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Showing posts from July, 2018

3 Absolutely Unassailable Laws of Leadership

Proverbs 18 includes great advice for anyone who is trying to lead or influence people. Of course, everything in the Bible is really good advice for anyone trying to do anything. So, whether you are a leader or just someone who wants to be more wise (particularly in relationships), here are my three key lessons from Proverbs 18. I've included some of the specific proverbs so you can munch on them today: 1) Everything doesn't rise and fall on you; you are a part of a bigger whole. Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 2) The most inspiring speeches are meaningless if they aren't preceded by big ears. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion If one gives an answer before he

Thursday 13: Lessons We Can Learn From Suffering

It's Thursday again. And 13 is still my favorite number. So here's another edition of 13 for Thursday. SUFFERING... 1. reveals our true identity 2. allows us to focus on our priorities 3. teaches us to rely on God and others 4. strengthens our resolve 5. proves our faith 6. develops our ability to persevere 7. teaches us what is truly important 8. enables us to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit 9. builds our strength 10. gives us a taste of the cost Jesus paid for our salvation 11. identifies our true loyalties 12. reminds us of the effects of our sins 13. fosters patience in our lives

13 For Thursday: Thirteen Lessons from the Book of Philemon

I originally wrote this 10 years ago. And since it's Thursday, it seems right to post a "Thirteen for Thursday" just for old-times sake. Philemon is one of the shortest books in the Bible yet it is overflowing with great lessons. Take a minute to read the book and see if you can glean some other lessons. Here's my 13: 1. Church ministry is team-oriented, not individual-centric. (vs. 1-2) 2. Our prayers should be laced with thanksgiving for others (vs.4) 3. Love should be the identifying characteristic of all our relationships within the church. (vs.5 and more) 4. As believers, our lives should be refreshing to other believers (vs.7) 5. Love chooses not to take advantage of an authoritative position (vs.9) 6. Spiritual children are evidence of a missional life (vs.10) 7. Faith in Christ revolutionarily changes our lives (vs.11) 8. God is in control of every situation (vs.15) 9. In Christ, there is neither slave nor free... (vs.16) 10. We are all partners i

Don't Be Defined By Your Past

Whichever translation of the Bible you use, Ephesians 2 begins the same way. It is a description of "you" (it's actually the Ephesians, but it applies to you). The different versions use different words, but they all have the same meaning: NIV - "As for you, you were" NLT - "Once you were" ESV - "And you were" NASB - "And you were" The opening thought is about the life you once lived, your past. The picture Paul paints of the past isn't pretty, he says we were dead in sins. Verse four is the exact opposite. Paul takes his eyes off us and puts them where they ought to be, on God" NIV - "But... God, who is..." NLT - "But God is..." ESV - "But God, being..." NASB - "But God, being..." The contrast is between how we acted (dead) and who God is (merciful). The lesson is obvious. No matter what evil exists in your past, God's mercy extends to it. No matter how much wrong

Rescued For Free -- But At How Great A Cost?

Have you been paying attention to the soccer team and their coach who are stranded in a cave in Thailand? As of this morning, almost all of them have been rescued and everyone is hopeful that the last two will be saved soon. This rescue operation has been incredible to witness as hundreds of people from many different countries have bonded together to find and retrieve this group of young men.   Professional divers are swimming through caves (sometimes so tight the have to remove their equipment and pull it behind them) for 4-6 hours just to reach the boys. One-by-one the boys are being carried out in a return journey which takes as much as 9 hours! I have no idea how expensive the entire effort has been, but I know there has been great cost. Consider the price for the hi-tech equipment, the diver's equipment, the vehicles, the vehicles, the communication devices and whatever other items might be used. In addition, the full amount of time being spent by professional divers, so

Give Me Jesus...

We just wrapped up week 2 of a new Ephesians series at The Gathering. During this series, I've been sending a couple emails out each week with some devotional thoughts on the passages we are studying. If you'd like to receive these emails, click here to sign up . Here are my thoughts from today: In the first 14 verses of Ephesians, Paul wrote the phrase "in Christ" (or something similar) at least 12 different times. Every time I read through these verses, I am impressed at how important Jesus was to Paul. I want Jesus to be that important to me. I want to understand every part of my life through the filter of Christ. I want my actions, my thoughts, my plans, my hopes, my hurts, my expectations, etc. to be wrapped up in Jesus. I am reminded of some of the words from a Jeremy Camp song: In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. I'm also reminded of an ancient Irish song/poem known as St. Patrick's Brea