Remember, Your Outcome Begins in Your Mind-Set

Remember, Your Outcome Begins in Your Mind-Set

Remember, Your Outcome Begins in Your Mind-set

“For he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. ‘Eat and drink,’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you. | Proverbs 23:7

Remember, Your Outcome Begins in Your Mind-set
Ever glance off at a pretty sunset only to feel your car tires jarring along the roadside? Truth is, if we focus exclusively on driving between the yellow lines, we avoid veering. We can apply this principle to our life and marriage as well.

Napoleon Hill once wrote, “Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.” He’s not alone in his thinking. Thought leaders through­out time agree that our outcome begins in our mindset. We find what we look for. We become what we think about. Their wisdom suggests that when we focus on fixing our issues, we unwittingly perpetuate our problems. However, when we focus on our desired outcome, aligning our thoughts with God’s pur­pose, we reap the benefits of living His design for our marriage.

As a couple, what do you tend to talk about? Where do your thoughts most naturally gravitate?
If you want to live a higher way of living—God’s way of liv­ing—in your marriage, create new habits of thinking. Instead of thinking and talking about your obstacles, consider God’s pur­pose. Instead of focusing on the problems in your relationship, consider what you both agree on and desire as an end result. Instead of pondering what you want to change about your spouse, consider how your differences make you stronger. Envision your desired outcome and welcome God’s perfect plan for your mar­riage, knowing your outcome begins in your mindset.

  • Answer the following questions together: What is our desired outcome in our marriage? How is God calling us to shift our mindset? What is His vision for us as a couple? How will we align our thinking with God’s to better celebrate each other and welcome His design for our marriage?
  • Each day, make a conscious effort to focus your thoughts, energy, and prayers specifically on your desired outcome—especially when you’re tempted to think otherwise.
  • Pray together daily, asking God to help you look past the obstacles and instead see His vision for your marriage.

Father, empower us to see your vision instead of our obstacles. We want to celebrate your unique purpose for our marriage and see the beauty in our individual design.

Steps for Reading Your Bible

Steps for Reading Your Bible

STEPS FOR READING YOUR BIBLE

For Christmas this past season, I purchased an iPhone for my wife. I must say, it was a great gift and she was very pleased with my selection and color. What was interesting to us both was how a complex device has such easy instructions to begin. A very simple step by step instruction guide that was built into the phone.

So then, when it comes to studying the Bible, why does it seem so difficult? Think about it…There are 66 books in the bible in two sections the old / new testament, written over the course of 2000 years by 40 different writers contributing to the exact same story of the Messiah. Books written on history, philosophy, theological thinking, systematic thinking, poetry, music, personal letters to people, to churches, to countries, books on rules, parables or illustrations, sex, love, the future. Honestly, it can feel pretty overwhelming.

Where should I even begin?

You might feel like the Bible is difficult and hard to know where to start, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t need to feel that way, so I want to give you a few practical steps to get started:

Before you begin:

  • Find a place that is quiet and uninterrupted for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Open your new Bible from Mission Hills Church to the Book of John. Consider purchasing a NIV Study Bible from Amazon or Lifeway Bookstores. I would recommend the Ryrie Study Bible.
  • Get a notebook or journal to write your thoughts down in (when you write something down, you will remember it longer).
  • Pray a simple prayer, talk to God and ask Him to open your heart and mind to His Word.

Begin:

  • Half of the battle is just getting started, and starting in Genesis can feel overwhelming. The book of John tells the story of Jesus’ ministry and is a great place to begin.
  • Read a section of verses (5 to 10) with a natural break and ask the following 4 questions:
    • Summary | What is the consistent theme of these verses?
    • Observation | What are these verses saying?
    • Interpretation | What do these verses mean?
    • Application | What will I do about it?

Finishing:

  • Personal Application is most important in reading and studying God’s Word. This is about allowing what God says in His world to change our hearts and lives.
    • What is God saying to me in these verses?
    • How am I going to apply these verses in my life?
    • What changes am I seeing as a result of reading and applying God’s Word?

Just like anything, it may take time to create a rhythm and be disciplined. Don’t give up! Remember that reading the Bible isn’t about fulfilling a check list of verses to read, it’s about taking the time to meet with God, listen to Him and begin to hear His voice in your life – day to day.

Lessons I’ve Learned as a Mom of Boys

Lessons I’ve Learned as a Mom of Boys

LESSONS I'VE LEARNED AS A MOM OF BOYS

If you are the parent of boys, you probably are being faced with challenges unlike any other experience in life. Raising boys is a one-of-a-kind experience. As we understand what makes this calling unique, we begin to see (and enjoy) the way God innately created our sons. Here are some of the lessons I have learned as a mom of boys.

1 | Boys Spit!

For no other reason than because they can. It is some kind of right of passage. You can’t really control it, but you can direct it. Spitting is forbidden anywhere someone might be walking. This, of course, brought on a whole new debate, but at least people weren’t dodging our boys’ spit.

2 | Snowballs are for Throwing

If there is snow falling, snowballs will be flying and so is anything else boys can find to use as a projectile object. It is part of boys’ brains, taking objects and propelling them somehow through the air. I couldn’t stop the throwing of snowballs by my husband or our sons, but I could minimize the damage by limiting the target. “When throwing snowballs at your sister aim below the head.”

3 | At least ask if they are okay before you start to laugh out loud

Males’ level of sympathy and empathy is a bit different than that of girls. Where girls first instinct is to run over to a friend who has fallen or hit in sensitive areas of the body to see if they are okay, boys first instinct is to cringe first and then laugh hysterically. There is no age limit to this reaction and apparently, this reaction never gets old.

4 | Twenty-five words or less and make most of them verbs

Males are doers. They think in verbs. They think in motion. Females think in nouns. They think in detail and description. Let’s face it ladies, we talk too much and think we can solve all problems and situations with words. We can’t. Actually, males (of all ages) tune out about word five. So do yourself a favor; make your words count, use as few as possible and brush up on your verbs.

5 | Silence is Golden

Words can be overrated to boys. Monday through Friday, your son has spent the equivalent of a full time job sitting in a classroom. Try not to ask about his day or how he is doing unless he speaks first. Give him time to process his day and decompress by playing, eating, hanging out with friends, or limited screen time. Later, ask about his day with a well thought out question over dinner, shooting

6 | Is it Wrong or Just Different?

When your boys choose to complete a task differently than you would complete it, before you tell him it is wrong, pause, take a deep breathe and ask yourself if it is wrong or is it just different than you would do it? Mom’s way is not always the right way or the only way.

7 | Get in Touch with your “Boys” Lens

Mark Twain once said, “I never let schooling interfere with my education.” Boys are naturally curious and even though it might be a bit scary to watch them in action, try not to jump in immediately. Observe, take note and don’t assume you know what they are thinking. There is more to exploring and learning than what is being taught in classrooms.

8 | If All Else Fails, Read Calvin and Hobbes

For years, our son Luke would only read Calvin and Hobbes. His teachers would constantly try and get him to expand his horizons to no avail. What I learned from Calvin and Hobbes was through wit, wisdom, and humor there was a whole lot of reality concerning “Boy World”. Looking at this mystical world through the eyes of a six year old boy and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend gives more insight than you realize and it will make you smile. We still have every volume of Calvin and Hobbes. The content is timeless and who knows, you just might learn something about boys.

If you are the parent of boys, you probably are being faced with challenges unlike any other experience in life. Raising boys is a one-of-a-kind experience. As we understand what makes this calling unique, we begin to see (and enjoy) the way God innately created our sons. Here are some of the lessons I have learned as a mom of boys.

What’s Needed to Help Students Find Their Calling

What’s Needed to Help Students Find Their Calling

WHAT’S NEEDED TO HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR CALLING

This guest post was written by our High School Associate Director, Aaron Harder. For more information about our middle school or high school ministries and when they meet, check out QUEST and The Crossing.


Perhaps you are wondering what is happening to today’s youth, what causes millennial’s and Generation Z to feel so entitled. Why do these generations seem to be leaving the church at faster and faster rates? If you’ve wondered these things, maybe you should ask what your role is in transforming those realities. I’m beginning to believe the problem is not with them, but with who is—or rather, is not—teaching them.

I’ve noticed the most peculiar phenomenon about today’s youth: most of them link godliness and being Christ-like to working in a church or being a pastor. It’s as if they see a career in ministry as the final stop on the train of Christian maturity. They don’t know what it looks like to be a Christian in other workplaces.

It’s not that our pastors and church staff employees cannot be great examples for the next generation—they are–but our students often fail to equate working as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, financial advisor, or school teacher as a godly calling. To them, the ultimate way to pursue God is to work in a church.

Often, some of our students believe they’re called to vocational ministry because they don’t often understand what it looks like to be godly in other vocations. It’s difficult to see them stuck in this dichotomy—between a calling to Christian ministry and engaging one’s faith at work and pursuing some other vocation that doesn’t seem to connect to their faith.

It may be obvious, but it seems necessary to say that our God doesn’t call everyone to be a pastor or worship leader; He is too creative to only limit Christians to one field or industry and he wants us all to actively engage our faith and the world, no matter what career field we pursue. Every week at youth group, I get to see the different gifts and talents God displays in the lives of our students as I talk with students about their favorite classes, sports, art projects, and choir concerts. God calls His children to display His glory in every aspect of life, and that happens in every area of work—not solely in vocational ministry.

How do we remind our students of this truth? As a church, we cannot make the mistake of believing that mentoring youth is only the job of church employees. There is an important place for pastors and church workers to disciple our youth and there is also a great need for our youth to be mentored by Christian mortgage bankers, IT men and women, and school teachers, too.

Godly men and women who work in the marketplace of the world must help us—the pastors and church workers of the world—show today’s youth that Christians work outside of the church, too. We want our students to believe that serving and worshiping God occurs at all times throughout the day and in every aspect of life, not just what happens inside church doors. This next generation needs to see how godliness can be displayed at a hospital, business meeting, courtroom, and classroom. We don’t need more seminary degrees (though they are helpful), we just need more people to be willing to point the next generation towards Jesus in every area of their lives and rely on His power in their life to transform lives. Period.

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The Good Samaritan, Prejudice, and Parenting

The Good Samaritan, Prejudice, and Parenting

THE GOOD SAMARITAN, PREJUDICE, AND PARENTING

The term “good Samaritan” is a common expression in our culture, meaning someone who exhibits surprising kindness towards a stranger. The term itself originates from Jesus’ parable in Luke 10 where a Samaritan man did just that when he saw a man in need on the side of the road. Even in our increasingly secular culture, we’ve named laws after this character. To Jesus’ original audience though, the terms “good” and “Samaritan” weren’t paired together so readily.

To the original hearers of this parable, a Samaritan hero was a shock. Samaritans weren’t true followers of God, like the priest or the Levite who passed over the injured man on the road. Ethnic differences separated Samaritans and Jews, creating hostility and prejudice. Prejudice quickly grew into an “us vs them” mentality. In response, Jesus made sure his audience knew that these differences weren’t excuses to permit unkindness. ‘Neighbor’ became a verb as Jesus told them to emulate the behavior of the one they had looked down on an “otherized.”

In our current age that increasingly “otherizes” groups different than themselves—Republicans, Democrats, Muslims, people of color, immigrants, or homosexuals—Jesus reminds us that the person who you consider least like yourself, he or she is your neighbor to be loved in the same way you’d want to be loved.

If you’re a parent, you’re teaching the next generation how to view and how to treat others. As much as you might like to avoid the difficult topics of racism and prejudice, they won’t go away if we choose not to talk about them. Prepare for an honest conversation with your kids by first processing through these questions honestly. The questions below were originally featured on Parent Cue, a division of Orange which creates resources our kids ministry utilizes.

1 // HOW ARE YOU PROCESSING YOUR FEELINGS?

In order to have honest conversations with our kids, we need to be honest with ourselves. Check your heart and your thoughts. Be sure to take a step back and identify how you might need to change in your prejudices and in your interactions with others. Reflect on what it really means to love those whom God loves, and unrelentingly pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. Your kids will get many of their cues from observing your response. Yes, they’re really watching and listening. Are your reactions and frustrations to what is happening to betray any subtle biases?

2 // DO YOU CELEBRATE DIVERSITY?

Some parents may be tempted to try to teach their kids to be blind to color, to shy away from acknowledging differences or just ignore them altogether. But the truth is that we are all very different in the way God made us—in our skin color, in our genetic makeup, and in our culture. And that’s something to be celebrated, not ignored. Do you model the belief with your words and actions that God made each of us unique and beautiful even in our differences? Do you demonstrate respect and honor towards those you disagree with? How diverse is your circle of friends and the people you associate with? How can you widen that circle for your family?

3 // ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT RACISM?

Racism is a difficult and sensitive topic, but it does exist, often in the form of subtle comments and prejudice, but sometimes it’s outright hatred and violence. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. So talk about the issues with others outside your circle and with people of different backgrounds. Discover the truth from various outlets and seek to understand other perspectives. When you find the right words that honestly and respectfully express how you think and feel, choose which words you might share with your kids.

Then talk to your kids about prejudice and racism so you can equip them with the values and the words they will need to respect, celebrate, and stand up for those who are being discriminated against.

4 // ARE YOU FOCUSED ON LOVE?

As parents, our hearts break in the shadow of these tragic events, and our anxiety, anger, and fear, unfortunately, leak out onto our kids. It’s okay, to be honest with your kids, but it’s important to talk to them about how your family can respond to what’s happening in our world in a positive way.

As you navigate these important conversations, focus on what matters most: LOVE. Put love into action, and rest in the hope that is found there. And dole out love in especially large doses on your kids so they feel safe and secure. Hug them tightly and let them know that God is with them and they don’t have to be afraid. And neither do you.

For help with age appropriate conversations addressing recent events, check out this article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Racism: An Age-by-Age Guide.

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620 Southpark Dr.
Littleton, CO 80120

DOVE VALLEY

14076 E. Briarwood Ave.
Centennial, Colorado 80112

LIFE CENTER LITTLETON

5804 S. Datura St.
Littleton, Colorado 80120

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Missing Out on Real Community

Missing Out on Real Community

MISSING OUT ON REAL COMMUNITY

I was sitting in my office one afternoon hammering away on a string of emails when I overheard a conversation in the hallway. Our office shares a building with a counseling center so I’m accustomed to hearing about the latest and greatest thing to come out of the psychology field. But this conversation was different than others. It grabbed my attention with talk of “FOMO.” Have you ever heard of “FOMO”? As I heard the conversation go on, I grew increasingly curious as to what “FOMO” really was. I took a break from my emailing and Googled “FOMO”.

Turns out, it’s an acronym for “fear of missing out.” Google defines “FOMO” as “anxiety that an exciting event may currently be happening elsewhere.” This social slang can become a real anxiety disorder people when it interferes with a person’s ability to function in their personal relationships. That level of fear doesn’t characterize most of us, but how many of us simply cannot stay away from social media, constantly checking our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to see if there is something going on we do not want to miss?

There is a core desire of all people at the root of a condition like “FOMO”. We desire connection with others.

However, most of us interact more with screens than we do with actual human beings. We wake up, turn on the news, we check our emails, text messages and social media. We get in a car or hop on the light rail to get to work where we send emails, write code, manage digital projects, design graphics, participate in video conferences. Screens, screens, and more screens.

I’m just as guilty as the average person. The last time I saw my optometrist, he told me that my eyes are getting worse probably because of the amount of time I spend looking at screens. My chiropractor and I spent several hours over the past few months working the cervical curve back into my neck because—after several years of writing seminary papers, reading and sending emails, and Facebooking—all the time spent on the computer had caused my neck to straighten.

Are there more consequences to this way of life than just the physical wear and tear on our bodies? How can we avoid stiff necks and conquer fears of missing out?

Simple—spend more time with real human beings.

Part of the bliss Adam and Eve experienced was perfect connection with each other, let alone the God of all creation. “(They) were naked and they felt no shame.” Adam shared intimacy and connection with Eve and God. There was perfect community amongst the three.

There’s something at the soul level of every human being that longs for connection with other human beings. We glorify God when we connect with others. God created Adam and Eve to share community with each other because it made him smile. It simply was good and gave him joy. Whenever we connect in community with one another, we bring God joy and experience the fulfillment of our soul-level longing to be with others. It doesn’t have to be fancy or well-planned. Start today with one step: look someone in the eye and ask them to hang out—out for coffee or lunch or a hike. You’re missing out until you do.

Sincerely,
Neil Eukel

Click here to learn more about Life Groups and how you can get involved in a community that fits you.

we believe in church that is

Real.Messy.New.

CAMPUSES


LITTLETON

620 Southpark Dr.
Littleton, CO 80120

DOVE VALLEY

14076 E. Briarwood Ave.
Centennial, Colorado 80112

LIFE CENTER LITTLETON

5804 S. Datura St.
Littleton, Colorado 80120

CONNECT


EMAIL UPDATES