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The idolatry of bitterness

By Dave Henning / April 16, 2012

Dr. Stephen Viars addresses idolatry of the heart in his book Putting Your Past in Its Place.  He states that: “Idolatry of the heart is difficult to admit, but it is often at the core of our struggle.”  He then cites as an example that one “who chooses the path of bitterness may be worshipping […]

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Not-so-great expectations

By Dave Henning / April 16, 2012

Dr. J. Vernon McGee (1904-1988) founded a radio ministry entitled Thru the Bible in 1967.  The program continues to be aired on over 400 radio stations in North America.  In the program that aired Friday, April 13, 2012, Dr. McGee commented in part on John 16:33- “I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that […]

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What do you have in your hand?

By Dave Henning / April 15, 2012

In When Life’s Not Working, Bob Merritt reflects on our natural human tendency, when facing difficult situations, to focus on what we don’t have rather than on what we do have.  He asks us the same question God asked Moses when Moses was looking for authority to back up his demands to Pharaoh (Exodus 4:2): “What […]

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And He is with me

By Dave Henning / April 13, 2012

One of the most difficult aspects of losing a called church worker position is a feeling of disconnect with former colleagues as well as your church, district, and perhaps even the Synod.  During this desert, Land Between time of transition, that feeling tends to turn inward. When Pastor Bob Merritt (When Life’s Not Working) experiences […]

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Overcoming adversity

By Dave Henning / April 13, 2012

Author Bob Merritt (When Life’s Not Working) emphasizes that a life marked by what the Bible describes as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is possible, even for those experiencing adversity, with these words of encouragement: “You can overcome if you have a family that loves you, a small group of friends who pray […]

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Sacred places

By Dave Henning / April 11, 2012

Pastor Bob Merritt comments on the importance of sacred places in his book When Life’s Not Working: “Sacred places are important because they recalibrate the emotional and spiritual gauges in our life.  They reconnect us with thoughts and feelings that get suppressed by emails and traffic.  Sacred places awaken our soul.” Two sacred places come […]

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Disciplines, habits, or principles?

By Dave Henning / April 9, 2012

The newest book I’m reading is When Life’s Not Working by Bob Merritt, senior pastor of Eagle Brook Church in the Twin Cities area.  In the introduction he states that all of us face two options in life- the hard life or the harder life. The author asserts that discipline is essential if you hope […]

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The right end of the telescope

By Dave Henning / April 9, 2012

The first century philosopher Epictetus (cited by John Ortberg in When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box) once stated: “This is our predicament.  Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t.” On this glorious Easter Sunday, as we rejoice in Jesus’ ultimate victory over […]

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Evicting complaint with a purple bracelet

By Dave Henning / April 8, 2012

One of my favorite Jeff Manion (The Land Between) quotes is on the subject of complaint, as opposed to honestly crying out to God: “The heart drifts toward complaint as if by gravitational pull- after all, complaint seems a reasonable response to a sequence of disappointing events. . . . Before we know it, complaint […]

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Type T or Type W?

By Dave Henning / April 7, 2012

In If You Want to Walk on Water . . . , John Ortberg says that the distinctive difference between Type T (thrill-seeking) and Type W (water-walking) personalities is that Type W’s have learned to wait before acting.  When we step out in faith to accept God’s calling, we might immediately get confirmation of our […]

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A better mindset: optimism or hope?

By Dave Henning / April 6, 2012

In Chapter 8 (“Focusing on Jesus”) of If You Want to Walk on Water  . . . , John Ortberg differentiates between optimism and hope.  Optimism requires a belief  that things progressively will get better, whereas hope is more inclusive and faith-based: “Hope includes all the psychological advantages of optimism, but is rooted in something […]

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Word association: God=?

By Dave Henning / April 5, 2012

In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, Christian author A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) writes; “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us . . .  the most portentous (foreboding, ominous) fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or […]

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