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    4 Truths to Overcome Fear

    I heard Jill Briscoe once say, “Women are a fear-driven, performance-oriented species.” She’s right. Fear is an ever-present emotion with us. Real fears and imagined fears. Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? No! Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. Yet, fear can take root in us and cause us to give way to panic and hysteria. God knows this about us. I am so grateful for that!

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    Seeking Happiness — Finding Joy

    Picture in your mind one of the most enjoyable walks you have ever taken. What made it so enjoyable? Was it the location? Was it the weather or the time of day? Or, was it the one who was walking beside you? Throughout the Bible, our lives are referred to as a “walk” although some days you may feel like yours is a sprint. Am I right? Though you may feel like you are sprinting, your whole life experience is considered a walk. And, those who place their faith in Christ are living a “faith walk.” But, here’s the catch: a lifetime faith walk must be walked daily. Choices are made…

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    When is Good Enough… Good Enough?

    Imagine that the Christian life is like learning to walk on a balance beam. The Gospel helps us to mount and stand on His promises. Staying in balance is only possible because of Jesus. Colossians 1:27 Fall to the right and be immersed in a sinful endeavor to be good, to keep all the law of Moses. Striving for perfection and trusting in the ability to get it right. It is legalism, faking it until you feel you are making it. Working harder, self-righteousness, arrogance, pride, and delusions of glory. Here, ideas of being good guide us and our self-righteousness rules us. Fall to the left, and struggle with blatant…

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    Jesus: I AM

    John 4:26:  Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am.” It’s the middle of the day in the Near East. Jesus has walked all morning with his disciples, and they’ve worked up an appetite. So, while the twelve have gone off to buy bread, Jesus rests at Jacob’s well. And there he meets a woman who has lost five husbands and is now probably a concubine so she can eat. (It’s unlikely she initiated divorce five times, as legal action depended on men—more likely, she’s an older woman, widowed and/or abandoned.) This woman has experienced much devastation, yet she waits in hope for the Anointed One. She tells Jesus, “I…

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    The Gift of “God With Us”

    A wailing scream pierces the air. The new mother cries tears of sheer exhaustion and joy. The father stands speechless, astounded, holding a wriggly bundle in his arms. Mom and dad lock eyes and they silently ask each other, “What should we name him?” (Para español, lea abajo.) A name means something. Depending on the culture, a name implies family respect, honor, and tradition. In the Latino culture, for example, parents typically name their firstborn child after the father or mother. If the father is Luis, the baby boy is Luis. If the mother is Elizabeth, the baby girl is Elizabeth. In doing so, the parents preserve their family legacy.…

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    Running the Race of Life

    As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are gearing up for our favorite running day of the year. Even non-runners love the annual Turkey Trot where young and old alike jog in anticipation of the great feast ahead. Then you can eat all the turkey dinner you want AND have a second helping of dessert guilt-free. Okay, maybe that last part is just my tradition. Unfortunately, I can’t run this year due to a back injury. Doctor’s orders. As I’ve lamented and longed to run again, a new picture has emerged: Life as a race with hurdles and PR’s (personal records). Scripture says: “Since we are surrounded by such a great…

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    Teaching Tip #4

      God’s amazing grace is the heart of the Gospel message. From Genesis to Revelation grace weaves its way through every book of the Bible. Every time we see God act, we are viewing a glimpse of His amazing grace. What greater gift can we give our children than to guide them to accept God’s grace, let it empower them to overcome sinful habits, and teach them how to live out of the grace they have received becoming generous givers of grace. Grace giving or receiving does not come naturally to the human heart. Parents are inclined to teach better conduct by keeping and enforcing rules, rather than teaching a need…

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    Teaching Tip # 3

    Relationship! Relationship! Relationship! From the Garden to the final judgment, God is all about relationship.Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in perfect relationship. When God walked in the evenings with Adam and Eve in the Garden, He didn’t come to check up on His creation, He came with a desire to fellowship with the only aspect of His creation made in His image. As parents and teachers, we need to start as early as possible teaching our children to have a personal relationship with their Father God. It is too easy to teach children what they should and should not do as though they can do something to…

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    Sometimes There Aren’t Words

    Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when we sit with others in their grief.               when others try to comfort us in ours. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when life comes crashing down around us.               when darkness and despair close in. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when anxiety and doubt and shame condemn us.               when regrets of the past rear their heads and gnash their teeth. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when betrayals bite and false denials scream.               when the unrelenting hand of fear squeezes with clenched fingers. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when the world goes crazy.               when people don't seem…

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    Tips for Teaching #1

    I want to share some tips that will hopefully help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in the faith. Encourage children to ask the hard questions. If they aren’t asking, ask them! Teach them how to wrestle with the Word of God to find the answers. We tend to shy away from the questions that are hard to answer or maybe can’t really be answered. Learning that we can’t demand answers but must be humbly thankful for the revelations God gives is a hard lesson to teach and even harder to learn. I was recently talking with a woman who grew up in a Christian…