Spiritual Growth

Be Still

Psalm 46:10

10 Be still, and know that I am God;

There’s a little exercise I do that a college professor recommended when feeling overwhelmed.  He said to speak aloud the beginning of Psalm 46:10. Then repeat it over and over taking away the last word until you are left with only one.  Try it.  It is very contemplative and surprisingly calming.  It can quickly put things into perspective.

Be still, and know that I am God

Be still, and know that I am

Be still, and know that I

Be still, and know that

Be still, and know

Be still, and

Be still

Be

Freedom Results in Service

I read this devotional today and thought it was worth sharing.

It begins with:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

I love how we are to use our freedom to serve others.  The word freedom today typically means a freedom of choice.  It’s all about us and our wants.  Here, Galatians says to USE our freedom to serve others…humbly in love.  Whoa!  There’s an idea.  Most think of serving others as an obligation or as something we are forced or even paid to do.  Just let the words “serve one another humbly in love” sink in for a sec.  Think about the ways you serve today…who you serve today.  Do you do it humbly in love?  If the answer is no, then the next question is, do you know the freedom that only comes from Christ? (Freedom in Christ)

Here’s the full devotional:  Wisdom Hunters for September 19, 2012 …I highly recommend reading it!

Only the Best

There are a couple of devotionals I have emailed to me daily.  One is Wisdom Hunters and the other is Focus on the Family.  One of the things I love about reading them is that sometimes while reading them, my mind wanders to another place.  I think when we devote time to God it opens up the door for Him to talk to us.  God honors the time we devote to Him.  He uses our obedience to speak into our lives!  Most of the time, the lessons from the devotional are what I walk away with, which is great.  But other times, like today, I walk away with something else on my mind.

Today, the reading was about the importance of being a supportive wife.  But the thing I can’t stop thinking about is this…

My kids and husband see me at my best and at my worst.

I just sat there and thought about that for a bit.  Yes, we should be free to be ourselves at home.  But why is it that acquaintances or even strangers get the best and only the best from us?  We are more likely to be courteous when we don’t feel like it when we are in public.  Why don’t we give our families the same courtesy?  Is it really that hard?  I want my family to see me at my best and only my best!

Patterned

Romans 12:2
New International Version (NIV)

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I just love our small group.  It is so good to connect weekly to a group of people who I can learn from and share my life with.

This week we were asked what patterns of the world we had taken on in our lives.  Sounds like a simple question but it really stumped me.  I consider myself someone who is pretty careful about my decisions so it was a little difficult to come up with an answer.  Then it came to me.  Busyness.  Going here, and then there, and then back to here again.  That has become my life.  Continuing to cross items off my never-ending list.  If I’m not busy, then I must not be doing a very good job at “things”.

Immediately, in the middle of small group my mind started wondering to high school when learning about priorities was number one priority.  It was something that was so aggravating to me because it was impossible for me to make my list of things that were important to me and then number them in order of importance.  But, like all teenagers, I had to learn how to decide how to spend my time.  Now, as an adult if I were to sit down and make a list of my top ten I’m afraid that I’m spending  most of my time on the bottom seven things and doing the top three in my spare time.  It should be the other way around!  How did I get so off?

Busyness is a lie of the enemy!  It is a pattern of the world.  We don’t have to be busy…we choose to be.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m spinning my wheels in mud only to get out of that hole to then start sinking in quicksand.  That feeling of getting nowhere is due to spending my time on important things, but not the most important things.

Look In Your Hand


Shawn said something interesting last night in his lesson. He said that we should be thankful for the things God has placed in our hand. I looked down at my hand and it was holding my other hand. So, “Thank you God for two hands!!” I know it sounds like I’m making light of this, but I’m really not. I am actually very thankful for having a body that works properly and I have all the body parts I need to live a comfortable life. I can’t even imagine missing one finger, let alone a hand.

Even though I took what Shawn said very literally, (and I know that’s not how he meant it) I know I am so blessed to have ALL of the things God has placed in my hands…even if it is my other hand.

Bible Study Fellowship

A couple of years ago, I started attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). It’s the best bible study I’ve ever been to. It will take me seven years to go through the whole study, but by the end of those seven years I will have a greater understanding of the bible than I would if I was just doing it on my own. A person can start coming anytime. Each year is a different study; this year is Romans. Talk about getting deeper with God. I’m beginning to understand all of the things I’ve just “known”. I didn’t think that by learning the “basics” of Christianity would help me understand who God is, what he has done for me and what he would like me to do for him. Right now, we’re learning a load about faith. What do you think faith is really? It’s a word we toss around everyday…”you gotta have faith”, “I have faith in my husband”, “I have faith that the game won’t get rained out”. The word faith is getting tossed around about as bad as the word love, (Rob Bell,from Nooma said “I love my wife, but I also love tacos??”) I’m learning that it’s not faith that’s important, it is the object of your faith. What or who are you putting your faith in? Romans 3:22 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” A person can’t or shouldn’t say, “it’ll happen if you keep the faith”. Faith in what, just believing that it’ll happen won’t make it happen, but having faith in Jesus, now that could do something!

It’s so good to be in God’s word and actually learn something. I really struggle with my lack of being self-motivated. In high school and college, I could make my body do crazy things in sports because I had a coach there instructing me and encouraging me. Bible study is the same for me. I need the accountability that comes with organized group study. I’ve grown to like the “guidelines” that come with Bible Study Fellowship and have even applied some of them to my personal life…like the importance of being on time…that was a hard one for me.

There are Bible Study Fellowship classes all over the world. There are classes for men in the evenings, classes for women in day or evening and also in some areas classes for singles. If you already have a devotional life then adding BSF to your life would only require 2 extra hours a week to attend class. An added bonus to those of you with kids is they have a free children’s program where the kids learn what you are learning each week, on their level of course. The women’s day classes accept children ages 2-5, and evening classes take kids kindergarten-high school senior.

Do let me know what you think about faith, your faith, or how the word faith is used around you. Also, if you want more information about BSF, let me know!!