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Posts by Melissa Spoelstra

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)

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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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)

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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.

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Today’s Truth

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

Psalm 119:29

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Today’s Truth

Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

1 Kings 18:21

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My daughter Rachel is limping right now. Her knee likely hurts from all the jumps and back handsprings she does as a cheerleader. The pain in her knee affects the way she walks, and limping is no fun. It calls attention to a weakness or flaw. I have stubbed my toe, banged up my shins, and had sciatic nerve pain that left me hobbling like a person twice my age. Elijah uttered the words in today’s truth just before he challenged the people of Israel to a contest on Mt. Carmel. He asked them, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” It seems the nation of Israel suffered from a limp of their own.


In

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Today’s Truth

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

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The first time we took our children to a theme park, one of them commented at the end of the day that we had spent most of our day waiting in lines. However, this same child also said that the thrill of the rides had been well worth it. Following God sometimes feels like a day at a theme park. It has some exciting ups, some scary downs, and a lot of waiting in between.


I remember a season when I was waiting and wondering. About the time that our first child entered the toddler phase, my husband and I were excited to be expecting again. So, we were devastated when we experienced a miscarriage at seventeen weeks.

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Today’s Truth

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Asking for help isn’t my strong suite. I like to be like the woman in the song who says, “I am woman, hear me roar!” I prefer to be independent and strong rather than weak and needy. So, at times I stuff my fears and concerns rather than tell others that I need their prayers, help, or words of affirmation. However, God has wired us to depend on each other, and sometimes we have to ask for the encouragement we need. This isn’t always easy. It means admitting that we can’t manage our thoughts, feelings, and actions without help. So instead of stuffing our doubts, we can express them when we are with fellow followers of Jesus

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Today’s Truth

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

1 Corinthians 1:10

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Living love when we disagree sounds good on paper, but it isn’t easy. We’re different—we have different personalities, preferences, and perspectives. And we can struggle to get along, especially when we don’t see eye-to eye. In the course of a day, we can find ourselves disagreeing or debating with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers on social media about everything from food choices and parenting styles to politics and religion. Often we find ourselves divided—even as Christians. How can we work out our differences with humility and grace, always showing the love of Christ, while still remaining true to what we believe?


So who has been irritating you the most lately? Keep that person in the back of

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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