intimacy

Slow Down

I️ don’t like slow, not in the least, so I’m always looking for ways to go faster & achieve more. But I️ find an internal conflict with the speed / achievement thing contrasting with my insatiable appetite for being close & intimate with God. I️ sense that for me, the desire to go fast & achieve heaps can be in direct competition with my passion to know Jesus better & walk with Him in increasing intimacy. So if I️ have to chose between speed / achievements or intimacy w Jesus, I’m choosing to be close to Jesus, even when that means that I️ need to slow down.
Practically speaking, this means that in my morning Bible time, I️ won’t be rushing to the next chapter, trying to read large quantities of content nor doing a daily plan for content optimization. It also means that my prayer time will be more about lingering & listening rather than talking & requesting.
Feel free to join the slow down adventure with me 😉

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, 0 comments

Thanks For The Extra Grace

I have a pretty consistent morning routine that generally helps to frame each day with sturdy Bible applications & a prayerful mindset, usually. But this morning didn’t pan out that way. I didn’t get to have my normal quiet prayer & Bible time before my family stirs. So I ran out the door to start my day, not having the rich fellowship with God that often sustains me throughout the day. I don’t like it when that happens & I’m grateful that this is a rare occurrence.
And here’s the really magnificent thing today: I’m sensing the Holy Spirit very clearly throughout this day, despite not having my morning tuning & calibrating fellowship. Of course my absence of quiet & solitary fellowship with the Holy Spirit this morning won’t become a daily habit. Nevertheless, sensing the rich presence of the Holy Spirit throughout this day encourages me that the Holy Spirit enjoys my company & interaction, not withholding that intimacy when I fall short on my end.
Be very certain in your heart that you’re deeply valued, highly treasured & greatly celebrated by the Holy Spirit!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 2 comments

Do You Suffer?

Nothing seems to repel us like suffering. Indeed, if we had our way, we’d entirely skip the whole crucifixion thing & leap straight to resurrection.

Maybe that’s why Peter, James & John slept in Gethsemane when Jesus told them to watch & pray, while He travailed in prayer with sweat like drops of blood. I would likely chose to sleep as well rather than watch my Invincible Hero suffer & appear frail & unraveled.
But here’s the best kept secret: there’s tremendous intimacy potential in sharing with suffering. While we follow & admire strength, nothing connects us with someone more than seeing & even sharing in weakness & pain. Some of my best friends have been through the most abysmal experiences with me – we’ve shared in suffering & the bond between us from those experiences has been immensely strengthened.
In Holy Week, today is Maunday Thursday. This is the day when Jesus shared the last supper with His disciples, washed their feet & travailed in Gethsemane. Jesus understands suffering & wants to connect deeply with us, not only in resurrection life, but also in struggles & suffering – the fellowship of suffering: Philippians 3:10-11

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

What Do You Repeat?

Do you have mindless habits? All of us have things that we do without giving much thought to them, such as brushing our teeth, driving home, morning routines, etc. It can be really helpful to have these kind of routines, but sometimes they’re counterproductive.

For example, in Luke 10, Martha & Mary had Jesus come to their house for dinner. Based on Martha’s behavior in other stories in the Gospels, it seems like she fell into the routine of cooking, serving & being busy with getting stuff done. All of these things aren’t inherently wicked, but if we allow our routines to sabotage our fellowship with Jesus, then they become more of a hindrance than a help.
Let’s always remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to seek His kingdom first & we’ll have what we need! Let’s be sure our routines reinforce our intimacy with Jesus rather than distract us in mindless disconnect 🙂

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

Loving Well

I love my family, full stop. Sometimes it’s easier to love than others, but my love for each member of my family is embedded deep in my heart. Regardless of my deep feelings & commitment of love, it’s important that I express this love to each individual & that requires me to pay attention really well. Expressing the love that’s in our hearts is an essential ingredient for remaining connected but how I express this love has to be meaningful to the person receiving my loving expression. So for example, one of my family members really like to hold hands, hug & cuddle. So for this person, I need to remember that love in their perspective is most meaningful by touch. I have another family member who likes to have time & a listening ear, not holding hands as much. So with this member, I endeavor to keep some dates on the calendar to have some one-to-one time.

The premise for loving well is grounded in the 5 love languages: touch, gifts, service, time & affirmation. Let’s learn what is a meaningful expression of love to the people we love so that we can love them in ways that nurture our connection with them! Let’s remember to love well!

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

Getting Along

  
This past weekend, my husband & I attended a marriage retreat. Truthfully, I loath these kinds of things. I don’t like having relationship stuff discussed in such a public forum, it makes me uncomfortable & twitchy. But we all do things that we know to be good for us, even when we don’t like it (eating kale, jogging, going to bed on time, etc). 
Relationships can be challenging & being married can be outright arduous. Here are some takeaways I gained from this weekend, relevant not only to marriages but to relationships in general:

  • winning an argument often means that relationship loses 
  • forgiveness is essential & trust is earned
  • love is doing what’s in the best interests of the other person even when it’s difficult for me 
  • being safe in a relationship requires communication & attention

Happy Monday & here’s to healthy relationships!

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

Hot Topic: this is important

Hey friends!  I just published a book that I think is honestly the best thing I’ve ever written!  My new book is called Jesus Chicks and it’s really brief but extremely insightful.  In my new book, I take one chapter per chick to talk about the women with whom Jesus interacted – Martha, Mary, His mom, the Canaanite woman, etc.  What I love about this book is my discoveries about how relational Jesus is with us, as I show with His interactions with each of these ladies.

I’d strongly encourage you to get a few copies to share with your friends and even book clubs / Bible study groups since there are also discussion & consideration questions at the end of each chapter.  You can also get it as an ebook as well!  🙂

Click Here to purchase the book

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 7 comments

Consumer Grade Christianity

We do alot of our shopping at Walmart because it’s cheap, close and convenient.  The quality, however, can sometimes be a little questionable.  For example, when I buy socks for my boys, I’ve learned that if I buy them from Walmart, I’ll usually have to buy 2-3 times the number of socks (holes, rips, etc) as if I buy a higher quality & little costlier brand from a different store.  Consumer grade socks for my boys from Walmart usually have a pretty short lifespan in the world of boy socks 🙂

Unfortuanately, I think we sometimes treat Christianity with the same level of function.  We want cheap, close and convenient:  Jesus in the manger, candle light service in less than an hour, the cross, tomb, July 4th and the next thing.  With this kind of thinking, it’s not a surprise that someone could easily be disillusioned, misled and / disappointed with the consumer grade version of Christianity, if such a thing really exists.

So here are some thoughts to consider:

  • does your faith facilitate more function from or attachment with Jesus?
  • is your faith in Jesus based on consumption, sacrifice and / or transformation?
  • is Jesus an accessory or a necessity in your life?
  • maybe consumer grade Christianity is only a Satan contrived deception to the authentic, daily and life-changing relationship with Jesus that will most certainly include sacrifice, fertilizer and resurrection 🙂
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

frying pan

Out of the frying pan and into the fire:  I was reading about how David was trying to stay away from King Saul in 1 Samuel because Saul was trying to kill David.  It’s really interesting to me that God sent David a prophet in 1 Sam 22 & told David to leave the stronghold where he was staying & go back to Judah, where he was more vulnerable to Saul’s attempts to kill him – out of the frying pan and into the fire.

No one likes to be uncomfortable or in difficult situations.  If you’re like me, we often look for the paths of least resistance & opposition, along with the areas of greatest safety and comfort.  But clearly, this wasn’t how God was directing David in 1 Sam 22.  It seems to me that we often trust God the least when we are the most comfortable ,)

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

genuine love isn’t arrogant

We get to work with a really cool team of people & Tues mornings we make some time, as a team, to connect with God.  This morning, we did an exercise around the definition of love in 1 Cor 13: love is & love is not.  One of the things that is continuing to linger with me after this exercise is that love isn’t arrogant.  I’ve been thinking about this idea & here are a few things for your consideration:

  • love connects but arrogance repels
  • arrogance is an exalted but erroneous perception of self
  • arrogance sabotages true intimacy
  • arrogance is a frequent cause of isolation
  • arrogance suffocates genuine love
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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 0 comments