How To Deal With Your Junk

My garage is an absolute mess right now and, honestly, I don’t want to deal with it.  There is so much junk that finding a place for everything to fit seems overwhelming.   Like my garage, we humans constantly accumulate junk in our lives.  Junk like grief, depression, aimlessness, shame are constantly threatening to fill up…

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Our Response to the Roe v. Wade Decision

This past Friday (June 24, 2022) in a long awaited and faithfully prayed over moment in American history, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  Though this does not make abortion illegal, it has given each state the ability to determine what their abortion laws will be and whether or not the practice will be…

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When Trials & Enemies are Crushing

It may be a new year, but my trials, temptations, inadequacies, and enemies didn’t get the memo.  They are just as eager to grip and rip me apart as before.   For the past several weeks I have been battling with despair.  Incessant visions of the worst possible outcome in every situation have plagued my mind. …

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Is God Faithful?

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-24 There is a lot going on in the life of the church today.  More people than ever are being…

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Die to Sin, Live unto Christ

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,Where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear…

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Be Encouraged

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to…

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Cast all your cares upon Him

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”  That is my favorite verse.  And that’s probably why “All Your Anxiety” is one of my favorite hymns.  The hymn reads as follows:  (Verse 1) -Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow? Is there a life weighed down by care?…

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Where is our Hope

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-8 The Bible has some…

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Where is our Hope

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?  Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He…

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The Cost of Following Jesus

We live in a world that is consumed with safety.  Many have said, and I am in full agreement, that safety has become the most prevalent god of this world.   “Safety First” is the world’s slogan.  And there is little (even within the church), if any, push back on this.  In fact, if you do…

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Be Encouraged: Praying the Psalms (Part 6)

“Help me, O Lord my God!Save me according to your steadfast love!Let them know that this is your hand; you, O Lord, have done it!Let them curse, but you will bless!They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!”~ Psalm 109:26-29…

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We Were Made For This

“We were made for this!”.  Have you ever heard someone say that? Have you ever said it yourself? When I was a teacher, my fellow colleagues used to say it all the time.  When money was tight, when the students were acting like demons, when the staff meetings were going long – that statement would…

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Be Encouraged: Praying the Psalms (Part 4)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~ Psalm 23:6 Reading and praying the Psalms can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a believer.  Like the rest of the scriptures, it is written to us…

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Be Encouraged: Praying the Psalms (Part 3)

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” ~ Psalm 19:14 I have heard a saying that goes something like this: “You’re either moving into a storm, in the midst of a storm, or coming out of a storm.”  I have found…

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Be Encouraged: Praying the Psalms (Part 2)

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” ~ Psalm 100:1 Psalm 100 is one of my favorite passages of scripture.  It’s short, encouraging, and a fireball of exhortation to God’s people to praise.  As I mentioned in our Be Encouraged post yesterday, I find myself enraptured in the Psalms frequently, and often times can relate…

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Be Encouraged: Praying the Psalms (Part 1)

“Praise the Lord.  I will extol the Lord with all my heart    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.” ~ Psalm 111:1 In his book “Exploring the Old Testament,” Ernest C. Lucas says that while all of the Words of Scripture speak to us, the Psalms speak for us.  They are prayers lifted up from all walks…

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Teams for the Gospel

This past Sunday, we started our Six Week Tract Challenge.  For the next six weeks we will be giving a different tract to everyone in the bulletin (If you are not able to come to service or you want more you can get them during the week in the church foyer or office). And the challenge is…

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Love Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If…

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Take a time-out!

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 We have learned a lot from our Coronavirus days.  Life came to a screeching…

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Want Joy?

Right now, there are so many things vying for our attention and time that are both frustrating and depressing. COVID-19 fears and regulations are still lingering around like an annoying pest. The racial tension is high. Anarchy is being celebrated. And then there is the daily normal grind. But today, I want to tell you…

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It’s Time For a Change

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You…

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Death is not the end

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory?    Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks…

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Share the Gospel

Today, tragedy is all over America and that tragedy has affected and will continue to affect our lives. As Christians, we can either continually complain, stay quiet, or share the solution. After being brutally arrested, going through a shame trial, and being thrown into a Roman prison, Paul wrote in Philippians 1:12-14, “I want you…

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Time to Pray!

As many of you have seen, over the past couple of weeks there has been unrest and violence all over our nation.  In addition to this, we are meeting together this week for services for the first time. Today, instead of writing a lengthy article that may take you five or so minutes to read,…

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We all run somewhere

Most of my days tend to be incredibly busy.  Whether it’s getting school done, doing ministry things, or spending time with family or friends, I tend to have a packed schedule.  I would assume that all of you are in the same boat.  Life tends to be crazy busy, but what happens when the busyness…

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What is the Biblical Response to George Floyd’s death?

The Bible is very clear on four points.  One, we should “mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).  George Floyd’s family should be on our hearts and we should make every effort to help as we would for anyone who loses a loved one.  Two, we should seek justice.  Zechariah 7:9 says, “This is what the LORD…

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The Power of Prayer

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”                                                             ~ Acts 4:31 When I read the book of Acts, I am often moved by the faith and obedience of the early church.  Through incredible persecution, they…

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When You Experience Anxiety…

“Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”                                                             ~ Matthew 6:31-33 About 10…

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Hope is essential.

Think about life without it.  Nothing to look forward to.  No fun dreams about planting your garden and enjoying the sweet produce from it.  Being stuck in winter, never knowing the summer rays.  This Covid-19 shutdown forever keeping schools and small businesses closed and church forever online.  Hope is an essential ingredient for every aspect…

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Memorial Day 2020

For Christians, the day serves as a vivid reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that was paid for our spiritual freedom- that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, willingly bore our sins on the cross so that all who believe in Him might be reconciled to Him and have eternal life.This Memorial Day as we remember…

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It’s time to Unite

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your…

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Leaving A Legacy

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well”                                                             ~ 2 Timothy 1:5 An amazing apologist and evangelist named Ravi Zacharias lost his battle to cancer at the age of 74 this week. …

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The Light

I was sitting in my living room looking out my bay window.  The sun was shining through the bottom part of the window, and I couldn’t help noticing how dirty the window was where the sun was shining through. I could barely see outside the window. However, the areas of the window where the sunlight did…

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Doing what’s right in difficult times

On Saturday, a group of about a dozen men and women from FBC came together to help Doug and Kathy June move into their new home.  We prayed, worked, and ate together.  What became apparent to me as the day went on is how much I’ve missed being in fellowship with other believers.  Yes, there…

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Folly is bound up in the heart of a child

Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from Him” (cf. Pro. 13:24, 23:14, 29:15).   This does not advocate child abuse.  This advocates for parents to function as stewards of the children God has given them.  And that stewardship does include discipline. …

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What are you going to do with your disaster?

In John 9 the disciples of Jesus saw a man blind from birth. And the disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind.” The disciples assumed the man’s blindness was directly related to sin. Why did they think that way? Because sin does bring disaster. When you…

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Blessings

Good Morning Everyone,  I would like to share some of my thoughts with you. In our world today with the internet we have access to all kinds of information. It can get confusing sometimes. How do we know what is true?  In this world, things are changing all the time. It is so easy to…

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Praying in Hard Times

About a year ago when I seriously started exploring becoming an elder, I never expected to be involved in the details of doing church during a pandemic.  Trying to reconcile scriptures dealing with submission to authority (Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2) with those scriptures calling for collective and corporate worship (Hebrews 10:24-25) have led…

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Waiting here for you

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”~ Psalm 27:14 No one likes to wait.  We live in a day when we can have dinner microwaved in 3.5 minutes and have someone else change our oil in less than 20…or our money back!However, we’ve all been in…

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Proverbs 7

“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.”~ Proverbs 7:1-2 In American culture, high school graduation has become a rite of passage into adulthood.  We’ve always attended graduation ceremonies with fog horns, posters, and with anticipation for the…

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Do I Have Enough?

Do I have enough toilet paper, hand sanitizer, food, and money in the bank to get through this shutdown? Do I have enough patience to keep from losing my temper or complaining?  Do I have enough love to keep from becoming self-consumed and keep my eye on helping others?  Do I have enough drive to…

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Greetings

Like many of you, I’ve been working from home for several weeks.  Much of my day is made up of meetings, currently being conducted online via Zoom or other video meeting applications.  My calendar is set up to notify me 5 minutes before the start of each meeting.  At that time, I log in to…

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My Bible can do what?

What you hold in your hands is something powerful.  The Bible is more than a good book, it’s more than a New York Times Bestseller, it’s more than a great motivational tool, it goes deeper into the human soul than the philosophy of Plato, it penetrates the human heart more powerfully than the writings of…

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Refocus, Repent, Relish

These are three words that I needed to hear today.  I sat in my chair this morning on a video conference in a weekly Bible study with close friends, and in the midst of conversation realized that I had failed.  I failed to take advantage of these past several weeks to do some things around…

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Why God?

I ask/tell/yell that question frequently.  I’ve asked it in anger due to writhing heart and physical pain.  I have asked it with disgust as I’ve driven through third world regions ravaged with malnutrition and joblessness.   I’ve asked it when my motivation has hit rock bottom.   And like an inquisitive child asking their parent…

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Basics

As some of you know, I’ve made a career out of working with computers. Starting in the early 1980’s, I’ve worked in many different areas of the industry, but for the most part, I’ve always returned to hardware support.  One of the main things I’ve learned is that if you don’t know the basics, dealing…

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When Sorrow is More Than I Can Bear

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.”     ~ Psalm16:1 Have you ever felt that your circumstances are more than you can bear? About 10 years ago I experienced what I can only describe as a dark night of the soul. At the time, Becky and I were working at a…

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Fighting Inward Focus

I have given some thought on Terry Freed’s story of his recent visit to Sam’s Club.  The thrust of his message was, we cannot be inwardly focused as we go about our business.  There are hurting and lost people all around us, struggling because they don’t have Christ in their lives.  Struggling because they are…

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Needing Wisdom

I need wisdom!  Wisdom is the ability to discern and apply truth in a constructive way and I need it.  I need wisdom for marriage, parenting, friendships, and work.  And I need wisdom concerning God’s Word, fighting sin, sharing Christ and getting through this pandemic.  No matter our age, experiences or knowledge level we all…

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Idle Hands

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.(1…

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Speak Life

Have ever been so embarrassed you wanted to put a bag over your head, or curl up and die?  Eight years ago, I oversaw the game station at a Vacation Bible School.  And the game we played and the lesson I gave one day ended early and we had a few minutes to spare.  So,…

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Who Are You Listening To?

“The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.”~ Psalm 46:6 You are undoubtedly hearing many voices right now. Social media and news outlets are rife with opinions, comments, so-called “facts”, and keyboard warriors who believe everyone else is wrong (or right if people agree with them). However, the solution to…

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Missed Opportunities

On Friday morning at 8:30, I found myself heading for Sam’s Club to pick up groceries Carla had ordered for us.As we entered the parking lot, I let out a gasp of frustration as I saw a really long line of people waiting to go into the store. My first thought was to turn around…

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Be Humble and Pray

“Mike Pence mocked for praying with coronavirus task force at White House”https://www.christianpost.com/news/mike-pence-mocked-for-praying-coronavirus-task-force-white-house.html It should come as no surprise to us as Christian that the world around us is unable to understand our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know we’re not immune to the trials of the world but we are equipped to face them.…

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A Stone of Remembrance

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’” ~ 1 Samuel 7:12I’ve heard it said many times before (and I believe it) that this will be a time we will remember for generations to come.…

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When Your Faith Seems Dry

Psalm 42 & 63 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” ~ Psalm 42:1-2a We’ve all been through a time where our faith seems as dry as desert air. In these seasons, we may feel as though God…

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Our plans, God’s plans

When I woke up on Monday, I had a plan.  I was going to get to the office early, have my devotions, finish this article by 7 a.m. and get an early start on writing the Mid-Week Boost and my Sunday sermon.  Well, I got to the office early, but I forgot my computer at…

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I Am With You

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases predicts 100,000-200,000 deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Tim Johnson, Eaton Rapids Medical Center President & CEO on March 18th in a letter to the community stated that they have two confirmed positive cases at the local hospital and…

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You are called to be salty!

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”When we surrender our lives over to Jesus Christ, something changes inside of us.  We become something different.  This…

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This is getting out of control…

This is getting out of control… Mark 4:35-41“And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’” ~ Mark 4:38bMark 4:35-41 is a passage that many of us have heard time and again.  The disciples, upwards of 70, get into multiple boats and begin to cross the Sea…

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Is this ever going to end?

IS THIS EVER GOING TO END?  Sometimes, no matter how much we try, it can feel like we are just grinding through a certain issue and always will.  Is the grief of losing my parents, a spouse, or my child ever going to subside?  Am I ever going to be victorious over my struggle with…

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If I just had more money

IF I JUST HAD MORE MONEY!  The corona virus is making the financial markets to go haywire, keeping millions from going to work, and throwing once certain retirement plans into serious question.  Many have laughed at the words of Proverbs 23:5 (“For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven”…

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Hope in the midst of uncertainty

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1I love this verse for many reasons, but two stand out today. First, God is always faithful. In Jesus Christ, there is another reality to look forward to that we cannot even fathom, let alone see with our…

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Showing Up

WHY ARE YOU SUCH A FLAKE?  Have you ever thought that?  Maybe someone has forgotten to meet you.  Maybe someone promised they would come support you and never showed.  Maybe you’ve been that person.  It is such an awful feeling when you know you have to do something or be somewhere and don’t remember until…

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Hope When Things Seem Hopeless

Hope is a vital ingredient. Imagine if you had no hope that this corona virus craziness would ever end. Imagine being laid off from your job with no hope of ever being hired back. Imagine trying to pour years of wisdom into your grandkids lives with no hope that they would ever grasp or understand,…

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Need Refreshment?

Passage: Proverbs 3:7-8 At Man Camp we did a polar plunge into the icy lake and it was freezing.  But wow, it zapped the tired right out of me.   For a few hours I felt so refreshed.  In Proverbs 3:8 it says, “It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones,” and…

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War Room

Last night I got to watch a great movie, War Room.  I highly recommend it.  It was a great reminder of a prevailing power tool we have in Christ to combat the struggles, pain, and confusion this world and Satan throws at us.  What is that mighty tool?  It’s prayer.  Now, I know that can…

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Things just keep getting worse and worse

Things just keep getting worse and worse.  Have you ever thought that before?  I was a junior high teacher for four years and one of my fellow teachers (who had been teaching for thirty years and wasn’t bitter) told me that her worst behaved student thirty years ago was comparable to her best-behaved student today.  …

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Be Encouraged – March 6th, 2017

I want wisdom!!  This is a constant prayer of mine.  I want wisdom in raising my kids, being a husband, friend, and pastor.  I want wisdom concerning God’s Word, fighting sin, and making choices.  No matter our age, experiences, or knowledge we all need wisdom.  Even in the things we know best or better than…

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Be Encouraged – Feb. 27th, 2017

Serve with your words!  So often when I think of serving God in a great way I think of going on a dangerous mission’s trip, preaching till I faint, or eradicating the financial burdens of others until I am financially burdened myself.  I think in very radical terms and there is nothing wrong with that. …

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Be Encouraged – Feb. 20th, 2017

 AM I EVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS?  Sometimes, no matter how much we try, it can feel like we are just grinding through life and always will.  Like that good string of days, months or even a couple year’s is never going to come.  It’s just always going to be miserable.  If anyone ever…

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Be Encouraged – Jan. 30th, 2017

WHY ARE YOU SUCH A FLAKE?  Have you ever thought that?  Maybe someone has forgotten about a meeting with you.  Maybe someone promised they would come support you and never showed.  We’ve all been there.  And dare I say, we’ve all been a flake at some point.  It is such an awful feeling when you…

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Be Encouraged – Jan. 16th, 2017

The prevalence of sexual sin in our culture today is off the charts.  You can’t even go on a general news website without some sexually charged article being thrust into your face.  It saturates the television and is beyond easy to access in this technologically driven world.   And what’s worse than its prevalence is its…

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Be Encouraged – Jan. 3rd, 2017

IT’S NO SECRET! We all tend to want more out of life. That feeling of “lack” can be so depressing. We can go on Facebook or any other social media source, scroll down the memories of others, and feel like we are missing out on so much everyone else seems to have plenty of. And…

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Be Encouraged – Dec. 27th, 2016

2017 IS ALMOST HERE!!  As the new year approaches I usually make a list of all the things I would like to accomplish.  Yeah, I am one of those people.  I love to set goals and go for it.  And no, I am usually not one of those people who say they are going to…

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Be Encouraged – Dec. 16th, 2016

What determines whether or not a person is valuable.  Is it physical beauty or ability?  Is it a bank number or assets?  Is it a specific personality or quirk?  Is it who they know or what they know?  Why should we care for other individuals or look at ourselves and never see ourselves as worthless…

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Be Encouraged – Dec. 5th, 2016

What is your “go to place?”  You know that place where you can blow off steam, think clearly, or just slow down, breadth and take in the joy of life.  For some its taking a walk or a trip to the gym or a vacation spot.  For others, it’s a great read or a favorite…

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Be Encouraged – November 22nd, 2016

Hope is a vital ingredient for a worthwhile life. Just stop and think about life if there was no hope, nothing to look forward to. Imagine being in school with no hope that the lunch or final bell would finally ring. Imagine having a child with no hope that changing diapers stage would ever end.…

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Be Encouraged – November 16th, 2016

IT’S PAYDAY!  Growing up this meant food was in the refrigerator again, there were snacks in the cupboards and either pizza was for dinner or ice cream was for dessert. Payday is almost always a good day except when you get less than what you were expecting or have outstanding bills that suck you dry…

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Be Encouraged – November 7th, 2016

Fear is everywhere and I’m tired of it.   I’m tired of fearing what our government is going to do to this country. I’m tired of fearing what people think of me.  I’m tired of fearing what man can do to me.  I’m tired of fearing mankind. Proverbs 29:25a says, “The fear of man brings a…

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Be Encouraged – November 1st, 2016

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!! I say this so often.  Whether it’s in how to raise my kids, be a good husband, do my job, deal with family issues or be a good witness life is a challenge.  And right when I think I’ve got it all figured out life pops my prideful bubble…

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Be Encouraged – October 25th, 2016

Whether you’re being disciplined or you have to discipline someone, it is difficult.  Even when you deserve it or know its right to give it discipline isn’t easy.  Every time my three-year-old son, John, misbehaves he either gives me the sweetest smile or throws in that sad lower lip and makes it so difficult.  I…

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Be Encouraged – October 3rd, 2016

Have you ever just wanted to put a bag over your head you were so embarrassed? Whether it’s from tripping over myself, failing at a sports event, or stumbling over my words, I have embarrassed myself more times than I can count. By far, however, the moments that have been the most embarrassing is when…

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