Monthly Archives: July 2012

She Shares – More on Prayer and Soul Detox

As I mentioned last week, I have become attached to some great Bible study plans through YouVersion, and I have been reading each day, tweeting my reflections, and now sharing my lessons and thoughts for the week as a part of SHE SHARES on shereadstruth.com

I am continuing the Reading Plans for Prayer and Soul Detox; here are some of the week’s highlights.  Maybe you can take one or two away with you today

PRAYER

Don’t fear the weaknesses I see in self ; HIS grace is sufficient ; HIS power is made perfect in my weakness (II Cor 12:7-9)

He hears me in my desperation (Ps. 5:1-3)

If I would be more consistent in sharing my faith, I would be reminded more often of the blessing Christ gives  (Phil 1:3-5; Philemon 1:4-6)

Joy, prayer, and thankfulness should NOT depend upon my circumstances; they should be a part of my routine (I Thes. 5:16-18)

SOUL DETOX

Fear is placing faith in the “What ifs”; I have many “what ifs” that fuel my toxic fear (Ex. 4:1-27)

How different life can be when I put FULL TRUST in God and strive for Him daily (Ps. 34: 1-22)

Cultural toxins (those things that are culturally acceptable but damaging to my soul) can make my life in Christ (which is intended to bring forth pure fruit) as a contaminated and useless vessel (like a muddy spring or a dirty well) Proverbs 25:26-27

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

The Gypsy Mama shares this great idea to write every Friday for 5 minutes on a topic.

Want to take five minutes with me and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

BEYOND….

When I can’t see beyond my circumstance, HE is there

When I can’t seem to reach beyond my boundaries, HE provides

When I can’t seem to give any more…that love, patience, graciousness is beyond my ability, HE gives it for me to share with others

When I can’t willingly go beyond my comfort zone to reach out to those that need a helping hand, HE allows HIS Spirit to work within my heart to change

When the costs go beyond what is physically in the bank, HE gives me the peace to rely on HIM for provision

When the difficult storms seem beyond my capability to control, HE gently reminds me that HE is the ROCK that stands above the storm…won’t I just reach out for HIS hand

When the time and space seem beyond my ability to figure out where things are going….what will happen next….how I will arrive at the future that I thought HE had for me…..HE assures me in HIS Word to just continue to follow HIS path, no matter how many twists and turns….

She Shares – On Prayer and Detox

A few weeks ago, I attended a wellness retreat where I was enabled to eat Clean foods and experience some great physical activity.  I started following one of the fitness instructors Bobbi McCormick on Twitter and then linked up to a hashtag #shereadstruth Bobbi had tweeted. Long story short…I have linked up to a group that shares things they are learning from their daily devotions.  Currently, there is an accountability group reading through devotions on Prayer through the YouVersion app.  (You can do the plans online even if you don’t have a SmartPhone)  I have become enthralled with this group as the team posts weekly verses for memorization that you can make into your own little creation and save as a lockscreen on your phone.  

Through YouVersion, I first started a series on Soul Detox.  It appealed to me since I had just returned from a Physical Detox.  It’s 5 weeks and goes through things in our lives that are toxic – week 1: thoughts, week 2: words, week 3: fear.  Here are some lessons learned this week

  • Embrace wisdom and seek God’s Word so that I may respond to toxic words around me in a godly way (Proverbs 4)
  • I speak toxic words because I lack self-control (James 3)
  • Speak LIFE-GIVING words; Replace CLAMOR (shouting angrily) with a sincere tone and attitude that matches the kindness I so desperately want to show others (this mostly applies to the CLAMOR that can come out at home)   Ephesians 4:17-33
  • When you think positively about someone, share it with them (Matthew 12: 22-37)
  • Toxic fears drive much of my day – fear of inadequacy, not getting enough done, fear of failing.  So many days, I draw inward and just don’t attempt life – I don’t reach out to others.  I want that fear to be replaced with power. love, and self-control (II Timothy 1:1-18)

The current lessons on Prayer from SheReadsTruth started over a week ago. I love that I can tweet a pic and then follow others who have done the same.  I don’t know these people, but I love sharing what I have learned.  I know that my instagram followers may get tired of seeing a bunch of pics of my journal pages, but it is my way of staying accountable.  Here are some reminders and lessons learned:

  • May I never fail to bring my troubles to a God who hears me day or night and who is loyal and good to answer my cry (Psalm 55:16-17)
  • If you refuse to obey what you have been taught, your prayers will not be heard (Proverbs 28:9)
  • The one who humbles himself in prayer will be exalted (Luke 18:1-14)
  • Christ begged the Father to sanctify His disciples and to keep them from evil (John 17).  May I lift others up in this same way
  • I don’t want my insecurities take me away from the path and direction that God has established for me – May I continue to pray for His guidance (I Kings 8:44-45)

What lessons from God’s Word are you ready to share with others today?  Are you prepared to be accountable by letting others know?

Five Minute Friday: Enough

The Gypsy Mama shares this great idea to write every Friday for 5 minutes on a topic.

Want to take five minutes with me and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

 ENOUGH

 

I can never quite get enough of my favorite foods: mashed potatoes, homemade tacos, orange chicken and rice

I can never quite get enough of trying to find new foods to cook or restaurants to try

I can never quite get enough of some of my favorite shows:  Chopped, Food network star, Amazing Race, etc, etc,

I can never quite get enough of being lazy on a summer morning, drinking coffee, and fixing a great little breakfast to enjoy out on the patio

How often though, do I seem to get enough of the things that really matter in life?

  • God’s Word – sure there are some days that I don’t want to put down that Scripture or Bible Study that I am wrapped up in, but it is often tempting to say, “Okay, it’s been enough time…I’ve got to do other things

  • Family – I love spending time with them, but how often would I rather be a recluse, looking over lesson plans or working on my college coursework, or ….have to work on that blog post, tweet, or new instagram upload.   I know there are times I put aside the important times with family and replace them with things that are way less important

Lord, give me the ability to know what things I need to put down so that I can be filled with ENOUGH of the things that mean most in life.  May I realize that there are some things I should never have enough of, the things I should desire MORE and MORE of each day…may I chose those with wisdom and discernment.

Perspectives on the Holy Spirit

This past spring, I embarked on a new experience…in a couple of ways.  Through paths that God placed along my way, I was able to meet a great group of women who were not only extreme sources of encouragement but who were also transparent.  I believe this was the importance of the experience.  I was able to be in the midst of women who desired accountability and were also able to provide it.

For Christmas, I received Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan.  I had read his book Crazy Love last summer and fell in love with not only his ability to write in such a candid way, but also the truth of Scripture that he made so very evident.  I had started to read Forgotten God during winter break, but once I had to return to work, I got sidetracked and the engagement with the book ended…that is until I received an email announcing a Bible study based on this book I had.  There were several thoughts running through my head.  I didn’t even know who these women were, but I did recognize that this was a great opportunity to meet people who were followers of God…that I could take time once a week to sit and reflect on the Holy Spirit with other believers.  I fell in love with these believers.  God did more than teach me about the Holy Spirit – He reminded me of community and the purpose of it.

After the introduction, I wondered about so many things since I was brought up to be a bit apprehensive of the extreme use of the Holy Spirit in some religious communities.  (Which, by the way, Chan warns against apprehension as well as abuse)

If I am already acknowledging God’s work in my life, is it necessary to attribute that to the Spirit?

Could Chan just as easily have challenged us to seek God more? 


Soon after I started reading, I was reminded that even though we have the Trinity presented in Scripture, there are specific passages that lead us to examine each part of the Trinity separately.  There are times that we need to ponder the role of God, Jesus, and the Spirit separately in order to realize the special attributes that each has.  So, here is a little of the important truths I was reminded and things I learned through the study.

John 14  – The Father gave the disciples the Holy Spirit to be “another Comforter” just like Christ

John 16 – Christ reminds His disciples that it is better for them that the Spirit would come… but do I truly believe this?  Would I rather have Christ in the flesh walking with me?  I must trust that God’s plan to leave the Holy Spirit within me is part of my story and my journey in this life.  

I must be ready to do any radical thing that the Spirit leads me to do – let go of the fear of the unknown…no matter how uncomfortable

Analogies like the egg or the three-leaf clover can hardly begin to start to explain the nature of the Triune God

The Spirit has emotions and we can grieve Him through our lack of trust in His work in our lives

Through the Spirit we have received a spirit of adoption as children, which leads us into intimacy with the Father instead of relationship based on fear and slavery (Romans 8:15-16)

Sure, I may not intentionally  promote my own glory in the successes that I have, but do I PURPOSELY BRING GLORY TO CHRIST, THAT HE WOULD BE MAGNIFIED.  Without this, I miss opportunities to share HIM with those I come into contact with

The reality is that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit; and because of this reality, stress and tiredness, and impatience don’t have to define my day

I got to the chapter entitled “Forget About His Will for Your Life!”  Of course, that  put me in conflict with everything I have ever thought about God’s plan for me.  I will let you read the chapter for yourself with this in mind:  sometimes, I think about what God’s will is for me in the future, so I fail to live EACH MOMENT in light of HIS plan for that moment.  Again, focusing on some FUTURE plan, I often put off MY part in moving forward.  Perhaps I feel that I will make a mistake, so I “fret over figuring out God’s will.”  We should live in a constant desire to be emptied of self and then filled with the attributes of the Spirit; walking in the Spirit requires “action on (my) part.”  I must find that balance  – not focusing on all the things He wants me to do, but rather focusing on the kind of person He want me to be.  

I pray that I haven’t confused any of the primary concepts that are presented in the book.  Forgotten God is not just about the Holy Spirit; it’s about the lives that we are called to live.  Willing to take on radical changes….I was able to take a radical step in meeting new believers and in allowing myself to be transparent and accountable.

What radical step towards a full life in Christ might the Spirit be calling you to take?