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    Discernment for Our Time

    “These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops who came to David in Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, according to the word of the Lord….Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” 1 Chronicles 12:23, 32 (ESV) Truly we live in a day where believers should seek to be like the sons of Issachar – to understand the times and act accordingly. In this passage, the tribes of Israel are coming to David, to establish him as the rightful king of Israel. Saul’s reign was over and now the time had come for David,…

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    The Game You Will Never Win

        Why do we torment ourselves by playing The Comparison Game?      It’s part of human nature – evaluating the looks or accomplishments of others and comparing them with our own. We may not even realize we are doing this, until the dark emotions of discouragement and discontentment begin to churn within us.  As someone once said, “To compare is to despair.” We can quickly determine how we measure up with another in importance, our giftings, accomplishments or the Cute Outfit Quotient. It’s been called the “sidelong glance” – instantly sizing up someone out of the corner of our eye, or being sized up ourselves. Social media doesn’t help us…

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    Iron Sharpens Iron

    Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” In reflection on our many years in ministry, I am drawn to the truth of this proverb. I have seen it play out in my own life more times than I can remember. We usually think of ministry as investing our lives through serving others, as we hopefully “sharpen” them through discipleship, worship and community. However, I have recently given some thought as to how often others have sharpened me in the past, when I didn’t even realize it. What does this proverb mean, exactly? Most commentators see it as a statement of how people affect, or influence, one…

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    The Mother of All Virtues

     “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point…A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky,” C.S. Lewis What will you undertake this coming year that will require courage? God’s people have always been called to bravery. Obeying God, especially when it’s to our own disadvantage, is the crux of the Christian life. Scripture tells multiple stories of those who demonstrated true bravery in the context of their times. In Joshua 1:1-9, God instructed Joshua to lead His people into the Promised…

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    The Thanks Giving Key

    A few years ago I was invited to go on an overseas mission trip. This journey was to a country on the other side of the world with a foreign culture and language, and would take almost 24 hours to get there. No doubt many of you readers have done the same, and know the planning, anticipation and excitement of such a trip. Still, it’s not unusual to have a little nagging insecurity regarding the unknowns, and that was how I was feeling. I would be traveling alone on a long leg of the trip, navigating an unfamiliar airport with a tight connection and felt a little uneasy about it.…

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    The Importance of Self Awareness

    “Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Ann Landers There are a number of skills that lead to success in life. Self awareness is one of them, although it is not often seen as a critical trait. However, understanding who we are, how we think, and how we operate is vital to knowing who we are and who God has called us to be. What exactly is self awareness? Self awareness has been defined as the ability to make an accurate assessment of your own personality, strengths and weaknesses. It is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, emotions, desires, and motivations. The…

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    The Prosperity of the Proud – Living in Psalm 73

    She was weeping over the phone. Grief, anger, and frustration were pouring out of her as she told me her latest news. Her husband of over thirty years had left her for another woman. At one time he had been a deacon in their church, a respected spiritual leader. He had been a stellar dad, loyal friend of many and successful business man with a good name. But his spiritual interests had evaporated over the past several years and his heart had grown cold. The divorce was acrimonious and drawn out, she was beyond weary and devastated by it all.  But that wasn't the cause of her current anguish. She…