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Memories Make Who You Are

I am more than my name, more than my occupation, more than my degrees, more than my dreams, more than my family. I am who I was. It’s my footprints, where I’ve been and what I’ve done, that reveal my soulprint. It’s my unique combination of memories that makes me who I am spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and motivationally. It’s also that unique combination of memories that enables me to worship God in a way that no one else can. Why? Because when we sing the classic hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” it’s more than generic praise for a static character
trait. God’s faithfulness is as unique as every moment of your life. Every memory is a testament to His dynamic faithfulness that is simultaneously the same and different for anyone and everyone else. So when our congregation sings that [ … ]

Letting vs Making

The potential pitfall for those of us who want to let our lives count comes when we shift gears from simply letting to frantically trying to make our lives count. Your life can count when you forget trying to make something happen and simply let your life be available to God.

Excerpted from Let Your Life Count by Donna Partow

Daily Reflection: What can you do to simply let your life be available to God?

Your Makeover

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Makeovers have been all the rage on television lately. Whether it’s your face, figure, or fashion sense, there’s some so-called expert who promises a “new you.” Of course these external changes can’t change your heart, but that’s precisely what God promises to do.

In Christ, we’re told, anyone can become a whole new creation. Old habits, old attitudes, old allegiances get made over into a sparkling new life.

Excerpted from 99 Bible Promises for Tough Times by Randy Petersen

Daily Reflection: Have you asked God to “makeover” your heart?

Spiritual Stagnation

Saying no to God, no matter how small the task, is a sure way to suspend the growth process. Of course, rather than a straight-out no, some people simply procrastinate—which isn’t as abrupt but is equally defiant. Or some merely give lip service to obedience, affirming the rightness of what God requires, yet staying put. Others make excuses about how inadequate they are to obey what God is telling them. However it’s packaged, when you say no to God, you cease to mature spiritually.

Excerpted from Unlimiting God by Richard Blackaby

Daily Reflection: In what ways are you saying ‘no’ to the task God has for you?

God redeems our past experiences

Every past experience is preparation for some future opportunity. God doesn’t just redeem our souls. He also redeems our experiences. And not just the good ones. He redeems the bad ones too—especially the bad ones. How? By cultivating character, developing gifts, and teaching lessons that cannot be learned any other way. The most important lessons in life are rarely learned in a school classroom via secondhand knowledge. Relying on secondhand knowledge results in a vicarious life. You become an extra in your own story instead of taking the lead role. The expectations of others become your script. And you live off their experiences instead of creating your own. The most important lessons are learned in the classroom of life via firsthand experience. The tests are tough, but no curriculum is more effective. And the way you pass the test is [ … ]

Beautiful messes

Christians don’t like mess much, not in our world and especially not in ourselves or our churches. Somewhere along the line, we have embraced a picture of a Jesus who would turn us into perfect people unpolluted by the world or our own sin. But He didn’t. In Him we are new creations; in ourselves we are dump dwellers. Longing for our full redemption, we strive to please Him and groan in our fallenness and bask in His beauty. For whatever reason, Jesus didn’t choose to instantly sanitize the whole lot of us. We often think He did, though, so we spend a lot of time running around with mops and buckets, getting ready for a bunk inspection. In our kingdoms, we begin to believe that we can fix all our messes. In Jesus’ kingdom, He alone can start with [ … ]

God’s better plan

… I’ve got some really great news for you. It’s all wrapped up in the one sentence that best describes my own life: Because God is good, your life will not turn out like you planned.

That’s because God has a better plan. A much better plan. So what is this plan, and how can you make it your own?

God’s plan is made up of strikingly relevant, time-tested lessons written down and preserved for us in the Bible. It pulsates with stories about men who released and sustained the passion of their faith. They became the men God created them to be.

And you can too.

Excerpted from How God Makes Men by Patrick Morley

Daily Reflection: When was the last time you turned to the Bible for mentors?

The Prayer That Stopped the Sun

Today’s Bible reading: Joshua 10:1–14

Right here on Day 1, I’m going to throw out a challenge to you: If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further
still, if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for “elite Christians.”
It’s intended for every believer. So today we’re beginning a spiritual journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I’m thrilled to think about what it’s going to do for our lives and our world.

A story from the life of Joshua serves as our template for audacious faith.

The Israelites unleash a surprise attack on the [ … ]

Where Are You?

If you are having a hard time trusting God, ask him to ease your fears. Ask him to heal your distrust. Then do your part. Look at the people who have betrayed you. Find out how much their influence affects your lack of trust. And do not allow those problems to rob you of a full relationship with God.

Then ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Examine your motives and explore what great things could come even if your worst fears were realized. Do whatever it takes to grow in your trust in God.

Make a bold move and trust God today. Surrender more and more to him. You will not be disappointed. Your trust will not spare you from the evils of the world, but it will protect you from a life without purpose. And under God’s plan, [ … ]

Escape the Overcompensation Rut

“Overcompensation is a form of bondage that is fueled by fear. God wants you free from the extremes of life and balanced in your approach to life. Experiences happen that breed insecurities, but you can choose how you respond to the insecurities stemming from past failures, mistakes, and doubts. You don’t have to be controlled by your feelings. You are going to doubt yourself sometimes. You’ll feel insecure sometimes. But feeling insecure and acting on that insecurity are two separate issues.”
Excerpted from Why Not You? by Valorie Burton

Daily Reflection: In what ways have you been overcompensating for a past failure, insecurity, or mistake? How can you move away from these extremes and towards a balanced life?