Topic | Sanctification

Posts Categorized: Sanctification

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}

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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?

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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

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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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Hide the Kids, the Pastor is Here — Family Hypocrisy

By in Highlands Fellow on

Hypocrisy in the Family If you are reading this article, there is a very good possibility you have a family. And, there is a very good possibility you go to a church. Both of these institutions, the family and the church, are listed in the title. Given that, I want to ask you to honestly consider a couple of questions. Why do you take your family to church? What is your motivation? Is there something that you desire to see the church do for your family, specifically your children? And, if so, how do you expect that to happen? As. . .
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Teaching Your Children About Total Depravity

By in Highlands Fellow on

Teaching Your Children About Total Depravity

Dinner Table Doctrine I recently taught my children the meaning of total depravity. We started with the first word: total. Sitting around the dinner table I explained the biblical truth that there is nothing good in us. Not even a speck. Until God gives us a new heart, our hearts (and toes, and elbows, and eyelashes, etc) are completely bad. There is no innocence, no righteousness, nothing within us as fallen creatures that is pleasing to God. I think that they got it. And I really mean that, about their understanding what Daddy was teaching, but I also know that. . .
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Should I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag?

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Should I pledge allegiance to the flag?

I Pledge Allegiance to…what? It’s not like I really thought about it, but from time-to-time I wondered how a union of States could be indivisible. I guess I thought it was more of an encouraging sentiment, an exhortation. Kind of like Sonny and Cher’s United We Stand: “United, we stand/ divided, we fall/ And if our backs should ever be against the wall/ we’ll be together.” And we know how long that lasted. So, how did we get to be “one nation (under God, thanks Ike!), indivisible?” And can we be so and boast “liberty and justice for all?” That. . .
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Free Basement Tape Download! All in the Family

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Audio: All in the Family (Basement Tapes #42)

This weekend only we are offering Basement Tape #42 as a free download! This conversation is on age-segregation in the culture and the church. We talk about how, like the world around us, we see our families not as a single unit, but as a temporary arrangement of individuals. The family is never more temporarily together than when they come to church. Our programs have programmed out of our minds the very notion of the family as we all go different directions for our Bible studies, Sunday school classes, clubs, and activities. When did this become normal, and what is. . .
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The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

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The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories & Gossip When nations gossip we often call it a conspiracy. Sometimes the conspiracy sounds plausible but others are so absurd that you just have to wonder how any rational person could believe such nonsense. Often, the plot is so complex and the number of people involved so large that you have to throw out everything we know about human nature to believe the story we are told. After all, the Scriptures do assert that we are prone to gossip. It is a sin God warns us about more than once, presumably because we needed that warning. And. . .
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You Can Live Set Apart & as Salt and Light

By in Highlands Fellow on

Living Set Apart as Salt and Light

Tension in the Christian Life The people of God are known in this day as the church. The church is understood properly by several analogies or descriptions in Scripture — the body of Christ, the ekklesia, the elect of God, the chosen lady, the bride of Christ, and so on. All of these have commonality while describing different facets of our relationship to God as His people, and our relationships with each other. How to Be “Set Apart” One interesting way of describing this relationship is the commonwealth of God. This is a covenantal term, describing a bonding together for. . .
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Keep Your Thinking On the Straight and Narrow

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Keep Your Thinking to the Straight and Narrow

Scandal of Leaving the Straight and Narrow Did you read the recent expose in Christianity Today about the large New York City church and the shocking sins publicly committed and rank heresy preached directly from the pulpit? Any attempt to clean up the situation was thwarted by the fact that the members were all aligned with different pastors. You would probably know this church more by the fact that it was founded, and for years ministered to, by perhaps our country’s most beloved and respected pastor. How does a church so quickly fall into such traps given the firm foundation. . .
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Is Temptation Sent by God?

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Is Temptation Sent by God?

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing…Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn. . .
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