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True Freedom

I opened my email one morning and read a message from a sweet military wife whose husband was in Afghanistan. She had been reading postings on Excellent or Praiseworthy, and was grateful for the encouragement. Then she closed her comment with, “I’m so thankful for America, a free country that allows me to know what true freedom is in Christ!”
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Happily Ever After?

Happily Ever After?
In just about every artistic rendering of a soldier’s homecoming, be it a song, a movie or a television commercial, we are left with an emotional high that tells us all is well again. But if military wives assume their reunion with their husbands is a fairytale ending to their separation, disappointment is almost sure to set in. “I have seen way too many military wives build up a fantasy in their minds about what life will be like once their husbands are home—and then be destroyed when this fantasy was not a reality,” says National Guard wife
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“Welcome”–God’s Word for Your Marriage

“Welcome”–God’s Word For Your Marriage
“I know it’s a red light!” I growled at my wife. My teenaged daughter groaned in the back seat, “Dad!” That moment Sunday evening was huge. My wife was anxious because of my poor driving. The beast of pride had welled up inside of me. It could easily have led to isolation—icy, short interaction for the rest of the evening, and sleeping back-to-back. There is a war going on for our souls
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There’s More to Success

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.” Whatever our role, our position, our organization—we should strive to be the best. Agreed. But what if there was more . . . ? Don’t all people essentially want the same things? And, in part, don’t we all on some level deeply desire to be successful? I would say, “Yes!” When people think of “success,” we frequently assume professional development or promotion, superior financial security, nicer “stuff,” good reputation among peers and colleagues, and the quality of relationships we enjoy. I think we would agree this is a fair representation of elements of success. So you say, “Okay, Chaps, we got it. So where are you going with this?”
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“Reintegrace”–God’s Grace for Reintegration

We do not want to miss this grace—this pure grace of God that gets us from the excitement-building, heart-racing, glee-producing “Welcome Home” moment . . . through the adjustments and transitions which characterize reintegration. Hebrews 12:15 reads, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God . . .”, and reintegration done well will validate that it is God’s grace, and grace alone, that smooths the return home. His greater grace takes you from "I can't do this anymore' to 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Likewise the pure grace of God in reintegration takes us from “I didn’t expect homecoming to be anything but sweet” to “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). This grace is so powerful, so cleansing, so redemptive that I can only call it “reintegrace.” Indeed, God can take the strain of deployment and the uncertainty of transition and fashion it to be good because of His pure grace and mercy (Psalm 119:68).
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Spices

Moving can require a litany of give-aways: spices, cleaners, opened food packets, and an odd assortment of containers from refrigerators and cupboards. Somehow a stack of things always seems to remain that needs to be shifted to friends or family whether moving across town or across the ocean. My neighbor once left cinnamon, salt and a variety of seasonings for every occasion. Another friend gave hairspray, bathroom cleaner and cat tray liners—and we didn’t even have a cat. Sometimes we leave or get items we’ll never use or don’t know what they are. More important is what we leave behind emotionally when we move.
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Moving Experiences

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights. The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. — Psalm 121:8 Some PCS moves you anticipate—others come as a surprise. Some moves are a relief—others…

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