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Today’s Truth

“These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” 1 Peter 1:7, NIV

1 Peter 1:7, NIV

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I am told that in the famous lace shops of Belgium there are certain rooms used for spinning the finest and most delicate designs of lace. Each room is completely dark – except for one small window. Through this tiny window, light shines directly on the work at hand. A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread. The choicest pieces of lace, the most exquisite designs, are created when the worker is in the dark and only his work is in the light. When it comes to handling hurt, we often find ourselves sitting in the darkness of frustration and pain, wondering if anything good can

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Today’s Truth

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.

Psalm 67:4

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I’m obsessed with gymnastics and figure skating. Obsessed. For two weeks, every four years. You know… like everyone else in America… when the Winter Olympics games come around. Pour me a bowl of Wheaties, hand me a flag with stars and stripes, and let’s get it on! Stick that landing! Land that triple salchow! You got this! USA! USA! USA!


And you can’t miss the opening ceremonies!


There’s just a beyond-ness to them! Bright colors. Epic music. Intricate costumes.


Athletes from every nation, coming together in harmony. The pride of each country celebrating their unique heritages, while at the same time vibrantly displaying the beauty of humanity that binds us all together.


Songs are sung, dances are danced, and joy rises to

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Today’s Truth

“Listen, you women, to the words of the Lord; open your ears to what He has to say.”

Jeremiah 9:20a, NLT

Friend to Friend


For many years I led a small group of sixth-grade girls, and we often talked about issues going on in their middle-school lives. One day one of the girls was telling a story in great detail about a misunderstanding with her teacher. I asked what her mom thought about the situation. I was shocked to find that this girl had not discussed what was going on with either her mom or dad. I was intrigued. Of the five girls in the room, all agreed that they don’t tell their parents most of what is really going on in their hearts and minds. Panic rose inside me because at the time I had twin fifth-grade girls. Will they

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Today’s Truth

“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

John 5:5-6 NIV

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Five-year-old Brooke was sitting in the backseat of a minivan while her mom and I ran errands. “Mommy,” she asked, “Is it worse to pick a scab or pick a mosquito bite?”


“You shouldn’t be picking at either one.” her mom replied.


I glanced back at Brooke as she tried to wipe away the bloody evidence that she’d done both.


Little girls aren’t the only ones who pick at scabs. We do it all the time. Maybe we don’t pick at the brown crusty scabs that form over a flesh wound preventing the skin underneath to heal. But many times we pick at the bitter rusty scabs that form over a soul-wound, not allowing the heart to heal.


Barbara (not her real

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Today’s Truth

He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.

Psalm 66:9

Friend to Friend


Church camp helps young hearts feel held, healed, loved, and seen by an immortal, invisible God. It did for me as a teen and for my children as well. There’s just something special about cabins, games, songs and Christian community under a canopy of trees.


In the summer of 2012, our Smith kids had all gone off to church camp while Brad and I snuck away to a marriage retreat. As we headed into the first session, Brad got a call from the church camp informing us that Preston was being taken to the local urgent care facility. The camp director had announced that it was time to toast smores, and in his excitement to get there quickly from

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Today’s Truth

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

Luke 22:31-32, NIV

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If I made a list of all the things that I want to thank Jesus for, this wonderful display of grace would be at the top. I mean seriously, here Jesus is, about to be abandoned, arrested, persecuted and executed, and what does He do? He prays for Simon Peter’s faith and assures Him that even though the waters are about to get stirred up, he’ll pass through them. The waves will not overwhelm him or obliterate his faith, even if he might feel like he’s going under.


You want to know what just wrecks me? Knowing that Jesus, who now sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us, has prayed specifically for me, that

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Today’s Truth

I will provide for their needs before they ask, and I will help them while they are still asking for help.

Isaiah 65:24, NCV

Friend to Friend


Despite a very shaky start, the weekend could not have gone any better! (If you have not read yesterday’s devotion, stop where you are. Go back and read it … now!)


Dan and I finally made it to Greensburg for my speaking event and checked into our hotel only to discover that the air conditioning in our room did not work.



Did. Not. Care.

I was so tired that I literally climbed into bed and pleaded with my sweet husband to just deal with it. He did. I vaguely remember the maintenance man kicking the air conditioning unit in our room, and the unit coming to life. Go God!


And God was all over the event from beginning to end. I totally

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Today’s Truth

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38, NIV

Friend to Friend


My requirements for a car are simple and few. It has to run. And it has to have both air and heat. I don’t like car payments. Cars are not my “thing.” Consequently, we have bought many used cars and have even been given a few cars over the years. We drive them until they die. And then God provides another car.


A year ago, the car I was driving died. Since it was the beginning of summer and Dan was scheduled to have a month sabbatical in addition to his month of study and vacation time, we decided to wait on making a car decision. We could make it a few months with one car … or in

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Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border…”

1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV

Friend to Friend


Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.


I didn’t always love what she had to say.


Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.


I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from


the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.


One

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Today’s Truth

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20 NIV

Friend to Friend


Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart-touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke 15. It’s what we’ve come to know as the Story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then he had an epiphany.


“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go

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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