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  • Don’t Forget Your Tambourine!

    One of the first gifts my husband gave me was a suitcase.  I remember unwrapping it, not knowing what it would be, even though the shape and size should have given it away.  He is a pilot, so I suppose a new suitcase is a gift I should have expected! While it really was a nice suitcase, I immediately thought it must be my ‘carry-on bag’, something to put a few extra things in while the majority of my luggage is packed in a larger bag. This bag was great!  It had wheels and a cool pull-up handle…but it was just so small. I had always used a bigger suitcase, one that could hold whatever I might need. It was easy to pack a big suitcase. I could throw in anything I might need no matter the destination, a big bag could hold it all. With a smaller bag, I
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    I Said the Unthinkable!

    No, I didn’t use a swear word or rant and rave like a maniac. But, for most of my life I have had people say things to me that took me off guard and I didn’t know what to say in response. Afterwards, I could think of a hundred things I wished I had said but it was too late. Then, just like Kathleen Kelly told Joe Fox in the movie You’ve Got Mail, it happened to me… “I was able, for the first time in my life to say the exact thing I wanted to say at the exact moment I wanted to say it. And, of course, afterwards, I felt terrible, just as you said I would.”   Have you been there?   People today are expressing themselves in ways and on levels they never have before. Social media now allows individuals to toss verbal grenades while multitudes
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    “She Smiles At the Future…”

    “Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.” (NKJV)  Proverbs 31:25 Proverbs 31 is a passage that many of us are familiar with. When I read it, I feel like I can almost picture this woman in my head. And at times, I have somebody in mind when I read these verses. When I read verse 25, I could see in front of me a woman sitting tall with a quiet strength and confidence. She has the posture of one who is very well-respected and you can tell she carries wisdom before she even speaks a word. Perhaps you have someone in mind as well. It has come to my attention that this verse does not mean what we think it does. It may seem very forthright, however, when you look deeper, you see that there is so much more to it. Reading that single verse
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    How to Re-Emerge After Being Knocked Down

    There have been many times in my life, where I have been abruptly interrupted and thrown into a state of trepidation. Moments where I have gone from enjoying a peaceful day, awaking from a restful slumber, or even celebrating a joyous event, only to be thrust into the reality of a devastating blow. An email informing me of my employment separation, a doctor telling me of a difficult diagnosis, encountering the presence of a vile perpetrator, and worse of all, a phone call . . . the kind that everyone fears, from a tearful, grieving loved one, with unexpected heartbreaking news. I have experienced them all. Each traumatic event, each with its own unique impact and pains. And yet my response to them all was the same. SHOCK. FEAR. DEVASTATION. When shook by such intense emotions, my body, mind, and spirit are too overwhelmed to handle life’s unexpected moments, and
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    My Crown of Joy

    We can all struggle with the tendency to become annoyed with people.  Little nuances like; how a person chews, clicks that pen in a meeting, drives, or whistles all day long can make you feel like someone is running their nails on an old fashioned chalkboard. As Christians, we strive to keep our cool, and keep ourselves in check. We know we are to “love our neighbor as our self” (Matt. 19:19), but some days, frankly, that can seem far reaching. We know we should “value others above ourselves” (Phil. 2:3), but it’s just that it! It is our “self” that gets in the way, where selfishness can take over, pushing the other person’s needs and desires aside. I came across a verse when reading in Philippians one day.  It may have been one we have all glossed over in the past. An introductory phrase, yet, I know that every
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    The Way in a Manger

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 (NIV) The years prior to Jesus being born were very dark. Isaiah says that people looked for light, but all was darkness. God had been silent for many years, and people were desperate for direction. There was confusion, distress, and yet – hope. In the midst of great darkness, God’s light is unmistakable. God uses the most difficult of circumstances to show his grace & love to the world. A season of trial leaves us empty handed, stripped down, and humbled by life. There is no worldly comfort to hold on to. And yet, we can have hope. We can have hope because God has promised us good things. John 10:10 says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (KJV). That means that even in our darkest
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    Finding YOUR Place

    When you travel a lot, you find some pretty interesting places.  While driving through a rural area in the south, I saw a restaurant with this sign attached “There is no place like this place, so this must be THE PLACE.”  The name of the restaurant was “The Place” so the sign made perfect sense.  You might be thinking, “oh how I wish it was just that easy to find the place God has for me.”  If God would provide a ‘sign’ or a GPS signal, a map or a ‘star’ would make it so much easier to know for sure you have arrived at the place where God wants you. One thing is for sure, God wants us to be in the right place.  He has promised to direct our steps and lead us to the place of fulfillment, opportunity and service.  But, we do need His guidance, instruction
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