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More Than a Diploma

  We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God… totally committed to doing good deeds. From Titus 2:12-14 Following Jesus is a conscious, daily choice. You must fully immerse yourself in study, practice, and hard work. You can’t afford to deceive yourself into thinking you’re a Christian because you were baptized, had an encounter …

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A Sick Mind Never Heals Itself

  Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15, 16 This one is a …

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Leading Others by Following God

  From Joshua 3 The wilderness was the only home they knew for forty years. Slavery in Egypt was the only home their ancestors had known for four hundred years. They had no idea what a Promised Land was, not even in their dreams. Joshua understood the wilderness, but he didn’t know how to move into a Promised Land. Joshua …

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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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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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Calm Under Fire

  Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:3 Audie Leon Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. …

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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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The Painful Upward Stretch of My Soul

  Sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, and they were all healed. Acts 5:15-16 Peter, where did you get this power, that even your shadow healed people and set them free from their …

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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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Hitting the Wall

Many endurance runners describe hitting the wall at the marathon’s 20-mile mark. This has been calculated as the point when they physically run out of fuel. Their glycogen levels are exhausted, resulting in overwhelming feelings of heaviness in the legs. Concentration diminishes, and despair overtakes them. We can feel this way when we get partway through a difficult situation. Bill …

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Too Late? Not if You’re Reading This

When my father died, I was supposed to be a pallbearer. We forgot we were in the Eastern time zone, which was an hour later than our time. I called the funeral home and told them we were on the way. “We can’t wait for you,” the man said. We drove to the cemetery, but got lost. As we pulled …

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I Can’t! …Or Can I?

Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Excuses lock you up and shut down growth. The worst kind of prison is to be locked up inside of yourself. Mental obstructions can be as powerful as physical obstructions. No circumstance will magically break open these bars. Until you take responsibility for your own thoughts and behaviors, you’ll never get free. Taking …

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The Best Gift

Grace is a healthy freedom that turns life into a song, a poem, an art, and a dance. Even the sad and painful experiences can be music, dance, and poetry. Perfectionism and grace/excellence can’t exist in the same space. Perfectionism always demands more than we can give. Perfectionism kills—nothing can grow under the laws of perfectionism—everything dies under its heavy-handed, …

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God’s Timeless Expectation of Us

Being young can be a cop-out. I can say, “I just don’t know,” “I don’t have the experience,” or, “no one ever taught me.” Or sometimes we’re given an opportunity beyond our years and we struggle to overcome the mental hurdle that we don’t have what it takes. God’s standards for each of us are timeless and ageless. Recently, I heard …

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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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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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Show Mercy

How many times have you been jumped on for your failures? How many times have you been the one jumping on someone else? I’ve been on both sides. If we focus on people’s faults and criticize them, watch out! it’s coming back. The presidential election has caused a huge ruckus. But it’s a chance for us to show mercy. Treat …

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Don’t Miss Your Opportunity

In Peter’s last written words, he reminds us of the blessing of suffering in trials. He didn’t want us to miss out. If we embrace trials and suffering as a normal part of life and needful for us to mature, we must look beyond our current circumstances. We can’t experience God’s grace without trials. God doesn’t waste our pain but …

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A Leap of Faith

Have you ever been in such need of a miracle that you took a leap of faith? This woman did, and she was healed! If you never try, you’ll never know the feeling of sweet success God can give you. The great culture and success we’re experiencing today in our company is a perfect example of how God rewards you …

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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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The Tone of Truth

The heart doesn’t easily separate the message from the tone it’s spoken in. When truth is given without love, people often run from the truth. The intent of the one who did the speaking matters little at that point. The inflammation caused by the harsh words becomes the message. Truth and wisdom don’t need to be spoken harshly. They stand …

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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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The Gift of Desperation

I’ve often heard the phrase “the gift of desperation.” How could the Bible declare desperation a blessing? God’s not saying we’re blessed because of desperation, but what can happen through it. When painful circumstances come, people often turn to God and crumble in his arms. In the midst of our desperation, he is always faithful to offer his love and …

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Why is Jesus Weeping?

Jesus was approaching God’s beloved city, and weeping. Why was he weeping? Because although they proclaimed God as God, they didn’t know him. He didn’t live in their hearts and relationships. Instead, they abused themselves and each other. And because they destroyed themselves from within, enemies would come and finish them off in their outer world, too. So many people …

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Keep Growing, Keep Going

Grace grows as we grow. And so does peace. As we mature, we find more mature ways to handle trials. And as we learn to handle trials, we give God a chance to be bigger in our minds than the trial itself. We then find greater measures of grace and peace. It comes down to our perspective and how resilient …

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Living in the Light

What does living in the light mean to me? Farmers know plants need sunlight to grow. Doctors tell us sunlight is a great antidepressant. Our bodies need Vitamin D from the sunlight. How much joy and growth we experience when we live in God’s light! Moses spent forty days on a mountain with God. When he came down, his face …

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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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The River of God

It’s comforting to know that God guides the hearts of rulers, above their wills and choices. Ultimately, God always is in control. Our country is facing political unrest and division that will bring serious consequences. Whether or not America’s leaders have a relationship with God or hold godly values, God is fulfilling his master plan. God won’t be surprised—in fact …

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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 …