A chicken “ain’t no” eagle.

Chickens are always looking down, cackling, while pecking around on the ground eating whatever they can find. It always amazed me that chickens can cackle and stuff their beaks at the same time! When they’re out of chicken feed, they move on to dirt and bugs. They’ll even eat their own—well you get the picture.

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This article is by Tim Muehlhoff and published by Biola   Proverbs 18:13 – He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. While we may understand why speaking before listening—giving our opinion without first gathering the facts—is folly, it is interesting that the ancient writer would suggest that…

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Rejection—it’s so personal. It sticks to our souls. It does not respond to reason, and is not easily dislodged from our hearts. We can try to talk ourselves out of the indictment that comes with it, but the words we use are mostly ineffective, reinforcing our shame. I have experienced all sorts of rejection. I still feel the sting of certain family members not ever returning my phone calls and good friendships that are no more. I have heard things like, “you are not a good fit for our small group” or “since you homeschool, we didn’t think you’d fit in with us.” These words pierce. There is a finality about them. They do not leave room for further conversations.

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “Love makes the world go around.” But if that’s true, why is it so hard to find love? You may long to be loved, but you probably also struggle with knowing whether or not you are worth loving. You desire deep friendships but also struggle to love others who are different from you. Why is it so hard to love? Why is it so hard to be loved? Is the love we’re yearning for real, or is it merely a romantic notion that can only be found in movies or novels?

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Popular speaker and author Nicole Johnson highlights some of the challenges she’s faced – including being stressed out as a crazy-busy mom and losing her relationship with a long-time, dear friend – and describes how these experiences taught her to find inner calm and healing with God’s help.

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What I’ve come to understand is that for you to rejoice over some of the challenges you face in life, you need to maintain a banked fire of joy. That fire is up to the task of warming your heart at all times and perfectly capable of exploding in fireworks at others. In order to keep the fire going, you need to offer up all the experiences of your life for joy to consume — the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the understood and the inexplicable. Just as Pollyanna’s father taught her to play the “glad game,” God calls us to play the “joy game,” which is really no game at all. Rather, it is a way of intentionally responding to circumstances, regardless of the circumstances.

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John Baillie, in his book A Diary of Private Prayer, wrote this: “Grant that my part in this world’s life today might not be to obscure the splendor of your presence but rather to make it more plainly visible in the eyes of men.” I fear that we as the body of Christ today are doing much to obscure the splendor of the presence of God in our midst. I have been reading Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and been struck by their relevance to the present day church.

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“It could be worse. Imagine if you broke both legs.” We have some odd ways of cheering each other up. Most of our bone-headed comments to suffering people are offered with passable intentions, and most of those comments are judged by their recipients as misguided rather than malicious, but it sure would be nice to improve our record of encouragement in the midst of pain. We could all generate a Top Ten List of words we spoke or received that make us shudder when we think about them. Here is one that, I suspect, makes a lot of lists. “What is God teaching you through this?”

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Elisa Morgan describes how we can model Jesus’ Garden of Gethsemane prayer in our own lives by finding the proper balance between praying for our desires and submitting to God’s will.
Elisa Morgan is a popular speaker and author who’s written more than two dozen books. She is co-host of the nationally-syndicated radio program Discover the Word and President Emerita of MOPS International, a ministry dedicated to meeting the needs of moms.

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Where do effective conversations begin? Often, we forget that good dialogue begins where someone is rather than where they should be. When we rush the journey because we are excited about the destination, we do not serve our friend well. Forgiveness may be one of the subjects where Christians are most prone to rush one another. When a friend talks about needing to forgive someone, what do we know about them? We know they’re hurting. Whatever journey God has for them will start with understanding their pain. Take a moment and read what God said to Moses when he was going to lead Israel out of Egypt.

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