hot topic

hot topic: civil disobedience

I read this morning about some high school seniors pranks in NJ who have been arrested for pranking their high school last night.  Now I can’t really say that their behavior would fall into the “civil disobedience” category because it’s May, they’re seniors & might have possibly watched “Ferris Bueller”.  With that being said, I also read this morning in Acts 5 about how Peter & some of his friends disobeyed the direct commands of the Jewish leaders by preaching about Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, shortly after Pentecost & Jesus’ resurrection.  In verse 29, Peter told these Jewish leaders they he had to obey God rather than man.

There’s a place & time for civil disobedience & some expressions of rebellion are even condoned by the Bible:

  • It’s not ok to passively watch someone get hurt or bullied.
  • It’s not ok to follow popular culture when it conflicts with loving God & loving people.
  • It’s not ok to blindly do what’s popular, trendy or hip.
  • It’s not ok to compromise your God-given identity to blend in for social acceptance.

Particularly when we are confronted with compromise, social acceptance and even being politically correct, let’s make it our fundamental priority to please God, end of story, full stop.

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 0 comments

Hot Topic: blood moon

Last night the moon was eclipsed & had some red overtones to it, hence the term “blood moon.” I woke up at 1a to see what it was like & it was pretty impressive! As I was watching the moon, I was reminded of how Jesus talked about there being signs in the heavens in the end times. There have been lots of thoughts & speculations about there being 4 blood moons this year & what that could possibly mean.
While I think that we are definitely living in an interesting time, I’m reminded that fundamentally God requires 3 things from us, based on Micah 6:8
*act justly
*love mercy
*walk humbly with God

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, hot topic, living, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, 0 comments

Hot Topic: religious movies

Lately, the US has several movies with religious overtones, like “God’s Not Dead”, “Noah”, “Son of God” & a few more. For those of us who follow Jesus, we get really excited for the general public to see some of things from the Bible with God participating in the human experience. For people who are not followers of Jesus, they can sometimes feel like Jesus’ followers can get dogmatic & judgmental. I find all of these ideas & paradigms interesting in light of what Jesus said about His followers in John 13:35 – people will know that you follow Me because of your love for one another. Seems to me that the defining characteristic of Jesus’ followers from Jesus’ teaching is love 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling, 1 comment

hot topic: laughter

Life can be very serious & ever so often, we all need a good laugh.  So today’s hot topic is an attempt to provide some comic relief.  Here are just a few brief & funny traveling stories:

  • wrong week:  last year, I was scheduled to go to Dallas & had a 7am flight (which means that I leave my house no later than 5am).  When I got to the airport, I was having trouble getting the kiosk to print my boarding pass.  When I went to the airline person to help me, she ran my confirmation number through the computer & helped me to see that I was a week early – my flight was booked for the following week;  I chalked it up in the “practice” column.  Consider my husband’s surprise when I walked in the house less than an hour after I left, ready to take the kids to school that morning ,)
  • buddhist monks:  one time I was in the waiting lounge in the Calcutta airport & there were around 6-12 monks who were all seated together.  My friend dared me to jump in the middle of them so he could take a picture of me with them.  I took the dare & the monks scattered faster than cockroaches running away from light.  I learned that they had all taken a vow not to touch a woman & I almost caused them to break this vow with my silliness
  • chief safety officer:  I flew on a commercial plane once (oversees) when the pilot came out of the cockpit on an active runway to close the front door of our airplane – he seemed pretty casual about the whole thing
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Posted by sarahbowling in hot topic, Jesus Chix, living, saving moses, travel, 0 comments

hot topic: sex

Tonight at our church, my husband & I are talking about sex.  We’re splitting the audience so he’ll take the guys & I’ll take the chicks.  For some quick insight, I HATE talking about this subject.  In high school, I scheduled all of my orthodontist appointments to happen during the human sexuality class.  Nevertheless, it’s a really important topic and the society in which I live seems to be more & more hyper-sexual.

As I’ve been thinking about what to say, I’ve found it really encouraging that the Bible is not mute on this topic.  In fact, it has lots to say about it & you might consider looking into a few of the following references for some reflection:  Leviticus 18, Matt 5:27-29, Rom 1:21-32, 1 Cor  6:12-20 & 1 Cor 7:1-5

Of course I could turn this particular post into something steamy & controversial, but I’d prefer to let the Bible do the talking for me on this topic.  Of course you are very free & entirely accurate to call me chicken 🙂

Or you can come tonight & get more details ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, hot topic, living, relationships, values, wednesday nights, 1 comment

hot topic: flirting

flirt

Flirting is an interesting concept.  It can be a playful and teasing way to interact with people, but from personal experience (back in the day), it became tiring really fast.  Flirting felt like a game to me, a relational game that had very high stakes.  When I look up “flirt”, it means to act amorously without serious intentions.  Sometimes, I think we flirt with God:  we go to church, sing love songs to God, dress up and act like we love God, but we don’t have any serious intentions of making a long term commitment (except when there’s some appealing benefit or carrot that keeps us engaged).  Flirting means that we get to pretend without any promises, chat without any change and be shallow without any sacrifice.  Let’s be serious about our relationship with God, keep our promises, change and make sacrifices all with God’s Help working throughout out daily living 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, relationships, values, watch, 0 comments

hot topic: Denver Broncos & the Super Bowl

These were my famous last words right before halftime during the recent Super Bowl.  I’m a Denver Broncos fan and we were thoroughly and repeatedly thrashed during this game.  Six days later, I’m still looking for some kind of silver lining from this game, but I’ve yet to find any redeeming value, other than being humbled (possibly humiliated depending on your point of view).

I’ve also been reading about Jesus’ arrest, scourging, crucifixion and death over the last few days.  Maybe His disciples   said the same thing, “it can’t get any worse”, when Jesus was betrayed by Judas in Gethsemane.  Perhaps they thought the worst was over when Jesus was brought before Pilate.  And when Jesus died on the cross, maybe they gave up all hope and felt entirely abandoned, betrayed, demoralized and forsaken.  If you’re in a very bleak situation, remember that Jesus defied all natural convetions and rose from the dead.  With God, nothing is impossible, including the Broncos ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, hot topic, living, nightcare, seeing Jesus, watch, 3 comments

Hot topic: prostitutes

If a person talks about prostitutes or sex workers, people have some interesting reactions. Some people get really uncomfortable & change the subject quickly. Some people get really condescending & holy. Some people don’t get too jittery & seem relatively calm. In the Bible, prostitutes were often considered lower class, except by Jesus. When I watch how Jesus treated women of ill repute, He didn’t shun nor shame them. In fact, it says that He was considered a friend of sinners.
In my work with Saving Moses, we look after the babies of prostitutes with our nightcare centers. Without our centers, these babies & toddlers have tremendous struggles which are difficult for us to imagine & understand. I’m in Cambodia right now celebrating the Grand Opening of our 2nd nightcare & was recently told about a 3year old little girl who was helping her mom in the evenings by selling birth control to the customers of her mother. I want to be like Jesus & love people more than shame them, including prostitutes.

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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, travel, values, watch, 5 comments

hot topic: unanswered prayer

In my journey with Jesus, I’ve had some frustrations about praying.  When I read John 14:13-14,  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it”, Jesus’ words make me think that God will do what I ask, when I ask in Jesus’ name.  However, this hasn’t always been my experience.  I’ve asked God for many things in Jesus’ name and it seems like nothing has happened.  Ever had a similar experience?

So here are a few thoughts that might be helpful with unanswered prayer.  Perhaps our prayers don’t get the answers we want for some of these “reasons”:

  • motives:  we ask with selfish motives – James 4:3,  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
  • methods:  greater glory for God – in John 11:4, we read that Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus’ sickness would end with great glory for God;  Lazarus’ sisters (Martha & Mary) wanted Lazarus to be healed rather than die, but Jesus had resurrection rather than healing for Lazarus.  We must always remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8)
  • unbelief:  in Matt 13:58, it says that Jesus didn’t do many miracles in His hometown because of their unbelief;  faith is an important ingredient for praying
  • schedule:  God has a different schedule and timeline than what we think.  In John 7:6, Jesus told His brothers, ““My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.'”  There are lots of occassions in the Bible where our timing is out of synch with God
  • maturity:  getting our way on our schedule isn’t always the optimum path God has for our development and intimacy with God.  In James 1:2-4 it says, ‘Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces cendurance. And let aendurance have its perfect result, so that you may be bperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

It seems to me that God always answers prayer but maybe not always in the ways or timing that we want 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 2 comments