Obedience

Choose Joy

“Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 NIV Joy. My intersections with this word tend to occur around December when Christmas carols move joy to the forefront. The rest of the year, my melancholy personality fights to find it. However, a recent writing project brought some joyful discoveries: Joy is commanded. “Be joyful always” is a command,…
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Turning the Other Cheek: Staying Vulnerable

 “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” Luke 6:29 NIV This verse has always stumped me. Surely God expects me to defend myself. Right? Then, I received this insight.  Perhaps God is telling us not to turn our hearts away from those who wound us. (Disclaimer: I’m not speaking…
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The Carrot of Credit

A name in a program. A bronze plaque by the door. A shout-out at the monthly meeting. Credit. It dangles like a carrot in front of us. The acknowledgment of good deeds, hard work, or generous donations. The pat on the back feels good. It speaks of approval, respect, and value. The question becomes, would…
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Get Results in Your Spiritual Growth Now

Laughter rings through the neighborhood. A ball flies as preschool hands try to master catching and throwing. The ball rolls into the street, and off they go after it. But they don’t see the car. And the car can’t see them. You command “Stop!” in your sharpest, most urgent parental voice, and the small sneakers…
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Get Started: Moving to Action

“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22 NIV) The parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46) gives us a list of needs: hunger, thirst, sickness, shelter, clothes, imprisonment. Turn on the news and we’re hit with more. Natural disasters in foreign countries. Fundraisers…
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