Topic | Sanctification

Posts Categorized: Sanctification

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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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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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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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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Blessed Frailty

By in Highlands Blog on

Dependent Our great and loving God created us with a built-in frailty. Our bodies reveal to us hour by hour our dependence on Him to sustain our life. Ignoring for a moment our beating heart and our inability to keep that happening, we are otherwise forced to pause to consume calories at least three times during the day and at the end of just sixteen hours of daily life, we need to rest for a full eight. Because we are not conscious during our rest, we don’t fully appreciate how frail we are. Eight hours of rest to propel us. . .
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Basement Tape #180: Waiting on God

By in on

Basement Tapes 180: Waiting on God

We want to be married or for that baby or job to come and we’re frustrated and a bit angry with God. We all fail to realize that God is giving us His full measure of love right now, in our present circumstances. We should be content and also eagerly waiting to see what God will do next.

How to Be Bitter

By in Highlands Blog on

Bitter from Birth There exists a brilliant prescription for bitterness and we do not even have to wait in line at the CVS to pick it up. We are just born with it. From birth we have assumed that we are the center of the universe, that all of life and those other creatures we see around us exist to serve us. If we have very godly parents and at least one sibling, this notion becomes diffused a bit, though we suspect that the operating law is still valid but must be obeyed in light of several (annoying) amendments. We. . .
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God, the Great Storyteller

By in Highlands Blog on

Writing a Good Story In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started taking an online video class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, an Oscar and Emmy award winning screenwriter and producer. My writing efforts have, in the past, always been focused on essays, devotionals, articles, sermons, and blog posts. However, I’ve recently become fascinated with the particular skill set that enables one to tell stories and write dialogue, not merely for reading but for viewing In one of the first lessons, he made the point that in any good play, movie, or TV series, there has to be a. . .
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Growing Up Single {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

By in Highlands Blog on

Sometimes it seems like no progress can be made in life until there is a wedding band on your finger. In the church we have tried to morph marriage into a fairytale cure for all ills. Are you self-centered, immature, discontent, lustful, lazy? Get married, that will change you and finally vanquish these formidable adversaries. We want to apply a circumstantial cure to problems of the heart. When our story doesn’t seem to be working out on schedule much desperate advice is given, “You should try online dating, I know someone who married a guy she met online.” “There’s a. . .
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Are You Becoming Who You Didn’t Want to Be?

By in Highlands Blog on

Things I Didn’t Ever Want to Do I like to ponder from time to time about the things that I didn’t think I would ever do. It’s a sobering thought. You have an understanding of normal that only a teenager or recent college graduate could discern. Wisdom is ancient. Being teenage and young is fleeting. I do things I didn’t think I would ever do. I’ve become that person. I want to be comfortable in my clothes much more than I want to be fashionable. I’m almost completely out of touch with pop culture and my reasoning for this would. . .
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Basement Tape #165: Morality v. Holiness

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[Audio] Morality v. Holiness (Basement Tapes #165)

One of the purposes of the law is to make it clear that we are a very sinful people, it is not to be a point of pride for us. Pursuing morality tends to lead us to pharisaical behavior but pursing holiness leads us to Jesus.

Keeping Hope Alive While You’re Waiting

By in Highlands Blog on

Woman with a clock, waiting in hope.

Our earthly days are often strung together by threads of waiting. we catch it in mentions as our friends tell their stories: “I had given up on getting pregnant, and then along came little Jackson.” “I was nearly bankrupt when I landed that big contract.” “My sickness was undiagnosed for years, now I can finally get treatment.” “I was sure I would be single forever, and then I met Seth.” Most of us have stories of our own. Holding on to hope when fulfillment seems completely out of reach is not natural to us. We are plagued by doubts and. . .
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Patience in Life’s Seasons

By in Highlands Blog on

Not many of us are farmers these days. Not that long ago, most of us would have been. And the perspective of a farmer is much different from that of other occupations. A salesman might work on a big deal for a few weeks; a doctor sees a patient for thirty minutes and a stock broker is ecstatic or miserable on a second by second basis. But the farmer thinks in terms of seasons. Long and hot or long and cold, months at a time, six months or more, seasons are his measuring stick. My father and mother grew up. . .
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Don’t Let Bad Memories Steal Your Hope for the Future

By in Highlands Blog on

Man with umbrella, looking up. (Don't Let Bad Memories Steal Your Hope for the Future)

Good & Bad Memories Our perception of God, ourselves, and the world around us is largely shaped by what we have learned, not only through God’s Word, but also by our experience—our personal history. Our individual body of experience is made up of a collection of memories. These memories can be “good” or “bad” remembrances. They can be epochal events, or everyday occurrences. They can be highly emotional moments, or they can be relatively humdrum incidents. They can be memories of overwhelming love and kindness, or they can be memories of cruelty and brutality. Regardless, they have been stored in. . .
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The Mess & Noise of Sanctification

By in Highlands Blog on

Knowing My Own Sin I am the worst person I know. I know this because I know myself and I don’t really know anyone else. Not really. I wander the earth confused like those neighbors of serial killers: “Well that is surprising, I thought he was a nice young man.” That’s always my reaction to exposed sin in others: surprise. I am, though, never surprised at my own sin; we’ve become quite familiar with one another over the years. He is always close at hand, ready and willing to act, think, and speak his nature. And that’s discouraging. That is,. . .
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How to Pray Without Ceasing

By in Highlands Fellow on

Man learning how to pray without ceasing

To Pray Without Ceasing Unifies the Christian Life Praying without ceasing is like an ocean where all our devotionals, Bible study and quiet times, like rivers, empty into its vastness and are lost by becoming part of the greater whole. The pursuit of holiness, knowing God and our utmost for His highest come to a consummation and remain a continuance as we commune with God morning and evening. Enoch walked with God. In doing so, he at once rejoiced in the Lord, always while also taking every thought captive, fighting the good fight, meditating day and night, and exercising himself. . .
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Man in the Mirror — Living Up to the Ideal

By in Highlands Fellow on

Man in the Mirror — Living Up to the Ideal

I had an encounter recently with my chief nemesis. He is well known to me and some of you have had occasion to meet him. He is not my favorite guy but he is always challenging when he is not being morose or too cavalier. “So,” he says to me, “what is driving your life?” “What do you mean?” say I, for it is apparent that my adversary is armed with agenda. “You know my life quite well,” I continued. “You know how I live and what I do and what my vocation is.” As I said these words I. . .
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Live Faithfully in a World of Temptation

By in Highlands Fellow on

Living Faithfully in a World of Temptation

Temptation in the Garden of Eden It is interesting to note when looking at the account of Adam and Eve in the garden that, before the fall, they had only one temptation to deal with. ONE. Don’t eat the forbidden fruit. Now, we know that the fall had more to do with eating fruit. In fact, one could make the case that pretty much all of the ten commandments were violated either directly or indirectly in that one sin. Summed up, they didn’t care for the limitation placed on them by their Master, and made themselves slaves to another one.. . .
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