Crossroads: The Shepherd

“Don’t talk to strangers.” It’s what my mother told me all the time growing up, and I’m sure it’s what you tell your own children. Strangers aren’t safe because you don’t know them.

Crossroads: The Friend in the Night

My favorite word as a child was “why”. I know my mother got tired of me asking “Why?” all the time. I was a very curious child. In fact, as a small child, my mother had a hard time getting me to sleep. She said it seemed as if I always wanted to observe the world, to know what was going on.

Crossroads: Forgiving Others

When I was a teenager, my youth group planned a summer mission trip to Myrtle Beach. One of my best friends, John, was in our youth group, and we were both excited about the upcoming mission trip. John and I had roomed together on every church trip. We were great friends and enjoyed spending time together. As I arrived at the church to leave for the mission trip, I learned that John had decided to room with someone else.

Crossroads: The Presence of the Holy Spirit

Several years ago on a weekend retreat, I gathered with a group of teenagers in a dimly lit room to share an Agape Love Feast. Earlier, we had set up the room with candles, a plate of bread, and a large cup of grape juice.

Crossroads: Recognizing and Remembering

My father lives in the same small town where I grew up as a child. Though I moved away more than 25 years ago, I enjoy going back to this community to visit a few times each year. When we go back for these visits, I often see people around town who our family has known for many years.

Crossroads: “When You Think You Can’t Do Something” – Moses

In the movie Despicable Me, Gru is an unlikely (and at times unlikeable) hero. He adopts three girls as a way to steal the moon. He doesn’t want to be the hero. He wants to be left alone, to be the villain who does something brilliant.

Crossroads: Leaving and Coming Again

When I was eight years old, my parents sat me down one day and told me we were moving. At first, I was a little concerned and confused. I had always lived in the same house in the same town, so I wasn’t sure if I would like moving.

Crossroads: The Danger of Jealousy

For my tenth birthday, I received a wonderful present. It was a wind-up toy of a daredevil (Evel Knievel) who jumped over cars and buses on his motorcycle. I was so excited about this new toy—it was great!

Crossroads: Paying Attention

Have you ever fallen asleep or started daydreaming in a class, meeting, or event? Perhaps nobody noticed, but you left not really knowing what took place at that particular event. Or perhaps you had to give an answer to a question you hadn’t heard.

Crossroads: Redemption

I became a Christian when I was seven years old. Having grown up in the church, some of my earliest memories were of learning who Jesus is. There’s not a time that I can remember when I didn’t know who God was.

Crossroads: Peer Pressure

When I was in fifth grade, a new kid came to our choir program at church. I knew this boy, but he was not good friends with me and my pals. After choir we were all outside playing, and the new kid was standing off by himself watching us.

Crossroads: Jesus is Risen

Once upon a time I had a young friend named Philip. Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child—happy, it seemed—but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday school at the Methodist church.

Crossroads: Parades

Parades can be fun. As I child, I remember watching parades on television. There was always a great sense of anticipation: “What will be the next float? Who will be on it? Will it be bigger or brighter or better than the last float?” I also remember going to parades in my younger years.

Crossroads: The Good Samaritan

As a young teenager, I went with my youth group to a soup kitchen one Saturday morning to feed the homeless. Several of my friends were going, and I wanted to have fun with my friends. But I didn’t actually want to feed the homeless.

Crossroads: The Prodigal Son

As the older child, I have always had a better understanding of what was going on in our family. I knew that our budget was tight, and so I never asked for anything exorbitant from my mom. My younger sister, however, never seemed to have any idea that we were strapped for cash.

Crossroads: The Workers in the Field

Have you ever thought that something was just unfair? It could be that someone got something that you thought you deserved, or you did the right thing and someone else didn’t do anything, but they still got the credit. Maybe you felt like you deserved that promotion at work, but someone else (who doesn’t seem to work as hard) got it instead.

Crossroads: The Unmerciful Servant

Have you ever not wanted to forgive someone? Have you ever been so mad at someone that even when they asked for forgiveness, you didn’t want to forgive them? We all have times when we don’t want to forgive someone else. Perhaps that person really hurt us and the wound is too raw to think about forgiving them.

Crossroads: The Parable of the Lost Coin

I have a cross necklace that is very special to me. It’s not very valuable, but it was given to me by my favorite aunt and uncle when I graduated from high school. I had it for seven years and then lost it in a move. I looked everywhere for that necklace. I have other necklaces of course, but that one was special.

Crossroads: Preparing for the Task

We have been working on our basement. After some water damage last year, we finally got the basement dry and have stopped water from coming inside. Now, the task has become putting the basement back together. Lately, we have spent a lot of time building frames for new walls, putting up sheetrock and paneling.

Crossroads: Feeding the Five Thousand

Growing up Baptist, I went to many potluck dinners. Whether it was Homecoming, two services meeting together, or just a random Sunday after church, we had a lot of potluck dinners. Chances are you know how these work—every one brings a dish (so you end up with 20 desserts and not much meat) and no matter how many people you have, there always seems to be enough food.

Crossroads: Conflict

When I was in the sixth grade, my church split. It wasn’t over doctrine, but instead was the result of a conflict between the pastor and the minister of music. This conflict grew from an argument to people taking sides, and the eventually splitting of this church. Both the pastor and the minister of music left, and the church was never the same.

Crossroads: God Doesn’t Play Favorites

As the first girl in the family in 35 years, I was the favorite grandchild. Growing up, my grandmother (Shug) did things for me that she didn’t do for my stepbrother. I lived closer to her than he did, and so we got to do fun things together that she didn’t do with him.

Crossroads: Being Afraid

When I was young, I went to a clothing store with my mother. I liked going to the store because I was small enough to get inside the clothes racks and play. My mother warned me to stay close to her, but I didn’t listen very well.

Crossroads: Wise and Foolish Builders

Life fell apart for me in the sixth grade. My mom and my stepdad were getting a divorce (although this was actually a positive thing for our family as it made home life stressful), my church was going through a split, and dear friendships were ending. As in this Bible story, my “house” was being hit by a hurricane.

Crossroads: Seeking and Discovering

Have you ever had the experience of searching for one thing and finding something else? One day I lost my keys. It was such a frustrating experience because my key chain held keys to my car, house, and office. I desperately needed to find those keys, so I looked everywhere. I looked on counters, book shelves, tables, and even in the cushions of the couch.

Crossroads: Caring for Others

Several years ago, a powerful storm named Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana. Many homes were destroyed, and people lost their possessions, jobs, and even their homes. A few months after the storm, I had the opportunity to go with a group from our church to minister to the people in this area.

Crossroads: Dear Parents

We hope you find this devotional guide to be a helpful resource for your family. These weekly devotions are designed to encourage family conversation as you share your life story, connect your story to a biblical story, and listen to the questions and thoughts of your children.