DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward (Matthew 10:42 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend 


Sometimes my kids ride bikes to school. It’s just under 10 miles round trip to the high school. Personally, I would have a hard time making it to class if I had to bike. I’d need a lot of breaks (or an electric bike). One cold morning, I decided to drive my two teenagers in with their bikes. They could bike home, saving me an afternoon pick-up.


I’m not the kind of mom who waits in the eternally long line of cars to drop their kids off at the flagpole. Nope–I’m the smart mom who drops her kids off several blocks away, steering clear of the crazy school traffic.


We unloaded the bikes, and I waved goodbye to my kids.

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Today’s Truth

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


Have you ever wondered if God even knows your name? Have you doubted His awareness or even His concern about what you are going through? Have there been times when you felt totally alone and worthless? I have. I can really relate to the woman described in Luke 13. Oh, our problems may not be exactly the same, but the feelings and emotions are – and so is the answer.  


Jesus knew this woman. He knew she had been sick for 18 long years and that she had tried everything to be healed. He knew – but He looked past her pain and saw who she really was, and all she was created to be. And just as He

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Today’s Truth

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Romans 14:19 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I’ve got lots of opinions. You do too, right? I’ll go even one step further by saying your opinions and my opinions are likely not perfectly in sync. Differences of opinion are more numerous than grains of sand in the ocean. Disputable matters in the church are no exception. Freedoms and convictions are not the same in every heart. Unfortunately, these areas of contention can cause conflict in our hearts, relationships, and communities of faith if we let them.


My family and I once got thrown into a situation that caused both harm and confusion. The perception and convictions of another was pressed upon us, and the consequences were anything but peaceful. They were layered in judgment and accusation. 


We

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Today’s Truth

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend 


 They dissed me. Rather than including me in future discussions about the project we were working on together, one of them essentially said, “Kelly, we will take this offline and get back to you.” 


I thought we were co-leaders on this project, but now I’d been demoted. The two of them were getting together to discuss everything—without me, and, once again, I was the girl on the playground with no friends. Left alone. Was I not good enough? Too much? Did I pour out too much of my heart? Too much passion?


Even though I knew I was left out, I was also sure about one other thing: I didn’t want to react impulsively; I wanted to respond wisely. So, I used a

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Today’s Truth

I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord (Psalm 119:145 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


There is a drink that many people love, and maybe you’re one of those people. Coffee! Perhaps you enjoy a frozen caramel latte or a single cup of black coffee, or maybe you need a little cream like me. Whether dark roast or blonde, medium Columbia or Vietnamese blend, coffee is your thing. You’ve probably seen t-shirts and mugs with a little saying for coffee lovers of this nature. “But first, coffee.”


What is this shirt saying? It’s saying I’m a coffee lover. You give me coffee in the morning, afternoon, or evening, and I’ll do whatever is needed. It says coffee propels me into motion. It moves me. It fills me. It fuels me for the day.


All of

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Today’s Truth

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend
Like clockwork, it happened every night.


For weeks, under a pitch-black canopy and hum of the fan, a guest would appear. One night I even felt fingers crawling up my arm. I jolted up out of my sleep to see my daughter, nose to nose with me, looking for a place to lay her head.


Most nights she came alone, sometimes she brought her brother with her. But every night, whoever showed up in my bedroom wanted the same thing—the coveted spot in the bed between Mom and Dad.


Now, I know many parenting books would scorn me and tell me to take the child back to bed. I’m not winning any Mom-of-the-year awards here. Nor am I encouraging you to mimic

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Today’s Truth

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


When I was eight years old, my prized possession was a collie dog named, what else, Lassie. Lassie was my shadow. She ran alongside me as I pedaled around the neighborhood on my pink-glittered banana bike. She slept outside the door of my one-room playhouse when my best friend, Wanda, and I “camped out.” She protected me from dangerous strangers, such as the paperboy, the mailman, and the trash collector.


When the veterinarian told us that Lassie had an incurable skin disease and needed to be put to sleep, I was devastated. And even though she was my dog, my dad was almost as heartbroken as I was. He could not bring himself to purposely end Lassie’s life, so

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Today’s Truth

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment (Isaiah 50:10-11 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend  


I knew something was off. I couldn’t state any particular sin or wrongdoing, but I didn’t feel good about the growing exclusivity among my friends. I remember a day at the local pool when one of them threw a towel onto the chair next to me as a woman who had visited our church entered the pool. My friend said, “I hope she doesn’t think she can sit with us every day.” My jaw nearly dropped. I also noticed conversations crossing the line into gossip more and more frequently. 


After months of neglecting to address these issues directly, a huge blow-up occurred with these same friends and ended over a decade of relationships. My choice to participate in gossip

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Today’s Truth

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


We need to be fully engaged and alert because our enemy is fierce. You don’t have to wear camo but as a follower of Christ, you do need a battle plan. It begins with acknowledging that there is a spiritual battle raging all around us that requires we keep watch. 


I was excited that evening because I actually had a dinner plan, which isn’t always the case. I busted out my griddle to whip up some yummy grilled-chicken quesadillas. I grabbed a knife, a chopping board, and the leftover chicken from the fridge. Minutes later, the chicken was ready for its cheese and tortilla companions. 


While the griddle was heating up, I turned my attention to a few other family

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Today’s Truth

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry (Psalm 10:17 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


When we met, she had been involved at church for years and knew the Bible’s teaching. She watched God answer prayers for help in remarkable ways. Other believers showed her Christ’s love through kindness and loyal friendship. She witnessed the generosity, compassion, and courage that true faith brings. And yet, after a difficult season of suffering and doubt, she chose to walk away from Jesus and go her own way.


Those of us who love this young wife and mom were devastated. We wondered, what went wrong? How could we have set a better example of faith? How can she be so blind to God’s love in her life? Why was she so easily tempted and deceived by the world?

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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