You’re Not Afraid? I Don’t Believe You

No FearYou might say, “Nothing scares me.”

But I don’t believe you.

I don’t mean that in a mean way. The truth is, you and I are human. We have feelings. God made us that way.

The question is not, “Are you afraid?” The real question is, “What are you afraid of?”

And even more importantly, “What are you going to do about it?”

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about fear. Some in Christian circles affirm you should never be afraid of anything. And in heaven that will be true. But down here, it’s a factor we must continually deal with in our finite human existence.

Think of it like sickness. God doesn’t want you sick. If you live a healthy lifestyle you have a better likelihood of not being sick. But you are not a failure as a Christian if your physical human body develops a sickness.

Similarly, God doesn’t want you afraid.

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10 Things to Leave Behind in 2014

Let It GoThere’s nothing magic about adding a number to the year on the calendar. But a new year provides a wonderful opportunity to leave behind things that aren’t working.

You might call it “Zero Sum Life.” Start with zero. Don’t assume anything needs to remain in your life that isn’t in line with your values, your purpose, and your conscious decisions.

At least briefly review your physical lifestyle, money habits, thoughts and emotions, use of time, personal relationships, and spiritual practices. Ask a few important questions about each area, and it’s likely you will find things that you can do without in 2014.

Here are some things you might choose to leave behind in the new year:

  1. Negative people. Some relationships may have been necessary or beneficial at one time, but are no longer working. Not all friendships or business connections are forever.
  2. Automatic payments. Are you still using that gym membership? Reading that magazine? Enjoying that music subscription? Relishing that gourmet food item? You might be surprised how much money you could find in your monthly budget.
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Christianity and the Culture Wars

It’s almost Christmas! Are you greeting others with “Merry Christmas?” Perhaps you’ve put up a Christmas display at your house, or helped put one up at church, or even in the town square.

If you’re watching this in the United States, you probably think you are living in a Christian nation. I hope this past Thanksgiving one of the things you thanked God for was the privilege of living in this great country, for the freedoms we do have, and for those who have lived and died to preserve our freedoms.

But you also know that there are many who would strongly disagree that this is a Christian nation. Many expressions of Christianity have received and continue to receive strong opposition from those who have another agenda.

Watch this week’s video for what’s really important behind Christianity and the Culture Wars:

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MEMO: Getting Past Your Past

Have you ever felt really stuck? I don’t mean you’re simply at a loss for words when writing a business proposal or a school assignment. I mean something big has its claws in your brain and you feel like you just can’t move. No matter how hard you try you can’t get rid of the baggage that is weighing you down and holding you back.

That “something big” could be any number of things. It might be:

  • a troubled or abusive childhood
  • domestic violence
  • a history of mental illness
  • an addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or gambling
  • a series of failed relationships
  • sexual indiscretions
  • a divorce
  • a business failure
  • an abortion
  • the death of a loved one

As Patrick Dempsey says to Reece Witherspoon in the movie Sweet Home Alabama, “So you have a past. Who doesn’t?”

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How to Find the Freedom of Forgiveness

How to Find the Freedom of Forgiveness

You’ve been wronged. Badly. Someone stole a lot of money from you. Your spouse cheated on you. Someone told horrible lies about you. You were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. You were purposefully passed over in a business deal. A loved one was killed.

There comes a time after every such horrible wrong where you must make a decision. And it’s yours alone to make. You have only two choices. Do you:

  • Remain hurt and miserable, or
  • Do the hard work of forgiveness.

Remember, it’s your choice. Before you quit reading, let me acknowledge the depths of your pain. I may not know exactly where you hurt: pain is a very private thing. But I can give you the respect you deserve and need. I only ask that you think about what I have to say.

Forgiveness sets you free. It does much more for the one doing the forgiving than the one needing to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is also one of the hardest things for most people to do. There’s a sweet misery in nursing your wounds. Having been hurt is a wonderful excuse for all kinds of bad behavior.

Forgiveness is a process much more than a one-time event. It’s been misunderstood and made light of far too much. Here’s what forgiveness is, what it is not, and how to do it.

Forgiveness is:

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