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2 Easy Steps to Change Your Life

Life-Change made simple requires two steps. 1) Get rid of the bad stuff in your life. 2) Replace it with good stuff. This seems ridiculously simple, but often the simplest things in life are the hardest to believe. However, this formula doesn’t originate with me, it was Paul’s idea about 2000 years ago. Read and contemplate Colossians 3:12-17. The part of Colossians 3 which you read was part two of our formula above. These were the things you are to bring into your life to facilitate spiritual Life-Change. Consider this. Paul says (v15) to let the peace of God reign in our hearts. Can you do that? If you can relax and be at peace, knowing that God is in control, you’ll have a much easier time loving those around you. Those who have peace can love others because they aren’t worried about taking care of themselves. As a result, they are able to “above all, put on love”. Paul’s point is that if you are a loving person; your heart will be compassionate, you will be

How to Avoid Feeding the Stomach But Losing the Soul

Read and Contemplate 1 Peter 2:11-12. In our efforts to be "in the world", we face a constant temptation to become indistinguishable from the world. One must be careful that in pursuit of being relevance, the true distinctness of faith is not lost. Because an externally-focused life requires loving the people in the world (particularly those who are "hard to love")  it can be easy to get so caught up in social causes that the gospel is lost. It is right, appropriate, and incumbent on the church to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, and comfort the oppressed. However, it would be better for those people to enter the kingdom hungry, naked, and captive than for them to be full, clothed, and free but miss the kingdom. The other side of this coin is that Christians can sometimes, in an effort to bring change to the world, become so politically entrenched that the lines between God's kingdom and the political parties become impossible t

Sometimes You Just Need To End Things!

Life is a series of endings... And new beginnings. The new beginnings are always great, but we often miss out on great beginnings because endings are often painful. Too often we choose to continue something we know should end, simply because we are afraid the ending might be too difficult . As a result, we often miss out on what could have been a fabulous beginning. STOP! You don't need to keep doing that For some people, endings are never an option. Rather than choosing to stop something that is no longer healthy, they will work themselves into exhaustion trying to solve an impossible problem. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable, and for that reason people are often unwilling to face it. Almost always, this type of avoidance leads to an even more uncomfortable situation or truth. Richard Nixon learned this lesson the hard way. When the watergate scandal first broke, he could have stepped in, apologized, and ended the wrong behavior. This would have been painful. He wo

Before You Yell, Play 90 Minutes in Their Cleats

This was originally posted several years ago, but it is always relevant to talk to parents about their kid's involvement in sports! (also there's a little life lesson for EVERYONE at the end!) Two things I observed over the past week (both at Shoreline Soccer ) that gave me pause to consider my own behavior. The first happened while Liam was a footwork clinic (put on by Dan McAllister of FC Joga Bonita ). On the opposite field a game was being played by two girls teams; I would guess they were U8 (maybe U10). One dad was standing directly behind the goal loudly admonishing his daughter, the goalie, to play "better". Actually, he was yelling and screaming at her "use your hands", "go out", "cut the angle", etc. When the other team scored, he would throw his hands up in disgust and walk away... not aware that she had turned to see if he would tell her that it was okay. Most striking to me about this situation was that I was fairly c

Don't Assume the Preview is Anything Like the Movie

Have you ever decided to not see a movie because you were so unimpressed by the preview? Marianne and I like to get to movies early so we can see the previews, and as we watch them we will whisper to each other whether or not we want to see the actual movie. Sometimes, we just don't go to a movie because of the preview. Sometimes, we go in spite of the preview. Sometimes, we go because of the preview. Over the years, I've realized that movie previews rarely do a movie justice. There have been some movies with terrible previews that became instant favorites for us. There have been some movies with amazing previews that turned out to be unbearable. I'm not sure why I would expect it to be differently. How can I possibly expect to understand the worth of a 2 hour movie after seeing only 30 seconds of mixed together clips? Isn't life just like that? We get a small taste of a situation and decide immediately whether or not it is for us. We see

Inclusive Christians Offer Grace to All

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. (James 2:1)   Have you ever noticed that some people are easier targets for grace than others? We don’t like to admit this, but we would rather show grace to certain people; and we would rather not show grace to other people. Whether it’s because of who they are, what they’ve done, where they’re from or what they smell like; I know I often find myself tempted to not extend the same grace to one person as I would to another. Read and Contemplate James 2:1-13. We are commanded to not show partiality. We cannot be obedient to Scripture and treat some more graciously than others. We need to look at people through our “Jesus Goggles”. We need to see people the way Jesus sees them, not the way they look to us. Jesus didn’t care if people were rich or poor, ugly or beautiful, fun or boring, loud or quiet, outgoing or withdrawn, etc. (you get the point!). Jesus saw everyone around him

INCLUSIVE CHRISTIANS MAKE ALLOWANCES FOR OTHER'S FAULTS

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. When was the last time someone did something really nice for you? How did you respond? Often when someone does something good for us, our day improves immediately. We feel happier, we act kinder, and everything seems to be better. Unfortunately, the reverse is also. When we are wronged, our day often takes a severe downturn. Read and contemplate Matthew 18:21–35. Can you imagine being so indebted that you couldn’t pay it off, even if you contributed your entire salary for 20 years? The debt owed in this story was equivalent to over 1,000 years worth of the average person’s salary. How could anyone ever pay this off? Grace is the best word to describe the action of the king in this story. Out of the kindness of his heart, he gave the debtor something impossible to earn, and something he could never deserve. The scope