Spiritual Prep & Cross-Cultural Training
How to Use This Material
Our Three Enemies
On The Offensive
Walking In The Spirit
Our Identity In Christ
The Jacked Study
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How to Use This Material
This is one of the most important parts of your participation in the summer mission. Now you might look at this and say “no way, too much to read!” Our suggestion? Use two or three quiet times a month to give this attention, and you will be done, except June where we have given you enough for daily quiet times--good practice for summer mission!
We have broken this preparation down into several things to do each month, there are ways we would like for you to prepare spiritually March-June. For June we have assigned the study “Jacked” that you received in your packet. You are actually free to start that any time and do it concurrently with these studies. We encourage you to do that if you know you will have a busy June. Your coach will be checking in with you at the end of each month to see how this is going.
Been on summer mission before? Please go through this again as you are a year older and God can use it in new ways in your life.
Our Three Enemies
(March: Part 1)
This summer mission puts you on the front lines of spiritual battle. Your enemy is not going to be defeated easily, so prepare for warfare. This information will help equip you to be an able warrior during your preparation and on the mission.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
In spiritual warfare there are Three Enemies: Satan, The World, and The Flesh. This should prepare you for the fight and diminish fear.
a. His Identity – Who is Satan?
● He is our______________________ (1 Peter 5:8)
● He may disguise himself as________________ (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
● He is our_______________ (Revelation 12:10)
● He is a_________________________ (John 8:44)
● He is called the _____________of this world (John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2)
● He is an ________________ (Revelation 9:11)
● He is our ______________ (Matthew 4:3)
● He is called the ________of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4)
b. His power - What kind of power does Satan actually have?
● He rules over the ______________ (Luke 11:14-20)
● He has a __________ (Revelation 2:13)
● He maneuvers and holds in bondage the ______________ (1 John 5:19)
● His power is limited by ______________ (Job 1:10-12)
● God gives _____________ His armor to stand firm against Satan’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11-12)
c. His Strategy - What are some of Satan’s favorite tactics?
● He is the original _________________ (Genesis 3:1-6)
● He sets up ________________ (1 Timothy 3:7)
● He injects ________________________________ (John 13:2)
● He seeks to take away _______________________________ (Mark 4:15)
● He can hinder _________________ (1 Thessalonians 2:18)
● He accuses _______________________ (Revelation 12:10)
● He seeks to get people to look to _____________ rather than to focus on _______ (Matthew 4:1-4)
d. His Defeat - What do we know about what will eventually happen to Satan? What does his final defeat mean for us? Since we are assured of victory because of Jesus’ triumph and have been legally set free from Satan’s power through salvation, then:
● Nothing can separate me from ___________________ (Romans 8:38-39)
● I am to be ______________________________ because Satan _______________________ (1 Peter 5:8)
● If I resist the devil, he will ________________ (James 4:7)
● The power of God frees people from __________________ (Hebrews 2:13-14)
● God keeps Christians safe from ___________________ (1 John 5:18)
2. The World
Here “the world” does not refer to the earth or people. It refers to the world system which leaves God out and is a rival to Him.
According to 1 John 2:15-17, the world operates through which three avenues?
1.The _________ of the flesh (passions)
2. The _________ of the eyes (possessions)
3. The ___________ pride of life (position)
How may our passions, possessions, and positions derail us from the Spirit-filled life?
Remember, friendship with the world is hostility toward God and can even divert a Christian from serving the Lord (see James 4:4 and 2 Timothy 4:10)
Although there is pleasure in following the world, it is only temporary (Hebrews 11:25, 1 John 2:17)
3. The Flesh
The flesh” refers to the sinful nature still present in believers and the things done apart from God working in and through them. This includes those desires that are not God’s desires (Galatians 5:16-25).
People who do not have a personal relationship with Christ are slaves to sin and the flesh (Romans 6:17). However, when people receive Christ, their sins are forgiven (Colossians 1:13-14) and the old self has been crucified with Christ; therefore, Christians are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:5-7) and they are given a new nature by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-17).
What does it mean to no longer be a slave to sin?
The power to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God comes from dependence upon the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17). The Holy Spirit gives believers the power to “put off” or choose not to obey the old self, but rather “put on” or choose to obey the new self (Ephesians 4:22-24).]
How do you feel like you experience the Holy Spirit’s power in your life when faced with temptation?
Our Defensive Weapons and Strategies
(March: Part 2)
Our Defensive Weapons
1. Resist the enemy.
Ephesians 4:27 says, “And do not give the devil a foothold . . .”. Instead, we are to resist the enemy (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).
Let’s explore some areas in which you can resist the enemy:
What thoughts of fear have already descended upon you this week?
In what areas do you find yourself consistently succumbing to fear?
Disappointment and Discouragement
How do you deal with situations that do not go as expected?
In what ways do you find pride creeping into your life?
When you accuse and judge others, you follow in the footsteps of the devil, who is called the “accuser of the brethren.” Where do you find yourself judging others?
How might thankfulness serve as an antidote to a critical spirit?
2. Pray for Yourself.
Pray defensively for yourself. Put on the armor of God and the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14; Ephesians 6:13-18). Use the prayers on the following pages to gear up for battle.
3. Put on the garment of praise.
Praise sends Satan running! Scripture says that “God inhabits the praises of His people,” and Satan cannot tolerate the presence of God. To develop a “praise life” is to develop certain immunity to the enemy’s attacks. It has been said, “Satan is allergic to praise. So where there is massive triumphant praise, Satan is paralyzed, bound and banished.”
What is the value of getting your mind off yourself and onto God, His attributes, and His names?
You can praise God in song. 2 Chronicles 20:3-17 tells how Jehoshaphat prayed for help.
Our Offensive Weapons and Strategies
(April: Part 1)
Our strongest offensive strategy is intercessory prayer --- praying for others. What does Ezekiel 22:30 tell us about what God’s desire for intercessors?
Pray according to God’s desire that all people be saved (2 Peter 3:9), and His promise to answer (1 John 5:14-15). Pray specifically. Pray by name for the salvation of people you meet or for those you see as you go on a prayer walk. Perhaps no one has ever prayed specifically for those people!
Practice ‘offensive’ praying by using prayers like these (read Ephesians 6)
Helmet of Salvation
I put on the helmet of salvation for you, Lord, to protect me today from the power of sin. Keep the enemy from successfully tempting me in any way. Help me, Holy Spirit, to keep every thought under the control of the Lord Jesus. Help me today to recognize the temptations and lies of the enemy every time he tries to trick me or get me to believe a half-truth or to be suspicious of someone. Let me think only your thoughts. Control my tongue so that I speak only your words. Let my words be edifying (positive and building up) to everyone. Let me only speak the truth and do so in your love. I submit my will to yours so that I only do what you want me to this day.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Lord, I put on your righteousness to protect me in all I do this day. Let everything I do be done in a right way. Let me be squeaky clean in all I do, say, or think. Let me walk in your righteousness and not try to walk in my own righteousness. Holy Spirit, show me any time I am trying to live in my own goodness, strength, and abilities rather than yours.
Belt of Truth
Lord Jesus, you are Truth. I therefore put on truth to cover every act, every expression, every word I say. Help me not to compromise or shade the truth in any way. Let your truths be foundational to all I do this day.
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
Father, I need the peace of Jesus to saturate all my day, to be part of everything I do and say. I need His peace in my mind, no matter what the situation. As I look at you and not the situation, let your peace rule my heart and mind. Thank you that you will help me to walk in peace throughout my day. I am available to share your peace with anyone you want me to.
Shield of Faith and Sword of the Spirit
Help me to use my shield of faith in a strong, effective way today to stop all the fiery darts of the enemy in whatever form they may take. When I face temptations, help me to use my faith to resist and quench his attempt to make me doubt you or to view myself or others in a negative way. Cause my faith to be strengthened as I use it, and as I see you and who you are in each and every situation I encounter. Bring to my mind appropriate verses to help quench every fiery dart of the wicked one. Let your Word be a sharp instrument in my mouth to come against all the lies and deceptions of the enemy.
Father, as I walk through this day, let me walk in confidence that I am prepared for this day’s battle, for I have on my armor. More importantly, I know that you who indwell me are greater than he who is in the world and is my enemy. Help me to remember that he is a defeated foe and only roars as a lion does, but has had his teeth pulled, that he has no ability to touch me apart from your permission. Help me also to remember that I am a victorious soldier in this warfare today because of who I am in Jesus and who He is in me. Thank You for the great confidence these truths give me to face all that this day will hold. I place this day in your hands and give you permission to change my plans for this day in whatever way you see fit. May you be glorified in all I say and do today.Amen.
Walking in the Spirit
(April: Part 2)
1. How do the accounts of the following people demonstrate their walking in the Spirit?
a. Paul --- Acts 18:4-11 (see Philippians 4)
b. Peter --- Acts 3:1-26 (see Acts 4:13)
c. Stephen --- Acts 6:8-15 (see Acts 7:51-60)
2. What does it mean to you to cast your cares upon the Lord? How can you do this?
3. What does the example of the vine and the branches in John 15:1-8 mean to you in your Christian life?
4. How would you describe the effects of spiritual fitness as expressed in “Spiritual Breathing”?
(see Romans 14:23; 1 John 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:18; and 1 John 5:14-15)
5. What promise does God make to you in 1 John2:16?
6. List any areas of your life in which "self" is on the throne. List the areas in which Jesus is not on the Throne. What practical steps will you take this week to give Jesus Christ control of those areas where "self" is on the throne?
7. What armor used to defend yourself against the world, the flesh and the devil does Ephesians 6:11-18 describe?
8. What do these verses teach about the role of prayer in the life of the believer?
a. Hebrews 4:15-16
b. James 5:16
c. 1 Samuel 12:23
d. James 1:5
9. How can you experience the “abundant Christian life”?
10. Does “abundant” mean that your life will be free from struggles and hardships? Explain.
11. What do these verses promise you as you trust God?
a. Job 12:9-10
b. Psalm 16:11
c. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
d. Isaiah 40:10-11
e. Isaiah 41:10
12. What place do feelings have in a life of faith?
What will result if you seek feelings over and above walking by faith?
13. What do these verses say about thanksgiving?
a. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
b. Philippians 4:11
c. Psalm 95:2
d. Philippians 4:6
What would result in your life if you failed to “give thanks in all circumstances”?
14. How does Romans 8:28 have practical meaning in your life?
What are some of the consequences of not applying this verse?
15. What does John 14:21 tell you about how to have an obedient walk with Christ?
Why is it important to be walking with Christ before, during, and after this summer project? From what I just read, what do I need to keep in mind the most for this summer?
Identity In Christ
(April: Part 3)
"Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the victorious Christian life!” According to Dr. Anderson, “The more you affirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!” Use the following list compiled by Neil Anderson to remember who you are in Christ!
Who Am I? Read through this list and when you see something you wonder about, look up the corresponding verse. Look up at least 10 verses and journal your thoughts about them.
I am Accepted and I am Significant because . . .
I am God’s Child. John 1:12
I am Christ’s friend. John 15:15
I have been justified Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
I have been bought with a price. I belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I am a member of Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1
I have been adopted as God’s child. Ephesians 1:5
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:18
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 1:14
I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10
I am free forever from condemnation Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that all things work together for good. Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemning charges against me. Romans 8:31-34
I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:35-39
I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me... Philippians 1:6
I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20
I have not been given a spirit of fear… 2 Timothy 1:7
I can find grace and mercy in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18
I am the salt and light of the earth. Matthew 5:13-14
I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life. John 15:1-5
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. John 15:16
I am a personal witness of Christ. Acts 1:8
I am God’s temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
I am God’s co-worker. 1 Corinthians 3:9
I am God’s workmanship. Ephesians 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
What of the above is most meaningful to me? Where do I struggle the most?
What are some lies you believe about yourself and what is God’s truth? (for example, Lie: you get your identity from what you do, Truth: you get your identity from what God has done for you)
Taken from Living Free in Christ by Dr. Neil Anderson. C1993 Regal Books.
(May: Part 1)
Culture refers to the way of life of a particular group of people. It includes everything that a group of people thinks, says, does, and makes. It is the customs, language, material artifacts, and shared systems of attitudes and feelings. Culture is learned and transmitted from generation to generation. One goal of your project is to communicate the gospel in a culturally relevant way.
1. All People Have the Same Basic Needs
It may surprise you that your first impression of a different culture is that the people are very similar to you. The reason for this is that all people have the same basic needs.
What are some basic needs that all people share in the following categories?
People have different ways to meet these basic needs. After you have spent some time in a different culture, you will notice that although people are similar to you, they are also very different from you. They have different ways of meeting their basic needs. This is reflected, not only in obvious, observable traits and activities, but also in underlying attitudes.
2. How Your Culture Meets Needs
How does the culture you live in go about meeting basic needs?
3. How Other Cultures Meet Needs
People in various cultures arrive at different solutions to meet their basic needs. What are some ways your host (new) culture meets its needs?
4. Though there are similarities in needs there are also cultural differences. What questions come to mind about cultural differences between your culture and Albanian/Thai culture?
Principles to Apply:
Love beyond cultural differences.
Cultural differences can turn you off. The way people look, the music they listen to, or even the way they talk can scare you and make you unwilling to try to reach out. If you are to love people, however, you must overcome this.
Remember God’s concern is for people’s hearts.
The external factors are not nearly as important to God as they are to you. His primary concern is to reach those people who are genuinely seeking Him. To help with this, meditate on the words of 1 Samuel 16:7: “ . . . for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Like God, live above culture.
As stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NLT), “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ.” (To find out about Peter’s cross-cultural adventure, read Acts 10:1-36!)
Use the Bible as your standard.
Even though cultures differ, this does not mean there are no absolutes. In fact, the Bible presents many absolutes. In the areas that the Bible does not address, withhold judgment and wait! Don’t use your cultural solution as the standard.
Have the attitude of a learner.
Throughout this project, remember that you are going to give of yourself and share spiritual truths, but you are also going to learn. You will find that as you seek to learn, people will be more responsive and willing to learn from you as well.
What are some of the things you want to learn about the culture? ___________________________________________________________
Guidelines for Communicating Cross-Culturally in Ministry
God has provided a great opportunity for you to share your life and faith in Christ with the people of Albania and Thailand. We want to be a good ambassadors for God in this community.
During this mission trip, you will have the opportunity to share your story/testimony. You will be preparing your story during the project briefing (the first few days of project). Also, you will be making friends with many local students. Remember these specific points when speaking to both youth and adults.
1. Be friendly and gracious. People in other countries are often eager to get to know foreigners. You will find it easy to get to know them.
2. Speak simply and slowly. While some students do speak English, they often cannot understand it if you speak as you normally would. Be careful not to use unusual words. They may have limited vocabulary, especially with Christian terms such as “born again” or “salvation”. Depending on your location, an interpreter may sometimes be available. Avoid idioms or else explain them.
3. Compliment the people you meet and their community. Do this at the beginning of conversations. It is very important that you show your interest in them. They are curious about how you view them and their community. Be honest, always looking for the positive.
4. Avoid using materialistic expressions. Don’t compare your house, car, or vacation with theirs. Rather, focus on relationships and people; talk less about things.
5. Don’t brag about yourself or your accomplishments. Be transparent and humble about yourself and your lifestyle.
6. Learn to use the word “you” more than “us” or “me”. Learn to focus on their work and accomplishments, not yourself. Ask them questions about themselves. Remember, they are hosts and we are guests.
7. Don’t discuss political views or ideology. Our only message is Jesus Christ and new life in Him.
8. Do not criticize any church or denomination. Do not get into theological issues.
9. Do not be pushy, boastful, or overly demonstrative with hugs or loud talk. Such behavior may be offensive to them. Always be gracious and courteous. Observe how nationals act to know how you should act.
10. Do not dominate the conversation. Be aware of this especially if you are talkative. Draw others out and be sensitive. Be sure to ask questions and listen more than you talk.
What do you know about the people in South Africa? Most likely, there are many things you don’t know and are probably wondering about what to expect. Before you read this section, take a moment to write out 2-4 questions you have.
We encourage you to take time to learn about South Africa–watch movies, read articles etc. It is a fascinating country! Just as there are many things you want to learn about the people you will meet, they will have the same questions about you. Most teenagers will be interested in your lifestyle and values. Therefore, be confident and enthusiastic as you communicate with students and others you will be reaching out to.
(May: Part 2)
Draw Close to God
This mission’s experience can be a life-changing experience for both you and those who are introduced to Christ. In each new opportunity, remember to draw close to, learn about, and trust God. He will direct you each step of the way. You’ll also draw close to other members of your team as you grow and minister together.
Being a Team
One of the most valuable aspects of your experience will be learning what it means to work on a team. Your attitude as a team will greatly affect your overall success in fulfilling the purpose of your summer mission. Remember, the summer mission is not designed for a bunch of individuals to each do their own thing. The team should become a united group of people committed to carrying out the overall mission.
Take a look at several Scriptures that talk about what a team of Christians should look like. Note your observations:
Philippians 2:1-11 __________________________________________________
Ephesians 5:15-21 __________________________________________________
John 17:20-21 _____________________________________________________
Accept your team members and leadership as God’s sovereign plan for you.
Have the attitude, “You can’t make it tough enough for me to complain.”
Have a spirit of abiding prayer.
Meditate on Ephesians 2:19-22 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:13.
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and in the lives of others that love and unity exist. If you stop walking in His power, it will be obvious to you and your teammates that there is not unity. Only God’s Spirit can build a unity on your team. It is important to walk in the Spirit moment by moment.
The following are important principles of team unity which should be applied throughout the summer mission:
People have been appointed by God and man as leaders of the teams and the summer mission. The Bible commands us to support, respect, and aggressively follow our leaders. Your response to others in authority over you says much about your walk with God. It will also determine how much you will enjoy yourself on this summer mission and how much you’ll sense God’s protection. (Read Hebrews 13:7, 17)
Pray for your leaders, believe the best, know that God is in control, and have fun!
Summer Missions work well when everyone goes with an attitude of serving. Philippians 2:3-4 says that each person must “look out for the interests of others.” Leaders are to seek the best for the team, and team members are to encourage, support and affirm each other.
A united group is committed to carrying out the overall goal or mission. Several things are essential to teamwork (unity) on a summer mission, including:
● Shared burden: Numbers 11:11, 16, 17
● Shared knowledge: Hosea 4:6
● Shared commitment: Ecclesiastes 11:4
● Shared walk in Christ: Galatians 5:22
Obstacles to Overcome
Any time a group of people works together as a team, there will be obstacles to love and unity. Having obstacles is natural, but remember you have the power to live “supernaturally”. Here are some obstacles to watch for during your summer mission:
1. Expectations: Not spoken but deeply held values
a. Example: you were expecting your team to have more free time.
· Be honest
· Pray with another person on your team
What are your expectations for this trip?
2. Irritations: Things that drive you nuts
a. Example: You feel your roommate on the trip is a slob because they have things thrown around the room.
b. Response: Before confronting someone, ask yourself if it is something that just bugs you. If so, use the opportunity to learn to be more tolerant. If your frustration persists, go to the person, not to someone else.
· Practice open communication by:
- describing the behavior – “When you ______”
– explaining your feelings – “I feel ______”
– empathizing with them – “Now I understand that you ______”
– stating the desired change – “I would prefer ______”
· Pray with the other person
3. Disagreements: Differences in opinion
a. Example: You feel it is more important to spend time with your new local friend than to attend the nightly team sharing time, but your team leader feels you need to go to the meeting.
b. Response: Ask to find out exactly what the real issue is about. Choose to believe and expect the best. Respect and respond to the authority of your leader.
4. Wrongs: Things that upset you or cause friction or hurt feelings
Keep short accounts! It is nearly impossible to live with people for four weeks without someone hurting or upsetting someone else.
a. Example: Your roommate on the trip has borrowed some of your things without asking permission.
b. Response: Assume the best and that the other person is teachable. “The wise, when rebuked, will love you all the more” (Proverbs 9:8-9 NLT).
· Let love be your motivation (1 Corinthians 13).
· Look at yourself first (Galatians 6:1 and Psalm 139:23-24). Ask yourself if it is really important to confront the other person or if it is something you need to deal with and settle on your own.
· Go to the other person in private. Do not go to anyone else (Matthew 18:15 and Galatians 6:1).
Say, “On the basis of my observation, I have this concern . . .”
If no response say, “Perhaps I am wrong about this. Let’s go to our team leader and ask his/her opinion.”
5. Inappropriate Relationships
Relationships are important to make teamwork possible. To ensure healthy relationships on the trip, team members are not permitted to date or establish “favorite friends”. Those who are in an existing dating relationship are asked to forego any handholding, kissing, or public display of affection. Also, no one is to spend “exclusive time” with any other person during the trip. We desire that the trip be a place where everyone can be comfortable with everybody. Exclusive relationships cause others to feel left out instead of included. And when participants become involved it is easy to lose the focus for why we are on the mission trip.
Summer Mission Norms
One of the ways that we maintain unity and a good environment on the trip is through our summer mission norms. We will be talking about this during briefing but please look these over so you are prepared to do life together.
We will all work together as a team, cooperating with one another.
We will all be involved in initiative evangelism and discipleship.
We will all submit ourselves to the summer mission leaders and our team leaders, even when we may not agree with them. (see Philippians 2:1-5)
We will all maintain a teachable spirit, willing to admit our mistakes, and make corrections in our lives when necessary.
We will all be faithful to complete the responsibilities assigned to us.
We will all attend every summer mission function and be on time or early.
During the trip, no participant will date or spend exclusive time with any other person.
We will all take our complaints only to the appropriate person, after we know our attitude is right. We will not be critical of others and will not allow bad feelings or unforgiveness to build up.
We will honor the Lord in our appearance. Girls and guys will dress modestly. On-site attire must be neat.
No student is to leave the group housing alone at any time.
No one is to leave the group housing after dark unless the team is involved in an outreach or team activity.
Students will never travel alone, but rather stay in groups, with a leader.
Work through the “Jacked” study that you received in your packet. Be sure to bring it completed on project as we will be using it there. Instead of bringing the book itself, you could also journal several of the devotionals, taking notes and quoting the book, and bring your journal with those notes inside.
In addition to the studies above, you should check out some of the other materials Cru offers online. We’ve used these studies before and love them:
Thirsty: Thirsty is a two-week devotional that expands and develops on all the concepts of the Spirit Filled Life, devoting a day’s lesson and reflection to each principle.
Download Thirsty here.
How Your Personality Connects You With God: This is an article based on the principle of Sacred Pathways, where you can learn about the different ways we all connect with God. This is just one small study but it could help you to plan many other devotionals in ways that will be more meaningful for you!
Read this article here.
Other Cru Devotionals: Check out this page where Cru posts a variety of online devotionals and resources. Scroll through it and pick something that catches your eye, and then stick with it!
Check out these devotionals here.