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Warrior Strong

From 1980 until 2001, the U.S. Army slogan was "Be All You Can Be" and the rest of it was "in the Army". It has morphed from "Army of One", "Army Strong", into the present "What's Your Warrior?", with each lasting a few or more years in various recruiting campaigns. I kind of like the present one, but the "Be All You Can Be" one really speaks of what God desires of his 'army' of believers - he wants us to be mature and complete, becoming all he intends for us to be - not as an Army of One, but as Warriors in his army of billions upon billions.
My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy. You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be. (James 1:2-4 ERV)

Warriors become strong not in…
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Blessed in Blessing

Ever watch a dog chase his own tail? The dog goes round and round in circles, chasing that silly tail, all the while never catching what is right there in front of his view. We chase after a lot of things in life - not all of them are really worth chasing. Sometimes we chase stuff that really only serves to bring us grief and disappointment. This chasing is a part of a much deeper issue, though. We lack satisfaction or contentment and therefore, we are chasing after the wind. Contentment is a state of being "at ease" in our mind, soul, and spirit. We don't need activity because we are at rest - we don't 'chase' for the sake of movement, we seek with a purpose. Sometimes ceasing is the best remedy to chasing! Satisfaction really is a sense of being grateful - fulfilled in what we have and who we are.

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. (I Corinthians 14:1 MSG)

Pursue the rig…

My steps matter

We've talked about this before, but it bears repeating: God doesn't tempt us! We WILL have temptation in life, but it doesn't come from God. He knows what we CAN and WILL bear - he will not allow us to encounter any temptation we don't have a way of ESCAPE from if we will trust him to help us escape! When we fail to resist temptation, that is ALL on us - we didn't turn to him for his help in the moment where we found ourselves going from 'zero to sixty' in a blink of the eye toward that temptation. When we turn to him for help, he is right there with the help.
The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13ERV
Some of us might think God should just remove the temptation - because we are Christians and he wants …

Some nasty stains here

We ALL make wrong choices. We ALL handle them in one way or another. Some of us have figured out we cannot 'handle' them all by ourselves. Do you ever feel like your "wrong choices" are just staring you in the face all the time? You try to move on, but they just keep "getting in your grill". No amount of "soaking" in our pity seems to take the stain of those choices away, does it? There seems to be no escape, no matter how much we think we are 'dealing with' them. We need God's help if we are to ever be really free of our wrong choices - we will just keep repeating the pattern we have established until we get his help!

Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down. (Psalm 51:1-3)

We need God to "wipe out" our bad record, don't we? When we think of the term "wipe out", we a…

Oil and Water Don't Mix

Opposing sides - the one is against the other - kind of like oil and water. Mix oil and water - is it possible to get oil 'into' water? Two very distinct 'layers' will eventually form no matter how hard you try to mix the two - they are opposed to each other. Scientifically speaking, molecules of oil are bigger than water and therefore they don't mix into the water - they stay as oil, not taking on the water molecule. Sin is kind of like a big molecule of oil in our lives - it can sit there a long, long time, trying to get 'mixed up' in our life of righteousness (water), but these two 'molecules' don't mix! They will always be opposed to each other.

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antit…

Huh, I chose this?

Most of us realize it is one thing to "know" something - quite another to "do" it. I know how to eat well - to choose the right things to eat continually is a very real struggle, though! We know rewards of eating right always outweigh the short-lived enjoyment of the wrong choices, but we have cravings that demand to be fed. So, why do we act surprised when we get on the scale and see a few extra pounds? We made the choices - now we see the consequences. We need to recognize that both the knowledge and the action must make a connection within us in order to get the results we desire. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn and to put into practice in our lives, is it not?

Keep and live out the entire commandment that I'm commanding you today so that you'll live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors. Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testin…

How big is your family?

I have friends who come from very large families, with siblings at every turn of the corner, sometimes nearing a dozen or more! I cannot imagine a household filled to the brim like that because I pretty much was raised as an only child. Born the last of three, but with 10 years difference between my sister and I, by the time they were graduating high school I was just barely in elementary! The remaining years left me still as the third child, but really as the 'only' since they had already flown the nest. In reality, we are an 'only child' in God's eyes - attention dedicated to our 'upbringing' as though there were no other kids in the family. Yet, we are one of so many more than we ever could count! We just don't all have the same last name, look alike, sport similar hair colors, or merely resemble each other by the shade of our skin. We are indeed many, yet one.

If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in his family, we are liars. …