START HERE

Posts by Melissa Spoelstra

Today’s Truth

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NLT)

Friend to Friend


When I breastfed my children, I knew how dependent they were on me. I also knew I could quiet them when they were fussy by feeding them. I was their sole source of nourishment.


As strange as it sounds – Scripture uses this picture of breastfeeding to illustrate how God wants to take care of us. The Hebrew word shad means “breast”—specifically a woman’s breast. It is the root word for the name of God El Shaddai. His name reveals God as the pourer of life, nourishment, and blessings. While the Hebrew word is associated with nourishment, I also want us to consider the English translation “all-sufficient.” Webster defines sufficient as “enough to meet the needs of a

Read More

Today’s Truth

“But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.”

(Isaiah 52:6, NLT)

Friend to Friend


One of the first things we learn about a person upon meeting them is their name. Sometimes a surname can help us connect people with their families as we discover they are related in some way. When I got married, I changed my last name to identify with my husband—and later with our children who would bear that name. Recently someone at the place where I exercise told the class that she was getting married and mentioned what her new last name would be. I had never met her officially before, but I recognized the last name. I introduced myself after the workout and found that I knew some of her future family members. Names help us

Read More

Today’s Truth

Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

(Philippians 4:2-3, NLT)

Friend to Friend


I’m so glad that today we don’t have disagreements or quarrels within the church between women partnering together in ministry. Oh wait… that was just a dream. We are still needing to heed Paul’s instructions to settle disagreements.


I imagine Euodia and Syntyche sitting in the audience as Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi was read. Did they slink in their seats when they heard Paul name them? Was one of them not present because she wasn’t coming to the church gathering if the other one was there?


In the letter to the Philippians Paul had spoken mostly in general terms to the entire group. The theme of the book revolves around joy. Paul wanted the church to

Read More

Today’s Truth

A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. On the first day of the second month of that year he said, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe.

(Numbers 1:1-4, NLT)

Friend to Friend


One of my college summer jobs was at a retail clothing store. When the manager told the employees that it was time to do inventory, my internal groan was loud. This is when we had to count everything in the store and record it. (The store sold baby clothes, so counting socks, onesies, and tiny clothes was tedious.) Taking stock of inventory was necessary in order to assess losses from theft and prepare for a new line of clothing to come in. It was menial and boring, yet it was a necessary preparation.


In the first chapter of the Book of Numbers, we find the Lord asking His people to take stock of their resources. This meant counting the

Read More

Today’s Truth

For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

(Psalm 32:7-8)

Friend to Friend


I played hide and seek often with my three siblings as well as the various friends and cousins that migrated in and out of the house when I was a child. I can remember hiding under beds, the back of closets, and even squeezing into cupboards or toy boxes in an effort to be the last one found.


Some days between managing my home and running the race of church, kids’ activities, and work deadlines, I want to find a place to run and hide. A place where there are no notifications and reminders sounding an alert on my phone. A place where no one is calling, “Mom, I need you.” A place where the mental hamster wheel

Read More

Today’s Truth

For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’

(Psalm 32:7-8

Friend to Friend


I played hide and seek often with my three siblings as well as the various friends and cousins that migrated in and out of the house when I was a child. I can remember hiding under beds, the back of closets, and even squeezing into cupboards or toy boxes in an effort to be the last one found.


Some days between managing my home and running the race of church, kids’ activities, and work deadlines, I want to find a place to run and hide. A place where there are no notifications and reminders sounding an alert on my phone. A place where no one is calling, “Mom, I need you.” A place where the mental hamster wheel

Read More

Today’s Truth

And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

(1 Corinthians 10:10-11, NLT)

Friend to Friend


Recently my teenage daughter asked me for something new. I told her we wouldn’t be purchasing it, and she needed to be content with what she had. Her response was, “I am content… but I just want more.” I laughed with her and told her she needed to revisit the definition of contentment.


Complaining is a universal problem, especially among women. We don’t like our body type, the texture of our hair, the faults of our husbands, our budget, or the habits of our mothers-in-law. We always seem to want more.


Complaining may seem like a small vice when compared to lying, adultery, or murder, but God says grumbling against Him is a serious issue. Consider the Israelites in Numbers

Read More

Today’s Truth

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(Romans 5:8, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Growing up in a small East Texas town, I attended kindergarten through tenth grade in the same school district. When my dad announced we were moving to a suburb of Dallas, it rocked my world. While I threw a fit about all the changes at the time, I can look back now and see how God grew me in huge ways during that season. Our family connected with a dynamic church that took discipleship seriously.


The gal who became my closest friend was a cheerleader who wanted me on the squad. Since I didn’t have any cheer experience, she talked me into trying out for the mascot; and since I was the only one trying out, I got

Read More

Today’s Truth

“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.

(Judges 6:23-24, NLT)

Friend to Friend


We all lack peace from time to time. Fear and worry can creep up on us when we least expect it, leaving us awake at night. Maybe we think peace will descend upon us once we have no difficult relationships or financial worries. Other times we may think peace will come through having the right leaders in our government, job, or church. Our culture often hints that we need to create peace in our lives with a better time-management plan, more self-esteem, or an escape to a tropical island.


However, we can learn an important truth from a man named Gideon in the Bible. He discovered that we don’t create peace; we receive it from God. While peace

Read More

Today’s Truth

No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”

(Romans 2:29, NLT)

Friend to Friend


What kind of gear, gadgets, or stuff do you tend to gather? Is it sports equipment, clothing, or home decor? Clutter is my enemy, and I like to keep things pretty simple. Someone recently described my decorating style as “sparse.” I’m not sure if that was a compliment, but I’ll own it. I mean, I love a delivery box at my door like the next girl, but mine are usually filled with household items or commentaries.


Where am I going with all this talk about stuff? The Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 2:17-29 and 3:1-8 helps us see that we can over-focus on the stuff of our spirituality to the point that we miss the heart of it.

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.”

Psalm 119:29

Friend to Friend


As I’m processing a recent conflict with a family member, I’m trying to sort out the fact and fiction in my own head. I usually feel like my truth is the truth, but I know my tendency to equate my perspective with truth is shortsighted. In my daily Bible reading, I just happened to encounter the verse in Today’s Truth, or more likely God sovereignly had it before my eyes right when I would need it!


In this verse, the psalmist prayed that God would help him not to lie to himself. I know I need to pray this type of prayer on a regular basis. Whether I’m justifying myself in a parenting decision, making judgments about others’

Read More

Today’s Truth

“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”

1 Corinthians 4:20

Friend to Friend


Two important people in my life struggle with anger. Both love God passionately and care about their families. Both have offered apologies and expressed regret repeatedly for outbursts they wish they could take back. I believe this has contributed to my lack of enthusiasm about apologies. I reached the point when I didn’t want another apology; I simply wanted the outbursts to stop. I wanted to feel peaceful instead of anxious, anticipating when their anger might erupt again. Both of these people have come a long way in their battle with anger, but I cannot say the scar of empty words hasn’t stayed with me.


Words are important. According to Proverbs 18:21, they have the power of life

Read More

Today’s Truth

Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Philippians 4:2-3, NLT

Friend to Friend


I’m so glad that today we don’t have disagreements or quarrels within the church between women partnering together in ministry. Oh wait… that was just a dream. We are still needing to heed Paul’s instructions to settle disagreements.


I imagine Euodia and Syntyche sitting in the audience as Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi was read. Did they slink in their seats when they heard Paul name them? Was one of them not present because she wasn’t coming to the church gathering if the other one was there?


In the letter to the Philippians Paul had spoken mostly in general terms to the entire group. The theme of the book revolves around joy. Paul wanted the church to

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Listen, you women, to the words of the Lord; open your ears to what He has to say.”

Jeremiah 9:20a, NLT

Friend to Friend


For many years I led a small group of sixth-grade girls, and we often talked about issues going on in their middle-school lives. One day one of the girls was telling a story in great detail about a misunderstanding with her teacher. I asked what her mom thought about the situation. I was shocked to find that this girl had not discussed what was going on with either her mom or dad. I was intrigued. Of the five girls in the room, all agreed that they don’t tell their parents most of what is really going on in their hearts and minds. Panic rose inside me because at the time I had twin fifth-grade girls. Will they

Read More

"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