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Today’s Truth

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8

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Have you ever found your mind rolling the same negative thoughts over and over? Like a hamster running his heart out but not getting anywhere, we sometimes waste our thought lives on a mental hamster wheel.


The process is exhausting, but yields no real benefits beyond mental exhaustion. Negative thought patterns can often inhibit our journey to forgiveness. We can easily talk about forgiveness and agree it is God’s way, but when it comes to actually looking at our betrayer with love, it’s no easy ride. I have wished my mind could be free of negative thoughts that continue to recur. When we don’t care about people, it doesn’t hurt so much. In contrast, when we have trusted

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Today’s Truth

The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.

Nehemiah 1:3

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Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king of a land far from his home. (Which means he held a trusted position that allowed him personal access to the king.) When some old friends came to town he found out that his people, the Jews, were in a terrible situation. Deeply burdened by the news, he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed. He took the devastation of his people to heart and responded on a soul level.


The Bible shows us that Nehemiah prayed. He was pressed but not crushed. He told the Lord that he was sorry for the way he and his people had rejected God and for the ways they had disobeyed His commands. He remembered the instructions

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Today’s Truth

We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

2 Corinthians 6:8-10

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When golf balls were first manufactured, their covers were smooth. Golfers soon discovered that after a ball had been roughed up a bit they were able to get more distance out of it. Manufacturers then began producing golf balls with dimpled covers.


Life is a lot like that.


It takes some rough spots to make us go our farthest.


It takes some storms to teach us that God is faithful and will provide the strength to stand firm.


The Apostle Paul knew all about storms. As a fully devoted follower of Christ, Paul was despised, slandered, mistreated, abused and poor. He had every right to be angry and distressed but instead chose joy. “We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” (2

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Today’s Truth

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

1 Peter 5:8

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Did you know the devil wants to sneak up on you? He prowls around like a lion just looking for the right opportunity.


If Satan came to you in a little red suit with a pitchfork and announced himself as the devil, you wouldn’t believe a word he said. I wish he would, but he is cunning and disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). When he deceived Eve, he even quoted Scripture—albeit twisted and distorted.


He has a collection of old tapes from your past, and he pushes rewind and play, rewind and play. Oh yes, he knows which buttons to push. He also uses personal pronouns like “I” instead of “you.” The thoughts sound something

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Today’s Truth

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Acts 9:3-4

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He had no idea that he was moving in a dangerous direction. The cute, little box turtle was just trying to get where he was going. Doing what turtles do. Thinking what turtles think. The fact that he was crossing a busy road that is paved for fast moving cars, not slow crawling reptiles, wouldn’t have even entered his tiny turtle brain.


I’m a fan of turtles. Always have been. Maybe it’s because they look tough on the outside, but are really softies on the inside. Maybe it’s because they seem shy and vulnerable when they retreat into their shells and pretend that nobody’s home. Maybe it’s because for a brief time as a kid I had a pet

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Today’s Truth

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.

John 6:38

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I care a lot about what others think. If you commented that you didn’t like this devotional, I admit my feelings would probably be hurt. If I invited you to a party and you didn’t respond, I’d wonder what I did to offend you. If I was excited to see you at church, and you turned the other way to meet another friend first, I’d feel let down. If I had plans to do great things with God, but you questioned the details, I’d consider a new direction. I’d look away from God.


Ever noticed? With our eyes on everyone else’s intentions, opinions and afflictions, it becomes hard to look up to God. Looking upwards when your head is

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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

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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 be more courageous and learn to live bold by avoiding your fears. Courage based on the faithfulness and love of God is strengthened with every step of faith, no matter how small.

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Today’s Truth

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

Friend to Friend
I pretty much have a black thumb. Charcoal, even. I like plants and genuinely try to keep them healthy and thriving, but fail at it a lot more than I succeed. So when my BFF brought me a baby aloe plant, my heart was torn between girlfriend-gratitude and feelings of sorrow for the innocent little aloe.


A few weeks after she gave me the plant gift, my friend told me a story. She confessed that she struggles to share things and said that she had two aloe plants for a long time. One day she felt a heart-nudge to give one of them to me and she decided that she would give me the small aloe baby. (Bless her heart! She

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Today’s Truth

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

1 John 3:1

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I became a Christian when I was a teenager. But even after I made a commitment to follow Christ, feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy clung to me like a spider’s sticky web. The dirge of “I’m not good enough” was a song I couldn’t get out of my head. The lies of the enemy created limitations in my life. They were the barbed wire that fenced me in and kept God’s best at bay.


The problem was, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was as a child of God. Oh, I understood that I was going to go to heaven when I left this earth, but what I was supposed to

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Today’s Truth

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Friend to Friend


The red bird gently landed on the tree branch in front of the kitchen window.


Carla gasped when the bird first appeared. But then a smile slowly spread across her face as she closed her eyes and whispered a reverent prayer, “Thank You, Lord.”


It was definitely a holy moment. I didn’t really know why. I just felt it.


“What was that all about?” I finally asked.


My sweet friend sighed, still staring at the red bird.


“Mary, it has been a really hard week. This morning, I couldn’t take it any more. I lost it, and just ranted and raved, pouring out all of my anger and frustration to God!” Tears began to down her cheeks. I hugged her … and then

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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