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    Confidence of a Child

    Have you ever known a child with a favorite doll or stuffed animal?  My daughter received a stuffed dog from her Sunday school teachers after having her tonsils removed last summer.  She latched onto this one so quickly and has never looked back. He is an adorable, chocolate brown pup adequately named Cocoa. She has always had a favorite doll or stuffed animal to carry around as long as I can remember. However, Cocoa is obviously more special to her than any other. If you know my youngest daughter personally, chances are you have met Cocoa.  He goes EVERYWHERE she goes.  If she is reading on the sofa, Cocoa is…

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    Trusting the Author

    Friday nights are movie night in our house. It’s our way of unwinding from the hectic week and settling into the weekend. Not too long ago, we watched the Harry Potter series as my daughter finished each book. She’s an avid reader who reads for detail, often reading through each book two to three times. She knew every detail of this story prior to watching the movie. There is a scene where the three main characters are on a journey to destroy the power of the story’s villain. One character, Ron, misunderstands the intentions of the other two and leaves the group in anger. The female character is left distraught…

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    One Body One Blood

    I grew up in a white neighborhood and attended a school that was occasionally 99% white but more often than not 100% white. The one black student I can remember had a locker next to mine and we chatted daily for the short time he attended our school.  I still smile when I think of him.  His smile was infectious and I can clearly remember his laughter. However, I often look back and wonder what struggles he hid behind that smile and laughter as the only black student in an otherwise all white school.  Some of those struggles I will never know and some of those struggles have been brought…

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    Who are the Heroes?

    A sign stating, “Heroes walk through these doors,” greets our senior living employees as they enter each morning. Every aspect of healthcare has changed and definitely requires a new level of physical, emotional, and mental stamina. Many in healthcare have walked away, requested leave of absence, or taken more extreme measures due to the level of burnout and stress compounded by COVID-19. Still many more show up faithfully every day despite knowing the risk firsthand. The Oxford dictionary defines a hero as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Yes, healthcare workers are essential and should indeed be labeled as heroes. We are fortunate…

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    Finding Light in Darkness

    Many of us have heard, watched, or read Easter devotionals and social media posts with the phrase, “but Sunday’s coming.” It’s Saturday… but Sunday’s coming. Reflecting on the history of today, I ponder what those who believed Jesus was their Messiah must have been thinking after Jesus was pronounced dead.  I am sure they felt all hope was lost; their Messiah, who was to save them from all oppression, had just been defeated by death. Their cries of Hosanna obliterated. Imagine the somber tone that must have filled Jerusalem and the surrounding areas as the darkness lingered and the veil was torn in two.  Something terrible had just happened and…

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    Finding Peace in Our Comforter

    Have you ever had a conversation with someone that just grieves your heart to its very core?   I had one of those conversations with a close friend recently. I have discussed my faith with this friend before and she has taken notice of certain aspects of my life, including peace in difficult circumstances that can only come from God. She has witnessed the transformation of others and affirms as a believer. However, she struggles to trust that God’s Word applies to her current situation. I so desperately want this friend to understand trust and dependence on God is the missing link she is so desperately searching for. Friends, this…

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    Finding Your Hidden Gem

    Our previous week could only be described by one word: chaos.  My husband and I both had hectic weeks at work and just when we thought we had time to rest, something unexpected would arise that required immediate attention like an overflowing toilet or a broken door jamb. It was just one of those weeks. Our Most Important Job However, our day jobs are not our most important jobs. We are chest deep in the murky waters of parenting tweens and about to have (gasp) a teenager. If you have ever been in our shoes or if you are in the same stage in your parenting journey, you know how…

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    Finding Joy When You Feel Rejected

    She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” – Genesis 29:35 ESV Leah exclaimed these words after giving birth to Judah. He was Leah’s fourth son conceived with her husband, Jacob. Leah’s father had promised her sister, Rachel, to Jacob in marriage but tricked him into marrying Leah first. He had worked for her father seven years to earn the right to marry Rachel. Instead, he was hoaxed into a marriage with Leah. The Bible leaves no secret Leah felt unloved and unwanted in her marriage to Jacob. The marriage was rooted in response to her father’s deceit. She seems to be an innocent party,…

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    Where Will You Stand This Year?

    Stand. That is my word of the year for 2020.  At the end of 2019, I was struggling to feel connected to any word for the upcoming New Year.  My previous word was persevere. I naturally felt led to consider the words believe, trust, and obey in the New Year.  Although I felt connected to all three of these and could find definite purpose in each one, I knew they were not it. I prayed for guidance as to where God would have me focus in 2020.  It wasn’t long before the word “stand” started to, ironically, stand out to me. Stand Against the Lies My initial thoughts were stand…

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