RSS

Category Archives: Faith

One Word 2014

waitHow do you pick just one word that will become your theme for the entire year?

A word that will define you, teach you, and inspire you to become a better you.

Last year, I did just that. I picked one word – wait – and consciously focused on it. I learned to wait on the Lord for His word, His answer, His presence, His plans. I learned to wait and not be as impatient, as quick to respond.

When my faith was tested by fire, I waited. When I was in the midst of a storm, I waited.  I will carry the word wait over into this year, because it’s something I’m still learning to do, and the only way to learn is to practice.

Wait was a good word. But now it’s time for a new word. My new word for 2014 is

blessed

The word bless, or a form thereof, is used 463 times in the KJV Bible. Bless is a verb, which means to consecrate or render holy; to give honor or glory to a divine being; to call upon the Lord to protect; to worship or adore; and to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to someone.

It’s a common word, one used nonchalantly and tossed about here and there. It’s sometimes used with an underlying tone of arrogance or disdain.  But it shouldn’t. It should be a word that we use with honor and glory, because that it is what it is, what we are.  Honored, cherished, protected, loved by our Savior and by our Creator.

This year my Lord bestowed the word blessed on me to remind me always that I am blessed. It’s those little things we take for granted though; the day-to-day blessings that we don’t see, don’t appreciate, don’t acknowledge.

My goal for this year is to learn to appreciate the small blessings, to be thankful and prayerful for the people in my life while I have the opportunity to do so. Whether it’s a trip to the movies with my son and nephew, a lunch out with a dear friend, or the chance to say goodbye and good luck to a favorite boss, I am blessed.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Faith

 

Tags:

Going to try Hello Mornings again.

Maybe the 8th time will the time it becomes habit?

Christian Community

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Faith

 

Tags: ,

Does outspokenness impact faith?

Does outspokenness impact faith?

 

Last Wednesday, my preferred radio station was talking about a survey recently performed by the Public Religion Research Institute on whether the Lord plays a role in outcomes of sports events.  If you haven’t already read it, here is the original news release and survey results.  Now, I take any survey with a grain of salt because statistics are only as good as the survey itself.  In this case, only a little over 1,000 adults were polled by telephone, which is much too narrow of a sampling (in my opinion) for this poll to have any significant merit.

“In an era where professional sports are driven by dollars and statistics, significant numbers of Americans see a divine hand at play,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, PRRI CEO. “Roughly 3-in-10 Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins, and a majority believe that God rewards faithful athletes.”

The morning show hosts were discussing whether the Lord cares about the outcome of a sports event in regards to the outspokenness of each player.  One of the hosts stated that perspective didn’t account for players whose faith may be very important to them, but were not as publicly outspoken about it.  Subsequently, you couldn’t accurately say whether one team was more heavily faith-based than the other.  That led into a discussion about Christians in general being outspoken.

Once I started thinking about it, I decided the hosts’ perspectives were skewed by their own personal definitions of outspoken.

Outspoken (adj):
(1) uttered or expressed with frankness or without reserve.
(2) free or unreserved in speech.

I am, based on the definition above, outspoken about my faith. I don’t hide it or shy from conversations about it, and I’m not afraid to insert my faith into conversations when appropriate.  But at the same time, I’m humble about my faith.  I’m not going to shout it from the rooftops or shove it in someone’s face, and rarely will you find me in front of a group of people with microphone in hand, but I do my best to live my life in a way I feel will please my Lord and let His light and His love shine through me.

Humble (adj):
(1) not proud or arrogant; modest.
(2) having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.
(3) low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly.
(4) courteously respectful
(5) low in height, level, etc.; small in size.

The Lord blesses each of us as He sees fit to do so.  Some of us are blessed with the gift of being a good, or a great, athlete; others are blessed with gifts in art or music or public speaking.  While I am blessed with none of those things, I know my Lord doesn’t bless me any less than His other faithful children; He blesses me differently because He knows my needs.

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (ESV)

Luke 14:11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)

I think those that are more outspoken about their faith face a higher risk of becoming prideful in it.  There are some people for whom it will become more about doing the works than living the faith.  For others, it won’t be an issue.  Why?  I don’t know. Maybe some are more grounded in His Word, maybe some live more in the world, maybe it’s just part of who we are as people and that we each have free will to make our own choices – good or bad.   When my day comes to kneel at His feet, I pray He deems me wise and exalted, and I honestly don’t feel it’s going to matter that I’m private and reserved and not in-your-face publicly outspoken here on earth.

And as far as whether the Lord plays a role in outcomes of sports events?  I’m sure he cares about the outcome of the game in a general sense, that as His children, he always cares about what happens to us, even the little things.  Does He impact the game itself?  No, I don’t think so. Not outside of the talents He gave the players anyway, and even then it’s up to the players to work hard and make the most of the talent they were blessed with.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Faith

 

Becoming bilingual

Becoming bilingual

Two weeks ago, the kid and I took our first ASL class.   The kid has been interested in sign language for a very long time but there’s only so much you can learn on your own.  So when I found out a local church was offering free classes, I signed us both up like the good mom that I am.  🙂

There are several other families from our homeschool group in the glass, so the kid and I both have friends we can sign with, and each other of course.

I have to admit that after the second class, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all, as if my head will explode.  There’s so much to learn and remember, and I move so much slower in my interpretation compared to the speed of the proficient instructors and helpers.  But I can say that after only two classes, we know enough signs to hold a simple conversation with someone that is deaf.

Our current vocabulary consists of:

Alphabet
Numbers 1-20
Hello/Hi
Good
Morning
“Good Morning”
Evening
“Good Evening”
My/Mine
Name
“My name (what?) <is> ”
Your
Good
See
You
“Good to see you”
Church
{name of the church our classes are at}
Day
Pretty/Beautiful
Cold
Hot
Fine
Bye
God
Jesus

What
Who
Where
“Location”
Copy-Me/You
Letter
Number
Same-As
Different
Again
Slow
Please
Thank You
You’re Welcome
Sorry

We have an open book test to take this week, and a reminder to practice, practice, practice.

It would be great to think that someday we’ll know enough to work as interpreters but that’s still far in the future.  Right now, I’m not even sure if I’ll ever have the need to use what I’m learning outside of signing back to the kid, but whatever is in store for us after we learn this, I’ll be ready.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Faith

 

Tags: ,

wordless wednesday 3

83 teens worshiping the Lord on a friday night

83 teens worshiping the Lord on a friday night

saturday morning

saturday morning

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Faith, wordless wednesday

 

One Word 2013

I read a lot about the One Word concept last year but I never picked one. This year, I decided I wanted to have one, but couldn’t decide what it would be.

How do you pick just one work that will become your theme for the entire year?

I read other people’s words and considered them for myself. I thought about different words that I might make fit, or be able to use. None of them felt…right.  The word that did feel right, didn’t make any sense. How in the world could that be my one word I kept asking myself.  I kept praying over it, and repeatedly that word kept coming to mind.  Once I looked it up, it made perfect sense and fit perfectly into my soul.

wait-one-word-2013

As a noun

wait, postponement, delay, hold, time lag: time during which some action is awaited
wait, waiting: the act of waiting; remaining inactive in one place while expecting something

As a verb

wait: stay in one place and anticipate or expect something
wait, hold off, hold back, wait before acting
wait, expect, look, await: look forward to the probable occurrence of
wait, waitress: serve (as a waitress) another

Scripturally

The Bible teaches that we are expected to wait on the Lord. We must trust Him and remain hopeful, faithful, joyful, knowing He is working in our life. He will be there to guide and comfort us as long as we seek His guidance.

I’m not good at waiting. I’m impatient and impulsive and always eager to move on to the next thing. I rush through things or rush into too many things at once and often end up regretting my decisions. When I do wait, I second-guess myself and don’t trust my first instincts, or don’t seek out spiritual guidance first.

I’ve prayed lately for guidance, for the Lord to show to me what I need to do, what I should focus on to deepen my relationship with him. So why was I so surprised that He chose the word WAIT for me?

Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So this year, 2013, I will learn to wait. Wait to hear the Lord whisper to me. Wait to better understand His faithfulness. Wait with the knowledge that my perseverance will grow my spiritual relationship with Him. Wait for His path in my life to become clear. Wait through the storms and trials that will come.

I will wait while my Lord molds me into the person He created me to be.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Faith

 

Tags:

I am a sheep

I am a sheep

John 10:2-4
But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

I’m now two weeks in to HelloMornings and one week in to my new small group study.  My small group is watching the Frequency DVD series by Robert Morris, Senior Pastor of Gateway Church.  We’re also reading The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond by Bill Hybels.

This week’s assignment for HelloMornings was to read a chapter each day to gain an overview of 1 Peter.  I loved how Peter kept telling us to persevere through our struggles.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:13

We are the chosen people of God, His beloved, the sheep to His Shepard.

For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.  1 Peter 2:25

How he called us, as Christ’s followers, to be beautiful inside, to have gentle and quiet spirits, reminding us to be humble and that we are blessed.

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation and do not be troubled.  1 Peter 2:14

Peter challenges us to view suffering with joy and blessings, giving glory to our Lord, because we are His and He will keep us.

For it is time for judgment to begin within the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:17

Peter also reminds us that no matter how great we think our suffering is, we are not alone.

But resist [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  1 Peter 5:9

The Lord doesn’t change; He is the same day after day.  He love us, He keeps us, He talks to us.  But like sheep, we need to be taught how to hear our Shepard’s voice.

Hearing God is not something you do.  Hearing God is someone you are.   Robert Morris

I want to persevere.  I want to be beautiful inside.  I want to glorify the Lord during my struggles.  I want to never forget that I am kept.  I want to be a sheep.

HelloMornings

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Faith

 

Tags: ,