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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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    Celebrating the Gift of Grace

    The older I get the less it feels like Christmas. I have the fondest memories of Christmas being this magical time steeped in traditions of cookie baking, decorating, shopping, gift giving, music, and of course, family.  My children are both getting older with one still believing in Santa (although likely for the last year) and the older one now assisting me in my Santa duties.  Although Christmas has changed in our home as children have grown older, that has little to do with my change in Christmas spirit. Christmas can easily become a chore in our modern society; a to-do list with specific tasks to be accomplished by specific dates. …

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    Sorting Out the Lies

    We have a Friday night tradition of movie night in our home.  Almost every Friday, we watch a movie together as a family snuggled on the sofa with popcorn and other occasional treats.  Over the years, my husband and I have watched our fair share of princess and animated films with the latest progression to Marvel movies as our girls are getting older. Recently, we watched Captain Marvel. I was blown away by the underlying spiritual message of encouragement I received from this movie. The movie opens with the main female character, Vers, in an identity crisis due to a period of amnesia.  She is haunted by memories of her…

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