Pressing On while Holding Tightly to the Progress

The Struggles of Pressing On

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It is amazing how much change is taking place each day of this new season. The leaves are turning quickly, and the forest is thinning out pressing on through the season. Trees cycle through this phenomenon every year as they transform themselves in the spring with bright gentle buds to the rich green leaves of their full summer glory. Then fall approaches and they give it their all with one last blast of magnificence creating coats of stunning reds, oranges, yellows, and the richest of browns before submitting to the barest of limbs for winter. Life is like that as well. There are bright new times, full glory times, last-ditch efforts, and dark times. It is through these life lessons that like the trees, we can keep pressing on because we hold on to the smallest signs of progress we have made as we journey forth in life.

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In or Out? – Where are you?

A Time for Action

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We are now officially in fall and the last few nights my weather has bordered on winter. Are you readying for cooler weather where you live? Like a squirrel making preparations, the cooling temperatures have spurred me to get a lot of repairs and cleaning up finished before the real cold weather comes. Since I lack the skill set to do much of this work, I find myself almost daily trying to find help. I have learned that it is often difficult to find tradespeople these days that are qualified and available to follow through on jobs. Are they committed to be in, out, or somewhere between?

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Proclaiming Thanks – The Ultimate Trust in All Times

Life’s Wilderness

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Do you feel like you are in the wilderness? Are you proclaiming that the “good old days” were better? Many of us long for things to return to “normal,” whatever that means. But maybe the “normal,” that we remember wasn’t so grand if we dissect it properly. When the wilderness gets dark and plain scary, we often long for what we did hold even if that wasn’t so great. It is so easy to spend our time proclaiming complaints when we’re uncomfortable, tired, anxious, or even hungry. We don’t like to be any of those things. But how much are we proclaiming that God is still at work even if we can’t see Him? Proclaiming our thanks to God even when it is difficult to see things to be thankful for can be a struggle. But this is the ultimate display of trust and faith in our Creator.

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Obstacles of Life – Finding Your Way in the Dark

Are You in the Dark?

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When obstacles block your way of daily life where do you turn? Sometimes life can be dark and dismal as problems get in our way. Sometimes fear and anxiety can even immobilize us even when we only imagine issues on the horizon. How do we combat the darkness that crosses our life path? Where do we turn? How do we find our way in the dark and avoid tripping over the obstacles around us?

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Considering Others – Reflecting on Your Approach

Considering an Almost New Season

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Sometimes it is difficult to put other people before ourselves, especially when we are bombarded with issues and problems of our own. But in our world today, considering others over ourselves may just be more important than ever. It is too easy to focus on ourselves when life overwhelms us, and we can’t see past our issues. And occasionally, it is just as easy to forget about others when we are on top of life and all is well. However, considering others, whether life is going great or it is in the pits, should always be at the top of our list. Not only is considering others the “nice” thing to do, it is through this type of love that the requirements of God’s law are met.

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Instructions: The Guidelines for Good Operation

Instructions – Love or Hate?

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Is following instructions an easy or difficult thing for you? Have you ever been forced to follow instructions to put something together? Do you prefer your instructions written down or read to you? Most of us recognize the need for instructions, but often loosely follow them. Instructions vary in our life from the rules in which we should live, the laws we must follow to avoid a negative consequence, or the directions on how to put something together to make it function properly. And this last one seems to be the key to all of them. For if we chose to do things our way or make up our own instructions things as well as life just doesn’t function or operate as it was designed.

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Identity Crisis– Who Do You Say I Am?

Identity Crisis

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Have you ever had an identity crisis? A period of time in which you were unsure of your role in life. Or perhaps you feel, even today, that you don’t know the “real you.” In today’s fast-paced ever-changing world it is easy to lose sight of our identity. People tend to experience a loss of identity at many stages in life, but specifically at points where change is greatest. One of the questions that might be asked during these times is, “Who am I?” Looking to others and asking, “Who do you say I am,” can be enlightening or startling if it doesn’t line up with the real you. The variety of answers come because people see things differently depending on a range of things.

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Inside-Out – Looking Within to Change the Heart

Organized Rooms, but Messy Closets

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Do you ever think that what we see on the outside is not necessarily what is on the inside? Sometimes we let our masks slip and what is revealed isn’t always pretty. Guarding our thoughts and tongues is necessary to foster good relations. But there are times when the ugliness inside of us just boils to the surface with hurtful words, harsh criticisms, and unkindness. Why we do these things might be a mystery. However, what is clear is that we have a “heart” problem. The world we live in might seems to honor the superficial. However, what is deep inside us is more important to God, than what we display to the world.

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Finding Rainbows in Storms: life’s challenges

The Storms of Life

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Our current times are certainly testing, difficult for some, and overwhelming for others. Are you finding challenges in seeing the blessings that are around you?

Many times, when faced with the storms of life, it is impossible to see, much less find, the rainbows and sunshine. Even in times of beautiful weather we often seek those gifts we don’t own or want what we do not have. However, the good still exists whether the storm is approaching, we are in the middle of it, or it has passed. There is nothing to fear if we hold and place our full faith in Christ. It is in this place that we celebrate whose we are, instead of asking for what we don’t have. For finding the rainbows and feeling the sunshine is possible to claim with the joy of what we hold in what God is doing in our presence with His presence, even if we can’t see it.

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Lamp of Life – In the Darkness, a Light is Needed

Lamps Provide Light

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Do you need the light of a lamp in the dark? As I get older, I have discovered that I don’t see as well as I used to. This is especially true as the light begins to fade each day for it seems as if my sight fades as well. Many times, simply turning on the light makes an enormous difference in whatever task I might be doing. Even something simple like getting a drink of water is much easier if I turn on the light. There is just something about a lamp that suddenly illuminates the darkness making life easier. Lamps of light dispel the darkness. This is just like the lamp of God’s Word that can shine on our path in the dark times of life.

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