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I Once Was Lost

  “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” -Isaiah 53:6 One day at lunch I was seeking tranquility from a heavy workload and I found myself looking at God’s beauty at our local golf course. It’s beautiful there and I was soaking …

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Don’t Worry About the Speck in Your Friend’s Eye

  “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” Matthew 7:1 Many times, we create a standard to live by. Then we judge the people around us or compare ourselves to how we’re doing …

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My Father Prayer

  Jacob wrestled with God… Genesis 32 Lord, I’m crippled. I’m broken. I can’t go on. How can I be the father I never had? I don’t know the ways of God. my personality stinks. But Lord, here I am, standing alone like a little lost child. And I’m going to stand here. And I’m going to fight. I will …

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Our Fickle Emotions

  When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!” Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.     Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered. Psalm 30:6-7 These two verses summarize David’s emotional roller coaster. When life runs smoothly, I think I’m unstoppable. Then one little thing breaks, and I think my world …

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Intentionally Seeking God

  And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD. 2 Chronicles 12:14 Seeking God doesn’t just accidentally happen. We have to be intentional. We have to prepare our hearts. Preparing takes time. It takes work. It takes humility. Ben

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Not Alone

  But now, listen to the Lord who created you. the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 Rejection can take bites out of a person’s core and whittle away at the very substance of who we are. It can give the …

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Living Life!

  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly John 10:10 Over a recent weekend, I went hiking in northern Arkansas. While walking through the woods, a million thoughts flew through my head. I found my mind thinking about problems and things I want in life. Finally, …

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I Die Daily

  1 Corinthians 15:31 Organizations are fueled by the human spirit and human energy. Like the mighty river that originates from a little spring, everything in the organization begins, rises, and falls from what happens in the leader’s secret heart. It’s way too scary. I remember the years when I wanted to be the top guy, I wanted everyone to …

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A Mother’s Advice to Her Son Who is a King

  O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings. Proverbs 31:2,3 Occasionally, we see a good king who wants advice from godly counselors. However, most kings don’t take advice from anyone, except perhaps their mother. Sometimes my sons accept advice from their mother …

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Instead

  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4: 32 It’s like God says, “Take a chill pill.” Let go of bitterness and strife and all evil that wants to live inside you. Instead, be kind. It works much better. Tenderhearted—let go, life is easier this way. Forgive, …

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Why Jesus Came

  Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth Truly He taught us to love one another His law is love and His gospel is peace Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His name all oppression shall cease. (From the hymn O Holy Night) …

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Acceptable Sacrifice

  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Matthew 16:25 Who can know God? Those who learn to know themselves well and then surrender the self they know so well on God’s altar in grateful sacrifice. As they release their …

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First You Go

  In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have …

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A Pure and Serving Heart

  Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. Titus 2:9,10 Early in my business career I noticed how easy it was for people—including …

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King Me Now!

  So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Acts 1:6 “Please pray that I can find a job.” I’ve heard this request in prayer meetings. Secretly I pray, “Please don’t send him to us for a job.” He’s not asking us to …

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Being Tiny is Okay

  The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. Proverbs 21:3 God is more interested in what we do in life’s little spaces than all the big things we try to accomplish. As you travel down life’s road, notice little moments, little opportunities, and little people. Paul Horst taught me how …

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Only His Spirit

  May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you. 2 Timothy 4:22 After two years of unsuccessful ministry in Savannah, Georgia, on the return voyage to London, John Wesley lamented, “I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? Who is He that will deliver me from …

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Connected

  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. (Jesus’ prayer in John 17) I woke up one morning in the midst of a dream. God was showing …

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Stay on Course, Even When It’s Painful

  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 When I was homeless and searching for I didn’t …

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Only Jesus Can Heal the Wounds of Betrayal

  Do not drag me away with the wicked—     with those who do evil— those who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts. Psalm 28:3 I wish everyone could be trusted. It’s almost impossible to know who means what they say and who is secretly planning evil. My father secretly planned to divorce my mother. …

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Almost There

  As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day …

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Keep Learning

  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 …

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You Become Like the People You Hang With

  You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. …

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The Kingdom Food Chain

  Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 “Timothy, my dear son…” Everyone needs mentors. A mentor has achieved what you want to achieve and is willing to guide you and hold you accountable to get there. He stretches you and helps you up when you fall. He’s …

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Pour Out, Pour In

  It is better to correct someone openly than to have love and not show it. Proverbs 27: 5 The faces of people in the Dominican Republic are forever impressed on my mind. Their hunger for hope and the cries of their hearts still whisper to me today. Their humility far outshines the definition of that word in any dictionary. You …

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Beyond Your Strength

  Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 According to Henry Cloud, when a Navy Seal parachutes into an assignment, he’s trained to ask himself three questions: Where am I? Where’s my buddy? Where’s the enemy? He tells the story of a Seal candidate about to finish hell week. The candidate’s swimming …

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Stairway to Heaven

Every time someone close to me dies, I think I get to peek inside heaven. Some of heaven’s fresh air escapes. It makes me want to be there. Slowly the door closes. Earth’s sorrow overwhelms me. I’m afraid to die and afraid of my family and friends dying. I don’t understand life. Even greater is my lack of understanding of …

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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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But Love Does

Everyone else walked past the dirty, crippled beggar. They may have dropped a few coins at his feet to absolve their responsibility of connecting with the man, as they hurried in and out of the temple where they met with God. But Peter and John learned from Jesus to stop, notice, love, and connect with hurting people. Jesus taught and …

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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 …