Beautiful Applause

“She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Mark 14:6) Their names are not even mentioned, and yet the Lord bestowed the highest praise on three women who demonstrated courage in difficult circumstances. Their ordinary lives are not memorials for us to simply admire, but to emulate, compelling us to love the Lord more deeply […]

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Extension

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, . . . so that you became an example to all the believers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6–7) Suppose they could actually speak to us, the characters described throughout the pages of Scripture whom we barely consider as we swiftly scan their stories. What would they say, what lines […]

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Pleasing Him

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) This week garbage trucks are hauling away immense loads of torn wrapping paper, tangled ribbons, and crushed cardboard boxes that a few days ago served as beautiful decorations for our gifts. Underneath our Christmas trees we stacked an […]

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For a Catch

“And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’” (Luke 5:4) The experienced fishermen gave up. Throughout the night they had careened across the open seas in an attempt to coax some fish aboard. Sore limbs and heavy lids were all […]

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Laden

“Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing….so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the […]

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Brick by Brick

“O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. My God in his steadfast love will meet me…” (Psalm 59:9-10) My friend Laurie looked like a fashionable Chico’s model with her cropped silver hair and large, tranquil eyes. The winter had been a hard one, robbing her health, stripping […]

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Slip Away

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet….” (John 11:32) Jesus is four days late, and his friends Martha and Mary are not exactly pleased. Knowing their desperate need, he has not bothered to respond. It seems that Jesus is totally indifferent to their predicament and has […]

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Rescue Operation

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.“ (I Thessalonians 3:24) Halfway through the gospel of Matthew, one of Jesus’ steady companions is starkly contrasted with an obscure woman. While the Gentile mother’s faith towers over the long-­‐-­‐-­‐standing disciple, God’s hand powerfully rescued both from their dilemma. Jesus is praying alone; the […]

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