concern

Health and Sanity Check

Well, the COVID-19 pandemic thing has come to the US and lots of us are required to stay at home for at least a few weeks. Yesterday, we had a family meeting with my three teenage kids to discuss what the stay at home requirement means to us.  As you would expect, the extroverts were a little jittery and the introverts were reflective.

As I type this, I’m concerned for each reader of this blog because you are forced to navigate this abrupt change and I suspect it could be difficult for you for various reasons, such as financial struggles, health challenges, social dynamics, future uncertainty and probably more reasons than I could list.  I also think that we might generally be ok with this stay at home requirement on some days and on other days, it might not be so good.  In order to stay healthy in these weeks, here are some key areas to consider:

  • Mental Hygiene – In Proverbs 23:7, it says, “As a man thinks, so is he.”  To this end, we would be very wise to consider not only what we think about (taking an inventory of our thoughts), but to also be careful about what we watch and listen to, since the stuff we give our minds and emotions is what they will absorb and digest.  To upgrade your mental hygiene in this season, consider memorizing Philippians 4:4-8 for some life-giving nutrition.
  • Rental Hygiene – This is a little similar to mental hygiene, but still important because this is a proactive step we can take, to help us come out of this temporary situation with some good results.  What I mean by rental hygiene, is what we allow to rent space in our soul.  It can be tempting to do some Netflix binging, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings Marathons.  But maybe we could make some constructive decisions for this season, like learning a new skill.  What have you always wanted to learn or explore?  Maybe this is the time to drill down into some YouTube lessons for that skill, hobby, or side interest that you’ve wanted to explore.  Let’s also stay physically active with some situps, pushups or some kind of exercise regime because our bodies of the temple of God, so let’s take care of God’s rental property    Additionally, since we’re in Spring, rental hygiene could also include Spring Cleaning (windows, clutter clearing, refrigerator cleaning, culling through the closet, etc).
  • Dental Hygiene – Let’s remember to floss daily, along with brushing our teeth.  In addition, let’s pay attention to our words, what we say and talk about with neighbors, co-workers, friends and family in this season.  What we say is a good indicator of what’s going on in our heart, emotions and thoughts.  Jesus says this in Luke 6:45c, “’. . . . , for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.’”  To this end, let’s fill our hearts with life, genuine love, hope, truth and more than anything, the Lordship of Jesus.

With the unique opportunity that COVID-19 is giving us, let’s make active choices with our daily routines to grow and come out of this with stronger faith and greater confidence in God’s power and love!

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, COVID-19, dental hygiene, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, YouTube, 0 comments

What Stresses You?

Each person has unique things that cause stress.  Some folk get stressed with job interviews while others get stressed with traveling to new places.  Mostly, I don’t get stressed about much, except when I’m meeting heaps of new people.  I appreciate that this shouldn’t be something stressful for me, but shouldn’t doesn’t change reality.

No matter what causes you to be stressed, here are some helpful pointers:

  • peace on the inside can help to mitigate external pressure:  Jesus is our Prince of Peace, so it helps me to remember that His leadership in my heart brings peace
  • perspective:  things change, time passes and you grow;  rarely is stress a permanent state of being
  • past inventory:  count up some things from the past that have been stressful and consider how God has helped you to overcome & resolve those challenges.  God is the same today 🙂
CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, 0 comments

Object, Project or Person?

How we treat people reflects what we think about them on the inside.  So if we treat the barista like an extension of the espresso machine, then we’re thinking of them in terms of an object rather than a living human.  This happens alot when we get in transactional modes of interaction & neglect to see the person with whom we’re interacting.

When we try to change someone:  correcting their attitudes, challenging their political opinions, getting them closer to Jesus, making them “better”;  let’s be careful that we’re not treating them like a “project“.  The exceptions to this concern can be the parent, teacher or mentor roles, all of which are most affective when we perceive the recipient of our input as a human & not merely a project.

I think what made Jesus so entirely irresistable by the masses of humanity, when He walked on the earth, is that He interacted with everyone with authenticity, genuine love and sincere interest.  He engaged with each individual as a person, not as a project nor object.  This is what happens when we interact with others from the place of genuine love rather than manipulation, achievement or domination.  Let’s allow our lives to remain in genuine love so that our interactions with others resound with redemption & reconciliation!

 

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 0 comments

Hot Topic: Presidential Debate

Last night, there was a debate among the presidential candidates for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the debate, as I had a responsibility with my church that took precedence. Nevertheless, I heard the debate was interesting & that each candidate made some good points. From my perspective, the political situation in America is in a really challenging position & I feel that our country is extremely divided & fragmented. This is very concerning to me & I find myself moved to pray for the 2016 election more than normal. Regardless of your political persuasions, I’d like to ask you to join me in praying for our country & our leaders. Consider the verses from 1Timothy 2:1-4
  

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, watch, 1 comment

Hot Topic: Presidential Debate

Last night, there was a debate among the presidential candidates for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the debate, as I had a responsibility with my church that took precedence. Nevertheless, I heard the debate was interesting & that each candidate made some good points. From my perspective, the political situation in America is in a really challenging position & I feel that our country is extremely divided & fragmented. This is very concerning to me & I find myself moved to pray for the 2016 election more than normal. Regardless of your political persuasions, I’d like to ask you to join me in praying for our country & our leaders. Consider the verses from 1Timothy 2:1-4
  

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, watch, 0 comments

hot topic: Charleston Church Shooting

Waking up this morning, I was horrified to read about a church shooting in Charleston, SC at a Bible Study last night.  From what the news said, there was a Bible Study in the church basement of Emmanuel AME and the shooter just began to shoot people.  At this time, 9 people have died from the shooting and the police are calling this a hate crime.   The police say the shooter is still at large and obviously there are boatloads of unanswered questions.

Here are a few things that we can do, as outside observerers and fellow believers:

  • pray for the families of the victims:  peace, grace, strength, courage and for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be very real to each family member
  • pray for the police as they search for the shooter:  protection, wisdom, clarity, discernment and truth
  • pray for the shooter:  it is a very disturbed individual who walks into a church and randomly shoots innocent people at a Bible Study
  • pray for the church:  Emmanuel AME is a very famous and historic church, founded in the late 1700s.  This church has had it’s share of historic events, including a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr in 1962;  the pastor for Emmanuel AME was shot and killed last night, so our brothers and sisters at Emmanuel AME very much need our prayers
CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, hot topic, living, prayer, values, watch, 5 comments

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 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, values, watch, 1 comment

speak out!!

Spectrum_SpeakingOut-3

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I spread a rumor about my teacher that she was drunk.  She was behaving strangely & given my limited experience in life, I tried to explain her unusual behavior, not considering that my explanation was slanderous & inappropriate.  The next day, I was summoned to the principal’s office where I was severly reprimanded & returned to class with great embarrassment.  My take away lesson was to speak less & think more – not a bad lesson in general.

however

Sometimes we are too quiet.  Sometimes we need to speak out & be an advocate for ourselves, for those who are less fortunate & to oppose disgraceful & belittling  situations, events & circumstances.  The Bible has many examples of situations where people spoke out on behalf of the downtrodden, disenfranchised & belittled.  This is a very significant reason that I’m so passionate about our work with nightcare – the shelter & safety we give to the babies of sex workers while they work.  I’m speaking out on behalf of these babies, who have no power or ability to articulate their needs, hurts and concerns.

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, saving moses, travel, values, watch, 0 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 🙂

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

dealing with concerns

I totally get that Jesus says not to worry about what we eat, wear or what’s going to happen tomorrow and I totally want to align myself with His instructions.  And I’d also venture to say that from time to time, we both have a little bit of a challenge in the “concern” area.  Here are some ideas / thoughts that may be useful:

  • break big issues into smaller pieces or components and they might not seems as overwhelming
  • memorize some verses from the Bible that you can lean into when you feel like you’re drowning in the “worry” zone – Ps 55:22 is a great resource, as a starter
  • health upkeep – here’s the normal nagging of drinking lots of water & maintaining an consistent exercise routine
  • worship tunes that lift up Jesus always help me to put any problems or worries into a better perspective
  • It always helps me to remember to put my trust in God & to lift up my soul to God (Ps 25:1)

These are a few ideas that have been useful to me.  What helps you?  Please share 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 6 comments