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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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Today’s Truth

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35, NLT).

Friend to Friend


“Let’s go there with an intent to serve,” said my husband.


I agreed. As I got ready for this conference dinner, I decided to have a heart to give, rather than a heart to gain. Instead of going to the dinner looking at what I could gain from others, I wanted to be ready to pour out Jesus’ love.


I remembered the words of Jesus…Indeed, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NLT).


Considering this thought, I wondered, how God would show-up? Would we pray, then see someone cry because God moved mightily? Would our words change a life? A sense of anticipation rose up in me…


Before leaving, my husband and I prayed that we’d be seated at the

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Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1, NIV).

Friend to Friend


As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went silent on the trauma side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.


“I can’t hear in my left ear!”


Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)


“I think he just told coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said to the friend beside me.


My guess proved to be accurate. Preston came out of the game

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Today’s Truth

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4, ESV).

Friend to Friend


Some women enjoy the experience of being pregnant—the “glow,” the added attention, the belly pats, the pampering from others, and the unexpected kicks from the inside out. Me, not so much.


Don’t get me wrong, I did marvel at how the Lord was growing another human being inside of my body and I was truly grateful for the gift of motherhood. It’s just that my frame is quite petite. The expansion of my belly during my two pregnancies quickly overwhelmed all 5’2” of me! As my stomach grew, so did my ankles and my feet. Breathing became difficult as the months passed and my diaphragm became increasingly pressed up against my lungs. By the time the ninth month of

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Today’s Truth

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10, NIV).

Friend to Friend


You know that pit that forms in your stomach when you’ve made a mistake?


When I was a child, I loved to help my mom carry groceries from the car into the house. I do not know what it was about the weekly process that was so enjoyable to me, but I remember it made me happy. One day I grabbed a gallon of milk that was too big for me to handle at the time. I remember the “You probably shouldn’t try that” look on my mom’s face. Just as I began to skip to the porch, proving my strength, the milk slipped from my hands onto the asphalt, breaking open and leaving a white trail. What

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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