answers

While You Wait

All of us have prayers that we are waiting for God to answer. Such prayers can be related to job, school application, health diagnosis, relationship challenges, kid stuff, finances, etc. It seems to me that waiting can be a problem for us, so here are a few ideas for your consideration, while you wait:

  • Take this opportunity to let your trust in God grow – Prov 22:19
  • Increase your prayer focus – Phil 4:6
  • Do little things to make progress – Gal 6:9

Let’s stay encouraged that God is answering our prayers!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Hot Topic: Sometimes No

I really like to tell my kids, “Yes!” I like to tell them yes to eating salad, working out, studying, reading good books & hanging out with constructive friends. All of these get a hearty “yes and AMEN!” from me. But alas, they don’t always ask me for these kinds of things.

Sometimes they ask me:

  • to eat cake when it would be better to have some beets.
  • to sleep in when they need to go to school.
  • to hang out with a shady person when it would be better to do their homework.

Sometimes we ask God for stuff that’s not good for us & we often don’t like God’s answer. We can even deny that God is answering our prayers when we don’t like the answer. But alas, God answers prayer even when we don’t like the answer! Let’s trust that when God says no, it’s in our best interest & there’s a better plan or answer than what we’ve been requesting!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, hot topic, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Hot Topic:  Gravity Prayers

I like to pray because in my mind, praying is simply conversing with God. Prayer is a dialogue between God & me, not just a monologue shopping list. From time to time, however, I sense God challenging me to make known my requests & not just stay in the listening mode. Over time, I’m learning to take very seriously what these requests can be for the simple reason that God answers our prayers. 
Consider these weighty requests:

  • Patience – when we ask God to help us be more patient, often the resulting journey to that destination can be tumultuous
  • Trust – help me trust You more / better; the places in our lives that need this work can get very uncomfortable from the Holy Spirit answering this request
  • Love – I’ve asked God to help me love better & despite some hotspots, the results are worth the risks

It’s not bad to make weighty prayers, but let’s be prepared to make the changes such prayers require. 

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, hot topic, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Birds, Flowers & the Future

Do you ever worry about stuff? Some people say they never worry & I’m happy for them. Other people, like me, we can sometimes get worried about various things. Seems like some common stuff that gets worried about includes finances, job / education things, relationships & health issues. Of course there are more things, but my point in bringing up the worry stuff is related to Jesus’ teaching about worry in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says that the birds have food provided for them & the flowers are beautifully appointed in their various displays. Furthermore, each day has enough challenges to keep us attentive to the present rather than borrowing worry for the future.  

Jesus tells us to look around & see how well our Heavenly Father manages the world in which we live. We can certainly trust our loving Heavenly Father to take very good care of us, as His children. Nestle into the Holy Spirit when you get tempted to worry 🙂

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

Hot Topic: more & better

Have you ever been mad at God for seemingly not coming through with one of His promises?  Have you ever prayed one God’s promises fervently & it didn’t turn out like you had prayed?  

This happened to me a few years ago on a group trip with my mom. We were leading a team of maybe 200 people in Romania & I had ardently prayed that no one get their airline ticket nor passport stolen / lost (pre- 9/11). Sure enough, one of travelers had her ticket & passport stolen. I spent the next 24-36 hours trying to get her a replacement passport & the US embassy wasn’t helpful. I felt like an awful failure when I let Sheila know that I wasn’t able to get a replacement passport & that she would likely have to stay several days in Romania & work with the embassy on her own for the passport thing. 

Needless to say, I was really ticked off with God – didn’t answer my fervent prayers, didn’t keep His promise, failed at a point of great need, etc. 
I was totally lit for several days until I learned that Sheila made it safely back to the US without a passport, just a Xerox copy of her passport (before the 9/11 attack). I was entirely dumbfounded, stunned & altogether speechless. When I tried to challenge God about keeping His word & promises, He totally arrested me with this question:  Sarah,  which method of answering your prayer was more glorifying to Me – the maintenance way that you asked or the miracle solution that I orchestrated?  
Let’s be mindful that God’s ways & methods far surpass anything we could imagine, suppose or propose. God does more & better than we can ask or think!
This is a picture of my friend Sheila & I this last weekend 🙂
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Hot Topic: God’s got it!

Sometimes life is stressful:  bills, decisions, planning, obstacles, expectations, future, work, relationships, etc.  I find that in my life, there’s kind of an ebb & flow to this stuff – seasons that have more stress & pressure in contrast with less stressful seasons.  No matter if you’re totally stressed out & you feel like you want to jump ship or if you’re in a really chilled time, enjoying a less pressure season, God’s got it:

  • the wisdom to help you make decisions.
  • the resources to supply various needs in your life.
  • the peace to calm your anxious mind.
  • the solutions to various problems that you may be dealing with.
  • the relationship help that you need for various hot spots.
  • the healing for your broken heart &/or physcial body

God’s got it!!  Your needs can never outstrip God’s provisions.  Your problems can never exceed God’s answers.  Your brokenness can never overwhelm God’s healing.  God’s got it!  So let’s continue to align our lives with Jesus’ words in Matt 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you!”

God’s got it!!

And don’t forget to check out what Saving Moses is doing in December – it’s A-Mazing!! 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

Hot topic: big storms

The eastern part of the US has been overwhelmed with snow this week, creating massive amounts of chaos, hardship & even some death. I saw a picture from inside a persons house with the door open & snow all the way to the top of the door!
Generally, we don’t like storms for lots of reasons (harmful, destructive, inconvenient, etc). But I’d like to propose that sometimes storms solve problems. Take for example Jonah’s storm – the storm solved his problem of disobedience. Or the storm when Jesus walked on the water. This storm helped Jesus’ disciples to get better at believing & move away from doubting. Sometimes storms can give us some very helpful solutions. Here are a few pointers that might help you with getting solutions from storms:
*focus – keeping our eyes on & confidence in Jesus helps us not to become storm victims
*solution oriented – is a storm a helpful way to reorganize your priorities?
*future – after the storm, consider that God may have brought you to a place of hope & promise 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Jesus wept

My son & I were talking this morning about being sensitive to people and their needs.  In our discussion, I was reminded of the story when Jesus came to Martha and Mary after their brother Lazarus had died, landing in possibly one of the darkest moments of their lives.  If you remember, Martha & Mary had sent to Jesus before Lazarus died, asking Him to come & heal their sick brother.  Despite receiving this information, Jesus waited where he was and purposely came to Martha & Mary after their brother died.  Jesus’ delay was extremely disappointing to Martha & Mary (“If You had been here, he would not have died”).  Nevertheless, Jesus had a really insightful conversation with Martha about resurrection & if you have some moments, I’d encourage you to read John 11 to look into that chat between the two of them.

After talking with Martha, Jesus connected with Mary who was a virtual basket case from her grief, disappointment, anxiety and loss.  Jesus listened, watched, observed everyone’s grief and didn’t reply with a cliche’ quick fix answer – “Oh he’s in a better place now,” nor did Jesus try to change the subject, distract everyone with a miracle,  discuss theology with the attending religious leaders, or do the All Knowing God answer.  After taking everything in, Jesus wept.  When you read to the end of John 11, we see that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead so there’s a really unexpected and extremely happy ending to the whole story – but Jesus didn’t raise Lazarus from the dead before He experienced the grief through which everyone was going with the death of Lazarus.

Jesus wept.

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

The Self-Help Myth

In the Bible, I always enjoy reading about Peter, Jesus’ disciple, because he always seems to have an answer for everything. Some of his answers are good but some of them are beyond stupid. Nevertheless, he seems to always have some kind of answer, reply or solution, except when Jesus looked at him after he had denied Jesus three times. At that point, he was speechless & left the situation weeping bitterly.
While I’m a firm believer in helping each other, giving each other wise counsel, improving ourselves, growing, getting better, etc there are definitely situations, challenges, struggles & hardships that are far beyond the human abilities.
Consider:
*some needs are only met with divine provision
*some questions only have divine answers
*some problems only have divine solutions

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

Hot Topic: parking tickets

The bad news: I’ve had a problem with parking tickets, in the past
The good news: I figured out a solution to prevent the parking ticket “challenge”
The quick story: I never have change for parking tickets & I’ve struggled to figure out how much time to put on the meter when it can accept a credit card. Most of the time when I earned a parking ticket it was because I didn’t have enough money on the meter.
Solution: fill up the meter to its maximum regardless of how long I plan to stay. This fixes 2 things at the same time – no parking ticket & blessing someone after me with some free parking.
Moral of the story: being stingy is expensive ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, values, watch, 2 comments