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DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

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God doesn’t waste any experience in our lives. Some experiences come by His design while others come as consequences of our actions, but they all come with His permission and are filtered through His fingers of love.


While vacationing in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, our family developed several traditions. One of those traditions was mining for gold.


The routine was always the same. After buying a bucket of muddy rocks, we were handed a mesh-bottomed tray and seated on a mud-covered stool in front of a wooden trough. Cold water rushed down from the mountain above, spilling over the trough’s sides all over us and our clothes.


Lovely!


We slowly filtered the bucket’s contents into the tray, placed the tray

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Today’s Truth

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV).

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I hate taking showers.


I know, that’s not something I should admit in polite company. Let me explain…


I love to get up in the morning and curl up next to the fire with a cup of coffee and my Bible, our dog Moose beside me. It’s the perfect way to go from cozy bed to cozy couch, with the addition of caffeine and canine company.


But when it’s time to shower, everything else must be put into action: go get the clothes, take the shower, get dressed, do my hair and makeup, make breakfast, and finally sit at my desk. The shower signifies a shift to the less cozy part of my day. Admittedly, it’s a small thing, but

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Today’s Truth

Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered (Psalm 108:6 NIV).

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Back when jelly bracelets, Aqua Net hairspray, blue eyeshadow and parachute pants were a thing, I wrestled with frustration every time radio disc jockeys talked over the beginning or ending of a song.


Why?


Because before the days of digital, I used to record songs on audio cassettes with my handy-dandy cassette recorder so I could listen at leisure.


Truth be told, we technically did have the option to buy a 45 and spin the song, but I had very little money. So instead, I’d hover my pointer finger over the red-circled record button and wait for a popular song to come on the radio.


When the music began, I’d press the magic button, then dance giddy knowing I’d soon be able

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Today’s Truth

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30 NIV).

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I opened the letter and read words of rejection. Thanks, but no thanks.


Several months prior, I had sent my first book proposal off to a publisher. It was a step of faith walking to that mailbox and dropping it in the slot. However, I knew this was what God was calling me to do. Then the rejection letter came. “We like your writing, but nobody knows who you are. It will never sell. It does not meet our needs at this time.”


I wondered: Did I hear God wrong?


Why is it that most, including me, tend to think we’ve heard God wrong when we come face-to-face with opposition or difficulty? That certainly isn’t what we see in the Bible,

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Today’s Truth

As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza” (Acts 8:26 NLT).

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When my son was seven years old, I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said he would travel around telling people about Jesus. At this tender age he was surrounded by the message of Christ at both school and church. Because his father was a pastor, he had double doses of Sunday school during both morning services in addition to a midweek children’s program.


I envisioned crowds gathering to listen to my son preach in Billy Graham fashion until he added that he also would feed the people lunch. When I questioned how he would accomplish this, he explained that he planned to tell people about Jesus one at a time, possibly

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Today’s Truth

This I know: God is for me (Psalm 56:9 CSB).

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I often try to quiet fear by pretending it doesn’t exist. Clever… I know. But alas, it does exist and that’s not always a bad thing. To the contrary, it can actually keep us safe in the proper context. When my house was struck by lightning and lit with fire, fear sounded an emotional alarm, insisting that I escape – and fast. In this instance, fear was good. It kept me safe.


In many instances, however, fear is not good.


I’ve found that while it’s natural to be afraid at times – human, even – it’s best to not allow feelings of fear to consume and control large spaces of real estate in my heart. In Psalm 56, David handles

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Today’s Truth

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV).

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I grew up in a small country church that loved to sing hymns. One of my favorite hymns was “Power in the Blood.” When that hymn was sung, it seemed like the whole auditorium was filled with God’s power and His presence became more evident.


Blood is mentioned 460 times in the Bible. Fourteen times in the New Testament Jesus spoke of His own blood. Why? Because by the shedding of His blood, He made the possibility of our salvation a reality. He paid the penalty for our sin and redeemed us.


The penalty for our sin and rebellion is death, but Jesus stepped out and said, “I’ll take that death.” He voluntarily laid down His life and took the

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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

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

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I recently read the story of a man who died and went to heaven. St. Peter met him at the Pearly Gates and said, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me the good things you have done, and I will give you a certain number of points for each deed, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points you get to come into Heaven.”


“Okay,” the man replied. “I was married to the same woman for fifty years and never cheated on her, not even in my heart.”


“That’s wonderful,” St. Peter responded. “That is worth two points.” The man was shocked and said, “Only two points?” The

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Today’s Truth

“And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay” (Revelation 10:5-6 ESV).

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We dreaded this moment every year.


As summer ended, my husband, Luke, packed his bag to leave for NFL training camp. After a decade of doing this year after year, I still teared up as I walked him to his truck and gave him one last kiss good-bye.


On the calendar we penciled in the day we expected training camp to end, usually with several exclamation points included! But ultimately, we knew the coach would make the final call. If he wanted to break camp early, he would. If he wanted to keep the team a few days longer, he would.


As we longed for Luke’s return, the kids and I kept ourselves busy. If we stayed productive, it eased

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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