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"You are the world's seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the world's light -- a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5: 13-16 (TLB)

Mary Anneliese Hill lives in Texas. Growing up, she attended a large church that seemed like a thriving community with many opportunities. Mary had good friends at church and enjoyed the worship, but she was not maturing in her faith. She thought that her relationship with God was strong because she attended church and took notes on the sermons, but Mary was just going through the motions.

During her junior year of high school, her parents decided to join a new church that was forming in their city. Since Mary was nearing the end of high school, they let her choose whether she wanted to join them. Mary prayed about it and joined the new church even though she knew no one there except her parents. Mary had no idea that the people in this church would become her best friends and help her grow significantly in her faith.

At the new church Mary was challenged in many ways - in her faith, to make new friends, and to share the gospel with people around her. She found a community that was serious about their faith and lived it boldly. Leaving the comfort of her childhood church allowed Mary opportunities to deepen her relationship with God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us not to become complacent in our faith but to strive for a better relationship with you always, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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