START HERE

DEVOTIONS

Select:

Today’s Truth

The LORD answered him, ‘I will be with you. It will seem as if the Midianites you are fighting are only one man.’

Judges 6:16, NCV

Friend to Friend


I was born to be an elementary school teacher – period. So, when a total stranger tapped me on the shoulder and said, “While you were singing, God told me you are supposed to be my Music and Youth Assistant this summer,” I felt sorry for him. He obviously needed to have his hearing checked.


I had just graduated from college with an elementary education teaching degree. A good friend was leading worship for a local church and asked me to sing a solo in the evening service. That’s all – or so I thought. When the service ended, my good friend introduced me to his good friend, the hard-of-hearing stranger, and said, “You should at least pray about

Read More

Today’s Truth

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.

(Proverbs 22:9, NKJV)

Friend to Friend


It was a generous act that got my attention.


After I was done speaking at a conference, a teenage boy asked to speak with me at my book table. “I know this may be strange,” he said. “But I’d like to buy books for the next ten people at your table.”


He handed me $100. I couldn’t believe that someone wanted to be so generous, and I couldn’t believe it was a 17-year-old boy! The host church wasn’t in an affluent part of town and I later learned that boy did not come from a rich family.


I praised his generosity and motioned for him to stay close, so he could overhear my next conversation. A kind looking woman in

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

Friend to Friend


I’ve had some things to happen in my life that I would just as soon forget. I bet you have too. But as soon as I start to shred the memory and throw it in the trash, God says, “Hold up. I’ve got a good purpose for that bad story.”


Joseph learned that lesson, too. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of sexual harassment, and left in a prison to die. Then God miraculous rescued him from prison and made him second in command to the Egyptian Pharaoh. By his thirty-seventh birthday, Joseph had two sons. One he named Manasseh, which means “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my

Read More

Today’s Truth

Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.

(Psalm 64:1b)

Friend to Friend


Battles are everywhere… in our homes, in our hearts, in our humanity, and in realms unseen. The Bible actually has a lot to say about this: Our struggle isn’t just against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) No weapons formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17) Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) When we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee! (James 4:7) And there’s tons more.


Let’s be honest, that’s a lot to take in. It all sounds so major-motion-picture.

Read More

Today’s Truth

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:38-39, NLT)

Friend to Friend


I walk into the kitchen on an ordinary morning and sigh at the spectacle in front of me. Mugs half-filled with cold tea. Dishes with bits of red sauce still stuck around the edges. Plates piled high in the sink.


I imagine a hazmat team beating down the door at any moment. One of my in-laws showing up to repossess my husband. Paparazzi peeking in the windows to snap a scandalous shot of the wreckage.


I look at my husband and declare, “I feel like a failure because the kitchen is a mess.” I know these words are irrational. Everyone has messy times in their lives. But on this morning those words feel true. He chuckles at my perfectionist self.

Read More

Today’s Truth

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

(Romans 12:3b, NIV)

Friend to Friend


A famous explorer in South America was once forced to abandon his journey by an almost invisible enemy. He was equipped to meet leopards, serpents and crocodiles. They proved to be no threat, but what he had failed to consider were the tiny insects called chiggers. Chiggers are so tiny that in North America we call them the “no see-ums.”


Pride and chiggers have a lot in common. Pride comes in little ways, unseen actions, subtle thoughts or inconspicuous comments. Unguarded attitudes and random thoughts are prime breeding grounds for pride. We must take charge of those thoughts, discipline our attitudes, training our thinking processes to give up and obey God.


Pride loves to take up residence in an undisciplined

Read More

Today’s Truth

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

(Ephesians 4:23-24, NIV)

Friend to Friend


Have you ever noticed how often we make such great plans, but then life gets in the way?


We start off determined to lose weight, get fit, overcome our character flaws, take new career risks, invest deeper in relationships, and get organized. But before we make enough strides for our vision to become our normal, we’re hit with reality.


We get sick.


Something breaks.


We run out of steam.


Hello, normal. Goodbye, vision.


So what should we do when our great big plans fizzle into little failures?


Well, it might sound cliché, but it’s at that very moment we need to not give up! Instead, we need to wipe our brow from the feeling of defeat and get our mind back into gear.


The change

Read More

Today’s Truth

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These 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 1:6-7 NIV)

Friend to Friend


My son and I sat on the floor in his room playing Rummy. We had just a few minutes before rushing off to register for his summer swim class and wanted to get in one more round of play. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our Golden Retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of the heartache of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.


But as Steven and I sat on the floor, I felt a warm sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fear.


Later that afternoon,

Read More

Today’s Truth

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

(Hebrews 4:12, NIV)

Friend to Friend


In 1804, the British ship HMS Apollo was leading a convoy of 69 merchant vessels to the West Indies on a route that put them parallel to the coasts of Spain and Portugal, about a hundred miles from land. A storm arose on Sunday, April 1. Even though it was April Fools’ Day, the captain was unconcerned because his compass assured him he was well into open sea. But in the wee hours of the morning, the ship wrecked against the jagged rocks of the coastline.


Jolted from their hammocks, the crew ran to their posts and tried to save the ship from the cold sea. The waves crashed over the hull, flooding the ship from above amid the

Read More

Today’s Truth

You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’

(Psalm 27:8, ESV)

Friend to Friend


When I was a little girl, I loved my Grandpa Dick. He lived a few hours’ drive from us. When we set out for Grandpa’s house, I could hardly wait to be in his presence. As familiar landmarks appeared that told me we were getting closer, my impatience grew. When we would drive into the driveway of his house, he would always be in the front yard waiting. He would run to the car, pick me up and say, “Here’s my girl” and twirl me around in his joy at seeing me.


That’s how God responds to you every time you turn His way. Arms outstretched, ready to twirl.


In our relationship to the Father, He is always the initiator

Read More

"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