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Today’s Truth

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life, (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

Friend to Friend


A friend asked me the other day, “How’s your heart?” It really struck a chord with me because most of the time people just ask, “How are you doing?” And we tend to tell them what they want to hear. But this friend went deeper into what really matters in life—the heart.


Sometimes we can feel like life is too busy to get real. Pain is often too deep to let even a bit of it creep out. Maybe living on-the-surface with each other feels more bearable . . . even more socially acceptable. But the problem with on-the-surface living is that we’re ignoring what God wants us to give serious attention to – the state of our hearts

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Today’s Truth

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it,” (Numbers 13:30 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I opened the letter and read words of rejection. Thanks, but no thanks.


Several months prior, I had sent my first book proposal off to a publisher. It was a step of faith walking to that mailbox and dropping it in the slot. However, I knew this was what God was calling me to do. Then the rejection letter came. “We like your writing, but nobody knows who you are. It will never sell. It does not meet our needs at this time.”


I wondered: Did I hear God wrong?


Why is it that most, including me, tend to think we’ve heard God wrong when we come face-to-face with opposition or difficulty? That certainly isn’t what we see in the Bible,

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Today’s Truth

Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Philippians 2:14 NIV).

Friend to Friend


My friend Ellen is a preschool teacher who regularly contends with entitled toddlers and privileged preschoolers who know how to major on some minors and throw down some serious tantrums.


I want the red crayon, but Tommy has it!


I’m not eating this because it has white cheese. I only like yellow cheese.


I want to go first!


I’m allowed. You’re not my boss.


Miss Ellen calls these little escapades “princess problems,” and she does her best to lovingly redirect the heart of each young complainer toward the reality of his or her blessings and toward the virtue of patience, selflessness, kindness, sharing, etc…


Hardly a day goes by that the kingdom of her kiddie classroom isn’t inundated with princess problems. The outbursts are

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Today’s Truth

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39, NIV).

Friend to Friend


On what should have been a glorious day, I faced two choices: I could suffocate to death, or become a supersize tasty snack for the hairy eight-legged monster lurking somewhere in my room. I pondered my options while stuffed inside of a comforter wrapped tighter than a burrito around me. I needed to breathe, but did I want to risk dying?


I spent hours envisioning all the “what if” ways that I could die of a spider bite. For hours, I sweated and stressed myself out. Here’s the kicker: When I finally got up and out of the bed, I never saw a spider! I’d lost hours of sleep stressing myself out over worse case scenarios that never happened!


Whenever

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Today’s Truth

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance (Romans 5:3, NLT).

Friend to Friend


Have you heard about the tiny sea turtles that, when hatched, must make their way across the seashore to the ocean? If a person picks them up and helps them get to the water, they will die. Why? It is in their struggle through the sand that their little flippers are strengthened. People mean well. They think they are helping the tiny sea creature. But removing the struggle is actually harmful to the turtles. Without strong flippers they can’t swim. The waves overtake them, and they cannot survive.


How often have we wished for and even prayed for a trouble-free life? No problems. No trials. But like that tiny sea turtle, if we had a life void of trouble

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Today’s Truth

“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go,” (Joshua 1:9).

Friend to Friend


I was getting ready to teach my first Bible study…and my knees were shaking like crazy. I’d never taught a group of women who were staring back at me. I wanted to run.


How do you react to fear of the unknown when it comes to stepping out in faith or living bold? Everyone has his or her own unique way.


Some respond to fear by retreating to the safety of cul-de-sac Christianity, which is actually one of the most dangerous places of all. Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”


You will not become

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Today’s Truth

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I’ve never been popular by the world’s standards. I’m not part of any “in” group; I’ve always felt more comfortable with a few close friends than with lots of acquaintances. And, for the most part, I’ve been content with this. Don’t get me wrong; junior high and high school were hard—that horrible but necessary season of life when everyone struggles to discover who they are and where they belong in this world. Except for that brief coming-of-age period, I’ve always been comfortable with myself. I’d even go so far as to claim Psalm 16:6: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”


However, even with my contented sensibilities, social media can take a toll on my feelings.

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Today’s Truth

When he [the devil] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies, (John 8:44 NIV).

Friend to Friend


We were in the fictional town of Amity Island, NY, where Jaws the man-eating shark, lurked below the surface of the still waters and terrorized vacationers who dared go there. Twenty tourists piled into a small boat at Universal Studios and drifted quietly in the “river” until the waters began to stir, and our greatest fears were realized!


The giant man-eating shark erupted from the water and attacked! He gnashed his teeth and lunged at the side of the boat. Women screamed, babies cried, and one overall-clad, hefty man in the back just burst out laughing. Soon his contagious laughter caused an avalanche of giggles throughout the boat and we all began laughing hysterically!


After much chomping at the boat,

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Today’s Truth

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35, NIV).

Friend to Friend


I recently read the story of a young couple who moved into a new neighborhood. The first morning in their new home, the couple sat down to eat breakfast and plan their day. The young woman saw her neighbor hanging her freshly washed clothes outside, something I have never done and don’t intend to start doing.


“That laundry is not very clean. I don’t think she knows how to wash correctly. Maybe she needs better laundry soap,” the young woman mused. Her husband simply looked on, remaining silent.


Every time her neighbor hung her washing out to dry, the young woman made the same comments. A month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the

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Today’s Truth

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3, NIV).

Friend to Friend


The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor is his ear to dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1) Though I know in my heart this is true, I still sometimes go back and forth between trust and worry as if God’s arms are short and his ears are dull. My friend Erica does too.


She came to my door with a package to deliver and a story to share. I signed for the package and we began to catch up. Her kids are grown. Mine are teens. Her daughter just got married. My oldest just went to college. Mama to mama we shared and cared.


“My daughter and her new husband might

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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