How To Prepare Your Heart For Christmas – Advent #1

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
How To Prepare Your Heart For Christmas - Advent #1
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Most people really like Christmas. There are a few grinches who despise the annual celebration. But many more cherish this annual holiday. They lean into invisible qualities of hope and joy connected to the evergreen tree, lights and decorations, beautiful music, giving and receiving, special goodies, and moments of reflection. Unfortunately, many of these same “Christmas-loving” people feel overwhelmed at the hustle and bustle. So, how do you prepare your heart for this beloved holiday?

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Learn Well – Live Well – Love Well

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Learn Well - Live Well - Love Well
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As we go into today’s content . . . Learn Well – Live Well – Love Well . . . I first want to read off a list of one-liners we’ve heard over the years. They deal with the hum-drum of life:

  • Same old – same old
  • Been there – done that (bought the T-shirt)
  • Nothing new under the sun
  • Do it again – and again
  • Hummin’ right along
  • Another day – another dollar
  • Tomorrow never comes
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Can’t trust anyone
  • Pie-crust promises
  • Where’s the beef? (that was a commercial)
  • Never thought I’d see the day
  • It ain’t gonna happen
  • In your wildest dreams

 

And on go the one-liners we’ve heard in a variety of ways. All seem to speak to an emptiness, dullness, boring repetition, and rather skeptical view of life.

But life is NOT hum-drum! Therefore, let’s explore a full, exciting, fresh-every-day, and rather hopeful view of life. Will you join me?

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Boundaries Help

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Boundaries Help
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We live with boundaries every day. Some examples: Your yard ends, and the neighbor’s yard begins. Countries have boundaries to define territory. Speed limits keep traffic in check to prevent accidents. The zoo has walls, cages, and glass to keep children safe as they enjoy animals. Walls and doors form rooms – helpful when you need to sleep or take a shower. Banks with safes protect money. Oceans caress the beach only to a certain distance. If boundaries are so common all around us, then why is it hard to place and keep boundaries to protect our hearts and minds? Afterall, boundaries help.

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Been Lied To?

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Alive and Active Life
Been Lied To?
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Have you ever been lied to? I’m guessing you have. I have, too. It’s a devastating experience. You don’t know who to trust going forward. Consequently, that’s the power of a lie. It tears down trust and ruins what could otherwise be healthy and dependable. Although it’s become more common – even normal – to lie, all lies come from one place. Jesus identifies that source.

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When You Need Something Sharp

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
When You Need Something Sharp
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Some days you need a newspaper. Other days, you need money from your bank. Still other days, you need a prescription for illness. More than not, you need your phone – or some other form of technology. Then there’s the day you need a good friend to talk to. But more often than you might expect, are days when you need something sharp – like a sword! For protection, accuracy, carving away, cutting a path, and making a point.

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A Resource For Better Thinking

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
A Resource For Better Thinking
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I remember as a kid how excited I was when school let out for summer. That meant – freedom and fun. Then there’s the happy childhood memory of when I received a beautiful “Little Girl Lotion-Perfume” set from my grandmother at Christmas. As an adult, I’ve been thrilled when I owe less taxes than I thought – or get an extra bonus day off work. And at any age, there’s the joy of seeing new daffodils, tulips, and lilacs starting to share color and fragrance in spring. But nothing compares to how thrilled I was when I discovered a “Thinking Grid” in my Bible – a resource for better thinking! Read More …

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When The Coffee Isn’t Good

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
When The Coffee Isn't Good
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I had a coffee nook  some years ago. I LOVED IT! My favorite place to visit first thing in the morning was this little spot in my kitchen. Half awake with blurry eyes and a groggy brain, my slippers dragged me toward the coffee nook. And much as I’d like, my French Press didn’t make coffee on its own. So, in a drowsy state, I found it’s best to wake up a bit before making coffee. All it takes is one miscalculation to ruin the coffee. Too much. Too little. Knocking it over. Forgetting cream or sugar. That’s when the coffee isn’t good.

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It’s Your Choice

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
It's Your Choice
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Do you ever get tired of making choices? You make them all day long! If you had to keep track of all your choices, you’d have thousands to track. God gave choice to each individual. Yet choice also brings significant responsibility to make informed, good decisions.  Because choices can be overwhelming sometimes, you need support and assistance. Still, at the end of the day, it’s your choice. What will you do? Read More …

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Prepare Your Heart For Christmas – Advent #1

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Prepare Your Heart For Christmas - Advent #1
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You prepare for Christmas in so many ways. But how do you prepare your heart?

Advent

The Christmas Advent Season has been richly celebrated for many years. Historically, an advent marks the arrival of a notable person or event. Often, a wreath with candles has been used during Christmas Advent, lighting a new candle on each of four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

Even if you choose not to use a wreath with candles, there are simple, thoughtful ways you can prepare your heart.

This is the first in a series to help prepare your heart for Christmas. Each week we will light another candle in our hearts as a statement of preparation. (Notice each additional week’s article in this series has another candle lit in the main featured image.)

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The Skinny On Sinning

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
The Skinny On Sinning
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So, what’s “the skinny?” Apparently, the skinny on something is “the true information about someone or something that is not known by most people . . . Give me the inside/straight/real skinny.” (Merriam-Webster) The skinny is revealing some secret information. With that in mind, what’s the skinny on sinning?

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