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Today’s Truth

Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:2, NIV

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I want it all. I want everything God has for me. However, I don’t believe my life really reflects that attitude. I tend to settle for so much less than God’s very best for my life.


God longs to pour out His blessings on His children. We have somehow bought into the lie that we will receive good things from God by working harder, trying to be better or doing more good things. Girlfriend, that is from the pit and smells like smoke.


We are saved by God’s grace and nothing we do or don’t do will ever be good enough to earn the favor of God. In Ephesians the apostle Paul tells us that salvation is a gift –

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Today’s Truth

So, the other disciples told [Thomas], “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks [scars] in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side [scar], I will not believe” (John 20:25, NIV) He was pierced for our transgressions…and by His wounds [evidenced by His scars] we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

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As a physical therapist, I spend many hours each week working on the post-surgical scars of my patients. You see, scars, when left to themselves, have a tendency to become bound down and restricted. In the process of forming they can even adhere themselves to other nearby structures, such as skeletal muscles and organs. It’s my job to make sure new scars heal in a flexible manner and any existing scars are mobilized and released so they won’t continue to pull on or bind up the fluid motion of neighboring anatomical structures.


Through the course of our lives, we can have close encounters with wounded people who leave us with wounds of our own. (Hurt people, hurt people.) Add

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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

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When I was a little girl, my mom did her grocery shopping at White’s Supermarket on the corner of Tarboro Street and Pearl. Other grocery stores were close by, but only White’s gave out S&H Green Stamps with every purchase. On shopping days, I stood on tiptoes, bug-eyed as the cashier push the buttons and rang up my mom’s purchases.  My mom’s eyes lit up every time she heard the cha-ching, knowing that meant more stamps were on the way. After the cashier tallied the purchases, she pulled a lever and the register spit out two streams of large and small stamps. We never put the stamps in books right away.  Mom stuffed them in a brown paper bag and stored

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Today’s Truth

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you, Jeremiah 1:5, NCV

Jeremiah 1:5, NCV

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We adopted Miss Becky and she adopted us. My husband was the pastor of a church in South Florida and our family lived in Texas. Miss Becky became a grandmother to our two children and a precious friend to me.


I took our two kids by Miss Becky’s apartment every couple of weeks. We always went to McDonald’s for lunch. I tried so hard to take her to a nicer restaurant, but she was not having it. She wanted a fish sandwich, French fries, and an orange soda – from McDonald’s.


After lunch, Miss Becky invited us back to her home for a visit. Translation? Jered took care of any needed repairs while Danna and Miss Becky made cookies. My

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Today’s Truth

When He had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, He broke them and gave them to His disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so … The people ate and were satisfied.

Mark 8:6, 8a, NIV

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The Gospel of Mark says four thousand people came to hear Jesus speak that day. Of course, this wasn’t the first time a crowd had gathered. By now, the disciples were used to men, women and children pressing close to the One who spoke of heaven as if it was present and here for the taking.


But this time the crowd stayed for three straight days. I imagine they slept on the grass, curled up in families in an attempt to ward off the cold. They wore the same clothes and went without showers. Worse yet, they’d long since consumed their sack lunches. That means, in their hunger for more of Jesus, they’d failed to eat.


This is why

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Today’s Truth

“These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” 1 Peter 1:7, NIV

1 Peter 1:7, NIV

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I am told that in the famous lace shops of Belgium there are certain rooms used for spinning the finest and most delicate designs of lace. Each room is completely dark – except for one small window. Through this tiny window, light shines directly on the work at hand. A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread. The choicest pieces of lace, the most exquisite designs, are created when the worker is in the dark and only his work is in the light. When it comes to handling hurt, we often find ourselves sitting in the darkness of frustration and pain, wondering if anything good can

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Today’s Truth

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.

Psalm 67:4

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I’m obsessed with gymnastics and figure skating. Obsessed. For two weeks, every four years. You know… like everyone else in America… when the Winter Olympics games come around. Pour me a bowl of Wheaties, hand me a flag with stars and stripes, and let’s get it on! Stick that landing! Land that triple salchow! You got this! USA! USA! USA!


And you can’t miss the opening ceremonies!


There’s just a beyond-ness to them! Bright colors. Epic music. Intricate costumes.


Athletes from every nation, coming together in harmony. The pride of each country celebrating their unique heritages, while at the same time vibrantly displaying the beauty of humanity that binds us all together.


Songs are sung, dances are danced, and joy rises 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

“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

John 5:5-6 NIV

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Five-year-old Brooke was sitting in the backseat of a minivan while her mom and I ran errands. “Mommy,” she asked, “Is it worse to pick a scab or pick a mosquito bite?”


“You shouldn’t be picking at either one.” her mom replied.


I glanced back at Brooke as she tried to wipe away the bloody evidence that she’d done both.


Little girls aren’t the only ones who pick at scabs. We do it all the time. Maybe we don’t pick at the brown crusty scabs that form over a flesh wound preventing the skin underneath to heal. But many times we pick at the bitter rusty scabs that form over a soul-wound, not allowing the heart to heal.


Barbara (not her real

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Today’s Truth

He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.

Psalm 66:9

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Church camp helps young hearts feel held, healed, loved, and seen by an immortal, invisible God. It did for me as a teen and for my children as well. There’s just something special about cabins, games, songs and Christian community under a canopy of trees.


In the summer of 2012, our Smith kids had all gone off to church camp while Brad and I snuck away to a marriage retreat. As we headed into the first session, Brad got a call from the church camp informing us that Preston was being taken to the local urgent care facility. The camp director had announced that it was time to toast smores, and in his excitement to get there quickly from

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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