The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about habits. This direction began with a podcast—The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. On his podcast, Pastor Craig Groeschel interviewed James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. Originally I listened to the podcast simply as a way to grow in my leadership. However, that podcast has taken me on a journey researching and investigating the power of habit.

After listening to this podcast, I picked up Clear’s book and quickly read it. I then picked up another book, Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit and now I’m reading one more—Drew Dyck’s Your Future Self Will Thank You. After engaging all of these resources, my thinking shifted from leadership to spiritual growth. This shift in thinking led me to even adjust Vintage Church’s summer preaching series. Why this shift?

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How Do You Grow?

How Do You Grow?

Recently I was reading through the F260 Bible Reading Plan, and I came across a passage I had read before but that struck me in a unique way. I was reading 1 Corinthians 8 where Paul discusses the very foreign idea of eating food sacrificed to idols. But what struck me was what Paul said first:

“Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God” (1 Corinthians 8:1–3). 

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The Enough Life

The Enough Life

In psychology, there's a phenomenon called the 'hedonic treadmill' where we experience greater and greater pleasures and yet at less and less felt satisfaction. It's almost like how a lollipop tastes great at first, but once your taste buds acclimate to its sweetness, it begins to taste blander. Similarly, we often experience pleasures that fade in their potency over time.

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Is Jesus Enough?

Is Jesus Enough?

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write about how Jesus is enough for me. To be honest, I feel like that is a really big question to answer. There are a number of roads I can take you down, but I was told I had a word limit—so here goes nothing.

The author of the book of Hebrews is trying to remind the audience that they should keep their eyes focused on Jesus and not get distracted by other comforts that would compromise their heart—to remember that Jesus is enough. Easier said than done, right?

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What's Your Plan to Read the Bible in 2019?

What's Your Plan to Read the Bible in 2019?

For many of us, 2019 means fresh starts and new beginnings. When we think about new years, new year’s resolutions typically come to mind—losing weight, quitting a habit, changing something. We all know, however, how often new year’s resolutions last or work. 

Why don’t new years resolutions work? They often fail for one primary reason—lack of discipline. Anything worth while in life requires discipline—the ability to say no to certain things, yes to other things, determination, perseverance, good time management, and more. Each year many of us long to read the Bible more but fail to. What needs to change?

As we leave 2018 and enter into 2019, we must see Bible reading as a discipline, and that’s a good thing! Like any discipline, Bible reading is something we must be committed to and willing to do regularly until it becomes a habit. After we’ve carried out a discipline regularly over a long period of time, that discipline becomes easier. This reality is also true for Bible reading. 

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Christ Is Everything

Christ Is Everything

As we near the end of this Advent and Christmas season, we must go back to the foundational element for all of the other Advent elements, and that is Christ. He is the only way that we can truly have hope, peace, joy and love. As many people say this time of year, and as cheesy as it may sound at times, Jesus truly is the reason for the season! Christmas is about Jesus Christ. 

 The word Christmas literally means “Christ's mass,” which comes from the Latin word “‘to give thanks.” This points to the truth that we should give thanks to God for sending the gift of his son Christ into the world.

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Yearning for Peace

Yearning for Peace

Have you ever been out in the middle of a body of water? You know the type—the waters surrounding you are dark with nothing around for miles and the only thing separating you from the deep, dark water is the boat supporting you. Well, I’ve been on a small motor boat in the middle of the Nile River before and I remember the fear that swallowed me the moment I saw the angry looking crocodiles on the banks. I remember losing my breath for a moment when the crocodiles dove in the water as we approached their territory. My brain immediately began playing out scene after scene of our boat tipping over, everyone coming face to face with these huge crocodiles and losing a few limbs or my life. Needless to say, I had to preach peace to my anxious heart in the middle of the beautiful Nile River, because in that moment, it wasn’t very beautiful, but instead very terrifying.

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Hoping for More

Hoping for More

The Christmas season is upon us—a season with its own dedicated food, music and foliage; a season that sees our calendars filled with events; our houses filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of the season; and our hearts filled with Christmas cheer (or dread or anxiety or sadness or some combination of all these things). Basically, Christmas is a very full season. But in this season of “more” (more events, more gifts, etc.) Christians are called to focus on “less.” In the hustle and bustle of this demanding season, Christians are called to slow down and experience the simple gift of Christ.

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Longing for What Is to Come

Longing for What Is to Come

We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt it. The butterflies. The nerves. The excitement. The anxiety of what is to come or what might happen. Anticipation can cause us to feel “all the feels” at times: anxiety, excitement, and joy awaiting the expected arrival of someone or something. However, what are we called to do in the waiting? After all, anticipation can only exist when we are longing for what is to come, not what is already here.

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