Leadership Transcends Title

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’”  – Matthew 20:25,26 As people immersed in a celebrity and success-oriented culture, we tend to give a lot of weight to titles. However, such distinctions are not always what they seem. Last Christmas, my sister gave me a really unique gift. She found out that in Scotland, there’s a movement to save natural resources, so they’re parcelling out pieces of land that are about eight feet square and selling them. Because Scottish law says that anyone who owns property in their country is entitled to bear the designation of “lord” or “lady,” it’s an enticement to purchase the parcels, which is why she gifted one to us. That

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Words Can Wound

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36,37 Like it or not, I believe we carry around careless and unkind things spoken over us in our hearts…and even in our bodies. As I was growing up, I was often called “stupid” and “clumsy,” and to this day, though people can say a lot of things and not upset me, if someone utters either of those words, I have a strong emotional and physical reaction. You see, labels create a negative imprint on our spirits, and when we’re identified by them in any season of life, they continue to haunt us. Even as an adult, I’ve laid awake at night on several occasions thinking about vitriol spewed

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Surrendered, Sacrificial Faith

“Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” – Mark 15:43 I love the story of Joseph of Arimathea. If you’ve been in church for any length of time, you probably know that he was the man who asked Pilate for Jesus’ body and took it off the cross to bury in his own family tomb. Strangely enough, he was a member of the Sanhedrin — the group of Jewish zealots that put Jesus to death — and although he didn’t support His Savior’s crucifixion, he felt helpless to stop it, so he did what he could to demonstrate his love. In remembering why his actions were such a big deal, it’s important to note that crucified victims were typically hung naked and at eye-level so that everyone who passed by

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Choose For Yourself!

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-16 For a lot of us, a new year means getting a brand new calendar to fill with all the things we hope to accomplish. The idea of resolutions is that we take on a few huge goals, and working towards them typically proves to be a lofty task. All too often, circumstances get in the way, the unexpected happens, and we come to realize that we won’t

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Actions Before Feelings

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” – James 2:14 January is a time we often spend setting goals, working toward resolutions, and trying to become the best version of ourselves. To that end, I want to give you an important tip today that I believe applies in many different areas of life, but especially where it concerns carrying out our calling as disciples of Christ: actions overcome feelings. As we resolve to walk out our identity as God’s temple, or the vessels in which He dwells, we will be required to step out of our comfort zone to minister to others. Whether this means putting aside our own schedule to help a friend, giving of our resources to assist someone who is going through a rough time, or simply taking a few moments

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As Long as It Is Called Today

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13 Happy New Year! And congratulations, you made it to 2021. I think many of us are breathing a sigh of relief today, but the truth is that we are much stronger, wiser, and all-around better people than we were this time last year. Walking through the fire and enduring the difficulties of 2020 offered us a precious gift, and I pray that we won’t lose sight of it in the days ahead. As we look forward to resuming life as normal (whenever and whatever it is), let’s not forget how precious it was to be reminded of what’s most important. As we’ve brought our focus closer to home in the past ten months, God has used a trying time to align our hearts with

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