One Size For Everybody

Alive and Active Life
One Size For Everybody
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Remember when the pandemic was in full swing? Everybody was buying masks and medical gloves. Well, I found some medical gloves for a great price. So I ordered. When they came, I checked the box front. Sure enough – one size fits all. Not true! Those gloves were big enough to fit a professional basketball player who can “palm” the ball! So, I was stuck with these huge gloves. Incidentally, there was so much room in each glove finger, I could have packed snacks in there. So much for one size for everybody!

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When Your Relationship With God Shifts

Alive and Active Life
When Your Relationship With God Shifts
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I’m guessing you’ve had at least one time in your life when you felt your relationship with God was good. Maybe not. But for myself, I’ve had several seasons where lots of things shifted, like seasons of the year. Truly, all relationships keep changing. So, it’s reasonable to expect your relationship with God to shift. Is that normal? Good or bad? This content explores how to stay healthy when your relationship with God shifts in a complicated world.

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Prepare For Easter Free Devotional Activity- Not Too Late to Sign Up

Alive and Active Life
Prepare For Easter Free Devotional Activity- Not Too Late to Sign Up
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It’s Not Too Late!

for a fun, FREE, brief Easter Devotional Focus/Activity!

 

Easter Week Devotional Focus

“Prepare For Easter” is – –

Meaningful!   Brief!   Fun!   Refreshing!   Read or Listen!    FREE!   And it’s not too late to sign up.

Starts Monday through Easter Sunday.

Because this content is concise, quality material – busy people with full schedules can easily participate.

You Can Also Listen To This Content

Since this material is designed to help manage your busy schedule, you can just click on the player above each day’s content.  It will look like this image. (This picture is not an active player.)

We’re also published on popular podcast apps, so connect with your preferred app. If you’re already signed up with the Alive and Active Life Podcast, you’ll receive each day’s content in your feed. If you need help, here are podcast sign-up instructions.

Quick Overview (and not too late to sign up):

Prepare For Easter” features:

  1. Brief Daily Focus – Using a short reflective thought to focus your heart for Easter, each day explores a special role Jesus has in your life. It’s very encouraging!
  2. Fun Activity – Additionally, engage a fun activity each day – by yourself, as a family, with a friend, or with a group.
  3. Teaching Point – By combining the Daily Focus and Fun Activity, each day’s content becomes deeply meaningful.

 

The reason this Easter resource is so meaningful is . . . 

Because each session explores how Jesus provides for you!

Here’s a list of topics we will cover, one each day:

  • Sacrifice
  • High Priest
  • Lover of Your Soul
  • Intervener
  • Intercessor
  • Interconnector

 

As you explore these special roles, you can know without a doubt that God’s love for you is sincere!

You’ll also receive a BONUS POST – 

“When You Run Out of Ideas of Where to Hide An Easter Basket.” 

Since Easter brings hope, joy, and cheer . . . take this opportunity to prepare your heart! 

IMPORTANT and TIMELY Heads-Up! . . .

Since Day #3 Fun Activity uses Resurrection Eggs to tell the Easter story with a little reminder token in each egg, to get your set before Wednesday’s Fun Activity:

  • Order NOW (amazon – or another online vendor) OR
  • Visit/call your local Christian Bookstores to inquire about a set OR
  • Make your own.

 

To make your own:

Incidentally, it’s really fun to make your own set! But it’s also simple. By filling empty plastic eggs with little items, each part of the Easter story can be told. Since the online set (above link) shows detailed pictures of items needed, use that example. And not only kids love this set, but every age!

However, if you decide not to make or order this tool, our content gives additional options for an activity.

Alive and Active Life wants your Easter week to be special by connecting with Jesus. 

So –  to participate! – www.aliveandactivelife.org/Easter.

It’s Not Too Late!

You’ll be glad you did!

 

In addition to this Easter resource, visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God.

It’s also not too late to receive weekly encouragement in your inbox. Sign up on our email list.

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Under Feathers

Alive and Active Life
Under Feathers
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Feathers have captivated people for centuries. Inventors and scientists have studied flight by looking at birds, wings, and feathers. Artists use various mediums to capture the beauty of feathers. Coincidentally, there are still folks who make down pillows and comforters with softest feathers. Kids adore fluffy, colored feathers for fun projects. Feathers have been used for insulation. At one point in history, the best arrows were made using feathers. Today’s content is about being under feathers.

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Why Don’t I Change?

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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There’s Comfort In A Sandwich

Alive and Active Life
There's Comfort In A Sandwich
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In the movie, “The Kid,” Bruce Willis plays Russ Duritz, a grown-up under stress. He regresses to a form of comfort when he was a kid – a sandwich. He begins to make one and repeatedly says – “There’s safety in a sandwich!” As he tries to convince himself in his self-dialogue, he grips his almost finished sandwich and flips it around expressively while talking. Alfalfa sprouts fly everywhere. Then lettuce flips out. It’s not much of a sandwich any more. Many people think there’s comfort in a sandwich.

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God’s Love For You Is Sincere

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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I Bet Your Life Is Like Mine

Alive and Active Life
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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Pile-Up!! Time For “Operation Close.”

Alive and Active Life
Pile-Up!! Time For "Operation Close."
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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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A New Fresh Love

Alive and Active Life
A New Fresh Love
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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. Read More …

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