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Today’s Truth

“It’s not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:5–6 NLT).

Friend to Friend


My son, Steven, was in the ninth grade when I turned in the manuscript for my book, Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids. I should have waited until he was in the tenth grade.


That fateful morning, I placed my neatly printed pages in a padded enveloped, prayed a blessing over the bundle, and then dropped a year of hard work in the mail slot at the post office. When I returned home, my phone was ringing. It was Steven.


“Hey, Mom, I’m calling to let you know that I’m in the principal’s office. I got caught stealing in the lunchroom. You need to come to the school.”


I sped to the school, stomped down the hall, and opened the

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Today’s Truth

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend


We like happy endings.


During the difficult World War II years, Hollywood movie directors re-wrote the endings to popular books such as The Grapes of Wrath to have happy movie endings. Since there was so much sadness around the war, the movie studios wanted to create a cinematic happy ending, even if the books didn’t end that way. One article called this revisionist process, “happyendingification” or the taking of a bad situation and turning it into a happy one.


Do you ever try to do some “happyendingification” in your life? When we or someone we love is struggling or when a situation we hate is out of control, we grab our control-loving remote to point and click our way to

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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 put a dollar amount, a limit of how much money I will spend for that gift, vowing not to spend one penny more than the set limit. (Somehow, the amount I actually spend rarely coincides with the amount I intended to spend. Can you relate?) With every purchase, I then draw a beautiful red line through that name. Done!


I carry that list everywhere I go because sometimes I find a gift during a random shopping trip but mainly because I can’t afford to let it out of my sight. There are evil people lurking in my

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Today’s Truth

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19, NIV).

Friend to Friend


Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to witness the celestial celebration that took place in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born? Now, I’m a bit fussy about fashion, but I’d even consider donning a shepherd’s garb and hanging out with a few sheep for that opportunity!


To see angels fill the sky, to hear the voice of God through the cries of a baby.


To catch a glimpse of the brilliant Star of David, and to satisfy my curiosity as to what exactly a host of heavenly angels sounds like.


To soak in the amazingness of it all.


Oh, and to talk to Mary!


Wouldn’t that be incredible to hear what she was thinking as she witnessed, and took part

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Today’s Truth

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about” (Luke 2:15 NIV)

Friend to Friend


Today I want to share with you a story that I wrote a few years ago. In it, I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be one of the shepherds who visited Jesus at His birth. For just a moment, I want you to pretend that you are reading a letter that one of the shepherds wrote to his brother, Mathias.


Dear Mathias:


As I am writing you this letter, my hand is still a bit shaky. I’m not sure it will ever stop. But I must tell you about an incredible experience that happened to Matthew, Simeon, Levi, and me, two weeks ago. As usual, we were watching our sheep on a hillside east of

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Today’s Truth

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Most of the women had left the room. I was picking up my things when I noticed her standing in the shadows. I sensed that she wanted to flee, even as something kept her feet rooted to the floor.


“I’ve been told for years that when I forgive myself, I’ll finally be free,” she said. “But I can’t do it. I’ve tried.”


I love it when God brings two sisters together. Their stories intertwined. I had just shared my story of forgiving those who hurt me in the past, and the freedom I found in that not-so-easy but liberating path. This brave mom and wife sat down across from me and spilled her own story.


She was not the one hurt

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Today’s Truth

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

Friend to Friend


Gift-giving is not my strong suit. I stand in the aisles of stores slack-jawed with my eyes glazed over. I don’t know how to choose between the Cranberry Cinnamon Scone candle or the Christmas Cookie one. I just get hungry and go home empty-handed. Or if I dare to pick one it turns out to actually smell like the poor old pumpkin that has been on the porch since Halloween.


I’m not only like this with gifts for other people; I’m the same way with myself. I need quiet and instead I say “yes” to one more event on the calendar. I desperately want peace and instead make a to-do list so long it rivals Santa’s. I long for

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Today’s Truth

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Every year, I search for Christmas poems, stories, and traditions that stir my soul and keep my focus on Jesus. Perhaps none has tugged on my heartstrings like the treasure I am sharing with you today. It is a letter that could have been written by Mary. Join me now and let’s peek over Joseph’s shoulder as he reads this letter from his beloved.


I had a dream Joseph. And I don’t understand it not really. But think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. Well I think that’s what it was about. People had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated their house, bought new clothes, gone shopping many times, and bought elaborate gifts.

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Today’s Truth

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming” (Psalm 27:8, NLT).

Friend to Friend


Have you ever found yourself so caught up in the activity of Christmas that you had no time to spend with the God we celebrate? I sure can relate to quick prayer times and less Bible study in my Decembers. I’ve found that spending time with Jesus is a great way to say, “Happy Birthday.” Yet those cards have to be mailed, presents bought, cookies made, and parties attended. So how can we get it all done and still invite Jesus to His own party? We don’t want to just add more items to our already overflowing to-do lists, but we can make small adjustments in our posture and mindset regarding the things we are already doing.


We

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Today’s Truth

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17, NIV).

Friend to Friend


He was a friend … a pastor visiting my husband and me for a few days. He had come for help and advice because his wife was broken – a statement that made me just a tad bit angry for some reason. I didn’t really know why it made me angry, but it did.


“John, what did you mean when you said your wife is broken?” I asked. His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “She has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Mary, you have never met her, but she is the strongest woman I have ever known. She is talented, godly, and beautiful. But six months ago, she broke. It’s like she shattered into a million pieces

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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