encouragement

Frankenstorm Sandy

I’ve been watching the news & updates on the horrible weather on the East Coast & I’m really praying for everyone who is enduring this catastrophe. As I was thinking about this, I remembered a storm that Paul endured in Acts 27 & this was a storm of massive proportions: lasted 14 days, they couldn’t tell night from day, they threw over the boat all of their cargo & tackle gear, along with not eating for several days. For all practical purposes, everyone on the boat had given up hope for staying alive, except for Paul. Here were a few things Paul did in the middle of this awful storm:
*he stayed practical, advising everyone to eat some food to keep up their strength
*he kept his confidence & focus on Jesus more than anything else
*he encouraged the people in the boat with him, giving them hope that things would get better

Paul is a good role model for us when we go through storms!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

some advice when someone you love dies:

My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots.  If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:

  • be gentle with yourself and others:  losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
  • grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified:  the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
  • time versus busy:  some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
  • presence:  what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
  • encouragement:  let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
  • God:  involve God at all levels;  grief and death are not the times to pull away from God

Are there more things that you’ve found helpful?  I’d be keen for your input

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

Full of Grace

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂

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

God is for you!

I had a really nice chat with some friends this morning over breakfast & we were talking about how our moms are totally for us & want us to succeed & do well.  It was a fun to think & talk about that in both the roles of being a mom & being a daughter.  This has started me to think about how much God is for us.

  • God is for you when it seems like no one else is for you
  • God is for you when it seems like everything else is against you
  • God is for you when you can’t encourage yourself
  • God is for you all the way through His death & resurrection
  • God is for you when everything is still & quiet
  • God is for you in the racket, noise & bustle of life
  • God is for you when you’re on vacation & just relaxing
  • God is for you when you make a mistake or when you have an outrageous success
  • God is for you when you get tired of your own self
  • God is for you when you’re happy or sad

God is for you!!

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

Some great news in Angola!

Well today has been quite amazing. We made a 2 hour drive to a malnutrition clinic in Cubal Angola & I have to say that Cubal is has a very unique place in my heart for lots of different reasons. I love getting to see the babies who are here, but I hate seeing them suffer or go through hardship. I love getting to meet the moms & grandmoms of these babies, but I hate hearing their heartbreaking stories of babies that they’ve lost. I love getting to catch up w key staff members here but I hate watching them struggle to be effective w limited or non-existent resources. Cubal can be beautiful & tender or ugly & abrasive. Cubal is where we thought we rescued Angelina w a life-saving blood donation, only to hear that she died a few short hours after the blood donation. Cubal is where we ran out to buy formula last year when we discovered that they had run out of this essential food for a malnutrition clinic. So coming to Cubal has been a love / hate experience for me.
Today, it is only love & here’s why:
*I met babies who have been consistently receiving malnutrition formula over their 2 week stay & they’ve added more than 2kilos to their weight – super excellent weight gain for a malnourished baby!!!!
*i checked on our therapeutic milk supply & it looks good that we can continue to feed these babies for a few more months
*I interviewed a grandmom today who was nothing less than riveting because of her love – more to follow on her
*I got to say hello to my nun friends & talk about Jesus, prayer & John 15, abiding in the Vine & bearing fruit.
So I have to say that even though Mothers Day was last Sunday, I feel like a fulfilled mom today for Saving Moses. It does my heart well to see, hold, hear & experience success in Cubal 🙂
With God, all things are possible!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, living, saving moses, travel, 0 comments

something to encourage you :)

Here are a few thoughts that I really hope will be helpful & encouraging:

If you’re going through:

  • a season of lack – be sure to be open to the variety of ways that Jesus provides in our lives (time, wisdom, creative ideas, unexpected supply, etc)
  • loneliness – don’t underestimate the continually abiding presence of Jesus with you in every moment & situation
  • a time of confusion – listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth & consider reading the verses about Who the Holy Spirit is in John 14
  • some heightened insecurity – you are nothing less than wholly & genuinely loved by your Creator, Who finds you to be nothing less than tantalizing & delightful
  • failure – celebrate because you’ve crossed off an option that doesn’t lead to success!
  • frustration – sometimes the best reward to frustration is the strength that only comes through endurance

I hope you’re well encouraged today!! 😀

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

Some antidotes for worry

Worry seems to be a common ailment. Lots of people worry about lots of things- the economy, health issues, family challenges, school frustrations & lots more! Some worries seem to be justified & some are almost nonsense. Worry is common, but there are a few things you can do to overcome worry:
*pray the answer (God’s Word) more than the problem
*worship – exalting Jesus always makes my problems look smaller & smaller
*be careful about your conversations – complaining can be fuel for worry
*read a Psalm at breakfast, lunch, dinner & bedtime

Don’t let worry be bigger than Jesus in your life!!

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

some encouragement for adversity

Lately, there have been some rather large difficulties that I’m having to face and I find myself having regularly make choices about where my mind will settle.  If I’m not careful, my thoughts can go down some very dark alleys and they can become very discouraging.  What I’ve found to be really helpful is to give my mind something constructive to chew on.  So here are some verses that have been super helpful of late – may they be encouraging to you as well!

  • Rom 8:37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us”
  • Rom 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?”
  • 1 Cor 15:57, “but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • 2 Cor 2:14, “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph is Christ and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
  • 1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has over the world – our faith.”
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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 2 comments

some easy ideas for being a blessing

I had my really cool small group today & I love watching the creative ways that people come up with to serve others.  Here are some easy ways:

  • get coffee for someone else
  • put furniture back when it’s disordered
  • clean off counter / table surfaces
  • smile at someone you don’t know for no reason
  • bring in a plate of homemade goodies unexpectedly
  • hold the door open for someone
  • let someone take the parking space first
  • give someone an honest compliment
  • when driving, give someone space in front of you to change lanes
  • be quick to forgive or admit a mistake
  • thank the cashier for their help when checking out

Image Please help me with your ideas as well!

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Posted by sarahbowling, 3 comments

encouraging news!

This morning I was reading the 2nd half of Romans 8 & it was SUPER encouraging!  I am continually astounded at how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it – so I figure that you also may need some encouragement as well.  With that in mind, here are some things to think about:

  • if God is for you, who can be against you?
  • there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love – not the present, future, people, situations, etc.  God’s love for you is permanently sticky
  • the Holy Spirit & Jesus intercede / pray for you (and they know exactly what & how to pray for you)
  • you are fearfully & wonderfully made
  • God has plans, hope & a good future for you
  • you are highly valuable & super important to God

With these thoughts in mind & many more, keep your head up, your eyes on Jesus, revel in & spread God’s intense & immense love for you today!

Here’s an amazing video that is totally unrelated 🙂   football

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Posted by Sarah in Christmas, enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments