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When Life Turns on a Dime

Acts 16:16-36 March 13. That's when everything changed. As a teacher and mom of three school-aged children, hearing school would be closed at the end of that day for an unknown period of time rocked my world. I was working hard, cooking dinner, taking kids to practice, going to church, and going about life as normal up until then. I had been listening to the news, of cour...

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In Bad Trouble for Good Reason

Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment, the spirit left her (Acts 16:18). What got Paul and Silas into the tight space of a jail in Philippi? We're more familiar with how they got out, or rather how God got them outmore on that during this third week of ou...

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Unbound

They saw the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; theirrobes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them (Daniel 3:27).Refuse to bow in worship? Into the fire you go. The king orders the furnace heated "seven times hotter than usual" and orders his strongest soldiers to bind them tightly and toss them in. The heat is so i...

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Antibodies Needed!

There are some Jews who neither serve your godsnor worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:12). Exile to Babylon was, for the Jews of Daniel's time, the ultimate discipline from the Lord. But God's judgments are righteous and redemptive; their goal is not punishment, but recovery of identity, restoration of true health, reclamation of mission, and-- God ext...

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A Survival Guide for Blazing Furnaces

"'But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what godwill be able to rescueyou from my hand?' Shadrach, Meshach and Abednegoreplied to him, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliverus from it, and he will de...

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Furnace Friends

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3: 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 22, 26, 28-30). The most famous story in the Book of Daniel doesn't even have Daniel in it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: every single time they appear in Scripture, they appear together and "in order," always Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Each and every time, standing as one, speaking as one. They appe...

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Upright

Daniel 3the whole chapter, please! As we relearn each and every Easter, God does his finest work in the tightest spaces. Please keep that empty tomb in mind as we work our way through this Shelter series. Easter is not a once-and-done date on a calendar; death-and-resurrection is how God always goes about his work Be on the lookout for ways in which each of our Shelter ...

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Running to Our Lives

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life (1 Kings 19:3) Where did Elijah think he was going? What was he hoping to find once he got there? He runs because the powerful king and queen of Israel, Ahab and Jezebel, have sworn to kill him. He flees, first, all the way to Beersheba, the southernmost city in the Promised Land. From there, a day's journey into the desert. Find...

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A Cure for Fear (and many other ailments)

"'Go out and stand on the mountainin the presence of theLord, for theLordis about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful windtore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before theLord, but theLordwas not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but theLordwas not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire,but theLordwas not in the fire. And after...

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Hamster Wheels, Ears that Hear, Eyes that See

The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD,for the LORD is about to pass by" (1 Kings 19:11) What if God would like to have a different kind of conversation with us, with you? And what if God is present, is with us, in our current circumstancesin our current tight spacesto that end? There are all kinds of tight spaces. Some are shelters...

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