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Grace + Freedom + Empowerment + Hope & Healing

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The influence of the evil one or toil?

We tend to compartmentalize our lives. We think that some things are “holy” and some things aren’t. Some tasks are important… and others… well… they don’t matter as much. 

The Bible tells us, “Jesus grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).  

Notice, He grew relationally, He grew physically, and He grew in terms of practical knowledge. Each of these areas was part of God’s plan for His life… 

Again, we tend to separate the spiritual from the "real." But these aren't disconnected ideas. This means that- 

  • Healthy relationships are part of a stout spiritual life
  • Healthy choices with your physical body are… well… they’re spiritual issues, too, right
  • Healthy perspectives on the world around us… practical wisdom… also a spiritual issue.

In other words, everything is spiritual. Everything is being redeemed. 

 

Who are the...

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Clarity- Podcast #25

cognitive health podcast Aug 28, 2017

 After taking a brief hiatus to discuss The Ladder & the men’s Advance material, we’re back to the Redemption series…

Remember, we’re redeemed (read: set free) by the blood of Jesus.

And, every place Jesus bled… well… He redeemed (set free) another facet of who we are or who we’re destined to become. 

With this episode we begin discussing the actual places He bled AND the freedoms He’s won for us. 

The first place He bled = the Garden of Gethsemane.

Symbolically, this is the SAME PLACE Adam gave up one of our most cherished freedoms, the freedom of the will. Since that time in which he intentionally defied God’s command, humanity’s ability to “choose to do right” has been tainted, marred, scarred.

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you- children are from Heaven, but they can act like hell. Tell them what to do, and they’ll figure out everything else- anything else-  that can...

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My grace out-performs your hustle

 

I always thought Jesus was just comparing what He tells us to seek, as opposed to what most people seek- we seek the Kingdom; they seek stuff. Remarkably, though, it's not just the “object" of that search which He’s suggesting should be different; it's also the manner of “seeking.”

Follow me for a second... 

I’ve learned that one of the biggest hindrances to walking with a healthy soul is striving, straining, and seeking to achieve things in our own strength. That is, it’s not just “doing bad” things that knock us off course. Many times, we can do “good,” but do it from a sense of obligation instead of overflow… 

There’s a great line in the Sermon on the Mount that speaks to this…

Matthew records Jesus’ admonition: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). 

He tells us that if we do this- if we seek His Kingdom first AND seek HIs...

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You- OR- the inside changes before the outside EVER does (The Ladder series #6)- Podcast #24

We get enamored with external things- the things “out there.” The truth, though, is that the INSIDE changes before the OUTSIDE ever does. In fact, the greatness of what’s going on inside of you determines the altitudes you’ll reach in the world around you. 

In this episode of the podcast, we take take the fifth (and final) rung of the ladder

Remember, with each rung we go higher AND closer to realizing our dreams…

  • What = the idea
  • How = implementation 
  • Why = inspiration 
  • Who = interdependence 
  • You = individuality 

Once you understand the power of the mind… and how it literally creates destiny, some of the most popular Bible verses make EVEN MORE sense. Things like…

  • “Take your thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
  • “Be transformed… by renewing your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).
  • “Be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6f).
  • “Think on things that are pure, lovely,...
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All things are yours

health + healing Aug 15, 2017

 

Every few weeks, I'll talk to someone who's nervous about some of the "things we're into." They're nervous about essential oils. Vitamins. Supplements. Or even some of the things I've taught about laying on of hands or frequency.

Here's why: they assume that everything we know about God can fit into a tight theological box. One with nice corners. Tidy seams. Even a bow on top. 

Truth is bigger + better than all of that. 

 

In fact, I don't even think that truth is founded inside of theological constructs like propositions and statements and confessions. Truth is found inside of those, but it's not grounded there. Each of those boxes all point to something larger. 

You, truth is not found in a package of tidy words, truth is found in a person. In fact, ruth is a person; truth is embodied in a person; and all truth belongs to that person (John 14:6).

 

Who has the unique angle on truth?

This isn't a new issue. Church people have debated it for...

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Who- OR- The most significant factor at each turning point in your life (The Ladder series #5)- Podcast #23

Look at EVERY significant turning point in your life- the good ones AND the bad ones. Most of them probably have MORE to do with a RELATIONSHIP than any other factor…

Someone believed in you…

Or someone steered you in the wrong direction…

Someone called forth the greatness in you- or shared with you an amazing idea that TOTALLY transformed your outlook on an opportunity… 

Or someone else wounded you in some way…

You see? No blaming here. Just observing… 

Relationships have POWER. Tremendous power. 

Whereas we tend to plan life around “what” we’ll do… or even “how” we’ll get it done…

… the biggest defining factor is… yes…

RELATIONSHIPS!

I’ll be honest. I never would have thought this one was true. I would have thought talent, position, money, experience… that those would get you higher, farther, faster…

Time + Experience proves it to be...

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God didn't make THIS list?

healing health Aug 08, 2017

 

A few months into researching the material for the health & healing workshop, I came across an interesting tidbit... it seems that there are a TON of places we go for info. Some of those places aren't traditional at all...

For example... 

A few years ago, Cristy and I decided it was time for a getaway- a second honeymoon of sorts, seventeen years into our marriage. We set some money aside in a savings account, arranged childcare for a specific week, and began looking for places to fill the time...

The first place looked? The web. 

Specifically, this: Cristy made a post on Facebook- "Where would you go if you were...?" She went on to describe the criteria. 

  • All-inclusive. 
  • No kids (We have nine, so if we were wanting to hang out with kids we could have just stayed home, right? We love kids, but this was a couples getaway- LOL!). 
  • Wiling to pay more than the average vacation but didn’t want to break the bank.

We got a...

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Why- OR- The fuel on your fire (The Ladder series #4)- Podcast #22

advance podcast the ladder Aug 07, 2017

Everyone seems to ask it these days- it's a "buzz word" that few of us really unpack. In this session we unpack the "why," putting it in the context of everything you do...

PEOPLE that know WHAT they want to do get further than people who don't have a clue!

And people that understand HOW to do that thing... well... they go higher, still...

Yet those who go the farthest, the fastest... and endure... they have a grasp of what's driving them. They're in touch with their WHY. 

In this lesson, you'll uncover the thing that drives you! You might even know what it is. Or, perhaps it's eluded you... 

Either way, you won’t just know what your dream is (or what your dreams are- remember, you probably have dreams & goals for multiple areas of your life), you’ll actually feel those dreams.

Think about it...

The heart. Most of us don't get in touch with our feelings that often, do we? 

I remember sitting through some counseling sessions in the last year (yeah,...

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Drugs: Have we used temporary solutions to create permanent problems?

health + healing Aug 01, 2017

We built a zip line in our backyard from some scrap wood we had after sodding the yard and re-arranging the stairs on our deck. For about a year, the kids never had an issues with it. 

No falling. No bleeding. No screaming...

Those were the basic rules governing my agreement to our boys’ requests for the contraption in the first place. As long as no one falls off, gets hurt, or fights about the whole thing… we’re good.

That plan worked flawlessly for about 720 days or so- almost two years. Then, one afternoon, Mini (that’s what we call Miriam, our youngest girl) hit a snag in the line when she was about 10 feet in the air. She fell, landing on our wrist. 

I heard the little "thud" in the backyard, as I was sitting on the deck just 20-30 feet away. 

To her credit, she followed two of the three rules. No bleeding. No screaming… 

 

At first, it seemed like everything was fine. She was shaken up a bit, but was easily...

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How- OR- Make time for the things that matter the most (The Ladder series #3)- Podcast #21

We’re all busy. It’s almost a #HumbleBrag in our culture to actually BE busy. I mean, no one actually LIKES being so busy that they can’t keep up with what’s going on, but we carry our jam-packed calendars around like badges of honor. 

That can be a HUGE problem with it comes to pursuing your dreams. 

You see, dreams require time. Concentrated, high-octane time. Some of your “best” time. And your energy. And your focus. 

At the Advance, we actually use juggling as an example to illustrate this. It never fails. Whenever we call someone onstage and let them start juggling, whenever they juggle beyond their capacity, they don’t just lose the last ball that was added… they drop them all. 

You can make the correlation. Less is better. Less is actually “more.”

“More” just… well… it causes the entire thing to fall apart. It creates anxiety, it causes your skill level to actually...

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