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Doing a Bible Sturdy (no, that’s not a typo)

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Matthew 7:24

 

I’m a terrible typist, and a lot of the time autocorrect aids and abets my stupidity.

Most recently, it disagreed with me about my friend’s daughter’s name. My dear friend was blessed with a beautiful daughter she named Taryn, and as you would expect, absolute flurries of texting ensued. But it seemed that no matter how I typed “Taryn,” auto correct morphed it into “Terrible.”

As in, “What a beautiful pic of Terrible! What a doll!”

Or, “How did Terrible sleep last night?”

One thing you DON’T want to call your BFF’s beloved adopted infant is Terrible. (Good thing my sweet friend is so understanding!) Because of this, I began to notice other funny goofs autocorrect and I were making together:

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I Will Cut Off

Read it! Psalm 101

The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

(vs. 4)

Think it through

This past Mother’s Day our pastor (Ken Murphy at Cypress) gave a great sermon from Judges 4 about, among other things, a woman named Jael. Just as a refresher, Jael was the gal who used a hammer to drive a tent peg through the head of a Canaanite military commander. She hammered so forcefully that the peg went into the ground below.

So, that was a fun Mother’s Day story! Truly, Pastor Ken made a fantastic point: sometimes we need to take a sin and kill it. Drive a tent peg through it and be done.

I was strongly reminded of Jael’s story when I read the “I will’s” in Psalm 101:

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Will You Invite Them In?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 

 

As I speak and write, I hear people make many statements about organizing—and often they’re the same things over and over. This is one of the most common:

“My house is such a mess I could never have anyone over.”

 

This breaks my heart. I address this very comment in my talk about party organization (Christian Hostessing). Basically, I share my opinion that:

  1. The people who love us don’t care what our house looks like.
  2. The people who are critically judging our homemaking skills… well, they probably need to get closer to Jesus, so we need to invite them on in and share our faith!

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How to Organize Your Small Group

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

 

Our church is moving into a Small Group model (also known as Life Groups, Home Groups, Fellowship Groups, or Community Groups). In these groups, we’ll support one another. We’ll challenge one another to grow—iron sharpens iron. I know these things, and I miss being a part of a group at church… but I’m hesitant to jump on in.

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Sometimes it’s the Forgetting

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.

-Psalm 130:3-4 (The Message)

 

Have you ever forgiven someone, but then had a hard time forgetting the pain?

I was reminded lately (by a Joyce Meyer devotional) that there are two hurtful situations that I’m having trouble forgetting. One particular situation will never be repeated, and so that person won’t have the chance to hurt me in the same way. I’m pretty far down the path toward forgiving and forgetting. The other person, though, could and quite possibly will hurt me again in exactly that way.

How do we guard our hearts without hurting our relationships?

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Do You Really Know Your Love Language?

I just finished reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Again.

I adore this book and think it’s applicable to all kinds of relationships, from marriage to friendships to family relationships. So, to help celebrate Valentine’s Day, I decided to read it again—this time thinking about my kids as well as my husband.

If you haven’t read it, the gist is that we all appreciate certain kinds of love more than others. Many, many of you will have read this or at least will have heard of it. You probably think you know your love language and that of your spouse (and possibly kids).

You might be wrong.

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Stop the Debate

Read it! John 18

Jesus answered, “…Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

(vs37&38)

Think it through

I imagine Pilate nearly snorting here—“Ha! What is truth?”—like it doesn’t exist… perhaps because I’ve heard that condescending tone before.

Perhaps you have, too.

When I’ve tried to discuss religion with a non-believer (in other words, when I try to share my joy in Christ with them), I’ve had people look me in the eye and tell me I’m elitist, close-minded, and conceited. How could I possibly think that Christians are right and everyone else is wrong? What is truth?

Here’s the thing: there is truth. The Earth and everything on it exists and came from somewhere. We are either here for a purpose, or we’re not. When we die, we either go somewhere, or we don’t. There is reality. There is truth.

Either one religion has it right and the rest are wrong, or we’re all wrong. Saying we could all be right isn’t a choice. You can’t have it more than one way. You can’t say everyone can believe what they want and still be right. That’s ludicrous.

I believe that God created everything, that He gave us purpose, and that if we embrace his son wholeheartedly we’ll live in heaven for eternity. Yes, that’s “just my perspective”—but I know it’s truth in every fiber of my being.

My pastor recently said that we’ll never debate anyone into a relationship with Jesus. What we can do is love people to the Lord. We can overwhelm them with a sacrificial love from a heart on fire for God.  We can show them unexplainable love that points to Jesus like a burning bush.

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Real Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness are here to stay, and that’s a good, good thing.

There are movies about them. There are books about them. Just type “random acts of kindness ideas” into Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean!

What’s interesting to me is that the whole RAK movement as been largely secularly based. So many people out there are looking for ways to show love, receive love, and focus on love in their lives… and that’s great.

 

But what they really need is Jesus.

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9 Ways to Party Heart-y!

Spiritual clutter is usually a bad thing, but sometimes persistent, nagging thoughts are actually useful. 

Thoughts like We haven’t gotten together with them in ages or I’d really like to get to know her better can remind us to reach out to the people in our lives.  They could even be Holy Spirit Nudges, urging you to minister to others and deepen your relationships through hosting.

We can accomplish the Lord’s work and further the Kingdom of Heaven through the gift of our homes.  Romans 12:12-13 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.” 

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Are You an Encourager—Really?

Read it! Acts 13

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets,

the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying,

“Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

(vs 15)

Think it through

I like to think of myself as an encourager.   Whenever I take a “Spiritual Gift Test,” the gift of encouragement pops up as my secondary gift (the gift of teaching always comes in first!). I’m great at complimenting cute outfits and verbally admiring personal traits… but sometimes I find myself feeling too shy to give the real encouragement that Paul and Barnabus shared so boldly.

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