grow

the power of practice

When my kids were younger, I had a fairly consistent of habit of making at least 2 attempts to get to the car before I was successful.  I was always forgetting something – keys, wallet, bag, coat, shopping list, etc.  My husband always knew that my 1st effort to leave would always have some follow up attempts as well & we now joke about this 🙂  He teases me & I always say that my first effort(s) are practice until I can get it right.

 Practice is super important – it’s where we make mistakes, improve our skills, learn better ways, grow through endurance, etc.  Indeed, practice is an essential ingredient for success!  So if you find yourself having to practice alot, don’t get discouraged – you are merely getting continually better!!  Consider that today’s results of the consequences of yesterday’s practice & today is the essential practice that we will need for tomorrow’s success 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in cooking, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

the power of a closed door

I’ve been thinking alot about the closed doors that Jacob experienced in his life: the door was closed for him to stay at home when he tricked his dad for the blessing, the door was closed for him to stay w Laban when he recognized that he’d “worn out his welcome”, the door was closed for him (or so it seemed) when he “lost” Joseph to a wild animal, etc.  Jacob had ALOT of closed doors in his life & I think that these developments were extremely disturbing to him.

I think that perhaps the same is true for us – we don’t like it when things change & places of previous acceptance & comfort are no longer available.  Understandably, we tend to dislike instability.  But here’s the power of a closed door:

  • it means that God has something different open for you,
  • it means that you may possibly be moving into a new season,
  • it could mean that God has a promotion for you,
  • it could mean that the vision for your life has been too small

Don’t wallow in rejection or closed doors.  Don’t get obstinate & refuse to change or move forward.  Celebrate because God is up to something really good in your life!!!

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, 4 comments

Want an adventure???

I love adventures!! I’m adventurous w my food, with trying new things, going to new places & in lots of different ways. But I’ve also noticed some areas where I’m not adventurous & it seems to me that it is these exact areas where God is beckoning me to follow His lead more fully. Of course, I’m not very comfortable in these areas but I think that my discomfort is part of God’s plan, so I rely on Him more fully. Indeed, it has been my experience that when I grow in my reliance on God, this is one of the ways that the Trinity increases my closeness with them. So the greatest adventure that we can ever experience is to walk closer & closer w God 😀
Let’s Go!!

20120110-082104.jpg

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, fasting, Holy Spirit, living, missions, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

try something new!

I have a really cool friend from Cambodia who is visiting us for the weekend & of course when he’s visiting we get a nice & small snow storm. I took a walk w him while it was snowing & he was in awe of the snow (not much snow in Cambodia). I loved watching his awe & excitement of experiencing something totally new!!
Sometimes I think we miss some really cool things that God has because we resist trying new things. We often get into ruts & comfort zones but let’s be careful not to let our comfort zones be more important than experiencing new things that God has for us. We are in a new year & I believe God wants to show us new things throughout this year! Let’s be open for new things from God 😀

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, missions, prayer, relationships, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

ever been mad or disappointed w God???

Now that’s a loaded question with all kinds of implications.  I think that some people won’t allow themselves to be mad or disappointed with God for fear of being disrespectful.  Other folk go so far as to totally alienate any contribution or participation from God in their lives because of their anger, hurt or disappointment with God.  Is there a healthy middle point?  Can a person be angry, frustrated, hurt, disappointed with God but still keep their relationship withHim?

If you’re in this difficult spot, it can be helpful to read Job to see how he dealt with his anger, hurt & disappointment with God.  Here are a few things I’ve learned from Job when it relates to being angry or disappointed with God:

  • being honest with God is a necessary ingredient for intimacy with God
  • stay engaged – withdrawing or pulling away from God hurts you and is a dead end
  • give God plenty of space & time to respond to you
  • be willing to adjust, repent & change
  • arrogance undercuts any constructive dialogue with God
CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

perspective

 Perspective has alot to do with our decisions & attitudes.  Here’s an example:  one of my kids just told me that they’re bored.  When I suggested that we could skip the Christmas break & head back to school, they were suddenly “un-bored”.  Lots of things are a matter of perspective.  Along this line, I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to think about things from God’s point of view, based on Biblical insights:

  • How does God see the things with which I struggle in my life?
  • What is God’s perspective on the way I treat my mate?
  • What does God think / feel about how I interact with my kids?
  • What does God think about how I behave on my job?
  • What things / values are important to God?
  • How does God “feel” about the way I use my time, money & energies?

If you want to get to know someone really well, you have to do your best to understand things from their point of view.  This takes time, intentionality, honor & humility.  Getting to know someone else’s perspective tells them that they are important to you, that their values are significant & that they matter in your life.  Getting to know God’s point of view is a noble adventure, worthy of our focus & energies 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

What’s the Skinny on Obedience??

I had an interesting conversation w a friend the other day about what it means to love Jesus – we express our love for Jesus by doing what He tells us to do (obedience). My friend was really intense about the idea of DOING what Jesus says, heavy emphasis on activity.
I walked away from our conversation w a bit of unease & I’ve been thinking about this over the last week or so & I’ve come to the conclusion that obeying Jesus has 2 parts: activity & attitude. If I do the right things but have the wrong attitude & heart, my actions will seem disingenuous & even dishonoring. If my attitude is squeaky clean but my actions are inconsistent, I appear to be a hypocrite. Obedience includes actions & attitudes and my sense is that we desperately need the Holy Spirit working in our daily living to Help us with our actions & attitudes 😀

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

Eavesdropping

I just started reading Job & I was reading the part where God & Satan were chatting about Job. What an interesting conversation! Makes me consider that maybe they chat about us as well, from time to time. If you would be curious to know what might be said between them about you, don’t get nervous. I’m quite confident, based on Jesus’ atoning work, that God is looking on you w great favor, maybe even bragging about you!! You can also trust that the devil’s efforts haven’t changed throughout history – he’s still looking for some way to bring you down, talking smack.
Based on this dialogue, we just need to continuously decide that our ears are tuned into God’s voice – He affirms you, believes in you & most importantly, loves you. The other voice is nothing but deception, smack & destruction.
Sure, we all need to grow, improve & do better, but Gods voice always applauds while the devil always jeers & discourages. You’re not a loser!!

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 3 comments

Fear: friend or foe?

Fear is interesting – in the right amounts & toward the right things, it can be really beneficial. On the other hand, fear with the wrong amounts & directed toward the wrong things can be thoroughly toxic & destructive.
Consider this: fear can immunize us from disrespect & irreverence. Fear can keep us from doing dumb things & the Bible speaks of a boat load of benefits from having a fear, respect & reverence for God.

On the negative scale, fear can hinder us from some amazing experiences, adventures & accomplishments. It can also keep us from learning some important lessons. Fear can keep us trapped in the past & cripple us from moving forward. Fear can suffocate healthy relationships & even debilitate constructive growth.
So here’s my conclusion: I don’t want to be afraid of life but I do want to have a healthy reverence for the Creator of life – love life & honor it’s Creator.

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment

first reactions

I’ve been noticing some things w my kids that are somewhat eye opening.  When I ask them to do something, like the pick up the things they were playing with or clean their rooms, etc, they can sometimes tend to have 1 of 2 reactions:  complain or argue.  Both of these reactions are becoming very annoying & probably reflect some bad parenting shortcomings on my part.  With that being said, the whole complain or argue strategy has started me thinking about how I react to God’s directives in my life.

 There are times that I know that God is asking me to do something & I have some “creative answers” that include:  I don’t have time, I don’t want to do that, why do I have to do this? that’s a really big sacrifice, I’m not smart enough to do that, I’m too busy doing the other things You told me to do, . . . . .

Some of the ways that my kids respond to me have really started me thinking about how I respond to my heavenly Father.  I always want my kids to respond with respect, honor, hard work, no complaining or arguing, etc.  I think my heavenly Father would like me to treat His requests in the same way – what great opportunities to grow!  🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment