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Value the New in You

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There's more new in you than you can even imagine. 
One of the incredible benefits of being made in the image of God is that we mirror so many of God's attributes. God feels, we feel. God thinks, we think. God loves, we love. 
God creates, we create.
Now, when God creates he makes something out of complete and total nothingness. Just read Genesis. Nothing existed and then, bam, the universe was conceived as the Lord simply spoke material into existence. 
God loves to create. 
When we create, we too have the opportunity to invent something new. We may not create something from complete and total nothingness but we are able to present new ideas and new products and new strategies to the world around us. 
New strategies generate excitement. New ideas birth progress. New products make life easier for people. God loves new. The Bible tells us to sing a new song to the Lord. God's Word also tells us that God is going to make all things new. 
God loves new. 
What newness are you going to offer to our world? What ideas are stirring in your creative, colorful minds? What's God going to do through you to reach new people with love or to feed 10,000 homeless people in the next year?
What product are you going to invent that will revolutionize the way we travel or the way we communicate with people all over the world? 
Value the new in you. 
A group of people at our church recently experienced this newness. Many gifted writers came together to create a new devotional book to help people grow in their walk with Jesus. It was hard work but it was also so rewarding to see the first printed book come back from the publisher. 
This new work will change people's lives. It will create new paths and open up new spaces in the hearts and minds of people through all walks of life. We're not sure how widespread our "new" will travel but we're buckling up and expectant to see how God uses our tiny contribution to make the world around us just a little bit better. 
Make a contribution to the world with your new. You never know how God will use it to make our world a better place to live. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

Three Ideas to End Sexual Harassment

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A revolution of sorts is unfolding before our sexually overexposed eyes. Women are choosing to fight back. No longer is it tolerable (as if it were ever appropriate before) to sexually bully a woman into participating in unwanted, perverted activity. 
So many powerful men are being called out and thinned out of the marketplace. I wonder when it's going to end. How many more women are going to come forward and how many more men are going to be shamed?
It makes me wonder how we can get to the bottom of all of this. I'm not convinced we'll ever be able to totally eradicate sexual harassment of women (and even men) but here are three ideas that may help lessen the timeless epidemic.
First, when are we going to stop exploiting women? I get it that women are these beautiful, physically desirable creatures. Not too many men on earth miss that reality.  
But when are women (and men) gonna stand up from their progressive mountaintops and shout "enough already" when hamburger commercials flaunt young women in really small outfits eating a cheeseburger with faces that should only be made on one's honeymoon night?
Women are more than sexual eye-candy. Isn't it time we value minds and hearts over butts and breasts?
Second, men, let's raise up our daughters and influence our nieces to respect themselves and expand their self-identity horizons. These little girls, and soon to be young women, need not travel the same path as women before them who weren't told by a loving, influential man in their life that they are more than physical meat, way more. 
Women are incredible human beings made in the image of God who need not prove themselves later by compromising themselves first. In no way did God ever create women with the intention that they would become sexual hood ornaments on the social transportation system of life. 
Finally, when are we all going to understand that we're accountable? Listen, it doesn't matter if you accept it or not, but there is a moral solar system. The center of it is a Holy but infinitely gracious and loving God. We revolve around Him. He doesn't revolve around us. 
It's time we stop what we're doing and look up and ask more questions like, "What do you want me to do? How do you want me to live? How should I treat women differently? Is there any place in my own life that is missing the mark? Am I ignoring injustice?"
The Center of the universe has a better way for women and for all of us. Look up more often. Maybe one day we'll wake up to find powerful men powerful because they've humbled themselves before a mighty Father instead of giving themselves over to insatiable appetites that devour the dignity and beauty of women.
Be strong, Ladies.  
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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