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Jim Buchan's Blog (83)

The Law of Replenishment

Have you ever run out of gas? Of course, the smarter thing is to periodically check your gas gauge to see when it’s time to replenish your supply.

But many years ago, I had a car with a defective gas gauge. It was pretty scary to never know how much gas was in my tank.

Lately I’ve been think about why the Law of Replenishment is a vital lesson of the Christian life, keeping us from running out of gas spiritually. This principle is especially crucial for leaders, caregivers, and…

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Added by Jim Buchan on April 2, 2018 at 3:47pm — No Comments

Johnny's Amazing Legacy Seeds

When my daughter Molly recently asked me my favorite Bible verse, I didn’t have an answer ready.

“I have lots of favorites!” I told her. “I guess it depends on the week you ask me.”

But Molly was persistent, as she always is. She wanted an answer, yet it still was difficult for me to narrow down the list.

One of the verses I mentioned to her is Psalm 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and…

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Added by Jim Buchan on March 18, 2018 at 9:24pm — No Comments

When God Enacted Daylight Saving Time

Most people hate Daylight Saving Time. So why do we still have it?

As the time changes once again, people will inevitably lose sleep and be grumpier than usual. Researchers point out that DST disrupts our body’s circadian rhythm, creating an effect similar to jet lag. Studies have shown an increase in traffic accidents, workplace injuries, depression, suicides, strokes, and heart attacks immediately following a time change. Yikes!

But as much as I dislike Daylight Saving Time,…

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Added by Jim Buchan on March 10, 2018 at 6:00pm — No Comments

In the Year Billy Graham Died...

After Billy Graham died at age 99, many people wondered who could ever replace him. In some ways, the answer might be no one – for Graham was a unique minister of the gospel and ambassador for Christ. Like Queen Esther, he was anointed to speak to kings, presidents, prime ministers, and the entire culture “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

But there’s another answer that might surprise you. When looking for Billy Graham’s replacement, you need look no further…

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Added by Jim Buchan on March 9, 2018 at 11:29am — No Comments

Billy Graham & the Law of FOCUS

Throughout Billy Graham’s life, people tried to give him career advice. “You would make a great congressman or senator!” some would say. “Have you ever thought about running for office?” Others even predicted he would have a good chance of being elected President, if they could just convince him to run.

Once a major motion picture studio offered him a million dollars to sign a movie deal. “Your good looks, booming voice, and natural charisma could make you star!” they told…

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Added by Jim Buchan on March 4, 2018 at 3:43pm — No Comments

The Secret to Billy Graham's Humility

Billy Graham once told a humorous story revealing how he could stay so humble, even while accomplishing so much. He was an evangelical superstar, to say the least. Yet when one of his long-time friends reflecting on Graham’s ministry, he said, “Billy always saw himself as just a farm boy from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He was amazed that God could use him like He did.”

Before I share Graham’s quite revealing story, it’s important to note the contrast between him and many of…

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Added by Jim Buchan on February 24, 2018 at 9:14am — No Comments

Billy Graham and the Fruit of Loyalty

Countless books and blogs could be written about the many admirable qualities of Billy Graham. But to me, one of his most remarkable examples was the loyalty and teamwork of his evangelistic team.

As someone who has spent man decades with Christian churches and ministries, I assure you that this quality is extremely rare. Yet, while most Christian organizations are marked by a constant turnover of personnel, Billy Graham stood out in his ability to assemble a team that…

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Added by Jim Buchan on February 21, 2018 at 9:28pm — No Comments

Enoch's 4 Keys to Smooth Transitions

An important attribute for having a happy and successful life is the ability to make smooth transitions. Why? Because transitions are one of the most inescapable features of life.

Instead of remaining a baby, we transition to childhood. After childhood, we encounter numerous changes as we shift into our teen years. After that, we’re invited to mature into an adult…a senior citizen…and, after we die, a citizen of eternity.

There are many other transitions along the way, and…

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Added by Jim Buchan on February 18, 2018 at 5:42pm — 1 Comment

Ketogenic Spirituality

I recently gained an important spiritual insight from an unlikely source. I was listening to a radio program touting the benefits of a new weight-loss craze called the Ketogenic Diet.

The basic concept of the Ketogenic Diet is that you should only consume calories during 8 hours of the day, such as from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The remaining 16 hours should be spent burning off the calories you’ve already consumed and the fat that’s already stored in your cells.

“Most of us Americans…

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Added by Jim Buchan on February 4, 2018 at 10:03am — No Comments

Does Anyone Believe in You?

With four seconds left in the game and trailing the Saints, 24-23, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum lofted a desperation pass to Stefon Diggs near the New Orleans 35-yard line. After Diggs went high in the air to snag the pass, coaches yelled at him to get out of bounds so the Vikings could attempt a last-second field goal.

But Diggs disregarded his coaches. When no one tackled him, he decided to head for the end zone instead of going out of bounds. In one of the most amazing finishes…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 16, 2018 at 4:09pm — No Comments

2018: Your Year of New Beginnings

I’ve never spent much time thinking about Biblical numerology. But this year is different.

As we enter into 2018, I find myself thinking about the number “8” – God’s number of resurrection and new beginnings.

If you want a detailed explanation, I suggest a Google search. But here are a few simple observations:

  • Since 7 is God’s number of completion, 8 starts a new cycle of things.
  • Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, which was the…
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Added by Jim Buchan on January 3, 2018 at 10:09am — No Comments

Avoiding Emotional Roller Coasters in 2018

Roller coasters are for young people. If you’re over 50 and still like roller coasters, I think you’re either crazy, or perhaps you just like going to chiropractors.

People probably like roller coasters for the same reason they like scary movies. There’s an undeniable adrenaline surge when you think your life’s in jeopardy.

But I’m not sure that’s a healthy way to live.

I’ve discovered lately that many people who no longer ride Disney World roller coasters are instead…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 30, 2017 at 11:57am — No Comments

The Happiness Switch: How 2017 Unexpectedly Became My Happiest Year in Decades

Like King David in the Psalms, many of my journal entries in recent years could have been titled, “Why am I so depressed…so dissatisfied with life?” This was especially true most years in November and December, when I faced holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

So it came as a surprise when I noticed this month that I’m happier than I’ve been in years – even decades. How could this be, when most things in my life are exactly the same as they’ve been for the past…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 27, 2017 at 6:08am — No Comments

6 Secrets of the Magi

We don’t know the exact time frame of the journey made by “wise men from the East” in search of young King Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12). It may have been several months or even a few years after Jesus’ birth when they arrived at Herod’s palace and asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (v. 1).

But while some of the details of their journey may be unclear, there’s much we can learn from the wonderful example set by the…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 22, 2017 at 9:25am — 1 Comment

The Elusive 'Proverbs 31' Ideal Today

When a friend recently asked me to share my thoughts on the “Proverbs 31” woman and man, it unexpectedly was a painful experience. As never before, I realized how cynical I had become on the subject of an ideal marriage. For far too many couples – even Christian couples – the marital ideal of “heaven on earth” has degenerated into something akin to hell on earth.

Solomon (or “King Lemuel”) asks, Who can find a virtuous…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 7, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Pens, Pencils & Negative Words

All the way through elementary school, I did my writing with pencils. Each year, “#2 Pencils” were on the top of the school supply list.

But when I arrived in middle school, we were expected to use ink pens instead. The writing experience was certainly better with the pens, but there was one major problem: Ink is difficult to erase.

Eventually, some clever marketers came up with “erasable” pens. But that was false advertising, because they were still hard…

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Added by Jim Buchan on November 27, 2017 at 4:43pm — No Comments

My Boundless Gratitude -- in Retrospect

This Thanksgiving was a chance to reflect once again on my “Gratitude Quotient.” I concluded that I’m happier and more grateful than I’ve been in many years.

However, I uncovered a blog I wrote several years ago admitting two disturbing things: (1) I’m still not nearly as grateful as I should be for how God has blessed me; and (2) Many of the things I’m now MOST grateful for are past events I wasn’t grateful for at all when they were taking place.

I call this second…

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Added by Jim Buchan on November 26, 2017 at 6:02am — No Comments

A New Appreciation for the Holidays

Ever since his divorce several years back, my friend Ron has complained to me this time of year about the upcoming holidays. He has his reasons, to be sure, but he’s begun to sound like a broken record.

“It’s just not the same,” he moans. “With my wife gone and my kids living far away, it’s always an agonizing time for me.”

Then he typically cites the gluttony, commercialization, overspending, and other holiday sins as justification for his negative attitudes. You’ve probably…

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Added by Jim Buchan on November 21, 2017 at 5:26am — No Comments

A Lesson from Jesus on Handling Grief

I’m not an expert on the subject of grief by any means – far from it. Yet recently several friends have had loved ones die suddenly and unexpectedly. I’ve found myself wondering, how are they supposed to handle that?

Then today I noticed a woman at the grocery store who had some sort of Christian bracelet. When I asked about the bracelet, she told me the heart-wrenching story of how her sister had died just two weeks ago of a rare form of cancer.

Wow. How is she supposed to…

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Added by Jim Buchan on November 20, 2017 at 11:39pm — No Comments

The #1 Reason Counseling Often Fails

A firestorm erupted recently when I wrote a blog that was deemed critical of the counseling profession. I have lots of friends who are counselors—excellent counselors—and several seemed to think I was including them in my critique of incompetent counseling. Meanwhile, I also have countless friends who’ve been helped by skilled counselors, and they rose up to defend the counseling profession and share their gratitude for a job well done.

My blog’s main point was simply…

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Added by Jim Buchan on October 21, 2017 at 5:55pm — No Comments

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