Gold: Gifts to Embrace Forever Part 3

  Christmas arrives in less than a week. In homes where we've been intense pain, our childlike hearts look forward to shared joys and enchanting moments we will remember in coming years. We also prepare to exchange gifts with those we love. For some, the sorrows of loss and suffering darken…

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Frankincense: Gifts to Embrace Forever Part Two

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).   Who doesn't love the scents of this season? From balsam fir to peppermint, I…

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Myrrh: Gifts to Embrace Forever Part One

Ever contemplate the gifts of Christ when you admire a creche? Nativity scenes often imply three wise men visited the newborn Savior on the first Christmas. Scholars believe the visit might have occurred a bit later than the night of Jesus' birth and no specific number of magi are mentioned in…

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Having Today’s Needed Grace

Today, as yesterday, I needed grace. Lots. Of. It. Not just a trickle of patience and favor, but drenching downpours. My human nature has a default setting of irritability, impatience, and self-centered entitlement. I'm often in need of more nourishment and rest, which cranks up my crankiness factor. In my rough-edged…

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Happy Our Father’s Day to EVERYONE!

  Father's Day encourages us to celebrate the men who raise children in our world. For those who've lost or never experienced a nurturing dad, the holiday can prove bittersweet or even bitter. Some fathers face this day with grief, as they've lost children to death or estrangement. Those without the…

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Abuse Awareness: Beyond Bruise-Deep

  The second Sunday of June marks National Abused Women and Children Day. On one hand, I'm glad we acknowledge those who've suffered in secret for at least one day. Despite licensure as a therapist and years of experience with victims, I wasn't aware this day existed. Perhaps we all could…

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Blessed are Those Who STOP Praying for Backup

  Many faithful churchgoers encourage us to face hard times by saying, "Jesus has your back." We call on the Lord from those crisis moments, admitting we cannot cope alone. We recognize our need for divine intervention when things get tough. When our efforts to get through the struggle have fallen…

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Honor the Shame-Slayer

  Filthy, stained, and weary, I trudged in from the unfinished work in my yard. My strength and supplies had run out. I couldn't go on, and I needed cleansing from head to toe. Shame had once devastated my life in a similar, but far more profound way. I desperately sought…

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