Monday, January 18, 2010

Exponential Creativity

Creative desire and potential may show up as a loner, but creative products, results, outgrowth, or any masterpiece is borne of teamwork. Many people sense that something new needs to be done in ministry, but only a few step up and volunteer. Together we make things happen. Never underestimate the power of your neighbor!

p. xvi, Color Outside the Lines by Howard G. Hendricks (a.k.a. "Prof")

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Old Running Shoes, Old Habits

Only a snob would overlook such quality. Torn mesh. Caked in mud. Worn smooth tread. These lads faithfully served my feet for several years and through half marathon training. But unfortunately, they served their purpose and are on the downhill stride. My feet wore the inside of the heels down through the lining, through the comfy shoe innards, leaving only the hard stuff that shapes the heel.

My degenerated running shoes remind me of old habits. Faithful to us, aren't they? We put certain thoughts into actions. And those actions get regular priority because they serve us in some way. Repeated again and again, we hard-wire our neural pathways into habits. Seems beneficial right? But unfortunately those old habits don't leave on their own. When habits cause us harm spiritually, emotionally, or relationally, we find ourselves facing a choice between God's best or our chosen habit.

If you're like me, life has included some very bad habits - the kind that lead you to the spiritual pit. Those habits can take years upon years to break and replace. I'd love to paint a pretty picture of turning away from sin, but the road out of the pit isn't paved, it's gravel. Each step takes balance and strength. Unpredictable strides. And you can bet that at several points you're going to bite it, taking a rest while you dig gravel bits out of your skin.

But you can get up and keep going.

You're not alone. Step back into stride. And keep your eyes focused on the glory of Christ ahead of you. The God who saved your life from the wages of sin enabled you to get out of this pit. The essence of victory lives in you through the gift of the Holy Spirit. One day you will look back, amazed at how far you've come. Even your own mind will change the way it works. New neural pathways. A renewed heart. God will accomplish it in you, with you, giving you confidence to turn away from old, sinful habits.

Are you troubled by the reality of your sin? Good. That's what Christ died for. That reality will always trouble you, but instead of discouragement a song of redemption will rise in you on that road out of the pit. So as you struggle today, remember that you can do this. You can climb out with God's help. And there will be rejoicing along the way.

Sing a song of redemption today, because it is yours through Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
Passing through the valley of weeping [Baca] they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

Psalm 84:5-7, NASB

(C) 2010 by Kendra Hinkle.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Was David a real King?

New archaelogical finding of Elah fortress (between Gath of the Philistines and Jerusalem) during the time of David evidences a kingdom that is little known about outside of the Bible!

New York Times reports: