Fighting Extremes

STRANGE, ISN’T IT, how we tend toward extremes? What begins as self-improvement becomes self-enslavement. What starts as merely a mellow change of pace leads to a marathon of fanaticism. We’re nuts! Left to ourselves, we’ll opt for extremes almost every time. Which explains why God’s Book so often addresses moderation and self-control, softening our sharp-cornered lives with more curves that necessitate a slower speed.

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Don’t Wait

I’M THE GUY WHO PROMOTES WAITING and allowing the Lord to open the doors and shove you through. You know, all the stuff you expect a preacher to say. I even quote verses that support doing all of the above. Right about now, we may need a change of emphasis. I’m not suggesting we forget about waiting and trusting. What I am suggesting is that we realize the possibility of running it into the ground.

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Monuments

THE FOUR MONUMENTS OF HUMAN NATURE: Fortune, Fame, Power, Pleasure Built in clusters, making them appear formidable . . . and acceptable. As the idols in ancient Athens, our society is saturated with them. Fortune. How neatly it fits our times! Its inscription at the base is bold: “Get rich.” The figure in the statue is impressive—a hardworking young executive, a clever, diligent businessman unwilling to admit the greed behind his long hours and relentless drive.

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Focus on What Matters

SHOPPING SEASON HAS ARRIVED! Admit it: you’re already on a roll! You’ve started swiping your credit card all over town hoping to get in on the early bird sales. And Black Friday is coming still! But in the midst of all the shopping, preparations for family to arrive, and just sheer mayhem when it comes to getting ready for this special time of year, I urge you to pause regularly as a family and consider God’s perspective on what really matters. Start by reading the following aloud.

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Redirecting Our Gaze

The Christian’s greatest goal is to be like Christ. We want to emulate His exemplary life, model His method of teaching, resist temptation as He resisted it, handle conflicts as He did, focus on the mission God calls us to accomplish.

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A Fire for Cold Hearts

It happened in a large, seventy-five-year-old stone house on the west side of Houston. A massive stairway led up to several bedrooms. The den down below was done in rough-hewn boards with soft leather chairs and a couple of matching sofas. The wet bar had been converted into a small library, including a shelf of tape recordings and a multiple-speaker sound system. The ideal place to spend a weekend . . . unfortunately, my wife and I were there just for the evening.

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Cracks in the Wall

The longer I live the less I know for sure. That sounds like 50% heresy . . . but it’s 100% honesty. In my younger years I had a lot more answers than I do now. Things were absolutely black and white, right or wrong, yes or no, in or out, but a lot of that is beginning to change. The more I travel and read and wrestle and think the less simplistic things seem.

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The Final Priority

Somebody copied the following paraphrase from a well-worn carbon in the billfold of a thirty-year veteran missionary. With her husband, she was on her way to another tour of duty at Khartoum, Sudan. No one seems to know who authored it, but whoever it was captured the essence of the greatest essay on love ever written.

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Freedom through Forgiveness

I was having lunch at my desk one day, and happened to pull up the Insight for Living Ministries Web site to read the daily devotional. That day, the devotional was Cynthia Swindoll’s testimony, called “My Story.” The devotional, I found out, was adapted from a message Chuck Swindoll preached on Matthew 18, titled “Looking […]

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