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DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

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

Romans 2:4

Friend to Friend


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


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


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


I turned around and tried to

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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


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

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

Friend to Friend


Some days I wonder if it will ever get easier. When we jump over one trial and just feel our feet adjusting to walking the path again, often a new hurdle emerges to overcome. I remember a time when life felt just like that.


For a year and a half our 13 year old daughter had battled alopecia and finally lost all of her hair. I mean all of it – eyelashes, eyebrows, arm hair, leg hair. Although I knew many worse diseases plague the children of other parents, dealing with wigs, handling sleepovers, and battling fake eyelashes were not the middle school drama I had anticipated. Yet God showed Himself faithful through every decision made and tear shed. I had

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Today’s Truth

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

Matthew 11:28

Friend to Friend


Physical therapists scare me. They are so friendly and so kind … until they get hold of whatever body part needs therapy. That’s when the torture begins.


At first, the therapist is gentle, lulling you into a false sense of comfort. Then it begins. I soon learned that they push just a little past the point where pain begins and your trust in them ends, doing very little to change my mind about the role of a physical therapist.


Several months ago I had extensive surgery for a separated shoulder. For six weeks, my surgeon threatened me within an inch of my life about not moving my arm and shoulder at all. When I went in for a follow-up visit,

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Today’s Truth

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

John 10:10

Friend to Friend


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

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Friend to Friend


“You need surgery, Mary,” the doctor said. Surely I had heard him wrong. My summer plans flashed before my eyes, and I clearly did not have time for surgery.


I had writing projects to complete, trips to take with our grandchildren, my usual painstakingly thorough summer house cleaning, several home improvements to complete … the list was impressive.


The doctor’s words interrupted my thoughts, “When can we get you on the schedule? We don’t want to wait too long.” I simply could not believe what he was telling me.


I had gone to see my general practitioner after a pretty nasty fall, but I just thought I had bruised my collarbone or pulled a ligament in my shoulder. He x-rayed my

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Today’s Truth

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

Isaiah 43:1-3

Friend to Friend


Thunder cracked the sky when a lightning bolt ripped through the roof of our home, igniting a fire that redefined our normal that Tuesday night in March. The house snapped dark and shook. It was as if a bomb had gone off.


“I think we got hit!” Hunter screamed from the family room.


We hurried outside to see if it was true. Our neighbor Jeff ran across his yard to ours yelling a confirmation, “I think you got hit! I saw lightning hit your roof!”


The next few minutes were a blurry race against the clock. Get the dogs out! Get the cars out! I’ll grab the computers!


And that’s pretty much all we had time for.


The flames and smoke kicked

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Today’s Truth

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you.

Psalm 42:5-6

Friend to Friend


Last week, while selecting some avocados in the produce aisle, I heard a loud gasp which caused my attention to be diverted to a woman who had just started an avalanche of sorts over by the oranges. As she restacked the fruit I distinctly heard her mutter, “Stupid girl! How could you be so clumsy?” In that moment I imagined her as a five year old child being berated by her mother, in the same tone, for the same offense.


From an early age, I remember learning that spoken words have power, both to hurt and to heal. My mom taught me to use the words that came out of my mouth with care, particularly when they were directed

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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

Friend to Friend


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

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friend to Friend


I am told that in the famous lace shops of Belgium there are certain rooms used for spinning the finest and most delicate designs of lace. Each room is completely dark – except for one small window. Through this tiny window, light shines directly on the work at hand. A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread. The choicest pieces of lace, the most exquisite designs, are created when the worker is in the dark and only his work is in the light.


When it comes to dealing with our past, we often find ourselves sitting in the darkness of frustration and pain, wondering if anything good

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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