future

Are You a Planner?

I have lots of friends who are good at planning.  They think through a journey, a project or responsibility with focused attention for:

  • needed resources,
  • timelines,
  • possible hazards,
  • preparing for the unexpected, as best as they can

Me, not so much.  And that’s one of my shortfalls.  If I told you of all the times when I’ve forgotten things (makeup, clothes, money, etc), shown up at the wrong time, been unprepared or shocked, maybe you’d smirk with a playful laugh. And hopefully you wouldn’t shame me with the normal, “You should know better, Sarah” because I already do that to myself enough 🙂

No matter if you’re a planner or prefer a more “spontaneous” approach, let’s be certain to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our steps and navigate the various destinations and outcomes.  If you’re a planner, be careful that you don’t try to stay in control of the journey with the Holy Spirit.  If you’re the spontaneous type, be sure to listen to the Holy Spirit for those gentle nudges / reminders about bringing stuff & keeping appointments 🙂

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

Forget About It

“You’re not bitter about that are you?” My husband can be very poignant when he senses an area where I might be a little shady. So his question last night, in the middle of our discussion about some of my high school experiences, was a “nice” depth charge, sort of. In my guts, I know he’s right & I appreciate his help because I know he loves me, even though I don’t always relish these chats. 
Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that he forgets the past so he can press on toward the future. While I know that we can’t ignore or deny the past, there’s still heaps of wisdom & value in letting the past fade to grey & focus forward to God’s plans & purposes for our lives 🙂

Sometimes you just gotta forget about it & move on!

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

hot topic: April Fools

Happy April 1st!  When I was younger, I looked forward to this day because I thoroughly enjoyed pulling pranks on unsuspecting victims and April Fools gave me the perfect excuse & opportunity.  Now that I’m a little older, I’m hopefully a little less foolish & I’m definitely less of a prankster.  But here are a few things that Proverbs has to say about fools and being foolish:

  • a fool always loses his temper – Prov 29:11
  • a fool returns to his folly as a dog returns to his vomit – Prov 26:11
  • fools are arrogant and careless – Prov 14:16
  • fools often think their way is always right – Prov 12:15

While it’s April Fools Day, lets consistently decide not to be foolish 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, listen, living, relationships, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

What about the future?

It seems that this question often lurks in the back of our minds. Thankfully, God has the future already well-scooped. Think about how God developed Moses to be the deliverer of God’s people from being slaves in Egypt. Basically, God spent 80 years getting Moses ready for 40years of liberation work. Furthermore, consider that God put lots of investment in Joshua to be Moses’ successor, the man who would lead the Israelites to possess the promised land.
In the grand scheme of things, let’s trust & rest in the truth that God knows the future & is working in our world today, for tomorrow’s needs & opportunities 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, values, watch, 1 comment

hot topic: get ready!

It seems like I spend a massive amount of energy, focus & time for Christmas:  food, parties, gifts, cleaning, prep, wrapping, cooking, concerts, etc all squeezed into 2-3 weeks of seemingly frenzied activities.  By the time Christmas is over, I’m ready to sing Handel Messiah’s “Hallelujah” chorus, kind of 🙂

Having come through another Christmas season, on the other side, I find myself in recovery mode:  less food, less activities, no wrapping, less cooking & lots of delightful cold, snow, quiet & still.  But in my own way, I’m also in prep mode because I’m praying for 2015 and continuing to listen and be attentive with what God has for the upcoming year.  We are on the cusp of turning the page on 2014 to begin a new chapter for 2015.  Let’s not enter 2015 as a leftover, wrung out rag from 2014.  Let’s seize the time, space and pause to not only nourish our souls but also to prepare us for the adventures that God has for us in 2015 🙂

Some prep ideas:

  • make a list of gratitudes from 2014 – reflecting on God’s amazing work & presence in your life over 2014
  • consider some places, situations, experiences that need some active forgiveness work (shortcomings, failures, idols, disobedience, etc)
  • take some time to maybe take a walk & listen to God – not only for what God has in store for 2015, but more importantly to be together
  • ask for the Holy Spirit to help you know the Helper better in 2015 than you have known in 2014 🙂

Happy New Year prep! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 3 comments

hot topic: Mars Hill Church closing

Recently, the controversial pastor Mark Driscoll resigned from being the lead pastor for Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  Yesterday, the church announced that it was disbanding and dissolving all of its satellite campuses, giving each location freedom to chart it’s own path for the future.  Being a pastor’s kid and having lived in church for most of my life, this announcement saddens me for various reasons:

  • as humans, we often fall into the trap of following people more than we follow Jesus
  • oftentimes the people we think are leading us closer to Christ are made of the same flawed flesh in which we live and breath
  • we struggle with how to keep each other accountable without being judgmental, intolerant or divisive
  • we are susceptible to many internal deceptions that stroke our flesh and poison our passion for Jesus
  • somewhere it talks about striking the shepherd and scattering the sheep

So here’s my point:  there are lots of hurt, confused and disillusioned people from all of this fallout with Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, many of whom have followed Jesus because of Pastor Mark’s leadership and influence, as well as the communities that had formed around the satellite churches connected with Mars Hill.  In 1Cor 12, Paul talks about the how the body of Christ functions together, diverse parts and pieces working together in complementary more than competitive ways, promoting Jesus in all ways and opportunities.  In Galatians 6, Paul talks about how we should bear each other’s burdens, restoring, assisting and being part of Jesus’ redemptive work.

So as members of the body of Christ, let’s be devoted to pray for this situation and moreso for the people who may find themselves floundering from all of these changes.  Let’s pray:

  • that the enemy does not make progress with this opportunity for strife, dissension and conflict
  • for the body of Christ that has been a part of the Mars Hill fellowship – let’s pray for their hearts
  • that God redeems this hardship and struggle

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, hot topic, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 2 comments

God Goes B4 Us

Sometimes I can get jittery about the future – lots if uncertainty, some fears, concerns & more. But as I was praying this morning, God reminded me that God goes before me & is waiting for me in the future. So friend, lets trust God in these truths:
*God loves us more than we can comprehend
*God is working in our lives to create good outcomes as we stay in love w God
*God is in control #fullstop 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 3 comments

Now is good :)

We are having a very nice Christmas break with our kids & I’ve noticed that they haven’t once said, “I can’t wait until . . . ” This says to me that they are enjoying now, this present moment & this is a great lesson for me!
Sometimes I get stressed out about the future or discouraged looking at the past. Whenever I get I these weeds, I neglect to see the beautiful flowers of today. Even worse, my awareness of Jesus’ presence seems to deteriorate & I can easily become stressed & depressed. So lets decide to let the past be over & relax that when SE get to the future, Jesus will be there, just as much as He is with us in this moment 🙂

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

When dreams come true!!

Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day! I was able to visit our nightcare facility & to see it operational & blessing infants & toddlers in massive ways! God put this dream in my heart for almost 2 yrs & I’ve been trying to make this dream into reality with much effort, prayer, travel & persistence. Yesterday, I got to see the dream come true! I had the privilege of meeting several moms who are using our nightcare to provide a safe place with care, love & nurture for their babies. These women work through the night in various clubs & in professions that no woman would even remotely want.
I met a little boy, we’ll call him Sam, and his mom had no one to care for him while she worked through the night, so she used to leave him all alone, locked in an empty room. Now, with nightcare, she brings him to our shelter where he gets a nice dinner, love, care a comfortable bed & a safe place with loving moms who look our for him as he peacefully sleeps.
What an absolutely astounding honor that we get to express genuine love in such tangible ways.
Jesus says, ” When you do this for the least of these, you do this for / to Me.”.
Genuine love – nothing changes us more powerfully than genuine love 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, family, Holy Spirit, living, missions, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 2 comments

wisdom from my husband

 My husband & I are somewhat different.  While we agree upon our goals & values, we don’t always see things in the same way, nor do we always take the same path to our goals.  Early in our marriage, when he was still an engineer, we were talking about my efforts to hang wallpaper (which were “sketchy”).  He was unhappy about how my wallpaper project had turned out because the pattern was slanted rather than perpendicular as it should have been.  He began to ask my about the process I went through to hang the wallpaper & what I had done to properly prepare for a successful project.  He gave me this quote, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”  I didn’t really care for the the cliche approach & it took me awhile to think through what he was trying to say – even though I didn’t like to admit it, I knew that he was right.  This lesson is still being worked through my life even after almost 20 years of marriage.

What is even more breathtaking to me is when I consider that God is the Master Designer & Planner.  God is working in our lives to prepare & refine us, growing & challenging us not only for today’s necessities but also for tomorrow’s successes 🙂

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