Category: Blog

Grace Wins

by Tiffany Miller Occasionally I will have a rough day. I won’t be caught up on housework, there are several unfinished projects, I’ve yelled more than I care to, I have a negative attitude and struggle to find the joy in the everyday… you understand what I mean. I feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and expectations and woefully under-qualified to handle it all. The sour cherry on top is when I hop on Facebook and see many of my friends, who are in the same stage of life as me, and they seem to have it all together. Their houses are gorgeous and immaculate and they’ve cooked a gourmet meal from scratch for their kids who are behaving like perfect angels. My guilt compounds when I remember the chicken nuggets I made my kids, or the fact that the dishes are still sitting in my sink. I enjoy having friends come
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The Person or the Party?

by Ruth Puleo Most people enjoy a well-executed celebration.  I have been to some pretty elaborate parties; celebrating a birthday, anniversary or achievement.  When it comes to a “sweet sixteen birthday” party, some families take it to the level of a wedding reception.  I have been to some wedding receptions which I would consider to be “over the top” in regards to expense, elaborate decor and entertainment.  And, of course, with Pinterest setting the pace in regards to creativity, what used to be a simple child’s birthday party, can easily become a thematic adventure. Lately when people attend a celebration, they are expecting enjoyable entertainment, an array of delicious foods and desserts, delightful decorations and engaging communication with other guests.  People will often bring a gift, but expect to leave with some sort of favor and a potential prize.  With all of this “hoopla” the question comes to mind, “Are
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She Laughs Without Fear of the Future

Opening my gift, I was bubbling with excitement as I discovered what my friends had hand-picked for me. They all know me so well. Each present they gave was a thoughtful gift, selected to speak a truth. A tin box of sweet treats reminding me of the sweetness of Jesus. A beautifully decorated cup representing the fullness and overflowing prayers they pour out on my behalf. Such kindness was wrapped in the details of these little items, but it was the last present in the gift bag that grabbed my attention the most. It was a gorgeous wall hanging, and immediately I noticed it perfectly matched my bedroom decor. Smiling with joy, I proceeded to read the gold painted scripture at its center: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 “Ha!” I thought. Maybe my friends didn’t know me so
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The Gift in Our Hands

by Jennie Puleo For some reason, this time of year has a tendency to magnify the overall sentiments that we have felt throughout the year. Whenever a momentous event takes place in our lives, Christmas seems to be the time that we reflect on such joys or even grief prior to closing out the current year and entering a new one. For newlyweds or babies born, it may be a year celebrating and creating new traditions and many “firsts” for families. For those who have suffered loss throughout the year, this Christmas may be difficult as waves of memories from the past flood the heart and mind while trying to figure out how to celebrate through sorrow. These are the extremes on the emotional spectrum that one may experience and are completely acceptable as per the occasion and situation. Though many of us won’t relate to either of those experiences
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Not From a Store

by Tiffany Miller Recently, I was shopping at Target with my mom and and two daughters ages four and one. Shortly after we entered the store (and browsed through the magical value section), my four year old began asking if she could get something. Her requests varied depending on what part of the store we were in, from candy to a movie to toys. I started to get frustrated with her, constantly repeating that Christmas only a few weeks away and we weren’t there to buy her treats or presents. It was after we were home and I had put away my purchases that I realized I was guilty of the same thing my daughter was. During the trip I had pointed out countless things to my mom that I thought were cute and that I’d like to have, at least once expressing my wish to have enough money to
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Christmas Miracles in the Making

by Ruth Puleo I have come to discover that the most amazing things happen when I obey those inner nudges from God. When God plants an idea in my head and it won’t go away, I know it is most likely from Him and I need to pay attention, even if it is outside of my personal comfort zone. God has a way of getting our attention if we are willing to stop and listen. As I read the Christmas story, it was so clear to me that each participant was given a choice. A Christmas miracle was made possible because they did what was asked of them. No doubt, Mary, a teenage girl, was very surprised when the angel told her she would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-34). Mary’s trust in God, and her obedience and cooperation with God’s plans and purposes, are a great
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Her Story. Your Story

She was a pastor’s wife. It had been her dream. What church girl didn’t dream of one day marrying a preacher? He had been so handsome. She couldn’t believe he wanted to date her.  Soon he proposed.  Before she knew it, they were in ministry together. But, then she had a miscarriage. It wore on her physically, mentally, and emotionally. If she was honest with herself, it wore on her spiritually as well. Her husband didn’t grasp the hurt she was suffering. She had tried to talk to him, but he was young and busy. He had a church that depended on him. He would hug her, give her a quick kiss on the forehead and say, “You’ll be okay, Honey.” Many nights she cried silently into her pillow as her husband dreamed peacefully beside her. Each morning she got up, made his coffee, pressed his shirt, and kissed him
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