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NLT Study Bible, TuTone (Bible Nlt)
I'm like a lot of Americans—I need to get in shape. And, ironically, I know exactly what to do to make that happen. In fact, from all the books and articles I've read, I'd probably make a decent health-and-wellness counselor. (My most important advice: Do as I say, not as I've done!)
It's strange, but with all that know-how and strategy, I'm not where I want to be health-wise. I need to grow in that area (shrink, actually) if I am to be a faithful steward of the life God gave me. So while I resolve afresh to jump on the treadmill, I hope that I don't make the same mistake when it comes to the spiritual discipline of Bible intake:
Talking about taking action feels, in itself, like I'm  taking action. But I'm not.
Discussing the joys and strategies of spiritual
 discipline might sooth your conscience and lead you 
to believe you're on the right track, but it means nothing it if isn't followed by concrete action.

Complete the Great Commission

Complete the CommissionJesus left His followers with one primary job - take His Good News to every person on earth.  No small task!  The "Great Commission" challenges us to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to live according to the commands of Christ.


Throughout my life as a Christian, I have heard much of the need for the gospel to be proclaimed in "unreached" parts of the world - those areas that have little or no Christian presence.  As an American, I'm so used to seeing churches and Christian traditions - it is easy to forget that most of the world's population doesn't have access to these things, or at least, not in the way that I do.

Dream the Impossible Dream

“God loves with a great love the man whose heart is bursting
with a passion for the impossible,” said William Booth, man of faith and
founder of one of the largest help organizations in the world.


Booth lived his life with an eternal, “impossible” dream -- to
help needy men and women find practical and spiritual help -- and his dream
came true in the form of the Salvation Army.   


Today, millions of people across the world have been blessed
in some way by this organization, and it all began because one man saw an
opportunity that others didn’t.  One man
took action when others only talked.  One
man made sacrifices that others weren’t willing to make.



Eternal Investing 101

You might see a 15% increase in your portfolio, if
you’re good.  You might hold land that
appreciates at 10% annually.  Your
business might be booming; outperforming competitors, adding staff, and
increasing in value. Everything you touch might be turning to gold.  You might drive the cars you’ve always
dreamed of and own the home your neighbors envy. 


Great.


Now, wouldn’t it make sense to put some of that
wealth-building skill to work for the future? 
I mean beyond retirement?



Feeling Secure

Peace depends entirely on security, doesn’t it?  

I can be at total rest in my bed and night,
without a care in the world.  But when I
think I hear something on the other side of the house – peace is the last thing
on my mind.  Until I bravely walk out
into the darkness of the family room to check on things (to verify that things
are secure), I likely won’t get a wink of shut-eye.


People do all sorts of things to maintain a sense of
security: I even know of a woman who used to sleep with a baseball bat in case of
intruders!



Heaven’s Entrance Exam

Contrary to popular opinion, heaven isn’t reserved for the
morally upright, the good citizens, or those who are genuinely sincere.  Heaven isn’t guaranteed for “good” people any
more than it is barricaded to “bad” people.


In fact, getting into heaven takes a lot more than most
of expect.  Here are a few items on the
after-death entrance exam:



Are You Falling into a Trap?

>> As many of you are aware, I help lead a church in Ohio.  The economic downturn has impacted our church financial picture, and I sent this note out to our congregation.  I thought that it might encourage you as well - particularly if you are in a church facing similiar challenges or in a personal financial struggle.  Feel free to comment at the end of the post to cheer or disagree.

Dear Friend,

I think there is a dangerous trap our church needs to avoid.
 
When times get tight, it is easy to lose sight of the future.
 
It's easy to get caught up in the troubles of "right now" and miss the mission of our lives.  That's why I'd like you to imagine with me for a moment - that there is no economic downturn, no budget shortfall, no out-of-control government, no sinking portfolios, no threats to peace or prosperity.