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Morning Routines

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Growing up, my dad would drive over an hour one way to work. Every night, he would lay out his clothes, which included a dress shirt and tie, socks, wallet, shoes and belt, have the coffee maker prepped and his mug and spoon ready by its side, and his lunch would be packed and sitting in the fridge. Everything that he needed for the morning was prepared the night before.

I am not my dad. There’s a chance on Sundays that I’ll be ready for Monday with my lunch sitting in the fridge, but more often than not, I’m scrambling to pack food and groggily emptying out the previous day’s k-cup.

Finding a morning routine that works for you might not involve setting out e.v.e.r.y.thing the night before, but my dad has wisdom: be intentional ahead of time. Answer the questions tonight about your needs tomorrow: lunch? clothes? what is your most important task for tomorrow?  shower rotation?

Include your young children in getting ready for the next day. As they get older, the responsibility can then be passed onto them - and with it, the consequences of poor planning. Forgot to prep your lunch? I’m sure dinner will taste that much better later!

Life is a little faster paced now that I’m older and not living in rural Missouri, so the need is greater to plan ahead.  Plus, it’s fun to include my kids in getting ready for tomorrow, today. We get to talk about what we’re doing, what we’re excited for, what we’re anxious about.

A morning routine is works better when the routine begins the night before.

Posted by Phil Bettison with

Dedicated to God: An Invitation for Every Family

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I grew up within about an hour of Washington, D.C. Because of that, I went on lots of field trips and family excursions to the amazing museums and historic landmarks in D.C. As I got older, I started to notice that there were plaques on some of the monuments that went something like this (this is a generic version, of course):

“This is dedicated to the memory of [John and Mary Smith], who gave their lives to [this amazing cause.]”

When something is “dedicated to” someone, it means that it exists to honor that person. It’s a way to remember those people, to celebrate the gift that their lives are to all of us.

You may also have seen this kind of dedication near certain works of art (if you ever find your way into an art museum). In that sense, the artist is usually saying, “I was inspired to produce this work of art because of this other person.”

Both types of dedication provide additional meaning for things that have been created. They provide some of the “why” behind things that are made give us a deeper sense of the importance of them.

It’s the same with all of us. We are all invited to dedicate our lives—and the lives of our families—to God. He has made us. We are His creation and our lives are meant to be a signpost pointing people back to Jesus, back to God.

In Ephesians 2:10, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For we are His [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

We are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His work of art. And He invites us to live into that calling so that the people around us will see God’s love and creative power at work in our lives.

A couple times every year, we take time in our services to help families dedicate themselves to that purpose. Many families do this near the addition of a new member of their family, but it is something that can be powerful for a family no matter what age the kids may be.

Our next Family Dedication service is coming up on May 12-13, Mother’s Day weekend. Please plan to join us that weekend to join with these families who will be responding to God’s invitation to dedicate themselves to God.

There is no higher calling, no higher purpose, than to live our lives in ways that point people to Jesus. So whether you choose to be a part of the Family Dedication service or not, remember that this is what you were made for—to be dedicated as a piece of art, as a memorial to the love, compassion, and forgiveness of our Creator.

If you’d like to register for the Family Dedication service coming up in May, you can complete the form here.

Posted by Steve Finkill with

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