Praying

Joel Plantinga

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 Pray without ceasing. (v. 17) “Well, I guess I can at least pray for you.” I’ve heard these words many times when one is trying to help another, only to find that there is little that can physically be done for that person. The sentiment is nice but reflects the idea that prayer is a last resort when our own heroic efforts fall short. Thessalonica was an important city in its time. It was a hub …

Connected

Joel Plantinga

Read: Hebrews 10:19-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (v. 24) In an episode of NBC’s hit series The Office, Dwight was challenged to do something for a co-worker needing a favor in the best interests of their team. He responded: “We’re no more a team than the people staying in the same hotel are a team!” Just because we attend worship in the same building at the same time doesn’t …

Willing to Try

Joel Plantinga

Read: Numbers 13:1-3, 17-33 Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it. (v. 30) The story of the spies is so applicable to today. The new land God was leading his people to was beautiful, abundant, and rich. It was also filled with trials, trouble, and temptations. Most of the spies were having none of it. “We can’t do it,” they said. But Caleb and Joshua saw something else. They saw …

Mentoring

Joel Plantinga

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-13 And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (v. 2) A book I read about President Harry S. Truman described the moment President Franklin D. Roosevelt died and Truman ascended to the presidency. Roosevelt, despite numerous health concerns, never really included his vice president in discussions, leaving Truman out of the loop. The day he was sworn into office, …

Devoted

Joel Plantinga

Read: Acts 2:42-47 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (v. 42) When I teach our church’s class on financial management, I always feel a tinge of regret when I get to the lesson on investment. You learn that if you start investing $100 a month from age 18 until 67, you’ll likely earn more than $1.5 million! What looks good on a chart doesn’t always feel so …

Welcoming

Joel Plantinga

Read: Matthew 5:43-48 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? (v. 47) Disneyland is known as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” They offer more than rides. They offer an experience. Everything that happens there is part of the plan to give you that experience of happiness. In a Forbes magazine article, communication specialist Carmine Gallo describes the process Disney uses in order to train their employees to be “Assertively Friendly.” They will go …