Enjoying the Journey

Reflections on Life

The First Step

The first day of a new year. What will we do with it? It will never get any easier than today to take action. Never. Do you want to learn more from God’s Word this year? Take the first step – read a chapter of the Bible today. Do you want to pray more this year? Take the first step – go to a quiet room and get alone with God now. Do you want to reach someone for Christ? Take the first step – get out of your office and go find someone to talk to. Do you want to spend more time with family? Take the first step – log off the computer and have a conversation. Do…

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‘Tis The Season…For Resolutions

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Christmas and New Year are a time for family and fun. But for a believer it is a season of faith. A time to turn our eyes to Christ and to His work in our lives. The holidays are to be more than a time for festivity. They are to be a time of reflection and worship. In fact, the word holiday comes from holy day. (Read more about that here.) Appropriately this season is celebrated just before the dawn of a new year. The older I get the more this season becomes a time of reflection and preparation in my own heart. ‘Tis the season to be jolly? ‘Tis the season to search your heart! ‘Tis the season to…

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3 Marks of True Friends

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As a boy I heard an older man say, “If you have a handful of true friends in life you are a wealthy person.” At the time I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I had a lot of friends! I planned to make more… Now, at middle age, I am that older man! And I am beginning to understand. There are many casual friendships in life, and even more acquaintances. But, true friends? They are rare, precious, priceless. And they do not come by accident. It is easy to make friends. It is harder to keep them. Some people make friends easily, but true friendship requires work. Someone has to work at it! The same is true for maintaining…

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How to Make Winter the Most Fruitful Season of the Year

Winter is not often thought of as fruitful. In many parts of the country short days and cold weather begin to limit the activities of the church. Depressed moods can settle in on good people, and days are just lived in expectation of better times to come. Never forget that our God is a present tense God. He is the “I AM.” And He is at work right now, right where you are. Refuse to allow this season to be wasted. The Lord never wastes a day and He longs to make every moment count in us. There is a danger to “down times.” (Read more about “Dealing with Down Times” here.) Boredom and idleness can become traps for a…

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Taken For Granted

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We take family for granted…until they are gone. We take health for granted…until it is broken. We take sleep for granted…until it refuses to come. We take children for granted…until they are grown.   We take the church for granted…until we have to find a new one. We take friends for granted…until they are not near. We take sunshine for granted…until the clouds descend. We take rain for granted…until the drought.   We take our mind for granted…until its thoughts are clouded. We take Christ’s fellowship for granted…until our heart grows cold. We take senses for granted…until they begin to fade. We take youth for granted…until we are old.   We take the gospel for granted…until a lost friend dies.…

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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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