Laura R.

The Enemy at Work

John 8.44There are not degrees of sin—sin is sin. I know that. But sometimes, when sin looks like pure evil…well, that’s harder to swallow.

I recently attended a presentation on human trafficking in the United States. The speaker, a senior criminal investigator, informed us that there are more enslaved in the U.S. today than in any other time in history. I’d already been hearing that, so I wasn’t shocked, but to hear him describe the crimes, the victims, and how the traffickers work…it was upsetting in ways I can’t describe.

I watched as he paced while answering questions and heard his attempt to temper his words.

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Praising Him in the Midst

Psalm 108.1

All too often, I have trouble praising God in the midst of unpleasant situations. I’m full of praise when I see His work in my life, and I praise Him for the beauty He creates around me. But it’s those times of trials where I struggle.

Praise was my One Word for 2013. So, you’d think I’d have this praise thing worked out. But, I’m still working on it. I think I’ll always be working on it because it’s hard to put myself aside—how I feel and what I’m thinking—and start praising.

It takes a conscious effort to praise God at all times—especially times I don’t feel like it, when I’m angry or complaining…times when I’m overwhelmed by life…and times I’m starting to doubt that everything will work out.

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New Life in Jesus Christ

Stock photo. Spring Crocus 3
Spring has always been my favorite season. I like that although 50 degrees in the fall feels cold, in the spring it feels like a heat wave. And with the warmer air, there’s hope that winter is nearing its end.

Spring reminds me of new life—buds on the trees, flowers peeking through the ground, the subtle shift of everything turning from brown to green…

And the new life we have in Jesus Christ.

New life because Jesus took on our punishment, and through His death and resurrection, we are set free from sin.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many.

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Life in His Word

Isaiah 40.31 eagle

I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Jennifer Hand’s 31 Days to Coming Alive. Written as a daily devotional, her words captured my attention, and really got me thinking…and going deeper.

God could have made one common animal, but Genesis describes how He made varieties of animals, plants, ecosystems, environments, even the land and the sea. The powerful part of God? He spoke all of creation into being with His words. Jennifer Hand, 31 Days to Coming Alive (bold mine)

I couldn’t help but stop here and ponder. God spoke all of creation into being—with His words.

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We Are Not Defined By Our Mistakes

PHOT0014.JPGIn a recent conversation in the office, we were laughing that no matter how many times we proof a document, it seems a typo or error will be found just after the e-mail has been sent or 1,000 copies have been printed.

“I always wonder what mistake I’ll be remembered for,” someone remarked. Light-heartedly, I said, “We are not defined by our mistakes.”

But, as I walked away I kept thinking about it. Isn’t that something we all need to be reminded of?

We are not defined by our mistakes.

Yes, some can be real doozies, and some mistakes are remembered for quite a while.

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For the Days You Want to Sing the Blues

5MfF picture

There are days I feel sad and unmotivated. Maybe you can relate?

Life, and what’s going on, will contribute to my mood. But, my mood is just that—the way I feel today. And today won’t last forever.

The thing about moods is, they change…and often.

While one day I might feel like singing the blues, the next day I may be humming a different tune.**

So, today, I’m sharing what gets me through the I-feel-sad-and-don’t-want-to-do-anything-days.

1) Remember that this feeling is temporary.**

So many factors contribute to how we feel on any given day…hormones, the weather, how we slept the night before, lack of exercise, illness, and more.

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Something New Has Begun

Something New Has Begun 5MfF 12.12.13 pic

Advent is the season of waiting expectantly and preparing our hearts for the arrival of Baby Jesus. We reflect on the miraculous conception, the birth in lowest of conditions, and the fulfillment of the prophecy…

…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)

We rejoice on Christmas morning—Christ is born!

And then…Christmas is over. Or at least that’s how it feels. We put the Christmas decorations away and go back to our busy lives as usual.

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Thankful for Things I Take for Granted

1 Th 5.18

Sometimes life gets so busy, it’s easy to forget how blessed I am. Today I’m thinking about, and thanking God for His blessings I often take for granted.

The freedom to worship our one true God.

The means to feed and provide for my family.

Warm clothes to wear on cold days.

My health and the desire to exercise.

The privilege of working at my church.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
What blessings are you thankful for today that can sometimes be taken for granted?
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