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Today’s Truth

Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Before our first child was born, Brad and I took a series of classes to prepare us for childbirth. My Lamaze instructor told us I would need to breathe through each contraction while in labor. She gave specific instructions. “Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth.” “When you inhale, allow your belly to expand first, then your


chest.” I learned that the way I breathe would affect the way I experienced labor.


I spent time learning how to breathe in a whole new way – so my labor breaths could be purposed and controlled. This required discipline. I practiced, and I practiced the special breathing techniques in preparation for when labor pains came a-knocking.


On the day we welcomed

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Today’s Truth

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


After three hours on a school bus, we arrived at the water park for a youth retreat weekend. I’ll admit I needed an attitude adjustment. Listening to the students in my group complain about not having their phone for two days was grating on my nerves. Once we got to our rooms, disagreement broke out about who had to sleep on the pull-out couches rather than the beds.


My irritation level rose. I wanted to remind these students how grateful they should be for a weekend away to stay in beautiful rooms, eat food prepared for them, hear amazing speakers, connect with a thousand other teenagers, and enjoy the water park. I knew my ranting wouldn’t set a

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Today’s Truth

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14–15 NIV).

Friend to Friend:


It was a Saturday college football game and I was doing what I like doing best—not watching the game but observing people. My seat was on the end of a long row of Carolina blue bleachers, and a steady flow of fans walked up and down the concrete steps. After a while, I noticed that four out of five people walking up the stands tripped on the step right in front of me. At halftime, I measured and discovered that the step was about a quarter-inch higher than the others. So, the people tripped.


Forgiveness is like that step. It’s just a little bit higher than anything else we practice as Christians. Unfortunately, it’s the one step a lot

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Today’s Truth

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2 NIV).

Friend to Friend


One of the things we’ve always done at dinnertime as a family is a daily recap. Simple stuff: we talk through the things that happened that day. When my kids were in elementary school, one of the first things they talked about was who got to be the line leader that day. It was a pretty big deal, especially to young Smiths who really, really loved being the line leader. (I don’t know where they get that . . .)


Okay, I need to be honest here. I like to be the leader. Following is not necessarily my strong suit. I like to be in charge and in control. Especially on the road. If you and I have somewhere

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Today’s Truth

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the LORD, your God (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Life can be so irritating. It’s usually the little things that annoy me the most. The lost set of keys or misplaced cell phone. The ice-maker that quits working before a party … the little things.


But there are times when people are the problem, showing up unexpectedly or calling when I’m running late. Been there?


I’m convinced God uses these tiny irritations as “heavenly sandpaper” to rub off our rough edges.


I was invited to speak for a women’s conference based on the theme, “Pearls of Wisdom.” When I arrived, every woman was wearing pearl necklaces, bracelets, or pins. Treasure chests overflowing with pearls decorated each table.


Everyone was excited and ready to go – except for one problem. I didn’t

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Today’s Truth

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

Friend to Friend


One month ago, I had my last surgery after a second bout with breast cancer. It’s been such a weird year, standing outside the hospital a handful of times, saying my goodbyes to my family as I walk in to have surgery alone.


It’s been a hard, hard year; it’s okay to say that.


It’s also been a year of faith and growth. Galatians 5:22-23 has been a part of that.


But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)


In this passage, Paul lists strong and beautiful attributes of a Spirit-led heart. I have wanted to be all

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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 raced through the mall with an oversized stroller. Two children tucked in tight. One on the loose. My son had been by my side seconds earlier. I turned around and he was gone.


I called out to anyone who would listen. “Have you seen my son? He’s about this high,” I said, holding my hand just so.


Ten minutes later I found him. He had made it to the other side of the mall and was happily sitting on a bench, swinging his little legs. My son hadn’t even known he was lost. My heart rate was at an all-time high. I scooped him up and held him tight.


When Jesus found Zacchaeus in the branches of a tree, He

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Today’s Truth

“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die” (Judges 6:23 NLT).

Friend to Friend 


When my twins didn’t make the volleyball team in seventh grade, I started stressing out. I wanted them to experience the benefits of participating on a team as well as find an engaging way to get some exercise. Mostly though, I wanted them to stay after school for two more hours so I could have a little more time to accomplish my own to-do list.


I decided they should try out for tennis. No, I obsessed about them trying out for tennis. I marched them to the courts every day before try-outs to give them a crash course in the sport I had played through Jr. high and High school. This situation kept me up at night as

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Today’s Truth

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23 NIV).

Friend to Friend


The Old Testament prophet Elijah is a guy I can relate to. God asked him to do and say some difficult things. He also got an all-access pass to the God-Is-Awesome show as he experienced epic miracles at the hand of the Almighty. Even so, at one point he became gripped by fear and tried to run away from his problems.


He knew exhaustion and depression.


He felt alone.


At times Elijah found God in grandiose shouts and flames, but also heard from Him in a humble whisper. And through all his highs and lows, he loved and served God. I can totally relate to this guy. He’s my kind of people.


The story of Elijah begins in 1 King 17 when

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Today’s Truth

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (Psalm 37:23 NLT).

Friend to Friend


As we headed back to the barn after an equine-assisted coaching session, I turned toward my young client and her family and invited them to do a simple exercise with me to become aware of how the body and brain respond to feeling connected. Lining up shoulder to shoulder, I instructed them to all step forward with their right foot on a count of three and to pay attention to each other’s movement so that we could walk in step together.


Maybe you can imagine what this feels like as you experience the rhythm and cadence of striding together on a walk with a friend. The energy rises, like the thrill of a marching band coming down Main Street

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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