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Today’s Truth

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

(Hebrews 12:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend
It wasn’t a major thing she did to upset me. It was many minor things over many days. For instance, I shared a joy I was thrilled about, but she changed the subject. I sent her texts of love from the bottom of my heart, and she was either slow to respond, or didn’t respond at all. I showed love, but she didn’t invite me to things other friends were invited to.


Inside, I was ready to write her off.


I’ve invested so much, but I am done with her.


Consciously and decisively, I created distance when we were together: talking to her less, giving her short answers, avoiding eye contact, and paying attention to others more.


But at home,

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Today’s Truth

“I will never leave you nor forsake you"

(Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)

Friend to Friend


She was among an eager group of four-year-old children crowded around my feet as I taught their Sunday school lesson. I was the teacher and they were the students—or at least that’s how it started out. The pint-sized audience listened intently as I tried to create a mental image of Jesus and His disciples trapped in a thunderstorm on the Sea of Galilee.


“The winds bleeeeeeew and rocked the little boat back and forth, back and forth. The waves were soooooo big; they splashed over the wooden sides and got the men all wet. Then water started filling up the boat—and do you know what happens when a boat gets full of water?”


“It sinks,” they chimed together.


“That’s right.” I

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Today’s Truth

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

(Psalm 91:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Basketball is a game of hustle, teamwork and strategy, all of which I love. My introduction to the sport, however, was a good bit lame and un-strategic. Not sure why, but my parents signed me up for a rec league team in the fifth grade where I was the only girl on my team. Possibly the only girl in the league.


Now, before you go waving your girl-power pompoms and break out in resounding choruses of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, let me assure you it was neither pretty, powerful or pompom worthy, because at that point I knew more about quantum physics than the game of basketball. Yep. I knew nothing. And it frustrated me to no end that they wouldn’t allow

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Today’s Truth

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns”

(Philippians 1:6 NLT)

Friend to Friend


He ironed. I watched.


I stood in the door frame of my guestroom, watching my nephew Jonathan iron the wrinkles out of his crumpled shirt, the rumpled creases out of his crumpled heart. He ironed and talked. I watched and listened.


Jonathan, my twenty-seven-year-old nephew, stopped by for a visit on his way to a wedding in my hometown. I’ll take every opportunity to spend time with my two nephews, Stu and Jonathan, and their sister Grace Anne. I’ve always been convinced that the stork dropped them off at the wrong address, missing my doorstep by 200 miles or so. I’m just crazy about them.


But life hasn’t been so easy for this precious nephew, or his siblings. While they

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Today’s Truth

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

(Psalm 51:17, NIV)

Friend to Friend


He was a friend … a pastor visiting my husband and me for a few days. He had come for help and advice because his wife was broken – a statement that made me just a tad bit angry for some reason. I didn’t really know why it made me angry, but it did.


“John, what did you mean when you said your wife is broken?” I asked. His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “She has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Mary, you have never met her, but she is the strongest woman I have ever known. She is talented, godly, and beautiful. But six months ago, she broke. It’s like she shattered into a million pieces

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Today’s Truth

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

(Psalm 95:2)

Friend to Friend


It’s not every day you come close to death. Especially when you’re young. It was a beautiful spring day in Akron, Ohio. I’d just gotten off work and was excited to meet with a manager of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner for my wedding would be held. One of my bridesmaids and best friends was going with me and we planned to sample several items to select the final menu.


Michele worked just down the road from me, so we met up in the parking lot of my workplace then she followed behind my car in hers as we headed to dinner. The restaurant was in an area called “the valley,” and there was a long, steep hill

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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)

Friend to Friend


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

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Karen was a godly woman who lost her battle to cancer. In spite of the medical struggles she faced, and the pain that terrorized her body, Karen’s faith was immovable. She knew God to be her refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Her unwavering faith inspired a community of believers, as she held strong to the very end. Though many prayed for Karen to be healed of cancer, God’s answer was “no.”


As she said goodbye to all she loved here on earth, Karen was comforted in knowing that she worshiped a risen Savior who was familiar with suffering. She held tight to Jesus, and because she did her life boasted of God’s glory.


It

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Today’s Truth

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:11-12)

(Psalm 62:11-12)

Friend to Friend


In the summer of 2002, Shira and Joey Arnold were delighted to learn that they were expecting their first child. They excitedly shared the news with family and friends as they began to plan for their new family. Weeks later, however, Shira and Joey got dream-shattering news. Routine tests at the doctor’s office revealed that their baby was not developing correctly. The couple was advised by medical professionals to consider termination of the pregnancy.


They adamantly refused.


Though Shira and Joey grieved deeply when they heard the news, they determined to trust in God and prayed for a miracle. Little Cayden was born blind, deaf, lame, and with only half a brain. The doctors had expected him to live only

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Today’s Truth

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

(Colossians 3:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Cantaloupe may very well be my favorite food. When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. On one particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious … and it was. Afterwards, I was gone for several hours, running errands. When I walked back in the front door that afternoon, a foul stench nearly knocked me down. It was such a strong odor! A dead animal was my first thought. A plumbing problem was my next idea. I began a room-to-room search that ended abruptly at the kitchen sink. Opening the cabinet underneath, I nearly gagged at the stench that slapped me in the face, making my eyes water. I instantly remembered

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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