The ONE Question That Will Help You Make ANY Decision

The ONE Question That Will Help You Make ANY Decision

Whether you tend to become paralyzed over making significant decisions or often act before you have all the information you really need, choosing a course of action is something we all face every day. And sometimes we look back and wish we had made wiser decisions in the past.

Perhaps it’s something as small as whether to go out to eat or make dinner at home. Or maybe you’re wondering if you should make that difficult phone call. You might be considering infertility treatment, going back to school, moving across country, and even getting married.

God always has something to say about the matter, and it’s always right to pray about any decision. But God has given us the ability to act, to choose, to be in charge of significant parts of our lives and our world. As long as we’ve seriously sought His guidance there comes a time when it’s up to us to take action. And sometimes that’s a little scary.

Just a few days ago I was talking with a young lady who had always wanted to become a nurse. She had started taking a few college classes several years ago but having a baby turned her life in a different direction. At 32 years old, she’s now considering going back to school and wonders whether it’s too late. Her husband can’t understand why she would want to embark on such a challenging pursuit. But she can’t get the desire to become a nurse out of her heart.

So how do you make a decision when you don’t know the future? Here’s the ONE question that will help you make any decision:

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5 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

5 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

Feeling UpsetInto every life some difficult people must come. These are the people who make you feel small, stupid, and powerless. They’re the ones you assume you should have a relationship with, but you cringe every time you come in contact, or communicate with them. Somehow they have a way of making you feel like YOU are the crazy one. But somehow you still have to deal with difficult people.

Your difficult person might be your boss, your coworker, a sibling, an in-law, or even a parent. It might be a friend or classmate you developed a connection with before realizing how difficult the relationship would become. Whoever it is, they feel like a thorn in your side and you wish they would just go away.

A difficult person is not simply someone who needs your help. Here are some characteristics of a truly difficult person:

  • Refuses to take responsibility for their own life, feelings, and behavior
  • Turns simple challenges into major drama
  • Continually expects you to rescue them from their own problems
  • Makes you feel guilty if you don’t do what they demand
  • Blames you for any problems in the relationship, while demanding you stay connected
  • Responds to any help you provide with a demand for more, even if they voice appreciation at first
  • Has an answer for everything, and makes sure you realize that you don’t
  • Makes you feel confused, anxious, or “crazy” after interacting with them

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A Different Response To Victoria Osteen’s Comment

Following JesusCyperspace has recently been filled with reaction to a comment by Victoria Osteen: “When we obey God … we’re doing it for ourself.” Most of the reaction among the rest of the Christian community has been strongly negative. Facebook posts have lampooned her. Other YouTube videos have been created expressing disgust. Victoria and Joel Osteen are no strangers to controversy, but this recent barrage has been particularly nasty.

I have never been to Lakewood. I do not watch Joel Osteen on TV. My comments are strictly theological.  I am not defending Victoria. I disagree with several aspects of their ministry. But I would like to offer an alternative way to think about this controversy.

Jesus said, “Follow Me. Keep My commandments.” (Matt. 16:24, John 14:15) There’s no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

However, Jesus understood motivation. He certainly promised good things to His followers.

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.” Mark 10:28-30

So here’s the thought. The important thing is that we obey God and follow Jesus. Period.

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The Gospel Is Not For Wimps!

BibleSometimes we think the message of the Gospel offers good people a way to become better, get over their hangups and bad habits, and be happier. It’s for pleasant Christian people who show up in church on Sunday and then go out for lunch with a bumper sticker that says, “Honk if you love Jesus.” It’s about seeing to it that your children know the basic story of the Bible and say the sinner’s prayer.

All that is well and good. But it misses the point. The Gospel is lots of things, but it’s certainly NOT a Bandaid for our bruised egos, or a feel-good pill for when we’re having a bad day.

The Gospel as Jesus demonstrated it was a radical challenge to “normal” people. Jesus came both to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable!   Tweet that.

Jesus didn’t just come for nice people that society would consider respectable. The problems I have may seem big to me, and I’m grateful that God lets me talk to Him about them. But if the Gospel is worth anything at all, it speaks just as much to those whose problems really ARE big, and who aren’t respectable at all.

Remember that “Gospel” means “Good News.” What would be Good News to …

  • The single mother supporting her daughter by dancing at night in a strip club?
  • The 19 year-old meth addict kicked out of a foster home and now living on the streets?
  • The corporate executive racking up multi-million-dollar bonuses by producing borderline-quality products?
  • The defense lawyer employed by a defendant who broke the law in a violent crime?
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Free From the Gold, the Girls, and the Glory

Free From the Gold, the Girls, and the Glory

Man feeling shameI’m not going to name any names here, but you’ve certainly seen the stories. With painful regularity yet another preacher gets caught in a scandal. Donated funds have been diverted to personal use. An inappropriate sexual relationship is discovered. The “ministry” has become focused on someone’s personality rather than God’s work.

One more of God’s servants has fallen to the lure of the gold, the girls, or the glory.

And God’s enemy rejoices.

When you think about it, it’s a wonder God entrusts any of us human beings to be His messengers. We’ve messed things up ever since the days of Adam and Eve. The fact that the gospel is such an enduring and ever-expanding force in this world is a testament to IT’S power, not to that of the very earthen vessels it’s carried in. (See Rom 1:16, 2 Cor 4:7) As Joyce Meyer has said, we’re nothing but cracked pots!

We all sin. But when a person in Christian leadership breaks trust with a “big sin,” the larger damage to the Kingdom of God is the issue. It’s not that one thing is any harder for God to forgive than another: it’s that the impact on so many others becomes important.

Thank God for those who live with integrity over the long haul. Thank God for those who refuse to do anything that would bring dishonor on His church. Thank God that there are those who demonstrate day after day, year after year, that His grace is sufficient to keep one from falling.

No one can deem themselves automatically immune from the pull of financial gain, sexual indulgence, or worldly fame. There are at least three important things any potential leader must do to move through public life with any integrity.

  1. Live in the Sunlight.
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