The Morning Thing Fave 5 – Our favorite bible verses about LOVE

For The Morning Thing Fave 5 today, we shared 5 bible verses that talk about LOVE.

As we get ready for Lifeline 2017, we are focusing on what Jesus says about how we should “love one another”.

We will start with the theme verses for Lifeline 2017

 John 13:34-35
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Here are some other powerful verses:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.:
1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Please stay connected with us during Lifeline 2017. Go to

Will you take the Date Night Challenge? Insight from Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley


Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley are coming to Mount Vernon Nazarene University this weekend.

Click HERE to hear a conversation with New Life Church of the Nazarene pastor, Troy McNichols. New Life Naz is sponsoring this event.

The Morning Thing shared some insight from the Smalleys today.
(From “Take the Date Night Challenge) Common-sense reasons why committing to a regular date night can revolutionize your marriage:
1. Date nights are critical for the health of your relationship. Marriage relationships are dynamic; they are alive and always changing. And just like any relationship, marriages need to be fed and stimulated to stay alive and grow.

2. Date nights help you get reacquainted. The notion that you already know all there is to know about your spouse is a myth. There is always something new to learn about your spouse, because we all change. Dating is a great way to update and deepen your knowledge of your beloved. It’s vital that you keep that curiosity and interest in your mate flourishing.

Why Date After You’re Married? 7
3. Date nights are a great investment in the future. Just like a savings account, the more you invest in your relationship, the more it will grow exponentially over time. Dates also lay the framework for future times together, encouraging you and your spouse to look forward to spending more time together.

4. Date nights put the focus back on your marriage. As you well know, day-to-day distractions pull your attention away from your spouse. Dates help you refocus and put that person back at the top of your priority list. When a date night is going the way it should, the only thing the two of you have to concentrate on is one another. (More on this later!)

5. Date nights help you remember the good times. A good date will often bring up fond premarriage memories. Recalling these memories can help you and your spouse generate positive feelings and anticipation for your next date.

6. Date nights send a positive message. To your friends, family, and especially your kids, marriage needs to be viewed as something valuable, special, and precious. Marriage is something important enough to put ongoing effort into. And date nights communicate to your spouse that he or she is valuable enough not to give all of your prime time to other people or things.

7. Date nights strengthen the marital bond. The more time you and your spouse spend alone enjoying each other, the stronger your bond becomes. This naturally deepens your intimacy and brings you closer together.

8. Date nights are a great way to reconnect. Dating helps you unplug from your busy and hectic pace of life in order to simply enjoy being together.

9. Date nights rekindle the romance in your relationship. Having a night out with your spouse is an important part of keeping romance alive.

10. Date nights inject excitement into a stale marriage. Under the stress of work, household duties and child-rearing, spouses can become nothing more than distant roommates. Just like the young couple at the beginning of this chapter, spouses need to feel that rush of excitement and adrenaline from time to time. They must never succumb to the idea that their marriage is simply a recycled union of two tired and bored souls.

11. Date nights help you both decompress. Every couple needs a chance to enjoy one another’s company without being weighed down by the demands of life. A date night should be free from the distractions of children, extended family, friends, or work. It should represent an opportunity for you to rediscover the person you fell in love with. We’ll explore this concept in much greater detail in the next chapter.

12. Date nights strengthen your commitment. By making date night a priority, you are communicating to your spouse that divorce is out of the question and that you are committed to strengthening your marriage by spending ongoing, quality time together.

Find out more about RUC – Relationships Under Construction


Jenna Potts of The Morning Thing talked with Catherine Woods, President of (RUC) Relationships Under Construction. Catherine shared the passion, mission and goals of this ministry. She also talked about their upcoming fundraising banquet.

Click HERE to hear their conversation.

Click HERE to find out more about RUC or to register to attend their fundraising banquet on 4/6/17.

It’s Single Parents Day! Today, we honor you!



Single Parents’ Day celebrates those brave people that do it on their own, and in many cases without a safety net.

Most single parents didn’t intend to be single parents when they started. Single parenthood usually comes about due to unfortunate and stressful events. Raising children even with two parents can be hard work, so take a moment to applaud those people who, usually through no fault of their own, are having to fly solo.

Today, The Morning Thing shared encouragement for both single Dads and Moms.

Here are 5 Encouragements for Single Dads from

1. Too little time.

For a single dad, time is at a very high premium. Work eats up most of it, so task overload can easily swallow what remains. Mouths to feed, dishes to clean, clothes to wash, and all the chores and charms of home that need your attention. As a generalization, try not to feel guilty if you leave the dishes in the sink overnight. Place the emphasis and importance on being with your children to play, read, or just simply talk.

2. Financial difficulties.

A great many single parents find themselves in financial distress. Keep in mind that the thing your kids need most from you is your love and attention. After that, separate the true needs from the pile and place top priority on them—things such as food, shelter, and clothing. Children don’t always understand why they can’t have everything they desire, but one day they will.

3. Feeling overwhelmed.

It is difficult and challenging being the only adult in the room long term. Loneliness, stress, and depression are common for single parents. Know that you are not alone. There are 1.7 million others in your same boat who are experiencing the same things. Be sure to take time for yourself to recharge and strengthen your mind.

4. Relationships old and new.

With divorce, the ex-spouse is still a very big part of family life and always will be. How that relationship is handled and functions is extremely important, not only to the children but also to your overall mental state. In dating and new relationships, extreme care must be taken when introducing new people into the life of the family. Resentment or early attachments are just two of the standard pitfalls. Keep the hope of love in your heart always, but be mindful of far-reaching, unintended consequences.

5. Building a support system.

Family, friends, babysitters, teachers, mentors, and all sorts of people take a role in your family life. However, divorce can take a big toll on family support; judgment and bitter feelings can split friends. Try to display humility and understanding towards those in your life. In most cases, they won’t understand the entire picture and will see only what they want to see. Only time and a new stable reality will change those perceptions. Be patient.

Hey Single Moms, we have encouragement for you too from
Here are ideas from author, Lisa Appelo

1. Be a listener.

Your single mom friend needs someone she can trust. She may need to talk about a hard day, wrestle through an issue or talk about how she’s feeling. Be a safe friend who your single mom friend can confide in. Listening well is a huge gift you can give her.

2. Be a trusted adviser.

One of the hardest things about single parenting is the sheer number of decisions that have to be made alone. The single mom makes hundreds of decisions by herself every day. I cannot begin to describe how helpful it is to have a friend I trust for advice. As a friend, you can ask questions to help the single mom work through a big decision or bring an objective perspective to her decision-making.

3. Be understanding.

Going from married to single meant that my workload doubled. Between work, house, yard, finances and parenting, most single moms have way too much to do. Be understanding if your single mom friend can no longer do the things you used to together. If she can’t get out for coffee, bring it over to her house one night after the kids are in bed. Instead of the annual birthday shopping trip, offer to take her kids shopping for her birthday presents.

4. Be another driver.

This is a place where you can be a huge help. While my husband and I used to divide and conquer the parent meetings, practices, and lessons, nowadays I often have to be two places at once. You can always set up carpooling ahead of time but look for a spontaneous need as well.  If you see her child at practice, text her and offer to drive her child home.

5. Be a supporter.

Married parents can lean on each other when making decisions or encourage on the hard days, but single parents are going it alone. This is where a good atta-girl goes a long way. Be specific. A good report on character shown by one of her kids or affirmation of how your friend handled something will give her a huge boost to dig down and keep parenting well.

6. Be loyal.

When my husband died and I was suddenly single, I worried my friendships would change. Most single moms have already gone through a painful loss and the last thing they need with all the change and upheaval is to lose a good friend. It might look different, but find a way to include your single mom friend and make sure she knows that her singleness doesn’t affect your friendship.


Babbie Mason is coming to the MVNU Women’s Auxiliary Spring Conference!

babbie mason

The MVNU Women’s Auxiliary Conference is this weekend, March 17-18. Babbie Mason is the featured speaker. The event will take place in the MVNU Chapel Auditorium. Go to for details on tickets.

Friday’s session starts at 7pm. Saturday’s session starts at 9am.

Jenna Potts of The Morning Thing had a chance to chat with Babbie about her passion and theme for this weekend’s conference. Click HERE to hear their conversation.


  • Friday:
    • Registration 5-7 p.m.
    • Session 7-9 p.m.
  • Saturday
    • Registration 8-9 a.m.
    • Session 9-noon

Cost: $40 for both days or $20 for one.

Speaker: Babbie Mason

Babbie Mason is an award-winning singer, songwriter, teacher and TV talk show host. Her ministry and career have blessed countless thousands for almost three decades, taking her across the globe where she has encouraged the hearts of young and old alike in churches, conferences and corporate conventions. She teaches women that they matter to God and that they can overcome any obstacle they may face. Women all over America and abroad have encountered Jesus in an atmosphere of acceptance, forgiveness and love.

Babbie Mason’s heart-felt lyrics and singable melodies have been translated in over twenty languages. She is the recipient of two Dove Awards, and many other award nominations. In 2010 Babbie was recognized for her contributions in Gospel music by being inducted into The Christian Music Hall of Fame. Although Babbie Mason is known all over the world for her contributions of encouraging words and beautiful music, she remains humble, recognizing her blessings come from above. When you meet her, you’ll meet a friend with a love for God and people.

Music: John Stone

John Stone is a seasoned worship leader that believes worship is a lifestyle. John’s mission and purpose can be summed up in this short statement: “delighting God should be our number one priority in all of life. When hearts are right in living out our faith, the manifest presence of God seems to always show up. God delights in the praises of His people!”

He serves full-time as Executive Pastor while still providing weekly worship experiences at Countryside Church of the Nazarene in Lebanon, Ohio. Conferences and various events have become a regular thing for him through the years and he has just released a new recording of original songs that he has been presenting throughout 2015, titled “Everything.”





What’s for dinner? The Morning Thing helps you answer that question!

Do you ever feel like you are in a dinner rut? Making the same 3-4 recipes each week? Do you need some new ideas? Great!
The Morning Thing shared the idea of a meal planning schedule from

meal planning

Click HERE for Ally’s recipes for each day of this 2 week meal plan.

We also shared some sneaky cooking swaps that will make your meals even healthier!
Are you brave enough to try these food swaps?
Black beans for Flour?
Avocado for Butter?
Rolled Oats for Bread Crumbs?
Greek Yogurt for Mayonnaise?
Pumpkin for Oil?
or Applesauce for Oil?

Click HERE to read more about these sneaky and interesting Food Swaps.

Let us know if you have any food swaps. Email


A closer look at your coffee cup – the good and bad of caffeine. The Morning Thing 3/8/17


March is Caffeine Awareness Month. 

(From Caffeine Awareness Month is a great time to get the low down on exactly how much caffeine you are consuming in a day and if that is having any harmful effects on your body. Some uses of caffeine are as an additive to medicine or food so you may not even realize that you are consuming it.

History of Caffeine Awareness Month
In 2003, the Caffeine Awareness Alliance was formed to advocate for a caffeine-free industry. Their goal is to provide information and resources for everyone in the industry from executives, retailers, and media. It is this organization that has sponsored the creation of Caffeine Awareness Month. The stated goal for the month is to be a health awareness campaign that can help people to make informed decisions about the consumption of caffeinated products.

There are some facts about caffeine that may come as a surprise to you. There are about 60 different plants that have caffeine in them including cocoa, coffee beans, tea leaves, and kola. This means that you may not always know if there is caffeine in a product because, in the United States, the Federal Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to list the amount of caffeine in the nutritional information.

The commonly held safe amount of caffeine consumed in a day is 400mg. That is equal to about 10 cans of soda, 5 cups of coffee or 2 energy drinks.

Click HERE to see a chart of products that contain caffeine and the estimated amounts. Use Caffeine Awareness Month to learn all you can about this stimulant and how it is working in your life. put together a list of the top benefits of caffeine. Click HERE for the full list.
The top 10 include:

  1. In Japan, researchers have shown that caffeine increases memory. Also, a newer study out of Johns Hopkins University showed that a 200mg caffeine pill helped boost memory consolidation.
  2. Caffeine mixed with carbs replenishes muscle glycogen concentrations faster after exercise.
  3. Caffeine detoxes the liver and cleanses the colon when taken as a caffeine enema.
  4. Caffeine helps keep you alert while driving during periods of sleep restriction. Here’s the research
  5. Caffeine can stimulate hair growth on balding men and women.
  6. Caffeine relieves post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%.
  7. Caffeine may protect against Parkinson’s disease. Research shows that those who consume coffee are at less risk of developing Parkison’s disease and it even reduces the risk of those genetically more likely to develop the condition. Here’s the study.
  8. Caffeine helps ward off Alzheimer’s.
  9. Caffeine increases stamina during exercise.
  10. Caffeine through coffee protects against eyelid spasm. also put together a list of the harmful effects of caffeine. Click HERE for the full list.
The top 10 include:

  1. More than 4 cups of coffee linked to early death. A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness. Dr. Nancy Snyderman from NBC said there were a few discrepancies with the study, but stresses that moderation is still key. See Her Interview Here.
  2. Caffeine consumption may raise blood pressure. Especially in those already suffering from hypertension and those who don’t normally consume caffeine. People with hypertension were given 250 mg of caffeine (about 2 coffees) and the data revealed that their blood pressure was elevated for about 2-3 hours after the caffeine. Src. A second study performed by The Mayo Clinic found similar results from a 160 mg dose. All participants experienced a marked rise in blood pressure and it was the most pronounced in those that didn’t normally consume caffeine. Src.
  3. Increased risk of heart attacks among young adults. A study conducted by Dr. Lucio Mos found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to 4 cups of coffee.  More moderate consumption showed 3 times the risk. Src.
  4. Caffeine linked to gout attacks. This study showed that people who binge on caffeinated beverages increase their risk for a gout flare-up. Src.
  5. Breast Tissue Cysts In Women. One study showed that “Women who consumed 31–250 mg of caffeine/day had a 1.5-fold increase in the odds of developing fibrocystic breast disease and women who drank over 500 mg/day had a 2.3-fold increase in the odds of developing cysts. Src.
  6. Caffeine could cause incontinence. A study out of the University of Alabama showed that women who consume a lot of caffeine are 70% more likely to develop incontinence. Src.
  7. Caffeine may cause insomnia. Caffeine in a person’s system at bedtime can mimic the symptoms of insomnia. Src.
  8. Caffeine can cause indigestion. People who consume caffeinated beverages often report an upset stomach or indigestion. This mainly occurs when the beverages are consumed on an empty stomach. Src.
  9. Caffeine can cause headaches. While occasional doses of caffeine can relieve headache symptoms, the overuse of caffeine can cause headaches and lead to migraines. Src.
  10. Caffeine could reduce fertility in women. A study from The University of Nevada School of Medicine showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27%. Src.