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    Go, Total Stranger, Go!!

    Sometimes encouragement comes from entirely unexpected sources. A few years ago, four friends and I embarked on a mini-adventure, each running a 5ish-mile leg of the White Rock Marathon relay. Mind you, my visions of the day and the reality of the morning were quite different. While training, I enjoyed either sunny skies or the comforts of a temperature-controlled workout room. I didn’t anticipate shivering outside for two hours in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Standing in the pouring rain waiting for that baton, out of my blue lips came these words (said with emphasis): “This is STUPID. Why did I sign up for this??” I had distant hope that I would…

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    Who is Tasting Your Stew?

    Dr. Mark Bailey, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, spoke of the need for accountability in the Christian life. "It's like making a stew…" he began to illustrate. “Each of us has our own recipe. We add a little here. We add a little there. We season the stew to our liking. We get ahead of ourselves and think our stew is good. The problem is we haven’t exposed it to the opinions of others.” He closed his illustration by claiming you have to have someone close enough to smell and taste your stew—even more so, someone who won’t lie about it! Life, like cooking, has never been an exact…

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    What’s Your Superpower?

    If you could choose a superpower, which one would it be? When asked this question as an icebreaker, I’ve heard some people say they’d love to fly; others say they would choose mindreading. Some would love to be invisible. But for the believer in Jesus, the idea of having superpowers isn’t a fantasy. It is the reality of being indwelled by God Himself, the source of actual and real supernatural power. And He gives gifts, spiritual gifts, that consist of supernatural enabling. We find the spiritual gifts in four places in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. Consider these spiritual gifts—superpowers,…

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    A Millennial’s Journey into Women’s Ministry

    When asked to head up a new division of our Women’s Ministry I was terrified that I couldn’t cut it and really, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted anything to do with it.  There’s a stigma out there about Women's Ministry, if you didn’t already know. Young Ladies like myself tend to conjure up ideas of bake sales, and mentor round ups; we tend to think Women's Ministry is stale without substance. So when I was faced with the challenge of leaving Youth Ministry and joining our Women’s team, I was haunted by questions…. Will the ladies expect me to wear stockings? I never wear them! I’m not the…

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    A Grace-Filled Gift

    Something happens to a child in need when they receive an unexpected Christmas gift. The sparkle of glittering wrapping paper distracts the hardness of life even if it’s just for a little while. The satin bow adds hope and laughter. Smiles replace hopelessness and joy comes like the first snow in winter. Forget opening the gift. Holding it means someone loves you!     I should know, because it happened to me.   One of my favorite Christmases of all times involves strangers, lots of gifts and a turkey. To this day, I don’t know the folks responsible for the presents, the cans of yams and the big ‘ole turkey.…

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    Encourage Spiritual Growth “Ten Things Parents Should Know”

    In our modern world we find ourselves surrounded by a plethora of resources including the internet, books, conferences, counselors, and countless “professionals;” all giving advice on the best techniques, the greatest tools, and the most up to date methods to use to be a good parent.  How many times have you looked to these resources for the best solutions, techniques, and tools for raising your child?  How often do you look to these resources without consulting the best parenting guide available?  How many times do you read page after page, chapter after chapter of how to be a successful parent without picking up the most valuable resource ever written?  …

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    Learning From Latin “Comentaristas”

    God designed me to feel indifferent about sports. But something has happened to me. I can’t seem to pull myself away from watching La Copa Mundial on Univision. Spanglishly speaking, I blame the comentaristas. I admit that the logistics of futbol escape me, but it doesn’t matter. When my team scores—¡Viva México! Go USA!—when they make a goal, my soul bursts into song along with the comentarista. ¡Gooooooolllll!   An endless voice from heaven expresses every ounce of hope I have for victory. Gooooooolllll! Y otra vez! ¡Gooooooolllll!    Leave it to the critic to point out the “what if’s” in sports, but a Latin comentarista will show you what's…

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    Wait For Hope to Appear

    Many times, we will find ourselves surrounded by suffering. It seldom makes any sense and it sometimes hurts so deep that words fail to adequately describe our pain. I wrote the following blog in a time such as this and with these few words, I found hope.    “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst.” Lamentations 3:28-30 (MSG) (italics and bold mine)   I struggle with the idea of waiting especially when “life is heavy and hard to…

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    Stay Encouraged…The Next Generation of Christians Needs You!

    “…we face a generation of young people who no longer hold to what most evangelicals consider to be the true foundations of the Christian faith: belief in the deity of Christ, the reliability of Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus.”  Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis, The Last Christian Generation (Holiday, FL: Green Key Books), 27.  The preceding observation by Josh McDowell and David Bellis is sobering to say the least.  The reality is that we are progressively living in a world where the basic tenants of the Christian faith are no longer believed, taught, or consistently championed.  Relativism has taken root and has such a stronghold in our…

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    My Mother’s Legacy

    My mother passed away twelve days ago at the age of 90. Like some of you, I always said that I didn’t want to be like my mother. I lived with her weaknesses, and strengths aren’t always evident to those who live up close. But time brings perspective, and I now identify much to learn from her life. My daughter said it well–Mother had her priorities right, putting faith and family above all else. She volunteered in her church for years, even while responsible for home, children, and teaching school. She tirelessly cooked and gave food away to those with health issues, losses, celebrations–or just because they loved her food!…