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Today’s Truth

I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved Me. Make yourselves at home in My love

John 15:9

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Our twin grandchildren were born on December 2. Their mom and dad go out of their way to make their birthday special since it is so close to Christmas. But Jodi wanted to make this year’s birthday celebration extra-special since Lelia and Jaydan were turning 10 – the first double-digit birthday!


Jodi and Jered sectioned off half of their basement garage for games like hot potato, beanbag toss, and the old fashioned game of Gossip. Thankfully, the weather co-operated. It was a gorgeous day with fresh, crisp autumn air, clear blue skies, and just the hint of a breeze. The kids played soccer, football, and even one or two games of Red Rover until we remembered why we should

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Today’s Truth

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

Philippians 3:13

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


Amen! I thought.


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


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


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


Instead of wallowing in

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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

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!

Proverbs 3:5-6

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After a long and tenacious conversation with the orthopedic surgeon, I finally resigned myself to the fact that shoulder surgery was in my near future. I had managed to separate my shoulder – and a Southerland does nothing half way. Oh, no! I even looked it up. And I quote, “Surgical intervention when treating a separated shoulder is very rare and only performed in the most severe cases.” I was a severe case, which was evidenced by the amount of pain I was in, but refused to admit. I had endured said pain for 10 days until I finally gave in and went to my general practitioner who promptly sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I said, “Fine!

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Today’s Truth

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

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My husband said to me, “Kelly, you need to be more straightforward with people. Answer with an outright ‘no’ when you know you need to say ‘no.’”


I mulled over his words, considering them. 


He had a good point. I have a hard time saying no. I want to make everyone happy. I don’t want to let people down. My central goal is to leave them encouraged.


And to avoid feeling unlikable. To avoid dealing with those awful residual icky feelings of knowing a person may not want me anymore, think highly of me, or desire to be my friend. Or worst yet, they talk behind my back and form some kind of club that hates me. The idea of all

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Today’s Truth

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Proverbs 24:3-4

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One afternoon, I was going through the laundry, checking all the pockets before loading the washing machine. I found something I had never found before in one my kid’s pant pockets: silly putty. I was very relieved I didn’t find out what that sticky, bouncy, elastic substance would do to the other clothes in the wash!


Another item pulled out of my pocket made me smile. It was a receipt for puppy toys. We had just got our first pet, a cute brown dog who was getting bigger by the second. I pulled play money from my daughter’s pocket from church. These colorful bucks were earned by bringing a Bible or offering.


In each pocket, I found evidence of

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Today’s Truth

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Friend to Friend


My husband, Dan, has battled high blood pressure since we first married over thirty years ago. Hmmm…now that I think about it, there just might be a connection there! Nevertheless, for several years, Dan struggled with an irregular heartbeat, a debilitating condition that drains energy and generally promotes a compelling sense of exhaustion.


Now you need to understand something very important about my husband. Dan Southerland is not accustomed to doing anything short of full speed ahead, so you can imagine his frustration and my concern. Little did I know that the opportunity for fear and worry would escalate to a whole new level when, at 2:30 am on March 15, Dan looked at me and said, “Honey, I think

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Today’s Truth

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

Matthew 7:12

Friend to Friend


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

“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”

Malachi 3:3

Friend To Friend


The story is told of a group of women who met each week to study the Bible, hoping to learn more about the nature and character of God and how He works in our lives. The women were puzzled and even a little troubled by the description of God they found in Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One of the women offered to do a little research on the subject and report back to the group at their next meeting.


The woman found a local silversmith and made an appointment to observe him at work, explaining that she was particularly interested in the process of refining silver. She watched as the craftsman

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Today’s Truth

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

James 2:26

Friend to Friend


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


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


What does that mean? Read on.


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


Love God.


Love others.


Use your manners.


Use kind words.


Wear clean underwear.


Say please.


Say thank

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"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