Input = Output

Posted in Choice, Diet, Mind, Personal Growth, Victorious Living by PCraig on September 27, 2013

Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “Garbage in, garbage out.”  What that saying conveys is what we put into our minds is what will come out.  Isn’t this true in all of life?  A few years ago a man did an experiment of only eating McDonald’s fast food for many days in a row.  The result was that his doctor said his health deteriorated during that time because of what he had been putting in his body.

More recently, here in the Indianapolis area, people were having trouble with their cars stalling after getting them filled up with gasoline.  After studying the situation, what they determined is that these individuals were getting bad gas from filling stations in town.

Here’s how this applies to our lives today, we can make one of three choices:

  • We can fill our minds with nothing and get no better than what we were yesterday.
  • We can fill our minds with negative thoughts, such as, “I know I’ll never succeed at this…” or words others have compiled in song lyrics or writings that drag you down.
  • We can strategically and intentionally fill our minds with good things, like great articles, good music with inspiriting lyrics, and most of all God’s Word.

If you don’t like the direction your life is going, you just might want to check what you’re putting in your tank, stomach, mind or spirit.

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Get Awed Again

Posted in Evangelism, witnessing by PCraig on September 19, 2013

We have an amazing God who loves and wants to reveal Himself to us.  So, why do we have trouble talking to people about Him?  I mean, if we find a detergent we like we’ll tell people things like, “Wow, this new detergent I’m using gets the stains out that others don’t!”  Or, if we find a movie that was good, we might say, “You know, my husband and I loved this movie we watched the other night called ______.”

If we can talk about stain removers, movies and whatever other things that impress us, then why don’t we talk more about God?  In his book, Contagious, Jonathan Berger writes about how thinking and social influence spread, or “why things catch on.”  One of the strongest discoveries was that articles that drove a sense of awe into readers were 30 times more likely to make the list of “most shared articles.”

This means, we spread the news that we find amazing.  What this means for me as a Christ-follower is that if I’m not sharing the gospel, it’s because I have lost my sense of awe and wonder of it.

If this is true, then our church doesn’t need more classes on how to give away your faith.  Instead, we need more people to get a fresh revelation of a Savior who left His throne to come down to our level and lift us up to His.  To stand in awe of Someone who would take our sin and let it be nailed to the cross.

When the religious leaders told Peter and John to stop speaking about Jesus, they replied to them, “We are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

Remind yourself of how sinful and unworthy you were of a Savior that would come and die for you.  Let yourself be gripped once again by God’s amazing grace.  When we get a fresh revelation of Jesus, we will share.  Because we spread what causes us to be in awe.

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We All Need Somebody To Lean On

Posted in Fellowship, Life Group, Relationships by PCraig on September 12, 2013

Our new GriefShare ministry at the church is reaching out to a segment of society that needs help.  Recovering from the loss of a loved one can be a long and painful experience.  Getting around other people who have encouragement, helpful advice and moral support is huge in recovery.  This is not only true in grief, but in so many other areas of our lives as well.

When we get around others that can pray for us, encourage us, and guide us through the rough waters of life, it makes the journey so much better.  I think that’s why the devil fights it so much.  He tells people, “You don’t have time to go to that class” or “They won’t share anything that could be of help to you” and “You’re going to do just fine on your own, you don’t need a bunch of religious people to help you.”  What’s sad is this often works in keeping us away from the very thing that could catapult us to wholeness.

Let me urge you today to seek out the strength of others.  Don’t let the enemy convince you to stay away from the support of God’s family.  He knows the power that is released when people of faith come together; it’s a shame when we don’t.

*LifeGroups are awesome for building strength & so are Crossroads University classes!

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Bloom For God

Posted in Attitude, Character, Choice, Faithfulness, honor, Victorious Living by PCraig on September 5, 2013

“Bloom Where You Are Planted”

I heard that phrase a long time ago, but it still holds a great truth.  The idea is that regardless of your surroundings and circumstances you can choose to bloom there.

Paul shared this same concept in 2 Corinthians 12 when he asked the Lord to take away a “thorn in the flesh.”  Much speculation exists on whether this was a person, an ailment, a physical challenge in Paul’s life.  It really doesn’t matter what it is, what is important is how Paul dealt with it.

He asked the Lord to remove several times, but He didn’t.  Finally God speaks and shows that it is there to show God’s power in Paul’s weakness.  Isn’t that how God’s power shows up the most?  Otherwise people give credit to the person for accomplishments.

Paul goes onto say that because of this revelation he will boast about his weakness to bring more honor to God.  It could look like this: “I thought you said you didn’t like your job, yet you seem to give it everything you’ve got, what gives?”

When a Christian pushes through difficult challenges and keeps on going, it brings honor to God, which is our ultimate objective.

What weak area of your life could you leverage to bring more honor to God?

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