Posts in Ryan-Midday
An Unlikely Prospect (You never know who might be interested in Jesus...)

…Jesus himself said he came to “seek and save the lost,” and that it’s not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick. Take a moment and think about your church - is it a place someone like the biker dude above would feel welcome and wanted? How about your own home? Are we more interested in our own comfort and maintaining the status quo, or do we really love the lost like Jesus?

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Skewed View or True Love? A Valentine's Day reflection on love

I think so many of us (men included) go into marriage thinking we have this “love” thing down; I mean everything feels so exciting and awesome - how could that ever change? Then comes work, kids, toilet seats left up at night, sleep interrupted by snoring and wet beds, poopy diapers, piles of laundry, missed calls, mixed messages… I think this is where my friend Emily’s comment about the mirror comes in; I think marriage can often reveal just how selfish our motives can be; love can easily become about fulfilling my needs and making me feel accepted, wanted, and desired.

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Seen by God

God saw Hagar; he sees you and I as well. Sometimes that’s all we need - a gentle reminder that God sees, cares, loves, and has a plan and purpose for our lives. May he open the eyes of our hearts today to know that yes, we are seen.

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When Love is Real - How do we respond when someone else succeeds (and we don't?)

As most of us have figured out by now, life isn’t fair. Often others succeed or seem to get ahead when we don’t. Others are rewarded for their efforts when ours are overlooked. Someone else gets recognition while we feel left out. Try as we might to pretend otherwise, this reality can really sting, and to make matters worse, sometimes the one getting the benefits while we feel left out can be a close friend or family member, which makes the sting even more intense.

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No Place for Pride

Eims then shares that of all sins, more downfalls come from pride than any other sin. Kind of like certain drugs it is often a “gateway” to bigger sins. So it’s good to have a reminder like this to stop and check from time to time and make sure pride isn’t crowding out humility and a servant’s heart.

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The Only Love That Never Fails (Earthly dads and our Heavenly Father)

I know when Christ entered my life again in 2004 one of the first things impressed upon my heart was grace, and the deep, abiding love he had for me despite the warts and bruises of life. Knowing Christ accepted me for who I was helped me in turn to forgive my father and accept him (and his love) for who he was, and this allowed healing and reconciliation to take place - something I thought for many years would never happen!

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He Understands (and we can trust him!)

Because he knew you’d feel them too. He knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be sleepy, grief-stricken, and hungry. He knew you’d face pain. If not the pain of the body, the pain of the soul—pain too sharp for any drug. He knew you’d face thirst. If not a thirst for water, at least a thirst for truth, and the truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ is—he understands. And because he understands, we can come to him!

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You Were Made to be Different (And that's not a bad thing!)

Each and ever member of the body of Christ has incredible value and worth - what a relief and source of comfort! I remember a period in my life when my self-esteem was at rock-bottom; as a result I spent hours in the gym every day working out, believing that a perfect body was my only ticket to having some measure of value and worth. No matter how hard I worked there was always someone who had more muscles or better defined abs; most days I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. It was never good enough.

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His Power in Our Weakness - God uses normal people (like me and you!)

Most of us will never be missionaries in a foreign country, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a valuable role to play in God’s plans. Leroy Eims asks a great question: What kind of background does it take to serve God effectively? The answer? Whatever kind you have. Christian, if God is calling you to serve Him, then say yes, and get started right where you are today.

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Rip the Heavens - The strange gift of our doubts and questions

When the healing didn’t come, the life that seemed to make so much sense completely fell apart. My confidence was replaced with doubts and questions - Had I done something wrong? Was God punishing me for some hidden sin in my life? Maybe a wrong attitude in my heart, or priorities that were wrong? Did he really still love me? If God did love me, why would he allow me to suffer like this? How could this much pain have any meaning or purpose?

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We Are Family - The joy of unity in the body of Christ

So when I joined my first church “Life Group” 15 years ago, it was a much needed breath of fresh air, as well as a place I would find comfort, healing, and rest. What sticks out most was the trust I was able to put in my brothers and sisters in Christ; I could bring my deepest hurts and wounds before them, confident they would lift me up instead of tearing me down (like many of my non-Christian friends were doing at the time).

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Trying to Impress - God sees what's on the inside (and I'm so thankful!)

The KCWN studio is located in Pella, a town famous for its “Dutch Fronts.” God is all about tearing down facades and helping us walk in truth. Do you feel like you have to try to be someone you’re not so you can be loved and accepted? It’s a terrible burden to carry. Let Jesus carry that burden; let his love tear down the facades. He loves the real you, and longs to help you become the real you.

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Courteous Conduct - Sharing Jesus through how we live (and speak)

We’ve all heard it said - “Actions speak louder than words.” I totally agree with this statement, but we all know our words can build up or tear down and destroy. Especially in this Internet age often our words are the only thing people will hear or see - so let’s take Paul’s words in Colossians 4:5-6 to heart:

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

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His Sovereign Hand - God is working in 10,000 ways (and we might see three)

At the age of 18 I considered myself mature in the faith (particularly when I compared myself with most of my peers - never a good idea!); at the age of 45 I’m increasingly aware of just how little I really know, especially when it comes to God and his sovereign plan and wisdom. I’m so, so thankful for the life God has given me - getting me back to work, helping me cope with chronic pain, enabling me to take an active role as a husband and father, and filling my life with meaning and purpose. Never in a million years would I have thought debilitating pain, disability, and depression would be some of the tools God would use to get me to this point!

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The Good We Never Ask For: What God Does for Us in Suffering

How many times in my life have I asked God to make me more like Jesus? Too many to count! What is the means God often uses to accomplish that goal? Ease? Convenience? Pleasure? Nope. I think we all know the answer - hardship. Pain. Suffering. Loss. The very things Jesus experienced when he was on this earth are the same tools our Heavenly Father uses to send us through his refining fire. Easy? Not at all! What I would choose? Not a chance! God using all things for good? Absolutely.

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