Joe Duke
Another 30

Another 30

Three decades is a long time—long enough to experience the consistent faithfulness of our God. He has been with us through every twist and turn. God continues to empower us to be influencers who can help others discover His love and grace. Today we celebrate our first...

Beyond Our Plans

Beyond Our Plans

Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes our plans exceed our expectations and other times we fall short as we trip and stumble along the journey. We need to leave room for both successes and failures. Our plans must always create space for God to work in ways we...

Beyond Our Failure

Beyond Our Failure

We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance...

Beyond Our Doubt

Beyond Our Doubt

It’s not unusual to find people paralyzed by doubt. But with God’s help we can go beyond where we are to where we could be. And that means our doubt can get replaced with confidence and faith. Nehemiah led the people of Jerusalem in a rebuilding project that was met...

Beyond Our Reach

Beyond Our Reach

It’s usually a good sign when we’re reaching for things that require God’s help. If we could make progress without God, then maybe we should reconsider the goal. The story of Nehemiah and the Jewish people is one of remarkable accomplishment. It all began with an...

Christ Centered Community

Christ Centered Community

Relationships can get strained and twisted and even broken. But a wrecked relationship is ripe for reconciliation. A reconciling community is one that creates an environment that anticipates reconnection and healing—the expectation that things can be put back right....

A Reconciling Community

A Reconciling Community

Relationships can get strained and twisted and even broken. But a wrecked relationship is ripe for reconciliation. A reconciling community is one that creates an environment that anticipates reconnection and healing—the expectation that things can be put back right....

The Secret Path to Courage

The Secret Path to Courage

Sometimes secrets are meant to be told—especially when those secrets could help us change for the better. For many people, finding courage can be a difficult assignment. But what if we all discovered the secret path to courage? Maybe it’s possible to create a...

Don’t Go It Alone

Don’t Go It Alone

We can be individuals to a fault—independent and self-sufficient, never needing anything from anyone and never giving anything to anyone. But we were created by God to function in community with others. You can surround yourself with people who, with you, can make a...

What If You Can Make a Difference

What If You Can Make a Difference

At some point in your childhood you were most likely asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Maybe you followed those early inklings or maybe not. Regardless of your profession, you can make a difference in the world around you. God only holds you...

What If It’s Not About You

What If It’s Not About You

We live in a selfie-centered culture. We seem to be people increasingly concerned with “likes” and “follows.” But the energy required for image management can take its toll. What if it’s not about you? What if your life is to be all about God and His desires for you?...

What If You Can Be Happy?

What If You Can Be Happy?

Take a casual survey and you might find your answer at the top of the list. What is your greatest desire in life? Common answer: “I just want to be happy.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. But maybe there are different kinds of happiness and...

What If It’s Real?

What If It’s Real?

Each year Easter is celebrated all over the world in all kinds of cultures. Some celebrate out of tradition or even religious ritual. Others consider the Easter Bunny to be the center-stage character in the Easter story. But of course, Easter is the celebration of the...

Scandalous Grace

Scandalous Grace

The word “scandal” often gets associated with things that are disgraceful, shameful, offensive or shocking. So, accusing God of scandal is…well…unthinkable. That is, until we look more closely at His grace. God’s plan of redemption through Jesus is scandalous. His...

Hope for Tomorrow Today

Hope for Tomorrow Today

The plans of God can be mysterious and confusing. But it’s possible, no matter the circumstances, to have hope that God is working out His good purposes. Sometimes pain and unpleasant seasons are the result of God’s discipline and sometimes they remind us that we live...

Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall

It’s a sad story when something starts well and ends poorly. God had picked a people for Himself. They started well with a unified purpose and calling. But soon division threatened to destroy what God was building. Not only was the kingdom divided but worse yet, they...

Trust God and Go

Trust God and Go

God reminds us in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, that it all begins with Him. Yet people seem prone to mistrust God. God is always on a mission to find people who will trust Him—people He can bless to be a blessing to others. God found such a man in Abraham....

Own Your Destiny

Own Your Destiny

Life is to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest but always with an eye toward eternity. This life is not all there is. After your life is over, you will spend eternity either with God or separated from Him. Your destiny is sealed the moment you believe in Jesus for...

Own Your Failure

Own Your Failure

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Own Your Progress

Own Your Progress

When you “own it” you take responsibility. This is especially true for your spiritual progress. No one can grow for you. Only God has the power to truly change you. But you must choose to engage with God and take responsibility for your spiritual growth. Being honest...