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Posts by Suzie Eller

Today’s Truth

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

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As your tree is dragged out of the attic and Amazon boxes arrive on your porch, is it okay if we admit that Christmas is often imperfect?


Maybe like me, you try to be in ten different places at one time, yet no one is happy. A relative tells that story from your childhood that embarrasses you every time. Your child throws a fit as relatives cluck their tongues and shake their head.


Instead of trying to plan the perfect Christmas, what if we made room in our plan for imperfection from the very start?


When Uncle Joe starts talking about politics, we plan to slip into the kitchen for a second helping of pie or to take a walk. When

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Today’s Truth

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I hung on to a vine to climb over one more boulder. My heart was beating hard, and I struggled to catch my breath.


“Are you okay?” my friend asked.


Well, yes and no.


I was visiting my friend, who lived a few states away from me. When we started the hike, I expected it to be challenging but this wasn’t my first tough trail to navigate. What I hadn’t anticipated was the much higher elevation. I rested for a few moments and my heartbeat settled down. After a few moments I started again.


Though the trail was beautiful, it didn’t get any easier. Regardless, I was happy to be still moving forward.


Sometimes our faith can feel the same way. We take

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Today’s Truth

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

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One month ago, I had my last surgery after a second bout with breast cancer. It’s been such a weird year, standing outside the hospital a handful of times, saying my goodbyes to my family as I walk in to have surgery alone.


It’s been a hard, hard year; it’s okay to say that.


It’s also been a year of faith and growth. Galatians 5:22-23 has been a part of that.


But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)


In this passage, Paul lists strong and beautiful attributes of a Spirit-led heart. I have wanted to be all

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Today’s Truth

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10 NIV)

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I raced through the mall with an oversized stroller. Two children tucked in tight. One on the loose. My son had been by my side seconds earlier. I turned around and he was gone.


I called out to anyone who would listen. “Have you seen my son? He’s about this high,” I said, holding my hand just so.


Ten minutes later I found him. He had made it to the other side of the mall and was happily sitting on a bench, swinging his little legs. My son hadn’t even known he was lost. My heart rate was at an all-time high. I scooped him up and held him tight.


When Jesus found Zacchaeus in the branches of a tree, He

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Today’s Truth

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on” (Exodus 14:15 NIV).

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I pulled out an old prayer journal and there it was. Written in my own handwriting was a prayer request I had prayed for years. I traced the words with my finger and the words blurred as tears threatened.


Just five minutes earlier, I had questioned my husband like a lead investigator.


Are you sure we can do this?


Are we making the right decision?


What about {fill in the blank}?


I peppered him with numerous questions. I wanted to iron out every detail and make certain that this was not just doable, but with no room for error. In the night, when I should have been sleeping, I crunched numbers in my head and went over possibilities.


It was exhausting.


Seeing that prayer

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Today’s Truth

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come. (Luke 4:18-19 NLT).

Friend to Friend


“Why can’t you get it together?”


“If you would just try harder. . . “


Have you heard these statements? Maybe you’ve even said them to yourself. The message behind them is that healing and transformation is 100% dependent on you.


Yet let’s be honest. This can feel impossible.


In Luke 4:18-20, Jesus stands in front of a crowd. They are curious about Him. They want to know who He is and why He’s there. So, Jesus answers them.


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free. . .


The crowd

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Today’s Truth

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10 NIV.)

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I didn’t know her well, but one thing that stood out about her was her words. A constant stream of unwanted and unsolicited critique flowed from her lips. It often made the person on the receiving end feel small. Honestly, it was confusing.


One day we just happened to be at the same event. This woman had a family member with her. When the event ended, the woman jumped in to help clean up. I couldn’t help but notice how the older family member shadowed her, critiquing her every move. Nothing she did seemed to be right.


Oh, that’s where it came from.


This not only gave me insight but compassion for her. Isn’t it crazy how we hold on to,

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Today’s Truth

The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).

Friend to Friend


I was reading stories about several women making a difference in the world. One was raising funds to dig wells in villages desperate for clean water. Another started a compassionate work program for women rescued from the slave trade. Yet another launched a nonprofit to come alongside refugees to help them get established in their new communities.


I loved these stories. They were inspiring! Yet even as I privately cheered them on, it caused me to look at my own life.


God, is there something BIG that I’m supposed to be doing?


In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a master who gave his servants differing amounts of money and asked them to invest it while he was gone. One

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Today’s Truth

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).

Friend to Friend


When she was younger, she and her siblings clung to each other hoping that one day it would get better. Later she married a man, believing it to be her best escape plan. He made a promise to love and cherish her but didn’t follow through. As a single mom, she raised her babies, working hard to ensure their childhood was better than hers.


She’s my friend and one of the strongest women I know. One day we were sitting around my kitchen table. Our conversation led to the topic of love, something we talked about often. It was a confusing topic to her because love wasn’t lived out very well in front of her.


That day we read Romans

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Today’s Truth

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV).

Friend to Friend


I sorted through items in the basement as we prepared to move. A dust-covered, battered suitcase hid in a corner.


What could be inside?


When I unzipped it, I found a pile of old notebooks filled with my handwriting. There were years of them. They weren’t anything fancy, just scrawled notes, scriptures, questions, and thoughts written in the pages and margins of an inexpensive tablet.


I sat on the floor with the notebooks around me and began to read.


As I did, I could almost see the person writing those words – the young mama with three little kids at her feet; the woman diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer at 31 years of age; the woman who felt called to teach others

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Today’s Truth

But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you (Luke 12:31 NKJV).

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When the sale of our home fell through shortly before closing, we were suddenly thrust into a lot of hard decisions. We had already signed a lease on a new place. We had packed our home, deep-cleaned, and were ready to go. The sale was the result of weeks of time, work, and our financial resources and now we were back to square one.


The reason behind the buyer’s change of mind was understandable and we had compassion for that person. Yet that didn’t take away the pressure and stress of trying to figure out our next step.


Have you ever been there?


You think you’ve done everything right. You know exactly what you are going to do next and where

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Today’s Truth

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help (Hebrews 4:14-18 Message).

Friend to Friend


I half-ran, half-walked down the trail. My breath came in short spurts. My daily walk seemed like a lovely idea until the heavens opened, and rain poured. The rain wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t mind that I was soaked. It was the rolling dark clouds and flashing lightning that made me feel exposed.


Was I supposed to stay out in the open, or hide under the branches of one of the larger trees that surrounded me? Both seemed like a bad option, so I kept running until I finally made it to the safety of my home.


While I longed for a safe place in this storm, there have also been times I’ve felt unsafe in other ways. Illness

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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


For years I was deathly afraid of heights. My heart went into overdrive. I felt faint. When I found myself in a high place, I ended up pressed against a wall or sitting down with my eyes closed.


A few years ago, my son gave me a birthday gift. It was two passes to a zipline park. When I opened the gift he said, “Mom, you are one of the most adventurous people I know. I know that you are afraid of heights, but I want to do this with you.”


When we arrived at the park, my heart started beating fast. I had hoped the zipline would be a little less high, a little less intimidating, but it wasn’t.

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Today’s Truth

Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him. (1 Chronicles 16:11 NLT).

Friend to Friend


It was a family member’s baby shower and people were everywhere. As I made my way in, a blue-eyed little girl raced across the room and threw herself into my arms; it was my granddaughter, Elle. She hugged me, chatted with me for a moment, and then went to play.


Throughout the afternoon, she would come back in the room, look around, and circle through the jostling crowd, purposely making her way to me. She’d place her hands on my knees and say, “There you are!” It was as if she wanted me to know that, in the midst of a crowd, she was delighted that I was there.


In 1 Chronicles 16:11, it reads, “Seek the LORD and his

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Today’s Truth

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat (Mark 6:31, NKJ).

Friend to Friend


If I had a warning sign on my forehead, it might have flashed these messages:


Fresh out. Give me room, people. Nothing more to give.


There were a lot of needs and I was juggling. I was tired and cranky, but I kept on going—until one day I realized it’s almost impossible to give anything good out of an empty well.


Maybe, like I once did, you ignore those signs too. You may even consider yourself strong. After all, you don’t let anything stop you. At least, until you can’t take one more step.


In today’s verse, we find Jesus and the disciples after a busy and successful time of ministry. He recognized their fatigue and also their human need for food

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Today’s Truth

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17, NLT).

Friend to Friend


For years I didn’t have a strong community of close friendships. I was surrounded by people who cared about me, but I didn’t let them get too close. I built a wall that only God and I could see.


Some might have even seen that wall as strong. It made it appear as if I was highly independent. I learned to work hard and do things on my own.


Some might say that wall kept me safe. After all, as long as the wall existed no one could trample my heart.


Yet one day I sensed God asking me to break down that wall, for He saw the truth. That wall was isolating. It was exhausting to fly solo all the

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Today’s Truth

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you! 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NLT)

Friend to Friend


I was on the way to the airport when the phone call came.


“Mom, it was positive,” my daughter said, sorrow thick in her voice.


This didn’t refer to a long-awaited pregnancy or a good report of any kind. Instead, it was the result of a biopsy for breast cancer.


This was familiar territory. I was a 31-year-old mom when I received the same news. I remember scooping up our children one by one to explain as gently as we knew how, trying to prepare them for the multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation ahead. Now my daughter, one of those little ones I once held close, was about to walk that same path.


Bad news can make your knees knock. I stumbled

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Today’s Truth

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT).

Friend to Friend


How tired are you?


I’m not talking about the kind of tired that a good nap can take care of. I’m talking about the kind of tired that happens deep in our soul.


Does Jesus understand that kind of unrest? He does.


In Matthew 11, Jesus is speaking to a crowd. It’s been an incredibly long and hard day. His life-giving message has not been received and Jesus is seeing humanity with all its flaws. He talks to the people about how they have resisted the good gift God is trying to give them. We can’t help but sense how challenging this is.


Then Jesus begins to talk directly to His Heavenly Father. The crowd is still in front of Him. As

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Today’s Truth

I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. (1 Corinthians 16:17-18, ESV)

Friend to Friend


We had arrived early at the hospital for a minor procedure. An elderly couple sat nearby; her frail hands clasped in his. When they called him back, their lips met like two butterflies.


Just a half hour later, the doctor came to talk with her. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop but the physician’s matter-of-fact words fell like bricks. I heard her intake of breath at the worrisome news.


This caused me to look at the man sitting beside me. Our hands weren’t gnarled with time, not yet, but several years had passed since we first fell in love and walked down the aisle.


Children came. Activities and busyness and commitments pulled and tugged at both of us. We often talked about

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Today’s Truth

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. . . Jesus wept.” (John 11:33, 35 NIV)

Friend to Friend


I was in a season I call “scarred.” Scars on my heart as a grown child struggled. Scars on my physical body as I went through breast cancer a second time. Scars spiritually as every time I took a deep breath and thought we were out of the woods, something else hit hard.


This can be the exact time a well-meaning person might say something like this: “You shouldn’t feel that way.”


Yet the reality is you do feel that way. You are sad. You are uncertain. You might even be angry.


One colossal joy stealer is the belief that our feelings somehow disappoint God. When this is our belief, we switch to control mode. We create a plan. We put

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Today’s Truth

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Most of the women had left the room. I was picking up my things when I noticed her standing in the shadows. I sensed that she wanted to flee, even as something kept her feet rooted to the floor.


“I’ve been told for years that when I forgive myself, I’ll finally be free,” she said. “But I can’t do it. I’ve tried.”


I love it when God brings two sisters together. Their stories intertwined. I had just shared my story of forgiving those who hurt me in the past, and the freedom I found in that not-so-easy but liberating path. This brave mom and wife sat down across from me and spilled her own story.


She was not the one hurt

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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