Inside Looking Around

We shouldn’t be like a bag of marbles, always separate and untouched by our brethren. We should be like a bag of grapes, being bruised and squished together and not afraid to let our messes be seen. The above is a bad paraphrase of a quote I read many years ago. It refers to the…

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Outside Looking In

The church is full of hypocrites! Ever felt that way? Ever heard someone use it as an excuse for avoiding Christianity? Yeah, me, too. Both. Nothing new about hypocrisy—it’s been around forever. You remember the Pharisees. Jesus said they strained out a gnat but swallowed a camel. (Matt 23:24) In other words, they majored on…

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Inside Looking Out

Imagine having all the air sucked out of the room and then replaced with . . . something else. That’s pretty much what Jesus did. He blew away the

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Get Hold of Yourself!

SLAP! “Thanks, I needed that”. And the previously hysterical character gets hold of herself and is able to think clearly. Of course, in real life, she would have hit back or burst into tears! If we have all the other fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering/patience, kindness, goodness/integrity, faithfulness, and gentleness/humility) but don’t…

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An Honest Opinion of Yourself

It takes strength to be gentle. Our independent, hero-loving society often equates gentleness with being soft, A gentle person, especially a man, is often derided as being a milquetoast, a weak person. He could be harassed and even called “pussy-whipped”. The original meaning of gentleness

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A Maytag Life

Remember the old Maytag commercials? The bored repairman complained about the washing machines being too dependable and he didn’t have anything to do. A more recent example could be Ford trucks. The announcer always touts their dependability. If either of these guys had been talking about a person, he might have said they were .…

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Be Good, For Goodness’ Sake

Did your parents ever say to you, “Be good, now, or God won’t love you”? As an adult, you probably know that’s a lie. He loves you no matter what—even when you act “bad”. But He does highly recommend goodness. It’s the next fruit of the spirit. I looked up the Greek reference for “good”.…

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Put on a Happy Face?

Does it irk you when someone puts on a happy face when you just want them to be honest with you? One Sunday morning I was in a group meeting for the prayer teams when the leader asked us to share our needs so the others could pray. Each group only had four or five…

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Who Gets the Credit?

It’s often been said that there is no limit to what a person can do as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit. I think acts of kindness can fit into that category. We can do all sorts of apparently kind things, but when a motive of wanting some credit or reward comes…

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I Want Patience, and I Want it NOW

Wait a second . . . longsuffering, the fourth fruit, is a good thing? Ouch! Sounds pretty painful, doesn’t it? It can be, but not necessarily. And this word is often used interchangeably with patience, so let’s dispense with the King James English and just call this fruit “patience.” Have you ever prayed for more…

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