Archives For Kelly Rhoades

Not Giving UpStatistically, this is the time of year when most people abandon the goals they set just a few weeks ago, giving into the idea that change is either hopeless or just too hard. We often give different names to the reasons for our failures:

Time – usually not enough of it.
Tough – the task is just too hard.
Terrible – to describe how you feel on the new diet, wake/sleep pattern, budget, etc.

The answer for most of these problems is simple though: maintaining consistency. Simple concept, yes, but difficult practice. The behaviors we repeat often define the reality of our lives. Aristotle may have said it best when he said:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle

You have probably heard that a habit can be created or broken in a matter of just 21 days. But more recent research has shown that this isn’t really accurate. The study reveals that the actual number is 66 days with variation of between 18 and 254 days depending on the specific habit being developed. Yes, some habits are harder to form,…

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HeartI tweeted earlier this week that:
“True believers are marked by their love. It flows from God through men and women to the world. Want to impact the world? #LoveSomebody”
I whole heartedly believe this is true. Last week I sat down with my friend Joel, a man I have much respect for whose love for God and others cannot help but splash out in the world around him. He shared a very moving story with me that I immediately knew had to be shared with our church. Please take a few minutes and watch this powerful video that tells the beautiful story of a simple act of compassion.
Sometimes we fail to do what we could because we feel it would be insignificant and of little effect. The truth is that while the small actions usually fail to garner publicity, they often have the greatest impact.
Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)
 41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
 43 Jesus called his disciples to him…

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HospitalityI recently spent a few hours in a Starbucks in a large town far away from home doing some work for church and enjoying an exquisite Eggnog Latte. As always I positioned myself in a place that allowed me to watch the door. I saw that each and every person who entered immediately scanned the room before taking more than a few steps in. Many times they even stopped all together before entering. At first I thought they were looking for faces they knew, but then I realized that while that might be a part of it, they were really looking for something much more basic. They were looking for a welcome.

So I decided to do what I always do back home in my small town, I just began greeting everyone from my seat. To some I would say hello, to most I just offered a smile. And with the exception of one young man who may have already had too much caffeine, everyone smiled back some even took the time for a kindly good bye gesture upon leaving.

Of course as I thought about this experience I related this to…

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BurnoutIn my early days in ministry I was full of excitement and passion. It seemed that my energy was boundless as I worked as a youth pastor, went to school, and managed to work another part time construction job to pay the bills. As I grew older and God blessed my wife and I with children things began to get more complicated. My energy seemed to wane and I found myself stressed out, burned out, and coasting. The passion and excitement I had in those early days wasn’t gone, but it was on it’s way. I went through a lot of  pain, soul searching, prayer, and guidance from mentors before I identified the cause. I’ll admit I still find myself struggling to maintain balance in these areas. Thankfully I have men in my life who will point out when I need to step back and readjust a few things in my life. Take a look and see if any of these are issues you struggle with as well.
1. Let other people determine your worth.
No matter how many people tell me how great the message was on Sunday, just one negative…

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BibleOur church is one of over 4,500 that are participating in the 40 Days in the Word campaign. One reason I believe this campaign to spend 40 days focused on God’s word is both timely and needed is because America has a Biblical illiteracy problem.

In the land of the Gideon’s, people aren’t getting the Good Book, but it’s not lack of Bibles that has caused the problem. It could be that there is just too much saturation.

The familiar observation that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: the Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year. 

-Daniel Radosh

25 million bibles are sold annually in the US or if that number sounds too obscure think about it like this: 6 bibles are sold for every 1 baby born in the US each year. 91% of American households own at least 1 Bible and the average number of bibles per household is 4. It has been estimated that we spend over half a billion dollars every year on Bibles in the US alone. Perhaps the Bible has simply become too common. Yet all…

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Mission ShiftFor the last week I have enjoyed reading several essays concerning missions in, Mission Shift, the new book edited by Ed Stetzer and David J. Hesselgrave. This blog post will be one of many as part of a conversation on missiology that I will be participating over the next few weeks. The first group of essays focuses on defining mission.

Defining mission in the new world where the muddy waters of missiology swirl has been interesting to say the least. For me growing up in a rural church, the word mission usually related to a special speaker, an offering, some pictures of tropical fauna, and occasionally some really weird food.

Charles Van Engen’s survey of some of the ways mission has been defined in the church through the ages and how those definitions affect how we approach the topic today certainly fueled fruitful debate. He takes his readers on a historical hop scotch through three different eras and how the term mission was defined and evolved through the ages. I agree with his assertion that understanding the mission of all believers as being “sent…

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