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Posts by Joanna Teigen

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 NIV).


 


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I recently stopped by my mother’s house for a quick visit. As we chatted in her kitchen, she pointed out a shiny jar of gourmet pickles resting on the counter. “Send someone over!” she laughed. “I can’t get the lid off the jar by myself!” I reached over and gave the lid a firm twist, but she was right. It was stuck so tight that nobody was having pickles that day!


Later in the week I ran to the store to pick up a few groceries. As the cashier rang up my yogurt, bread, and dog treats, I pulled my wallet from my purse. I unzipped the pocket and found an empty slot where my debit card should be.

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Today’s Truth

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12 NIV).

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Like every other morning, I stood in front of my closet and tried to answer the question, “What should I wear today?” Big-city rent, a new baby, and minimum-wage paychecks meant few options to choose from. Pulling a well-worn shirt from its hanger, I grumbled in my head and heart. I’m tired of these clothes. Everything is shabby and out of style. I wish I could feel pretty for once. Will I ever get anything new?


I didn’t want a whole new wardrobe. Just one fresh item to put a pop of color in my closet. A red sweater! That’s it—just one red sweater—and I’d be content. On impulse, I tossed up a prayer for that one piece of

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Today’s Truth

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:1,3 NIV).

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Each morning on her way to work, my mother would drop me off with my sitter, Mrs. Derryberry. I’d skip to her door, ready for the playmates, cookies, and hugs waiting on the other side. Summer meant a yard full of flowers with a swing set and wading pool for sunny afternoons.


One summer day, the scent of Mrs. Derryberry’s roses drew me around the side of her house. Breathing in the fragrance, my eyes landed on a cluster of lilies standing nearly as tall as me. Eager to smell more beautiful blooms, I poked my nose into the orange petals. Yet instead of a sweet scent, pollen filled my nose with burning pain. Tears streamed down my cheeks

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Today’s Truth

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14 NIV).

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Some of my sweetest childhood memories are found in my grandmother’s garden. She’d send me out with a basket and scissors to gather all the flowers I wanted. I’d breathe in the scent of dozens of hyacinths blooming at my feet. Together we’d pick carrots and home-grown corn for the best summer meals I’ve ever tasted.


At my house, I gathered shiny red berries from our strawberry patch. I learned to ride a two-wheeler by the lush bed of daffodils lining our sidewalk. Gardens meant family. Deliciousness. Beauty. Growing up. Gardens held love.


I wanted to create those same moments for my own family. For years I weeded and watered too many plantings to count. Yet my flowers failed to

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Today’s Truth

[Jesus Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14 NIV).

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Our family adopted a sweet new puppy who is melting our hearts. Her playful curiosity keeps us laughing every day. Yet the challenges of house training and chewing demand supervision to keep her—and the house—in one piece!


To provide a safe space for our puppy, I set up a pen with a latching gate. We added a soft blanket and toys to keep her comfy and entertained. It seemed the perfect place to play when we couldn’t give her our full attention.


Yet I soon realized the pen wasn’t so perfect after all. Its flimsy latches were no match for an active puppy who wanted out! No matter how I tried to secure the gate, she pushed through or climbed

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Today’s Truth

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Years ago, as a young wife, I threw myself a pity party and invited a good friend to join me. I filled her ears with whining complaints of feeling ignored and unloved. Every word said “poor me” as I burdened my friend with all the ways I thought I deserved better from my husband.


In her patience, my friend let me ramble without ending the phone call. In her maturity, she didn’t agree with a single word I said. Instead, she offered a simple rebuke: “Can’t you just love him today?”


That question silenced my rant and filled me with regret. I remembered my wedding vow to love him always. He was respectful, faithful, and kind. The offenses I had

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Today’s Truth

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

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Last summer, our backyard deck reached its end. Peeling stain exposed bare wood. Once-stable steps began to wobble. Rotted boards chipped and crumbled. All we could do was hire a contractor to tear it all down with plans to build again.


Schedule conflicts led to a summer of messes and mud instead of a fresh space for colorful flowers and family gatherings outdoors. Summer gave way to autumn rains that filled the area with mucky water up to our shins. Winter snows now cover the rough soil still waiting for a sturdy deck and tidy landscaping. We’re feeling anxious for spring so we can build, plant, and restore what’s been broken.


While this mess has brought its share of frustrations,

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Today’s Truth

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).

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My toes curled over the edge of the diving board, its rough plastic chilling my feet. The water below seemed a thousand miles away. Excited friends urged me to take the leap. With a deep breath, I poised to jump. Then, fear gripped my heart and sent me scurrying down the ladder to safety.


Fear continued to get the last word as I grew. At a summer party, I skipped the fun to hide where nobody could view my pre-teen body in a swimsuit. A piano recital was ruined by stage fright that paralyzed my fingers. As a young woman, I refused an interview for a perfect job, simply because fear said, “You don’t have what it takes.” Fear

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Today’s Truth

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV).

Friend to Friend


As Bing Crosby crooned, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” on the radio, I scowled at the moving boxes cluttering my living room. Well, I won’t be! I thought with an ache in my chest. Our house had sold to buyers who were eager to settle in before the holidays. We faced weeks of living out of suitcases before a cross-country move to a sight-unseen rental house.


The wintry weather matched my chilly mood. I longed to hang our handmade stockings over the fireplace. I dreamed of my kids’ voices singing carols alongside our dear church family. We wanted to gather around our tree, now barren of lights and decorations as we prepared to leave it behind. I wondered how

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Today’s Truth

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul (Psalm 23:2-3 NIV).

Friend to Friend


She leaned in close, ignoring the crowd of playful kids running past on the pavement. The ice cream truck’s jangling music box nearly muted my friend’s confession: “I’m exhausted. I decided for now, I’m just not doing anything. This is my sabbatical to rest and heal.”


In the days following, emails trickled into my inbox from another weary friend. Depression was stealing her strength and her sleep. She chose to simply stop. My friend set down productivity to pick up slow moments of peace. Practicing her “no,” she closed her ears to the demands on her time and talents to listen to God’s voice.


At this same time my daughter typed out a resignation letter to release herself from her

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Today’s Truth

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I pulled up to the curb at the terminal, gave my husband a quick kiss, and watched him hustle out the door for yet another business trip. Later that night I was too exhausted from chores, motherhood, and my part-time job to notice I slept alone.


The next Sunday, I eased myself into a comfy chair to talk and pray with my church small group. An ordinary question of, “How are you doing with Rob away?” sent me into a sudden outburst of tears.


“I’m fine,” I cried, “and that’s the problem! He’s gone so much that it feels normal now. We’re so used to managing our lives apart, it’s like we don’t even need each other anymore.”


Gone were the

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Today’s Truth

But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I gave my son a quick hug and a smile before he grabbed his backpack and climbed onto the school bus. He found his seat, and before the bus pulled away from the curb an older student leaned over to ask, “Is that your mom?”


“Yes,” my son answered.


“Why doesn’t she look like you?” the other boy questioned.


My son explained with a simple, “I’m adopted.”


The student sneered and announced, “I’ll bet it’s because your mother didn’t want you. She decided to throw you away. That’s why you’re adopted.”


Sadness filled my son’s brown eyes as those cruel words triggered the pain of rejection and loss in his heart. It would take many days of caring support to restore the security

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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