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11.09.2015

Today continues our 21 day series on setting ourselves apart for Christ.Do you ever just need a time-out from your life? Do you ever wish you could press pause and freeze the action around you while you catch up?Time is in short supply for many of us, and a 24 hour day just doesn't cut it (if you really feel that sleeping is necessary).So much is asked of us that it sometimes seems impossible - truly not realistic - to get it all done and still maintain sanity.Here's what I've discovered about time.First - you cannot do it all. There really is a limit on your time, and only you can know how much is too much. Learn to say "no" and be unapologetic about it. The Lord has given you the ability to discern what is realistic and what is crippling. Ask Him, listen, and don't be afraid to turn down what you cannot do.Second - time spent with people is always better than time spent on tasks. I am a list maker, and I can create tasks to do like nobody's business. Tasks are important and often must be done, but your friends and family need to take...

10.09.2015

Sometimes I wonder if Christians are irrelevant to the unbelieving world because we remove ourselves so far from it.We recite one of our favorites, that we are to be in the world and not of it, and yes, that is true. But while we're in the world we can't just sit back on our velvety cushioned pedestals and rain down judgment and condemnation. We can't see the problems plaguing very real people and rest on our laurels.What does it say of our faith when we have every comfort the American Dream can provide but our brothers and sisters around the globe are slaughtered for the very same faith? What message do we send when scores of refugees are fleeing imminent death, but we refuse them aid? What is revealed of our God when His people are best known for rejection, isolation, and materialism? What message does the world see when churches squabble with each other over minor issues such as contemporary music versus traditional hymns (and we do so by passively aggressively posting articles on Facebook rather than having actual conversations with actual people)?People - real people - are starving to death and dying of preventable diseases and are being...

09.09.2015

Setting Ourselves Apart by Showing Why God is GoodShouldn't Christians be the most joy-filled people on the planet? As people who have been plucked from the very pit of destruction, we have the greatest reason ever to face this world with rejoicing. Yet, for many, a permanent scowl and judgmental finger are the hallmarks, not unending joy.Instead of shining light into darkness, we cast blame. Instead of welcoming with open arms, we reject with condemnation. Rather than being the hands and feet of Jesus, we speak words He never said.If we truly want to set ourselves apart in a world that needs the Lord, we must start by showing why Jesus is desirable. Lives that only testify to what's wrong with the world don't testify to the grace of God. Yes, it's easy and natural to see the negatives. Yes, it takes conscious effort to bite our tongues when judgmental words come so easily. But if we really want others to want our God, we have to remember that we are His representatives and that our behavior reflects on Him. Make up your mind today that your life tomorrow will reflect your God....

08.09.2015

In our 21 day journey of setting ourselves apart for Christ, I'll be sharing prayers we can ask individually and corporately. Today's will be a prayer of thanksgiving.Today's Prayer: "Today, Lord, I woke up far better off than the vast majority of the world. I have more than enough food to nourish me, shelter to protect me from the elements, and people whose priority is to love me rather than take advantage of me. I have the ability to work a job and provide for my children, and I have the right to speak what I believe to be true. Most importantly, though, I know You. I have been told of your love, and I have been taught your word. I am able to worship you with no fear, and your Word is not forbidden in my hands. I have more things to be thankful for than I could list, and I'm choosing to pause right now and simply say thank you. Thank you, Lord, for material provisions and tangible gifts. Thank you for people whose aim is to protect and cherish me. Thank you, Jesus, that I know your name and have experienced your grace. In all of my...