START HERE

DEVOTIONS

Select:

Today’s Truth

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

(James 5:16b, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who worked with her father Casper ten Boom, her sister Betsie ten Boom, and other family members to help many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home. Corrie and her family were caught, arrested, and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp.


While imprisoned at the concentration camp, Corrie tells a story of the time she had a terrible cold. She told her sister Betsie how much she just wished she had a handkerchief. Of course, handkerchiefs were impossible to find in that place. Betsie then suggested that Corrie pray for one, and Corrie just laughed at that ridiculous idea. Why would God be concerned

Read More

Today’s Truth

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

(2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV)

Friend to Friend


The dinner party was fantastic; the only problem was me.


Rather than relaxing into the night as the conversation danced around the tea-lighted dinner table, I checked-out. What should I say next? What do they think of me? What will they say about me when they get home?


At one point, the conversation at the table circled to me. Because it was my turn to talk, I perked up. I tried to think of the most eloquent words and aimed to tell my story with style.


I hope they like what I said. I hope I came off right. 


Now that I am home, I feel embarrassed about my internal thought process at this dinner. Now I wonder, “What was I trying to prove?”


If

Read More

Today’s Truth

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.

(1 Corinthians 2:9)

Friend to Friend


I hopped up on the counter at the soda fountain and placed my five-year-old feet on the spinning stool in front of me. Dad sipped on a Coke and talked to the lady behind the counter with the red-and-white-striped apron tied around her waist.


“This is my little girl,” Daddy said with a smile. “She’s a little monkey.”


“Why, Allan, she’s just as cute as she can be.”


For a moment, I thought I was.


I stood in the front yard waiting for the screaming to stop before I went back inside. Dad was drunk again, and Mom was screaming at the top of her lungs. Why couldn’t he see how afraid I was? Why did he drink? Why did Mom yell?

Read More

Today’s Truth

He must increase, but I must decrease.

(John 3:30, ESV)

Friend to Friend


I once listened to a talk on the foundations of contemporary discipleship given by scholar and apologist Ravi Zacharias. Toward the end of his lecture, Ravi spoke of a conversation he had with a former Muslim who had become a Christian. The gentleman humbly explained to Mr. Zacharias that there is a compelling contrast between the way he was taught as a Muslim to view faith and the way he sees faith being perceived in the lives of many Christians.


He drew a circle and a small dot inside the circle.


After this, he drew another circle and a small dot in the other circle.


Then he told Ravi that since he’d become a Christian, what he sees is that the

Read More

Today’s Truth

Do not be surprised at the painful things you are now suffering. These things are testing your faith.

(1 Peter 4:12-13, ICB)

Friend to Friend


I pray that your New Year is off to a great start. The holidays are wonderful but I am always ready for them to be over so life can get back to normal. Hmmm…that word “normal” can definitely mean different things to different people. I have to admit that “normal” is not a word people commonly use to describe my life or me. I have heard more than one person say, “Mary, you are not a normal pastor’s wife!” I smile and thank them for the compliment. Ignorance can definitely be bliss. Several of my closest friends are convinced that I could make millions by doing my own television reality show. “Nobody could make this stuff up!” they

Read More

Today’s Truth

The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.

(Proverbs 13:20, CSB)

Friend to Friend


Who we hang out with is a big deal. “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” Remember that old saying? Well, I found out it’s actually true about apples! Here’s the deal. There’s a gas that’s a “fruit-ripening hormone” called ethylene. In apples, the level of ethylene gas rises continually as they ripen, go through their life cycles, and eventually rot. Because the release of ethylene gas increases as an apple rots, it accelerates the ripening (and rotting) of all the apples in close proximity to the rotting one. (Yay! Biology!) Don’t fall asleep on me.


Another old saying with a similar sentiment is this, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”


Some say, “Show me your

Read More

Today’s Truth

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

(James 1:2-4, NIV)

Friend to Friend


John struggled with spelling. Staring at his spelling test, his heart sank. So many of the words seemed difficult, and he wasn’t sure how to spell most of them. Softly the enemy whispered, “Look at Jane’s paper. She’s an honor student and always gets them right!”


Mark hesitated, but he was desperate to make a good grade. He gave in and copied several answers from Jane’s paper.


The teacher noticed Mark’s actions and was really surprised because she had always thought of him as an honest boy. When it came time to collect the completed work, she saw Mark’s inner struggle reflected on his face of anguish. Finally, Mark bowed his head for a moment and then suddenly ripped his

Read More

Today’s Truth

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

(James 4:17 NIV)

Friend to Friend


Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Case in point…


My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So, I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.


“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.


“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”


I checked the items I’d brought home. No suit pants.


“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”


“I definitely had pants in

Read More

Today’s Truth

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

(Luke 15:20 NIV)

Friend to Friend


Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart-touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke 15. It’s what we’ve come to know as the Story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then he had an epiphany.


“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go

Read More

Today’s Truth

I will never leave you or abandon you.

(Hebrews 13:5 b, CSB)

Friend to Friend


My daughter Lovelle and I sit on the couch in my living room and read the familiar story. The Garden of Eden. Eve. The forbidden fruit. The fall. We are going through a series of passages called “From Creation to Christ” and, of course, this scene makes the list. It’s where everything changes, after all.


Afterward we walk around the neighborhood on a blue-sky summer day and we talk about what we’ve read. What does this tell us about God? What does this tell us about people? How does this change how we live? Three simple, complicated questions.


Before I know it, I’m saying this, “God always comes for us. He came for Adam and Eve when they were hiding

Read More
Pages:1234567...53»

"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