Philippians

Thats Crap!!

Philippians 3:8 (The Message):  “everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung.”

There are lots of things that we think are important: schedules, money, education, family, jobs, achievement, sports, entertainment, travel, etc. 

No doubt that these things are important, along w stuff I haven’t listed. But let’s be very clear about what is most important in our lives based on Phil 3:8. Paul said in these verses that nothing in is life was more important than knowing Jesus – not his education, his heritage nor his upbringing. Paul considered everything as literal “crap” compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus.  Let’s be like Paul & make knowing Jesus the most important focus & goal that steers our daily living!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fasting, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, Philippians, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Not Finished

As much as I don’t want to admit this, I’m concerned that I have a disturbing pattern in my life:  leaving things half done :/

While I don’t leave everything half done, there are definitely things that I don’t finish, such as:  not completing my bookshelf project, starting innumerable books but not finishing them, doing half of the ironing, writing part of a story, etc.  Of course this could be very discouraging if I let myself quagmire in this awareness, but I have a fail-safe solution:  God doesn’t quit!

In Philippians 1:6 it says, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”  Be encouraged that you’re a masterpiece in the making & the Holy Spirit is continuing to shape & grow you, never quitting, getting discouraged or giving up on you!  God’s not finished!

 

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, Philippians, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Looking for Good!!

In my efforts to always grow & Improve, sometimes I can get discouraged. This happens when I continue to focus on weaknesses & mistakes at the expense of looking at progress.
The truth is that we are all growing. Sometimes we see massive progress & sometimes the progress is microscopic. But let’s celebrate progress, regardless of the size!
You’ve come a long way, so be encouraged!! And remind yourself that the good work that God has started, He will continue & complete – Philippians 1:6 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, Philippians, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

bright thinking!

Have you been through difficult seasons when your thoughts turn dark?  Lately, it seems like this has been my lot.  It’s certainly not as bad as Job in the Bible, but it’s not a smoothy groovy season for me at this time.  A few of the challenges that have popped up lately include:  a car meltdown, lost my credit card, my husband had a stroke, one of my kids had a crisis at school, some friend challenges and discouraging news from work.

As I’ve been navigating these difficulties, the Holy Spirit spoke to me this morning about how my thoughts were getting dark.  It’s like I’ve started to see things in a warped way and I find myself thinking negatively and with grim expectations.  This is one of the reasons I so deeply love the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also calls the Spirit of Truth.  In my prayer time today, the Holy Spirit reminded me about Phil 4:8 where Paul tells us to dwell on / think about what is:  true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and good repute, excellent and worthy of praise.

So with the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m re-directing my thoughts away from the dark stuff & onto things that are THRPLGR:  true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and good repute!  Anyone care to join me???

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, Philippians, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

plates, plates & more plates

ever feel like you should be in a circus act for plate spinning? 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLyW-qYoIKE&feature=PlayList&p=174C9B05A4CE6C56&playnext=1&index=35]

Everyone has busy lives – sometimes less, sometimes more.  Today, is a plate spinning day for me, so i think its even more essential than normal to consider what Paul says in Phil 4:6-7,  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For every concern, frustration, request we pass along to God, and He tells us to do this, please be sure to include a thanksgiving as well.  Then allow God’s peace to guard your heart & your mind.  Then spin away baby & trust God to help you spin & catch a plate if it falls.  😉

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, Philippians, spiritual, 1 comment

Jesus, joy & gentle

In Philippians 4:4-5, Paul tells us 2x to rejoice in the Lord (its an imperative – command).  Paul tells us to rejoice without exceptions, buts or excuses.  Now for us ladies, that can be a tall order, depending on the hormonal levels on any given day. Hmmmmmm.  But Paul doesn’t give us, either men or women, any wiggle room.  We’re supposed to rejoice, end of the story, full stop.

Next he commands us to let our gentleness be evident to everyone.  The word Paul uses in the greek doesn’t so much imply a character trait of gentleness but rather the way in which we treat others – not being harsh, mean, demanding, etc.  Now you probably can do this easily, but i wasnt’ exactly “gentle” when the guy at the airport charged me almost triple for some espresso shots – grrrrrrrrrrr.

So, how on earth, given the humanity that tires us, are we supposed to rejoice always & let everyone see our gentleness????  I think Paul gives us the answer in the very next phrase – Jesus is near.  Can I just say that whenever i get to talk w someone about Jesus (whether they’re a Jesus fan or not), i just get really amped up.  Furthermore, it makes me “rejoice” when i think that Jesus is near me & He actually likes to be near me.  i don’t even like being w me that much, but He does & that causes me to rejoice.  Furthermore, when i think that Jesus is near me as i interact w others, i find myself wanting to tone down some volatility & i also find myself giving more grace, being keenly aware of the ongoing grace tsunami in which i live & breath.  So, dear friend, Jesus is near – be joyful & gentle.

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Posted by sarahbowling, 3 comments

spiritual conversations

conversationI really like having spiritual conversations – not like theology driven, but more like a sincere dialogue about what God is saying at personal levels.  I like hearing what God is saying to other people – I find that this often moves me closer to God.  A few days ago, I got to stay up late talking w a friend about some questions & thoughts I’m having about God & I had the privilege to listen to her ideas, as well as her questions.  I loved this time & found myself driving home & feeling deeply fulfilled & closer to God.  I think there’s alot of value in such conversations both in our horizontal relationships & our relationship w God.  Consider Paul’s words about Timothy & Epaphroditus in Philippians 2.  He could say these great things about these 2 men because he had had multiple spiritual conversations w each of them.

What are some things you do (or can do) to foster spiritual conversations?  Do you even want to have such conversations?  Feel free to answer or not at your level of comfort.  🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Philippians, 5 comments

answer to gotcha!

So here’s the sequel to yesterday with the Greek mid-term.  With God’s help, I stopped complaining & griping, studied hard (I found myself to be more productive w my studying when I stopped complaining) and thanks be to God, I got an 88% on my Greek mid-term.  For some of you, that may be disappointing – thinking I should have gotten at least an A.  But please realize that this B+ was extremely miraculous (the best grade I’d earned in the class all semester). 

So here’s my conclusion, complaining & griping don’t usually bring the results we want. I find that when I gripe, argue with & complain to God (or anyone else):

  • my attitude goes down the toilet,
  • I have a hard time getting myself into being constructive & productive 
  • I become an unhappy person
  • I bring others down around me. 

I don’t want or need these results in my life & I’d venture to say that you don’t either.  😉

Check back later for some cool stuff on the Lord’s Prayer & the existence of evil!

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, Philippians, 4 comments

something that works

A few weeks ago I had my Greek mid-term & i was pretty wound up about it for a variety of reasons.  Bottom line, from my opinion, I needed to do well in it to pass the class.  However, if you would have asked me about it, I would have gone off on the class – grammar griping, content clarity, instrumental datives, absolute genitives, possessive pronouns, etc.  The more I griped, the worse it got. 

Intervene God (whew!) – in our Philippians study, the next verses we’re working on talk about doing everything without complaining or arguing – even taking a greek mid-term.  Furthermore, I thought about one of my friends in Ethiopia who would LOVE the chance to study greek.  Needless to say, God put me in His cross hairs & fired away.  I’m really glad because I shut my mouth, studied & smiled, generally. 

Result?

Check back tomorrow!!  GOTCHA!  😉

πάντα ποιεῖτε χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν καὶ διαλογισμῶν

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, Philippians, 2 comments

God is working in us!

Philip 2:13 says that God is working in us to will & do of His good pleasure.  In light of the idea of working out our salvation with fear & trembling from verse 12, we could see God as our work out trainer – helping us have the desire & power to do what He wants (work out our salvation). 

God is working in each of us.  When Paul wrote this, he used the present tense & in Greek, this means an ongoing & continuous action.  So God is working in you & me today, even at this moment, helping us to have the desire & abilities (resources, etc) to accomplish His will.  If you get more specific, those times in your day when you feel like being kind, patient, friendly, generous, forgiving (see the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5) – these are God moments.  He is working in you – be encouraged & offer Him some cooperation (I can’t say that word without thinking of Seasame Street).

Make today a God-watch day – watching for Him working in you His desires & abilities!

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Posted by sarahbowling, 6 comments