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Public Enemy Number One

How is it that a husband and wife can turn into enemies? Why do churches get torn apart in relational wars? And why do we fight such fierce battles within our own hearts? Perhaps it's that we have allowed the real enemy to cloak himself. Jesus said, The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT) In other words, when there is stealing, killing, and destroying going on, it's because the real enemy …

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It’s Your Turn to “Rawr!”

My three-year-old son, Sam, loves to play and has an active imagination. Lately, he's been obsessed with bears and of course, wants me to be the bear. He invites me into this game, which usually ends in my demise by tackling, by saying, "It's your turn to 'RAWR!'" So... I "RAWR!" The Bible describes our enemy, Satan, as one who "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). He's loud and ferocious, but also sneaky and slinks his way up …

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Demolishing Strongholds

I love having what I call "family fortnights," nights when our family builds a fort. Sometimes we break our sectional sofa apart and turn pieces of it up on end, stretch blankets and bedsheets over it all and create a fort. In the imagination of my toddler, this creates a special fortress of protection from the elements and our enemies. In the mind of my wife, I'm making a mess of her living room, but she's in the fort too. Satan loves to build forts too. The Bible refers to …

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Remember Where You Live

I'll admit it. I'm a fan of the Military Channel and the History Channel. It's partly for my love of history, but it's also because the study of history is a study of war and weaponry. Don't misunderstand. I don't like war and I hate the destruction that weapons cause in the wrong hands, but there's something that fascinates a man's soul about the destructive potential of high-powered sniper rifles and the attack agility of an A-10 Warthog (that's a fighter jet, not an …

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Put On the Whole Armor

Every notice how a snowflake can find that tiny little spot on your neck between your hat and your coat so it chills your skin on contact? That's how attacks often come from Satan - like flaming arrows into our one blind spot, our one week area. So Paul encouraged us to... Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. - Ephesians 6:11 (NIV) There are six aspects of the armor of God, which we'll look at one at a time each day this …

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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 Rush of Summer

Isn't summer supposed to be our vacation from the busyness of life? This summer, for the Cox family, is flying right by in a whirlwind of activity. We've traveled to see family in three different states (Missouri and Georgia for Angie, Kentucky for me). We're getting ready to spend a week at church camp. And then, it will be time for Angie to return to work, for me to get busy with a new church year, and for Ella to begin Kindergarten. In the midst of being busy in these …

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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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Whom Do You Love?

"Love not the world... for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world, and the world passeth away..." -1 John 2:15-17 Remember Louis Armstrong's great What A Wonderful World? Angie and I had that song played at our wedding. This truly is a wonderful world in many respects. It's the place where we view the glory of God in creation. This world is where Jesus came to minister and to …

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The Motivation of Sure Success

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." -1 Corinthians 15:57-58 When I was in Junior High, I had a Nintendo game system and a particular baseball game in which you could pre-program the statistics of your team to make them better. You were allowed a certain number of …

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