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Posts by Alex Kirk

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The Real Best Life Ever

A life of faith, hope, and love...

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Exchanging Passing Things for Ultimate Things

Paul exhorts his readers that love is more lasting than spiritual experiences, that's why it's the most excellent way. ...

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The Eternal Question: What Is Love?

Paul gives the definitive answer to this question....

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What Matters Most?

Love matters more than the other things that vie for our attention and affections....

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What's Your Most Excellent Way?

Lots of people answering the question "what's the good life?" ...

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One Step to Excellent Thinking

Paul helps us to win the battle in our heads!...

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Two Things You Can Do with Your Anxiety

You can either prayerfully expand your dominion (training, skills, mentors, get help) or surrender and embrace your limits. ...

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How Not to Be Anxious

thanksgiving fights anxiety...

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Showing Up A Gentle Giant

The Spirit is in us, making us gentle and strong...

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Your Most Important Battle: The One Inside Your Head

Paul in Philippians 4 invites us to rejoice in the Lord always--one of the ways he's going to instruct us in fighting to win the battle for the voices in our heads. ...

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The Cover Tune for Community

Paul cites an ancient hymn to help us to understand who we need to be in relation to one another....

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Waging War Against Kudzu that Kills Community

Paul lists things that kill community and exhorts us to get rid of it!...

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The Would-Be Weed-Out Class

The unique and distinguishing characteristics of Christian community...

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Cultivating the Deepest Connection

In Philippians 2, Paul encourages the church to lean into their shared experience in Jesus....

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Together Is Better (Even if It's Harder)

We have to learn how to do community and how to do it well. ...

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Replacing the Rules with Something Much Better

The law was an attempt at keeping the flesh at bay. The Spirit was a much better option....

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Why Communities (Especially Religious) Get Ugly Sometimes

Why biting and devouring and destroying happens, especially in religious communities....

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Thinking About How We're Thinking About Things

We need Jesus to help us to really understand what God means by love, freedom, and other key concepts...

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Batman's Nemeses, Mick Jagger, and Where to Find True Freedom

We've got to understand what real freedom looks like and means...

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Good News: You and God Both Want Your Freedom

God wants us to be free. We just gotta' get on the same page about what that means...

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The Blank Check Prayer Promise

Our character formation in Christ leads us to a place where we can ask whatever we want and God will (one day) grant it!...

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What To Do When You Don't Like Jesus

Some suggestions for engaging difficult sayings of Jesus...

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No Formulas, This is Real Life

Fruitfulness comes from abiding...

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The Hardest Easiest Thing that Jesus Ever Said

Remain in Jesus--hard but simple!...

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Why God's Work Hurts Sometimes

Jesus says God is a good gardner who prunes us....

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Good Friday Reflection

A reflective reading of the Good Friday story...

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Maundy Thursday

A reflective reading of the Maundy Thursday passages...

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Jesus, Tiger Woods, and the Big Reveal

Jesus walked the guys on the road to Emmaus through the Old Testament. ...

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Exchanging Great Expectations for Greater Ones...The Hard Way

Our disappointments are the other side of our expectations and hopes. Jesus meets us in those and sometimes blows them up for something much better. ...

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Jesus Meets the Voices in Your Head

Jesus asks the men on the road to Emmaus questions to surface their hearts and needs...

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One Thing You Can Do Today To Make God Happy with You

Jesus celebrates that the woman does what she can. That frees us to do what we can do and know that Jesus delights in it as well. ...

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Worship: What a Waste of Time & Money!

Worship is a waste of time and money unless Jesus is worth it. People will always object, and they're right. Unless Jesus is who he says he is and unless God is as good as Jesus tells us he is....

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Sometimes You Gotta' Break Things to Do the Best Thing

Sometimes you've got to break a valuable thing to do the priceless thing....

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How to Become a Murderer

The chief priests became the type of people who could kill Jesus day by day and bit by bit. ...

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Time for a Necessary Ending

Jesus has come to Jerusalem to embrace his necessary ending. We have to embrace ours, too. ...

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The Best Way to Ignore the People Around You

Ruth and Boaz are both noble people, no matter what. ...

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The Gift of Being an Abrupt Surprise

Sometimes doing the right thing is an abrupt surprise to the people around us. ...

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On Being Bossy and Risk-Taking (Not Necessarily in That Order)

Naomi gives Ruth a crazy set of instructions, Ruth rolls with it. ...

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Community, In Spite of Comfort

When the church is working well, we're family for each other. The ancient church had to be family for one another because of their level of persecution....

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Avoiding HGTV Delayed Repair

Sometimes we settle. Naomi pushes Ruth to not to. ...

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Got a Bitter Person In Your Life? Try This...

Naomi utters her first positive words in Ruth on the other side of Ruth's interaction with Boaz, as both Ruth and Boaz do courageous things that bless others. ...

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One Step to Make the Economy Roar

Participate in the blessing economy by crossing a typical social boundary or barrier. ...

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One Thing to (Re)Create A Great Culture

God has positioned us to bless others...

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As It Turns Out, God's At Work

God's at work, even in our darkest times. ...

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Monday Strong and Courageous

Faced with all sorts of uncertainty, Ruth takes a small courageous step of faith. God's Spirit makes us strong to do the same kind of work....

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What If This Was the Cure to What Ails Us?

Kinship that has morphed into friendship is demonstrated by Ruth's commitment to Naomi. ...

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When God Seems Out To Get You

God sometimes seems out to get us. Naomi and Ruth's story shows us that's not true...and we have to fight for what is....

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Grace, Even in the Darkest Hours

God's grace is available to us, even in difficult times. Sometimes we just have to slow down long enough to receive it....

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What Do You Do When You're "Without?"

What we do when our life feels mostly like we're "without" is something we can learn from. ...

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Fighting for God's Goodness, Even When Life Stinks

The book of Ruth opens up with all kinds of heartache. God is still at work, even though it doesn't look like it. ...

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Your Life, Built Right

In a sober warning to the religious leaders, Jesus warns that they will break apart on him as they continue to refuse to recognize him and receive his words. ...

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Three Things to do With Warnings in the Bible

There are lots of warning passages in the Scriptures, how do we receive them as a gift of grace rather than frown upon them as judgmental and angry? ...

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The Good News of Your Inheritance (No Violence Necessary)

The Father and the Son are devoted to sharing their inheritance with you....

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The Problem of Ignoring God's Voice

Israel ignored God's warnings, killing the prophets. We do the same thing. ...

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On Not Being Thomas Jefferson with Jesus

If we stick with Jesus long enough, we'll bump up against something that's hard for us. Stick with it, it's worth it. ...

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How to Justify Your Existence

We all want to be justified on some level. Let God's justification of us carry the day!...

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Two Guys Walk into a Temple

If our understanding of God is warped our prayers will be warped. Our prayers can help us to see as a mirror our picture of God--and help us to do some correction if necessary...

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Strong Convictions, Generous Heart

How do we have convictions and yet live generously?...

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About Your Friend Who Can't Stand Religious People

Jesus didn't get along with self-righteous religious people like many of our friends who aren't Christians. That's good news!...

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Set Free From (Mere) Religion

Jesus frees us from empty religion to a real relationship...

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God Wants You to Be Rich (Truly!)

God gives us earthly money to allow us to invest in something eternal....

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A Once in a Lifetime Investment Opportunity

Jesus challenges us to invest in eternal things...

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What Do We Do With This???

Sometimes we have to remember reading Scripture is a cross-cultural experience. Be patient, do a little digging and we might learn some things....

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The Geico Gecko Helps With Your Problems

Getting creative with problem solving takes a little step back sometimes...

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Religious People's Problem with Jesus

Jesus includes all kinds of unexpected people in his parables and in his kingdom...

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Good News About How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers

Jesus shows us how to continue to trust in God's goodness even in the midst of our disappointment with his slowness to act on our behalf. ...

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A Love Better than a Hallmark Card

Jesus invites us to pray because God is good and God is love. ...

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Fresh Resilience for Your Work Today

The persistent widow persists! How might we persist in our own works that we need to do today? ...

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What if I Don't Pray Enough?

Nobody feels like they pray enough. That's why Jesus gives us instructions to stick with it....

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The Wildly Important Take-Home, Right at the Start

Luke tells us that Jesus tells us that we should always pray and never give up!...

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The Full House

Jesus describes the heart of God to have a full house marked by the gathering of people who were previously overlooked...

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More Important Than the To-Do List

Daily life can cause us to miss out on the kingdom of God...

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Might Be Time to Get Going

It's always easier not to go, not to do things. But there's a core of our relationship with Jesus that compels us to get going. ...

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Great Banquet, Great Heart, Great Joy

Jesus invites us into the great banquet of the kingdom of God...

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Jesus: The Awkward Dinner Guest

Jesus challenges the religious and is kind to the people in the margins. How do we do at matching pitch with our audience? ...

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Clarity Never Comes from the Crowds

Clarity never comes from the crowds. Jesus shows us where it comes from and how to handle the crowd pressures. ...

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Parcheesi, Exorcisms, and the Label Makers

Jesus tells the demons to be quiet even though they're speaking truthfully about who he is. ...

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People To be Loved (Not Just Problems to be Fixed)

Jesus heals and touches people to make them well!...

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What's On the Other Side of Healing

Healing isn't just for us. It's for us to be a blessing to others. ...

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Wait: Peter's Married?!?

Peter's married--he's normal! That means the ways that Jesus intersect his life has something to teach us about how he might want to intersect ours....

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Worship & Witness: The Natural Next Step

When we experience Jesus's power and authority in our lives, there's a response of worship and witness that are natural. We need to share it....

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Joy to the World (Eleven Months Early)

Jesus is the re-humanizing agent in a world full of darkness and corruption and pain ...

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Hope That Overcomes Darkness

The demons are afraid of Jesus--so we have hope for our own battles against darkness. ...

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A Little Something About Demons

A quick look at demons in the Gospels...

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Overcoming Our Authority Issues

Good news: Jesus is the authority we can trust and we were made for....

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Jesus v. ________ For Your Heart

Self-righteousness is one of the biggest competitors for your heart. ...

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Wisdom We Won't Listen To

The prophet is rejected in his hometown--what hometown wisdom we will refuse to listen to? ...

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Jesus's Mission Meets New York, New York

Jesus's mission statement doesn't seem to include us, but that's a good thing....

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Your Joy Meets the World's Pain

Jesus's first sermon, he reads his mission statement from Isaiah...

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The Joy and Problem of Community

Jesus goes home and hangs out at the old synagogue. ...

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Cutting Through the Fog of Temptation

Memorizing Scripture helps to cut through the fog of temptation. ...

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WWJT: Why Was Jesus Tempted?

Description of why Jesus was tempted...

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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Lord's prayer, lead us not into temptation...

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Overcoming Temptation Part 2

Temptation definition, overcoming it....

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Overcoming Temptation Part 1

Jesus in the desert...

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Jesus the Trailblazer

Helping to understand why Jesus got baptized when he was without sin....

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Just Do It

The crowds obedience in baptism is a good example for us to follow...

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Starting Blocks

Starting blocks kicks off with a reflection on baptism....

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New Year, New Voice for the Connect Devotional

New year and a new voice for the Connect Devotional ...

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