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The One Book That’s Always New

By Jo Ann Alo / November 19, 2020 /

I’m so excited. I got a new Bible. It feels like the latest book from your favorite author. The one you’ve been waiting months to read. I’m giddy over new books. Getting an author’s new release of tragedy to triumph in my hands, I don’t want to let go. I resist opening them. I want…

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Held

By Jo Ann Alo / October 6, 2020 /

When Martin holds my hand old mother bear instincts kick right back in. His putty palm and delicate fingers, like gamma rays trigger Hulk reflexes and uncontrollably I transform into a huge, green superhero. Suddenly, threats lurking everywhere are no match for me. Heavy objects, electrical outlets, glassware — beware. Forks, knives, pencils, scissors —…

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Wild

By Jo Ann Alo / September 22, 2020 /

It took some convincing, but I finally got my husband to agree. This was our first summer letting half an acre of lawn grow wild. I’m happy to say, we’ve both enjoyed watching new wildlife pop up. As you would expect, it’s mostly long grass. But undoubtedly this natural setting has brought a few colorful…

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Daring To Wade Through Your Story Can Wash the Stink Off Your Past

By Jo Ann Alo / September 2, 2020 /

It still feels shameful to admit, I wet the bed till I was nine years old. I keep reading how sharing your story helps others from feeling alone. (And we all know a few things about loneliness.) But my story always sounds so embarrassing to me—even downright disgusting to repeat. Funny, how I didn’t think…

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We Can Enjoy All the Same Things and Come Completely Apart

By Jo Ann Alo / August 13, 2020 /

He couldn’t wait to take me there. “I have something to show you when you have a minute.” In our marriage that once meant, I know you’re gonna love what I love. Today it means, I know you. “I found a picture you are going to want to take.” He says, standing at door wide…

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You Take Brave Steps Toward Loving Others When You Count Yourself Worth His Love

By Jo Ann Alo / August 3, 2020 /

My Mama is not to be trifled with. She and Dad left suburban life broke, but determined to give their kids what they never had. Owning land, breeding animals, and growing fields in wide open spaces was the backdrop for a family that sticks together. Before my sister and I arrived Mama birthed two boys, breech.…

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The Ark of All Living Things

By Jo Ann Alo / July 17, 2020 /

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Romans 15:13 Are you believing in the One true God and His Son Jesus Christ — forfeit for your faults? If so, hope is an anchor for your soul. Once tossed, staggering on the waves of sins’ seductive pull, now held fast by…

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Epidemic Harmony

By Jo Ann Alo / July 7, 2020 /

Call me crazy, but this deep-dyed introvert loves social media. Cutting ties with trusty electric keys on humming machines, carbon paper, and white-out, I was smitten with auto correct, copy & paste, edit, and delete. Clicking till the cows came home, I stopped dreading the long, hard road of starting all over again. But I’m…

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Admitting I Can’t Before Saying I Do

By Jo Ann Alo / June 25, 2020 /

We made unkeepable promises. To love and cherish till death do us part. In 38 years, our marriage has suffered many deaths. But no death more insurmountable than the one of our own stubborn pride. We never knew poverty till after the promise. Standing at the altar of white linen and flickering candles, dim to…

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We Can’t Afford To Be Hearers, and Not Doers of the Word

By Jo Ann Alo / May 28, 2020 /

We had to do something. Filling two grocery carts, we carried 25 bags of mercy door to door on the poorest side of town. Bought styrofoam container of mud and worms for the young robin abandoned in the gutter—because we couldn’t watch one more senseless death. Still breathing here. Holding on and handing out because…

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