Your Priorities—Do You Recognize the Warning Signs?

I’ll never forget the day the air conditioner went out in my car. Although summer wouldn’t officially begin for another two weeks, for me, it officially began that day.

Sunset over Joppa, where Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God.

(Photo: Sunset over Joppa, where Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God.)

The blistering Texas highway winds reminded me of Jonah, the pouting prophet who sulked in the sun with a scorching wind on his head.

There’s nothing like losing your creature comforts to put a little perspective on our priorities.

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Compliments and Criticism—The Difference May Surprise You

The trouble with most of us,” someone once said, “is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” That’s really true. Go ahead, ruin me.

Complements and Criticism - The Difference May Surprise You

(Photo by diego_cervo, via Vivozoom )

The truth is, we can work ruin by either extreme:

  1. Give nothing but compliments.
  2. Offer only criticism.

Words that compliment and words of criticism both strike like arrows, and they seldom miss their mark.

But the huge difference between them can be surprising.

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Jesus Decoys—Your Albatross of Spiritual Disciplines

I never thought an albatross would challenge my relationship with God. This one sure did. Researchers placed 100 decoys on an island to attract endangered albatrosses and to encourage them to breed. But one albatross missed the message.

Jesus Decoys - Your Albatross of Spiritual Disciplines

Photo: by Forest & Kim Starr (CC-BY-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

This albatross attempted to woo a wooden decoy by building a tidy nest and fighting off rivals. For more than two years, this albatross stood by the decoy.

“He seems to have no desire to date real birds,” one of the researchers observed.

After reading this story, several activities came to mind—like Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with others.

All spiritual disciplines. All potential decoys.

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When God Gets Your Goat

Part 3 – “Route 66” (a series with a message from each of the 66 books of the Bible)
Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) served as the most important day of the Hebrew calendar. This one day per year offered God’s children to regain and sustain fellowship with God—because of the death of a substitute. This practical picture points us to its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the one through whom we have forgiveness from sins and fellowship with God today.

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(c) 2008 Wayne Stiles

I’m Free!

Part 2 – “Route 66” (a series with a message from each of the 66 books of the Bible)
Exodus 12

The Exodus of Israel through the blood of the Passover lamb displays God’s gracious provision of redemption. The Exodus is the most important event of the Old Testament–just as the cross is for the New Testament.

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(c) 2008 Wayne Stiles