Attitudes And The Christian

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Attitudes And The Christian
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I’m thinking about people I’ve met over the years, some from childhood. Though I can’t remember some of their names, there’s a kind of “imprint” of the kind of person they impressed me to be. The impressions have to do with attitudes they portrayed. There is such power in attitudes that affect your life – and other lives, too. In fact, they can set your path for a long time. That’s why we should be aware of them and choose carefully.

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Why Don’t I Change?

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Alive and Active Life
Why Don’t I Change?
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Someone once told me being a follower of Jesus is exclusive of behaviors, and it’s only about God’s love and their heart. “Behaviorism” is a term that was used. I’ve prayerfully and extensively thought about this perspective. God has blessed this pensive exploration with some interesting ideas. It has to do with “why don’t I change?”

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Faith And Family

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Alive and Active Life
Faith And Family
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There are two concepts people all over the world cling to: Faith and Family. These ideas mean different things to each person. Yet they are a bedrock for people of any culture. Interestingly, the ideas of Faith and Family are interwoven, and it all starts in the heart of God.

(This is Part 5 in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.)

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Fresh Faith For You

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Alive and Active Life
Fresh Faith For You
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Recently, I wrote a letter to a friend. As I re-read and pondered my message, I realized there was a stunning, fresh faith application point in my letter – for me! It was simple, yet profound. I’ve thought a lot about this ever since. That message boiled down to one word. Want to know what I wrote?

(This is Part 3 in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.) Read More …

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Special Ways God Loves You

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Alive and Active Life
Special Ways God Loves You
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There is an alarming development over the past several years. People wonder if they actually matter. These “wonderings” happen deep in people’s hearts. Depression has broken some. Discouragement wraps devastating effects around serious global developments. Pandemic, natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, global warming, political unrest. I think it’s time for a strong look at Special Ways God Loves You. May you be encouraged as you connect with the God who loves you.

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God’s Love For You Is Sincere

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Alive and Active Life
God's Love For You Is Sincere
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When is the last time you considered God’s love for you? Do you ever feel distant from His love? Do you wish you could connect with His love in a more meaningful way? Well, God’s love for you is sincere. It’s powerful. Yes, God loves you, and that makes a huge difference in your daily living.

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Everyone Needs Compassion

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Everyone Needs Compassion
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In 2006, a song was released that talks about compassion. Everyone Needs Compassion! How about you? Do you need compassion for what you are going through? Maybe you need mercy, kindness, hope . . . and maybe even a sincere hug. Perhaps you think your “mountain-of-a-problem” can’t be moved. Or it’s impossible to be healed from your losses.

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Doing Gratitude

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Alive and Active Life
Doing Gratitude
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As we enter the holiday seasons and the final portions of this year, most of us get pretty busy. Still, it’s essential to ask questions that matter most during these months of celebration. One question in particular often associated with Thanksgiving, affects life every day. What exactly is gratitude? Have you regularly asked yourself that question? I’ll throw in another question – “part B” to the first question. Are you “doing gratitude” each day?

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Gratitude Scale: Get Closer to a 10!

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Alive and Active Life
Gratitude Scale: Get Closer to a 10!
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Thanksgiving! This holiday of gratitude is celebrated in various ways at different times of the year, depending on your country and culture. When is your Thanksgiving? How do you celebrate? If you had a Gratitude Scale that could measure how thankful you are, on a scale of 1 – 10, where do you fall?

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I Bet Your Life Is Like Mine

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I Bet Your Life Is Like Mine
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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 Your Life

I could add even more to that first paragraph, but I won’t. Why? Because although there is more I could add of life’s hardships, trials, and challenges . . . there is another similarity also true for your life and mine.

Our lives are filled with God’s blessings – all the time, every day. So many things to enjoy from relationships to creation to adventures to pleasures to advancements. The best blessing is God’s presence. These all co-exist alongside our difficulties.

The person who is conscious of God and His blessings is the person who does well, even in a broken world. This person gives thanks always. They set the pace.

So, I ask you again. Is your life like mine? Are you enjoying God’s blessings around you?

  1. What blessings co-exist in your life alongside your troubles? List them.
  2. Do you give thanks often for them?
  3. Are you setting the pace by how you perceive your blessings?
  4. Do you have an Alive and Active Life?

 

God and Your Life

It’s challenging enough to figure out who you are. Then to figure out who God is – well, that seems impossible. What would you think if I told you – you can do both. Of course, your knowledge, conclusions, and understanding will be limited. But you can know yourself and God much better than you do now (no matter how well you know both of you right now)!

Let’s talk about God. The Apostle Paul presents a good picture of God. He calls Him “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God.” (2 Tim. 1:17) Lots of big, significant words. They are even a bit difficult to digest. Still, these words are a life changer, and a world changer. It helps to realize these words are the beginnings of adventure, new growth, and increased understanding. So rather than seeing them as a threat, welcome these words as a new opportunity to know God. He has invited you. And He wants to be all those great, powerful things for you.

But Paul doesn’t stop with those big concepts about God. He adds qualities more common to our thinking. For example, what ideas would come to your mind if you considered how to interact with such a great Person? I’d start with gratitude, respect, and allegiance due to such a great King. Sure enough, Paul introduces these new words to help – “honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (v. 17) You can give honor and glory to God!

  1. Have you figured out who you are? 
  2. Are you getting to know God better?
  3. How much adventure, new growth, and increasing understanding are you welcoming into your day?

 

Unpacking God And Your Life

Let’s try to unpack this. It’s critical to be able to wrap your arms around these concepts – at least enough to begin the journey of discovery. Let’s start with God.

The “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God” died for you because He loves you. He is powerful enough to rise from the dead – which He did – for you. In addition, He calls you to Himself to live as a close, personal friend to Him. When you trust Jesus for salvation and forgiveness, you become part of His family, a royal heir, with all His kingdom rights and resources available to you. So, you see that God isn’t just that untouchable, great, “out-there” person. He is very interested in your life and wants to invest in you.

God wants to help you unpack your life, as well as His own life – which is made available for you. This intimate bond is the original design from before creation. God loves you. He made the human race for Himself – His children. But He also gave each person a free will to decide if they want to be His child. No forcing.

  1. Are you remembering God loves you – and that Jesus died for you? 
  2. Do you live like you are a close personal friend to God?
  3. Is your identity secure as a member of the royal family?

 

Friend Or Enemy?

The original design is an unthinkable reality. No one is worthy of that gracious, generous offer. Not you. Not me. Scripture says we were once enemies of God – by out own choosing. (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21) In fact, let’s call it what it is. We are sinners – bad people with bad hearts. But God showed us mercy and kindness through Jesus for our ignorance and unbelief. He built a bridge over our bad choices.

This mercy and grace is not just given to us. It is quite literally poured out into our lives – abundantly. The only missing piece is the “receiving.” Have you opened your life to receive from God like a flower opens to the rays of the sun?

In a broken, pounding world, God shares His great resources to fill failing hearts with love, faith, and hope. This is your new reality in Christ – every day. The cross changed the landscape so people could change sides – from the enemy’s side to God’s. No longer chained slaves to evil, we are now royal heirs! Simple, sincere repentance and faith in Jesus gives you forgiveness of sins, resurrection from death, and eternal life. Plus, you get dearest friendship with this great King. What a jackpot!

  1. Have you crossed over the bridge Jesus built so you can be forgiven? 
  2. Are you opening to God each day like a flower opens to the sun?
  3. Do your choices prove you are a friend of God – or an enemy?

 

God And Your Fragile Heart

As you take in Jesus each day, He pours His life and power into your fragile heart, even in our contemporary, difficult times. His own heart is strong and steady. He is extravagantly gracious, causing the sun to rise on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Mt. 5:45) He is loving and kind toward all He has made. (Ps. 145:9)

So, having identified His goodness, I can safely say your life, indeed, is like mine. It is filled with an underserved future, powerful resources, daily delights, and unfathomable friendship with God. If you are alert, humble, and thankful, you will notice many blessings that co-exist alongside the difficulties in your life.

In free countries, it’s hard to think of daily battle. Yet, every day, you need to fight to hold onto your faith. Work hard to keep good conscience. Navigate life’s waters without shipwreck. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) He gave you the “heads up.”

As you troubleshoot through life’s hardships, please remember and cherish the co-existing good all around you. God has not abandoned you.

  1. Does your heart feel fragile? 
  2. Have you responded to Jesus’ invitation to live inside His love and kindness?
  3. Why not spend time each day identifying more of God’s goodness in your life? Make a list.
  4. Are you “taking heart” in your troubles – because Jesus has overcome the world? Do you choose to do this?

 

Application Thoughts and Questions

The first part of your application is to review the above questions in each section. I’ll list them here again for your convenience.

Set One

  1. What blessings co-exist in your life alongside your troubles? List them.
  2. Do you give thanks often for them?
  3. Are you setting the pace by how you perceive your blessings?
  4. Do you have an Alive and Active Life?

Set Two

  1. Have you figured out who you are? 
  2. Are you getting to know God better each day?
  3. How much adventure, new growth, and increasing understanding are you welcoming into your day?

Set Three

  1. Are you remembering God loves you – and that Jesus died for you? 
  2. Do you live like you are a close personal friend to God?
  3. Is your identity secure as a member of the royal family?

Set Four

  1. Have you crossed over the bridge Jesus built so you can be forgiven? 
  2. Are you opening to God each day like a flower opens to the sun?
  3. Do your choices prove you are a friend of God – or His enemy?

Set Five

  1. Does your heart feel fragile? 
  2. Have you responded to Jesus’ invitation to live inside His love and kindness?
  3. Why not spend time each day identifying more of God’s goodness in your life? Make a list.
  4. Are you “taking heart” in your troubles – because Jesus has overcome the world?

 

Ponder and record answers to those groups of questions in your device or journal. Then, jot down your difficulties, trials, and painful losses. After that, jot down your blessings. I bet you’ll find your life is like mine.

Your life gives you the privilege to focus on God’s blessings more than your troubles. Trust God in your hardships. Claim His promises. Obey Him. This will keep your heart alive in His hope. Have an Alive and Active Life.

Content taken from More E-pistles For An i-Generation, Sess. 71 and from 2 Tim.1:12-20. Check out this fabulous Bible study book – and more tools to help you grow in your walk with God.

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