“To thine own self be true.” What happens when you are willing to do that?

Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” What happens when you are willing to do that? I’m not sure why this memory came back to me today, but about six years ago we went out riding with our motorcycle friends on a long, leisurely, calm, dry ride to dinner.  Now flip what I just described 180 degrees and you will know what the trip home was like. It was none of the above. The moment we stopped on the driveway in front of the garage I jumped off the …

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Finishing Well, or Just Finishing

Happy Birthday, Billy Graham. A hero of the Christian faith turned 98 on November 7th. Billy Graham has lived in the public eye since he was in his twenties, stayed true to his faith in Jesus Christ and has never been involved in immorality or been the object of scandal. When I was 11 years old my friends who had TV talked about watching Billy Graham Crusades and 40 years later I was still watching him talk about the object of his faith. In honor of Billy Graham’s birthday and his impeccable …

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I believe you, God. Please help me trust you.

Do you ever wake up with someone on your mind and your thought comes with a vivid picture? What do you do with that? There’s a story in Luke, and it’s probably retold in other gospels, where the disciples and Jesus were out in a boat when a raging storm could have pummeled them to their death. Remember Jesus had been speaking to crowds of thousands and he was so exhausted his thoughts were all about peace and rest – not just rest, he needed quality sleep. Jesus boarded the …

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Advent Week 4 Theme: Peace – There is no chance for peace if we don't listen

One of the most well known parts of the Christmas story is in our reading for today. It takes place at the moment in time when Gabriel had the conversation with Mary. We’ve heard the story so many times the impact of what really happened is diminished. Put yourself in Mary’s place for a few minutes.  She is outside gathering sticks for the fire, or helping with the evening meal. Maybe she’s inside wondering if she’ll get to sleep that night. Mary is thinking about what it will mean to …

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F-A-I-T-H

Yesterday I posted some thoughts on change. Not to get stuck on a topic, but change is so pervasive, so let’s visit it again – then move on to something else. Sometimes change is exciting! Anticipation of shifting what is happening now to make room for something new can be enticing and motivating. A chapter closes, a chapter with an unknown plot opens.  Or maybe change is scary! What if I this new ‘thing’ isn’t what I expected? What if it doesn’t work out? What am I going to do if I can’t find my …

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Doubt

When I was a little kid, I hated to hear my mom say “I doubt it”. That always meant I wasn’t going to get something I wanted.  As I contemplated the passing week, I realized, I’m still not a fan of that word. Doubt leaves some gaping holes in my armor. Misunderstandings that make me doubt my value as an individual, miscommunications that make me doubt my motives, mistakes that make me doubt my abilities …  nothing I do is right. Whoa! How can this be? Do you ever feel like that? Do …

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God's tender mercy … guides our feet to peace

Here’s something you might not already know. Ready? When I get you up in the morning, it is totally Biblical. Seriously! Well it’s not me, personally, who God says should be getting you up, but here’s a newsflash for you. In Luke 1:78-79 God tells us clearly his intent to get us up every morning and set us on the right path. Look what the Bible says. “Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in …

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What is your reality? Faith or Fear

Have you been facing giants in your life? Sometimes I feel like that. It isn’t a huge, overbearing human giant, it’s more situational. A decision to make that has consequences, a financial burden, a problem that’s just too complicated to sort out, a loss that’s left an empty place where a relationship used to be. Giants, my personal Anakites. I’ve noticed that my giants start appearing just after a cycle of periodic successes, especially when there was the right mix of progress, fun, and faith. That’s when it happens – FEAR. …

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The Benefits of Worry

  You got it! The benefits of worry are as valuable and motivating as this empty box.  No inspiration; only empty defeat. If you’re worried about what you hear on the news, see battled on TV, and debated on social media, please remember that worry and fear are worthless emotions. They do nothing to change whatever situation is causing them. Romans 12:9 says “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”  Worry and fear drag you to the depths and weigh you down so heavily, you can’t rise above the …

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What do you do with an Anakite?

Have you been facing giants in your life? Sometimes I feel like that. It isn’t a huge, overbearing human giant, it’s more situational. A decision to make that has consequences, a financial burden, a problem that’s just too complicated to sort out, a loss that’s left an empty place where a relationship used to be. Giants, my personal Anakites. I’ve noticed that my giants start appearing on Sunday night – just before Monday, especially after a weekend that had just the right mix of progress, fun, and faith. That’s when …

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Refining Grace