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Testing, 1, 2, 3

Lately, I’ve gone through some tricky situations that have the potential to turn out very harmful – cant say that I’m loving the “thrill”. But I’m also coming to the conclusion that these kinds of situations are exactly what I need to grow & learn in some very important areas. Getting stronger, wiser, more healthy & generally improving happens with effort & commitment, not usually with being passive, oblivious or apathetic. But here is something important that I’m learning: I need The Holy Spirit / Helper to help me. If I try to grow & learn without The Helper’s direction, input, wisdom & strength then my humanity can warp, twist & distort the lessons. These outcomes without The Helper become harmful & even destructive. I need Help to pass these tests ūüôā

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Going the extra mile

I find myself in some interesting positions from time to time in various relationships. Sometimes I can get frustrated & exasperated with different people because of some struggles with communication – and communication can be a really tricky topic. I have no doubt as well that I can also be frustrating & exasperating to people is well.
With that all being said, lets be mindful to go the extra mile in our relationships with patience, forgiveness, grace, gentleness & tender words & actions. I say this because I regularly find myself as the recipient of Gods abundant grace, gentleness & forgiveness – the extra mile ūüôā

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, 1 comment

Jesus Chix: just love

There is a chick who followed Jesus who always takes my breath away: Mary of Bethany. I love watching her because of her devotion to Jesus & her authenticity. The first time we read of her, she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him – a place reserved for men who were learning from a teacher, not women who weren’t deemed as worthy to receive education nor instruction. Mary should’ve been helping Martha in the kitchen, doing domestic stuff. But Jesus applauds Mary & says that “this one thing won’t be taken from her.”
Mary’s devotion to Jesus is tested when her brother Lazarus dies, even though Jesus could have prevented his death. Mary is extremely upset by Lazarus’ death & it seems to me that she let her emotions prevent her from seeing her brother raised from the dead (John 11).
The final time we read much about Mary is when she is washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair & anointing Jesus with costly oil. Her love & devotion to Jesus were nothing less than authentic & extravagant. May I love Jesus as Mary did

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, 0 comments

adapting :)

I’m learning that prayer is a bit of a learning adventure. Some things that I used to think about prayer (viable components, to be sure)

  • prayer is about asking God for stuff
  • prayer was about dumping all my problems on God
  • prayer is about making me feel better

There have been times that I’ve been disappointed with prayer because I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t get an answer, or I didn’t hear something – I even felt like my prayer time was “flat”. ¬†But here are some cool things that I’m learning:

  • prayer can simply be the space & time of our presence that we give to God – keeping company with God
  • sometimes the closest relationships require the smallest communications
  • prayer can be the simple act of “letting my hair down” – being vulnerable & available to God
  • as I grow in prayer, I’m learning that prayer opens the door for me to cooperate with God more fully & wholly with fewer boundaries & “compartments” (giving God more access & fewer limits in my life)

Happy praying & happy adapting!

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

speak, think, feed

I’m not a big fan of onions – when I chop them, they make my eyes water and sometimes they can have a really sharp odor & flavor. ¬†But they can serve as an interesting metaphor with some helpful thoughts. ¬†If you think about it, onions have many layers – you can keep peeling & peeling, ulimately finding that an onion may have up to 20 layers!

The layers of an onion are a little like our lives, with the first layer being what we say. ¬†The things that we say are very important & since I’ve had children, I’m more convinced of this than ever. ¬†Our words can give life, encouragment and be uplifting or they can be negative, discouraging and death oriented. ¬†So our words are important, but our words are often a reflection of what we think, which is another layer of the onion, so to speak.

Second layer РHave you ever thought about what you think about Рa thought inventory?  Many of our thoughts are about getting stuff done and general maintainence thinking (cooking, grocery lists, auto repair, etc).  But we also think about many other things Рconversations, what we think people think about us, priorities, time management, how we feel, reactions to various people & interactions, etc.  What we let ourselves think about is very important because our thoughts affect our actions, words, decisions, etc.

But here’s the center of the onion: ¬†what we feed our hearts is what affects our thinking & ultimately our words & actions. ¬†So let me encourage you to take a few minutes to consider the things that you feed your thoughts, emotions & heart. ¬†What are the inputs that you allow in your life? ¬†Do these inputs give life? ¬†Are they uplifting? ¬†Are they truthful? ¬†Do they have genuine love? ¬†Our words are shaped by our thoughts which are shaped by the inputs we allow – so let’s chose these inputs with discernment, discretion, wisdom & love ūüôā

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Jesus Chicks: nameless generosity

Today is my weekly Jesus Chick post where I get to briefly share some cool stuff about some of the amazing women in Jesus’ life. Of course Jesus had His 12 disciples & men are clearly an important part of Jesus’ life. But here’s an often over looked woman who caught Jesus attention: the widow’s mite chick.
When you read what’s happening around this nameless chick, there are lots of people giving offerings into the Temple treasurey & Jesus was not only watching the people, but He was watching the amounts that they were giving. Some were giving heaps & some giving what seemed paltry. Please keep in mind that in Jesus’ day, women were frequently overlooked as His world was primarily male dominated. So the fact that Jesus calls out a woman who was giving a very minuscule amount says something of premier importance – she caught Jesus’ eye more than anyone else. She caught Jesus’ attention because of her extravagant generosity, not because of the massive quantity. From watching this amazing & nameless Jesus Chick, we learn that is more a condition of the heart than the size of the gift ūüôā
Happy Thurs!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, 0 comments

please give me your input

Greetings & happy Wed to you!

I’m doing some work in 2 Bible verses on which I’d like to get your feedback. ¬†Here are the verses where Jesus says:

John 16:23-24, “In that day¬†you will not question¬†Me about anything.¬†Truly,¬†truly,¬†I say¬†to you, if¬†you ask¬†the Father¬†for anything¬†in My name,¬†He will give¬†it to you.¬†24″Until¬†now¬†you have asked¬†for nothing¬†in My name;¬†ask¬†and you will receive,¬†so¬†that your joy¬†may be made full.”

So here are some questions that I have & I’d be keen to hear your thoughts or feedback:

  • have you ever asked God for something & didn’t like the outcome of your request?
  • what do you think Jesus means when He says, “ask & you will receive so that your joy may be full.”?
  • what do you do with any disappointment you may experience from various requests to God that may not get answered in the way you wanted?

I know that I usually try to write encouraging things in my blog, but if you’d be inclined, I’d be super interested to hear your thoughts on these questions ūüôā

Thanks muchos!!

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, 13 comments

my dad & change

I was eating a really tasty homegrown tomato this morning & it reminded me of my dad, who¬†totally loved tomatoes! ¬†One year, I remember he planted more than 100 tomato plants, hoping for a bumper crop!! ¬†Some things never changed with my dad: ¬†strong coffee with cream & sugar, loving people, finding a priceless treasure for cheap, homegrown tomatoes & lots more. ¬†As my dad aged, he seemed to appreciate change less and less. ¬†That’s the tricky part – life is all about change: ¬†our bodies change, the government changes, we have to change cars, sometimes our clothes stop fitting & LOTS more!

But here are some things that NEVER, EVER, EVER change:

  • God’s love for you never increases or decreases – it’s continual & consistent
  • time – it doesn’t stop nor slow down no matter how our perceptions change
  • the need that humanity has for God – humans always need genuine love, full stop
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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, listen, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 2 comments

planning

Currently, I’m listening to my kids talk with their neighbor friends about doing a lemonade stand. ¬†It’s interesting to hear them talk through their ideas: dismissing some, adjusting some and embracing somek (along with some fun rabbit trails – Leonardo Davinci was left handed but wrote with his right hand so he wouldn’t smudge the ink). Anyways, there’s alot to be said for planning & I say this because I tend to not be very good at planning. ¬†I tend to leap before I look & then wonder how I got myself into these various messes. ¬†Thankfully, God had me marry an engineer, who can be the epitome of planning. ¬†My husband’s mantra to me is: ¬†if you fail to plan you plan to fail. ¬†I had to listen to that a few times before I could really appreciate that wisdom, even when it was counter-intuitive to me ,)

The flip side is that being spontaneous can be lots of fun!!! ¬†If you’re the planning type, be careful that you don’t get so stuck in the plans that you fail to do something; ¬†if you’re the spontaneous type, don’t neglect to plan so that you wind up in an unplanned mess ūüôā

Happy Labor Day!!

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, listen, living, 2 comments

getting messy

My son is taking a camping trip this weekend, so I’m trying to help him be prepared for the various activities, fully expecting him to come home dirty, messy and totally happy ūüôā

The idea of getting messy can be a tricky experience in various contexts, like leadership, relationships, cooking experiments and lots more. ¬†But here’s an interesting thought I’ve been considering. ¬†When God created the universe, the creation came to a grand culmination when man was created. ¬†With everything else that was created, God spoke the creation into existence. ¬†But when God created man, there was a lot of personal interaction – God sculpted man from the dirt. ¬†But here was the tricky part: God could have made this beautiful and perfect sculpture and set it in a beautiful and perfect creation with no mess. ¬†But God went the next step and breathed into the sculpture the breath of life and thus began the human race with all of the messy parts, pieces, plans, failures and glories. ¬†Maybe there was a fleeting moment in God’s mind about doing the breath of life thing – knowing what would come from that decision. ¬†God chose life and all of it’s messy displays, relationships, wars, etc rather than to make a pristine and perfect garden that lacked humanity. ¬†Genuine love chooses life ūüôā

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, watch, 0 comments