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“Join the club!”

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“Way back when…” A LONG time ago… When I was much younger, there was a popular saying that many of us used all the time. Whenever someone complained about how tired they were or how much work they had to do, the popular response was: “Join the club!” What we meant when we said that was: “Hey! I’m busy too! I’m tired too!” It was a sarcastic way of saying: “You’re not alone in how you are feeling.” “Join the club!” The reality is that many of us have already joined many of these kinds of “clubs.” But have we […]

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37: Keep your game face on!

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2019-08-18 Jesus in the real world 37: Keep your game face on! (“Phelps face”) Luke 12:35-59 35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he […]

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The light at the end of the tunnel

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When we lived in China, we rode lots of trains. Fast trains. Slow trains. Clean trains. And dirty trains. And on almost every train trip we ever took, at some point along the way we had to go through at least one tunnel. Some tunnels seemed to go on forever. It was easy to wonder, “Are we ever going to come out of this tunnel?” Another aspect of my life in China involved frequent written or verbal progress reports to my leaders. These reports were sometimes useful, but often monotonous. But during some seasons of our time in China we […]

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36: Anxiety’s cure

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2019-08-18 Jesus in the real world 36: Anxiety’s cure Luke 12:13-34 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for […]

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What’s your “Arkenstone?”

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Last weekend I was flipping through the TV channels when I came across the movie from a few years ago called “The Hobbit.” The movie was loosely based off of Tolkien’s book by the same name. Even though I’ve read the book and seen the movie several times, I was hooked once again! The story is about a bunch of dwarves who hope to reclaim the homeland they lost to a fire-breathing dragon named Smaug. The dwarves recruit a Hobbit named Bilbo to help them do this. At the end of the movie, Bilbo makes it into the dwarves’ “kingdom […]

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Fighting fear

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Last week we saw that the way we overcome fearing what people think of us is to fear God more than we fear people. It is easier said than done! One of the ways we saw that helped is to think about how short our lives are here compared with where we’ll spend eternity after we die. Living in the light of God’s love and forgiveness now frees us to shine brightly for Him as we get ready to spend all eternity with Him. I’ve found myself praying “Lord, I need your perfect love to drive away my fear” many […]

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35: Anxiety’s cause

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2019-08-04 Jesus in the real world 35: Anxiety’s Cause Luke 12:1-12 1Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. 4 “I tell […]