I Thirst

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Cross

Without thirst, you would be dead.

As I type this, I am eating some delicious, salty pretzels, and these pretzels are making me thirsty!  And that is how it should be. God made our bodies with a complex system to balance the sodium and the water in our cells and blood, primarily through our urge to drink.  Long before Dr. Oz and our Facebook friends were around to tell us to drink water, God wired us with that longing to ensure our survival.

Have you ever noticed, though, that sometimes you can misinterpret the thirst desire?  Sometimes when I am thirsty I will reach for a snack, thinking I am hungry.  Some people have found that they can lose weight if they drink a glass of water when then feel hungry, because they have simply misinterpreted their body’s thirst and thought that it was hunger.

But sin took thirst and twisted it.  People let thirst run their life.  Coffee, beer, Diet Coke – like a toddler with a Sippy Cup, we reach out for our one little shot of happiness to get us through the next hour.  One more coffee to get us through the next meeting.  One glass of wine to get us through the evening.  Continue Reading…


You Don’t Know How to Pray

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Prayer

That Is Something We Shall Have to Remedy, Isn’t It?!?

Would you like to learn how to pray from an expert?  In his new book Moving Mountains, John Eldredge unlocks the power of prayer in ways I have never read or experienced.  Infused with Scriptures and personal stories, this book is both grounded in truth and true to life.  It is part “How-To Manual,” part diary, part letter of encouragement, and part a call to action.

He sets the stage by explaining what is available to us.

Powerful, effective, life-changing prayer

Conversational intimacy with God

These are available to you and me!

Let’s stop there for a moment.  Deep down, every Christian longs for these 2 things, but that longing has been unfulfilled. Time, experience, experience, frustration has led us to believe that the descriptions of prayer in the Bible are no longer valid to the Christian experience.   At some point, many of us have given in to complacency or bitterness, savvy cynicism or theological explanations, casual indifference or caustic denial.  We think to ourselves “I tried that and it didn’t work.”  Continue Reading…


2 Reasons to be Thankful (And 15 More)

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Here are some of the leaves from our Thankful Tree

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus

 

I just got back from a wonderful conference in Nashville. It was an amazing and much-needed time of refreshing. The opening session put my mind on track to really get all that I needed from God the rest of my time there. I needed a mind shift, a perspective change, and they took care of it right off the bat.

They brought us to the Old Testament where David was assigning each member of Israel a job and explaining what that job entailed. At the end David designated people to one simple but important task- to give thanks to God. The leaders of the conference pointed out that no matter what title we have at the end of our name, we all have the same line in our job description. We are all to give thanks to God! Continue Reading…


Light Defeats Darkness

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Candle

Today’s post is by a dear friend of mine, Andy Vaughn.  Andy and his wife Karlie are part of our community of friends who are purposefully living life and pursuing God together.  Andy has experience ‘letting his light shine’ in Africa, the oil fields, and the suburbs, so I asked him to share his unique perspective with us today.

Light Defeats Darkness, by Andy Vaughn

If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, you’ve heard encouragements, admonishments, exhortations and advisements to “Shine your light”. We’ve been told to let our light shine in the form of songs, sermons, and small groups. From the time many of us were the height of Zacchaeus the wee little man, we knew what to do with “This little light of mine.” 1

But then we grew up. We entered a world of darkness that was evil and our innocent minds couldn’t comprehend what we were up against. What made so much sense in the safe confines of our local church now seemed…complicated. Some of us tried to witness; only to have a good friend get offended. Others tried the classic “I’ll mind my business, you mind your business” routine. Most would bounce back and forth between the two strategies. Even though we desired to shine our light, we weren’t sure what that even meant anymore.

We know we’re supposed to evangelize, 2 but aren’t sure how. For example, some people find great success handing out tracts, while others cringe at the idea. The one thing most of us can agree on is that we don’t evangelize as much as we should. 3 Continue Reading…


Anxiety, Part 5

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

I once read a stat that people are more afraid of public speaking than of death.  So the joke goes that at a funeral the guy giving the eulogy is worse off than the corpse.  While this may be an exaggeration, it illustrates the fact that many people struggle with this kind of ‘event anxiety.’

I have struggled with this, and not only limited to public speaking.  It can occur at any event that I deem important.  I discussed this kind of anxiety in my Irrational Anxiety post, because at the time I felt that it was irrational.

Isn’t it great how we can always learn new things about ourselves?  Well, Michael Hyatt has recently helped me to learn a big part of who I am and how I tick.  In his post “How To Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work For You, he admits that he fights anxiety prior to speaking engagements.  (First, this is a great lesson in vulnerability.  The best way to defeat your issues is to stop hiding your issues!)  I have to admit that I was a little surprised that he struggles with anxiety in these kinds of situations…I guess I assumed that CEOs were immune to the struggles that we commoners face!  Myth busted!  But even more importantly, he helped me understand that there actually is some logic to this illogical anxiety that I face.  And I can use it to my advantage!    Continue Reading…


How Would You Answer These 5 Time Evaluation Questions?

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Clock

Think about how you spend your “extra time.” What do you do? Who do you do it with? Can you live without it?

It seems like in today’s world that we have become a me-focused, justifying, entitlement society.

Have you ever thought any of these thoughts?

  1. “I’m the mom.”
  2. “I do so much around here.”
  3. “I deserve it.”

Or

  1. “I’m the dad.”
  2. “I work hard.”
  3. “I deserve it.”

I know I have thought these thoughts, but when you really break it down, I am actually saying:

  1. “It is all about me.”
  2. “Here are my reasons and justifications on why I am more important.”
  3. “I am entitled to this and you will not stop me.” Continue Reading…

Summer Break – Anxiety

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Good morning from Our Purposeful Life.  We are going to take a break this week, but we thought that we could take the opportunity to post 5 summaries of posts we have published over the last year.  Enjoy!

Today’s summary:  Anxiety

Anxiety – Part 1

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TensionCloseQ: Why am I so anxious?

A: Because you are so human.

Stat: I learned that around 30% of Americans will deal with an anxiety disorder sometime in their life. That means that roughly 1 out of 3 will at some point have a diagnosed, clinically defined anxiety disorder. Although I knew it was pretty common, I was still surprised to hear that anxiety is so widespread. And that’s not to say that the other 70% don’t have their moments also. Fear and its associated gremlins (insomnia, panic attacks, obsessive or compulsive behaviors) are something that many of us have struggled with off and on, and it is the topic of our discussion today. Continue Reading…


What Kind of Anxious Are You?

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Rational Worry or Irrational Worry?

In my opinion, there are two types of anxiety. One is a worry that is the result of rational fear or concern about something. What I call rational anxiety may be a fear of messing up something difficult at work, or being worried that you won’t have enough money to make ends meet. Or you just got bad news from the doctor. Or you are worried that your kids will get hurt. Or that a relationship will fail. Or you have too many things to get done and you are worried about falling behind. All of these are fears that you understand and can explain. And even if they get a little out of hand or are excessive sometimes, you still understand why you are anxious. Continue Reading…


 

Irrational Anxiety

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!Anxiety, Part 3a: Putting Irrational Anxiety on the Defensive

Review: Rational Anxiety

In Rational anxiety, we learned that

  1. When you know the power that you have through Christ, there is no longer any reason to be afraid.
  2. When you understand what kind of Father we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to us.
  3. When you understand what kind of Future we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to our temporary stuff.

That ‘mental reframing’ involves switching from logical anxiety to logical peace, based on the Truth. Today we will talk about illogical anxiety. Continue Reading…


 

Fighting Anxiety, Part 4

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!Yesterday I primarily covered the spiritual first steps to attack your anxiety. Today I have listed 12 more ways to attack anxiety, that include spirit, soul, and body.

Attacking Anxiety in your Spirit, Soul, and Body: Continue Reading…



Wait For It, Wait For It…

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100_5697

The Day of Ascension is one of the lesser known observances (unless you are Mennonite, evidently*), but it is a pretty amazing day.  Let me tell you about it.

As you may recall, God instituted the 50 Day Countdown after Passover to lead up to one of the main feasts where the Jews were to head to Jerusalem and celebrate.  So, after Jesus rose from the dead on Easter, He and the disciples would presumably have been counting the 50 days to Pentecost.  He spent 39 days with them, teaching them, reassuring them, encouraging them.  It must have been an amazing time!  But then on Day 40, it came to an end.  Abruptly. Continue Reading…


Word of Our Testimony

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Words

A couple weeks ago our Pastor shared the following verse…

 Revelation 12:10-11 (NLT)

It has come at last-salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth-the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

 This verse talks about three ways that we can overcome Satan, our accuser.

  1. By the Blood of the Lamb
  2. By the Word of our Testimony
  3. By our willingness to lay down our lives. Continue Reading…

Palm Sunday: Powerful and Peaceful, Mighty and Meek

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Cross

For years Jesus had stealthily revealed His identity, quietly, to a few people.  He spoke in riddles, making sure that He got His message across without making it obvious.  Even when He healed people or otherwise gave a glimpse of his divinity He often asked them to keep His identity quiet.  “It isn’t the time yet,” He kept telling them.

Now the time had come!

Jesus was riding a wave of momentum into the holy Passover week.  He had just raised Lazarus from the dead before an amazed crowd of witnesses.  His ministry had reached a crescendo, just as the roads to Jerusalem swelled with 100,000 pilgrims, many of them from His home area where He had been ministering and teaching.  These were His people, and they were filled with pent up excitement.  Could this be the year?!?  Would this be the year that the new Moses led them out of their Roman slavery?  When the new Elijah overthrew the prophets of evil?  When the new David took possession of Israel’s throne? Continue Reading…


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