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Showing posts from September, 2015

How to have a good Pity-Party

Some days are meant for pity-parties. I mean it. Some days, you just need to throw something or cry into a pillow because life is too hard. You know how to have a good pity-party. Just let somebody try and stop you. Two boxes of tissues, 2 candy bars, and maybe some uncontrolled behavior.

The downside to a pity-party is the aftermath. On top of feeling overwhelmed, pitching a fit provides very temporary relief; it might even reinforce your feelings of desperation.

I love reading the book of Job on those occasions when life seems unfair because you can't read about Job's life without feeling a little bit of relief. You just can't. Job had it worse than anybody I know, and it happened in one fell swoop. Talk about unfair.

Let me share one of Job's laments with you, so you can feel at least justified in having Biblical tantrum. I must point out one interesting fact, however. What makes this lament usable is that Job is taking his frustration to God. He's really not ta…

Do we really have to forgive everyone?

Today I read a great post about forgiveness by Gwen Theilges, appearing on Rodney Coe's website "Lift up your day," for which we both guest-write. I wanted to share it below: I’ve knelt at an altar, placing the names of people at His feet before. I’ve felt anger and betrayal, and if I told you each story, I’m willing to bet you’d agree that I’m justified in feeling wronged in at least a few of the situations. But, here’s the thing. Well, the things…First of all, there have been people kneeling at literal and figurative altars placing ME at the feet of Jesus before. I’ve wronged people. Sometimes I had the best of intentions, but unfortunately did something to hurt another person. And other times? I just got it wrong. No, let me use the real word – I sinned. And therefore sent someone directly to an altar trying to forgive me, or worse yet, directly in the opposite direction – where bitterness increases and peace is elusive…that place where we go to not lay people at the …

Confessing self-righteousness

How to confess your sin

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Feeling bad about something you've done? That's a good start. It's not enough to gain forgiveness, make it right, or change the behavior, but it's a good starting point. This little explanation below might help you to understand how to confess a sin and get victory over it (in other words, stop doing it again and again!).

The whole thing begins when you do something bad (i.e. selfish, unkind, harmful, cruel, debilitating, disrespectful, addictive, etc.). God's standard is holiness, so pretty much that dumps most of our behavior in the unholy category. Event most of the nice things we do, we do with ulterior motive--being nice to others helps our lives function better. But after we do something wrong, the need for confession begins--




1. You feel guilty. The question to ask yourself is--how does this behavior line up with God's standard? Then you know if the guilt is from God or you mother. (Sometimes they agree on the standard.) If God says it's wrong, it…

Own your Sin

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3 Encouragements on 9/11

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Yesterday I taught a Bible study on learning to praise first when you pray. I mentioned that the focus of my prayers should always be on God rather than me, because when I focus on God's character--his goodness, faithfulness, and grace--only then will I have faith to pray for the things I need. Only then will I have the right perspective and the right motive to pray. Prayer is about sitting in the presence of God, not getting something from Him.

I suggested forming prayers of praise around three important components:
1. God’s character—who is He? 2. God’s actions toward you—how does he treat you?

How to form a prayer of praise

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Praise is a curious and unique activity.
Flattery puffs you up. Thankfulness warms you up. But praise makes you look up.

Praise provides the groundwork for all prayers, whether requests for deliverance or confession of wrongful actions. Without praise, I all too easily look past God's authority and grace, and I only see the answers I'm hoping I'll get.

Without praise, my prayers are nothing more than "Honey-do" lists for the spiritual genie in the sky. Without praise, I lose perspective of whom I am and who God is, the Creator and Sustainer of Life. The Author and Finisher of my faith. The Great I AM. Think on that for a second. (I bet you will begin praising Him!)

Choose from this little checklist for suggestions on how to praise God:

Describe God's characterAffirm God's intentions toward youExpress your love for GodCount the blessings God is already providing for youRemember God's past faithfulnessExpress your faith in God, regardless of present cir…

Psalm 8

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O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider the heavens and the works of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


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