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Combating Self-Will December 19, 2014

Many of us spend a lot of time arranging our lives and trying to “put it together.” Especially within the church, there is the temptation to put on our happy faces and ignore our shortcomings. The endless pursuit of perfection can actually drive us away from God and into ourselves. Within the world, we look to powerful and self-reliant people as models of success. How much of our day is spent trying to control the outcome of things as we…

The Christmas Generosity Challenge November 30, 2014

We’ve all heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive,” (Acts 20:35) but how many of us believe it? Fewer still, how many of us live it? Jesus makes it pretty clear that the only way to combat the temptation of materialism is to give things away: Matthew 19:21-22 (The Message): “If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be…

The Trouble with “Self” Control and Habitual Sin November 16, 2014

Our society loves the concept of self-mastery. As Americans we are encouraged to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. In my own spiritual life, this slowly evolved into some misguided perceptions about God. I first believed that the burden to do better meant that I simply had to try harder, pray longer, and “really mean it this time” when I swear it off. We all have a certain “flavor” of sin that we like. For some, it’s food, with…

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