Remember children's books that began with "once upon a time"? It marked the beginning point of the story. From that the rest of the story flowed. What is your "once upon a time" beginning? Your history shaped who you are! But it doesn't determine who you will be. The events in your life, both the relational supports and relational disruptions, are the continued part of your story. The main thing to ask is "what's next?". The next thing in a good story is "because of that", then __ happened.

What is your "because of that" response to what has happened? That makes all the difference. This is how all great stories are shaped. (Got this idea from Daniel Pink in his website on how Pixar tells stories.) Our "because of that" makes our stories either freeing or enslaving. As Christ's followers, our "because of that" is directly related to what Christ has done for us. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 5:1 "Since we have been justified through faith, [because of that] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He says in Colossians 3:1 "Since you have been raised with Christ, [because of that] set your hearts on things above."

It is vital to link our story with God's action. He is our "because of that" or like Paul says"since". Daily rehearse your story through the lens of God's action in you. The shift goes from what happened to what God is making happen. He says to you and I look up to me I shape your story. Look up and see things from my perspective. You see there is always a lower story and God's redemptive upper story. We can find fresh life when by faith we connect our story to God's greater story. Today, let God's "because of that" shape your "and now then" experience.

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