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The Power of Surrender and Prayer

I once discovered that I can save myself a lot of time by humbly seeking a second opinion! Something had come up that caused me to be concerned, and I was praying for guidance on whether or not to send a letter to someone addressing those concerns. I could have spent a lot of time debating the...

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Two Heads Are Better Than One

There are times in life when what should be obvious isn't. That's why it's good to have God and trustworthy friends to give us in-put. I'll share a humorous example, but the principle applies to serious situations as well.   At a time when we had two young missionaries from other countries...

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The Need for Discernment

Discernment is defined as "keen perception or judgment; insight." The best way to gain discernment is through meditating upon the Bible and seeking God's wisdom in prayer. It's so foolish to think that I have better insight into what's best for me than God, who already knows my whole future. But I...

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Deciding Together

In marriage (and in many relationships), it is important to be sensitive to the other person's opinions and feelings when discussing things that affect both of us. I am growing in this area, but I still slip up now and then.   Here's an example of a mistake on my part. Normally, Tom and I...

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Want an Honest Opinion? Then Ask

Sometimes, after we've suffered the consequences of a mistake, we may wonder why our loved ones didn't warn us. In reality, they probably tried, but we weren't receptive. Or we may have made it very clear that we didn't want advice. I know that there are two basic reasons I don't seek advice (from...

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Wisdom Can Look Strange

God promises to give His children wisdom when they sincerely ask for it in faith (see James 1:5-8). But there are times when things don't turn out as we expected, and in those times, we may wonder if we really received the wisdom we genuinely sought. If we are earnestly seeking His will, God will...

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Trust God with Your Inadequacies

One morning, I was reflecting upon the hymn "Just As I Am" and upon the story of it's invalid author, Charlotte Elliott. Because this was one of my mother's favorite hymns, my thoughts drifted back to her memorial service and the Lord reminded me of an important lesson: trust that He is bigger...

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Lessons from Balaam and His Donkey

I would like to look at the relationship between Balaam and his donkey, but first I need to set the stage. As described in the Bible (chapter 22 of Numbers), there was a non-Jewish prophet named Balaam who lived in Moabite territory. The Moabite king wanted to hire Balaam to curse the Israelites....

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Discerning What To Say Yes To

As I was re-reading my old journals from when our children were young and observing daughter Kristy and her husband raising their own preschoolers, I felt compelled to write a note of encouragement to young moms. (The guidelines at the end are applicable to anyone.) I think we can all agree that...

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Come Like A Child

Jesus said, "...unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) What are little children like? They are filled with wonder. It's easy, as an adult, to get so caught up in the business of life that we fail to slow down enough to...

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