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Today’s Truth

I am the . . . bright Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16, NIV)

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The rough wooden boardwalk is cool beneath my feet as I make my way to the sand. The sky is still the thick, deep blue of night, and gray shadows sway in the salty wind. I sleepily take my husband’s hand. I’m not a morning person, but we’re on vacation and I’m determined to see the sun climb like a rising warrior above the waves at least once.


As we get closer to the shore, we can see more people who have decided to forsake pillows for flip-flops along with us. They sit on huge pieces of stranded driftwood, stroll along the edge of the water with cameras in hand, or sip from coffee cups with dazed looks on

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Today’s Truth

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27a, NIV).

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My curiosity begs to understand life. My mind longs for logic. When I was a child, I asked a million questions. Why is the sky blue? Are all angels men? Why do bad things happen? Why can’t we send my Brussel sprouts to the starving children in Africa? Who created God?


I wanted answers.


I still do.


Give me a story that grabs my attention at the beginning. Fill it with intrigue. Throw in some high conflict and drama in the middle and then catch the bad guys, tie up the loose ends and call it done. Cue the applause. Bring down the curtain. But don’t even think about leaving me hanging… and certainly don’t ask me to tune in next

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Today’s Truth

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want (Psalm 23:1, NIV).

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Contentment.


We all long for contentment. People know very little about contentment because they seek it in all the wrong places.


Food


Alcohol


Drugs


Career


Sex


Relationships


Money


The list is daunting … and absolutely useless when it comes to seeking peace and contentment. The heart of contentment is wrapped around the promise found in Psalm 23:1, a truth that is staggeringly important to remember in order to experience a contented life.


“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1, NIV).


The Lord is my Shepherd, so I will not want. The word “want” means “lack.” In other words, we will lack nothing. Every need in our lives will be met. Our Father, the Good Shepherd, will see to it.


A famous actor was once the guest

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Today’s Truth

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)

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I cringed while listening to my professor describe the Remember When assignment, which involved interviewing a parent so that we could write a paper describing our developmental process. Certainly, this assignment wasn’t designed with a middle-aged graduate school student in mind! How could my parents remember back that many decades? Even if they could, I wasn’t keen on a trip down memory lane, especially after all the time spent processing and healing from the abuse that marred my childhood. Maybe you can relate?


I was relieved as my heart softened while listening to my mom recount all the good, like the love my grandparents poured out on me, alongside the hardships, like my numerous knee injuries in high school

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Today’s Truth

“I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (Genesis 17:1)

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I was exhausted. I was drenched in sweat. I was filled with inexplicable joy–a joy I had never known. It was the day Steven Hugh Jaynes, Jr. emerged from the pocket of my womb and made his grand debut into the world.


When my son was born, I never knew so much love could be wrapped in one tiny package. After twenty-three-and-a-half hours of pushing and pulling, heaving and hoeing, he finally decided to leave his comfy sauna and face the bright lights of the delivery room. As soon as the umbilical cord was severed, the nurses whisked him away to make sure ten fingers and toes were accounted for, wrap him in a cozy blanket, and place a

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Today’s Truth

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you (Jeremiah 1:5, NCV).

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Beginnings are very important. In fact, the place of origin has much to do with the quality of the journey as well as the final destination. My journey – like yours – began in the heart and mind of God. Before I took even one breath, God loved and planned me. That same truth applies to you. You are neither an accident nor a mistake. You and I were created in response to the love and plan of God.


The power of Jeremiah 1:5 has changed my life!


Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you (Jeremiah 1:5, NCV).


God Himself supervised our formation. Wow! That just rocks my world. Think about that truth for a moment. We

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Today’s Truth

But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck” (Genesis 27:38–40 NLT, emphasis added).

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I was really upset with her. I don’t need to tell you the details because I want you to fill in the blanks yourself. I was really mad at _______ for ________. I’m not worried about you not having anything to put in those blanks because you’re human. We’ve all been really irked at someone for hurting our feelings, hampering our plans or a whole lot worse.


We’ve talked about Jacob in our devotion times together before, but what about poor Esau. His baby brother stole his birthright and his inheritance…that was a lot more than hurting his feelings. But let’s look back at the story from Esau’s point of view because sometimes we have to look backward in

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Today’s Truth

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).

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Have you ever felt left out?


I remember, as a kid, sitting on the curb at recess while the other girls in my class jumped rope. I sat alone. I stared at them. Inside, I knew where I stood with these girls. I wasn’t welcome. I had tried to join their club before; it didn’t work out so well.


Recently, I felt like that little girl on the curb again. It happened when a group of women laughed. They simply shared an inside-joke that I didn’t understand and, yet again, I felt left-out. I got triggered. I called the women “clique-ish” in my head and I hated their actions.


Yet, when I got home, I believe God prompted a thought. It

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Today’s Truth

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, ESV).

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I became a watering girl that summer.


Not because my black thumb suddenly turned green, but because my husband had ordered a heap of mulch and I was determined to not have a lame bare patch in the landscaped section of the house. No sir-eee! Mulch should be the accessory, not the main feature. My opinion.


So, in response to the mulch mountain, I drove my spontaneous little self to the gardening store and bought us some new bushes, a few flowers, and a tree. And I quickly learned that once all of said planty-purchases were in the ground, they required… gasp… maintaining so they could take root.


Totally cool, I thought as I strapped on my big girl panties. I

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Today’s Truth

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat (Mark 6:31, NKJ).

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If I had a warning sign on my forehead, it might have flashed these messages:


Fresh out. Give me room, people. Nothing more to give.


There were a lot of needs and I was juggling. I was tired and cranky, but I kept on going—until one day I realized it’s almost impossible to give anything good out of an empty well.


Maybe, like I once did, you ignore those signs too. You may even consider yourself strong. After all, you don’t let anything stop you. At least, until you can’t take one more step.


In today’s verse, we find Jesus and the disciples after a busy and successful time of ministry. He recognized their fatigue and also their human need for food

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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