Not a To-Do List

Not a To-Do List

It's not really a to-do list. These are actions and activities that just work well - for self and others. "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality." (Romans 12.9-13)

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Talking About It

Talking About It

If you think it is important, you will make it a point to talk about it. That's why weather, sports, and politics are key discussion topics. But, what about our faith?

 "I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ." Philemon 6, Amplified Bible)

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Good Intentions

Good Intentions

There is a so-called road paved with good intentions, and we all have participated in the paving process. My more recent contribution has been the book I started writing but never quite seem to get around to working on. For you it might be that good deed you are planning to do for your neighbor. Or the special day you've been planning for your spouse and family. Or maybe that area of service in your local church you're planning to step up to.

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Courage

Courage

He had courage in the face of a great storm, and so can we. Paul the apostle was aboard a ship, facing a horrific storm such that "all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned." (Acts 27.20) But, he received an angelic message of encouragement (Acts 27.24), and shared it will all on board. "Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told." (Acts 27.25).

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Cityscapes

Cityscapes

Luke 4:1-7 (NASB)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

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David & Goliath

David & Goliath

One of my favorite movies is, "Hoosiers," based on the true story of a small-town high school basketball team that defeats the heavily-favored big-city school to win the state championship. It's a classic David and Goliath story, which brings us to that famous story, recorded in 1 Samuel 17.

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Desperation & Faith

Desperation & Faith

A man, desperate for help for his seriously ill son, implored, "if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" (Mark 9.22)

His desperate plea was more last resort that resolute faith. Challenging his plea, Jesus replied, " 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9.23) The One before this man was well able to accomplish this miracle. If anything was lacking, it was faith on this man's part; to which he famously replied, "I do believe; help my unbelief." (Mark 9.24) In essence, "I have an imperfect faith, but I have faith nevertheless. Lead my faith to be true faith indeed."

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Good Times & Bad

Good Times & Bad

Whether in good times or bad, there is one important overriding factor. It's stated numerous times in the thirty-ninth chapter of Genesis: "The LORD was with Joseph." Yahweh God was with him when he was sold as a slave by his brothers. When he became a servant in the household of an important Egyptian official. When he was tempted daily by this man's wife. When he was confined to prison.

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Consider the Lilies

Consider the Lilies

I'm certainly not a botanist. Many people can quickly identify and name plant species. I sometimes have trouble distinguishing between plants and weeds. But, I would benefit spiritually from being a specific kind of botanist: "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!" (Luke 12.27-28)

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Grace

Grace

The cycle of days and seasons are a testament to grace. "the Lord said to Himself, 'I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains,  Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat,  And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.' " (Genesis 8.21-22)

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The Right Way

The Right Way

The right way is seldom the easy way. Determination to pursue that which pleases God is a vital starting point.

"If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."(Genesis 4.7)

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Back in One Hour

Back in One Hour

"Back in one hour." The same can be said for the return of Christ as for a business: He will be back soon.

"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.' " (Acts 1.9-11)

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