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1486-1499, Ephesians 4:25-32


Blessings
1486. Matt encouraging me (and himself) to go to bed by 9:00 - and me doing so with a really good attitude (ok, the last part is an exaggeration lie ;P)
1487. Feeling so much better physically and emotionally because of more sleep and less sugar (both, thanks to Matt)
1488. Blake and Cole playing hide and seek - and cracking up every time they find each other
1489. Avonlea's pig tails 
1490. A weekend just around the corner
1491. An encouraging "chat" then phone call from a friend I haven't spent much time with lately
1492. A grocery store run/parking lot chat with a "bosom buddy"
1493. Blake
1494. Cole
1495. Avonlea

Blessings in the word (Ephesians 4:25-32)
1496. The following examples of the "Putting off/Putting on"concept
 - Put off FALSEHOOD - Put on SPEAKING THE TRUTH 
 - Put off STEALING - Put on WORK/SHARING
 - Put off UNWHOLESOME TALK - Put on BUILDING OTHERS UP
 - Put off BITTERNESS, RAGE, ANGER, MALICE - Put on KINDNESS, COMPASSION,      FORGIVENESS
1497. The fact that anger in itself is not a sin, and the reminder that dwelling on it gives the devil a foothold (which will quickly lead to sin)
1498. Though at times we grieve the Holy Spirit, we (if we are believers) are SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
1499. God forgave me/us!

Quick Thoughts 
Matt and I recently attended a parenting conference that really focused on this putting off/putting on concept.  The couple who led it encouraged us not only to point out and or/discipline misbehavior, but to immediately encourage the appropriate behavior.  For example if Blake was to lie, we would say something like "Blake you must not lie, you must always tell the truth" or if Cole hit Blake - "Cole you must not hit, you must be kind to your brother".  I remember thinking that I often forget the second part - both in parenting and in my own life.  The funny thing is that it is much easier to stop doing something if you replace it with something.  Sugar, which is something that I am trying to "put off" lately often comes in the form of an intense craving for me.  I have found if I just stop eating sweets, I still find myself hungry and moody.  Recently, like for 2 days, I have been trying to make sure that when I am hungry and craving sweets I don't just "say no", I eat something filling - usually protein and/or "good fats".  I have a long way to go in this area (and the others mentioned in this scripture), but I am thankful for this encouraging reminder to not just put off, but to remember to put on as well.  Though I am jumping ahead in my walk through Ephesians, the most important things I hope I remember to put on are found in Ephesians 6:
      "put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Praying the word
Lord, please help me/us PUT OFF FALSEHOOD AND SPEAK TRUTHFULLY, even in the little things like exaggeration, tweaking numbers (it was only $2.99, when it was $3.00), or going along/pretending we agree with something when in our hearts we are convicted.  Thank you Father, that despite our differences, as believers, we really are MEMBERS OF ONE BODY.  Teach us Lord that when we are angry, it is possible to NOT SIN.  May we turn quickly from our anger and remember not to LET THE SUN GO DOWN WHILE we ARE STILL ANGRY.  Remind us that dwelling on our anger, GIVEs THE DEVIL A FOOTHOLD.  Lord, though I don't struggle with stealing (that I can think of), I do struggle with hoarding - I rarely share with those in need.  Oh, how I long that you will help me change in this area.  I want to be selfless Lord.  Please change this selfish heart of mine.  Oh Lord that I/we would learn how to stop all UNWHOLESOME talk and replace it with WHAT IS HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP. Thank You so much Father that we are SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION, convict us Lord when we GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.  May we put off ALL BITTERNESS, RAGE and ANGER, BRAWLING and SLANDER, ALONG WITH EVERY FORM OF MALICE.  Fill us and help us choose to be KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVING EACH OTHER.  Oh Lord, thank you so much that in Christ, you have forgiven us!  Remind us of that when we are tempted to "throw stones".

The word
Ephesians 4:25-32 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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