By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

My son recently passed a critical field test in his Marine Infantry Officer Training. This field test was unique in that each man had to complete the approximately eighteen hours alone. They were not allowed to ask for directions or help or ask the Captain of a particular check point to rephrase his instructions. Each obstacle and challenge had to be successfully completed without any assistance. And there were very few indicators given to the men as to how well or poorly they were doing. It was only at the end when the names of who did not pass were read that anyone dared give a sigh of relief.

I asked my son if the rest of the training would be done in isolation like this. He responded, “Oh no. There is no way we’ll ever make it through the next twelve weeks or a battle without help from each other. This was just to test us individually so we know we can do it on our own if we are ever separated from our unit. But now we must be one cohesive team of Marines.” And he added, “The goal is to never be separated from your unit.”

That got me thinking. How often do I get separated from my unit (those within my circle)? And how often am I the one who chooses to be separated? How often do I make the choice to do life alone? How often do I make the choice to back away from someone so they have to do life alone?

We are not meant to be separated from those around us and go at life alone.

God designed us to embrace life with others.

So this week’s One Another Living Challenge is to do life with others. Be intentional about it. Look for ways to help others and for them to help you.

It may be a phone call or letter to someone. Or it may be a quick hug before AWANA starts. Or it may be walking a dog or feeding a cat. Or it may just be hanging out together. However God shows you to do life with others this week, do it. I know some of God’s leading may be scary, but usually those are the most rewarding when we step out and do them.

How can you do life with someone this week?
photo credit: WilliamMarlow via photopin cc

God Bless America

Welcome to the inaugural Friday edition of the One Another Living Blog Circuit

Friday Fotos & Fun. A merry heart really is good medicine and we want to end the week with some good old fashioned fun and enriching photos. Let us know if you have an amusing story, joke (always clean) or if you have an original photo you’d like to share. We will connect with you on the possibility of posting it here.

To start off our Friday Fotos & Fun we close our week of July 4th celebrations with a a collage of photos taken from sea to shining sea. Enjoy!

Old Glory flying high over the original Marine Corps barracks in Washington D. C. This flag has 15 stars recognizing the fifteen states in the Union at the time this base was established.
Northern most point in the continental United States, Washington.
Bird’s eye view of Mt. Rainer, Washington
First settlement in the U. S., St. Augustine, Florida.

Atlantic Ocean in sunny Florida.
Two birds in flight. Man’s creation, last space shuttle flight,  weighing in at 240,000 pounds.
God’s creation, a seagull, weighing in at 25 pounds

Let us never forget all that the God of the Universe has provided for this piece of earth we call the United States of America.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to My Fellow Americans!

Let us remember to thank God for our country…for our heritage…for our freedom…and for His purpose of this great nation for His eternal purposes.

Let us pray His Kingdom to come and for His Will to be done on earth (including this country) as it is in heaven.

Let us rejoice with those who rejoice when their loved ones come home from war. And let us weep with those who weep when they do not.

Let us stand in awe at the edge of the Grand Canyon and at the top of Pike’s Peak. And let us kneel in the sand of Key West and at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi.

Let us remember the cost of our freedom not only paid by those who have gone before us, but most importantly to the One, Jesus Christ, who paid the ultimate price for the only true freedom for all of mankind.