Beyond the Myths of Parenting (2)

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“How blessed are you parents.”        Ps 127:5 TM Here are another two parenting myths. (1) Good parents always produce good children. If only that were so, but it’s not! Even when you do all the right things, your children get to make their own choices in life. Cain and Abel were raised in the same home by the same parents. … Read More

Beyond the Myths of Parenting (1)

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“Children are a gift from the Lord.”       Ps 127:3 CEB Here are two myths of parenting: (1) Good parents always keep tidy homes. We think our house should look picture-perfect, so we get upset when our children turn it upside down. But an obsession with neatness can result in missing precious moments that never come again. Unintentionally, we teach our … Read More

Forgiveness Begins the Healing Process

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“If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them.” Mk 11:25 NIV The hardest offenses to forgive are committed by the people who are closest to us. Why? Because we have to live with them every day! When we’re young, our emotions are so intense that wounds and injuries may stay with us for a lifetime. And the pain is worse … Read More

Are You Afraid of Losing Someone?

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“You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.”       1Sa 20:18 NIV Who’s the one person whose death you dread most? Is it causing you anxiety? If so, begin to put these things into practice: (1) Ask God for the grace to accept death as an inevitable part of life. Both you and your loved one will eventually die, … Read More

The Power of God’s Word (2)

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“The commands of the Lord are radiant.”        Ps 19:8 NIV Observe: (1) “The commands of the Lord are radiant.” When people like Plato and Shakespeare speak, the effect of their words on us depends on what we bring to the process. Some of us may be informed and entertained, while others may be indifferent or bored. Their words could be … Read More

The Power of God’s Word (1)

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“The law of the LORD is perfect.”      Ps 19:7 NKJV Of all the words ever spoken, only “the word of God is alive and powerful” (Heb 4:12 NLT). So when you read your Bible you tap into a life-changing force. Let’s look at some of the wonderful characteristics and effects attributed to God’s Word in Psalm 19. (1) “The law … Read More

Affair-Proof Your Relationship

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“Be careful not to fall.”             1Co 10:12 CEV Most people don’t plan on getting into an affair. They just happened to be with the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong frame of mind. The Bible plainly warns, “Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall.” When you think, “It … Read More

Lead with Your Strengths

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“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit.”                        Isa 48:17 NKJV In case you’re wondering whether or not God wants you to succeed, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” He told the Israelites, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.” But you’ll only … Read More

Dealing with Change (3)

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“Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”        Ex 14:15 NKJV With the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s chariots behind them, Moses told the Israelites: “‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no … Read More

Dealing with Change (2)

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“Go to the land that I will show you.” Ge 12:1 NLT How would you feel if God told you to leave your job, sell your house and go to a city you didn’t know? That’s what happened to seventy-five-year-old Abraham and his sixty-five-year-old wife Sarah. “Leave your native country…and go to the land that I will show you.” Why … Read More

Dealing with Change (1)

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“Enlarge my territory.”             1Ch 4:10 NKJV Think how foolish it is to pray for success, and resist the changes needed to bring it about. But we do that, don’t we? Let’s face it; it’s easier to settle for the status quo than to face the “what ifs” that accompany progress. Some of us even think it’s selfish and unspiritual … Read More

Whose Company Do You Prefer?

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“And being let go, they went to their own company.”            Ac 4:23 We all have our “own company.” It’s where we feel most at home, where we naturally gravitate to when we have the choice. The great Bible teacher A. W. Tozer once said, “The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to … Read More

Speak the Truth in Love

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“Speak the truth in love.”        Eph 4:15 NLT Even in a great relationship, you will have disagreements. That’s why you need to learn to fight fair. Paul addresses it this way: “Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.” If you grew up in a home filled with tension and angry words, you may … Read More

Who’s Advising You?

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“They prosper in all they do.” Ps 1:3 NLT The first Psalm in the Bible talks about the dangers of getting the wrong counsel, listening to the wrong voices, and mixing with the wrong people. “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But … Read More

You Have a Sound Mind! (3)

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“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”        2Ti 1:7 NKJV You say, “What is this ‘sound mind’ that God says He has given us?” The original Greek word means “sane, rational, logical, realistic, and reasonable.” It includes qualities such as: (1) Being self-controlled. It’s not controlled … Read More

You Have a Sound Mind! (2)

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“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”        2Ti 1:7 NKJV Step 2: Start saying what God says about you in His Word. Words matter, especially when they’re God’s words! Look around you; everything in creation was first a word that was thought and spoken by God. “Then … Read More

You Have a Sound Mind! (1)

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“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”        2Ti 1:7 NKJV No matter what others say about you, God says you have “a sound mind!” Many people live their lives believing that they’re intellectually inferior—born that way, and will always be that way. The problem with believing … Read More

Mother, You’re a Blessing!

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“Her children…call her blessed; her husband…praises her.”            Pr 31:28 NKJV When it comes to motherhood, this sign on a church bulletin board says it all: If evolution is true, how come mothers still only have two hands? Seriously, Mom, today we stop to salute you and let you know how much we appreciate you. Some days you probably wonder if … Read More

Concerned About Your Weight?

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“Glorify God in your body.”    1Co 6:20 NKJV Here are seven principles for dealing with a weight problem: (1) Realize that your body is not your own. “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…therefore glorify God in your body” (vv. 19-20 NKJV). Remind yourself that you’re the manager of a body God has entrusted … Read More

Walk by Faith (2)

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“We walk by faith, not by sight.”        2Co 5:7 NKJV When you decide to fly to a certain destination, these things all have to work together: (1) You must identify the right airline and flight schedule that will get you to your intended destination. (2) The plane must operate on a timetable that tells you when it’s leaving and when … Read More

Walk by Faith (1)

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“We walk by faith, not by sight.”        2Co 5:7 NKJV A blind man with a seeing-eye dog “walks by faith” in his dog. He believes that what the dog “sees” will be translated into a signal that tells him when it’s time to go, stop, turn right or left. And he picks up on those signals by holding the leash … Read More

The First Five Minutes

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“The right words bring satisfaction.”   Pr 18:20 NLT What you say in the first five minutes can set the tone for the hours that follow. Good speakers understand they must grab the audience’s attention in the first five minutes, otherwise the opportunity to impact them or move them to action can be lost. The same principle applies to your family. … Read More

Focus on Service, Not Promotion

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“Don’t push your way into the place of prominence.” Pr 25:6 TM Aspiring to leadership is commendable. Paul said, “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position” (1Ti 3:1 NLT). But there’s a difference between stepping forward to take on the responsibility of leadership, and stepping forward to project yourself into the limelight. Harry Truman said, … Read More

Your Blind Spot (4)

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“May…the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you.” Ps 19:14 NLT Jesus said when the Holy Spirit came He would convict us of sin. But conviction is not the same as “getting caught.” When we get caught doing wrong we feel pain, but it’s not necessarily conviction over sin. Often it’s just embarrassment over how others are thinking about … Read More

Your Blind Spot (3)

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“Put off the old man.” Col 3:9 NKJV The Bible speaks about “putting off” certain sins. Then it speaks about “putting on” certain Christ-like characteristics. Using this metaphor of clothing, let’s think about the acronym RAGS: (1) Resentment. How’s your irritability level these days? Are you more, or less easily irritated? How about bitterness and unforgiveness? When someone hurts you, … Read More

Your Blind Spot (2)

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“Who can discern his errors?” Ps 19:12 NIV Sometimes trying to see the truth about yourself is like trying to see inside your own eyeballs. “Who can discern his errors?” the Psalmist asked. Fortunately, you’re not left on your own. The Spirit is already at work in you. Your job is simply to listen and respond. Guilt isn’t your enemy, … Read More

Your Blind Spot (1)

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“Cleanse me from these hidden faults.”          Ps 19:12 NLT There are parts of yourself you’ll never see without God’s help. In one sense, you know yourself better than anyone else does. You alone have access to your inner thoughts, feelings, and judgments. In another sense, you know yourself worse than anyone else does. Why? Because we rationalize, justify, minimize, … Read More

The Outcome Is Up to You

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“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.”    Ro 12:2 PHPS You determine the outcomes in your life, because God has given no one but you power over your options. When things aren’t working out for us, we often look elsewhere for the reason. Like Eve, we say, “The devil made me do it.” No, … Read More

Failure and Success

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“The God of heaven will give us success.”   Ne 2:20 NIV To turn your failures into successes you need to do two things: (1) Realize that God wants you to succeed because you’re His child. When you think about it, what good and loving parent wouldn’t? In the face of overwhelming obstacles and enemy threats, Nehemiah announced, “The God of … Read More

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (4)

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“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders.”        Ps 55:22 TM Give your marriage to God. The last word on the matter must be God’s Word! Seeking professional help is a good thing. But until you’ve transferred ownership of your marriage into God’s hands, you haven’t exercised your best option. You say, “What does handing my marriage over to God mean in … Read More

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (3)

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“Pray then like this…your will be done.”        Mt 6:9-10 ESV Here are another two helpful keys to resolving marriage conflict: (1) Let God direct your prayers. Prayer can be closed-ended or open-ended. When we think that our perspective is the only accurate one, we pray closed-ended prayers calling on God to solve the problem our way, believing it’s the only … Read More

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (2)

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“In order that Satan might not outwit us.”        2Co 2:11 NIV Recognize who the real enemy of your marriage is. On those days when you think, “I can’t spend another moment in this relationship,” it’s easy to lose perspective and focus on the wrong things. Marriage was God’s idea. He planned it as the foundation of His earthly kingdom. That … Read More

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (1)

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“Humans must not pull apart what God has put together.”    Mk 10:9 CEB Not every relationship can be saved. When physical, mental, or emotional abuse threatens your child’s safety, or your own, you may be forced to leave. Failing to do so could lead to tragedy. But where a workable resolution can be found, a troubled relationship can become a … Read More

On the Home Front

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“I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire.”       1Sa 2:35 NLT Being the high priest in Israel was a prestigious job, and Eli seemed suited to it. Yet he failed badly on the home front. “His sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes … Read More

Handling Your Failures (2)

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“Return…I will heal your backslidings.”          Jer 3:22 NKJV What’s the root of our failures? Failure doesn’t lie in the strength of the Enemy, or our own weakness, or God’s reluctance to help us overcome. A small town defeated Israel after having conquered mighty Jericho. Their failure, like ours, was the result of unconfessed sin (See Jos 7). But once their … Read More

Handling Your Failures (1)

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“The hearts of the people melted, and became as water.”     Jos 7:5 Even the most seasoned believers experience failure. And the big question at such times isn’t, “How could I have let that happen?” but, “What’s the right way to deal with it?” Indulging in self-condemning thoughts comes naturally to us, but it does no good. It just produces discouragement, … Read More

Learning to Overlook the Flaws

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“Love covers a multitude of sins.”      1Pe 4:8 NLT A person’s sense of self-worth is often based on the reactions, positive or negative, of those around them. So your words and attitudes can literally build them up or tear them down. Dr. Paul Brand was a flight surgeon during World War II. He tells in one of his books of … Read More

How to Overcome Doubt

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“If you have faith and do not doubt.”  Mt 21:21 NIV Doubt is a doorway through which Satan enters your life. It causes the “fight of faith” to become the “flight of faith.” When fear, confusion, discouragement, and despair take up residence within you, they rob you of confidence, joy, and peace. But isn’t being doubtful just human? Sure, and … Read More

What Are Your Children Watching?

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“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.”    Ps 101:3 NKJV Today over half of all children between the ages of nine and seventeen have Internet cable or satellite television hook-ups in their bedrooms. The old image of the family gathered around a single TV set in the living room is almost nonexistent. Instead, the kids are off by themselves … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (5)

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“Go to the pool…and wash.” Jn 9:11 NKJV Jesus told this blind man to go to the pool of Siloam and wash the dirt from his eyes. So here’s the question: What do you need to remove from your life today in order to see what God wants you to see and do what He wants you to do? Whether … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (4)

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“He went and washed, and came back seeing.”        Jn 9:7 NKJV Sometimes Jesus healed sick people by speaking to them, other times He laid his hands on them. But this blind man’s healing was not the work of a moment; it was the result of a process. “He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’…so he went … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (3)

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“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”        Jn 9:25 NKJV When Jesus restored this blind man’s sight, the Pharisees tried to engage him in a theological debate about who Jesus was and where His power came from. But he refused to argue with them. He simply said, “One thing I know: that though I was … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (2)

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“He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.”            Jn 9:6 NKJV Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, points out that your DNA is in your saliva; when Jesus spat, this blind man received a divine DNA transfer. He says that … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (1)

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“Who sinned, this man or his parents?”          Jn 9:2 NKJV His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (vv. 2-3 NKJV). When someone is trapped in a self-destructive habit, we … Read More

To Lead, You Must Keep Learning

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“Make every effort to add to your faith.”         2Pe 1:5 NIV As a leader you should stand on this Scripture: “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature…For this… reason, make every effort to add … Read More

Today, Show That You Care

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“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”           Jn 15:12 NKJV Take a deep breath, and hold it for a moment. Now exhale it. Where did it go? That single breath of air contains at least three nitrogen atoms that were inhaled by every person who has ever lived, including Leonardo da Vinci, Winston … Read More

Get Your Spending Under Control

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“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.”  Ro 13:8 NLT If you think winning the lottery would solve all your problems, you couldn’t be more wrong! Almost half of those who become overnight millionaires end up bankrupt within a few years. Why? For a variety of reasons: bad business deals, extravagant living, crazy schemes, and fast-talking … Read More

Commit to It!

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“I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.”       Jdg 11:35 After arriving in the New World, the Spanish explorer Cortez took his crew off their ships and set the ships on fire as the sailors watched in confusion and horror. By that one act, Cortez sealed their commitment to explore new territory and ensured they’d … Read More

Understanding Your Temptations (3)

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“Count it all joy when ye fall into…temptations.”       Jas 1:2 Satan knows that when you recognize him as the source of your temptation, he loses his advantage. He knows that when you understand he initiated the temptation, you’ll recoil from it faster than if you think you yourself are the source of it. If Satan approached you and said, “I’ve … Read More

Understanding Your Temptations (2)

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“Blessed is the man who endures temptation.”          Jas 1:12 NKJV The second misperception is: Temptation is sin. The Devil wants you to blame yourself for the temptations you experience. Why? Because when you believe that you are the source of it, you feel condemned and discouraged. As you indulge in feelings of discouragement, you become an easy prey and Satan … Read More