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By Dee Brestin

Idol Lies by Dee Brestin

At the root of every destructive behavior is a deception. We may think that our identity is in Christ, but in reality it may be in the success of our marriage, mothering, or ministry. We may think that God is our refuge, but in reality, we may find refuge in friendship, food, or Facebook. Seeing the lie is half the battle in being set free. These are deceptions that are common among Christian women, though they certainly can snare men as well.

My Friends Can Be My Security

Women are the relational gender and, generally speaking, their friendships are more intimate, more enduring, and more satisfying than the friendships of men.

But the dark side is that women can begin to expect their friends to be what only God can be. When Christy’s best friend, Brooke, began to be less available because of a new boyfriend, Christy felt avoided as if she had the flu. A wise friend gave her the name of a good Christian counselor, and Christy finally decided to go. She remembers the opening conversation verbatim:

“Christy, you became a…

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Apps

A few weeks ago, on a day out with my wife, we ended up at the local home improvement store. Eighty-four aisles ranging from showers to shrubs greeted us with the express purpose of expanding my to-do list. We’re in the midst of tackling some much-needed repairs and updates on our home, and as we walked from home and garden to plumbing. then into electrical and paint and appliances, the list grew. This gave me the perfect opportunity that comes every time a home renovation needs to be done: the excuse to purchase a new tool.

Tools are designed to make the job easier. The right tool is often vital to getting the job done right.  It is the same with small group ministry leadership as it is with home remodel and repair. Tools assist and empower us to do more and do it better.

But what are the right tools? As I stood in the midst of tool world at that home improvement store, I realized a lot of tools might work, might help, but what is really going to improve my odds for success? I find it the same with leading a growing ministry….

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I’ve often said that your network is way more important than your net worth.

God created us for relationship, and I believe that connecting with people is powerful.

I would love for our team here at Pastors.com to get to know more about you so we can better serve you. It will take less than a minute for you to complete the survey below.

Thank you, and God bless you!

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Mountain View

William Rainey once said, “Why didn’t somebody ever tell me that I could become a Christian and work on all my doubt afterward?” The fact is, every little step you take toward Christ moves you further away from the four “D”s — doubt, discouragement, depression, and despair.

We’re all moving, but sometimes we move slowly. Are you struggling this Easter with one of these “D” issues?

Are you doubting God’s love because you’re in a crisis? “God! I’ve just found out I have a terminal illness! Don’t you love me?”

Are you discouraged because you don’t think he cares for you? “God! Don’t you see the trouble I’m in? Don’t you care?”

Are you depressed because life has not turned out the way you thought it would? “God! My spouse is leaving me! Can’t you stop this from happening?”

Are you despairing because you don’t think he’s forgiven you for your latest sin? “God! I still feel guilty. Haven’t you forgiven me?”

The Bible makes this statement in 1 John 5:13: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (NASB).

There’s…

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High Voltage

I had been in ministry long enough to hear the stories. It’s a familiar narrative these days: pastors disqualified from ministry due to moral failure. For years I had listened to devastating tales of infidelity and broken families in the lives of fellow pastors. My immediate reaction, in all honesty, was typically swift judgment. I mentally distanced myself from such pastors, believing I was cut from a different sort of spiritual cloth than such sinners. How on earth could this happen? How could anyone, let alone a pastor, ever do such a thing? These stories, while far too commonplace, were quite removed from my immediate life and church world. I couldn’t imagine any of my pastoral peers ever experiencing such a fall from grace.

Then it happened. I remember the phone call vividly. A dear friend, a fellow pastor, called me to confess his infidelity and ask for prayer amid the consequences he was going to face from the leadership of his church. As he talked I felt numb. The shock of the moment gripped me in a way I had never experienced. I knew this man. I thought I knew him well….

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The word “ministry” contains within it the idea of service, and to some it may come as an unexpected surprise that even ministers struggle with the pull of seeking status or striving illegitimately after ambition as we pursue our careers  –  uh, I mean callings. However, the fact that we are ministers does not remove us from a world in which both nature and nurture often orient us in another way. In fact, having been so oriented toward the pursuit of self, we might even be prone to ignore and justify it in our ministries for Christ. In Servant of All, Craig C. Hill examines the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament regarding leadership, providing us with a biblical call to examine the way we view ourselves and ministry.

Dr. Hill, who is dean and professor of New Testament at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, laments that those studying the Bible often do so with an eye toward theology, thus missing the practical teaching related to the doctrinal…

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In a few days, we’ll sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. Some will travel to see extended family while others may enjoy the celebration at home. As we prepare the turkeys, pies, and way too many side dishes, I wanted to share several tools I’m grateful we have at our disposal. These help us share the Gospel and make disciples in our communities and around the world.

#1 – The ability to communicate to so many

We can send mass emails out to those in our congregations, post a sermon video on our website and promote it via social media, receive prayer requests through our church’s mobile application, and much more.

We live in an age where we can, in an instant, send a message that can reach people around the world. That provides both an incredible opportunity and a great responsibility for how we leverage those communication tools.

#2 – The wealth of information and ideas online

I often conduct research for an article I’m writing or program I’m developing. With so many church and business leaders now having their own blogs and podcasts, we can quickly learn from those who’ve been there/done that in…

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Shortly after beginning my first pastorate, I was called upon to help a family in the midst of making decisions about declining medical treatment. Realizing that there was some difference of opinion among family members, as well as uncertainty about what the hospital would be willing to accommodate, I knew that I would need to have clarity with regard to what my pastoral counsel should be. I would also need to be able to communicate that counsel compassionately and convincingly to a hurting family.

Of course, I had thought about those issues in the abstract, but being confronted with a real situation was different, and I have to confess that I initially felt completely lost. Fortunately, a former seminary professor answered my late night call and walked me through the issues, helping me to apply biblical truth to my specific situation. While I am grateful for that professor, it occurs to me that I could have also been helped by a book such as Introducing Christian Ethics, a newly published book written…

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Click here to get 'The Journey Continues, Participants Guide Set 5-8'Recovery is an ongoing journey, so we’ve created The Journey Continues, Participant’s Guide Set to help you and your congregation discover deeper freedom from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits.

These guides give you the tools you need to help your church…

  • Take bold new steps forward in God’s grace.
  • Grow in Christ-like character.
  • Continue to restore and develop healthy relationships.

This bundle includes participant guides 5-8 for the Celebrate Recovery Program:

Guide 5: Moving Forward In God’s Grace
Guide 6: Asking God to Grow My Character
Guide 7: Honoring God By Making Repairs
Guide 8: Living Out the Message of Christ

Pastors John Baker and Johnny Baker will help you continue the Celebrate Recovery journey with four new participant’s guides that cover 25 lessons. The purpose of these new lessons is to help people to grow and maintain momentum as they continue to move forward in their recoveries.

Order your The Journey Continues, Participant’s Guide Set today and lead your church toward the future God has for them!

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unnamedIt doesn’t matter how much you work out, how healthy you eat or how much you sleep, if you’re not feeding and exercising your spirit you’ll run out of gas. Yes, we must take care of our bodies, but we must not neglect to re-energize our spirit. And the only way to do that is through the Word of God!

That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life. Created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, this first-of-its-kind resource guides you through everything you need to know to “charge your batteries” the way God intended. Step-by-step, Re-Energize Your Life takes you on a journey of restoration, rest and renewal.

Re-Energize Your Life shows you how to:

  • Renew your spirit by letting Jesus lighten your load
  • Reduce stress in 3 easy steps
  • Recognize how to live a balanced life
  • Rediscover what matters most
  • Re-activate your passion and purpose

The new year is just around the corner, so what better time to join with pastors across America and Re-Energize Your Life!

I want to Re-energize my Life! »

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I wish I had loved more.…
I wish I had been smarter about money.…

I wish I had thought about God more.…
 
We all have regrets about the past. Many of them come from our attempts to fulfill unmet longings. Dave and Jon Ferguson call this back and forth between longing and regret the Sorry Cycle—and they want to help us escape it.

In Starting OverDave and Jon show us how to recognize specific regrets and then release them to God as we learn to see our regrets as opportunities to start over. Finally, we can see God redeem our regrets as he takes the worst things in our lives and uses them for a greater good.

Your regrets don’t need to keep you from the joy God has for your life. As you apply the recognize-release-redeem process to your financial, relational, and personal regrets, you will find new freedom in living out your God-given dreams.

Fall in Love with Your Regrets

It sounds impossible. How can we learn to love our mistakes? Instead, we go over and over them in our mind. Could…

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Books

Re-Energize Your Life

pb304801_grandeBy Rick Warren

It doesn’t matter how much you work out or how healthy you may eat, if you’re not feeding and exercising your spirit … you’re going to feel run down and tired – you’ll run out of gas. You’ve got to do more than just take care of your body. You’ve got to energize your spirit! And the best way to do that is with God’s Word! That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life!

In this first-of-its-kind guide, created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, you will learn everything you need to know to re-energize your life the way God intended. Step by step, you will begin a journey of restoration and renewal. It’s a hands-on guide you take at your own pace. No need to rush! In fact, we encourage you to stop and linger where you want to spend more time. You’ll benefit from biblical wisdom and learn how to apply it to your life in practical ways.

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Who Moved My Pulpit? Leading Change in the Church

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