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Today’s Truth

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, 'Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow’ (Proverbs 3:27-28, NIV).

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I once heard a preacher tell the story of three demons who were arguing over the best way to destroy the Christian movement.


The first demon had it all figured out. “Let’s tell all the Christians that there is no heaven. If we take away the reward incentive, their movement will collapse,” he said.


The second demon responded with, “No, I have a better idea. Let’s tell all the Christians that there really is no hell. If we take away their fear of punishment, their movement will collapse.”


The third demon offered, “Both of those are great ideas, but there is a better way. Let’s tell all the Christians that there is no hurry.” The other demons applauded in delight! “That’s

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Today’s Truth

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25, NIV).

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When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, our family got an up close and personal lesson on faith. Trials can lead us to a greater dependency on God and a deeper trust in His sovereignty if we let them. I’ve learned that in every situation I have a choice: I can pout, or I can praise.


I can turn away from God because I don’t understand, or I can turn toward God trusting that His understanding is enough for the both of us – even if it hurts – even if fear lingers – even if doubt looms.


Have you been to these crossroads?


God shows us a powerful example of praise-over-pout behavior in chapter sixteen of the book of Acts.

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Today’s Truth

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).

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Have you ever felt like you just wanted to quit this thing called the “great race” of life? That’s your spiritual legs ache and you would much rather sit on the side of the road and have a good pity party than take one more step. I certainly have. And then I think of my nephew Stu and his mom, Pat.


Stu ran cross-country when he was in high school, but the most exciting parts of the races was his mother cheering. At one particular race, my family and I stood on the sidelines, watching legs stretch, backs bend, and arms swing in an effort to warm up. Seventy anxious young men clustered around the starting line in ready

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Today’s Truth

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22, NIV).

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It’s early spring, and I’m preparing the repurposed wine barrels for planting.


All winter they sat neglected, left to their own devices. Some plants made it through the winter, and we are grateful that it looks like we’ll have an abundant crop of bright red raspberries this summer.


But our main crop coming out of the frost? A healthy yield of weeds.


For the Big Boy tomatoes and Pink Lemonade blueberries to live, other life-choking things have to die.


Thankfully, we can easily deal with infant weeds. After a few minutes on each wine barrel, our soil is ready for seedlings we’ve nurtured in the green house.


If I have learned anything living up here on the mountain, it’s this: take care of

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Today’s Truth

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help (Hebrews 4:14-18 Message).

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I half-ran, half-walked down the trail. My breath came in short spurts. My daily walk seemed like a lovely idea until the heavens opened, and rain poured. The rain wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t mind that I was soaked. It was the rolling dark clouds and flashing lightning that made me feel exposed.


Was I supposed to stay out in the open, or hide under the branches of one of the larger trees that surrounded me? Both seemed like a bad option, so I kept running until I finally made it to the safety of my home.


While I longed for a safe place in this storm, there have also been times I’ve felt unsafe in other ways. Illness

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Today’s Truth

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3 NIV).

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I could hear the wailing from the driveway. It was 5:10 a.m. and nature soundly slept. All was quiet, except for the animal-like cries making their way out the back door and into the still dark dawn. My husband and his sister were giving their mom the news that her husband of sixty years had passed away. After three months in a rehab facility recovering from a fall, Bruce Jaynes quietly slipped away and took Jesus’ hand.


Jesus or no Jesus, Mary Ellen was devastated that her husband had left her.
“How could he leave me?” she cried through salty tears. “He said he wouldn’t leave me.”


My in-laws’ relationship reflected the Shulammite’s words in the Song of Solomon: “I am

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Today’s Truth

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes (Psalm 19:8, NIV).

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Years ago, I was in the elevator in a department store with two of my kids. A young employee stood sullenly inside the elevator. With a smile on my face, I nudged my oldest to ask the employee how his day was going. Without looking up, the employee mumbled, “This is my second job today.” I empathized and said something like, “It must be very tiring to have to work two shifts. But at least you have work.” The elevator doors opened and he shuffled out lazily, never making eye contact or smiling to us once.


I decided to take advantage of that moment to teach something to my young kids. “Boy, he seemed grumpy,” I whispered. I commented

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Today’s Truth

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22, ESV).

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My husband is a wise man, and God has placed him as the head of our home, so I like to talk through difficult things with him. He gives me a perspective that’s often quite different from mine.


When I need to hash out confusion, I sometimes go to the small group of women I call my besties. They’re godly. They love me. They like me. They laugh at and with me. They pray for me. They mentor me and provide counsel.


Now, it’s true: 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

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Today’s Truth

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19, NIV).

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My husband was determined to teach me how to fish … whether I wanted to learn or not. We were on vacation with our two children, and everyone was getting in on Dan’s fishing lessons.


Danna had already announced that she would never – under any circumstances – touch a worm or a fish. Dan and Jered promised to bait her hook and reel in any fish she caught. I knew what they were thinking: the possibility of Danna actually learning how to cast a line or catch a fish was so remote that they had nothing to fear. They could not have been more wrong.


The fish seemed to jump on Danna’s hook. She squealed with excitement as she

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Today’s Truth

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

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For years I was deathly afraid of heights. My heart went into overdrive. I felt faint. When I found myself in a high place, I ended up pressed against a wall or sitting down with my eyes closed.


A few years ago, my son gave me a birthday gift. It was two passes to a zipline park. When I opened the gift he said, “Mom, you are one of the most adventurous people I know. I know that you are afraid of heights, but I want to do this with you.”


When we arrived at the park, my heart started beating fast. I had hoped the zipline would be a little less high, a little less intimidating, but it wasn’t.

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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