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    Taking the Long Way Home

    Three weeks ago our family packed all of our belongings into the largest U-Haul we could rent and said goodbye to the only place we’d ever called home. We are certain God has called us to this new place, but driving away from all you’ve known is still hard. The last little league games, school days, and best friend goodbyes are bittersweet. Excitement mixes with sorrow as we embark on a new journey—a new way home. In the car driving away, minutes turn into hours. You remember all you’re leaving behind in the rearview mirror. You day dream about what lies ahead in a new place. You follow the twists…

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    “Why do you trouble the Teacher any further?”

    “Your daughter is dead. Why do you trouble the Teacher any further? (Mark 6:35).” I came upon this verse recently and those words stood out to me.  “Why do you trouble the Teacher any further?”  The “teacher,” of course, is Jesus.  Why do I continue to bother Jesus with my requests? This is a fair question. Why do I do that? Why do you do that? More importantly, DO we do that? This verse is just a tiny bit of a story found in the book of Mark. Jesus is at the height of his ministry and his reputation is known far and wide as a miraculous healer. At this…

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    Breathing Love’s Sting

    It takes conviction to step out into a bitterly cold morning. With that first deep inhalation, icy oxygen pierces your lungs. To breathe at all invites a stinging pain, yet breath must be taken if life will continue. So it is when stepping beyond the warmly regulated interiors of prominent western evangelicalism—beyond the recycled air of moralism which is held at a stagnant temperature of churchism so that everyone comfortably conducts their volunteerism. Admittedly, the space once provided basic protection as we began our relationship with the Lord. Gradually, though, as our intimacy with him grew, we noticed the interior’s walls closing in and limiting movement. The curtains were often…

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    Welcome to My Messy

    My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles. Although not everyone goes to extreme lengths to conceal what they fear might look “off,” most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. Since I’m being honest about my…

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    Heartprints

    WAITING WELL

    Have you set some New Year Resolutions? How long will you persevere before giving up and returning to the old habits? If you are like me, you have a life time of unfulfilled resolutions and only a few that you actually accomplished. I think often that life is a journey. And when you set out on a journey the one thing that you know for sure is that there will be a period of waiting. There is no, “Beam me up Scotty!” We are all slowly traveling toward our Heavenly destination. And no matter how impatient we are to get there. Even as we progress toward our destination we have…

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    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…

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    Last Things First

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The Great Commission was the last words Jesus said, but it was among the first thoughts in His mind as He began His ministry. Why was it that one of the first actions He took was to choose disciples (Mt. 4:18-22) if He did not have a purpose in mind for them? He certainly did not intend to spend the better part of three years preparing followers for nothing… And why did He persevere so relentlessly with them when they rejected His message and thought like Satan (Mark 8:33) or created more confusion than clarity when a father sought their help for…

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    Start With the End in View

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Jesus started with the end in view. From the first day of His earthly ministry to the last, He had His two-fold purpose before Him: redemption and preparation, the cross and the commission. He came to provide redemption for dying men and women. But what good would His redemptive death be if there were no one to tell others what it means? How could He establish a redemptive movement if He had no one to start it? That’s why He declared to His Father before the cross that He had accomplished His will by making the Father known to those He had…

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    The Beatitudes Attitude: Introduction

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Today we start a new series drawn from the Beatitudes which describe the abounding blessings of Christ in us. We start with the introduction this week, go to a preview with our next entry, and then we will look at each of the Beatitudes to see what these blessings mean to us as we seek to grow in the Beatitudes Attitude. Blessed are . . . (Matthew 5:1-12) The first recorded words of Jesus to His future disciples were words of blessing, and what blessings they are! These blessings are the essence of life that have endured through the ages and define…