Learning from sin
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Learning from sin

“Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off…” Mr. Miyagi makes poor “Danielsan” repeat the motion over and over and over again. Later, Mr. Miyagi suddenly starts to attack Daniel and tells him to block. Daniel thinks he has no idea how to block, but the motion of waxing is the same as blocking. Daniel quickly learns...

Inspiring Others
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Inspiring Others

After His well-known encounter with the Samaritan woman at a well, Jesus’s disciples offer Him some food. But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about. […] My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (John 4:32-34) Do we...

Inspiration
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Inspiration

Love of family inspires many an addict to get clean. Protection of freedom inspires men and women to risk their lives for those they’ve never met. Longing for greatness inspires athletes to accomplish feats that seem impossible. Desire for control inspires people to keep their composure amid scenes so ugly as genocide. Inspiration comes in...

Detail
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Detail

Redemption is as easy as making your way from Kwakoegron, Suriname to Paramaribo. Got it? OK, good! That’s what counsel can sound like when we don’t go into detail. I have no idea where I am, where I’m going, or how to get there. What’s the first thing you did when you read that? You...

Faithful
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Faithful

One day, for reasons unknown to yourself, you decide to visit a fortune teller.  She reveals that you will live the rest of your life here in Knoxville with the same neighbors, the same family, the same coworkers, and the same awkward church living rooms. You will eat the same food and vacation in the...

Control
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Control

Can I admit from the start my own difficulties with this topic? I expect most of us will struggle with this, but I know God’s grace can bring us growth. You meet someone raw, just out of the world and newly saved. F-bombs drop like a shock-and-awe campaign, and they got saved while living with...

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God’s Glory

There’s nothing clear about counsel. It’s cloudy. It’s unexpected. It’s disorienting. What we need is not a rulebook or a script. We need a heart that wants the right things. I want to tie our biggest mandate as humans into how we approach others in not only counsel but everyday life. In beautiful poetic expression, we read the reason we were...

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God’s Redemption

Redemption is God’s act. At its core, He chooses us, predestines us, covers our sins, credits Jesus’s righteousness to us, kills our captor, disarms sin’s power, lives with us, opens our eyes, grows our desires for Him, prepares good works for us to walk in, gives us power to endure difficulty, and secures an inheritance...

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We Can Relate, Part 4

So far, what we’ve talked about has largely been an inward and verbal relating, a deeper understanding of our own desperation and rescue that helps us understand our neighbor’s. Here, we move to an outward relating in our counsel. Not only do we understand and convey God’s rescue with our words, but our very approach...

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We Can Relate, Part 3

“I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to” There’s been a song on the radio lately about homosexuality, and I find it intriguing. It’s your typical mixture of genuine vulnerability and dismissive pride. But so are all of us apart from walking by God’s Spirit. We cannot genuinely face ourselves without...