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Judge Others or Pray?

Judge Others or Pray? by Todd Shupe “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your

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Obstacles to Joy

Obstacles to Joy by Todd Shupe  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have

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Blog Archives…

  • Know Your Enemy

    Know Your Enemy by Todd Shupe“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).  Coaches of all sports will study game film of their upcoming opponent. Their goal is to understand their opponent and the better you understand them, the better you make the necessary adjustments and preparation to defeat your opponent. It’s much the same in the game of life.  We often mistakenly label our neighbor as our enemy when they are not our enemy at all. You may wonder how can that be – my neighbor deliberately does things to upset...
  • Water Under The Bridge

    Water Under The Bridge by Todd Shupe “This is just water under the bridge.” If you can say this one day during trying times and mean it, know that you’ve achieved something that so many of us strive for. Forgiveness is a skill that takes time to learn and patience to practice when offering it upon others. That’s because the world isn’t always fair and gut-wrenching situations can’t immediately be solved with forgiveness. However, time heals all wounds and those who practice this trait will feel a lot better than walking around all day with a grudge hung around your neck like...
  • How To Turn Bad into Good

    How To Turn Bad into Good by Todd Shupe I think we all have been the recipient of bad behavior by others. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you or a dear friend was unable to keep a secret. My heart breaks for those that have been incarcerated for decades for a crime and then are finally released when DNA evidence, which was not available at the time of the trial, proves they are innocent. The Biblical story of Joseph is a powerful example of God turning bad into good. As you may recall, Joseph was the youngest of Jacob’s children. The oldest son...
  • A Perversion of a Gift from God

    A Perversion of a Gift from God by Todd Shupe I recently heard an interview with Rev. Levi Lusco. He was discussing his new book “Swipe Right.” The dating app Tinder provides pictures and basic information that people “looking to date” have uploaded of themselves. If the user swipes to the left of a particular image, then that means he or she is not interested. However, if you swipe to the right, that means you are interested and if the other person does the same thing to your picture, you are very likely going to have sex with them very soon.You may...
  • The Battle Within Yourself

    The Battle Within Yourself by Todd Shupe Perhaps there is no part of the human body that is more necessary to life – but as poorly understood – as the human brain. My son has autism and as a child had several CT scans of his brain that all appeared “normal.” However, there is clearly something unique that is occurring in his brain that serves to limit his speech and overall development. Both of my children are blessings from God and I treasure them. His diagnosis of autism some 10 years ago has set me on a path of intense interest in...
  • A Lesson On Patience From A Rock Song

    A Lesson On Patience From A Rock Song? by Todd Shupe I loved the rock singer Tom Petty. One of my favorite songs by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers was called “The Waiting.” The chorus is: “The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you see one more card. You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part” I totally agree that waiting is the hardest part,” says Todd Shupe. “We spend much of lives waiting. We all wait in line at the grocery store, doctor’s office, and on the phone for customer service.” These...
  • Dealing With Your Own Judas

    Dealing With Your Own Judas by Todd Shupe Perhaps one of the most memorable stories of the New Testament is the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.  Jesus was also denied three times by Peter.  In fact, all the disciples fled for their own safety after Christ was arrested.    We know as humans that others will disappoint us and we will surely disappoint them.  We also know that as Christian we are called to forgiveness.  However, betrayal takes on a whole new meaning when the person that betrays you is a close friend or family member.  Now, the situation has become personal and...
  • The Power of the Mind

    The Power of the Mind by Todd Shupe I think we are all pretty much aware of the importance of good mental health and the power of positive thinking.  However, the importance of our thoughts also has a profound effect on our spiritual health.    This point is made clear in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  God is clearlyencouraging us to focus our thoughts on things that are good and decent.  This is important because the...
  • Thank God for THE False Accusation

    Thank God for THE False Accusation by Todd Shupe Have you ever falsely accused somebody of something and later discovered that your accusation was false?  Perhaps you accused your spouse of eating the last slice of pie only later to find out that it was one of the kids?  I think we all have both made and received false accusations.  It is part of the human condition. Rarely do we give thanks for false accusations.  The more serious the false accusation, the deeper the real cut.  However, Christianity would very likely not exist today if not for the greatest false accusation of all...
  • The Battle for Purity

    The Battle for Purity by Todd Shupe According to recent statistics there are over 24.5 million web sites dedicated to pornography.  A report by Bridges and Wosnitzer in 2007 found that there are 13,000 porn videos produced annually with revenue of $13 billion.   In the same year, 507 movies from Hollywood produced $8.8 billion.  Another report found that over 25% of all internet searches are for pornographic material.  I am certain that what was true in 2007 has not gotten any better today.  Marketing advertisers have long used sex and scantily clad women to sell everything from alcohol to weight loss pills.   Now,...
  • Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ To Maintain Hope

    Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ For Hope by Todd Shupe We all experience times in our lives in which we feel hopeless. For some, these periods linger into years and years. Given these circumstances, I would like to equip readers with some thoughts on how to maintain hope when all hope appears to be gone. In this article, you’ll find some thoughts on the importance of hope in your life. For your consideration, Job was a strong disciple of God, but had all of his possessions taken. He expressed hopelessness in Job 17:15, saying “Where then is my hope —...
  • Acceptance is not Approval

    Acceptance is not Approval by Todd Shupe“Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Romans 15:7 NLT). The blood of Jesus provides us the opportunity for forgiveness of our sins.  Our sins will be cast as far as the east is from the west once we earnestly repent and ask His forgiveness.   However, our society has slowly tried to redefine what is and is not a sin.  In the political world, these are known as wedge issues that force people to one side or the other.  By design, there is no common ground.   Similarly, the...
  • Understanding Our Emotions

    Understanding Our Emotions by Todd Shupe 16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those...
  • Faith is the Cure for Stress

    Faith is the Cure for Stress by Todd Shupe “Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 TLB) The major cause of stress in your life is worry. Worry is a sign that we do not have faith in God to meet our needs. Worry can come from three sources: 1) Ourselves- We worry about our ability to survive tomorrow and neglect the blessing of today. Matthew 6:26-27 teaches us, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away...
  • Make Today Count

    Make Today Count by Todd Shupe“ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Time is a precious commodity. It is a gift from God, and we should be good stewards of our time as with any other gift. Certainly, the devil is interested in misuse of your time. If he can cheat you of your time, he can cheat you of your heavenly treasure. Perhaps the last thing that he is loath to let go is time. His game is to cheat you of today,...
  • You Can Not Please Everyone

    You Can Not Please Everyone by Todd Shupe “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT). I think many of us are searching for our purpose in life.  We want to follow God but are not sure what He wants us to do.  What is my ministry?  How can I build up the Body of Christ?  These are profound questions.  For many of us, we find our purpose with work and family.  We work to provide food and shelter for those that we love the most – our family.  Clearly, God wants...
  • Defeating Evil

    Defeating Evil by Todd Shupe”Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’   Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:10-11). I find it troubling that many Christians do not believe in the existence of satan.  I always use a lower case “s” when referring to the enemy because I want to be as disrespectful as possible.  If you doubt the reality of evil as an active force in this world, simply remember that Jesus dealt with the enemy first hand on multiple occasions. A single-dimensional outlook, unwilling...
  • Obstacles to Joy

    Obstacles to Joy by Todd Shupe  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). We all have stress and anxiety.  These are obstacles to the happiness that we all seek.  I think what is important is how we deal with these obstacles.  A little bit of stress is natural and no problem.  It can be helpful and protect us from dangerous situations. Regardless of the source of our stress, we as Christians have a proven method to rid ourselves of it but it...
  • Judge Others or Pray?

    Judge Others or Pray? by Todd Shupe "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11). It is so very tempting to judge others as we can go about our day.  We often do not say anything negative but in our minds, we condemn others.  Some of us will pass judgment when we see someone smoking cigarettes.  Others will pass judgment when they see a person with multiple tattoos and piercings.  We can even quote Scripture to support our case.  Don’t they know that their bodies are a...
  • Finding a Way Out from Temptation

    Finding a Way Out from Temptation by Todd Shupe“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). I recently ate lunch with friends at a local cafeteria.  As I walked with my tray to the cash register, I passed the desserts.  They looked really good, and I was very tempted to get one but...
  • Happy Memories from Bad Experiences

    Happy Memories from Bad Experiences “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3 NLT). I love the encouragement found in the book of Philippians.  One of the reasons Paul wrote this book was to thank the church at Philippi for their help.  He writes, “I thank God for the help you gave me” (Philippians 1:5).  He also wrote, “no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only” (Philippians 4:15); “Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again” (Philippians 4:16).    The generosity of the Philippians to Paul compelled him...
  • Generosity is Proven to be Good for the Giver

    Generosity is Proven to be Good for the Giver “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.   Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NIV). As Christians we know that we are called upon to be generous.  Generosity is not just a financial issue but also includes giving of our time, talents and prayer. Generosity is a cure for greed and greed is one of the enemy’s tools to rob you of your blessing from being generous. A friend once told...
  • Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!

    Evil Is Happening in Our Churches! I am angry about the continued shootings at our churches. Our churches are God’s house on earth.  Psalm 46:1 teaches us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).   I think we can substitute “church” for “God” in the scripture.  As Christians we seek out His refuge and strength, particularly on Sunday mornings as we gather with the Body of Christ.   This is a special, holy, sacred time.  It should also be a safe time. I understand that since the beginning “sin has been crouching at our doors” (Genesis 4:7).  The...