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    New Year’s Resolutions and The Slow Process of Change

    I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. On the one hand, I’m enamored by the idea of a fresh start and a clean slate every time that big, jeweled ball drops in Times Square. Reflecting on the past and looking to the future with anticipation and hope – who wouldn’t enjoy that euphoric sense of optimism?  And yet – I’ve been around the block for enough countdowns to know that, though I may have my sights set on a handful of goals in the new year, life has a tendency to distract me from those ideals, often before Ryan Seacrest wishes us all goodnight.  Apparently I’m not alone.…

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    The Importance of Self Awareness

    “Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Ann Landers There are a number of skills that lead to success in life. Self awareness is one of them, although it is not often seen as a critical trait. However, understanding who we are, how we think, and how we operate is vital to knowing who we are and who God has called us to be. What exactly is self awareness? Self awareness has been defined as the ability to make an accurate assessment of your own personality, strengths and weaknesses. It is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, emotions, desires, and motivations. The…

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    Adjustments for Life

    I recently purchased some new eye glasses. Within the first hour of wearing the glasses, I knew the hinge on one side was loose. Because of traveling, it took about 2 weeks before I could go back to my optometrist to get the glasses adjusted. When I walked in, the associate asked what he could do for me. I replied, “I can see great and I love these new glasses, but they need to be adjusted.” He quickly said, “I can see how they are slipping on your nose.” I was surprised he said that because I had gotten so used to dealing with glasses over the years that slipped…

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    Emotions: Pathways for Transformation

    When I left for college, I remember being in the drive way about to get in my car to begin the five-hour drive to west Texas. Being overwhelmed with the thought of leaving what I knew for so many unknowns, I turned to my mom and began to cry. She responded by moving me toward my car so I would get in. She was a very stoic woman and did not express many emotions. I grew up handling the commotion in emotions by stuffing them. However, I believe that God uses our emotions to get our attention for what is going on in our souls. Our emotions can be pathways…

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    Christian Parenting Mistakes: #4 Raising Cultural Christians

    The difference between religion and life in Christ, which is what God intended in Christianity, can be summed up in one word, RELATIONSHIP. We must guard against just handing down our rules and ethics like a religious preference. Christianity is not inherited or genetically passed on from one generation to another. It is not a way of life that is taught because how we live doesn’t make us Christians. Being a Christian determines how we live. We cannot give anyone a relationship with God. Relationship is personal. Relationship must be developed by the individuals at a personal commitment level. Christian parents are sadly mistaken when they think that if they…

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    Christian Parenting Mistakes: #2 We Settle for Obedience

    As I began my adventure of parenting I thought that obedience was the goal. If they were in danger, obeying immediately could save their lives. Unlike animals that are trained to follow orders, people by God’s design were created to obey in the context of relationship. In the great commission, Jesus doesn’t just say, “go and teach them all that I have commanded you.” He tells us to go and make disciples. Then we are to baptize and teach them His commands. The word “make” means we will invest time and ourselves to build a relationship. Obedience is meant to come from a willing heart. Who better to disciple than…

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    Why some leaders fear setting you free

    I've been in a women's Bible study for forty years but until this spring, I've never studied Galatians in a discovery/discussion format. Have you? It's revolutionized my walk with God, and now I know why so few leaders are courageous enough to feed it to women–or anybody for that matter. I think it's because Galatians sets us free from legalism and license to soar liberated in an intended glorious relationship with Jesus–and that scares people who fear losing control over us. Here in a nutshell is what I learned this spring that has freed me permanently from the bonds of legalism and license: In Galatians, Paul presents multiple arguments that…

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    Why Thinkers Should Feel More

    Are you a thinker or a feeler? If you’re a thinker like me, is growing into more of a feeler something you might want to be more intentional about? If you’re a feeler, how might you inspire a thinker to grow into more of a feeler? Or is that something we can change?   Before we go any further, what does it means to be a thinker? According to the   …you know you’re a thinker if, when it comes to decision making,…   …you make decisions with your head and want to be fair. …you like to find the basic truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the…

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    You Ready to See Your Fixer Upper?

    Who doesn’t love HGTV’s Fixer Upper? My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds go crazy during and after each episode. My girlfriends and I love Joanna and all her decorating tips and ideas. And Chip? Well, he’s hilarious. He inspires Joanna and challenges her in so many ways. What I love about this show, however, has nothing to do with shiplap, farmhouse sinks or color scheme ideas for my home. I love it because Chip and Joanna revitalize dilapidated houses into beautiful homes. I also love it because the show reminds me of what God has done in the life of a believer. We sought something better. As unbelievers, we wanted more—more of…

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    Want It To Go Well With You?

    When our sons were young, one of their favorite Golden Books was Tootle the Train. It was the story of a baby train in school to learn to be a Flyer, but he kept jumping off the track to go play in the meadow. It took all the people in the town working together to convince him that a train needs to “stay on the rails no matter what.” For a short while in the book, Tootle buys into the lie that life can be found in the meadow, racing horses and making daisy chains among the buttercups. But if you’re a train and you go off the rails, you…