The Ways of God
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The Ways of God

Written by Erik Gernand

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. – Ecclesiastes 11:5 

And I found myself thinking this morning, “…except that now we do know the path of the wind and how babies are formed in the mother’s womb. So what does that mean for our understand of the works and ways of God?” 

These words in Ecclesiastes were written [...]

Bad News
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Bad News

Written by Bryan Holmes

How do you handle disappointment or bad news when it comes your way? In life, there are multiple moments when things just don’t end up your way…and some moments when you hear news that shakes you to the core. I know in my own life, there have been times of disappointment. Sometimes, frustration bursts through the surface and I lash out in anger towards the situation. Other times, I am able to keep my calm. One of [...]

Straight Rows
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Straight Rows

Written by Erik Gernand

When I was growing up, I remember the days of learning how to mow the yard.

My dad took me out with him a few times and we followed the good old model. At first I watched my dad, walking alongside him and learning how the mower worked. Then he’d let me take a couple of passes while he walked with me. Before long, though, I was out there on my own.

I wish I could say I was [...]

Stir the Pot
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Stir the Pot

Written by Erik Gernand

Have you ever known someone who likes to “stir the pot”?

The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase like this:

“Someone who loves to proliferate the tension and drama between 2 or more feuding people/groups in public to get a raise of people in hopes of starting a [storm] of drama and uncomfortable conflict, sometimes for personal gain but oftentimes just for the thrill of confrontation.”

You probably know someone like this. But I wonder if every once in a while you [...]

Roots
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Roots

Written by Erik Gernand

A few years ago I planted a tree in my backyard. It was a chore. The tree was probably too large for one person…but I was stubborn. Also, my yard is full of limestone, so I hit a huge rock every time I put the shovel in the ground.

But finally, after some blood, sweat and tears (literally), this young tree with a massive root ball covered in burlap was planted in the ground.

So every once in a [...]

Lessons from Nature – Focus
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Lessons from Nature – Focus

Written by Bryan Holmes

I was over 4 miles into the hike before I even realized it. But it sure was there in full view the whole time I was out there. Have you ever had an experience where you became conscious of something that had been there all along but had gone under your radar? Maybe it was something outside of your life or maybe it was something inside your life. Those kinds of experiences have the power to turn [...]

Bananas
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Bananas

Forwarded by Teresa Hodge

May 6, 2017, with frustration with failing lose the 10 pounds before the end of April, that I had promised myself, I looked at the list of missions-related responsibilities I had on my plate.  Whining and eye rolling when even one more task came to my mind, then reading this scripture:

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at your from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the [...]

Lessons from Nature
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Lessons from Nature

Written by Bryan Holmes

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

What comes to your mind when you think about enlarging your territory in today’s life?

I think part of enlarging your territory in today’s time might look like getting out of your comfort [...]

Read the Bible
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Read the Bible

Written by Erik Gernand

A couple of weeks ago I ran across some research from two separate places that were both studying the same thing. These organizations wanted to identify the catalysts that help spur Christians on to spiritual maturity?

The first organization, LifeWay Publishing Company, followed 2500 people for a year in 2008. Through various assessments they categorized people into one of four levels of commitment to Jesus at the beginning of the year. On one end of the spectrum there [...]

Priorities
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Priorities

Written By Erik Gernand

If you’ll remember, last week we noted that whoever or whatever is setting the priorities in your life, there’s a pretty good case to be made that that is your god. Hopefully for you this is the Lord God and not some other thing or philosophy or focus.

So, let’s say you’ve decided that God should be the one setting your priorities in life. Let’s look at how God begins to order things…

God actually takes that spot on [...]