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A New Lifestyle {The Walking Series – Part 2}

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red-shoes2I recently posted an introduction to this The Walking Series. If you missed my post, How Then Should We Walk?, you can click here to read it. Go ahead, we’ll wait for ya.

Welcome back! Today, we are going to continue with Ephesians Chapter 4. (Click here to read it in its entirety.)

We left off last time with verses 1-3 where we looked at walking worthy of our calling “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

We were encouraged with the reminder that God is the one who does the work in us. We simply need to be a willing vessel for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. (Phil. 1:6)

Let us consider why we are called to walk in this manner.

Verses 4 – 11 teach that we are all a part of one body and one Spirit in which we are to live and serve in unity.

That being said, we have also been given gifts as individuals in order that our independent  parts and gifts work together as a collective “for the edifying of the body of Christ, til we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (v. 12-13)

This is the context of verses 1-3.

We must walk with humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace so that we are no longer “children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine”, but that by “speaking the truth in love”, we may “grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ” who “causes growth of the body of the edifying of itself in love.” (v.14-16)

Do you remember Ephesians 2:10?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

THIS is the reason we need to walk worthy of our calling. This is the reason we were created!

Chapter 4 goes on to teach us that we have a new way of walking. Now that we are in Christ, we need to walk in newness, putting off the former conduct of our old man and putting on the true righteousness and holiness of our new man by the renewing of our minds. (v. 17-24)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” ~Romans 12:2

Paul concludes Chapter 4 with a Biblical process of change that involves a “putting off” of our old nature as well as a “putting on” of our new nature.

Among the things mentioned that need to be “put off” are: lying, sin as a result of anger, theft, speech that doesn’t edify the hearer, bitterness, and all malice. (v. 25-31)

Instead, we are to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (v.32)

Friends, this week, let us strive, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk in unity, holiness, kindness, and the same forgiveness that Christ has extended towards us.

After all, like my Pastor has said, 

What do you think? How has your new life demanded a new lifestyle?

*All Scripture verses are taken from the New King James Version. 

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How Then Should We Walk? {The Walking Series Intro}

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red-shoes

Our Pastor recently finished preaching through the book of Ephesians. As I listened, the idea of our Christian walks was at the forefront, especially during Chapters 4-6. I felt compelled to do a series on walking because we so often hear about the need to “walk our talk.”

Jesus said that we believers are light and salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) How can we be a Christ-like example to the world if we do not know in what manner we are to walk?

That is what I would like us to look at during this series. Would you join me?

Paul spends the first 3 chapters of Ephesians not only reminding us of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, but also of our new position with God as a result.

These truths are fundamental not only to understanding the tenants of our faith, but in determining the how’s and why’s of our walks. We must understand what has been done for us and how we can impact the world for Christ as a result.  (Click here to read Ephesians Ch. 1-3)

Paul first mentions our walk in Chapter 2: (Click here to read Ch. 2:1-10 in its entirety.)

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world…” ~Ephesians 2:1-2

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10

We watched a movie recently where a Grandmother was advising her Grandson, who was visiting her in Harlem, on how to safely walk the streets of New York. Her words were something like, “walk as though you have a purpose.”

Ephesians 2:10 makes the purpose of our walks very clear.

After telling us all that God has done for us through Christ, Paul begins Chapter 4 with the word “Therefore”. My Pastor always reminds us that when the Bible says ‘therefore’, it is there for a reason.

Because God has given us all that we need in Christ Jesus, Paul beseeches us to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” (Ch. 4:1) When I think upon the truth that Christ died for me, I become passionate about wanting to live for Him.

Verses 2 and 3 give us the first words to describe how we can (and must) do that.

“with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” ~Ephesians 4:2-3

There is a lot of instruction packed into those 26 words!  I would imagine that we could spend the rest of our lives attempting to live by these words. The bad news is that in our own strength, this type of living is much too lofty of a goal.

The good news is that when God asks us to do something, He then equips us with the ability to do it.

Referring to Ephesians 2:10, my Pastor put it this way, “Our works are actions, behaviors, and attitudes that please God.”  He continued, “Our purpose is not to work in them, but to walk in them, in faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” ~Philippians 1:6

So, Friends, as we walk this week, let us by the power of the Holy Spirit, walk in humility, meekness, lowliness, gentleness, with patience and longsuffering, bearing with one another in love and unity.

As we do that, let us keep in mind that it is Him who does the work in us.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”          ~Colossians 2:6

*All Scripture verses are the New King James Version.

What do you think? How often do you consider how your faith determines your walk?

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Shared at Still SaturdayGrace & Truth Linkup, & Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop.

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One-Bowl {Healthier} Chocolate Cupcakes

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chocolate-cupcakes

As you probably already know, I love one-bowl baking recipes. Less mess means more time for eating cupcakes!

I also love a healthier dessert. Again, more cupcakes!

I make these with pumpkin, squash, or applesauce, depending on what I have on hand. These additions add moisture and some health benefits like vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

In other words, they help me justify eating a chocolate cupcake! (or 3) Continue reading →

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3 Things God Is Promising Us This Year

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snowy-road

“Things work best in our lives when they start with God and then we follow” –Louie Giglio

Every December 31 or January 1, my family and I watch Louie Giglio’s New Year.

We love being reminded each January that while a fresh New Year of opportunities and possibilities lies ahead, it would behoove us to begin from a place where God and His will are paramount in our plans. Continue reading →

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5 Steps to Being Diligent & More Organized {Guest Post}

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Please join me in a warm welcome for my personal friend and fellow blogger, Tobi from Simply Jesus Ministries. You may remember the post she shared with us, Can Somebody Stop This Ride? I Want Off. 

Today, Tobi shares some excellent advice for a successful New Year. Without any future ado, here she is…

5steps

So I just read this blog post and my favorite string of words is…

“Let’s share our words for the growth of those who read them and for the glory of the One who gives them!” -Heather Baker, My Overflowing Cup

The reason that they are my favorite is because above all, I desire to speak and write words that would come from the heart of God sent to touch the hearts of others.

I can live on this earth and be busy all day long, but if my words or actions don’t make a difference, what’s the point? Continue reading →

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17+ Things We Don’t Pay For

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Christmas is behind us and we’ve welcomed in the New Year.

Almost two weeks into it, conversations, both online and in real life, seem to revolve around our New Year’s Resolutions.

The most common seem to be getting healthier and saving money.

For a few healthy recipes, check out my white chicken chili, cinnamon skillet apples, & oatmeal cookies.

When it comes to saving money, we often underestimate how the little things can add up over the years. While each one of these may result in savings as small as a few pennies, many can be significantly more. Over time, they can really add up.

If you’re having trouble making ends meet, or need a little help reaching that financial goal, consider giving up one, a few, or all of these expenses. Continue reading →

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One Word

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One-Word

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.               -Psalm 90:12

Have you heard of One Word 365?

If you’re not immersed in the blogging world, you may not have.

Not to worry, though, non-bloggers are included, too.

The idea is that instead of compiling the same list of New Year’s Resolutions year after year that most of us have broken or forgotten about before the calendar flips to February, we choose a word of the year as our focus. Continue reading →

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The Hardest Prayer To Pray

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kneeling-prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would get the attention of (insert name/ names here) in whatever way is necessary. I love this person and wish them no harm. However, sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves before we can come to You. Show them that You alone are God. Allow them to experience whatever it is that they need to experience that will make them realize that without You, nothing is possible. That life is empty and meaningless without the joy of the Lord. That our efforts are futile and in vain when they aren’t done in Your strength and power. Allow them just enough discomfort that they realize the need to release their grip on all things and place them into Your loving hands. Help them to realize that there is no salvation or provision aside from what You give. Bring on the pain if that is what is necessary to save their very lives. And, perhaps most importantly, allow me to be a light that shines over the darkness of their life so that they would want what I have in You, for their good and for Your glory. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. Continue reading →

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Are You Listening?

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Bible-and-cup

“…has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” ~Hebrews 1:2

I am in the throes of getting prepared to teach a study in the Book of Hebrews. As I was doing some research, my thoughts for this Morning Offering were guided to the entirety of the opening verses of this book: the whole notion that God spoke/speaks. In his book, William Newell quotes an old Puritan preacher who used to say that he desired to know two things: “First, Does God speak? Second, What Does He say?”

Many even question the existence of God, let alone does He speak. Continue reading →

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Why We Kissed Costco Goodbye

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Costco

This is not an anti-Costco post.

I really, really like Costco. I’ve been a member since it was called Price Club.

The thing is, though, times are tough. And things that we used to consider necessities are now viewed as luxuries.

When finances are tight, one of the best things we can do is honestly distinguishing between needs and wants. The needs stay while the wants become negotiable.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing this post at Growing Slower. Shannon’s blog is one that I have been reading for several years in an effort to live simply on a budget. I hope you’ll take a moment to hop on over to her blog where she offers tips and advice on saving money, simple living, and family life. 

To finish reading this post, click here.

Shared at Soul SurvivalSo Much At HomeFaith Filled FridayFaith Along the WayHave Fun & Live FrugallyTitus 2 TuesdaysTeach Me TuesdayI Choose Joy!, Serving JoyfullyThe Art of Homemaking MondaysGood Morning Mondays, & So Much at Home.

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One Bowl Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {Healthier Version}

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chocolate-cookies The only thing I love more than a delicious cookie is a healthier version of a delicious cookie.

Oh, and candy canes!

I love all things candy cane and peppermint, especially when they are paired with chocolate.

And since I don’t love to do dishes, one bowl recipes are very appealing to me.

These cookies encompass all of those features.

They are also very versatile.

During Christmas, I make this peppermint version, but during the rest of the year, I experiment with other flavors. I have used chocolate chips for a double chocolate version, creme de mint chips, white chocolate chips, and (my second favorite) peanut butter chips.

I’ve adapted these cookies to be healthier than most by cutting the sugar by half of what the average cookie recipes call for and by using whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose. Continue reading →

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Must-Make Cracker Roca

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My life changed that night at Bible study. It was the study, for sure, but the Cracker Roca helped, too.

A friend of mine showed up with the most delicious version of Roca I had ever tasted. When she told me how simple it was to make, I couldn’t believe it. I had to go home and make it for myself. Continue reading →

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A Day of Giveaways {& a B4AC Update}

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I love gifts!

I enjoy being the recipient of a gift and I really, really enjoy being the giver of gifts.

It must be one of my 5 love languages.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

And while the greatest gift the world has ever known has already been given...

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

…this is a season of giving. Continue reading →

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Dear Thin-Skinned Blogger,

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letter

The life of a blogger is a delicate balance.

When we see our blogs as a ministry, we must have a level of transparency necessary to reach our readers.

If they don’t know our hearts, our struggles, our fears, and our faith, how can we encourage them in their walks?

If we don’t share our burdens, how can we demonstrate how God has worked in our lives?

If we don’t let them see who we are, how can they possibly relate to us?

So we walk a thin line between sharing our stories and guarding private information. Continue reading →

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7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas

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nativity

I’m sure that expressions like the reason for the season and keeping Christ in Christmas have become cliché, but I would challenge us to live these out this Christmas. Cliché or not, they are Biblical and should be the heart of Christians, not only at Christmastime, but throughout the year.

You see, what is meant to be a time of year that we ponder and celebrate the birth of our Savior, can very quickly become a season of stress, overscheduling, and overspending.

While I am not anti-spending, gift-giving, or Christmas-partying, I do think that the gift of Jesus should be at the heart of the ways that we celebrate.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

I’d like to share 7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas: Continue reading →

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A Week of Thanks {27 Gifts}

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A Week of Thanks {The Basics}

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fall-leaves3

I’ve been sharing this week that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and reminding us all of the fact that we have so much to be thankful for.

We’ve looked at the gifts of Salvation & Eternal Life and how much we have been given in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yesterday, I shared my appreciation for family, friends, church family, and my online community of readers and bloggers.

While I do love living life with a daily attitude of appreciation for these incredible blessings in my life, I never want to take for granted some of the blessings we consider to be smaller and simpler. Yet to those who lack them they are everything. Continue reading →

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A Week Of Thanks {Family & Friends}

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fall-leaves2

This week, in honor of my favorite holiday, I am sharing the things I am most thankful for. (If you missed yesterday’s intro post, you can click here to read that.)

Yesterday, I shared that “We have been given an incomparable gift in Jesus Christ for which we should be eternally grateful for.”

Today, I’d like to share my thankfulness for my family, my friends, my church family, and the incredible community that I have found since I began blogging. Continue reading →

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A Week of Thanks {Salvation & Eternal Life}

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fall-leaves

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I know what you’re thinking, but it is not because of the food. Really – it’s not.

That’s the second reason. Oh, how I love a Thanksgiving dinner! But I digress…

Thanksgiving is my favorite because it is more than a holiday for me. It is a way of life. It’s a way of choosing how I see things. In that way, every day is Thanksgiving.

This week, in honor of my favorite holiday, I’d like to share some of the things I am most thankful for. Continue reading →

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Attitude of Gratitude: Thankful for Singleness {Guest Post}

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Thankful-for-singleness

Today I am pleased to share a Guest Post with you from Erin at It All Matters Mom. 

I had a plan.

It was a good one, too. I’d seen it work out so many other times, so I decided I was all in.

I was going to go to college, fall in love and then get married. Continue reading →

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Even If…

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even-if

A few days ago, I shared about losing a precious aunt to cancer and about others in my life who have survived it. (You can read Locks of Love…A Story of My Aunts & Uncles in a new window by clicking here. Go ahead… I’ll wait for ya!)

After losing her, I found myself in the middle of the biggest crisis of faith I have ever faced. Years of fervent prayers by countless people left us all with a huge hole in our lives.

Frankly, I was angry at God. He failed us. He let us down. He wasn’t there for us when we needed Him. Why should I spend my life loving, worshiping, and serving a God like that? Continue reading →

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Locks of Love…A Story of My Aunts & Uncles

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haircut

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. My beautiful Aunt Sharon ended her two and a half year battle with cancer and entered the arms of her Savior. She was such an integral part of my life that not a day goes by that I don’t miss her still.

About a year after her passing, I was missing her so much I could hardly stand it. I wanted with all my heart to do something. I knew I couldn’t bring her back, but I felt that I didn’t know how to move on. Continue reading →

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