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Scary Stories

Scary stories are scariest if you are in the story, but you don’t know what is going to happen. The risk is significant, the outcome is uncertain, and the danger is elevated. All the unknowns make scary stories hold your breath and hope things turn out OK. If you already know how things turn out, most of the “scary” is gone.

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Contentment

Have you noticed a lot of unrest all over the world recently? It’s sobering. And it affects people. Even folks who feel pretty stable are wondering – “What is going on these days?” There’s a complete lack of contentment, and people want to know how to respond to all this unrest. In a world of upheaval, what hope is there to regain a life of contentment? Jesus gives really great advice about contentment, and I think it’s super relevant right now.

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I Bet Your Life Is Like Mine

I bet your life is like mine. We are different as individuals, yet surely there are similarities! Let’s start here. Is your life ever filled with challenges and difficulties, losses and disappointments? Have you ever been pierced with tragedy? Have you experienced health issues? If you’ve lived several decades, you likely have more questions now than when you were younger, right? You might have had seasons of unexpected, undeserved poundings! Your sufferings may be from someone else’s terrible choices. So – what do you think? Any of this sound familiar? Is your life like mine?   Set The Pace For

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TRUE COLORS

I love autumn colors! I wait for them every year. In fact, autumn is my favorite time of year (next to Christmas celebrations). Incredible displays of color, the crisp, magical feel in the air, the cheer that rises. Gorgeous skies. Backyard firepits, s’mores, and hotdogs. Pulling out the warm, cozy sweaters. Yet, even as I enjoy the splashes of color that cheer the world, and as I indulge in the entire experience, the colors remind me of something else. It’s something that helps me, but it’s also rather sobering. It challenges me, too. And it all has to do with

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Harvest – How Is Your Yield This Year?

Did you plant any gardens this year? Maybe some veggies or flowers? Perhaps you have a patch of herbs. Or maybe a favorite front step potted plant. Farmers across the world have their own kind of (very large) gardens. So do businesses with green houses, orchards, or public farms. I had a garden this year, and I poured time and effort into it. Gardeners have something in common. They look for harvest of the crop they labored over – from produce to flowers to cash crops. How is your yield this year?

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Deceptive Cycles: Steps To Break Free

Deceptive Cycles Deceptive cycles have trapped most people at one time or other. You, me, pretty much everyone. These cycles are key enemy strategies to get God’s people to fail, live defeated, be burdened, and struggle with discouragement. Deception formed the original temptation of Adam and Eve. So, we are not alone. Still, this was never God’s plan. He wants you free to have an Alive and Active Life.

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How To Measure Your Motives

Recently, we explored 12 Qualities Of Noble Character and how critical it is to aim for excellence. In fact, I would add that people with noble character help change the world. We need more noble character around the world. If noble character is that important, and since Motives Matter – how do you measure your motives as you work to increase your own noble character? That’s the content of today’s material.

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Manage Feelings: A Bit Like Technology

  Managing Anything Is A Big Deal! Have you ever thought about how many things you manage in a day? It’s overwhelming. From a home and yard, to your budget. You manage health, weight, and wise shopping for food. How about keeping everything clean, fixed, ready to use? You manage your career, family, friendships. Even time-off needs management for constructive fun and rest. And – seriously – all your techie stuff needs managing. (Have you noticed?!) Computers, phones, devices, apps for everything you can imagine. There’s another thing you need to manage to have an Alive and Active Life. You

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12 Qualities of Noble Character

When you think of noble character, who do you think of? Is it a famous person? Perhaps a friend. It might be a family member or a person of influence in your community. Maybe you would choose a person of past history. Whoever you think of, one thing is sure – noble character still matters.

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Got Power To Live An Alive and Active Life?

Do you remember the commercial years ago (maybe the 1990’s) – GOT MILK? In the commercial, everyone has a “milk mustache.” No one can argue the value of drinking milk – especially for children. Even adults relish a glass of milk with cookies. That creamy white drink has power to build strong bodies in youngsters as they grow. Babies can’t live without milk. But when little ones grow up they need more than milk to be strong. They need inner power to live an Alive and Active Life. So the question I ask you is – GOT POWER?

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I Just Don’t Care Anymore!

It’s been a rough couple of years! People are feeling it. Communities, countries, the global community have challenges and threats that are astronomical with limited solutions. In addition, it has become increasingly hard to know who to trust. All this upheaval can sometimes make a person feel – “I Just Don’t Care Anymore!”

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Depression Is Real: Some Help

Depression is real. It’s not something you aim for, but as life happens, depression sometimes visits. It’s real enough it must be managed. But so many people simply do not know how. People are looking for help and hope. There is help. And there is hope.

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The Peace Hand *

Take a look at your hand. Right now, just lift your hand up and look at it. All your fingers, thumb, and knuckles. Your hand is an incredible creation. In an allegorical manner of speaking, your hand was designed by God to be a Peace Hand with strength, control, and agility similarly to your physical hand.

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Your Small Piece of the BIG Life Puzzle

You hold a puzzle piece in your hands – only one piece of a very big puzzle. Sometimes you might hold several pieces at a time. Have you looked carefully at your piece(s)? What do you think those colors, shapes, and designs are part of? Where do you fit? What do you do with one piece of a big life puzzle?

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How to Quit Sinning

Every believer in Jesus has struggled to quit sinning at some point. Things you don’t want to do, you seem to migrate toward. Things you do want to do, you seem helpless to carry out. It feels a bit like being trapped. Still, you want to please God and live a good life. There was a famous person who struggled to quit sinning. And they figured it out.

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The Sin List

Have you ever wondered what the worst sin is? Most people have some kind of sin list of “really bad sins.” Some folks have a list of “more permissible sins.” I guess the question that matters most is – does God have a sin list?

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Heart Atrophy = Stone Heart

Pause! Right now stop what you are doing. Put your hand over your heart – or place your fingers on your wrist to find your pulse. Be ever quiet and still as you feel the beat of your heart. That steady beat keeps you alive. Can you imagine how ineffective your heart would be if it was a stone heart?

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A Little Thing That Encourages

Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up! Days can get pretty tough as the years slip by. Yet – there is encouragement for the taking – all around you. Little things here and there. Have you found God’s little thing that encourages today? I remember realizing years ago – it takes growing in alertness to notice God’s little thing that encourages. I’d like to share just a couple of examples from my life.

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He Loves Perfectly. We Can Love Better.

There are so many days I realize I could love better. If you are like me, you work hard to love the people in your life – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even someone you meet as you run errands. But we know deep down we need to grow in love – for God and for one another. We are aware that He loves perfectly; we can love better.

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Wear ‘n’ Tear of Life!

You’ve heard of wash ‘n’ wear. Those are the garments you throw in the washer, then the dryer, and even if you miss the dryer buzzer, they don’t wrinkle. You pull them out, put them on, and off you go! They look great. We like to think of ourselves as wash ‘n’ wear. But many days, it’s more like wear ‘n’ tear! We start a day as wash ‘n’ wear . . . and end up as wear ‘n’ tear.

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Your 3 Most Important Keys

If I asked you what your 3 most important keys are – what would you say? Maybe the keys to your house, your car, and your _____________ . (fill in the blank: safe, diary, yard barn, motorcycle, locked snack box, or ?) These days, you don’t always use a metal key to get into locked places. There are new, super-cool, technology keys – like a key fob, access ID card, device password, dual authentication, retinal scan, DNA match, fingerprint access, etc. (No modern snack box locks that I’m aware of!)

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Turned Upside-Down

  Last article talked about the 4 soils of the heart. It was a fascinating exploration of a parable Jesus told about how different people receive and interact with God’s Word. The soil of the heart indicates the condition of the soul. Jesus’ parable also strongly suggests reasons why some people set out to follow Jesus, but end up discouraged and even walk away. Life is challenging. And it’s confusing when you feel you are being turned upside-down as a believer in Jesus.

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Four Soils of the Heart

Many are getting ready to plant and tend various gardens again this year. Some will be breaking up new ground to start from scratch. Others will be expanding or re-structuring existing gardens. Farmers will turn attention to the state of their fields. All who plant hope for beauty and harvest. So they have concern for the state of the soil they plant in. There is a life lesson in this. Soils of the heart – we should be concerned about the condition of our heart’s soil. Is it ready for beauty and harvest?

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Safe With God

I’ve found the content of this article has had huge impact in my life. Interestingly, it has influenced my relationships – with friends, family, co-workers, and others. So what are we looking at today? It has to do with safety. There are threats everywhere against folks. Individuals, families, places of employment and education, even churches. Everything looks OK from the outside, but inside where people are, and especially deep inside people, there are broken pieces. One of the greatest assurances you can know and bring into life is – you can be safe with God. Why? Because God promises! So,

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Steps to Renew HOPE!

Hope is a critical component to being vibrant and healthy. When hope wanes, everything cycles downward. You need to renew hope. Do you know how to renew hope? How is your hope doing today? Did You Know Hope Can Erode? I’ll be transparent here. Sometimes my hope gets beat up a bit. I’m guessing you might have the same happen to your hope occasionally. Hope goes through an erosion process when you have to stand alone in some issue. Or when you have been plodding for a very long time and there is no end in sight. It may be

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Get Unstuck: 7 Steps

  Have you ever been stuck? You want to break free and make progress, but a helpless feeling pervades. Still, part of you knows there has to be an option to get unstuck. What a miserable place: feeling suspended, unable to maneuver, paralyzed to come up with a plan. Yet, in your heart, and with God’s help, you suspect you are able to get unstuck – somehow! You just don’t know how.

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Navigating Loneliness

  Loneliness Affects You So many people struggle with this human condition. It affects everyone, from individuals who have no one to count on, to those who have suffered a terrible loss, to those who have been mistreated. However, loneliness also affects people who have a life partner, a dear friend, or a group they’ve been welcomed into. The condition of loneliness grabs hold of all hearts at some time or other. Loneliness seems to have mushroomed during this pandemic. From the initial lock-downs to continued social distancing. Even just “masking” seems to interfere with connecting. It’s as if we

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Angels

  Have you ever seen an angel? I have not. I have a number of precious “people angels” in my life. But face-to-face with a real, live, heavenly angel? Not a chance!

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New Name - Alive and Active Life

Alive and Active Life – Our New Name

  Alive and Active Life – Our New Name! We are excited to announce our name change! Intentional Living is now Alive and Active Life! You will notice changes on our website to reflect the new name. As we have been re-branding this past year, it’s been a process of new vision, excitement, challenge, and hard work. God started preparing our hearts last year about a name change. For half a year, there has been much prayer and exploration. Now He has laid a new path in front of our faith, and we are eager to see what God has

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I Can’t See You, God! Where Are You?

Everyone goes through a time of feeling, “I can’t see You, God. They may feel discouraged, tired, and even disillusioned. This world, in its fallen state, is a place where it’s not only possible to feel these things at some point. It’s very likely! The human spirit cries out – “Where are You, God? I’ve lost sight of You, and I need You.”

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Voice In Your Head

Ever Hear That Voice In Your Head? Have you ever been tempted to think you are no good? Less than? Not worth as much as someone else? Do you know who is planting those ideas in your head? Your enemy. And it just so happens your enemy is also God’s enemy. That puts you in good company. Did you know you can decide who is the voice in your head? If you choose to, you can side with God and hear His voice. After all, He IS on the right side – the winning side. The voice in your head

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Mind-Set Affects Everything

  I have some questions for you. And I bet you don’t think about them often. I know I don’t. But they are important to live a meaningful life. Here we go – What’s your reason for being alive? How about your motive to keep going? Do you have a life purpose? These questions are key to help you identify critical information about your life. You need this information. Your reasons, motives, and purpose are essential. They actually “set” your thinking and approach to daily living. Mind-set affects everything! We just explored motives in a recent article Motives Matter. This time,

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Motives Matter

Motives Matter In a recent article, we discussed – Character Matters. These are timely reflections during significant challenges our world is navigating. On top of the global picture, people’s personal lives are strained at many levels, sometimes because of global issues. Having set the tone with the Character Matters article, let’s dive back into discussion about character, but go one level deeper. I propose to you that not only does Character Matter – but Motives Matter.

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Lord is Before Savior

Lord is Before Savior Most followers of Jesus have heard the dignified title “Savior and Lord.” I would like to suggest something about this title. Of course, it’s true, Jesus is Savior and Lord. But let’s consider two things. First, from the beginning, way back before anything was created – Lord is before Savior. And second, for every sincere Christian who lives their faith with resolve, consistency, and passion, this title starts to flip around – from “Savior and Lord” to “Lord and Savior.”

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It’s “Do You Love Me” Day

It’s “Do You Love Me” Day It’s Valentine’s Day! People all over the world are looking for creative, meaningful ways to say, “I love you.” People also are looking to be loved. It may be from a lover, but that’s a limited view of the day. This day includes family members, dear friends, comrades in ventures, even perhaps – fellow countrymen. Most defining and critical, this day includes the God who loves you and me. So, the question from Him is still – “Do you love Me?”

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How Do I Manage Feelings?

  Most people spend a portion of their life trying to figure out what to do with their feelings. They often ask themselves, “how do I manage feelings?” That’s a very good question.

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Character Matters

  This past year has been packed with challenges while the entire world is slammed in crisis. It’s one of those years you look back in a decade and say – “Well, I remember one of the worst years ever – 2020! True, it’s been hard for individuals, for business and industry, and for countries around the world. This global picture is the high view of a big picture. Yet, when you drill down into every person’s daily life, you find even more challenges and crisis. People are under strain. With this harsh reality, there is one thing increasingly clear.

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Work It Out

  I’ve found life to be a mix of enjoyment, struggle, and problem-solving. It takes courage and management as fear pokes holes in your confidence and hurt threatens your heart. After living for awhile in this reality, a person realizes life isn’t always peace, rest, and unity. You realize you need to work it out.

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Jesus Makes Life Good. Go After It!

  I remember as a young adult thinking that somewhere along the way, I’d figure out how this life works. Several decades have passed. I figured some things out, but there is still so much I don’t know or understand – even more than when I was a young adult. Yet, I have learned to identify and go after some critical pieces I can manage to make life good.

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HOW TO FINISH a 1-PAGE GOALS SHEET – Step 2

  Last blog article explored living with purpose and hope. We began developing a 1-Page Goals Sheet – Step 1. This Goals Sheet is an individualized, custom-designed plan to organize and manage your life effectively with simple action steps. We explored specific processes and began to construct your Goals Sheet. Today, we will finish your 1-Page Goals Sheet. You are very close to being done with a great plan and action steps that are easy to implement.

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How To Set Up a 1-PAGE GOALS SHEET: Step 1

  Wouldn’t it be great if you could put everything you’re aiming for on one page! To have a tool that is short, concise, and condensed to help live each day successfully while aiming for your best . . . Instantly accessible . . . Something to carry on your device wherever you go. Or to print and keep a visible copy at your desk. This kind of tool – a 1-Page Goals Sheet – would be a personal development and self-accountability resource. It’s purpose? To help you be the best “you” possible and keep track of your progress as

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Gifts Under God’s Great Tree

Pretend with me. You are a child. It’s Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Glow and sparkle fill the room with Christmas magic. Being a curious child, you have already checked out the landscape of presents under the tree. You noted the gifts with your name on them. And – you’ve counted them. Now you wait . . . and wonder . . . and hope! But the pretending stops and you are an adult again. You ask yourself – “are there gifts for me as a grown-up? Is there something special under God’s Great Tree with my name

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Jesus, the Beautiful Baby, Has A God

Christmas and a Beautiful Baby Approaching Christmas brings thoughts of a manger, a beautiful baby in white swaddles, Mary and Joseph, wisemen, shepherds, angels. Then add gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Now, pull this ancient beautiful story forward into the present and picture a bright, decorated evergreen tree, stockings at a fireplace hearth, goodies and wassail on a festive table. Family and friends are part of holiday plans – even during a pandemic. This year we add masks, social distancing, virtual visits for gift exchanges to share special moments. I’m sure you have explored creative options. Then there’s the beautiful Christmas

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Be an “R and R” Person – Refreshing and Rare

The other day, I received a note from a person who is refreshing and rare. They are committed to Jesus and walk with God. This person has chosen God’s priorities over their own agenda, and their life proves it. People like this quietly change the world as they faithfully live for Jesus. They are refreshing and rare. I want to be this kind of person. Being alive is a privilege! God designed you to be dependent on Christ – synced with Him at your core. Joy and peace result from being connected with Jesus,

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Care For Each Other

You know how it feels to be over your head in responsibilities, stress, or disappointment. Sometimes it’s just tough rising up to keep doing what needs to be done. People depend on you to do your part. And you need others to do their part, too. This is when you care for each other. Through caring, we participate in God’s love for each other. And we encourage one another to each do our part.

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Steadfast

Maintaining a steady pace and a steadfast heart in life is a real trick, isn’t it? Life’s terrain is so unpredictable, and losses grab at your ankles as you walk. “Keeping on” while being patient and calm takes resolve and courage. Unexpected developments, disasters, losses and grief, disagreements, declining health, even aging – these pop up on every side. Addressing them well requires being steadfast.

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National Author’s Day For an Author

I did not know Nov. 1 was National Author’s Day. My family surprised me with a lovely Author’s Day Tea. We enjoyed a yummy spread including homemade scones and clotted cream. Why did they do this? Well, they love me. But the main reason? I’m an author! It’s been a fascinating journey, and I’ve learned so much. I’d like to tell you about my work.

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Dependables

These are difficult, uncertain, and challenging days. There are very few things you can depend on when you get up in the morning. Things shift all day. Between the political state of the world, unknown health threats, cosmic nature developments, and people’s free will, your list of dependables shrinks!

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Whose Interests Are You Looking Out For?

What interests do you have? How do you figure out what your interests are? As a unique individual, your interests matter. Every day there are many things that capture your attention. How do those interests fit into God’s interests?

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Struggles are Real

If you had to summarize your life in one nutshell sentence, what would you say? Perhaps you would talk about your background, schooling, and degree. You might mention family. Some would talk about career. Others would reflect on additional things they cherish. You might talk about very real struggles that have changed your life. Boiling life down to one statement is hard. But if you had to do it, what would you say?

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Do The Math!

Math equations have always been helpful tools to give a picture of a process, clearer understanding, and even a possible plan of action. We’re going to explore a math equation in regard to godly conduct. I guess you could call it – “moral math?” First thing to do with a math equation is to find what the variables are. Let’s start with this – 1 MAIN THING + 2 WAYS TO DO IT = GODLY CONDUCT Your variables to fill in are 1 MAIN THING and 2 WAYS TO DO IT. How can we find the correct elements to fill

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Life Resources and Tools

Birthdays are just FUN! At my last birthday, my son prayed a wonderful thing over me as he gave thanks for the meal and for my life. He asked the Lord to give me so much more of Himself this next year – and that I would know Him increasingly. What a blessing! That expresses exactly what my desire is for this next year. It was such a sweet surprise. Still, every year I’ve lived has been challenging. Why would this year be any different? Maybe life resources and tools are implements God uses to help us achieve our desires.

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I Insist!

Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you just had to insist? You couldn’t let it go? Well, that’s how Scripture is on some points. Because the content is from God, the writers often say (in so many words), “I insist!” In Eph. 4:17, the Apostle Paul says he “insists on it in the Lord.” He feels strongly about how God’s people should live – and not live. Let’s unpack this.

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Check Points That Protect Freedom

Have you ever used check points? Do you know what they are? Check points are a great little tool that help you stay on track and not deviate from the central focus. They help you stream line resources, supplies, and energy. Without some kind of check point system, you can quickly and easily get off track – and even make some pretty serious mistakes.

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Reach Back

There was a man who lived many years ago. Centuries ago. He knew living a good life was critical. So he worked hard to live such a life. Yet, he did not know God personally. It wasn’t until God made the first move to him (God always does) that relationship with God became an option for this man. God reached into his life, his world, His reality and invited him closer. This man believed and responded. Even though he was already living a good life, it wasn’t until he actively believed God that he had the reality of living a

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Stand Firm and Be Free

Many countries have a celebration day to remember their freedom. America just celebrated July 4th. In some countries, freedom is not even a reality. Freedom has been a hot topic all through human history. Wars that claimed many lives have been fought to preserve or gain freedom. Apparently, it’s been important to God since before history began. God’s original design was anchored in freedom. He wants you to be free.

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Your Opportunity

If I were to ask you who has had a high level of influence in your life, who would you mention? What impact did they have on you? Most of us have a handful of people we would think of. Their touch on our lives is noteworthy – sometimes life-changing. Their life has been a kind of “virtual e-pistle”* for you to read. They had opportunity to influence you.

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Give It All You Got!

Got Time? How many years does it take to reach adulthood? I suppose it depends on the situation. In some cases, it’s 18. Other times it’s 21. And some people don’t seem to get to adulthood until they are well into their thirties – or later! Regardless, every person is busy growing up in some way! Even retired people are. The key issue at each age is to give it all you got. Start by knowing God better and learning His ways to a well-lived life.

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9 Ways to Help Someone

Ways to Help It’s impossible to live a sinless life, unless your name is Jesus Christ. Remember how easy it is to slip into a wrong response or an old pattern. You’ve been there, and so has everyone else. There are ways to help.   When you see a person caught in sin or paralyzed in a pattern, it’s critical that you respond. You can’t just turn away. However, what you do next, how you think and interact, reveals your character, your maturity, your dependence on God, and your heart. Your best response should be to please God and to

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Pile-Up!! Time For “Operation Close.”

Recently, I reflected on a disappointing scenario that penetrated my life last year. It hit like a missile, and I found myself deeply sad. Being familiar with the need to make hard decisions for good reasons for long periods of time, I guess I forgot about a real phenomenon. After decades of managing such situations, you end up with a “pile-up.” This pile-up loomed in my thoughts and lingered in my heart. Clearly, I needed a re-boot. Somehow the pile-up had turned into a mountain.

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What Does Jesus Say About Contentment?

When a person is content, they no longer have task masters cracking the whip over their life. In fact, they settle into a living condition of peace. They have a quiet heart, despite surrounding threats, difficulties, or obstacles. It would be rare to see such a person get “riled up.” This person is quick to be flexible, open to the unforeseen, and satisfied in their heart. The thing they consistently do to remain content is to draw close into God’s great heart in the details of their day. They literally picture themselves in that safe place. It is in this

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Good Parenting During COVID-19

Parenting turned out different for most people this year! The COVID-19 global crisis changed lots of things about family life. School, extracurricular activities, family outings and vacations, even just running around the neighborhood! Let’s face it. 2020 will be known as a year of incredible upheavals.

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God’s Power Tools

We bought a power washer. After borrowing one, we became instant believers. Gone was the greenish mossy mold on the house siding. The deck changed back to its natural wood color instead of the dingy gray-brown it had sported for a couple of seasons. Honestly, the difference was stunning. The cleaning power of water is pretty convincing. And power tools make life easier. What would our lives be without power tools, not to mention our computers and technology gadgets? How would we ever function if there was a power blackout? We need power. During this global COVID-19 pandemic, we should

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7 RESOURCES OF THE HEART To Live Well In COVID-19

Everything has changed during COVID-19. People have lost income. Parents have suddenly become point person for their child’s education. Shopping safely is a big deal and many items are in short supply. Businesses have shut down or turned solely to the internet. Education has flipped to online classrooms. Even Dr. appointments are by phone or video. And facial masks are the new fashion! All of this while under lock-down stress. You need resources of the heart. No one could have guessed the challenges COVID-19 has forced upon families and individuals. With good reason, some people are discouraged. Here are some

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10 Days of Prayers During COVID-19

As we navigate through our global COVID-19 crisis, we need helpful resources to respond in practical ways. We also need methods of encouraging each other. And we need prayer! Intentional Living wants to come alongside you in prayer as we await the outcome of our global crisis. 10 Days of Prayers is a tool to help you pray through this crisis.

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7 DAILY DEVOTIONALS FOR EASTER WEEK: Take A Daily Moment To Prepare For Easter

GOOD NEWS!! Intentional Living is hosting a special Easter Holy Week online devotional – FREE! The course is called . . . “Take A Daily Moment To Prepare For Easter.” You can participate in this online brief daily experience by yourself, as a family, or with a group. The recent developments of our global pandemic has been stressful. Most people feel deep concern and even fear. The globe has never known a pandemic of this extent before. Even with all this going on, Easter is filled with joy and cheer. Not only is spring waking the earth once again. People are ready

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For Such a Time as This

  God created and equipped you in a unique and beautiful way. No matter who you are, God sees you as a special treasure! Not only that, but your life on this globe during this timeline of history is no accident. You are here for a reason, and God is pleased you are alive – for such a time as this.

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COVID-19 – A Global Pause

Our global community is facing one of its greatest challenges ever. The COVID-19 Pandemic is giving everyone opportunity to reach for our highest and best responses.

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How To Manage Worries and Concerns

Life is filled with worries and concerns. Often circumstances beyond your control arise. There is so much to address and manage. Responsibilities. Relationships. Careers. Home and property. Events. Each day is packed. And now with the coronavirus, there is even more to be concerned about.

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What’s Your Move?

Every single day you ask yourself a question you aren’t even aware of: what’s your move? You make decisions and take action in multi-faceted areas of responsibilities and life issues. As a Jesus follower, you make moves to show others what God is like. And you make moves to honor the rules and laws of your community and country.

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Gifts and Greater Gifts

We just celebrated Valentine’s Week by focusing on love in the article: New Fresh Love. This week, let’s explore how love can make a personal difference and a global difference. With all the challenges, conflicts, and losses on this spinning globe, love is a challenging subject. Still – what the world needs most is love. Even song writers agree. In 1965, Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote the hit song, “What The World Needs Now Is Love [Sweet Love].” On your worst days, your lonely days, you know you need a deep, abiding love. You need God’s love.

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A New Fresh Love

This week is Valentine’s Week. People are focused on love. We need more love in our world, wouldn’t you agree? So how can you find a new fresh love each day? One that drives your life, that holds you safe and steady through thick and thin. Just to be a bit more transparent with you, I have a confession to make.

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Established

People try all kinds of approaches and tactics to establish themselves in better ways . . . who they are, what they do, how they are perceived, etc. Being established helps people live their daily lives. And in the first months of a new year, this topic is still on people’s minds. Maybe it’s on your mind. What have you done to establish yourself?

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Alive and Active Life Podcast

WE HAVE A PODCAST!

Spotify Podcast Google Rss (INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBSCRIBING ARE MID-WAY DOWN THIS ARTICLE) Alive and Active Life Podcast adds value to your life and gives great content to the podcast crowd! Our first launch episode is a live interview with Alive and Active Life’s author and the podcast sound technician. Through this podcast, you now have an audio option to – maximize your time. reach for practical, encouraging material to have an Alive and Active Life, even with your busy life in this demanding world! nurture your soul and encourage your heart in God each day. We are live on major

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e-Pistles For An i-Generation: Relevant in a Digital Age

My latest book just arrived back from the publisher! e-Pistles for an i-Generation. I’m excited to share it with you! I want to tell you about the cover (directly below). Notice the title: e-Pistles For an i-Generation: Relevant in a Digital Age. Your generation. Our digital age. The front picture portrays that 1st and 2nd Corinthians can get from an ancient scroll into your i-pad (and then into your heart). The back cover is an i-pad with a critical message.

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Will 2020 be a 666 Year or a 777 Year For You?

666 Year or 777 Year Will 2020 be a 666 year or a 777 year for you? Numbers mean things. You can put them together in various ways to increase meaning. They measure things, identify patterns, and organize systems. Numbers point to specific events. For example, 2020 not only points to the new year, but also to a new decade. 2020 can mean excellent vision (2020 Vision for the New Year: Setting Goals). The number 2 often means a companion. 3 can be a trio or a triangular endeavor. It also makes a sturdy stool on uneven terrain. 12 can

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2020 Vision for the New Year: Setting Goals

20/20 In 2020 Are you thinking 2020 yet? 2020 can mean lots of things. Often, 20/20 refers to good vision. Right now, it means a New Year. In fact, it means a new decade! With a New Year around the corner, you need 20/20 vision – and that means setting goals for your life.

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Depression in the Holidays

Christmas has so many wonderful moments. Unfortunately, strands of loss and grief alter Christmas joy for many people each year. Approaching Christmas is hard when your heart is breaking. Depression in the holidays is a real thing. Depression is experienced by many people during the holidays. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Life is hard. You may have had a terrible loss, a deep disappointment, a health issue, or something else that has pierced your heart this past year. It’s possible the painful life event even happened some years ago. You are not unhealthy for still

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We Affect Each Other

Encouragement is always easier to receive than rebuke. Yet, we all need both. Truly we do. Unfortunately, most people put all their energy into defending and protecting themselves instead of opening to whatever truth is being presented. That’s a sign of insecurity, and possibly pride. A secure person who is humble doesn’t worry too much about their defense. Maybe a little. But they rally with courage, receive an honest message, pray through it, filter out whatever is irrelevant, and apply whatever is helpful. It’s as if they are saying, “It is what it is. And that’s OK, because I’m aiming

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. We have so much to be grateful for even when life is difficult or painful. The blessings co-exist alongside the difficulties.

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An Honor Plus a Double Honor

You may have been privileged to receive some kind of honor or award for a significant accomplishment. Perhaps you gained scholarship recognition. Maybe it’s been a military medal or a sport-related achievement. Perhaps you are an esteemed author, speaker, or political leader. You may be one of many of us who have simply made it through required levels of school, kissed your diploma, moved your tassel from right to left, and landed a job worthy of supporting daily living. That, too, is a worthy honor and accomplishment.

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Unveil

  You know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, look out your window, and see heavy fog. Sometimes it’s so thick you can’t see anything. Trees are barely visible. The street is out there somewhere. Probably the first thing going through your mind is, “How am I going to see the road and other vehicles to drive?” Still, the view is captivating. The veil silently lingers over everything. In fact, it changes the landscape perspective. You are left to fill in opaque spaces with memory or imagination. Lines are no longer clear. Outlines barely visible. Boundaries blurry.

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It’s Your Move

The world spins on – It’s Your Move! Every day you have so many scenarios where it really is your move! Many life trials will not be properly addressed on this earth. We need to accept that up front. Perhaps some will. But some issues are so tangled, too complicated to unravel. God helps people apply strategies in thinking using His wisdom to work through difficult problems. God always helps when it’s your move.

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What’s Your Number One?

In this troubled, broken world, how encouraging to know God has a plan – a good, flexible, vast, yet detailed plan. God loves you deeply, and He has a plan for your life, too. This plan has encouragement, guidance, and hope. To discover this wonderful plan, you must decide what’s your number one. Depending how you answer that, it launches you into God’s good plan for your life – or not.

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Just Say Yes

Every morning, I take certain medications. Perhaps you do, as well. Some people take a daily vitamin pill. Many meds are critical to promote health and bring balance to systems that need assistance. If you need a chemical your body is short on, there are options in most cases. Sometimes in the middle of a day, you just need something for a headache. Pills and creams of every kind help you maintain a healthy body. Too bad there isn’t a pill for courage, or a cream for confidence. I wonder. Is it possible to take a daily dose?

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Fresh New Life

The topic for today is fresh new life. You know life can shift pretty quickly. Mostly it’s in the small stuff. I’m sure you’ve been in a jam at some point. Caught in bad circumstances. You have that dreaded, instant panic feeling. It could be you lost your wallet or left your purse on a shelf in a store aisle. Perhaps you forgot to pay an important bill. You may have broken something very special or ruined a plant you were nurturing. Your keys to a public building, a safe, and your own home are missing. Maybe you ran your

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Stuck in the Corner – How to Get Out

It is a terrible feeling to be stuck in the corner. Trapped by problems. Maneuverability seems so limited. Fear starts to do its work. Many times life feels like this. No matter how hard you’ve tried to do your best and make good decisions, sometimes you are just stuck in the corner. What options do you have in this place?

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Match God’s Heart

  What does it look like to engage a life that matters? To avoid entanglements, skip the irrelevant, and move forward to be a seasoned believer. And what does it look like to apply practical decisions each day that make a difference in this world. You are only given a certain number of days. How can you make them really count and match God’s heart? What does it look like to carry out God’s agenda in your daily living? Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Mt. 5:13) I wonder what He meant. Why did God say this?

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Words Have Power

  Think about the words that have impacted you the most. Sometimes you remember words spoken into your life for many decades . . . burned into your memory. Some words have been encouraging with powerful positive impact in your life. Perhaps other words have been negative and damaging. Regardless, words have power.

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Lose the Bottle!

I’m sure you have held an infant, completely helpless, very hungry, in your arms. They depend utterly on you to protect and nourish them. Their intense, desperate delight as they grab the bottle you offer, shows their utter focus on themselves and their complete dependency on you for survival. It’s a precious memory to feed an infant. Picture an older child, teen, or adult in that same scenario, however, and you get a completely different reaction inside. It’s repulsive. They should be actively engaged, handling a fork and knife (or chop-sticks) as second nature. The expectation is pretty simple –

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Oh Say, Can You See?

“Oh say, can you see?” Our freedom came at a price. Blood shed and terrible losses for many families was the sacrifice years ago of people like you and me. Those people believed in freedom.

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Words For Weary Warriors

God calls each person into their own path – a unique and special path with a promise He will walk with you. Over the long-haul, life is pretty challenging. The good is side-by-side with the hard stuff. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have troubles – but take heart. I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) This promise brings explanation and comfort in hard seasons. There are times in your every day life that you start to feel like a weary warrior.

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How to Fix Perspective

Perspectives change. You reach a level that feels comfortable and becomes your norm. The next thing you know, everything shifts right in front of you. Your relationships change direction. Your health is imminently threatened. Finances become unstable. You relocate and everything is new/different. Someone else makes a decision which drastically changes your life. And so on. These things affect your thinking. Your thinking affects your perspective.

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Managing Long-term Stress

Life is an amazing privilege with many opportunities. But let’s face it: life is also really hard – especially when you are managing long-term stress. Stress is an unpleasant, yet common condition that rises when pressure mounts and stakes are high. It surfaces when work load is increased and deadlines loom. When performance and character matter. When the buck stops with you. Stress can be short- or long-term. Most of us get through the short bursts. It’s long-term stress that takes a toll.

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What Does It Look Like to Use Your Will Power

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” If you look up will in the dictionary, definitions include, determination, motivation, drive, resolve, backbone, spirit, self-control, in addition to willpower. Indomitable means unconquerable, strong, resolute, determined, and stubborn. With those kinds of words describing a person’s will, what is will power?

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Why Would I Set Boundaries in My Life?

There are lots of articles and books about boundaries. Do you wonder why boundaries are important? Is it just another “buzz” word, or is there something to it? What does God think about boundaries? Why would you set them in your life?

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What Do You Do When Life Completely “Up-Ends” You? 3 Great Resources!

Life is filled with many great experiences. Yet, it is also peppered with sad things. Tragedy, disappointment, and even betrayal pierces into every person’s life at some point. You may have already experienced your share of upheaval. Whether from your own choices, someone else’s choices, or just because we live in a fallen world, most people find their life turned upside-down sometime in their journey. Very few people escape this tragic experience. Perhaps you are there now. So, what do you do when life completely up-ends you?

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Make a Difference With Little Leadership

All my life, I’ve wanted to make a difference in the world. The older and more mature I have become, I realize this world is a very big place. And my influence is rather small. Does that negate my desire to make a difference? It does not. Does the immense world minimize my contribution? It does not. In fact, logically it seems to indicate all the more that my little bit offered in my small sphere of influence is necessary since the job of world influence is so great. I call using my small influence “little leadership.”

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10 Tips To Be A Good Parent

If you are a parent, you know raising kids is one of the most challenging things you have ever done. It is also one of the most influential and meaningful. As you think about being a good parent to your kids, there are things you can do that make a huge difference in their little lives. It’s hard to remember all the specific things, so here is a list of tips and action steps to keep at your finger-tips.

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Dissecting Something Meaningful

Have you ever dissected something? High school biology? College anatomy? Did you know you can dissect Scripture, too? I’m not talking about the heavy–duty dissection a theology graduate engages. This is a lighter approach – dissecting something meaningful. Here is a peek at what a Scripture application might look like after dissecting it. The dissection steps are listed at the end of this article.  

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Helpful “H” Words

Sometimes little tricks or acronyms help you remember important things. I found some “H” words help me live my life a bit better. There are “H” words from God, and “H” words for you.

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The Importance of Scrubbing-In

I was reading recently from Dr. David Stevens’ book, Jesus, MD, and was struck by the idea of scrubbing-in. Apparently, it’s a big deal for a doctor to scrub-in for every surgery. It’s just part of the life of a surgeon. There is a proper way, step by step, to scrub-in. The ritual takes a fair bit of time. After scrubbing-in, if you get an itchy nose, someone else needs to scratch it. A scrub nurse helps the Dr. finish the tedious process so the very best, sterile conditions can be maintained during a surgery.

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Telling Jesus What to Do

Recently, a short phrase in Scripture caught my attention as I was going through my quiet time book.* Stay. You don’t have to leave. The Scenario The disciples are in process of telling Jesus what to do. Imagine that! It has hit their radar that the crowd has been listening to His teachings all day. They did not bring any food. The obvious conclusion? “Send the people away to get food, Jesus.” They are being good disciples, don’t you think? They want to make Jesus aware, just in case He has missed something.

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Rising From Failure

Many Christians struggle to make their faith real and practical. They engage all kinds of plans and tactics to live up to what they believe and what the Bible says. But they feel empty, powerless, and hollow. Even fake. Sometimes these dear ones end up in unhealthy, repeating cycles. They feel they are failing continually. It’s as if success is not an option for them in their walk with the Lord. They need a new reality: Rising from failure.

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Going Into a New Year: Things to Ponder

The New Year is only one sleep away. Are you ready? A New Year is an opportunity to let go of some things and grab onto other things. Going into a New Year involves many emotions. It can feel scary, not knowing what is ahead. It may be a relief to walk into something new with a fresh perspective. You might have reason to celebrate certain accomplishments. Excitement about new opportunities begins to rise. Sadness about aging, saying good-byes, or letting go of various endeavors can be painful. Knowing there will be difficult challenges is sobering. Yet, overall, most people

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Christmas Sadness: How to Manage It

Sadness at Christmas is more common than many realize. Your life is filled with difficulties, hurts, losses, and disappointments. At Christmas, these things sometimes feel bigger. What do you do when you have done your very best and it still wasn’t good enough? What is your next move after pouring into some endeavor and it didn’t seem to make a difference? How about the person who has lived healthy, food and exercise, all their life – and they get the news of cancer? You might have befriended someone who turns around and betrays you. What do you do when you

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Christmas Waiting

Waiting is just HARD! Perhaps you don’t have troubles waiting, but the rest of us do. Christmas waiting is the hardest.

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When Faith Hangs by a Thread at Christmas

God loves you so much. Christmas is His way of proving it. He became a person just like you. God-in-a-Baby grew up in this challenging world, now so different from how He created it. Baby Jesus entered shattered creation to become a Savior. He says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5) He invites you to trust Him for this “new” in daily details, disappointments, tragedies and sorrows, and in losses that cannot be fixed. Jesus is the prize of Christmas because He is the only one who can help.

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The Truth About Emmanuel and You

Emmanuel puts skin on God’s love. I hope you will be encouraged as you read the amazing display of God’s love for you. When you finish reading this, I hope you will ask yourself a critical question (see below).

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What’s Advent About Anyway?

The Christmas holiday season is almost here! Many people are starting to get excited. Are you? Have you wondered what the Advent season is about? What is the goal? Why do people participate? What value does it bring to your modern, extremely busy life – especially during a hectic month? I’d like to tell you a bit more about Advent and why people still participate. Advent starts soon. It’s only days away.

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The Sweetness of a Thankful Heart

Some people have mastered being thankful. I know – because, when I was much younger, God gave me three mentors. They modeled thankfulness and exercised impeccable graciousness even when things weren’t going well. I’m not going to tell you who they are. But I will tell you that two of them – their names start with “M” and both end in “e.” And the third person rules a country – well, sort of! Thanksgiving helps us remember the bountiful blessings we have. Thankfulness is a lovely quality that emulates God’s character. And since character forms the fiber of our very soul,

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Feeling Down These Days?

Feeling down is a hard condition to manage. Whether you are over-tired, mistreated, discouraged, or even struggling with depression – being on the “down side” is real.

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BOOK RELEASE: It’s Your Move: Strategies in Thinking From Romans

Do you wish you knew how to manage your life, relationships, and responsibilities better? Have you ever wanted a glimpse into God’s great heart? Perhaps you need to experience the freshness and possibilities Jesus brings in life’s challenges? Do you sometimes lack wisdom or wish you had better discernment of how to solve your problems? It’s your move.

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How To Destroy A Cell Phone

OK, everybody. Cell phones in the bucket of water. Now! Isn’t that how the line goes in detective spy movies? In horror you watch the agents (or bad guys) throw their phones in a big bucket of water. The bubbles rise as phones sink to the bottom. The goal: no communications from the outside. But – what a waste! You’ve also heard about people who hammer the life out of a cell phone – for whatever reason. Wow.

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Who Are You?

When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you value that person? Are your next thoughts full of purpose as you consider the day ahead? Who are you? You are a very special person, loved with everlasting love by God. On your birthdate, an amazing event took place years ago:

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He Picked You

Isn’t it nice to be picked? Chosen? Wanted? The ideas I’m writing about today came to me in a time of personal trial and testing.

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Two Universes of Values

Some years ago, I came across a helpful tool that not only changed how I think, but it has become a “go to” resource for me. It’s called the Universes of Values Chart. *

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Friend Or Foe

Most of the time, you are able to distinguish between friend and foe. Sometimes, however, you aren’t so sure. It takes time to figure out people and relationships. So, give your relationships time. Be wise and exercise discernment as you explore the parameters that will define each situation. Meanwhile, however, you can genuinely care about each person in the same way God does. That means caring about their salvation, as well as their physical life.

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Weaknesses and Limitations

Sooner or later, a person comes face to face with their weaknesses and limitations. If they don’t face them, they may be living in a fantasy world in attempts to survive. Or perhaps they have given in to deceptive compromises. Or they may have become hardened. None of these promote healthy living. There is one approach that really helps.

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Life Adventure

Do you ever feel like Abraham – not knowing what’s happening or where you are headed, wishing things could be different, even as you are trusting the Lord? Do you ever wonder how he and Sarah might have felt?

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Take Your Pick

Why do people do what they do? How does freedom of choice impact their decisions? What root issues do people focus on most as they make their path through life? Root issues are important to look at when talking about human behavior. They help determine the “what” and “why” of habits, addictions, preferences, and character.

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The Magic

If you are a C.S. Lewis fan, you know he often talks about a certain magic in his children’s stories. It’s a very good magic – deep in meaning, inviting, safe, and hidden. It’s filled with wonder and hope. It’s the marvel of the land of Narnia.

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Poured Out: Keep Your Head

The great work of a Christ follower is keeping your head and heart in the right place. Your heart is greatly influenced by what is going on in your head. The long haul of life affects how you think. Life is hard – especially when you suffer. Or when you’ve worked at things several decades with little result.

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Passageway

There’s a place where everyone lives. It’s between here and there. This passageway frames your entire existence. Starting when you were born, including all your yesterdays, where you are now, and what will fill the rest of your days – your passageway (and your response to it) defines your life.

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More is Coming

We don’t often talk about Heaven, but we should. Heaven helps people keep perspective. And it gives something to look forward to, especially if your life is filled with suffering and difficulties. Heaven nurtures hope.

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Do You Have a Busy Body?

Did you know Scripture takes a strong position about being idle? That includes wasting time. Apparently, it’s a big deal to God. Why would this be? It doesn’t seem nearly as concerning as certain other sins. Being idle leads to other things that are serious.

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Exclamation Point !

No one wants to be rejected, left alone, overlooked. They want to matter. Each person wants to be important to someone. Valued. Loved. This is not an accident nor a faulty design. God purposefully created people with these inner desires and concerns. He made them to need to be special. To care about making a difference. And to care about others.

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Live Well – Love Well

Last blog urged readers to think about “more and more” – how it affects the idea of pleasing God and surrendering to Him. We looked at His love, instruction, and transformation for your life. Today, let’s look at “more and more” again – but this time, how it affects aspects of living and loving. It seems these two ideas, living well and loving well, go together. More and more.

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More and More

  Jesus loves you very much. Everything of value in life begins and ends here. God’s love gives your life purpose and hope. You can live inside His love. It’s that safe place where you flesh out details of daily living. In the heart of God, where you are loved and cherished, you have belonging. You are protected.

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Key Life Building Stones

This morning, I was thinking about something I don’t often. Foundations. I suppose engineers think a lot more about them. Apparently, the right foundation is everything. From your home to your fence to your raised flower beds, your career, your relationships, your health, your inner heart. Actually, your entire life structure needs a solid foundation.

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At Your Edge

Do you know how it feels to be at your edge? Perhaps you have been living there for a long time. It’s scary to live at the edge of what you can manage, what you can cope with. Scripture gives advice, but – at first read, it feels a little unrealistic. When you read the progressive list from Rom. 5:3-5 (check it out), you instinctively know you can’t do that stuff in your own strength. It’s not normal.

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The Droplet in My Garden

PREFACE I am republishing this article from last year at the request of people who read it then. I sat in this same garden this morning with my Bible opened to a different passage. Note the heading title in this picture from last year. Hebrews. I was developing the book, Shadows of Things to Come. That book has been published and printed with encouraging words about living in the shadows of life. This garden is connected to much of my work. And the message of this article from last year had so touched my heart. Perhaps it will touch your heart, too.

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Circumstances Don’t Dictate Character

You are who you are, and if you are synced with God, you are what God wants you to be. It may be different than what you had wanted. You may have had a completely different picture in your mind. But if you are synced with God, you have character. What does synced with God mean?

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A Plan to Become More Like Jesus

  I’ll get right to the point. People need a great modern-day plan with options and action steps to build a solid Christian framework that helps manage their life. Believers need to make their faith practical. You need some directives that help you “work out your salvation.” (Phil. 2:12)

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Keep Your Head and Do Your Bit

I’m guessing you fit somewhere in this list: parent, a business person, an educator, a politician, a scientist, a medical professional, a musician or artist, a clerk or shop caretaker, a writer, a childcare specialist, a building/grounds caretaker, an athlete or trainer. Whatever your role or profession, you know it’s critical to keep your wits about you, to think clearly, and to make good leadership decisions.

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God Is Interested In You

What you think or believe about God matters. Keep in mind, however, that what you think is a very small piece of the great big picture. You are not able to see the whole thing, let alone process it and make judgments about it. So, it is also true that you do not always operate with a complete perspective of reality. With these limitations, how can you fully live your life in God’s love and blessing?

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Scripture’s Thinking Grid

I remember how excited I was when I found a “Thinking Grid” in my Bible. A timeless tool that has provided guidance to Christians for centuries. This Thinking Grid specifies what thoughts to allow in your mind. And since thoughts influence words, it has direct influence on your speech and relationships.

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Is Boasting Bad?

Boasting is generally thought to be bad, self-centered at the very least. Most healthy people refrain from including it in daily communication and interactive behaviors. Yet, Paul promotes boasting.

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Troubles and Trials: A Peek Into My Testimony

Over the decades, I’ve shared portions of my life journey with a variety of travel companions. I also figured out that I don’t always have control over who my travel companions will be. Some have been pleasant, encouraging, and faithful. Others have been very unwanted. At times, their presence has felt like an intrusion – even a violation. And they would not go away. Sorrow and Loss were the worst, surpassed only by Judgment. Well, no. I take that back. Betrayal was the very worst.

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Coffee Grounds

Half awake. Blurry eyes. Groggy brain. Slippers dragging toward the French Press. I love my nifty silver and white personal coffee carafe.

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Point To Christ

We are in Holy Week leading up to Easter. This celebration is the pinnacle of our Christian faith. The cross. The grave. The resurrection. Forgiveness. New Beginnings. Eternal life. Joyful hope. Healing.

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We All Need A Savior

Easter week is right around the corner. People love to celebrate with joyful traditions, activities, reflections, and food. This week, for a Christian, is the highest pinnacle of celebration (possibly second only to Christmas). We call this special week Holy Week.

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Fresh Faith

I was recently writing a letter to a friend and realized there was a stunning message in my letter – for me. Something so simple. Yet, so profound. Here is what I wrote.

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Billy Graham – Living Still

I am devoting this week’s blog to an amazing servant of God. I celebrate the life and message of Billy Graham. His “home-going” to Heaven is a world event. It is turning heads. For some, it’s another fond look at the amazing impact God has had around the globe through this man. For others, it’s a first look.

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What Kind Of Free Are You?

You were created to be free. All people were. Yet, in order to live free, you have to think a certain way. Make certain choices. Freedom is so important to God that He established it deep in the original design of the human template. Then He gave you a mechanism to engage your freedom: your “free will.” He wants you to use it. He wants you to be utterly free!

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Your One Good Option

I’m guessing you’ve had at least one time in your life when you felt your relationship with God was good. Maybe. Some have had several seasons. Yet, like seasons of the year, they keep changing. Your relationship with God shifts. Some Questions: What causes these shifts? Why the change? Who cuts in on your successes? Your peace. Freedom. Growth. What pushes you to your edge? Causes you to fall? And why do you go there? Life: Life has rhythms. Ebb and flow. Continual change. Basic principles stay the same, but the message everywhere is – “change it up!” What you

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Does Aging Strip You?

I had my annual visit with my Dr. last week. We had a great conversation about aging. Apparently, I’m right on target for getting old! And, although I don’t have control over the inevitable aging process – apparently, I’m making some good decisions.

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Why I Do What I Do With Intentional Living

Today I was reminded why I do what I do with Intentional Living. My life is super full! Lots of responsibilities – like your life. People depend on me to do my bit – like people depend on you. I have some wonderful experiences and memories – I’m sure you have some. And I have my share of extremely hard times. Challenges, losses, hurts. I bet you’ve had your share, as well.

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It’s Real, And It’s Very Near

Pushing back the curtain, my eyes struggled to focus in the flood of brightness. Gradually adjusting, I saw a story book scene covered in a blanket of freeze. It was breath-taking. Very still. Untouched. No snow falling. Just morning moments frozen in time. A misty steam lifted from objects as the sun brushed across them. Trees wore perfect-fitting ice gloves. Every tiny twig was transparently encased. Long, slender pine needles were hugged by individual translucent sleeves. Everything hung in united beauty and silence.

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Fear of the Lord: What Exactly Is It?

Do you ever feel you just can’t get your act together? Do you sometimes doubt what you bring to the table? Maybe you think you simply don’t have much to contribute. You do love the Lord and want to serve Him. You want your life to make a difference in this world. However: Eloquence – thinking on your feet – is not your native tongue. You lack wisdom. Blaring in your face is your weakness, not your strength. Although you trust God, you find fears nesting in your heart. Fear of failure, pain, what people will think, missing God’s best,

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Shadows of Things to Come

This next year will be filled with many blessings, lots of challenges, and probably some losses for many people. Such a mix of experiences. We love the blessings. We sometimes don’t mind the challenges. In fact, some of you really enjoy challenges. But most of us would like to side-step the losses. The difficult part for most people is facing the future with all the unknown components. So often you don’t know how to prepare, what to do, how to respond, where to find the answers. Your life is filled with shadows and you don’t know how to navigate through

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Live Between the Dots in the New Year: 7 Tips

The end of one year morphs into a new one by the simple passing of time. Days slip by all year, but when the passing of days end one thing and begin another, they are noteworthy.   Your life is a line, not a dot. Your life line is made up of segments of time – spaces between 2 dots where time passes. You live your life in these segments with your to-do lists, goals, responsibilities, dreams, plans, ministry, etc. Segments of time are: Seasons Months Weeks Days Minutes. You are living between 2 dots right now in this special

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Steps to “Turn the Corner” in Your Loss During Christmas

http://www.aliveandactivelife.org/2017/12/18/steps-turn-corner-in-loss-christmas/ It’s hard to manage a life loss at Christmas. A season that should be filled with joy, cheer, and hope. But for you – it’s just not! You may feel you are drowning in sadness . . . cut off from good things . . . observing others’ joy as a dream . . . wanting so badly for hope and cheer – yet not wanting to let go of your loss. So, what can you do?

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Here is Your FREE Gift From Intentional Living!

We have been building your anticipation with some promises. NOW IT’S TIME!!   Intentional Living has been working hard to give a FREE Christmas gift to you, your family, friends, church, and community. It is our way of saying thank you, we care about your relationship with God and – – Merry Christmas! Now – open your gift . . .

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Incredible Blessings

Did you know your choices about thankfulness reflect your relationship with God? They reveal your level of commitment and love back to God. They measure your trust in Him. And they determine whether you will follow through in 2 things: obeying Him and resting in Him. All these show how much gratitude you have and what kind of perspective you live with daily. If thankfulness tells this much about you from your inside out, what can you do to get more of it? And how do you live unafraid to show who you really are?

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What ‘Sup With God’s Word? 5 Super Good Choices

I have to admit something. My heart skips with joy when I see a child bursting with life . . . overflowing with passion . . . dancing with delight – and no apology for the display. Beauty, adventure, energy, innocence, faith, possibilities. I have to admit something else.

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Does God Hear? Forgive? Heal?

Has it seemed God does not hear you? Perhaps you think He will not forgive you. Maybe you think you’ve somehow been disqualified from inner healing. A well-known Scripture impressed me today –

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Make a Global Difference

Do you ever wonder how you can help change the world? How can you make a difference with your fellow man in the community your life touches? How do you make a global difference in regions of the world far beyond the touch of your life? You may feel so small compared to the very massive work that must be done to tell people about Jesus – and then train them in discipleship.

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Do You Need A Miracle?

I’ve been thinking about miracles. Perhaps you have, too. Maybe you need a miracle right now. A miracle is hard to wrap your brain around because – well – it’s a miracle! It’s another dimension that slips into your normal dimension.

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How Do Your Needs Get Met?

God is for you! There are times you might struggle to believe that. Moments of deep disappointment, loss and loneliness. Long periods of waiting that bring discontent and doubt. The fact remains – God loves you deeply. He wants you to succeed and do well in your life. He has a special place in His heart just for you. God has many blessings and good things for you to enjoy. He also knows how difficult life can be. With the presence of sin, this world is in continual tension, and that’s challenging to live with. So, He names Himself for

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What To Do When You Lack Direction

It’s hard to go forward when you lack direction. Perhaps you have goals, a plan, and action steps you are carrying out – yet you are standing still. Little progress. So many hours of hard, creative work isn’t helping. All this seems to indicate you are currently without direction. What should you do?

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The Droplet in My Garden

This week, early on a cool, quiet morning, I was having my quiet time with the Lord on my front porch. It rained the night before. Everything was fresh. With a mug of coffee, my Bible, and pen jotting in my journal – I noticed something in my peripheral vision. Plants in the garden were “moving.” Every few minutes, ever-so slightly. Yet, enough to catch my attention. Not the steady, tender sway from the slight breeze. What was causing the movement?  

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God is Pleased You are You

God is pleased you are you. He intends to bless your life as you live within His intended design. He also wants you to be a blessing to others in the world. You wouldn’t cut off a finger because it doesn’t do the work of your lungs. Your fingers carry out daily functions important to your whole body.

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YOU ARE A TABERNACLE – The Most Holy Place

Chances are, you have not thought of yourself as a most holy place. And likely, you have not considered yourself to be a tabernacle. Yet – you are both. You Are a Tabernacle! WORSHIP is God’s Central Design for Your Life You were created to worship. It’s your design. You do it even when you are not aware. Everyone worships something/someone. Worshiping the living God is very intentional.

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The House of The Royal Family

If you have trusted Jesus for salvation, you are part of The Royal Family – God’s Family. You have privileges as God’s heir. You also have royal responsibilities, influence, and leverage. Scripture calls this a “heavenly calling. Here are some of your perks and privileges:

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Need a Family?

“Belonging” is one of the greatest human needs. God created you and the need to belong – with intentions of being the Source to meet your need for family. It starts way back.

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Someone Is Praying For You – All The Time!

I hope you have a person or 2 praying for you. In today’s busy world, people are limited in availability, memory, and understanding of your life. So, committed intercession is valued and precious – a wonderful gift! But it is limited . . . because people are limited.   There is another person – very dependable, not limited, available continually – who is praying for you night and day: Jesus.

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Where Are You on the Spectrum of Global Ministry?

There are 2 focuses you can have on this globe: eternal and temporary. Everyone must address daily temporary issues (food, clothes, bills, plans, chores, etc.). Yet, eternal issues are critical. People exist somewhere on the spectrum – endless combinations – between these ideas. God cares about both focuses. The life of Christ proves it. But He “super cares” about eternal. Where are you on the spectrum?

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Weary vs Lazy: What’s the Diff?

Weary vs lazy! What a challenging subject. If you’re reading this, you are likely not lazy. If you are weary, you might feel fatigued as you read. Why are you reading this article? Maybe you are lazy and realize you need a good kick in the pants. Maybe you are weary and thirst for hope . . . and wondered if you’d find a dribble here. Whatever your motive, I hope you find what you need.

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White Feather: How To Bear Disgrace

A white feather has often been associated with disgrace, cowardice, or shame. The tradition of giving a white feather is questionable – especially when given unjustly. Yet, even when deserved, it’s hard to bear disgrace in life. To be misunderstood. To wonder what went wrong. To be judged. Justly accused. Or falsely accused.

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7 Strategies of Rest to Finish Well

When you start a fun adventure, a new program, a fresh plan, a resolved commitment – it’s easy to be excited. Passion gives energy to do hard stuff. You even handle losses better. Fresh starts are power launches. But – how do you finish well?   When “new” becomes the norm, some discipline starts slipping off. Daily drudgery sets in. Then – when life gets downright hard, painful, or disappointing, you realize you need to grit your teeth with resolve if you are going to finish well. Early days of clarity and passion start to fade. At a successful power launch,

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Affairs of the Heart

Do you know what affairs of the heart are? Do you know how they start? How does a sincere Christian sometimes end up there? What can you do to avoid them?

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Fill Your Life Jar

How do you fill your life jar with the right rocks in the right order? There are principles and action steps that help you live more effectively. You have a loving Parent who will train you. Your jar matters! One of my favorite verses is “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” (Heb.2:13b) Jesus says this about you! He gives Himself to you as a loving Parent. He wants you in His family . . . a humbling reality and comforting thought. Jesus stands before God and says to Him (as He stands beside you) “Here am I, and

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True Story of Faith – and the Answer

Something special happened recently – “It’s raining again! We wait and watch. Pray. It’s just not happening. The spring is too wet – so much rain. Scheduling a pocket to plant between rains is tricky. Every step in soggy, tilled soil leaves a footprint 6 inches deep. NOT the right conditions to plant a vegetable garden. It barely dries out and BAM! – more rain.   I experience keen awareness of community farmers and pray for them. For the weather. For the crops. And I pray for our own garden. Still, we wait.

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Can DUST Trust?

Can DUST Trust? Some Questions: How do you turn dust into flesh and blood? And how do you turn flesh and blood into a fully alive person engaged in life? Then, how do you turn a fully alive person: Away from ignorance Into understanding Toward wisdom Onto the path of knowing God?

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Do You Need A Faith Boost? The WOW List

There is a “WOW list” of amazing stories in Hebrews 11. The list records extraordinary interventions, protection, and answered prayer. The power released into these stories is initiated by faith in a God who loves His children and can do anything. Take a look:

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Raise a Normal Kid Today? 10 Helpful Points

Raise a normal, healthy kid? Is that still possible these days? I imagine you started parenting like me: You thought you knew a lot more than you did. You found out you knew a lot less than was comfortable to admit. You didn’t earn a degree from “parenting college.”  

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Growing Up in Faith is Hard Work! 4 Decisions That Help.

Growing up is hard work. But it’s normal. That’s what people do: grow up . . . in body, mind, heart, relationships, and emotions. Even though you will keep growing up all your life, there comes a time when you “are up.” Even though it is hard work to grow up, to NOT GROW UP is unnatural, unhealthy, and even tragic.

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All He Wants Is You!

Years ago when I was a teenager, I heard a song that touched my heart. The words of the chorus went like this – “All He wants is you. No one else will do. Not just a part – He wants all of your heart. All He wants is all of you. All He wants is you!“ And no one sang that song like Frank! Tears ran down his face as he poured out his heart and this song into the listening ears of the teens at summer camp.

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Who Can You Trust These Days Anyway?

People can’t readily trust others these days. In fact, if they are truly honest, they can’t even fully trust themselves. Deep down, they know their perspective may be skewed and their judgment could be flawed.

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God Always Has A Plan: What’s Your Part?

God always has a plan. Always! In fact, He plans pretty far out. The Scriptures tell us that before He created the world, He already established The Plan of Salvation. He put into motion that Jesus would become the Intermediator: fully man, fully God. Yes, pretty far out – He planned the whole thing.

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Dare to Take a Leap of Faith!

How do you increase your faith when you realize you don’t seem to have enough? How do you dare to leap from where you are to where you need to be? Apparently, it is impossible to please God without faith! (Heb. 11:6) In other words, there is no other way you can please God and build a meaningful relationship with Him without faith. Magical Ingredient blog article presented faith as essential to your life. Honestly, this article needs to be taken one step deeper. What happens if you don’t think you have any of that magical ingredient – faith? You

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7 Points Confirming God Has Chosen YOU!

God has chosen you to be His precious child. His friend. His family heir. You are very special to God – not because of various unique aspects of who you are, but because God decided. God simply loves you – so much!

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What’s In Your Hand?

When I was a little kid, 9 or 10, sitting in church in a tiny town called Vulcan, a farmer got up front and shared what was on his mind. I sat in my pew, kicking my legs, chewing gum, and pondering his story. In his every-day world, he drove a grain truck, a combine, tended to chickens and cows, shoveled “stuff” in the farm yard, fixed machinery. Yet, he wanted to know what he could do to affect the world for Christ. So, he asked God his questions. And he got a most unusual answer. Similar to Job, he

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Falling and Failing: How to Avoid Them

Falling and failing in life are scary. They directly affect you. If severe enough, they can devastate you. Because their effect is strong, it is important to do certain things to be on your guard. It is true that falling and failing are part of life. It is not sin to fall or fail when you are working to move forward and accomplish goals. In fact, it’s human to fall and fail as you learn, grow, and master various life skills. Sometimes, despite planning and effort, falling and failing happen outside of your control. It’s not this kind of falling

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2 Things to “Be” and 2 Things to “Do” In Your Life

No one sets an appointment with a thief. Robbery is an unexpected event discovered after it happens! You might see a theft in progress. It will be like this when the Lord Jesus returns. This one event of history will alter everything. Extreme. Elements destroyed. All things laid bare. Panic. Regret. Power never experienced by human beings. Every time God intervenes in history, something permanent happens. Changes for the better. Fresh, new, good, much improved, much needed. God is very good at fixing human blunders. How sad that these blunders fill the human timeline. How glad that God is intimately

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WHAT KIND OF PERSON SHOULD YOU BE? 4 Things to Aim For

In order to live a purposeful, intentional life, there are specific things Scripture teaches you need to do. Regularly. God made people in His image. He crowned people “with glory and honor.” He made them to rule the earth. And He made people for Himself. Yes, God made you for Himself. He wants relationship with you. So – what kind of person should you be? Peter recommends 4 things in Scripture: Engage in daily, wholesome thinking. Remember what you already know. Stay away from scoffers. Stay away from people who live for their own pleasure. Peter reminds – the world

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THIS ELECTION!!

This has been the most difficult election process I remember. So many concerning things leading up to this week of voting. I think the best one-liner is now: VOTE: prayerfully! I’ve been pondering how – even in a country where we help decide policy – there are still so many things outside our individual control. Honestly, that is part of the frustration with this election. BUT – I’ve been reminded there are still some things we have a lot of control over, pertaining to governing powers.

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DESPICABLE WE: Printed and Published!

It is printed and published! Now it is releasing into the public! AND IT IS SELLING!! DESPICABLE WE: Daily Studies in Ezekiel is available for you, your groups, your friends, your family, your church, your “Christmas gift list!” I have arranged for a special Christmas SALE from now through Dec. 23. $2.00 off the regular price of each book! And I have a copy for YOU! Need a good (short and sweet) personal study? NEED GIFTS? Check it out at the Intentional Living Store. Not only is each book on sale, but here is a great way to save

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