building character!”
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The rooster will not crow

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
November 1
Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 37-38; John 13:18-38

The rooster will not crow
Devotional Text: John 13:36-38


In the old mystery spy movies, the characters were always saying cryptic things like, “The sun eats the stinky cheese.” Or you might hear a mysterious man in the shadows say, “If you’re looking for Sam, you’ll have to watch for the white canary to carry the lizard over the pepperoni gate.” None of what they said ever made any sense. You were always trying to figure out what was going on. Jesus, at times, said some things that were just as puzzling.

On one particular occasion Jesus said something to Peter that not only puzzled him, but probably hurt him a little as well. Jesus had said, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later” (John 13:36). Peter, not understanding what Jesus meant replied, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for you” (John 13:37).

Jesus’ reply was very confusing. “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times” (John 13:38). What did that mean? You can imagine that Peter was hurt and confused by Jesus predicting Peter’s denial. Why did Jesus think Peter would deny him? Had Peter ever done anything to suggest he was not loyal to Christ? We all make mistakes. Jesus knew that Peter in a moment of weakness would deny Him. It could be that Jesus told Peter what would happen so that when it did Peter would realize his mistake and learn from it.


Discussion for the family:
How can we learn from our mistakes?
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Charge it

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
October 1
Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 33-35; Philemon

Charge it
Devotional Text: Philemon 1:17-18


I was walking behind my parents. Dad was off to the side checking out the sales on the two liters of soda, while Mom was up ahead with the cart busily selecting items from the shelves and checking them off her list. Having been excluded from this absurd ritual known as “Grocery Shopping,” I was completely bored. To amuse myself I began poking holes in packages of hamburger meat in the display case. (To this day I don’t exactly know WHY I thought this would be a good idea.) Mom, wondering what I was doing, turned around and my hamburger package destroying days came to a screeching halt. Too late, the damage had been done. Ten packs of thoroughly poked hamburger meat lay before me.

I couldn’t afford to pay for all of that meat, so my parents paid it for me. My wrong was charged to my parents. In Paul’s letter to Philemon he writes about Onesimus, “if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account” (Philemon 1:18). Amazingly, Paul says he wants to be charged for wrong things that Onesimus has done. Like my parents, Paul is willing to pay the price for something he didn’t do. Does this attitude remind you of anyone? Exactly! Christ has done the same thing for us!

Christ has taken the blame for us. We’ve messed up and poked holes in the hamburger of life, but Christ is the one who is paying for it and He has done so willingly. Why do you think my parents paid for all of that hamburger meat for me? Why do you think Paul was willing to take responsibility for Onesimus’ wrongs? Why did Christ pay the ultimate price for so many people? The answer is the same, because of love. Love is the reason that Christ has looked at our sins, yours and mine, and said “Charge it, to MY account.”
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Do you pass the TEST?

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
September 1
Daily Bible Reading: Job 25-28; 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:14

Do you pass the TEST?
Devotional Text: 2 Corinthians 13:5-7


Imagine that you are sitting at your desk in a classroom at school. All around you fellow students are getting their notebooks out and putting away their book bags. The class clown is busily making walrus noises while sticking two pencils under his upper lip for tusks. All in all, you figure it’s business as usual for your class. Things are shaping up to be rather normal, but you suddenly notice what none of the other students have seen so far. Your teacher, at her desk, is quietly pulling out stacks of white paper stapled together. Your breath catches in your chest, surely it can’t be! You would have remembered! Before you can pull your notes out for a last look, your teacher announces, “Alright class! Put away your notes and books, it’s time for…a TEST!”

We all hate tests, they’re no fun whatsoever, but they serve a purpose. We take tests to tell us whether or not we’ve learned something. In school they test our knowledge, but in the Bible we find a different sort of test. The Apostle Paul says that there is a test each of us should take on a regular basis - is Jesus Christ in us?

(Read devotional text) Paul encourages us to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are doing the right thing. When we stop and look at our lives and how we are living we should be able to see whether or not we are letting Christ lead us along. How often you take this test is up to you. However, the more we test ourselves, the better Christians we will be. Take a moment and think about the decisions you’ve made lately. Is it clear that Christ is in you? Do you pass the test?
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

First of all, let us start by saying thanks. Your support and kind words has given us tremendous encouragement over the past year. We want to continue this year to provide the Lord's Church and His families useful material in raising Godly children. Our resolve at Little Acorn is more clear than ever - To strengthen the Lord's Church by strengthening the family. May God bless your efforts to grow tall oaks for Him!

Daily Devotional Books:
The special pricing for churches made available through the end of December are no longer being advertised. However, we will honor those discounts for any church still working on an order. Please mention the December rates when ordering.

New discounted pricing is now available on an ongoing basis. Click here for details.

Vacation Bible School:
Our new Vacation Bible School theme for 2008 is "Righteous Roundup." Team up with “Danny Doo-Right” this summer to learn about being righteous. Your children will hear lessons on...
Day one: “Obedience: Story of Abraham”
Day two: “Fruitfulness: Story of Dorcas”
Day three: “Prayer: Daniel in the Lion’s Den”
Day four: “Compassion: Story of the Good Samaritan”
Take advantage the great material you have come to expect through our VBS material - great Biblical lessons, puppet shows, crafts, games, skits, clip art, promotional material, decoration ideas, and templates.
Packaged together on one CD-ROM for only $99.

NOTE: Our page highlighting
Righteous Roundup is still under construction. Please be patient with us, we are working to have full details about this material up in two to three weeks.

Check out our other great VBS themes!
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Hezekiah's speech

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
August 1
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 27-29; Mark 15:1-41

Hezekiah’s speech
Devotional Text: 2 Chronicles 29:9-11


God is NOT happy. He is not happy with his chosen leaders. He is not happy with is chosen people - Israel. This is not a good thing. Why isn’t God happy? God isn’t happy for the same reason He ever becomes displeased or angry - His people are sinning. It goes further than just sinning. They are actively turning their backs on Him. They have been sacrificing to and worshipping other gods. The king of Israel, King Ahaz is not following God’s will or keeping His commands. Then Hezekiah steps in.

King Ahaz dies as a result of God’s anger and his son Hezekiah rules in his place. Unlike daddy dearest, Hezekiah knows the importance of doing God’s will. The very first thing he does when he comes to power is call in all of the priests for a meeting. He then delivers a speech to them designed to motivate them to get the people back on track with God.

(Read devotional text) He ends his rallying speech by saying that our forefathers messed up, they turned away from God and put our nation out of favor with God. They’ve caused our people to be put in prison and we are going to fix it NOW! Hezekiah makes it known to the priests that he intends to turn things around by making a new covenant or pact with God. He calls on the priests to remember that they have been chosen by God to be ministers to Him and to the people. Because of Hezekiah’s dedication and love of God, the priests are inspired and the people once again turn back to God.


Discussion for the family:
What caused God to be unhappy with His people?
Do the same reasons today cause God to be unhappy with us?
What can we do to remain in favor with God?
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Pure in heart

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
July 1
Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 73-74; Proverbs 15:19-16:4

Pure in heart
Devotional Text: Psalm 73:1


In our devotional text the Psalmist writes, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart” (Psalm 73:1)! God is a wonderful and awesome God, capable of anything we can imagine and more. The psalm says that our almighty and powerful God is good to those who are pure in heart. Everyone WANTS God to be good to them, but what does the Bible say we have to be in order for that to happen? That’s right; it says that we have to be pure in heart. What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Yesterday we talked about people knowing we are God’s children by our actions. Do you think if we only do the right thing and say the right things that will be enough for God? Sometimes we think we can “fool” God into thinking we are good Christians. People see what we do, but God sees into our hearts. We cannot fool God into thinking we are good people.

Being pure in heart means that you say and do everything for a reason. Not because you want to look good, or be thought of as a good person, but because you ARE a GOOD PERSON. Our reasoning for being good is not so that others will think we are “good.” Our reasoning is because we love God and WANT to do the right thing. God will be good and bless those of us who are doing the right thing because that is what is in our hearts. That’s what it means to be pure in heart.
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Don't be a rich fool

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Tyrel Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
May 1
Daily Bible Reading Judges 6-7; Luke 12:13-34

Don’t be a rich fool
Devotional Text: Luke 12:13-21


“Hey, you’re not sharing!” “Not fair! You have more than me!” “Why does he get a bigger piece?” “One for you, two for me! Mom! Tell her to be fair!” Does this sound familiar? I’m almost positive that where there is a house with two or more children, these words will be said, if not yelled! Not to worry, kids. This lesson is not just for you, but for us all. In fact this fight is almost as old as time itself, dating back to the days of Abram and Lot (Genesis 13:5-9). Jesus also addressed this problem in Luke chapter 12. Before thousands of people, this request was asked of Jesus. “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13b). Now, what would the easy response have been? “Hey! You better start sharing with your brother or there will be no dinner for you tonight, young man!” Jesus could have easily called the shots, but he chose that moment to teach us all an important lesson: “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15b). Simply put, stop worrying about worldly things and start focusing on heavenly things! Don’t be a rich fool!

The Bible tells us, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). We spend so much time here on earth chasing possessions, and for what? To find that the very thing we’ve been longing for is outdated or broken six months later. The fact is, the things of this world DO NOT LAST (Matthew 6:19-20). Now, is it wrong to own things, save for them, or even have a wish list of things we do not have? No, but those things mustn’t control our lives, either. God must always control our lives. That is not an option. Be obedient to His will - focus on heavenly things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
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Daily Devotional Book Samples

Greetings!

We are happy to announce that both In Our Father's Hands and Strength for the Journey will be ready to ship December 8. If you have pre-ordered books, we appreciate your support and want you to know that you are our top priority and your books will be shipped to you at the earliest date possible. We have been pressing our printing press for an early completion date, so as to get them to all of you who are eager to review and make a decision regarding the promotion of these books within your home congregations.

Regarding the many inquiries to see samples of the layout regarding these books, we now have two 14 page samples of each book available on our Downloads page. To read these files will require Adobe Acrobat (This is a free program). We pray that these samples will help in your decision.

The family as God designed is our number one priority at Little Acorn. May you be blessed you as you continue to Grow Tall Oaks for God! Thank you for your continued support.

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Hide and Seek

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
April 1
Daily Bible Reading: Psalms 38-39; Proverbs 8:12-21

Hide and seek
Devotional Text: Proverbs 8:17


The person in the other room begins counting to ten loudly. ONE, you run to the next room. TWO, you don’t like what you find here so you move on. THREE, you run to your bedroom. FOUR, it’s too dark in here, it won’t work. FIVE, running to Mom and Dad’s room, you notice the coat closet. SIX, open the door and yes! There might be enough room. SEVEN, you squeeze into the back, past all the old shoes. EIGHT, you reach out and close the door. NINE, you try to get real still so you don’t make any noise. TEN, you hear them say, “Ready or not here I come!” This is the most exciting part! Hearing them out there, searching around for you in all the wrong places. Are you in the bedroom, NO. Are you in the bathroom, NO. And then finally: Are you in the CLOSET? THERE YOU ARE!!

By far the most exciting part about playing hide and seek is being found. You wait and wait for them to find you and when they do, it is the greatest thing in the world. Because we all really want to be found, don’t we? God is exactly the same way. He waits for us to find Him. He loves us with all His heart and wants us to find Him. God tells us that if we look for him long enough, if we look for him hard enough, we will find Him. And when we do He will bless us beyond our imaginations!

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
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A little leaven

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Tyrel Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
March 1
Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 20 – 21; Galatians 4:21-5:12

A little leaven
Devotional Text: Galatians 5:9
Items you’ll need: One jar of yeast, One loaf of bread

(Parents: Set the loaf of bread in front of your kids, hold up the jar of yeast.) I’m holding in my hand a jar of yeast, one of the ingredients that is used to make this loaf of bread. Can anyone tell me what this ingredient does for this loaf? That’s right! It makes it rise! It gives the loaf of bread its size! Now, how much yeast do you think it takes to make a loaf of bread this size? (Parents: Measure out a tsp. and pour it into the palm of your hand.) It takes about this much. Can you believe it? I want you to know the Bible, teaches us this same lesson, only it applies the meaning to the people in our lives. Paul says, in our devotional text today, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Galatians 5:9). He says that to make a point to the church, be on the lookout for those who would seek to divide us.

God wants all of us to love each other, care for one another, and be a church that works together. But sometimes people don’t act that way. Sometimes people act grouchy, ugly, and can say mean things, even at church. God wants us to know that grouchy attitudes affect the whole church just like a little bit of yeast can affect the whole loaf of bread. We should always be careful to act the way Jesus would want us to, by loving our neighbor (Galatians 5:14), and by treating others the way we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31).

Discussion for the family:
What should our attitude be to those who are grouchy?
(We should love them. Luke 6:28)

Can we, by our good attitudes, affect those around us?
(Sure we can! We must! Matthew 5:13-16)

How can we be a good example to others?
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Daily Devotionals

The following devotionals were taken from "Strength for the Journey" & "In Our Father's Hands." Check back each week to read a new devotional. Book(s) can be pre-ordered at Little Acorn's online store.

The following devotional was taken from "Strength for the Journey" and written by David Deffenbaugh.

StrengthforJourneyreview
January 1
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1

Beginning to the End
Devotional Text: Genesis 1:1


Today marks many beginnings; this is the beginning of a book, it’s the beginning of a new year, the beginning of a new resolution (to read God’s word every day), and reading the beginning of the Bible. That is a lot of beginnings.

We know from experience that a beginning, no matter how good or well intentioned, does not guarantee a successful end. It is also true that no successful end can be reached without a beginning. A well-known proverb suggests that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The question is: What is that journey? What is the destination toward which the beginning step is being taken today? Is it a journey to achieve an objective, to read through the Bible in a year? Is it a journey to alleviate the guilt of not reading the Bible like you should? Is it a journey to gain someone’s approval (spouse, parent, peer)?

This journey should be to come nearer to the heart of God. Other motivations may have led to the first step on this journey, but will they also lead to the second, third, fiftieth, and 365th steps? Even if one were to read and meditate on God’s word every day of this year, the journey would have only begun. It’s not measured by a calendar, but by a life. Only a destination so grand, so magnificent, so lofty as the heart of God will move us to such heights; every day, a little closer; every day, a little nearer; every day as we meet God in His word.

“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Tyrel Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
January 1
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1

Humble beginnings
Devotional Text: Matthew 1:18-25


Close your eyes, and imagine you are living over 2,000 years ago. Your clothes are different, your shoes are different, and you have a donkey in the stable out back. You are the owner and keeper of an inn located in a little town called Bethlehem.

One dark, windy night, a young couple knocks on your door and asks you for a room. “I have no rooms available,” you tell them. Then you notice the young woman is pregnant. You feel sorry for the couple, and you offer to let them stay in your stable. Later you learn the young woman had her baby, not just any baby: the child was Christ the Savior, God’s Son. “Oh, no,” you say. “Had I only known, I would have given you my room. I would have thrown a party in your honor!”

When you start to seek praise and honor for your accomplishments, or believe you haven’t received the recognition you deserve, just remember this: Jesus, who is God’s Son, our Lord of Lords, our mighty King, ruler of everything, and was with God from the beginning (John 1:1-4), didn’t come to this earth for praise and glory. He didn’t come with trumpets sounding. The red carpet was not rolled out. He came quietly and humbly, placed in a manger, fleeing from danger – not to receive recognition, but to die on a cross for our sins.

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
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