DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

He (Jesus) replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I am not a quitter! What some might call stubbornness, I prefer to call perseverance – especially when it comes to growing flowers and plants.


We recently downsized and moved to a house with a small wooden deck in the backyard. I took one look at that deck and could almost hear it crying out for beautiful plants spilling over the edges of brightly colored ceramic planters. My stubbornness … uh, perseverance … kicked in, and I thought, “I can do this!”


I headed to the local nursery where they know me. And by “know me” I mean they understand that I can kill just about any living plant known to mankind.


Linda greeted me with a smile. Linda and I

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Today’s Truth

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” Isaiah 61:3 (KJV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I was flying out of town for a week. A few minutes before leaving for the airport, I glanced at my airline ticket and saw a code I didn’t recognize. I did a quick check. To my dismay, I discovered the code meant I couldn’t bring any type of luggage with me. In fact, I was limited to a small backpack that could fit under the seat. 


What could I do? 


I started improvising. I tucked the essentials in my small backpack (my computer, makeup, an extra pair of shoes, and clean underwear). Then I put on two pairs of pants. A camisole. Two shirts. A sweater and a jacket. Two pairs of socks. A pair of boots. 


An hour later when I

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Today’s Truth

“But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them” (Psalms 2:4 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend


On my social media, it feels like I’m seeing a growing wave of anti-God and anti-Bible comments. In our post-Pandemic world, media outlets and pollsters confirm an increasing number of empty seats and a rise in the number of people who no longer believe in a sovereign God or that Jesus is the only way of salvation.


While we may look around and feel the decline of faith in our country, you may wonder if God is in heaven wringing His hands. Is He worried that His plan for humanity is falling apart? Is God concerned that He might be considered obsolete in our rebellious world?


Today’s truth in Psalm 2 reveals God’s response to our world’s repeated attempt to

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Today’s Truth

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


Allan was a tough man. Raised by a single mom with five siblings, he learned how to scrape his way through life and climb to the top of humanity’s heap through sheer determination and grit. He married at nineteen, had his first son at twenty, then a baby girl at twenty-five. Over the next two decades, he advanced from driving a delivery truck at a lumber yard to becoming part owner of a building supply company.


Allan drank heavily, fought with his wife verbally and physically, and terrorized his children emotionally. He gambled, dabbled in pornography, and had questionable relationships laced with a host of unsavory vices. 


But when his teenage daughter gave her life to Jesus and began praying

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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


For many years, I did everything I could to hide any weakness in my life. When that didn’t work, I simply pretended those weak areas didn’t exist. Why? Because if I was weak, how could Jesus love me? How could anyone love me? How could I love myself?  


When our son, Jered, began to walk, I immediately noticed that his feet turned inward. Our pediatrician recommended a specialist who examined Jered thoroughly, then ordered several x-rays. The more he examined Jered, the more concerned we became. When the specialist finally called us in for a consultation, we braced ourselves for bad news. 


The doctor’s stoic face revealed nothing, but his diagnosis was a gift. “There is nothing wrong with Jered’s

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Today’s Truth

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I slid the tater tots into the oven as our thirteen-year-old bounded down the stairs. When he saw his dad in the easy chair by the fireplace with a Bible laying open on his lap, he said, “I already did my Bible reading this morning.”


“What did you read?” I asked casually. Asher opened his mouth to answer only to realize that he didn’t actually remember. So he closed his mouth, turned on his heel, and darted back up the stairs to retrieve his Bible from his bedside table. A few minutes later, we were seated together at the kitchen counter, the pages of Exodus 22 splayed open between us.


“Oh, that’s right,” he said. “Look, I wrote in the

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Today’s Truth

We are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


Sandpaper people, the people who rub us the wrong way, are not only a reality of life but also a gift from God. God has used these difficult relationships as catalysts in my life through which He has lovingly upset my comfortable plans and purposefully redirected my self-ordered steps. The results have often been chaotic and unsettling, but always life-changing.


As a junior in high school, our son Jered experienced his first surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot. The orthopedic surgeon explained what he would do during surgery. “I’ll remove the scar tissue that has formed around the break. I will then insert a metal screw to connect the broken bones.” As he spoke, I was

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Today’s Truth

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV emphasis added).


 


Friend to Friend


If there’s one thing I know it’s this: The measuring stick will get you stuck! Comparison is the devil’s tool that has stopped many of us gals from stepping into our God-given destinies…and it’s time to stop!


I camped out with Moses by the burning bush for more than a year when I was writing the book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. When I met him in Exodus chapter 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. He argued with God and told him He had the wrong man for the job. He stuttered, sputtered, and had difficulty speaking. I knew exactly how he felt…I had been just like him.


But, Moses hadn’t always been so insecure. He hadn’t always

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Today’s Truth

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


From the time I was a young girl, I wanted to be beautiful. In the fifth grade, I resorted to desperate measures in a very eleven-year-old kind of way. I distinctly remember some bright blue eye shadow being involved. 


I can even picture in my mind what said unauthorized makeup looked like in its case – like a pallet that would normally hold watercolor paint. Five fabulous, or not-so-fabulous, color options ranging from pale green to bright blue were available. 


Mercy!


It was the early eighties. Blue eye shadow was all the rage and a very accepted beauty solution. It was everywhere! On magazine covers, in commercials, and on every older woman at church. I think even Marsha Brady was wearing

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Today’s Truth

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea” (Isaiah 48:17-18 NLT).


 


Friend to Friend 


I was in a Bible study once with a woman who shared honestly about her struggle with passages in Scripture that contain God’s commands and correction. She grew up in a home where good behavior and church attendance gave their family a public reputation that didn’t match the abuse behind closed doors. She admitted that her childhood trauma often clouds her lens when reading Scripture. A counselor helps her separate her earthly father’s behavior from her heavenly One.


Whenever we seek to unpack Scriptures with a focus on trusting God’s commands and correction, we want to be sure we hold onto God’s character and heart behind His instructions and identify places where, like my friend admitted, our own

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