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Stirred Not Shaken

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When something extraordinarily awful happens or continues to happen we become affected. Besides the unhelpful option of feeling numb or feeling nothing by heartbreaking trends or events, we should feel shaken but hopefully even more than that, stirred; stirred to action. 
What has stirred your heart lately?
Our church has been shaken and yet stirred over the latest tragic events in Las Vegas and Texas. Our hearts are broken over the evil and the sadness and the loss. We can't stand it anymore. 
We're going to pray that the Lord heals the broken in spirit, changes the hearts of evil perpetrators, protects our schools and churches and families, and rallies Christians to lean more deeply into Him and trust Him. 
This isn't unlike the heart of a man named Nehemiah. The Old Testament story resonates strongly right now. Nehemiah was shaken and broken over the crumbled walls surrounding Jerusalem. Israel was exposed and unsettled. No progress was being made to strengthen the city or the people. Unaligned people surrounded them with evil intentions. Nehemiah couldn't stand it any longer. 
So he was stirred to action. He risked his career and his life to journey to Jerusalem. You need to read the story. It's incredible. As Nehemiah risked everything, accumulated resources, and rallied his people, God worked powerfully. 
In the face of deep opposition, Nehemiah and the Jewish people completed the work of rebuilding the crumbled walls in a miraculous 52 days, 52 days! Only God can do that, and only God is willing to do that through people who are stirred in their hearts to action. 
So, what's stirring your heart, lately?
Ponder it. Let it break your heart and may it cause you to act. 
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

Don't Blow Out Other People's Candles

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Just recently I heard this great quote about people not needing to blow out other people's candles so that theirs would shine brighter. I believe the source of the quote was a grandfather passing down wisdom to his grandson. That'll preach!
Anyway, whose candle have you been thinking about snuffing out lately?
It sounds so harsh, doesn't it? I mean, not too many people would care to admit their ill intent on a co-worker's performance, so that their chances of getting a promotion would increase dramatically. But, it happens. At the same time, all of us have heard people diminish the strengths and accomplishments of others to make themselves look or sound better.
Is that really necessary, though? It isn't. There's a better way. 
Romans 13:7 says, Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. 
And there it is. If someone you're competing with is worthy of encouragement or a compliment or some sort of an award, then give it to them. We're called to give honor when honor is owed. 
Life is a series of thousands upon thousands of moments. You're not going to be the hero of every moment. That's okay. Sometimes other people are going to shine brighter than you, and when they do, pour celebration and praise and honor all over them. 
Your time will come. Your moment to shine will arrive soon. God's grace is large enough and His plan is brilliant enough to allow your gifts and talents to make a huge impact at the right time. 
So, trust the Lord. Your time will come. There's no need to diminish the brilliance of another person to hasten your moment of shininess. 
After all, God gets all the glory, anyway. Anything that's worthy of praise in our life or in the life of another is because of the grace and greatness of God. 
So, no need to snuff out anyone's candle today to make yours shine brighter. Your success doesn't depend upon the success or failure of another person. It's all in God's hands. 
You are Loved! 
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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