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    When Serving Brought Out the Worst in Me

    Growing up in church, I was actively involved in church activities at a young age. As a youth, I served as a Sunday school teacher as well as a musician in the worship team. From a young age, I knew that God had blessed me with gifts so that I could bless others.

    Stuck in your own “shame fest”

    Ever been to a “shame fest” where you get stuck focusing on your regrets, mistakes, and disappointments? Today on Discover the Word, the group shares a candid conversation on their personal experiences with pity parties and how to decline those invitations. “The Beauty of Broken”—be listening today on Discover the Word!

    It’s not where you are, but who you are

    It’s possible to be behind bars, but still experience freedom. And it’s also possible to not be an inmate at a prison, yet still be enslaved by sin. It’s not where you are but who you are. Today on “Discover the Word,” the group, and special guest Karen Swanson, talks about how pride can hold us in a prison of our own making while humility can set us free. Join the group today on “Discover the Word”!

    “Prison religion”

    When an inmate “gets religion” to help his or her chances for parole, what they have is often called “prison religion,” where post-release Jesus gets left behind. Today on “Discover the Word,” the group, and Institute for Prison Ministries director Karen Swanson, talks about “prison religion” and also wants to know, when your circumstances change for the better, where is Jesus in your life? “Discover the Word” today!

    When I Died to Myself At Work

    Several weeks ago, my church mate commented about the attitude of an intern working in her organization. Whenever he did not know how to do something, she said, he would keep quiet instead of seeking help, or say that it could not be done.

    pride and prejudice

    Sadly, all of us—even the best of us—have prejudices. I was shocked to one day realize my own prejudice against a Christian denomination. I’d been deeply hurt by people in it, and any time the denomination’s name came up, words like “Pharisees,” “legalists,” and “unloving” came to mind. I basically thought, Can anything good come from that denomination?

    Pride at the Core

    “He thinks he’s really something!” That was my friend’s assessment of a fellow Christian we knew. We thought we saw in him a spirit of pride. We were saddened when we learned that he soon was caught in some serious misdeeds. By elevating himself, he had found nothing but trouble. We realized that could happen to us as well.

    It can be easy to minimize the terrible sin of pride in our own hearts. The more we learn and the more success we enjoy, the more likely we are to think we’re “really something.” Pride is at the core of our…

    Vindicated

    Augustine’s Confessions traces his journey through misspent youth, false religion, and finally to Jesus. As a man with much to confess, Augustine was sometimes tempted to be defensive. A translation of one of his prayers says: “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”

    The Two Bears

    Some years ago, my wife, Carolyn, and I spent a few days camping on the flanks of Mount Rainier in Washington State. When we were returning to our campsite one evening, we saw in the middle of a meadow two male bears boxing each other’s ears. We stopped to watch.

    There was a hiker nearby, and I asked him what the conflict was about. “A young female,” he said.

    “Where is she?” I asked.

    “Oh, she left about 20 minutes ago,” he chuckled. Thus, I gathered, the conflict at this point was not about the female bear but about being the toughest bear.

    Most…

    i got this

    I had been doing well in my university classes and assumed that my upcoming logic exam was no big deal. A lukewarm sense of complacency settled over me. You might sum up my attitude as “I got this!”

    The Tyranny of the Perfect

    Dr. Brian Goldman obsessively tried to be perfect in treating his patients. But on a nationally broadcast show he admitted to mistakes he had made. He revealed that he had treated a woman in the emergency room and then made the decision to discharge her. Later that day a nurse asked him, “Do you remember that patient you sent home? Well, she’s back.” The patient had been readmitted to the hospital and then died. This devastated him. He tried even harder to be perfect, only to learn the obvious: Perfection is impossible.

    As Christians, we may harbor unrealistic expectations of perfection…

    3 Reasons Why We Gossip

    One of my earliest memories as a child was waiting for a doctor’s appointment with my mother. We were seated side by side in a nondescript waiting room, and seated diagonally across from us was a little girl with her mother.

    Dynamite & Self-idolatry

    Alfred Nobel invented the detonator in 1863 and the blasting cap 2 years later. Then, in 1867 he invented dynamite—something he hoped would revolutionize the mining and construction industries. It certainly did that, but dynamite also became the basis of munitions for a century, with variations of it used in wars even today. Nobel would likely be saddened to know that something he intended for good has been used to cause great destruction.

    When Your Sin Comes to Light

    Mixed feelings. Apprehension. Guilt. Shame. Regret. If any of those popped to mind, know that you’re not alone. Like it or not, each one of us have our fair share of bright and dark patches. For the latter, we probably wish we could erase or hide those parts away permanently. The good news for most of us is that we’d probably never have to worry about others knowing about those parts as long as we hide them well enough, or the law doesn’t ever find us out.

    Our Culture’s Idol

    The story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue always puzzled me. How was it possible for a king to erect a statue and then demand that everyone bow down to it? (Daniel 3:1,5). The whole story seemed silly. And that was before the Veggie Tales video version, which substituted the statue with a chocolate bunny. Have you heard the “Bunny Song”? “The bunny, the bunny, yeah, I love the bunny. I gave everything that I had for the bunny!”


    September 2019: Christian Living

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