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Today’s Truth

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

Luke 22:31-32, NIV

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If I made a list of all the things that I want to thank Jesus for, this wonderful display of grace would be at the top. I mean seriously, here Jesus is, about to be abandoned, arrested, persecuted and executed, and what does He do? He prays for Simon Peter’s faith and assures Him that even though the waters are about to get stirred up, he’ll pass through them. The waves will not overwhelm him or obliterate his faith, even if he might feel like he’s going under.


You want to know what just wrecks me? Knowing that Jesus, who now sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us, has prayed specifically for me, that

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Today’s Truth

I will provide for their needs before they ask, and I will help them while they are still asking for help.

Isaiah 65:24, NCV

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Despite a very shaky start, the weekend could not have gone any better! (If you have not read yesterday’s devotion, stop where you are. Go back and read it … now!)


Dan and I finally made it to Greensburg for my speaking event and checked into our hotel only to discover that the air conditioning in our room did not work.



Did. Not. Care.

I was so tired that I literally climbed into bed and pleaded with my sweet husband to just deal with it. He did. I vaguely remember the maintenance man kicking the air conditioning unit in our room, and the unit coming to life. Go God!


And God was all over the event from beginning to end. I totally

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Today’s Truth

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38, NIV

Friend to Friend


My requirements for a car are simple and few. It has to run. And it has to have both air and heat. I don’t like car payments. Cars are not my “thing.” Consequently, we have bought many used cars and have even been given a few cars over the years. We drive them until they die. And then God provides another car.


A year ago, the car I was driving died. Since it was the beginning of summer and Dan was scheduled to have a month sabbatical in addition to his month of study and vacation time, we decided to wait on making a car decision. We could make it a few months with one car … or in

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Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border…”

1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV

Friend to Friend


Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.


I didn’t always love what she had to say.


Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.


I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from


the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.


One

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Today’s Truth

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20 NIV

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Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart-touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke 15. It’s what we’ve come to know as the Story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then he had an epiphany.


“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go

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Today’s Truth

The LORD answered him, ‘I will be with you. It will seem as if the Midianites you are fighting are only one man.’

Judges 6:16, NCV

Friend to Friend


I was born to be an elementary school teacher – period. So, when a total stranger tapped me on the shoulder and said, “While you were singing, God told me you are supposed to be my Music and Youth Assistant this summer,” I felt sorry for him. He obviously needed to have his hearing checked.


I had just graduated from college with an elementary education teaching degree. A good friend was leading worship for a local church and asked me to sing a solo in the evening service. That’s all – or so I thought. When the service ended, my good friend introduced me to his good friend, the hard-of-hearing stranger, and said, “You should at least pray about

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Today’s Truth

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.

(Proverbs 22:9, NKJV)

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It was a generous act that got my attention.


After I was done speaking at a conference, a teenage boy asked to speak with me at my book table. “I know this may be strange,” he said. “But I’d like to buy books for the next ten people at your table.”


He handed me $100. I couldn’t believe that someone wanted to be so generous, and I couldn’t believe it was a 17-year-old boy! The host church wasn’t in an affluent part of town and I later learned that boy did not come from a rich family.


I praised his generosity and motioned for him to stay close, so he could overhear my next conversation. A kind looking woman in

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Today’s Truth

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

Friend to Friend


I’ve had some things to happen in my life that I would just as soon forget. I bet you have too. But as soon as I start to shred the memory and throw it in the trash, God says, “Hold up. I’ve got a good purpose for that bad story.”


Joseph learned that lesson, too. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of sexual harassment, and left in a prison to die. Then God miraculous rescued him from prison and made him second in command to the Egyptian Pharaoh. By his thirty-seventh birthday, Joseph had two sons. One he named Manasseh, which means “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my

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Today’s Truth

Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.

(Psalm 64:1b)

Friend to Friend


Battles are everywhere… in our homes, in our hearts, in our humanity, and in realms unseen. The Bible actually has a lot to say about this: Our struggle isn’t just against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) No weapons formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17) Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) When we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee! (James 4:7) And there’s tons more.


Let’s be honest, that’s a lot to take in. It all sounds so major-motion-picture.

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Today’s Truth

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:38-39, NLT)

Friend to Friend


I walk into the kitchen on an ordinary morning and sigh at the spectacle in front of me. Mugs half-filled with cold tea. Dishes with bits of red sauce still stuck around the edges. Plates piled high in the sink.


I imagine a hazmat team beating down the door at any moment. One of my in-laws showing up to repossess my husband. Paparazzi peeking in the windows to snap a scandalous shot of the wreckage.


I look at my husband and declare, “I feel like a failure because the kitchen is a mess.” I know these words are irrational. Everyone has messy times in their lives. But on this morning those words feel true. He chuckles at my perfectionist self.

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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