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Today’s Truth

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV).

Friend to Friend


As Bing Crosby crooned, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” on the radio, I scowled at the moving boxes cluttering my living room. Well, I won’t be! I thought with an ache in my chest. Our house had sold to buyers who were eager to settle in before the holidays. We faced weeks of living out of suitcases before a cross-country move to a sight-unseen rental house.


The wintry weather matched my chilly mood. I longed to hang our handmade stockings over the fireplace. I dreamed of my kids’ voices singing carols alongside our dear church family. We wanted to gather around our tree, now barren of lights and decorations as we prepared to leave it behind. I wondered how

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Today’s Truth

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Yard sales. I’ve never really liked them. But when we were preparing to move from our home of twenty years, we decided it was the best way to clean out the clutter and make a little money.


We displayed our lovely attic décor on makeshift plywood tables and waited for the bargain babes to descend. Two hours before the advertised opening time, treasure hunters began congregating outside the closed garage doors. Then, the doors rose and the swarm attacked.


Among the valuables from my past sat an electric, ceramic 12” Christmas tree with various colored lights…no doubt a gift from the eighties. One woman perused the lovely display and came upon this “magnificent work of art.”


“I’ve always wanted one of

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Today’s Truth

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


With all the decorating, baking, shopping, and holiday parties, I sometimes feel lonely during the preparation for the Christmas season. While I interact with a variety of people – from a sales clerk to other moms at a school party – I don’t always connect with them beyond small talk. I also find my quiet time with the Lord diminished due to my overwhelming to-do list. I want the celebration of Christ’s birth with family and friends to be special, but not at the expense of intimacy with the One who sent His Son to save me.


During times of spiritual loneliness, we might entertain questions like:



Is the Lord still with me?
What should I do in moments when
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Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend


My son Hunter had been having pain in his left elbow. He mentioned it to my husband and I casually but didn’t make a big deal about it initially. He was a teenager, so we thought it might just be growing pains. Months later, when the pain continued to increase, he brought it up to us again.


Off to the doctor we went, not knowing what to think about the mysterious, lingering pain. After a brief physical evaluation, the doctor ordered that x-rays be taken. Soon after, he peeked his head back in the exam room and gave me the “come with me” finger-wag.


Eew. Okay.


I followed him out to the light board that illuminated Hunter’s new bone pictures. Dr.

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Today’s Truth

The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:11 NLT).

Friend to Friend


I recall a holiday season when Mark and I braved a local shopping area for some last-minute gifts. We braced ourselves for big crowds, long lines, loud songs playing over store speakers, and irritable drivers fighting to get the last parking spot. When we walked through our door an hour later, I took a deep breath and thought, Peace at last.


In our culture, we tend to think of peace as the absence of what troubles us. The blaring music gets turned off. The crowd thins out. The pace of our life slows down. But when Mark and I went to church that night, our wise pastor, Mark Schatzman, talked about what God really means when He says He

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Today’s Truth

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

Friend to Friend


Every year, I make a Christmas list comprised of every person for whom I am buying a gift. Beside each name, I write a dollar amount – a limit for how much money I will spend on that gift – and whole-heartedly declare not to spend one penny more.


Somehow, the amount I actually spend rarely coincides with the amount I intended to spend, but I digress.


With every purchase, I then draw a beautiful red line through that name.


Done!


I carry that list everywhere I go because evil people are lurking in my home who will go to any lengths to find that list. Why? Because I am the Queen of Christmas Surprise! I have to guard the Secret Santa

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Today’s Truth

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


Too often I think the month of December can feel like a race to the finish line. We plan, shop, and arrange experiences trying to soak up the joy of the season, yet we stumble into Christmas morning exhausted and depleted.


This year, let’s do it differently. Instead of focusing on a list of things to be done, let’s shift our perspective to the love of God through the gift of His Son, Jesus. Today’s Truth tells us more about love, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)


With

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Today’s Truth

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16 NIV).

Friend to Friend


It was the hardest day of my life. One phone call, and my life crumbled into a pile of dust easily blown away by shock and unbelief. In a moment, my trust in God was tested as never before. Could I trust Him with this?


Trusting God would certainly be easier if we could see Him and His angel armies face-to-face. But even though we can’t see them in the physical realm, we can trust that they are in the spiritual realm—a realm that is more powerful than anything we could ever imagine. Even when we don’t see God working, we can be sure that He is.


God shows us a powerful glimpse into that spiritual realm in 2 Kings

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Today’s Truth

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT).

Friend to Friend
Many of us want to move forward, but we feel stuck. We want to inch ahead, but we feel immovable. We want to change, but we can’t seem to. Why?


Outlook is everything. Just think… Say there is a princess… An enemy force captures her and relegates her to the dungeon in her own castle. This woman, forgetting who she is, eventually gets out of the dungeon. But, even though she feels relief at getting out, all she can do is slump against the near wall and wait for someone to come. She won’t go forward because she fears what is ahead. Her mind still insists she’s stuck, so she stays where she is.


If, on the other hand, this

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Today’s Truth

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased (Luke 2:14 ESV)!

Friend to Friend


While Christmas is full of joy and celebration, the world is not exempt from sorrow during this season. For many of us, our hurting hearts experience intensified ache as memories flood our minds. Whether thoughts of a loved one now in heaven or painful circumstances of the present, the Christmas season often ushers in a wish for things to be different. Sometimes it’s not a present pain, but the ache of a painful past escorted in afresh.


Discouragement doesn’t stop lurking at Christmas. Disease doesn’t stop waging its war. Death doesn’t pause for a few days. What does “Joy to the World” really look like?


That first Christmas appeared much different than today’s exuberant celebrations. When Jesus was born,

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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