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Faith or Fear

Faith or Fear
Reading through the book of Numbers, there is a story that keeps playing in my mind reel. Moses and his scouting team. He sent twelve leaders from the Israelite community to check out the land the Lord had promised them and bring back a report. What kind of food grows there? What is the soil like? Who lives there? How many? What are the towns like?... Well, ten came back saying one thing... But two came back saying something entirely different. This is what the ten had to say: "We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are! The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there… Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that's what they thought, too!" But here is what Caleb and ...
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The Hard Stuff

The Hard Stuff
I love that all-powerful, all-knowing creator  God is also an intimate, patient, loving Father. That the One who spins a caterpillar to butterfly, knows my heart. And he cares. Just the other day he reminded me again. I was reading through the Bible by my fireplace when I hit a road bump. I said to God, "You know, this is why I don't like reading through the Old Testament. Some of this I just don't get. You're hard to understand. Like killing the first-born Egyptian sons. What is that?" Yeah I actually said that to God. I know. Seems a little nervy on reflection. But he didn't turn me into a pile of dust.  Awhile later I put my Bible aside and picked up one of my devotionals and turned to the page where my bookmark was. It was about how Moses re...
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Rebekah

Rebekah
I don't know about you sister, but I'm not a big fan of detours. Roads diverted. Plans foiled. Life interrupted. If I'm travelling to Iowa, I want to end up in Iowa. (You Iowa haters, hold your comments.)  No blown tires. No destination changes. I don't want phone calls blowing up my to-do list. Friends cancelling a night out. Last-minute project demands. A job in Minnesota when I want to live in Texas. I have my plans. You know? That's probably why when I was reading in Genesis and stumbled on Rebekah, I had to do a double take. Who just packs her bags and leaves her family and country with a stranger? In one day. And for the purpose of marrying a stranger? I mean seriously. Who does that? Abraham's servant was staying with Rebekah's family, having just met them the night before, whe...
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Beyond the Glitter

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​ When we create fantasy images in our heads, we slay the beauty in our lives. – Emily Ley, Grace Not Perfection It helps me to remember Martha this time of year. Had I lived nearby and in her time, we would have been pals. I'm sure of it. Instead, I view her from afar and learn from her story (Luke 10).  Martha was scurrying around, thinking she was doing all her guests a favor. "Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made."  And when she went to Jesus to complain about her sister Mary not helping, who instead  "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said"  Jesus spoke truth to her. "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be ta...
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Look Up

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Our path was layered with thousands of red, yellow, brown, and orange-colored tree tears. My friend and I started to climb yet another steep hill whose sometimes calf-level leaves hid all manner of tricksters—branches, deep ruts, prickly vines, stones in sandy soil, loose pebbles, and slippery mud. Our eyes were glued to our path, our forward motion in the leaves making an amplified cereal-smacking sound. Suddenly we heard commotion above and to our left from the high barren trees. We stopped in our tracks and swung our heads around just in time to see two beautiful eagles swoop up and away from their secluded nests. After the eagles were out of sight, their glory no longer ours to observe, my friend said, "We need to look up more! Just think about how many birds up the...
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Freedom

Freedom
I  read something this summer, and I couldn't get it out of my head. It was a "light switch-flipped-on" moment. You know the ones. Where the truth of it sinks into your inner soul while simultaneously making you wonder how you never saw it before. Here were the light switch words: "Our freedom of choice is so valuable to Him that He restrains Himself from manifesting His presence in a way where our freedom of choice would be removed…when He reveals Himself in fullness, even the devil and his demons will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord." — Bill Johnson, Encountering the Goodness of God He restrains himself. Wow. That's how important our freedom is to him. How important it is that we choose him. It makes sense though, doesn't it? We are made in his image and don't we want to be c...
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Delinquent Daisy

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While the dogs were running around at a nearby park thick with surrounding woods, I called to them as it was time to skedaddle. Work to do. A growling stomach to fill. As usual, one was delinquent. This time it was Daisy. I'm pretty sure that every night after I go to bed they do rock, paper, scissors —a doggie version of course —to determine whose turn it is to tune me out. So my 90-pound newfie mix and I trudged back to the car. I gave Mia her treat for listening and got her settled comfortably in the car with the windows down. I called again to Daisy and was about to get in the car to drive closer when she bounded out of the woods. She came to a baseball diamond fence, however, and was just not sure what to do. The fence was standing between her and me. She looked at me expectantly acro...
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Hidden

Hidden
As I was heaving the watermelon out of the cart into my mini black SUV trunk on a sweltering summer day, tiny silver hoops on a white card caught a glint of sun's rays and flashed a hello up at me. So I finished unloading the rest of the bags from the cart, slammed my trunk door, rolled the cart to its nearest holding tank and made my way back into Walmart with my errant earrings. I scurried to the nearest self-checkout. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a Walmart worker coming my way. So much for trying to remain unseen. I figured she was probably wondering what was up. As I began to explain that my earrings had been playing Hide-and-Seek, I realized she didn't want to hear about it. Instead I was being chastised for not waiting in line. There was a line-up for self-checkouts? Who knew? W...
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Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me
Dear younger me: Grasp and consume God's insatiable love for you. Understanding whose you are will help you to know who you are. When you get your identity from God, you won't need your identity from others. It's the only way you can begin to see people as God does and love them without subconsciously seeking to get something in return (e.g., approval). It's the only way you will risk and not worry about failing. It's the only way you will dance like no one is watching. It's the only way you will fight Satan's lies. You know; the ones where he whispers that God is disappointed in you. That a true Christian would never think those things or stumble like that. That what you are doing isn't good enough. He has already given you everything you need for godly living. You can stop...
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Paradise

Paradise
Like a drink of water after a marathon. Your own bed after weeks away. A hug from your son or daughter returning home. Protein after a workout. A hot shower after catapulting off your paddle board into deep muck (not that I know this personally) . That's how the sun's rays felt last Sunday after months of Minnesota chill. As I lay sprawled on the back deck of our red, black and white Malibu, the sun's rays gave valiant effort to change my white Scandinavian freckled skin to a reddish brown. As the boat gently bobbed up and down like the local loons in the middle of the lake, my son read his novel and my husband polished water stains to oblivion. The birds were singing like they were competing in an American Idol contest as the water gently lapped onto the sandy, rocky shores. "I'...
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Choose Him

Choose Him
This beautiful blog is written by LuAnn's daughter, McKayla. She's wise beyond her age.  Choose him. To abide, pursue, and invite Jesus into your life is a choice we have every day. Similar to exercising and eating healthy, the decision to include Jesus in your daily life does not often have immediate transformation. Over time, the daily decisions of healthy nourishment and working out will begin to manifest physically. This is true with positioning spiritually also. Positioning is dire to the transformation to your heart and mind and to everything he wants to do through you. Renewing of your mind and the outflow condition of your heart comes with the small moments and decisions to pursue him in the day-to-day mundane. What if more days than not you were eating healthy and exercising?...
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Let's Hold Hands

Let's Hold Hands
Have you ever heard any of the following?​ All that church cares about is numbers. That's more important to them than obeying Christ. That church is so small because it is not relevant. I connect with God more in a small traditional setting; I don't see how you can attend a big contemporary church. People that attend that small church are an uppity click. The music at that church is outdated. The music at that church sounds too much like the world. Old hymns have such rich meaning and depth; contemporary songs are so repetitive and meaningless. I don't even understand what the hymns are saying. Who would want to go somewhere where they sing those? Spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy aren't relevant for today. Satan is just using that to take them off-track. If you don't speak in tong...
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Loving Pursuer

Loving Pursuer
Taste and see that the Lord is good. —Psalm 34:8a He has also set eternity in the human heart. —Ecclesiastes 3:11b I'm not sure why I was so shocked by what she was telling me. I shouldn't have been. I've been a Christ follower long enough. I've heard countless stories. But for some reason, how good God is and how uniquely he works to bring about transformation in each of his children, how much he loves and pursues each one of us, always rocks me. Rewind back to this summer. I had received a phone call from a beautiful young lady who is friends with my daughter. She wanted to talk. I prayed before she arrived, as I sensed God wanted to speak to her through me. As she sat on our porch swing that balmy summer day she relayed to me how disappointed she was in the direction her life was g...
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The Value of a Woman - Mary Magdalene

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Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomband saw two angels in white,seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

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The Influence of Others

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But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.—Matthew 6:33

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are beingtransformedinto his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.—2 Corinthians 3:18

We have this cute young lady who has been living with us for several months. My husband has dubbed her the Energizer Bunny. So it isn’t surprising that in her dialogues and answers she often uses an enthusiastic, snappy, staccato, “yep!”

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Winter Comes For Us All

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Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

—Hebrews 12:28

 

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Pamela Promnitz
Fantastic read. Love it. Thank you for sharing this with me. I did not realize how well you put your words to pen.
Friday, 01 December 2017 16:49
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Identity Rooted in Truth

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We were all in our twenties at one time. That place of struggling to find out who we are and where we fit in the world. McKayla has been a guest writer in the past and we love her honesty. I find that I always learn a thing or two from this spunky young woman. And I'm sure you will too!

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

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Identity Thief

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I see you dressed in whiteEvery wrong made rightI see a rose in bloomAt the sight of youOh, so pricelessIrreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparableDarling, it's beautifulI see it all in youOh, so priceless  

—King and Country 

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Gossip Tornado

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  A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

—Proverbs 16:28

Recently I watched gossip about two people sweep through a group of friends.

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Waves

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When the hope of heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of My Presence envelops you. Though heaven is future, it is also present tense. As you walk in the Light with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.

 —Sarah Young

The fact that I’m a novice paddle boarder was made very evident the other day.

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Layers

Layers

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

—Romans 13:14 

Anyone who lives in Minnesota understands with sincere familiarity the concept of dressing up in layers.

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Crazy Treasures

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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Once I found her sitting in the bathroom sink. She was fully clothed, and the sink was overflowing as the faucet water continued to cascade down the sink like Niagara Falls as she brushed her teeth with my toothbrush. She was enjoying her self-created mini-pool immensely. 

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Grab Bag

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'Cause Jesus paid it all All to him I owe My sin had left this crimson stain, he washed it white as snow

It's washed away, all my sin And all my shame

—Jesus Paid It All, Elvina M. Hall

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Destination

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This very idea that we have individual homes in heaven is really neat... Mansions are the personal expression of this person in house form... Mansions are big and different and have friends like striped cats and furry dogs that you knew as a kid. 

—Josiah Cullen 

It was bound to happen. 

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No Rain in Sight: Noah

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I beg you to step into whatever adventure God has for you, whatever the cost. He leads us down different paths,

but none of us is led down the path we would have chosen for ourselves…

Trust whatever He has for you. It will be better than anything you can plan for yourself.

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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn

    LuAnn

    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie

    Emilie

    I am currently a full-time nanny and will be returning to school in the fall of 2019 to finish mydegree in relational communications and graduate in the spring of 2020. I am using this break from school to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally

    Sally

    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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