Topic | Personal Growth

Posts Categorized: Personal Growth

Realignment

By in Highlands Blog on

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “If we all got together and put our troubles in a pile, each of us would go home with our own.” I’m remembering that story’s details poorly but the idea is sound. While we fret and complain about our troubles, they are distinctively ours (in God’s economy of course) and so we are uniquely qualified to deal with them. But it’s still good for us to hear about those that affect others. Modern life is fast and complicated and our lives have many, many moving pieces. Put one kitten in a room. . .
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If God Would Only Encourage Me

By in Highlands Blog on

I am presently meditating my way through the book, Everyday Glory: The Revelation of God In All of Reality, by Gerald R. McDermott. The author’s primary goal is to point out “types” of the gospel that exist in all of creation, for all of us to see, all the time. This is one of those books that I am likely to read again, immediately. The principle reason being that I am so personally encouraged about my own life through the content that McDermott presents. Let me give you an example. This is from the third chapter: So why do you. . .
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God is God and still, there’s gravity

By in Highlands Blog on

We still live in a fallen world and a world with built-in rules, both of which can result in pain. Some days we’re keenly aware of the fallen world and other days make us perplexed with “bad” things happening to us. Shouldn’t our status as God’s children protect us from this world? The world is a difficult place because of our sin and all of our efforts will be hampered by either our sin or that of others. We were promised as much when thrust out of the Garden of Eden. There’s still good work to do, but it’s going. . .
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The Burden of Works Righteousness

By in Highlands Blog on

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30). We’re wicked, God is Holy, and the way to have peace with our God is only through trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. That should end the issue for us. It’s really simple. We bring nothing to the equation. We. . .
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And There Shall be No More Death

By in Highlands Blog on

Dear _______, I just heard about your boy’s death and I mourn deeply with you and your family. I’ve prayed often that I would outlive my children as the prospect of living without any one of them seems too hard. On reflection, it’s quite possible, in God’s perfect plan, that even as your boy lives eternally with his Savior, his early death means that he’ll live in your hearts in a more powerful way than he would have otherwise. Not a day will pass when you don’t reflect upon him, his smile, his character, his laugh. Perhaps accompanied by a. . .
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Friends

By in Highlands Blog on

When determining how wealthy we are in friends, there is only one question that must be asked? What is a friend? The Bible gives us some direction here: A friend is wise, reliable, willing to rebuke us, loves us at all times and is closer than a brother. Presumably, a friend is also someone we like, someone we have things in common with and someone around whom we can be ourselves. On Facebook, some of us have thousands of “friends,” other sad folks have only a few hundred. Imagine if you truly had a thousand friends who were “closer than. . .
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Possessed

By in Highlands Blog on

Possessed. Now that is a selective word. We reserve such an evaluation when we want to describe unnatural or bizarre behavior. “They acted like they were possessed,” is what we say when reporting. “They were scary” or even, “They acted crazy” fails to convey our experience. And yet every person is possessed by some drive or emotion or desire everyday. We are all living under the influence of someone or something. That is why we dress the way we do and talk the way we do, to name just two everyday habits. You say, “I don’t care.” I ask, then,. . .
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Choose Life

By in Highlands Blog on

I was adopted at birth by Mike and DeEtte. God truly blessed me with a wonderful family and it’s a God story from start to finish, but that isn’t the story I am here to tell. This story is about a woman named “Maria,” my birth mother. She found herself in a miserable situation, she was pregnant, the father of the baby was married and was a friend of the family. She was terrified of what her family would do to her if they found out. So, she took her three-year-old son, got in her car and left. She lived. . .
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Is Our God Cruel?

By in Highlands Blog on

You may be like me and eager to see God’s hand in our daily lives. Knowing that there are no accidents in His kingdom, I give real gravity to things that others may not pay much heed to. But like a well-directed movie, nothing is happening on screen except what the Director wants us to see. And so we live our lives as best we can, pursuing good things like children, job opportunities, spouses, promotions, prizes, and the like. And if we’re paying close attention, there are lots of signals. If we’re pessimistic, we read them one way, if optimistic,. . .
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God’s Ecosystem

By in Highlands Blog on

I was writing to a friend recently encouraging her in her distress by stating that the Church needs the needy like the oil that lubricates the machine. Without someone to serve the Church dries up. She would rather not be at the mercy of others’ largesse at this point in her life but that’s where God has her. It’s humbling to be the one the Good Samaritan has to rescue. But she is as vital to the work of the Church in her situation as those who are stepping in to meet her needs. My children are really interested in. . .
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A Multitude of Sins

By in Highlands Blog on

We are all guilty of treating the Christian life like an elaborate accounting problem. Credit this, debit that, in our attempt to stay in balance with God and each other. It doesn’t help that we all have undergone vastly different accounting training. What I though was ten points in my good deed column, you put down only two because you perceived that I had selfish motives. I know that I hurt your feelings last week but given how you’ve treated me recently, I think it’s a balanced account but you have me down twenty points because last week you weren’t. . .
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Who is Sanctifying Who?

By in Highlands Blog on

The Lord works out our sanctification in many different ways. One of the most unexpected ways is through the discipline and training of our children. When I was a new parent, my assumption was that my children were there for me to sanctify them. I was to train them through my words, actions, and example of how to lead a godly life and follow after Christ. This is true, but it is not the whole picture. Children are there as much for our sanctification as we are for theirs. As we train, discipline, and rebuke our children, God is also. . .
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Planting and Resting and Trusting

By in Highlands Blog on

A farmer plants his seeds at the appropriate time in the spring and then waits. That’s it. There’s little else to do. He can’t hurry up the process of sprouting and growing. He can water. A bit but not too much. He can’t even weed for awhile because that could disturb the delicate seed-to-sprout process. He simply trusts that God will transform that seed into a plant and the plant into a food-bearing vehicle. Because the world in which we live in is much more complicated than that of planting seeds, we often forget the lesson that God was instilling. . .
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Service

By in Highlands Blog on

In a small, dusty town in western Oklahoma, it grew cold as the days shortened. One November a young single mother struggling to make ends meet had a thought that the more she considered it, the more it warmed her. She worked as many hours as she could at a local convenience store, barely making it. After work, she would take care of her small child and assist an elderly relative who lived in the same town, occasionally running errands and buying groceries. But she still felt a need to help others growing stronger in her heart. A nearby nursing. . .
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True Freedom

By in Highlands Blog on

On this day that we celebrate our country’s independence from England, it’s good to reflect upon what freedom really is. There are lots of different definitions and lots of ways in which we can fall off the other side of the horse in our tireless pursuit of this thing. We tend to desire freedom from and freedom toward. We desire freedom from oppression, tyranny, taxes. We Americans have fought to free others even from these things so strongly is our natural bent away from a strong hand ruling over us. Half of Americans think that taxes are oppressive and half. . .
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Idols Among Us

By in Highlands Blog on

  I have a friend who has become obsessed with her health. And she’s not very sick. A little discomfort here and there. It is to the point that her husband is extremely frustrated with the amount of time she spends on research and the amount of money she spends on “experts” and the cornucopia of supplements. It has become her religion and by that I mean, the search for a cure is like a pilgrimage across a dusty land and this true believer will not be dissuaded by time or money or family obligations. I track with that situation. . .
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Gratitude

By in Highlands Blog on

Because it is my wont to fret and be dissatisfied with my lot—a lot—I have to, HAVE TO, regularly stop and create long lists of all that I’m thankful to God for. And when I walk the dog and it’s quiet, I’ll let my mind wander and express my gratitude for all of the incredible gifts He has given me and my soul will be recalibrated and I’ll see the world correctly once again. I’m grateful for Lindsay my wife who struggles with chronic illness and yet loves on her children fiercely, teaches them through her kind spirit to love. . .
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Raised Up

By in Highlands Blog on

  I rolled out of bed this morning still feeling heavy from last nights dinner. Smash-burgers, topped with jalapeño pimento cheese and served with a side of sliced potatoes fried in beef fat, will do that to you. I hit the shower at 5:30am and was sipping a cup of Sumatra before the day dawned and it dawned drowsily with cool temperatures, a misty rain and an overcast sky. The weather wasn’t offering any perk to my morning and neither were the contents of my French press. This is the kind of day where you feel like you never really. . .
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How Christians Should Sleep

By in Highlands Blog on

When it comes to the subject of rest, believers in Jesus Christ should be having a phenomenal experience every night—unless you have a newborn in which case you have a glorious reason to be awaken several times by little baby sounds and hunger cries. And there is also that sacrifice of slumber due to staying up with someone who is ill. Also the necessity laid upon the student whose term paper is due and let’s not forget those first-responders who put out fires and the police who guard our neighborhoods when darkness falls. There are many other scenarios as well.. . .
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