Finding God's Winning Spirit

God's Winning Spirit

Me First: The Centered Self

January 5, 2015 | Greg Smith | Focus
A decade or so ago I traveled around the country teaching customer satisfaction for a company that monitored such things. During my presentation I would always hand out buttons to the audience – a red button that read “Me First”. I would request that the each participant put on their button as I moved on with the presentation. Invariably, I would notice that a significant number of the participants had not put on their buttons so I would stop and inquire as to why. The typical answer I received was that wearing such a button made them feel “selfish” or “self-centered”. I usually responded with, “those two terms are not always synonymous”.
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Adam - The First "Control Freak" (Part II)

January 5, 2015 | Greg Smith | Devotional
There have been many theological debates as to what was man’s original sin. Some say Adam’s sin was simple disobedience; while others say it was pride. I have always said that it was “unfaith”. For some reason Adam did not trust God to be God and wanted to know everything himself. Adam’s need for control severed the faith relationship between him and his Creator. Control then became the curse of fallen man – one’s need for control is the epitome of rebellion against God.
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"Control Freaks" (Part One)

December 12, 2014 | Greg Smith | Focus
If you're ever in the mood to do some personal reflection I would encourage you to ask yourself where you stand on the issue of control. No matter who you are or where you are in your life, trust me when I say, control is nearby. Some individuals are obsessed with it while others only have to negotiate it, but either way, control plays a part in all of our lives. You can tell a lot about a person simply by understanding their relationship with control.
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Ferguson, MO (No Surprise)

December 4, 2014 | Greg Smith | Devotional
Benjamin Watson, a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, posted his view of the Ferguson shooting on his Facebook page –it went viral. In his posting he talked about his feelings of the Brown shooting in paragraphs leading with words like anger, sadness, embarrassment, sympathy, hopelessness and eventually ending with encouragement. Why did his posting speak to so many people? It was not because he is black or famous – it was just the truth. After reading Benjamin’s post I must say that I had one thought.
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December 1, 2014 | Greg Smith | Devotional
As I have said many times Paul loved to use sports to teach about the Christian life – 1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7 and Philippians 3:13-14, to mention a few. Paul's favorite sports analogy for the Christian life was "running the race". Paul used running (marathons rather than sprints) to teach us about endurance, training, perseverance and focusing on our goal. This analogy is powerful as it talks about difficult paths, stumbling and the need for personal strength and commitment; all things needed to negotiate “the course” – life.
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Christian Regression (Return to Wonderment)

November 20, 2014 | Greg Smith | Devotional
I am always amazed at the perceptions of children. They pick up a stick and it becomes a gun. I see a string, they see a bracelet. I point to a cloud, they see a horse. Children are not limited by reality and see life as a never-ending spontaneous adventure. Life for them is founded on possibilities, fueled by joy and filled with wonderment. They are playing, exploring, and creating…and that’s awesome!
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Bad Shots

November 17, 2014 | Greg Smith | Devotional
One thing that has always frustrated me about being a therapist is not having the opportunity to really get to know my clients. That may sound strange considering the "client therapist relationship" that we always talk about. The fact of the matter is that the national average for visits to therapists is three sessions – not a lot of time to get to know someone. Just when you start to get to know someone they vanish, hopefully better off but who really knows.
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Be Prepared: Part II

November 10, 2014 | Greg Smith | Focus
Last week, in Be Prepared (part 1), we talked about the importance of preparation as it relates to winning in sports. That discussion revolved around the premise that to be successful in athletic competition preparation is key and the key elements in preparation are knowing the opponent and knowing oneself – a “no brainer” when it comes to sports. Although the same concepts work in our Christian life, application seems to be less obvious.
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Be Prepared: Part I

October 31, 2014 | Greg Smith | Devotional
No matter at what level you are playing football (high school, college or pro) you are going to spend some significant time in the film room. A key part of your preparation will be watching film on your next opponent attempting to learn their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. You will also be watching film on your own team to see where you need to improve. This is important because to be successful each athlete or team needs to prepare and a significant part of preparation is having a working knowledge of the opponent and an even more impeccable understanding of self.
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Equally Yoked

October 24, 2014 | Greg Smith | Marriage
I was in session with a client the other day and she made the statement that she was not sure that she and her husband were "equally yoked" as a couple. In her words she felt like she was more mature in her faith than her husband and that this was part of their marital problem. She then asked me to share my understanding of the term "equally yoked"
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