Author: Clayton Ritter

My Opinion of Others

Opinions are funny things. They are so easily formed but not so easily changed. They are unique to the individual but can form camps of like-mindedness. They can lead to strong convictions and the dismissal of dissent. Opinions are also the least valuable thing I bring to the Church. My opinion of others can be a strong filter through which I interact with them. But from where do those opinion originate? Have I ever formed an opinion of a person based upon someone else’s experience with them? I’ve been there. I’ve let a friend’s offense at someone else filter my...

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Leave the Blessing

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. John 21:7 You gotta love Peter. At times compulsive and reckless yet there is a sincerity of heart about him that is simply beautiful. Peter had been called out of a fishing career by Jesus. He was called not to the profession of disciple, but to a relationship with Jesus. That relationship had so affected Peter...

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Called Out

As the Church, we are a called-out people. Noah was called out of the world and into the ark. Abram was called out of his father’s house and into the covenant. The Hebrews were called out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The exiles were called out of Babylon and into Jerusalem. Gideon was called out of a winepress and into leadership. David was called out of the fields and into the anointing. The disciples were called out of their professions and into a life with Jesus. Peter was called out of the boat and into a miracle. The man with Legion was...

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Listen UP!

But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13-14 “What should I do?”  As a pastor, I hear this question a lot. While I consider it an honor that someone would seek out any wisdom I may have for them, I know that I should never be their first or their final source. In fact, I’m not even their guide. I’m more of a guide to their...

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The High Road

“I’m taking the high road!” How many times have you heard this phrase? But what does it mean? Often, it is interpreted that in your choice of responses to a negative situation, you should choose the one that is more restrained and less combative. The problem with the high road mentality is that when we choose it, we usually do so out of pride. Pride encourages high-road-thinking. It is a veiled attempt to look down from its lofty perch to those on the low road. Our pride convinces us that we are somehow morally superior to the other party. It uses innuendo...

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Unity

King David. Israel’s greatest king. A man after God’s own heart. The standard by which every other king would later be measured. King David. Liar. Adulterer. Murderer. Sounds like the scandalous headline of a supermarket check out line tabloid doesn’t it? No fake news here, though. David was all of those things. Though a great leader, he made a BIG mistake. He lusted for a woman who was married to a righteous man named Uriah. He slept with her and then tried to cover it up by having Uriah killed. When confronted with his sin, David repented and God...

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Get off the Treadmill

I love running. Specifically, I love running outside. I love the fresh air, constantly changing scenery, and actually moving forward to get somewhere. Alone is ok but with a friend, we can find a pace that is mutually beneficial, talk to each other, and accomplish something together. The weather isn’t always perfect, but I love being OUTSIDE. But occasionally, due to weather, I have to run on a treadmill inside a gym. I hate treadmills. Don’t get me wrong, the availability of a treadmill is great. The climate is controlled for you and you never have to leave the room. It’s predictable. But that’s also the problem. For me, what makes running a joy is that it’s outdoors…and I was born for the outdoors. Treadmill scenery never changes. People come and go out of the gym but you’re stuck in the same place you started. Others may run alongside you but they’re not getting anywhere either. Headphones on to distract from the boredom and to avoid any awkward conversation, they just get busy. Treadmills have become the subways of the fitness world, crowded and lonely at the same time. Churches can be like that, too. I’ve been on a spiritual treadmill at times, too. Running hard to keep up with what I thought were Kingdom priorities but getting nowhere, mistaking busyness for progress. I’d fallen into the common trap of thinking that...

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