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Today’s Truth

All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols. (Psalm 97:7)

(Psalm 97:7)

Friend to Friend


The mug in my hand was filled with warm, dark roasted incentive. I cozied onto my favorite couch corner, breathing in the quiet of dawn. Prayer-whispers rose to heaven as I settled my heart before the All-worthy One. I was desperate for God’s presence and power to fuel another busy day.


To my surprise and great delight, as I cracked open the Good Book a tiny distraction flew into my peripheral vision. A hummingbird had made its way over to the orchid arrangement on the side table of the deck outside. The artificial orchid arrangement.


The nourishment that little flyer sought could not be found in a plastic and silk imposter, so the hummingbird flew away. I smiled and shook

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Today’s Truth

“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.

(Judges 6:23-24, NLT)

Friend to Friend


We all lack peace from time to time. Fear and worry can creep up on us when we least expect it, leaving us awake at night. Maybe we think peace will descend upon us once we have no difficult relationships or financial worries. Other times we may think peace will come through having the right leaders in our government, job, or church. Our culture often hints that we need to create peace in our lives with a better time-management plan, more self-esteem, or an escape to a tropical island.


However, we can learn an important truth from a man named Gideon in the Bible. He discovered that we don’t create peace; we receive it from God. While peace

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Today’s Truth

They did not remember your many kindnesses.

(Psalm 106:7)

Friend to Friend


My daughter calls me Dory. She even gave me a small travel sized tin for cotton swabs because Dory is on the lid. Think back to the adorable movie Finding Nemo. Yeah. That Dory. The adorably lovable blue fish-friend who struggles with short-term memory loss. Ahem.


I do forget things.


Regularly.


Where I put my keys. Why I was going upstairs. Who that person is. What I was talking about… mid-sentence…


Now, let’s pause for a reality update before you start sending me emails advising me to take ginkgo biloba, use essential oils or meet with a doctor… it’s more my personality than a brain function issue. I’m good, people. Just a bit forgetful and easily distracted.


But as I read Psalm 106,

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Today’s Truth

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” he asked His disciples. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

(Matthew 10:29-31, emphasis added)

Friend to Friend


As a little girl, I never felt I was worth very much. I always felt that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough. I sensed my parents tolerated me, but certainly didn’t delight in me. And if your own parents couldn’t love you, then who could?


Then there was the definitive day in the eleventh grade that took my self-worth to an all-time low. I can still remember what I was wearing: lavender bell bottom low rise jeans, a bubble knit short-sleeve top, Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals, and a blue bandanna tied around my head of long oily hair I hadn’t had time to wash that morning. This was acceptable attire for teens when I was in

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Today’s Truth

In the day of my trouble I call upon YOU, for you answer me. (Psalm 86:7, ESV)

(Psalm 86:7, ESV)

Friend to Friend


This past August my girlfriend dropped her freshman daughter off at college—a full 9-hour drive away—and returned home with all the jumbled emotions typical of a mother: excitement, longing…and trepidation.


Then the phone calls began.


“Mommy, I am lonely.” “I am eating all by myself in the dining hall.” “My classes are so far away—uphill, both ways!” “My shower drain is clogged.” “My roommate decided to move out…”


With each call home, my girlfriend’s heart twisted more and more. She tried to remain upbeat and encouraging when on the phone with her girl, but when the call ended, both her daughter and my friend were in tears, 9 hours apart.


I happen to live nearby this college and offered to meet up

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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