DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


Recently I saw a beautiful time lapse video. It began with placing a bulb in the ground and moving through every stage, from growing roots to peeking through the ground, then developing leaves. The buds formed, and ultimately, the flower petals bloomed. From seed to perfect blooms didn’t happen overnight. It took 83 days—almost an entire season of the year. To reach the premium point of completion, progress took place. Progress requires patience.


“Whatever you pray for, don’t pray for patience!” Perhaps you’ve heard that expression or even repeated it to a friend. My mom may have told me that once or twice when it was her turn to juggle a houseful of teenagers. But, of course, she was

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Today’s Truth

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability (2 Corinthians 8:1-3 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


My husband is a surrendered giver. But I struggle with giving. I tend to blame my reluctance to give on the fact that I grew up in a shack on the edge of town. My mother often worked two and three jobs a day just to put food on the table.


My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a middle-class family, lived in a very nice house in a beautiful neighborhood, and never had to worry about having his needs met. You can see where my rationalizations took me. Yep – to a place of sin. 


God wants us to surrender everything we have to Him because the reality is that giving is the antidote to selfishness. I

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Today’s Truth

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Ephesians 4:16 NLT).


 


 


Friend to Friend
I passed her as I exited the room. She retracted a little as I walked by, then darted into the room I had just left.


Armed with a can of disinfectant, she sprayed the room I had occupied minutes before. Long before the days when we knew of a term called COVID-19, I had come to work sick, and there was no hiding it.


My face told the story. Sunken eyes, a pale complexion, and probably a red-tinted nose … and if that weren’t enough, I carried a box of tissues with me everywhere I went.


No one wanted to approach me. Whether they had their own health in mind or something else, my sniffles and cough were enough to send

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Today’s Truth

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a little boy so excited! Steven was seven years old, and we were headed to Disney World! It was his first time on an airplane, his first time sleeping in a hotel, and his first time seeing Mickey Mouse in person. My video camera was fully charged and poised to capture those precious memories.


But when we go back and watch the old video, it doesn’t start out as I had planned. We’re in some type of welcoming center where children are running around climbing on various objects, crawling through tunnels, and swinging from monkey bars. As the “movie” comes into view, the first thing I see is my husband, Steve, running

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Today’s Truth

The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I was reading stories about several women making a difference in the world. One was raising funds to dig wells in villages desperate for clean water. Another started a compassionate work program for women rescued from the slave trade. Yet another launched a nonprofit to come alongside refugees to help them get established in their new communities.


I loved these stories. They were inspiring! Yet even as I privately cheered them on, it caused me to look at my own life. 


God, is there something BIG that I’m supposed to be doing?


In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a master who gave his servants differing amounts of money and asked them to invest it while he was gone. One

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Today’s Truth

Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)


 


 


Friend to Friend


Both his stature and demeanor were unimpressive to elite breeders. He was exercised with harsh tactics, under cruel restrictions and publicly dismissed by a professionally acclaimed trainer. Eventually the horse, Seabiscuit, became a wild, bitter, and angry animal that was considered worthless to the racing world and was sold for a very small price.


The new owner, a wealthy auto salesman, hired an experienced trainer to work with the racehorse… a broken man who others would no longer hire… a man who, like the horse, had been beaten up by life a bit. 


This new trainer had his hands chock full of rebellion with the stallion, but he patiently and painstakingly trained him as best he could. He watched closely

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Today’s Truth

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21 ESV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I picked up the phone from my husband’s hand to put it away after he’d fallen asleep. What I saw on the screen made my heart drop. He was talking to a woman.


The more I looked at their conversation I realized that he wasn’t just talking to this person. They had been together. My husband was having an affair. I wanted to throw up. 


That day launched the beginning of a very dark season in my life and my marriage. I begged God to tell me what to do. Does he need to leave? Do I need to leave? What do I say? What do I do? 


I only heard one response from God: I want you to love him.


“Lord, you

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Today’s Truth

Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3 NASB).


 


 


Friend to Friend


It was an unusual phone call from my son, Steven. He was in the second week of his second semester, his third year in college.


“Hey mom, this is Steven. I just wanted to call and say ‘hello.’ I haven’t talked to you in a while and wanted to see how you were doing.”


“Hey bud,” I replied. “How are you? How are your classes? Do you like your professors?” 


We volleyed questions and answers back and forth. It was a nice intro, and I kept waiting for the request such as, “could you put an extra $50 in my account for another Philosophy book I had to buy,” or “does my car insurance go up if I get a parking

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Today’s Truth

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


When my children were little, they watched the same VHS tapes over and over and over. Classics like Big Trucks, Little Bear, and Arthur. Fun shows like Veggie Tales and an adventurous video series featuring first-responders called Rescue Heroes.


One of their favorite Christian videos featured a guy called the Donut Man. He taught Bible stories and used simple songs to point kids to the Lord. While holding a donut in his hand, he’d sing the theme song each time that went something like this. “Life without Jesus is like a Donut… ‘cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart.” Then at the end of the tune he’d stick a munchkin-like circle donut in the middle of

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Today’s Truth

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity (Proverbs 11:3 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


My husband was a youth pastor for many years before becoming the senior pastor of a church. I learned many important life lessons during those years of working with youth. One of those lessons was accountability.


Several times a year, we would load our high school and college kids on a Greyhound bus and travel to a conference or mission field to help needy churches. Most of our trips required driving through the night to avoid the expense of staying in a hotel.


Long hours on a bus at night was the perfect setting for young romance to flourish. So Dan devised a plan that helped nip those blossoming romances in the bud. At any given moment, Dan would yell,

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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