Happy New Year! ...Or is it? Have you asked yourself if you are happy and excited about this New Year or do you fear the same old stuff will get in the way of the better life you had imagined? When you look at your own character and your own track record, what do you see? Do you see accomplishment and progress or failure and backsliding? Do you see consistency and focus or sporadic efforts and distracted attention? Bottom line: do you want to do better, do you want to be better and do you want to feel better about where you stand? Well, stay with us!
We make decisions all the time. Some are big and significant life-altering choices and most others are small, often unnoticed and even insignificant. What most influences our decisions – reason, emotion or expediency? What about laziness versus discipline? Can we make better decisions? If so, how?
The Bible tells us to stand fight and be courageous for our faith. It also sometimes tells us to run away from some things and some people. What is the difference? How do we know when to plant our feet solidly on the foundation of Christ and truth or when to lace up the running shoes of righteousness and run away? Is it always an obvious answer? Is there ever a time that we would do both? Wait – how would you do THAT?
Several weeks ago we began a conversation about how our lives bear fruit and how important it is to know what that fruit represents and how to cultivate it. We began to walk through the fruit of the spirit for the fifth chapter of Galatians, taking a tour of what God expects from us relating to our character growth as we follow Christ. Today, the tour continues, and as with any tour, it is important to stay with the group so you don’t miss out!
We all have heard analogies regarding fruit… “That was a fruitful trip.” “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” “What a fruitcake!” “We are hoping the experience bears fruit.” “Please, with a cherry on top!” “He went bananas!” “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch!” You get the idea! Fruit gives us a sensible and understandable way to define life – and it’s tasty too! Not surprisingly, fruit is a centerpiece of New Testament teaching, so let’s take a look!
Promises, promises! We have all made them, heard them, kept them and maybe even broken them. Promises have always been an integral part of the fabric of any society, for they are truly the basis of trust and loyalty. When promises are kept, life is better and less lonely and when they are broken life gets to be broken as well. So, if promises are so important, then why are they so undervalued today?
Did you ever stop to think how much of our lives are built around our habits? The words we use, the thoughts we think – driven by habit. Our morning routine...a habit. The time we arrive at work...habit. Our actions and reactions to our co-workers...habit. What we eat, where we eat, how much we eat...all connected to habit. How we treat our spouse, our family, our friends and acquaintances – you guessed it – all connected to habit. So, if such a large portion of our lives are based in habit, then we ought to understand what makes a habit and most importantly how to better our habits!
Happy New Year! It is 2011 and it is a new beginning – at least for the calendar anyway. What is your year going to look like? Do you have any changes planned? Is this the year that you will finally – well, you know, is this the year that you will finally – (now fill in the blank...) With a new year usually comes a review of what has been and a preview of what we would like to have happen. My question to you is this – along with your thinking about changes with your job, your home, your car, your weight, your habits etc., are you thinking about changes in your Godliness – are you thinking about how you can finally really make your faith be stronger and healthier? Stay with us as we talk about our thinking - how it works and how to elevate it to a higher spiritual level!
Each and every day of our lives, we are all involved in a wide variety of (hopefully) working relationships with others. For everyone we come in contact with, there is a pattern of behavior that is displayed by both parties that reflects what the relationship is that exists between them. For the most part, this pattern of behavior is not ever given much thought, rather it is practiced based on habit or our present emotional state – which brings us to our question: What should our role be in various relationships? Are there sound guidelines that transcend etiquette and culture? Stay with us as we look into the Bible and try to figure out some details on how to best get along with the world around us!
Here we are, once again approaching the end of one year and the inauguration of another. We often look back at this time and reflect on what has happened, and we also look forward in anticipation of what will happen. Many people make resolutions with the idea of bettering themselves and their situation. On this program, while we are not making resolutions, we are going to be talking about building better, more fruitful lives. How do we do this? Where do we start? Well, while this program will NOT be a motivational seminar, it will hopefully help to shed some light on the process of building a more fruitful life, so stay with us!