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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 …

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Looking Ahead

Andy Stanley once said, “Today will be a yesterday that follows you into your tomorrows”. The consequences we’re facing today are a result of our choices yesterday. If we don’t like certain things in our lives today, we probably should have made different choices in some yesterdays. If we’re experiencing health problems, it may be because of how we took …

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Resilience Through Grace

God’s grace is what allows us to be made right with him. There are no situations when God’s grace isn’t available. If I were to analyze every frustration or opposition I’ve ever faced, I’d have to admit God’s grace was available every time. So I have a choice. I can tap into God’s grace when faced with obstacles, or pine …

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What’s It Worth?

They didn’t think Jesus was worth much, did they? All that was left were some clothes that were free for the taking. I saw a couple of guys shopping together in the grocery store the other day. One of them acted like Mister Cool. He was dressed classy, wearing shades, and walked with a swagger as he sipped from a …

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Now Is the Time To Sow

In our recent board meeting, we discussed that we’re reaping a rich harvest today in some specific areas in the company because of what we intentionally sowed in 2015. We recognized we’ve had some gains as well as losses, but overall the harvest has been tremendous. You can’t control the outcome of your harvest, but you can control what you …

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I Want It Now but God Doesn’t!

We live in a broken, imperfect world. As a visionary, I’m always fighting my way out of the rubble of current reality and looking for a better world. Once I envision that better world, I want me and everybody around me to go from here to there instantly. This must frustrate the people around me. They just got here, and …

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Who Are the Big Givers?

We make a big deal when someone donates millions of dollars to a cause. Think about Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg. We know those names not only because of their wealth but because they are some of the world’s biggest donors. People think of the huge impact their enormous donations have. The “little people” rarely get much publicity …

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Conception in a Whisper

It all starts with one tiny, almost invisible decision. An idea enters my heart and I embrace or reject it. God whispers, I respond. That’s the tiny, almost invisible decision I made in 1974, when I told God I would accept Jesus if he would be my father and let me be part of a family that loved each other. …

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We Pray from Earth, God Sees from Eternity

Paul prays for us, that we can understand power and love from God’s point of view, not ours. Life brings odd and sometimes uncomfortable combinations of people together. When we focus sideways on each other, we may see hopeless relationships. Instead, “pray up” to God whose power can stretch and expand our hearts. Then the power of his love will …

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Why Do You Want to See Jesus?

Narcissistic, egotistical Herod the Great was accustomed to being entertained. He heard about Jesus and all his miracles and thought Jesus would give him a private show. Instead, Jesus kept quiet. Herod probably didn’t realize that Jesus didn’t come to earth to buddy up with other kings and celebrities at the country club. No, he came to do good and …

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Jesus Felt My Dispair

There were times in my life when I stood on the edge of despair, felt worthless, and wanted to die. Sometimes I wanted to take my own life. My father had taken his life. I’ve personally known two businessmen who took their lives. What held me back was the awareness that my life is God’s, not mine. In my darkest …

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The Messenger Isn’t God

Have you ever been hurt by a believer or a church? You thought that church or person would be your safe, spiritual haven. A place where you could be vulnerable. But as you got closer, you discovered corruption, and even traps to keep you there by fear and guilt. When you finally left, you may have become so bitter, you …

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Just Because You Know the Right Answers

Wherever Jesus went, people loved his teaching and invited him to stay and teach in their synagogues. Soon he got kicked out—even from his own hometown—because he had the audacity to tell his fellow Jews to live what the Torah taught. Here’s a dangerous illusion: To think because you hear it, understand it, and appreciate it, you’re somehow living it. …

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Divine Chain of Command

Most people want to be favored by the people in charge, like their boss, the local police, Dad and Mom, or whoever holds the power to make decisions that impact them. To seek the king’s favor without first securing God’s favor bypasses God’s chain of command. We might try so hard to win the favor of those in authority that …

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Not Every Road

I might say, “God led me,” just because I took the path in front of me. But that doesn’t mean God actually led me. Not every path in front of me that looks right is right. That’s like driving along a road because it’s there but I don’t actually know if I’m on the road I’m supposed to be on. …

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A Little Faith Is All It Takes

When I’m in a difficult place, sometimes all I’ve got left is a little faith. Faith saved the immoral woman who wept at Jesus’ feet. When she left that night, she went in peace. She could have told Jesus, “I’d rather hang out in my misery until my faith is bigger.” But she accepted the gift of forgiveness and walked …

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How Does Jesus Measure Life?

It’s interesting that Jesus refused to get in the middle of a family feud over possessions. He just told them to not let stuff become more important than relationships. Sometimes we measure ourselves by the wrong things: When we measure life by that stuff, our emotional and spiritual tank will eventually become empty. What if we measured life by the …

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Stupid Pride

When we are fueled by our pride and ego, a lot of stupid stuff happens. Hurt feelings, misunderstandings, feuds, and distrust. The devil uses pride to create division in families and come between friends. It results in bitterness and resentment. But God created a world that’s just as much about “we” as it is about “me.” Pride says I don’t …

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Listen and Explore

Listening and exploring are two traits of the wise. They have learned how to listen and they love exploring the meaning in the proverbs. The Scriptures aren’t meant for us to speed read. We have to dig, ponder, and listen. My mind wants to race from thought to thought, like a pebble skipping across a calm lake. There’s a lot …

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The Hide and Seek God

How many times have I walked along through life and Jesus was right there walking with me but I didn’t know it? Just as a thief or a sniper could be watching me right now, just as people see my life when I don’t think they’re looking, or just as the angels protect me from danger I don’t see, Jesus …

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Consider It…Pure Joy?

We can’t escape trials. We can pout our way through life, resisting change, but life still happens. According to this verse, we’re to accept challenges with…pure joy? That seems a bit of a stretch, but that’s exactly what it says. The word pure implies not tainted with any falseness or pretense. Not with grumbling, fear, or resistance either. We’re to …

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Just Show Up and Lead

Leaders make or break their teams. The power given to a leader can destroy people if it’s not handled as a sacred trust. Excellent leaders are remembered for many years. Leaders should: Lord, help us leaders to not take advantage of others, to not seek personal gain, and to not feed our egos and insecurities. Teach us to listen to …

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Give God Your Ordinary, Everyday Life

So often we think our lives won’t matter unless we do big things. Then we think we really would have something to show for ourselves. But God is asking us to give him what we already are doing. He works with simple, normal, and common stuff. He wants us like we are. We can present our everyday lives as our …

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Who Is the Greatest?

Strife is one of Satan’s most effective tools used to take us down and destroy what is good. Strife comes in the middle of our closest relationships. Organizations crumble, marriages fail, violence erupts, and nations war against each other. It all starts with strife. Jesus’ disciples weren’t immune to this deadly disease. Who is the greatest? They wanted to know. …

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Build a Custom Jesus Today

I wonder who was in that crowd? Who would be in the crowd today? Similar to today, many people—even those who sat in the front row—knew Jesus from a distance, if they knew him at all. Many people knew a Jesus their imagination invented, not the real Jesus. It feels good to invent the Jesus you want instead of learning …

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Yes, It’s a Real War!

How many times have you seen a spiritual battle coming and thought, This will be easy, I’ll be home for supper…? Then partway into the battle, you realize the enemy is fiercer and stronger than you. So you quit! You run, but the enemy chases you home, taking whatever he wants: your money, a piece of your soul, your energy, …

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Jesus Blesses the Children

Like the disciples, sometimes we grownups feel bothered by little children. They’re cranky, messy, hungry, noisy, and poopy. Maybe life would just be easier if everyone acted like adults. But Jesus blessed the little children and said if we want to enter the Kingdom of God, we need to become one of them. When did we decide that being a …

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It’s in the Roots

Just as the roots of a tree are not visible above the surface, the roots in our lives are not visible. When a rooted tree gets hit with rain, wind, and ice, it stands tall and strong. Likewise, rooted people with a strong foundation can withstand the big storms of life. How rooted are you? When life hits you hard, …