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“I Feel” Versus “I Know”

Right now, I feel tired. I also feel that I'm spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere, and that I'm failing to meet the expectations of others. I feel bogged down in things that need doing, and I feel inadequate to the tasks that loom largest in my life - be a great husband, a great Dad, and a great Pastor. Right now, I know that God's approval matters more than the approval of others. I know that He equips those whom He calls and that I am adequate and can do all …

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Before You Plant a Church, Clarify Your Calling

The work of planting a new church will probably kill you. On my first day in Greek Grammar class in Bible college, Dr. Jesse Thomas walked in and stood at the podium to offer a brief welcome, "Welcome to boot camp." Serious students survived, some even thrived, but some fell by the wayside because of their unwillingness to do the hard work of memorization that studying an ancient language requires. I've often thought back to that day as a church planter. Planting a …

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Winning the War Over the Flesh

There is a universal battle in the lives of believers between the flesh and the Spirit. We waver between doing what our fleshly instincts tell us to do and doing what God is telling us to do. This is a timeless battle. As we look through the life of David, we've come to a spot in his life where I believe he was struggling greatly in this battle. Out of six chapters of 1 Samuel, we learn at least four lessons about what our flesh is prone to do. I want us to consider these …

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Walking In the Confidence of God’s Calling

Gideon is one of my favorite Bible heroes. In my wife's Bible class curriculum, he's known as "G. I. Deon!" I especially love the way he's introduced... The way Gideon sees himself: Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. ~Judges 6:11 His further questioning of God's choice of him shows us a heart of humility and self-abasement. There was a lack of courage throughout all the land, and Gideon demonstrated this widespread fear. Everybody …

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Exchange Worthlessness for Confidence

Moses grew up in Egypt as the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh himself. He was royal by adoption, privileged in his childhood, educated, cultured, and trained for political leadership in the home of the most powerful man in the world at the time. But he was raised by his birth mother by a divine act of grace, so he knew all along he was really a Jew. When Moses hit age 40, he made a defining decision to repudiate his Egyptian privileges to "suffer affliction with the …

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Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

The title of this post is attention-getting for an obvious reason - most people fear the thought of standing before a group of people and speaking... out loud. I was too, and still am to some degree. When I was a kid, I was painfully and awkwardly shy. In the fifth grade, I had to give an oral report on the life of Will Rogers. I handled it by self-interviewing. I sat in the teacher's chair and rolled left and right, pretending to be Will Rogers on one side, and something of …

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Graduation Day

Today was kind of tough... for Momma anyway. We saw our little girl "walk the line" to graduate from Preschool. The theme was What A Wonderful World, which all nineteen graduates sang together. They actually played Pomp and Circumstance as they marched in. She got a diploma and an award for Developing the Most in Confidence throughout the year. We're so proud! Angie handles moments like these with a mothering sadness. Her little girl will never graduate from Preschool again. …

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What A Wonderful World

At our wedding, Angie and I chose to have Louie Armstrong's song played... What a Wonderful World. In light of yesterday's shootings, and so many other monumental tragedies in recent years, is it really a wonderful world? We were driving to Fort Smith yesterday for the annual meeting of the BMA of America and were reflecting on some of the tragedies that have taken place at this same time of the year such as the Oklahoma City bombing (April, 1995), the Waco compound burning …

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Your New Identity

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." -2 Corinthians 5:17 There is much to be said for the power of our identity. The way you live your life, make decisions, and carry yourself all depend on how you define and identify yourself. We all have certain labels we apply to ourselves such as conservative or liberal, old-fashioned or cutting edge, outgoing or shy. We use these terms to further define …

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My Great Source of Confidence

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you." -1 Peter 5:6-7 Those are the words I used to read about 30 seconds before I would preach. Now they ring in my heart naturally. It has been said that people place the fear of public speaking right up there with death! For me, confidence does not come naturally and yet I have grown to enjoy and thrive in speaking from my pulpit …

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