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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Free- The Restricted Life of Independence

Celebrating Being Free

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The end of this week marks the declared Independence of the home of the free won by the brave in the United States. July 4th is the anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. It is still celebrated 244 years later as a day of freedom. But as we look around us and perhaps consider how we may celebrate being free, we must ask ourselves how free are we? Are we leading a restricted life in our declared independence?

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Moving to the Heartbeat of Love

Moving with Love Actions

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Are you living a life that is consistently moving to the heartbeat of love? It certainly seems that the world needs love more than ever before. And if we want to change the world, even our immediate world, then moving to the action of love is not a suggestion but a needed and necessary movement. It is only through love that we have the power to mend and build, whole and healthy communities. Christ teaches us that when loving people, all people, it takes a full-body experience using our eyes, ears, and hearts.

God is a God of love. He loves us all so dearly and wants us to know His full love. It is in this way that He desires us to return that love to others. As we love others, we can see and hear them, but it is the third step that gets the results, this is action. We can talk about it, ponder on it, listen to it, theorize about it, but until we take the step of moving into action it is fruitless. As Rick Warren said, “Love isn’t visible unless you are able to see it in action.”

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Clinging to the Old Ways – Finding Control in an Uncontrollable World

Having It Your Way

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Do you find yourself clinging to the old way of doing things? It seems that life in this pandemic has us longing for the old way of doing things and clinging to a former life. But the reality is there is a new normal coming to town. Sometimes though we just insist on doing things our way. We cling to that life mostly out of comfort. For often new and different makes us feel out of control and unstable. But we’ve clung for a long time even though our clinging isn’t necessarily the best way. Why do we gravitate to the old when perhaps new and different are better?

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A colorful World – Seeing and Responding with Mercy

Mercy for a Colorful World

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We live in a beautiful created and most colorful world orchestrated by God. Perhaps, you remember singing as a child, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” or “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.” The words to these songs make it clear that not only does God love the whole world but every represented color within it. However, it seems that as some of us transitioned into adulthood, the whole world became an individual world. And in these individual worlds, the colors faded. They became only select colors that we chose to surround ourselves with, therefore, losing the beauty of the colored world because we lost the need to see them all equally.

This is not intentional for most, just the effect of busy lives, different paths, and journeys. It is the result of following a life that includes only those that might be following the same route. But, unfortunately, it is in this that the colors of the world begin to fade. This is the place we forget the beauty and importance of all the colors as we selfishly continue on our journey moving aimlessly with blinders on that dims our colorful world.

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Trinity – Ready, Set, Go! Showing the World Christ

The Trinity Mystery

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This Sunday represents Trinity Sunday. However, the mystery of the Trinity remains as unexplained today as it did centuries ago. Attempting to explain it only reduces God to something our small human minds can grasp. And, in this case, we lessen God’s greatness. God’s magnificent vastness boggles our minds and understanding to the point that we put it to the side or even dismiss it completely. The Trinity however remains both a divine and beautiful enigma. It captures our hearts and imaginations completely, which is why it lends itself fully to beauty and art. So, what exactly should we do with our wonder of our God who creates inspiration and awe within us? Is there a place that we should go and if so, who should share it with us?

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Living a Divine Shaped Life

The Shape of Life

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If I ask you if you live a life shaped by the divine power of God, how would you answer? This is a daunting question, to say the least. Perhaps it is also one that makes us take a step back and think about the life we live.

Many things shape our lives. Sometimes the shape of our life is from the decisions that we make. Yet sometimes our life shape is from the decisions that others make. However, our life is also shaped by what we surround ourselves with. We can certainly control the first and come to terms to accept and work around the second. However, it is this last one, the environment we choose to surround ourselves with that often shapes us the most.

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