Clear your mind. Listen.
Allow God’s presence to fill your heart.

Be still. Listen.
Prepare to hear God speak to you.

Clear your mind. Be still. Listen.
Get ready to encounter God.

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“Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you."

Matthew 6:1-4



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When I was in high school, Michael W. Smith wrote a song entitled “Cross of Gold.” I never really connected the song with the way I was living my life until now, almost 25 years later. The song refers to how we show others we are Christians. By wearing a cross you were making a public and bold statement about what you believed. Unfortunately, many times my actions or words didn’t always match the faith statement I was trying to make.

Jesus is saying that believing doesn’t make you a better person than anyone else on the outside, but that faith is about what's on the inside. When we use faith to make ourselves stand out or separate us from others, we are just like the hypocrites whom Jesus was talking about. Our faith should guide us to be more welcoming and accepting. Jesus challenges us to make bold faith statements, not with our words or actions but with the way we treat others.

Michelle Phillips

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Creator of my heart and life, give me the strength to love others and to use my faith as a connector and not as a divider. Guide my heart in all I do and all I encounter. Amen.

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In this world, where bigger is said to be better, remember to be humble, pray often, and love one another.

Love and live this day with joy, peace, and the comfort of knowing that Jesus loves you.

Michelle Phillips

Michelle lives in Kansas with her husband, Eddie, and twin boys, Will and Shawn. She is currently serving as the Associate Director of Youth Ministries at Village Presbyterian Church. She loves quoting movies, playing sports, being a work crew pro, and accompanying young people on their faith journey.

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