Enjoying the Journey

Reflections on Life

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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The Danger of Erasing History

In 1948 Winston Churchill said to the House of Commons, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Our own nation is in the midst of a revolution. An outright revolt against history. While not everything in our history is good, it is true. And only truth can guide us forward. The attack is not new. It is one of Satan’s greatest strategies: cause people to forget their past and you can affect their future. We have for many years seen a wave of “revisionist history” at work in our educational system. Rewrite what you don’t like. Now, it is even more pronounced. Erase it all. What is true on a national scale is also true on a…

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My Final Trip

Late last night I returned from meetings in Georgia and Tennessee. Soon I will leave for another appointment in Ohio. It is a way of life in itinerant evangelism. A friend said to me this week, “You must really love to travel!” Not always. I love the Lord. I love preaching His Word. I love fulfilling the call of God upon my life. I love being with pastors and local churches. I love seeing people come to Jesus Christ. I love witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit. …but, I don’t always love travel. Recently I started meditating on my final trip. It is already scheduled, though I don’t know any of the details. (And that is ok with me!)…

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A Post By My 17 Year Old Daughter

Tammy and I thank the Lord for our children. Like every parent we pray that they will desire to follow Christ. More and more I understand the words of John, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). Recently our oldest daughter Morgan posted some thoughts through social media on the subject of teen suicide. The Lord used them to speak to some young people and I asked her for permission to share her thoughts here. It is our prayer that they will encourage others. The following are Morgan’s own words… As I look on my generation I see a group of teenagers filled with questions, filled with pain, and filled…

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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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