Enjoying the Journey

Personal Growth

The Most Important Lessons I Learned in My College Years

A few days ago I had the joy of addressing a group of college students in a local church. There were freshmen and upperclassmen, full of hope and excitement as they approached the beginning of a new year. Life is divided into seasons and every season has a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The college years are a time of preparation. In these days God is at work in so many ways to prepare young people for all He has for them. All of college was good for me. Dorm life. Student Events. Even History of Civilization. As I reflected on my college years I began to see that it was in this season of life that I began to understand that some…

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A Simple Practice to Add to Your Morning Routine

What is your morning routine? We all have one. Typically, mine begins with a trip to the coffee maker! While there are simple variations to my morning routine I try to follow the same pattern each morning regardless of where I am. The course of the day is charted in the first moments of the morning. While there is no perfect formula for everyone, there are key ingredients. The Word of God Coffee Prayer Coffee Some conversation with those you love Coffee Physical exercise Coffee Adequate time to get ready Coffee A good breakfast …you get the idea. My wife has a dish towel in our kitchen that says, “This house runs on love, laughter, and strong coffee.” She is…

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Can You Go One Day Without It?

Relax. I’m not going to ask you to give up something important like chocolate or coffee. I want to ask you to give up something far more destructive. A few days ago I started to say something in casual conversation to a family member. It was a thoughtless comment. A negative word about someone I did not even know. At that moment the Holy Spirit convicted me. Now, as a general rule, I am a fairly positive person. But those who know me best would tell you that when I get overly tired I can also get irritable. We all must guard ourselves at such times. One careless, critical word can do such damage. And so back to my story……

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This Month’s Free Downloadable Resource!

Just this week someone asked me where they should begin in their Bible reading. So many people are looking for a plan or devotional help. Some are looking for a place to get started. Others are looking for a place to start again. It is easy to allow your devotional life to grow stale. Remember that your soul may grow dry but the Word of God never does – it is perennially fresh! Go back to the Scriptures and you will find that the river still flows! My suggestion to others in recent days connects to this month’s free resource: REDISCOVER THE PSALMS. The book of Psalms is God’s devotional book for His chosen people. It is both the Hebrew…

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The Power of One Kind Word

The other day I wrote a short post about how the devil loves to use our words to tear others down. Permit me to share the positive side of this truth: the Lord desires to use our words to build others up! The Scripture says, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren” (James 4:11). But it also declares, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29). Yes, we are to withhold unkind and hurtful words. Yet how many days we sin against others by withholding kind and helpful words! It is not enough that we do not criticize or accuse.…

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The Devil Doesn’t Need Our Help!

Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, “It takes no size to criticize.” Indeed one of the smallest things a man can do is to tear someone else down. Christ always sought to build men up – it is the devil who seeks to devour. There are many names used in Scripture for Satan. One of the last ones reveals one of his lasting strategies. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter twelve, and verse ten, we read: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day…

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A Simple Idea for Families

Families are busier than they have ever been. One of the most challenging things to do as a spouse or parent is consistently read the Bible with your family. I must confess that I feel I have failed in this area more often than I have succeeded. We have done better at certain seasons than at others, but I want to be more diligent in putting the Word of God into our hearts and home. Pastor Sexton instructed us that a Christian home has more to do with what you put into it than what you take out of it. In one of the classic passages on the family the Heavenly Father reminds us that a key element in home…

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What to Do with Your Emotions

Emotions are a gift from God. They are also marred with the sin nature of Adam. When they are under God’s reign they feel as He feels, but when they are “out of control” they are both deceptive and destructive. The longer I work with people, the more I come to see my own depraved heart, I am convinced that emotions are the devils playground. For some reason – perhaps because he knows how susceptible we are to suggestion – much spiritual warfare takes place at the soul level. In our emotions. Think of it. Depression. Anxiety. Fear. Anger. Guilt. Envy. Jealousy. Pride. Hatred. Despair. All emotions. Many times those who are most careful to avoid sins of the flesh…

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3 Things I Am Praying for My Words

Words are powerful things. Spoken, written, typed, or texted – they are vehicles of communication that tend to last. If not on paper, in the hearts and minds of others. With our words we build up, and with our words we tear down. Solomon declared, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). James said that with the same tongue we “bless” and “curse” (James 3:19-20). Many a marriage bears the wounds of a word that never should have been spoken. Children carry the powerful words of their parents with them their entire life. Churches are often divided, fellow children of God alienated from one another, because of senseless words. There are three things I have…

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What I Learned Clearing a Fence Row

Over the last few months we have been clearing a fence row around our new home. The underbrush was thick and the work was slow going. Thanks to my dad’s tractor and my father-in-law’s chain saw some progress has been made, but the work continues! One afternoon, covered in brush and perspiration, the truth of it all came home to my heart. Jesus loved to teach in the outdoors. And He used whatever was at hand as an object lesson. He still does. The physical often reflects a deeper spiritual reality. As I stood looking at the thorns and briers, the Holy Spirit said, “This is your heart. It gets overgrown with the underbrush of life, the debris of this…

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