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  • Posts By: Ruth Puleo

    No Room in the… What?

    The widely known Christmas story describes a desperate woman in labor searching for a place to settle so she can give birth.  To our amazement, after knocking on doors throughout their home town, they settle for an animal stall because there is no room for them in the… INN? Mary and Joseph were not trying to check into a hotel, they were staying with relatives When it came time for Mary to deliver the baby, the Greek translation of Luke’s text says, “she wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a corn crib, as there was no room in the ‘guest room’.” That is right…the guest room.  It is not saying, there was no room in the inn as if it was a place you paid to stay. (Luke 2:1-7) It was customary in Bethlehem, for the family to have a guest room in the front area of the
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    Time For An Eye Exam

    Is it time for my eye exam?  I received notice for my two-year eye exam in the mail.  I made an appointment, not because I thought my eye sight had changed, but because I was ready to change the style of my glasses. To my amazement, the eye exam revealed my eye sight had changed and I needed a different prescription.  Within an hour my new pair of glasses were ready and I could see details at a distance that had eluded me with my old lenses. It may be time for my Spiritual eye exam! During my daily prayer time and reading of God’s Word, I am reminded that it is time for my spiritual eye exam.  So often, I think my spiritual sight is just fine.  But, when I take time to examine my heart according to what God is saying, I find that my vision is lacking
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    A Rock of Offense

    I was walking down a trail through the woods in the dark, when suddenly my foot hit a rock and down I went flat on my face in the dirt.  It took me a moment to grasp what had just occurred as the throb of an injured toe and scraped elbows became painfully evident. I had stumbled upon a stone and it took me down hard! “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense” 1 Peter 2:8 ESV  We have all thought, “I can’t believe they just said or did that!” There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t stumbled over or been knocked down by a personal offense. If we do not protect our hearts from an accumulation of offenses, they will build to a point that it will damage our relationship with God, our family and friends.  An offended heart has the potential to impact our work and
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    Not Guilty

    I had prepared my pre-school classroom for our craft time with the necessary supplies for each child to create a clown mask.  Small piles of clown eyes, lips, yarn for hair and round sponge noses were stacked for easy assembling.  The paper plates and glue were the last two items handed out before instructions were to be given.  During my final glance at the pre-set tables, I noticed that one table was missing a few clown noses.  I stood by the table and asked the children sitting there, “Who picked their noses?”  To my amazement all eight of them raised their hands while sporting a guilty look on their faces!  It dawned on me that they were not responding to my concern for the missing clown noses, but thought I had asked about the removal of excess mucous from the nose on their face.  I almost burst out laughing, but
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    Hope for an Approval Junkie

    I was the youngest of three sisters raised by godly, well-meaning parents.  In fact, our Dad was a pastor and our mother was a credentialed minister, both used by God to help many individuals find faith.  Our parents loved us. They taught us to honor God, love people and work hard.  However, each of them came from dysfunctional families with alcoholic and abusive fathers.  They did not receive affirmation or unconditional love during their formative years thus they longed for that approval from others. What is an approval junkie? It is very simple…a “junkie” is someone with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on something.  An approval junkie will never be satisfied by a single compliment.  No amount of positive feedback will meet that need. In an attempt to satisfy that hunger for acceptance they looked to the accomplishments of their daughters.  If we performed well, received accolades for our
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    Building Castles in the Sand

    One favorite summer pastime of our grandchildren is to build sandcastles on the beach.  They come prepared with containers of all shapes and sizes, shovels and pails.  They already have in mind what they want to build and how they hope it will turn out.  Amazingly enough, as young as they are, hours can pass by without notice as they labor together with their dad or papa to accomplish this goal.  Once it is completed, everyone will admire the design with all of its creativity and engineering expertise. However, upon returning the following day, the sand castle is usually gone.  It could be that the rains washed it away, the tide moved in and carried it out to sea, or other beach occupants demolished it for the pure fun of tearing something down. There have been a few times that I felt sad for my grandchildren since they spent so
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    The Power of Words- Life or Death

    All of us have been the victims of critical, hurtful words.  We know only too well the lasting damage that derogatory comments can have on our development and confidence. Those of us who have had the privilege of receiving encouragement and praise during our formative years, have advanced into adulthood with enthusiasm and stamina to achieve our dreams and life-long goals.  But, those who have not been so fortunate, may still be seeking approval from authority figures even as adults, never quite feeling they measure up to others around them.  “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 MSG If we are honest, even the best parents can give a mixture of blessing and cursing, healing and hurt within moments.  Florence Littauer, author of Silver Boxes, inspires us to weigh our words knowing the value of encouragement and the pain caused by criticism. 
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