Posts by Melissa Spoelstra

Today’s Truth

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment (Isaiah 50:10-11 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend  


I knew something was off. I couldn’t state any particular sin or wrongdoing, but I didn’t feel good about the growing exclusivity among my friends. I remember a day at the local pool when one of them threw a towel onto the chair next to me as a woman who had visited our church entered the pool. My friend said, “I hope she doesn’t think she can sit with us every day.” My jaw nearly dropped. I also noticed conversations crossing the line into gossip more and more frequently. 


After months of neglecting to address these issues directly, a huge blow-up occurred with these same friends and ended over a decade of relationships. My choice to participate in gossip

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Today’s Truth

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea” (Isaiah 48:17-18 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


I was in a Bible study once with a woman who shared honestly about her struggle with passages in Scripture that contain God’s commands and correction. She grew up in a home where good behavior and church attendance gave their family a public reputation that didn’t match the abuse behind closed doors. She admitted that her childhood trauma often clouds her lens when reading Scripture. A counselor helps her separate her earthly father’s behavior from her heavenly One.


Whenever we seek to unpack Scriptures with a focus on trusting God’s commands and correction, we want to be sure we hold onto God’s character and heart behind His instructions and identify places where, like my friend admitted, our own

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Today’s Truth

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you (Isaiah 43:2 NLT)


 


Friend to Friend 


When I sat at my daughter’s bedside in the hospital, I wondered if life would ever look the same. After going into septic shock, she could only breathe with the help of a ventilator, and our pediatrician warned us that she might not live through the night. I couldn’t imagine life without our spunky five-year-old. I had so many questions and feelings, but in that room, I felt God’s presence thick in the air.


Throughout the next two weeks in the hospital she slowly recovered, coming off the ventilator only to battle a life-threatening blood clot. That was a season when smaller issues like arriving late to an appointment, locking my keys in the car, or feeling weary

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Today’s Truth

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged (Isaiah 42:3 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


My grandmother made me feel seen as a child. I can still envision her huge grin when any of her grandkids arrived at her home. When she was in her 90’s, I took three days off my typical work schedule to fly down and spend time with her. We walked down memory lane during those days, and she shared stories I had never heard about growing up during the Great Depression.


I was able to tell her again how her love impacted my life. The next year we had to cancel our family trip to Texas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any family coming to see her, she began to decline rapidly and ended up passing from

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Today’s Truth

Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.” “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins” (Isaiah 49:14-16 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


The school called yesterday to let me know my son had been waiting in the office for ten minutes. I had remembered to write the note to excuse him from school for an appointment, but I lost track of time while answering emails and plugging through my to-do list. I sure hope you can relate! I set alarms on my phone, write lists in my planner, and still struggle to remember things.


Thankfully the Lord doesn’t have this same struggle. He has never forgotten anything, ever – except that He chooses to forget about our sin (Isaiah 43:25). It may feel like He doesn’t always respond to our prayers or intervene when we think He should, but He

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Today’s Truth

But have you not heard? I decided this long ago. Long ago I planned it, and now I am making it happen (Isaiah 37:26a NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


My daughter told me she was tired of people telling her to trust God. She had begged Him to make her hair grow back after her alopecia diagnosis. Despite years of prayers, though, she remained completely bald with no eyelashes or eyebrows. She knew all the Sunday School answers about God’s love and power. But her real-life circumstances caused her to question why a God who loved her and had the power to heal her… didn’t. She wondered if the Lord was unable or unwilling. Your situation may vary greatly from my daughter’s, but perhaps you can recall a season in your life when you struggled to trust God’s timing.


When God doesn’t act quickly enough for us,

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Today’s Truth

“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” (Isaiah 7:9b NLT)

Friend to Friend 


I woke up frustrated and discouraged after a battle with worry in the middle of the night. Don’t laugh when I tell you what I was obsessing over because it seems so ridiculous in hindsight. My highly allergic daughters had just convinced my husband and I to allow them to buy pet birds since cats and dogs made them sick. I laid awake fretting about the smell in our house, the annoying sounds the birds made, and then imagined ways to get rid of them without breaking my daughters’ hearts.


Looking back, I can’t believe how overfocused I became on something that wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of life. This worry, fear, and fixating on small

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Today’s Truth

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


During my children’s elementary school years, they had chore charts to give them structure and responsibility. However, when one of them didn’t accomplish all their tasks, my husband and I would have a conversation about allowance reduction or possible consequences. Can you imagine if one of my children said, “I know I’ve been slacking off recently, if I get all my chores done every day this week and even do some of my sibling’s chores, can I remain your child?” They understood that they were assigned work because they were part of our family, not that they were working to stay in it. Sometimes I can bring a “working to earn my place in the family” mentality

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Today’s Truth

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


I left the Zoom meeting and raced out of the house hoping to stop at Target to pick up a gift to bring to my lunch appointment. As I sped into the store, I got a call from my caseworker. She wanted to discuss some concerns regarding our foster son. I talked with her while quickly getting what I needed and driving downtown. My mind was still processing all the issues with our teenage foster son as I found parking and realized the meter required me to download an app on my phone and enter payment information. Whatever happened to good old quarters in a meter?


I hurriedly completed the task, slammed the car door, and began walking

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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