One

Only one.

# 1.

Numero uno.

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Ephesians 4:1-6 reminded me today to lead a life worthy of my calling because I have been called by God! To do that, I need to be ONE minded… the mind of Christ that offers me the choice each day to be humble and gentle and patient with others, making room for others’ faults because of the Love he has given to me to flow through me to others.

The unity…the ONEness…that this kind of Love produces binds us together in peace.

I am called to this ONEness by the ONE Spirit of God because there is ONE body of Christ that has called us all to ONE glorious hope for the future. There is ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism and ONE God and Father who is over all… in all… and living through all of us.

Let’s follow this ONE in whom there is no confusion or contradiction who calls us to a life that is worth living!

3 Ways You Can Rise Above Today

What difficult situation are you facing today?

Are you wondering how to handle it?

God has already promised us that we will always have problems in this life, but He also frequently reminds us that we must not let the problems of life be our main focus. When we focus on our troubles, we begin to sink as if in some kind of malignant quicksand. But like Peter, who was invited to walk on the water with Jesus, all we have to do is call out to Him and turn back our focus to Him and we can rise above whatever we face.

Micah 6:8 gives us three powerful answers to what to do in the difficult situations we face in life… three places to direct our focus today:

1) act JUSTLY

2) love MERCY, and

3) walk HUMBLY with God.

Do what’s right, show everyone mercy and stay humble. If you were wondering how to handle that situation that causes you so much stress, now you know from the pages of God’s personal Word to us. 📖

May your Monday be blessed.

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Today!

Today is the day you have made, Lord! I will rejoice and be glad in it. I begin this day with my heart and my hands open to You, ready to accept anything and everything that you will pour into this day–this brief portion of my life.

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I will intentionally not complain about anything, even the weather, because I know my life is not my own. You are the one writing my story, and that includes every circumstance of my life. The best way to deal with things I wish weren’t happening is to just look for your hand in them and thank you for always working through it all. This allows me to be free of any resentment and allows You to do the good work in me that you desire to do in Your own way.

To find joy in the present moment, I cannot drag yesterday or pull tomorrow into the boundaries of today! You said Your mercies are new every morning because You understand human frailty, and you know that we would need them that often! We cannot bear the weight of any more than one day at a time. Let us not REHEARSE tomorrow, or REGRET yesterday. There is abundant life in the REALITY of Your Presence right here in this moment today. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Too Big to Trick-or-Treat?

If you’re like me, Halloween holds a lot of fun memories. You’ve spent loads of money on costumes and decorations and candy; you may have even created a few unique costumes of your own, and you definitely enjoyed every moment of taking your little ones around to neighbors and friends and family to gather goodies on this exciting fall evening!

But also, if you’re like me, your kids have outgrown this fun night now, and you’re not sure who misses it more… them or you?

There are so many areas of our lives where we invite our children to grow up and be more like us… and rightfully so. But, there are very few events in their young lives where we decide to allow ourselves to relax, to be a kid, to live in their world for a little bit. And Halloween is one of those!

If you’re not yet where I am, with kids too big to trick-or-treat, be thankful and set aside time to make believe with your little ones this weekend. And while you’re at it, don’t neglect to be gracious to those in-betweeners who may seem too big but who show up on your doorstep anyway because they’re just not yet ready to not be a kid.

And if you are raising teenagers who’ve finally surrendered to having surpassed the acceptable age to dress up and beg for goodies, be thankful for a new kind of fun, and look for new ways to “treat” your teens. Consider some of these ideas:

1. Throw a Halloween costume party and let them invite a bunch of friends. Make spooky fun treats, including punch with dry ice for that foggy effect, and rent or save on Netflix a line-up of good scary movies.

2. Take them with a bunch of friends to a local corn maze and treat everyone to hot apple cider and other fall treats after they find their way through the maze a time or two. Look for haunted hayrides too.

3. If you’re really brave and don’t mind the expense, take your teens with 1 or 2 of their friends to the big haunted houses downtown,  if your area has them.

4. Coordinate a neighborhood “Trunk-or-Treat” by going door-to-door a couple weeks ahead and get your neighbors commitment to have their car(s) at the end of their driveways & their trunks full of treats. Challenge everyone to a best decorated driveway contest! Winner gets a big blue ribbon to display next year and all the leftover candy from all the trunks!

5. Get involved in a church or community Trick-or-Treat event and participate as a family.

6. If you live out in a rural area, host a big bonfire, with weanie roast and s’mores. Invite everyone you know. Costumes optional, but beware of the higher flammability of cheaper, storebought costumes.

7. If you are really adventurous and don’t mind the time, expense and risk of opening your home or backyard up, create your own haunted house and invite all your teens friends and all your neighbors.

8. If your teens prefer a more family-centric, and quieter evening, have the whole family dress up, play spooky music at your doorstep and have fun watching the little ones come to you.

Whatever you do, have fun. Make memories. Dress up your pets. (They love it! Hee, hee.) And don’t forget the candy!!!

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Do Something!

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This morning on my way into work, I heard a song that I’ve heard many times before, but today, it really spoke to me.

Matthew West sings about all the injustice and pain in the world from poverty to kids being sold into slavery, and he relates how so many people feel when they see these kinds of things. He sings about looking up to heaven and shaking his fist and saying, “GOD, WHY DON’T YOU DO SOMETHING?”

Have you ever felt that way?

I think we all have.

But I got chills as the song goes on to give us what must be God’s likely response when we ask him things like that…

“I did. I created you.”

West also sings about how he’s tired of hearing about how we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. That obviously couldn’t be more true, as we are his living representatives here in the physical realm. But West’s point is well taken. It’s a lot easier to say that we are his hands and feet than to actually be them.

I’m challenged today to tune in and be certain that I’m answering this call. I want to be the one who stands up and says  I’m going to do something.

How about you?

Free Will

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Why DID God give us free will? He could have forced us all to love him. He could have forced us all to be sinless. He could have made us little replicas of himself in every way. But He chose to allow us to make our own choices.

Free will is among the most amazing of God’s gifts to humankind.  And we will all choose differently in how we exercise our own free will… some will love and serve him, others will reject him. Some will devote their entire lives in service to him, others will test the limits of his grace.

But we are all in this free will boat together, and we must allow others to exercise their free will as THEY choose and love them in spite of our differences because this freedom of choice is truly the ONLY THING that makes it possible for us to experience love and joy and goodness.

Live. Let go. Love.
#livinginthemoment is the only way to live!