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Called to Be a Lifegiver! | 1 Timothy 2:15

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Welcome to Real Life. Happy Mother's Day!

In January, I was in church on a Sunday morning praying fervently that God would give me his message for the women of MUMs (Moms Uplifting Moms), our mother's ministry. I had been asked to speak at their Mother's Day Brunch. "Women will be saved through childbearing" popped into my mind. The entire verse reads,
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
1 Timothy 2:15 NIV Childbearing does not saves our souls. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Rather, childbearing saves us in giving us a powerful purpose and calling—Lifegiver!

Since Coronavirus prevents large gatherings, my church (www.gracecma.org) recorded the message instead. (Message Notes/Resources)



Go and be God's lifegivers! 
Please consider sharing this with a mom who could use some encouragement. Thanks so much!  

Children of Easter Sunday Morning | Ephesians 1

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Welcome to Real Life. Death, where is your sting?
“Some day you will read in the papers, ‘D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead.’ Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal.”
–D.L. Moody (1837–99)Will I die of Coronavirus? Perhaps like me, you’ve asked yourself this question. Daily, the death toll rises from this insidious disease. We stay home. We wash our hands. We work from home. We worship at home. What if it’s not enough? 
“I’m ready,” I told my son on the phone the other day. God has blessed me with a wonderful life. I don’t want to die. I have much to live for! But if I die, I’m content.

I am a child of God. He knows me. He loves me. He protects me. I rest securely in his hands. My Heavenly Father has already determined the day of my death. If I die from Coronavirus, then God allowed it and nothing could keep me alive. And if God w…

Coronavirus: Our Unexpected Journey

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Welcome to Real Life. Courage is not lack of fear, but facing the challenge despite the fear.
“Why the halfling?” Lady Galadriel asks.

“I don't know. Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid and he gives me courage,” Gandalf replies. Stuck at home due to the Coronavirus, my husband and I needed an epic film series to divert our attention. What better than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? As we began The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I recalled Tolkien wrote these books during World War II, a time of great fear, suffering, and death. The very woes we face in this pandemic.



The tale begins when the wizard Gandalf hosts a battle summit in Bilbo’s home—without the hobbit’s consent. The dwarfs are on a quest to…

Spring Cleaning | Psalm 32

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Welcome to Real Life. Coronavirus has us disinfecting every surface. But maybe we need to clean below the surface.
The key to spring cleaning is to be ruthless!  Throw out anything and everything you never use.  (Or that may be incriminating. Burn, if necessary.)  –Josie Brown[1]


Spring is awakening! On a recent Saturday, glorious sun rays burst through my window shattering the gray, dreary spell of winter. The sunshine warmed and delighted me. But it also illuminated the dirt and dust that hides on cloudy days. I was suddenly overcome by an urge to spring clean. (This happens rarely. So, when it hits, I go with it.)

Later, the nightly news declared, “Spring cleaning is good for our mental health!” When our houses are less cluttered, clean, and organized we feel better, less stressed, and less depressed.[2] I was living the truth of it. My house was clean. My heart was happy!

Spring is awakening! With it, comes Lent. Traditionally, this is a season of repentance in preparation for Eas…

Holy Ground | Exodus 3

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Welcome to Real Life. Where do we find holy ground?

Pochvalen bud Pan Jezis Kristus! 
“Praised be Jesus Christ!” my father would proclaim in Slovak as he entered our childhood home.

Na veky vekov. “For ever and ever,” we replied.

“Amen!” he concluded. So be it!

     _____

Nowadays, upon entering our house, we remove our shoes. Our home is our sanctuary. It is an intimate, private space and not a common thoroughfare. Some cultures consider this an act of respect.
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“Take off your sandals,” the Lord told Moses, “for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

At the time, the Israelites were cruelly oppressed as slaves to the Egyptians. “Save us!” God’s people cried. God heard. He cared. He chose Moses to deliver them. One problem. Moses didn’t know God. So, God introduced himself. He manifested in a bush aflame, yet not consumed.

As Moses drew near to investigate, the Lord called out, “Take off your sandals.” Moses was standing on holy ground. He was not in church. …

God's Colorful Kingdom | James 2

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Welcome to Real Life. What color is your favorite?
I'm asking you not to be color blind,
but to be color brave.
-Mellody Hobson I love green. But if the sky, clouds, and everything was green, I’d soon tire of it. Wouldn’t you? Green's beauty is best appreciated in contrast with other colors.




What if every person looked exactly alike? Boring! Instead, God created us in a variety of sizes, shapes, and shades. We are male and female, tall and short, rich and poor. We speak six thousand languages.[1] We worship in silent meditation and shouts of “Hallelujah!” We are athletes, engineers, mothers, soldiers, and artisans. This is the colorful world God created.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth,”[2] we pray in the Lord’s Prayer. When we pray this, let’s be mindful of the wonderful diversity inherent in God’s kingdom, his family. In some families, siblings resemble each other so closely it's easy to see they're related. But in other families, siblings differ so vas…

We Belong Together | 1 Peter 2

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Welcome to Real Life. I need you!

If we have no peace it is because
we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
–Mother Theresa[1]
I spent an hour talking to someone on the phone the other day. I know… a whole hour feels extravagant. I almost felt guilty. I could have done laundry, exercised, or worked on a project. But she and I hadn’t talked in a long while, both of us busy with work and family. After we hung up, I felt connected to her. It felt good!

Days race by. We work, study, go, and do. All the while, we're often surrounded by people and feel alone. We comment on social media. We text (to avoid an hour phone call). Time is precious. We’ve grown rich in belongings, poor in belonging.

And yet, we need to belong! God hard-wired us for relationships. You and I were born into a family. We are meant to exist within a community. From others, we learn, grow, and develop. Through others, we discover who we’re meant to be, what we love to do, where we shine, and where we don&…