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    Blessed: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

    Ever since I studied the life of Mary of Nazareth, Jesus’s mother, and wrote a 31-day devotional study, I choose my words with care around the concept of blessing. I think twice now before using the phrase “I am blessed” or the hashtag “blessed.” In the western world, blessings typically refer to our good fortune or whatever makes our lives comfortable. We feel blessed when a new countertop graces our cabinetry, the trip goes without delay, our children make us look good, or the Wi-Fi is strong. However, problems arise when we equate material blessing with God’s favor. If we are blessed because we possess physical comforts and live in…

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    The Blessing of Being Broke

    Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . You can’t be rich until you’re been bankrupt. You can’t be wealthy until you’re worthless. You can’t have God’s best until you’ve faced your worst. Bankruptcy is a sinister word. Job lost. Career crashed. Identity crushed. Prospects dim. Future bleak. Hope gone. Home about to go. Family tattered. To be broke is to be shattered, ashamed, devastated. Spiritual bankruptcy starts with the same feelings of failure, frustration and hopelessness, the same struggle. the same shame. We ask questions like, “How could I have done that?” or, “When will I be free?” We feel shackled…

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    The Beautiful Attitudes – Part III: Blessed are the Meek

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 NET) The Greek word for blessed (i.e., makarios) used here has a meaning of being fortunate, prosperous, or successful. That is, successful are those that meek! Why? What is it to be meek? First of all, to be MEEK does NOT mean to be WEAK! Rather meekness is strength under control. Picture a  feral horse (i.e., a mustang)  that expends its great strength by running the fields yet accomplishes little to nothing in the way of work. However, if that same horse is “tamed”,  “broken” or “meeked” then that same great strength – that is now under control…