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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Parents'
Survival Guide

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


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From the Editor -
Diane Exner
A Woman's World
Featured Article
It’s Four O’clock in the Morning
By Diane Exner

"It’s time to get up, Diane"

Rolling over I see the digital red numbers of my clock. "It’s four o’clock in the morning."

"You asked Me a lot of questions lately; would you like the answers?"

"Yes, Lord, but it’s so early."

"In Australia it’s eight o’clock at night."

"You sound like that country song by Alan Jackson, ‘It’s Five o’clock somewhere.’"

"I like all kinds of music Diane."

"Even rap?"

"It’s time to get up."

I grunt. My head feels too heavy to get off the pillow.

"I have an article for you for your FaithWriters’ column this month."

"OK, OK. Can’t this wait just a couple of hours? After all, I am human you know."

Silence.

"OK, Lord. You win. This is all too familiar."

"I like this time of the morning with you. I love watching you wake up."

"Why?"

"You don’t wake up grumpy …"

"No, I let him sleepy, ha, ha."

Now it’s the Lord’s turn to groan.

"I remember another time that you woke me up at 4:00 am."

"Me too. Do you remember how that one turned out Diane?"

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The Strength To Let Go

By Tammie Smith

"You’re leaving again? How can this be? How can we be a family with the head of the household always away? How long will it be this time?"

These are questions that every military wife must ask at one time or another. I have asked these questions often before. Sometimes it is hard not to let the feelings of hurt and abandonment take over when my spouse leaves for another deployment.

My husband has been deployed over half of our seven-year relationship. I know each time he leaves, I must let him go.

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Holding On
By Marina Rojas

As we entered the church sanctuary, the ushers handed us a small, smooth stone. It felt nice and cool in the palm of my hand as I turned it over and over. I kept looking at it. Its glossy, slick appearance was pleasing to the eye. I began to really like my new rock.

"Hold onto it, until further instructions," was all they said. One of those side-ways, know-it-all grins escaped on my face.

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MomsJust a Thought
By Diane Exner

"God Goes Before You"

This month is a brand new month; it’s a brand new year. Another year of experiences and adventures lie ahead. For some this thought is exhilarating, but for others the thought of leaving behind what was and stepping into what is yet to be, is daunting.

The great "unknown" of each new year can leave some of us feeling a little overwhelmed, as others take the "que sera sera" attitude … whatever will be will be. But the more I think about it, the more I’ve come to believe that we do have some say in how the year will turn out – or at least have some input as to how it will start.

The articles this month show us that we have an active role in what God is doing in our lives. For me, if had chosen to stay in bed, the Lord wouldn’t have been able to work the way He did. I wouldn’t have been set free; the article wouldn’t have been written, and I would still be afraid of many things.

My Challenge to You …

Believe that the Lord has already gone before you into this new year; He is now inviting you to get up and walk with him hand in hand, into the future He has planned. Our God is good and has great plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. Have a very Happy New Year and remember God goes before you and is always with you.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)