Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘growth’

24 Reading Recommendations For The New Year

This week a dear pastor friend and I corresponded about helpful books to share with others. As we near the end of the year I would challenge you to create a reading list for the next twelve months. Be intentional. Begin collecting the ones you do not have. Make a plan to read purposefully in the coming year. I have always found it helpful to read on a variety of subjects and to read both older and newer books. With that in mind, I would like to recommend twelve older books and twelve newer books for you to consider. While I cannot give a blanket endorsement of every author, I can tell you that each of these books has made…

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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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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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Going the Second Mile

Scott Pauley

It doesn’t mean much to us, but to the crowd Christ was speaking to it was radical, revolutionary, even ridiculous. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:41). The Jews lived under constant Roman oppression. One demand by a Roman soldier or citizen would require a Jewish person to carry their burden for a mile. It was an inconvenient and unjust law. Israel lived in anticipation of the coming of Messiah. One who would deliver them from such tyranny! Now, here He stood…telling them they should carry their Roman neighbors pack for a second mile?!? Surely this could not be what He meant. But it was. In this one verse lies the secret…

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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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What to Do When Your Devotional Life Grows Stale

Has your devotional life become dry? As far as you know there is no unconfessed sin. You are reading the Bible and going through the mechanics of prayer, but it seems like mere motion. We have all been there! People often think that preachers must jump out of bed in the morning, always excited about their quiet time with God. Nothing could be further from the truth! We all battle with flesh. Even on our best days there is a struggle to keep the devotional life fresh. Permit me to share a few practical suggestions that have been of help to me…  Sometimes it is good to “switch things up.” All of us can get in a rut – our souls…

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Your Habits: Routine or Rut?

Just this week as I walked through an airport bookstore I saw yet another volume on the development of habits.  Indeed, every detail of life is full of routine.  This does not mean that days are dull and uneventful!  It is often in the routines of life that God demonstrates His great power and wisdom. There is, however, a difference between routines and ruts. Habits are powerful things.  They are either enslaving habits or liberating habits.  Horace Mann, the famed educator, wrote, “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.” Properly planned routines are habits of life that are rooted in meaning and purpose – disciplines that keep us…

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A Daily Habit Everyone Should Form

All of my books have my name in them.  They are like members of the family (just ask my wife!).  In part, I put my name in the flyleaf of my books because I enjoy sharing them with others, but I always want to get them back.  To share a good book is to invest in the life of another.  When I am with friends one of my first questions is: “What have you read recently that is good?” There is no book like the Bible.  It is God’s Book and unparalleled by anything man has to write.  Yet those who study the Bible will tell you that one of the best things you can do for your mind and…

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