Fresh New Life

The topic for today is fresh new life. You know life can shift pretty quickly. Mostly it’s in the small stuff. I’m sure you’ve been in a jam at some point. Caught in bad circumstances. You have that dreaded, instant panic feeling. It could be you lost your wallet or left your purse on a shelf in a store aisle. Perhaps you forgot to pay an important bill. You may have broken something very special or ruined a plant you were nurturing. Your keys to a public building, a safe, and your own home are missing. Maybe you ran your car into someone’s fence or got pulled over for speeding. Maybe you said something you later regret terribly.

These kinds of things make your stomach churn. You just hope for some way to reconcile things with as little pain and upset as possible. Many of these scenarios are minor and temporary. Some scenarios are the big stuff – serious and life altering with long-term losses.

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Match God’s Heart

 

What does it look like to engage a life that matters? To avoid entanglements, skip the irrelevant, and move forward to be a seasoned believer. And what does it look like to apply practical decisions each day that make a difference in this world. You are only given a certain number of days. How can you make them really count and match God’s heart? What does it look like to carry out God’s agenda in your daily living?

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Mt. 5:13) I wonder what He meant. Why did God say this? It’s as if He is telling His people to ponder a bit to get at His meaning. Jesus want us to read between the lines.

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Lose the Bottle!

I’m sure you have held an infant, completely helpless, very hungry, in your arms. They depend utterly on you to protect and nourish them. Their intense, desperate delight as they grab the bottle you offer, shows their utter focus on themselves and their complete dependency on you for survival. It’s a precious memory to feed an infant.

Picture an older child, teen, or adult in that same scenario, however, and you get a completely different reaction inside. It’s repulsive. They should be actively engaged, handling a fork and knife (or chop-sticks) as second nature. The expectation is pretty simple – lose the bottle! Grow up!

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How To Get Through Loss, Disappointment, and Pain

Life is hard! How do you get through it all? When too many painful seasons chain together, we start asking serious questions. Most people’s questions flow out of losses, disappointments, and pain.

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Stability: Three-Legged Stool

I’ve always heard that a three-legged stool is sturdier than a four-legged one, especially on uneven ground. The placement of those three legs provides versatile anchoring on almost any terrain.

Life’s terrain is often unstable. I’m sure you’ve discovered that. You need three versatile life anchor points to secure you on life’s uneven terrain . . . to remain upright and stable no matter what life dishes out to you.

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How to Fix Perspective

Perspectives change. You reach a level that feels comfortable and becomes your norm. The next thing you know, everything shifts right in front of you. Your relationships change direction. Your health is imminently threatened. Finances become unstable. You relocate and everything is new/different. Someone else makes a decision which drastically changes your life. And so on.

These things affect your thinking. Your thinking affects your perspective.

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The Importance of Scrubbing-In

I was reading recently from Dr. David Stevens’ book, Jesus, MD, and was struck by the idea of scrubbing-in. Apparently, it’s a big deal for a doctor to scrub-in for every surgery. It’s just part of the life of a surgeon. There is a proper way, step by step, to scrub-in. The ritual takes a fair bit of time. After scrubbing-in, if you get an itchy nose, someone else needs to scratch it. A scrub nurse helps the Dr. finish the tedious process so the very best, sterile conditions can be maintained during a surgery.

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Rising From Failure

Many Christians struggle to make their faith real and practical. They engage all kinds of plans and tactics to live up to what they believe and what the Bible says. But they feel empty, powerless, and hollow. Even fake. Sometimes these dear ones end up in unhealthy, repeating cycles. They feel they are failing continually. It’s as if success is not an option for them in their walk with the Lord. They need a new reality: Rising from failure.

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Going Into a New Year: Things to Ponder

The New Year is only one sleep away. Are you ready? A New Year is an opportunity to let go of some things and grab onto other things. Going into a New Year involves many emotions. It can feel scary, not knowing what is ahead. It may be a relief to walk into something new with a fresh perspective. You might have reason to celebrate certain accomplishments. Excitement about new opportunities begins to rise. Sadness about aging, saying good-byes, or letting go of various endeavors can be painful. Knowing there will be difficult challenges is sobering. Yet, overall, most people reach forward with hope as one year morphs into another.

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Christmas Sadness: How to Manage It

Sadness at Christmas is more common than many realize. Your life is filled with difficulties, hurts, losses, and disappointments. At Christmas, these things sometimes feel bigger.

What do you do when you have done your very best and it still wasn’t good enough? What is your next move after pouring into some endeavor and it didn’t seem to make a difference? How about the person who has lived healthy, food and exercise, all their life – and they get the news of cancer? You might have befriended someone who turns around and betrays you. What do you do when you prayed and trusted – and the bad thing still happened? How do you go on when death invades?

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