Posts By Kevin Mills

31 Aug 2013 KevinMills

Promised Land

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Regent University - Campus“The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. Numbers 13:32

 Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat in the West Bank gives a brilliant teaching on this portion of scripture. For those not familiar, we are coming upon the story of Moses commanding a group of 12 to scout out the Promised Land. Upon returning from the 40-day journey, the scouts come back with an awesome report of the land’s produce, but 10 of the 12 give a very pessimistic and fearful report of the inhabitants. Read more

28 Aug 2013 KevinMills

The Path to Meeting God

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Regent University - Campus“Then [Elijah] was afraid… and ran for his life to Beersheba… and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness… and asked that he might die…. And behold an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water… And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” – 1 Kings 19: 3-8

We often focus on how God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, but we often neglect the journey and preparation preceding him hearing God’s voice. Read more

12 Aug 2013 KevinMills

The Butterfly Effect?

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Regent Univeristy - Grounds“And your children… shall suffer for your faithlessness” Numbers 14:33

Edward Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist coined the term “Butterfly effect.” In essence, it theorizes that small actions today can multiply into very large effects up the road. He theorized that today’s hurricane might have likely been the consequence of a butterfly or seagull flapping its wings weeks earlier.

Battening down the hatches upon seeing butterflies in our front yard or seagulls in the parking lot remains inconclusive but one thing’s for sure: our actions today do have consequences tomorrow. Read more

08 Jul 2013 KevinMills

The Delay Between Vision and Reality

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Regent University - field

I will not drive [your enemies] out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased and possess the land.

Exodus 23:29-30

Often we can find ourselves wondering where our original dreams and goals have gone. We began with a clear-cut vision and passion towards what we felt was our calling – our destiny. But somewhere in between our vision and destiny, our progress has seemingly begun to digress or disappear altogether. Read more

06 Feb 2013 KevinMills

Thank God I Don’t Have to Thank God for Everything

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Regent University - Photo by Blake CortrightIn everything give thanks – but don’t give thanks for everything.

I heard an excellent preacher make this statement one Sunday morning and it’s stuck with me ever since. How many times had I misread 1 Thessalonians 5:18? If you’re like me, you’re most likely not going to look up this reference and see what it actually says – so here it is: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God…”

A series of studies have come out in the past decade seemingly pointing to stress and depression causing a physiological ‘shrinkage’ of the brain. I chuckled at this since it seems to make sense that the more we become inundated with the anxiety, worry and stress around us, the smaller our worlds (and brains) become! Conversely, the more we externalize our focus on others and on God, the larger our world becomes (I guess our brains stay the same size in this scenario… no published research here).

I mention this study to underline the importance of having a ‘thankful heart’ to enlarge our vision, our world and our reality. Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania) continues to be a trailblazer in the new discipline of Positive Psychology because he teaches the importance of thankfulness, altruistic behavior, and overall getting your eyes off yourself and focusing your life on others.

God is not vying for you to thank Him for everything – rather thank Him in the midst of everything. Another way to represent this is: Love your neighbor in spite of their behavior, but you certainly don’t have to love all their behavior.

Often times I was under the delusion that I had to somehow find the good in the midst of a tragedy. For example, when my mother died, I wasn’t sure if I was somehow supposed to find the ‘good’ and be thankful (i.e. thank you God she didn’t suffer longer?) This didn’t seem right!

God is asking us to show thankfulness in spite of our surroundings, not necessarily for the particular surrounding(s). Consequently, in my scenario, it wasn’t a matter of thanking God for some minuscule ‘good’ within my loss and grief, but rather giving thanks in spite of my loss and grief. I could still thank Him for His faithfulness, love and friendship even though it may not have been presently observable (at least to me).

When you face setbacks or tragedies, remember that God desires for you to develop thankfulness in spite of and not necessarily thankfulness for. 

31 Jan 2013 KevinMills

Defining Your Rat Race – Part II

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Regent University - country highwayPopular musician Toby Keith, in his song Somewhere Else, says, “Cuz if you don’t know where you’re goin’ – you might end up somewhere else.”

In the last article, I wrote about the rat-race that encompasses most of our activities, schedules and priorities. There is a prevailing (but subtle) pressure on each of us to become progressively unsatisfied with all that may constitute our lives. We are told through marketing (self-help books, motivational speakers, educational programs, real-estate companies, banks, etc.) that we deserve a better car, education, house, salary, relationship, career, hair, face, body – and the list continues indefinitely.

Even though there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to “improve” these areas of our lives, it can create major issues if you’re not aware of WHY or FOR WHOM you’re doing them. Most of us haven’t even defined WHY we want a better education, salary, house, car, etc. We might state things such as financial security, respect, prestige, etc., but here’s where we often confuse “ends” with what need to be “byproducts.”

Many men and women have given testimony of the emptiness felt by pursuing something as elusive as power, prestige, money, position – only to discover that once achieved, the emptiness that first drove them still exists.  It’s not a coincidence that Bill Gates is an incredible philanthropist – money does not satisfy the longing within man for meaning and purpose, only servitude and the giving of oneself to something larger.

This is why Jesus asks us to “seek first the kingdom of God.” It’s about setting our eyes on something much larger then ourselves. Not only are we to seek it, but we’re also to help develop it here on earth. How?

Developing a “kingdom mindset” means taking every opportunity afforded us (through work, school, relationships, etc.) and doing it to the best of our ability as if we were doing it for God Himself. This does two things: 1) glorifies God, and 2) creates a more beautiful world for your fellow man and woman. These two principles embody the command to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.

From this core principle can spring up the true meaning and purpose needed to support your further pursuance of “improvement,” educationally, financially, relationally, vocationally, and the list continues.

The third part of this article will deal with HOW we structure our lives and habits to consistently live out these practices.

17 Oct 2012 KevinMills

Define Your Rat Race

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Regent University - advertisementsGosh we’re busy – North America in general. We suffer daily from a thousand noises – coffee shops have baristas calling orders across the room, while loud fusion music tries to set a culture and tone.

While this goes on in the background, we’re bombarded by advertisements on our coffee cups, napkins, phones and laptops – all of which try to make their priorities our priorities.

Communication and information overload has become the norm in our culture. As business and technology expert, Peter Senge, so cunningly stated – technology has far by-passed human ability. Consequently, we are left in a perpetual state of catch-up. Ironically and worst of all is that it’s a catch-up that is not defined.

It’s one thing to be racing towards a defined finish line – it’s another to be in a race with an undefined end. Ask yourself, do you have a defined “finish line?” Do you know what career accolade and/or achievement will mark the accomplishment of personal success? What income bracket? What degree? What house, car, family, spouse? Or have you relegated yourself to believing you’ll “know it when you see it”?

We are living in an insanely busy time and society – define your personal goals and be as specific as possible. We are living in a time where the prevailing marketing attitude exacerbates and influences a never-ending paranoia of “falling behind” the Jones’.

Define what success is to you and be content when it’s achieved – this requires a moral and personal ethos mooring.

06 Sep 2012 KevinMills

My Pet: God

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Regent University- dogWe as humans love pets. They bring us comfort. They make us feel good. And above all, they give us that token feeling of having something solely dependent upon us. A person once said this about pet dogs: “We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” People love coming home to something (or someone) that shows them love, comfort, and acceptance. Many people will actually find themselves confiding in “pets” their most intimate struggles and secrets. In other words: Pets  make us feel good inside and usually give us comfort and acceptance when we cannot readily find it elsewhere.

But how many of us would take our pet dog, cat, budgie, or other animal to work in order to solicit advice from them? Or how many would ask advice from their parrot on relational difficulties? This series of questions may bring a chuckle to us,  but we often treat God the same way.

How often do we compartmentalize God into the areas of our lives where we think He is applicable? How many times do we treat God as the “pet”? We’ll only run to Him when we need comforting or an ego-boost. We throw Him a few treats (prayers, church attendance, etc.) and figure all is well and He’ll be there again when we need Him.

When it comes to real situations in business, relationships, politics, and health, we fail to ask for His advice or wisdom. We’ve relegated God to being our pet–that something or someone we come to for comfort and then go back to our “real lives.”

Galatians 6:7-8 says, “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Many times we isolate the spiritual from the physical instead of realizing that sowing to the spiritual (i.e. pursuing God in all areas of our life) causes the physical to benefit as well.

Let’s be careful to not compartmentalize God to an area of our life which we run to only in times of trouble, but let us seek His wisdom and grace in every aspect of our lives and consequently bring glory to Him in all of our “business.” God is not anyone’s pet, but we unfortunately have a tendency to treat Him exactly that way. It’s time for us to realize who God really is and focus our entire life around Him.