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Who is Your Neighbor?

  Christ rarely answered a question simply. When he was asked he would answer with a question or a story. Often questions were asked to discover the minimum requirement or to look good in the eyes of those who heard. Jesus never let the asker slide. He’s answers pushed the boundaries, left hearers speechless, and infuriated leaders by putting the burden on them. One day he was asked a simple question by a religious leader, “who is my neighbor.” A simple question, a simple response. Right? Looking at Luke 10: 25, we see the question that preceded “who is my …

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Honor God in our Relationships in the Church

While we wait for Christ’s Return – Honor God in our Relationships in the Church We should demonstrate good spiritual health in our relationships within our churches by showing honor and respect to our leaders. “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you and to regard them very highly in love because of their work …” I Thess. 5:12-13 Annually, October has been suggested as Pastor Appreciation Month; however, appreciation for your pastor and staff can be acknowledged any day, any month. We …

Relationship Boosters

    “Do everything in love”–1 Corinthians 16:14 One of the things that is essential in life is a relationship. God established a relationship with you, and he also created relationships with you and your family and friends. God knows that you need relationships to live a better and more meaningful life. Here are simple and effective ways to have good relationships: Love sincerely Love people dearly. Show your love and care. Let your family and friends see and feel that you love them. Treat them and make them feel good. Make them feel special. Help Offer help to others. …

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Speaking Words of Encouragement

    Recently I went for a much-needed walk around my neighborhood. It was one of those nights when my mind was swirling with the details of life and my heart was heavy. As I walked, I saw an elderly couple that lives down the street. I visit with this couple from time to time, but we are not close friends. We talk about their health (which isn’t good), my kids, and we let our dogs sniff noses.   When I saw this sweet couple in their yard that night, I decided to stop and visit. It was a short …

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Running Buddies

  Perhaps you’ve never ventured into the world of running and races. Maybe you don’t even want to! But even if your toes never see the inside of an athletic shoe, I want to suggest that you make sure you have some amazing running buddies in your life! As the cooler weather descends and the trees unveil their decadent autumn foliage, it seems only right to start turning our hearts toward gratitude. And I, for one, am grateful to the point of being humbled for the group I call my running buddies. Let’s be clear from the start. I don’t …

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Finding Joy

It was in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, Ft Bliss, that I first met Judy. Perhaps it was the heat, the lack of any color beyond melted butter and toasted cacti, or the distance to the nearest lake that masked the joy of the adventure, but the desert brought out the worst in me. I fell victim to a depleted spirit as we left the lush landscape of Arkansas and the closeness of family for our first duty station at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. With deployment looming and the day-to-day difficulties of being a mom with three …

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Thanks in Action

    It’s Thanksgiving season again. The time to reflect on our lives, gather with family and consider our history as a country that was birthed by the drive to live in a new world where freedom and liberty set the foundation for society. As Christians, many of us take time during Thanksgiving to refocus and prepare our hearts for the impending celebration of our Savior’s birth. We will reflect on blessings and hardships, explore areas of Christ’s intervention or answered prayers over the year, and we will look intently and intentionally at what we have. There will be many …

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The Key is Love

If you’ve lived in this world longer than a few years you have inevitably learned that relationships are not easy. Whether it’s marriage, family relationships, or friendships, the truth is most of the hurt and damage in society today is a result of relationships gone wrong. Relationships were given to humanity as a gift from God. In Genesis 2: 18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” In giving Adam a wife, God allowed him to have someone who could relate to him, talk with him, and have …

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Unshakable Thanks

  We are all on a journey.  And as Paul says, we do not travel that journey as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4: 13). We know that we have a Savior sitting at the right hand of the Father who delights in us.  We have the Word of God that is living and active.  We have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, giving us gifts to make the best use of our time here on Earth.  And we have the fellowship of other believers to offer friendship, prayer, encouragement and council.  We have hope, …

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Your Savior, Your Encouragement

          When I first heard the word encouragement, I thought, sure, I can write about that; “Easy peasy” as our 4-year old grandson says. I mean, who doesn’t love to be encouraged and to be an encourager? But, as I sit here listening to God speak to my heart about that word, I hear something a little different than I thought I would. In what areas do we really need encouragement? I know I need no encouragement to sin. Sin is the old pair of shoes that I trip over each day; I thought I had …

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A Yielded Heart: Rebekah’s Story

  As a little girl I would recite the wishes of childhood. “Star bright, star light, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight!” But always, as long as I can remember I would always end it with “Dear Jesus, please hear me”. Jesus was always a focal point in my life. My first answered prayer that I could visibly see was at 7 when I prayed diligently for a baby doll and on Christmas morning that exact doll was present under the tree. You may say, well your …