Trust in God while navigating the storm

Recently, we were stunned by the news that one of our dear friends, Naomi Fields, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We were understandably shocked and saddened by the sudden turn of events in this otherwise healthy lady. Knowing her to be both a person of faith and mature enough to face reality, Naomi shared her condition in the gracious manner for which she is known. She would use wisdom to seek the best possible treatment available, while understanding the gravity of the crisis she faced.

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Inspiration from a young woman's story

Recently, during the remodel of our church, an excavator removed a brick facing from an outside wall that did not match the rest of the building. As the old bricks came off, we discovered a marble plaque embedded in the foundation that read: "The site for this church bestowed in memory of Katherine Friedline."

Who was Katherine Friedline? What caused someone to purchase the property upon which a church could be built? And when did this dedication take place?

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In life, there's not always time to say goodbye

Recently, a 67-year-old woman entered a short-term care center to check on her elderly mother, whom she had placed just the day before.

As this daughter entered the lobby, observers said it seemed she tripped and fell to the floor, maybe even strking her head.

But when they rushed to her aid, they realized her condition was even more serious, for she did not respond to their attempts to help her. The summoned paramedics worked frantically for signs of life. Emergency physicians could not activate a heartbeat in spite of their best efforts.

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Honor Creator by investing gift of life

As I step across the threshold of the calendar into the New Year, I am reminded of two principles: Life is a gift, and happiness is a choice!

I am convinced that if everyone would actively adopt those two principles, this coming year could be the best we have experienced.

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Years later, a story of salvation still resonates

In the small basement room of Gospel Tabernacle of Parma, a volunteer teacher by the name of Melissa Tuttle was trying to corral the attention of a class of rowdy elementary children by promising to tell them a story.

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Navigating a world of spiritual blindness

In his classic short story "The Country of the Blind", H.G. Wells told of an Andean mountaineer by the name of Nunez, who accidentally fell off a precipice and landed in a deep snowbank in a remote valley.

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Honor your parents, even when you think you can't

An attractive businesswoman was conflicted by competing emotions. There was no way she could honor her father, she wailed. He had been a source of great pain in her life, and she could not sincerely obey the direct command of the Scriptures, "Honor your father and mother" in Deuteronomy 6:15. It would be hypocritical to pretend he was a loving, caring parent, when she knew him to be abusive. She had just come from his funeral, which made her feelings even more acute.

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Resurrection is a fact that proves God's grace

I hope this Easter season you didn't waste your time and energy on the tiresome debate on the reality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Those closest to the scene settled that debate in the first century, leaving the world divided into two groups, believers and unbelievers. The skeptics outnumbered the believers in such an overwhelming force that it seemed faith in Jesus as God's risen Savior would drown in the flood of unbelief, except for two vital issues.

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Is it an emotional experience or a brush with God?

The young father and husband stepped out the backdoor of his small home to gain some meditation space from his active family. His heart was heavy and frustrated, and the drizzling rain among the pine trees of the backyard only added to the melancholy. But he just had to find a place to pray, or talk to someone--even if it was to himself.

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Find your manger, and allow God in

At some point in the Christmas season, someone emphasized the fact that there was no room in the Bethlehem inn for Jesus to be born. The animal shelter was hardly a desirable place for such a delicate occasion as the birth of a child. Many women have given birth in squalid conditions, only because they had no choice. But we understandably feel bad about the lowly quarters afforded this peasant family for such a momentous occasion.

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Remembering a father's lesson

As the family was finishing breakfast, the tired father reached over to a bookshelf beside the table and retrieved his well-worn Bible. Before his five rambunctious boys dashed out to play, he wanted to implant some endearing ideas in their young minds. He glanced down the table at his wife, who was struggling with negative issues from her background, and with a silent prayer of intercession for the future of his sons, the father opened his Bible to John 10 and asked for silence while he read.

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Work diligently to end mistreatment of children

Recently, one of my acquaintances was arrested for possessing child pornography on his computer. No sooner had that news shocked me than a mother was arrested for engaging in immoral acts with the young teen friends of her children, plying alcohol in the process. An educator was jailed for inappropriate conduct with some of the students.

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Fate does not dictate the meaning in our lives

As I sat with the 104-year-old gentleman in the dining room of his assisted living facility, he began to take me for a stroll down his memory lane. The further we went, the more my heart was filled with wonder at God's grace to my friend. His father died of appendicitis at a young age, leaving a large family struggling to survive. Frustrated by her inability to care for her three younger children, the mother offered them to an orphanage to raise or adopt out to other families. The director of the orphanage said she could take the two younger children, but my friend, the 13-year-old boy, was too old for their home. When the teenager protested that he did not want to be separated from his brother and sister, the manager of the orphanage refused to receive any of the children.

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The Savior has done the traveling for us

One of the basic tenets of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God. In fact, we look at the Christmas story with the core conviction that the Baby of Bethlehem was "Emmanuel", which means, "God with us" (Matthew 1:21-33).

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