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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

Religion, Prophets, & Leading from the Heart


As I began reading the Book of Amos this morning, I read the Introduction from The Message about religion and the role of prophets. While I don’t usually share longer quotes here, I think this is well worth sharing. See what you think. More people are exploited and abused in the cause of religion than in any other way. Sex, …

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Spiritual Life

Hosea 14 Prayer


My Father, I confess that going my own way has brought me down. I have suffered the consequences of trying to go my own way without You. So now once again I return to You. Forgive me of my sins and graciously receive me, so that I may offer you a sacrifice of praise. Government programs can’t save me, nor …

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Spiritual Life

How God Parents Brats (Like Us)


God’s children are like spoiled brats. God cares for us in His mercy and grace, and we take advantage of Him. We want our own way. God’s chosen children, the people of Israel, did this over and over. I read Hosea 11 this morning. This chapter reads like the transcript from an interview with a loving mom and dad whose …

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Spiritual Life

Good Seeds, Bad Seeds


You reap what you sow. This leadership principle is so pervasive throughout the Bible. I came across it again today in Hosea 10. The prophet said: Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come …

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Spiritual Life

The Choice


Where do you turn when you mess things up? The book of Hosea recounts a time when God’s people lost their way. And they had a choice: Where would they turn for help? Unfortunately they made the wrong decision: “When Israel and Judah saw how sick they were, Israel turned to Assyria, to the great king there, but he could neither help nor …

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Spiritual Life

I’m a Gomer … and So Are You


Hosea has never been a Bible book I’ve paid a lot of attention to. Until now, I may have never quoted it. None of my favorite or memory verses are from it. But as I read it now, I’m amazed by it’s very clear and meaningful illustration of God’s character, ways, and love for us. This morning as I read …

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Spiritual Life

Is Blood Really Thicker Than Water?


“Blood is thicker than water.” I’ve given that proverb a lot of thought for a long time. The saying goes back hundreds of years and means that the bonds of family are stronger than those between friends. I know plenty of people (those who have messy relationships with their families of origin) who would argue with that opinion at even …

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Spiritual Life

First, Check the Heart


“How’s the condition of your heart?” What would happen if you asked that question as an icebreaker before your next study? What if you asked it before a conversation with your kid? What if you asked yourself, “What’s the condition of this person’s heart right now?” even before sharing the gospel with someone? I love the story Jesus told about …

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Spiritual Life

Mountain Climbing Dangers, Decisions, and Devotions


I feel a need to comment on my own post from February 24, “Just to Be Close to You.” I wrote that devotional based on Exodus 24 where Moses and the Israelite leaders climbed the mountain and worshiped God. There is a danger here if you read too much into this. Even as I wrote it I tried to be …

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Spiritual Life

Just to Be Close to You …


I am often frustrated by the fact that even though I want to be a leader after God’s own heart, I can’t quite carry it out as I want to. I desire to be closer to him, abiding in a daily, intimate, rich relationship with God, but it seems I can only get so close. It’s not God–he has drawn …

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