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A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Touch of Romance
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Ripe for the Harvest
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church


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ARCHIVES
From the Editor -
Diane Exner
A Woman's World
Featured Article
Freedom … to Love Others
By Diane Exner

By the age of 29, I had gone through a divorce, was living with a man unmarried, and couldn't trust a soul. I was running from the past, but with no destination – I was just running nowhere. Only 'surface' conversations were allowed, and I'd shut you down faster than you could say, 'Jack Rabbit', if asked about anything intimate.

My story is quite common among many women I talk to. They’ve been hurt by various forms of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional or relational – and find ways of coping to get them through these traumatic experiences. Once surviving their ordeal, they perfect the coping mechanisms that brought them through and, in a lot of cases, shutdown inside.

Sound familiar?

Thankfully the story doesn't end there. It's just the beginning. To start 1996, my live-in boyfriend, Jay, had decided that we should start going to church. So, we went 'church shopping.' We opened the Calgary yellow pages, made a list of ten churches to attend, and at the end of ten weeks would evaluate our experience and go from there. We knew nothing about the plans God had for us, nor anything about a personal relationship.

We made it as far as the second church on the list. God met us there and invited us to stay. On our second visit, a salvation message was given by the Senior Pastor, Pastor Fenn. He talked about this guy named Jesus who loved me and wanted to wash away all my past hurts and sins. He said that I could start a new life in Christ, and that Jesus would heal all my wounds.

My heart was breaking inside. I was on the verge of tears.

"Could it be?" A quiet voice stirred within. My spirit felt like it was waking up.

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Love Your Husband – I Mean, Enemy
By Donna Haug

When you read your Bible, does it pierce you like a sword? Or do you tend to skim over everything that does not directly apply to you? Let me give you an example. Read Luke 6:27-38. Is your first reaction to say, "I don’t have any enemies, so I can skim over this part"? Sometimes it helps to substitute a name for the word "enemy". You may find that sword piercing a little deeper then you expected!

Wives, this one is for you!

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Seven Subtle Ways to Say "I Appreciate You"
By Violet Nesdoly

We remember to say thank you for most things, from the loan of a friend’s car to a door held open for us by a stranger. We dash off a thank-you note when we’ve received a gift. We never arrive for a dinner invitation without bringing something for the hostess. What more can we possibly do to show appreciation?

While the above are certainly a good start, we have to admit these things fall into the category of the expected. They’re really only good manners. But there are other subtle yet powerful ways we can communicate appreciation – that attitude which is aware of and tells others they are valuable and important. Try showing your appreciation of new acquaintances, friends and family in some of these ways:

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MomsJust a Thought
By Diane Exner

"Be Someone's Valentine"

In many parts of the world, there is a special day in February called Valentine's Day. In short, it's a day to celebrate the love for others.

Most often this day is celebrated between couples and they do many things to show their love for each other. They plan weekend get-aways, buy each other presents and nice cards; take each other out for supper. In some way February 14th is made special, so loved ones can be shown how much they really are loved.

While thinking about this day, I started to wonder why it just has to be for couples. So with that in mind, I wrote this little poem to share with all the wonderful women in my life – and that includes you! I hope you enjoy this little gift from my heart to yours.

Happy Valentine's Day Lady,
You are a pretty awesome friend
I wanted to send you a special wish
Of love that will never end

Jesus died upon that rugged cross
Two thousand years ago
He was the very first Valentine
The world would ever know

God gave us each a special gift
Of love says John 3:16
For God so loved the world
He gave us a special King

The King of Hearts, The King of Jews
It's a very powerful name
This special gift is for one and all
And loving is His game

Happy Valentine's Day Lady
You are special deep inside
Remember you are truly loved
Each day by God on high


My Challenge to You …

Try to think of a way that you can make another woman's life extra special this month. Plan to send a note, a card, or write a poem expressing how much you love her. This could be to your grandma, mom, daughter, friend or any other significant lady in your life. Take the time today to live out John 13:34-35, and be someone's valentine.