When was the last time you felt like you were stuck in a rut spiritually? It happens to most of us and in light of that, I had the opportunity to share a lesson on what we can do to avoid the dangers these spiritual ruts. It is a short video that was shared as the Tip of the Week over at womensministry.net–here is the link Tip of the Week: Video – How to Get Out of a Spiritual Rut http://conta.cc/x3J5fy
Feel free to check it out and let me know if you have any other better ideas to share:) I’ve noticed that there is a great temptation to let the fact that we, as ministry wives, live in such public ministry become a substitute for strong private devotion–and that isn’t what I want for my life or yours.
Let’s don’t be those women who are satisfied with our spiritual walk as long as it looks good to the outsiders watching–may we never be more in public than we are in private (some time ask me to tell the story of the spanx at the wedding to remind us that although we might look good on the outside–it’s whats underneath that reveals the truth)
Many blessings on you and your ministry…
Just like many of you I have spent portions of today reflecting on 2011 (many other portions I have been watching football!) At one point this afternoon while watching football with Jeff and Riley, I noticed that I kept being confused. I would be watching for Tebow to make a play or for a certain team to score–only to realize that it was a completely different game on. Apparently we weren’t watching 1 game, we were watching the RedZone which takes you back and forth to all different games as things heat up in each game. This seemed to be fine with the guys, but I was in a constant state of confusion (which they found hilarious)…it did make me laugh and draw some parallels to this past year though.
How often was my life happening so quickly that as I reacted to one thing the circumstances changed and just as I figured out 1 plan of action the opponents switched on me???? now this may just be a sign of my stage of life (or my age) but it is also sort of indicative of our culture. It is a hurry up and keep your eyes opened world we live in. If we blink we just might miss something. I finally decided today to just wait and get the final scores on the games of interest before I got too caught up in every game. Maybe I don’t have to keep up with everything. Maybe it’s ok to pick and choose what I spend my time and energy on so that i don’t get distracted by the inconsequential.
In 2011 I read through the Bible chronologically and over and over as I asked God to teach me from His Word I continually heard Him say “Just know me” and so that was my goal. As I stand at the threshold of 2012 and I hear from others what their goals are for the year or what their ‘word’ of the year is (these are all good things) I keep coming back to the word MORE. As God called me to know him better last year and as he revealed himself to me like never before, I find myself just wanting more and more of that. If I have to pick a word for the year I’m going with MORE and my goal for the year is to get More of Jesus.
Isn’t it cool that the more we know Him the more we want to know Him???? (who else can you say that about??)
That’s it for me. To know Him MORE and MORE until I develop the mind of Christ. (and I probably won’t watch the RedZone anymore!)
My prayer for you and me both is that we crave the Word and desire to know Him better and better in 2012. Nothing satisfies like Jesus. Taste and see that the Lord is good:) may we lead women around us to do the same…
what’s your word or goal for the new year???
I read through a familiar passage Sunday (it was the basis for the sermon) in Phil 2 and read verses 14-15–here is what it says: Do everything without complaining or arguing,so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…how good is that??? I have always loved those verses and they are especially significant with the lighten up challenge. But do you sometimes wonder “how am I supposed to be a light that shines like a star?”. I mean, think about it–go outside and look at the night sky–stars are millions of miles away and they impact us down here on earth–that’s pretty powerful, I definitely don’t feel like I make that much of an impact most of the time (or ever)
Here’s the thing, there are so many verses in the Word that we are familiar with and maybe even have memorized but when we take them in their context we can find such better meaning and understanding. Check out the very next verse (the one I don’t have memorized but should) its verse 16 and it tells us how we can be like stars: as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. –alright stay with me on this—to ‘hold out the Word of life’ literally means: to have or hold upon, apply, to observe, attend to—to give attention to
Wow! that’s what I’m talking about. In our quest to be lights and to shine like stars–we must maintain a focus and be intentional about ‘holding forth’ the Word in our lives–we have to APPLY the Word to our lives daily.
I hear many many people talking about going deeper and so on in regard to Bible Study and teaching-the Truth is that it doesn’t get much deeper than “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength-and your neighbor as yourself” that’s pretty deep stuff and I wonder (if we want to make a Christmas application) how many of us have gotten caught up in our plans, our wants and our desires instead of asking what we can do for others or how we can put others first??
Let’s commit to being doers of the Word not just hearers especially in this season of ‘gimme gimme’ and ‘me first’…Jesus modeled the attitude we need to have and it’s described in the rest of Phil 2, read it there or watch my pastor’s sermon on the subject online but remember that we can shine like stars and have a HUGE impact if we keep holding forth the Word!!!!
Keep the faith:)
How are your holidays going? Are you being a light? Are you staying focused on Jesus and actively resisting the culture? How you answer probably depends on the day–right? some days we are doing a great job at reclaiming the holidays and ‘lightening up’ while other days are more of a struggle.
Can I share with you something that I just read in Ephesians that really spoke to me? It was in chapters 4-6 where we are told not to give the devil a foothold then we see instructions for anger management (because we will have times that we get angry so how do we handle that in a godly way) and then the armor of God passage.
When you put all those together, it really boils down to some hard truth–when people get on our nerves or make us mad (can anyone relate?) how we respond will either allow the Enemy a place in our lives or not.
It seems to me that sometimes because of the amount of things that we have to get done in a day (have I mentioned that my shopping is not even close to done), that we have a short fuse with people about now. Sometimes it isn’t even about our busy day but how ridiculous some people we are in contact with act (that’s why we need to spread the lighten up challenge around:)
I love what the armor of God passage in Eph 6 has to say “Put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and when you have done everything—to stand”…wow!
How appropriate is that? I have a friend who always reminds me when situations come up that frustrate me-”remember who the Enemy is”–that’s such good advice and lines up exactly with Ephesians. Who is our battle against? not the person in the next car, not the obnoxious shopper near you, not the stressed out store employee,not your boss—especially not fellow believers—we have one Enemy and when we put on the full armor of God then we will be able to stand against His schemes and be the lights that we are called to be.
Take a few minutes to check out Eph 5-6 today. Pray that armor onto your life and “be strong in the Lord and His mighty power”
ps–a friend told me in a meeting yesterday that her kids have been loving the lighten up challenge book and that they look forward to reading the verses together on the way to school as they talk about being a light! -that is such a good idea to do with your kids and what a blessing to hear how God is using His Word:)
I love how there are no coincidences with the Lord. Sunday my pastor preached a great message out of Luke 10. I kept making instant connections with what God has been doing in the Lighten Up Challenge so I thought I would share some of the insights that I gleaned both from David’s words and the voice of the Holy Spirit. (if you want more info on the challenge check out my personal blog over at rachellovingood.wordpress.com)
We are probably all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary, if not don’t feel bad but go read it in Luke 10. Usually a sermon on them will boil down to bad Martha and good Mary and which are you?
That wasn’t my take away on Sunday at all. In a busy season full of Martha-ish moments that tries to drown out the Mary like opportunities–that is exactly what we can NOT let happen. There are so many good things about both sisters and instead of laying out a competition between the two, isn’t the greater message one that says “Before you can be an effective Martha, you must be a Mary”. Truly–‘being’ comes before ‘doing’, in the dictionary and spiritually.
As we go about leading and serving those in our lives this Christmas season, we will be the best lights for Christ if we have taken enough time like Mary did–to sit at His feet and learn, worship or just be still in His presence.
Notice that Martha was busy and distracted doing good things, she wasn’t out at a bar or surfing the internet illicitly.(She could have been a women’s ministry leader or minister’s wife) Good things can be the enemy of God’s things if we let them. Beware and be intentional to ‘be’ what Christ has called you to ‘be’ before you get busy ‘doing’ all the things that need to be done.
ps-chime in and share your best tip on ‘Mary’ moments in the midst of a ‘Martha’ season!
#lightenupchallenge—for cute t-shirts and a flip book available to order go over to rachellovingood blog:) and Merry Christmas!!!
see what these shirts have to do with making this holiday season different than the rest…check out this link
I been hearing such random supposedly funny quips and word plays about the Kim Kardashian marriage breakup, and while I love to laugh, I just can’t be amused by yet another marriage ending. It breaks my heart and seems to be so reflective of this culture and its lack of understanding of what marriage was designed and intended to be.
I know that God doesn’t laugh about it and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t either. The media is full of news about this break up—people are joking about the short length of the marriage and that is so very sad. On more than one front. News- supposedly hard news agencies are reporting about this celebrity relationship and the implications of the divorce in the same breath as presidential situations and world economic crisis—really???? we are listening to people discuss how this is going to affect Kim’s image?!?! have we lost our minds? Does the image of a reality TV star rate the same amount of air time as troops overseas, wall street, presidential race, and all that???
It seems to me that reality TV stars have no sense of what reality is and the American public is just jumping right in. Some people have been quoted as saying these things “it (the divorce) is something that just didn’t work out. It’s better that they got out now”–really? you can say that something as serious and with as deep a commitment as marriage should have just didn’t work out after less than 3 months??? or what about this “they gave it a shot” how much of a ‘shot’ does a marriage deserve?…72 days isn’t even enough time to get a closet sorted out much less to give marriage a shot.
And that may be where much of the problem is—our society is full of people who are ‘giving marriage a shot’–it was designed to be a life long commitment between a man and a woman–NOT something that happens in a basketball game where you score 2 or 3 points.
Marriage is tough enough when you do it God’s way–it’s worth it but it’s tough sometimes…I’m afraid that when we begin to buy into this “give it a shot’ mentality that it may very well become impossible. Sadly, Christ followers are being just as deceived by our media and culture as those who don’t know Him. When was the last time you laughed about a marriage breaking up? or about some type of sin? —-remember (and I’m talking to myself too) when we laugh at sin we start to become desensitized to it and when we become desensitized to it there is no telling what all can happen.
I’m saddened by another marriage ending. It makes me more and more thankful for a husband who sticks by me even when it can’t be easy and more and more grateful for the examples I see of men and women who love each other through sickness and heath, tho richer or poorer–till death parts them…..may God give us grace to love each other and encourage one another and maybe even to be that person who says “You can make your marriage work. Trust God. Follow His plan and stick with it. Don’t give it a shot. Make it last.”
As leaders in ministry, what are we doing to teach women that God’s word is counter culture and they need to learn to stand on the Word even when it goes against common thought?? Do we speak the truth in love or just laugh off wrong thinking? I think He has called us to more…more prayer, more faith, more sharing our faith, more than the world settles for, more of Him.
I can’t laugh about some things…and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t:)