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Out of This World

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“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” –John 15:18
These words forge upstream in a world where our natural inclination is to be the most well-liked, popular person we could be.
But Jesus spoke these words without hesitation or shame. He spoke them right before He was to be crucified on a cross. He spoke them knowing most of the men hearing His words that day would one day be martyred for their faith in Him. He spoke them knowing that they would be written down for people like you and I to read and marvel at how difficult those words are to embrace.
He spoke them so that we would not be disillusioned when people reject us for following Him with our whole heart. He spoke them so that we would not be surprised when people don’t like us talking about Him. He spoke them so we would count the cost before we make a stand for Jesus in a world where people don’t want God. He spoke them so that we would know they aren’t rejecting us, but Him. He then said, “…

"I Was Crushed"

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This morning, as I was reading my bible, a verse caught my attention that I hadn’t really given thought to before. Let me share it with you.
God speaking: “…I was crushed by their adulterous heart, which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols…” (Ezekiel 6:9) A couple of things struck me…
We live in a world that glorifies sin. It calls evil good, and good evil. Much of our culture and media today is based off of little to no morality, and pushes messages that encourage you to step over your moral lines drawn for yourself and try the unthinkable. Pride, selfishness, divorce, sex before marriage, gay marriage, adultery, murder, hate, lying, envy, slander, and on and on –these things are often portrayed as good.
Our Christian culture is not left unaffected by this either. How many Christians do you and I know who minimize sin against God? It is hard to find someone who weeps over sin anymore. Most people either push it under a spiritual rug of hypoc…

Declaration of Dependence, part 2 -Falling Into the Ground

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Pain.

I’ve never gone looking for it and I’ve never seen it as an enjoyable thing in and of itself. I think we all can agree that this one four-letter word in our lifetimes -however short or long they have been thus far- has stirred up more doubts and questions about God than most other topics in the world.
I have lived most of my life viewing pain as an enemy. Perhaps you have too. We weigh our decisions, the goals in our lives, the friends we will have, even whether or not we will come close to God by how much pain –emotional or physical- each choice will cost us.
The majority of the world we live in has structured their lives around comfort and ease. Pain is not even an option. Nor is it a topic we really want to talk about. Not unless there is a way to avoid it.
But today, I am going to talk about it. Maybe knowing this, you will close your webpage and read no further. That’s ok. This topic is not for the faint of heart. But if you are willing, God can give you grace to face it…

Declaration of Dependence, Part 1

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Several months ago, I convinced myself that I needed my very own power tools. Seriously. ;) 
The first power tool I intended to buy was a drill. I had all these visions of me being able to quickly fix some of the broken furniture I acquire for resale without too much hassle. 
Finally the day came that Kevin and I went to Harbor Freight to buy that power drill that I had so long dreamed about. It was an exciting day when I first put it to use! However, the very first thing I had to do when I got the tool out was charge the battery, because it arrived home powerless.  I could push that trigger all day, but nothing would happen until that was done. Once it was charged, I could use it. But I could only use it so long before the battery died again. That’s the case with all battery-powered tools, or battery-powered anything. (Disclaimer: I am not- repeat, NOT- and expert with tools! lol) 
When I was looking around at all the options, I noticed that there were also power drills that needed t…