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Christian living
June 12, 2017

You Might Not See the End, but God Will Lead You Step by Step

You Might Not See the End, but God Will Lead You Step by Step

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have every week of the rest of my life planned out. (I’m lucky if I can remember what’s coming next week!) Some people seem to be able to peer all the way into their future, though, and it makes me jealous. I’ve known many folks who were confident of God’s specific calling on them forever, or always knew what job they would have when they grew up and have continued full steam ahead in their successful career path. I don’t know how they got that inside scoop, or if they made the plans all themselves, but God never laid out to me the full track of my life, with all its twists and turns. What I did feel God showing me was which step to take next, and then providing assurance when I stepped in a good direction.

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April 8, 2017

How to Get People to Listen to You

How to Get People to Listen to You

As much as we’d like to shout out the cold hard “truth” and tell mean people how terrible they are, we have to ask ourselves, “Do I want to improve things, or just yell my angry guts out for spite?” (Sure, sometimes you just want to choose the second option.) But let’s say we do want to help our friend, family member, spouse, whoever understand better. Here’s what we do…

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October 12, 2016

Are Church Kids Not as Nice?

Are Church Kids Not as Nice?

I was troubled to learn about a survey study in 2015 showing that “kids raised in religious homes were less generous and kind than those raised in non-religious homes.” They “tended to be more judgmental, less altruistic, and more punitive than kids raised without religion.” Yikes!

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July 20, 2016

A Spiritual Fitness Tracker

A Spiritual Fitness Tracker

Everybody wants strong muscles, right? Well, your physical muscles aren’t the only ones you have. People shouldn’t just exercise their physical muscles but also their intellectual, emotional, and definitely their spiritual muscles. Just like lifting weights, doing sit-ups, and going for runs make us physically stronger and fit, we should also monitor and exercise our faith…

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February 18, 2016

What to Say & What Not to When Someone Is Grieving

What to Say & What Not to When Someone Is Grieving

When a friend, loved one, or even just an acquaintance, is grieving, it’s hard to know what to say to them. You hate to see them hurting, so you try to come up with something comforting to say. But some things are better than others. Here 5 good things to say, and 5 to avoid.

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January 25, 2016

Dean Smith’s Lessons for Life and Basketball

Dean Smith's Lessons for Life and Basketball

Even if you aren’t one of those crazed UNC fans, you can still respect Dean Smith, who coached Carolina’s men’s basketball team for 36 years. He had the same philosophy for coaching basketball as he did for life: “Play hard, play smart, play together.” That can inspire us too.

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January 22, 2016

4 Ways to Respond to People Begging

4 Ways to Respond to People Begging

We might not see it much in our small town setting, but when you drive to the larger towns and cities near us, you start to notice: people on the corner, at the intersection, or at the gas station, asking for money. You’re wary that it might be a scam, or just someone wanting money for substance abuse. But you’re also a nice person who wants to help people, and you remember Bible verses like “Give to anyone who asks you” (Luke 6:30) and “If anyone is poor…do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them” (Deuteronomy 15:7). So what do you do? What would be most helpful?

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October 19, 2015

Looking Good vs. Being Good

Looking Good vs. Being Good

The more we assess other people’s worth and value based on how they seem, then the more we start to equate our own worth and value on how we look too. So in our personal lives, how much money, stress, and attention do we give to our looks, fashion, gadgets, car, house, living room, etc., etc.? We work hard to look good, instead of working hard to be good. How different would we be if we instead focused that time and energy on being a good person on the inside instead of looking like a good person on the outside?

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June 26, 2015

Actions vs. Words: which speak louder?

We are very blessed to live in a free country, where we are free to worship without fear for our lives. But what if we didn’t? What if we lived in a country where religious minorities suffered abuse and persecution? Most people would just worry about surviving. But is there any way to have an active, effective witness for the love of Christ amidst such hostility? (Hint: YES!)

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May 7, 2015

What the church can learn from AA

What the church can learn from AA

Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs help turn people’s lives around and keep them pointed in the right direction. They try to help people to keep getting better, take responsibility for themselves, and work to help others change their lives too. That sounds a lot like what the church should be doing too.

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