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Today’s Truth

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Isaiah 1:18

Friend to Friend


Before becoming a lead teaching pastor, my husband served as a youth pastor for 13 years. During that time, he and I were invited to Washington, D.C. to lead a youth conference in a Korean Baptist Church. It was an amazing week during which God showed up in powerful ways!


At the end of the week, a woman on the Church Youth Committee invited us out to dinner. We went to a wonderful but very expensive restaurant – you know, the kind of restaurant where the menu shows no prices. At the end of the meal, our host went to pay for our meal.


I could see her talking with the restaurant owner, and I could tell that she was

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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

Friend to Friend


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

Go to the lost, confused people … touch the untouchables. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

Matthew 10:5

Friend to Friend


The heat was brutal. My back was killing me. I was exhausted from a nearly sleepless night, and I had a pounding headache. Every muscle rebelled against the long flights and relentless van rides it had taken to arrive at this rural village in India. I longed for a relaxing, hot bath, but what I had was a bucket of cold water and a plastic cup with which to bathe.


My outer appearance certainly denied my inner attitude. I plastered what I thought must surely be a spiritual kind of smile on my face in an effort to portray the mercy and love I wanted to share. My husband and I were on a 19-day whirlwind trip to South

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Today’s Truth

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2

Friend to Friend


Sometimes all the good things in my life overwhelm me… not in a wondrous, “wow we are blessed” kind of way. Instead I get overwhelmed by all that has to be done and the lack of margin that accompanies these blessings. I can so easily lose the wonder and beauty of my gifts.


I am surrounded by wondrous things like nature, family, friends, purpose, opportunities, and a loving God. Yet these blessings so often lose their wonder as I attempt to manage them rather than relish and share them. I wonder if you can relate to complaining rather than savoring blessings similar to these scenarios:



Yes you will be traveling a lot, which is hectic, but is it because
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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

Friend to Friend


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

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

Matthew 6:33

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


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


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

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Today’s Truth

For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11:10

Friend to Friend


Our son was born to be a builder. From the time he could hold a plastic red hammer in his toddler-sized hands, Jered began hammering imaginary nails into the coffee table, fixing everything that was broken in our house, and drawing crayon blueprints of various objects he planned to build.


I knew we had a true builder on our hands when Jered built a clubhouse inside our garage. And what a clubhouse it was – complete with four walls, a roof, windows and a door, carpeted flooring and a window air conditioning unit – all of which he scrounged from neighbors, dumpsters and piles of discarded wood at construction sites. If we needed storage cabinets in our garage, Jered

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Today’s Truth

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.

Isaiah 50:4

Friend to Friend


I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t know your purpose, you will be distracted by the voices.” The same principle applies to the purpose of our words. The Bible has a lot to say about the ways we should use our words.


To ENCOURAGE – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)


To WORSHIP – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,

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Today’s Truth

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.

John 20:21

Friend to Friend


The last thing I planned to do that day was to leave my house. I had a mountain of writing I’d neglected and only a small window of time to complete it. I planned to hole up at home, ignore email and phone, and get the job done.


But then the phone rang. And I answered it. Which led to a spontaneous lunch with a friend who needed to talk. It wasn’t in my schedule, but I jumped in the car and headed out anyway. I knew what it feels like to need a last-minute listening ear.


But lunch took longer than I planned. Doesn’t it always? A sweet afternoon, no doubt about it. But worry over my waiting

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Today’s Truth

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Friend to Friend


The emotional demands on women are immense. One of the ways God replenishes us emotionally is through friendships. Many women are convinced that the risk of having close friends outweighs the rewards. I disagree.


There is no love without risk. Every friendship must contain the element of risk if it is to grow and mature, reaching its full potential. Friendships make us stronger. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. If you add a strand to a single cord, you double its strength. But if you add a third strand to the cord, it becomes ten times stronger.


Ruth was willing to risk her very future for the sake of her friendship with her

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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