Archives for posts with tag: discipleship

20131117-220422.jpg

Not feeling inspired to write. Not at all. But I’m writing anyway. Because one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year is that we don’t operate in our feelings. So although I don’t feel like writing… here I am, writing away.

Today marks the 14th day of my attempt to surrender laziness to God (and giving up social media which is the primary enabler of said laziness). And let me tell you, Satan really tried it. On or about the 4th day of the fast, my laptop charger died. Ummm hello, productivity? How am I supposed to work with no laptop? Seriously. But then I won an iPad mini in a raffle! These things never happen to me- but He’s on time right? Not that I can really work on this thing. And of course now that I am typing this, I’m realizing that my computer charger dying is the perfect opportunity for me to rid myself of all laziness excuses. I don’t need a computer to clean up this disaster of a room. I don’t need a computer to call and check on my grandmother. And I definitely don’t need it to go in there and cook me something to eat.

So nice try devil. But I’m feeling all like Joseph. All… You meant it for my bad but God meant it for my good (Gen 50:20).

Excited to see what the rest of this 40 day fast is gonna bring. Most excited about getting back smack dab into the middle of God’s good and perfect will. Cuz MY will ain’t been hittin on bout nothing…

Advertisements

Obedience doesn’t have to be hard. Obedience is only hard if you look at it as a list of things you “can’t” do. But God tells us our obedience is a display of our love for Him. Not a demonstration of how well we can follow rules. And especially not a demonstration of us figuring out how close we can get to breaking the rule without actually breaking it (hello, somebody). What if we looked at obedience as God does. As love. What if we looked at it not as a list of “I Can’ts” but a list of “I can’s.”

I can’t have sex because I’m not married. I love God so much that I can totally remain pure and honor Him with my body (I mean it’s His body anyway, right?). Or how about, I can totally appreciate the security that purity brings (no STDs, no babies, no emotional attachments, no $800 daycare bills I have to pay on my own, no child support, etc.).

I can’t drink. I can definitely have a good time and enjoy myself without needing liquor. I mean, who needs liquor to have a good time??

I can’t listen to rap music (because we only listen for the beats these days…). I can totally protect what comes into my spirit, soul, and body. And for those of you who keep talking about, it’s the beat- let me introduce you to Lecrae, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, etc.

I can’t take credit for the things that are happening in my life. I can give God all the glory for this amazing life He has given me. I can lead others to Him. I can continue to be a vessel (the buck does NOT stop with me!)

I can’t stay at home on Sundays and just hang out, have brunch, or just watch church online. I can show God how much I love Him by visiting Him in His house with His followers and get His message on Sundays. I mean, after all, he comes to my house every other day of the week- I’d love to pay him a visit!

I can’t go around cursing. Ok say this with me slowly. Out loud if you must: I can form complete sentences and make my point as emphatically as I choose without needing to use words that offend, hurt, or would elicit a beat down if I heard my 5 year old child saying them. I can use words that lift up God though! Ex: What in the Eden is going on here?!

Does that work? When you love someone should it feel like a chore? Should it feel restrictive? Absolutely not. It should feel liberating. It should overwhelming. In a good way. It should feel like you would do absolutely anything to make that other person happy.  Why in the world would we treat God any differently? If you can’t love God it’s gonna be difficult for you to love an imperfect person (including yourself).

Speak on it! What else can we do?

(That is how old people pronounce “courting.” And it makes me chuckle every time. Ok maybe I’m generalizing. By old people I mean my grandma and my great aunt.)

Check this out: Courting vs. Dating & Courting process

So about this whole courting thing. I know so many people want to know what it means. How is it different from dating? Are they the same thing? When you are dating someone, you go on dates. Does this mean when you are courting someone, you go on courts? Is this a potato pot-ah-to thing? Or more of an apples to oranges thing?

Well let me give you my two cents: I don’t care what you call it. Are you trying to be with someone because you want to be married and are evaluating that person? Or because you feel lonely? Or bored? Or just because? The intent is what matters – what you call it does not.

But there are some people who do care what you call it. And who have questions. So I’m attaching a document that a friend shared with me about a year ago. It breaks it down so that it is forever broke. So here it is folks: “Courting vs. Dating & Courting process.” The first page distinguishes between what it means to court (coat, tehehe) and to date. The second page walks you through the courting process. And while I don’t care what it is called, I definitely rocks with this document because it says the very first stage of courting is this:

“Commit yourself to being sold out for Christ.”

Step 1, check! (And if Step 1 is not a check, then do not pass go, do not collect $200). Cue music (and scene):

Just finished reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, so I want to share a few nuggets with you. Ironically, the first thing I’m going to share isn’t actually a quote by Kyle Idleman but by Larry Osborne. And it has to do with the way that we see God’s role in our lives. Many of us see him as a consultant and someone we go to as a “helper” in our lives as opposed to as the Lord of all in our lives. Now, God is many things. But consultant is not one of them. Listen up:

Now, a consultant is someone whose wisdom we highly value and listen to, but at the end of the day, we make the final decision. That’s why they’re called consultants. Here’s the problem: God doesn’t do consulting. Never has. Never will. He does God. When we treat him as consultant, he simply stops showing up for the meetings.

Well, ok, then Larry.

Feast on that folks. Happy Friday!

Once upon a time I was a voracious little reader. I would devour books. Finish them in days, with a never ending “to read” list.  All types of genres, all types of authors. Laugh out loud, self-help, travel-related, autobiographies, fictional dramas, all of that (loved me some Jodi Picoult). And then, one day, in came this monster known as… grad school (dun dun dunnnnn). Well, let me tell you. I don’t think I read a book not related to international education, organizational theory, or social change in the last two and a half years. So you don’t know how happy I am to be back reading. So happy in fact that I can’t read just one book at a time. Noooo… I am trying to do the absolute most. There are currently 4 books sitting on my nightstand. And I’m about to pick up another one from the library tomorrow. The most.

My current nightstand situation

My current nightstand situation

So here’s what I’m #nowreading:

1. Operating Instruction: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott – LOVE the way this woman writes. I laugh out loud just enough to find it funny but not distracting (can funny ever really be distracting though?). I think the funniest part of all is that these are all true stories (this is about her figuring out how to raise her son – stories I’m sure many moms would be embarrassed to share).

2. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman – Ok so I actually just finished this one. Awesome book that helps you distinguish between being just a Christian and an actual disciple of christ – “fan vs. follower.” Very insightful. I may have to share a few things from this one. (Started reading this one as part of the Starving Christians Online Book Club – check it out!).

3. Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valerie Burton – This book is good. And practical. I actually don’t remember how I discovered it, but I don’t think I was expecting it to also include tenets on faith and scripture (though not a lot). Loving the coaching aspect of the book – especially as I prepare to enter this new season of my life professionally (details coming soon!).

4. The Circle Maker by Mark Betterson – I have been “reading” this book for weeks now. Which means it didn’t catch my attention from the first pages. I have been reading everything else except this one. But I hear it’s powerful. I am going to get back into this one soon! Or at least before it’s due back to the library….

Oh and the one I’m going to pick up tomorrow (not pictured):

5. The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer – Y’all know Priscilla Shirer is my homegirl in my head. More like my really cool young aunt. But I have heard such phenomenal things about this book that I am going to start it immediately – even though I am still reading these other books. Don’t ask me how that’s going to work….

And of course every day, I’ve gotta get some Bible in there! Along with my Discerning the Voice of God Bible Study. So yeah, that’s what’s going on in my reading life. What about you? What is everyone else out there reading? Also, add me on goodreads so we can share book ideas! If you’re not on there, you should be!

My mind is my battlefield. Mainly because my mind runs at several thousand thoughts per nano-second and I am easily distracted. Deadly combination. One of the things that has helped me meditate on God’s word is to just surround myself in His word. Literally. I have often placed memory verses that I’d been working on on the bathroom mirror, but I’ve recently found some new places to always remind myself of God’s word. I typically take 1-2 passages and write them on a index cards or post-it notes and then put them all over the place (by all over the place I mean some of the places listed below). I usually like to meditate on the same scripture for the entire week – so I’d put the same scripture in ALL of these places. But if you want to put a different scripture in each place – go for it! So here goes:

1. Above light switches. Every time you turn on/off a light, just read the scripture as a reminder. I mean, He is the light of the world after all. Very fitting.

2On the steering wheel of your car. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought about this sooner. Such a good idea! (Although it looks a lot less trifling with a post-it note as opposed to this index card and tape.)Image

3. On the microwave door. By the time your popcorn is finished you could have read the verse multiple times.

4. Above the kitchen sink. What better way to spend your time washing dishes?

5. The home/lock screen on your cellphone (or ipads). Why not replace that selfie with your favorite scripture?? We pick up our phone so often – this is an easy one.

6. Mirrors. Speaking of selfies, any and all mirrors are fair game for memory scriptures. And you can write directly on them with dry erase markers (or lipstick, I’m not judging)!

7. In your wallet/billfold.

8. Computer backgrounds/screensavers. Both your home and work computers and laptops.

9. On doors. Either right at eye level or just above the door knob/

This should definitely be a good start. Before you know it these scriptures will be hidden in your heart – ready for your use whenever you may need them! (see Psalm 119:11)

I’m sure I must have missed some – where are other good places to keep memory scriptures?

______

I’m participating in AwesomelyLuvvie’s 31 Write Now Blog Challenge! Something new to the blog every day for 31 days. I’m already late. For shame. But whatevs – I’m looking forward to this! #31WriteNow

 

One of the most important things I’ve learned in this here faith walk is the importance of  being at peace and know you are right smack dab where you’re supposed to be in life – write in the midst of God’s will. And the way that you figure that out is through learning how to hear the voice of God. So that when he says it’s time to move (or to stop), you recognize his voice and get to gettin.

I have a lot of decisions coming up (career wise, relationship wise, free-time wise, etc.) and haven’t been feeling settled or at peace like I normally am. So, I gotta do something about that. What am I gonna do? Well, I’m glad you asked.

I’m going to work through Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God Bible Study. I see nothing but great reviews about it. And while I have studied Pastor Jenkins’ message on Hearing God’s voice (for months on end), there’s still something to be said about really interacting with the material. In addition to just listening to it.

I’ve asked some of my favorite girls to join this 6 week (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) journey along with me. What say you? Could you use a little help learning how to distinguish God’s voice? Or maybe just a refresher? If so, feel free to buy the book (visit the link above) and join along! (And if you’re in the DC area there may just be a fun dinner/discussion night a couple of times throughout the study. Just saying…)

Let’s go!