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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We all know Stuck. Been there! Way to many times.

We all know there are two ways to get un-stuck. Either you get a Push, or you get a Pull.

Pushing is hard work, and generally not the most pleasant. But it sure beats being stuck. Push ahead.

Press on. Work through it. Get psyched. Just do it.
Shoulder to the wheel. Where’s your drive? Dig in. Let me help.

We know about pushing. It’s pretty much what we do.

On the other hand, we don’t know so much about pulling. We use it less often, are less practiced at it, and rarely consider it as an option. Pulling is still work, of course. The big difference with pulling is that the focus is not on where you are, but on where you are going. It’s sort of like the difference between pushing water with a plunger, or drawing it with a siphon.

Pushing is to “get you out from where you are.” It’s focus is on the right now, on being un-stuck, on un-doing the negative.
Pulling is to “get you on to where we are going.” It’s focus is on the horizon, on moving forward, on reinforcing the positive.

The Bible is full of Push-Pull. Push in the Bible has to do with taking a hard look at human reality in the flesh. Fallen, sin, repentance, judgment, forgiveness and hell are push words. They express the needs of the soul and generate “help me” prayers. Pull in the Bible has to do with taking a good look at human reality in the spirit. Risen, redeemed, grace, mercy, thanksgiving, and heaven are pull words. They express the contentment of the soul and generate “thank you” prayers.

Both are totally necessary. How about you? How well do you balance the Push and the Pull in your life? Are you mired down in the muck of the Push side of things so much that you lose sight of the promise and joy on the Pull side?

Do you need a good kick in the rump, a push, to get you life back on a godly course? Or maybe you need a powerful new experience, a pull, to draw you up and move you into a more godly lifestyle?

For me, I only need a push when my pull is too small, and that’s most of the time. This holiday season I’m going to dwell on the Glory and Majesty of God, ponder the huge-ness of God’s grace, and wonder more about the genius of creation and the miracle of salvation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keystone Habits

Habits are killers, aren’t they? Well, sometimes, anyway. Bad ones run our lives amuck and ruin our health. But, on the other hand, good ones are the drivers that turn every effort into success.

There’s a new book out, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, which studies how by simply changing one habit a person can totally turn their life around.
‘Keystone Habit’ is the name given to that transforming habit. A Keystone Habit can be any habit. Duhigg tells the story of one major corporation that went from near financial disaster to abundant profit in one year by focusing on one habit only, safety.

In 2009 a group of health researchers published how Tracking, that is, keeping a food journal, or writing down everything one eats, helped a study group of 1600 obese participants change their eating behaviors and lose weight. But surprisingly this Keystone Habit -- food journaling – did more, it created a structure that helped other habits to flourish. Six months into the study, people who kept daily food records had lost twice as much weight as everyone else.

Keystone Habits make our life better. God knows how true that is, and in the Bible suggests several, any one of which will change your life forever and for the good. Here are a few. Love God. Treasure God’s name. Pray daily. Worship weekly. Give your first and your best, i.e. tithe. Be thankful for everything. Forgive over and over again, even your enemy. Respect/honor your parents as long as you live. Feed the hungry. Visit those in prison. Welcome the stranger or sojourner in your midst. Oh, the list goes on and on.

Here’s the deal. Just pick one of God’s recommended habits. Commit to it daily. Track it daily. You will probably need an accountability partner to stay at it, so get one. And in no time your life will be more satisfying to you, more a blessing to others, and more glorifying of God.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pilgrims, Past and Present

In the following remarks the word “children” includes all children, those in the home and adult children whatever their age. Parenting responsibilities, especially those of modeling the faith, do not end when a child leaves home. Once a parent, always a parent.

Pilgrims, Past and Present

Men:   Once upon a time, courageous men studied God’s word and taught it to their children. They brought their families to church, and applied the Gospel values in the performance of their civic duties. They taught their children how to work, and how to judge rightly according to God’s word. They taught them how to treat others and govern their own behavior under God, how to live successfully in community with folks of other persuasion. Still today, courageous men do the same.

Women:   Once upon a time brave women studied God’s word and taught it to their children. They nurtured their children in the Christian graces, read to them and taught them to pray. They sacrificed their own comforts to support the evangelization of the world, cultivating in their children, thereby, a desire for excellence, generosity, and peace. They forged wholesome patterns of civility and opposed all forms of social evil. Still today, brave women do the same.

Folks:   It takes courage to stand with Jesus, to speak about Jesus, to let Jesus govern one’s life and guide one’s life choices. It takes Jesus to parent with strength, wisdom and love.
       It always has.
       It always will.
      Be courageous and brave.
      Be quick to call on him.