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Love Prospers

  Love prospers when a fault is forgiven but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs: 17:9 Fault finding is our natural tendency. I had a friend who I felt wronged me. I decided it wasn’t worth losing a friend over this, so I overlooked it. Now after all these years I know I made the right decision because we …

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Uplifting Others

  The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16: 21 & 24 Recently in one of our team Bible studies we discussed these two verses and I thought about just how a few words of kindness can change the course …

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Three Regrets Looking Back

  One of my greatest regrets is that, at age 70, I’m only now discovering some of the simple basics of life. I’ll share three of those basics here: Basic One: Gina and I started our structured schedule for starting and ending the day on February 22, 2020. Today marks day 92. It looks like this: We start the day …

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The Price of Leadership

  But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000. Acts 4:4 In 1970, I left my parents’ home, telling them I want to find out if there’s something better than the life they were living and giving me. They told me I’m passing through a stage …

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Are You Following Jesus?

  They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Mark 1:18 If you spend daily, almost constant time getting to know Jesus, and listening to what he says. If you take time to understand what he’s saying, and once you know what he’s telling you to do, you immediately step out and do it, you’re following Jesus. If you’re doing …

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Too Tired

  He restores my soul… I believe everything I do for God will reap a reward someday, certainly for me and possibly for the people I serve. But right now, today, I have nothing left in me. I don’t have any love for people who are difficult to love. I don’t have any push for people who dig their heels …

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Lessons from the Sea

  Gina and I are currently on our annual sabbatical in the Dominican Republic. Every morning we rise early, walk the beach as the sun rises, and pray, “God, what do you want to show me?” Then we come in for coffee and journaling, go to the gym, and return to breakfast, more journaling, and a time of worship. Since …

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In God’s Sight

  Josiah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. 2 Kings 22:2 Josiah was one of the few kings in the Bible who did everything right in God’s sight—both in his secret heart and his outer life. Everything starts in your imagination. …

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Since Jesus Grew, So Can I

  Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. Luke 2:52 New thought: Jesus, the creator of wisdom, grew in wisdom. I can follow his example. Once I have wisdom, I can continue growing in it. Like a tree. An evil person grows into an evil tree. A fool grows into a …

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God’s Grip

  That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’ Isaiah 41:13   This is one of my go-to versus when I am in the trenches battling through adversity. It gives me strength and settles me down. My instincts are to panic, …

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Even From Prison

  I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only …

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Be for Jesus, Who’s for the World

  This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6 When we truly encounter Jesus, we change. We don’t need lengthy training. That’s what …

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The Real Enemy

  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11,12   I’ve been thinking about the Armor of God. The armor protects …

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The Wise Invite Rebuke

  Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. Proverbs 29:1 It takes humility to let a rebuke sink in and alter your perspective. The temptation is to lock down and start counting the other person’s faults after a reprimand or a piece of harsh feedback. When we do that, the negativity digs a pit in our …

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Loving as Jesus Loved

  Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1 Jesus is the best example to follow in anything in life. Jesus taught us that love is the most important thing. Love is the healthy …

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When I’m Down

  Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8 I know Satan wants to take me out. Perhaps that’s why I struggle so much with fear, feeling weak, and inner darkness. Micah 7:8 is my sometimes go-to verse when I’m …

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Kings Need Friends Too

  Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend. Proverbs 22:11 Kings are so busy, they don’t want to be distracted or aggravated by people who refuse to cultivate good communicating skills. Get rid of your baggage and develop good, sincere communicating skills so good people will want to be your friends. You …

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Judo God

  Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. Acts 12:23, 24 I took a Judo class in college. The instructor taught …

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One Day

  One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So, after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. Acts 13:2-3 See the amazing faith of these mature men who …

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Crucial Conversation

  “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.”  Matthew 12:35   We hear all the time if a crucial conversation needs to happen, make sure you pick up the phone, or try to talk face to face and not by email. Whichever method …

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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, …