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I am not a fan of Bath and Body Works

PHILIPPIANS 4:18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. Marianne loves Bath and Body Works. She has some kind of membership/rewards deal which allows her every so often to get incredible discounts in the store. We often do a lot of our Christmas shopping there (we did much more when we were still buying gifts for our kids' teachers). I don't care for the store. The cacophony of smells is overwhelming, even for someone like me who has a poor sense of smell. Recently, they've added some "male scents" with names like Bourbon, Graphite, and Teakwood. This makes it a little more manageable for me, but I still don't like it. Usually, I'll hang out with Marianne for about 5 minutes, then I'll drift out into the mall and look for a massage chair. The overwhelming fragrance is just not something I enjoy. In Philipp

9-9-9 Updated.

I love making lists. I made these three lists back in 2011. I guess some things change and some things stay the same. 2011 9 Teams I Prefer to All Others: Michigan State Spartans Detroit Tigers Detroit Lions Liverpool FC Reds Detroit Red Wings Sailor Soccer Cedarville Yellowjackets Detroit Pistons Cincinnati Reds 9 Teams I Love to Hate: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Chicago Bears Minnesota Twins Colorado Avalanche Manchester United Red Devils Green Bay Packers Chicago White Sox Dallas Cowboys New York Yankees 9 Athletes I Admire: Steve Yzerman Barry Sanders Lou Whitaker Steve Smith (MSU basketball) John Stockton/Karl Malone Greg Maddox Isaiah Thomas Brandon Inge Andy Pettitte 2019 9 Teams I Prefer to All Others: George Fox University Bruins Soccer Liverpool FC Detroit Tigers Detroit Red Wings Detroit Lions Michigan State Spartans Dutch National Team (Soccer) Taylor University Trojans FC Cincinnati 9 Teams I Love to Hate: Univ

Don't be a trouble-maker. Be a trouble-taker.

Every year around Christmas, my small Christian school had a roller-skating party at the local rink. The first time I attended was in third grade and I think it was only the second time I had roller-skated in my life. I wasn't very good, and I was afraid of falling, so I crept around the rink with one hand on the wall. I was more shuffling than skating. Then Jimmy came alongside me, grabbed my hand and said, "Come on." Slowly we skated around the rink over and over and over until I started to get the hang of it. Jimmy was a great skater, he could dart in and out of people, flying around the oval faster than almost everyone else. He won the age-graded races and the limbo competition every year. I imagine it was incredibly boring and a little frustrating to skate beside me when he could have been gliding around the rink at a much faster rate of speed. But he chose to share my trouble. For many years (until I moved away), Jimmy and I were the best of friends. Today, we&

Good Ingredients = Great Products

Marianne bakes amazing chocolate chip cookies. She has the whole process down to a science. A while back, we needed to make a batch of cookies and she didn't have time, so she asked me to make them. She gave me her recipe and left me on my own. They turned out ok. Not great. Edible. She understands better than I do the perfect ratios in the ingredients. She has a deeper and more accurate experience with the recipe because she has made the cookies so many more times than I do. Simply put, the better you understand and utilize the ingredients, the better your final product will be. Do you understand the proper ingredients to bake a spiritually healthy life? Paul gave us a recipe in Philippians 4:8. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. This verse follows Paul's instruction

You don't have to feel joyful in order to live joyfully (Philippians 4)

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. "Rejoice" means "to demonstrate joy." It is an active word. More than something you feel, rejoicing is something you do.   Nat King Cole sang about rejoicing. Smile though your heart is aching Smile even though it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You'll see the sun come shining through for you Light up your face with gladness Hide ev'ry trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile He was mostly right. What he didn't mention (but Paul did) is that we can rejoice   IN THE LORD . Circumstances change, emotions fluctuate, relationships struggle but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Sometimes we struggle to

Can't We All Just Get Along? (Philippians 4)

PHILIPPIANS 4:2-3 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. We don't know much about Euodia and Syntyche. We know they were both followers of Jesus. We know they worked alongside Paul. But the thing they are famous for is that they couldn't get along with each other. Paul doesn't mention who was right or wrong, and he gives no details about their dispute. He simply begs them to AGREE. Do you have someone in your life with whom it is difficult to agree? Here are 5 actions you can take to increase agreement with disagreeable people. A -- Assume the best of the other person G -- Give the benefit of the doubt to the other person R -- Recognize the good in the other person E -- Engage in gracious conversation with the other person E -- Emphas

How Low Can You Go? (Sermon Leftovers From Philippians 2)

1. Relationships often get upside-down because we feel like we aren’t receiving what we expect or deserve. 2. I must replace selfish ambition (what is good for me) and vain conceit (what makes me look good) with humility (what makes others look good) and a concern for others (what is good for them). 3. The truth about who Jesus was and what Jesus did should define how we view ourselves and how we live our lives. 4. Jesus was God. He created all things, needed no things, and deserved everything. 5. Jesus chose to not hold tightly to what he deserved but to humbly lower himself so He could lift us up. 6. "Humility" means to make oneself lower. Or to place oneself "underneath", not in a demeaning manner, but in a supporting role. 7. A humble person never looks down on anyone and always finds reasons to look up to everyone. 8. A humble person recognizes that everyone around them is better than them... at something. Humility causes us to find the good in