God promises Abraham and Sarah a son

The Lord had said to Abram (later called Abraham), “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

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So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. Abram was seventy-five years old. He took his wife Sarai (later called Sarah), his nephew Lot, all their possessions and servants, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your family I will give this land.” So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless? You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. So shall your family be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him again and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your family.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram [exalted father]; your name will be Abraham [father of many], for I have made you a father of many nations, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”

God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

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The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.  Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born.

excerpts and edited verses from Genesis 11 through Genesis 21 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

14 years at Our Precious Lambs!

Congratulations to Deb Hamilton, who has served as Director of Our Precious Lambs at Living Hope for fourteen years!

She graduated from Martin Luther College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  Prior to accepting the Director position at Our Precious Lambs, she taught first and second grades for one year on the Apache Indian Reservation in Whiteriver, AZ.  She then taught grades K-3 at St. Mark Lutheran School in Lincoln, NE for two academic years. She accepted the position as Director at OPL in 2006.

Deb and her husband, Tim, have cared for foster children, as well as experienced the joys of both adopting and giving birth.  They have four children.

We thank Deb for managing our early childhood program, guiding our teachers, loving all the children in her care, and teaching them about Jesus. You’re great Deb!

Posted in All Posts, FYI, Living Hope Church

Noah’s Ark

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. After many years, the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. Make a roof for it, put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. They will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. They had with them every wild animal, all livestock, every creature that moves along the ground, every bird, and everything with wings. Then the Lord shut him in.

flood

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. and the ark floated on the surface of the water. All the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded, and the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.

God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark.” So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.

“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you. Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood. This is the sign of the covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

excerpts and edited passages taken from Genesis 5:1-9:17 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

Jesus calms the storm

Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.  He taught them many things by parables.  

That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.”

stormLeaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Edited verses taken from Mark 4:1-2, 35-41

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, New Testement Bible Stories

A great catch of fish

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.  Luke 5:1-11 (NIV)

Posted in Family Devotions, Bible Stories for Kids, OPL, All Posts, New Testement Bible Stories

Independence Day ~ July 4th

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Jesus loves me!

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Notice from Living Hope

Sunday School at Living Hope is postponed until further notice.
Sunday Worship Services have resumed under new safety guidelines.
View our YouTube channel for online Worship Services.

Posted in All Posts, Dates & Reminders, FYI

Father’s Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, you made us and have loved us and protected us each day of our lives. You are truly our loving Father. Thank you for our earthly fathers. Lead us to respect and honor them, even when it is difficult. If we are now fathers, help us take seriously the great responsibility to be faithful teachers and guides for our children. They are a great treasure given to us by you. Give us the courage to teach your words to our children. We thank you for your rich blessings of family.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds… Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
~ Deuteronomy 11:18a,19 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Family Devotions, FYI

Fish and Birds

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And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky…”  ~ Genesis 1:20, 22, 26a (NIV)

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Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Bible Verses for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

We have a living Savior!

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Now, brothers and sisters, I (Paul) want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you…  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

  • that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
  • that he was buried,
  • that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
  • and that he appeared to Cephas [Peter], and then to the Twelve.
  • After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time…
  • Then he appeared to James,
  • then to all the apostles,
  • and last of all he appeared to me also…

1 Corinthians 15:1-7 (excerpts) NIV

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Lent & Easter Stories for Kids, New Testement Bible Stories

Where did Jesus go? Where is he now?

Acts 1:9b-11

…he (Jesus) was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 7:55-56

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Lent & Easter Stories for Kids, New Testement Bible Stories

Pentecost ~ the promised Holy Spirit comes

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)

When the day of Pentecost came, they (the apostles) were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[or languages] as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:32-33 (NIV)

(Peter said to the crowd) “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, New Testement Bible Stories

Memorial Day Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for our nation’s freedoms.  Help us to teach our children about the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Amen.

Posted in All Posts, Family Devotions

Jesus is taken up into Heaven

They (the two disciples who saw Jesus on the road to Emmaus) got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Luke 24:33-53 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Lent & Easter Stories for Kids, New Testement Bible Stories