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A New Operating System

  Be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.  Romans 12:2 Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” When we switched our company to Lean Manufacturing methods, we soon learned it wouldn’t be effective to apply the Lean practices unless we changed …

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A Good Life Made Simple

  from Psalm 34 Does anyone want to live a life     that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil     and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good.     Search for peace, and work to maintain it. I’ve used this passage as a clean, simple formula for living a good life: Phillip

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Slaves and Free

  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 Many Christians believe slavery has ended. I’m slow ignoring something the Bible teaches …

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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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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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It’s God’s Calling, Not Yours

  From Acts 1, When the Apostles Replaced Judas Judas Iscariot was given one of the greatest callings the world has ever known. His name could have been written in history as a great force for bringing God’s kingdom to earth. Instead, he became a Judas, a great betrayer. His greed blinded him from understanding the opportunity in front of …

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What if Today is Special?

  On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with …

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You’ll Like This Jesus Better

  For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 The first Jesus I was introduced to told me, “You messed up your life. Because I died for you, I wiped your slate clean. Now go change yourself. Get it right this time.” I tried hard to …

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God Uses People to Make His Choices

  “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus… Acts 1:21 Many men and women had been with Jesus during his ministry. For some reason, Jesus decided he wanted twelve men to lay the foundations of the New Covenant. Not forty-two. …

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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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Shh… Don’t Tell Anyone

  But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13 Your spirit often knows when someone is lying. Maybe you already know the real story. Or you catch telltale twitches in their body, face, or tone of voice. Sometimes your inner dog starts growling (and it’s not from the burrito). …

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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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When Does Run Mean Run?

  Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2:22 Run? In Genesis 39, when Potiphar’s wife wanted sex with Joseph, he told her, “How can I sin against God?” Then he ran out of the room. She tried to stop him by grabbing his robe. As he tore himself away …

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Kindness Wins

  Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 How quickly we get sucked into quarrels. Something flicks an emotional trigger and Boom! Then we’re more fixated on winning than loving. Sometimes the issue isn’t the issue. It’s the harsh, …

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Standing Strong From the Inside Out

  So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Some things in my life are falling apart right now. The verse gives me comfort. Regardless of what was coming …

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You’re Helping Yourself

  Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. Proverbs 9:11, 12 Wisdom doesn’t just add to my days, it multiplies them. How does wisdom add years to my life? I’m walking in sync with creation. Wisdom keeps me from making stupid decisions. Gathering wisdom gives …

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Don’t Ignore the Holy Spirit

  Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13, 14 Although I can’t see anyone else’s insides, I …

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Who Jesus Isn’t Praying For

  My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. John 17:9 According to this verse, Jesus prays only for those who accept his teaching. If you don’t accept his teaching, you’re on your own. Instead of praying for you, Jesus is standing at your door, inviting you. For many …

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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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Breaking The Curse

“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.” (Proverbs 14:26) We met a woman whose husband was bi-polar. The impact on their family was devastating. Their son also was diagnosed bi-polar and turned away from God as a result. My heart broke with sadness for this family. At the same time, my heart …

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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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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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Whisper Jesus

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”              Acts 1:11 How daring is your faith in Jesus? Will you step away from the sin, secret, or addiction you’ve been so secure in, and whisper Jesus? The religious leaders never encountered anyone …

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Fearing God Gives Color

Many business people think a certain margin of dishonesty and violation of ethics is acceptable. Supposedly, it’s just part of doing business. And hey, if no one finds out, and you don’t get caught, what’s the problem? Is telling white lies to cover mistakes or help your agenda wrong? Or what about bribing your way in instead of earning it? How …

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Too Close to the Edge

The tiny island of Ghoramara, off the coast of India has been shrinking each year over the past several decades. It has lost about half of its land and two-thirds of its population since the 1960’s. With farming as the main occupation, residents literally watch their livelihood drop into the sea. Those who live on the edge don’t fare well. …

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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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S-L-O-W Down

Some mornings in my quiet time, my mind races like a pebble barely skipping over the surface. I bow my heart low and let the hurry-cane pass over. I wait. And wait some more. God calms me. Waves of peace wash over me and I know he knows all about me. I don’t need to say anything. I can just …

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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 …