intimacy

let’s get comfortable

Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people.  For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book.  For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party.  For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:

  • being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
  • I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
  • I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
  • when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Ethiopia, family, fasting, Genuine love, Germany, Haiti, Holy Spirit, India, living, missions, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, South Sudan, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

Jesus’ miracles

I read this morning about how Jesus multiplied the fish & loaves for several thousand people & how they were in total awe of Jesus’ power.  The very next day, the crowd tracked Jesus down & had an interesting discussion with Him about the multiplied fish & bread miracle.  After reading about this (John 6), it seems to me that the crowd was coming after Jesus to keep doing the free food thing – who wouldn’t want free food?!?

But here’s the real challenge for those of us who follow Jesus:  let’s stay connected to Jesus not merely for what He does, but moreso for WHO He is, keeping our intimacy with Jesus healthy, vibrant & transformational 🙂

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

Stay passionate

Reece & I have been married for more than 18 years. We have 3 elementary age kids, busy schedules & lots of demands. Translation: it could be easy to lose our passion & interest in each other just to try & keep up with the demands of life.
I think I the same is true with God. If we aren’t careful, our relationship w God can get programmed, stale & detached. Here are a few ideas that could help you stay passionately in love with God:
*don’t let disappointment or bitterness be stronger than genuine love
*be a proficient forgiver
*stay in awe – God is always up to something divine ,)
*pour out your heart to God & receive in exchange everything God is
*watch for God in the mundane – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!!
*Remember that God is Three & knowing the Three will always blow your mind 🙂
*be willing to let God’s will be supreme over your will

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

When trust is difficult

Trust can be a tricky tightrope, particularly when you feel like your trust has been betrayed or when the circumstances all seem contrary to what you believe. So here are a couple of thoughts about trusting in ourselves, other people & God.
In short, I’m not too keen to put lots of trust in people or even in myself, since we are humans with flaws, weaknesses, failures, etc. On the flip side, trusting in God has lots better results, even when it seems difficult. But in all honesty, I’ve also been disappointed in God sometimes when I have a short term mindset. However, when I think about God’s intense & immense love for me, along w Rom 8:28-29 (all things work together for good . . . .), my trust & confidence in God increase. And best of all, the more & better that I trust God then the deeper our relationship grows. Indeed, trust is an essential ingredient for intimacy 🙂

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

daily fellowship

I always want my fellowship with Jesus to be getting deeper & more vibrant.  Some days my fellowship with Him seems to be deeper & more vibrant than others.  But I’m reminded about my relationships in my husband.  We most certainly have a good marriage, but there are lots of days where we just live together doing the daily routines and maintainence of family life.  We talk about the daily schedule for our family, our responsibilities, etc.  Just because every day in our marriage doesn’t have indescribable bliss and euphoria doesn’t mean that we’re not close or that we don’t have a good marriage.  Quite the contrary.

I think this is also true w our relationship with Jesus.  I think that some of the greatest fellowship & intimacy can come through including Him throughout the entirety of each day.  Jesus loves to be an integral part of our daily living – hence, daily fellowship 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, 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 🙂

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

we follow strength but fellowship w suffering

I like what Paul says in Philip 3:10 about knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, fellowship of His suffering, . . . .

I’ve been thinking about this alot & here’s something to consider:  i can find myself following strong people;  people who have vision, strength of personality & character & those who are strong within themselves.  I’ve been around LOTS of strong people – some politicians, Christian leaders, social leaders, etc & they’re very interesting people.

However, when it comes to connecting on a personal level, i find myself drawn to people who are flawed, who share their struggles & vulnerabilities.  I think this is because i can easily relate to someone else’s frailties & failures in some ways better than a person’s strength.  There’s a distinct fellowship & intimacy that can be experienced in hardship, weakness.  Truth be known, i think most of us find it difficult to share our weaknesses.  Our society applaudes strength, power, victory & not weakness, vulnerability & failure.  Nevertheless, we’re invited to share in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus – bringing an intimacy w Him that is both distinct & beautiful.

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Posted by sarahbowling in spiritual, 0 comments

enemies of intimacy

Since we’ve just celebrated Easter, i’ve been thinking of the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation, death & resurrection.  I believe that God’s ultimate purpose in sending Jesus to earth was to redeem humanity to Himself – so we can connect to Him (with His help, direction, etc) in a deep, meaningful & purposeful relationship.  Ultimately, that we can have an intimate relationship with the Triune God.  Now please don’t spin out on the word, “intimate”.  Unfortunately, our society has tainted this word & it can potentially have some overtones that can be a little tricky to manuever around.  For me, intimate means very close, but not always having a sexual connotation.  When I’m talking about an intimate relationship w God, obviously I’m not including the sexual overtones that our society can associate w this word. 

Given the objective of having an intimate relationship w God, i think its important for us to consider what could be enemies to that intimacy.  As such, over the next few days or so, I’m planning to blog on what I’ve found to be various enemies to intimacy.  I’d totally love / welcome your input not only w comments, but I’d also be happy to receive your insights on the various enemies you may have experienced to intimacy.  I’m really excited to dialogue w you to see what God wants to share w us!! 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, living, spiritual, 1 comment

Lord’s Prayer & forgiveness

Everyday, we get the chance to practice forgiveness in both quantity (lots of “small things”) & quantity (some really hefty, weighty & serious interactions).  Here’s the black & white truth:  all relationships remain shallow without forgiveness.  The deeper the relationship, often times, the greater the need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness, for me, is most important because I want my relationship with God  to be deep, genuine & transformational.  I find that when I’m bent out of shape with someone, it affects my walk w God.  Consequently, if I’m going to nurture, guard & be part of growing my walk with Him, I need to continually practice forgiving, even if the person doesn’t apologize for their actions or is unaware of how they hurt you.  Forgiveness isn’t based on what the other person does or doesn’t do – it comes from your heart & most of all from receiving forgiveness from your heavenly Father so you can let it flow through you. 

Something helpful I’ve found in the forgiveness adventure is to forgive quickly – the longer I wait the harder it becomes to forgive.  What helps you to be forgiving???

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Posted by sarahbowling in Lord's Prayer, 5 comments