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Showing posts from February, 2018

Three Things About Temptation

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No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
—1 Corinthians 10:13
I know you just read this verse but take a moment to slowly read each sentence again. Did one of these three sentences really capture your attention? What jumped out? There is something in each short verse that is highlighted for me each time. Here are three truths in this text about your temptations.
Your temptations are not unusual Your temptations are not unbearable Your temptations are not inescapable
So many times I used to think that no one else was having to deal with the things I was dealing with. My temptations were special. They only happened to me. You just couldn't understand. Don’t you think for a moment that whatever you are facing is unusual. This is normal! If you are a human being, you’re tempted. Nothing you are going thr…

God Will Not Deliver Him

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PSALM 3:1Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." There have been so many times in my life where I felt like the world was completely against me...like the main reason other people existed was to torment me and bring difficulties into my life. Maybe you have had some seasons like that too. The old saying "when it rains it pours" can ring true many times. The good news is that God did not plan for you to live life overwhelmed, frustrated and all stressed up with no place to go! John 10 tells us that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. That means your needs will be met; your spiritual, physical, financial and emotional needs will not go unfulfilled. You can and will be delivered! David was facing great adversity. Enemies were coming out of the woodwork to harm him. Their taunts would be loud. "God will not deliver him" they would say. 
Just remember today that what THEY are sa…

The Pursuit of...LESS

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The disciplined pursuit of...less. Yes, that is the idea in a book I am reading called Essentialism. The basic premise it that by applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter. What if saying yes to everything was actually robbing you of the best things? Perhaps its time to practice the art of saying NO. I know I need this. I have always felt that saying yes was how to make people happy. Truthfully, I can't be everyone's answer or do everything. It just brings on more stress and anxiety. Essentialism says that by focusing on the few things that are really essential, we can make a more valuable contribution. I've just begun this journey but I am excited to learn how to pay attention to all that is happening around me and learn how to choose what really and truly ma…

3 Things

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There are three things that matter deeply to the Lord when it comes to wisdom and understanding. The Proverbs are filled with nuggets of truth and words to help each of us live life the way that the Lord intended. In Proverbs 2, the benefits of wisdom are not only revealed, the Lord describes how to attain this wisdom. Listening, asking, and seeking provide a simple path to understanding this wisdom that comes from the Lord. Now those three things I mentioned can be found in verses 7 and 8: He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
    He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just
    and protects those who are faithful to him.
He offers a treasure of common sense the honest. Good to know since common sense isn’t so common these days. He is a shield to the people that walk with integrity. Doing the right things at the right time for the right reasons will always cover you. And lastly, he guards the path and protects those who are faithful. Ho…

Unlimited Patience

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"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." God offers grace to those that need it most. He gives all of us a chance to exercise faith and share His love. That love was displayed; it was shown by what He did on the cross. And that was the reason referred to in this verse today. Greater love has no one than this, that they give their life for another. Christ Jesus has UNLIMITED PATIENCE! When I read this verse out of 1st Timothy I think of my life and how fortunate I am that God sent mercy my way. Mercy came running in my direction. Mercy offered me a clean white board, a second  chance and the opportunity to right wrongs and walk His walk. My belief and trust in Him was the activation switch. I'm so grateful He had patience without limits! Remember today that God is for you. He is praying for you, gently nudgi…

WILDERness

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When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle. Ex 13:17-18 NLT
Have you ever taken on a “roundabout way”? I have made countless trips where I got my directions mixed up and it seemed that I went out of the way to get to my destination. A roundabout way is not the shortest way. In this story from Exodus, the Israelites had finally been released from Egypt and it was time to head to their promised land. It was quite a ways on foot. But God took them on a roundabout way because if they faced any adversity they would return to their life of slavery. They went off the main road and into the wilderness. Kind of scary w…

Happy Valentines Day!

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‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.’ – Helen Keller

Do You Want to Make Your Life Count?

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Too many times in my life I have counted on the wrong things and the wrong people. I'd place my trust in my abilities and instincts, relying on people that just weren't reliable at all. My hope would rest on the words and counsel of others. All of this led to discouragement, depression and frustration.  These days I am a bit wiser:) I no longer count on people nor do I rely on my abilities. My hope has been redirected. From the words of this beautiful psalm, "I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Just saying it makes me smile.  He is reliable and his word always brings truth to light. He is trustworthy and dependable. In him I  no longer have to be discouraged, depressed or frustrated. I am FREE.  What. or who are you counting on? If you want to make your life count, count on Jesus!

Lose the Weight

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This year I am trying to simplify and streamline my life and ministry. Oftentimes after a long season of doing similar things you realize that you have picked up a lot of stuff on the way. Having spent 37 years doing ministry and working with people that were trying to help others find Jesus, I have picked up a plethora of ideas and stuff. If I could see what the Lord sees, I know that there would be things attached to me and stuck in corners of my life that are taking up space that haven't been used for years. Hebrews 12, listed below, encourages me in several ways. It says that I am not alone. I am surrounded by others that have run the race I am running and have fought the good fight of faith. So I can take comfort in that. And then it says to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Weights and sins can bog all of us down and make life more difficult. This duo can keep us from fulfilling the purposes and plans of the Lord in our lives. Weights could be p…

The Power of Good News

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I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just  and  upright shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 AMP Romans 1:16 is one of my favorite scriptures. To me it’s a declaration of power that does not come from my own doing but from God’s Word. The Bible is an amazing weapon. When I am being verbally or mentally attacked, I grab God’s Word. When my body is feeling sick, the Bible is my most beneficial prescription. In the amplified version we are reminded that it is so much more than a weapon against enemies. It brings about salvation. It’s not only being saved FROM wrath and punishment, it’s being saved TO Christ. And this salvation is for EVERY…

The Answer is Yes!

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Peter Marshall said, "We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning, and too fond of sinning really to enjoy Christianity. Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that we do not want to do it."
Knowing what we ought to do and not wanting to do it seems to be a universal problem. I often find myself being pulled towards things that can harm me so often that I wonder if I have the strength to stay the course. Can I actually make it through the trials and the tests? The answer is YES! And that is YOUR answer too! Yes YOU can!
the Bible is filled with words of encouragement to motivate you daily. In Christ we live and move and have our being. With God all things are possible. In fact Philippians 2:13 says,"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." God is working IN you to bring out the desire to do what He wants you to do and providing the power to actually do it. So can you actually make it through these dif…

What Makes You Come Alive?

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What makes YOU come alive? For me, I get an amazing feeling when I encourage other people. It could be a simple compliment about how they look, and uplifting word, a short note or a surprise gift.  Seeing another person smile and feel a bit better about this life that they are living makes every part of my being come alive. It's why I started writing these cup of joe articles in 1997. It's why I began a blog in 2007. And if I am honest, its the main reason I use all forms of social media at all. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook provide a way to enter another conversation and hopefully lift the spirits of people all over the world.  So let me ask YOU again, what makes YOU come alive? Once you identify that, move in that direction and watch the world come alive with you!