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Today’s Truth

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

(Psalm 95:2)

Friend to Friend


It’s not every day you come close to death. Especially when you’re young. It was a beautiful spring day in Akron, Ohio. I’d just gotten off work and was excited to meet with a manager of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner for my wedding would be held. One of my bridesmaids and best friends was going with me and we planned to sample several items to select the final menu.


Michele worked just down the road from me, so we met up in the parking lot of my workplace then she followed behind my car in hers as we headed to dinner. The restaurant was in an area called “the valley,” and there was a long, steep hill

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Today’s Truth

No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”

(Romans 2:29, NLT)

Friend to Friend


What kind of gear, gadgets, or stuff do you tend to gather? Is it sports equipment, clothing, or home decor? Clutter is my enemy, and I like to keep things pretty simple. Someone recently described my decorating style as “sparse.” I’m not sure if that was a compliment, but I’ll own it. I mean, I love a delivery box at my door like the next girl, but mine are usually filled with household items or commentaries.


Where am I going with all this talk about stuff? The Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 2:17-29 and 3:1-8 helps us see that we can over-focus on the stuff of our spirituality to the point that we miss the heart of it.

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Today’s Truth

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Karen was a godly woman who lost her battle to cancer. In spite of the medical struggles she faced, and the pain that terrorized her body, Karen’s faith was immovable. She knew God to be her refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Her unwavering faith inspired a community of believers, as she held strong to the very end. Though many prayed for Karen to be healed of cancer, God’s answer was “no.”


As she said goodbye to all she loved here on earth, Karen was comforted in knowing that she worshiped a risen Savior who was familiar with suffering. She held tight to Jesus, and because she did her life boasted of God’s glory.


It

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Today’s Truth

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:11-12)

(Psalm 62:11-12)

Friend to Friend


In the summer of 2002, Shira and Joey Arnold were delighted to learn that they were expecting their first child. They excitedly shared the news with family and friends as they began to plan for their new family. Weeks later, however, Shira and Joey got dream-shattering news. Routine tests at the doctor’s office revealed that their baby was not developing correctly. The couple was advised by medical professionals to consider termination of the pregnancy.


They adamantly refused.


Though Shira and Joey grieved deeply when they heard the news, they determined to trust in God and prayed for a miracle. Little Cayden was born blind, deaf, lame, and with only half a brain. The doctors had expected him to live only

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Today’s Truth

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

(Colossians 3:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Cantaloupe may very well be my favorite food. When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. On one particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious … and it was. Afterwards, I was gone for several hours, running errands. When I walked back in the front door that afternoon, a foul stench nearly knocked me down. It was such a strong odor! A dead animal was my first thought. A plumbing problem was my next idea. I began a room-to-room search that ended abruptly at the kitchen sink. Opening the cabinet underneath, I nearly gagged at the stench that slapped me in the face, making my eyes water. I instantly remembered

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Today’s Truth

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

(1 John 4:11-12 NLT)

Friend to Friend


Have you ever considered how the connection you crave with God may be deeply impacted by the connections you have with others?


Maybe you’ve thought what you have with God doesn’t have to do with anyone else. It’s just you and God – but than again, maybe not.


We are created in the image of our relational God. He invites us to experience a fully connected relationship with Him when we’re adopted into His family by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. We are given the gift of His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit.


God designed us for continual connection with not only Himself but also His body.


John wrote, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he

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Today’s Truth

Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

Friend to Friend


We lived in South Florida for 19 years. Although we did not go to the beach very often, we always enjoyed it when we did manage to get away for a day or two. Dan and I loved walking on the warm sand, dodging the waves as they rolled in.


One of the first things I noticed was the diversity of the homes built right on the beach. Some were large and ostentatious while others were small and quaint – and some were either partially or totally destroyed. We had a friend in the church who built a lot of houses in that area, so I asked him why some houses seemed to withstand the storms while others didn’t.

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Today’s Truth

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

Friend to Friend


Have you ever prayed about something, but didn’t really expect God to answer…I mean really expect it? That happened to a bunch of Peter’s friends.


In the early years of the church, King Herod had many Christians murdered and many more put in prison. James, the brother of John, was put to death with the sword, and Peter was thrown into prison.


The night before Peter was to be taken to trial, a group gathered at Mary’s (John’s mother’s) house to pray for him. While they were praying, there was a knock at the door. A servant girl named Rhoda answered it.


“Who is there?” she asked.


“It is Peter,” the freed apostle answered.


She knew it was Peter—she recognized his voice! God

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Today’s Truth

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

(Ephesians 1:18, NLT)

Friend to Friend


I was in Illinois. My husband was in North Carolina. I am usually the video girl, but Brad stepped up to film our daughter’s volleyball tournament since I couldn’t be there.


I had shown him how to operate the camera and how to set up the tripod. He had filmed several matches before and had done a great job, so I was surprised when I got his phone call.


HIM: Honey! The match is about to start, but the camera is telling me that it is too dark to record. I’m not sure what to do. Got any ideas?


ME: This is just a guess, but I think you might need to take the lens cap off.


HIM: {Laughing} Oh my. Okay.

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Today’s Truth

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV)

Friend to Friend


The view took my breath away. For two hours, I’d been hiking one of Colorado’s many hiking trails, backpack-laden, sweat dripping, calves burning. In the span of two miles, I’d climbed nearly a thousand vertical feet, not a small accomplishment considering the rocky terrain and incline. Each step required intentionality, each move complete focus.


Not to mention breathing. High-altitude breathing. Trust me when I say it’s hard to get oxygen that high in the sky.


But the view at the top made all the sweat and struggle of the two hours before worth the effort. Spread out in front of me sat the entire Breckenridge Valley, the ski slopes carving up one side, the tops of various other mountain

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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