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Posted on 7.01.2017 by Jody Noland

“Wow, God.” That thought has been on repeat in my brain.
 
After eight years of widowhood, I am about to become a bride again.
 
Tomorrow, Rob and I will join our lives in the sacred covenant of marriage.
 
“Wow, God,” indeed.
 
Being the reflective type, I’ve thought a lot about the last eight years of my life, of the countless ways I’ve seen God’s faithfulness.
 
What are the headlines from those last eight years?

Posted on 5.12.2017 by Jody Noland

For the last month, we’ve been commercially bombarded with endless reminders that Mother’s Day is fast approaching.
 
Yes, the holiday is a wonderful celebration of motherhood. Moms who endlessly give and serve their families throughout the year do deserve to be honored and affirmed.
 
Yet for many, Mother’s Day elicits more pain than joy. But why?

Posted on 4.28.2017 by Jody Noland

The 2017 NFL Draft is underway in Philadelphia. And over the next few nights, atop the steps that Rocky ascended, lifelong dreams will be coming true as aspiring players are selected for NFL teams.
 
Many of those drafted feel fortunate just to have survived to adulthood. Countless players come from the humblest of circumstances, having never known financial or physical security.
 
The future financial compensation can be staggering for those whose names are called by the NFL Commissioner.
 

Posted on 4.21.2017 by Jody Noland

Have you ever seen a seemingly empty seashell suddenly start moving along the sand? Or even more shockingly, discovered that a shell you’d recently found on the beach mysteriously changed locations on your counter?

If so, then you’ve probably witnessed a hermit crab in action. They live alone, within salvaged empty seashells, due to their own physical vulnerability. The crab is forced to peek outside the protective shell to move, and as the crab moves, so does the shell.

Posted on 4.08.2017 by Jody Noland

 Do you pray regularly?
 
If your prayers from this last week were transcribed, what would they show?
 
Do you pray big, God-sized prayers? Or are your requests in line with things you can accomplish in your own power?

Posted on 3.17.2017 by Jody Noland

Are wedding bells ringing in your future? Perhaps you’re getting married soon, or you are the mother or father of the bride or groom.
 
If so, it’s the perfect time for letter writing.
 

Posted on 3.10.2017 by Jody Noland

Have you ever tasted heirloom tomatoes? Their shapes aren’t uniform, nor are their colors.  But oh, the flavors!

Posted on 3.03.2017 by Jody Noland

Half empty or half full? Each new day, we have a fresh choice of how we look at our lives, our circumstances, the “hand we’ve been dealt.” What are you choosing?

We all know people that look at life through negative lenses. They see the shortcomings in every situation. Yes, they might make great quality inspectors looking for defects on a manufacturing line. But in terms of life, it’s a draining perspective for everyone in that person’s world. And most of all, it’s a slow emotional death for the person themselves.

Posted on 2.24.2017 by Jody Noland

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ask a young child that, and the answer is likely to be filled with promise. The sky’s the limit.  Answers might include: “The President!” “A movie star!” “A doctor!”
 
As that child becomes an adolescent, the dreams often become smaller, “more realistic” or might have even vanished.
 
Why is that? What happens to those big dreams?
 
Sadly, dreams are often squashed by a few discouraging words from a parent or authority figure.
 

Posted on 2.13.2017 by Jody Noland

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. For some, it’s a day full of roses and romance.
 
For others, it’s a painful reminder of unfulfilled hopes and dreams.
 
But at its core, Valentine’s Day is about love: something all of us need.
 
And that’s where the connection between Valentine’s Day and pickles comes in.

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