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Have You Really Thought That Through?

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Brother in Christ,

Have you really thought that through?

More than ever before, today’s world is one of action. Not just any kind of action, fast action. I saw this transition take place over my 30 years in broadcasting. By the end of my career, the ones who obtained information the fastest were the most esteemed and most successful. Was that information accurate or even truthful? Well, that seemed less important than it used to be, because we either don’t value or don’t have time to think things through much anymore. Before you have a decision to make or an action to take, do you take time with the Lord to really contemplate what should be done?

"Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction." (Psalm 119:18)

John D. Rockefeller was the most successful businessman of his era. He also spent a lot of time thinking things through. During meetings, he was often silent. When asked why, he would often recite this poem:

“A wise old owl lived in an oak, the more he saw the less he spoke, the less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why aren’t we all like that old bird?” 

Rockefeller knew the importance of taking time to think a problem through

“Good ideas rarely come in meetings, or even at your desk. They come to you in the shower. On a walk. On your commute, or hanging out on the weekend. I’m always amazed at the number of famous ideas that came to people in the bathtub. But tell your boss you require a mid-day soak, and the response is entirely predictable.” (Morgan Housel)

I’m not advocating a bathtub in the office (unless you have a home office). I am advocating for more time to pause and ponder. More time to be alone with your Savior. Make a point of slowing down enough to hear what He might be saying to you before you act or decide on an issue.

"I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways." (Psalm 119:15)

At the moment, my wife and I are pondering how to proceed with a delicate issue. If I had taken action on the first thoughts that came to my mind, the results would likely have been destructive.

"I search my soul and ponder the difference now." (Psalm 77:6)

We are seeing that before we act we need much more time, thought, prayer, and meditating on God’s word before we take any steps.

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:8)

It’s never a waste of time, to take the time to sit with the Lord and think things through. It’s not only wise, it’s the key to doing the right thing. What do you think?

Ron

Is Your Marriage Perfect?

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Ron Carlson


The struggle is a common one. A spouse sees the shortcomings, personality flaws, and unmet expectations in their mate and decides this can’t be the person God intended for them. So, they decide to hunt for a perfect match. A friend did just that, but after being remarried said, “All I did was trade one set of problems for another.” Even those of us who have a godly loving spouse will tell you since two imperfect people that are involved, there’s no such thing as a perfect match. So, where’s the encouraging, inspirational, and uplifting message in all this? For starters, Jesus will reward the ones who love, even when they aren’t loved back in a way they’d like.

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Do You Know Where You Belong?

Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Ron Carlson

There’s been a lot of news coverage and controversy over who should be allowed to stay in this country. With this turmoil has come fear and confusion. Those who don’t possess the proper proof of citizenship can be told they don’t belong and quickly sent away. Even though we may be legal citizens of this country, as followers of Jesus we, also, can feel we don’t belong. Maybe that's how we should feel.

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Have You Ever Been Unreachable?

Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Ron Carlson

My cell phone went dead this morning. As I was texting someone my screen just went black. I pressed buttons, plugged in the charger, pressed more buttons and finally realized I was just going to have to accept it. For now, I was unreachable. It was an uneasy feeling. What if someone needed to reach me? What if people were sending me texts and wondering why I wasn’t responding? I hustled off to my cell phone provider to get this fixed. But to add to my frustration, when I arrived at 9:00 am, the store was closed. It didn’t open until 10:00 am…HOW COULD THEY NOT OPEN UNTIL 10:00 am? While I waited impatiently for the open sign to turn on, the thought came to me…have I ever felt God was unreachable?

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Are You A Criticizer?

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I was sitting around with some fellow soccer players the other night and started paying attention to the ratio of positive versus negative comments about other people. It didn’t seem to matter whose name came up, the words said about them were easily 90 percent critical. It made me wonder, what’s my ratio of positive to negative statements about others. Do I tend to focus on other people’s positive attributes or their shortcomings? And if I focus on their shortcomings, do I justify it by thinking, I’m just being a truthful observer?

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How Do You Define Courage?

Thursday, May 25, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Here’s a definition of the word…” the ability to do something that frightens one.”

We saw a prime example of courage at our recent men’s retreat. During one of our gatherings a man from our church told more than 180 guys about his decades long struggle with sexual addiction. He talked about how it started in middle school and continued to build to the point of damaging his self-worth and his relationship with his wife. He was fighting a private war, but he knew it wasn’t a secret to God.

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What Do You Think About Yourself?

Friday, May 12, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Chances are you don’t need critics to tell you, you don’t measure up. Certainly, others have some influence about your thoughts of self. In fact, your self-esteem may have suffered severely from verbal abuse by a person of influence in your life. For the most part though, our self-talk takes precedence as chief evaluator and that voice can be harsh. We need to be careful here because our living God says our thoughts about ourselves determine our feelings and those feelings end up determining how we act.

 

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What Type Of Man Are You Going To Be Today?

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by Ron Carlson

You and I are boys by birth, but we have to choose to become a man. Dr. Joe Martin believes we can choose one of five options.

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Are You A Thank You Type?

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Ron Carlson

If your parents were like mine, you grew up learning the importance of saying thank you. With that as part of my upbringing though, I’ve noticed my reaction is on the judgmental side when my wife or I do something for someone and they say…absolutely nothing. Okay, it’s a prideful thing I know, but it still irritates me. Is it really that hard to say “thank you?”

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How Do You Treat A Person Experiencing Disability?

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Ron Carlson

This week our staff attended a disability/inclusion training facilitated by two of our church members. One of them experiences blindness, the other is a mother of a child who experiences Down syndrome. They did a wonderful job explaining what it’s like to attend church. While these two are working through the challenges, they told us many others feel they can’t worship at church. These families experiencing disability either feel too embarrassed or unaccepted. It’s a sad but common reality. Yet these are people Jesus calls us to serve and love.

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Do You Pray All The Time?

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Ron Carlson

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB)

Over the years 1 Thessaonians 5:17 has been one of the most challenging verses in the Bible. I used to wonder how in the world such a thing was possible. In our busy culture, how can you and I really pray all the time.

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