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Don’t Walk Away From The Real Thing

By Don Loftis | 06.20.18

It is always easier to start something than to complete it.  Diets, Bible reading plans, marathons, and college degrees are all examples.  It has been said that anyone can get married, but staying married a lifetime is quite an accomplishment.   After 65 years of marriage an elderly man was asked what the secret was to their successful marriage.  He said, “You know there were some really tough times along the way.  A couple of times the easy thing would have been to quit.  But every time I looked into her eyes, I knew she was the real thing.  She was the one that I loved.”   During Jesus’ ministry there were many who followed Him.  Some among the crowds must have been curiosity seekers and others hoping to witness or experience a miracle.  After [...]

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Changing The World

By Don Loftis | 06.13.18

Sometime ago, I was visiting with a mother whose children were playing in a different area of the house.  As we were talking, I heard this familiar dialog: “Quit,” … “Give it back.” … “I had it first!” … “No, I did!” … “Stop!!!”  Mom, in a very firm tone, said, “Children, play nicely.”  Amazingly, the fuss was over and peace prevailed — for a while.   Kindness in our treatment of others is an essential element in building good relationships at every age.  The Bible speaks clearly: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).  “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3:12).  “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor. 13:4).  Yet, having read these (and [...]

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Whose Fault Was It?

By Don Loftis | 06.06.18

A number of years ago, noted radio commentator Paul Harvey told the strange story of Eric Edmonds.  This Virginian suffered from severe obesity and consulted with a surgeon, who surgically stapled Eric’s stomach to limit the quantity of food he could eat.  However, on the second day after surgery he found a refrigerator in the hospital and ate so much food, that he tore the staples loose.  A few weeks later, Eric sued the hospital for having a refrigerator that was unlocked.   Eric copied a pattern of blaming others that went on often in the Old Testament.  Adam sinned and told the Lord that it was because of the woman that had been given to him (Gen. 3:12).  When Moses discovered the golden calf that his brother had made, Aaron said, “You know the [...]

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Frustration Or Opportunity

By Don Loftis | 05.30.18

Mark’s Gospel account (chapter 6) records an amazing event in the ministry of Jesus.  A short time before, Jesus had sent the apostles on a limited mission to preach about the coming kingdom.  They have returned and have shared the details of their various encounters.  Things were so hectic that they did not even have time to eat.  Jesus told them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.”  However, His plan did not work.  The crowds saw them getting in the boat, and they walked around the Sea of Galilee, meeting them at the shore just as they landed.   Lots of times our plans do not work out.  Vacations get cancelled, meals are burned or delayed.  Door bells and phone calls can change schedules in the matter of [...]

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Getting Out Of The Doldrums

By Don Loftis | 05.23.18

Have you ever experienced a time of discouragement or apathy?  Maybe your spiritual life seemed stagnant or uninspired.  In more common terms, you were bored and life seemed mired in a deep rut.   Some have used the term “doldrums” to describe these common feelings.  The phrase was initially a nautical expression used to describe the sailing conditions near the equator.  Due to chronic low pressure systems, winds would die down and the steering currents would weaken.  This left sailing ships of the 1700’s and 1800’s stranded in the water for days, sometimes weeks.  Ships stuck in these waters were said to be “in the doldrums.”   While life cycles are inevitable, often shaped by external forces like health, there are some things we can do to get out of the doldrums.  First, let’s count [...]

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The Imperative Of Helping Each Other

By Don Loftis | 05.16.18

In 1990 twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, were born.  While twins typically share a very close relationship, these two were incredibly close, as in conjoined.  They were connected from the shoulders down.  They had separate hearts, lungs, stomachs, and brains.  However they shared a liver, bladder and both small and large intestines.  They have very individualized tastes for food and clothing.  They can fly on a plane with one ticket, but require two passports, if they travel outside of the country.   The key to their success and happiness has been their ability to work together.  Abby controls the right arm and leg, while Brittany has sole control of the left side.  They have to work in tandem to walk or run.  They have to compromise regarding times to eat and sleep.  Their willingness to [...]

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New Relationship; New Behaviors

By Don Loftis | 05.09.18

On May 19 the long anticipated wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place at Windsor Castle.  For better than a year, the couple has been at the center of news reporters from the tabloids to CNN.  Royalty will do that.   When Meghan officially marries into the royal family, there are some new guidelines she must adhere to.  She cannot sign any autographs or have any personal presence on social media.  She must control her emotions — no public display of affection (kiss, hug or handholding) with Harry and no crying in public.  She cannot vote or express any partisan political view.  Meghan cannot accept money from any type of work, cannot privately play Monopoly, and is forbidden to join any church other than the Protestant Anglican Church.  In formal settings, she [...]

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We Never Walk Alone

By Don Loftis | 04.25.18

There is a Wisconsin city named Imalone.  No one knows for sure how it received this unusual name.  Possibly the founder had no close friends or moved there to escape problems elsewhere.  One theory suggests that a delivery man asked if anyone in the store knew the name of the little town, so he could put it on the invoice, and the clerk simply said, “I’m a lone.”   The reality is that many people in 2018 are alone.   Their loneliness may stem from the death of a close family member or an introverted personality that keeps them from initiating relationships.  They may be the victims of a crime, abuse, or rejection. In the midst of a big city or a crowded mall, they still feel alone.   As Christians, we receive the promise that [...]

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Don’t Stand Up Too Soon

By Don Loftis | 04.04.18

In 1957 Willie Shoemaker was one of the best young jockeys in the world of horse racing.  Having already won one Kentucky Derby, that year he was riding one of the favorites, Gallant Man.  He was leading the race until passing the sixteenth pole, he mistook it for the finish line.  Standing up in the stirrups for just a moment slowed the horse enough that Iron Liege defeated him by a nose.   The ability to finish strong is a virtue in school, business and sports.  There are times we must push through adversity and even failure in order to achieve real success.  The baseball pennant is not won in the first month of the season, but after all 162 games are played.   Even in living for the Lord, we can “stand up too [...]

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Who Am I?

By Don Loftis | 03.28.18

We often associate lost identity with some form of dementia.  However, many in the prime of their lives need to ask the very personal question, “Who am I?”.  C.S. Lewis was aware of this struggle when he wrote, “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul.  You have a body.”   Too often we focus on the pursuit of worldly things.  We invest in our careers and hobbies.  We define success by the size of our houses and the security of our retirement account.  We spend money on attractive clothes, cosmetic surgery and high powered vitamins.  God gave us our bodies, and we should care for them and use them to glorify the Lord (I Cor. 6:19-20), but there is something more important.   Jesus told a story about a man whose farming operation [...]

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