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Do You Love Me?

    Jesus asked this question of Peter not once, not twice, but three times in John 21 (see verses 15, 16, and 17).  Some scholars say one time for each of the three times Peter denied his Lord. In John 21, Peter’s relationship with Jesus is restored. Without this passage, Peter’s key role in the early church and events recorded in Acts might not make sense.  John 21 documents Peter’s restoration and his commissioning for Kingdom work. You and I perhaps relate to Peter more than any of the other disciples.  We, too, can be impulsive, passionate, and fearful. We too, have …

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The Edict

My mother loves the McIntosh variety apple. She says it’s full of flavor, easy to digest, and bakes well. When they’re in season, she loads up. I can be sure she will send some home with me because she knows I agree – they are delicious. What makes it good is everything under its skin. The fruit thrives with a strong core, seed, flesh, and stem. Properly grown and harvested, it’s pleasing to the taste buds. Just as God intended. In similar fashion, everything good about us is under our skin in impalpable life sources created by God; wholly designed …

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With All My Heart

My Texas sisters, Carmen, Lynn, and Becky, really know how to throw a party. It was my birthday and what a surprise! The house was decorated luau style. There was even a Tiki Bar for the kids in the backyard. The grill was fired up and the table overflowed with shish kabobs and salads. The display was a huge cocktail glass shaped cake that Becky had baked. Guests wore leis. They handed me a grass skirt and coconut bra to wear over my regular clothes. The kids wore party hats and coconut bras, too. The party was in full swing. …

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With All My Soul

While young, I wasn’t a fan of fishing. Probably because of the wiggly worms and the hooks that stuck in my foot more times than in the mouth of fish. But I loved Daddy, and he liked to fish. My father, Edward, insisted I bait my own hook. “Can’t catch a fish if you can’t bait your own hook,” he’d tell me. After several attempts and words of encouragement from him, I’d finally manage to get a few slips of the hook through the worm. Then, with the pole in hand, I’d head to the water’s edge. A few mishaps …

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With All Your Mind

My grandson, Zakery, has an uncanny ability to draw you into a conversation and build a visual world inside you that is much different than the one you’re actually in. One day, while he was still in preschool, he went with my husband and me to the barber shop. It was a small block building that set just off the highway. A cluster of trees was behind it. He said, “There’s a bear in them thar woods.” “There is?” “Yes. And it’s gonna come out to scare us.” He thrust his chest out and bared his paws. “And then it’s …

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With All Your Strength

Our grandchildren, Ryan and Emercyn, were born thirteen hours apart. I wasn’t able to make it to both birth celebrations, but my husband did. Larry’s scramble from one hospital to the other, one hundred thirty miles away, showed his sincere desire to welcome them into the world. The challenge to be with each baby seemed to set a precedent. The two children battle for his attention. Fascinated, we’d watch the babies as one crawler would immediately notice if the other climbed onto Pepa’s lap. As fast as their little body could move, the youngster would wriggle across the room to …

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Embrace It

A lovely bowl graces the table; filled with chunks of Gala apples tossed in a crisp Waldorf salad. Next to it sets a hot Granny apple pie waiting to be sliced. Rich caramel coated Jonathan apples pierced with a stick and rolled in nuts line the counter next to the stove where a pan of blended Baldwin and Winesap apples simmers, filling the room with a mouthwatering aroma. Chosen from the harvest for their strong core, seed, flesh, and stem, each unique apple variety bursts with flavor and the combined results is a lavish banquet. Just as God intended. “And …

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Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:1-13  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It …

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Love Is Patient

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist …

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Love Does Not Rejoice in Evil

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13      “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or …

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Love Is Faithful

 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. …

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Faith, Hope and Love

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. …