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    Welcome to My Messy

    My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles. Although not everyone goes to extreme lengths to conceal what they fear might look “off,” most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. Since I’m being honest about my…

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    Heartprints

    I Shall Not Want

    “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” This quote from Dickens’ best describes my memories of summer days as a child. I could hardly wait for summer vacation. No school! No homework! The whole day to play. It was truly the best of times. No sooner was school out than the days became too hot to do much of anything. Friends went away on vacation or away to camp. I quickly became bored with no where to go and nothing fun to do.  It was also the worst of times. Sitting in a class room on a warm May day looking out the window as…

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    Who Do You Say I Am?

      Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning. Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God. Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing…

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    Impact

    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

  • Impact

    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

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    God’s Sovereignty and Mattresses

      The truths from the Word I learned a few years ago continue to challenge me to trust God: "Remember what I accomplished in antiquity! Truly I am God, I have no peer; I am God, and there is none like Me, who announces the end from the beginning and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred, who says, ‘My plan will be realized, I will accomplish what I desire." Isaiah 46:9-10 (NET Bible) I chuckle at the mattress commercials that say “Replace in eight.” How about “Just broken in, in ten” or “A taste of heaven at eleven.” However we decided to go with “Worn plenty in twenty” and replace…

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    The God of Friendships Past

    My husband's mom died last week, and the body of Christ has proved its "family" love in multiple ways. Kelley and Mary brought loads of food; church people who did not even know us hosted two different lunches for strangers; folks sent flowers and money to causes my mom-in-law loved; some sent cards; many delivered hugs. And my friend Mary DeMuth provided this guest post. I'm delighted to welcome her as a featured columnist: I drove by a restaurant that reminded me of a dear friend. She used to invite me over, grab takeout teriyaki, and we’d eat and laugh over chicken and steamed veggies. So when I passed a…

  • Heartprints

    Taking Thoughts Captive and How to Teach it

    Thoughts are a part of life. They happen. We can’t control when or what thought might pop into our minds. There seem to be as many thoughts that come from outside us as those that begin within. It is no different for our children. From the earliest age of forming thoughts, outside forces impose images in our minds that provoke an emotional response. Imagination is a wonderful gift for without it we could not begin to relate to the God we cannot see or touch.  Sadly, in a fallen broken world our imagination can be an instrument used to overwhelm us. I compare my thoughts to a massive school of…

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    Confessions of a Control Freak

    Recently, I got to be the crazy lady at the car wash. Ever wonder what happens if you go through an automated car wash without putting your car in neutral first? You go flying through that baby like a bat out of the netherworld. I kept thinking, "Hmmm, I don't think I've ever gone through a car wash this fast before" and, "Gee, I sure am catching up to that other car quickly." The attendants turned off the car wash and had me pull my car back out and try again—in neutral. I gave the attendants their adrenalin rush for the day. Me? I got so tickled about the whole…