Tag: spiritual disciplines

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Stand Up: Seek Wise, Biblical Counsel

Dear sisters, during this month of March, we are covering the first step of the step forward process: Stand Up and recognize that God is speaking to you. One way to more clearly understand how God is speaking to you is to seek wise, Biblical counsel.

We look to Jesus as our example.

Jesus always sought to do the will of His Father: “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38). When he had a big decision to make like selecting his twelve disciples, “…he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.” (Luke 6:12-16)

It’s easy for us to discuss our plans and opinions with everyone we know, but that’s not the life Jesus modeled for us. There are no accounts of Him receiving directions from His Father and discussing them with the disciples or anyone else. Instead, He showed us the power in retreating to silence, prayer, and boldly following where the Father led.

So, what does this mean for you?

Once you realize what God is saying to you, and you have a sense of direction from Him, ask God to show you someone who will provide you with wise, Biblical counsel such as a Pastor, or a church elder, or a Godly friend with a deep faith walk. You might also consider meeting with a Spiritual Director – someone who will walk alongside you, who can help you tune into the powerful working of the Holy Spirit, and can help you discern God’s work in your life.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your biblical community?
  • Who in your life can you seek wise, biblical counsel from?

If you don’t have that person, how can you go about finding that person in your life?

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

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Stand Up: Rest in God’s Presence

Hey Friends! Our theme for March is the first step of the step forward process: Stand Up. One way to stand up in your boat and recognize that God is speaking to you is through prayer and quiet reflection. It’s really easy to talk at God, but the main idea here is to spend time resting in His presence.

Resting is no easy task. How many times have you tried an official quiet time and were completely distracted? Or maybe you fell asleep? Some of you remember the old Energizer Bunny commercials – the idea that the battery is so good the bunny just keeps going and going and going and going…

Does that sound like you?

It’s easy to keep going, propelled forward by circumstances, goals, or one expectation after the other. In the quiet moments when you finally stop, you have to deal with all of your thoughts and emotions…the cracks and gaps you try to avoid…everything about your daily life that you shove under the rug or cover up with other things.

By resting in God’s presence, you gain clarity about how you see God in your life – and it’s in those quiet moments that you really have an opportunity to let God work and direct you. When you rest in God’s presence, He can clear your thoughts and open your heart and mind to receive His message and prepare you for the work He has for you.

Will you try to rest in God’s presence this week for as little as 5-10 minutes a day?

A great practical tool for spending time with God is journaling. You can journal your questions, things you’ve been wrestling with, your thoughts, what you’re thankful for, prayers, etc., and then look back and see how God provided an answer, opened a door, made a way, and what He taught you through the process.

What methods have you tried to draw closer to God?

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

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a tapestry of hope

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

September 9, 2018 was the day individual accounts of broken stories of restoration multiplied exponentially through the body of Christ and became 1,000+ touchpoints of conversation as Heartland opened its first-ever creative arts exhibition, “Broken Pieces.”

Displayed on panels and tables throughout the lobby, more than 30 works were presented in poetic form, captured on film, pieced together with ceramic tiles, intricately woven with yarn, brushed on with acrylic paints and oils, sculpted, collaged, and drawn with pencil.

Theme aside, these somewhat fragmented displays of artistic works taking up space where comfy couches were normally located could have been placed anywhere except for one defining feature: the exhibit cards. Suddenly, simple white cards bearing the typical piece description became a megaphone for the healing work of Jesus. With one glance, personal trials, struggles with mental illness, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, homelessness, hopelessness, and death multiplied out from darkness to light as every individual’s internal monologue touched 1,000+ lives every time someone read an exhibit card.

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

God took a simple display of themed creative work and turned it into a tapestry of restoration and hope. Like a stained-glass window, all the panels and tables of artistic broken stories were held together with the love, healing and grace of Jesus.

The Enemy wants us to keep our broken stories, deep hurts, and struggles to ourselves so that we remain isolated, but through the Power of God’s Holy Spirit and the saving work of Jesus on the Cross, there is no limit to what He can accomplish in us and our relationships with others when we make ourselves vulnerable, authentic, and transparent.

1 Corinthians 12:24-26 says, “…But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

The Broken Pieces exhibit is just one more example of the transformational work God can do in our lives when we allow our stories to be used by Him.

Have you experienced Christ’s love and healing in your own broken story? Are you still trying to make sense of everything that’s happened in your life, or are you losing hope? If any of these ring true, please reach out!