Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat. A reflection of March Madness and Palm Sunday


If you examine the image above, you’ll notice it’s my bracket for the Men’s March Madness tournament. I’ve not done too poorly, and I feel confident about selecting U Conn to take the championship once more. However, numerous red x’s mark where I incorrectly predicted the winning team. With only 16 teams remaining, 52 teams have suffered losses and exited the competition. What began with immense hope and cheering has concluded with tears, disappointment, and in many instances, supporters blaming players and/or coaches for their team’s premature departure. Some fans might have even removed their school’s apparel to avoid mockery.

On Palm Sunday, while attending church, I was struck by the parallels between Jesus entering Jerusalem to the sound of “Hosanna in the highest” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:9&version=NIV  and the 68 teams entering the NCAA tournament. Both the people lining the streets to worship Jesus with palm fronds and the losing teams’ boosters showing their school’s colors, ended up very disappointed. Peter was the ultimate disappointed fan denying Christ 3 times.https://biblehub.com/matthew/26-75.htm
In both situations, people in the stands and on the road into Jerusalem, were putting their trust in man versus God.  Fans called for coaches to be fired and in Jesus’ sake, the crowds shouted “Crucify Him”! https://biblehub.com/luke/23-21.htm  

So the question for us this Holy Week is “where will we put our trust?”  Do you yearn for what the Kingdom in Heaven or the world has to offer? Deuteronomy 8 https://www.bible.com/bible/111/DEU.8.NIV offers this great reminder.  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”

God through His son Jesus Christ (not coaches or players) gives us the ultimate victory.  As we prepare for Easter,   “Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. Deuteronomy 8:6-9

May your Hosannas be cried out whether you are being challenged or blessed. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I can be reached via email at [email protected]   Please subscribe to receive email notifications when new content is published.  HAPPY EASTER!   

How is the Sabbath similar to Retirement

Finding your purpose outside of work


Those that read my blog regularly, know I led a group of men through Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well.  It is a book that helps individuals transition from our working lives to how we will live our lives after we no longer are expected to show up at the office every day.  Bob Buford calls it the ability to leave the identity we found in our work to pursue a life of significance with the extra time given now that the daily work responsibilities have been left behind.

The one quote that got my attention was, “Life after we stop working is not meant to be lived on the front porch in a rocking chair waiting for the hearse to come”  This is where I started thinking about how the Sabbath can be compared to Retirement.  It started with a Sunday School class on the Sabbath.  My mindset has recently changed because of my decision to start the transition from full time work to retirement.  I started asking myself the question, what could I do that wasn’t work but allowed me to pursue God with the time freed up by not having to be in the office every day?


The Sabbath is supposed to be about rest so that you can go about your work the other 6 days of the week.  I am coming  to understand that the same can be said about retirement.  I don’t think there is any mention of retirement mentioned in the bible.  Everyone has different ideas of what are and not to do on the Sabbath and for that matter retirement. Although there are many, for this blog post, I want to focus on one general concept for taking a day or rest and for spending our time once we leave whatever has been our full-time work.

That concept is leaving work behind so that you can have the time to “Be Still and know that He is God.” https://biblehub.com/psalms/46-10.htm  On the Lord’s Day, we are to take the time to come to the Father with the intent of laying our burdens down.  https://biblehub.com/matthew/11-28.htm  Making the day holy as He is Holy.  The question that needs to be asked is, “How do I make the Sabbath a day that is different than the other 6 days?”  I am asking the same question now that my work life has changed.  “How do I make Retirement different that what I have done for so many years now?”

It comes back to the desire to live a faithful life which creates significance and allows me to finish well.  My hope is to not fill the extra time I now have with busyness but instead seek God in ways I haven’t sought Him before so that I can determine what purpose He has for me in this new season in life.  Isn’t that really what the purpose of the Sabbath is as well? Taking that 7th day to stop and reflect on the fact that God loves us hopefully encourages us to live a faithful life during the work week.  This rest and worship pause should help our actions have a significant impact on the lives around us.  

One thing is for sure.  I don’t want to be that person waiting on the front porch waiting for life to end.  I want to continue to practice the presence of God in my life so I can seek His purpose in all that I do.  I hope you want to do the same.  Brother Lawrence https://spirituallyhungry.com/practicing-the-presence-of-god/ sums it up this way.  “God has infinite treasures to bestow.  When He finds a soul penetrated with a living faith, He pours into it His grace and blessings plentifully. When He does, it will flow out like a torrent, finding a way around every obstacle; spreading out with extravagant and reckless abundance”  May your Sabbath and/or in Retirement, provide you this hope and desire.  I can be reached by email at [email protected]

My thoughts on how I will grow in 2024.

It is that time of year.  We watch another year disappear and ponder on what the new year will bring.  We think about things we didn’t achieve in 2023 and commit to being better about it in 2024.  All of us focus on how we can make ourselves better people our regarding health, relationships, or in our work lives.  Let me share with you how I plan to go about it this year.  That way, you all can hold me accountable as the year progresses because we all need to encourage each other.  https://thankfulinallthings.com/jesus-sent-folks-out-in-pairs-for-a-reason  Jodie Berndt writes, How we walk through life together—for better, for worse—comes with the power to influence our communities, our churches, and our children, including future generations.” https://www.denisonforum.org/popular-culture/book-reviews-excerpts/praying-the-scriptures-for-your-marriage-excerpt-jodie-berndt/

Like a good presbyterian, I am going to focus on three ways I hope will make 2024 a year where when I look back, I can say that my life was changed and therefore, like Jodie, I helped positive difference in the world around me.  I encourage you to consider one word on which to focus and build your year around.  Here is the link to use if you have never done it before.  https://getoneword.com/  As I went through this exercise, two words, Content and Prayer, rose top of mind.

In the end, I chose Prayer because I want to have a more consistent and strategic prayer life allowing me to draw closer so I can better understand what the Lord’s will is for my life.  If I am successful, I am pretty sure contentment will occur as well.

Secondly, I will memorize and regularly meditate on https://biblehub.com/galatians/5-22.htm with the intent of impacting others with the Fruit of the Spirit listed as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  If these characteristics can be made evident in my life, others will hopefully see that God is taking more and more control of my life. These fruits will be produced because I choose to honor Him in all that I do.

Finally, my goal is to visually put on the armor of God https://www.bible.com/bible/111/EPH.6.10-18.niv so that along with my focus on prayer, I can become strong in the Lord and experience His might power so that I might stand firm when adversity comes my way. Each morning I hope to I will mentally buckle the belt of truth around my waist and make sure God’s breastplate of righteousness is in place.  I will make sure my feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace and that I don’t forget my shield of faith and helmet of salvation.  I will pray for the Spirit to produce the above mentioned fruit and use God’s Word as my sword when I encounter those who want to question the reality of my faith.

My hope is that my 2024 One Word PRAYER results in a bushel full of spiritual fruit being produced in my life.  I will go out mentally dressed in the armor God has given me. If I do all three, 2024 will be one that I draw closer to the Lord allowing me to experience the abundant life I have promised.  My prayer is that you too, will seek to find your own way in 2024 to pursue the One who wants the very best for you.  

Happy New Year to you! Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear from you. My email is [email protected] Please subscribe if you haven’t already so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted.

Jesus sent folks out in pairs for a reason.


If you want to go fast, Go alone, if you want to go far, Go Together! 
Dottie and I have been at it 45 years now 🙂

I remembered this blog post as I have been recovering from a minor medical procedure.  I am happy it is over and look forward to my recovery.  There is a reason Jesus sent the disciples out in two’s. Why? Because even though they could have gotten to more places alone, there is power in sharing in the things that come our way, This week I have once again experienced the added impact when two or more people work together toward a shared goal. https://depree.org/why-did-jesus-send-out-his-disciples-two-by-two/  In this case encouraging, praying and checking in on me and Dottie to make sure we are OK.  Needless to say, Dottie has again, gone above and beyond in helping and making sure I have everything I need
We all need others in our lives. Jenni Marie in Kindred Grace shares that Life was not meant to be lived alone.  https://bit.ly/lifeisnotmeanttobelivedalone She asks, “When did you last give up? Were you also alone?” When you have failed in life, were you alone?” She then makes the case of why being a mentor or having one is so important. God wants us to know the value of asking for help versus stubbornly trying to do things on our own. She writes, “As I started to value community, I was able to flourish. I reap the benefits when I ask for help.” When we are blessed to have people there for us, we are exhorted to be the one offering help to someone in need. Jenni shares it “does not need to be limited to a mentor-mentee relationship as might be traditionally expected. Although the formal and in-person relationships are beautiful, only one of my advisors has accepted and embraced the title of mentor. The rest? I doubt they even know how much I lean on them for life and business wisdom.” Even the Apostle Paul needed a Barnabus. https://www.biblestudy.org/apostlepaul/life-epistles-of-apostle-paul/paul-and-barnabas.html He also mentored younger men like Timothy and Timothy would eventually become pastor of the church at Ephesus, and certainly the letters of 1 and 2 Timothy express how much Paul loved and cared for him.
 
Last year my daughter shared advice with me that was the impetus for me writing this blog. A friend told her to surround herself with people she could trust from every decade. I turned 70 this month (now 71) so it is harder to find folks in higher decades than me but as I thought about Katie’s comment, I realized that I am blessed to have dear friends in their upper 70’s :), 80’s, and 90’s who I can go to for advice or just follow the example they set for me and others. I also can say I have people around me from every decade below me down to my two 4 year old granddaughters. I can learn from them and I hope all in their teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc will be encouraged by what I say or how I live my life that helps them along the way.I encourage each of us to find people whether younger or older who we can trust to be there for us. I also hope we will look for ways to give back by finding others who would benefit from your mentoring. When you pour into their lives, like this week, they will pour into your life like they folks have done for me.  .
We are fortunate that we don’t have to long for a Savior that is represented in this Season of Advent. Jesus came so substantiate God is with you and therefore, you are never alone. Isn’t it interesting that we lean in on this promise more when we are hurting https://biblehub.com/hebrews/13-5.htm Reminds us that God’s promises are eternal, and He will provide love, comfort, and courage so we can live an abundant life in Him and through Him. We live in a fallen world where we are bound to get hurt. But God will never leave us nor forsake us. One of the ways He fulfills this promise is by providing others to walk along side us as we navigate through the blessings and adversity that will come our way. May we all find ways to help others remain thankful in all things.Thanks for finding this blog. If you haven’t already, Please subscribe so that you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. You can reach me by email at [email protected]

How will you live knowing you are an heir to the Kingdom of God?

In a world where there seems to be less and less good news, here is some for you.  God loves us!  He loves us so much that He wants us to be an heir to His Kingdom. https://www.biblehub.com/romans/8-17.htmHe has chosen us and has made us His adopted sons and daughters. https://www.bible.com/bible/1/JHN.1.12-13.kjv It is a gift that He offers each of us.  All we need to do is accept it.  

This may be a stretch but imagine you live in the United Kingdom under the rule of the Royal family.  One day, there is a knock on your door and there stands a uniformed member of the King’s Guard.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Guard  He hands you a letter sealed with wax which has in it the King’s seal.  https://www.royal.uk/great-seal-realm  All you need to do is come to Buckingham Palace to be received into the Royal family.  You know you have done nothing to deserve it and think there has to be a catch.  The question is, “would you then live this new life with a heart of gratitude or treat people in a privileged manner”? If it happened, you would want to live in a manner that substantiates the King made a good choice and that you do anything to show you belong. 

The same can be said but from an eternal perspective.  God has chosen you to be His adopted son or daughter.  We have been invited into His family with no strings attached.  You have done nothing to deserve it, cannot earn it, and therefore, many of us think there must be a catch as it seems way to simple. I think our response to God allowing us to be heirs to His Kingdom family can help explain the “faith and work” passage found in James 2:14-26 https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JAS.2.14-26.niv  If we truly understand what God has done for us through His son Jesus Christ, we should want to show our gratitude in the way we humbly live out being a Kingdom recipient. It should result in the way we care for others.  Therefore, living a Godly life is not what we have to do but what we get to do to honor the One who has made it all possible. 

I am guessing that King Charles will never show up at your door with an invitation to be adopted into the Royal family.  What I do know is God has sent His Son to invite you into His Kingdom family.  Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  Revelation 3:20  Once you open that door to your heart, your life and the way you live it will never be the same. 

I appreciate you being here.  Please subscribe if you haven’t already.  I can be reached via email at [email protected]  

What would your letter from Christ say about you?


John 7:38 https://biblehub.com/john/7-38.htm says,we are to be people where God’s love produces living water that pours through allowing us to positively impact others. 2 Corinthians 3:2,3 says, Our lives are a letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of God’s impact, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
When I read these passages, I realize God wants me to be so filled with His love, that others can’t help but notice it.  Think about being on a busy sidewalk in front of shops and restaurants filled with other passers by as well as tables filled with engaged in conversation.  Someone comes up with two buckets filled with cold water.  They challenge you to walk a block with the buckets without spilling any water much less splashing those you encounter.  It is impossible.  Even if you didn’t bump someone, a chair, or a table, the water would begin to splash out of the bucket onto others no matter how hard you tried.  This is what God says our lives should look like. We are to be so filled with His love that others can’t help but notice your love for them in how you speak or act toward them. 


A regular contributor to this blog 🙂 Oswald Chambers, puts it this way. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all. https://utmost.org/a-life-of-pure-and-holy-sacrifice/  The question for us is our we willing to open our hearts so God can fill us with His living water?

If we are, we can be God’s ambassadors who convey the message that we are to live by faith, not by sight https://www.biblehub.com/2_corinthians/5-7.htm with the hope for what is to come. He has fashioned us for this very purpose and has made it possible through the death of Christ and His Holy Spirit who comes as our helper.  Our response needs to be, I am so thirsty for that living water.  I no longer want the temporary refreshment that the world offers but instead the everlasting quenching that only a relationship with God can provide.  Once we allow the living water to spill into our hearts, we become new creations and our heart becomes so full that it can’t help to burst out like when a grape is squeezed or we try to carry the buckets down a busy sidewalk.  Like a mirror, our lives will reflect the love and glory of God allowing us to be the ambassadors who convey the life God want us all to live.

Thanks for finding this blog.  I hope you have found encouragement from what I have shared.  Please reach out by email at [email protected] I would love to have you subscribe if you haven’t already.  

The importance of getting to know one another.

Author of Lead for God’s Sake and friend, Todd Gongwer, posted this the other day.  
Most everything we
do brings with it an opportunity to shine a light!
Every word we speak
Every attitude we display
Every behavior we model
Never underestimate this call on your life!
So…..”Let your light so shine before others, that they see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”
Matt. 5:16


His words took me down two paths.  1) Everything we do matters and will have an impact on those around us and we are responsible as to whether the impact will be positive or negative. 2) Are we willing to take the time to really get to know those who matter most so we can make a difference in each other’s lives?
Both paths ask the question, “Will we live in a selfish manner or be people who want to shine a positive light in our actions and desire to know one another well?” I shared about the beauty of being unselfish in a recent blog post.  https://thankfulinallthings.com/the-beauty-of-being-unselfish/  It focuses on the 1st question and easier accomplished matter regarding what we do when given the opportunity to shine a light.  I hope you will take the time to go back and read it.  This children song certainly conveys the mindset we all should
have. https://youtu.be/yRhDi2aK5ac


The second question is more perplexing.  Why do we find it so hard to engage folks, especially those closest to us, in more serious conversation?   We talked about this in a fellowship group I lead on Friday mornings.  I found that it was not just me that struggled in this area.  Everyone said they found it easier to have an in depth conversation with those who weren’t friends or family members. Shouldn’t it be the exact opposite?  Why wouldn’t we want those who are closest to us to know who we are and what matters to us most?  Shouldn’t we find ways and create opportunities for others to share what is important to them?  
I have more questions versus answers as to what causes this dilemma but here are some tips from me and others I have asked. 
Build the relationship first. Don’t force your thoughts or advice on someone.   
Wait until you are asked to weigh in on a particular topic or if you feel you need to initiate it, ask permission first.   
Ask Wopen questions in the conversation (What, Whow, Where, When) that can’t be answered with just yes or no.
Communicate your desire to have someone speak into your life as well as you speaking into theirs. 
 

It really is about seeking to understand and having a desire to be understood. As I think about finishing my life well, I want God’s light to shine through me in a way that I will be remembered as someone who truly cares about others and is open to being shown my flaws.  That way, I can say, 
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day”  2 Timothy 4:7-8

I hope in some way this blog will encourage you to ask the Lord to do the same for you.  I would welcome your thoughts on this topic.  I can be reached by email at [email protected]  

What can be the most troubling verses in the Bible

Matthew 7:21-23  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Every time we read this passage, we should do a heart check as we never want to have Jesus say I never knew you. We call him Lord, but do we mean it? Are we doing the will of the Father or living our life trying to do the right things not to honor God but instead, for man’s approval. There were lots of religious people who thought their righteousness was their way of earning God’s favor. Their hearts were not in the right place. They were seeking positions of power within the church hierarchy. Like in the verses I shared at the beginning of this blog, Jesus scolded them later in Matthew by saying, ““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27). That is why Jesus will say to some on their judgement day, I never knew you.

There is a very simple way to determine if you will hear, “Welcome good and faithful servant or depart from me for I never knew you. First, ask yourself, have I acknowledged the need for God in my life, accepted that Jesus died for you, and asked through the Holy Spirit to come into your life? Secondly, examine the motives for the way you live your life. Are you trying to live a life that looks good to the world around you versus one that is living out an obedience to God the Father. Jesus makes it clear that folks who just want to put up a good front are like the whitewashed tombs. https://biblehub.com/psalms/51-10.htm says What He wants is to create in us a clean heart that is open to receive His love and mercy. https://youtu.be/2fVliokreqE Nothing more but to enjoy the Joy of His salvation.

So, when I read Matthew 7 and ponder, “Does Jesus know me”, I remind myself of what He shared in Mark 12 were His greatest commandments. “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love and serve your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” If my heart has a desire to follow these commandments, I can trust that the outcome will be His will being done and that He will fulfill His promise that He has prepared prepare a place for me (John 14) and in Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
He wants this for each and everyone of you as well. May you desire for God to: Create in you a clean heart and may He:

Cast us not away from Thy presence, O Lord
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from us.
Restore unto us the joy of Thy salvation;
And renew a right spirit within you and me.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Please take the time to read previous posts and if you find them encouraging, if you haven’t already, please subscribe. I can be reached by email at [email protected].

God wants us to Abide in Him.

I really want to “finish well” in the time I have left here on earth. I have recently written on Focusing on “What’s Next” and learning how to focus on others rather than myself. It has led me to the realization that if I am to finish well I must learn how to Abide which is defined as “accepting or acting in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation)

Jerry Bridges says there are four essential elements to finishing well. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/four-essentials-to-finishing-well He writes, “I have come to the conclusion that there are four fundamental actions we can take to help us finish well. There may be other issues that are important, but I believe these four are fundamental. They are:

  • daily time of focused personal communion with God
  • daily appropriation of the gospel
  • daily commitment to God as a living sacrifice
  • firm belief in the sovereignty and love of God” 

All of these lead me back to the command that I am to abide in Christ. Like the definition, I need to accept the rule that God created me and my life is better lived if I act in accordance with that belief. The word Abide initially promotes a peaceful and restful posture and yet it is an active verb, not a feeling or a belief, but something we do. It means to “remain” or “stay”, even “attached or rooted” in the One who wants to nourish us to be the best we can so we can finish well. John 15:5 says we are to be like a branch rooted in love that can only live if it is attached to the vine. It entails far more than the idea of continued belief in the Savior. It means actively living out our lives in the way God’s Son lived His life before He died for us. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2;4-6) Psalms 37:23,24 promises us that “The Lord will firm up the steps of the one who delights (abides) in Him. We will make mistakes and stumble but will not fall because Lord is there upholding us with His hand” 1 John 2:10 reinforces the psalmist saying, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him”

This is the man I want to be. A man who endeavors to walk in the manner seen in the life of Christ. A man who knows he has and will stumble and make mistakes but won’t fall because the Lord is always there and promises to never fail me. May my actions exhibit that I believe that God is in control of my life and therefore I accept and will act accordingly with that truth. May I be like Jeremiah who prayed: “Let me not boast of my wisdom
    or boast of my strength
    or boast of the provisions I have been provided or in what I have accomplished.
But let me be the one who boasts about this:
    that they I have an understanding of who God is and that He loves me.
that He is the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth and,
    for in me He delights,”
Jeremiah 9:23,24 (Guthrie version :)) Therefore, may my answer to What’s Next always be to Abide in Him!


Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that my One Word for this year is RISE! https://thankfulinallthings.com/are-you-ready-to-rise-up-p-with-me-in-2023/ Resoved, Intentional, Striving for Extraordinary things with a focus on What’s Next. May my answer to What’s Next always be to Abide in Him! I hope I have encouraged you to do the same. You can reach me by email at [email protected]

The beauty of being unselfish

Those who have spent any time with me know I have certain catch phrases. “Remain thankful in all things”, “Turn Gratitude from a noun into a verb”, “This is not our room/meeting it is God’s” , and “Lead with a servant heart”. Oswald Chambers this week summed these up by writing, “So we are to live and move and have our being in God, to look at everything in relation to God.”https://utmost.org/ The bible calls this mindset, dying to oneself. Billy Graham writes, “In order for a tree or any plant to grow and bear fruit, its seed must first be planted in the ground and die. In order for fruit to appear in our lives, we must first be planted in the Word of God and then die to self. https://billygraham.org/answer/what-does-it-mean-to-die-to-self/

We are all the center of our own universes. We are in every moment of our every day. God created us to follow and obey Him. Mr. Chambers’ quote above teaches that we are to be outward focused instead of living life with an “it’s all about me” mentality. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The new is about filling ourselves with God through the Holy Spirit so the phrases I mentioned earlier become a reality in how we treat others that we encounter along the way.

Oswald Chambers writes about the need to Abide in Christ if we are to live out the life God has for us. “A true disciple is one who has his new name written all over him— self-interest, pride, and self-sufficiency have been completely erased.” John 15:13 says it is about dying to ourselves. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Laying down our lives means moving away from our own self interests to a mindset of loving God and having a desire to serve and be there for others. It is a moment by moment effort; focusing on (as I wrote about in my last blog post) only “What’s Next?” https://thankfulinallthings.com/simplify-your-life-by-just-focusing-on-whats-next/

Mr. Chambers teaches that “In the initial stages it will be a continual effort to abide, but as you continue, it will become so much a part of your life that you will abide in Him without any conscious effort.” Another way of looking at it is, the more we fill ourselves with God through the Holy Spirit, the less we will be worried about what’s best for us and more about what’s best for everyone else. This type of lifestyle will undoubtably create a positive impact on those who experience your care for them. The impact on you will be a sweet joy that comes from experiencing your true call and living your life in a way that honors God.

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