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When Does Run Mean Run?

  Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2:22 Run? In Genesis 39, when Potiphar’s wife wanted sex with Joseph, he told her, “How can I sin against God?” Then he ran out of the room. She tried to stop him by grabbing his robe. As he tore himself away …

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Go Back to the Beginning

  So, you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. 1 John 2:24 There was a moment in 1974 when I connected with God. I didn’t understand a lot, but the connection was real. It consumed me and changed my life. Since then, many voices have distracted me: Trying to win God’s favor by keeping …

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Kindness Wins

  Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 How quickly we get sucked into quarrels. Something flicks an emotional trigger and Boom! Then we’re more fixated on winning than loving. Sometimes the issue isn’t the issue. It’s the harsh, …

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You’re Helping Yourself

  Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. Proverbs 9:11, 12 Wisdom doesn’t just add to my days, it multiplies them. How does wisdom add years to my life? I’m walking in sync with creation. Wisdom keeps me from making stupid decisions. Gathering wisdom gives …

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Running! Running! Running!

  Keep your lamps burning… Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.” (Luke 12:35-36) Many people – including myself in the past – pursue God only when they’re in a crisis. They seek Him because they’re needy or in pain. But Jesus says to burn hot for Him …

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Who Jesus Isn’t Praying For

  My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. John 17:9 According to this verse, Jesus prays only for those who accept his teaching. If you don’t accept his teaching, you’re on your own. Instead of praying for you, Jesus is standing at your door, inviting you. For many …

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Be a Signpost

  Jesus sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.” (Luke 10:1)  Jesus didn’t send his disciples to go just anywhere. He sent them ahead, like signposts, pointing the way and preparing people to encounter him. He still does this today. If I’m walking closely with God, perhaps people meeting me will soon …

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Do a Motive Inventory

“People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.” (Proverbs 3:15) After more than twenty years of unhappy marriage, Gina and I realized we got married for many wrong reasons. That’s the moment when many marriages end. If we’re honest, many of us would admit our motives for getting married were mostly self-serving. When myself …

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Whisper Jesus

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”              Acts 1:11 How daring is your faith in Jesus? Will you step away from the sin, secret, or addiction you’ve been so secure in, and whisper Jesus? The religious leaders never encountered anyone …

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Too Close to the Edge

The tiny island of Ghoramara, off the coast of India has been shrinking each year over the past several decades. It has lost about half of its land and two-thirds of its population since the 1960’s. With farming as the main occupation, residents literally watch their livelihood drop into the sea. Those who live on the edge don’t fare well. …

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Tiny Moments

As you travel down life’s road, notice little moments and little opportunities to do good. My pastor taught me how to raise a garden. When he weeded, instead of quickly chopping through the row with a hoe, he knelt down, got close to each plant, carefully plucked out each weed, and worked up a little mound of soil around the …

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What Makes Me, Me

Trying to trick Jesus doesn’t work, even if you’re extreme Bible scholars like the Pharisees. Not only did Jesus outsmart them, he taught them a lesson, a lesson still good for us today. Nothing material belongs to me – I may or may not be able to keep it in this life, but I certainly can’t take it with me …

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Kind Words

We remind small children to be kind to their siblings or other kids in school, and along the way, they discover the cause and effect of a loving attitude. It becomes a natural part of their learning and growth. Kindness often reciprocates with happiness and caring from others. Even more so as adults, we need to remember kindness. Kindness takes …

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Not the Next Fad

Back in our hippie days, we lived in an apartment building in Richmond, Virginia for a few months. We rented a section of the basement that had been converted into living quarters. Large and small plumbing and heating pipes ran through our apartment. We were hippies trying to become house painters, so we painted the pipes various bright colors. A …

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Eleven Percent

Recently a family member had surgery to remove her gallbladder. That’s what happens to body parts that don’t work efficiently. Tests showed her gallbladder functioning at 11%. She suffered from severe bouts of pain and developed unexplained, inconsistent allergies that prevented her from eating most foods. Doctors couldn’t identify the issue for many months. She had emergency room visits for …

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Sometimes You Need to Cover Your Ears

Early in our Christian lives, we thought we were God’s elite because we meticulously tried to make every detail of our lives godly. The baggy, dark-colored clothes we wore were supposed to protect us from temptation. The old black sedans we drove and the naked walls and bare light bulbs in our homes were our attempts to avoid pride. Then …

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Do You Have a Plan?

How many times have we jumped into a project without thinking it through? Or went into battle without having a plan? I think back to many experiences when I didn’t think something through, only to find myself taking two steps forward and three steps back. I also remember my father coming along and saying, “Son, did you think this through? …

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Worried? …Pray!

Little insignificant things drive the mind to worry, worry, worry. Silly things wake us in the night. The mind spins out of control and we can’t focus… …until we pray. God invites us to pray about everything—even the little things that become big in our minds. God answers these prayers. We know we can trust God with big things when …

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Just This Much

If a little is good, then is more better? Not so with faith. The apostles thought they needed more faith to forgive, but actually they just needed faith. Faith doesn’t come in sizes. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed. When we know we need to do something, to wish for more faith is really an excuse …

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Only a Foreigner

Boaz knew Ruth’s background and dedication to Naomi. He saw her serving heart and willingness to work hard. He allowed her to glean his fields. Little did Ruth know God was getting ready to bless her beyond anything she could imagine and make her the wife of this highly respected, godly man. Ruth saw herself as only a foreigner. Our …

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God Doesn’t Show Favoritism

We all have equal access to a fair God. Our access to God isn’t based on our nationality, religious background, race, gender, or financial status. If we fear and respect God and do what’s right through obeying him, these are the only qualifiers. We all have a chance. We all have the same opportunity. Ben

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The Better Life

As we become more successful, we experience bigger opportunities to accomplish even greater things. Some people become so powerful they can impact cities, nations, or the world. When someone is that powerful, what do they have in their personal life that’s any different from those less powerful? Maybe a chunk of wealth and a few bragging rights. With much power …

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It Never Was Mine

When life is over, whatever I have accumulated is God’s. I won’t get to keep any of it. What I’ll have is the person I’ve become and the blessings I receive from God for the people I’ve helped. Some people are so afraid of making mistakes they won’t venture out. Some exploit other people, stealing what’s not theirs because they …

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Be Bold with Your Gifts

Timothy was a young leader whom Paul mentored. Paul encouraged Timothy to keep his special gift of ministry on fire and not holding anything back. God doesn’t want you to hold back from using the gifts he’s given you. He wants you to fully experience your true potential, using what he created in you to bless the world around you. …

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How to Build Wealth

The way to generate wealth is through hard work and wise decisions. Very few people accumulate wealth without these two ingredients. Often people look for short cuts to get things done, like a magic pill to lose weight or winning the lottery. Wealth is not always counted in dollars and cents. It may be the accomplishment of a big goal or …

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How Good Are Your Ears?

God promises to look after those who follow him. He doesn’t neglect us. Sometimes I feel impatient because I really want something and it hasn’t come. Maybe I’ve been waiting a long time and I feel like he’s forgotten me. It’s possible I haven’t been looking at the opportunities he’s placed in front of me, or maybe he’s holding me …

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Contentment

We need to be satisfied with life, no matter our situation. This doesn’t mean we don’t work to better our lives. It means we’re at peace in the process and don’t live with a discontented attitude. Being stressed out or depressed requires so much energy that we don’t have the stamina left to improve our circumstances when we could. Awhile back, we visited Phil and Kay Robertson from …

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In Every Important Decision, Get Advice First

Many people think asking for help or directions is a sign of weakness. But then they cry for help when they get off course or crash and someone needs to bail them out. Wouldn’t it have been better to get advice in the beginning and avoid the trouble? Whether you ask before or after, it takes time and often costs …

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And…Action

Most of the time, reading or listening to the Bible just feels good. It’s easy to sit through church, Sunday School, or scripture reading and feel God’s presence and get great insights. Then I can leave, and I think because I got great insights and feel good, I’m OK. God says if I see, hear, and feel, but don’t DO, …

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A Season of Silence

The angel Gabriel would not allow doubt or negativity to blanket God’s blessing. Zechariah was a godly man who had prayed for a child, but doubt hindered him from receiving the exciting news of the blessing God wanted to give him. So, Gabriel silenced him for a season to quiet his heart to give him another opportunity to see the …