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    Counterfeit Hopes

    People place their hope in various things depending on their beliefs and backgrounds. The secular world finds hope in money, success, respect, security, health, relationships, work, pleasure, science, and reason. It is easy to see these things are wrong to place our hope in. Christians find their hope in God and in particular the gospel (Jesus taking the punishment for their sins providing a way to have a relationship with God and transformed lives). However, Christians unknowingly rely on other things for their hope. These counterfeit hopes replace the true hope of the life changing-power of the gospel. I recently read a book, How People Change by Timothy S. Lane…

  • Heartprints

    Taking Responsibility for Our Choices

    “God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 God made humans different from the rest of His creation. In His loving kindness He made man in His own image. What a gift that is. Yet in that very gift he gave us another gift, the gift of choice. Every day we all make hundreds or maybe thousands of choices. Many of them are done without a thought. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always think about what I am doing when I do it; especially if it is something that I do all…

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    Benefits of Being Outdoors

    Backpacking in the backcountry for 10 days in July left me with a new appreciation for the outdoors. I observed many parallels to life on my trek. In addition, watching teenage boys adapt to the backcountry left me with an awareness of the benefits of youth being outdoors. When I returned home, I found articles that articulated the benefits of being outside that I had observed. Various benefits arise from being outdoors. Claire McCarthy[1] lists the following as benefits: appreciation of nature, vitamin D from sunshine, exercise from active play, opportunity to take risk, socialization in unorganized atmosphere, and development of executive functions (skills that help us multitask, plan, troubleshoot,…

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    The Managerial Style of Moses: Part I

      You’ve heard it said, “Leaders are born, not made.” While a person may possess a certain charisma, extroversion, and tenacity from birth, having these qualities does not pre-qualify him or her as an effective leader. Moses, for example, was a former criminal, fugitive, and poor public speaker (Ex. 2:12, 15; 4:10). Per today’s standards, Moses was unfit for leadership. I doubt we would have trusted him with managing the entire nation of Israel. But God chose Moses regardless. God had a plan—a plan that required Moses to grow into his leadership responsibilities, learning along the way while relying on the Lord. Perhaps you can identify with Moses’ predicament. You’re…

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    Shame-Based Families, Grace-Based Families

    The messages of a shame-based family (NOT the one shown here!): “Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel.” “Everybody has to put their needs aside so we can tiptoe around _____ and not make them mad.” “Why did you do that, you dumb b*tt?” “If you disappoint me this much, how much more are you disappointing God?” “Oh please, you’re not wearing that, are you?” “Loser . . . stupid . . . such an embarrassment . . . I hope nobody knows you’re my daughter . . . You’ll never amount to anything . . . I wish I’d never had you . . . You’re so fat. And ugly.”…