Sarah

Sarah Bowling is on a mission to make an eternal difference in today’s world. She is the founder of Saving Moses, a humanitarian organization saving babies (5 & under) every day by meeting the most urgent and intense survival needs where helps is least available. Saving Moses provides therapeutic milk in Central Africa, offers community education around safe birthing practices in Central Asia, and provides NightCare to the babies of sex workers in Southeast Asia. As a Bible teacher, international speaker, author, and pastor, Sarah’s love for the Bible was birthed at an early age by her parents, Wallace and Marilyn Hickey. Her mother has been teaching the Bible on television for more than 30 years; together they co-host a daily television program which reaches a potential audience of 2.2 billion households worldwide. Sarah and her husband Reece have three children, and are Senior Pastors of Encounter Church in Centennial, Colorado. Sarah has taught, traveled, and ministered in over 40 countries at Bible Encounters, International Healing Meetings, Women’s Conferences, Ministry Tours, and Pastors’ and Leaders’ Conferences. She holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in German from Oral Roberts University, and Master of Arts in Modern History from the University of Missouri.
Sarah Bowling is on a mission to make an eternal difference in today’s world. She is the founder of Saving Moses, a humanitarian organization saving babies (5 & under) every day by meeting the most urgent and intense survival needs where helps is least available. Saving Moses provides therapeutic milk in Central Africa, offers community education around safe birthing practices in Central Asia, and provides NightCare to the babies of sex workers in Southeast Asia. As a Bible teacher, international speaker, author, and pastor, Sarah’s love for the Bible was birthed at an early age by her parents, Wallace and Marilyn Hickey. Her mother has been teaching the Bible on television for more than 30 years; together they co-host a daily television program which reaches a potential audience of 2.2 billion households worldwide. Sarah and her husband Reece have three children, and are Senior Pastors of Encounter Church in Centennial, Colorado. Sarah has taught, traveled, and ministered in over 40 countries at Bible Encounters, International Healing Meetings, Women’s Conferences, Ministry Tours, and Pastors’ and Leaders’ Conferences. She holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in German from Oral Roberts University, and Master of Arts in Modern History from the University of Missouri.

hearing God speak in a LOUD world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our lives tend to be really full with activities, relationship, things we have to do, twitter, facebook, concerns, etc.  If you’re like me, sometimes I have a hard time hearing God in the midst of the noise of life. Indeed, sometimes His voice seems so small that it is a stark contrast to the loudness of everything else.  Here’s something that you might find useful in listening to God:

H – help!  Ask God to help you to hear His voice (it’s interesting to note that Jesus called the Holy Spirit our Helper)

E – eliminate distractions.  Is there some “noise” you could eliminate? Switch off some unnecessary noise & perhaps this “off” could be an “on” switch for hearing God better

A – available.  Make some time on a consistent basis (I’d suggest daily) to be available to God – for Him to speak with you on whatever topic He choses, or even just to be in His presence, if He choses to be quiet.

R – revere.  It is often true that whatever we honor & revere tends to grow in our lives & the reverse is also true.  I find that I express my honor & reverence in lots of different ways, but very often by how I spend time.  Time can be a very honest reflection of what is important in our lives, especially our discretionary time

Have fun listening & watching for God 😀

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 2 comments

feeling safe in silence

I just had the honor of attending a Veterans Day Ceremony at my kid’s school & it was really good.  While I was there & on several other occasions, I noticed that people get really squirmy with “silence”.  Sometimes when I’m giving a lecture or sermon, I do the silent thing for a few moments to make everyone just slightly jittery – its a little bit of twisted humor on my part.  Nevertheless, the point remains that for many of us, we feel very uncomfortable with silence.  In order to mitigate this discomfort we play music, talk on the phone, text our friends, hum or talk to ourselves, turn on the tv for background noise, . . . . just about anything to fill in the awkwardness we feel in silence.  But there is massive solace, joy & even safety in silence.  Mother Teresa said, “God is the friend of silence .”

So here are some thoughts that might help you to feel more comfortable with silence & feel free to add your own ideas as well:

  • quiet can be more soothing than filler noise
  • quiet can allow you to work through your thoughts to understand some deeper issues
  • try getting in 3-5min of quiet in each day (turning off everything & putting your phone on silent)
  • recognize that silence is an essential ingredient for listening
  • silence prepares us to receive
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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment

Eavesdropping

I just started reading Job & I was reading the part where God & Satan were chatting about Job. What an interesting conversation! Makes me consider that maybe they chat about us as well, from time to time. If you would be curious to know what might be said between them about you, don’t get nervous. I’m quite confident, based on Jesus’ atoning work, that God is looking on you w great favor, maybe even bragging about you!! You can also trust that the devil’s efforts haven’t changed throughout history – he’s still looking for some way to bring you down, talking smack.
Based on this dialogue, we just need to continuously decide that our ears are tuned into God’s voice – He affirms you, believes in you & most importantly, loves you. The other voice is nothing but deception, smack & destruction.
Sure, we all need to grow, improve & do better, but Gods voice always applauds while the devil always jeers & discourages. You’re not a loser!!

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 3 comments

be strong!

When I think about the word “strong“, I automatically think about muscles, weight lifting, eating protein, endurance, some pain & my gym.  It’s interesting that I don’t immediately associate strength with teamwork, honesty, growing, change or time.  But when I think about it, these words are also essential ingredients for the word “strong”.

On a somewhat deeper level, I think it’s critical to consider where strength comes from.  Where does endurance, discipline, cooperation, patience & the like come from?  For me, the short & ultimate answer is God.

  • Without God in my life, my endurance is like exercising with Halloween candy for fuel.
  • Without God in my life, the strength of my will power is like trying to swim a lap in a 50m pool without taking a breath – the effort burns my lungs & obscures my thinking
  • Without God in my life, cooperation & teamwork becomes disguised dysfunction (abusive, neglectful, manipulative & selfish acedia)
When I look to God for His strength in my life, the contrast of His strength versus my strength, helps me appreciate how truly weak I am without Him.  Be strong!! 🙂
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Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

a beauty pageant w a murderous sub-plot

One of movies that always makes me laugh is Miss Congeniality – there are some parts that are obviously cheesy & sketchy, but the whole tom-girl, secret agent competing in a beauty pageant plot makes me laugh ALOT!!!!  And back in the Bible days, there was also a beauty pageant that had lots of drama, danger & suspense – the story of Esther.

Over the last few days I’ve been reading Esther & I’m always impressed with Mordecai, Esther’s surrogate parent.  I admire his integrity, honor, courage & character in the face of great anger, animosity & even violent intent from Hamaan, the evil villain.  But here’s what has caught my eye this time:  despite Hamaan’s best efforts, Mordecai was given honor even at the expense of Hamaan’s position.  There’s one point where Hamaan was conspiring to hang Mordecai & when he came to express his desire to the king, the king asked Hamaan’s opinion on how to best honor someone.  After giving the king all of the ways that Hamaan wanted to be honored, the king told Hamaan to go out & implement Hamaan’s ideas with Mordecai.  Hamaan wound up leading the horse that Mordecai rode on, crying out that Mordecai was an example of how the king honored those whom the king favored.

Don’t you know that Hamaan was more than humiliated by having to publicly honor Mordecai, whom he hated with murderous intent?!

So here’s my take away: maintain your integrity, grace & poise regardless of your enemies & God can take something very evil & dangerous & make it into a blessing in your life 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment

tipping point

 Several years ago, there was a really popular book called, “The Tipping Point”.  It was basically about how small things can make massive impacts – I really like this concept for lots of different reasons, but most of all for how it connects with James 3:1-6.  In these verses, the author talks about how a big ship is turned by a small rudder, the bit in a horse’s mouth can make a horse change direction & how a small spark can create a massive fire.  The point for each of these illustrations is to drive home the importance of how we use our words.  Small words & conversations that can seem very innocuous can have very significant results, positive or negative.  So here are some choices for your consideration with the words that we use:

  • compliment or criticize
  • support or sarcasm
  • gratitude or entitlement
  • encourage or discourage

Let’s make wise choices 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

dignify the difficulty

 One of the mentors in my life has this saying, “dignify the trial”.  I used to get cranky with him about this idea, but the more I think about it, the more I agree with this idea.  When he’s talked w me about dignifying the difficulty, he means that when I’m in a tough situation that I can bring dignity to the challenge, as opposed to making the trial a pity party.  Whenever I’m facing a hardship or difficulty, I have a choice to make – I can gripe, moan, worry, complain, fight, argue and other things that could possibly not be constructive.  Or I can make the choice to dignify the difficulty.  In my mind, that means that I don’t run around, complain, whine advertise my struggle & gripe about it to any listening ear.  To dignify the difficulty, that means that I bear up under the struggle, looking to God for strength, wisdom & help.  I may chose to share with a person my struggle in a very private way, but I’m not advertising my hardship to gain sympathy, support, pity or commiseration.

I’m exploring this idea in my daily living with some difficulties that you probably face as well & so far, this idea of dignifying the difficulty has been very rewarding in a very personal way.  I’m particularly liking the idea of leaning into God for His strength & support, rather than advertising my struggle – this seems to be much more constructive & beneficial 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

why pray?

 I’ve had an interesting recent 48 hours.  Sunday evening, I was doing our family grocery shopping & I was chatting with God about something that was really bothering me.  At the end of our chat, I basically asked Him to either help me accept this challenging situation & make adjustments or to change the situation.  Within 24 hours, I found myself in a conversation that was immediately addressing the situation that God & I had just discussed.  Needless to say, I’m thanking God for His speedy work!

Furthermore, this morning I was looking for a file on my computer & became frantic when I couldn’t find it because there were other people who are relying on this document!  So over the course of lunchtime, I shot up another quick prayer asking God to help me find this file & voila – I found it!

While these things may seem small to you, for me they’re indicative of God who listens & is engaged in my daily living.  What I like most about prayer is that its the place where I get to wholly be with God – where I eliminate distractions, tune into His presence & interact.  I love sensing God’s presence, voice, direction, etc.  Prayer is also a fun adventure to see the different ways that God answers our requests & needs.

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Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

Were you ever nervous about a meeting?

 I had coffee with a friend the other day & this friend can be a little cranky from time to time & I was concerned that our coffee gathering was going to be “one of those times.”  I didn’t feel like I could cancel the coffee date but I was kind of jittery about what path the conversation would take.  So I thought about some different strategies I could use for this potentially volatile coffee time & here were some of my thoughts:

  • I could endeavor to keep the conversation shallow & discuss the weather, sports & all things surfacy.  I decided against this option because she would know that I was being disengenuous.
  • I could arrive late & have to leave early before anything dicey could come up – again, that would be disengenuous
  • I could just brace myself for whatever might be said & keep a tough shell so that nothing she could say would zing me.  With this option, I would guard myself from being totally present in the conversation
  • I could pre-forgive her – making the decision ahead of time to forgive her no matter what she might say, regardless of if she was trying to be intentionally hurtful or not.  I decided for this option 🙂

So here was the outcome – our coffee time went well, we had a great conversation & there was nothing too zing-y that I had to work through & forgive.  I liked the pre-forgiveness strategy so much that I decided to share it with you & use it again in other situations that have any hurtful potetial 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 3 comments

harvest is a result of growing

 Among other things, Fall tends to remind me of harvest & harvest is the results of planting, watering & growing. In this Fall season of harvest, I’m noticing some interesting harvests in my life, that are coming as a result of making choices to change & grow (not always the easiest decisions).

Here’s some transparency that I talked about with my mom this morn:  last year when I came back from Angola, I had a SERIOUSLY DIFFICULT time recovering in my heart from that trip.  Truthfully, that trip permanently changed me in a good way, but the process of that change was extremely harsh.  In contrast, my recovery from our Angola trip last month hasn’t been nearly as brutal as it was last year.  Here’s something that I think is a key difference for me between these trips:  last year when I came home, in many ways I tried to process the trip by myself & barely talked w anyone about it on a heartfelt level.  In contrast, this year, I’m way more open (by contrast) to talk about the trip, my experiences, feelings & observations.  I find myself being less independent than I was last year & it feels like I’m processing the trip in more healthy & constructive ways.

So I find myself growing in surprising ways – being less independent & more interactive.  And the fruit or harvest of this growing feels more healthy & less hurtful.  While independence can be good, strong & powerful, there’s also a toxic side that can be a blindspot of lethal magnitude.  Perhaps the operative word would be “inter-dependent” 🙂

My friend, let’s always chose the growing path because the harvests are worth the cultivation & process

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Posted by Sarah in Angola, Holy Spirit, living, missions, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 0 comments