The Power to Face Our Problems

“He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.” – Deuteronomy 8:15 There’s a story about Moses, who is called to lead God’s people out of the tyranny of Egypt. A clinical therapist I follow, who is not a theologian, had an insightful viewpoint on this story that I’d like to share with you. He said the conditions in Egypt were slavery and tyranny, but free of the risks of the journey ahead. As Moses moves them to freedom through the wilderness, they’re brought into a harsh reality. This new challenging life away from their previous comfort zone, even in slavery, caused them to start worshiping idols, other than God. The therapist noted this gave them a sense of purpose and enabled them to forget they were in an intense period

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You’re Not What You Do

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8,9 Well, the holidays have passed, and many of you will have returned to your regular routine by today. You may return to your office to find an inbox full of messages from folks who require your assistance. There may even be a desire to become overwhelmed and frustrated at the start of the year. If you’re feeling this way, please remember one thing: you are not what you do. Even if you’re still on vacation and haven’t yet returned to the grind, I encourage you to think about this crucial concept. Many people who grew up in religious households are shocked to learn that they are not what they do. In fact, I was asked to

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Worrier to Warrior

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’” – Judges 6:12 I implore you to transform from a worrier to a warrior! “I don’t want to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death,” Tony Campolo famously declared. I don’t believe God wants this for any of His precious children. I once heard the story of Eli, a young boy. Eli was terrified of anything sharp or pokey as a child, including scissors, needles, splinters, bee stings, and other similar objects. His parents shielded him from sharp objects because they wanted to help him. They stopped going to movies because of the scary scenes, they let his hair grow out because he was frightened of scissors, and they avoided looking at flowers since bees live in flowers. Eli eventually became fearful of leaving the house or doing anything because

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New Year, New Lessons

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.“ – 2 Peter 1:3 Happy New Year! This particular time, with all the optimism, possibilities, and potential we are faced with at the start of another year, excites me every year. As we progress forward in the wonderful things God has called us to, I like to think of it as an opportunity to reset, shake off the old, and establish new goals for ourselves. Each year will undoubtedly bring new problems and tribulations, but I encourage you to approach each day with optimism and anticipation, and to commit to be a person of action rather than fear. Now, because today is a vacation and many of you are likely to be doing something relaxing, such as watching sports or watching a movie,

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How Will You Handle the Fire?

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” – Luke 14:28 I love that Jesus encourages us to consider possible outcomes before we make decisions. He told His disciples to count the cost prior to following Him, and I think it’s safe to say that He wants us to be people who are proactive in dealing with the problems and complexities of life. Along these lines, I heard an anecdotal story once that said if there’s a fire burning in a building and there are ten people in it, one person will flee, one will stay calm and take action, and the other eight will freeze. Unfortunately, I think the latter is what many of us do when we’re assailed by unanticipated challenges. We seldom feel equipped for what comes

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God’s House

“And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” – Mark 11:17 Did you know that ancient Jews didn’t call the temple the temple? This description was given later, but in Jesus’ day, it was simply known as “the house.” Just like people, God has a dwelling, and though His permanent residence is in Heaven, He chose a particular location in which to contain His glory in Old Testament times. This means that the Spirit of Jehovah lived at the temple, and it belonged to everyone who followed Him. It was the center of Jewish life, and it was the place where the hurting, broken, and outcast could find safety and experience His heart. This is precisely why it upset Him so much when the money changers turned

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