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Contentment Is Possible

By Don Loftis | 10.31.18

Contentment is a rare commodity in our American culture.  Professional advertisers spend millions of dollars to maximize our desires for things we don’t have — cars, clothes, bodies, cruises, food.  In addition, they seek to create guilt, if we are not giving our children every social, academic, recreational or spiritual opportunity.  How can a person be content, when their life is “missing so much?”   This conflict makes the reading of Philippians 4:11-13 even more difficult.  How could Paul be equally content in times of prosperity and adversity?  How could he face being full and hungry with the same assurance?   The answer was simple; he had learned to rely fully on the Lord’s power in all circumstances.   A group of former students visited a retired professor and poured out their career stresses and frustrations.  [...]

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Are We Really Peacemakers?

By Don Loftis | 10.17.18

We certainly live in a culture that is experiencing serious conflict and growing divisions.  One person described Americans as “cats in a room full of rocking chairs”.  We seem to be twitching our tales and hoping someone will rock on us, so we can squeal and scratch.  We see this in domestic disputes, formal divorces, dueling politicians, business competitors, and even ill-tempered preachers.   Yet, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”  The apostle Paul told Christians in Rome, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”   Historians have shown that President Ulysses Grant sought to facilitate genuine reconciliation between the North and the South after the Civil War.  Despite having led the northern armies, he became close friends [...]

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Moving Past Our Anger

By Don Loftis | 10.10.18

In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published her classic work entitled Death and Dying.  In it she posed five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  While everyone’s grief is different and there is no defined timetable, these five components are typically present.   Anger is one of the most interesting and explosive.  It may be directed toward the medical staff, “If you all had acted faster…”  It might be toward the deceased, especially if they had ignored repeated warnings or chose to take their own life.  Anger toward God is not uncommon, “Why didn’t you spare my child?”  Feelings of guilt may even lead to anger directed at ourselves.   A lady whose husband had unexpectedly died was having a very difficult time with her grieving process.  Every day she took fresh flowers [...]

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Yield The Right Of Way

By Don Loftis | 09.26.18

We are familiar with the triangular-shaped road signs that state “YIELD” in all capital letters.  The message is for drivers to allow other approaching traffic to have the right of way and to go first.   Early September 1986, a Russian ocean liner with over 1200 people on board was moving through the Black Sea.  A freighter transporting oats was crossing the same water.  For 45 minutes the two captains were aware that they were on a collision course.  Despite some communications, neither captain ordered a change of course until it was too late.  The freighter broadsided the ocean liner leading to the sinking of the ship and the loss of 398 lives.  Both captains were arrested for their stubborn refusal to yield.   The same mentality leads husbands and wives to experience chronic conflict.  [...]

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Don’t Sell Other People’s Stuff

By Don Loftis | 09.19.18

Matthew and Maria Colonna-Emmanual discovered a rusted metal box in their shrubbery.  Thinking it was an old cable box, they simply opened it out of curiosity.  However, they discovered that it contained $52,000 in cash, as well as several pieces of jewelry.  Since the box contained the name of the original owner, they tracked them down and returned the lost box.  The original owners were quite thankful but equally amazed that the couple returned it.  When asked why they didn’t keep it, Maria quickly responded, “It wasn’t ours.”   There are at least two ways we can take and use what doesn’t belong to us.  Many people steal items and sell them to a pawn shop or list them on e-Bay.  The process may not even be as scandalous as breaking and entering a home.   [...]

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