Who Should Correct?

If correction is needed, what kind of person would you prefer to deliver the message? Would you rather it be a humble or arrogant person? Of course we want the humble person, don’t we? It is very difficult to respond positively to an arrogant person. A humble person is a much better choice for delivering a corrective message, but correction is still the issue. Think of a person you deeply respect. Maybe it is a parent, grandparent, teacher, former pastor, current pastor, a Bible study teacher, or maybe it is Billy Graham. Think about their walk with God. You trust they have a deep relationship with Christ. If that person should observe you doing something wrong this week and they approached you and said, “I heard what you said the other day and that wasn’t appropriate. You need to make … [Read more...]

Marriage–Inevitable Changes

Marriage is full of inevitable changes! Many couples have in mind how things should go and are not prepared to face a change of direction. Maybe you have expected a certain outcome and then something happens that totally changes what you had expected? In this suspense-filled world of ours with its dramatic changes, one fact is certain–the certainty of uncertainty. You can expect the unexpected to happen. The mature person, especially the Christian, approaches the changes of life with interest, enjoying the variety and meeting the challenge. Change One of the great tasks facing marriage partners is that of accepting the fact of change. In a marriage there is a continual series of changing events which demand a constant adjustment of both husband and wife. Pregnancy, the arrival of each … [Read more...]

False or Real Hope

Many are offering false hope to save our society. To the drunk, the world says it is not his fault; it is a disease or an addiction. He cannot control himself. Society must save him! Society says, “We want to help you. We have groups to support you. We will help you manage this problem.” Why does this reveal false hope? Because the same groups will say to the alcoholic, “You will always be an alcoholic. You will never get rid of this, but we can teach you how to manage it.” God is much more gracious than that! He offers a cure–Jesus. Looking back 50 years, we can evaluate the combined efforts of the medical, social, educational, governmental, legal, and theological professions. The combined impact on society has been negative. There are exceptions here and there, but in general, human … [Read more...]

What’s Down In The Well Comes Up In The Bucket!

I remember my grandmother saying, “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket! If the well has muddy water, then that is what you get, if it is clean spring water, then that is what comes up in the bucket.” What's down in your inner self is what comes out when you are in conflict. When your values or beliefs are challenged or affirmed, you will discover what is "down in the bucket." Your first response shows the condition of your heart, mind, and attitude at the time. There is much social pressure that requires you to look happy, to act as if you were happy, to be polite, and to do the acceptable thing. The Christian is concerned, not only with his tone of voice, but with what is in the inner self as well; not only with how he acts, but with how he feels. Jesus said, “What … [Read more...]

Repentance and Memory Lane

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 … [Read more...]

Is Competency Unacceptable?

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 … [Read more...]

A Quiet Spirit

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 … [Read more...]

The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility

Learning the basics of Christianity is relatively simple–if knowledge of the how to’s are all you desire. Simply listing the commands of Christ does not require an in depth study nor a massive amount of time. Putting into practice the commands of Christ is quite different. To do what Christ says requires study, devotion, prayer, and daily experience. I suppose for years I worked on Christianity the same way many others went about the task. Making sure I did't miss my daily Bible reading and prayer time was the main focus. Other than that, I attempted to not do all the evil things that Christians were to avoid. I reasoned that if I avoided evil activities, then I would be a good Christian. Later I learned that was simply attempting to not walk in the flesh. Though for the most part that … [Read more...]

The Joy of Repentance Brings Peace!

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. … [Read more...]

Pretending Happiness

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 … [Read more...]

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