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Posts by Suzie Eller

Today’s Truth

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:1-2 NIV).


 


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My study that morning was in one of the smaller books of the Bible tucked in the pages of the Old Testament. I had only read a couple of verses when one caught my eye. It seemed to leap from the page into my heart. Though I was certain I had read this story before, it felt new. I felt a tug to stop and dig deeper, so I did. That verse and the story it unfolded ministered to me for days.


I wonder if that’s how Nicodemus felt the night he met Jesus under the cover of darkness.


“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at

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Today’s Truth

Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants (Deuteronomy 32:2 NLT).


 


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The letter from my dad was on my pillow. He was not a man of words. I held it in my hands, knowing it was rare and precious. I still have the tattered pieces of that letter today.


I also have other letters that I treasure, and they are just as tattered.


Years ago, when I was learning about God, I longed to go deeper in my faith. I found a black notebook and colorful markers, and each morning I would sit and write all the things I wanted to say to God. If it was just a few moments, that was okay. If it led to a longer time, that was good too. I hoped to meet with Him as

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Today’s Truth

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior (Psalm 38:22 NLT).

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I was 32, a young mama, and battling breast cancer. The news had come at an already-hard time. My husband worked long hours each week, trying to keep our business afloat. When he paid the business expenses each month, there was just a small amount left to pay ourselves. The pressure often made me feel like I was near to drowning, but we told no one about our financial battle.


Christmas was weeks away. Our children had school expenses. I was going through radiation and chemotherapy, and medical bills were piling up. One day as I walked to the mailbox, I dreaded what I knew would be inside. Bills, bills, and more bills.


But this day was different. Tucked among

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Today’s Truth

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:24 NKJV).

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When I was growing up my favorite movie was the classic Wizard of Oz. I lay on the carpet, completely absorbed as Dorothy battled flying monkeys and fled from the wicked witch of the West. I wondered if she’d make it to Oz or ever find her way home to Auntie Em. It seemed unfair. A girl and a tiny dog all on their own, until she met her unlikely heroes. A tin man, a cowardly lion, and my personal favorite, the scarecrow. Nothing changed, not really. A wicked witch still wished her harm. Flying monkeys still followed her every move. But suddenly, she was surrounded by those who traveled the road with her, and that made all

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Today’s Truth

Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent (Exodus 33:10 NIV).

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The room was hot. A fan pushed the sweltering 110+ degree air between us as we sat on the floor. When the reading lesson was complete, we were introduced. Shy smiles broke language and cultural barriers. A handful were Christians. Others practiced different religions. I asked several women to share their names. As one young woman spoke, she pointed at her mother, who stood in the back, and tears fell. The interpreter told me that her mother was seriously sick. She couldn’t afford a doctor, and she fell more ill each day.


I wanted to pray for her. If we were in a church, I wouldn’t have hesitated, but we were guests in this community, in this culture, and

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Today’s Truth

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).

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It started innocently enough. A friend said something. I disagreed. For whatever reason, her words hit a tender spot. It was important that we talk about it because she mattered to me, yet I was hit with a myriad of temptations.


I was tempted to make her see it my way.


I was tempted to keep talking until she “got it.”


I was tempted to let my frustration simmer between us.


Don’t do it.


A gentle nudge in my spirit asked me to consider a different way.


Can we be honest that we are all tempted from time to time? In today’s passage, Paul reminds us of that fact.


“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;

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Today’s Truth

The Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).

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We were sitting around the family table when my mom announced, “Suzie, you didn’t talk until you were four.”


Um, what?


This was news to me. “So, are you saying that I was quiet?”


“Nope, you didn’t talk at all. Not a word. In fact, if it hadn’t been for your sister, we would have never known what you needed.”


My sister is four years older than me. Evidently, she became a student of her little sister who had no words. When I wanted a drink, she told mom. When I was tired or hungry, she made certain that this was communicated.


I eventually found my words, but may I be honest with you?


There have been other times when I’ve lost my words.

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Today’s Truth

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing (Ephesians 6:21 NIV).

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Many had left the morning church service, but I remained on the pew. Tears fell as I talked to God.


Father, what is my calling?


It felt like others had this figured out. I wanted to know what God wanted me to do, and yet I had no idea what that looked like. That’s when I noticed a boot swinging down the row from me.


A young teen and his little sister sat quietly. He had long, dark blonde hair that hung over his eyes. She chewed her gum with gusto. I got to know them a few months earlier when they asked for a ride home after church. That soon became a regular occurrence. I’d stop at a drive through

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Today’s Truth

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19 NIV)!

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Audrey pulled the cover over her eyes.


“Check for bears,” she begged.


I checked one more time. I held up a dust bunny and we laughed because that certainly wasn’t a bear. Yet her fears remained. Finally, I climbed in the bed with her until she fell asleep, her tiny form pressed against mine.


Have you ever struggled with fear? We all have. In John 20, a group of disciples are gripped with anxious thoughts. They had witnessed Jesus’ arrest and death on the cross. They had heard the rumors that authorities were searching for followers of Jesus. So, they hid.


When a group of women rushed through the door to tell them the tomb was empty, they left their hiding place

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Today’s Truth

Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared Matthew 8:1b-2 (NLT).

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I met an old friend from school days that I hadn’t seen for years. She invited me to join her and her husband for dinner. For the next hour, we sat around the table enjoying enchiladas and old memories.


At one point, she told her husband a story from our days in school. As she described the incident, it felt odd. The girl she described in the story was shy. She was hurting. She was angry. It felt like she was talking about someone else.


And she was.


God had healed my heart long ago. I was no longer that shy, angry, hurting girl. I was a confident, whole woman who knew the love of a Savior. When she finished her

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Today’s Truth

"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48 NIV).

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When I was a teenager, it was often my job to watch my younger brothers. At that time, our home life was challenging and hard. When nightfall came, two little guys would tiptoe into my room and snuggle in for a story.


“Say a word,” I’d whisper.


“Dragon!” one little brother would say.


“Forest,” said the other.


I’d weave a story about a fierce dragon caught in a forest, two little guys hanging on every word. Before long, they’d calm down, go back to their own room, and fall asleep. I didn’t know it back then, but storytelling was a gift God placed in my DNA. It wasn’t just a knack for telling stories, but something He would use for His purposes.


In

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Today’s Truth

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken (Luke 5:8-9 NIV).

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I rested on the concrete driveway with two sweet boys, staring into the inky night sky. As we talked, I asked them to look up and describe what they could see.


“I see the dark,” one replied.


“A star,” said another, pointing to a lone star at a distance.


I pulled out my phone and opened an app. As I pointed my phone at the night sky, constellations appeared on the screen. The boys excitedly took turns holding my phone this way and that, calling out the names of the constellations and planets. When I shut the app and put my phone in my pocket, one slid his hand in mine and looked into the dark sky.


“Whoa, Gaga, to think that

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Today’s Truth

“But Jesus said, “You feed them” (Luke 9:13 NLT).

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A few women walk through my door. They bring with them stories of past addiction, abuse, childhood dysfunction, and second and third chances. They also bring friendship. Laughter. Honesty. A heart for more.


As we sit around the kitchen table, we share five things that describe us. Not five things from the past, or five things we see in the mirror. But five things that describe who we are as changed, Jesus-filled, women of faith.


When it is my turn, I share three of my five things: I am kind. I am loved by God. I am an adventurer. . . As I list number three, I also casually mention that one day I’d love to jump out of an

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Today’s Truth

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:21-22 NIV).

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Have you ever been in a season where you walk through one hard thing after another?


Me too.


Have you ever struggled to talk with God about how you feel in that season?


Same.


One of the reasons we may struggle with talking with our Heavenly Father is we’ve been told that strong faith leaves little room for doubts and questions. The problem with that reasoning is it discounts story after story of people in the Bible crying out to God, asking hard questions, and grappling with how to trust in hard seasons.


Consider John the Baptist, who was in prison and sent a message to Jesus to ask if He was really the Messiah (Matthews 11:2-4). Let’s look at Elijah the prophet,

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Today’s Truth

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man” (Judges 6:15-16 NLT).

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The first few times I sensed God asking me to do something out of my comfort zone, I wrestled.


I had some confidence, sort of.


Enough to get by, maybe.


Okay, not even close.


I weighed what I could do, what I did have, and what I might bring to the table. Those attributes were then outweighed as I listed what I didn’t know, what I didn’t have, and what someone else might do better.


In the book of Judges, Gideon seems to be doing the same.


His people have been under siege by the Midianites for a very long time. He’s hanging out under a tree when an angel of the Lord approaches him. The angel informs Gideon that he indeed is a

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Today’s Truth

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV).

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When I was a little girl, I loved nothing more than climbing the branches of a backyard tree. There I slipped into a world of imagination as I read books, my legs locked around a strong branch. It was my safe place.


When I grew up, I discovered the power of another tree – my family tree.


The truth was the branches of my family tree were gnarled. The hurts of generations were visible in the rings. I didn’t know how to make my family tree any different, but I did know that God cared about it just as much as I did. I talked to Him about it often. I told Him that I wanted to grow a new

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Today’s Truth

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12 NIV).

Friend to Friend


My friend and I were sitting in a coffee shop. She was struggling that morning with a heavy burden; one she had carried for a long time. She shared that she was so angry that it overwhelmed her at times.


“Can you name a person you are angry with?” I asked.


“Just one?” she said.


“Okay, more than one,” I responded. “Can you list the people you struggle to forgive?”


She named 10 quickly, bending down a finger for each one. When I asked my sweet friend how we could pray about this together, she whispered, “Suzie, I want God to help me make this list smaller.”


What a brave prayer!


Maybe you identify with my friend. You have a list. Maybe it’s not

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Today’s Truth

And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will (Romans 8:27 NLT).

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Walking with our littles was often complicated. Bicycles raced down one side of the trail. Families, dogs, and children were in the other. Children rode scooters or skateboards. Runners raced by.


Trying to keep them safe didn’t always work until we started playing a fun game.


Red light. Yellow light. Green light.


If they raced ahead or arrived at a curve or close to a busy street, I’d call out, “red light.”


Regardless of how fast they were going, they’d stop. Yellow light meant slow down. Green light meant go, go, go! Making this a game made it fun, but it also made it safer for them.


When life is overwhelming, we may not know what to do.


We are tempted to run in

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Today’s Truth

For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28 NIV).

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I don’t usually struggle with anxious thoughts, but there it was. Concerned thoughts bubbled just under the surface. Questions pelted like gravel under the body of an old truck.


Am I doing enough?


Am I doing this right?


Thoughts like this can hit any of us at any time. They surface in a marriage or a close relationship. They creep into a job or a ministry position or the moment we take a big step of faith.


There’s a natural rhythm to anxious thoughts. They logically want to take us toward angst.


Luke describes a different rhythm in Acts 17:28.


“For in him we live and move and have our being.”


To move in Him is to move with Him.


This beautiful imagery of rhythm

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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 (John 11:33 NIV).

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I knew the news was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize how hard until the phone call finally came. For the next several days I bounced between sorrow and disbelief, mingled with gratitude.


I was thankful for the brief time I would have with this person I loved. I was grateful for every moment and every memory. I was also sad. There were days tears came without warning, bathing my face as my hurting heart tried to work through the reality of what was taking place.


Did you know that Jesus grieved too?


In John 11, Martha stumbles toward Jesus. Her brother Lazarus is dead. Sorrow marks Martha’s very being.


“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had

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Today’s Truth

Then the angel of the LORD came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you” 1 Kings 19:7 (NLT).

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“I’m done,” I thought, as I stared at the ceiling.


It was the end of a long day. I was in an unfamiliar bed. My feet hurt.


Honestly, none of those things were the issue. The truth was I loved what I got to do in ministry. I was thankful for the woman who opened her home to me. My feet would feel better in the morning, especially if I chose more comfortable shoes.


The problem was that I had come to the end of myself.


In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is called by God to deliver a message to King Ahab. When that message is questioned by the King, Elijah invites him and 450 false prophets of Baal to join him

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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).

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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