Is There Something In Your Life That You Need to Get Rid of?

Sometimes You Have to Dig It Out by the Roots

We had the same plant growing in every flower bed in our yard. The previous owners of our home apparently liked this plant. Even though it’s a pretty plant with either pink or purple petunia-like flowers that bloom each day, it’s incredibly invasive. It grows thick and tall, choking out or dwarfing the other plants in the bed.


So Danielle and I decided to remove most of the plants. I took a sharpshooter shovel and started digging in a flower bed in the front of the house. I quickly learned that the plant’s roots were tubular traveling underground with many plants growing from each cluster of roots.

We moved to the backyard flower beds, and we decided for the easier, quicker method—cut the plants off at ground level. We just wanted the flower beds to look better.

Both methods worked and the flower beds looked neat and uncluttered. For a few weeks anyway. Then it began to rain. And rain. One day I looked into the backyard and guess what I saw. The plants were growing again like crazy. I think they were growing back even thicker.

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Have We Changed What It Means to Be a Disciple?

3 Ways We Have Lowered the Bar for Discipleship

When I say “We” I refer to the church. I count myself in that clan. I grew up going to church every Sunday. Our family attended church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any other time something was going on at the church.


That wasn’t a negative thing for me. It was my extended family. We did a lot of life together with other families. Many Godly men and women influenced my life in positive ways.

Looking back I recognize something that has become engrained in today’s church culture. It’s the idea that once a person “prays a prayer” of salvation, the job is complete. Now just keep hanging around the church, and you will be okay.

I prayed a “prayer of salvation” at the age of seven. I have a Bible with the date written in my seven-year-old handwriting in the front cover. I found the Bible on my bookshelf. Take a look!

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The Secret to a Close-Knit Community of Believers

One thing I notice about church in this generation is that it’s really easy to show up on Sunday, hang out for a couple of hours, then leave without really knowing anyone any more than when you got there. You could really not even talk to anyone.

I guess that’s fine for those who want their “church life” to stay in its place—at church.

But what if you and I seek a close-knit community of fellow believers; a community that knows each other beyond the names of spouses and children. A community that knows what each others dreams, passions, fears, and struggles look like.

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4 Things that Will Always Fulfill

A need for fulfillment is a strong motivator. We want to feel happy and satisfied. We hope to see our dreams and expectations become reality.

Yet we chase after things that leave us just the opposite. Sometimes we fully expect our pursuit to fill that longing within us to have purpose, to feel content, only to find that not only were we climbing the wrong ladder, but we had it propped against the wrong building.

Other times we foolishly run after things that will not only fall painfully short of fulfillment but also ultimately destroy us. Yet we divulge for the brief escape from our current painful reality.

Does anything exist that will always bring fulfillment?

Yes! How cruel would God be if He created us with a need for fulfillment then left us without anything that will meet that need?

I can think of at least 4 things that will always bring fulfillment.

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5 Reasons to Embrace Pain

I hate pain. I moan, cry, groan, yell, sometimes say bad words. And, that’s when I have a stomach ache. Danielle just rolls her eyes.

As I write this, I am wearing a soft cast boot on my ankle I had surgically repaired about five weeks ago Yeah, just a little painful.

Then to make it more fun, I began rehab two weeks ago. So far that has reminded me of the Thai foot massages I got while living in Thailand. Kind of nice, and kind of not so nice. I know the  real pain is yet to come.

How I Used to Handle Pain

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Driving Fast on the Wrong Road

A Guest Post by Matt Peacock

This is a guest post by Matt Peacock, a pastor and now executive director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis.

In looking at the culture we live in I can’t think of a better description of daily life than driving fast down the wrong road. We can easily assume we just need to jump on the highway of contemporary American culture and drive fast enough to stay up, without ever asking if it’s the right road.

What do I mean by driving fast?

Busyness is held as the inescapable norm – so do it all the way.

How many times have we expressed how busy we are to others in our conversations and heard it from others. It is a badge of honor in our culture that we are driving as fast as everyone else: making every appointment, involving our kids in every opportunity, making sure the calendar has no days unplanned.

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Can We Remove the Stigma of Asking for Help from Our Culture?

5 Causes of What Makes it Hard to Ask for Help

I am the classic guy who struggles with asking for help. Thank goodness for GPS maps! Seriously though, as I age I have gotten better. These days I readily admit I need help from time to time.

What Causes the Stigma

Even though we joke about men refusing to ask for directions, a stigma really is attached to asking for help. I can think of a few reasons why it exists:

  • Shame. In the work I do with lower income families, it is very common for a person to ask if we can do work on their property without the neighbors knowing. Their question is laden with shame.
  • Failure. As a foster care and adoptive parent, I have seen many foster families struggle to the point of burn out. Why? They don’t have an adequate support system around them. Maybe they think that if they ask for help it communicates failure to fulfill their commitment to foster.

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7 Reasons to Invest in People

If you invest in or pay attention to the stock markets, you know it’s been a wild ride that the past week or two. Investing isn’t for the fainthearted that’s for sure.

It helps if you can take a long-term approach to financial investments riding out the ups and downs. Some investments will disappoint and others will succeed beyond expectations. That’s the nature of investing.

But that is why some people don’t invest money in the stock market or other opportunities. It’s too stressful.

I follow two rules when I make financial investments:

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How Do You Know Which Way to Go?

3 Ways Most Do It that Aren't Necessarily the Best

My wife knows all too well I enjoy looking at maps. I even got a job once that all I did all day was look at maps. That probably sounds boring to you, but I loved it!

When I drive somewhere new, of course I look at the map to look at different routes, what towns or cities I will drive through, on and on. Have you ever stopped at one of those big travel stores and seen a map on the wall that shows you where you are? If you are like me, not only have you seen them, but you stood there looking at it while you waited for others in your group.

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5 Things that Happen When God Has All of me

Does God really want all of me. This question challenges me. Surely God doesn’t expect to have all of me. Don’t I have free will? And my free will is to have some of my time, money, etc. for myself. Didn’t God just set things in motion for us to enjoy our lives however we want to live them?

Occasionally I meet someone who carries a sense of confidence and success that doesn’t come from themselves. It’s a sense of destiny. It’s as if God’s favor rests on them. They exude humility and peace that makes another comfortable in their midst. What they carry attracts others.

Do you know anyone like this?

I know the source, but I think I know why some who call themselves Christians carry this while so many don’t.

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