Enjoying the Journey

Reflections on Life

A Lesson From A Student

A few days ago I was talking with a school teacher who has a number of special education children in her class. As we spoke about the importance of this work, she told me that there was one student who had made a tremendous impact on her. This young man shows up every morning with a smile on his face. He is positive all through the day. He always has something nice to say. My teacher friend said that this one young man is like a ray of sunshine every day. One morning she finally asked, “How are you so happy all of the time?” With tears in her eyes she relayed to me his simple and sincere reply. He…

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Are You In A Holding Pattern?

There are few things more frustrating than the pilot’s announcement that your flight is in a holding pattern! How long? Why? What is the problem? When will this end? In recent days I have counseled with a number of people whose lives and ministries seem to be in such a holding pattern. What is God doing? When will this be done? Why did this happen? The questions come frequently in such times…but the answers do not come as easily. I lived through a season like this in my own life. There was no green light or red light. More of a caution. Wait. Go slow. Watch. Listen. It was in this period of time that the Lord taught me some…

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Suicide is More Than A Statistic

Scott Pauley

Suicide is up 300% from my father’s generation. Over the last few months I have read an alarming number of articles on the suicide rate in our nation. A quick Google search will reveal that suicide is on the rise in almost every region – and most alarming, it is on the rise among pre-teens. Would it surprise you to know that a number of the greatest people in the Bible at one time thought they would rather die than live? Job gave up on life. Elijah prayed to die. Moses wanted the Lord to kill him. Jeremiah said he wished he had never been born. Jonah thought death was better than life. What a list! Yes, good people sometimes…

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Ideas for Keeping Yourself Fresh

Living on the road can be a challenge. In fact, life itself is a challenge! The duties and demands of every day. The pull and pressure of people. It is so easy for all of us to grow weary…to let our souls grow stale. How do you stay fresh? Apply these simple ideas today… Read! Books keep your mind working. Draw from many wells and there will always be a fresh supply of truths to meditate on. Spend time with those who sharpen you. Recently I had the privilege to spend some time with a pastor who ministered to me. In fact, after a busy season of preaching I actually left feeling refreshed instead of drained! Sincere conversation with a…

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Why I Started Running & Why I Plan to Continue

A little over two years ago I started running. I didn’t plan to do it. In fact, I’m not sure why I went out that first day. I remember saying to my wife, “I’m going for a run.” Her loving, tender answer was, “You’re not a runner!” And she was right. In fact, I’ve never been a runner. But I became one. One run at a time. When I came home that first day I felt better. My mind was clearer. So I did it a second day, and a third, and…you get the point. Now, these many months later I can say it was one of the best things I have ever done. And it’s not just physical. There…

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Departures, Delays, and Detours

Someone said to me not long ago, “You must really love to travel!” Anyone who has spent much time on the road will tell you that the initial thrill and adventure wears off fairly quickly. Something else has to keep you going. Life itself is a journey – full of goodbyes, unexpected circumstances, and change. These realities can be both frustrating and sad. How do you keep moving forward? The way to deal with departures, delays, and detours is to keep your heart set on the destination! Sometimes the road is long. Some days the journey is tiring. But Someone is waiting for you at the end. My response to my friend was this, “I don’t always love to travel but I…

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How to Be Happy In An Unhappy World

My favorite book of the Bible is the little New Testament book of Philippians. I love it for many reasons, but most of all, because it is a book of joy. Repeatedly we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God not only commands us to rejoice, He shows us the way. I believe the Lord intended for us to enjoy the journey. One of Christ’s favorite words was “blessed” or superlatively happy. In His closing words to His disciples He gave them instructions and said, “Happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17). How can you be happy in an unhappy world? Stop trying to be happy. Have you ever…

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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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A Tribute to Pastor Sexton on His 50th Ministry Anniversary

Along the journey God brings people across your path who will forever affect your life. He did that for me in August of 1994. In the good providence of God I enrolled as a freshman at Crown College in Powell, Tennessee. Little did I know the lasting influence that Pastor Sexton would have on me and my entire family. Like so many other students I listened, watched, and learned from Pastor’s example and exhortations. His “fireside chats” were the favorite. The powerful statements he repeated to us now flow freely from my own heart and mind nearly every day. When I graduated in 1997 he invited me to stay, work on a master’s degree, and help him with a few…

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