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In today's world, we go about things in such a manner, we are usually running around in circles. One thing is pulling us one way, another thing, another way. We spend our time worrying if we are going to meet all the deadlines we have set for ourselves. Then we come up with this thing called "stress".


delftwareA few years ago, my family visited the city of Delft, outside Amsterdam. That is the center of fine Delft pottery with its trademark blue and white pattern.
We took the tour of the ceramic factory there. We were gathered into a room where a woman gave us a demonstration on the potting wheel. She took a lump of clay and started the wheel spinning. She began working the clay with her hands and as if by magic, it began to take one form after another as she talked. First it was a low round bowl, then a tall slender rose vase, then a Grecian urn then a lump again, and back into another bowl. It was incredible. It seemed there was some magical life in the clay itself, but of course it was the skillful hands of a master potter at work.

For more than half a century NASCAR drivers and fans have planned their Labor Day weekend around the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. No more. This week NASCAR started what it hopes will become a new tradition. California Speedway's 2-mile oval is the new venue for Labor Day racing.

Long time race fans lament it will never be the same. Three-time Southern 500 winner Bill Elliott felt a little sadness in the change, but was happy to start third in the first Labor Day race in Fontana.

God has always kept His promises to me--with many a surprising twist or turn along the way. An unexpected vacation to change my life. A career to exceed my plans. A loving husband to fulfill my dreams. Peace in fear, hope in despair, light in darkness--surprises of love you receive when Christ is your Savior and Lord.

Sometimes God's surprises come in little packages.. red-faced, screaming bundles of joy, and that's where my story begins...

Life is not a 'bowl of cherries' - far from it. Sometimes it's the pits, but not the cherry itself. Life has a 'flavor' all it's own, just like the cherry, and it's not always sweet. Sometimes we expect too much out of life and it doesn't always deliver to us what we expected or what we truly wanted. Things don't always go as planned or they aren't always as they have seemed. You might have a 'crushed cherry' instead of the sweet, firm 'fruit of life' that you expected to have.

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Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada.  Her devotional book The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others.  To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Written By Richard Gunther.
Harris Dvores is a corporate lawyer in Orlando, Florida. But only from 9 to 5. For more than 20 years, he has pursued his passion to create: everything from Christian music and church skits, to Star Trek scripts and board games. His new website, www.harrisdvores.com, is a playground for the mind and spirit. A Jewish believer, Harris has been given truly amazing stories to share about the power of God.

Rev. Spence Laycock pastors at Church of the Open Bible, Ponoka, Alberta, Canada.

Pastor Bert Nieuwenhuis is the interim pastor at Somerset Bible Chapel, Manitoba, Canada.
Diane Davis, a former policewoman in Toronto, recently retired from a lengthy career as a civilian member of the Ontario Provincial Police.  Amongst many things, she is now turning her attention to writing, music, and her 5 grandchildren.  She is also Pastor Tim's mom.

Blog Writings by Melva Cooper.

Melva Cooper is a wife, mother and grandmother from Jonesboro, Arkansas. God has given her, in her retirement years, the ministry of writing for HIM. "Even in old age, you will still produce fruit" is a verse He has given her (Psalm 92:14). And it is her desire to serve Him all the days of her life.

Barbara, a Christian homemaker, began her Web Site through encouragement from her son, and a dream. It quickly became a ministry for the Lord. She began writing devotionals to encourage, inspire, and build up spiritually those coming to her site.  Barbara is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Writing poetry that brings glory to God is Sandra's passion.  No matter where she has lived, or what she has gone through, she has found that God is always there before her to lead her in His paths and to catch her when she falls.  Married, with two sons two granddaughters on the way, Sandra's future goals include writing more poetry trying her hand at writing short devotionals for children.

Dr. Harold McNabb pastors at Westshore Presbyterian Church in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

"Ever feel as though life is a lions' den and like Daniel, you're right in the middle of it all? Enjoy these "Devotions from the Den" (Lions 'n Life at Peggie's Place) and delight in God's promises of love, joy and peace for whatever is happening in YOUR den today!"

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