All posts tagged: habits

Are You Arming Yourself with Worthless Spitballs?

I remember being a college student and sitting in front of the TV listening to the Georgia Governor Zell Miller speak at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was talking about how Senator Kerry, then presidential candidate, was opposed to expansion of military forces. Governor Miller said, “This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, US forces armed with what? Spitballs?” The crowd erupted in a standing ovation. Agree or disagree, I have never been able to forget, “Armed with what? Spitballs?” I think this often what we arm ourselves with when it comes to sin: spitballs. Sin is deadly, and it is not Satan who sends us to Hell, it is our sin. Sin has ended the lives of millions of people, and has led people to end their life as well. Sin has caused countless health issues, depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and secluded life styles. Sin has led to division in families, and churches, business. It has started wars and psychotic mass casualties. …

What Have I Been Doing With My Life?

Say what you want about the ending, Lost remains my favorite TV show. Since the release of the first season, Corey and I have watched it 5 times from start to finish. It takes 91 hours to watch all 6 seasons. Do the math and I have spent 455 hours with Oceanic Flight 815 as they ran from monsters, fought the others, and tried to find their way back (don’t worry, no spoilers). (Ready for this reality check?) According to a quick search on Google, a person can read the entire Bible in 60 to 75 hours. (I wasn’t ready either.) After our most recent viewing of Lost, Corey shared this with me and I was pierced to the heart. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. – Joshua 1:8 With a Bible in hand, reading it from cover to cover seems daunting. But in this light, my …

It’s Time For You to Move Forward.

Summers are always busy for Student Pastors. We go from mission trips to summer camps to swimming in a lot of different pools. When I wrote this, I was sitting in the auditorium of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee for CIY camp. But, by the time you read this, it will be fall and I will be in Wyoming hunting in the woods! I wanted to share with you an experience I had during this summer with a group of 100 or so men. It’s called Tres Dias. The one I attended took place in North Georgia, but these events happen all over the world. I went into the weekend thinking I was going to have this incredible spiritual breakthrough, or this moment where God would rip away areas of struggle in my life. While this happened for most men at this retreat, God said and did something different in me. On the last day in a group discussion, through the Holy Spirit, God whispered, “Keith, you know exactly what you need to do. You …

Are You Genuine or Just Playing Pretend?

Do you still have “bear fruit” ringing in your ears, too? Our last series was all about changing the heart. If we know why we react to circumstance the way we do, what we were trying to achieve with our actions, we can lay our desires and fears at the foot of the cross and begin to respond out of the Spirit.  In other words, if we can identify the root, we can change, and produce different fruit. At the end of our series, Shannon visited a few bears at an animal sanctuary. Truth be told, we tried to get a real bear on stage. Yeah, I know… it would have been awesome. But after watching Shannon feed a bear through a cage, I’m not so sure he could have handled being face to face with a real one. Which got me thinking… Bears are dangerous; the volunteer in our video makes this clear. To their core, bears are bears. They think like bears and act like bears because they have the heart of a …

Looking For Joy Won’t Make You Happy

I live out in the country, down a dirt road and then a little farther. I grew up here and I have a lot of history here. My grandparents’ parents bought this land and used to run a mill from the creek that runs through our property. I would spend hours playing in the woods and splashing in the creek. I always noticed the trees next to the creek were much bigger and sturdier than any others on our land. And it’s something that’s still true today. As an adult, it is very easy to see why. The trees next to the creek have a steady, never ending supply of water. All throughout history people have settled around rivers and lakes to have easy access to one of the most vital things: water. It’s no wonder, then, that God would use this as a metaphor for growth in our spiritual lives as well. Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners or join in …

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. – Jim Rohn What is your personal legacy? Or to phrase it another way, if today was your last day, how would your kids and those closest to you remember you? If you want a legacy worth remembering, it requires being intentional. If you want to be thought of as more than a sports fan, then take time today to build a legacy worthy of the calling God has placed on your life. If you want to build a legacy, share your testimony. Do your kids know what your life was like before Christ? Do they know the difference Jesus has made for you personally? I recently asked the preteens and there was only one student in the room who knew their parent’s testimony. Mark your calendar right now and make it a priority to share your story with your kids. If you want to build a legacy, celebrate milestones. Days …

Overcoming Fear of the Little and the Worst

-written by Betsie Richards Ever wake up with a mouse in your hair? I have and it’s quite a story, especially coming from someone who hates/fears mice, snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, and clowns. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll ever die from a heart attack or I would have that night for sure. (Ask me for the story if you guys ever need a good laugh.) On some level, we all struggle with fear and worries.  Sometimes it’s over seemingly ridiculous things like small reptiles, but sometimes it’s over pretty significant things like your mom having cancer, financial concerns, losing a job or even a loved one. I read a quote from Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study that says, “Anything we exalt over God in our thoughts or imaginations is an idol.” Woah. Anything huh? Including the fears that I allow to take over my thoughts and influence the way I act? That’s pretty tough to swallow since idolizing is sin. I have a bad habit of letting my imagination run wild. It starts …

How Will You Seek Jesus More By Consuming Less?

Fasting at its core is a hunger and longing for the presence of God. – Shannon Lovelady During our “Something New” series, Shannon called us to fast the 21 days leading up to our last Sunday at the chicken farm. The purpose of the fast is to remind us City Station isn’t the end goal, but we strive to make disciples and give God glory for it all. We want to intentionally seek after God as we enter into a time of transition and change, leaning into His constant nature and faithfulness. Together, as a church family, we are giving something up to demonstrate God is more important than anything we could ever need or desire. Here are four tips for making it through the next 21 days. Don’t choose something easy. It doesn’t have to be food related, but it should be something you will “feel,” something you will notice is missing from your life. Fasting requires sacrifice. As Shannon put it, what is something that steals your affection? What will you lay down for 21 days? …

Are You Ready for Something New?

-written by Betsie Richards Here’s the deal… when I go to the nail salon, the decision of which color to choose seems like national security, level 9, life or death. I will stand there like a goober and ponder for a good ten minutes over which color to chose, talking out loud to myself about if this color will match this outfit or if it will last longer than another color. Heavens to Betsie (pun intended)… does this really matter?? I’m just going to pick the same red color that I pick 9 our of 10 times anyway. Why do we have a tendency to return to the same old thing? The same nail color, the same meal, the same sin? Is it comfort? Fear of change? Fear of being ridiculed by our friends and family? Sometimes, I think it’s because we truly don’t understand there is something better out there, something new. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those …

Not Feeling It and Not Motivated

I know a lot of times when we hear people talk about their “quiet times” it often feels as though it comes easily to them. But maybe for you, it’s a struggle. When you hear others talk about their Bible reading, maybe you find yourself experiencing guilt or shame because you are not in the Word enough and you lack the motivation motivated to get started. I read this paragraph in “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli years ago and immediately felt normal in my walk with Christ. After 45 years of trying to follow Jesus, I keep losing him in the crowded busyness of my life. I know Jesus is there, somewhere, but it’s difficult to make Him out in the haze of everyday life. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a godly person. Yet when I look at the yesterday’s of my life, what I see, mostly, is a broken, irregular path littered with mistakes and failure. I have had temporary successes and isolated moments of closeness to …