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During this time of year, we are often reminded of 2 categories of change: the things we need to stop, and the things we need to start.

This is no surprise, because when we are facing pain our discomfort in in everyday life, these are the two paths that present themselves the most.

Cortez and his men sailed from Spain and landed on the coast of Mexico in 1519. Initially the crew was awed by the beautiful land, but after months of hard work and little to show for it, their excitement turned to restlessness and revolt.

They wanted to abandon this New World and return home to their old one. Murmurings of mutiny were on everyone’s lips. Captain Cortez knew from the high level of discontent that the men would soon break ranks and leave. They would only work to tame the New World if it was their only hope of survival.

If I were a silent voice inside your head right now helping you to build healthy relationships, you might hear me say, “Generally speaking, what is said is never what is heard.”

More times than not, we assume the worst, and then we start acting out what we think we heard. It’s like we instantly become mind-readers or something. And then we’re mad at our spouse, a friend, or a colleague, and they might not even know anything is wrong! Why? Because no one stopped to clarify, or even ask the question, “Did you mean that? Because I heard this.”

We've been pondering the unimaginable love of God, and how we can pray for such love in the lives around us. Paul is teaching us in Ephesians 3, praying that his friends would be rooted and established in love, and that they would come to know how wide the love of Christ is.

If we could have coffee today, I’d say, “It’s ok not to be ok.”

For many years, my life was mostly sunny, but then came “the storm.” Rain streamed down in my world and hurt poured out from a place in my heart that I’d kept locked for years.

If I were a silent voice inside your head helping you to build healthy relationships, you might hear me say: “Let your heart be thankful.”

Many say that the antidote to bitterness is thankfulness.  Polar opposites, making it almost impossible for the two to coexist.

If we could have coffee today, I’d say, “God will never give up on us.”

One day, memories of a stunning series of failures in my life began playing like a bad home movie in my mind. Have you ever had that happen? This script usually goes like this: “You can’t be used by God. God is going to lose patience with you.” Or even, “You don’t deserve to be loved.”

When we think of prayer, our default, for better or for worse, is that we tend to ask God for things. Fortunately, he is a loving Father who loves it when His children come to Him with all kinds of requests.

But prayer is so much more than that. The apostle Paul models it for us in chapter 3 of Ephesians. Paul’s prayer for others is that they’d be rooted and established in love. Yes! Let’s pray this for each other. Let’s pray this for our children, our leaders, and for everyone we know.

Alice Gray tells the story of a young mother who came home after a long, hard day. Her little girl ran out of the house to greet her. 

“Mommy, Mommy, wait until I tell you what happened today!” After listening to a few sentences, the mother responded by saying the rest could wait until later. She needed to get dinner started. The little girl looked for opportunities to continue her story, but the phone rang and her mom talked on the phone while she got the meal ready. During the meal, other family members’ stories were longer and louder than the little girls.  She tried again after the kitchen was cleaned, but then mom had to help her big brother with his homework. Then it was time for her to get ready for bed. 

In Luke 10:29, a man asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"

Jesus responded with a story of a man robbed, beaten, and stripped of his dignity. Several religious people passed him by, even though they were neighbors. Then a man who had nothing in common with him stopped and tended to him, and made sure he was safe.

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RT @bobgoff: Insecurity wants us to keep track of our failures; grace doesn't even write them down.
This is Luke, and he’s making sure that families at the new Arkansas Children’s Hospital Family House have everythi… https://t.co/raVoSJK6He