Monthly Archives: June 2010

Things I need to remind myself of daily — Post 6

The Reason for Discipline

by Evelyn Underhill

Each person’s discipline will be different because what God wants from each of us is different. Some are called to an active and some to a passive life, some to very homely and some to hard and sacrificial careers, some to quiet suffering. Only the broad lines will be alike.

But no discipline will be any use to us unless we keep in mind the reason why we are doing this–for the Glory of God, and not just for the sake of our own self-improvement or other self-regarding purpose. Our object is to be what God wants of us, not what we want. So all that we do must be grounded in worship. First lift up our eyes to the hills, then turn to our own potato field and lightly fork in the manure.

Source: The Fruits of the Spirit

Reposted from Inward/Outward, a devotional blog from Church of the Savior in Washington, DC

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My Amazing Husband

I am married to an amazing man.
As I think about Father’s Day, he is the first thing that comes to my mind.

He is a wonderful Father to our children.
He is a model of Christ’s love to his family.
He is fun-loving, yet firm.
He celebrates our strengths and challenges us to never give up on our weaknesses.
He is our comic relief and our spiritual leader.
He has forgiven me for more things than I ever deserve to be forgiven for.
He is incredibly talented.
He is a humble servant.

And every morning when I wake up next to him, I am thankful that God created this amazing man to spend his life with me.

And for the miracle that every day, he willingly chooses to do just that.

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Things I need to remind myself of daily — Post 5

The Importance of Thick Skins and Soft Hearts — by Heather Zempel

Heather’s blog is one of those that I love to read.  As a young woman in the ministry she offers some important insights for life.

Developing thick skin means we let the stupid stuff bounce off– not allowing an arrow to pierce our skin unless it first pierces through the truth of Scripture. And keeping a soft heart means remaining transparent, vulnerable, teachable, and pliable in the hands of God and in our relationships with others.

To read the rest of this story go to: http://discipleshipgroups.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-ones-for-girls.html

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Things I need to remind myself of daily — Post 4

Be patient with God and with yourself

Saturday June 12 2010 12:00 AM
Posted by Rick Warren

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (CEV)

As you grow to spiritual maturity, there are several ways to cooperate with God in the process —

Believe God is working in your life even when you don’t feel it. Spiritual growth is sometimes tedious work, one small step at a time. Expect gradual improvement. The Bible says, “Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, CEV)

There are seasons in your spiritual life, too. Sometimes you will have a short, intense burst of growth (springtime) followed by a period of stabilizing and testing (fall and winter).

What about those problems, habits, and hurts you would like miraculously removed? It’s fine to pray for a miracle, but don’t be disappointed if the answer comes through a gradual change. Over time, a slow, steady stream of water will erode the hardest rock and turn giant boulders into pebbles. Over time, a little sprout can turn into a giant redwood tree towering 350-feet tall.

Keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned. This is not a diary of events, but a record of what you are learning. Write down the insights and life lessons God teaches you about him, about yourself, about life, relationships, and everything else. Record these so you can review and remember them and pass them on to the next generation. (Psalm 102:18; 2 Timothy 3:14)

The reason we must relearn lessons is that we forget them. Reviewing your spiritual journal regularly can spare you a lot of unnecessary pain and heartache. The Bible says, “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.” (Hebrews 2:1, Msg)

We are often in a hurry when God isn’t. One of life’s frustrations is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God isn’t. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life. Remember that God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.

To read Rick Warren’s Daily Blog you can go to:  http://purposedriven.com/index.html and click on “Devotional”

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Finding our HEART…

One of the workbooks that I have been working on in my quiet time is The Real Deal: Becoming More Authentic in Life and Leadership by Dan Webster.  While I never considered leadership one of my strong skills in life (I much prefer to work behind the scenes), it was clear to me in leaving Texas that I needed to take time and work on my authenticity in life.  There was a growing gap between who I was on the “outside” and the person I was allowing myself to become on the inside.

Today I started Chapter 4 of the workbook – Living from a Scared Trust.  Webster says: “God has placed a sacred trust in you so that you can accomplish a sacred task for him.”

“If we are to become authentic leaders we must develop an accurate understanding of who God made us and how He’s gifted us to serve.  The authentic leader understands that God has placed a sacred trust of gifts, personality, talents and passions into him or her… Our sacred trust shows us where and how we are to serve God. Our sacred trust is the North Star that navigates us through all of life’s opportunities.”

Almost as soon as I asked Christ to be my Lord, those around me begin using the words “spiritual gifts” and finding “God’s will” for my life.  But Webster has a much broader definition that he challenges us to look at.   He talks about “Living from your Heart.”  In this context he refers to serving God from our heart, but he also uses HEART as an acronym to help us understand what scared trust is.

H – Heritage – our family origins, both the blessings and the baggage, helped create us into who we are today.  It was no accident that God gave us the families that we have to help shape us into who He wants us to be.

E – Experiences – our life has been filled with them.  We may question why God has taken us through a specific experience and it is usually not until later in life that we see how He uses our life experiences as part of His plan.  I’m just now beginning to totally understanding some of my middle and high school experiences as I spend more time working with middle and high school students here in Florida.

A – Abilities – both spiritual and physical (or as Dan calls them natural and supernatural).  I know from working in ministry and in the community that my spiritual gifts are focused on administration, helping and giving, while my natural strengths are not organization or commanding leadership.  I both love and have a talent for helping others work through problems or issues in life.  I remember starting out in my early years in the Federal Government (I worked for HUD in the early years).  When the secretaries would go to lunch and I would beg them to let me answer the phones.  Sure enough at least once, if not several times in that hour, there would be a sweet little old lady who was at the end of her rope whom I could help work through her housing problems.  It came so easy to me and I so enjoyed doing it.

R – Resonance – this is the passion that God has planted inside of you! God overdid it with me on this one…sometimes I feel like I have a passion for everything with which I come in contact.  Webster defines resonance as “something you agree with or are in sync with.”  Something you are naturally attracted to.  This might be country music vs. classical or scary movies over dramas, but in a sacred trust sense, what causes or passions are you naturally pulled toward? For me it includes helping rebuild neighborhoods, teaching preschoolers and understanding and serving others.

T – Temperament –  I’m a huge Myers Briggs fan (its part of my resonance).  So the temperament section came easy to me.  Webster reminds us that the way God made us (introverted vs. extroverted, for example) is part of the sacred trust.  Below is a list of some temperament characteristics that Webster lists in his workbook (my answers are in bold).

Hard driver vs. easy going

Extraverted vs. Introverted

Well organized vs. Play it by Ear

Thinker vs. Feeler

Neat vs. Disorderly

Creative vs. More Automatic

Spontaneous vs. Routine

Abstract vs. Concrete

Playful vs. Focused on Work

Good with hands vs. Good with mind

The list continues on and there are many other online resources that can help you understand the temperament God has given you.

Webster wraps this all up to remind us that each letter in the HEART is something that God has given us to uniquely equip us for what he has called us to do.  As we look at the opportunities that are placed before us in life, Webster challenges us to look at them through the HEART filter.  As we look back on the Heritage, the Experiences, the Abilities, the Resonance and the Temperament that God has given us, is this opportunity something that God has uniquely equipped us to do?

God is also reminding me a lot lately that my focus needs to be more on the next step that He wants me to take then on trying to understand His plan for the next 5, 10 or 15 years.  The quote I heard listening to one of my podcasts the other day in reference to Esther and the tough choice she had to make to face the King.

“If God was going to reveal his entire plan to us beforehand, then it wouldn’t require much faith on our part.”

Cites:  All of the quotes above come from Chapter 4 of The Real Deal by Dan Webster.  More information on Dan Webster and his leadership resources can be found at http://www.authenticleadershipinc.com/

The reference to the podcast at the end of the blog comes from Perry Noble’s Esther series at New Spring Community Church. You can listen to all of them at: http://www.newspring.cc/series/esther

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