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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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When Hatred Strikes

  King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. …

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Chosen Words

  The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Proverbs 10:11 Our words can bring life to others or tear them down. One wrong word or tone can change what someone hears or feels about what you’re saying and turn them in the right or wrong direction. We should only use …

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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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It’s the We

  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 The past couple of years I’ve come to understand that the gospel isn’t a “me” gospel. It’s a “we” gospel. What I mean is that God looks at how we interact …

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I Will Cling to My Father

  Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. Do not be afraid or discouraged, …

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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 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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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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Do a Motive Inventory

“People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.” (Proverbs 3:15) After more than twenty years of unhappy marriage, Gina and I realized we got married for many wrong reasons. That’s the moment when many marriages end. If we’re honest, many of us would admit our motives for getting married were mostly self-serving. When myself …

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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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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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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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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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A Healthy, Serving Heart

What we write on our hearts determines who we are, what we say and do, and how we affect others. If your tablet is messy, ask God to wipe it clean. Then read the Bible’s instructions and promises, and take them in. To write them on your heart, you spend time thinking about them. Then when life happens you have …

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Kind Words

Throughout my day, I sometimes come across anxious, distraught, and angry people. Often, my first reaction is to either ignore them or treat them how they treat me. Pride swells up in me and I withhold love from them. But how earthly minded is that? Why am I forgetting that their words and actions are a symptom of a deeper …

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Unlocking Parables

Jesus, I don’t know how you did it. You told stories that bounced off the hearts of those who didn’t trust you and soaked into the hearts of those who did. The same story. Each person hears his own version. Ten people witness the same event. Each tells a different version of what happened. Go deeper: Ask each person to …

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Become the Least

Most arguments I’ve witnessed or been involved in leave the original issue behind and become a power struggle to see who wins. Translation: “Who’s the greatest?” Then the “greatest” person gets their way. Sometimes the winner doesn’t bring the best ideas, and we don’t get the best results. When I invest my time and effort into making myself appear better …

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Have You Wept at Jesus’ Feet?

Have You Wept at Jesus’ Feet? Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here… from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet…. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven.” From Luke 7:41-48 Many people I’ve met say they’re Christians, but few have been …

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Imitate God

Imitate God Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Ephesians 5:1 We’re all imitators. Why not imitate God? Since we become like the people we hang out with, why not hang out with God? Imitating God is key to spiritual health and growth. “In everything” doesn’t leave room for my selfish tendencies in anything—even …

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Are People Rejecting Me or God?

Are People Rejecting Me or God? Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Rejection happens. Acceptance happens. When I’ve fully surrendered my security and identity to Christ, acceptance and rejection take …

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Don’t Worry

Don’t Worry Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life.” Luke 12:22 Wait a minute! If Jesus didn’t tell me to worry, who did? I don’t recall “worry” as part of my job description. Since God didn’t command me to worry and I’m not paid to worry, where did …

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They Forgot to Love

  They Forgot to Love What sorrow awaits you…! For you love to sit in the seats of honor… and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. You are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on. But you ignore justice and the love of God. From Luke …

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Do Something

John simply said to do what’s right in the same areas of your life where you’ve been doing wrong.

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Awareness

Are we aware of how much we need Him? But more importantly, how aware do we want to be? Are we content to stay in our own cozy little self-deceived world, or are we willing to face the pain it takes to break through our weaknesses in order to experience the Kingdom Jesus offers us?

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Pursue Resolution

Sometimes people are suspicious of you because of a rumor or a misunderstanding. Or perhaps you think they have an issue with you when they don’t.

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Watch Your Tongue

Sometimes, instead of becoming fuel for the fool’s fire, it’s better to say or do nothing. At the end of the day, choose the high road and always only speak truth instead of your opinion.

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Resentment Kills

When people on the same team or in the same family become resentful over who gets credit and begin insulting each other’s character, everyone loses big-time.