Enjoying the Journey

Have you noticed? Everyone is looking at their mobile device…constantly! In the grocery store. Around the dinner table. Driving down the road. Walking through town. Consumed with a digital world, we are no longer conscious of the world God placed us in. Concerned about connections and messages we are losing real relationships with those who are closest to us on earth. We have added so much information and interaction to life – have we stopped to consider what we may be losing? While we are looking at our phones… We miss what is above us. When you are always looking down it is impossible to look up. Recently I walked outside and paused for a moment to look up. The…

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This week Tammy and I are speaking at two different couples’ retreats. It is wonderful just to be together and a privilege to invest in others truth that has been invested in us. Marriage is one of God’s greatest classrooms. In it He teaches us so much about ourselves, about Himself, and about one another. Recently as I read through the Song of Solomon a particular phrase captured my attention. The bride said of her groom, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16). Of course we know this is a beautiful picture of our heavenly bridegroom, the Lover of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves us with an everlasting love and He…

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Tammy and I are on our way to speak at a marriage retreat for the next couple of days. This week is, of course, a special time for sweethearts and I am truly grateful for mine. At Valentine’s day we often think more about the romantic aspects of love. Yet God’s love is the same at all seasons and it is much more than romance. It is reality. The greatest thing you can do for those you love is pray. Your words to God will accomplish much more than your words to them. There is an intimacy in intercession that brings God into every aspect of the relationship. Prayers recorded in Scripture provide a pattern for prayer. These Spirit inspired…

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partner with us in support ICON

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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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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In a world of strife peace is a wonderful thing.  There is a peace that is connected to truth and there is a peace that compromises it.  Peace can never become the goal; only the God of peace deserves that honor.  But when the God of peace rules in a man’s heart it will show up in his relationships with others. If you find a man who loves contention and debate you have met a man in whom the God of peace does not have His rightful place.  In our Lord’s most famous sermon He declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).  This is one of the distinguishing marks of God’s…

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Look around you.  Heads are bowed.  People are quiet.  No, they are not praying.  They are all looking at the device in their hands! The technological advances of the last few years have placed the whole world in the palm of our hand.  And, yet, is it possible that we are actually missing the world that is going on around us?  Plugged in and yet disconnected at the same time! Our iPods, our tablets, our phones, our latest, greatest, “smart” device have become the focus of our attention.  Take a test: go one hour without picking up your phone!  Live a day without checking social media.  We have become so enamored with it all that we have often become distracted…

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When I was thirteen years old an elderly preacher in the mountains of West Virginia gave me a book.  It was old and dusty.  There were no pictures and at the time it seemed like a good book just to put on the shelf.  Several years passed before I actually read its yellowed pages, but after reading them I would never forget them. Russell Conwell was a preacher and educator.  He started what is now known as Temple University in Philadelphia.  Conwell traveled the world giving a very famous lecture over 5,000 times.  Any honorarium that was given to him was in turn given to some young person to help them through college.  But the value of his lecture was…

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