DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7 ESV).

Friend to Friend


When I was a little girl, one of the highlights of every summer was going to our family reunion at White Oak Park. I loved reunions because there was always a seven-layer salad and lots of desserts. All of us kids played fun games that filled us with joy and drenched us in sweat. Then after the kid games were done, some adults would join us for a final competition: the tug-of-war.


When it came to tug-of-war, I had a strategy: wherever my dad went, I went. Because in my little-girl mind, he was superhuman strong. (I was ever the rational one.) Dad always positioned himself at the far end of the rope as our anchor, and his strength

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Today’s Truth

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34 NIV).

Friend to Friend


My husband and I may be the only people in the modern world who knowingly bought a house without heating or air conditioning. When we asked the owners how they heated their house, they pointed to the woodshed across the field and I realized our lives were about to change.


Now, every year we plan to spend the spring, summer, and fall chopping wood, so that by the time winter rolls around, we have stockpiled enough cut logs to see us through until at least April.


And that’s a great plan—until you realize there’s so much daily work that needs to be done. As in, right this instant, missy. Including (but not limited to) working our full time jobs, cooking

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Today’s Truth

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:26 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I’ve always loved connecting dots. In my childhood it was dots with numbers on paper that stranded together to form an object. As I threw my attention to the page and followed the numbered steps, a picture developed. A new creation appeared that brought joy to my little-girl heart.


My grown-up dot-connecting challenges are far from a kid’s fun sheet. There are daily life dots that need connecting, like: family dots, faith dots, emotion dots, relationship dots, job dots, parenting dots and decision dots. I continually struggle to make sense of situations and circumstances and I long for a simply numbered life sheet to give me guidance and direction.


Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever wonder how

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Today’s Truth

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17 NIV).

Friend to Friend


When my husband, Steve, was in high school, he worked various jobs and was notoriously frugal. His twin brother, Dan, and their best friend, Mike, were not quite as thrifty. Dan and Mike had odd jobs from time to time—flipping hamburgers at the Wild Pig being the most infamous. But their funds disappeared as quickly as they got them. Steve, on the other hand, was a saver. And they knew it.


Steve had a little brown wallet with a horse head on the front and a zipper on the top. It was his “saving wallet”, and he kept it safely tucked away in his sock drawer. Occasionally, Steve, Dan, and Mike would get together to plan an adventure, such

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Today’s Truth

Trust in the LORD with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT).

Friend to Friend


“Fine, God, I’ll do it!” After days of arguing with God about why He would ask me to go to the hospital to visit someone that I didn’t like, I finally went. As I rode in the elevator with a “I’m-a-good-Christian-woman” look on my face, there was nothing godly about what was simmering on the inside. I was madder than a millennial without a cellphone power cord. As I walked down the hallway, frustrated words escaped in a furious whisper, “God, why me? I really don’t want to do this.”


Can you relate? When’s the last time that you had a negative attitude to living out some aspect of your faith?


You resist forgiveness because you don’t think that it’s

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Today’s Truth

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV).

Friend to Friend


The emotional demands on women are immense. One of the ways God replenishes us emotionally is through friendships. Many women are convinced that the risk of having close friends outweighs the rewards. I disagree.


There is no love without risk. Friendships make us stronger. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” If you add a strand to a single cord, you double its strength. But if you add a third strand to the cord, it becomes ten times stronger.


Ruth was willing to risk her future for the sake of her friendship with her mother-in-law, Naomi.


John 15:13 says it well: “Greater love has no one than this; that one lay down his life for

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Today’s Truth

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things (Matthew 25:21 NIV).

Friend to Friend


I can do it. No, I can’t. Yes, I can. No, I can’t.


Have you ever had that conversation with yourself? You feel like God is calling you to reach out to someone, start a new venture, teach a Bible study, write a book, share a story about your past that you’ve never shared before. But then your fear shouts at your faith to keep quiet.


One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus was explaining what the kingdom of heaven would be like in common terms.


       For it is just like a man

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Today’s Truth

“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” (Isaiah 7:9b NLT)

Friend to Friend 


I woke up frustrated and discouraged after a battle with worry in the middle of the night. Don’t laugh when I tell you what I was obsessing over because it seems so ridiculous in hindsight. My highly allergic daughters had just convinced my husband and I to allow them to buy pet birds since cats and dogs made them sick. I laid awake fretting about the smell in our house, the annoying sounds the birds made, and then imagined ways to get rid of them without breaking my daughters’ hearts.


Looking back, I can’t believe how overfocused I became on something that wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of life. This worry, fear, and fixating on small

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Today’s Truth

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT).

Friend to Friend


Every family has one… that certain kid who gets injured and banged up more than their fair share. That one who spends the majority of your family’s health care budget on their copay needs because, for whatever reason, accidents mysteriously, regularly, and relentlessly hunt them down and throw a good bit of hurt on them. In our family, this person is my oldest son, Preston.


We’d been up, down, and all around when it comes to Preston’s breaks, bandages, and bruises. So, it was a bit old-hat to be sitting in a small examination room winters ago, waiting to see the doctor about yet another injury.


This one happened in gym class at school.


Preston climbed up a rope, made it

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Today’s Truth

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8 ESV).

Friend to Friend 


I couldn’t believe my eyes. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined it would turn out this beautiful. I stared in amazement and kept coming back for another look. A tear may have even formed in the corner of my eye.


What I viewed seemed like a masterpiece to me.


This masterpiece was a family picture. Only a few weeks before, I had given birth to our baby girl. We positioned a small, white sofa in the middle of a field of green grass. We brushed our hair and dressed in coordinating colors. Reds, blues and creams brushed across the autumn background of our very first photo as a family of eight.


That alone was enough to make

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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