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Posts Tagged ‘life’

decision-making

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22

Life can be hard to navigate and it seems to always be changing. What felt right yesterday is now disjointed. The plans we have been holding onto for years shift to new possibilities. Part of living this life is making decisions and trying to navigate some kind of unseen path in front of us.

The Bible tells us a simple but profound truth that is key to moving forward in success. Wise counsel can make all the difference a tomorrow that is full of freedom instead of pain.

At the same time, I see many people skipping this step and just trying to figure things out for themselves. We are raised to be mature adults and take care of ourselves but this often leads to us making life-changing moves with no more insight than our own.

Keep in mind, I’m talking wise counsel not people trying to control you or make your decisions for you. However, we all make better decisions in life with additional insight and knowledge.

With this established, I want to share a handful of people that may be in your life that you can go to for wise counsel. It can make all the difference.

Your parents – I realize that not all of us have caring and mature parents but many of us do. If you are blessed in this area, lean into the benefit of that gift.

Good parents have decades of life experience you do not have yet (especially if you are in your teens through your thirties). Good parents would happily die in the place of their children and want nothing but the best for them. Good parents would love to give you wise counsel for your next steps.

Licensed Counselors – While I do admit that finding a good counselor takes a little effort, I don’t understand why others fight this one so much (usually it’s a pride issue). We all go through times in our lives, marriages, families and the like where we just don’t know how to move forward. A trained counselor can help give new tools to add to your options.

When we have a physical need, we don’t hesitate calling in the doctor (if you want to be healthy). We shouldn’t be so resistant to getting professional help.

Your pastor – Speaking of professional help, I am amazed how many people come to me to share they have made a huge decision in their life (especially spiritually) but did not come at any point to discuss it during the process of coming to that point.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ego filled, control freak but there have been many times someone is laying out a decision they have made and there are warning signs left and right in it. Then they add in the words “God has laid it on my heart to do this.”

The challenge is it is a tougher conversation at that point than if they said “Here’s where things seem to be pointing, what do you think?”. Sometimes the door is not open for any conversation at all. Often times the plans stumble and fall and I see good people get hurt.

Many pastors want God’s best for you. Many pastors have a couple decades of experiences not just from their life but the lives they work with. Many pastors know more than you do about some of the issues you are working with the impressions of. Many pastors know the Bible well and can advise as such. Pastors also don’t have the emotion in the situation that you do that sometimes clouds our judgment in life.

People you want to be like – If you are making a decision in a particular area of your life, find someone who you respect that are doing well in that area. If it’s financial, talk to someone who is doing well in their stewardship. If it’s physical, find someone who moved into a healthier lifestyle be making new decisions. If it’s spiritual, go to someone who is spiritually mature and following God.

The truth is that we (like teenagers) often go to peers who are at the same place in life as we are. Humans tend to have views on everything and happy to share them. However, that is not the same as wise counsel.

People who are in the same place of life that you are tend to make lousy leaders for you. Take the time to find someone a little further up the path.

The Bible – Wait! What? Why is this last on the list?

It’s not. It is the list.

You should start, stay in, and come back to the Bible for counsel. “Wise” counsel matches up with the Bible each and every time. You can get advice from Christians (and yes, non-Christians) but it all needs to be held up to the light of the Bible to see if it matches up.

There are those who will get ahead in this life with worldly wisdom for a season but a long-term blessed life comes from wisdom that matches the Word of God.

Emotions and shortcuts lead us to muck and mire. Wise counsel helps us to succeed. If I can help you in any way, let me know. It’s the least I can do with all the wise counsel others have given to me who are further down the road than I am.

Blessings!

Pastor Tom Hypes

tsflife.com

 

 

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When Jesus was speaking about John the Baptist, He said “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John.” (Luke 7:28)

What made John the Baptist so special? Is it simply some extra blessing that God put upon on Him or is it a life that you and I can choose ourselves today? Could it be possible that his choices and outlook are something we can adopt that can lead us to a greater way of living full of purpose and passion?

As we enter week two of our study in the gospel of John, we explore these questions as well as learn more about Jesus Himself …. the LIGHT and LIFE we desire.

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Some people claim to speak what Jesus stood for but don’t match up to His words. Some people claim to say what Jesus believed but then find their Jesus is quite different than the Jesus of the Bible. Some people have walked away from Jesus based on what they have seen or experienced by others but never really got to know Jesus of Nazareth for who He really is.
Maybe it’s time to stop assuming you know Jesus and spend some time hearing His words and seeing His actions.

The Shepherd’s Fellowship is starting a new study this week through the gospel of John. John was one of Jesus’ best friends and an apostle. The reason he wrote this book is so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20: 30-31

John knew he was writing to people who either knew little about the real Jesus and/or where leery of His claims. This time together will give you a chance to get a first hand account of the One who many worship, many deny, and many still seek.

As we start our study, John lays out the deeper purpose of his gospel as well as the two main themes we will see repeated time and again. We will explore three errors that the world thinks of Jesus and refocus ourselves into the truths taught as we dig into John together.

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As we finish up a three week focus on partaking in our life’s mission of the Great Commission, we dive into one of the strongest tools we have to share hope with others… our stories.

We do believe in Jesus Christ simply because we were told to but because we have experienced Him as well. Testimony after testimony of how hope, power and peace through Christ have made a difference in our lives. Testimonies that serve as proof of how hope is real and can change your life as well!

For some of us, we are in the middle of building a testimony right now. We have come to places in our lives where we know we need Jesus to move but fear letting go or have other blocks in our way. Come be encouraged on what to do in those moments today to bring a testimony of change tomorrow!

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As we continue to look at living a life on mission (the Great Commission), we look at a key time that Jesus sent a group of people out into the world. As we look at His heart and instructions, there is a great deal to learn that apply to our life today.

Many of us have people in our lives who do not know the Lord that are on our hearts. If we don’t, we should. Join us as we explore what we can put into place starting now to be the light in the lives of those around us.

As we continue to look at living a life on mission (the Great Commission), we look at a key time that Jesus sent a group of people out into the world. As we look at His heart and instructions, there is a great deal to learn that apply to our life today.

Many of us have people in our lives who do not know the Lord that are on our hearts. If we don’t, we should. Join us as we explore what we can put into place starting now to be the light in the lives of those around us.

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Did you ever wish that God would just send you a letter addressing your deepest concerns and fears? Did you ever think it would be nice if He just penned you thoughts of what to do next to be able to live a life with a mission that’s more than just getting through the day?

In this study, we will be exploring some letters written doing just that from the book of Revelation! What we often times look at as something scary or just about the future has a lot to say about our here and now. We pray you will be part of this time with us as we explore truths that are right in front of us that we can grasp, adopt, and live that take this life beyond the daily grind.

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Obedience is not a popular topic for most. This is especially true for some who have seen the concept used in corrupt ways within church environments to control and to hurt others.

However, James seems to view this topic in a different light. He holds that if we view obedience the way God does, it’s life giving! It’s freedom! It’s foundational!

The world has had enough of “religion” and hypocrites, James agrees. However, he does more than sit back and complain about it. He offers us a handful of three tier plans to fix the problem in the world, in the church, and in ourselves.

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