Tag: motivational

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 rack.

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

 

Step Out: Be Who and What God Called You To Be

We are working our way through stepping out of our comfort zone and becoming a disciple. This week we are focused on being who and what God called each of us to be. Our Scripture this week comes from Matthew 5:14-16:

“You are the light of the world!
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Let your light shine before others.

In the first part of verse 14, we read “you are the light” – and “you” is each one of us. We are the “light” (Greek phṓs), which is literally “the manifestation of God’s self-existent life”. (Strong’s Greek Lexicon).

As Christ followers, our very existence points to God who created us. Just like a city on top of a hill cannot be hidden, our very existence — the words we say, the actions we take, our lives as a whole — shine brightly, illuminating God’s work in the world.

What does this mean for you?

To step out of your comfort zone is literally to step fully into the person God has created you to be, doing the work that He has prepared for you to do.

  • Who are you in Christ?
  • What is God asking you to do?
  • How can you shine brightly where God plants you?

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

Step Out: Explore and Serve

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day when Jesus gathered with his Disciples for the last time, and the day that was just the beginning of events that would lead to his eventual death and resurrection. The term “Maundy” (Latin: Mondatum, Commandment) represents the ceremonial Washing of Feet – a religious rite of washing the feet of the poor.

After the last supper, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34) Preceding this command, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, exemplifying His love for them and offering us a beautiful demonstration of serving one another.

As you step out of your boat and explore what God is calling you to do, how can you serve the people God has placed in your path?

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

Step Into Your Power Source

On this Good Friday, at noon, a few centuries ago, “there was darkness over all the land” as Jesus died on the cross. (Matt. 27:45) At the moment of His last breath, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split. (Matt. 27:51)

At the moment of this cataclysmic event, it appeared the power had ceased and the light of a son…teacher…master…healer…had gone out of the world. The disciples would soon learn that the Power of Jesus was just getting started.

A couple days ago, storms and a tornado ripped through our area, resulting in a power outage for around 18 hours. There was much rejoicing among our children when the power – and all electronics – were restored. I posted to my facebook status, “Electricity is back on!!” with some happy party emojis. Some of our friends were still waiting for restoration in other areas of our city and county, so it was a huge surprise that our neighborhood “beat the deadline.”

I chose my status update word carefully: Electricity. In fact, I never posted that our power had gone out, except in private text messages, or comments on various friend’s discussion threads.

Why?

It’s because I never felt that I had lost power. The loss of electricity was an inconvenience. It also caused concern and efforts were made to preserve the food in our refrigerator. The loss of electricity was also irritating and a point of contention for our kids who were trying to navigate quarantine with a sudden loss of a day’s online school and the all-important leisure-time video games and TV.

I felt I never lost power because I never lost Jesus. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this point, thinking that sounds a little cliché, but stay with me on this idea. This week, we’ve been exploring the concept of praying about everything. Jesus is the source of power and strength (Isaiah 40:29). I tap into that source of power anytime just by praying – and I wrote yesterday about how prayer is just a little conversation with God.

So, no matter what I’m facing, whether I understand it or not, whether I’m hunkering down in a basement with a violent storm overhead, whether I lose a job, whether I’m sick, whether I… [fill in your own blank], I know without any doubt that God will work all things out according to His plans and purposes. I know this because of the work He’s already done in my life, and because of His promises to me in His Word which are forever true and unchanging (Isaiah 40:8).

There’s a common phrase often uttered in times of distress, fear, or hopelessness, “all we can do is pray.” Instead of waiting for an emergency, I invite you to begin each day and tackle every moment by tapping into your power source through prayer.

What would your day look like if you began with prayer?

Who is the source of your power?

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

Step Out: Pray About Everything

As we embark on this Holy Week journey of expectation of Christ’s death and resurrection, it’s a joy to explore prayer with you! Our scripture comes from Jeremiah 33:3, “‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’ (The Message)

One way that we call out to God is through prayer. Prayer can take on many forms, and there are quite a few spiritual practices that can also assist us. However, prayer in its most basic form is just a conversation with God.

The concept of “Conversation” implies two-way communication. While one person speaks, the other person listens. If we spend all our time talking at God instead of resting in His Presence and listening to Him, we miss out — we miss getting to know Him, being comforted by Him, being directed.

As God pointed out in Jeremiah 33:3, He wants us to call on Him, talk to Him and seek Him so that He can direct us toward ‘things we could never figure out on our own’ —but if we don’t make the space available to listen for His answer, we miss the mark of going deeper with our faith and receiving that revelatory information that can fulfill us, restore us, heal us, and possibly set our lives on an incredible course.

Does your prayer life need a boost?

What can you do to make space for God?

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

 

Step Out: Identify and Overcome Obstacles

Welcome to April 1st! Our theme this month is no joke: Step Out – Grow in Faith…Become a Disciple. For this first week, we are looking at identifying and overcoming obstacles.

In order to achieve your goals, you need a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. If you’re attempting to step out of your boat and explore, but you haven’t heard clearly from God, then we invite you to review Step #1: Stand Up – Did God Speak to Me?

Once you have clarity about what you’re exploring, it’s time to assess what’s in your way. Obstacles might be tangible such as time, money, or resources – but obstacles can also be perceived such as fear of failure, fear of success, or feelings of inadequacy.

Let’s take a look at the current situation: In these historic days, you might be faced with a myriad of obstacles that are affecting your schedule, your time available, your mental and physical health, and your resources. Remember, your obstacles – both tangible and perceived – are not a surprise to God. He might use them, move them, or help you navigate around them!

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

You might view the current Pandemic as a huge obstacle – but what if you view it as an opportunity?

  • How is God using you and growing you spiritually and professionally right where you are?
  • How is God speaking to you right now?
  • What is God asking you to do?
  • What does God want you to hear?

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

spend this year with Jesus

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

This is not the typical goal-setting, list-making, organizing-your-life type of stuff that you normally read at the beginning of a new year. Whether you’re at the top of the mountain anticipating all that 2019 has waiting for you, or you’re trying to lift your hands in worship from the trenches of brokenness, the key to this next year – and really, the rest of your life – is to take it step-by-step, second-by-second, with God…not just “God with us at Christmas,” but every day. This year: Prioritize deepening your spiritual life.

Walk with God Every Day
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

  • What are your first thoughts when you wake up? Are you dashing out of bed into the day without any minutes to spare? Even if you can’t set your alarm earlier, make it a habit to tune your thoughts toward God. Thank Him for this new day and ask Him to walk with you through it. If you have concerns, doubts, fears, tell Him. If this is new for you, stick a reminder on your bathroom mirror or other go-to spot to help you recognize God first in your day.
  • As you go through the rest of your day, can you see Jesus with you? Sitting in the chair next to you? How about the passenger seat of your car? In your meeting at work? Working out with you? What would you say to Him? What is He saying to you? God is with us 24/7, but since we can’t visually see Him, use your imagination to picture Him next to you.
  • What time of day is best to call on Jesus? Every second! He’s walking with you and He wants to hear from you. Any moment is a good one to call on Him, talk to Him, thank Him, and bring your needs before Him. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).

Make Your Decisions with God
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.” (Isaiah 58:11)

  • No decision is too big or too small for God. If you’re making a decision about anything at all, ask God for His wisdom and guidance…and then be prepared for His answer. He will direct you and inspire you – but you must also be open to His plans and be willing to change yours accordingly.

Practice Being in His Presence
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)

  • To love God and follow Him is to know Him and make time for Him. In addition to walking through the day with Him and consulting Him, the best way to deepen your relationship is to spend time with Him. The silence can be uncomfortable, but simply resting in His Presence is powerful. Maybe you would enjoy sitting in a comfortable spot or going for a walk. There’s no right or wrong way to spend your quiet time with Him…and if you find yourself nodding off, don’t feel guilty; discipline takes practice.

Embrace the Power of His Holy Spirit
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

  • As you’re walking with God daily, consulting Him, getting to know Him through His Word and spending time with Him, rely on the power of His Holy Spirit. It’s His strength that will get you through difficult situations and allow you to take the risks He wants you to take to accomplish His plans and explore the gifts and talents He’s given you.

If you want 2019 to be different, if you want to take charge of your life, if you want to see real change, spend this year with Jesus. If you have questions or need help deepening your spiritual life, reach out to us. We’re not experts, but we’re here to walk with you!

Pursuing God with You,

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!