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Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Dad and Kids Hugging Small
Newton, Connecticut. Boston, Massachusetts.  West, Texas.  Moore, Oklahoma. Recent tragedies have  broken our hearts as so many others before, but some of these have been different. They invaded the lives of young children – little ones that looked a lot like our little ones. And because there were children involved, our kids are going to be asking a lot of questions.

As parents, one of our primary roles is to be constantly teaching. When it comes to “Life 101,” class is always in session. This doesn’t change in the midst of tragedy, as awkward as the role may be. Most kids are asking the same innocent question that we all ask – “Why?” – and our ability to respond correctly can help turn a terrible situation into an opportunity to talk about some tough-but-necessary topics.

As a father of three and a pastor and author who has dedicated two decades to helping parents, I am still left wanting for the right words to say in such an awful situation. Still, I’ve learned a few things along the way, and hopefully these ideas will help you navigate this difficult road with your children:

• Remind them that they can trust God – even in tough times. Consider saying, “Sometimes things happen that we can’t completely understand. We know that bad things happen in this world because there are bad people. But it doesn’t mean God doesn’t care about those little children. In fact, that’s why Jesus came – so He could rescue us from evil and be with Him some day in a perfect place!”

• Pray for everyone involved. We do this, most importantly, because God hears our prayers and answers them. But prayer also does something else: it reminds us that God is with us, and that He can help in ways that no one else can.

• Don’t act like you have all the answers. They won’t believe you anyway if you start making stuff up. It’s okay to say, “You know what? That’s a good question, but a hard one. I’ve wondered that too.” But follow it up by sharing something that you DO know. You don’t have to pretend to be certain about everything if you can demonstrate that they can be certain about many things: your love for them, God’s love for them, the fact that you will do everything you can to protect them, that their schools are safe – and will be even safer – after this, etc.

• Listen and don’t ignore questions or inquiries. Pay attention to even the most passing comments. If your child knows anything about what happened, you can count on the fact that he’s thinking about it, and you want to be ready to talk when he is.

• Keep life normal and routine. Young children always fare better when life is as stable as possible.

• Sharply limit media exposure in young children, and be there to explain what is seen. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that “overexposure to the media can be traumatizing. It’s unwise to let children or adolescents view footage of traumatic events over and over. Children and adolescents should not watch these events alone.” Kids may have a hard time discerning that only one gunman went into only one school, for example, when they see reports for hours on end on different channels as they’re looking over your shoulder.

After you take those initial steps, you have an opportunity to proactively use a tough situation as a teachable moment. Point out the good things that can happen:

• Place emphasis on the heroes of the events – emergency personnel, teachers, and other students. Perhaps write a letter of encouragement to people who worked to help from the area police departments.

• Seek out stories about the people who are working to help the families who have been hurt by this tragedy – churches, doctors, and even school personnel. Talk about how wonderful it is that people are willing to help others.

• Share the ways that your local schools have announced they are working to improve security. Almost every school district made some sort of statement about the tragedy. You can find most of these statements online at your school’s or school district’s website.

Help kids find ways to help – let them come up with creative ways!

Finally, look for any signs that might indicate high levels of anxiety in your child. Remember: what we see as replay footage or something horrific that happened in another town, our children may interpret as something that keeps happening very close to home. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology points to the following symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in kids:

o Refusal to return to school and “clinging” behavior
o Persistent fears related to the catastrophe
o Sleep disturbances such as nightmares, screaming during sleep and bedwetting.
o Abnormal behavior problems.
o Withdrawal from family and friends.

If you start to see any of these behaviors in the following week, it might be worth a call to your doctor, pastor, or school counselor to inquire about some additional help.

It is almost overwhelming to take in the magnitude of the tragedy that has taken place in multiple locations over the past few months. It’s even more challenging when children hear that it involved children just like them. It makes me angry that such conversations have to take place. As a Christian, I’m grateful for the promises of something better – because Christ has overcome the evil in the world and will one day eradicate evil, sin, sickness, war, and death from this earth. In the meantime, God has put moms, dads, grandparents, and mentors like you in their path to remind them everything will be okay.

Parenting Advice from Tim Smith, “The Parent Coach”

I recently connected with my friend Tim Smith for a chat about simple parenting strategies that you might find helpful around the Christmas season. This five-minute conversation offers some wonderful insights that can help you get the most out of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” Enjoy.

Christmas and Humilty

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What a wonderful time of year! Christmas brings feelings of joy, peace, comfort, but the Apostle Paul thought there was a more important theme of Christmas, and wrote about it in Philippians 2:3-8:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (ESV)

When we think of Christmas and Christ’s incarnation, we should be drawn to thoughts about humility. But the world’s definition of humility is not the same as God’s definition of humility. We often get humility wrong. In fact, Dictionary.com offers what I would consider to be an inaccurate definition of humility: “Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience.” That’s not humility. That’s depression!

That’s what’s so beautiful about the birth of Christ as an illustration of humility: Christ did not have feelings of inferiority, but willingly placed the needs of mankind above His own.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines humility in a way that better illustrates what Jesus did at His birth. Humility is, “A freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God.”

Phillip Brooks put it this way: “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” (Quoted in Burning Out for God, E. Skoglund)

This type of humility is of far greater value to us, because it extends beyond mere feelings of inferiority to a call to raise the value of others, and measure our value against the glory of God.

Can you imagine what would happen if we connected the attitude of humility to our Christmas celebrations with the same fervor as we do joy, cheerfulness, and the like? Imagine how your holiday could be transformed if you chose to live out acts of humility among your family and friends this Christmas. What steps might you take to imitate the Son of God – surrendering your rights and reputation for the good of another, regardless of what you will receive in return?

Expressing and cultivating humility – the genuine kind – can can be an intentional part of our Christmas celebration. Here are three ways I plan to dwell on it in the next few days.

1. I will intentionally seek out others I may bless who are likely not willing or able to bless me in return, reminding me of the grace extended me when Christ came. For example, rather than telling people about our Singing Christmas Tree Presentation at Bannockburn this weekend, I will INVITE them to join me and my family at the Tree. People want connection and acceptance more than they want gifts or information. Connection is harder. It often requires humility.

2. I will take inventory of all the blessings and gifts I have been given, and then offer thanks to God for them. Gratitude is the antidote to false pride. (The 2012 BBC Advent Devotion is a great tool to help with this!)

3. I will ponder the humility extended by the King of All Kings, as He wrapped Himself in flesh out of love for us. How can anyone dwell on such a thought without a recognition of his own desperate need?

This Christmas season, I’m compelled to think that the greatest form of worship of Jesus my King may be to imitate His active humility. Would you join me?

How to Celebrate Your New Baby Without Infant Baptism

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As a pastor, I come across parents all the time who came from a Catholic or Mainline denominational background, and face a genuine dilemma. They have the desire to commemorate the spiritual significance of their children’s birth, and often face the perceived pressure to baptize their baby. But as they have grown in their understanding of Scripture, they have become convinced that baptism is something reserved for those who are ready to express the faith they have personally placed in Jesus.

The inclination to celebrate the moment is both natural and wonderful – and there are certainly ways to celebrate a meaningful milestone without compromising your convictions. Consider these three recommendations:

1. First and foremost, stand firm on your desire to postpone baptism for later. You may receive outside pressure from family members and grandparents – or internal pressure from guilt – about forsaking longstanding tradition. But choosing to follow the truth of the Scripture will allow your child to experience the joy of baptism once he makes his own decision for Christ – and can mark that moment with the picture of being buried with Christ. In fact, many of those who feel so strongly about infant baptism are really speaking from a desire to ensure that the child is raised to worship Jesus. So when you explain your motives and reasoning to even the most traditional, many will understand and appreciate the path you are choosing.

2. Look for an opportunity to dedicate your child to the Lord in a worship service. Lots of churches celebrate a time of “Child and Family Dedication” at certain times of the year. This often entails an introduction to the congregation, and a prayer over your child by the pastor. At Bannockburn, we take this a step further by preceding the presentation with a four-week “Legacy Class.” During this time together, each parent establishes a set of core values and goals for raising the child in a strategic, intentional, and spiritual way – creating the best opportunity for success. We use the Raising Wallbreakers curriculum I published this year and developed specifically for this group of parents several years ago. You can pick up a copy for yourself – or your church leader – at FaithBreakthroughs.com.

3. Use a symbol to commemorate the moment. Consider purchasing a special Bible to share with your child when she gets old enough to understand – reminding her that you set aside a special time to dedicate your parenting to Jesus. Let her know that you have made a commitment before God and other people to raise her in a way that gives her the greatest opportunity to be fulfilled – not to mention pointing her to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

4. Celebrate the decision with others! Throughout the Bible, celebrations, feasts, and ceremonies were used to mark special occasions. When you have made the choice to honor God with intentional parenting, this is a significant step that should be shared. At the very least, you want to invite all of your close friends and family on the day you celebrate Child and Family Dedication at your church. Beyond that, throw a party, have a dinner, or at least come together afterwards for conversation and prayer.

Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime expression of the salvation Jesus offers when an individual trusts Him for forgiveness and new life. As much as you want to commemorate your new family, don’t confuse the meaning of this God-given picture by baptizing your baby. There are wonderful ways to make the same impact and commitment to your high calling as a mom or dad that will be just as meaningful, and will prepare your child for the privilege of enjoying all that baptism was meant to be in the days ahead.

Olympics and My Life

It’s strange how as you get older, the Olympic games appear to be time capsules that create vivid pictures of places you were not-very-long-ago.  This must be how it feels to people who were born on leap years – who celebrate their 10th birthdays at forty.  When there are so few, it makes the years seem very condensed.  You’re reminded that life is flying past you. So without further introduction, here is my life’s Olympic journal.

1972: Absolutely no recollection. I was about to turn 2 – living in Canada.  I’m pretty sure we were just thrilled that the snow had melted. One interesting note: Roman-numerically, this was the XX Games.  2012 is the XXX Games – so I have lived an entire X in Olympic history. (Leave all of your locker room jokes at home, people. I’m a pastor.)

1976: Sumter, South Carolina. I remember all the fire hydrants were painted red, white, and blue.  I remember running races against friends, but cannot confirm that it had anything to do with the Olympic games in Montreal.  For some reason, I have vague memories of my dad watching Olympic boxing on TV, and my sister doing lots of somersaults.

1980: We were now living in Austin, Texas. I was nine and far more interested in riding Bikes with friends.  Of course, the US didn’t even go.  Were the Olympic Games still televised in America?  I wouldn’t have known, unless they interrupted an episode of CHiPs.

1984: One of my favorite memories of childhood. The Rush Family journeyed to the Olympics!  In a spur-of-the-moment decision, no less.  We were watching the opening ceremonies in our living room as they played out in LA, and somebody said how much they had always wanted to go.  My father was in the aviation business, and we had a plane at the time.  Out of the blue, he said, “Let’s go!”  No kidding: the next day, we were flying ourselves to California.  With no tickets, no itinerary, and no prearranged lodging.  We had a blast.  We were only able to get tickets to see the Chinese Women play basketball against some Eastern Block country, and the Uruguay Men play Spain.  (Imagine thousands of fans chanting “OOO-ROOOO-GWAY!” for two hours.  You never forget something like that.)

Mostly, we wandered the Olympic grounds and took in the scenery.  We saw the flame.  I’ll never forget walking by a large statue in front of the stadium with an anatomically correct naked woman next to an anatomically correct naked man.  I was thirteen, and remember thinking I was about to get in trouble. Instead, my mom took a picture.

1988: Seoul. This was the first time that I remember being totally captivated by the Games on television (age-wise that would have normally been the ’84 games for me, but I couldn’t watch those on TV.  Not to keep rubbing it in, but, um, we were there in 1984.)   My father and I watched every minute that NBC showed of the basketball team – which turned out to be a very frustrating pastime.  John Thompson was the coach, and he seemed to be either oblivious to the strategic changes he needed to make or he just didn’t care.  It seemed to us he was throwing the games.  In an eerie way, it was like I forged an alliance with my dad as we declared together how much we loathed John Thomson and how much he had ruined American Basketball.  Dad would spend many of the coming months (my senior year) in the hospital with cancer, so these times together became extra-special to me later when I began to realize how much every day together should be treasured.  Dad was also at every one of my Summer League basketball games that were happening at the same time – and there was still a part of me that thought, perhaps, if I kept growing and improving, I could be a part of the 1992 USA Basketball team – the one that would turn everything around.  Oh, the confidence of a 16-year-old. And the beyond-all-reason-or-logic confidence of a father in his son.

1992: Dream Team. Alas, I was uninvited to participate on the Men’s Basketball Team after all.  It turned out to be the first time we sent pros instead of amateurs.  (As if that’s the reason I didn’t swing a try-out.)  A newlywed living in San Marcos, I watched every moment of the Dream Team as if it was a time capsule of every basketball memory in my childhood.  Magic. Bird. MJ. Emotions overflowed as they beat down every nation that had questioned supremacy of the juggernaut that is American Hoops.  It was a beautiful thing.  I think it might have also been the first time Lana wondered what kind of basketball weirdo she had married.  I was that excited.  (Actually, this probably happened when MJ had hit the NBA record six first-half three pointers just two months earlier in the 1992 NBA Finals. During that game, I couldn’t stop jumping up and down.  I kept yelling to her, “Can you believe this?  We’re witnessing history!”  And she just kept staring.)

1996: Reagan Steals the Show. Our daughter Reagan was born eight days before the Olympic opening ceremonies.  I honestly don’t even remember having the TV on, except for after the bombing in Atlanta.  I do remember being inspired by the USA team’s preparation for basketball gold – so much so that I tried to go to the neighborhood park to “shoot some hoops” about two days after Lana and the baby returned home, and Land still feeling very weak.  And I remember a stern lecture from my baffled mother-in-law about priorities. And a well-deserved one, I might add.  It was a moment of basketball insanity.  Atlanta was a forgettable Olympics for us, but it happened during a time when I was learning to treasure far more important things than sports.  And I didn’t want my mother-in-law to catch me lounging in front of the TV.

2000: Lynchburg, VA. Do you know what I remember most about Sydney? Ryley was 7 years old, Reagan was five, and this was the first time they paid attention to the Olympic games.  We actually sat and watched some events together.  It would be an understatement to say that Ryley liked horses when she was 9.  Ryley was obsessed with horses when she was nine.  Reagan also loved horses, but at times it seemed like she was liking horses under threat of punishment from her big sister.  Earlier that summer Lana’s dad had bought the girls a pony (because it was a totally illogical purchase for 4 and 9 year old girls who have an interest in horses – but that’s what grandparents do.) If you had asked me prior to the 2000 Olympics whether there were horses involved, I would not have had a clue.  This summer?  We watched a lot of equestrian events – quickly followed by “replays” on stick horses in the front yard.

2004: Athens. I was a new pastor in Austin, the girls were 11 and 9, and they were interested in Carly Patterson winning Gold.  Lots of cartwheels in the Rush house. To my horror, USA Basketball lost for the first time with pro players – and with Tim Duncan on the team, no less.   This was a dark day for hoops fans. When asked about his thoughts on Olympic basketball, Tim Duncan famously replied, “FIBA [International Basketball] sucks.”  In my opinion, so did the Athens Olympics.

2008: Bejing. We were living in a beautiful home at the top of a hill overlooking much of South Austin.  I remember laughing histerically that the Chinese leader’s name was “Hu.”  It was instant clean comedy:  Who’s the Leader?  “Hu.” Who? “Hu.” I remember good times with friends and family.  I remember Reagan thinking I had laughed a little too long and loud at President Hu. I remember Ryley going from interested viewer to absolute, unabashed sports fanatic at that Olympics.  I remember how surreal it was to juggle the viewing of the Olympics with viewing cartoons with our two year old – like 1996 all over again.

And here we are in the summer of 2012. On the eve of the Opening Ceremonies, our Reagan turned sixteen.  While we watched the event this evening, Reagan was the one who could point out every band playing in the background.  On the evening of the Closing Ceremonies, we will be delivering Ryley to her first year of college at Liberty University.  Two weeks later, Lily will start Kindergarten.

Time marches on, and I remember the games far differently than I would have anticipated when I really started watching as a child.  Such simple traditions leave memories that bring to mind not so much the spectacles of the venues or the heroes of the games, but the people whom I loved who were next to me when the moments happened.  London marks my eleventh Olympics.  How can that be?  These honored traditions have become to me like bookmarks in a treasured novel. I can’t wait to read the rest – and there’s another bookmark on page 2016.

Today’s Ryan Rush Show: Should Economics Play a Factor in Having Kids?

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that the cost of raising a child tops $250,000 by the time they’re eighteen. We’re also discovering that there is a direct correlation between the downturn in the economy and the birth rates in the US. In other words, we are having fewer babies because we are having fewer dollars. Is this a dangerous trend? Interesting conversation. I’d be curious to hear your take.

One of the couples who weighed in was Ethan and Casey Jones – the parents featured on TLC’s “Quints by Surprise” reality show. They had their quintuplets just as the recession was hitting full swing, and they’ve made the sacrifices necessary to make it. If they can pay for all those diapers, what’s everybody else’s excuse?

A new season premiers tonight on TLC at 9PM Central. They’ve been very open about their faith in Christ – and their producer is my good friend Jonathan Nowzaradan. Check them out!

Chris Fabry Live

As you might imagine, by now I’ve talked about the walls people face – and my book about Walls – hundreds of times before live and radio audiences.  Yesterday was different.  On Chris Fabry’s excellent daily radio program on the Moody Network, we took live calls nationally from people who were facing real walls.  In several instances, you could almost feel the walls beginning to fall as we addressed the challenging issues they were facing.

What was different about this show?

– Chris Fabry is an incredible radio host.  As the host of a daily show myself, I know how challenging it is to come through in such a personal way to one’s listeners.  It has to, first and foremost, be genuine.  Chris’s willingness to share about his own walls – and his own assessment at FaithBreakthroughs.com – was a blessing to me and to many.

I was scheduled to do a brief interview at 2PM Central, but that morning I got an email from their production staff stating that Chris really sensed that God was leading him to carry the subject over into two hours – something he stated on the program that he rarely does.

– I hate to say, “You had to be there,” but if you were listening you could actually sense the HOly Spirit working in the lives of the callers in an extraordinary way.  And likewise, while there is no way to measure it, each call brought a sense that there were hundreds of other just like that caller who were receiving a special blessing by those testimonies.

Moments in ministry when you feel like God has taken over and said, “Step aside.  I have some important work to do, and I’ll take this from here,”  are extremely special.  Thanks to Him, and for Chris Fabry’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading, yesterday’s show was one of those moments.

As it turns out, you didn’t have to be there!  Chris puts all of his shows on podcast and you can check out Friday’s show by CLICKING HERE.

Walls and The Blessing

I spent yesterday in Colorado Springs in an extraordinary meeting.  20 leaders gathered in the conference room at Focus on the Family to discuss “The Blessing Challenge”: an exciting collaborative effort with the goal of giving 1,000,000 children the gift of a blessing.  If you’re not familiar with the concept of The Blessing, it dates back to the very beginning of time. In Genesis 1:28, right after God made Man, the Scripture says, “He blessed them.”  To offer a verbal blessing, an give affirmative touch, and to ascribe value to a life is something that can have a profound impact on the success or failure of a child’s ability to live a life of fulfillment and purpose.

More recently, Dr. John Trent wrote a bestselling book called The Blessing in 1993 along with Dr. Gary Smalley. The book lays out clear instructions for giving – and receiving – a biblical Blessing.  In a revised edition to be released this spring by Thomas Nelson, the book will also serve as the centerpiece of this national movement for sharing the importance of giving The Blessing.

The really exciting part?  There is an unprecedented spirit of cooperation among competing publishers to make this happen.  Thomas Nelson, Lifeway, Tyndale House, and Focus on the Family were all represented in the room – all committed to making this a major push in the days ahead.  And Dr. Trent, the guy in the center of the vision, stood up in the midst of the meeting and said, “As I’ve looked back through the years at The Blessing, the one area we didn’t cover enough is what do do if you missed the blessing.  I believe that is where Ryan Rush’s new book Walls takes a significant role in this project.”

As outlined in my new book to be released in February (AKA, NEXT WEEK!), walls are unhealthy mindsets that keep us from living the life God intended.  Of course, these walls are invisible.  But, as THe Blessing reminds us, these walls can also be inherited.   That’s where the Faith Breakthrough becomes so important.  With the biblical components of a Breakthrough anyone who has missed the power of a parental blessing can still walk in the blessing of God!

Earlier this week, I gathered for a prayer meeting with over 150 pastors from around Central Texas.  I was asked to lead a prayer time surrounding the families of these leaders.  We began by outlining the eight primary walls that people face, and then prayed specifically for the primary walls they were facing.  Then, for the first time, I shared how the power of The Blessing can work for- or against – the Walls they were facing at home.  After some very moving testimonies from guys who had never received such affirmation from their fathers, we gathered about twenty of the pastors who were present in the center of the room… and blessed them.

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that you cannot experience a Breakthrough without some measure of The Blessing.  And you cannot fulfill the call of The Blessing without first overcoming the Walls that are separating you from this powerful, ancient principle.  I’d encourage you to go out and pick up The Blessing and Walls – not just because I am shamelessly encouraging you to buy my book, but because I want you to read the chapter on “A Promise Shared” in Walls, and the chapter on “When a Child Misses the Blessing” in The Blessing.  It’s amazing how these principles go hand in hand.

I’m honored to play a part in the exciting Blessing movement to come!  But you don’t have to wait on the movement – make a point to bless those whom you influence this week.

Quick-Start Ideas for Connecting Church and Home

When people hear that Bannockburn is about connecting church and home, they often assume that means we’re all about parenting classes and marriage seminars.  While those programs are GREAT and important, that’s not the substance of connecting church and home.  Our vision is bigger than that: it is about making sure that what people know of Jesus at church is the same as the Jesus they realy know at home.

If you are in church leadership, the way to make that happen can seem overwhelming.  But it doesn’t have to be!  It’s about choosing “little wins” to help people begin to naturally live out their faith in real life.  Consider trying one of these three “jump start” ideas right away:

  1. Home Discussion Guides: Offer a handout or section of your bulletin next Sunday featuring discussion questions related to the message.  Challenge every household to set aside that day to walk through the application of the Scriptural principles that were discussed.  Celebrate with those who did it the following week!
  2. “Man Huddles.” My friend Jim Weidmann challenges pastors to conclude the service every now and then with a “man huddle” down front – challenging the fathers to carry home a simple devotional tool for that week.  This provides excitement and “peer pressure” for your congregation.
  3. The “Nine Minute Challenge”: Ask every household in your church to pray for nine minutes of uninterrupted, media-free time together with everyone for nine straight weeks.  That may seem like a very low number, but we found this to be revolutionary in our church for many families.  And once they set aside nine minutes, they wanted more!

Take the first step today in connecting church and home.

Praying for a “Miracle Well” in Guatemala

In the poorest back-country of Guatemala sits a village of 2500 people who are desperate for life’s most simple commodity: clean water.  The dirty river water that is brought in weekly is all they have, but it causing the 1000 children in the village unnecessary disease, and even premature death.

But thanks to the generosity of many around Central Texas this week, the children of Pueblo Modelo have hope for clean water.  The power, deep water well, and structure necessary for this project is $65,000.  That means your gift of $65 can provide one child clean water for the rest of his life, and literally transform a village for generations to come in the name of Jesus!  In the past two days, the folks at KLGO radio have been gracious enough to offer their airtime for us to raise awareness of this need.  And as of this evening, we have raised over $12,000 toward this well.  That leads into this weekend, where a number of churches around Austin will partner together by collecting offerings on behalf of these children.  I’m praying for a miracle, and I long to see the faces of these wonderful people as they enjoy a plentiful stream of clear water.  Would you pray with me?

If you feel led to give to this “miracle well”, you can do so online by clicking here.

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Start your faith breakthrough now!
The spiritual barriers people face are countless, but they can be categorized into Eight Primary Walls. These walls correlate with the 8 primary breakthroughs that everyone needs.
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I have a hard time trusting people.
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I am confident God has forgiven me for my past.
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I find myself more focused on the things I don't have but wish I did.
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I feel there is a disconnect between who I really am and how I act in front of other people.
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When looking back on my life, I tend to focus on all of the things I did wrong.
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I spend too much of my energy pursuing material things.
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I feel strong relationships are hard, but worth it.
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I am so busy that I find myself ignoring the most important things in my life.
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I believe truth is the same for everyone.
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I am willing to sacrifice immediate gratification for something better down the road.
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When bad things happen, I wonder if God can make things better.
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I am intentionally seeking to grow in my relationships with others.
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I worry about the problems that the future holds.
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When I am facing a difficult situation, I feel like I can solve problems on my own.
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I think God cares about the details of my life.
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I don't believe anyone can ever know what is absolutely true.
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It troubles me that God has not answered my prayers.
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The possibility of gaining a good friend is worth the risk.
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I believe God loves me in spite of who I am.
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I feel I can turn to God for direction.
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I observe things that make me wonder if I should believe the Bible.
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I have too many of my own problems to deal with the problems of others.
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I question why God allowed certain things to happen in my life.
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I am grateful for the things I have been given.
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I try to avoid temptations that would bring me harm.
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People who have hurt me in the past cause me to avoid some relationships today.
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I believe God is willing and able to answer my prayers.
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I worry that God is angry with me.
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I have witnessed things that make me wonder if God is in control.
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I feel compelled to make the world around me better.
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I believe God is loving and kind.
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I feel with God's help, I can face any situation.
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I believe the Bible has answers for today's circumstances.
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I believe God wants what is best for me.
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It humbles me to think I can know God.
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I have been wronged in the past in a way I cannot get over.
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I find myself drawn to things I know are bad for me.
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I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
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I know a lot of people, but don't feel very close to many people.
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I have to guard against judging people when I learn they are dealing with tough circumstances.
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I am willing to serve others for nothing in return.
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People would describe me as a giving person.
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When bad things happen, I feel like I am getting what I deserve.
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I look forward to good things in my future.
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I tend to expect the worst to happen.
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I think that God will meet all my needs.
47 of 48
My faith practices are more about routine than relationship.
48 of 48
I am amazed at God's power.
Great you have finished the evaluation.
Ready to see the results?