1. Tennis, youth ministry, and teaching school should not be done at the same time. I absolutely love doing what I do but it is so draining! It also takes its toll on me and my family.

2. Certain kinds of plastics leach harmful chemicals. I guess I knew that but I haven’t started paying attention to that until recently.

3. Chlorine and flouride could also be dangerous to the body.

Disclaimer: there is a lot of information and “research” out there and I am not a scientist. I do not attest to the accuracy of these claims. It has given me something to think about though.

4. The Sermon on the Mount passage in Matthew 5-7 is an amazing passage! We started studying it this summer with our youth group (3-D) and it is powerful. At the heart is the “heart.”

5. Impatience shows a lack of humility. This one has been really difficult for me to learn. It first got my attention as I was listening to a message by C.J. Mahaney. Here is the main idea – I get impatient when things don’t go my way. Selfishness is when I want things my way. Impatience, therefore, is a form of selfishness. When I am being selfish I do not have a proper view of myself. When I have an improper view of myself I do not look at God properly either. In the end it shows that I lack humility and need to re-orient my focus back towards God. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).”

6. Life is short. A friend of ours, approximately the same age, is going through the final stages of cancer. It makes you reconsider a lot of things.

7. My thinking goes all over the place and that’s okay!

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Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall retrun to Me with their whole heart (Jeremiah 24:7).

As I read this verse in Jeremiah I am reminded of this verse from Jesus himself in Matthew.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).”

What does it mean to go after God with your whole heart? For that matter, what does it mean to love God with all your mind or even strength?

These are questions one must strive to understand as he becomes a follower of Christ. God calls us and equips us with His Holy Spirit and then tells us to love Him completely. This is not a “follow the rules so you can say you’ve done it” kind of love but one that puts, in its proper place, the rule of Jesus in our lives.

“But seek first the kindom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).”

This summer we’ll be teaching through Matthew 5-7 with our youth group on Sunday nights and this is one of the main things we’ll be trying to unpack. From Jeremiah we get a principle to be followed 24/7 and from Jesus we see it confirmed and lived out as an example for us.