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    Year-End: Plan to Do Good

    It’s the last week of the year. And that means many people have the opportunity to make year-end contributions for maximum tax benefits. And we enjoyed more gingerbread cookies and pecan pie than our bodies needed, so it’s time to get serious about caring for our health. And we have more possessions than we need, maybe even new piles we got for Christmas, so we need to clean out some stuff. Does any of that describe you? If so, plan to take ten minutes with technology turned off to focus, making measurable good plans to benefit yourself and others.  Start with prayer. Ask, “Lord, help me to steward well all…

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    Heartprints

    GOD’S KINGDOM OBJECT LESSON

      God has a kingdom.  Jesus came to herald the coming of that kingdom, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” Luke 4:43 Net Bible. When Jesus sends out the seventy, He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” Luke 10:9b  Net Bible. Interestingly in that same passage Jesus makes this comment as well, “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible. Do you…

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    Credit Cards and Self-Reliance

    Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, and Cyber Monday… let's face it, folks, the odds are stacked against us when it comes to holding on to our hard-earned money. It is in this season of giving that we often become prey to the idea of immediate gratification and the 0% interest for one year, no money down, financing that entices us to get in over our heads.    The Bible has a lot to say about how we spend our money. Below are some of the most notable scriptures to internalize before we overindulge this season.    God is our #1 priority when it comes to how we spend our money.…

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    Vanity of Vanities

            A sixty-two-year-old man went to the ER. Doctors found a large mass pushing his stomach down between his hips. They removed the twelve-pound mass. It was not a tumor.  The man had swallowed $650 worth of coins. He had a psychiatric condition called pica in which a person eats inanimate objects.          Are you a glutton for possessions?           I did a recent closet inventory to prove I don’t hoard. Purses: twenty-nine; earrings: sixty pair; shoes: fifty-two pair. I see shopping as a boring, time-sucking inconvenience. So why do I have so much stuff?                  …

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    The Tapeworm Gallery: Empty

           Your Bible is just where I like it—on your nightstand covered in dust. You have power to make me flee. Yet you never do. What I want most of yours He won’t let me have. So I’ll settle for your time and attention.             You make it so easy I can hardly take credit for it, though. By the way, your nail polish is chipping again. And time to redo the extensions on those perfectly normal eyelashes. Because every forty-year-old woman deserves the dark lush lashes of a teenager. Who cares what Mark says? They look natural to me. Besides, letting a non-medically trained kid approach your…

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    Five Time Killers

    Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Time is like money: invest it well early in life, and you will gain great returns later. Waste time early in life and lose fruit later. Wasted time is never resurrected; invested time never dies. Avoid the five time killers… 1. Anger: anger runs a spectrum from disappointment to murder. None of this is fruitful. Much anger is self-imposed. You’re hemmed in by unchangeable circumstances or God hasn’t given you the gifts to get where you want to go or you grew up in a flawed family, and you respond with burning anger. Anger takes time. Every moment you spend angry is a…

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    Graduation 2015 – Going to College?

      Jonathan Morrow’s most recent “thinkChristianly” email post Students Need A Real World Faith questions the preparedness of students who are getting ready to graduate and head to college. He states, “Unprecedented freedom is just around the corner…they can almost taste it! Soon they will packing up and heading off to college–away from mom, dad, their youth pastor, church, and many of their friends. Are they ready?” Morrow offers “around 50% of them will disengage from their Christian faith during their college years. But, (he also says) they can be prepared – or at least have a fighting chance!” A great graduation present would be one or all of the…

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    23 Books Reviewed in 23 Minutes

    “The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition” – Henry Miller. Here is my exhaustive review of all but one of the books I read in 2014. Skim the list to see if something piques your interest. Peruse as you please. Skip what does not interest you. For my reading list reviews for the past few years click on any of the following: 2011, 2012, or 2013. Now here we go, set your timer to 23 minutes. Go!   1. “Save Me From Myself” subtitled “How I found God, quit…

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    Time to Take Inventory?

      Imagine you’ve invited all your relatives and neighbors to a banquet. Instead of serving turkey or ham with pie for dessert, what would happen if you emptied the garbage onto the table where the platter of meat goes? And after that, what if you told your guests to “dig in”? Think they’d like it? Think they’d say, “What a fine feast—let’s invite the president next year”? What would your actions say about how much you regarded your guests? We wouldn’t think of treating other humans that way, yet these actions come close to those of the children of Israel during the prophet Malachi’s lifetime. They offered their wilted stuff…