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Activated September 2016

Faith and endurance - September 2016

God is no fair-weather friend. When you hit bottom, He is your place of refuge.
 

01-09-2016
Boulders and Burdens
Boulders and Burdens

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was known as a master trickster and the most cunning of men. Eventually, the gods were so displeased with his craftiness and deceitfulness that they condemned him in the afterlife to push a huge boulder up a steep hill. The boulder was enchanted so that Sisyphus has never been able to complete the task: whenever he nears the top, the boulder always rolls back down, over and over again, endlessly, for all eternity.

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01-09-2016
My Journals
My Journals

I was doing some organization and deep cleaning of my belongings. This is the longest I have ever lived in the same house, and I’ve accumulated a lot of things. In the course of this, I came across a box filled with my old journals.

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01-09-2016
Rocks to Roads
Rocks to Roads

It’s understandable to look at what’s ahead with some trepidation. Maybe as you look back you see the struggles, uncertainty, and perhaps even setbacks that have shaken your life. Sorrows and disappointments that were pretty overwhelming may still weigh on your heart. That can make the future seem intimidating.

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01-09-2016
Faith Does It Again!
Faith Does It Again!

When I look back at the crossroads in my life—times when things seemed to have taken a wrong turn or my plans and goals were dealt a severe blow—I realize that my faith played a major role and helped me to weather the adverse circumstances and challenges.

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01-09-2016
Surviving a Difficult Situation
Surviving a Difficult Situation

Those first few minutes while the news sank in were devastating. I felt like my whole world was caving in. Somehow I managed to stumble shakily out of my boss’ office. His words kept reverberating in my head: “Due to the current situation, we’re having to cut back. So we wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind accepting a cutback on your work hours for now.”

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01-09-2016
Paperclip Faith
Paperclip Faith

Did you ever hear about the young man named Kyle MacDonald who traded a paperclip for one item after the other until he was able to get his own house? Surprisingly, it only took him 14 trades to achieve his goal one year after he started. His journey was: clip to pen, to doorknob, to stove, to generator, to keg of beer, to snowmobile, to trip to Yahk, to panel truck, to recording contract, to one-year rent of an apartment in Phoenix, to an afternoon with Alice Cooper, to a motorized snow globe, to a speaking role in a movie,...

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01-09-2016
The Sign
The Sign

I must confess that I have never been one who could easily believe in miraculous forms of healing. In fact, I prided myself a bit on being “rational,” “logical,” of which skepticism was an integral part. Perhaps it was also because of feeling that what happens to us is just part of the big game plan—our destiny. I think that I too, like the Jews demanded of Jesus, “required a sign.”

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01-09-2016
The Doubt Side of My Faith
The Doubt Side of My Faith

I grew up thinking that “faith” and “doubt” were opposites. Faith was good. Doubt was bad. With that mindset even questions could be dangerous, as I figured they could lead to doubt. For an intellectually curious person, that is a difficult thing to deal with, and I struggled with it for most of my rememberable life. The questions I used to resist ranged from wondering whether God really cared that much about X or Y specific rule mentioned in the Bible, sometimes vaguely or heavily interpreted, to that large and ever-present question: Does God exist?

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01-09-2016
Asking Questions
Asking Questions

Faith is a reasoning trust, a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God.
—John Stott (b. 1921)

*

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
—Paul Tillich (1886–1965)

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01-09-2016
Peaks and Valleys
Peaks and Valleys

I recently read C. S. Lewis’ novel The Screwtape Letters, which chronicles a fictional correspondence between a senior devil named Screwtape and a junior devil named Wormwood. These letters include fascinating insight into Satan’s strategies for sabotaging my spiritual growth, relationship with God, and interactions with others. One of the letters explores the ups and downs of the human experience, what I call the “peaks and valleys.”

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01-09-2016
A Place of Refuge
A Place of Refuge

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”1

When the storms blow about you and you are tossed and buffeted and carried to and fro with the winds of tribulation, adversity, and difficulty, come into My place of refuge until these calamities have passed. Rest your head upon My shoulder and see how I will care for you.

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