Keep Growing, Keep Learning

I’m really excited about the recent release of my newest book on the Holy Spirit,

In Step With the Spirit!

I’ve had lots of really good feedback & people expressing how much this book is helping them to walk with he Spirit! This is massively encouraging & I LOVE IT!!
At the same time, I find myself going through some soul searching related to my walk with the Spirit.  Just because I write books about the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that I’ve learned everything about this journey & I’m an expert. That’s a dangerous pitfall & I sense the Holy Spirit alerting me to this trap while beckoning me to nestle into the Spirit’s presence more & deepen my roots into our intimacy like never before. To this end, I’m wholly committed to walking in daily integration with he Holy Spirit, deeply rooted & abundantly fruitful! I hope you’ll agree to this adventure with the Holy Spirit in your life, taking your own steps with the Holy Spirit!

Holy Walking

This is a bit of a fun pun on the holes in my foot! I’m trying to get rid of some plantar warts on my foot & they’re being rather stubborn as you can see.
While I try to get rid of these warts, it makes walking kind of challenging & sometimes painful. And this would also be true of walking in holiness. In 1Peter 1:15, we are told to be holy as God is holy. It’s painful to our flesh when we make choices to be holy but such daily living fosters long-term health, stability & a deep walk with God.
Let’s be sure that we decide everyday to walk in holiness!

Walking in Uncertainty

I think that most of us like to have a plan & know what’s happening, not only in our day to day activities but also in some longer time perspectives. This was a challenge that Jacob had, having served his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 years. There was a lot of stability & safety for Jacob as he worked for Laban, with of course some hotspots to navigate (deception, wage changes, etc). But there was a time for Jacob to move his family away from Laban & back to his homeland, but not without some tricky conversations & exchanges. It seems to me that absolutely there was uncertainty & instability in Jacob’s family in this season. 
So how do we walk in seasons of uncertainty? Here are a few suggestions:

  • pray a lot
  • determine to get better at trusting God (Prov 22:19)
  • keep your focus on God & not only the circumstances or people
  • keep moving – don’t get quagmired in fear, analysis or distractions 

Of all things, be sure to stay in step, on pace, with the Holy Spirit!! 

  

Let’s Take a Walk

  
Sometimes I find myself in situations that are far beyond my skill set & often I get jittery, intimidated & overwhelmed. It’s precisely in these moments that I find the most fulfilling & richest relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is my experience because when I take a pause to catch my breath & reflect, I sense the Holy Spirit by my side, helping & telling me that it’s going to be ok. 
Furthermore, it feels to me like the Holy Spirit invites me to take a walk together, something I love & relish. I like to take walks because there often seems to be boatloads of challenges that get worked out in my conversation with the Holy Spirit on these walks. I also appreciate that the Helper invites me on these strolls for a few helpful pointers:

  • more often than not, I have no clue where walking with the Holy Spirit will lead me & truth be known, I’m an adventure junkie – usually I love to go to new destinations & experiences, particularly when the Holy Spirit is leading the journey;
  • I don’t have to know the destination to enjoy the company – I’m learning this lesson across a wide swath of experiences & adventures; 
  • Walking with the Holy Spirit is an adventure not only in the various experiences along the journey but also in the pace of the whole walk – sometimes at lightning speed & sometimes at a pace that is slower than molasses in winter, stationary at best & seemingly regressive sometimes;

Let’s walk together with the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:16 & 25, for not only the pace & direction but for the outcomes & most importantly for the company & fellowship!  Take a walk & see what fun ensues 🙂

Sink or Synch

I like to swim & maybe someday I’ll get really good at it. In the meantime, I practice & make incremental improvements. For example, my favorite laps are when I do “pull” swimming – all arms & no kick. I particularly like it when I get in a rhythm / synch & can review my Bible verses as I swim. There’s a beautiful synch experience that I love when this happens & is the antithesis of sinking 🙂
I think this same parallel exists when it comes to walking with the Holy Spirit – there’s a very supernatural synch that happens when keep cadence with the Holy Spirit & when we get out of step, we tend to sink. Just some nice food for thought on this happy Tuesday 🙂

Long Roads

  

Today is hopefully my final orthopedic surgeon appointment where he tells me that I have the green light to do any activity I want 🙂

This has been a very long journey, starting back at the very beginning of January when I dislocated my shoulder during some snowboarding. When I think of all of the things related to my shoulder that have transpired since the original injury, it has indeed been a very long journey that’s including multiple international trips, surgery, weeks of sleeping on the couch, hours of physical therapy with my steady & divinely supportive husband walking patiently with me through all of this journey. 

Sometimes we experience pain & trauma in our lives & we want a quick fix or miraculous healing – instant transformation would be supremely awesome! But alas, it seems to me that Holy Spirit more often walks us through some long roads with incremental progress: bits, pieces, parts & steps. Perhaps the Holy Spirit chooses the long road for our healing to have the maximum quality of intimacy with us. Just something to consider on your journey this day 🙂

Street Babies

We’ve concluded our 3rd day here & as we were taking a pause, we took a walk along a really busy area for nightlife here in Phnom Penh. As we were walking, I literally almost stumbled over these babies where sleeping on the sidewalk. Please watch my 30sec video on my sarah bowling fb page

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lessons for walking on water

I love the story about how Peter walked on the water to Jesus, nevermind that he almost sank because Peter walked on water, unaided, more than any human in all history.  Eleven of Jesus’ followers stayed in the boat at the same time that Peter walked on the water in the middle of a storm.  Here are a few things to consider about walking on water:

  • in order to get out of the boat, Peter needed his fellow disciples to hold the boat steady – let’s hold the boat for the people in our lives who are trying to do the impossible (rather than taking cheap shots & shouting out disparaging & discouraging remarks from the sidelines).
  • keep Jesus front & center: life has enough waves, winds, storms, setbacks & discouragements to make us sink & even tell us not to try & walk on the water;  stay on target
  • if you want to walk with Jesus, being as close as possible, sometimes you have to get out of the boat (what’s known, safe, familiar & comfortable);  do what you’ve never done to get what you’ve never had
  • walking is something very common & mundane;  walking on water is miraculous, combining the mundane with the miraculous is exactly Who Jesus is – the incarnate God;  consider that at some point in your walk with God, you’ll have to get out of the boat & take a stroll ,)

I can get jittery

I was thinking about the time when Peter walked on the water & Jesus rescued him from drowning. That must have been a totally amazing trek. Can you imagine how Peter felt when he was getting ready to step out of the boat? Excited, nervous, scared, jittery, lots of adrenaline, . . . . . Peter did something impossible, illogical, stressful, successful & epic when he walked on the water. Even though Peter did something amazing, I think that perhaps there may have been some stress & jitters running around in his mind – some quick conversations about doing something impossible & then he just did it.
Lets be careful not to talk ourselves out of Gods miracles just because there’s some stress & jitters that go along with these impossibilities 🙂

Lets take a walk

I like to take walks no matter what the season is because they can help me relax & kind of think through some things. The destination for the walk isn’t as important to me as the experience of just walking & enjoying being outside. With that being said, it’s important in our thinking to be mindful of how we are thinking & the things on which we are focusing. If we focus on hardship & struggles, such things tend to get magnified. If we keep our thoughts & focus on Jesus, who is walking with us everyday, then the hardships stay small in light of our loving Savior 🙂