Posted: October 17th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: answers to prayer, anxiety, believe in Jesus, believing God, Difficulties, discouragement, faith, fear, God is good, God's character, God's glory, God's love, God's will, God's word, Jesus, money, worry | No Comments »
It’s sunny, very windy and 80 degrees in Fayetteville, Arkansas today. But 7 years 8 months and 3 weeks ago, it was a different story. A severe ice storm had just hit. Trees were down and power was out all across Northwest Arkansas. Lots of trees were lost in that storm. Trees that did survive lost branches.
This morning, as I sat on our patio, I heard a loud rustling sound and then a tree branch fell on the driveway about fifteen feet from where I was sitting.
It’s not uncommon to find branches like this after thunderstorms or just a strong wind like we have today. These branches are the result of the ice storm in January of 2009 when they broke off from the trunk and died. It’s inevitable they’ll crash to the ground. It’s just a matter of a time. All it takes is some agitation from the wind. And yet the same wind that agitates the dead branches has no effect on the healthy ones.
In the moments leading up to His arrest, the gospel writers tell us Jesus was “troubled” and “overwhelmed with sorrow.” The same Greek word is used in both instances, it literally means:
to agitate, trouble a thing by the movement of its parts to and fro, to cause one inward commotion, take away calmness of mind, to disquiet, make restless, to strike one’s spirit with fear and dread, to render anxious or distressed
Do you ever feel that way?
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Posted: October 12th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: anxiety, believe in Jesus, believing God, confusion, Difficulties, discouragement, faith, fear, God is good, God's character, God's glory, God's love, God's will, God's word, Jesus, worry | No Comments »
As Americans, or maybe it’s just as humans, we like choices. We enjoy going out to eat, opening the menu and getting to decide what we want to eat. We get to decide whether we want soup or a salad and what kind. We can choose a baked potato, french fries or no potato at all. We can have our steak rare, medium or well-done. And if we don’t like anything on the menu, the chef may even prepare something special just for us.
To order “a la carte,” literally means “according to the card/menu.” It’s our choice. Not the server’s. Not the chef’s. Not anyone’s choice, but ours.
There’s another type of meal service though. It’s called, “Table D’hote.” It literally means, “the host’s table.” In this type of dining, the menu is mostly planned and our food choices are limited. Essentially, we eat what’s put in front of us.
Table D’hote dining isn’t worse than a la carte, it’s just different. It’s really a matter of expectations. If I sit down to eat and expect to have the freedom to order whatever I want, then I may be very disappointed by the Table D’hote experience. If, on the other hand, I know what to expect and know the chef is the best in town, then I can enjoy the experience and even look forward to whatever surprises may be served.
I think one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in life is…CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST.
Posted: October 11th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: anxiety, believe, believe in Jesus, believing God, Difficulties, discouragement, faith, fear, God's will, God's word, worry | No Comments »
If you live in America, and even if you don’t, you know we’ve got an election coming up soon. By all appearances, it’s a tight race. And both sides seem to be terrified at the thought of the other side winning.
To be honest, I find myself easily getting caught up in it. And depending on the headline, video, poll or meme, I may feel encouraged or discouraged. At peace or anxious. Hopeful or despondent.
But those up and down emotions based on the circumstances of the day are a good indicator I have my mind set on the wrong thing. Negative emotions like fear, worry, anxiety and insecurity are like the warning lights on the dashboard of my car. They’re letting me know I’ve got a mindset problem.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8)
Paul contrasts the mind controlled by the flesh with the mind controlled by God’s Spirit. The flesh is that part of us that insists on going its own way, not God’s way. It’s a desire to live life independently of God. Whereas the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to life and peace, the mind controlled by the flesh leads to death and hostility toward God.
So what does any of this have to do with a presidential election?
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Posted: September 22nd, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: answers to prayer, believe in Jesus, believing God, Difficulties, faith, fear, Holy Spirit, Jesus, prayer, seeking God, trials, worry | No Comments »
What do you do when you hit bottom? When your best efforts aren’t working?
It wasn’t long ago I found myself in a season like that. I was stuck. I was out of options. I didn’t know what to do next. I was down on myself and had lots of doubts. Not about God, but about me.
Then one morning, my wife, Robyn, said I’d been talking in my sleep the night before. My first reaction was a little bit of panic. I had no idea what I might have said.
She said it was only one word. It was loud and clear. And it didn’t sound like me.
Sounds a little freaky, huh?
She said I called out…
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Posted: September 19th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | No Comments »
**NOTE: I’ve exported over 600 posts from this site to my new one at: GREGGSTUTTS.COM If you’ve subscribed to this site, let me encourage you to subscribe at the new site. I won’t be posting here much longer.
Here is my latest post…
It wasn’t long ago that I hit bottom. I was deeply discouraged. I was disappointed in myself. I felt stuck…with no way out. And what little hope I had was fading. I’ve been there before, but this was a new low.
It’s hard for me to even say those things, because I like to have my act together. I like to be the guy who helps others, not the guy who needs help. Even though it’s the seasons of suffering and brokenness that qualify me to help others, I’d still rather not go through them.
A number of years ago, I made the mistake of being angry with God and feeling disappointed with Him when things seemed to be falling down around me. I’ve said it before, but that led me down a dark road. And it took a number of years to find my way back.
Having learned my lesson…although I hesitate to say I’ve “learned” anything. Let’s say just say I’m “learning.” So I’m learning not to blame God when things go wrong and difficulties come. But that led me to make another serious mistake.
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Posted: May 8th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: faith, God's love, God's will, God's word, marriage, mom, Mother's Day, parenting, seeking God, sex, Young Life | No Comments »