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Walking the Talk

“Our peers judge us not by what we say but by what we do. If you claim to be a good wife and mother, then you sometimes will have to put your family’s interests above your own. If you believe your purpose is to share your artistic talents with the world, then you will be judged on the works you produce, not on those you merely propose. You have to walk the talk; otherwise you have no credibility with others—or with yourself—because you, too, should demand that your actions match your words. If they don’t, you will never live in harmony and fulfillment.”

Excerpted from Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

Daily Reflection: How can your actions match your words this new year?

Wake Up!

“So how do we continually experience newness in a world where everything ages? How do we experience freshness where everything quickly becomes stale? We have to wake up!

Awakening to the presence and power of God is both a one-time event and a recurring newness we experience throughout our lives. Some would say that this state of newness is a mountaintop experience, one that is nice to have every once in a while, but unsustainable in real life. But…not only is it possible to live a life fully awakened to God at all times, but it is the desire and will of God that you do so.”

Excerpted from Awakening by Stovall Weems

Daily Reflection: As a new year approaches, how can you keep your relationship with God new each day?

The Adventure of a Lifetime

“The award-winning animated movie Up contains some profound truths about relationships. In a breathtaking sequence early in the film, we see the entire arc of the life of Carl, a balloon salesman, as he meets Ellie, falls in love, and gets married. They share a dream to travel to South America and save every penny for their big trip. But there’s something familiar about the way their savings are constantly being used for the urgencies and emergencies of daily life. Before Carl and Ellie know it, they’re in their seventies, and although they have a beautiful marriage, they never realized their dream adventure…

You begin to realize as the movie progresses that this dream trip they were saving for, this object of their future plan together, wasn’t really that important after all. The real adventure was the life they shared [ … ]

We Are All Different

“They say variety is the spice of life. Perhaps that’s why God so often puts people of such different personalities in the same family. (Either that, or he’s trying to prepare us for marriage!) Mary was the sunlight to Martha’s thunder. She was the caboose to Martha’s locomotive. Mary’s bent was to meander through life, pausing to smell the roses. Martha was more likely to pick the roses, quickly cut the stems at an angle, and arrange them in a vase with baby’s breath and ferns.

That is not to say one is right and one is wrong. We are all different, and that is just as God made us to be. Each gifting and personality has its own strengths and weaknesses, its glories and temptations.

I find it interesting that when Jesus corrected Martha, he didn’t say, ‘Why can’t [ … ]


Christmas is about the great mystery of Emmanuel, “God with us.” Jesus gave up equality with God to come down from glory as a baby. Mary would carry the Son of God in her womb and be His earthly mother. She submitted to God’s plans for her in spite of the questions and whispers surrounding her. She believed the words of Gabriel when he told her she was “highly favored” by the Lord and He was with her.

She gave her body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this was her spiritual act of worship. Did Mary know that Isaiah 53 was a prophecy about her son? Did she know that His birth would change history? Mary’s attitude, one of humility, love, and confidence, provides an example.

May we have the same attitude of humility when [ … ]

A Gift Beyond Measure

“In biblical times, much like today, times of great joy were often accompanied by the giving of gifts…

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (Matthew 2:10–11)

God, of course, gave the greatest gift of all: His love wrapped up in His Son, Jesus. God’s love changes everything and everyone it touches. It protects and breathes life and purpose into every minute of every day. God’s love is a gift beyond measure that surrounds us and covers us when the fires of life rain down.”

Excerpted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

Daily Reflection: How [ … ]

Mary Was Unique Because God Chose Her

“The virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:27

A second reminder of her innocence. One meaning of her name is ‘bitter,’ perhaps a hint of her sorrow to come. Being loved by God would not spare her the heartaches and tragedies of life. Yet in the Bible we never see any bitterness in her words or actions. Impressive, no?
She was ‘likely uneducated and probably came from a poor family.’ Like the child she bore, who ‘had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him,’ Mary, I suspect, was rather plain in appearance. Certainly in her dress and speech, perhaps also in her face and figure, she was unremarkable.

But God didn’t choose Mary because she was unique. Mary was unique because God chose her. He knew her tender heart, [ … ]

Giving An Amount That Matters

“King David knew that a gift that cost him nothing was worth nothing to God. The king was seeking out a location to offer a gift of burnt offerings. An attractive altar arrangement and a team of oxen had been offered to David for free. But he wanted his giving to be the acceptable kind, so he insisted on paying for the items at full market price (see 2 Samuel 24:22–25).

This brings us to our first truth about acceptable gifts (ones that get God’s attention). When it comes to our gifts, the amount matters.
When the gift amount matters to us, it can matter to God too.”

Excerpted from Plastic Donuts by Jeff Anderson

Daily Reflection: Are you truly giving sacrificially?

Look for Me

“I recently learned that celebrating Christmas is not far from the heart of God, either. Feeling like Jesus had gotten lost in the frenzy of the holiday season, I asked the Lord to show me what I could do to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was caught off-guard when He simply replied, ‘Don’t do anything differently. Look in the middle of the celebration and you will find Me.’

He was right, of course. I didn’t need to orchestrate moments to pontificate with my kids about ‘the commercialization of Christmas.’ Instead, Jesus was beckoning me to come to the party and bring the kids. In doing so, we ran into Him at school, in our living room, even at the mall. He hid in the lights, the carols, and the cards. He was there when we dressed [ … ]

Who Invented Christmas?

“Mama,” Little Cub asked one night. “Who ‘vented Christmas? Was it Santa?”
         “No,” Mama Bear said. “God invented Christmas. God gave us Christmas.”
         “Is God more important than Santa?”
         “Oh yes, much more important!” Mama said with a smile…
“What is that?” Little Cub asked in wonder as she watched the dancing lights in the sky.
         “That is God at work, Little Cub. He sent his only Son as a baby so that we would know light from dark. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is how God gave us Christmas.”

Excerpted from God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa T. Bergren

Daily Reflection: How can you thank God for everything He has given you?