faithful

The Steady Quotient

There are lots of factors that are important in our lives, such as our IQ, Emotional Intelligence, time management, financial wisdom, etc.  Sometimes the stuff that’s not so measurable or obvious doesn’t get the same attention as the stuff I just listed.  I would propose that being steady is one of those less sexy or noticeable factors but massively important nonetheless.

I say this because of what steady can accomplish:

  • less cavities with steady brushing and flossing
  • better weight control with steady exercise
  • deeper intimacy with steady presence
  • more awareness of God with steady / daily quiet times
  • better cooking skills with steady practice

As I write this and think about the value of being steady, it makes me wonder how many things in my life would be improved if I were more steadfast in my attention and energies in various areas.  Our daily routines / habits can predict our future 🙂

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

A Helpful Inventory

Take a quick minute to remember a few of the ways God has shown up in your life, met various needs & resolved things that seemed impossible. I’ve been looking over the last several years today & seeing God’s hand throughout the years in so many magnificent & unexpected ways! As I look back, not only do I see God’s faithful provisions, but I’m astounded at the perfect timing of His work, weaving random experiences into a gorgeous tapestry of grace & genuine love.
Whenever you get discouraged or begin to question God’s input in your life, take a few minutes to look at what God has done in your past. Most assuredly this will encourage your heart that God is very present & engaged in your life!

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

Managing the Unexpected

SURPRISE!!!! Some of us like surprises & some of us, not so much. It’s also true that our response to surprises can depend on what the surprise is.
With Jesus’ birth, there were lots of associated surprises:

  • angels appearing to shepherds at night in the field,
  • Gabriel’s announcements to Zacharias & Mary about the upcoming supernatural births,
  • wisemen showing up to give kingly gifts to a seemingly common baby,
  • Joseph getting the surprise announcement that his fiancé was pregnant.

Let’s consider that surprises can be incredibly good, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing that He loves us & is working in all things, even surprises, to work together for our Good, Romans 8:28-29.

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

When the Sizzle Fizzles

I like the sizzle. This means that stuff that’s fun, exciting, zingy & zesty catch my attention. I would suspect that possibly on occasion, you’ve also been attracted to stuff that sizzles. But it’s often true that sizzle stuff doesn’t always endure.
Then what??
Regardless of the presence of absence of sizzle, what’s important is to stay the course & endure! Sizzles fizzle, but endurance wins the prize. I say this based on Mathew 25:23 where Jesus says, “Well done, My good & faithful servant.” Let’s remain faithful & steady regardless of the presence or absence of any sizzle!

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

Hot Topic: Successful Outcomes!!

” . . . . and the Lord brought about a great victory.” 2Samuel 23:12
I read this morning about some dude, Shammah, defending a field of lentils. Initially, a lentil field doesn’t sound like something to get really upset about, let alone turn into a major military engagement. But alas, Shammah picked the lentil field & that was his “line in the sand.” This verse also says that Shammah took his stand in the field, defended it & struck down the Philistines. After Shammah’s three actions, taking his stand, defending the field & striking the Philistines, God gave him a great victory.
It seems like we often want to know that God will give us a great victory before we make the commitment to a lentil field or put out the effort to fight for something.
Sometimes I think that God waits for us to be fully engaged & committed before giving us a great victory.
Might there be a few areas in your life to which you could increase your commitment so that God would provide a great victory? This is something worth considering today!

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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

Waiting to Go!!

“I know I’m supposed to be the King.” I think David thought this innumerable times in the 10+ years he ran from Saul. He was anointed by Samuel to be king & even Saul’s son Jonathan told David that he would be king. But the years kept passing & David kept running, just to stay alive. At one point, it looks like David gives up on the king thing when he moves to Philistine territory & begins serving that king. And it gets worse when David & his men return to their town, Ziklag, having been rejected by the Philistine leaders, to find their town burned & everyone carried away. Even Davids men talked of killing him, at this point. But David encouraged himself in the Lord, 1 Sam 30:6.
Through a quick series of events after this extremely low point, David was firmly on the path to becoming the King of Judah & ultimately Israel.
Sometimes when we know something from God in our hearts:

  • We can get impatient to make it happen.
  • We can get frustrated with the delays.
  • We may even want to quit, move away & change our name, a little bit like David.

But let’s keep walking the path that God sets in front of us, in faithful obedience & yielding to the process that will transform us in the ways we desperately need but frequently fight.

You’re going to make it!!

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

Uncertainty

It seems to me that we can sometimes struggle when there’s uncertainty in our lives. Having travelled a fair amount, I’ve seen a wide spectrum of uncertainty, from war ravaged uncertainty (clean water, reliable food, etc) to the uncertainty of getting to work on time because of unexpected traffic challenges. It seems to me that our human existence will always have varying degrees of uncertainty – so maybe the issue for us isn’t about escaping uncertainty but rather how to effectively deal with it. 
Here are a few helpful ideas:

  • be stable on the inside regardless of what happens externally – the peace of Jesus guarding our hearts & minds sounds about right (Phil 4:7)
  • chose wisely what you allow your mind to focus on – instability breeds instability (Phil 4:6)
  • remember that our Heavenly Father is changeless, faithful & stable, more than the rising sun every day 🙂

Have a restful & rejuvenating weekend!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Stubborn or Steady?

One of my kids is very steady & generally unflappable. They don’t freak out easily & I love that they are so level. The other side is that they can also be stubborn & resistant to change. I’ll totally give you that not all change is good. But being hostile to change can prevent a person from growing, learning & maturation. 
Let’s be people who get the good stuff out of being faithful & steady. But let’s also be people who can learn, adapt & grow! Seems to me that we become moribund & zombie-ish when we refuse to learn & change. If we are perpetually changing, however, we risk the danger of not being committed, the lack of roots & absence of fruit 🙂

Balance, my friends, is the wise choice!

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

cell phone survival

  This is my daughters cell phone. We bought it for her about 16months ago & it has survived the following calamities: being dropped down an elevator shaft, dropped in a street intersection, going through an entire cycle in the washing machine & other minor traumas. Surprisingly, it still works & she continues to happily text & talk on it even though it’s been kind of roughed up. 

Seems to me that sometimes our relationship with God gets some similar treatment. Sometimes we neglect God, accidentally drop God from our lives & put God through the wringer, so to speak. Nevertheless, God remains faithful, steady, loyal & devoted, all rich ingredients & descriptions of genuine love.  Furthermore, God is continuously communicating extravagant love to us throughout each day, even when we might feel a little roughed up from life. You are very important to & deeply loved by God 🙂
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

I like Him, a lot

Palm Sunday is possibly my favorite Sunday on the calendar.  It’s the day when we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week.  It’s the day when Jerusalem turned out to hail with great exuberance Jesus’ arrival.  Everyone was shouting “Hosanna in the highest!” (rejoice, hail to the Savior, celebrate, honor & revere), throwing down coats. cloaks and palm leaves on the road Jesus was traveling.  Boatloads of celebration, excitement, anticipation and eager jubilation were the order of the day when Jesus came into Jerusalem.  These are some possibilities that were going on that day:

  • some people thought Jesus would set the Jews free from Roman oppression
  • some people thought Jesus would upend the religious leaders who preyed on their already overcome countrymen
  • some people thought that Jesus would do His cool miracle stuff with free food, healings and cool special effects

It seems to me that everyone on Palm Sunday isn’t that much different than many of us today who expect Jesus to conform to our narrow needs & viewpoints.  Nevertheless, Jesus knew that despite this great outpouring of celebration & honor that human depravity would murder Him with barbaric savagery in a few short days.

Palm Sunday is when we see the greatest contrast between our ever faithful Jesus & the ever fickle humanity.  Hosanna in the highest, our God is consistent, loving and ever faithful!!

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