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DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends.

Psalm 100:3

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Shepherding was one of the oldest callings in Israel, even before farming. Shepherds traveled from place to place, living in tents while driving their flocks from one pasture to another. The sheep and their shepherd lived together every minute of every day. In fact, they were so intimately bound together that individual sheep, even when mixed with other flocks, could recognize the voice of their own shepherd and would come immediately when called by name.


A shepherd owned and marked his sheep. In some cases, the sheep were even branded, although branding is no longer an accepted method of identification because of the damage it does to the wool. Today, the ears of sheep are pierced with identification tags

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Today’s Truth

Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So, he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.

Luke 15:25-26

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My youngest daughter Lucy eats slowly. One night at dinner as I finished up my salad, I looked over at 8-year-old Lucy and was shocked to see her plate was clean! She had beaten me at dinnertime. This was a big accomplishment because on most nights, she’s still eating her last bites while the rest of the family is doing dishes.


I exclaimed, “Lucy, you have beaten me at dinner tonight. I am going to give you one dollar!”


Her older sister Noelle exclaimed, “What??? I beat you too, but you aren’t giving me a dollar. I finish eating my dinner before Lucy every night and you’ve never once given me a dollar.”


Immediately, I recognized this dialogue as a

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Today’s Truth

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

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It was my first large speaking engagement back in the ‘90s. Why I said yes was beyond me. I had never stood up in front of more than a handful of women at my Bible study or our church’s women’s retreat. Even then, I didn’t have to use a microphone. And now, five hundred expectant women were going to be staring me in the face. To top it all off, the theme was Unshakable Confidence in Christ. Laughable.


Two weeks before the event, I attended a luncheon where my mentor, Mary Marshall Young, was going to be sharing a short devotion. It was in a very prestigious part of town that I did not frequent. One of those gatherings

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Today’s Truth

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5

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Cantaloupe may very well be my favorite food. When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. On one particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious … and it was. Afterwards, I was gone for several hours, running errands. When I walked back in the front door that afternoon, a foul stench nearly knocked me down. It was such a strong odor! A dead animal was my first thought. A plumbing problem was my next idea. I began a room-to-room search that ended abruptly at the kitchen sink. Opening the cabinet underneath, I nearly gagged at the stench that slapped me in the face. I instantly remembered that I had thrown

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Today’s Truth

A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1

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In the past, whenever I’ve read the above verse, I’ve always thought of it in the context of the maternal head of a family, or of a wife. But truly, this “Demolition Debbie” role could belong to a big-mouthed teenaged girl, a disagreeable girlfriend, a disrespectful coworker, or even a dismissive adult sister. Scripture takes care not to label this woman beyond “wise” or “foolish,” giving each of us the opportunity to slip ourselves into this descriptive warning.


How, exactly, does this foolish woman tear her house down? Well, knowing (and being) a woman, I have a strong hunch: Her tongue, Ladies. Most of us have been said to possess the ‘gift of gab.’ And a few of us,

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Today’s Truth

The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”

Psalm 28:7

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I love the story of a tourist visiting the Grand Canyon. As he gazed in wonder at the sight before him, the tourist got too close to the edge, lost his footing, and fell over the side. Just before he went out of sight, the man grabbed a scrubby bush and held on for dear life. Filled with terror, he called out toward heaven, “Is anyone up there?” A calm powerful voice came out of the sky, “Yes, there is.” The tourist pleaded, “Can you help me?” The calm voice replied, “I’m sure I can. What seems to be the problem?” The man explained, “I fell over the edge of the canyon and am now dangling in space,

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Today’s Truth

He drew me out of deep waters ... He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19

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Debbie was a pastor’s wife who felt worthless for years. She was verbally abused and emotionally abandoned in her marriage from the very beginning. She had been a virgin when she met her husband, so she knew something was very wrong when, seven months into their marriage, her husband went out of state for a “business trip” and gave Debbie a severe pelvic inflammatory disease when he got home.


Her doctor explained that she had gotten a bacterial infection that can only be sexually contracted. Debbie was hospitalized for five days and placed on strong medications. The IV antibiotics she received unknowingly rendered her birth control pills ineffective, and a pregnancy with their first child resulted. So Debbie stayed

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Today’s Truth

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

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I hopped up on the counter at the soda fountain and placed my five-year-old feet on the spinning stool in front of me. Dad sipped on a Coke and talked to the lady behind the counter with the red-and-white-striped apron tied around her waist.


“This is my little girl,” Daddy said with a smile. “She’s a little monkey.”


“Why, Allan, she’s just as cute as she can be.”


For a moment, I thought I was.


I stood in the front yard waiting for the screaming to stop before I went back inside. Dad was drunk again, and Mom was screaming at the top of her lungs. Why couldn’t he see how afraid I was? Why did he drink? Why did Mom yell?

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Today’s Truth

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

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There’s nothing worse than believing God for victory, only to experience defeat.


Recently, I prayed and prayed without any change. I praised and worshipped, without a breakthrough. Even now, I need God for everything, yet wonder if He’ll really going to do anything. It feels like…I’m about to be left with nothing. Empty handed.


God, are You really going to come through for me?


God, do You really have this?


God, can I really trust You?


The Israelites trusted God way back then, sort of. As they saw the Egyptian troops chasing them down, they got overwhelmingly terrified. And seemingly angry at their leader Moses.


They griped, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt,

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Today’s Truth

He (God) is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of His Son, and our sins are forgiven.

Ephesians 1:7

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The holidays have a way of resurrecting old hurts. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the choice to forgive those who have hurt us.


Forgiveness is not easy – but it is necessary if we want to experience peace and joy.


Part of forgiveness is releasing the person from the debt we think they owe us. Refusing to do so extinguishes our joy.


Sometimes we just need to let go and cut our losses instead of allowing the weight of an unpaid debt deplete our mental and emotional energy. In other words, we can forgive the debt and set ourselves free.


Years ago, Dan and I decided it was time to sell one of our old junky cars.

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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