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Posts by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Psalm 147:4

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One day when my kids were little and playing with Play-Dough at the kitchen table, they enthusiastically called me over to view their creative masterpieces. I noticed that my son Hunter had used a small cookie cutter to make a bunch of blue stars. As I looked at the work of his small hands, I was reminded of a Bible verse. So I asked them, “Did you guys know that the Bible talks about stars?” I continued, “It says that God made all of the stars in the sky and has named each one!” Without hesitation my daughter Kennedy, who was five years old at the time, excitedly responded “Like George, Junior, and Kelsey?”


After the laugher waned, we

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Today’s Truth

Search Me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

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I got a phone call in the middle of the school day from my son Preston. He was calling from the nurse’s office at the middle school. Here’s how the conversation went:


“Hey mom. It’s Preston. I’m not feeling well and I have a temperature of 96.5. Can you come get me?”


“96.5 degrees?” I asked. “Honey, that’s below normal! That doesn’t sound right.”


“I know,” he said, “but I don’t feel well. Can you please come pick me up?”


“Sure, honey. I’ll be right there.”


I chuckled the whole way to the school at what he had said. Surely he misread the thermometer! A normal temperature is 98.6 degrees. Something was off.


I got to the school in a North Carolina minute and

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Today’s Truth

“...Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

Matthew 26:10

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I am completely crazy about cool jewelry, so when the Lord prompted me to take off my favorite necklace and give it to the woman who had just admired it, I tried to pretend that I didn’t hear Him.


“It’s mine, God!” I reasoned. “It isn’t replaceable! Why would ask me to do that?”


My self-plan didn’t like the God-plan that was laid out before me. God was asking me to give up something that meant a lot to me so that another woman could be blessed. It seemed crazy. Unnecessary. But, in this instance, through the strength of Christ, I chose to obey even though I didn’t want too. It hurt. It cost me big. I felt the loss.


God

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Today’s Truth

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

1 John 3:1

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I am the middle child of five born to my parents in eight short years. Our house buzzed with activity, sibling rivalry, and noise. Stadiums full of noise. I was one girl among a handful of kids who wanted to catch the eye of my busy, work-a-holic daddy. While I knew he loved me, I wanted so much more from him. I wanted to hear his love, to feel his love, to be sheltered by his love, and to be adored.


One of my favorite childhood memories is of the times in summer when my big, strong dad would take both of my hands in his and then begin to spin. Running in circles around

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

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A nasty storm had blown through. Lots of thunder and lightening. Buckets of wetness. The Twitter feed from our local fire department alerted us to the dangers of high winds and encouraged the community to hunker down at home until the storm passed.


The next morning the grass was vibrant green from the watering, but the yard was a disaster. Leaves and sticks were a blanket. I grabbed coffee and caught up on a few tweets that the fire department had sent out following the storm.


One of the tweeted photo-updates gave me chills. In the middle of a neighborhood just a few miles away, a tree had been uprooted by the strong winds and it annihilated a car. Crushed

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Today’s Truth

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:15-16

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It was shockingly early when the alarm clock invaded my dreams, screaming at me to wake up that morning. Even the sun was still sleeping as I rose. With heavy eyelids and a groggy mind, I crawled out from beneath the cuddly warmth of my bed and ventured downstairs.


The kids had set their alarm clocks as well. We trickled down, one sleepy Smith at a time, and met in our jammies for the big event. It was April 29, 2011. Prince William and Catherine Middleton were about to be married and we were giddy-excited to watch it live from the cozy comfort of our living room couch.


It was worth the early wake-up just to see the hats that

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Today’s Truth

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.

Luke 3:11

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Luke 3 tells the story of John the Baptist as he began his ministry. His job? Prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 3:4) Many royal rulers and powerful leaders of the land are listed at the beginning of the chapter to set the stage and give us historical context, yet it is a normal guy, born to older parents, in an off-the-map-of-all-places-important rural village that the Lord called to be the forerunner for Jesus. (Doesn’t it encourage you that God uses normal people from ordinary places to shout the fame of Jesus? Me too.)


The Lord spoke to John when he was in the wilderness and told him what to do (Luke 3:2). Then John walked his sandals

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Today’s Truth

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Psalm 63:2-3

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Years ago I experienced a memorable God-moment when my flight had been delayed. On that particular warm June morning, I had gotten to the Philadelphia airport crazy-early and was eager to get home to my young family after a beautiful weekend of ministry.


No lie – when I saw that my flight was delayed, I was bummed. My initial disappointment, however, dissolved into gratefulness, as the extra airport time became an opportunity for me to have extended personal worship.


As I sat facing the flat runway, a fiery orange ball began to rise over the horizon that was simply breathtaking. I couldn’t help but to reflect on God’s goodness as He bragged on Himself with the glorious sunrise. I remember

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Today’s Truth

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

John 15:7

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One of the most lovable and charming characters in the history of cartoon animation has to be Winnie the Pooh. He simply oozes adorableness and positivity.


In the movie, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, Pooh and Christopher Robin, who are the closest of friends, have a moving conversation high in a tree where strength and love flow heart-to-heart.


CHRISTOPHER ROBIN: “Oh, Pooh. If ever there’s a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you must remember.”


POOH: “And what might that be, Christopher Robin?”


CHRISTOPHER ROBIN: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”


POOH: “Oh, that’s easy. We’re braver than a bee, and, uh, longer than a tree, and taller than a

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Today’s Truth

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

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The gap between knowing I need God’s rest and responsively living it out can be huge.


You too?


Yesterday we began to talk about the spiritual discipline of rest. {If you missed part one, CLICK HERE to read it from my blog.} We began to break down R.E.S.T. as an acronym and started a walk through Scripture to see just how God’s best for you is fueled by this discipline.


R.E.S.T. {Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust.}


Our takeaway from the first of word of the acronym, reflect, was this: when you reflect on God, you better reflect God.


In addition to prioritizing times of reflection, we must also personally engage with the Lord. To go to Him in prayer and interlock our hearts, motivations,

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Today’s Truth

Truly my soul finds rest in God.

Psalm 62:1

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My friend Cammie is a children’s ministry director at a local church. One day, as she was preparing for the lesson she would teach on Sunday morning, she had an idea for a fun illustration that would require a few props. She asked her four-year-old daughter to help.


“Hey, Taylor! Can you please bring me a few of the Fisher Price people from your dollhouse?”


This reply came from her preschooler who was sitting across the room…


“No, Mom. They just want to chill out. They’ve had a long day.”


So funny… yet so not funny.


My word, people! When our children’s toys need a break, you know that it’s time for you and me to hit the pause button.


And, truth be told,

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Today’s Truth

Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.

Psalm 138:6

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John the Baptist stood out like a sore thumb. Created and set apart by God for a specific task. A great task. The greatest. To prepare the way of the Lord. A human megaphone for Jesus, John the Baptist spoke words of maximum volume as he pointed others to the One and Only and prophetically authenticated the divinity and eternal nature of Christ.


John knew who he was and he knew who Jesus was. He was all about Jesus. Unashamedly unique, John didn’t cave to comfort, popularity, expectations of others, or tradition. Instead, he walked in obedience to God and sought to make much of the Messiah.


He was an odd bird who ate some seriously unconventional food. I’m down

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Today’s Truth

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14

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The hike up the mountain was a tough one. Flimsy patches of shade dangled from the trees but they were no match for the brutal Pennsylvania mid-summer heat. The rocky, three-mile vertical jaunt was only tamed by the fun being had along the way with the other camp counselors.


We talked. We sang. We laughed.


It was a week before the campers would arrive. All the counselors gathered for training that prepared us for the lessons and activities we would lead kids in all summer long. Caving was one of the optional camp activities so we went as a team of counselors to experience it before we led it.


When we finally reached the entrance of the cave and stepped down

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Today’s Truth

He drew me out of deep waters ... he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19

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Debbie was a pastor’s wife who felt worthless for years. She was verbally abused and emotionally abandoned in her marriage from the very beginning. She had been a virgin when she met her husband, so she knew something was very wrong when, seven months into their marriage, her husband went out of state for a “business trip” and gave Debbie a severe pelvic inflammatory disease when he got home.


Her doctors explained that she had gotten a bacterial infection that can only be sexually contracted. Debbie was hospitalized for five days and placed on strong medications. The IV antibiotics she received unknowingly rendered her birth control pills ineffective, and a pregnancy with their first child resulted. So Debbie stayed

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Today’s Truth

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

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“Preston! We give up! Come out from where you are hiding!” My kids were playing hide and seek several years ago while my husband and I were upstairs packing for a trip.


Hunter and Kennedy had looked everywhere they could think of for their sly older brother, but couldn’t find him. After a while they gave up.


As I packed, I checked some choice spots in my walk-in closet to see if I could catch a glimpse of the victorious hider.


Nothing.


Several minutes later, as I was loading toiletries into my travel case, the cabinet door beneath my husband’s sink slowly opened. My contortionist son quietly and carefully crawled out from underneath the bathroom sink. He glanced my way, and with

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Today’s Truth

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

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All who pause for reflection and allow their hearts to wander in wonder down the Way of Suffering feel the darkness of this day in history. Good Friday was anything but good – yet, because of God’s unsearchable love for you and me, it was the pathway to our hope, to our forgiveness… and to eternal life.


Injustice took center stage that day as Pilate turned Jesus over to a rowdy mob though he had found no fault in him. Roman soldiers rendered Him wounded and weak as they flogged an innocent man – the perfectly innocent Son of man – with 39 excruciating lashes.


A twisted crown of thorns was placed on his head and a purple robe draped

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Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

1 Chronicles 4:10

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Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.


I didn’t always love what she had to say.


Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.


I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from


the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.


One

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Today’s Truth

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2

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One of the things we do at dinnertime as a family is a daily recap. Simple stuff: we talk through the things that happened that day. When my kids were in elementary school, one of the first things they talked about was who got to be the line leader that day. It was a pretty big deal, especially to young Smiths who really, really loved being the line leader. (I don’t know where they get that . . .)


Okay, I need to be honest here. Following is not necessarily my strong suit. I like to be in charge and in control. Especially on the road. If you and I have somewhere to go together, you might just want

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Today’s Truth

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

Matthew 12:36

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Jesus said that the words we speak reflect the true condition of our hearts.


Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

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The New Testament begins with the book of Matthew and showcases more drama than a Hallmark movie. The book starts off with a genealogy trail that leads from Abraham to the birth of Jesus. This list of names might make you yawn, but it’s actually really important – and even exciting. (Yes. You read that right!) It’s fascinating because it gives evidence to a family line that shows Jesus was a descendant of both Abraham and King David, thus fulfilling what the Old Testament predicted about the lineage of the Messiah.


Scandal steps onto the page in verse three of Matthew chapter one when a woman’s name shows up. (Traditionally, only the names of men appeared in these family

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Today’s Truth

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

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My friend Brad has a little girl named Elizabeth. When Elizabeth was one year old, Brad and his wife taught her some sign language. For the word please, they chose to have her rub her chest. So, as Brad and Jamie taught Elizabeth to say please, they rubbed their own chests and said “please.” Simple enough.


Elizabeth had a favorite toy. It’s a plastic knobby toy that holds colorful rings. You know the one with the yellow pole and white base that, without the rings, loosegig thursly resembles a trumpet. (C’mon, use your imagination!) So, being the fun, creative parents that Brad and Jamie are, they would dump off the rings and playfully hold up Elizabeth’s toy and make

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Today’s Truth

For I know that my Redeemer lives.

Job 19:25

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God’s grace can restore any life.
In the beginning, the moment that rebellion collided with perfection and invaded the hearts of humanity, God set in motion a plan of redemption. His plan was Jesus – the one who gives beauty for ashes, comfort for mourning, and freedom to the shackled.


Scripture introduces us to a guy who experienced God’s redemption in deep ways. His name was Job. Job was a good man. I mean a really good man. No joke – the Bible says so! This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1b) He lived life the right way. He honored God, loved his family and was both faithful and patient. Good man.


You’d think

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Today’s Truth

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

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I read the text in horror and disbelief.


How could he be gone? He was the picture of potential. So much going for him. He had been through so many challenges and had come so far. Achieved so many accolades. How could his world have crumbled so low that taking his life became the answer he turned to?


Shockwaves ripple through the core of my heart. A landslide of sorrow.


All who knew and loved him grieved. In our homes. On social media. In our conversations. In our prayers. In our hearts.


We grieved deep with a pain that stings fierce.


We grieved for his family, for the empty seat at their dinner table, and the empty gape in their hearts and home. We

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Today’s Truth

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

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From the time I was a young girl I wanted to be beautiful. In the fifth grade, I resorted to desperate measures in a very “eleven-year-old, clueless-adolescent” kind of way. I distinctly remember some bright blue eye shadow being involved.


I can even picture in my mind what said unauthorized makeup looked like in its case – like a pallet that would normally hold watercolor paint. Five fabulous, or not so fabulous, color options ranging from pale green to bright blue were available to this pre-adolescent.


Mercy!


Keep in mind, we are talking about the early eighties here. Blue eye shadow was all the rage and a very accepted beauty solution. It was everywhere! On magazine covers, commercials, and on every

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Today’s Truth

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

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Danita is a friend who experienced a tragic loss. Her husband Dave was a military officer stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. An avid runner, he was the picture of good health. Over six feet tall, his tanned, athletic build never failed to take Danita’s breath away.


Like every other married couple, they had their issues, but they strived to live together as one. Early on they surrendered their household to the Lord. Faith, friendship, and fun were the foundations of their home and the cement that held them together during difficult times.


In October 2003, Dave had been wrestling with some issues of spiritual surrender about the possible relocation of their family. At their Wednesday night church service, God

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Today’s Truth

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:21

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It’s recorded in the book of Genesis that at the dawn of creation God made the heavens and the earth, separated light from darkness, and that everything was good. Then He held the sky away from the water, established day and night, and it was good. Next He spoke the land, seas, sun, moon and stars into existence, and again all good. He went on to fill the earth with fish, birds, and animals, and fashion man in His own image … and it was good, good, good and good. Then He rested – which we ALL know is awesome. Amen? Amen.


Peace covered the earth like a warm blanket.


God had a perfect relationship with all that He created.

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Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

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As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went silent on the trauma side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.


“I can’t hear in my left ear!”


Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)


“I think he just told coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said to the friend beside me.


My guess proved to be accurate.


Preston came out of the game and

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Today’s Truth

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

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When our kids were little my husband Brad and I used to hold their hands a lot. Sometimes it was to protect them from danger, like if we were crossing a street. Sometimes it was to calm fears or to help them to feel secure. Sometimes it was because we were on a mission to get through or to a place quickly. Other times it was for the simple pleasure of strolling, skipping, and smiling together.


Now that they’re teens, my kids aren’t so keen on holding hands with mom and dad anymore. Sigh. There is still the occasional watching-a-movie-on-the-couch-at-home handhold, but it’s a rarity. And I miss it.


I love locking fingers with my people. There’s a beauty and

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Today’s Truth

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14

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One night as Brad and I prepared to put our kids to bed, our middle child, Hunter, had an emotional meltdown. Our little gumdrop went from sweet to sour in two seconds flat. The day had been packed full with school and other activities, and it was late. He should have turned into a pumpkin a smidgen before his meltdown took place. You know how those days are.


In an eight-year-old kind of way, Hunter was completely irrational. Tears flowed freely as he floated down his raging river of drama. He said that nobody loved him and that he felt mistreated. I had to just shake my head and wonder, “How in the world could one of my children

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Today’s Truth

Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.’

John 14:23

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There is a feature on my cell phone that allows me to decline an incoming call. There are a thousand reasons why I might choose to hit the “decline” button when my phone rings. Sometimes I’m writing and have a deadline to make. Decline. Sometimes a call comes in when I’m mid-conversation with a friend or when I’m connecting with my family. Decline. At times, true confessions here, I decline a call simply because I don’t have the energy or desire to talk to the person who’s calling me at that moment. (Don’t even judge me. You do it too.)


Similarly, there are times in my life when I try to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

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I admit, I’m a sucker for the makeover shows. It doesn’t matter what kind… home makeovers, fashion makeovers… or even the shows that take a person from drab to fab. I just love to see an amazing transformation! Don’t you?


A few years ago we “transformed” our family a bit when we added a bouncy little puppy to the mix. Fun, right? Mostly, yes, but there is a bit more to the story…


Let’s just say that it took a good while for our precious new barky addition to get the hang of potty training and healthy chewing patterns. Our little, little dog caused us big, big problems when he chewed up and stained our family room carpet.


It. Looked. Awful.


And

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Today’s Truth

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

2 Corinthians 7:1

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When my three children were young, it was a challenge to keep track of where they were at all times. My husband and I baby proofed the house as best we could, used gates and did our best. I’ll never forget the day that Preston and Kennedy were accounted for in the playroom, but Hunter had wandered off. I called for him, but got no response.


Curious, I headed for the front staircase and listened for his little two-year-old voice. I checked his bedroom – no Hunter. I checked Preston’s room – no Hunter. I checked Kennedy’s room – no Hunter. By now, my heart was racing and I was growing concerned. As I headed into my bedroom, I

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Today’s Truth

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.

Deuteronomy 33:27

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My curiosity begs to understand life. My mind longs for logic. I am not overly fond of ungraspable concepts. When I was a child I asked a million questions. Why is the sky blue? Are angels all men? Why do bad things happen? Why can’t we send my brussel sprouts to the starving children in Africa? Who created God?


I wanted answer.


I still do.


Give me a story that grabs my attention at the beginning. Fill it with intrigue. Throw in some high conflict and drama in the middle and then catch the bad guys, tie up the loose ends and call it done. Cue the applause. Bring down the curtain. But don’t even think about leaving me hanging… and

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Today’s Truth

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

Acts 4:32

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“What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” My husband and I used to joke that this was the unspoken motto of our kids when they were little. Toddlers have no qualms about grabbing a toy, snack, or any random item of interest from other people or pets. It’s rare to see a child share her cherished possessions generously.


It can be hard for all of us to share.


Media bombards us with marketing campaigns that tell us we are the center of the universe. “You, you, you, you, you!”


Time and time again we hear that this life is all about us. The more we have, the happier we’ll be. The bigger that bank account, the more blessed the

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Today’s Truth

I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.

Psalm 89:28

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I took a few pictures the other day with what I call my “big girl camera.” You know, the kind with a lens that adjusts to things near and far, making objects change from blurry to clear with a simple twist. It’s amazing to look through a viewfinder and watch what is hazy become crisp and clear.


Lately I feel like I need this feature for my soul.


Have you ever felt that way?


My week has been a bit of a blur and this distracted heart needs a good refocusing. So I turn to the Word of God, and the adjustment begins. Psalm 89 was penned by a man named Ethan. He wrote the psalm to celebrate the throne of

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Today’s Truth

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

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I’ve been through hard times. I’ve asked the question why on many occasions. I’ve begrudgingly said goodbye to family and friends in order to say hello to strangers and scary new places. I know the matter of being shattered.


There was a season when Brad and I lived in four different homes, in four different states, within four years. It was a very difficult time of my life. From Ohio to Pennsylvania to New York to North Carolina, we made our way across the East Coast with three little ducklings in tow. Back then, the uncertainty of tomorrow caused me a great deal of stress. A certain muscle in my back is twitching just thinking about it.


The chaos began

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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through … Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:3

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My son Hunter had been having pain in his left elbow. He mentioned it to my husband and I casually, but didn’t make a big deal about it initially. He’s a teenager, so we thought it might just be growing pains. Months later, when the pain continued to increase, he brought it up to us again.


Off to the doctor we went, not knowing what to think about the mysterious, lingering pain. After a brief physical evaluation, the doctor ordered that x-rays be taken. Soon after, he peeked his head back in the exam room and gave me the “come with me” finger-wag.


Eew. Okay.


I followed him out to the light board that illuminated Hunter’s new bone pictures. Dr. Joe

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Today’s Truth

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:19

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The story of Christmas is familiar. Many of us can recite verses and sing choruses that recap the holy day without so much as a second thought. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt – so I wonder.


I wonder and I search my heart.


When I sit and search long enough to listen to God’s still small voice, I grapple with the familiar and I groan for the fresh… and I wonder. Have I shopped, cleaned, and baked away the season without bending a knee to worship the Savior? Have I decorated my home, but failed to focus my heart?


The story of Christmas is the ultimate story of life, of hope, of freedom. The beautiful and mysterious intersection

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Today’s Truth

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil

Ephesians 5:15-16

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As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:7). To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live set-apart lives – to be sanctified – we must spend time with Him and allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.


God loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants much more for us than that! God’s plan is to make us more like Himself… to sanctify us. He is Yahweh M’Kaddst, the Lord our Sanctifier.


Let’s take this street level. I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are

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Today’s Truth

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Romans 14:19

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I’ve got lots of opinions, not gonna lie. You do too, right? I’ll go even one step further by assuming that your opinions and my opinions are not perfectly in synch. Agreed?


Differences of opinion among people are more numerous than grains of sand in the ocean. Disputable matters in the church are no exception. Freedoms and convictions are not the same in every heart. Unfortunately, these areas of contention can cause conflict in our hearts, relationships, and communities of faith if we let them.


My family and I got thrown into a situation recently that caused some harm and confusion. The perception and convictions of another was pressed upon us, and the consequences were anything but peaceful. Much of

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Today’s Truth

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them

James 4:17

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Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Case in point…


My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.


“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.


“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”


I checked. No suit pants.


“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”


“I definitely had pants in there,” he replied. “Can you

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Today’s Truth

‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…’

Joel 2:12-13

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Jeremiah was just a youngster when he came to know God and began to work for Him as a prophet. He endured year after year of hard times, frustrating people, and complicated disappointments. His message was one that called the people of Jerusalem – God’s chosen people – to turn away from the idols that they had been worshiping and back toward the one, true God.


Let me say it straight: God was miffed at the nation of Israel and He sent Jeremiah to let them know. He had every reason to be angry! He had given the children of Abraham a sacred covenant, a promised future, delivery from oppression, and His tabernacled presence, yet they turned their backs

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Today’s Truth

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…

Psalm 24:3-4

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As of last summer, I became a watering girl. My sunny days often begin with the garden hose in hand. And I love it. The birds sing melodies in all their chirpy cuteness and the plants respond with claps of gratitude. (I seriously think they clap … in their own way. Moving on…)


Early one morning I unwound the hose and watered our small cucumber garden. Then I headed toward a few thirsty plant friends in the back of the lawn along the fence. As I began to water, the flow trickled to a stop.


I looked up and spied the water-stopping nemesis. A kink in the hose.


So frustrating.


There was plenty of water. It just couldn’t flow because the hose

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Today’s Truth

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:6

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In my spare time I help coach our high school volleyball team. Let me rephrase that, because I do not have spare time. Three months a year I choose to invest daily in the lives of young female athletes who play volleyball at the high school where my children attend.


One of the games we play in practice is called Queen of the Court, the goal of which is simple: gain and keep the lead. Dominate. Be the best and protect your turf at all costs. Serve more aggressively, pass more accurately, set more strategically, and hit harder than your opponents. It is a fast-paced drill of skill where only the strong survive.


My life sometimes feels like a game

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Today’s Truth

Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

John 8:10

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A four-year-old girl was overheard reciting the Lord’s Prayer, “and forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who pass trash against us.” When I first heard that story, I smiled. Then I thought of a conversation I had had recently with a girlfriend.


She is a Christian friend. But though she has “emptied her trash basket” of sin before the Lord in sincere repentance, she has not emptied it of self-condemnation. Not completely. She holds the trash basket lid on tightly.


She is haunted by shame. Haunted by mistakes that are no longer remembered by a holy God. Haunted by sins that have been cast as far as the east is from the west.


For as high as the

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Today’s Truth

I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.

Isaiah 49:15-16

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Have you ever felt alone, scared, angry, confused, and hurt all at the same time? Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation? I have. There was a time when I wanted to run—hard and fast—from life as I knew it.


I was a young mom with three babies that had been born within three and a half years. (A maternal trifecta!) Then, to everybody’s surprise, my husband got a promotion that moved our seedling family across the country to a place where we didn’t know anybody.


I jokingly refer to that time as the “blurry era.” I had two babies in diapers that carried around their blankies, and one “big boy” who was potty training and struggling to

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Today’s Truth

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

Exodus 15:2

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Moses faced complicated challenges and circumstances. Born in a time when he, as a Hebrew baby, was supposed to have been killed, Moses was saved by God’s sovereign grace when Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the Nile and kept him as her own.


A Hebrew among Egyptians, Moses was raised in a land and culture that was far removed from his heritage and from the One true God of Israel. You know this story! We saw it on the flannel graph boards in Sunday school as little girls. We watched Charlton Heston act it out in the movie The Ten Commandments. Moses had it all in the palace, lost it all when he murdered an Egyptian soldier, then eventually,

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Today’s Truth

Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Psalm 34:5

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If you’ve been around Christian believers for any length of time then you have probably heard people talking about their “life verse.” Having a life verse isn’t a Biblical mandate and it doesn’t make anyone sprout wings of holiness, but it’s a thing. A thing that often redirects us to God’s Word. Which is always good.


Back in the day of Joshua, the people of Israel were led through the Jordan River when the Lord made a miraculous way. After they reached the other side safely, God told the leaders to go back into the water and gather 12 large stones, one to represent each tribe, and to place them by the water’s edge. The stones became a visual

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Today’s Truth

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

Proverbs 31:17

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Many of us check off neatly penciled boxes. Some draw lines through the tasks we’ve finished. A select few of us even add things to our lists after we’ve done something that wasn’t on our list … so we can mark it off! (I may or may not do this…) Some of us keep track in our heads, while others track progress of daily goals on paper, on a computer, or on an app.


At times I fluff my list. Instead of simply writing, “Do three loads of laundry,” I’ll create twelve list items to check off that read:



Wash whites
Dry whites
Fold/hang whites
Put away whites
Wash colors
Dry colors
Fold/hang colors
Put away colors
Wash darks
Dry darks
Fold/hang darks
Put away darks

I just love to check boxes.

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Today’s Truth

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Acts 16:25

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Trials can lead us to a greater dependency on God and a deeper trust in His sovereignty if we let them. I’m reminded that in every situation I come to a crossroad and have a choice: I can pout or I can praise. I can turn away from God because I don’t understand or I can turn toward God in full assurance that His understanding is enough for the both of us – even if it hurts – even if anger lingers – even if doubt looms.


Have you been to these crossroads?


God shows us a powerful example of praise-over-pout behavior in chapter sixteen of the book of Acts. During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he and his

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Today’s Truth

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1:19-20

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“I’m a terrible mom!” Do you ever say these words?


I do.


And I did that day… the day several years ago when I was working in my office, minding my own business, when out of now where my son threw a paper airplane at the back of my head… on purpose.


Not one to normally welcome an air attack, I gritted my teeth, gave him the stern “mom voice,” and asked him to stop messing around. I told him I needed some private time so I could get some work done.


He agreed, and turned to leave.


Then he jumped around and threw it at me again!


Let me tell you, my grace-o-meter was reading pretty low at this point. I barked like

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Today’s Truth

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Philippians 1:6

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It took four years of fresco painting for the Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Commonly known as Michelangelo, his time painting was mostly spent alone, on his back, lying on scaffolding. (How painful!)


The painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most remarkable in the history of Western art. One thing is for sure: the process that altered a ceiling from plain to fabulous required a lot of time, great discipline, and the hand of a master artist. The same is true for us. The journey from broken into beautiful is a lifelong transformation that requires time, discipline, and

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Today’s Truth

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

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The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor is his ear to dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1) Though I know in my heart this is true, I still sometimes go back and forth between doubt and worry as if God’s arms are short and his ears are dull. My friend Erica does too.


She came to my door with a package to deliver and a story to share. I signed for the package and we began to catch up. Her kids are grown. Mine are teens. Her daughter just got married. My oldest just went to college. Mama to mama we shared and cared.


“My daughter and her new husband might

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Today’s Truth

The testing of your faith produces perseverance.

James 1:3

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My daughter plays competitive volleyball and recently began a specialized resistance plyometric workout called Vertimax training. The actual Vertimax equipment looks rather unimpressive. It’s a sturdy platform that hosts a complicated series of industrial-sized rubber bands. The results of training with this system, however, are anything but unimpressive. This advanced resistance-training helps to increase vertical jump, strengthen and protect muscles, and accelerate an athlete’s reaction time. Everything a volleyball player wants!


But let me tell you, it is hard work.


Kennedy trains under the careful watch of a guide who knows just how much tension to add and to allow on the platform. And she works through a rapid series of reps to the point of fatigue, and sometimes to

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Today’s Truth

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

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Now, the Old Testament prophet Elijah is a guy I can relate to. God asked him to do and say some difficult things. He also got an all-access pass to the God-Is-Awesome show as he experienced epic miracles at the hand of the Almighty. Even so, at one point he became gripped by fear and tried to run away from his problems. He knew exhaustion and sank into a pit of depression that darkened his hope. He felt alone, yet was provided for when God sent angels to care for his every need. At times Elijah found God in grandiose shouts and flames, but also heard from Him in a humble whisper. And through all his highs and

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Today’s Truth

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

James 1:13-14

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I woke up that morning with a spider bite the size of a quarter. It may as well have been the size of North Carolina for as much as it itched! I was half-tempted to scrape my arm off because the nasty bite was just begging to be scratched, but I’ve learned a thing or two in my forty-plus years, and this one thing I know for sure: it’s best to NOT scratch this type of itch.


It’d be like opening a bag of chips with the naive intention of eating only one. Yeah, right!


I knew that if I started scratching my bug bite, it would be nearly impossible to stop. I would regret having ever started.


Super-itchy bug bites

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Today’s Truth

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Matthew 7:24

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The words of Jesus pack a punch. His is a powerful and vibrant dialog that brings both tradition and the Law into a new and living light.


On a hillside, long ago, Jesus engaged individuals toward choosing God’s best on a heart level, not just a do-this-to-make-God-happy, knowledge and rules level. Recorded in the book of Matthew, Jesus gave the crowd, and us, some incredible insights to the way His followers should live. We call this the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7)


Remember that collection of Jesus teachings? Here’s a rapid review:


He taught the “beatitudes” (Matthew 5:2-12), and told His followers to be “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16).


He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the

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Today’s Truth

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

John 14:13

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A few years ago, I was on my way home from running errands. As I approached our neighborhood, my cell phone rang.


“Hi, Mom. It’s Kennedy. Where are you?”


“Hey, baby! I ran some errands and will be home in just a few minutes. What’s up?”


“Well, I wanted to see if you and I could go shopping for a new bathing suit this afternoon, and— don’t say no —I’d like to get a feather in my hair. Can we, Mom?”


Oh. No. She. Didn’t!


Don’t say ‘no’? I thought. Really? C’mon girl. I’m the parent. You’re the child. Get a grip.


What I said to her was, “Honey, we are several weeks away from swim season. I’m not sure that today is a

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Today’s Truth

"Does it seem a small thing to you that the God of Israel has chosen you … to minister to them?"

Numbers 16:9

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A friend sent this text: “I thought of you when I read Numbers 16:9 today!”


“Does it seem a small thing to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the people of Israel to be near Him as you serve in the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the people to minister to them?” (Numbers 16:9, NET Bible)


She texted again: “God chose you to serve Him in this tabernacle of flesh, to stand, talk, and to sing before people to minister to them.”


I thanked her and shook my head. No, it’s not a small thing at all. It is an honor: one that I don’t deserve, but for the healing, life-changing, grace of Jesus.


She

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Today’s Truth

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Isaiah 55:6

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Four years ago we installed a new bathroom sink in our downstairs powder room. While I love the way it looks, I have not loved the way it has worked – because the water pressure has been a dreary drizzle.


I asked my husband Brad if he could fix the water pressure a few times. Let me say this: my man is awesome at a million and one things – he’s super smart and awesome around the house – but he has no plumbing experience. Being the great guy he is, he dutifully checked what he knew to check on the faucet, but had no success.


Recently, we had a plumber come to our house to install a new kitchen

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Today’s Truth

The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.

Nehemiah 1:3

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Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king of a land far from his home. (Which means he held a trusted position that allowed him personal access to the king.) When some old friends came to town he found out that his people, the Jews, were in a terrible situation. Deeply burdened by the news, he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed. He took the devastation of his people to heart and responded on a soul level.


The Bible shows us that Nehemiah prayed. He was pressed but not crushed. He told the Lord that he was sorry for the way he and his people had rejected God and for the ways they had disobeyed His commands. He remembered the instructions

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Today’s Truth

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalm 86:11

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I had been out of town at an event. Gone just one night. While I was away, my then eight-year-old daughter, Kennedy, had spent the night at her girlfriend Catherine’s house. I came home to a groundswell of enthusiasm.


“Mom! We have to go to Walmart to buy sponge rollers! They are incredible! Last night, before we went to bed, Mrs. Robertson rolled our hair in sponge rollers and when we woke up this morning our hair was CURLY! Can you believe it? My hair was curly! We just have to get some!” my flaxen-haired buttercup exclaimed.


My daughter is many wonderful things, but patient is not one of them. So, the very next day we went to Walmart and

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Today’s Truth

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Acts 9:3-4

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He had no idea that he was moving in a dangerous direction. The cute, little box turtle was just trying to get where he was going. Doing what turtles do. Thinking what turtles think. The fact that he was crossing a busy road that is paved for fast moving cars, not slow crawling reptiles, wouldn’t have even entered his tiny turtle brain.


I’m a fan of turtles. Always have been. Maybe it’s because they look tough on the outside, but are really softies on the inside. Maybe it’s because they seem shy and vulnerable when they retreat into their shells and pretend that nobody’s home. Maybe it’s because for a brief time as a kid I had a pet

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Today’s Truth

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

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I pretty much consider myself to have a black thumb. Charcoal, even. I like plants and genuinely try to keep them healthy and thriving, but fail at it a lot more than I succeed. So a few years ago when my BFF brought me a baby aloe plant, my heart was torn between girlfriend-gratitude and feelings of sorrow for the innocent little aloe.


A few weeks after she gave me the plant gift, my friend told me a story. She confessed that she struggles to share things and said that she had two aloe plants for a long time. One day she felt a heart-nudge to give one of them to me and she decided that she would give me the

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Today’s Truth

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You are our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

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My son Hunter had been home from school for days on end following the concussion he sustained in a high school basketball game. In an effort to occupy his time productively, he picked up an old interest one afternoon and invited me to join in.


The interest? Graphology.


Yep. I was pretty excited too. Wait … no. No, I wasn’t. Not really. But I strapped on my mama smile and obliged him by doing what he asked: write three random sentences on a blank sheet of paper.


He left the room with my sentences and spent well over an hour doing a thorough analysis of my handwriting. He evaluated, measured, and contrasted the angles of each letter. He observed the way

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Today’s Truth

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

James 1:26

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I want my words to be life-giving. I want to use my words and tone of voice to bless people and love them well. Isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that what pleases God? To be clear: I’m still a work in progress when it comes to this, but by God’s grace I am making progress.


My heart is hushed as I reflect on the way James addressed the importance of our words in the New Testament.


My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do

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Today’s Truth

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations…

1 Samuel 8:19-20

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It was spring break and we were home. Facebook posts from friends were showcasing sandy beaches, yummy meals, and fancy-schmancy hotel lobbies and pools. I was doing laundry, finishing up my taxes {Yay!} and wrestling with the cravings stirred by what others had and were doing.


As I turned to the Word of God I was reminded that none of this is new. I was also reminded and convicted that looking at and longing for what other people have, are, and do is NOT God’s best for me.


In the Bible, the Lord used a strand of strugglers just like you and me. I’m so glad about that. Aren’t you?


The book of 1 Samuel introduces us to a woman named

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Today’s Truth

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

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Ants have been known to ruin a picnic or two, but recently they messed up my beach time and flustered my heart.


Yeah. I know. God made ants to live on the earth and we have to share space. But I just wasn’t prepared for my first afternoon away from home to be altered by the annoyance of their small yet mighty presence.


I’d really been looking forward to vacation and wanted to relax. To sit by the shoreline, chill out, and soak in the sun with my people. I wanted to enjoy the presence of God in the glory of His creation, not flick uninvited ants away from my towel and off my legs.


No rest was happening because it

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Today’s Truth

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in sprit and truth.

John 4:24

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In John 4, we see a tired Jesus who stopped to rest at Jacob’s well where He begins a conversation with a Samaritan woman, ignoring the cultural, racial, and social norms of that day. (Jews did not associate with Samaritans and often tried to avoid Samaria all together on their journeys. In addition to that, respectable Jewish men did not talk women whom they didn’t know.) But Jesus was not concerned with public opinion. He was on a mission of mercy.


The woman’s name is never mentioned, but He knew it.


He knew not only her name, but also her insecurities, her reputation, her fears, her failures, and her needs.


Jesus asked this unnamed woman for a drink, then engaged her

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Today’s Truth

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.

Matthew 3:3

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John the Baptist told God’s people to “prepare the way for the Lord” … to purify their hearts and get ready for Jesus to come, redeem, restore, heal, love, challenge, and change the world. (Matthew 3:3)


I read this and smile because I like preparing things. I like to cook. I love hosting gatherings, planning party details, and preparing for guests. My son recently graduated from high school and I spent countless hours prepping for the celebration we had in his honor. It was wonderful.


When presidents, dignitaries, and heads of state are going to visit a particular town they often send people ahead of them to make sure the area is made ready for their visit. This is a

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Today’s Truth

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

Isaiah 40:31

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A friend of ours has struggled for years with heart problems. He’s gone through seasons of wellness and seasons of strain. Last year his health challenges moved from the back burner of his life to the front when his doctors recognized the need to operate.


He didn’t just need a simple procedure. He needed open heart surgery to the max. I mean we are talking valve replacements, ablations, hole repairs and more. You name it – and the surgeon pretty much had to do it.


In the wee hours of the morning prior to his surgery, our friend’s heart decided to cause problems that led them to the Emergency Room instead of the Operating Room. Thankfully, his surgeon rushed to

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Today’s Truth

In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words.

Psalm 119:55-57

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I’ve always been an athlete. As an adult, I enjoy power walking and keeping fit. Growing up, I played on different sports teams all year round, but volleyball has always been my jam.


I played volleyball in college and now I help coach my daughter’s high school team. I’ve been around this game for more than thirty years and I’ve spent more time on the court, on the sand, and on the grass playing and practicing than most people ever will.


You’d think that after all the hours invested I’d have the game perfected by now, right?


Not hardly.
There are still times when I shank a pass and have spike attempts that send the ball into the net instead of over

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Today’s Truth

There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Luke 15:10

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You would think she had just won the lottery the way she was screaming and jumping up in down. In fact, to her she practically had! She’d found her lovey and wanted everyone within hearing distance to celebrate with her.


Gabriella had lost her lovey a few weeks prior. This was a very big deal to a four-and-a-half-year old, especially since she’d had the little white and tan bear blanket from the time she was four months old. Lovey comforted her when she was sad or hurting, rode with her in car trips, slept with her during nap and nighttime, and was her most treasured possession.


When her comfy blanket friend went missing, Gabriella was understandably upset. She mentioned it

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Today’s Truth

Do everything without grumbling or arguing.

Philippians 2:14

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My friend Ellen is a preschool teacher who regularly contends with entitled toddlers and privileged preschoolers who know how to major on some minors and throw down some serious tantrums.


I want the red crayon, but Tommy has it!


I’m not eating this because it has white cheese. I only like yellow cheese.


I want to go first!


I’m allowed. You’re not my boss.


Miss Ellen calls these little escapades “princess problems,” and she does her best to lovingly redirect the heart of each young complainer toward the reality of his or her blessings and toward the virtue of patience, selflessness, kindness, sharing, etc..


Hardly a day goes by that the kingdom of her kiddie classroom isn’t inundated with princess problems. The outbursts are

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Today’s Truth

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

John 6:38

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Growing up we played silly games. Fun games that connected strands of strangers and tethered them to a specific time and place with a memory. One of those was the cookie jar game.


It’s probably more of a chanty thing. You remember.


Crowd: “Amy stole the cookie from the cookie jar!”


Amy: “Who me?”


Crowd: “Yeah, you!”


Amy: “Couldn’t be!”


Crowd: “Then who?”


Amy: “Elise!”


Crowd {redirected}: “Elise stole the cookie from the cookie jar!” … and the game went on to never really gather the cookies that were stolen. Who thinks these things up? Why can’t we just pass around the cookies and eat them with milk instead? I hear your “Amen.”


Sometimes I think that those of us who are Jesus lovers play the cookie

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Today’s Truth

Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us…

Acts 1:24

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The book of Acts is an account of the birth and growth of the early church and of the work of the Holy Spirit. After His death and resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for 40 days then ascended into heaven.


Just before He ascended, Jesus gave the disciples a fresh and compelling mission – one that you and I share in. He told them (and us) “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)


Wow.


Power … Holy Spirit … witnesses… I imagine they must’ve been shaking their heads in wonder and scratching their heads

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Today’s Truth

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:7

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When I was a little girl, one of the highlights of every summer was going to our family reunion at White Oak Park. I loved those reunions because there was always a seven-layer salad, yummy home- made favorites, and lots of desserts. All of us kids played fun games that filled us with laughter and drenched us in sweat. Then after the kid games were done, some adults would join us for a final competition: the tug-of-war.


When it came to tug-of-war, I had a strategy: wherever my dad went, I went. Because in my little-girl mind, he was superhuman strong. (I was ever the rational one.) Dad always positioned himself at the far end of the rope as

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Today’s Truth

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:5

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The morning had been hectic and they were running late because the baby needed a last minute diaper change. Tara needed to get all three kiddos loaded up and to the car pool location quickly, but for some strange reason the back doors of her van would not open. She tried her clicker. She tried the key. She tried jiggling the lock.


Anxiousness started to well up in her heart.


“You’ve got to be kidding me!” She grumbled loudly while trying to open the back doors of her minivan. “This is NOT what I need right now!”


The kids began to sense the tension and take on the stress for their own.


“What’s wrong, mommy?”


“The back doors aren’t opening and we’re gonna

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Today’s Truth

Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:39

Friend to Friend


One blessing of being in women’s ministry is the friendships I have with other women in ministry. We are our own little band of sisters. Sisters with a mission! We cheer for one another, cry with one another, laugh with one another, pray for one another, and rejoice with one another.


One sister I’ve had the opportunity to lock arms with for the journey is named Renee. Renee works for an international women’s ministry and is a talented God-fearing, Bible-teaching speaker and writer.


Several years ago, Renee traveled across the country to speak at a women’s retreat. When she got there, a few unexpected circumstances caused her to send out an “SOS, pray-for-me-now” email to her ministry sisters.


I got the

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Today’s Truth

There is a time for everything … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

Friend to Friend


Last month my dad had his first birthday in heaven. He would’ve been 71. {I’m happy for him. Sad for me.}


In a few weeks my son will don a high school cap and gown and will leave our home late this summer for a grand new adventure in college. {I’m happy for him. Sad for me.}


One of my closest and dearest friends in all the world will soon post a sign in her yard, pack up her Carolina living, and move to another state because her husband accepted a great job offer. {I’m happy for them. Sad for me.}


Goodbyes can wallop quite a sting. Like a sucker punch to the jawline. An upper cut to the gut.


My feelings

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Today’s Truth

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Luke 18:1

Friend to Friend


Have you ever played a game called tetherball? Not familiar? Wikipedia describes the game like this:


Tetherball (also known as swingball) is a game for two opposing players. The equipment consists of a 10 ft (3 m), stationary metal pole, from which is hung a ball from a rope, or tether.


Now, I’m no tetherball champ by any stretch of the imagination. But when I was a kid each summer I could barely wait to go to our family reunions at White Oak Park. My siblings and I knew that when we arrived there would be huge amounts of food, burlap sack races, egg tosses, water balloon fights, treasure hunts, and a killer playground that had a tetherball court!


So. Much.

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Today’s Truth

And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

Psalm 12:6

Friend to Friend


I recently got to the bottom of my favorite liquid foundation. I wanted to make sure it was completely used up before I bought a new one because it’s pretty pricey. I’m willing to pay a higher price for it because it matches my coloring better than any other foundation I’ve ever used. It is the perfect base to my face! It evens out my skin tone and makes it look flawless. {Which it’s not!}


In Psalm 12, David talks about a different kind of foundation: the Word of the Lord. He was frustrated with the people around him and felt alone in his faith. He was tired of lies. Tired of negativity and deceit. In his frustration he

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Today’s Truth

Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?

Romans 2:4

Friend to Friend


I was speaking in Georgia that particular weekend. On day two of the retreat I woke up early and turned on the water in the beautiful tiled shower. As it heated up I noticed that the showerhead was mounted on an off-centered pole. It seemed very low, and was spraying straight along the plane of the wall.


I’m a tall chick, so as I stepped in and positioned myself under the showerhead I had to squat and stand very close to the wall. {Awesome. A quad workout! Shower bonus.}


As I shampooed my hair, my legs were on fire from squatting. And then a thought crossed my mind… MAYBE the showerhead can be raised!


I turned around and tried to lift

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Today’s Truth

I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

Friend to Friend


Susan lived “the good life.” One filled with prosperity and love. For years, she and her husband owned a thriving business that allowed them and their children to be surrounded with beautiful material things. They had a glorious lake home, a lavish boat, and luxury cars. Everything the world counts as gain.


In spite of their earthly wealth, when faced with the truth of the Gospel, Susan and her husband realized that they were spiritually bankrupt and in desperate need of a Savior. Within months of each other, Susan and her husband both accepted Christ and began to thrive in newly found faith.


A few years into faith, Susan was squeezed by difficult circumstances. The family business took a turn

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Today’s Truth

For the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.

Isaiah 12:2

Friend to Friend


Just try to keep my daughter from singing. Go ahead and try. You will fail. She must sing. It’s just her thing. Some days when I’m writing, or simply trying to piece together a coherent thought, I dream that she could travel to a land far, far away from me and hang out in a sound proof room.


Shhhhhhh! Embrace “quiet” already, girl.


I know. When it comes to 24/7 musical expressions, mother-of-the-year I am not.


And I’m okay with that.


The irony, of course, is that I, too, love to sing—just not all day every day like my daughter, and certainly not when I’m writing.


Oh, but I do love music. It’s central to who I am as a person. I love

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Today’s Truth

God is love.

1 John 4:8

Friend to Friend


My mom tells a story that when I was a toddler, I used to push my older brother and sister off my dad’s lap so I could cuddle with him all by myself. I still do this with my kids and husband. It might look different today, but my goal is the same: I want more love. And I’m not above pushing someone else out of the way to move myself forward.


My love hunger stumps me. I’ve been a Christian since I sat on a little plastic Sunday-school chair and learned Bible stories from a flannel-graph board. If I’m so into Jesus—and I promise you, I am—then why am I still needy?


Why is my heart such a love

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Today’s Truth

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Philippians 3:13

Friend to Friend


It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day. The wall art that was featured on an impulse-buy rack.


Amen! I thought.


The message? Simple: “Don’t Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”


My mind reeled, and I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive that points to a habit that trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our future.


The Apostle Paul had a difficult past to contend with. His early years were spent tormenting Chris followers. Then he met Jesus and everything changed for him. He chose to move forward as the new man he’d become.


Instead of wallowing in the muck of condemnation, he stepped

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Today’s Truth

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:26

Friend to Friend


In part one of this message we looked at our valuable purpose as image bearers of God to be an imprint of Christ to the world around us. We also examined the Biblical truth that validates this discussion. {Click here to read Part One.}


Today we will consider what is required of us to be an imprint, and we’ll discuss our call to “rep the house” as well by taking action.


What does that mean? Read on.


Ever since our kids were little, Brad and I have taught them that the Lord is the head of our home, and every Smith needs to rep the house well. The rules are simple:


Love God.


Love others.


Use your manners.


Use kind words.


Wear clean underwear.


Say please.


Say thank

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Today’s Truth

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:27

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Let’s rewind humanity’s story way back to the beginning. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ … So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26–27, ESV).


My brain doesn’t know what to do with this. I don’t know how to process this mystery. His image displayed in my life. How can that be? How can there be such a compelling connection between God’s heart and my humanity? Especially when I know me. I know that on my best, most holy day, I don’t come close to being imago Dei, the image of God.


Even so, the Bible says

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Today’s Truth

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7

Friend to Friend


Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be afraid.


Case in point. I was a tween with pimples; long, lanky limbs; and an attitude the summer our family went to Ohio to visit friends of my parents who lived on a farm. I didn’t much care if these people were nice. I didn’t much care what we would eat for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. It wasn’t the beach, and I wasn’t overly thrilled to be in Ohio for a vacation. (No offense, Ohio people.) But I had heard they had horses, and that calmed my

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Today’s Truth

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14

Friend to Friend


I’m needy when it comes to love. Remember that game Hungry Hungry Hippos? Well, I’m pretty much Hungry Hungry Gwenno. (Don’t remember that game? Google it and then buy it for your four-year-old nephew, neighbor, or grandkid. You’ll thank me.)


It seems our old friend Moses was a bit of a hungry hippo too. In Psalm 90 he asked God to fill him and God’s people full of love: “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (v. 14). Love this! Note that Moses connected the love of God with a satisfaction that put a song in his heart and a skip in his step.


Yes. I

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Today’s Truth

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

Friend to Friend
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to twirl in the grass. With arms out stretched, I’d spin around and around until I was silly-dizzy, and then fall to the ground with a giggly heart. It was thrilling, invigorating and a fun, simple way to spend a lazy summer day in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania.


Now that I’m older, I can’t handle spinning in circles. My body rejects any twisty endeavor. Nausea quickly sets in and reminds me that I’m not a young “spinny-girl” anymore.


Several years ago while my family and I were at an amusement park, in an effort to gain favor in the eyes of my kids and

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Today’s Truth

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Friend to Friend
We live in a competitive world. The pressures to be thin, beautiful, fit, smart, sexy, funny, rich, and popular trap us in a relentless vise-grip. Anyone can become gripped by a disorder or an addictive lifestyle. You could be a college student, a businesswoman, a nurse, a mom, a dance instructor, a retail clerk, or a Sunday school teacher. No one is exempt. Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority ravage hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike.


Our attempts to measure up are all-consuming traps. They focus our attention inward verses upward. When we get caught in the trap of striving to measure up, we focus on ourselves. That was never God’s plan. We were designed to focus on Him. Shifting

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Today’s Truth

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Ephesians 6:10

Friend to Friend


In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul talked straight about the spiritual battle of faith. He exhorted them to:


Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph. 6:10–13 ESV)


In recognizing

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Today’s Truth

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16,

Friend to Friend


The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Galatia during his second missionary journey. He was frustrated that many believers were wavering in their faith. Not good.


In Galatians 5, he reminded the believers that Christ died so that they could be free. And he was careful to distinguish that their freedom was not to sin but from sin.


He went on to tell them of the spiritual battle that was taking place between their fleshly desires and their holy desires. Between walking by the Spirit and walking by the flesh.


So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and

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Today’s Truth

The wisdom from above is first of all pure.

James 3:17

Friend to Friend


All throughout the Bible, we see that wisdom is the real deal when it comes to spiritual must-haves. I like to think of it as the little black dress of faith. An essential must-have for every Christian woman to possess and wear. And surely one that we all look good in!


But in today’s world, it can be tricky to make wise decisions and choices. We’re surrounded by foolish and conflicting messages. Messages that oppose the wisdom of God as revealed in Scripture. We get hit from all sides with opinions, posts, and tweets about what people have and want and do—and about what people think is right and wrong.


They write it on signs and walk picket lines in

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Today’s Truth

Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:7

Friend to Friend


In part one of this devotion, we looked at the doubts and insecurities that cause us to question our significance and value. We also examined the Biblical truth that validates both. {Click here to read Part One.}


Today we’ll look to see what Jesus had to say about this topic and reflect on why this matters in the grand scheme of God’s purpose for your life.


When it comes to knowing the value God places on us, let’s turn to Jesus’s comments about sparrows. Do you know much about these little birds? They’re a dime a dozen. Highly common. Highly overlookable. The way many of us women might feel on any given day.


Look at what Jesus had to say in

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Today’s Truth

Who is man that you are mindful of him?

Psalm 8:3-4

Friend to Friend


I may look confident and put together on the outside (when I’m not in my yoga pants and a ponytail) but on the inside I often wander back to that little girl who questions her value and wants to make a difference.


There are lots of ways this inner struggle presents itself in me …



I tether my value to how I look.
I tether my value to how my jeans fit.
I tether my value to how I perform.
I want my husband and kids to love me perfectly,
even though they can’t.
I want to love others perfectly, but I don’t, so I
juggle guilt like a hot potato.
I get distracted and waste time, so I feel unproductive.
I want to make a difference, but
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Today’s Truth

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

Friend to Friend


God always needs to be our go-to guy when it comes to counsel. Our first call. But the Bible also gives us the directive to connect with other Christ followers for guidance: seek godly counsel.


“The LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless” (Prov. 2:6–7).


When I make an effort to seek godly counsel, I benefit from the power of the Lord that is at work in the lives of those around me. I benefit from their mistakes and from their successes. And it frees me from the pressure of having to figure everything out on my own. It

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Today’s Truth

I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…

Philippians 1:25

Friend to Friend


When I was growing up ours was on the doorframe between the kitchen and the hall with red carpet. A vertical trail of penciled dashes and dates that marked the growth of my siblings and I – that eventually got painted over. An archive of ages and heights that proved physical progress was really happening in the Eisaman household.


And boy did I want my growth to show.


Each time my dad lined us up to draw lines just above our highest hairs, I would stretch my spine to the sky. {It’s even possible that I might’ve lifted my heels occasionally. Possible. Just throwing it out there. Don’t judge me. Dad always bumped us back down…}


I loved to see the

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Today’s Truth

You are the light of the world

Matthew 5:14

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The hike up the mountain was a tough one. Flimsy patches of shade dangled from the trees but they were no match for the brutal Pennsylvania mid-summer heat. The rocky, three-mile vertical jaunt was only tamed by the fun being had along the way with the other camp counselors.


We talked. We sang. We laughed.


It was a week before the campers would arrive. All the counselors gathered for training that prepared us for the lessons and activities we would lead kids in all summer long. Caving was one of the optional camp activities so we went as a team of counselors to experience it before we led it.


When we finally reached the entrance of the cave and stepped down

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Today’s Truth

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’

2 Corinthians 5:20

Friend To Friend
My husband Brad went on a missions trip to Guatemala several years ago. What he saw and experienced changed his life and increased his faith in a dramatic way because he was an eyewitness to the healing power of God. On that trip he prayed harder, believed more, and expected more from God each passing day—and God used their medical missions team as a conduit for miracles.


Do you ever doubt that God wants to move in and through your life?


Do you want to experience more of God’s strength and power in your average, ordinary days?


If so, then lean in, girlfriend, because what I’m about to share with you is a key to increasing the power of God in

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Today’s Truth

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.

1 Timothy 4:7

Friend to Friend
Before our first child was born, my husband and I took a series of classes to prepare us for childbirth. I vividly remember being told by my Lamaze instructor that while in labor, I would need to breathe through each contraction. She would give us instructions like: “Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth” and “When you inhale, allow your belly to expand first, then your chest.” She told us that the way we breathe would affect the way we would experience labor.


We spent a lot of time during those week-after-week classes learning how to breathe in a whole new way. We were taught that the breaths we would take during labor would need to be

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Today’s Truth

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged

Joshua 8:1

Friend to Friend


We see a vibrant example of courage and obedience in the book and life of Joshua. He served humbly and faithfully in the shadow of Moses until the Lord took Moses home and chose Joshua to be the next leader His people.


I’d be shaking in my size 10s if I had to fill the sandals of Moses! I’m sure that in his humanness Joshua was intimidated too, but he was well trained because he had served under Moses for 40 years. I mean – he wasn’t exactly a spring chicken when God gave him His incredible I-made-you-for-greatness and I’ve-got-your-back motivational talk.


“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I

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Today’s Truth

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:24

Friend to Friend


I sometimes run to God as if He’s a celestial Wal-Mart purposed to satisfy my every want…


Change my family.


Fix my job problem, God.


Do it my way!


Instead of leaning in to hear the whispered will of the Lord, I selfishly shout my will, my desires and my demands.


Lord, give me relief from life-pressures instead of giving me strength to endure them.


When I’m desperate to fill my mega-sized heart-cart with things that I want, I rob myself of what really matters: the pursuit of God and the blessings found in Him alone.


The truth is that even those of us who are Jesus-girls, you know… good Christian women who strive each day to live for Christ… continually sin and wallow

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Today’s Truth

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:24

Friend to Friend


I am a lot of things, but low maintenance is not necessarily one of them. Straight up, I am a girl with some constant cravings. Though I try to savor life moments with gratitude, I fail all the time.


Many days, I find myself looking beyond my now to my next, longing in discontent. I seek God’s blessings instead of seeking God. I seek His hand instead of His heart. This frazzles my peace and messes with my joy. It tangles my heart in knots until I begin to dance through my days to the tune of, “I can’t get no satisfaction!”


Why do we desire God’s presents in our lives more than His presence?


Isn’t that what we do when

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Today’s Truth

How Awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth.

Psalm 47:2

Friend to Friend


A few years back, my husband, Brad, and I celebrated 20 years of marriage by taking a trip to several cities, far away. We planned our days and painstakingly plotted touring strategies in order to see the sites, view the views, eat the foods, experience the local charms and soak in the unfamiliar cultures as best we could. Each city boasted different personalities and attractions, but one thing was consistent about our approach in every location: we climbed to high places.


And. We. Climbed.


We climbed and we climbed… thousands of steps. I kid you not! We climbed up creaky, dusty, windy staircases of old cathedrals and up small steps in tall buildings. We climbed fancy-schmancy staircases in opulent castles,

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Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Friend to Friend


As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went silent on the trauma side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.


“I can’t hear in my left ear!”


Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)


“I think he just told coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said to the friend beside me.


My guess proved to be accurate.


Preston came out of the game and

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Today’s Truth

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

Friend to Friend


Every New Year brings fresh possibilities and opportunities for us to trust God. As I think of all that lies ahead I’m reminded of a trust lesson God taught me long ago…


Our arms were braided across each other’s and our hands were locked tightly. As the young girl stood on the tall tree stump above us she looked over her shoulder and saw with her eyes that our formation was tight…that we were ready for her. She heard with her ears that we would catch her…that we would not let her get hurt. Yet the fear that screamed in her head told her not to do it. Not to fall backwards.


Her legs shook and lips quivered. Other campers

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Today’s Truth

“…but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

Proverbs 1:33

Friend to Friend


Let’s face it. Life can be scary.


We watch the news and feel like Chicken Little. The sky always seems to be falling.


We lose sleep over our loved ones, our lost ones, and our little ones.


We worry about the economy, finances, and employment.


We shake and shudder when more medical testing is required or the diagnosis is not favorable.


We are anxious with “what ifs” and “whys.”


It’s understandable that we wrestle with the opponent of fear. The world is broken and life isn’t a Hallmark movie or a fairy tale. (Although I do love a good Hallmark movie!) In the same token, while I realize it’s completely normal for us to process emotions of anxiety and unrest, the Bible says that

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Today’s Truth

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Friend to Friend


Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to witness the celestial celebration that took place in Bethlehem the night that Jesus was born? Now, I’m a bit fussy about fashion, but I’d even consider donning a shepherd’s garb and hanging out with a few sheep for that opportunity! To see angels fill the sky, to hear the voice of God through the cries of a baby. To catch a glimpse of the brilliant Star of David, and to satisfy my curiosity as to what exactly a host of heavenly angels sounds like. To soak in the amazingness of it all.


Oh, and to talk to Mary!


Wouldn’t that be incredible to hear what she was thinking as

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Today’s Truth

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Today’s Truth


But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19, ESV)


Friend to Friend


On the night that divinity merged with fleshy humanity as Jesus came on the scene in a stable, things of earth were shaken and stirred with fresh glory and awesome wonder.


A host of heavenly angels appeared in the sky praising God and celebrating the arrival of the long awaited Messiah. They left their veiled existence to speak and sing to a few lowly shepherds in a field. Wait, what? Why? To announce the good news of great joy that came as a gift from God in a cloth-clad baby-package named Jesus. The singing sky creatures pointed the shepherds to the swaddled Savior who

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Today’s Truth

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Friend to Friend


I read the text in horror and disbelief.


How could he be gone? He was the picture of potential. So much going for him. He had been through so many challenges and had come so far. Achieved so many accolades. How could his world have crumbled so low that taking his life became the answer he turned to?


Shockwaves ripple through the core of my heart. A landslide of sorrow.


All who knew and loved him now grieve. In our homes. On social media. In our conversations. In our prayers. In our hearts.


We grieve deep with a pain that stings fierce.


We grieve for his family, for the empty seat at their dinner table and the empty gape in their hearts and home.

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Today’s Truth

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.”

Psalm 32:2

Friend to Friend


I love a good story. I love stories filled with drama, mystery, action, honesty, hope, grit, tension, release, passion, tenderness, love, restoration, and redemption. My favorite stories combine lots of these elements and finish with a happy-ending. My heart beats loudly for happy-endings.


There have been days in my life that have been heavy on the tension and light on the release. Moments when I’ve felt deep pain and longed for deep peace. Weeks when hope evaded my heart because I had chosen to turn from God’s way and defiantly chose Gwen’s way. Season’s when I felt like I had messed up so bad that a happy-ending for my life was simply impossible.


Have you ever felt that way? Like

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Today’s Truth

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Friend to Friend


My kids are both sweet and sour on a regular basis… as are all of us. Depends on the minute. Depends on the day. Every once in a happy while, however, one of my children surprises me with an unexpectedly sweet moment that becomes a heart treasure.


I had one of those special conversations many moons ago with my middle child Hunter when he was just nine years old. It was bedtime. Teeth were brushed. Jammies were on. Prayers had been prayed. The smell of shampoo lingered from his freshly showered head. As I brushed a stray hair from his eye, the sweet conversation began with an innocent question…


“Mommy, do you know what I love?”


“What do you love, Hunter?”

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Today’s Truth

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:18

Friend to Friend


I was in Illinois. My husband was in North Carolina. I am usually the video girl, but Brad stepped up to film our daughter’s volleyball tournament since I couldn’t be there.


I had shown him how to operate the camera and how to set up the tripod. He had filmed several matches before and had done a great job, so I was surprised when I got his phone call.


HIM: Honey! The match is about to start, but the camera is telling me that it is too dark to record. I’m not sure what to do. Got any ideas?


ME: This is just a guess, but I think you might need to take the lens cap off.


HIM: {Laughing} Oh my. Okay.

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Today’s Truth

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1 Peter 3:15

Friend to Friend


There is a tale told of the great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: “I wish you would explain to me something.”


“Well, what is it? I don’t know that I can explain anything to a preacher.”


“What is the reason for the difference between you and me?” The preacher asked. “You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”


Macready answered: “This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”


Bam!

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

Friend to Friend


A nasty storm had blown through. Lots of thunder and lightening. Buckets of wetness. The Twitter feed from our local fire department alerted us to the dangers of high winds and encouraged the community to hunker down at home until the storm passed.


The next morning the grass was vibrant green from the watering, but the yard was a disaster. Leaves and sticks were a blanket. I grabbed coffee and caught up on a few tweets that the fire department had sent out following the storm.


One of the tweeted photo-updates gave me chills. In the middle of a neighborhood just a few miles away, a tree had been uprooted by the strong winds and it annihilated a car. Crushed

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Today’s Truth

You have forsaken your first love… Repent and do the things you did at first...

Revelation 2:4-5

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I watched a movie about the end times that left me longing for a few answers. So I grabbed my Bible and sat to read from the book of Revelation. In this apocalyptic, end-of-the-Bible book, John speaks of a vision from Christ that he received while on the island of Patmos. In this vision, Jesus unveils events yet to come – which, ultimately, echo His eternal love, power, and justice.


In chapter two, the words leapt from the page to my heart as Jesus spoke to the Church in Ephesus. His tone was heavy and serious, yet intimate, tender, and loving. Clearly this message was meant for Christians throughout history, not just the church of Ephesus. It was meant

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Today’s Truth

Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Matthew 11:30

Friend to Friend


I had just arrived at my favorite coffee shop. As I opened the door, the smell of freshly brewed java greeted me and filled my creative mind with possibilities. I was eager to get to work and excited that my warm, happy coffee-friend would come along with me for the ride. As I grabbed a cup from the counter and paid, I asked the barista how she was doing.


“I’m exhausted!” She lamented with a sigh.


I knew exactly how she felt. I feel that way a lot! I’m famous for trying to put ten pounds of living into a five-pound sack. She was tired. Stressed. Drained. Over-committed. Under-rested. Exhausted. Yep. I totally know that feeling.


Have you been there? Ha!

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Today’s Truth

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Friend to Friend


It was a photo of a waffle iron.


Her status update on the social media site said seven simple words about the picture:


“I want these two buttons for life.”


The buttons of reference were two settings: RESTART and A BIT MORE.


There it was – in stainless steel simplicity – the longings of a friend who has complicated challenges that were bravely alluded to. She’s a private person, so I was surprised by the honesty and courage of her post… even if she only intended to share her thought tongue-in-cheek.


I understood right away. The medical chains of her diagnosis now limit activities that used to be normal and easy for her.


It’s not fair. It’s not fun. It’s painful and it stinks.


My

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Today’s Truth

“You are precious and honored in my sight…”

Isaiah 43:4

Friend to Friend


Years ago, I bought my daughter a really cute jacket at the mall. It was a hoodie made of a cuddly fabric with cream, lavender, and mint green horizontal stripes. The jacket zipped up in the front and was well crafted, stylish, and simply adorable.


When I bought it, I felt like the price on the tag was a fair one, so I gladly pulled out my wallet and paid the retail amount. I was a kid in a candy store on the way home – fully anticipating a shriek of happiness from my little bag-of-beans when I gave it to her.


I wasn’t disappointed. Kennedy loved her new coat, and I was pleased with my purchase. Happy dances all

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Today’s Truth

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:15-16

Friend to Friend


It was shockingly early when the alarm clock invaded my dreams, screaming at me to wake up that morning. Even the sun was still sleeping as I rose. With heavy eyelids and a groggy mind, I crawled out from beneath the cuddly warmth of my bed and ventured downstairs.


The kids had set their alarm clocks as well. We trickled down, one sleepy Smith at a time, and met in our jammies for the big event. It was April 29, 2011. Prince William and Catherine Middleton were about to be married and we were giddy-excited to watch it live from the cozy comfort of our living room couch.


It was worth the early wake-up just to see the hats that

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Today’s Truth

I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.

Psalm 119:59

Friend to Friend
I gave her instructions for the job. “Clear the furniture from the room, vacuum thoroughly, and then I will show you how to mop the wood floor.” Once my daughter got through the first two of three steps, I joined the cleaning party to teach the age-old-mom-class, “Mopping 101.”


Awesome.


Class began with a few mopping fundamentals. “Shake the bottle of the polish before you use it. Do one small section at a time. Mop along the grain of the wood. Put some muscle into it and always – always take a step back to see if you missed any spots.” I gave a quick demonstration then Kennedy took the mop and got busy on her weekend wood-floor polishing project.


As

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Today’s Truth

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

Friend to Friend


Sir Isaac Newton wrote a book that was published in 1687 called The Principia: Mathematical Principle of Natural Philosophy. In this book, Newton unpacks research that redefined the way the world looks at science and physics. One of the three Laws of Motion he wrote about is this: an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless an external force is applied to it.


Interestingly enough, this particular law of motion presents a compelling analogy for increasing growth and progressing toward mature faith. When it comes to growing in spiritual maturity, the most important thing to do is getting started. Once you begin to move, it is much easier to stay in motion. To progress. To mature.


Motivation often follows

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Today’s Truth

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.

Luke 3:11

Friend to Friend


Luke 3 tells the story of John the Baptist as he began his ministry. His job? Prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 3:4) Many royal rulers and powerful leaders of the land are listed at the beginning of the chapter to set the stage and give us historical context, yet it is a normal guy, born to older parents, in an off-the-map-of-all-places-important rural village that the Lord called to be the forerunner for Jesus. (Doesn’t it encourage you that God uses normal people from ordinary places to shout the fame of Jesus? Me too.)


The Lord spoke to John when he was in the wilderness and told him what to do (Luke 3:2). Then John walked his sandals

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Today’s Truth

This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.

Psalm 91:2

Friend to Friend


While at a football game of my son Preston’s, I had a moving conversation with another team mom. It was the first time we’d ever dialogued beyond socially expected niceties. Between cheers that went up to our football-playing boys, she stumbled upon the fact that I was a Jesus-loving girl and was excited to share about how God has intimately drawn her heart to his over the past five years… how He met her where she was and ministered to her through the hands of others. How He sparked life into her soul through His Son Jesus Christ. She was radiant and she spoke with excitement, joy in every sentence, praise on her tongue for the God who

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Today’s Truth

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Friend to Friend


There’s a scene in the whimsical and quirky film The Princess Bride in which some bad guys were chasing the movie’s two main characters, Princess Buttercup and Wesley. In order to escape, Buttercup and Wesley ran into the treacherous Fire Swamp. (Insert scary music and creepy feelings here.)


The Fire Swamp has three challenges: fire spurts, quicksand, and the ROUS – rodents of unusual size. (Stay with me…) At one point in the Fire Swamp adventure, Princess Buttercup fell into a pit of dry quicksand, instantly vanishing. Her brave hero, Wesley, quickly grabbed a sturdy vine then plunged in to save his true love. Moments later both characters emerged from the quicksand gasping for breath, stunned by the events

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Today’s Truth

I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.

1 Samuel 1:15

Friend to Friend


The Old Testament book of Samuel introduces us to Hannah: a godly woman who had some serious problems. Her problems weren’t brief and they weren’t simple. They were year after year problems. Challenges that made her feel empty and frustrated. Have you got a few of those in your life? Sure you do. We all do. Each of us goes through trials and face pain.


Hannah experienced infertility and she also had a disturbing rival-wife problem that was miserably complicated. Yes, cringe with me, I said rival-wife. She was one of two wives to her husband…a cultural norm at the time…but terribly difficult no matter how you slice it. (Read 1 Samuel 1-2 for the full story of Hannah.)

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Today’s Truth

He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.

Daniel 6:10

Friend to Friend


The mug in my hand was filled with warm, dark roasted incentive. I cozied in on my favorite couch corner, breathing in the quiet. Settling my heart before the all-loving One, my whispers rose to heaven. I was desperate for God’s presence and power to fuel another busy day.


To my surprise and great delight, as I cracked open the Good Book a tiny distraction flew into my peripheral vision. A hummingbird had made its way over to the orchid arrangement on the side table of the deck outside. The artificial orchid arrangement. The nourishment that little flyer sought could not be found in a plastic and silk imposter, so the humming bird flew away.


I smiled and shook my

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Today’s Truth

So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

Luke 5:24

Friend to Friend


I love Scripture’s account of when Jesus healed a paralyzed man. Those of us who grew up in Sunday school know it well. If you are new to faith or just getting to know the Bible, I am confident you are going to love it too.


Nestled into Luke 5, we see a group of guys who had a loved one that was paralyzed. They loved their friend and wanted him to be well. Having heard that Jesus was in their town and knowing of the power He possessed, they sprung into action. “Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus” (Luke 5:18).


Their actions

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Today’s Truth

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

Isaiah 40:29-31

Friend to Friend


Every morning I walk straight to the coffee pot and push the ON button. I’m a total coffee girl. I like a piping-hot, extra dark roast with half and half, and I struggle to function without my first cup of coffee. I crave that first sip and relish the warmth of the mug in my hands. I jokingly call it my “warm, happy friend.” My mornings just wouldn’t be the same without coffee!


We should have the same attitude about our faith. We should wake up each morning bursting at the seams to be with God, to be in His presence, to listen for His still small voice, to savor Him. A faith that is brewed fresh daily strengthens

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Today’s Truth

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 1:20

Friend to Friend


When my son, Preston, was in sixth grade he chose to plant spinach for his science fair project. He planted seeds in four plastic cups and watered each batch with a fixed daily amount of four different liquids: water, orange juice, cola, and milk. (Yes, you are correct! By day three of his fourteen-day project, the milk cup reeked to high heavens with a stinky-sour smell!) His hypothesis was that he believed that the seeds watered with water would grow faster than the seeds that were watered by orange juice, cola and milk.


Once his hypothesis was determined, he and I (his faithful mommy-research-assistant) diligently went about the task of collecting data, watering the seeds, taking pictures, and documenting

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Today’s Truth

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

Psalm 57:2

Friend to Friend


My heart plays ping-pong. It shifts focus from one affection to another faster than you can say, “Squirrel!” I have never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD – or any other condition with scary capitol letters – but I’ve surely been known to major on some minors in my day. Practically every day. I worry about things that don’t really matter… at least not eternally.


The other day started out great. In the wee hours of early, I poured some hot coffee, grabbed my prayer journal and my Bible, and headed to the couch to spend time with God. My heart spilled with worship as I fixed my affections on Him. I was prepared to start my day. Fueled

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Today’s Truth

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

Friend to Friend


Have you ever felt lonely, scared, angry, confused and hurt all at the same time? Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation? I have. There was a time, several years ago, when I wanted to run – hard and fast – from life as I knew it. I had just birthed three babies in three years. Then, to everybody’s surprise, my husband got a promotion that moved our young family across the country to a place where we knew no one. I had two babies in diapers and one ‘big boy’ struggling to say goodbye to his binky. There was always a diaper to change, a mouth to feed or a mess to clean up. My

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Today’s Truth

For I know that my Redeemer lives.

Job 19:25

Friend to Friend


God’s redemptive grace can restore any life.


In the beginning, at the very moment that rebellion collided with perfection and invaded the hearts of humanity, God set in motion a plan of redemption. His plan was Jesus, His only Son, who came to redeem us, to save us, to wash us clean from sin.


Scripture introduces us to a guy who experienced God’s redemption in beautifully deep ways. Job was a good man. I mean a really good man. The Bible says, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). He lived life the right way. He honored God, loved his family, and was both faithful and patient. Good man.


You’d think that such a

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Today’s Truth

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

1 John 3:1

Friend to Friend


I am the middle child of five born to my parents in eight short years. Our house buzzed with activity, sibling rivalry, and noise. Stadiums full of noise. I was one girl among a handful of kids who wanted to catch the eye of my busy, work-a-holic daddy. While I knew he loved me, I wanted so much more from him. I wanted to hear his love, to feel his love, to be sheltered by his love, and to be adored.


One of my favorite childhood memories is of the times in summer when my big, strong dad would take both of my hands in his and then begin to spin. Running in circles around him, I would quickly

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Today’s Truth

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

John 6:38

Friend to Friend


Growing up we played silly games. Fun games that connected strands of strangers and tethered them to a specific time and place with a memory. One of those was the cookie jar game.


It’s probably more of a chanty thing. You remember.


Crowd: “Amy stole the cookie from the cookie jar!”


Amy: “Who me?”


Crowd: “Yeah, you!”


Amy: “Couldn’t be!”


Crowd: “Then who?”


Amy: “Elise!”


Crowd {redirected}: “Elise stole the cookie from the cookie jar!” … and the game went on to never really gather the cookies that were stolen. Who thinks these things up? Why can’t we just pass around the cookies and eat them with milk instead? I hear your “Amen.”


Sometimes I think that those of us who are Jesus lovers play the cookie

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Today’s Truth

Abide in me, and I in you.

John 15:4a

Friend to Friend


The first time I went to a drive-in theater I was about six years old…in first grade. The motion pictures on the reel that night were not just exciting – they were epic. A double feature of Godzilla and Star Wars. It was a rare treat for our young family. With five kids and a school administrator’s salary, movies were a luxury.


The details of that evening are foggy, but there are several things that I remember. Daylight ended as Godzilla began. Dad went to get popcorn while mom spread a blanket out and helped the three oldest littles get to the best vantage point for the show: the roof of our station wagon. Pillows were handed up to

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Today’s Truth

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

Friend to Friend


Yesterday we visited the story of an unlikely champion: a racehorse named Seabiscuit. He was too small, the jockey was too big and blind in one eye – and yet, against all odds, this scrappy horse and rider won the coveted Triple Crown in 1939. Seabiscuit’s owner, trainer, and jockey all learned rich lessons as they chose to see promises in the midst of their problems.


In an effort to help the horse remember how to be a horse, the trainer had the jockey run Seabiscuit in open grassy fields. They took him back to his roots. Back to a place where space was plentiful and restrictions were but a simple fence. Back to a place of wild freedom.

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Today’s Truth

…Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

Friend to Friend


Both his stature and demeanor were unimpressive to elite breeders. He was exercised with harsh tactics, under cruel restrictions and publicly dismissed by a professionally acclaimed trainer. Eventually the horse, Seabiscuit, became a wild, bitter, and angry animal that was considered worthless to the racing world and was sold for a very small price.


The new owner, a wealthy auto salesman, hired an experienced trainer to work with the racehorse… a man who others would no longer hire… a man who, like the horse, had been beaten up by life a bit. This new trainer had his hands chock full of rebellion with the stallion, but he patiently and painstakingly trained him as best he could. He watched closely

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Today’s Truth

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:3

Friend to Friend
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to twirl in the grass. With arms out stretched, I’d spin around and around until I was silly-dizzy, and then fall to the ground with a giggly heart. It was thrilling, invigorating and a fun and simple way to spend a lazy summer day in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania.


Now that I’m older, I can’t handle spinning in circles. My body rejects any twisty endeavor. Nausea quickly sets in and reminds me that I’m not a young “spinny-girl” anymore.


A few years ago while my family and I were at an amusement park, in an effort to gain favor in the eyes of my

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Today’s Truth

Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.

Psalm 138:6

Friend to Friend


He stood out like a sore thumb. Created and set apart by God for a specific task. A great task. The greatest. To prepare the way of the Lord. A human megaphone for Jesus, John the Baptist spoke words of maximum volume as he pointed others to the One and Only and prophetically authenticated the divinity and eternal nature of Christ.


“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me

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Today’s Truth

Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.

Psalm 138:6

Friend to Friend


In my spare time, I help coach our high school volleyball team. Let me re-phrase that…because I do not have spare time. Three months a year I choose to make intentional daily investments in the lives of young female scholar athletes who play volleyball at the high school where my children attend. Smiles.


One of the games we play in practice is called Queen of the Court, the goal of which is simple: gain and keep the lead. Dominate. Be the best and protect your turf at all cost. Serve more aggressively, pass more accurately, set more strategically, and hit harder than your opponents. It is a fast paced drill of skill and only the strong survive.


My life sometimes

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Today’s Truth

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Psalm 34:5

Friend to Friend


For years my abortion story went untold. It was a secret held tightly by a locked heart – my worst nightmare and darkest memory. Not something I wanted to talk about. Certainly not a story that I thought could be used for good.


Conversationally, it was unapproachable… simply impossible to discuss. On the rare occasion when I allowed my mind to go there, I wished I had a different story: one of life, not death – of joy, not pain. A story of a time when I’d made the best choice, not the worst choice.


But that’s not my story.


And because it’s not, for years I was convinced that my mistakes demanded silence. That because of what I’d done and

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Today’s Truth

Have you ever felt lonely, scared, angry, confused and hurt all at the same time?  Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation?  I have.  There was a time, several years ago, when I wanted to run – hard and fast – from life as I knew it.  I had just birthed three babies in three  and a half years.  Then, to everybody’s surprise – especially mine – my husband got a promotion that moved our young family across the country to a place where we knew no one. I had two babies in diapers and one “big boy” struggling to say goodbye to his binky.  There was always a diaper to change, a mouth to feed or a

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Today’s Truth

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”


Psalm 91:1-2



 


 


Today’s Truth

Several months ago I went to Dallas to be interviewed on LIFE Today (with James and Betty Robison) and to write a few songs for my next CD. The genre of songs for this project is worship. I’m prayerfully writing these songs so that they might be sung by the church for the glory of God. I’m asking the LORD to breathe an anointing on each word and note so that the songs might be used to connect the heart of worshipers to the heart of the worthy One. Here’s one of my new favorites…


My Strength, My Song
by Jourdan Johnson & Gwen Smith


You speak to my weakness
You tell me Your grace is strength
Your power

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Today’s Truth

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.


Psalm 24:1-6, NIV



Amen


Today’s Truth

GiGs,


I’m humbled to share this interview that airs today on the Life Today TV program. Please join me in asking the LORD to bring many hearts to healing, hope and restoration through this testimony of redemption. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” (Psalm 107:2)


You can watch the program online here: http://lifetoday.org/video/from-broken-to-beautiful/



Feel free to share it with someone who might need to hear this word of hope.


In His Grip of Grace,


Gwen


 


Today’s Truth

May we never stop inviting the LORD to speak into our hearts.


Lord, please forgive us for the times when life gets so noisy that we forget to listen.
In Jesus Name, amen.




Today’s Truth

Today is a big day. Really big. CAPITAL LETTER BIG!! 😉 Why? Today our new, interactive GiG devotional book, TRUSTING GOD, A GIRLFRIEND IN GOD FAITH ADVENTURE releases. Woohoo! (Happy dance with us!)


God called Sharon, Mary and I to write this. We believe that the message of this book will bring women to a deeper place of faith because it is stuffed with Scriptures and stories that are purposed to connect the heart of each reader to the heart of God.


Because you are a friend to this ministry: we do life together. So that makes you the best people to share this book with those in your circle of influence! Bottom line: we need your help in getting the word

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Today’s Truth

There always seem to be a million voices vying for my attention. Can you relate? True confessions: I often choose good things instead of the Best thing. Instead of the Best One.


I wish it weren’t the case, but it is. I get easily distracted and frazzled. I never seem to satisfy my to-do list and I struggle with time management. It surprises me continually that God would choose to use a cluttered woman such as me. But His grace abounds. It reaches my most unfocused, unproductive heart places. Grace covers my mess and uncovers His faithfulness.


God’s loving goodness constantly draws me back to His peace.


Oh, how I want to live life in simple grace. To listen intently to the heartbeat

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8