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The Hook

  “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Worry is like the little person above on the hook We keep him hanging on the hook and keep beating him up. This won’t make your situation any better! Every day I need to give God what I cannot control focus on what I can control. Naomi

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Only God

  From Leviticus 19 Do not put your trust in idols Idols aren’t statues. Idols begin in the imagination. They’re those spirits that want our attention. Then we build something that started in the imagination: Acquiring wealth. Outdoing someone else. The beauty of women other than my wife. Wanting to be significant, but not waiting for God to lead. Forcing …

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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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God Delights

  For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4 I think God smiles real big when someone who is normally negative chooses a cheerful heart. Many of us remember angry adults looking into our helpless little faces. What if God isn’t like that? Phillip

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Rules Versus Spirit

  Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. Galatians 3:2 To begin our relationship with God, first believe. Regardless of who we are or what we have accomplished on earth we all …

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Spilled Over Blessings

  God said to Abraham, “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis …

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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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What the Ocean Taught Me

  The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 Day and …

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Fit for the King

  As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven …

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Awareness and Prevention

  A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 27:12 There are a lot of areas of life I see this being applied in. In finance, one of the most critical things we can do is good forecasting. In my regular day-to-day life, fast-forward the behaviors of today, where are …

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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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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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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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Don’t Complain

  Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15 Complaining about circumstances actually makes things worse, Benefits of not complaining: Better attitude, happier and attract positive people Sleep better Better health More …

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Mother Wisdom

  “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,” Proverbs 8:4, 10 NIV How true, that wisdom surrounds us every day, it’s not hiding and it’s not available to just a select few. To stay sharp our ears and heart must always be …

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Face it

  “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ “-Eleanor Roosevelt   “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you …

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Raw Courage and a Pure Heart

  Paul looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck …

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Celebrate God in Each Other

  “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!” Philippians 4:4-5 What does it mean to celebrate God …

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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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Greater is He Who Serves

  Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:27 I’m a selfish, self-absorbed person who would do anything to get out of serving others: Cast vision. Delegate. Give money. …

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Little Me, Big World

  The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders.     The Lord thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful;  the voice of the Lord is majestic. Psalm 29:3-4 People fill their tiny little brains with so much noise, they drown out the world around them. Sometimes it’s busy, crazy, chaotic noise. Sometimes it’s white noise. Either way, it’s …

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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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Heart Matters

  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 So, it comes down to the intent of the heart…pretty simple but it’s not always easy to do. On a recent 4-hour flight, a 2-year-old sat …

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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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Stop Being Phony

  Here’s how we can be sure that we’ve truly come to know God: if we keep his commands.  If someone claims, “I have come to know God by experience,” yet doesn’t keep God’s commands, he is a phony and the truth finds no place in him. We can be sure that we’ve truly come to live in intimacy with …

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The Day I Realized I Might Not Be a Duck

  My life had fallen into the deepest, darkest night of the soul I had ever known. I was spiraling down, down, deeper and deeper. In 1996, my book, Weeping May Endure For a Night had just been published. People were calling me for advice I didn’t know how to give. They thought I could help them. I wanted to …

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Treasure in Clay Jars

  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. 2 Corinthians 4:7-8 “We are like common clay jars. …

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All of Us Are Blind

  Then Jesus spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.”  So, the man went and washed and came back seeing! John 9:6-7 With another man, Jesus used spit without mud and healed him in two phases. First, the man saw …