Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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Ruth O'Reilly-Smith

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

I’m a vegetarian. Well, I’m actually a pescatarian. Although I grew up enjoying meat, I went off the texture in my early twenties and now I don’t eat any red meat or chicken, only fish.

My shift away from eating meat and chicken has, over the years caused much consternation, especially early on. I grew up in South Africa and we would regularly have a braai (barbecue) with plenty of red meat and occasionally chicken, cooked to sizzling perfection over hot coals. But what do you do with a vegetarian? There are far more non-meat options available these days, but twenty years ago, I seemed like a freak.

I ate a pork sausage last week.

We had a barbecue at work and lunch was provided for all the staff. It was a beautiful spread and those catering for us had gone to a lot of trouble to ensure there was a wide range of food options to choose from in the hope that all dietary needs would be met. We had the obligatory red meat options, chicken, fish, pork, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy free. I had salmon and salad and thought I’d add a vegetarian sausage to the mix on my plate.

Admittedly, the sausage did look a little different and it also tasted a bit meaty but, I just put it down to the way it had been prepared and cooked. Perhaps these were a range of vegetarian sausages that I had never tried before or the cooking staff had put them on the barbecue after they’d cooked the meat, hence the meaty flavour?

A colleague (also a vegetarian) later informed me however, that I had in fact eaten a pork sausage. Somehow, in the frenzy of preparing a host of different food options, someone had put the wrong labels by the food.

My stomach turned when I realised I’d eaten a pork sausage – I felt physically sick at the thought.

The consequences of the labelling mistake were far more serious though for those who should have eaten gluten-free. They’d eaten vegetarian sausages, usually packed with gluten.

Mind you, it’s not the first time I’ve unknowingly eaten meat since becoming a pescatarian. In the early days, I would forget to inform people I was visiting for a meal of my dietary needs – well, sometimes I forgot and sometimes I felt ashamed and embarrassed to tell them and so, I would eat as little of the meat provided, trying desperately not to appear ungrateful.

I’ve become bolder over the years though and it has become easier to prepare meals for the many different dietary needs.

My cousin recently confessed to accidentally giving me beef burger patties on one of my visits to him and his family, many years ago. I can’t recall the incident, but apparently I appeared to enjoy them.

I can’t see myself ever consciously switching back to meat, but my recent run-in with pork has made me realise how we can easily get something we aren’t prepared for.

In the well-known and much-loved film, Forrest Gump, the lead character, (played by Tom Hanks) says

“My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

The quote has become synonymous with life. None of us knows exactly what we’re going to get.

I do though think we can do much to give ourselves the best possible chance in life though. Over the years, I’ve come to believe in a variation of that quote: ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, if you ask the right questions and look at the detailed labelling about the variety of options, you can choose exactly what you want’.

Count The Cost

On our journey home from swimming training, we listened intently to radio commentary of Wimbledon. It was the final few games of a thrilling match and we had a winner before we got home – how exciting!

Then came the questions. The children were eager to find out how, exactly they could one day play at Wimbledon – the greatest stage in the world of tennis? What would it take?

Great questions and it all comes down to the cost.

  • The financial cost – it costs to belong to a club
  • The time cost – if you want to be really good, you have to commit to many hours of training
  • The physical, emotional and mental cost
  • The cost to the whole family
  • The sacrifices that would need to be made in terms of missing out on going out with friends so you can practice. You would have to have a strict diet in order to gain the most from your body – no junk food.

And even then, when you’ve given your all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be one of the very few to make it onto the ATP Tour and play tennis for a living.

“So, can I start playing tennis at a club mommy?” My son asks, undeterred. “No” I say, “You can focus on your swimming.”

Although children may change their mind about what they want to do from one day to the next, it is important for us all to count the cost when considering a life change, aiming for a goal or working towards a dream.

Seeing people succeed on the global stage is inspiring and it may motivate you to dust off your tennis racquet and start playing again – which is great – but, what we seldom consider are the sacrifices those world-class players have had to make to get to where they are.

Don’t abandon your dreams before you begin working towards them, just seriously consider the cost of following your dreams before you go out and buy a new racquet, shoes, outfit and pay for tennis coaching lessons for a year in advance.

The Bible challenges us to count the cost of following in the footsteps of Jesus – of being His disciple. Large crowds followed Jesus. They were captivated by Him, His teachings and the miracles He performed, but He urged them to consider what it would take to walk the narrow road of being a Christ-follower and a true disciple. By comparison, you would have to hate everyone else – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life.

Jesus also said, “If you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple”. In His day, a cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was a symbol of death. What Jesus was saying is that if you choose to be a disciple of Jesus, you must put to death your own plans and desires, and turn your life over to Him and do His will every day.

Jesus doesn’t only call us to believe that He existed, or even that He can save us from eternal separation from God. He calls us to commit our whole lives to Him – to trust Him alone for our salvation, and then to follow Him as His disciples.

The challenge then, in our everyday hopes and dreams and in the choice as to whether or not we will be true disciples of Jesus Christ:

“don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” – Luke 14:25-33

If this post has spoken to you or if you would like to know how to have a relationship with Jesus, please leave a comment or click on the link.

Before You Get A Dog – Things To Consider

The first time we bought a dog, I asked my vet friend what breed he thought would be best-suited to our family. We settled on his recommendation: a relatively easy first dog for a family with young children, few inherited health complications and a dog that doesn’t shed much hair – the Maltese Poodle.

We bought Snowy from the same litter as a colleague of mine but as a first-time puppy buyer, I didn’t look into some of the important questions I should have asked the breeder and some things I should have considered before buying him.

Although it took a while to adjust to having a dog in our home, Snowy did settle and he became a wonderful addition to our family. He was very loving and we all adored him – especially our children. I’d never considered myself a ‘dog person’, but Snowy crept into my heart and he became a very special part of the family. I especially loved it when he gave me a hug. When I came home from work, he’d jump up and wrap his little paws around my knee.

He was very protective of us though and didn’t like it when friends or family came into our home – he would growl and bark, making for an initially awkward atmosphere. He also barked incessantly at the birds flying overhead, much to our neighbours’ annoyance.

For all his foibles though, we loved Snowy and were heartbroken when we relocated and had to give him away.

It’s been more than two years since we said our goodbye’s to our beloved Snowy and now that we’re settled in our new house, we’ve started looking into getting anther dog. For some reason, it feels like a much tougher decision this time round.

I’ve spent hours trawling through information about the many different dog breeds as I researched which dog would best suit our family needs.

I have though finally come to the conclusion that unless we want a robot for a pet, we will have to very seriously consider the cost of bringing a dog into our home again. Allowances will have to be made as we contemplate adjusting to a new member of our family.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Dog:

  • Financial Considerations. The cost of owning a dog goes way beyond the initial purchase or adoption and food. You may need to get pet insurance in order to help with medical costs later on.
  • Lifestyle Considerations. Every breed has a personality of its own and knowing in advance what exactly that is could save you a lot of trouble down the road. Puppy training is no joke – it takes patience and dedication.
  • Research the different breeds. Every breed has a personality of its own and knowing in advance what exactly that is, could save you a lot of trouble down the road.
  • A dog is a man’s best friend. Although it may take a bit of time to adjust to your new dog, he or she will soon be part of the family and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
  • How do you feel about moulting? Research how much each dog breed moults – if you don’t want to be vacuuming the house every day, you need to consider getting a dog that doesn’t moult as much, but every dog does moult. Also factor in how much time you are willing to commit to grooming your dog?
  • Is your home safe and dog proof? Making sure your home is a safe environment for a dog is crucial. This includes providing a fully-fenced garden to stop your pooch from escaping.
  • What is your living space like? Consider how they will live in your environment.
  • Consider the average lifespan of the breed. When you buy a dog you are making a commitment for, usually, at least the next decade of your life.
  • Who is going to look after your dog when you do go on holiday?

All things considered, don’t be put off ever getting a dog. Maybe it’s not the right time to introduce a dog into your family but that doesn’t mean it won’t ever be the right time. When you do make that commitment, you will not be disappointed. It may take a bit of time to adjust to your new addition, but commit to make it work and you won’t regret it.

Never Give Up

That was the strap-line under one of my favourite posters. It’s a picture of a water bird with a frog in its mouth. Although the frog’s head has completely disappeared, its arms are gripping tightly around the bird’s neck: Never Give Up.

When was the last time you tried something new? And then gave up after your first couple of goes because it didn’t go according to plan, it was too difficult, or it required too much effort and discipline to get good at?
We see amazing videos online of people who make beautiful crafts, delicious meals and gorgeous cakes and pastries and when we have a go, it flops.

Have you seen that YouTube video that shows you how to make a chocolate soda bottle? It looked easy enough so I decided to try it out with the kids. I bought three slabs of milk chocolate and two plastic soda bottles. The children drank the soda and then we set to work on our chocolate bottle project.

It was a complete disaster, mainly because I didn’t follow the instructions properly.

Instead of melting the chocolate bar in a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, I put the chocolate directly into the pot. So, rather than get the desired runny chocolate liquid, I was left with a hard ball of burnt chocolate. Not to be outdone at the first hurdle though, I decided to have another go and it kind of worked this time. We got the chocolate melted, poured it into the plastic bottles and put them in the freezer – and that’s where we went wrong. My science was all out – the hot chocolate caused the plastic bottles to shrink right in. A few days later, we cut the squished plastic bottle off the chocolate and the children thoroughly enjoyed eating their slightly deformed chocolate bottle.

That was me done though – no more chocolate bottles. I wasn’t going to have another go at getting it right.
What we tend to forget in all of this is that those perfect YouTube videos have been created by people who’ve worked over and over and over again to get the result they want before they film their efforts.

We have one go and give up when we don’t come right. Disappointed and disillusioned, we quit before we have any chance of success.

If you enjoy something, keep working at it. Just do it for yourself. Keep tweaking, keep pushing yourself, keep trying. Never give up.

One day, you’ll try it and it’ll feel easy. One day, someone will say it looks good. One day, someone will want to buy what you made or copy what you did. One day, you’ll know for yourself that you’re good at what you do and you’re proud of what you’ve made.

It will take time though, discipline and a commitment to never give up.

Messiology

The word was made up by the founder of Operation Mobilisation (OM), George Verwer and refers to the ‘mess’ we often find in the church or in Christian organisations.

OM is an international Christian Missions movement and for the last 60 years, Verwer has seen the wonderful and the terrible, all done by people who claim to be ‘Christian’. As someone who’s worked closely with Christians from many different walks of life and from a wide variety of organisations and churches, he now uses the term to describe his own growing awareness of what appears to be some pretty ‘messy’ situations that many churches and Christian organisations find themselves in – hence the term, Messiology.

It’s disheartening to see behaviour by Christians that is blatantly not good, worse still, unbiblical. We’ve all heard the horror stories of pastors or leaders of Christian organisations who have committed adultery, or those who misuse funds, lie or manipulate the vulnerable, or those who grapple with an addiction to drugs, porn or alcohol.

What George Verwer has come to realise though is that God seems to use people in spite of their personal weaknesses and mess of their lives.

Although a minister may be living in sin or teaching wrong doctrine from the pulpit, somehow there are people who go to that church who make a genuine commitment to follow Jesus Christ and serve Him faithfully. In the same way a Christian organisation or charity may be unscrupulous in many of its dealings and yet, people’s lives are changed for the better because of their work.

How can this be?

The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue in the early church.

“It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance” – Philippians 1:15-19.

The Bible also says,

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” – Isaiah 55:8-9.

God’s perspective on people and situations is different to ours – God sees things outside of time and space and through the lens of eternity.

Although the Christian faith is based on the premise that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), we should never use God’s grace as a reason to sin (1 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:13, Romans 6:12).

One of my favourite authors, Max Lucado writes “The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace”.

The more we know God through Jesus Christ, the more we become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). We long to live a life of holiness, not in a legalistic way but with a genuine desire to please our heavenly Father. Then, instead of becoming disheartened at the ‘mess’ we see in church or Christian organisations, we will have His perspective on ourselves and on those around us. Only then can we trust that God will indeed bring something beautiful out of the mess.

Why I Love Eggs

For the last few months, I’ve been eating three fried eggs for breakfast. I tried boiled eggs, scrambled eggs and omelette but my favourite is still the fried variety. I don’t use butter or oil either, just the plain eggs fried in a non-stick pan with a bit of salt and fresh spinach leaves on top – yum.

Eggs Are Awesome:
  • They are protein-rich and contain inflammation-fighting omega-3: vitamins D, E, and B12 and minerals like selenium.
  • Also, just two eggs a day fulfils half our daily requirement for the memory boosting nutrient choline – which many of us lack.
  • There have been some concerns about eggs and high cholesterol, but recent studies have shown that although there is cholesterol in eggs, contrary to what we’ve previously been told, dietary cholesterol doesn’t appear to have much effect on blood cholesterol, the type that actually clogs your arteries, for the average person. Nutritionists recommend however that eggs should be eaten in conjunction with a healthy, balanced, veggie-rich diet. Keep a check on your cholesterol levels if you are at risk.

Why I Love Eggs:

  • They taste delicious on their own, with a pinch of salt and if I have more time, they make a great base on which to build a bigger breakfast. As mentioned before, I regularly eat them with fresh spinach leaves on top – sunny-side up works best for me. I’ve also added cheese, sautéed onion and tomato or fried mushrooms, or all of the above. If you have the time, there are lots of ways to make eggs an egg-citing start to your day.
  • I’m not ravenous by 11 O’clock in the morning. I used to be. In fact, I used to be hungry by 10am, have a snack and eat my lunch by 12pm because I couldn’t wait anymore. Eating three eggs at the start of the day now leaves me much less munchy throughout the morning.
  • I’m able to focus better. I quickly noticed how much more alert I felt. Additionally, I no longer felt lethargic and I could concentrate and get much more done.
  • I feel healthier. Eating eggs first thing in the morning has made me more determined to eat healthy, nutritious food throughout the day. As a mom, it’s also made me more aware of the value of providing and preparing nutritious food for my children.
  • The joy of food. Taking the time and putting the care into preparing a cooked meal has made me appreciate my food. Rather than shovel a bowl of cereal in my mouth before dashing out the door to work, I wake up a bit earlier and savour the taste, texture and aroma of my food.
  • Routine is great. Although eating three fried eggs every morning sounds pretty boring, it’s actually refreshing to not have to think about what I’m going to have for breakfast every morning.

I also love riddles and brain teasers so let me finish then with two egg riddles:

  • I have to be broken before I am of use. What am I?

And

  • A box without hinges, key or a lid, yet golden treasures inside lie hid. What am I?

Your Destiny

He was only three-years-old when he stood up and proudly declared his undying love for her in front of the whole pre-school class. That was also the day he vowed he would one day marry her and years later after initially losing touch in secondary school and reconnecting again in college, he proposed to her in that very same classroom and they plan to get married later this year.

It sounds like a story straight out of Hollywood so keep an eye out for it in the cinema over the next few years.

The conviction of that little three-year-old boy got me thinking about the things we are absolutely certain about.

It doesn’t take too many years of life on this planet to realise that you can be absolutely certain about very little. Most of the hopes and dreams we had as children don’t materialise later on in life and for many of us, that’s something we are truly grateful for. It’s only in hindsight that we realise how blessed we are that some of the things we longed for, did not come about – perhaps that includes your first love.

My daughter wants to be a teacher. I know that many children go through a phase of wanting to be a teacher. Then they want to be a firefighter, a policeman, nurse or truck driver. In the case of my daughter though, I have no doubt that she will indeed one day be a teacher – it’s as if she was born to teach. (I also come from a long line of teachers so, we’re bound to have one in our family).

From as far back as my husband can remember, he always longed to be married, have two children and own his own house. Many years later, he considers himself truly blessed to have all of this in his life.

Maybe you knew you were going to sing for a living? You just wanted to be a mom, or you knew you wanted to help people and so you’ve become a doctor, a nurse, a carer or a firefighter. Or perhaps it’s the one you married? You knew from the moment you saw him that he would be your man and now, there he is standing in the kitchen, cooking you breakfast (that sounds like another Hollywood movie).
Perhaps like me though, you’ve never been absolutely certain about your destiny or purpose. I guess I always wanted to make a difference for the good in people’s lives and so everything I’ve done has been filtered through that general philosophy, but there’s no one particular thing that has driven me or that I’ve felt compelled to do.

And that’s okay.

Over the years, even though I have never had one specific thing I knew I would do, I have become more aware of the things that give me the most joy. Although this has changed over the years, my purpose has become clearer.

I feel more focused than ever and am more determined to say ‘yes’ to the things that resonate within that narrow framework and ‘no’ to the things that don’t.

If you’re grappling with understanding your destiny or purpose for being on this planet, don’t worry! Surrender your fear and anxiety and just enjoy the space you’re in right now and the people you’re with in this moment. Begin to notice the things you enjoy most and the times you feel most at ease and at peace. These are little clues to your purpose – your calling – what you were born to do.
Embrace those moments of revelation. Revel in them and gravitate toward them. That’s your purpose – your destiny.

Caught in a Lie

School was over for the day and as a group of us stood around chatting, I saw the coin fall from her hand, onto the ground. As we all scrambled to find it for her, I spotted it. Glistening in the sunlight, it lay propped up between the blades of grass, but instead of picking it up and returning it to its rightful owner, I casually slipped my foot over it. I was going to keep this treasure for myself. But then, one of the girls pointed an accusing finger at me, “You’ve got it, I saw you put your foot over it”. My face turned red and consumed by shame, I lied. I carefully moved my foot and the coin came with. “See, I don’t have it”. I’d gone too far now. All eyes were on me. How could I get out of this mess and save face? I couldn’t. Everyone could see I was lying. I had stolen the coin and I wouldn’t admit it. Time slowed as they all stared at me and at my foot. I continued to protest my innocence, to no avail. These girls weren’t going anywhere. I eventually moved my foot and acted surprised when I saw the coin. I shrugged, laughed as if it didn’t matter and walked off. I’d been caught in a lie and I knew they wouldn’t forget.

And neither would I. It’s been almost thirty years and I still remember that day.

Maybe that’s why I responded the way I did when I caught our daughter in a lie. She’d been disobedient and when I challenged her on it, she lied. I instantly recognised the shame and spotted her desire to cover over it as she continued to protest her innocence and make excuses for the deception.

I calmly and lovingly challenged her and showed her a way out of the hole she was digging. Repentance. The only way she could be free of the feelings of guilt that threatened to drown her precious heart was to admit that she’d been wrong, say sorry and choose to do what was right from now on.

I forgave her, showed her a better way, told her what the consequences would be and then I prayed with her.

As difficult as it was for both of us, it was also beautiful and I’m glad I was there to help her. It was a pivotal moment for us both. For my daughter, in terms of building her character, for me as woman and mom and for us, in our relationship. We feel closer now. We’ve pushed through a challenging moment and love and grace won.

The Bible tells the story of a woman who was shamed because of her many sins. She knew that only Jesus could free her from the weight of guilt she carried around with her. She falls at his feet and washes them with perfume and her heartbroken tears and in an instant, He forgives her.

“I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven” – Luke 7:47-48.

Have you been caught in a lie? Caught in sin? Is the shame of your many sins threatening to consume you?

It’s never too late to make things right. You are never too far gone to turn in the opposite direction and follow the way of truth. The way that leads to life in all its fullness.

Hurt – Heal?

This week I was sad to hear two stories within days of each other of the heart-breaking effects of bullying or emotional abuse on a child. Even into adulthood, these individual’s lived with deep-seated rejection, a sense of isolation, loneliness, lack of confidence, brokenness, bitterness and unforgiveness. These and many other destructive emotions threatened to undermine the mental and emotional well-being of the one on the receiving end of the bullying.

I also heard though of how other individuals brought healing and wholeness to these same people later on in life.

Hurt or heal? We all have a choice.

In every interaction, every day, we get to choose to speak words that break a person down or build them up. With every word and action, we sow the seeds of hope or hopelessness that will later reap life or death.

We can speak words of affirmation with kindness or cruel, crushing words that suck the life out of a person, leaving them a sad shell of their former self and with little hope of reaching their full potential.

The Bible says,

“The tongue can bring death or life” – Proverbs 18:21.

What will you speak into someone’s life today?

Perhaps you carry the emotional scars inflicted by a bully?

Rather than drag the offences of the bully around with you, choose to forgive. Let go of the bitterness that threatens to keep you stuck in those unpleasant places.

Release those negative emotions and begin to speak words of affirmation, truth and life over yourself.

To the bully

It’s never too late to stop speaking death.

It’s never too late to start speaking life.

Start today.

Pause before you speak. Before you act.

Contemplate the consequences of your words and actions and choose life.

Choose to speak and act out of kindness, with the other person’s best interests at heart.

One moment at a time. The choice is yours. Choose life.

When the bully becomes a friend.

Two girls used to bully me in high school.

In the new school year, they were split up into different classes and I had one of the girls in my class. I was nervous and feared what she would say and do, but we got chatting one day and I asked why her and her friend had bullied me the year before. She shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know why and that she was sorry.

That was it – no other explanation. We left it at that and we went on to become friends.

A bully is someone who was bullied – it’s may be the only way they know how to interact with those around them.

Show them a different way. Starting today.

Confrontation – how to handle it

I can’t imagine how anyone could love confrontation. A few years ago, when I was in a management position that required me to confront people about unacceptable or below-par behaviour, I said that if I ever got to the place where I enjoyed confrontation, I’d know it was time to resign.

Although that wasn’t the reason I did leave my position and the company I worked for, I still hold to the same sentiment, but I do think we can get better at confrontation.

Have the courage to confront

Things To Remember About Conflict:
  • What you have to say is important. If something’s weighing heavy on your heart, it’s time to speak up. You’ve spotted something that needs fixing, be confident in confronting the issue.
  • The person needs this challenge, in order to help them grow. They’ve got a blind spot in a particular area and could use your perspective to help sharpen them.
  • They are not fragile – give them more credit. Take care of your words and have the courage to “speak the truth in love” – The BIble talks about this in Ephesians 4:15.

A recent UK survey found that two-thirds of workers become unbearably stressed at the thought of having to confront someone about something. Eleven percent of people get nightmares and struggle to sleep in the lead up to a difficult conversation.

I guess it boils down to fear – fear of man.

Michael Hyatt (successful author, blogger, speaker and former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers) calls himself a ‘conflictaphobic’. Here are some of the main reasons he avoids conflict:

  • He worries about feeling embarrassed
  • He doesn’t want to lose face
  • He doesn’t want to be wrong
  • He doesn’t want others to think less of you

Sound familiar?

Over the years, Michael Hyatt, along with countless others have learnt that courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is the willingness to act in spite of fear.

Are you a ‘conflictaphobic’? Don’t allow your fear of conflict to keep you from having the courage to do what’s right. I challenge you to ‘act in spite of your fear’. Step out and ‘speak the truth in love’ today.

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