One Year Later …

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A letter to a 1-year-old Happy Birthday, Grow Like Jesus! You were years in the making, so it’s amazing to celebrate this day with you. It was one year ago today that you officially “launched,” which is book-trade jargon that means you officially became available to the public. There were pre-orders before that, of course, but it was on this day that those orders shipped and sites like Amazon.com changed your status to “available.” No…

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Lessons from a Bad Golf Joke

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What I learned from Bubba Watson Bubba Watson didn’t have much to say when he failed to make the cut at last week’s Masters golf tournament, so he made a joke that he later admitted was as bad as his game. Watson, who has won the tournament twice, told a reporter after shooting a 78 in Friday’s round that, “Golf is tough; I don’t know if you’ve ever played it. But writing articles is easy.” As…

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Getting Out of the Silo

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Engaging the Culture Helps Us Grow Like Jesus There are days when I’m tempted to disconnect from some of my friends on Facebook, mainly the ones who regularly post opinions with which I almost never agree. Then I remember two important truths: One, I love them for who they are, not what they do or how they think, and, two, they help me grow like Jesus. So I resist the temptation to isolate myself in…

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Closing Down the Pet Store

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Are Annoyances Ruling Your Life? Pets are supposed to be good for us, but I’m convinced there’s at least one pet we should never adopt. In fact, we should get rid of the ones we own: The pet peeve. We all have them, right? Those things that get under our skin and irritate the dickens out of us. Sometimes I think I have enough peeves to open a pet store. I’ve learned, however, that these…

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Are You Equipped for Discipleship?

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Do you have an equipment issue? A friend and I once co-created a phrase that I’ve always found to hold true when facing a challenge: “It’s an equipment issue. And if you have the right equipment, you won’t have an issue.” The thought came to us during a hot summer camping trip. We were sitting in our beat-up lawn chairs outside our hand-me-down tents, when we noticed an impressive camper pulling into a nearby site….

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Creating a Style Guide for Life

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Creating a Style Guide for Life You might not immediately make the connection between a newspaper’s new style rule and how we go about our personal development journey, but the connection is there. Trust me. Regular readers of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the statewide newspaper in Arkansas and my former employer, might have noticed a change in recent weeks in how the paper refers to the state’s largest and best-known university. The new style guide apparently…

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When it’s time to ACT

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Sometimes I send myself an email to remind me to do something. It’s usually an idea I want to pursue or a concept I want to include in something that I’m writing. But if I don’t follow up on it quickly, I tend to forget why it mattered in the first place. This week I was trying to decipher just such a note when I realized the irony of my efforts. The note was two…

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Don’t Call Yourself a Leader

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There is only One leader, and it’s not you. The Bible is filled with examples of great leaders and with lessons on great leadership. And, yet, we still often view and practice leadership in ways that are diametrically opposed to what Scripture teaches. Blame it on our sin nature. We’re selfish, prideful, and easily attracted to the limelight. So leadership naturally becomes about things like being in charge, getting our way, controlling situations, accomplishing goals,…

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3 Phases of Spiritual Growth

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One of the great paradoxical realities of life is that we’re continually growing while we’re continually dying – physically and spiritually. Our bones and muscles might stop growing during our teen years, but our cartilage never stops – which is why I’ll someday need a box truck to haul around my ears. Spiritually, we die to our sins every day, while longing for spurts of growth that bring us closer to God. Our spiritual growth…

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Theology lessons from my coffee mug

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Who Broke My Coffee Mug … And will God Restore it? I was definitely ill and perhaps a bit delusional as I pondered two deep theological issues: One about heaven and one about blame. It had been a rough day. As I mentioned, I was sick. And to make matters worse, I experienced an unexpected loss. As I unloaded our dishwasher that morning, my favorite Arkansas Razorbacks coffee mug fell from the cabinet shelf, shattered…

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