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    Feeling Weary? Ready to Quit? Let Love Prompt Your Labor

    I was weary. Tired of serving the same folk, sick of repeating identical tasks year after year. Discouraged by lack of results, and convinced my striving made no difference, I wondered if it was time to step aside. I turned to my Bible for some help and found the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Thessalonica: We recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 I began my study of this verse by comparing different versions, making observations, and writing lists. What did Paul remember about the Thessalonians?…

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    Shades of White—Part 2

    A couple walks through the snowdrifts, clasping the others’ hand, as they slowly make their way through the deep, wet wonderland. With each step they give each other balance, courage, and strength. As they look over their shoulder, they see two pair of footprints, gently mingling with the mud beneath. Bright white snow turned ivory with wear.   Ten years ago I posted this just nine days before my wedding day. And I couldn’t help but revisit it. Today Turtullian’s timeless words, penned in the 200s, still hang in our home. Their endurance reminds us what it takes to make a marriage beautiful. How beautiful, then, the marriage of two…

  • Perseverance. Choose to persevere through the challenges you face. Count on God's promise to give you hope—now and future. Let that hope sustain you through the rough-and-tumble of real life.
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    Perseverance in the Rough-and-Tumble of Life

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: Look around you. Something is going on somewhere in your country, your town, your neighborhood or your family that’s got someone upset, nervous, or in panic mode—maybe even you. Cancer. Disaster. Job loss. Death. Enemy attack. For those of us who like to plan and control our environment so that our loved ones (and ourselves) can rest, relax, and be productive, these interruptions to life are very hard to bear. So, we try to escape to something that makes it go away for a while—a feel-good movie, book, or a retreat. But, then we get back to the rough-and-tumble of real life…

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    Resilience – Honoring And Learning From

    Paul had it. The Russian women in a training project over a period of 10 years have it. Cross country runners who compete in hot, humid 90 degree weather have it. Against all odds and with a strong temptation to quit these ones persevere with God inspiring resilience. Paul had plenty of reasons to quit but he kept going… “in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and dishonor, bad report, good…

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    A Lesson from the Olympics

    Mo Farah, 33, said he thought his Rio 2016 Olympics "dream was over." This member of the Great Britain team was defending champ (London, 2012) of the 10,000m event, and he had every reason to believe he could win it again—until he tripped on his training partner and fell on the track. But rather than give up, Farah did something remarkable. He jumped back to his feet. And he didn’t just prove he could get up and make it to the finish line. No—he took off and ran for 16 more laps and pressed on to won the gold! The apostle Paul uses a running metaphor for the Christian faith…

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    Where is Your Faith?

    He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him? Luke 8:25, (ESV), italics and bold mine.   Ever lost your confidence in Christ—in His love, His power and promises—during a severe storm of life? Ever felt disoriented and you couldn’t figure out solutions? Instead you felt suffocated from the drowning waves of a bad storm that relentlessly came at you.   We know crisis can come at any time. So we stay alert and watch carefully. Sometimes things seem pretty calm and then wham! You…

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    The Way of Escape

        No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.                                                                             1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)   I sat across the table from a friend who had just confessed her extra-marital affair to me. “My marriage is…

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    When someone you love has “special needs”

    Last Sunday Rick Warren, with Kay by his side, returned to the Saddleback Church pulpit for the first time since April when his beloved twenty-seven year old son Matthew committed suicide after years of battling mental illness and depression. Warren wept as he confided that his number one daily prayer had always been for his son. Did God not hear his prayers? What do we do when someone we love has "special needs"? We have a special needs person in our family and I'll bet you do too, or you know someone who does.         Living with someone with frustrating limitations they can't help can be exhausting, exasperating, and bring…