Hope For A New Year – Advent #4

Alive and Active Life
Hope For A New Year - Advent #4
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A New Year is an opportunity to let go of some things, hold onto other things, and grab onto new things. It also involves various emotions. Even though a New Year can feel scary, not knowing what’s ahead, it can also be exciting with new opportunities. In some cases, it may be a relief to walk into a fresh perspective. Hope for new possibilities begins to rise. Sadness about aging, saying good-byes, or letting go of previous endeavors can be painful. Knowing there will be difficult challenges is sobering. Yet, overall, most people embrace hope as one year morphs into another. God gives hope for a New Year.

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Partner With God Using 4 L’s

Alive and Active Life
Partner With God Using 4 L's
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Some years back, I had an opportunity to lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in several decades. This person was a special influence in my growth and development. I was truly excited about catching up. With great anticipation, I marked the calendar. When the day came, I was a bit nervous after so many years. But I found the lunch to be one of the most fun and meaningful days I’d had in a long time. And I remembered how this friend had influenced me to partner with God.

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Need A Miracle?

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Need A Miracle?
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I’m sure you’ve heard stories of people who died but came back to life. Some have been miraculously healed of serious diseases. There are stories of amazing financial provisions – down to the penny needed. Imminent tragedies have “somehow” dissipated. People have prayed for rain in drought and received it. These kinds of things are on the list of “Big Deal Miracles.” But most of us just need a regular miracle – something to encourage our hearts. I also think we get so focused on our own stuff that we miss the entire list of “Super Special Small Miracles” that happen each day. Do you need a miracle?

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What’s In Your Hand?

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What's In Your Hand?
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God always has a plan that includes the entire world. Without question, it also includes you! His big picture plan for the world and His individual plan for your life come together when we ask a question – “What’s in your hand?”

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Special Ways God Loves You

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. Sadly, depression has broken some people. Additionally, 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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Contentment

Alive and Active Life
Contentment
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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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Your 3 Most Important Keys

Alive and Active Life
Your 3 Most Important Keys
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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

Alive and Active Life
Turned Upside-Down
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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. Read More …

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