Tag: Bible

Seeing The Beauty In Your Storm

We often associate storms with destruction, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a rainstorm passes through and leaves behind lush green grass, well-watered plants, and fresher air. Often, the darkness clears to reveal a beautiful rainbow…a sign of hope and a reminder of God’s covenant with us (Genesis 9:16).

Let’s look at John 15:2, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Just as the gardener prunes his fruit tree, God will prune us through various circumstances and storms. This changing, molding, shaping and refining of ourselves can be painful and life-changing, but if we trust in God’s work, then we will grow more deeply in our faith and relationship with Him, and increase our capacity to bear more fruit.

Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Notice where the scripture reads, “…I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

In the middle of our dark moments, we are often so focused on our struggle that we can miss the beauty of the ‘new thing’ — the new work — God is bringing about or calling us toward. Like a new sprout that unfolds in the garden after the rain passes, God is constantly at work creating beauty out of what appears to be ashes, making a way where there appears to be no way.

What storm are you experiencing right now?

Can you see God doing a new work in your life?

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about the step forward process, spiritual disciplines, or the benefits of personal coaching. Thank you for sharing your faith journey with us!

Start Walking: Facing Discouragement?

As you begin to walk on the water, you might feel unstoppable: your faith is firm, your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you have stepped into your gifting, God is equipping you, and you’ve got this!

And then along comes a harsh word, or a subtle taunt thrown your way…

“How are you going to balance everything?”

“If God wanted you to do that, He would…”

“You might be okay at X, but you’ll never be as good as X.”

“Are you sure this is what God really wants for you?”

The list goes on an on of potential remarks and encounters with people whose sole purpose is to undermine your faith journey. There is a difference between Biblical wisdom delivered with kindness and genuine concern versus the know-it-all-watchdog who does not want you to succeed or feels threatened in some way.

Remember Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”(NIV)

As you walk deeply in faith, don’t let the World (i.e., naysayers, Enemy, etc.) hold you back and discourage you.

  • What discouragements are you facing right now?
  • Who can help you on your journey?

Comment below or message us if we can help you uncover God’s work in your life.

Step Out: Establish a Plan

As you step forward to explore what God is asking you to do today, you might find yourself knowing exactly what to do next but not know how to go about it…or you might not know what to do next at all…or you might feel completely overwhelmed at all the possibilities and not sure where or how to begin.

As Believers, we hold our plans loosely so that we can be continually directed by God through the power of His Holy Spirit working in us, and God establishes our plans when we commit them to Him (Proverbs 16:3). Think of the plan you are establishing as a flexible outline; a tool to give you a sense of scope and direction, but not so concrete and rigid that it leaves no room for God to work.

Maybe you’re wondering how the planning process begins, or what to do when the big picture goal is overwhelming. This is where having an accountability partner or enlisting the help of a professional, such as a coach can make a difference.

Working with a coach can help you step toward your large goal by identifying smaller objectives along the way, helping you stay on track, and also celebrating your results.

  • Who in your life can help you be accountable?
  • Who can help you break down your large goal into small, achievable steps?
  • Would you like to learn more about the coaching process?

Comment below or message us if we can help you uncover God’s work in your life.

 

Step Out: Find an Accountability Partner

To step out of the boat and begin exploring what God is asking you to do is to step out in faith and trust:

  • You’re trusting that you’ve heard the voice of God.
  • You’re trusting that you’ve heard God correctly.
  • You’re trusting that you really are taking the “right” step.
  • You’re trusting this new unknown in your life.

It’s okay if you have mixed emotions…fears…doubts. You’re going to make giant leaps forward, as well as a few steps backward. Remember that God is by your side through it all — whether you do it “right”… whether you make mistakes…on the days you’re slaying it…and all the moments in between.

To help you on your journey, God will put people in your path to encourage you, educate you, and minister to you.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11)

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”(Hebrews 10:24)

Find an accountability partner or group who will pray with you, support you, talk straight to you, and help you stay on track.

  • Who in your life can help you fulfill God’s purpose?
  • Who can help you be accountable?
  • Who can you help?

 

unpack your bags

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

As part of my fun and curious quest to read the Bible chronologically, I recently read through the book of Leviticus. Quite honestly, I slogged through the book of Leviticus. The entire book is about all of the rules, sacrifices and procedures required to be clean before God — or make atonement for sin — and it completely sets the stage for the time when God would send Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice for all sins, putting an end to the Levitical system.

I’m a very visual person, so as I was reading, all of these unwanted pictures about what was happening were running through my mind. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be the priest, and I thought about how fearful and dejected the people must have been: “Is this animal an acceptable sacrifice for my sin? Did I follow the right number of days or the right type of sacrifice to be purified?” Can you imagine the burden of living like that every single day?

Many times I asked myself, “Why am I reading this book?” because I was pretty certain God would be cool with me just skipping it. “God, I know you had a plan here, but really? Like this is what you came up with?” However, I knew if I kept reading, there was going to be some little gem in there that God was going to speak to me through. By the time I got to chapter 26, I was beginning to doubt that this gem existed in Leviticus, but then, there it was in verses 12 and 13:

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

What a great illustration of what God is doing in our lives TODAY. Maybe your response looks like mine: “Yes God! YOU walk with me daily. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit and by the grace and mercy shown me through Jesus Christ, I am no longer a slave to sin or any part of my past. Because YOU have broken the chains of my bondage, I am new…transformed before You.”

I encourage you to be fully free in Jesus Christ. And if you have a personal relationship with Christ but you’re hanging onto some stuff, I encourage you to take the baggage of your past hurts, disappointments, stress, lack of confidence, negative feelings, and root causes of your addictions and hand it all over to God. You can stand tall with your head held high (Lev. 26:13), knowing “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

Let me know how I can help you on your journey of being continually transformed. We’re in this together!

unraveling = freedom

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

The song starts, “You unravel me with a melody…”

While singing those words during worship last month, the word “unraveled” stuck with me. Various images came to my mind like when a hanging thread gets pulled and an entire seam comes apart, or when soft threads start to separate and create a hole in a favorite sweater. But we sang, “YOU unravel me” — YOU, God, unravel me. My trusty Google search produced this definition:

Isn’t that interesting? Let’s look at the first part of the definition: “undo” or “untangle.” The idea of unraveling is much more acceptable when we’re talking about fabric. We, as people, usually try to appear “put together” – not “undone” or coming apart in any form. But something beautiful happens in the purposeful unraveling of ourselves: like threads separating, unraveling creates space.

Loosening up the threads of our lives like our tightly wound personas, our impossibly busy schedules, our death grip on the things and people that are important to us, and our sin entanglements provides space for us to breathe…reflect…become free…and trust in God and experience Him more fully.

The second part of the definition reads “investigate, solve, explain, unscramble.” The action of unraveling ourselves and walking more purposefully with God draws us closer to Him. As we dive in deeper, He draws us closer and we achieve a greater understanding of His mystery, love, power and holiness.

So, how do we become unraveled? What does that look like? Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Examine your schedule. Is every activity necessary? Why? What can you delete?
  • Examine your lifestyle. What is important to you? Who are you trying to impress? Why?
  • Examine your secrets. Are you willing to give them up? God already knows about the hidden sin areas of your life and loves you outrageously. Talk to God and reach out to a pastor for help.
  • What other areas can you look at?

Unraveling = freedom. Like threads separating, we too can create space in our lives to more fully experience God and share the outrageous love of Jesus with everyone around us.

Unravel with me!