The Conflict Within

[520 words] “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). All of us struggle with our feelings. They give us joy, but they also bring grief. A Christian woman was talking about these bad feelings and said, “I believe everybody has trouble with these inner demons.”…

Finding Favor

[257 words] Numerous times in Scripture we read about godly men and women who “find favor” in the sight of God and the people around them. It seems to be a common characteristic. For example:  Esther is described again and again as one who won favor in the sight of the king and his subordinates…

How to Be More Productive for Christ

[146 words] Start with the Root. Become well grounded in Christ and His word. Make sure He is the foundation of everything you think and do. Establish yourself in His principles. Grow a Shoot. A shoot is a new growth on a plant. Develop your talents and grow in a new direction. Keep feeding on…

A Big Name

[257 words] When Walter P. Paepeke started a carton company and called it the Container Corporation of America, his attorney said it was “a big name for such a small company.” Mr. Paepeke’s reply was, “We’ll take the name and grow into it.” That’s the task we have before us. We have taken a big…

Five Wise Sayings for Life

[381 words] I love sitting and listening to older, wiser folks than myself. I love history and learning it from people who loved it. There is something about sitting on a porch swing with someone old in days who has seen so much change and endured so much through their walk in life. The proverbial…

Mourning Without Moaning

[202 words] In His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Did you see that? Read it again just to make sure you got it right. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” There you have it; what Jesus…

Time Management

[289 words] Living the way God wants us to live requires the proper consciousness, commitment, and management of time. Paul exhorted, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”…

‘My Precioussss…’

[470 words]  Gollum/Smeagol is one of my favorite literary characters in Tolkien’s Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Gollum talks to himself obsessively over the One Ring—even after he loses it in the deep caverns of the Misty Mountains. He constantly seeks his “precious” ring which Baggins finds. While Peter writes some two thousand…

What Can One Person Do?

[291 words] Nearly eight billion people now inhabit this planet! What difference can one person (you) make? Oh, sure, the President of the United States is only one person, but he can make a huge difference. A multi-millionaire can make a noticeable difference. But ordinary folks like you or me – do we really matter?…

Lessons from a Messed Up Church

[591 words] Corinth was a busy metropolitan city in the days that Paul helped start the church there. But Corinth also had a much-deserved reputation for moral bankruptcy. Folks who were in the practice of using prostitutes were said to have “Corinthianized.” This term later came to be used to describe moral decay in general.…

Times Change

[354 words] Most of the time, change is good. We all want to grow, get stronger, learn more, see more places, etc. Certainly we are aware of the fact that our methods and tactics must change and adapt when we become ineffective. We must take advantage of opportunities as they are presented. On and on…

Empty Spaces

[396 words] Empty space gets filled. Have you never noticed this phenomenon when you move into a larger house? You think to yourself “oh, I’ll have so much room now!” But no…as time goes on various things encroach upon that space. You thought you were going to have a home office? Joke’s on you when…

Mistakes

[343 words] The dictionary defines the word “mistake” this way: “a misunderstanding of the the meaning or implication of something; a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment or inadequate knowledge.” Most of us would admit that we know plenty about mistakes, without having to consult a dictionary, because of personal experience. We know…

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

[361 words] The story is told of a missionary who once visited a very primitive tribe of people. These people had very little contact with the outside world, and they were totally unfamiliar with many things we take for granted. One of the things they had never before seen was a mirror. The only way…

Staying Faithful in Daily Living

[221 words] The great challenge for Christians is to stay faithful to God in daily living. In Revelation 2:10 we read, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful…

‘Do Right’ or ‘Waste Good’

[580 words] Former Arkansas Razorbacks coach Lou Holtz was a strong proponent of the “do right” rule for athletes and inspired his athletes to follow the rule as they interacted with others on and off the athletic field. I agree with Coach Holtz’s “do right” concept as regards Christianity. We can look to God’s word…

Check Your Flight Pattern

[416 words] Ornithologists (those who study birds) tell us that birds navigate in the air one of three ways: 1) By flapping. This is very labor intensive. It requires that the birds continuously beat their wings against the air so as to create lift. But if the bird stops flapping, then it will very quickly…

If the Doors Are Blocked

[318 words] Mark chapter 2 (as well as Mathew 9 and Luke 5) records the time that Jesus Christ healed a paralyzed man—one who had to be carried by his friends. The report begins by telling us Jesus was wildly popular at this particular time: “And many were gathered together, so that there was no…

Paper Dolls

[345 words] Paper dolls, paper people that came with paper clothes and could be cut out and played with. They never were a very durable toy, but they could be printed on the back of a cereal box cheaply and kids could get a free toy to play with. What happened when two kids wanted…

Our Spiritual Beauty

[144 words] A city dweller was being driven by a rancher over a blistering and almost barren stretch of desert when a large brightly-colored bird scurried across the road in front of them. The visitor asked what it was. “That’s a bird of paradise,” said the rancher. “Pretty long way from home, isn’t he!” remarked…

Heart Changes

[129 words] If people are to become like Jesus there must be heart changes. The result of these changes of heart will be changes in our behavior. The heart change is what gives room for God to work in our life. Realizing certain truths helps us to change our heart. We must learn from our…

Being a Good Neighbor in Difficult Times

[371 words] In recent days I have seen some concerning trends. With the increase in mask wearing and the need for social distancing, people are becoming more isolated than ever before in our society. People are not talking to each other in public places like they once did. We have real challenges when it comes…

Cutting Each Other Off

[419 words] Talk about going to extremes! A man in Maine took a Sawzall and cut his neighbor’s garage in half. Since part of the structure was on his property, Gabriel Brawn had a legal right to do it. The overlapping garage hadn’t been a problem for years, as his relationship with the previous neighbor…

Building a Better World

[553 words] Building a better world begins with me. I must be willing to give my time, talents, money and energies to make the world in which I live a better place. I truly believe that the only real way to make this world better is for me to be a faithful and dedicated child…

Roots in the Bible (and in Our Lives)

[213 words] Roots are a very important part of plants – they bring up nutrients from the soil and help to support the plant. In the Bible we can see human lives compared to roots (both bad and good). Some are… …Dried up roots because of wickedness and evil deeds (Hosea 9:13-17). …Rotten roots because…

Be a Light

[260 words] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it  under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine  before others, so that…

The Purpose of Life

[148 words] I recently found an interesting quote from Robert Byrne. It is this: “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Many people live their lives without purpose and most of them are quite frustrated and dissatisfied. But for those who find a life purpose that is fueled by their passion, great things…

When Christ is Your Life

[455 words] God has made great promises to those who live for Christ. Consider what Paul wrote about living for Christ: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.…

The Bad Samaritan

[533 words] “Which one?” That’s what a typical Jew in Jesus’ time would have asked about this title. To many Jewish people, all Samaritans were bad. There was no such thing as a good Samaritan. The truth, of course, is that Samaritans were like other people. Some were good and some were bad. Although the…

What to Do With Treasures

[407 words] In one of Jesus’ parables a servant was handed a mina (a piece of valuable currency). There were clear instructions on what to do with it: “Put this money to work…until I come back” (Luke 19:13). Some of his fellow servants did a great job with this. They used what talent they have…

The Christian’s Advantage

[257 words] There is not a person in the world who can live totally above sin. Paul told us in Romans 3:23 that “All have sinned” and in John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Everyone makes mistakes and fails a…

Cultivating Your Spiritual Garden

[528 words] Wisteria is beautiful. Despite its beauty, though, wisteria can be an invasive vine if it is not carefully cultivated, becoming genteel kudzu. As I had to go to a doctor’s appointment in Gainesville, Georgia, yesterday, I noted how much wisteria grows around that city. For the most part, it was not managed well.…

Thanks For Ruining It For The Rest Of Us

[198 words] Oscar Wilde said, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” I’m sure you know what he was talking about. Those folks of whom your best memory involves a door swinging shut as they walk out of it. Yet they may not be the most damaging of folks. It’s those that…

The Extra Mile of Honesty

[150 words] Did you know that Abraham Lincoln went into the general store business with another fellow and it failed? Lincoln ended up $1,100 in debt. He could have pleaded divided responsibility and found a legal loophole of escape but that wasn’t Lincoln’s way. Instead, he went to his creditors and promised to pay them…

How a Christian Should Walk

[221 words]  • “Walk while you have the light” (John 12:35)  • “Walk in the steps of faith” (Rom. 4:12)  • “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4)  • “walk…according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1)  • “walk properly” (Rom. 13:13)  • “as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk” (1 Cor. 7:17)…

Taming Life

[495 words] James 3 concerning the tongue is fascinating. In a series of word-pictures, James describes the control of large ships and the control of powerful horses by tiny, man-made devices, before stating that all the animals of the land and sea have been “tamed” by man. Then in a surprising twist, James adds, “but…

How Bad Can I Be?

[445 words] With the winter holidays just around the corner, we will all be seeing items and hearing stories related to the season. As such, I just read about the fact that there is a website known as emailsanta.com where young ones may write an electronic letter to the North Pole. Several letters from these…

A Time to Rejoice

[301 words] Overheard at the Mall: “I just dread the Christmas season.” When I heard these words, I felt sorry for the one speaking them. To me, this time of year lifts my heart because of three nostalgic reasons.  First, I remember how my parents (especially my mother) worked hard to make this season of…

What Percentage is Enough?

[293 words] The Communications Division of Syncrude Canada Ltd. once did research on the danger of completing only 99.9% of some task. Of the many things they studied, their findings on money and the medical world will resonate with us the most (these are but a sample). If only 99.9% of the job is done……

What Is Your Life?

[143 words] Life truly begins once you become more loving, proud and boastful of others, than you ever are of self. When you see the needs and desires of others as foremost and any of your own as an afterthought. When you recognize that any beauty in the mirror is pale in comparison to the…