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Posts by Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”

John 10:10

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When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t have great expectations for what my marriage would be like, if I ever walked the aisle at all. My parents had a horrible marriage. Cycles of heated arguments and physical violence followed by silence and passive aggression were as predictable as the seasons.


I became a Christian when I was fourteen and resolved that if I ever got married, it would be to a man who loved Jesus with all his heart. Through the years, I dated many young Christian men, but in my young mind, they seemed boring.


So I had a conversation with God that went something like this:


“OK God, if I ever get married, it will be to

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Today’s Truth

“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”

Isaiah 50:4-5

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One of my favorite devotion books is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. On October 10th, he wrote, “All God’s revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open through philosophy or thinking. But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately…Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up…God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you already know.”


We must never fall into the trap of thinking that God will always give us only “big” things to do. Jesus took a towel and began to wash the disciples’ feet (John 13:3-5). Through His act

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Today’s Truth

Cease striving and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10

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Sometimes I think we’ve made our relationship with God far too difficult and confusing. We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in.


For more than half a century, I have been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing her tail, I’ve been going in circles.


Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness wandering ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.


And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow

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Today’s Truth

“I can do everything through him [Jesus] who gives me strength,”

Philippians 4:13

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Several years ago, my husband and I decided to go zip lining on the island of Kauai. After being jostled and tossed like ragdolls in the back of a retired army jeep, we finally made it to the top of the mountain from which we were going to zip down—risking life and limb I might add.


After watching my husband fly through the trees, I climbed up onto a wooden platform and surrendered to Jack, a jovial, burly Hawaiian, who strapped me into a harness and placed a helmet on my head. With a simple click of a metal buckle, he attached my harnessed body onto a seemingly flimsy steel cable.


As I stood on the edge of the platform

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Today’s Truth

“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens”

Psalm 148:13

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Some of my Girlfriends in God are not going to like this devotion. I’m not even sure I do. But I’m going to put it out there anyhow. During the month of February, I write devotions on marriage. It is the month of love, and marriages certainly are in shambles all around the world. Each February, I am flooded with e-mails: some are appreciative for the reminders on how to love their husbands; some are filled with hurt because they are in their own struggling marriage, and some are broken-hearted because of shattered dreams. These women are so thankful for the balm of God’s truth in a very tender area of their lives.


But I also receive e-mails from

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Today’s Truth

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak,” Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

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When Steven was about seven-years-old, we went snow skiing. For hours I instructed him in how to stand up, ski down, and get up once he fell. Steven fell down, and fell down, and fell down. He was not getting the hang of it at all. What’s the problem, I wondered. Then I found out. It was me.


“Mom,” Steven cried, “If you just quit telling me what to do, I think I could get it.”


“Fine!” I said as I skied away in frustration. “Go ahead and do it your way!”


And you know what? He did. Thirty minutes later Steven was cruising down the slopes with ease. See I was the problem. My continual instruction was hindering Steven from

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Today’s Truth

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”

Isaiah 61:1-4

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We all know the story of Cinderella. She went from being held captive in the furnace to being a captivating belle of the ball, from being covered with ashes to being crowned with jewels, from being abused by her wicked step-family to being adored by her entire village. We all love “and they lived happily ever after” endings.


In 2 Samuel 13, there is a story that somewhat reminds me of Cinderella’s, but with two major differences: it is no fairy tale and the events occur in reverse. It is the story of Tamar, the lovely princess daughter of King David.


Tamar was one of the most beautiful young ladies in the entire kingdom. Her name meant “palm tree,” a

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Today’s Truth

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

2 Corinthians 5:17

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Laura lived in a small town with parents who were morally sound and family oriented. She went to church from her earliest remembrance and was baptized when she was 12 years old. In high school, she began dating Barry. After Laura went off to college, both of Barry’s parents died. He was lonely and missed the close-knit family he had once enjoyed.


After Laura’s first year of college, Barry began talking marriage. He had not gone to college and wanted her to come home and be his wife. Laura was torn, but made the decision to marry Barry and continue working toward her degree.


Laura and I held hands and prayed together before she walked down the aisle. It was

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Today’s Truth

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down:

Proverbs 26:20

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In my last devotion I talked about gossip. Something tells me I need to talk about it again.


As a review, Webster defines gossip as ”easy, fluent, trivial talk, talk about people behind their backs.” It is repeating information about another person’s private affairs. If you have to look around to make sure that no one can hear what you are saying, you are probably gossiping. If you would not say something in front of the person you are talking about, then you’re probably gossiping.


But it takes two to tango the gossip dance. “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down: (Proverbs 26:20). The Bible tells us to make every effort to avoid gossipers (Proverbs

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Today’s Truth

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down,”

Proverbs 26:20

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A monster was sneaking into my yard in the dark of night and devouring my prize plants. I never saw his beady eyes or heard his pounding footsteps—just the aftermath of his destruction. He left a trail of slime as he moved from plant to plant, leaving large gaping holes in broadleaf Gerbera daisies, gnawing entire velvety trumpet-shaped blossoms on purple petunias and reducing bushy begonias to naked stalks.


I asked a neighbor about my flowerbed’s demise and she determined, “You’ve got slugs.”


Slugs!” I exclaimed. “The yard monster is a tiny little slug?”


“You can put out slug bait to catch them and see for yourself,” my confident neighbor continued.


I sprinkled slug bait all around the yard and then

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Today’s Truth

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her,”

John 8:7

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“What are we going to do with this Jesus,” the chief priest asked the group. “He is going about healing people left and right. Everywhere I go the buzz is about Jesus. It’s Jesus this, and Jesus that. And the crowds are calling Him the Messiah! Everyone knows that the Messiah will not come from Galilee. If we don’t get rid of Him, we are going to have an insurrection on our hands.”


“And ever since the buzz about Him multiplying a few loaves and fish to feed more than 5,000 people has circulated, His followers have multiplied as well. He must be stopped.”


“I have an idea,” Lucius responded with a gleam in his eye. “I happen to know

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Today’s Truth

“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

John 4:10

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What happens when someone says to you, “If you only knew?” I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to know. Jesus spoke those same enticing words to the gal with the empty bucket He met at a well in Samaria. He was engaging her and inviting her to springs of life. He was stirring her curiosity.


While she focused on drawing physical water, Jesus continued drawing her closer to living water. The water in Jacob’s well would alleviate physical thirst temporarily. The water in Jesus’ well would quench spiritual thirst eternally. Jesus’ living water would fill this empty woman with overflowing joy.


So she asked Him, “Give me this water!”


Wait a minute. Did she say, “Give me

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Today’s Truth

“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart.”

Psalm 138:1

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Mary of Bethany shares three scenes in the Bible with her sister Martha. In her final appearance, we find her once again at a dinner party for Jesus. As usual, the men are gathered around the table and the women are absent from the scene…that is until Mary enters the room…again. Only this time she is not there to learn. She is there to teach.


“Mary, don’t forget to stir the lamb stew,” Martha called from across the room. “Our guests will be here any minute.”


Once again, Martha and Mary were hosting a dinner party for Jesus and his closest friends. The party was not at their home, but Simon had convinced Martha to be in charge of all

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Today’s Truth

“Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Mark 12:41-42

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Beatrice woke as the morning sun peeked through the closed shutters of her sparse bedroom. Every joint in her tired old body creaked like a grinding wheel in dire need of good oiling.


Her arthritic hands rubbed sleepy eyes and instinctively reached to the empty space where her husband slept so many years ago.


“Another Sabbath to worship Jehovah,” she smiled. “Oh LORD, thank you for the health and strength to travel to your house today. Thank you for all the many blessings that you have showered on this old woman.”


Beatrice slipped on her worn woolen garment, wound her grey streaked hair around her head and splashed yesterday’s water on her wrinkled face. Slipping her hand into her money pouch

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Today’s Truth

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”

John 4:13-14

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We all come into the world thirsty. From the time my son made his first cry in the delivery room, he began rooting around for something to drink. God planned it that way. Our bodies are 50- to 60-percent water and must be replenished continuously. When we go without water, our skin grows clammy, our eyes become scratchy and our head starts to pound. We need water to keep our mouths moist enough to swallow, our vital organs plump enough to function, and our joints lubricated enough to flex. One week without water, and we simply dry up and die.


We also come into the world spiritually thirsty. From the time we are cut loose from our mother’s nourishing

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Today’s Truth

“Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

John 20:17

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Jesus knew it was coming. He tried to warn the disciples. Death loomed in the air with swirls of bloodthirsty hatred circling the Son of God. But somehow the disciples didn’t understand the eminence of Jesus’ crucifixion, and they certainly didn’t comprehend the promise of His resurrection. Mary Magdalene didn’t understand it either. However, she was there until the end…and at the new beginning for us all.


After Jesus’ arrest, His 11 surprised disciples scattered like church mice when the lights come on. But not Mary Magdalene. She watched in horror as His beaten body was stripped, nailed to the cruel Roman cross, and displayed before the gawking crowd. She saw His precious blood drip from His thorn-pierced brow

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Today’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.


But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their

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Today’s Truth

“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Ephesians 3:12

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One of my favorite people is author and speaker Patsy Clairmont. We were trying to set up a time to visit when she came to speak at a Women of Faith Conference in my hometown.


“Patsy, I’d love to spend some time with you before the conference, but I don’t have a backstage pass. I won’t have access to the part of the building where you will be.”


“No problem,” Patsy answered. “Just go to my book table and tell my son who you are. He’ll bring you to me.”


The day of the conference arrived, and I swam through a sea of women to reach Patsy’s crowded book table. It wasn’t hard to spot her son – a male version

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Today’s Truth

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”

John 15:19

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Have you ever felt that you were overlooked or ignored … like you were a nobody? Well, take heart girlfriend. You are not alone.


In the Bible, we read the story of when the prophet Samuel went to anoint the next king of Israel. By God’s instruction, Samuel traveled to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse. He knew where to go and what family the king would come from. He knew the next king would be one of Jesse’s sons … he just didn’t know which son.


Samuel arrived in Bethlehem and asked Jesse to bring all of his sons out for his inspection. Jesse brought out each of his seven sons, one-by-one. As Samuel prayerfully approached each young man,

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Today’s Truth

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

Psalm 118:24

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It was just a quick check-up at the doctor’s office…or at least that’s what it was supposed to be. My “to-do-list” resembled a mile-long scroll and several deadlines loomed like thunder clouds ready to burst. But, the appointment would take just a few minutes. Just enough time to catch my breath.


“Good morning Mrs. Jaynes,” the cheery receptionist greeted. “May I see your insurance card please?”


We went through the regular check-in procedure and then I settled in a comfy chair with a magazine that I would not have normally read. I knew I wouldn’t have time to read a full-length article…since this was just a quick visit. My, oh my, the trouble those Hollywood folks get into.


Ten minutes turned

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Today’s Truth

She [Hagar] 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

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Let’s face it. People let us down. They disappoint us. And so does God. Often our experiences fall short of our expectations for God to meet all our needs the way we think He should, and like a lover who has been wronged, we tend to guard our hearts against future disappointment by lowering our expectations and trust. But make no mistake about it, God sees. God understands. He is not aloof.


One day I was sitting on the patio with my friend Beth and her stepfather, Sam, waiting for the grill to heat up before placing steaks on to cook. Beth’s mom opened the door and gave Sam his orders — telling him what to do and how

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Today’s Truth

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Proverbs 27:17

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I went hunting in a clothing consignment store — people watching more than actually clothes shopping. I gathered a few possibilities and then stood in line to try them on.


A group of friends occupied the three dressing rooms with piles and piles of clothes. It was quite a parade as the girls popped in and out of the cubbies to model their finds. All I needed was a bag of popcorn as I settled in for the show.


At one point, a gal came out in skintight, black shiny pants that were at least two sizes too small, a couple inches too short, and about to burst at the seams.


“Do these pants make my hips look big?” she asked

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Today’s Truth

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:11

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Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery recorded in John 8:1-11? If you aren’t familiar with it, stop right now and read it for yourself. The Pharisees had brought this half-dressed woman to Jesus right in the middle of his teaching and tried to snare him in a trap. Should she be stoned or set free?


As this woman listened to the Pharisee’s question Jesus, she understood His dilemma. If He set her free, the Pharisees would accuse him of ignoring the Law of Moses and deem Him a heretic. If He sentenced her to death by stoning, then His teachings of grace and forgiveness would be negated.


The religious leaders already held the stones in their clenched

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Today’s Truth

“Do you want to get well?”

John 5:6

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I love the story of Jesus healing the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. It’s hard for us twenty-first century women to imagine such a condition lasting for so long. Medical science has progressed far beyond the rudimentary knowledge of Jesus’ day. It is simply unthinkable today.


But I suggest there are still many women with chronic bleeding of a different sort. We bleed from the heart.


From the time Sarah was six-years-old, her stepfather crept into her bedroom in the dark of night and violated her little body. Now, as an adult, her heart bleeds.


When Beth was walking to her dorm room from the college library, lurkers jumped from behind the bushes, dragged her to a nearby

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Today’s Truth

“He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’”

Mark 5:34

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Oh how I love the story of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood recorded in Mark 5:21-34. There are so many lessons for us tuck inside. Let’s look at one more—the feeling of being rejected.


I can so relate to this woman. What woman among us hasn’t felt the wretchedness of rejection, the shame of suffering, and the humility of hopelessness? What woman hasn’t wondered: Would God care about the likes of me?


And here we have a story of just how much God values and esteems His female image bearers. He singles out one lone woman from a multitude of curious followers, heals her of her affliction with but a touch, and then shines the

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Today’s Truth

‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering,’

Mark 5:34

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“Gone. All gone.”


For twelve long years, she had been bleeding. Over 4,380 days. Lydia had gone from doctor to doctor to try and stop the flow, but as the years progressed she only worsened. Each day was a reminder of the emptiness she felt as her very life ebbed from her body.


“I’ve lost my family, my friends, my energy and now all my money. My very womanhood, the ability to conceive and suckle a child at my breast flows out of my body and leaves me a barren wasteland. And the pain? The constant cramping feels as though my womb is being squeezed by an invisible hand.


“‘Unclean.’ That’s what the priests say I am. No one is supposed

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Today’s Truth

“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.”

Luke 8:1-3

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She was just a normal little girl frolicking about the house, toying with the goats, and sticking her fingers in her mother’s rising dough. After her father died, Mary’s mother tried her best to raise the child on what little her husband had left behind. But when puberty began to bloom, a poisonous weed began to take root in Mary’s mind. With each passing year, her behavior grew more and more erratic.


Often she was seen banging her head against the wall of their modest home, screaming curses to unseen shadows, crawling like an animal through the yard, and cutting her arms with sharp edged stones. Mary’s mother was almost relieved when the deranged young woman ran away to

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Today’s Truth

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate”

Luke 15:24

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Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart touching stories of grace and forgiveness in the New Testament is recorded in Luke chapter fifteen. It’s what most have come to know as the story of the Prodigal son. I tend to think of it more as the story of Radical Grace.


You probably know the story. A young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then the Bible says, “He came to his senses” (15:17).


I’ve been there

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Today’s Truth

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

Isaiah 7:9

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Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white Andy Griffith television programs. In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels as if he’s a total loser among the buddies he once enjoyed.


After Andy, the wise father, figures out what is disturbing his moping son, he gives him a little lesson in standing up to bullies. The next day, when the bully threatens Opie, the little freckle-faced boy looks his opponent in the eye and refuses to crumble under his threats.


“Do you want to fight?” the bully taunts.


Opie doesn’t say a word, just puts up his fists.


“Oh yeah, well knock this rock off my

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Today’s Truth

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection.]”

1 John 4:18

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I just love 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified version! “Love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” Perfect love, God’s love, gives fear the boot.


Fear stands at the doorway of our destinies and dares us to step inside. It bullies us into believing that if we step across the threshold we will fail, or worse yet, God will fail us. Fear holds a “Danger! Keep Out!” sign over our pre-ordained adventures and pokes drain holes in our Spirit-filled confidence.


What if . . .


Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”


The fear of

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Today’s Truth

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis. 45:5; 50:20

Genesis 45:5; 50:20

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If ever there is a place to learn about forgiveness…to practice forgiveness…to struggle with forgiveness…it is in the family. Makes me tired just thinking about it. And interestingly, it is in the context of family where the word forgiveness first shows up in the Bible.


Let’s dig into Scripture today. Come on. You can do it.


In the book of Genesis, we meet a young man named Joseph—the eleventh of twelve brothers, and favorite son of Jacob. He is most famously known for his elaborate coat of many colors. Young Joseph had several prophetic dreams involving his brothers and father one day bowing down to him. Rather than keep that bit of information to himself, he shared it with his

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Today’s Truth

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

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My husband, Steve, and I sat anxiously in our seats. I wondered if I was going to be able to endure the ride, especially knowing my propensity for motion sickness. But we began nonetheless.


The guide strapped all passengers into the tiny boats and gave last minute instructions. Of course there were life preservers, but what good would they do in the fierce rapids that threatened to suck its prey below the surface?


The crew boarded and began the journey down the mysterious Amazon. The calm meandering waters quickly gave way to fierce torrents, rushing rapids, and rocky crags protruding from the foaming waters. Alternating between plunging into the water and flying into the air, the boat made its way

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Today’s Truth

[Jesus said], “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

John 14:12

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When my husband and I were first married, we purchased a five-speed Honda Civic. It was a snappy silver stick shift with high gas mileage and low horsepower. The conundrum was that I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. Steve gave me a lesson on driving a car with a manual transmission, but I was scared to death to change gears. Step on the clutch. Slowly release while slipping the stick into first gear. Step on the clutch again. Slowly release while slipping the stick into second gear. It was just too much for me to remember.


We lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time. The primary word being hill. There were lots of hills.

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Today’s Truth

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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A stronghold is one of those churchy Christianese words that is hard to wrap our minds around. It’s not a word we use everyday. So what exactly is a stronghold? Let’s take a look.


A stronghold is a thought pattern that forms a fortress around the mind, holding it prisoner to faulty thinking. It is formed brick-by-brick by repetitive faulty thinking or all at once by a onetime traumatic event such as a rape, molestation, or abuse.


In the Old Testament, a stronghold was a fortified dwelling used for protection from an enemy. David hid in wilderness strongholds when he was hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:4; 23:14). These were usually caves high

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Today’s Truth

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

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Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this, but never had the right gear.


You slip into a black sleek wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a

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Today’s Truth

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:14

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In the very first Rocky movie, the Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa, very eloquently encourages his demure girlfriend, Adrian. “I got gaps. You got gaps. Together we got no gaps.”


But Rocky got it all wrong. He’s got gaps. Adrian’s got gaps. And no person alive is going to fill those gaps. God is the only One who can fill our gaps. And I’d go so far as to say that He is the One who gave us those gaps so that He can fill them. He is the great I AM who fills our gaps and fills in our blanks.


When we say, “I’m not good enough,”


God says, “I AM.”


When we say, “I’m not smart enough,”


God says, “I AM.”


When we

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Today’s Truth

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17

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When my husband, Steve, was in high school, he worked various jobs and was notoriously frugal. His twin brother, Dan, and their best friend, Mike, were not quite as thrifty. Dan and Mike had odd jobs from time to time—flipping hamburgers at the Wild Pig being the most infamous. But their funds disappeared as quickly as they got them. Steve, on the other hand, was a saver. And they knew it.


Steve had a little brown wallet with a horse head on the front and a zipper on the top. It was his “saving wallet”, and he kept it safely tucked away in this sock drawer. Occasionally, Steve, Dan, and Mike would get together to plan an adventure, such

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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

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Unless you are a baseball fan, married to one, or mom to one, you probably haven’t heard of Matthew Joseph White. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998, the Boston Red Sox in 2002, and the Colorado Rockies in 2003. But it is not his baseball career that captured my attention.


In 2003, Matt had an aunt who needed to go into a nursing home. She didn’t have the funds to make the move, but she did have a piece of land in his home state of Massachusetts. So Matt agreed to pay her $50,000 for the 45 acres of mountain real estate, which gave her enough to enter the nursing home and get the care she needed.

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Today’s Truth

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38–39

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Have you ever been in a situation when you felt God calling your name to a particular task, and at the same time you felt that He had the wrong person for the job? That’s exactly how Moses felt when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. He cried out, “Who am I that I should go to the Pharaoh?”


I’ve been there. I wonder if you have too. I’ve thought, God, You’ve got to be kidding? Me? You’ve got the wrong girl for the job! I’m a nobody!


But look at how God answered Moses.


And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that

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Today’s Truth

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness,”

2 Peter 1:3

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Aren’t you excited to know that God has deposited rich blessings and a lavish inheritance into your account? Tell me, what reason do we have to feel inadequate? In light of what we have in Christ, I can’t think of a thing. But how do we access these magnificent promises? Peter says: “Through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter. 1:3).


The Greeks had several words for the word knowledge. The one used here is epignosis. This is a strengthened form of the word and implies a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. It is not simply knowing something intellectually, but understanding and believing what you know in a personal way.


When Steve

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Today’s Truth

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

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In my last devotion, we looked at Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush in Midian. God began by saying:


The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing

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Today’s Truth

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

Exodus 3:7

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Have you ever wondered if God really cares about you?


If God sees you?


If God is concerned about you?


I have. Many times. And I think Moses did too.


He was on the far side of the wilderness when God spoke to him through the burning bush. He had failed in Egypt and bailed to Midian. Yep, failed and bailed. He ran away to the wilderness where he stayed for the next forty years.


And friend, sometimes it is only on the far side of the wilderness where God can get our attention. Sometimes it is when we feel alone, abandoned, and forgotten that our ears are pricked to hear. Isolation is often God’s place of invitation.


Now that you know the backstory,

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Today’s Truth

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,

Ephesians 1:18–20

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God speaks to me in the comics. I know. That’s weird. But He does.


Pickles comic strip features an older couple named Earl and Pearl Pickles. One day Earl and Pearl were sitting on a porch swing and the following conversation ensued.


Frame one: Pearl, “Did you know the DNA of humans and chimpanzees is 98 percent the same?”


Frame two: Earl, “I know it but I don’t believe it.”


Frame three: Pearl, “You know it, but you don’t believe it?”


Frame four: Earl, Yes, “I don’t believe everything I know.”


And there you have it! In the wise words of Earl Pickles, our problem is that we don’t really believe everything we know. We go to Bible studies year after year, hear sermons

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Today’s Truth

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

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I don’t know about you, but I get tired of junk mail from credit card companies that tell me I’ve been “pre-approved” for a line of credit. But here’s something I’ll never get tired of: God telling me that I’ve been pre-approved to be His child.


Just before Jesus began his earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan to be baptized by his cousin John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).


Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God

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Today’s Truth

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

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I just love Moses. I can relate to him on so many levels.


For about forty years, he thought he was an Egyptian…the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. But somehow he discovered that he was NOT an Egyptian after all. He was a Hebrew, the son of a slave woman. . . and that changed everything.


Moses had a mid-life crisis and came up with a plan to save his true people from Egyptian slavery. God did not call him to this plan. He came up with it all on his own. (Red flag for all of us.)


One day Moses was walking among his people and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. Glancing first one way and then another to

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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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Do you remember the day you came to saving faith? Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus. Perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him. For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.


When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.


But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away—the girl

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Today’s Truth

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance,

John 20:1

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Sometimes you expect you’re getting a Rachel and you wake up with a Leah. Okay, I know that example might connect better with a guy, but you get the point.


Let me try that again. What do you do after you’ve crossed the Red Sea of obstacles, only to be dying of thirst at Marah three days later? How do you keep your dancing from turning into disappointment? One thing is for sure; you don’t drive down your tent pegs by the disappointing waters of Marah and camp out there. You move on.


I think of the women on Jesus’s ministry team. They had committed their lives to the Messiah and believed that He would restore Israel. Mary Magdalene and

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Today’s Truth

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”

2 Timothy 4:7

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I sat by her bed.


Her hand swollen…full…unmoving.


Feet that danced just a few weeks ago now stilled. Arms that lifted just a short time ago now limp. Words that spilled easily just a moment ago now halted. How could life seep away so quickly, right before my eyes?


Mom was ready. But I wasn’t.


Mom called to tell me she was going to the emergency room. She had abdominal pain and couldn’t stop throwing up. I had just been at her house four days before, and this was something new.


“She has an ileus,” the doctor explained. “Part of her intestines have stopped working. But her heart isn’t strong enough to survive surgery. If her intestines don’t start working on their own,

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Today’s Truth

“Thomas fell to his knees and cried, "My Lord and my God!"

John 20:28

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When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, there was one who was absent from the motley crew: Thomas. When he came back to the group, they were all abuzz talking about Jesus’ surprise appearance. But Thomas didn’t believe a word of it.


“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it,” he declared.


A week later his disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus suddenly appeared and stood among them.


“Peace be with you!” he said.


Then Jesus turned to a stunned Thomas and said, “Put your finger here; see

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Today’s Truth

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,”

Romans 8:28

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I love Romans 8:28.


Now, let me be honest…sometimes I don’t.


When I am going through a dark time of loss or disappointment, and someone throws a sloppy coat of Romans 8:28 on my open wound, I just want to scream.


There. I said it.


What does God mean by “all things” anyway? I looked it up in my Greek dictionary and guess what it means—it means “all things.” I was hoping for something a little different.


“All things” includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. In every dark circumstance of life, there is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. However, for that to happen, we must get out of the dirt, push it aside, and look beneath the surface.


Is it

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Today’s Truth

My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.

Song of Songs 2:10

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I was in college when I first eyed my husband. He was sitting on the floor at a friend’s Bible study gathering with his back against the wall, dressed in scruffy jeans and a red flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up his muscular forearms.


His thick brown hair and chocolate-brown eyes left me weak in the knees. And the best part was that this handsome hunk of a man had a tattered Bible in his lap. He laughed easily, prayed humbly and read intently. I was smitten from the first time I laid eyes on Steve.


After a few weeks, he finally asked me out on a date. We continued seeing each other over the next several weeks,

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Today’s Truth

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Philippians 3:12

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Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? A short horizontal bar suspended by ropes or metal straps dangles high above the crowd. The aerialist grabs the trapeze bar, jumps off of a high platform, and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again.


It is during the peak of the third swing where the fun begins for those below. The performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer hanging from his knees who swings toward her. Once she grabs hold, the crowd remembers to breathe. Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd. And each move requires the performer to

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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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Most Christians see their conversion as a cleaned-up version of their old self, rather than as a brand new creation who did not exist before. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old is gone, not just spiffied up.


After high school I went to college where I met and married an awesome Christian man whom I met at a friend’s Bible study. I saw him sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and his red flannel shirt rolled up his masculine arms. He had a worn Bible in his lap and an easy smile on his

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Today’s Truth

“A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels, and her value is far above rubies or pearls.”

Proverbs 31:10

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I just got back from seeing the 9/11 Memorial. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.


After the horrific events of that devastating day, President George W. Bush appointed the new cabinet position of Homeland Security. It is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and preemption of, and defense against, aggression targeted at United States territory, sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies.


In a speech on July 16, 2002, in the Rose Garden, he explained how Homeland Security would deal with the threats of the 21st century in our country. “Our unity is a great weapon in the fight. And by acting together to create a new

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Today’s Truth

"[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing.)”

Romans 12:9

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Valentine’s Day. It makes me think of sweethearts, frilly cards, heart-shaped balloons, and candy, but it also causes me to reflect on how I love people in general.


Paul gives us some good advice on how to love one another in Romans 12:9-18.



Love must be sincere.
Cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal.
Be joyful in hope.
Be patient in affliction.
Be faithful in prayer
Share with God’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud.
Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If
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Today’s Truth

“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.”

Ephesians 5:33

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I’ve been shut up, shut down, shot down, ridiculed, disregarded, overlooked, over- booked, and overwhelmed…I know I was made for a reason. I know that, in God’s eyes, I count. So, I simply want to find someone who believes in me.


No, these are not the lyrics from the latest country song. They are the lament from one of the men who answered my survey of what they were looking for in the woman of their dreams. It seems Aretha Franklin isn’t the only one who wants a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t these days. One area that rated very high when I surveyed hundreds of men was their longing for RESPECT. Webster’s dictionary defines respect as the special esteem or consideration

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Today’s Truth

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

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I just got my braces off…again.


I have had braces on my upper teeth three times. Count them. One. Two. Three.


As the orthodontist explained, “Teeth have a memory. They always want to go back to the way they were.”


As soon as he said those words, I felt convicted. I have a tendency to go back to the way I was.


We all do.


Karen (not her real name) admitted to single handedly destroying her marriage with passive aggressive coldness, destructive words, and disrespect of the worst kind. After her husband walked away from the marriage, she had a Holy Spirit moment and completely changed her life. She felt conviction over what she had done, her heart softened, and she vowed never

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Today’s Truth

But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’

Genesis 3:9

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Sometimes it is easy to read about Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden and think, “How could they disobey like that!” But the reality is that this is not Adam and Eve’s story alone. It is our story as well. We make decisions on a daily basis that dishonor God. We disobey His commands, take charge of our own lives, and become Lord of our own ring. Then like Eve, we try to cover up our shame and even attempt to hide from God.


Do you know the first question God asked in the Bible? After Adam and Eve hid from God, He asked – Where are you? God knew exactly where they were, what they had done,

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Today’s Truth

“I know whom I believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day,”

2 Timothy 1:12

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Anna grew up in the church. It wasn’t a church that used the word “salvation” or “saved” very often and there was never a decisive moment she could recall “giving her life to Jesus,” as she heard her more evangelical friends recount. There was no “born again” experience that she could recall. But she did love Jesus. She’d loved Him for as long as she could remember. But, she was not sure if she was actually saved.


Beth remembers walking down the red carpeted aisle of her church when she was twelve-years-old. She filled out a membership card, signed up for the next baptism service and attended the catechism class for new believers. She still remembers the feeling when

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Today’s Truth

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Romans 10:9-10

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My palms were slightly sweaty, yet calm. My posture was poised, yet not stiff. My dress was conservative, yet fashionable. I waited in a small room lined with bookshelves, diplomas, and awards. A mammoth wooden desk dwarfed my small chair positioned in the center of the interrogation room.


It was my first job interview. I wonder if you remember yours.


After completing Dental Hygiene School and passing both State and National Boards, I was ready to cross over the bridge from student to the employed. Even though Dr. Ford (the man who would decide my professional destiny) seemed somewhat intimidating, I felt fairly confident. My GPA was excellent and board scores commendable. I was ready for anything this guy had

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:17

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For many years after I became a Christian, I operated under a false sense of who I really was. I had no idea the change that occurred in me the moment I accepted Christ. I did not see myself as God saw me. I had a grid system or a sieve of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy over my mind. When I processed information about my world and about myself, it had to first filter through that negative grid system.


If someone canceled a lunch date, I interpreted that as “she doesn’t like me.” If I didn’t get invited to an event, I interpreted that as “I’m not worthy.” If my husband didn’t give me enough attention, I interpreted that

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Today’s Truth

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Philippians 3:12

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Did you know that just because God gives you a promise that does not mean it is automatically yours? Nope, you have to believe it and take hold of it to make it yours!


Paul wrote: “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). In order to experience a thriving faith—the abundant life to the full—we must take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of for us and placed in us.


I love how the Amplified Bible translates today’s truth. “I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made

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Today’s Truth

“Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’”

Matthew 2:1b-2

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An African boy listened carefully as his missionary teacher explained why Christians give presents to each other on Christmas day.


“The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other,” she said.


When Christmas day came, the boy brought to the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty.


“Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?” the teacher asked as she gently fingered the gift.


The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless.


“Why…why, it’s gorgeous…wonderful, but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get a gift for

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Today’s Truth

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

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With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to get so busy with the cooking, decorating and shopping that we forget why we’re doing all this in the first place. Sometimes, the very people we love get lost in the hustle and bustle of packed schedules, holiday parties, and Christmas musicals.


Several years ago I wrote a Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13 to help me keep my focus on what Paul deemed most important of all…love. As part of our family tradition, I pull it out and post it somewhere in our home as a reminder of what’s really important during the holiday season. And since you are now part of the family, I’m pulling it out for

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Today’s Truth

Give thanks in all circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

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I want to see God today. Don’t you? What I’ve discovered is that there is nothing that will shut my eyes to seeing God’s presence and working in my life than ingratitude.


Ingratitude leaves us groping about in the dark for what will never satisfy the longings of the soul. The cure comes in capsules of praise, thanksgiving, and a grateful heart. Gratitude is the antibiotic of the soul to cure a variety of the world’s ills and restore a sense of intimacy with God.


Take a look at today’s truth. Notice the Bible doesn’t command us to feel thankful in all circumstances. Instead it commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” When I begin to praise God in

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Today’s Truth

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Hebrews 10:35-36

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Can I make a confession? Sometimes I quit too soon. I’ve quit when what I really needed to do was to press on and press through. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of trying. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of the struggle. And you know what? I’ve missed many blessings because I got tired of the battle. I don’t want to do that any longer. I’m taking my cues from Joshua.


The battle plan to take the Promised Land was as simple as it was strange. March around the city of Jericho with all the armed men. Do this in silence, once a day for six days. Then on the seventh day, walk around seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets.

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Today’s Truth

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

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Have you ever noticed just how contagious grumbling is? Someone complains, and the next thing you know you’ve joined in and are complaining right along with them.


How do you think that grumbling started with the children of Israel in the wilderness? I think it went like this. One person picked up her manna for the day and said, “You know, I’m sick of this manna.” Then someone else picked up his and said, “Come to think about it, I’m sick of it too.” Then a neighbor agreed and it spread, and it spread, and it spread. Next thing you know 2 million people are grumbling and complaining. Then a sea of ingrates wandered around the desert for forty

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Today’s Truth

I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

Philippians 3:12

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Have you stepped out in faith—fully trusting in God, but then began to stumble—errantly depending on yourself? That’s what happened to the children of Israel when it came time to take the Promised Land.


Moses led the people under the bloodstained doorframes of the Passover, across the dry land of the Red Sea, and to the front door of the Promised Land. He guided them with a fire by night and a cloud by day. God took care of their needs and brought victory over every enemy they faced. And yet, when it came time to march into the Promised Land, the land that was theirs for the taking, they cowered in unbelief.


“Send some men to explore the land

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Today’s Truth

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

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It was one of my favorite trees. And it was dying.


We live on a lake, and my dying tree was truly a “tree planted by streams of water.” So how could it be dying? How could branches right in the smack dab middle of the bushy green be turning into kindling? It didn’t make sense.


I called an arborist to come out and take a look. He saw the problem right away.


“Ma’am, see how that tree looks like a telephone pole stuck in the ground? That’s not the way a tree should be planted. You should be able to see some of the roots spreading out from the trunk. Those roots are covered up with dirt, grass, and these

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Today’s Truth

GOD addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul…Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going.

1 Samuel 16:1

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Have you ever been so discouraged that you just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head? Maybe that’s where you are right now.


I’ve hidden under the covers a time or two myself. OK, well maybe more than two.


So how do we venture out? How do we get over the discouragement and get going again?


There’s a story in the Bible that helps me when I feel mopey. (You don’t mind if I get in the Bible a little do you? I didn’t think so.)


A few years after the Israelites made it to the Promised Land, they grew tired of being ruled by God through the prophets. They wanted to have a king like

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Today’s Truth

The LORD has made the heavens His throne; from there He rules over everything

Psalm 103:19

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I don’t know about you, but my emotions have been all over the board about this upcoming Presidential election. It is so easy to fall into the ravine of worry, anxiety, and outright fear. So let’s just talk about it a minute.


During one of my “less than trusting” days, God reminded me that He is still in control. Yes, God does give us the risky gift of choice, but He is still sovereign and sitting on His throne.


God reminded me of King Cyrus. Jeremiah prophesied that the Babylonians would take the rebellious Israelites captive for seventy years. Years later, that’s exactly what happened. Jerusalem was destroyed and the Israelites were taken captive for seventy years.


Jeremiah also prophesied that

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Today’s Truth

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

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It was one of my favorite trees. And it was dying.


We live on a lake, and my dying tree was truly a “tree planted by streams of water.” So how could it be dying? How could branches right in the smack dab middle of the bushy green be turning into kindling? It didn’t make sense.


I called an arborist to come out and take a look. He saw the problem right away.


“Ma’am, see how that tree looks like a telephone pole stuck in the ground? That’s not the way a tree should be planted. You should be able to see some of the roots spreading out from the trunk. Those roots are covered up with dirt, grass, and these

Read More

Today’s Truth

I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

Philippians 3:12

Friend to Friend


Have you stepped out in faith—fully trusting in God, but then began to stumble—errantly depending on yourself? That’s what happened to the children of Israel when it came time to take the Promised Land.


Moses led the people under the bloodstained doorframes of the Passover, across the dry land of the Red Sea, and to the front door of the Promised Land. He guided them with a fire by night and a cloud by day. God took care of their needs and brought victory over every enemy they faced. And yet, when it came time to march into the Promised Land, the land that was theirs for the taking, they cowered in unbelief.


“Send some men to explore the land

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Today’s Truth

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

1 Corinthians 1:27

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What are you going to do when God calls your name?


When He taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey girl, now’s the time”?


There was a kid in the Bible who had the right idea. Let me introduce you to him.


See, there was this prophet named Samuel, and God told him to go to Jesse’s house to appoint the next King of Israel. So, “Samuel did what the Lord said” (1 Sam. 1:4). (By the way, that’s always a great way to start your day!)


He traveled to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem and asked to see his sons. When they paraded by for inspection, Samuel was very impressed with the eldest right away. Eliab was tall, dark, and handsome.


But the

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Today’s Truth

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.

Psalm 145:17

Friend to Friend


Everyone will experience discouragement at some point in life. It will look as different and unique as the fingerprints on your hand, but disappointments will come.


Dropping your son off at a rehab center instead of college.


Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary party.


Looking for a job rather than getting a raise.


Cuddling up with a good book rather than cozying up with a good husband.


Planning a funeral instead of planning a future.


Counting out food stamps instead of writing a check.


Moving up in your career rather than rocking a baby in your arms.


Yes, everyone will experience broken dreams at some point in their lives.


I had a dream of having a house full of giggling little girls and boisterous rowdy

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Today’s Truth

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

Hebrews 10:35

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Have you ever gone through a period of discouragement? Perhaps you’re in one right now. Believe me, I’ve been right there with you. I’ve hidden in the cave with Elijah, under the gourd plant with Jonah, and in the dessert with Moses.


Discouragement comes when there is a gap between what you expect and what you experience—when there is a gap between what you hoped would happen and what actually does happen.


Discouragement can destroy your passion and undermine your purpose. It can take root because of what others say or didn’t say—a mom who said too much or a dad who said too little. Unmet expectations can become the breeding ground for discouragement to multiply and take root.


We certainly

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Today’s Truth

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

2 Peter 3:14

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Did you know that you’ve got what it takes to do all that God has prepared for you to do? The Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3, emphasis added).


But that doesn’t mean we get to sit back on our haunches and do nothing. Peter wrote: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness . . .” (2 Pet. 1:5).


“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (1:10).


“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and

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Today’s Truth

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

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It was my first large speaking engagement back in the ‘90s. Why I said yes was beyond me. I had never stood up in front of more than a handful of women at my Bible study or our church’s women’s retreat. Even then, I didn’t have to use a microphone. And now, five hundred expectant women were going to be staring me in the face. To top it all off, the theme was Unshakable Confidence in Christ. Laughable.


Two weeks before the event, I attended a luncheon where my mentor, Mary Marshall Young, was going to be sharing a short devotion. It was in a very prestigious part of town that I did not frequent. One of those gatherings

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Today’s Truth

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Exodus 4:11-12

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When I was six years old, I skipped off to first grade with a fresh box of crayons, a crisp green dress with Swiss polka dots sleeves, and a fresh hope that I would be good enough—that someone would at least like me. But first grade only confirmed my fears. I wasn’t good enough after all.


From the time my teacher held up the first spelling flash card, I knew I was in trouble. Back in the day, kindergarten focused on coloring, playing, and napping. But first grade was a whole new ballgame with letters, numbers, and words. First grade had flash cards.


I remember one exercise that makes my palms clammy even today. We lined our miniature wooden chairs

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Today’s Truth

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

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What do you do when your ship pulls up anchor and sails off without you? How do you respond when life doesn’t turn out like you thought it would? Where do you turn when the powers that be toss your hopes and dreams overboard and tell you to go home? What do you do when someone whose opinion matters denies you passage on the boat you were meant to board?


The answers to those questions can change everything. You need to decide right now—before it happens.


In my last devotion, I told the story of being left at the dock in Italy while my friends sailed away. “You are not fit to sail,” was the ship’s declaration. (If you didn’t

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Today’s Truth

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 9:10

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My bags were packed. My passport was up to date. My feet were itching to get started.


For more than a year, my husband and I had planned a trip to Italy, Greece, and Turkey with six of our closest friends. We had plotted our course, prepared our travel, and saved our pennies. This was a big deal for us—for me. I was going to stand on the very mount in Athens where Paul preached one of my favorite verses: “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We were going to explore the catacombs where some of our very first brothers and sisters in Christ were buried and walk the very steps of Paul

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Today’s Truth

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

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Slavery is one of the prevailing metaphors and predominant themes in the Bible. Joseph was sold into slavery, the Israelites were forced into slavery, and God set His people free from slavery.


Most likely you can’t relate to being a slave, but you probably can relate to the idea of being in bondage in some area of your life.



A controlling parent
An addictive behavior
An out of control emotion
A fear of the future
A shameful past
A need for a man
A lustful eye
A desire for approval
An obsession with a goal
A co-dependent relationship
A guilty conscience

Each of these conditions can cause you to be tied up in knots and held captive to the point that you’re stuck in a prison of your own making, never

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Today’s Truth

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

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One last wish.


The longing of a dying mother’s heart.


A wish that only one person could have satisfied. But he didn’t.


If you’ve read any of my books, you know that my childhood was a cauldron of violent arguments, alcohol-induced rage, and physically terrifying fights. As a child I saw things that a child should never see and heard things that a child should never hear. My parents were a mess. Their kids were even messier.


But God—my two favorite words in the Bible.


I met Jesus in a powerful way when I was fourteen years old, my mom followed when I was seventeen, and my mean old dad accepted Christ when I was twenty. Our family was a portrait of mercy

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Today’s Truth

He (God) has planted eternity in the human heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Do you ever feel like you are not at home here on earth? That something is missing? The reason is because you’re not at home, and something is missing. C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in the world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”


Solomon reminds us, “He (God) has planted eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT). You were made for eternity—for glory, and as long as your feet are here on this earth, you will experience a glory ache that only Heaven can fully satisfy. You will feel a certain something missing that may be hard to define.


One spring, our family hosted a

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Today’s Truth

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

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The Bible is filled with men and women who had an intimate personal relationship with God. Enoch walked with God and then God just snatched him up to heaven…“and he was no more,” (Genesis 5:24). David was called “a man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22). But Moses…he was God’s friend.


What did Moses want more than anything? He wanted to see God’s glory.


“And the LORD said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence…But you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’”


Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.

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Today’s Truth

You will go out with joy, and be led out in peace. The mountains and the hills will break out into sounds of joy before you. And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

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When I was a little girl, I used to love pretending to be a bride. I’d wrap a sheet around my body, drape a towel over my head, and hold a bouquet of plastic flowers to my chest. Then I would start at one end of our ranch-style house’s hallway and make my saunter down the “aisle.” In my little mind, all eyes were on me, as my sheet became a pearl studded wedding gown, my towel a lace veil, and the bouquet a spray of white roses.


My Uncle Ernest understood the longings of little girls to be a bride, so for Christmas one year, he gave me a two-foot doll dressed in full bridal regalia. Along with

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Today’s Truth

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1

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My friends Gwen, Lisa, and Bill joined Steve and I for a shrimp boil at my home. We spread out the steamed shrimp and then made a glorious mess as we shucked and ate one tasty morsel after another.


After dinner, Gwen and I challenged Bill and Lisa to a paddleboat race across the lake. “Oh, we’ll cream you guys,” Bill boasted as he and his paddling partner accepted the challenge. He puffed up, knowing that victory was eminent. He was pumped.


I pointed Bill to one of our two vessels. “Here, you take this one.”


“Fine with me,” he said, self-assured.


My husband, with a knowing smile, signaled for the race to begin. Off we went. Bill and Lisa paddled

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Today’s Truth

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9

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My ministry is primarily with women, and often the subject of marriage comes up. And for those brave souls who dare ask the hard questions, sex surfaces as one of the top three areas of marital tension. Questions brim from frustration and sometimes my answers are not what they want to hear. Frequency? What is acceptable and unacceptable? What is required?


Required? Do women really ask that? Yep. Required. That’s the word they use. Far too many women, Christians included, approach the marriage bed with a sense of duty rather than desire. And you know what? A husband always knows the difference. He can tell the difference. It is not the melody his heart longs for—a song in which

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Today’s Truth

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

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I want to know God’s will for my life. Don’t you? However I have learned that identity comes before activity. In other words, I must have a proper perspective of who I am before I can grasp what God wants me to do. This was true of Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”(Jeremiah 1:5). He didn’t choose Jeremiah after he proved himself worthy of the task, but before he was even born. That was true for Joshua (Joshua 1:6-9), Gideon (Judges 6:12), and Mary (Luke 1:28)—and that is true for you.


God didn’t throw up His hand

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Today’s Truth

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 33:4

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Some people just seem happy and positive all the time. They appear to never worry and fret. These people act like they eat rainbows for breakfast and ride a unicorn to work. But life isn’t all lucky charms. Sometimes it is just plain hard. We anticipate trials. Jesus promised trouble. “In this world you will have trouble,” He warned (John 16:33).


So what if the worst thing you can imagine does happen? What then?


What if my child gets sick?


What if my husband does leave?


What if I lose my job?


What if I get on a plane to go to a speaking engagement and the plane crashes?


I decided a long time ago, when I get on a plane, I’m either

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Today’s Truth

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

1 John 4:18

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Not all fear is bad. It is good to be afraid of sticking your hand in a fire, crossing a busy street with your eyes closed, or jumping off a cliff. That is good healthy fear.


Bad fear is fear of present circumstances and future events that may or may never happen. Being too afraid to step out and do what God has called you to do. Being so worried about the consequences that you throw trusting God out the window. That’s an unhealthy fear.


The Holy Spirit will warn you with a healthy sense of fear to protect you, but He will never stir up worry to stymie your faith. I’ve often heard it said that worry is a

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Today’s Truth

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

Psalm 139:13-14

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If there’s one thing I know it’s this: The measuring stick will get you stuck! Comparison is the devil’s tool that has stopped many of us gals from stepping into our God-given destinies…and it’s time to stop!


You know I’ve been camping out with Moses by the burning bush for over a year while writing Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. When we meet up with him in Exodus chapter 3, he is an insecure, stuttering recluse. He argued with God and told Him that he was not a good speaker.


But, Moses hadn’t always been so insecure. Look what Stephen said to the Sanhedrin: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful

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Today’s Truth

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

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We live in a culture of constant comparison. Someone tweets that they just had lunch at a fab restaurant; you had canned tuna and raw carrots. Not even baby carrots but a big ole carrot out of the bag.


Someone posts an Instagram of a gaggle of friends dressed in Lilly Pulitzer pink lunching by the lake, and you’re reading about it dressed in sweats, trudging down the grocery aisle with a snotty-nosed kid pawing at the cereal displays.


You pull up Facebook and read about Barb’s vacation in Paris, and you’re happy for her . . . sorta.


A woman looks at Pinterest boards, and comes away with her greatest fears confirmed: her kids look shabby, her house looks dumpy, and her

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Today’s Truth

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3

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In my last devotion, we looked at the parable of the talents, or rather the parable of the three choices. We saw a landowner that gave one servant five talents, another servant two talents, and another servant one talent.


As you read that devotion, (and if you didn’t, please click on www.girlfriendsinGod.com and read it first) I wonder if you saw yourself as a one-talent girl. Perhaps you’re thinking that God hasn’t given you much to work with. He did, after all, entrust the servants with talents “according to their ability.” You look at what other folks are doing for God with their five talents and think that yours doesn’t really matter much anyway. Nothing could be further from

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Today’s Truth

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.

Matthew 25:21

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One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus was explaining what the kingdom of heaven would be like in common terms.


For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner

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Today’s Truth

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

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I sat on my back porch, wrapped in my fuzzy worn robe—the one that’s 20 years old that I just can’t seem to get rid of. The birch trees waved “good morning,” and the newly planted gerbera daisies stretched their faces to the sun…just a bit higher than the day before. Then I heard him. The rooster.


ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I’m not sure where he lives, but it’s within earshot.


ER-er-ER-er-ERRRR. I thought of Peter. I thought of me. I thought of you.


You know the story. At the dinner table, on the night before Jesus went to the cross, He said to Peter:


“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith

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Today’s Truth

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26

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My son played on his high school’s basketball team. At one of the games, I noticed a man on the home side of the court video recording of the game. I also noticed a man on the opposing side doing the same.


“Steve, who are those men with the video cameras and why are they recording the game?” I asked my husband.


“The guy in the opposing stand is from the team that we’ll be playing next week,” he explained. “He is recording the game to study our weaknesses, so our opponents will know where to attack and defeat us. The man on our side is recording the game also looking for weakness, but for a different reason. He will

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Today’s Truth

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,”

Hebrews 11:1

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One night a family was startled from sleep by the piercing blare of their smoke detector. The house was on fire and smoke swirled up the wooden staircase. The father bolted from his bed and ran to his children’s room. He grabbed his eighteen-month-old baby out of his crib, and dragged his four-year-old son by the hand. They were half-way down the stairs when the little boy remembered his favorite teddy bear in his room and broke away to go back and get it. In the mayhem and confusion, the father didn’t realize his son wasn’t with him until he reached the front yard.


By the time the little boy found his teddy bear, the flames had filled his

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Today’s Truth

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

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Most of us live in a world of performance-based acceptance. We make good grades and mommy is proud. We look pretty and daddy smiles. We do a good job at work and the boss is pleased. We serve at church and congregation thinks we are “good Christians.”


Unfortunately that same sense of having to perform well to be accepted by people can easily roll over into our relationship with God. We falsely believe that we must perform well to be loved and accepted by Him, when nothing could be further from the truth. As a result, we strive to obtain something that we already have…God’s unconditional love.


Anabel Gillham was a woman who loved God, but had trouble accepting that

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Today’s Truth

[God said] “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.”

2 Corinthians 6:18

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When I was a little girl, my father spent most of his waking hours working at his building supply company, observing construction sites, and socializing with his colleagues and associates. Even though his place of business was only a few blocks from our home, his heart was miles away in a place I could not find.


My father didn’t drink alcohol every day, but when he did, it consumed him. Dad was filled with a rage that always seemed to be hiding just beneath the surface of his tough skin. And when he drank, that rage spewed out like hot lava onto those around him. Unfortunately, my mother was the most common target. As a child, many nights I

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Today’s Truth

“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go.”

Josh. 1:9

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How do you react to fear of the unknown when it comes to stepping out in faith or living bold? Everyone has his or her own unique way.


Some respond to fear by retreating to the safety of cul-de-sac Christianity, which is actually one of the most dangerous places of all. Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”


You will not become be more courageous and learn to live bold by avoiding your fears. Courage based on the faithfulness and love of God is strengthened with every step of faith, no matter how small.

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Today’s Truth

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]”

1 John 4:18

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I just love 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified version! “Love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” Perfect love, God’s love, gives fear the boot.


Fear stands at the doorway of our destinies and dares us to step inside. It bullies us into believing that if we step across the threshold we will fail, or worse yet, God will fail us. Fear holds a “Danger! Keep Out!” sign over our pre-ordained adventures and pokes drain holes in our Spirit-filled confidence.


What if . . .


Oswald Chambers once said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”


The fear of

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Today’s Truth

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Genesis 45:5; 50:20

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If ever there is a place to learn about forgiveness…to practice forgiveness…to struggle with forgiveness…it is in the family. Makes me tired just thinking about it. And interestingly, it is in the context of family where the word forgiveness first shows up in the Bible.


Let’s dig into Scripture today. Come on. You can do it.


In the book of Genesis, we meet a young man named Joseph—the eleventh of twelve brothers, and favorite son of Jacob. He is most famously known for his elaborate coat of many colors. Young Joseph had several prophetic dreams involving his brothers and father one day bowing down to him. Rather than keep that bit of information to himself, he shared it with his

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Today’s Truth

[Jesus said], “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

John 14:12

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When my husband and I were first married, we purchased a five-speed Honda Civic. It was a snappy silver stick shift with high gas mileage and low horsepower. The conundrum was that I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. Steve gave me a lesson on driving a car with a manual transmission, but I was scared to death to change gears. Step on the clutch. Slowly release while slipping the stick into first gear. Step on the clutch again. Slowly release while slipping the stick into second gear. It was just too much for me to remember.


We lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time. The primary word being hill. There were lots of hills.

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Today’s Truth

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:14

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In the very first Rocky movie, the Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa, very eloquently encourages his demure girlfriend, Adrian. “I got gaps. You got gaps. Together we got no gaps.”


But Rocky got it all wrong. He’s got gaps. Adrian’s got gaps. And no person alive is going to fill those gaps. God is the only One who can fill our gaps. And I’d go so far as to say that He is the One who gave us those gaps so that He can fill them. He is the great I AM who fills our gaps and fills in our blanks.


When we say, “I’m not good enough.”


God says, “I AM.”


When we say, “I’m not smart enough.”


God says, “I AM.”


When we

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Today’s Truth

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

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Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this, but never had the right gear.


You slip into a black sleek wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a

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Today’s Truth

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3

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Aren’t you excited to know that God has deposited rich blessings and a lavish inheritance into your account? Tell me, what reason do we have to feel inadequate? In light of what we have in Christ, I can’t think of a thing. But how do we access these magnificent promises? Peter says: “Through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3).


The Greeks had several words for the word knowledge. The one used here is epignosis. This is a strengthened form of the word and implies a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. It is not simply knowing something intellectually, but understanding and believing what you know in a personal way.


When Steve

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Today’s Truth

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17

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When my husband, Steve, was in high school, he worked various jobs and was notoriously frugal. His twin brother, Dan, and their best friend, Mike, were not quite as thrifty. Dan and Mike had odd jobs from time to time—flipping hamburgers at the Wild Pig being the most infamous. But their funds disappeared as quickly as they got them. Steve, on the other hand, was a saver. And they knew it.


Steve had a little brown wallet with a horse head on the front and a zipper on the top. It was his “saving wallet”, and he kept it safely tucked away in this sock drawer. Occasionally, Steve, Dan, and Mike would get together to plan an adventure, such

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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

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Unless you are a baseball fan, married to one, or mom to one, you probably haven’t heard of Matthew Joseph White. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998, the Boston Red Sox in 2002, and the Colorado Rockies in 2003. But it is not his baseball career that captured my attention.


In 2003, Matt had an aunt who needed to go into a nursing home. She didn’t have the funds to make the move, but she did have a piece of land in his home state of Massachusetts. So Matt agreed to pay her $50,000 for the 45 acres of mountain real estate, which gave her enough to enter the nursing home and get the care she needed.

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Today’s Truth

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38–39

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Have you ever been in a situation when you felt God calling your name to a particular task, and at the same time you felt that He had the wrong person for the job? That’ exactly how Moses felt when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. He cried out, “Who am I that I should go to the Pharaoh?”


I’ve been there. I wonder if you have too. I’ve thought, God, You’ve got to be kidding? Me? You’ve got the wrong girl for the job! I’m a nobody!


But look at how God answered Moses.


And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that

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Today’s Truth

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

1 John 3:1

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I became a Christian when I was a teenager. But even after I made a commitment to follow Christ, feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy clung to me like a spider’s sticky web. The dirge of “I’m not good enough” was a song I couldn’t get out of my head. The lies of the enemy created limitations in my life. They were the barbed wire that fenced me in and kept God’s best at bay.


The problem was, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was as a child of God. Oh, I understood that I was going to go to heaven when I left this earth, but what I was supposed to

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Today’s Truth

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .”

Ephesians 1:18–20

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God speaks to me in the comics. I know. That’s weird. But He does.


Pickles comic strip features an older couple named Earl and Pearl Pickles. One day Earl and Pearl were sitting on a porch swing and the following conversation ensued.


Frame one: Pearl, “Did you know the DNA of humans and chimpanzees is 98 percent the same?”


Frame two: Earl, “I know it but I don’t believe it.”


Frame three: Pearl, “You know it, but you don’t believe it?”


Frame four: Earl, Yes, “I don’t believe everything I know.”


And there you have it! In the wise words of Earl Pickles, our problem is that we don’t really believe everything we know. We go to Bible studies year after year, hear sermons

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Today’s Truth

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Friend to Friend


In my last devotion, we looked at Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush in Midian. God began by saying:


The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing

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Today’s Truth

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

Exodus 3:7

Friend to Friend


Moses was on the far side of the wilderness when God spoke to him through the burning bush. He had failed in Egypt and bailed to Midian. Yep, failed and bailed. He ran away to the wilderness where he stayed for the next forty years.


And friend, sometimes it is only on the far side of the wilderness where God can get our attention. Sometimes it is when we feel alone, abandoned, and forgotten that our ears are pricked to hear. Isolation is often God’s place of invitation.


Now that you know the backstory, let’s join Moses at his wakeup call.


Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to

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Today’s Truth

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Friend to Friend


I just love Moses. I can relate to him on so many levels.


For about forty years, he thought he was an Egyptian…the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. But somehow he discovered that he was NOT an Egyptian after all. He was a Hebrew, the son of a slave woman. . . and that changed everything.


Moses had a mid-life crisis and came up with a plan to save his true people from Egyptian slavery. God did not call him to this plan. He came up with it all on his own. (Red flag for all of us.)


One day Moses was walking among his people and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. Glancing first one way and then another to

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Today’s Truth

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast,

Ephesians 2:8-9

Friend to Friend


I don’t know about you, but I get tired of junk mail from credit card companies that tell me I’ve been “pre-approved” for a line of credit. But here’s something I’ll never get tired of: God telling me that I’ve been pre-approved to be His child.


Just before Jesus began his earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan to be baptized by his cousin John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).


Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God

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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

Friend to Friend


Do you remember the day you came to saving faith? Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus. Perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him. For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.


When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.


But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away—the girl

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Today’s Truth

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Philippians. 3:12

Friend to Friend


Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? A short horizontal bar suspended by ropes or metal straps dangles high above the crowd. The aerialist grabs the trapeze bar, jumps off of a high platform, and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again.


It is during the peak of the third swing where the fun begins for those below. The performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer hanging from his knees who swings toward her. Once she grabs hold, the crowd remembers to breathe. Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd. And each move requires the performer to

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Today’s Truth

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5, 6

Friend to Friend


Like any good parent, God’s answers to our requests are not always “yes.” When God says “no,” we must accept the fact that our Father knows best.


In my own life, my desire was to have three or four children. I conceived my first child with no problem. Little did I know at the time that Steven would be my only child. For years my husband and I prayed for more children. We traveled down the road of infertility doctors, diagnostic procedures, and timed intimacy, which is anything but intimate. As hard as it was for me to accept, God said “no.”


Do I understand God’s decision completely? No, I do not. But I’ve come to realize that He doesn’t

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Today’s Truth

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

Friend to Friend


Debbie’s paternal grandparents had both a housekeeper and groundskeeper who lived in their basement apartment. Nina and Silas were like part of the family and had lived with the grandparents for as long as Debbie could remember. On many occasions, when Debbie’s parents and grandparents went out to dinner, she and her older sister were left in the care of Silas and Nina. The girls’ parents had no idea that Silas was molesting their precious children time and time again.


From the time Debbie and Beth were three and six years old, until they were ten and thirteen, Silas fondled and sexually molested the girls in the basement apartment lit only by the black-and-white television blinking in the background.

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Today’s Truth

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

Friend to Friend


As humans, we tend to remember what we need to forget and forget what we need to remember. God, on the other hand, forgets what He promises to forget and remembers what He promises to remember. God said, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).


Paul tells us one of the secrets to his success as a Christian and in life. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).


In the Bible, God tells us that He “forgets” our sins and remembers them no more. But

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Today’s Truth

“You are the light of the world.”

Matthew 5:14

Friend to Friend


My brother was about four years old when he decided to grab a box of matches and a handful of sparklers to see how they worked. He had heard that sparklers worked best in the dark, so he went into the darkest place he could find at Grandma’s house…her wardrobe closet.


Stewart snuck into the darkness, crouched amongst the dresses and coats, and lit the first match. The sparklers immediately began shooting fiery sparks in all directions. Within moments, he noticed more than sparklers on fire. Grandma’s clothes were up in flames. (I’m happy to say that Stewart wasn’t harmed, unless you count the spanking he got from Grandma.)


Friends, we don’t have to go into a closet to find

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Today’s Truth

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Friend to Friend


There are certain television jingles that drive my husband crazy. As soon as he see a nanosecond of commercial appear, he presses the mute button. And while I tease him for being a commercial phobic, you know what happens to me? I end up with that silly song in my head for the rest of the evening. He has the right idea—mute it, delete it, don’t give it a chance to enter your mind. It’s the same way with the lies the enemy tries to make us believe.


We are in a spiritual battle for our minds. And while we often think difficult people or irritating circumstances are the source of the problems, Paul tells us to look past

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Today’s Truth

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Friend to Friend


A stronghold is one of those churchy Christianese words that is hard to wrap our minds around. It’s not a word we use everyday. So what exactly is a stronghold? Let’s take a look.


A stronghold is a thought pattern that forms a fortress around the mind, holding it prisoner to faulty thinking. It is formed brick-by-brick by repetitive faulty thinking or all at once by a onetime traumatic event such as a rape, molestation, or abuse.


In the Old Testament, a stronghold was a fortified dwelling used for protection from an enemy. David hid in wilderness strongholds when he was hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:4; 23:14). These were usually caves high

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Today’s Truth

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you,

Philippians 4:8-9

Friend to Friend


Every weekday morning my husband’s alarm clock goes off at 5:30. He gets up, showers, shaves, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, and places his jingling keys in his pocket. He clears his throat, blows his nose, and, well, does other noisy things. When he opens and closes the door leading to the garage, the alarm in the bedroom beeps three times…loudly. This happens every day, and I don’t hear a thing. I sleep right through it. My body has grown so accustomed to his routine that I don’t even hear the noise. I don’t hear anything until my alarm goes off an hour or so later. And yes, we’re in the same bed.


Just like we can get so

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Today’s Truth

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

Isaiah 7:9

Friend to Friend


Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white Andy Griffith television programs. In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels as if he’s a total loser among the buddies he once enjoyed.


After Andy, the wise father, figures out what is disturbing his moping son, he gives him a little lesson in standing up to bullies. The next day, when the bully threatens Opie, the little freckle-faced boy looks his opponent in the eye and refuses to crumble under his threats.


“Do you want to fight?” the bully taunts.


Opie doesn’t say a word, just puts up his fists.


“Oh yeah, well knock this rock off my

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Today’s Truth

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

Friend to Friend


My husband, Steve, and I sat anxiously in our seats. I wondered if I was going to be able to endure the ride, especially knowing my propensity for motion sickness. But we began nonetheless.


The guide strapped all passengers into the tiny boats and gave last minute instructions. Of course there were life preservers, but what good would they do in the fierce rapids that threatened to suck its prey below the surface?


The crew boarded and began the journey down the mysterious Amazon. The calm meandering waters quickly gave way to fierce torrents, rushing rapids, and rocky crags protruding from the foaming waters. Alternating between plunging into the water and flying into the air, the boat made its way

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Today’s Truth

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Friend to Friend


“Dear Sharon,” the letter began, “I found your e-mail on your website. I was searching for some information on what the Bible says about affairs. Somehow I came upon your site. I feel like I am on the verge of destroying my life. My life with my husband had never been good—marginal at best. I find myself working hard on my appearance so other men will notice and desire me. We have four children, and I’m miserable. My husband is in the military and away at boot camp. I’m glad he’s gone.


“I am on the verge of having an affair with just about anyone to escape my marriage. I don’t want to look back on my life and

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Today’s Truth

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Friend to Friend


Martha was also frustrated with her marriage. She had dreams of marrying her knight in shining armor who would leave flower petals on her pillow, be distracted by her beauty, and regularly pledge his undying love. She dreamed of having three doting, obedient, well-mannered children that she could dress up in cute little outfits and parade down the church aisle on Sundays. Her tidy home would come with a well-manicured lawn, two- and-a-half baths, and perfectly coordinated décor. She would be the happy homemaker who joyfully mopped the beautiful kitchen floor in her size six khaki slacks, shabby chic blouse, and stylish haircut. She could almost picture Mr. Clean winking at her from the corner of the room,

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Today’s Truth

And now I will show you the most excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:31

Friend to Friend


Today’s devotion is mainly for the thousands of wives who read GiG each day, but if you’re not married, you’re not off the hook. Take this opportunity to reflect on the way you pray in general. Now, here we go!


Most married women would agree that they long to be the women of their husband’s dreams. But I have a question. Why? Is it so that we can get what we want in the long run? Is it so that when he sees how irresistible we are he’ll magically become the man of our dreams meeting our every need?


Those are good questions – tough questions. But becoming the woman of his dreams won’t happen until we decide we would

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Today’s Truth

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5

Friend to Friend


On July 16, 1999, John F Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, met their death in a watery grave in the Atlantic Ocean. John was piloting the single-engine aircraft and was only a few miles from their destination when something went terribly wrong.


The plane left New Jersey en route to a family gathering in Massachusetts in the dark of night, and while crossing a thirty-mile stretch of water to make its final descent, the plane began a series of erratic maneuvers. John’s descent varied between 400 and 800 feet per minute, about seven miles from shore. The plane began an erratic series of turns, descents, and climbs. Its final descent eventually exceeded 4700

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Today’s Truth

The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’

Genesis 2:18

Friend to Friend


For thirteen years, our family was blessed with a golden retriever named Ginger. We gave her to our son, Steven, for Christmas when he was five-years-old and she still holds the blue ribbon as the best present ever. I can still remember the look of surprise on Steven’s cherub face when the “stuffed” animal began to move. “It’s a puppy!” he exclaimed. “It’s not a toy!”


And while Ginger was officially Steven’s dog, and I was unofficially her primary caretaker, it was my husband who held a special place in her heart. From the very beginning, Ginger loved my husband the best.


Ginger lollygagged her days away by sleeping in the driveway or lounging by the back stoop steps. However,

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Today’s Truth

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things’”

Matthew 25:21

Friend to Friend


When people ask me how I got started in ministry, I tell them I started by writing for free publications for free for 10 years. This is not what most people want to hear.


When I tell them I started by folding newsletters in the den of my home for several years, they seem crestfallen.


When I tell them I started out by cleaning the bathrooms in our first little ministry office, they seem confused.


“No, I mean how did you get started writing and speaking?” they ask.


“I’m telling you,” I reply. “This is how I got started. Being faithful in the little things. By doing what God led me to do on any particular day.”


I never had a big ol’

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Today’s Truth

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Friend to Friend


I went hunting in a clothing consignment store — people watching more than actually clothes shopping. I gathered a few possibilities and then stood in line to try them on.


A group of friends occupied the three dressing rooms with piles and piles of clothes. It was quite a parade as the girls popped in and out of the cubbies to model their finds. All I needed was a bag of popcorn as I settled in for the show.


At one point, a gal came out in skintight, black shiny pants that were at least two sizes too small, a couple inches too short, and about to burst at the seams.


“Do these pants make my hips look big?” she asked

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Today’s Truth

“In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth”

Genesis 1:1

Friend to Friend


Who are you?


Where did you come from?


Why are you here?


These are three very important questions to which you need to know the answer.


When I was writing my chapter for our new GiG book, Knowing God by Name, I discovered that the very first name for God in the Bible is Elohim, and it is found in the very first sentence of God’s Word. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 NIV).


Before the creation of the world, there was nothing. Our human minds can’t even conceive or imagine nothing. But into the nothing God spoke, and what was not became what is.


When God hung the sun in the morning sky and the moon

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Today’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Friend to Friend


If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.


But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their

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Today’s Truth

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Isaiah 61:1,3

Friend to Friend


In my last devotion we visited with Queen Esther, but I’m not quite ready to leave this little orphan-girl-turned-powerful-queen just yet. Reading her story gives me so much hope! While we don’t know much about Esther’s parents, we do know that she was an orphan who was raised by her cousin, Mordecai. As far as we can tell, she had no feminine influence in her life, and yet she grew to be a gracious lovely woman who won the favor of everyone she encountered.


Perhaps your childhood was less than ideal. Perhaps you had an alcoholic father, an absent father, an abusive mother, or an aloof mother. Perhaps you lived in poverty, grew up in an orphanage, a foster

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Today’s Truth

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

Friend to Friend


I love the story of Esther in the Bible. She is definitely one of my girlfriends in God! I can’t wait to give her a big hug. Let’s think about her a moment today.


Can you imagine what young Esther, a girl without mother or father, would have thought if someone had come up to her at the market while gathering produce for her cousin and told her that she was going to be the next queen of Persia? That she would save her people from annihilation? I imagine she would have laughed or run for cover from the lunatic making such a prediction. But God had a plan. He took a lonely orphan girl and used her to

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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


To celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I traveled to the enchanting Hawaiian islands. While visiting the island of Maui, we decided to explore the rugged terrain and tropical beauty along an infamous road called the Hana Highway. (One commentator noted that calling it a highway was like calling a Volkswagon a limousine.)


The journey promised black sandy beaches nestled among volcanic rock coves, towering African tulip trees with orange-red blossoms, brimming exotic plants tucked among bamboo forests, and breath-taking vistas of raucous waves crashing again rocky cliffs.


Instead of being carted up the mountain in the comfort of a cushy air-conditioned tour bus, we decided to rent a car and travel at our own pace. After all,

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Today’s Truth

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.

Psalm 119:97

Friend to Friend


I love, absolutely love, studying God’s Word. From the time I first said “yes” to Jesus, I have devoured the Scriptures. And yet, I’ll admit, extended times of prayer have been a struggle for me. Perhaps that is one reason it is called a discipline. I have to discipline myself to set the time apart—to “be still and know.”


But then I began to realize just how compartmentalized my time with God had become. My spiritual life was more like an outlined lesson plan with sub-headings A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 than a love relationship with Jesus. So I made a change. It was God’s suggestion really. Why not pray and read at the same time?


When I

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Today’s Truth

She [Hagar] 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


Let’s face it. People let us down. They disappoint us. And so does God. Often our experiences fall short of our expectations for God to meet all our needs the way we think He should, and like a lover who has been wronged, we tend to guard our hearts against future disappointment by lowering our expectations and trust. But make no mistake about it, God sees. God understands. He is not aloof.


One day I was sitting on the patio with my friend Beth and her stepfather, Sam, waiting for the grill to heat up before placing steaks on to cook. Beth’s mom opened the door and gave Sam his orders — telling him what to do and how

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Today’s Truth

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:15

Friend to Friend


Today I want to share with you a story that I wrote a few years ago. In it, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be one of the shepherds who visited Jesus at His birth. For just a moment, I want you to pretend that you are reading a letter that one of the shepherds wrote to his brother, Mathias.


Dear Mathias:


As I am writing you this letter, my hand is still a bit shaky. I’m not sure it will ever stop. But I must tell you about an incredible experience that happened to Matthew, Simeon, Levi, and me, two weeks ago. As usual, we were watching our sheep on a hillside east of

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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


Every year, I search for Christmas poems, stories, and traditions that stir my soul and keep my focus on Jesus. Perhaps none has tugged on my heartstrings like the treasure I am sharing with you today. It is a letter that could have been written by Mary. Join me now and let’s peek over Joseph’s shoulder as he reads this letter from his beloved.


I had a dream Joseph. And I don’t understand it not really. But think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. Well I think that’s what it was about. People had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated their house, bought new clothes, gone shopping many times, and bought elaborate gifts.

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Today’s Truth

“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Ephesians 3:12

Friend to Friend


One of my favorite people is author and speaker Patsy Clairmont. We were trying to set up a time to visit when she came to speak at a Women of Faith Conference in my hometown.


“Patsy, I’d love to spend some time with you before the conference, but I don’t have a backstage pass. I won’t have access to the part of the building where you will be.”


“No problem,” Patsy answered. “Just go to my book table and tell my son who you are. He’ll bring you to me.”


The day of the conference arrived, and I swam through a sea of women to reach Patsy’s crowded book table. It wasn’t hard to spot her son – a male version

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Today’s Truth

“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

Isaiah 50:4

Friend to Friend


If you had been among the 1,097 morning commuters bustling through Washington D.C.’s Metro station at L’Enfant Plaza on January 12, 2007, you could have experienced an extraordinary gift. Tucked among the shoeshine vendors, newspaper kiosks, and lottery ticket dispensers, a young, white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap positioned himself against the wall beside a trash can.


From a small case, he removed a violin. Then he left the open case at his feet and threw some spare change into it. Then he turned toward the huddled masses of rush hour commuters and began to play. If you had been one of the seven who paused during their mad dash to work,

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Today’s Truth

“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


To Beth it was the confusion of an inept airline. To me, it was a divine appointment from God.


“I don’t have an assigned seat,” the disheveled young woman complained as she stumbled into the airplane.


“This one is empty,” I pointed out.


“Thanks,” she huffed as she plopped down.


The beautiful young lady was obviously exhausted. She was dressed in skin-tight jeans and a distracting low-cut T-shirt. Her flip-flops slid under her feet to reveal a tattoo on the top of her foot. Sunglasses hid something…I wasn’t sure what. She looked straight ahead, but I felt that her mind was traveling to a distant place.


After the plane left the ground, I pulled out a book I had written to prepare for

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Today’s Truth

“But he [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Friend to Friend


The angels were hovering low in our church on this particular Sunday morning. It was a special day for a group of 10 “kids” known as the King’s Kids. They were leading worship by singing a special song – only many of the kids couldn’t carry a tune, walk on their own, or even control their limbs.


We sat in silence as the unlikely band of worship leaders stumbled onto the stage. Each of these children of God had a disability and visible handicap. The King’s Kids lined up on the stage, many with adults standing behind them to support them, both physically and emotionally. Kristen, a young lady with Down Syndrome appeared to be the leader. She stood

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Today’s Truth

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Friend to Friend


There it was.


Carved in wood.


The evidence could not be denied.


My niece, Anna, dropped her kids off at school and then went home to clean up a bit. She removed a hairbrush, school papers, and yesterday’s jewelry from her dresser. And there it was. She couldn’t believe her eyes.


A nail.


And a name.


L-i-l-l-i-a-n…carved into the top of her dresser’s walnut surface.


Seven-year-old L-i-l-l-i-a-n didn’t even bother to hide the weapon used to commit the crime. The nail lay just where she found it. Right on the dresser by her name.


It was a tough six hours as Anna waited for her 44-inch, 49-pound lump of love to get off the school bus. This was not a good day.


“Come with me,” Anna said to

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Today’s Truth

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

Friend to Friend


This email comes to me hundreds of times every year. The names are different, the situations are varied, but the underlying theme is the same…I can’t forgive myself. Grace just doesn’t make sense. I don’t deserve to be forgiven.


And these women are right…grace doesn’t make earthly sense. We don’t deserve it. We keep reliving the Garden story with ingratitude and believing Satan’s lie, and then grace shows up with an outstretched hand. “I don’t deserve it,” we cry. And we’re right.


Grace, by its very definition, is unmerited favor from God or a gift we don’t deserve. But until we accept God’s grace and forgiveness, Satan will hold us in the vise grip of guilt, and we will miss

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Today’s Truth

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friend to Friend


One of our family traditions in the Jaynes’ home is to read President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation before we delve into the Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. So today, I would like to share that tradition with you, my GiG family. Savor the words of one of the most treasured Presidents of America.


Washington, D.C.


October 3, 1863


By the President of the United States of America.


A Proclamation.


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail

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Today’s Truth

O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:3

Friend to Friend


Gratitude and thanksgiving are so important for your soul. It is not just what God wants from you; it is what God wants for you.


Gratitude has been called the “memory of the heart.” Praise and gratitude bring up pictures in our minds that say, “Remember.”


Isn’t that what Jesus did in the last 12 hours of His life as He broke the bread and passed the cup? “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup…” Remember. Give thanks.


David invites us to, “magnify the LORD with me, And let

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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