Roots

There’s this tree in my front yard that gives me fits several times a year. It leans. No, it never breaks or stops growing . . . it just leans. It’s attractive, deep green, nicely shaped, and annually bears fragrant blossoms. But let a good, healthy gust give it a shove—and over it goes. Like, fast. It happened today. Right now the thing is tilted on about a forty-five degree angle towards the north.

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A Parable: Saving Lives

On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat . . . but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.

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The Power of Honesty

Enclosed you will find a check for $150. I cheated on my income tax return last year and have not been able to sleep ever since. If I still have trouble sleeping, I’ll send you the rest. Sincerely, ______________ This note is said to have been received by the Internal Revenue Service some time ago. We chuckle because the sender was willing to be honest up to a point . . .

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All about Time

I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT. I want efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, a weakness of mine is books on the investment of my time. Books that tell me how to replace being busy with being effective. Books that caution me to think things through before plunging into them. Thankfully, God’s Word speaks straight to the heart of that issue.

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Nit-Picking

TWO CONGREGATIONS OF differing denominations were located only a few blocks from each other in a small community. They thought it might be better if they would merge and become one united body, larger and more effective, rather than two struggling churches. Good idea . . . but both were too petty to pull it off. The problem? They couldn’t agree on how they would recite the Lord’s Prayer.

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Our Words Matter Much

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S COFFIN WAS pried open on more than one occasion. Once in 1887, twenty-two years after his assassination. Why? It was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.

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Don’t Flinch, Stand Firm

TUCKED AWAY IN THE FOLDS OF Hebrews 11 is a two-word biography worth a second glance: “He endured” (11:27, NASB). The Living Bible says, “[he] kept right on going.” The New International Version: “He persevered.” The New English Bible: “He was resolute.” The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition: “He held staunchly to his purpose.” And Moffatt’s quaint rendering: “He never flinched.”

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It’s about Time

I AM A SUCKER FOR TIME-MANAGEMENT BOOKS. Some people can’t say no to a salesman at the door. Others have the hardest time passing up a litter of free puppies. Some people struggle with driving by a garage sale without stopping. Still others find it almost impossible to withstand the urge to gamble. Not me. My weakness is books that teach me about the investment of my time—all of those volumes that promise to tell me how to replace simply being busy with being effective.

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Praying for Others

IF WE HAD THE unusual opportunity to spend a day talking to the apostles, men like Paul, Peter, James, and John, I think they’d emphasize an oft-spoken discipline—but one that’s rarely deployed in our lives: praying for others.
Most things in our lives conspire against such a commitment to prayer. Our busy schedules, our intense desire to give our kids the best education and life experiences, and simply forgetfulness.

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Marital Grace

The more the grace of God is awakened in a marriage, the less husbands will attempt to control and restrict and the less wives will feel the need to “please no matter what.” It makes marriage easier to manage.

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