It’s one thing to be in shape to be led to still waters and green pastures.

It’s another to be ready to charge the enemy’s camp through the valley of the shadow of death.

We don’t mature to make our lives easier or more comfortable.

We mature to become wiser.

Fight smarter.

Recognize danger before it attacks. [click to continue…]

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Behold a sower went forth again to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the well-worn path. Knowing the vulnerability of the seed to the birds, the sower broke the hardened ground to enable the seed to grow.  The birds came to search for food and found nothing there.

Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil. Knowing the vulnerability of the plant to the scorching sun, the sower dug out the rocks to deepen the roots.  The seeds sprang up, but only when the roots went down. And when the sun had risen, the deep roots nourished the plant with life and strength.

Others fell among the thorns. Knowing the vulnerability of the plant to be choked and fruitless because of the thorns, the sower diligently weeded the field.

And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. Knowing the potential of the seed to multiply, the sower ruthlessly pruned the plant to make it even more fruitful.

He who has ears, let him hear. [click to continue…]

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A Day in the Life of a Boy

by Andy Wood on March 17, 2014

in 100 Words, Photos

To forge the skills of teamwork, timing, and synchronized face planting…

To turn the most ordinary of fixtures into an adventure in the making…

Boys in Dryer

[click to continue…]

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One day this…

Peacock 1

Will become this.

peacock 2

Or maybe this.

peacock 4

[click to continue…]

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Change your nation instead.  Or your community.  Or your neighborhood.  Or in those really desperate cases, change yourself.

Changing the world has become a cliché.

“This generation will change the world.”

“You have the power to change the world.”

“That [insert role of another person] you [insert action you perform] may just change the world someday.”

Maybe they can.  Maybe you will.  And yes, it is possible.

And no, you probably won’t.  [click to continue…]

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(And You Can’t Do For Somebody Else)

Commit your life to Christ.  Study your Bible.  Confess your sins and shortcomings.  Grow.  Change.  Restore broken fellowship with God.  Obey the Lord.  Learn spiritual truth.

Think.  Learn.  Set goals.  Visualize the future.  Understand people.  Pass tests.  Listen.  Focus on virtuous things.

Be happy.  Feel guilty.  Grieve.  Laugh.  Relax.  Overcome depression.  Stop being jealous.  Express love.  Calm down.  Be content.

Get up after falling down.  Get over failure.  Get out of bondage.  Overcome addictions.  Decide.  Change your mind.  Quit.  Succeed.  Make good choices.  Make bad choices.  Change your mind about the bad choices you made in the past.

Lose weight.  Eat right.  Rest.  Exercise.  Take your medicine.  Go to the doctor.  Prevent unnecessary disease.  Be healed.  Take a bath. [click to continue…]

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Frankford and 82nd.  Sitting at the light.  Laura Kate (age almost-3) and I have been on an adventure.  And she is about to ask me a very important question.  But first, a slight rewind…

“Laura Kate, first we’ll go to the grocery store.  Then we’ll go by Grammy’s office and pick up some prizes she has for you.”

“That’s an awesome plan,” she says.

In between, she learns six (count ‘em) verses of an Easter song her uncle Joel and I wrote when he wasn’t much older than she is now.  Which brings us to the traffic light near our house on the way home.

“Papa,” says the voice in the back seat.  “Are you growed up?”

“What did you say?” I reply.  “Am I growed up?”

“Yes,” she says, very seriously.

“Yeah,” I mutter.  “I’m growed up.”

“Yay, Papa!  You did it!

Sometimes I wonder.

I wish it was that easy to claim maturity.  Sometimes I think I’m still a kid when it comes to such things.  And sometimes I feel, well, old.  But there’s a difference between growing up and growing old.  Peter Pan and his Lost Boys were only half right.

It’s OK to be a baby when you’re still a baby.  But there comes a time when the word of God and the world of people come together to shout, “Grow up!” After addressing the Corinthians as a pack of carnal children, Paul writes to the Ephesians that “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

How do you measure your maturity?  How do you know when you’re growing and when you’re floundering?  Let me hasten to say that maturity isn’t found in big words or fat bank accounts, or your ability to make babies or get a job (although keeping a job may impress a few people).

In gauging your maturity level, I have found five things that act as measuring rods for progress.  You are as mature as: [click to continue…]

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I want to talk to you about something that for some people is pretty painful and scary.  Because of that, I want to say first that I am writing this in love.  I hope you can feel the love that compels me to say these things, even if they are difficult to receive or comprehend.

If this isn’t for you, it’s for somebody you know.  Maybe you can pass it along.

The truth is, I am afraid for you.

As you look in the mirror, as you go forth into the world, and as you relate to others, you only know two views.

You’re either a hero or a zero.

You are either on a pedestal or in the sewer.  [click to continue…]

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The Ring

by Andy Wood on March 14, 2008

in Following Your Passion, LV Cycle

NinjaI had never seen a rank test before.  What I did see impressed me.  And taught me.  I know it’s dangerous to talk in layman’s terms about something you don’t fully understand, but I want to tell you what I saw.  (No, this picture wasn’t it.  I just thought the little fella looked cute.)

For those of you, like me, who have never taken a martial arts class, a rank test is a challenge a student must face in order to receive a higher-ranked belt.  White belts challenge for yellow, yellow belts challenge for blue, and so forth.  I walked in on a Monday night several years ago to what I assumed was a routine karate class, and found out my kid (age 8 at the time) was being tested.  What made it interesting was that he didn’t know it at the time.

Best I can tell, the rank test involved two different parts.  First, students had to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of what they had been taught.  The different moves and techniques were reviewed over and over under the watchful eye of the master.

Then came The Ring.  At least, that’s my name for it.  [click to continue…]

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