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Today’s Truth

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.

Romans 12:11

Friend to Friend


I recently stopped at a local discount store to pick up a few things. When I went to check out, the cashier looked very familiar. He must have seen the question in my eyes because he smiled and said, “It’s good to see you, Mrs. Southerland.” When I heard his voice, I immediately recognized him as the manager of a local grocery store where I frequently shopped. Before I could say one word, he explained, “I lost my job at the grocery store. Evidently, I needed to change mission fields for a while.” Now that is what I call a heavenly perspective of an earthly job.


God uses our work as one of His tools to mold us into

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Today’s Truth

Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

John 8:10

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A four-year-old girl was overheard reciting the Lord’s Prayer, “and forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who pass trash against us.” When I first heard that story, I smiled. Then I thought of a conversation I had had recently with a girlfriend.


She is a Christian friend. But though she has “emptied her trash basket” of sin before the Lord in sincere repentance, she has not emptied it of self-condemnation. Not completely. She holds the trash basket lid on tightly.


She is haunted by shame. Haunted by mistakes that are no longer remembered by a holy God. Haunted by sins that have been cast as far as the east is from the west.


For as high as the

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Today’s Truth

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3: 23

Friend to Friend


Isn’t it amazing to think God has fashioned a “work” for each one of us to do? We often assume God is only interested in “church work.” Nothing could be further from the truth.


When Jesus lived on earth, He spent most of His time outside the temple walls, with people. He visited their homes, their workplaces, their parties – their lives. Jesus wanted to be with people. We need to have that same attitude when it comes to the workplace. God has placed you in your job for many reasons.


We all want to be successful in our work. Your office may be downtown or just inside your front door. Your work clothes may be a Casper suit or

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Today’s Truth

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

Friend to Friend


It was one of my favorite trees. And it was dying.


We live on a lake, and my dying tree was truly a “tree planted by streams of water.” So how could it be dying? How could branches right in the smack dab middle of the bushy green be turning into kindling? It didn’t make sense.


I called an arborist to come out and take a look. He saw the problem right away.


“Ma’am, see how that tree looks like a telephone pole stuck in the ground? That’s not the way a tree should be planted. You should be able to see some of the roots spreading out from the trunk. Those roots are covered up with dirt, grass, and these

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Today’s Truth

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

Friend to Friend


God always needs to be our go-to guy when it comes to counsel. Our first call. But the Bible also gives us the directive to connect with other Christ followers for guidance: seek godly counsel.


“The LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless” (Prov. 2:6–7).


When I make an effort to seek godly counsel, I benefit from the power of the Lord that is at work in the lives of those around me. I benefit from their mistakes and from their successes. And it frees me from the pressure of having to figure everything out on my own. It

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Today’s Truth

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane… And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.

Matthew 26:36-38

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My husband and I just returned home from our first trip to Israel. I’ve heard for years that a pilgrimage to the Holy Land will change a believer’s life, that the Bible goes from black and white to technicolor! It’s all true. When you walk where Jesus walked, and read the words that The Word spoke in those places, with the rocks all testifying beneath your feet, your faith grows too big to stay on the inside and slips down your checks in the form of awestruck tears.


My favorite day was the one when we drove into Jerusalem, eager to place our feet where our Savior’s feet had trod. Anxious to inhale the scent of the earth that

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Today’s Truth

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11

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As a grandmother, I can testify to the importance of gates. I remember when our grandson Hudson first started walking. He was a champion crawler and he especially loved stairs. We just happened to live in a townhouse that had three flights of stairs, much to Hudson’s delight. Oh, we bought him toys, but they were nothing more than momentary distractions from his favorite toy – the stairs.


When Hudson first learned to climb up the stairs, we bought a gate to keep him from falling down those same stairs. I wondered how he would react to his new confinement. It didn’t take long to find out. When our daughter dropped him off for a visit, Hudson played with

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Today’s Truth

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:5

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The morning alarm sounded. I batted thin air, trying to shut off the noise without opening my eyes. Suddenly, it hit me. An epiphany that yes, I had overslept!!! By 45 minutes!! I’m guessing you can relate to the pandemonium that followed. I rushed 5 kids through an exceptionally abbreviated morning routine and somehow managed to pull up in front of the school only 15 minutes after the bell rang. I remembered the “I-love-you’s” and breathed a huge sigh of relief.


But as I pulled away from the curb, a wave of self-reproach folded over me. “How could you do this? What kind of mother sleeps through her alarm?” The belittling questions streaming through my mind overwhelmed my

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Today’s Truth

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Friend to Friend


A stronghold is one of those churchy Christianese words that is hard to wrap our minds around. It’s not a word we use everyday. So what exactly is a stronghold? Let’s take a look.


A stronghold is a thought pattern that forms a fortress around the mind, holding it prisoner to faulty thinking. It is formed brick-by-brick by repetitive faulty thinking or all at once by a onetime traumatic event such as a rape, molestation, or abuse.


In the Old Testament, a stronghold was a fortified dwelling used for protection from an enemy. David hid in wilderness strongholds when he was hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:4; 23:14). These were usually caves high

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Today’s Truth

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

Friend to Friend


The first time we took our children to a theme park, one of them commented at the end of the day that we had spent most of our day waiting in lines. However, this same child also said that the thrill of the rides had been well worth it. Following God sometimes feels like a day at a theme park. It has some exciting ups, some scary downs, and a lot of waiting in between.


I remember a season when I was waiting and wondering. About the time that our first child entered the toddler phase, my husband and I were excited to be expecting again. So, we were devastated when we experienced a miscarriage at seventeen weeks.

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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