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Today’s Truth

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens (James 1:17 NLT)


 


Friend to Friend


How do you arrange your Christmas gifts under the tree? After all, there are multiple strategies that must be considered! If you’ve got “shakers” in your family, you likely hide their gifts at the bottom of the pile. If you’ve got a “Snoopy,” like my kids, you probably keep those gifts undercover in a location that only Nancy Drew could find.


During my childhood, I described my Mom’s Christmas strategy as “Shock, Awe and Squishy.” She’d place my most-longed-for gift in front of the tree, usually unwrapped. Mom hovered by with her camera to capture the enraptured look on my stunned face.


Then, it was time for the squishy gifts. These were the lumpy, soft-wrapped packages that showed up every

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Today’s Truth

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28–30 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


Today I pressured a friend to quit.


My friend Lori has had some big, wonderful things happen in her life, including a wedding to the man of her dreams, and it was time to “get back to work.” She had an event planned, is a super hard worker, and was doing everything to pull it off.


She was exhausted. She was worn out from all the good stuff in her life.


But she was going to keep going, because that is the kind of person she is. She has a high sense of responsibility.


I could see in her eyes that, more than she needed to keep her commitment, she needed a nap. And I recognized that look, because at one time

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Today’s Truth

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I breezed by my pastor without so much as a hello, a head nod, or a second glance.


“Kelly!” He abruptly announced. “How are you?”


His voice caught my attention. A few steps past him, I looked back, towards the sound of his voice. Only now, could I see him. Only now, was his face discernible. Before, I couldn’t make him out. He was just a figure.


Why?


The sun had blinded my sight. In the light, I could only see light. In the light, my pastor was a figure, not a face with details.


This makes me consider the power of light…


Just as the full-force of the sun had the ability to overpower my sight, so too does the full-force of God’s

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Today’s Truth

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


Every year, I search for Christmas poems, stories, and traditions that stir my soul and keep my focus on Jesus. Perhaps none has tugged my heartstrings like the treasure I am sharing with you today. It is a letter that could have been written by Mary. Join me now and let’s peek over Joseph’s shoulder as he reads this letter from his beloved.


I had a dream, Joseph. And I don’t understand it, not really. But I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. Well, I think that’s what it was about. People had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated their house, bought new clothes, gone shopping many times, and bought elaborate gifts.

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Today’s Truth

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I thought I was so godly … until we decided to move. If you want to measure your faith, just decide to pack up everything you own, put it in cardboard boxes, and move.


And if you really want to test the strength of your faith, decide to basically gut the house into which you are moving. Yep! That ought to do it!


Paint. I know a fresh coat of paint can make old walls dance with new life, but painting is also messy, time consuming, and the source of total chaos. Cans of paint lugged from room-to-room along with paint trays that are guaranteed not to spill … until they do. And don’t get me started on the whole

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Today’s Truth

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10 NIV)


 


Friend to Friend


Yard sales. I’ve never really liked them. But when we were preparing to move from our home of twenty years, we decided it was the best way to clean out the clutter and make a little money.


We displayed our lovely attic décor on makeshift plywood tables and waited for the bargain babes to descend. Two hours before the advertised opening time, treasure hunters began congregating outside the closed garage doors. Then, the doors rose, and the swarm attacked.


Among the valuables from my past sat an electric, ceramic 12” Christmas tree with various colored lights…no doubt a gift from the eighties. One woman perused the lovely display and came upon this “magnificent work of art.”


“I’ve always wanted one of

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Today’s Truth

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged (Isaiah 42:3 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


My grandmother made me feel seen as a child. I can still envision her huge grin when any of her grandkids arrived at her home. When she was in her 90’s, I took three days off my typical work schedule to fly down and spend time with her. We walked down memory lane during those days, and she shared stories I had never heard about growing up during the Great Depression.


I was able to tell her again how her love impacted my life. The next year we had to cancel our family trip to Texas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any family coming to see her, she began to decline rapidly and ended up passing from

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Today’s Truth

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else (Galatians 6:4 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend


I was checking out my Facebook posts and feeling a little bit left out. It seemed everyone was having a big ole time with family and friends, and well, I wasn’t. It was Christmas time and it appeared that all the family gatherings were picture perfect…and mine wasn’t.


Pinterest postings of perfect sausage pinwheels. Facebook pics of glittery table setting with Christmas China and matching napkins. Instagram reels of happy families decorating a freshly cut tree. A passel of grandparents, parents, and kiddos dressed in matching Christmas pajamas. And you’re thinking, good for them, kinda.


And don’t get me started on Christmas letters—highlight reels that don’t show the part of the story left on the cutting room floor for no

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Today’s Truth

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them (James 4:17 NIV)


 


Friend to Friend


Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Case in point…


My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So, I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.


“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.


“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”


I checked the items I’d brought home. No suit pants.


“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”


“I definitely had pants in

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Today’s Truth

My soul, wait silently for God alone; for my expectation is from Him (Psalm 62:5 NKJV).


 


Friend to Friend


The alarm went off. Surely there was some kind of mistake. Nope! Time to get up and face another day of appointments, writing deadlines, piles of laundry … and you know exactly what I’m talking about.


I fell back in bed, exhausted. I need a vacation! Right? But I need more than a physical timeout. My soul needs rest. My heart needs solitude. My mind turned to a man in the Bible who probably felt the same way – Elijah.


Elijah is a great example of a man in need of rest. One day he was the conquering hero, the next we find him sitting under a Juniper tree, wallowing in self-pity – and begging God to let him die.

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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