Genuine love

My great “Aha!!”

This school year, my daughter signed up to play her first year of basketball & to say that I was happy would be a massive understatement! Elated, excited, thrilled, joyful, exuberant & more would be more accurate 🙂
As the season has progressed, even though I didn’t want to admit this to myself, her interest & enthusiasm for playing basketball has waned, and this week, I had to have a stern conversation with her about finishing what we start & not quitting when we make a commitment (integrity 101). I hated having this conversation w her because I was very different than she is, in the sense of totally enjoying basketball. I was on the other end of the spectrum, shooting & practicing by myself just for my sheer enjoyment. As I’ve been thinking about this difference, I’ve also noticed that she really enjoys her piano lessons & practice – she will take her own initiative & practice even extra piano. For me, piano practice was a slippery shortcut from purgatory to hell ,)
Having said all of this, I’ve come to the happy conclusion that we are different & that’s totally wonderful! God has made Isabell different than me, in the same way that I am different from my mom & such differences aren’t bad – they are divinely inspired! So, my lesson is that God has lots of ways to express majesty, beauty & splendor, using amazing differences to catch our attention 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

cause & effect

When I look at Jesus’ life, He left LOTS of results:  healings, redemption, restoration, forgiveness, resurrection and BOATLOADS more!!!  It seems to me that wherever Jesus went, He left a trail of astounding, outrageous and highly desirable results.  Because of these results, He was quite popular.  Get around Jesus and:

  • your blindness will be removed;
  • your brokenness will be repaired;
  • your deafness will be healed;
  • your death will be resurrected along with SO MUCH MORE!

Like the people in Jesus’ day, I think we all want these things in our lives.  But also like the people in Jesus’ day, I’m not so sure that we always want the Cause of these results.  In actual truth, Jesus had very few followers compared to the amazing number of fans who liked Him for His results.  When we become legitimate followers of Jesus, we are continually changing and making adjustments so that Jesus can have more maneuvering space in our lives – increasing His presence / Cause and His effects 🙂

Don’t settle for the special effects when you can have the Original Cause 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, fasting, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

Some thoughts about fasting

A few years ago, I did a fair amount of fasting & was totally enthralled with the amazing spiritual experiences I had from fasting. I have to say that some of these experiences were nothing short of indescribable & I quickly became a fasting advocate.
Here are some quick benefits from spiritual fasting: I hear & sense God more fully, there’s an intimacy with God that’s deeply satisfying & I wrestle out some questions & challenges.
So here’s a few quick practical points for spiritual fasting:
*spiritual fasting isn’t the same as dieting so it should include some extra praying & time spent w God
*fasting can happen in lots of configurations: Daniel fast (no meats & sweets – Dan 9-10), a meal a day, fasting social media, etc
*drink lots of water & be patient
*consider keeping a journal during your fast & pay extra attention to what God is saying & to God’s presence
Happy fasting!

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

An encouraging challenge

Sometimes I can get discouraged when I look at problems that seem to have no answers & sometimes I can get overwhelmed by some challenges that seem insurmountable. Ever feel the same? During my prayer time this morning, I was reminded about how God had a sheep waiting for Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. This story reminds me that God has solutions, provisions & wisdom waiting for me when various needs can become urgent. In the meantime, rather than fretting, getting stressed out & uptight about various problems, I can change my thinking to being grateful & appreciative that God has already provided answers & resources. When I’m thankful, I’m a better traveling companion with God during the journey of life rather than being stressed out 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

My dad was cool :)

I haven’t talked much about my dad on this blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking if him. Of course I thought of him over the Christmas season & at various times with church & family stuff. So here are a few things from my dad that I miss:
*most of all I miss his faith strength – I never knew him to be negative, to give up or lose confidence in God
*his love for people – he genuinely enjoyed people
*good food – especially very good green chili
*strong coffee – he would always say that weak coffee makes you sick 🙂
*encouragement – my dad always told me that I was going to make it

So I miss my dad & I’m extremely grateful that my Heavenly Father is enjoying my dads company 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, 8 comments

Things that help me to trust God

Sometimes it seems like I get in impossible situations. Some situations seem virtually hopeless & like they’re a total dead end. In these times, I feel like one of God’s main goals is to help me learn to trust God more & better. So here are some things that help me to trust God & maybe they can help you (feel free to add stuff that has helped you as well):
*keeping my focus on God works better than focusing on the impossibility (Ps 25:15)
*reading Bible stories about how God has overcome impossible situations (David & Goliath, Paul in the storm – Acts 27-28 & others)
*encouraging others in their efforts to trust God
*recounting God’s faithfulness to me over the years
*remembering God’s character – genuine love trumps all

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

Celebrate Jesus!

Last night was one of the coolest evenings I’ve had in several years. Our church joined with 2 other churches to have a worship might with all 3 congregations. There were lots of things I thoroughly loved about the evening & probably my top favorite things are:
*unity – Jesus prayed when He was on earth that our Father would make us one like He & the Father are one. Experiencing some of the unity that Jesus prayed for was magnificent!
*worship versus performance – I totally loved getting to participate with my heart, soul, body & emotions to lift up Jesus, rather than sitting & watching excellent & skilled musicians make beautiful music
*fellowship – there’s nothing that can compete with genuine spiritual fellowship & communion with brothers & sisters in Christ – such rich heart food

What a great honor to lift up Jesus with other whole hearted believers!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

More including & less excluding

I was recently talking with God about a frustrating conversation I’d had & it felt like God kind of challenged me to include Them (Trinity) more – not just after the fact but during the situation & even before. Being the independent person that I am, I tend to jump into things with both feet & then yell for help. Today, I feel like God is challenging me to include Them in greater ways – to open the door for God to move, direct & participate in more of my life & not just in limited compartments or at limited times.
Here are some good benefits to including God more:
*greater wisdom, direction & peace
*better outcomes than my solo efforts
*deeper relationship with God
*better communication, transparency & trust with God

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 6 comments

Turning points

When I was learning to snowboard, one of the super important terms / skills that was essential to master was the concept of linking turns – being able to turn from moving to the right to the left & vice versa – easier said than done. Today, I have no problem linking my turns & it’s close to second nature for me, but not without lots of falling, spills, pain, etc. What I’ve learned from snowboarding is that there can be lots of lessons I can learn from pain. These include:
*get up & keep trying
*transitions require lots of practice to be smooth
*when I get lazy, I tend to fall more
*sometimes I need to give my legs a rest
*remember the lesson but forget the pain 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

Happy New Year!

First of all, thanks much for reading my blog!  Lots of you have been super kind of the last year & I really appreciate you staying connected!  As we think about turning the page on a new year, I think we all do some reflection & some adjustments.  There were lots of things I liked from 2012, lessons I learned, successes, mistakes, etc.  I want to take the lessons and successes from 2012 & build on these in 2013.  I’m not sure that I want to go with the “New Years Resolutions” approach, as I tend to kind of fizzle out on these.  With that being said, here are some areas where I want to continue to grow & improve:

  • continue to get more authentic at loving God, people & myself
  • grow in my intimacy with God – listening, learning, being more present, growing & changing
  • expand our Saving Moses work – giving genuine love to the most vulnerable, least & smallest on our planet
  • trust God better with the future, decisions and direction
  • get more consistent with working out

What are some areas in which you’d like to grow?

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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments