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The Battle Is Won or Lost In Your Mind

The brain is powerful. God created it so. Almost all of the battles we will ever face in life will be won or lost in our minds. Just think about it... Think impure, be impure; think pure, be pure. Think hatefully, be hateful; think lovingly, be loving. Think anxiously, be anxious; think confidently, be confident. It's a simple concept, but keeping our minds safe and secure from the attacks of the enemy is complex. You might even wonder if it's possible to successfully …

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Wear the Breastplate of Righteousness

If you're in enough battles, you'll eventually suffer injuries, so you learn early on to protect the head and the heart as much as possible. In our spiritual battles protecting the heart is less about avoiding emotional pain (which we can't do if we're going to counsel and serve hurting people) and more about avoiding unrighteousness, or to put it positively the way Paul did, ...with the breastplate of righteousness in place. - Ephesians 6:14 (NIV) What is righteousness? The …

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Cultivating A Shepherd’s Heart

This past week I was privileged to hear Dr. H. B. London, who always speaks right to my heart. He related a conversation he had with Henry Blackaby about the significant turning point in Blackaby's spiritual life. It was the time God basically said to him, "You're not going to rush me anymore." From that point on, Blackaby decided to simply give to God whatever time God wanted each day. Today, I heard the words of the apostle Paul in writing to the Thessalonians... …

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Book Review: It Came From Within, by Andy Stanley

Everything you say and do comes from the heart... everything! That's exactly what Jesus said, along with Solomon and other biblical writers. And that's what Andy Stanley tells us in his book It Came From Within. Most of us like to think like the Pharisees, that our problems have to do with what goes into our bodies, but Jesus challenged that thinking with the revolutionary thought that the only things that ever get said or done are those things that are lurking inside of …

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Abortion is a Deal-Breaker for Me

Al Mohler published a blog article today entitled Is the Abortion Argument Changing?. It's excellent. At the end, he references a sermon by Russell Moore that makes the argument that Joseph (Jesus' step-father) was a "single-issue evangelical." I'm fairly progressive. I'm quite forward-thinking. But when it comes to the issue of life in relationship to politics, elections, legislation, etc., abortion is still a deal-breaker for me. Am I a narrow-minded single-issue …

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The Certainty of Mysteries

I was deeply moved by today's reading from J. Sidlow Baxter's devotional, Awake My Heart. He speaks of the mysteries of life, what W. A. Criswell used to call "the imponderables of God." Baxter mentioned birth, life, personality, human experience, Satan, eternity, etc. All of these are unexplainable. We can begin, but we can never conclude any definition of them. Baxter goes on, however, to quote an unnamed old Puritan as saying, "Never let what you don't know disturb your …

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The Association of Baptist Students

Cory and I had a nice treat today in visiting with the directors of the Association of Baptist Students at the University of Arkansas. After touring the property, I was impressed with their ability to squeeze so much out of so little. Rather than a state-of-the-art facility, they were "making do" with three older houses, all in need of some repairs. I appreciated so much hearing the hearts of Director Warren Dugas and Associate Director Brad Harris. Is collegiate ministry …

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Ending the Creation-Evolution Debate

In our midweek Bible study last night, we went through a supplementary study on creation and evolution. There were many things I wished I'd had time to cover in the Sunday messages but simply couldn't. In preparing, I studied areas of science that fascinate me. I wanted to have some basic knowledge on everything from the fossil record to quantum physics (like I said, fascinating!). I was so blessed by the exchange. People asked questions, gave their thoughts, and generally …

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Going Back to (Vacation Bible) School

I love VBS week! I love to watch kids having fun. I love to see the people of God in action, doing their thing to accomplish ministry to families. More than anything, I love seeing little ones embrace the story of Jesus as their own. It's awesome! This year's VBS has been a blessing to my heart for quite a few reasons. One is that we've started out with about twenty more kids involved than last year. Two is our Associate Pastor, Cory McCaig has done an absolutely awesome job …

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On Your Feet, Soldier!

This past Sunday, I began preaching in Genesis with chapter one, verse one. The message started a lengthy commitment to preaching all of the word. I don't think I've ever been as satisfied by a message in all of my ministry. I had studied and prepared for about six weeks for just the first chapter of Genesis. So how was it? Exhilarating! The choir was tuned up and did an awesome job. Singing Shout to the Lord with them was great. They also sang a favorite of mine, There Are …

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