“Metathesiophobia (uncountable) (rare) The persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of change.” –

Are you afflicted with Metathesiophobia? Most people are. There are no medications or vaccines that will cure it. It can bring on depression, and anxiety and hinder personal growth. The only cure for it is a change in attitude and outlook.

Most of us don’t like change. It irritates us when they walk into a grocery store and all the products have been moved to different aisles. It annoys us when our iPhone operating system changes just when we learned all the changes from the previous version.  The bottom line is that life is change. The longer you live, the more you know that the only thing constant in this life is change. Whether our changes seem hard or make us happy, change teaches us that life is fragile, uncertain, and temporary. Nothing lasts forever.

We all tend to love things the way they are—with what we are familiar with. But that does not mean all change is bad. You may find something you need in an aisle you don’t typically go down in the grocery store.  Or you may discover a new function in the operating system that makes your life easier. Change is like that.  The longer you live, the more you know that the only thing constant in this life is change.

The good news is that God does not change. “I am the Lord, and I do not change.  ….” (Malachi 3:6a) In Psalm 102:27, the psalmist declares, “But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end” (NASB). God doesn’t change. He has always been and will always be never changing. Not only does God not change but He has unshakeable plans for each of us. His loving intention toward us never wavers whatever change comes our way. There are many things I cannot control, but I can depend on God to be a refuge in times of trouble, and give guidance through His Word that will help me navigate life’s changes. He is always totally in control of the circumstances of my life.

In the end, while change can be hard, we can grow in our faith when we learn to embrace it. When we trust God’s plan, He transforms us each and every day as His followers. If God has allowed a change in your life, let that change motivate you to draw closer to Him and to His Word.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever seen someone’s life change so much that you couldn’t deny it was God changing them?
  2. What can you do this week to change an area of your life that needs changing?   


“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” – Deuteronomy 30:19.

In the garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented the possible choices people could make to do the right or the wrong thing. Adam and Eve’s choice to eat from that tree is a prologue to all the times God’s people would make sinful decisions in the future.

There is a sign at a high school that says the following. “You are not born a winner, You are not born a loser, You are born a chooser.” Like Adam and Eve, we will experience choices. Every day brings new challenges and decisions for you and everyone around you. Every day is a new day, and every day means we either choose to live for God, by the standards He lays down in scripture, or we live for ourselves by our own standards of right and wrong, as in the days when “. . . the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25).

When you make a choice against one thing, you make a choice for something else. When you make up your mind to abhor evil, you make the choice to cling to what is good. When you choose to ignore the prompting of the Lord in an area, you are making the choice to do something that opposes His best plan for your life. Choosing to do right isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

Following God is determined not only by the one big decision we must make at the time of our conversion but also by the many small decisions that we make throughout each day. Perhaps the most profound act of worship is not found in a worship service where we corporately praise God and offer our prayers, but in private when no one is watching, and we choose to obey God rather than fall into temptation.

What do we want to change in the next six months? What do we hope to change in the next year? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be? The change will only happen if you choose to change.

Change requires making choices. It’s not enough to dream of changing. It’s not enough to desire change. In order for you to change, you will need to make a decision. You must choose to change. You can only muster the faith to embrace and choose change by knowing His love, knowing His character, and trusting Him.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever seen someone’s life change so much that you couldn’t deny it was God changing them?
  2. What can you do this week to change an area of your life that needs changing?   


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” – John 1:5.

The habit of consuming a half-gallon of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough after a hard day might seem like a good idea in the moment, but it would be wise to consider the implications for tomorrow instead of the temporary pleasure of indulging today. Bad habits always have consequences and are hard to overcome which explains why it is often challenging to do so.

So what keeps us stuck doing the same thing over and over, stuck in a perpetual déjà vu?  What do we need to do to escape the grip of bad habits in our life so we can become the person God created us to be? The first step is to identify the triggers that cause the bad habit. By discovering the “cue” that ignites the habit, you place yourself in a position of power over the temptation. When you are nervous, you bite your fingernails; when you are bored, you open up your smartphone and disconnect from the world around you. By understanding the triggers behind your habits, you can begin working on a strategy to overcome them.

One of the ways we can deal with bad habits is to replace them with new ones. Repetition is the key to forming habits, either good or bad. So, for you to overcome old bad habits, you need to form new ones and continually repeat them until they overshadow the bad habits. John 1:5 reminds us that good has more power than bad: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” The devil always wants us to form bad habits, while God wants us to form good habits. So it makes sense to replace bad habits with good ones.

It is easy to convince ourselves that a solution is unlikely or impossible. We have made so many unsuccessful attempts to overcome their habits that we have resigned ourselves to failure. We may have lost a few battles, but we have not lost the war. In spite of our previous failures, that does not mean we can’t achieve ultimate victory.

It won’t be easy. Breaking bad habits takes a strong commitment, an investment of time, a lot of hard work, and a willingness to be uncomfortable while you change a bad habit into a good one. For example, Samson. When Samson grew up, he developed a bad habit of always doing the opposite of his parents’ instructions. He developed over time the habit of drinking and running after women. Eventually, he met Delilah, (Judges 16:4-30), who brought about his downfall.

Start with small changes: Big changes are made by taking small steps – one at a time. If you repeatedly try and fail to change a bad habit, perhaps you are biting off too much. Rather than make a 180-degree flip, is there a way that you could make a gradual transition into a better routine?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Based on who you want to become, what habit do you want to break?
  2. Think of the last time you broke a habit. What worked? What didn’t work?


“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking the complex and overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”” – Mark Twain.

What is a habit? A habit is “an established practice, tendency, or manner of behavior.” It is a behavioral pattern that is acquired through frequent repetition. We tend to be creatures of habit and we tend to underestimate the power of habits over our life… both good and bad. A habit can be harmless, or life-threatening. It can range from a facial mannerism to something as deeply ingrained as a character weakness. It can involve something as simple as using the same route to work every day, to something more serious like not being able to control our anger.

The habits that conflict with your ability to see yourself today and transform you into the person you want to be tomorrow are bad habits. In other words, they conflict with you being Christ-like, those are your bad habits. Paul writes in Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world…” or in other words the habits of this world.  “but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

Almost nothing causes more regret than bad habits. We are talking about the bad habits that in retrospect, we wish we had not ever let get started.  That when we look back, we wish we could go and tell our younger selves, “Don’t even start down this road because you’re going to regret it.” The reason we even start down that road is that we don’t think we will regret it.  We don’t think we are causing any real harm.  We might even know it’s wrong, we might know it’s even a bad idea, but we just do it anyway.  The problem with bad habits is that we are dulled to the dangers they pose and the pain they inflict because we can go a long time before we see any consequences that we regret.

 And that’s the devil’s strategy.  He limits any real harm at the start because otherwise, nobody would ever become a slave to any bad habits. He allows us to be lulled to sleep, to become dull to the dangers, until we end up piling up regret.

The key is to make the changes necessary to become the person God wants us to be. How many times have we come to grips with a bad habit, but didn’t actually make any changes?

If we want to break some bad habits, we have to quit deceiving ourselves into thinking that just showing up or feeling guilty is God’s endgame.  It’s not.  It never has been.  Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want us just to learn more, He wants us to obey more. God wants us to become the person He always intended us to be.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a habit you would like to break? What can you do to start breaking that habit this week?
  2. What are some spiritual habits you would like to start?

This Is My Year…I Promise

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16.

Another year has come and gone. There is a buzz in the air as the world comes together to recognize a new beginning. We say goodbye to 2022 and usher in the new year. We ponder and discuss all the interesting occurrences that happened in the past year; the good times, the bad times, the frustrating times, and the fun times. We share what valuable lessons we learned from our experiences, what God showed us and how He was faithful through all of it

We do this as a closure to one year and then an opening to the next. How do we harness the incredible opportunity and hope each new year presents to us? What new experiences will we go through and what new lessons will we learn? It’s all fresh and new and that is exciting. Isn’t this the longing of every heart? Regardless of what season of life you are in or the circumstances you are facing, there is a belief that the future will be better. There is a belief that this could be our year.

The new year gives us a fresh new outlook for the coming year and enables us to leave the past where it belongs, not that we forget the past but learn from it and move forward into our present future with opened hearts and minds to receive whatever God has for us. This is your year.

Start out the New Year with a fresh point of view on new experiences, memories, and blessings. Having an open mind and heart to where ever the Lord may take you with full assurance and confidence that He is with you “…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Then consider the possibilities. There’s no limit to what God can do in your life and nothing is impossible with God. God opens doors that no man can shut and also closes doors that no man can open. The possibilities are endless with God. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Find your purpose this year.  God always has a plan and a purpose for what you will go through and experience in 2023. Remember that God always has a reason for what He allows in your life and through it you can trust Him completely. “Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance.” (Proverbs 1:3-5)

Gilbert K. Chesterton said, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” This could be your year.  It may be filled with hardships, but it could be a new beginning for you where you see the Lord move and experience His presence more and more.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some areas in your life where you want to see change in 2023?
  2. Think of the past few years.  What struggles have you had in implementing changes in your life?
  3. In what ways has God given you a “new you” to help navigate 2023?

Let’s Make A Difference in 2023

“I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me” – Bono.

Every year we get products that are advertised to innovate and lead a cultural revolution. The company making these products believes they are changing the world. As Christians, we would love to do something that would change the world. Our desire is to make a difference rather than live an obscure, little life that will leave no mark on the world.   

If we do really want to change the world, how do we go about it? Handling the basics of life can leave one exhausted. Do I really have the margin, much less the capacity, to change the world? Do I really want to give it a try? After all, the world has a lot of problems and it is difficult to determine where to start. And there is still another question to throw in the mix: how do I make an impact? Do we want to invest our strength, power, and abilities? What if I get tired? Or scared? Or worse yet, flat-out fail?

The key is to stop paying attention to the enormity of the impossible and start pouring your time and energy into the possible: the people and the place to which God has called you to serve Him.

You cannot do it all. You can’t get your arms around the vast boundaries of your city or your entire state. But you are able to touch those who come into the scope of your influence. There will always be more people to reach than time or energy or commitment can provide. But the truth is that each one of us can touch a few. How wrong we would be to stop helping anyone because we cannot help everyone. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.”

With 1440 minutes in a day and 365 days in a year, we’re given plenty of opportunities to shine. The thing is, we tend to forget that small acts of kindness are every bit as powerful in drawing others to Christ as those we plan and prepare for. A smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer, a text, or a compassionate ear, are just some of the ways to show love and glorify God. You can make a difference. Count on the Lord to honor and multiply your best efforts, even though they may seem small.

John Piper said that “people that make a difference in the world are not people who have mastered a lot of things. If you want your life to count, you don’t have to have a high IQ, good looks, or graduate from a prestigious school. You just have to know a few basic, simple, glorious, majestic, obvious, unchanging eternal things and be gripped by them. It is what you are gripped with, or what we care deeply about.”

Imagine the difference that one person can make–that you can make in this world.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How are you making a difference in your community? 
  2. What can we do this week to make a difference in one person’s life?

Having An Encounter With God

“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.” – Jeremiah 15:16. 

Have you ever had a personal encounter with God? Do you know what it means or even that it is possible today in our everyday lives?

Scripture tells us how to have a perfect and direct avenue to powerful and transformational encounters with God. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.” In Scripture, we find both our weakness and God’s unfailing love portrayed through countless stories. All we need to both understand and pursue a wholehearted unveiled relationship with God is found in scripture.

Do you desire to have a personal encounter with God?  One thing we need to understand is that as we try to find God, He is trying to find us. If you can’t find God, start to worship and He will find you. Hebrews 11:6 says “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

People are changed when they have a real encounter with Jesus. When Jesus was here on earth no one who needed help could come into His presence and remain the same. Sick people were healed. Dead people came back to life. Broken people became whole. It’s no different now. The reason people are changed is when people encounter God. If the presence of God is present, people are changed. Some of the most impactful times in the presence of God can be just you and Him. You’re alone in your prayer closet or in God’s great outdoors in silence and stillness. He will show up.

When you experience such an encounter, what makes it so wonderful, is the realization that you matter to God. Whether in a crowd or by yourself, an encounter with God is not Him raining down something “on” you; it’s Him being with you. Your heart is open and still, and the living God of the universe “…will share a meal together as friends.”  (Revelation 3:20) When we seek God with passion, desire, and excitement, He shows up, and everything changes.

The key is to keep showing up alone with God. Invest in your relationship with your Creator. Something special can happen if you are focused on Him. And you will find yourself being transformed.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe yourself when you have been the most “connected” to Jesus. The most “disconnected.” 
  2. What can you add or delete from your life today to be more connected this week?

”But This is Who I Am…”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. 

Are you living a life full of of regrets? In those quiet moments of reflection do you think, “If only…” “If only I had that college education…If only I had married the right person…If only I had won that job…If only I had not made that stupid mistake…”

But here’s the thing: The key to peace and to real life change is forgetting, not remembering. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need closure. Is it important to deal with your past?  Yes, it is. God doesn’t want us to pretend. He wants us to face our past and to deal with it by focusing on Him, and putting it behind us. 

There are positives that can come out of the past. You have the ability to make today better than yesterday. You can change the way you lived by applying the lessons you have learned. Your past was meant to teach you, train you and equip you for where you are today. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing remains the same unless you choose not to change. We have to keep moving.

But we are used to letting the past hang around. We hang onto the past for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is because we think it is a part of who we are. Or it feels so familiar because the past is a known commodity and the future is a question mark. Or maybe we just feel that the future can’t be better because of our past. Or finally, maybe we just think that because of what we did in the past, there is no point trying because we will always be behind in God’s view of us. Or maybe we can’t let go of the past because of the way some person treated us. Maybe we have anger because of a long list of wrongs that have been done to us  But we can let go of the past and what’s more we should.

The past cannot block our future because it is behind us. Our past can only remind us of where God brought us from. The future is ahead of us, just waiting for our arrival. Take a moment and thank God for everything in your past. The past was supposed to happen.  It is part of the plan. And better yet, it had a purpose. 

If I didn’t have a past, I would not have a future. My past is the reason why I am who I am today. I may have failed at some things, but I am not a failure. The past may have bruised me, but I am not broken.   

I’m not what happened to me. I’m not what I have been through, I’m not what people said I would become. I am who God created me to be. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you have a lot of regrets?
  2. How has the past contributed to who you are today?
  3. How much does the past play in your present life?
  4. What steps can you take to put the past in the past?

Growing People Change

“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”- 2 Peter 3:18.

In every story in the Bible where someone meets Jesus, that person is changed. The story of Zacchaeus (Matthew 19:1-10) is just one example. The same is true today. Jesus meets us where we are, but once we know Him, we will never be the same. As Christians, growing in our faith simply means being changed and becoming more like Jesus. 

God expects us to grow spiritually and His Word encourages personal examination as an element of growth:

  • “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” – Lamentations 3:40.
  • “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” – Haggai 1:5.
  • “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” – Galatians 6:4.
  • Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,” – Ephesians 5:15.

It is important to remember that spiritual growth is a process, not a program. And as a process, it takes time, but more importantly it takes active involvement. Unfortunately we will not grow by osmosis or by association. We need to evaluate where we are and decide where we want to be both short and long-term. We can start with some key elements in growth: going and serving in church and small groups, studying the word of God, attending the Growth Track classes, and reading books or listening to podcasts, etc. in the area of spiritual growth. In addition to those, here are a few additional thoughts to consider.

Ask yourself when was the last time you did something new, or at least different than what you have always done. What have you tried in 2015 that you have never tried before. Trying new things, and sometimes failing is one of the best ways to grow. If you attend church and participate in a small group, what have you learned and more importantly applied in the last few months? How intentional have you been about learning and making them part of your life. James tells us to be doers, not just listeners. (James 1:22)

What have you been doing to manage or facilitate your spiritual growth? It is hard to grow if we are on the sidelines. Take control of your spiritual growth and if you are not where you need to be, take the steps to get there. 

And finally, pray daily. Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Give thanks to the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit. It will help you grow spiritually.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What person has most encouraged you in your spiritual growth?
  2. When you are growing in the Lord, what are some changes you have seen in your life as evidence of growth in your walk with Christ? What are some changes you have seen in other’s lives as evidence of that growth?
  3. What event/activity/season of life caused your spiritual life to grow the most?
  4. At what period of your life would you describe as the time when you were closest to God?
  5. What changes would you have to make in your life now in order to grow more spiritually?

Change For The Better

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” – Roman 11:6.

Very few people want change in their lives. We don’t want change because we don’t like it. But no matter how much we dislike change it is  inevitable that we will experience change sometime in our lives. Change for the Christian is usually a good thing. God’s plan is to make us new and to be more like Him and that requires change. But change is not the end game. Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.

That is not to suggest that change is easy.  It isn’t. How often have we been angry because of our lack of change. We react in frustration: “I can’t believe I’ve done it again,” or “why can’t I get over this hurdle?” We are disappointed and discouraged in our inability to make progress in spiritual matters. Change is painfully slow. Making our relationship with God better is not as easy as we thought it would be. 

The reality is that from time to time, we all see areas in our lives that we struggle with; areas that we wish could be different. It might be moral failures or habits that have us discouraged. It could be relationships. It could be our inability to affect lasting change. How does God want us to approach those areas? Is there a way to find freedom and real change? I believe the answer is yes and it involves God’s grace. God’s grace can make a powerful difference in your life.

It is God’s grace that enables us to change. We have the ability to change when we are  overwhelmed with His love and His grace instead of being overwhelmed with our problems and trials. When we switch our focus and perspective, change just seems to happen. Change so dramatic and so real that the problems that defeated us in the past are replaced by the peace, contentment and joy that we find in Christ. Is anything deeper in its love, or more compassionate, or more humble, than the grace God shows us daily? God’s grace pours out love, kindness, favor to all who will trust Him. You don’t have to earn it. You just have to be in relationship with Him to receive His grace. Every believer is a witness to God’s overwhelming grace. 

We most need God’s grace when we become aware of aspects in our lives we know are wrong—things like: poor decisions, habits, behavior that we are ashamed of, areas we want God to change. If we have received Christ into our hearts, we have been declared His own, forgiven, and now under His grace. It is His grace that frees us and changes us. Instead of feeling like a failure or condemned, use your shortcomings to remind you of God’s love and grace. 

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

Discussion Questions:

  1. Change can be difficult. Why or why not?
  2. What does the word “grace” mean to you? What amazes you about God’s grace?
  3. What are some of the ways in which the life of a Christian should be changed by having experienced grace?
  4. How can I be a demonstration of grace in my family, in my workplace, in my church and in my community?