Pastor Rick Warren: Make Every Step Count

Make Every Step Count
By Rick Warren

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing” (1 Corinthians 9:25-26 NLT).

Spiritual growth must be purposeful.

We don’t know how many days we have left. Our next breath may be our last. So every step in our journey with Jesus should be taken on purpose.
We must be disciplined.

To become the person God wants you to be, you must deny yourself. I’ll be honest with you: You won’t get to do everything that other people do. You can’t follow everyone else’s plan and follow God’s plan at the same time. Being a disciplined disciple of Jesus means sometimes taking the more difficult path.

Olympic runners must give up all kinds of stuff that other people do in order to go for the gold. They must go to bed at a certain time. They must eat a certain way. They must train in a certain setting. They must deny themselves. They must count the cost.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing” (NLT).

Every step, Paul says, must be purposeful. That’s how you finish the race God has marked out for you.

Don’t be tempted by shortcuts. Stay on the straight and narrow path, and keep pressing forward toward your goal. Remember the purpose God has called you to. Remember the example of Jesus, who used his time on earth for God’s glory and was not distracted by the things of this world.

Make every step count.

Impeachment effort motivated by Dem fears that strong Trump economy will hurt them in elections

If you are in need of more evidence as to why so many Americans are cynical about politics in general and Washington in particular (and isn’t current evidence sufficient?), you need look no further than the etymological shift taken by Democrats during the House impeachment hearings.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Pastor Rick Warren: To Find Joy, Give Your Life Away

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT).

You’ll never find happiness in pleasure, power, possessions, positions, or prestige.

You also won’t find it in success, sex, salary, or status. Those are all temporary.
Permanent, ongoing happiness only comes when you give your life away in service. God wired you to give your life away. Why?
Because God wants you to be like him.
Most people don’t know this, but there are secrets to joy. And you can find both of these secret pathways to joy through service.
Here’s the way to find joy:
First, get your mind off of yourself. The more you focus on yourself, the more miserable you will become. To find real joy, you must shift from an inward focus—“It’s all about me”—to an outward focus—“It’s all about God and serving others.”
Of course, this is countercultural. Our society screams that it’s all about you. But the Bible says, “I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy” (Philippians 2:17 NLT).
The truth is, the most helpful people are the happiest people.
Second, use your gifts to help others. It feels good to use your gifts to help others.
The Bible says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT).

God blesses you so you can bless others. When you bless others, God will bless you.
If you’re struggling through a lack of joy in your life, try serving people in your community and in your church.
Then watch God change your perspective.

Kanye West tells Joel Osteen ‘the devil has been distracting me for a long time’

Rapper Kanye West told parishioners at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch on Sunday that his recent spiritual awakening has made him realize he’s no longer in the service to fame and money but “in service to God.”

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

Punish Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett, but don’t charge him with a crime

As a former NFL safety who spent five seasons getting banged up, bruised and more seriously injured in America’s most violent team sport, I share the outrage of millions of fans over the inexcusable assault committed on the field Thursday by Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Dems’ impeachment option — THIS is their only exit strategy

I have been told that Democrats are looking for a way out of the impeachment of President Trump. They want to act out in the House against the president but they know that, based on the evidence as it exists, they have a lot to lose by overplaying their hand because of the public’s disinterest and disgust at impeachment and the holding of a trial for removal of the president so close to an election and in the midst of a Democrat primary.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Pastor Rick Warren: Whatever You Do, Do It as a Ministry

By Rick Warren

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 NIV).

God has called you to be a minister.

Maybe you’ll never preach a sermon. Maybe you’ll never officiate a wedding or a funeral. Maybe you’ll never lead a church.
But make no mistake about it: If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re a minister.
God has called you to be a bi-vocational minister. What does that mean? Think of the word “bifocal.” Those are the glasses that allow someone to see two things at the same time—both far away and up close—with clarity.
When you follow Jesus, you do everything for two reasons, not one: to help others and to honor God. That makes you a bi-vocational minister, whether you’re a truck driver, an attorney, a janitor, or a stay-at-home parent. You have a job, but in that job, you work to help others and to honor God.
The Bible says it like this in Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (NIV).
That Scripture reminds us that anything we do can be a ministry and a blessing if we honor God and help others through it. Whatever you do, do it in the name of Jesus. Taking out the garbage, changing a dirty diaper, and cleaning the living room can all be ministries.
As long as your motivation is right, the Bible says that whatever you do can become a ministry. That means menial tasks become meaningful tasks when you do them out of love for God.
When you look at life from this perspective, everything you do becomes significant.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

How does the Bible’s teaching to do everything for the Lord change your perspective on tasks you might otherwise consider unimportant?
How does your calling as a bi-vocational minister impact how you look at your work?
What’s a task in your life that you struggle to think about in terms of helping others and honoring God? Why do you think that’s so?

Pastor Rick Warren: Look to the Needs of Others

Look to the Needs of Others
By Rick Warren

“Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4 The Message).

The starting point for all happiness is the moment you shift the focus away from yourself. If all you think about is yourself, you’re going to be a pretty miserable person. If you truly want to be happy in life, you have to care about the needs of those around you.

Paul cites Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (TLB).
Most people don’t get up in the morning and spend energy thinking about how others are doing. Most people are only concerned with their own problems. And that’s why most people are unhappy with their lives!
If you want to be one of those rare, unselfish people, change your focus. You have to shift your focus away from yourself and toward other people. It’s not something that comes naturally; you have to learn to do it.
On many occasions, I’ve missed the needs of people around me that I love because I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t taking an interest in them. I hadn’t shifted the focus from me toward the others in the room. Because I wasn’t looking out for their needs, I missed chances to help. And that grieves me a lot.
Instead of grieving missed opportunities, be intentional about looking away from yourself and toward the needs of others, where you’ll find happiness in serving God through serving others.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

What distractions keep you from focusing on the needs of others?
How have you benefited from another person’s interest in helping you with your needs?
What needs have you missed in someone’s life because you were too busy or focused on your own problems? What can you do today to shift your focus toward helping that person?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Op-Ed: Springfield response to capital bill corruption: A new coat of paint

Illinois drivers paid an extra $100 million in gas taxes this July, according to new state reporting. That’s because Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a doubling of the state’s gas tax to fund an infrastructure package. And the hike took effect July 1.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

Editorial: The real Ukraine scandal is US cash for gas — It involves the Bidens and a growing list of Dems

Joe Biden hit back at allegations over his son, Hunter, saying there was nothing corrupt about the firing of that Ukrainian prosecutor. But that is a total dodge.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

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