DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV)


 


 


Friend to Friend


Can I make a confession? Sometimes I quit too soon. I’ve quit when what I really needed to do was press on and press through. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of trying. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of the struggle. And you know what? I’ve missed many blessings because I got tired of the battle. I don’t want to do that any longer. I’m taking my cues from Joshua.


The battle plan to take the Promised Land was as simple as it was strange. March around the city of Jericho with all the armed men. Do this in silence, once a day for six days. Then on the seventh day, walk around seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets. Have

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Today’s Truth

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


As I sat on my screened-in porch early one morning, I was taken aback by the beauty surrounding me. I held a steamy cup of coffee in my hand and placed my open, well-worn Bible in my lap. As if on cue, as had been our routine for the past several weeks, a visitor hopped from the shrubbery and onto the night-cooled patio. “Good morning, Peter,” I cooed to the little brown bunny. “How are you today?” I just love bunnies, I mused.


Just as I was enjoying watching my furry friend, he hopped over to a flowerpot, stood up on his hind legs, and yanked a rather large stem from a plant.


“Good grief,” I moaned. “Stop that!” Bounding down the

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Today’s Truth

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


While in Ravensbrück, Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy dealt with appalling conditions. The women’s labor camp dorms were crammed into three high trough-like sleeping barracks with rancid hay as their bed.


The cramped conditions and lack of basic sanitation led to lice and a massive infestation of fleas. Corrie wondered how they could endure such a dreadful place.


Betsy prayed and told her sister they must “give thanks in all circumstances.”


Corrie wondered how she could ever be thankful for the lice and the fleas.


Several weeks later, one of the supervisors was called into their barracks to view something Betsy was working on. The supervisor refused because the place was crawling with fleas.


Betsy then reminded her sister that it

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Today’s Truth

Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:30 NLT)


 


Friend to Friend


I am so glad that God gave us girlfriends who will struggle with us in prayer. Paul wasn’t a girlfriend in God, but he certainly understood struggling together in prayer.


He wrote: “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30 NLT).


The New Testament was originally written in Greek and sometimes looking at the original definitions of the words can give us great insight. The Greek word Paul uses for struggle in Romans 15:30 is sunagonizomai, which means “to struggle in company of, i.e., to be a partner (assistant), strive together with.” The root word means “to endeavor to accomplish something: fight, labor fervently,

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Today’s Truth

Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:7 NIV)


 


 


Friend to Friend


It’s common for us to doubt our value and significance. Yet, in Psalm 144 David is struck by the mind-blowing reality that the God of all creation, the One who bids billions of stars to shine in the heavens and commands the powerful waves of the oceans to stop at the waters’ edge, cares for wee-little humans like you and me.


The very thought of it leaves me breathing deeply, shaking my head in wonder with the psalmist. “O Lord, what is a human that you care for him, a son of man that you would think of him?” (Psalm 144:3 CSB)


Jesus had a lot to say about this topic. When it comes to knowing the value God places

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Today’s Truth

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend


Harper and I were having a visit on Facetime. This five-year-old bundle of love, my niece’s daughter, was telling me all about her Guinea pig, Skitters. Skitters was her new best friend. He went down the sliding board with her, nibbled on baby carrots at tea parties across from her, and nestled in the mini stroller in front of her during walks. Oh, how she loved Skitters.


“I had a Guinea pig when I was a little girl, too!” I shared. “His name was Oscar!”


“You did? What happened to Oscar?” she asked. “Did you give him away or did he die? Do Guinea pigs go to heaven?”


I was not expecting those questions and wished I had kept my Guinea

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Today’s Truth

But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold (Psalm 106:13 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


My daughter calls me Dory. She even gave me a small travel-sized tin for cotton swabs because Dory is on the lid. Think back to the adorable movie Finding Nemo. Yeah. That Dory. The optimistic, lovable blue fish-friend who struggles with short-term memory loss. Ahem.


I do forget things.


Regularly.


Where I put my keys. Why I was going upstairs. Who that person is. What I was talking about… mid-sentence.


Now, let’s pause for a reality update before you start sending me emails advising me to take ginkgo biloba, use essential oils or meet with a doctor… it’s more my personality than a brain function issue. I’m good, people. Just a bit forgetful and easily distracted.


But as I read Psalm 106, my heart

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Today’s Truth

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3 NLT)


 


Friend to Friend


Every moment of every day is focused on someone or something. We either set the focus through which we live, or we allow it to be set for us. A balanced life is focused on God as a result of sitting at His feet.


What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus”? 


First, we must stop. The lives of Mary and Martha are great examples of this truth. Mary stopped helping Martha in the kitchen to sit at the feet of Jesus. 


Martha complained that she had been left to do all of the work while her sister was wasting time. There will always be someone who misunderstands or complains when you choose to do what Jesus told

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Today’s Truth

Fear not … I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you (Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


While walking into the opening session of a conference, my husband’s cell phone rang. He answered the call, then as the emcee welcomed us to the weekend, Brad leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Preston fell on a rock at camp. They’re taking him to urgent care to get stitches in his chin.”


Deep breath in.


Less than an hour later, Brad’s phone rang again. “The doctor said Preston actually broke his jaw. They need us to pick him up and take him to Charlotte. He might need surgery.”    


Gripped by his words, I struggled to think clearly … A broken jaw? Surgery? It was supposed to be just a few stitches! Bags were packed quickly and by the time darkness

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Today’s Truth

Today’s Truth Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20 NCV)


 


Friend to Friend


When we lived in South Florida, the grass in our yard grew year-round. So did the weeds. We soon learned that the best way to deal with weeds was simply to take really good care of the grass. When the grass was healthy, it was thick and lush – leaving little room for weeds to grow.


When our hearts and lives are filled with praise, worry is a weed that will die from a lack of attention. When we choose to continually give God thanks, there will be little room in our hearts for fear.


Why?


Because praise acknowledges the very character of God, while thanksgiving recognizes the work of His hand. Together, praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons against worry

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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