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Growing Christlike, Page 2

My journey in growing evermore like Jesus.

You're not alone

Where I Fail You [You Are Not Alone]

When I was a young warrior's bride, I knew little about military life. I was so naive, I didn't know what questions to ask the more experienced brides around me. I couldn't formulate my ignorance into coherent thought to even begin a discussion on what the future might look like. I have learned much over the years, through my experience and through the lives of dear friends. Military life no longer scares me, even though it occasionally troubles me. I don't fear for my active duty friends, although worry sometimes sends me into deeper prayer for them. Here at Fort Bragg, we are in a deployment cycle. To be truthful, because of the units housed here, we are always in a deployment cycle. One-quarter to one-third of the ladies who attend the military group at our church are in the midst of life while their spouse is half a world away. It's normal here. But that doesn't mean we are good about talking through it.
Do you believe God knows everything?

God Knows Everything? Really?

What if God (as in, it was unquestioningly clear that it was God) asked you to pack up and leave your family and friends? What if God asked you to fight for a people who were being devalued and mistreated? Did your heart and mind jump forward, ready to pack your bags? Or did you hesitate? Your heart just revealed your true beliefs to you. Deep in your heart, your are acting on one of these three foundations: 1. God knows everything and what He's asking is for my best, now matter what it looks like. 2. God only knows everything. But He either can't or doesn't care to control everything. 3. God doesn't really know everything. These are tough statements that I tend to wrestle with during those times when my life is interrupted with a problem or God asks me to do something I know I'm not capable of doing on my own. What about you?
Impossible Things

Accomplishing the Impossible

Can you imagine accomplishing incredible things? Tackling the impossible, and succeeding? The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. Yeah, I'm talking to you. I want you to stop for a moment and consider how deeply you believe in incredible things? Not just me doing them, but you. This question is so important that it was one of the themes in my second fiction book, Ryan's Crossing. Can you imagine yourself accomplishing incredible things?
I'm an atheist.

God, Even When Trouble Comes

What would you think if I declared, "I'm an atheist." Don't worry. I've not lost my faith. According to dictionary.com, an atheist is "a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings." A supreme being, not the supreme being. In other words: I deny the existence of Zeus. That would make me an atheist to Zeus-worshippers. I disbelieve that Sun Myung Moon was the second coming of Christ. That would make me an atheist to the Unification Church. I suppose, in some sense, everyone is an atheist to someone. But I also think that some of us who claim to believe in the one, true God, really believe in a false god.
More time ... possible?

More Time to Do What You Want

More time to do what you want. Doesn't that sound nice? I dream of reading more books, taking day trips with my kids, going out for homemade ice cream at a local farm and strolling among their animals. More dinners with friends, more writing time, more opportunities to volunteer. But when I look at my schedule and feel the pressure of my daily life, my dreams of more books and day trips and writing get pushed to the sidelines. How about you?
repentance and forgiveness

Repentance and Forgiveness in the Real World

The Christian world is big on repentance and forgiveness—and we should be! We've all had impure thoughts, displayed poor attitudes, not controlled our tongues, and made a plethora of other poor choices. Each of us desperately needs forgiveness. But how should we react if someone repents? What would you think if a known drunkard asked Jesus into his life? What if the town brawler walked into church saying he'd changed?
Loving not divisive

Loving Without Being Divisive

I've been a coward, although not in the traditional sense, I suppose. As most of you know, a lot of shooting have been happening around our country. Yet my blog and social media have been completely quiet about all of it. As most of you know, a lot of shootings have been happening around our country. Intentional firings of weapons, one person against another person, sometimes for cause and sometimes for vengeance. Yet my blog and social media have been completely quiet about all of it. Friends have spoken up, posting different quotes, opinions, and videos. Some of those have been helpful to me, but largely I've seen them as divisive. Do I support one side or the other? Black or blue? What if I love both? How can I effectively communicate that without both sides hearing I'm not specifically for them?
3 steps to freedom

3 Steps to Freedom (#3 is My Favorite)

[Don't miss this week's giveaway!] Freedom. On Monday, the United States celebrated its 240th birthday. Two hundred and forty years of standing on our own two feet, as it were. Of figuring out what that means. Of discerning where the balance lies between the freedom to do as you please and the responsibility that infers. Because all freedom confers responsibility. Oh, I know. Most of us like to talk about freedom, but we'd also prefer to stay away from the responsibility aspect of it. It's nice to talk about the freedom of speech or religion or security within our homes. It's hard to talk about the damage our words can cause. It's sometimes uncomfortable to practice peace with faiths very different from our own. And it's difficult to know when you should break through a door -- whether that door is physical, mental, or emotional -- to reach the person within. Preparing to face a giant First Samuel 17 tells of the time that a giant of a man stood before King Saul and his men. "This day I defy the armies of Israel," he said. "Give me a man and let us fight each other."
I wanted God to fix it.

Stuck? Follow Apollo 8 to a Renewed Mind

I knew I needed a renewed mind, to see things God's way. But I didn't want to. I was exhausted and lonely. I felt like I was being set apart — not for some grand purpose, but left behind; unchosen, like the kid no one wants to pick for their team.
High Cost of Anger

Anger and the Bible Hero who Lost Big

I slammed the cabinet door after forcefully plopping clean bowls into their rightful place. I stormed back to the dishwasher and yanked silverware from their basket before throwing them into their storage place in the kitchen drawer. No one in the house had to ask if I was angry.

I've gotten better at anger, but sometimes ...Over the years, I’ve gotten much better at controlling my anger. I’ve learned to step back from difficult moments, take a few intentional breaths, and focus on what’s important. Often I can release the situation to God, letting Him deal with both me and the other person.

But every once in a while …

Let’s face it, anger is common. From mild irritation to uncontrolled rage, all of us feel its pricks — including those we consider to be great heroes of the Bible.… Read the rest