How to Fill the Empty Hollow at the Center of Your Life

Review and renew your purpose for living in 3 steps.

A lot of people have lives like an old tree. From all appearances, they look full of life and vigor, but on the inside they have an empty hollow. Life can weather your faith.

How to Fill the Empty Hollow at the Center of Your Life

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I remember reading about the incredible yew tree at Crowhurst, England, which is more than 4000 years old! That means when Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago, the Crowhurst yew had already stood for two thousand years—dating to the time of Abraham! From its lush exterior you’d never guess the tree had a center lifeless and hollow.

For many, like this tree, the longer they live, the bigger the hole gets on the inside.

Only God can make the changes needed to fill that emptiness.

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3 Effective Ways Jesus Demonstrated Your Value

How Jesus' brilliant way of treating others is a powerful model

One of my mentors used to say, “You can tell a lot about someone’s relationship with God by their relationship with people.” These words have stuck with me for years. But a recent experience with a physician drove it home.

3 Effective Ways Jesus Demonstrated Your Value

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The doctor entered the exam room in a rush with his scribe/nurse behind him. I had never visited him before.

“Hello, Mr. Stiles, I’m Dr. (Name), and this is Nancy who writes down stuff for me.” That is literally how he introduced his nurse. Nancy’s eyes never left her clipboard, and her face betrayed the fact she had heard the belittling introduction before.

“Good morning, Nancy,” I said, interrupting the doctor’s next sentence. Nancy looked at me with a hesitant smile. No words. After speaking with the doctor for the reason for my visit, I mentioned to Nancy that my daughter was about to graduate as a nurse and how much I admired the hard work it took to get there. When the doctor realized he was done in the room, he promptly shook my hand and left—with Nancy in tow.

After I walked out, my mentor’s words came to mind: “You can tell a lot about someone’s relationship with God by their relationship with people.”

Then I thought about Jesus and how He modeled an entirely different way of treating people.

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Capernaum—Jesus Relocated Here (And the Amazing Reason Why)

The Lord's simple strategy is one you can apply today.

When Jesus changed hometowns, He modeled wisdom. After the Lord left His former hometown of Nazareth, He moved His base of operations to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee.

Capernaum—Why Jesus Changed Hometowns

(Photo: The Synagogue in Capernaum, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

This move fulfilled what the Prophet Isaiah had predicted centuries earlier (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:14). Today, millions of tourists visit Israel each year, the majority of them Christians. I think it’s ironic that so many people still come to Capernaum and its surrounding area for the same reason they did in the first century.

Because that’s where Jesus was.

His move also models how we should think strategically about our lives.

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The Valley of Elah—How Your Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

God will make your simple faithfulness great in His time.

At first glance, the valley seems like nothing remarkable. Just a road winding its way up into the Hill Country of Judea. A large satellite dish sits on one hill. A dry stream bed divides patches of tall weeds. Greenhouses clump together next to wheat fields.

The Elah Valley—How Your Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

(Photo: The Elah Valley. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Like the other valleys in Israel’s Judean foothills today, the Valley of Elah appears so commonplace. Very ordinary.

But back up 3000 years and the Valley of Elah offers one of the most strategic battlefields in Israel.

It was here David killed Goliath.

That day speaks significance to the days of your life that feel ordinary.

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How the New Testament Can Begin in the Wrong Place

As you read the gospels, think forward by thinking backward.

You may be surprised to read this, but the New Testament begins in the wrong place. In our thinking, at least. Hang on, I haven’t lost it just yet. Here’s what I mean.

How the New Testament Begins in the Wrong Place

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When we open the New Testament, we often read the gospels by thinking forward to the church. How does this apply to me today? After all, God’s Word has as its goal our changed lives. Nothing wrong with that. But we miss something important when we make a mad dash to application.

In fact, when we read the gospels by first thinking forward, we sidestep a truth that plays a critical role in the life change we long for.

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Are You Confusing Change with Improvement?

Here are 3 questions to ask before you take the leap.

Every New Year, the urge to make changes tugs hard. There’s just something about flipping that calendar over that taps us on the shoulder and says: “It’s time for a change.”

Are You Confusing Change with Improvement?

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We long to grow and develop to our full potential. With that as a goal, we love change. Self-improvement is part of our culture. It’s huge! It sells change by marketing discontent.

Years ago I remember a presidential candidate who kept reiterating, “It’s time for a change!” But he was confusing change with improvement. Voters put him in office, and—you know what? He was right. Things changed.

Things got worse.

Before you make that upcoming decision, here are 3 questions to ask and 3 things to consider.

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