Personal Growth

Repentance and Memory Lane

July 16, 2018 | 1 Comment

A spirit of repentance will encourage you to remember where you have come from in your spiritual life. While our memory is not always accurate, when you want to change from where you are to where God wants you to be, He will enable your memory to remember “from where you have fallen” (Rev. 2:5). Do you remember when… You were in the first grade? You had a first best friend? You were given your first tricycle, big wheel, or bike? Do you remember… Subjects you studied in 3rd grade? The color of your classroom? The name of your elementary school? Some of us remember more details than others about our childhood. My wife remembers many details about her childhood, while I struggle with the details. Though I have trouble with the small stuff, important events stick with me. Remembering a crisis, a happy event, a new job, marriage, or a new relationship seems to come easy. Minor details tend to slip away. I remember talking with my granddad about his childhood and it seemed he could remember more about his childhood than I could about mine. The medical profession tells us that the older we get, the better our long-term memory […] Read More

Is Competency Unacceptable?

July 2, 2018 | 1 Comment

Competency is unacceptable to incompetent people. Have you ever noticed that people in the workplace do not always give their best effort and perform their job the way it was intended? Of course you have! Seems to be a ridiculous question but when you think of all the implications of this idea, several truths need to be thought through and assimilated. Truths for Competent Living and Leading Truth #1—A competent person’s work will reveal incompetent workers. It is not that one is trying to show up some other workers. Rather, when you do your work as though you are serving the Lord Christ Himself, you will have the highest standard possible. When you have a high standard of service, it will naturally reveal any low standards of work (just doing the minimum instead of the maximum). Look at this passage: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-34 Truth #2—A competent person’s leadership will be chosen over incompetent workers. Competent leaders are looking for competent leaders! Whether at home, church, or the […] Read More

A Quiet Spirit

June 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Imagine responding to pressure, perplexities, persecution, and destruction with a quiet spirit. To experience quietness and peace is indeed a treasure. Maybe you think of a quiet secluded place is needed to achieve a quiet spirit. But, the Spirit of God also has a quieting effect on the body. Of course you do not have to respond to God, you can take on your troubles with your own strength if you choose. One of the key ways in which we tend to do this is to claim our problems are someone else’s fault. Talented, well-educated, highly-trained people reason that it’s the other fellow or their circumstances that are at fault. They reason that their reactions, given their situation, are quite normal and natural. After all, aren’t they being mistreated, misunderstood, not appreciated, and rejected? Isn’t it normal to be upset and fight back in order to free yourself from the turmoil within you? Many say, “Anyone in my shoes would have reacted the way I did. Once I get out of this situation, my natural spirit of goodwill, good humor, friendliness, generosity, and unselfishness will return.” It is natural for people to become upset in the midst of trouble. Many […] Read More

The Joy of Repentance Brings Peace!

June 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Peace Doesn’t Come from Places or People Shortly after completing my university education, I began my first experience serving as a full-time associate pastor. Little did I know that I would need to experience the joy of repentance that brings peace in my first assignment. Excitement permeated my life as God had allowed me to serve Him in such a role. While serving at the church, I was given the privilege of attending seminary. And if that was not enough to keep my schedule full, I was also married and had a young child. Would the stress of all these new life adventures bring me peace? Christian education was my major assignment at the church. I had been trained for years to be a good minister of Christian education. All the resources and tools available to a leader were in my library. While I was thankful that this assignment was mine, those people just did not realize how helpful I could be to them. Immaturity was present in my life, but only recognized by others; not me! Assignments in seminary, church, and at home were in abundance, but I was a hard worker and enjoyed doing the things I had been […] Read More

Pretending Happiness

June 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Pretending happiness is a tough way to live. It takes a lot of energy to keep up this acting lifestyle. George wanted to clear up the gnawing sense of anxiety and growing unhappiness that plagued him, and hoped to do so before anyone else found out about his condition. So he quietly sought professional counseling. He would rather have died than have his associates learn that he was bored with church and its activities, dissatisfied with his wife, and annoyed with his fellow employees at work. But the counseling experience was a shattering one. The counselor, who George suspected was a non-Christian, pressed him to share his antagonisms, and George did not like it. He insisted he had no antagonisms. He stoutly maintained that since he was a Christian he loved everyone and was nice to all. Still the counselor probed, and finally George blew his top. Afterward he was ashamed because he had been a poor example of what a Christian ought to be. The counselor pointed out that George was filled with anger and hatred toward people rather than filled with love. Then George came to see me. He was confused. Was he a Christian or wasn’t he? […] Read More

Understanding The Inner Person

May 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Understanding our inner person can be quite complicated for us. However, God’s invitation is to believe, receive, abide, come, and take of His resources so that we will have a greater understanding of the inner person. Frequently, an individual will protest that he has no will power, that he is weak, or that his case is special. He pleads for understanding, implying that if he were understood, he would be accepted as he is. Of course it is true that all people are weak, unrighteous, and sinful. It is also true that a disturbed individual needs to be understood by others but also by him or herself. But understanding the inner person and his/her problems does not change him/her, it only makes his/her need clear. He needs someone to reassure, instruct, and guide him to Christ who can change his/her heart. This change will not take place so long as the individual excuses him or herself by talking about the past or by blaming other people. The heart will be changed only when one repents of his/her sin, including the sinful reactions to others who may have mistreated them. The Bible stresses individual ability to recognize and confess sin, to repent, and thus receive forgiveness, cleansing, […] Read More

Those Annoying People!

May 14, 2018 | 3 Comments

“Those annoying people did it to me again!” Have you said that lately? There is not doubt there are many annoying people in this world. But why is it that we have to run into them so often? God’s Word gives us some insight in Galatians 5:20-21 stating, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy,” are works of the lower nature. Other words that we could use would be quarreling, debate, disunion, and anger. I am going to lump all of these together and call them “annoyance.” Feelings of Annoyance Feelings of annoyance can range all the way from very slight annoyance that you hardly notice to intense annoyance that breaks through our shells and causes our faces to flush, our hearts to pound, and causes our bodies to break into a sweat. Annoyances can cause us to say things we later regret, hit someone, or refuse to associate with someone. Slight annoyances are cumulative. They can happen all day long. For example, at breakfast you find that your coffee isn’t quite hot enough. At work the boss asks you to do something you don’t like to do. Some of your fellow workers tell a joke […] Read More

Trouble, Perplexity, and Rejection

May 7, 2018 | 1 Comment

Trouble, perplexity, persecution, and rejection are all difficult to face. The Apostle Paul had all of these but understood that there is a power that will enable a person to face such treatment without distress, despair, self-pity, or ruin. It is the power of God. The end products of distress can definitely be bodily changes. Your blood pressure, respiration, and digestion can be affected. If you have a grudge against someone, who are you hurting? Who is affected when you are seething over a person who isn’t even in your presence? Yourself, of course. The other person may not even know you are having trouble thinking about them in a positive way. There is a power that will enable you to face your circumstances without distress. It is the power of God, made available to you through the dying of the Lord Jesus. God’s power–and His alone–can make you want to forgive a person who has misused you. You will know if forgiveness has taken over your mind and attitude by whether or not you want to get even. Many argue that they have a right to be bitter. It is your privilege to be upset and miserable. But as […] Read More

Christ’s Help in a Self-Help World

April 23, 2018 | 2 Comments

Christ’s help for us is different than the assistance available from a “self-help” world. No matter what the world tells you, Jesus has a clear, concise, simple promise for His disciples: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27 The apostle Paul taught: Walk in [live by] the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  Gal. 5:16 Everyone has two options in life: turn to God for help or, turn to the world for help. Of course there are common events in life for helping yourself, but remember, spiritual needs come from God, not self. It’s like determining if you are headed north or south. Those are opposite directions. God’s help, and self help are opposites also. Suppose we call heading Godward “north” and looking to the world heading “south.” What help is there if you are headed south? You can turn to psychologically or psychiatrically trained people for help. These disciplines declare by faith that there is no God. We must help ourselves. There is a good deal of help in the […] Read More

Deception Has Become Ordinary

April 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Deception is a common act of everyday life. It has become so common, many times people don’t even recognize when they are deceptive. In the courtroom, if a witness fails to reveal accurately what is on his mind while under oath, it is called perjury, or deception. If an action or event that is known to be wrong is in a public forum, a scandal occurs. Many scandals happen every day. There are sports, political, sex, corporate, and Olympic scandals. The Watergate scandal should be a stark reminder of the misery we can cause ourselves by covering up the truth. The men involved brought the wrath of the nation down on themselves. In day-to-day, human relations, we tend to create minor scandals when we misrepresent what is on our minds and hearts. We can give ourselves a variety of reasons for practicing such deception. Some are: • My friend would hate me. • My mother would be upset. • My father would be angry. • My teacher would flunk me. • My boss would fire me. • My friends would be hurt or surprised. • My church would ask me to leave. Deception is when you misrepresent yourself to others. […] Read More

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