RickThomas.net 
22Oct
Ten steps to find, develop, and enjoy great friends NS

Ten steps to find, develop, and enjoy great friends

Ten steps to find, develop, and enjoy great friends NS

The best friends you could ever have are those who are truly heavenly minded. They know this world is not their home and they are not driving their stakes down, as though this is all that matters.

They are not disconnected from the realities of this life because they are always seeking who they can connect with in order to show them a better way to enjoy life, as they await the life to come.

They live in two worlds, but the accent mark is always on the world to come. To have a friend like this is to be rich. Do you want to be rich? Below are ten sequential steps to help you to find a good friend.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)

Pray – The first thing to do is make your requests known to God. Tell Him about your desire for a friend. Express to Him your need for care. Let Him know what He already knows–you need help from others.

Expect – This is not a one time prayer. Pray this way every day and throughout your day. As you think about it, ask God to bring people into your life–people who are willing to love you.

Look – If you regularly pray this way and expect God to come through, then start looking. You will find people. God will put you in front of people who have a similar burden and passion.

Agree – Let the person know what you are looking for and how you want to do life together. See if he/she has a similar passion. There are many Christians in our churches looking for this, but they are afraid to take the initiative.

Discern – You will know quickly if you have an authentic person on the line. Listen to how they talk about themselves. Are they willing to talk less about the weather or their favorite sport’s team and more about God?

Faithful are the wounds...

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21Oct
Does your church have a Gospel edge? NS

Does your church have a Gospel edge?

I am going to write from the general premise that most Christians are not cared for the way they need to be cared for–as it pertains to their sanctification. This has been my experience in caring for people through counseling.

In almost all cases when a person comes to me for care, part of the problem is how he has not been receiving proper care. Isolation is one of the primary strategies of the enemy and one of the biggest challenges for folks in trouble.

If a person can be isolated from community the...

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21Oct
Weekend Shorts - Is God harassing you? NS

Lucy meets Aslan

“…but Lucy never thought…stopped to think whether he was a friendly lion or not. She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment. And the next thing she knew was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far round his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful rich silkiness of his mane.

“Aslan, Aslan, Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. “At last.”

The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her...

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20Oct
Four essentials that authenticate your Christianity NS

Four essentials that authenticate your Christianity

How do you know you are a Christian?

I mean, apart from when Christ came to you, what are the evidences that you have been born from above (John 3:7)? While praying a prayer is essential to becoming a Christian (Romans 10:9, 13), the greater authentication is by the evidences of a transformed life.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:17 (ESV)

If Christ did take up habitation inside of you, then there should be evidence of Him being there. It is kinda like when a maid...

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19Oct
A biblical response to Halloween NS

A biblical response to Halloween

Listen to Rick read this post: Halloween, from a degree of difficulty perspective, is the most challenging of all our holidays. A few days out of each October we are asked to give mental energy to this tradition.

The good news is how this makes Halloween no different from any other thing in our lives. It is just another discipleship opportunity–a privilege the LORD gives us to bring a right response to our annual interruption.

  • The Spirit of God gives us clarity to all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  • His authoritative and sufficient...

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  • 18Oct
    What to do when counseling is not going anywhere NS

    What to do when counseling is not going anywhere

    Member Question: Can you help me with something? As a counselor, I find it difficult to terminate a counseling session because of (1) my harshness toward others in the past, (2) my hope something will eventually get through (even though I do not see much change or even see evidence of a willingness to change), and (3) the fact that at the very least the presence of this kind of counselee reminds me to pray for them.

    At the same time, I cannot help feeling that in a...

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    17Oct
    Any Christian can counsel. Are you counseling NS

    Any Christian can counsel. Are you counseling?

    One of the more significant unintended consequences of the biblical counseling movement is the idea that counseling others is for a select number of Christians.

    God has blessed the biblical counseling movement over the past forty years. One of the problems with the unprecedented growth of biblical counseling is we forgot to tell the church that counseling others is for everyone, not just for the few (Romans 15:14).

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    15Oct
    Every word out of your mouth presents a picture of Christ to others NS

    Every word out of your mouth presents a picture of Christ to others

    Pretend your tongue was a paintbrush and your heart was a bucket full of paint (words). You dip your brush into your bucket so you can paint a picture on a canvas for the world to see. That picture reveals your relationship with God and has an impact on all who experience it.

    My heart overflows with a pleasing theme…my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. – Psalm 45:1 (ESV)

    The ascension of Christ allowed Him to step out of time and space and to sit at the right hand of the Father. He...

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    14Oct
    Do you know how to listen It takes skill to listen to well. NS

    A good listener listens on two levels. Are you a good listener?

    In order to listen effectively you have to listen at two levels. You listen to what is being said and you listen to what is not being said. There are two reasons you want to do this.

  • You want the person who is talking to you to experience your care through active listening.
  • You want to help the person by listening beyond what is being said: you want to hear their presuppositions, motives, and thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13).
  • Your hope is to discern what the LORD discerns (John...

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