Think For Yourself

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Alex had a lot on his mind, and when he gets like that he likes to clean up. He has his own company and the stress mounted up on him. So he went into his garage and started cleaning it out.

He found all types of things that needed to be thrown away. Then when he finished he began raking leaves. By the time he finished cleaning out the garage and raking leaves, he had about 5 or 6 bags of trash, so he went and set them by the curb.

His next door neighbor, Steve, walked outside and saw the bags, hurried back into his own house and started rounding up the trash. “It’s trash day! I’d better get this trash out of here.” He started dumping food out of pots. He went and got the trash out the restroom. After he gathered it all up he set it out, totally relieved that he did so.

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The next day, however, his trash was still there – and to add insult to injury the neighborhood cats had torn up his trash. The problem was, it was not trash day! Alex had leaves and junk from his garage, so he thought it wise to go ahead and set it out. And when trash day came he’d bring out the other trash.

Steve had set out his trash two days prematurely! Why? Because he did not think for himself. He tried to rely on Alex’s thinking. As soon as he saw the trash, he was too lazy mentally to figure out whether it was trash day or not.

A lot of us just go along with today’s trends. Whatever the world does, we do. Whatever the world drinks, we drink. What they listen to, we listen to. If they don’t get involved in outreach ministry, we won’t get involved either because the group isn’t doing it. If they don’t evangelize, we won’t either. We don’t think for ourselves. We are like Steve. Pray for us…

“The problem with popular thinking is that it doesn’t require you to think at all.”

~Kevin Myers.

 

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D. Barlow

 

 

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New Years

 

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New Years resolutions are not bad. It’s good to have them. I like what John Maxwell once said: Yard by yard, life is hard. But inch by inch, it’s a cinch!

It’s good to have New Years resolutions, but it’s even better to honor your commitment to better yourself everyday. When you’re committed to bettering yourself everyday, you’ll hesitate to make a New Year’s resolution because your mind cannot comprehend what all you can achieve and learn in a year’s time. The great Abraham Lincoln once said: “I do not think much of a man who is not better today than he was yesterday.”

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When Jesus came on the scene and had the disciples follow Him, they began to learn. Their major challenge was to unlearn what they knew. Perhaps the biggest part of learning is unlearning.

We’ve had some bad teachers. We’ve gotten some bad advice and followed some bad examples – and it could be costing us dearly right now. Christ is the foundation of good learning. Learn, and unlearn this year. Happy New Year’s!!!

 

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D. Barlow

 

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Receipts

You’ve learned how wise it is to keep your receipt for major purchases because strange things have happened. Even when the deal is done, you know deep down in your heart that you should keep the receipt.

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You made the purchase. You assembled (let’s say) the exercise bike. But instead of throwing away the box, you stuck in in the garage and logged the receipt in a safe place. We’ve all learned to keep receipts.

When God blesses us it is always a trustworthy transaction. However, He wants a receipt even though you and I are the ones who are on the receiving end. His receipt system is opposite ours, but one thing is true in both systems. The transaction requires a receipt. The receipt shows it is a done deal.

God wants to receive praise and glory for His gifts to you. That’s His receipt. By saying, “thank you,” you will have given Him His receipt. To get blessed and not say thank you – well, you have made the blessing an imperfect transaction because the Lord didn’t get His receipt. Like you want your receipt, the Lord want’s His receipt.

When we get to heaven, we all will be short on the receipts we turned in. That’s because we can’t track all the blessings God gives us. Nevertheless, we should always turn in receipts. I want God to have stacks and stacks of receipts for the things He did for me.

 

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D. Barlow

 

 

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