Avoiding The Regret Of Bad Decisions

Posted in Choice, Counsel, Decisions, Mistakes, Questions, Wisdom by PCraig on February 1, 2018

I once read a book by Andy Stanley, in which he proposes that the best question ever to ask is: “Is this the wise thing to do?” How many times would you have been better off if you had asked that before calling him back, taking that job, signing that lease, and the list goes on.

Solomon shares some insight on this in his writings of Proverbs and helps us to learn from other’s mistakes. In other words, you don’t have to make all the mistakes yourself, you can learn from the words of others. That’s life changing, if we’ll apply it.

In Proverbs 1:1-3, he refers to these writings as literally a “manual for life.” What good is a manual, if you don’t read it? Answer: no good. When’s the last time you took some time to read the “manual for life?”

Stop taking the hard road, learn from others that have gone before you, read the stories and words of wisdom they have to share. If you do, you can avoid much of the pain of bad decisions.

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One Question

Posted in Marriage, Perspective, Questions, Relationships by PCraig on February 12, 2015

What is one question you could ask that would most likely improve your marriage?  I was thinking about that this week and came up with this one: “what’s it like to be you?”

It is kind of a new twist on treat others and you would have them treat you, only it’s not how you want to be treated, but what do they need?  Instead of trying to give others what we want, why not put yourself in their shoes?  Maybe you’ve heard, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins” before passing judgment.

What if you took the time to contemplate, “What is it like to be my spouse?”  That means, being married to someone like you!  Someone that treats them, speaks to them, answers them, and reacts to them like you and others do.  If you had to walk in his or her moccasins, what would you want someone else to do for you: Be quiet, sit there with you, pray with you, hold your hand, or take you out for fun?

Try asking the question and see how it changes your perspective and if it helps your marriage.  Also, see you if you can come up with other great questions to improve your marriage and feel free to share them.

**More help is coming as Crossroads’ hosts the ART OF MARRIAGE WEEKEND on March 6 & 7.

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Questions for a New Year

God has been speaking to me lately about the power of questions. A well placed question can help to bring incredible clarity, understanding and direction. For example: Why do you allow him to treat you that way? That one question can help a person evaluate an abusive situation and take ownership and lead to action.

Here’s some questions that might be good to ask heading into a New Year:
What didn’t work well for me in 2011?
What did I promise that I would do last year that I failed to complete?
What would it take to complete it in this coming year and make it a priority?
Who do I need to get around more often in the New Year?
Who do I need to spend less time with next year?
What fear do I need to conquer in 2012?
What excuses kept me from doing more this year? How can I stop making them?
What do I feel God might be leading me more & more into? (New ministry, witnessing, giving…)
What first step do I need to take to achieve greater alignment with God in 2012?

These are just a few I thought of, do you have any great questions to be asked heading into a New Year?

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That’s Controversial

Can controversy be a good thing or bad thing?  I think it can be either one, it just depends upon what’s behind it.  If you are being controversial for the sake of being controversial, then I think that’s phony.  If you are being controversial to draw attention to yourself, then I think that’s pride.  If you are being controversial to answer questions no one is asking, then that can be sensationalism.

But, what if you’re being controversial for the sake of being relevant?  For example, we recently did a sermon series called Q&A in which the congregation got to vote on the topics by way of texting.  I then took the most popular subjects and made a series out of them.  Several of these had to do with sex, such as masturbation, homosexuality, pornography and living together.  Others were concerned with theological issues, like why is life unfair? and end times.  Still others concerned themselves with social subjects of tattoos, suicide, drinking and cursing.

The series was quite popular with the congregation, but it also had a lot of controversy considering some of the topics.  My feeling is the Bible is pretty graphic and detailed when it comes to these sorts of topics and so why can’t the church speak that directly?    When the Bible spoke directly, then we let it speak for itself, at other times we looked at principles to apply, but always we sought unity.

The positive feedback far outweighed the negative and some pretty powerful things happened as well.  For example, one guy came to me a few weeks later and admitted an addiction to lustful thoughts and was powerfully convicted by the series.  Another person said that the material shared on suicide gave them great comfort because of someone who had taken their life.  These are just a couple of examples of the way God used it.

My point is that we didn’t do the series to be cute, edgy, or controversial.  We did the series to speak directly to the topics our culture is struggling with the most and give a biblical response.  Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”  There’s something I love about releasing the truth of God’s Word and watching it set people free that makes any risk of being misinterpreted worth it.  Are you willing to take the risk to be relevant and watch God set people free?  Let’s do all we can, with all we have to reach one more for Jesus!

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End of the Year Questions

Posted in New Year, Questions by PCraig on December 9, 2010

It’s getting to be that time of the year when I go into review mode.  I think the end of the year is a perfect time to reflect upon your life and see how things are going.  Here’s some questions I like to ask:

  • Is my relationship with God in a growth swing? 
  • How do I feel about the condition of my marriage?
  • Am I content with my family time or does it need adjustment?
  • What measurements are revealing progress in my:  giving, evangelism, leadership?
  • Are there changes that I need to make to go to the next level in the coming year?

What questions do you ask yourself?  What other preparations do you make to ensure a successful New Year?  If you’re not planning and preparing for improvement in the New Year, then chances are it won’t just happen.

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Why Me?

Posted in Faith, One Year Bible, Questions, Victorious Living by PCraig on July 24, 2010

One of the biggest questions I hear people struggling with is, “Why is this happening to me?  I’m a good person, so why should I be dealing with this?”  Usually when this question is asked it is in regard to BAD things happening.  Rarely do I hear a person asking, “Why is all this good coming my way?”  Where are the people asking about GOOD things happening to them that are undeserved or unearned? 

Anyway, in today’s reading of the One Year Bible we find a partial answer to this question from the book of Romans.  Here’s the question it raises, “Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?”  In other words, should we believe that if our lives don’t run according to our plan that God doesn’t love us? 

The answer is provided in Romans 8:37 “No, DESPITE all these things, overwhelming victory is OURS through Christ, who loved us.”  Paul says that God already proved His love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins.  What more do you have to do beyond dying for someone to show that you love them?  So, never doubt God’s love. 

The greatest victory that you and I have is not just getting this month’s bills paid, our bodies healed, or a new job.  By far the most phenomenal thing that you and I have to consider is we are bound for an eternal heaven with God and are assured of His presence every day of our lives.  So what if we encounter opposition and difficulties along the way, because when you and I get to heaven we’ll ask, “Why should I get to live in a place like this?  Why me?”  It’s all because of Him!

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