Good Habits

Last week we confronted the uncomfortable reality that we are often not fine in this life. This week we start to explore a solution. How can we keep the hard emotions that so often bring us down at bay before they have a chance to do their dirty work? We learn the secret from something Paul wrote when he was in some pretty dark times himself. Check this out with me.

Good Habits

I am a man of habits. It’s just part of my personality. I operate best in conditions that are customary and repetitive. Maybe you’re the same, maybe you’re different, but that’s simply my personality type. And when it comes to personality types, there’s no one type that’s particularly right or particularly wrong. At least…that’s what I keep telling myself. No, each personality type comes with advantages and disadvantages. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For me, when something is a habit, I’m dependable. Now, I’m sometimes forgetful, but once something is locked into a habit, you can count on my doing it. On the other hand, I can be boring; especially if you have the kind of personality that prefers a bit more variety.

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We’re Not Fine

This morning we’re kicking off a brand-new teaching series. As we go through our lives, our culture tells us to pretend like everything is fine even when it’s not. And if we’re honest, it’s often not. Pretending we’re fine when we’re not, though, is no way to live. Fortunately, the Gospel has something to say about this. The Gospel offers us a way out of it. For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about what this solution is together. Today, though, we’re going to start with a dose of reality. Let’s dive in together.

We’re Not Fine

So, how are you doing this morning? Now, wait just a second before you answer that. First, let me ask a second question by way of survey—and be honest now. For how many of you, by a show of hands, if I caught you on the street and asked how you were doing would respond with some version of, “I’m fine”? Most of us would, right? And if we’re being really honest, it doesn’t matter much what else might be going on in our lives in that moment. Our knee-jerk response to the standard American greeting of “how are you doing” is “I’m fine.”

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 17:23

“When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

Suicide is increasingly being recognized as a national epidemic. It is the tenth leading cause of death in our country. Among folks under age 34, it is the second leading cause of death. The chances are good that you either know personally someone who committed suicide or at least know well someone who does. This is a big deal.  

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Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 27:1

“Then David said in his heart, ‘Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.’”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had a moment or even a whole season when your faith failed? I don’t mean you failed to keep faith, I mean it just like I said: Your faith failed. You had faith and things were rocking along fairly smoothly even in spite of the challenging season you were in, and then it was just gone. It was like you were driving a car down the highway, cruising down the road, and then all of a sudden it made a sharp turn off the road and headed out into the wilderness. This is what happened to David. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: John 11:33

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Two verses over from this one is the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept.  Here, we are told He was deeply moved and greatly troubled.  Basically, Jesus was really emotional.  This provides fodder for some theological pondering, which is fine, but it should also be really encouraging for us.  Here’s why. Read the rest…