Enjoying the Journey

Personal Growth

A Fresh Look At Familiar Scriptures

“Why didn’t I see that? Where did that preacher get the understanding of that passage…and how could I have missed it?” Sound familiar? We have all had these questions. Perhaps you have had the experience of reading a well-known Scripture and suddenly seeing something you did not see before. This is the adventure of God’s truth. It was there all along, but there is always more to discover. Sometimes it is passages that are most familiar that are most neglected. We have read it hundreds of times. It could be recited from memory. Dozens of sermons have been given on the same verses. And, yet…could it be that there is more God has for us? The more I study the…

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The Danger Of Shipwreck

As I ran along the coast in a Florida community some time ago I saw one of the most vivid reminders of the dangers of life. The sun was shining bright and the skies were clear. People around me mingled in the park, walking their dogs and talking to one another. Expensive private boats floated along the pier. And there in the middle of all that beauty was the wreckage… No doubt, the boat had served some useful purpose. Perhaps a family had enjoyed wonderful days onboard. Now it sat at the bottom of the harbor. The only evidence that it existed was the mast still sticking out of the water. A severe storm had revealed some weakness in the…

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What Is Your Drug Of Choice?

An opioid epidemic is now sweeping our nation. Everywhere I travel I read the horrific stories of death and destruction being caused by illegal drugs. Even as politicians and health care professionals try to find some solution marijuana use has become generally accepted and legalized. The original drug of alcohol is being accepted now by more and more professing followers of Christ. Addiction to prescription meds is pervasive. We are the most drugged generation in history! What used to be considered inner city drug culture has now permeated small town America. Now for the ugly truth… We all have them. Not all are illegal, but all are sinful. They are the things or people that we turn to as an…

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Are You Seeking God’s Direction For Some Decision?

At every stage on the journey we face crossroads – choices that will have long-lasting effects on both ourselves and others. Direction determines destination. There is never a day that we do not need God’s wisdom and never a season of life that we can afford to make decisions on our own. Week after week I meet people in every place where I travel who are trying to find the Lord’s will. What should I do? Who should I marry? Where should I go to college? How should I deal with this problem? When will the time be right to make a move? Perhaps the greater question, the question that helps to answer all of the others, is: How do…

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You Are What You Eat.

This is not an article on health and wellness. It is much more important than that. (If my mother is reading this I want to go on record as saying that I do believe we all should eat our vegetables! Love you, mom.) The question is: why would we take better care of our bodies than we do our souls? A man’s spirit is most important because it is the eternal part of him. This is what the Apostle Paul taught when he wrote to young Timothy, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). The greater thing…

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What Is The Most Important Lesson You Have Learned?

As I write these words I am sitting in northern Michigan. It is a beautiful summer day at camp. This morning at breakfast I had an engaging conversation with a young man who is starting out in ministry. Near the end of our time together he asked me a question that seemed very broad. And yet as I reflected on his question only one answer would come to mind. Q: “What is the most important lesson you have learned in ministry?” While a hundred great truths could be discussed, there is one that stands out above the rest. It is the answer I gave to my young friend. It is the answer the Holy Spirit gave to me. A: “My…

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You Have To Work Hard To Keep It Simple

He was an engineer who had been responsible for the invention of things too intricate for me to understand. Yet the message he conveyed to me was one that I not only understood, I needed to hear. Over a meal in a city where I was speaking a very kind Christian gentleman was explaining to me the type of work he had been in and the specific machinery that he had designed. In the middle of that conversation he remarked, “The hardest machine to build is a simple one. The hardest building to construct is a simple one. You have to work hard to keep it simple.” Now, I am no engineer! But the principle applies to us all: The…

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How To Make This The Greatest Summer Of Your Life

Today is the official beginning of summer. Students will tell you that summer begins the moment they are out of school. For adults, summer doesn’t seem to begin until you leave work for that first day of vacation. It means something different to everyone but almost everyone (except for pastors!) will tell you they love this time of year. Summer is one of the most anticipated and one of the most wasted seasons of the whole year. The warm months are often a time of sloth and spiritual retreat when they could be an opportunity for growth. The vacation mentality too easily permeates every part of our life and instead of rest we retreat. Fast-forward three months from today…Where do you…

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The Difference Between Faithfulness And Routine

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). We all want to be faithful…but what does that mean? Faithfulness is not a schedule; it is a spirit. There are many people who are present but not present. Fathers who are at home but not really with their family. Church members who are in the meetings but not truly engaged. Preacher’s who are going through the motions but have lost heart. There is a difference between faithfulness and mere routine. Vance Havner once observed, “A rut is just a grave with both ends knocked out of it!” Routines can become ruts. Ruts are death. Here is the real issue: faithful to what? Many a…

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Just For Preachers

I love preachers. It was my privilege to grow up in a pastor’s home. For eighteen years I served under a faithful pastor. Now, it is my opportunity each week to spend a great deal of time with preachers across the country. One thing I know to be true: God’s men need times of refreshing and encouragement. The battle is fierce. Flesh is weak. Demands are great. And only the Lord can give strength to press on. Vance Havner was famous for saying, “If we don’t come apart we will come apart.” His comment was based on our Lord’s words to His own disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for…

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