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How Turning Over Your Life Is More Crucial Than Returning to Life as Usual

By Jo Ann Alo / May 1, 2020 /

I called my Mama today. It don’t matter how long it’s been since she folded my clothes—sometimes I just need my Mama. I can’t feel her hands through the phone. I miss her. I need her, but her voice will have to be enough. Affection is not something she lavishes, but if you come into…

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Evening of Thanksgiving

By Jo Ann Alo / April 25, 2020 /

David (my husband) is a teacher. He is one of several teachers in the Life Learning Program for Chicagoland Prison Outreach. The Cook County Detention Center is the largest maximum jail in the country, taking up 96 acres in the city of Chicago. Two times a week a stamped ID gains him passage through guarded,…

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I Don’t Want To Change the World, I Just Want To Keep Changing

By Jo Ann Alo / March 22, 2020 /

I was twenty-four when my knees bent to Jesus. Bringing a boatload of baggage into my born-again life. Married six years with two littles, I had a heap of bad behavior to reorganize. Cigarettes and swearing had to go. Movies, TV shows, music—all required revamping. Bible reading and morning prayer needed implanting. I had a…

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Go Forward

By Jo Ann Alo / January 25, 2020 /

The country is a mess. The world is a mess. But believer do not lose heart. Israel was in the same sinking boat. Their story was written for our sake that we should not lose hope. It’s natural to feel afraid when all we see is Pharaoh’s horses and chariots chasing after our liberation. But…

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“God loves you.” Deuteronomy 23:5

By Jo Ann Alo / December 9, 2019 /

Relaxing in his comfy chair after setting up the tree, Which one is your favorite? Curled up on the couch, hugging pillow, I’m staring straight past him at silver circling two long-ago lovers skating across festive green. Mine too, he gleefully agrees, on his feet and confirming our communion. We haven’t always agreed. We’ve slammed doors, spun gravel, and…

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Rethinking My Facecrook

By Jo Ann Alo / November 27, 2019 /

My identity was faked on Facebook. A bunch of my friends were used as pawns for pillaging. It’s so creepy. I’m so sorry. My picture smiling, hovering over videos concocted to coax and confiscate. Thieves advancing right along with technology. Though confidentiality clauses and privacy policies plaster everything we sign, code, or chip—they’re finding new…

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He cares. 1 Peter 5:7

By Jo Ann Alo / November 12, 2019 /

Everyday life can become a lonely place. We can feel singularly and hopelessly alone. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have a choice. We can leave our pride behind and be joined in the body of Christ. We won’t miss anything we trade. We’ll only gain everything we miss. Despite all the arguments…

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The Cost of Dreams/The Riches of Faith

By Jo Ann Alo / October 15, 2019 /

The book is finished. The memoir I’ve been writing: PERMISSION, Loving the Child You Were Written to Be. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A book I believe God called me to write. It’s done. No…it hasn’t been published. It hasn’t even been edited for errors or flowability or whatever it’s called…

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Live at Peace

By Jo Ann Alo / September 16, 2019 /

Biting lips and holding the tongue—isn’t that keeping the peace? No words get exchanged, no fighting ignites, and everyone walks away in one piece. No bloodshed doesn’t mean no harm done. How many times have I walked out, or sent others away, emotionally injured, insulted, or hostile? Thin grinned and clutching coats we can’t get…

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All We Can Do Now Is Pray

By Jo Ann Alo / July 19, 2019 /

Kneeling at my bedside, pressing palms together, I followed Mom’s lead to pray. “God bless your father, your brothers and sister,” she would say, and I repeat. Greatness is found on our knees. Like nothing else I ever did as a kid, stopping and speaking to God sounded like an opportunity—the chance of a lifetime.…

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