Enjoying the Journey

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3 Christmas Traditions

We all have them. At times they must be adjusted, but always they live in our memory. Traditions held with family and friends. Fixed reference points in a world that is constantly changing. Christmas is especially a time for tradition. There is a danger in allowing traditions to take the place only truth should hold in our hearts and homes. The strongest traditions are those that are rooted in truth. These stand the test of both time and eternity. In the Pauley home we have traditions just like everyone else. Mom and dad have always loved Christmas and set so many traditions in motion. In addition to many of these, Tammy and I have started some of our own. This…

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My Advice to Church Staff Members

Over the last few weeks I have had the privilege of spending time with a number of church staff members in the places where I have been preaching. This is always a great joy for me. More than eighteen years of my life and ministry were spent as a staff member. Every day I thank God for the lessons I learned working under a faithful pastor and for his patience and investment in my life. Now I find myself repeating so many truths and drawing from the experiences I had through those years. One day many years ago I sat across the table from one of the men that had come to preach in our church and college. He shared…

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Our Greatest Need

Over the last several weeks I have had the privilege of meeting so many praying people. I have been honored and humbled to meet people who I do not know and hear them say, “I pray for you every day.” Never in my life have I felt more the need for intercessory prayer! D.L. Moody wrote, “I have noticed, in traveling up and down the country, and after mingling with a great many ministers, that it is not the man who can preach the best that is the most successful, but the man who knows how to get his people together to pray. If the man who is your minister preaches the gospel, you stand by him; pray for him.…

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My New Favorite Airport

This week I have been in multiple airports. Some are better than others. All are the same after awhile! In a few minutes I am landing at my new favorite airport. No, it is not the largest or most modern, but it speaks to me every time I am here. Perhaps a story will help you understand why… Dr. Lee Roberson was a spiritual father to one of my spiritual fathers. He was an example of faith and faithfulness in the work of the Lord. In my study I have one of his most popular books, The Faith that Moves Mountains. Anyone who heard Dr. Roberson speak would testify that faith in God was one of his hallmark themes. One of…

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Too Busy to Pray?

Aunt Goldie is with the Lord now. I rode my bike past her house hundreds of times as a boy. In the summer she was almost always sitting on the front porch in the swing. Life was simple. There were few material possessions and yet she was a happy woman. One afternoon she said to me, “You know, Scott, sometimes I like to just get down on my knees and look at Him.” I thought maybe she was losing her mind! Now I understand that her mind was clearer than most. Life revolved around fellowship with Christ. She was living for another world. The last few months have been some of the busiest of my life. At times like these…

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Christmas in Heaven?

There is a well-known song that imagines what Christmas must be like in Heaven.  In truth, Heaven is one endless season of joy.  In that beautiful place the wonder of Christmas does not come just once a year.  Years are not counted in that city; it is one endless day – one continuing celebration! At this season I think of my grandparents more than ever.  There was no place quite like Grandma’s house for Christmas.  They are all with the Lord now.  Perhaps it is fitting that we think of Heaven more at this time of the year when home is so very precious. There are many things we do not know for sure about Heaven.  Based on Scripture’s description…

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Giving Thanks on the Day After Thanksgiving

Recently an ad on the front page of the USA Today read, “WHO are you thankful for?”  When most of us list the things for which we are most grateful it is a list of what instead of who.  O yes, we say we are thankful for family.  But, who specifically? Or take for example the way we express gratitude for eternal life.  “I am thankful for salvation, grateful that I do not have to go to hell.  I am headed to heaven.”  We have reduced our thankfulness to something or someplace.  In reality, eternal life is Someone.  Eternal life is the life of the eternal One living in us!  We should be grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ. This same…

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My Thanksgiving List in One Sentence

Early this morning I woke up with one phrase on my mind.  It is repeated often in the Scripture – a familiar refrain.  One psalm in particular uses this powerful statement in every one of its twenty-six verses.  The inspired psalmist begins this way, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 136:1). There it is.  His mercy endureth forever. Every blessing in my life hinges on that one truth.  Every good thing I enjoy and every judgment I have escaped is summarized in this: His mercy endureth forever. Take the time to meditate on Psalm 136.  At first glance it seems like a historical psalm.  In fact, it is a deeply personal one.…

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A 31 Day Devotional Challenge that Could Change the Way You Approach the Bible

Two of God’s most blessed servants, one hundred years apart, practiced the same devotional habit.  Both George Whitefield and George Mueller read the Bible each day on their knees.  This was more than mere form.  Their position represented an attitude of humility, reverence, and prayer.  God’s revelation demands a response. Scripture should not be approached as a lecture; it should be engaged as a conversation.  Martin Luther wrote, “To pray well is to study well.”  Communion with the Author will open up the truth of the Bible as nothing else.  When God speaks to us, it is most natural to speak to Him.  In this way the devotional life becomes a dialogue between the Lord and the believer. Early this…

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7 Things A Blog Has Taught Me About Writing

We were standing in a bookstore surrounded by thousands of good books when I asked the question: “How do you begin writing?”  The advice of one of my spiritual fathers that afternoon has been of immeasurable help to me.  He said three things.  First, get a copy of William Safire’s Fumblerules.  I still have that helpful little volume, but more importantly I learned that to be a writer you have to work at it.  Second, he counseled me not to publish too early.  “When you are older your ideas will have formulated more clearly.  You will be glad you waited.”  He was right.  Finally, he said, “Start.  Begin with writing short articles and you will develop a style and the ability…

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