This month: Swinging Pendulums
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

Homepage: http://mattdabbs.com

Stoicism is one route to pseudo-peace. Making yourself indifferent to the world around you might numb the senses and the mind but it does not bring true peace. True peace doesn’t come through indifference. True peace is found in the tension of living in and through difficult, even dire, circumstances while recognizing that we don’t have to allow those things to make us anxious or afraid.

We are called to…

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I learned to drive years before I got a permit. One of the things I have enjoyed since I was very young was observing the world around me…always watching for how things worked, how people behaved, and trying to figure out my place in it all. I learned to drive when I was very young and I learned it by watching what others were doing. I watched how my…

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Do you struggle to find peace in your life?

Do you struggle to be in tune with the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Those two questions go hand in hand.

As Paul contrasts the life controlled by the flesh and the life controlled by the Holy Spirit he shares an insight that allows us to understand why we struggle to find peace. Those who allow their fleshly desires to…

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We live in anxious times. Some in advertising say “sex sells” well, anxiety sells just as well if not better. Our world has upped its game when it comes to producing and transferring anxiety. This is true from parenting to politics.

The good news is that we have a Savior who is not in the anxiety producing business. He doesn’t need anxiety to sell us on his message or to…

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Various version of this cartoon have floated around for some time. It is a great illustration of point of view and ultimately empathy. If we would each take a moment to walk around to the other side and look at something from a new angle we might not only come to a better understanding of an issue but…

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I grew up just outside of Saint Louis in a small town called Union. It was and I am sure still is a pretty blue collar town. We grew up with plenty of land to run around on and local restaurants to eat at. It wasn’t until we moved from there to North Alabama in 1992 that Union finally got a McDonalds. It was that small.

One of my memories…

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Like anything, empathy can be a healthy part of life or an unhealthy one depending on how it is being used. Edwin Friedman wasn’t a big fan of empathy because empathy can be a tool used to keep stuck systems stuck and dysfunctional systems dysfunctional. Empathy can hijack a relationship or a system and keep people from moving forward because in hurting with those who hurt it can make…

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I don’t understand you and you probably don’t understand me. But we can try. If I am only to care about those who are just like me that isn’t anything more than loving myself…that the closer you are to who I am the easier it is I find myself loving you. The true challenge is in loving someone who is…

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In Galatians 2 we learn that Paul took Titus and Barnabas with him when he consulted with the leaders of the churches in Jerusalem. Paul says he took this trip in response to revelation from God. This is probably the same revelation given by Agabus in Acts 11 that links Antioch and Jerusalem as well as the gift to the impoverished Christians just like we find in Galatians…

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What the Bible takes seriously we take seriously. When you find something over and over again, constantly being emphasized to multiple groups of people by the inspired authors of scripture it is important to pay attention.

The New Testament writers both emphasized the power of God’s grace and the power of sin. The first one triumphs over the second but it doesn’t mean the second becomes unimportant. The second is…

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