Personal Growth

Victory!

July 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Victory comes in many forms. Some people simple want to win a battle so they can be known as the victor. Others want victory that relieves the tensions of life. But, the real key to victory is for God to be known to others through what He does in your life. Are you slow to anger? Are you quick to respond in defiance? Is there any Godly discretion in your life? Are you looking for recognition? Are you looking for approval or are you satisfied to walk in service to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be approved by Him? Let the following be a challenge to personal renewal. The following was printed and handed out during Boston’s Awakening of 1909 under guidance of Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman: original–source unknown. Given to me by Devin Bell during our doctoral residency at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the oversight–That is Victory! —(John 13:26-30; 2 Timothy 4:16-18) When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your taste offended, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you take it all in […] Read More

God’s Amazing Work!

July 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

God’s amazing work happens in many unnoticed ways–at least unnoticed in the beginning of a story. An amazing testimony is found in a book titled, Measure Your Life by Wesley Duewel. Duewel tells the story of a man named Stephen Grellat who walked very closely with God and obeyed the Lord even when he did not understand all of the details or circumstances surrounding God’s direction. One day God’s Spirit urged Grellat to go preach in a heavily forested area of America. When he arrived at the location where God had instructed him to go, all the little shanties were empty for all of the loggers had left. Can you imagine what must have been going through this man’s mind? What would you have done? Duewel shares that, “He was so sure that he was sent by God that he went into an empty shanty and preached to the bare walls the sermon that God had placed upon his heart. He then returned to his home. He could never understand why God would send him to preach to an empty shanty.” Years later, in England, as Mr. Grellat was walking across London Bridge, God gave him a glimpse of how […] Read More

Is Your Life Lined Up?

July 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Is everything in your life lined up just the way you want it? It is good for us to set goals for ourselves and have things in order. The Lord Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). It makes a difference what you put first, what you desire. James and John asked Christ for help in attaining a certain goal, a position for themselves. Christ, in reply, stated His own goal, saying, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Your Desires Should Come from a Willing Heart Your reason for what you do is as important to you as the act.  The character of your service determines whether your actions are proper. Many Christians are not joyful Christians because their […] Read More

How Can I Help Others?

June 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

How can I help others? Do I really have enough influence? No matter what you do, whether you work inside or outside the home, are a stay at home mom, or retired, you influence other people. Many times through life you encounter others who are looking for help. A friend, neighbor, work associate, or family member will eventually approach you and share a deep concern, trial, or challenge they are facing. When they do, are you ready to help? Here are a few simple guidelines for preparing yourself to help others: Be compassionate To be effective in helping others, you must be a loving, compassionate person. You must love the person enough to present the truth to this person, regardless of what the truth may suggest for him/her. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life, “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me” (Mark 10:21). Even though the truth was strong, and ultimately was […] Read More

Waiting on God

June 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Waiting on God can be a refreshing or a frustrating time–according to how you face the moment! “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”  Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) Do you enjoy waiting in a long line to make a purchase? Of course not, you want to pay for your product and move on to the next task awaiting you. Spiritually, we sometimes have to stand in a long line, waiting our turn to receive our next assignment, virtue, correction, or instruction. But, waiting requires patience and patience requires perseverance and perseverance requires godliness. According to Scripture, when you wait on the Lord, you get stronger. The person who walks in a love relationship with God finds strength in waiting with Him. So much is learned about life during this meditative time. God has designed just the right amount of waiting time so that what happens in your life is exactly on His time table. This time of waiting is when you should GAIN strength, not lose strength! In Isaiah 40:31, the prophet says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk […] Read More

Amazing Testimony of A Gentle Spirit!

May 22, 2017 | 2 Comments

This amazing testimony gives evidence of a truly gentle spirit. May this warm your heart as you read! Dr. Henry Brandt and I were asked to be consultants for an organization that Chuck Colson began called Prison Fellowship. One of the prisons that we consulted was in Houston, Texas. The leaders asked us to train their counselors and staff in biblical counseling and put together a program of discipleship for the inmates in the program. One of the requirements for entering the program was that a participant could possibly be paroled in eighteen to twenty-four months. After all, if they were going to be released, then releasing a person empowered by Christ instead of empowered by their flesh would be much preferred. One of the men in the group was there for committing murder. He had never admitted he had committed the crime. While in the program, he went through the study called The Heart of the Problem by Brandt and Skinner. During the course of study, he prayed to receive Christ. He had shot and killed the daughter of Mrs. W. She was a schoolteacher. Her husband had died, she said, of a broken heart because of the death of […] Read More

Feelings Can Really Hurt!

May 15, 2017 | 1 Comment

Feelings can really hurt! I hear that statement often. But just what does that really mean? Autonomic Nervous System There are certain emotional centers in the brain that are linked to the entire body through the autonomic nervous system. This system can be compared to the wires that carry electricity from a main power source to all the outlets in your house. Charges of emotions are relayed from the brain, down the spinal cord, and through the autonomic nerves to the blood vessels, muscle tissues, mucous membranes, and skin. So when you are under emotional stress, all parts of your body can be subject to physical discomfort because of a change in blood nourishment, glandular function, or muscle tone. For example, a speaker who is about to be introduced before a crowd oftentimes is fearful over facing the audience. Suddenly his mouth will become dry. That’s because his blood vessels have constricted and glandular activity has reduced. When the fear goes away, the dryness will also go away. It has also been proven that emotional stress will increase the size of the blood vessels in your head; this, in turn, produces pain because of the stretching of the tissues around […] Read More

Two Kinds of Patience

May 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

There are two basic kinds of patience, active and inactive patience. Inactive patience simply waits on things to happen. Inactive patience thinks, “Well I hope it all works out.” It is like a prisoner waiting out time in a jail cell. “I’m not going to try to escape. I’m not going to try to redeem myself. I’m not going to try to talk to an attorney, even though I may have been put in here unjustly, I’m just going to wait it out.” Active patience is like a soldier whose focus is victory. He is systematically working toward victory. This person endures all the difficulties that are required to capture the situation. Whatever it takes to accomplish the task, active patience will pursue. This active patience gets the job done. Have you ever heard this statement: “Well I’m just waiting on the Lord.” That phrase can be used with either kind of patience. It can be an inactive patience, “I’m just going to sit on my front porch and do nothing, slowly. I will wait, hoping something happens.” But you see waiting on God is not inactivity. Waiting on God is pursuing the last thing He told you to do […] Read More

What is My Problem?

May 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

What is my problem? I hear this question asked over and over by sincere people looking for solutions to difficulties in life. Most often the issue is about overcoming anxiety, stress, and frustration. Let’s first set the context by considering this passage from Proverbs: Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Prov. 3:7-8). One of our responsibilities as Christians is to be witnesses to weary travelers who are trying to use human resources to deal with sin. The collapse of family life and the escalation of dishonesty, stealing, violence, crime, physical and sexual abuse speaks for itself. Our world needs a good dose of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Solutions Many in our day wonder whether their problem can be solved by spending time in the solitude of some peaceful place or whether they must see their doctor for medical help. Christian’s minds are confused by the constant magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and news reports that claim a cure to the monotony of life. They wonder whether their problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual. Where […] Read More

Hesitation Delays Growth

April 24, 2017 | 1 Comment

Hesitation delays growth, immediate obedience promotes growth. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him (Matthew 4:19-20). Spiritually you are built to obey–not disobey. When you walk in the Spirit, everything within you desires to follow your Lord. When you hesitate to obey, you miss out on the great adventures of a growing relationship with God. Delayed obedience delays our spiritual growth and weakens the foundation that God wants to build in your life for future obedience and growth. Christ called out followers in His day and He is still looking for immediate obedience from followers in our day. Followers of Christ are recognized by their practice of immediate obedience. When walking in the Spirit, you do not question when you should follow the Lord and when you should not. Spirit-controlled living focuses on obeying Christ–moment-by-moment. Hesitation Hesitation to obey Christ is not obedience at all. Waiting until one feels ready to obey the Lord does not demonstrate a ready to follow faith. There is a difference between immediately responding to God’s invitation, doing whatever He asks, and contemplating, considering, and hesitating. One speaker stated that […] Read More

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