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Posts by Sharon Jaynes

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

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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

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

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.

John 14:16-17

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If you were going off to war, and knew you’d be put on the front lines and probably wouldn’t be coming back home to your family, what would you tell them? Think of the final instructions you’d give your children, the affirmation of your love you’d whisper to your spouse, and the words of endearment you’d share with your friends.


Jesus was in that very situation as He shared His last meal with the disciples in the upper room. All along, He had given them clues about how His earthly life would end and the purpose for His brief life here on earth. But they didn’t understand. They refused to believe their king would be anything other than worshiped

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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

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.

Matthew 5:29

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How’s that for an encouraging verse! Jesus said it, so let’s talk about it a minute.


One Sunday my pastor had to do some housekeepin’ fussin’ at our congregation before he started his sermon. It was a “visitors, close your ears” moment as Jimmy interrupted the service for an important message from our neighbors.


See, right beside our church property is a city park. On Sundays, when our parking lot is full, we tend to use the city parking lot for our overflow parking. The only problem is the folks going to the city park don’t like it that those daggum church people are taking their parking spaces.


It is not nice of us. Really. I’m sorry. I’ve done it too.


And

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Today’s Truth

“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, or 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. He was filled with a rage that always seemed to be simmering just beneath the surface of his tough skin. But when he drank, that lava of rage erupted out onto those around him.


As a child, many nights I crawled into bed, pulled the covers tightly under my

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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

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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Jennifer stood in front of the mirror staring at the overweight woman looking back at her. Just two years ago she’d lost 120 pounds, and now 80 of them were back. I can’t keep this weight off, she thought. I know what I’m supposed to do, but I just can’t do it. I’m always going to be fat. I’m just going to accept it and quit trying. What’s so bad about being fat anyway? I just can’t help myself.


Rachel loved Travis, she really did. Though they were both

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Today’s Truth

‘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”

2 Corinthians 12:9

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When I was six years old, I skipped off to school with a new box of crayons, a Swiss–polka dotted dress, and fresh hope that I would be smart. But first grade only confirmed my greatest fear. I was “not enough.”


As soon as my first-grade teacher held up that initial spelling flashcard, I knew I was in trouble. We lined up our miniature wooden chairs in a row like a choo-choo train. The teacher held up a spelling flashcard for us to identify the word. If we missed the word, we had to go to the caboose. I spent most of the first grade in the caboose. I just couldn’t spell to save my life. For some reason,

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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. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him”

1 Corinthians 1:28-29

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Many women are living in silent defeat, comparing themselves to other women who likewise are living in silent defeat. I was one of them. I’m not a good mother. I’m not a good wife. I’m not a good Christian. I’m not a good witness. I’m not a good housekeeper. I’m not a good decorator. I’m not a good cook. I’m not a good…


One by one the petals fall from the beautiful flower God created us to be. Like ticker tape, our fragmented pieces of confidence scatter over the streets as the parade passes by.


Unfortunately, I wasted many precious years held captive by the Enemy’s lies before I held up my chained hands to God and said, “I’m ready

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Today’s Truth

But he 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.

2 Corinthians 12:9

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One evening, while on a getaway with my husband, Steve and I splurged at a fancy restaurant, complete with a four-man band playing music from the ’40s and ’50s. We had taken a few ballroom dance lessons, and Steve was itching to see if we could remember the foxtrot.


“Come on, Sharon,” he urged. “Let’s take a spin on the dance floor.”


“No way,” I said. “Nobody else is dancing.


I’m not going to be the only one out there with everyone staring at me. And suppose we mess up? I’d be embarrassed. It’s been a long time since we’ve practiced, and I don’t remember all the steps. Let’s wait until some other people are out there so we won’t be so conspicuous.”


After

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Today’s Truth

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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An African tribe gathered round to listen to the story of Jesus healing a demon-possessed man recorded in Luke 8:26-33. The ministry, Faith Comes by Hearing, provided the tribe with an audio Bible and a digital playback unit for them to hear the story in their own language.


Jesus and his disciples sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his

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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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Can I remind you of an important truth? Here goes…If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, you have the power of the Holy Spirit living in you and working through you. Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). You have God’s incomparably great power at your disposal. “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 1:19-20). The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work within us? Yep. The same power.


So many Christians are trying to earn what they already have. You

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Today’s Truth

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” he asked His disciples. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

Matthew 10:29-31

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As a little girl, I never felt I was worth very much. I always felt that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough. I sensed my parents tolerated me, but certainly didn’t delight in me. And if your own parents couldn’t love you, then who could?


Then there was the definitive day in the eleventh grade that took my self-worth to an all-time low. I can still remember what I was wearing: lavender bell bottom low rise jeans, a bubble knit short-sleeve top, Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals, and a blue bandanna tied around my head of long oily hair I hadn’t had time to wash that morning. This was acceptable attire for teens when I was in

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Today’s Truth

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

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Three days after Jesus breathed His last earthly breath, the disciples received the news of the empty tomb from the women who had gone to visit the grave. Mark tells us an angel told the women to go and “tell his disciples and Peter” that Jesus was alive (Mark 16:7).


I wonder why the angel singled out Peter. Could it be that God knew Peter would need an extra measure of grace and assurance because of his failure?


Can you imagine how Peter’s heart raced as his feet ran to the empty tomb? I wonder what he was thinking as he kicked up the dust. Would he be ashamed to face Jesus after denying that he even knew Him? Would

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Today’s Truth

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:22-24

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Sometimes I feel like such a mess, I wonder what God even wants with me. And then He reminds me that ALL His children are a mess in one way or another.


A common theme throughout Scripture is overcoming failure. Abraham passed his wife, Sarah, off as his sister because of fear (Genesis 12 and 20). Lot failed to stand up for what was right and offered his daughters to immoral men (Genesis 18-19). Jacob betrayed his father and stole his brother’s blessing (Genesis 27). Moses struck the rock twice in anger when God commanded him to strike it once (Numbers 20:11). Aaron gave into peer pressure and made a golden calf (Exodus 32).


Miriam had a bout of jealousy

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Today’s Truth

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love”

Romans 8:38

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For years we were joined at the hip. Not a day went by when we didn’t talk on the phone at least once.


But sometimes friendships come unhinged. People change. Perspectives change. Purposes change. Passions change. While nothing went terribly wrong, and no hurtful words were exchanged, the void was vast beyond bridging. I felt tossed away. Discarded. Of little regard. Erased as if I had never been. Worthless.


Perhaps you’ve felt that way at some point in your life. It’s a hard “dis-ease” to define. To put your finger on and say, “Yes, that’s where it hurts.” For me, it was a niggling ache. A haunting hurt that shot straight through at unexpected times.


Why was I having trouble letting

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Today’s Truth

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Matthew 6:26

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The speaker came on stage and pulled out a $100 bill.


“Who would like this $100 bill?” he asked.


Hands shot up all around the room.


Then he crumpled the bill, threw it on the floor, and ground it with his foot. Holding up the dirty and tattered money, he then asked, “Now, who wants this $100 bill?”


The same hands went into the air.


“And that is why God still wants you,” he said. “You may be battered and bruised. You may be tattered and torn. You may be crumpled and creased. But that doesn’t change your value to God any more than what I’ve done changes the value of this $100 bill. You are still precious and valuable to God who

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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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“I’m not ___________ enough.” You can fill in that blank with smart, talented, gifted, spiritual, outgoing, attractive, or any number of positive attributes. But the root source of each one of those blanks is rooted in “I’m not good enough.” Period. It’s one of the Enemy’s favorite deceptions to hold God’s children hostage to a life that is “less than.


“I’m not good enough” is an insidious lie that keeps God’s best at bay for many of His children.


The Enemy tries to get us to focus on our flaws rather than on our faith. When we focus on our faults, we take our focus off God, who equips us; the Holy Spirit, who empowers us; and Jesus, who envelops

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Today’s Truth

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come”

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

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Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. (And no, we don’t all talk like that.) In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Andy’s boy, Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels like a total loser. He’s ashamed of his own cowardice and embarrassed in front of his friends. 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

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Today’s Truth

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2

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Of all the activities ten-year-old Miriam enjoyed, she loved riding horses the most. Charlie, her favorite horse, had a sleek chestnut mane, well-defined muscular legs, and a fierce, strong will to match. Miriam felt powerful and self-assured when controlling this massive animal—except when he caught a glimpse of the barn. Whenever Miriam and Charlie returned from a jaunt in the woods, as soon as they got close enough for him to see the barn, he bolted homeward, forcing Miriam to hang on to the reins for dear life.


One day her riding instructor witnessed this strong-willed animal taking control of his master.


“Miriam! What are you doing?” she called out. “You cannot let that animal control you in that manner!

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Today’s Truth

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

1 Peter 5:8

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Did you know the devil wants to sneak up on you? He prowls around like a lion just looking for the right opportunity.


If Satan came to you in a little red suit with a pitchfork and announced himself as the devil, you wouldn’t believe a word he said. I wish he would, but he is cunning and disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). When he deceived Eve, he even quoted Scripture—albeit twisted and distorted.


He has a collection of old tapes from your past, and he pushes rewind and play, rewind and play. Oh yes, he knows which buttons to push. He also uses personal pronouns like “I” instead of “you.” The thoughts sound something

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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.”

Joshua 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

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

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other” Romans 12:9-10

Romans 12:9-10

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Carley and Dan are a couple who have gone the extra mile…not to go the extra mile. They constantly keep score as to who put a new bar of soap in the shower last or who replaced the toilet paper roll last or who opened a new tube of toothpaste last.


“It’s sort of a contest to see who can use the smallest sliver of soap or use the last drop of toothpaste,” Carley boasted. The contest, as silly as it may seem, boils down to who is going to serve the other. Imagine how adored Dan would feel if Carley began to get out a new bar of soap before the sliver war began or replenished the toilet

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Today’s Truth

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”

Ephesians 4:32

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Have you noticed that it is difficult to feel romantic with your man when you’re mad at him? It’s almost impossible to feel like giving him a big hug when you have anger, bitterness, and resentment in your heart. The solution to melting the cold shoulder and cold heart begins with forgiveness. Ouch!



S. Lewis said this about forgiveness:

“You must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart—every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out. The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily

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Today’s Truth

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,”

Matthew 7:12

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If there’s one thing I know about us girls, it’s that we like romance! We love romance novels, romance comedies, romance tragedies, and romance, romance, romance. Most gals would much rather take in a romantic movie than an action film. And what woman doesn’t dream about her husband romancing her the way he did when they were dating? But guess what, that man of yours longs for romance too.


One night Steve and I were planning a romantic evening at home alone. We borrowed a movie from our friends Gene and Sheri. A Vow to Remember promised to be a real tearjerker. The couple on the DVD case appeared lost in each other as their arms intertwined in a

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Today’s Truth

“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first”

Revelation 2:4-5

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What do you do when you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’? Maybe you truly adored your husband in the beginning, but now you can’t remember why. Maybe you honestly admired his finer qualities, but now you can’t remember what they were. Maybe you appreciated his wonderful attributes, but now you take them for granted. What do you do now?


Here’s a statistic you might find interesting. According to an analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households, 86 percent of unhappily married people who stick it out find that, five years later, their marriages are happier. In fact, nearly 60 percent of those who rated their marriage as unhappy and who stayed married rated their same marriage “very happy”

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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

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“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

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

Genesis 1:1

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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

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 25:23

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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

“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

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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

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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 the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he had heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:25

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Okay, this is a very girlie devotion. You might be tempted to click delete, but stick with me.


Gwen and I were having lunch one day. Her eyelashes looked so long…longer than normal. I couldn’t stop staring.


“Girl, your eyelashes are so long today! What did you do?” I asked. “Are they real?”


Come to find out, they were real. Not only that, we used the same products, but my lashes didn’t look like hers at all. Mine were clumpy, separated, and spindly. Hers were lush, long, and perfectly spaced.


“It’s the application of the product,” she said. “You’re not applying it correctly. You need to start at the bottom, wiggle the applicator, and then pull it straight up to the end

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Today’s Truth

If we confess our sins, he (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

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Two of Satan’s greatest weapons against Christian women today are shame and condemnation. He knows that because of the finished work of Jesus Christ and His work of redemption in your life, you are deeply loved, completely forgiven, thoroughly cleansed, eternally saved, fully pleasing, and totally accepted by God. All he can do is try and convince you it isn’t true. He can do nothing to make you unclean. All he can do is to make you feel unclean. And if you believe his lies of shame, then back into the bushes you’ll go. Hiding with Adam and Eve as God walks and calls out, “Where are you?”


We all fail God. We all sin. We all fall short

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Today’s Truth

They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”

Revelation 12:11

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When the writers of the Old Testament penned the words to the long lists of lineages, the so-and-so begat so-and-so passages, they almost always listed men. Very rarely did a woman’s name make the list.


But when we turn the page from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we see God honoring women in a brand-new way. We get a hint that the tide is turning for women when we read the lineage of Jesus recorded in Matthew chapter one. Shockingly, in addition to Mary, four women were listed in the genealogy of Christ!


And whom should God choose to be set apart, chosen, and honored in the genealogy of His Son? Not Mrs. Noah, who must have been

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Today’s Truth

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3

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One Sunday my pastor had to do some housekeepin’ fussin’ at our congregation before he started his sermon. It was a “visitors, close your ears” moment as Jimmy interrupted the service for an important message from our
neighbors.


See, right beside our church property is a city park. On Sundays, when our parking lot is full, we tend to use the city park lot for our overflow parking. The only problem is that the folks going to the city park don’t like the fact that those daggum CHURCH people are taking their parking spaces.


It is not nice of us. Really. I’m sorry. I’ve done it, too.


And while our sweet pastor calmly asked the congregation, once again, to STOP PARKING IN

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Today’s Truth

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:26-27

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I have learned a lot from Charlie Brown, which is a little scary. Here is one truth that his psychiatrist, Lucy, taught me. She is counseling Charlie Brown at her lemonade-stand counseling booth. Charlie Brown is all ears.


Frame 1: “Your life is like a house, Charlie Brown.”


Frame 2: “You want your house to have a strong foundation, don’t you?”


Frame 3: “So don’t build your house on the sand.”


Frame 4: (A strong wind swooshes by and blows Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the makeshift stand into a heap of rubble.)


Frame 5: Lucy’s final advice: “Or use cheap nails.”


There’s a lot of talk about self-worth in our culture. But true self-worth is not an issue of giftedness, talent, intelligence, or beauty.

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Today’s Truth

“I will never leave you or forsake you”

Hebrews 13:5

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Have you ever faced a tough circumstance and wondered, where are you God? That was the situation with many of Jesus’ followers after He was crucified and buried. They lost their hopes and dreams and didn’t know where to turn.


The same day that Peter and John discovered the empty tomb, two of the disciples were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As the sacred city lay behind them, so did their hopes and dreams. While discussing the tragic events of the past weekend, another man appeared and began to walk along side them.


“What are you talking about?” the man asked.


“Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know about what happened over the

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Today’s Truth

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 5:39-40

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Studying God’s Word has been one of my greatest joys since the day I became a Christian as a teenager. But sometimes I can get so wrapped up in studying about God, that I forget my relationship with God.


I read the Bible, pour through commentaries, and decipher Greek and Hebrew words. However, on many occasions, I have allowed my determined mind that wants to know more about God to override my soul’s deepest longing to simply know God. All my studying will be stillbirth if I do not move the words from my head to my heart to deepen my relationship with Jesus. If the words do not move me to worship and relationship, then I’ve missed the

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Today’s Truth

“Give thanks in all circumstances”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and so I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. What is it? When should we show it? What does God say about it?


Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Most read that verse and think it rather nice. So we slap a sloppy coat of thanksgiving on life and go about our day. In reality, most of us are thankful for very little.


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 a difficult situation, even if I don’t feel like it, many times the scales fall

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Today’s Truth

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

Psalm 34:3

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As we’re headed into Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. 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.

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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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"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