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Today’s Truth

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5, NIV).

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I remember as a little girl, hiding under the covers of my bed, trying to shut out my parents’ yelling and screaming in the next room. I heard bad words. I didn’t know what some of them meant, but I did know how they made me feel. Dirty. The next morning, I awoke to the aftermath of the night’s tirade—Mom’s black eye, Dad’s crying remorse, furniture tossed and broken—and those bad words bouncing around my little-girl head.


Nevertheless, I was expected to put on my school clothes, brush my hair, eat my cereal, brush my teeth, and sit in class with my little friends as if nothing had happened the night before. The shame of what I’d seen and

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Today’s Truth

“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:21 NLT)

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Despite my best intentions, I still eat vanilla ice cream right out of the carton. I sometimes wrestle anxiety like a wild alligator. I feel confused by social media and stressed out by the news. Curled up in bed, I told all this to Jesus one day. And I asked, “What do You want me to picture as success?” It seems the answer that came quietly into the dark was this: faithfulness.


This is not the answer our world would give. We’d be told fame or material possessions, staying young forever or getting to sit at the cool table are markers of success. But in the Gospels, the master doesn’t say, “Well done, my good and famous servant.” He

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Today’s Truth

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26 NIV).

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The doorbell rang, but I had absolutely no desire to answer it. I was desperately trying to withdraw from my world. It was too dark and too painful. I just wanted to be left alone.


Clinical depression was sucking the life out of me. I was seeing a counselor. I was also under the care of a psychiatrist who discovered I had a chemical imbalance that required medication. But it would be a long, hard road.


The doorbell rang again. I pulled the covers over my head, determined to outlast whoever was trying to work their way into my pain. It was easier to just surrender to the darkness than it was to struggle my way to the light.


The doorbell

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Today’s Truth

Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”) (Exodus 17:15 NLT).

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During her kindergarten year, my daughter had a variety of puzzling symptoms that caused her organs to start shutting down with septic shock. During the days on the ventilator in the ICU, I felt God’s presence and power in a way unparalleled to any other time in my life. But I wasn’t prepared for the battles I would face after going home.


My other children had been displaced during the long ordeal and needed extra attention. My daughter was getting better but still required daily shots in her stomach because of a blood clot that resulted from a central line IV. To say I was weary would have been an understatement. But the crazy thing was the battle

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Today’s Truth

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me (Psalm 94:18, NIV).

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I can fall with the best of them. Really. It’s almost a spiritual gift for me.


When I was in second grade, Mr. Traynor came once a week to take me out of Mrs. Bryan’s classroom for an “extra phys-ed class.” I loved getting out of bookwork to juggle bean bags and play fun games with Mr. Traynor in the gym, and I thought it was so cool that I had the privilege of extra playtime. Yay me.


Years later I found out that “Mr. Traynor time” was actually a special school program to help kids with under-developed coordination. Yay me. Ahem.


Back in those young, uncoordinated days of mine, my family vacationed at the South Jersey shore. We stayed just

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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).

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“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

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).

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A sign was posted on a telephone pole by the grocery store: “LOST DOG with three legs, blind in left eye, missing right ear, tail broken, and recently castrated. Answers to the name of Lucky!”


Perhaps you feel just about as “lucky” as that lost dog. Hobbling along. Impaired vision. Broken tail. Well, you get the picture. There was a woman in the Bible who also felt like she was out of luck and had nothing to give. But then God showed her how to fill up so that she could pour out. Her story is found in 1 Kings 17, and it begins with a man named Elijah.


Elijah was a good prophet who gave some bad news to

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Today’s Truth

Fear not … I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you (Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV).

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While walking into the opening session of a conference, my husband’s cell phone rang. He answered the call, then as the emcee welcomed us to the weekend, Brad leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Preston fell on a rock at camp. They’re taking him to urgent care to get stitches in his chin.”


Deep breath in.


Less than an hour later, my husband’s phone rang again. “The doctor said Preston actually broke his jaw. They need us to pick him up and take him to Charlotte. He might need surgery.”


Gripped by his words, I struggled to think clearly … A broken jaw? Surgery? It was supposed to be just a few stitches! Bags were packed quickly and by the

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Today’s Truth

Lord, You are my strength and my protection. You are a safe place for me to run to in times of trouble... (Jeremiah 16:19 NCV).

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No one would call George Smith a coward. Smith was a daring jet test pilot in the 1950’s when the sound barrier was first being broken. He could face anything – until he had to bail out of a jet going 805 miles per hour. Smith survived, but he was hospitalized for weeks.


Smith shared his fear of ever flying again with one of the nurses who had become a friend. The nurse smiled and said, “I have an antidote to fear. It is courage. To have courage is to know the worst, and to discover that in God’s economy, the very worst can’t really hurt you.”


George Smith reminds me of Job.


Job was an extraordinary man, husband, father, and

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Today’s Truth

“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts” (Matthew 13:19, NLT).

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My new house has a blueberry bush. Through our living room window, I see ripening berries. When they get a perfect blue hue, then I’ll know it is time to pluck them off. Yet, there’s one problem with my hypothetical dream…


Birds. Pesky little birds keep stealing my fruit. When I see a berry all blue and ready-to-eat, a bird comes along, sits on a branch – and pluck! My luscious berry is gone. In a split-second, my ripe fruit is stolen right off the vine.


This situation happens in our spiritual life too. Many of us have ripening fruit in our lives, yet there is an enemy who wants to steal it. The Bible tells us that ”the thief

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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