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Faces on Faith: Triple-dog dare you

January 3, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

I would not consider myself to be a dare devil, but I never was one to totally ignore a dare! With four older brothers who consistently dared me to try new things, which often were not in my best interest, I have learned there are dares worth a daring response, and others that are not. What I did find toughest of all as a kid was the triple-dog-dare from one of my friends! The triple-dog-dare was a matter of reputation!

So as we begin a New Year together, I want to issue you a triple-dog-dare to step out of your comfortable place and try something new!

First of all, this year, I dare you to courageously set a new goal for yourself that will enhance your life. C.S. Lewis wrote, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." When I did my doctoral study in California, my roommate was a 66-year-old Baptist pastor engaged in the same doctoral program. I asked him why, at 66, he would begin a 5-year doctoral course. He simply said, "I want to stay sharp." Set a new goal this year to sharpen yourself.

Secondly, I dare you to strike up some new friendships. I know we get comfortable with our circle of friends. Solomon wrote in the wisdom book of Proverbs, "Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel." Building good, solid friendships simply awards you the opportunity to reap more sweetness in your life!

And, I triple-dog-dare you to explore some new perspectives on faith. If you are a liberal (or progressive), take an evangelical to lunch and ask probing questions about his or her faith. If you are a conservative (or evangelical), reach out to your liberal friend and make a genuine effort to grow through dialogue. I dare you to cross denominational lines, and discover differences and common ground.

Years ago, there was a man in the church I served that never came to any studies we offered, nor was he present when we had guests come in to give special lectures or seminars. I ask him why he did not participate. He said, "I've been around a while, and no one is going to teach me anything new!" I actually responded by saying, "Then maybe we should just go ahead and plan your funeral now."

It is a new year. You can just turn the page on the calendaror you can take a triple-dog dare and see it as an opportunity to grow in 2018! I dare you!



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