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My Hope, My Faith

Sometimes life’s deck of cards deals us a hand we would like to “pass on.” If only we could have a new set of cards, a new set of circumstances, our life would be so much better. It’s that “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality that so many of us have adopted. That line of thinking, however, leaves us disabled and ineffective in our world. We aren’t the dealer of our cards. Our lives are not in our own hands, and because of my faith I can say I’m ok with that. You see, I’ve seen the …

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Truth Or Dare

Truth or dare we used to play a lot when we were kids. We’d have to make a choice whether to tell the truth about something or be dared to do something dangerous or crazy. I always chose to tell the truth but I have friends who might remember they chose climbing the roof at 10 pm instead of telling.  It was all in good fun and back then we didn’t have many deep dark secrets to reveal anyway. The devil will dare you to believe his wild tales. He will try to convince you to confess you don’t believe …

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Heart Warming Is God’s Specialty

Last night I went to our 10 year old grandson’s Christmas concert. After the balmy weather we’ve had I was freezing. I know, it’s not even winter yet, but I am already anticipating spring. Chilled to the bone, I was wishing I had at least worn a sweater. I rode with his family to the concert and back to their house. The three grands showed me the Christmas lights in their bedrooms and I got hugs from them all and headed for the car. As I approached I heard the motor and wondered if I’d forgotten to turn it off …

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A Thrill of Hope

Doesn’t that phrase just sustain you even now as you are reading it. A thrill of hope. The heart-racing, butterfly producing, anticipation of something exciting, something of incredible and possibly life changing impact. A thrill. This Christmas song is one of my favorites. I think of it at least once each day of December as I do my best to keep my focus on the point of Christmas. I love Christmas, so. much. My heart for Christmas is the reason I volunteered to man the blog this month. I have loved reading the words of each MJOF ministry team member …

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Hidden Grief

Hey friends! I really wanted to write something light hearted today. But after praying and giving it a lot of thought, I felt strongly that God wanted me to share with you about grief, particularly “hidden” grief. Hidden grief is a deep sadness we carry with us daily. It’s buried underneath smiles, productivity, serving and even laughter, but it’s always there under the surface. It can feel as if someone has strapped a backpack full of heavy bricks onto our back. The heaviness is overwhelming at first, but eventually we become so accustomed to the weight of it that we …

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The Invisibility of Motherhood

  Alone But Never Alone Parenting can bring on the cloak of invisibility real quick. Now don’t get me wrong, being a mother is the most amazing gift God has given me. It truly is a privilege. In fact, I tell my kids often that it’s a privilege to be their mom. I don’t even want to imagine my life without them. That said, let’s be honest…being a mom is hard. It can be very lonely. But how is that possible when us moms are rarely ever alone?? (Are you feeling me on this?? RARELY. EVER. ALONE) Feeling isolated while …

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Claiming Your Promised Land

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4: 7 As I compiled this devotional guide, other commitments and obligations kept getting in the way. Plus, I was exhausted. I had just completed my book, Words That Change Everything. And that process birthed more challenges than I’d like to admit. Also, my husband, Dan, had just retired. And I was ready for some REST and time off, too. Lord, I’ll never keep up with all my commitments! I thought of the story in Matthew where the Spirit led …

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Advent Hope

When I was a little girl, my brother and I would make a deal on Christmas Eve that we would both stay up all night and watch for Santa Claus. I had my walkie-talkie and he had his… code word: Claus. The plan was set and we hurried to bed, but there were two key points I didn’t factor into our mission. First, my brother couldn’t stay awake past 10 p.m. to save his life and second, I was terrified of the dark. When I say terrified, I mean paralyzed with fear, eyes like saucers, blanket pulled over my head …

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Trust the Master

  “Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (Job 42:1-3) Anxiety rises as fear threatens to destroy our hope. We become afraid of an objectionable outcome. We want what we want … without problems … and we want it now. We pray, but fear of the undesirable causes a cold paralysis of our faith and seizes our prayers. Can we …

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He Is Our Refuge

DAY THREE: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30 That is what depression feels like to me.  It is a heavy burden.  All I want is some relief, some rest.  I would like for someone to help me carry the load and that is what He says He will do.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  If we …

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Knowing What You Believe

Scientists haven’t discovered a tool yet to see human beliefs.  It is actually not until we are faced with a situation that our belief systems are called to the forefront and our actions follow suit. I recall the season that I was discerning the voice of God telling me it was time to leave my job.  I distinctly remember trying to find an alternative to His command so “I” could suffice for the income that would be loss as a result of my leaving.  Yes, I was essentially trying to help God help me! And so once again I heard …

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Expect His Return

Turn on any type of media and you will eventually hear worldly news. Wars, bombings, beheadings, natural disasters…the world is moaning for Christ return…and whether the people of the world know or not, creation is expecting it! Romans 8:19-20 “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” In the Garden of Eden …