Tag Archives: Community

What (or Who) are We Worshiping?

During my quiet time, a particular Scripture popped up on my computer screen. It wasn’t the Scripture I intended to study, but one requiring my attention and some thought. So, here we go: Let’s think about this passage and how (or what) we worship.

When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him. But Peter took hold of him and said, “Stand up! I am nothing more than a human.” When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him.

Acts 10:25-26, CEV

Cornelius is seen worshiping Peter and requires a rebuke of sorts. I wonder, how many of us require the same rebuke – myself included. I think, Cornelius became caught up in the moment. I mean, this is Peter – the same Peter who walked with our Lord Jesus.

Worshiping the Wrong Thing

In my opinion, it is easier to focus on worshiping, pleasing people, and giving our attention to the things we can see, touch, taste, and smell. I know, it is for me. I love being able to interact with things I can experience on a physical level. It isn’t things that are sinful, either, but Christ is not always valued over all. It is easy to get distracted or caught up in the moment. But, I think that is why this passage is of such importance.

We need to become very intentional and serious about what we worship, for our God is a jealous God!

The Big Commandment

Scripture is clear, though. We are not to give our hearts in worship to anything else. We are taught to have “no other gods before Me” in accordance with the Ten Commandments in Exodus.

You must not have any other gods except me.

Exodus 20:3, ICB

Our God is so amazing!
He loves us beyond words.
He is jealous for you.
He wants to spend time with you, my friend.
He wants to hear how your day is going. Yes, He already knows. But, He wants you to talk with Him about it. He loves you fiercely, so fiercely that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins, and rose again on the third day to give you new, amazing, abundant life!

After all God has done for us, He absolutely deserves to be the only One we worship!

I wonder how our day-to-day encounters with our Most Holy God are though. Do we worship by faith or merely what is in our sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7) Many things compete for our attention and adoration. From the food we eat, to our cell phones, or our community, anything can become something we worship if we are not careful. May we evaluate our lives and choose to worship God alone!

To learn more about this command, I invite you to read Deuteronomy 6:13-19.

Image: James Barr

Awkwardly Living Out My Life

Today has been adventurous. I had a stress test and a holter (heart) monitor placed on my chest a few hours ago. And, it feels like all I am truly capable of – is awkwardness. Have you ever found yourself in such a place, dear friend?

Instead of focusing on what I could potentially complain about, I just want to talk about being awkward for the glory of God.

Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

Romans 12:2, ERV

When it comes to acting awkwardly, or doing things differently from others, we need to remember those just might be the things that the Lord chooses to use the most.

Earlier, I opened the wrong “riding sharing” (Lyft, Uber, etc) car door. And there just so happens that a couple of people were getting out of the car. Now I could berate myself. “Why did I do that, Lord?!?!?” Or I could respond to myself with mercy, the kind of mercy our great God shows me.

The way others respond to me, in this moment, was kind. We spoke, laughed, and I wished them a good day, but they were just so kind about it. Kind like I should be, when I accidentally make a mistake.


Why is it we are so harsh to ourselves, when we can extend mercy? We need to love ourselves right where we are. Our great God has demonstrated love toward us, while we were still sinners (see Rom. 5:8). If God loves us where we are, why can’t we? It seems like trying to tear down a building.

Brick by brick, truth by truth, loving act by loving act, we need to live out our lives in a much better way. Our goal cannot be perfection. It has to be awkwardly living out our lives.

Because of the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, I can awkwardly live out my life. And as each day comes and goes, maybe, that self-induced shame and anxiety become a little bit less. Maybe, I am a bit more merciful to myself – as I learn how to be a follower of Jesus Christ who is authentic and loves her self so she can learn how to love others.

We will either become fixated on our awkwardness or the beauty that is found in coming to Jesus Christ. Our fear of awkwardness could cause us to not obey the Lord, because we are so afraid. My second awkward moment came, because I was not afraid. I chose to call up a loved one, because “what’s the worst that could happen?”

. . . Okay, so we only talked for literally a minute. But I chose to be brave and honor that holy –nudge to call my loved one and ask how they were.

I chose to follow Jesus Christ, even if it meant awkwardness. And, that’s what we need. We need to be willing to follow our Lord Jesus, even if it means awkwardly living out our lives.

Fog of Depression

I have greatly struggled with depression this past month. I am not sure it could be narrowed down to any one specific factor. There are many things, which can cause one’s mental illness to “flare up”. When undergoing trials, the holidays can become a difficult season. The holidays can bring up many emotions, regardless of life circumstances.

Wherever you are, I see you. As I face my own struggles, I see you. I see you and I want to encourage each of you, so you don’t go through this time feeling isolated or alone.


Depression can become quite thick around this time of year. I don’t know where you are, but I want to encourage you to press on. All the while, I am trying to encourage my own self to press on.

How so? For myself, I just finished reading the book of Genesis. I seem to do well pressing on in my Bible reading right now. My prayer life is where I seriously need to see growth.

In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to give his son Isaac in sacrificial worship. His precious, long-awaited, son needed to be fully given to God. But, would Abraham trust God… love God, even here? Will you and I surrender?


‘Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.

. . . ”The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you . . . because you have obeyed me.”’

~ See Genesis 22


As I am reminded of Abraham’s great act of surrender, I know, there are many things I need to surrender to the Lord Jesus in my own life. When I willfully give my circumstances to our great God, He will take care of them. I need to give God each day and keep trying to dig into His Word – despite the trials I face. I have been talking a lot about that, in my daily Bible checkup time on Instagram | Facebook.

My goal behind the daily Bible checkup time is: to help each of us to fight back in our battles and read our Bible’s (and pray) – even when it is hard.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:2-3, New Living Translation

How about you – dear friend? What do you need to surrender to the Lord Jesus today? How are you struggling and in need of prayer or encouragement?

Featured image: Markos Mant

Forever His,
Stace

Finding Abundant Life {Stepping into 1 Cor}

This week, we began to study 1 Corinthians. Specifically 1:1-9. Did you join us this week? What was your favorite part of this passage? 

Let’s take a moment to read it.


You might be feeling broken and lonely.
. . . or had the most amazing week of your life (it’s rare, but happens).

Wherever you are, I want to come and share some God given truths with our hearts today. God knows how our week has gone, and will meet us exactly where we are.

We can take down our masks and be honest with our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

God Fills Us!

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3b, NIV).

In John 10:3-10, we are reminded of the amazing love our generous Savior has for each one of us. As we come to Him, He is able to fill every empty space in our lives. His Word is truly water for our souls.

So, let us come and allow our hearts to be filled. Our circumstances may differ from a hurting loved one, but our circumstances matter – especially to God. He loves you and absolutely wants to be your Shepherd. He knows the details of your life. He knows the sort of encouragement you need tonight.

3 Truths –

God enriches the church in every way (v. 5). We have been given God’s Word, where we are able to meet the God of the Universe and discover the amazing love and plans He has for us – as His people. We can hear and understand God’s promises, because the gifts He has given us. Our lives may seem lacking, but He has enriched our lives immensely! He still has this amazing, abundant life in store for His people – as we come to Him. He is making the impossible – possible.

God keeps us strong until the end, so we will be free of all blame when our Lord Jesus Christ returns (v. 8). At times, it is easy to feel like we are anything but strong and blameless. Often, all we can see is our weaknesses and why we are worthy of blame. In these moments, may we run to our Lord Jesus Christ and remember the gift He is giving us – of deliverance and freedom. He came to set us free, and allow us the opportunity to be in a relationship with our heavenly Father.

As we run to Him, He will give us all we need.

God is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited us into partnership with His Son Jesus Christ – our Lord (v. 9). This is my favorite truth I have uncovered lately. To know I have this community with the Lord, it soothes my soul. I haven’t been forgotten. It’s quite the opposite.

We have been invited to fellowship with God’s precious Son Jesus Christ – who has become our Lord. We don’t have to wait, but can experience a relationship of great intimacy and depth with our Lord Jesus right now {and it’s an absolute gift}.

Featured image by rawpixel.

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In Him,

Signature

 

Every Season

I know God can bring good things out of my pain. I just have to keep enduring.

Before tonight, I hadn’t been outside of our front door in nearly a week. I have Dysautonomia, and it has been absolutely brutal these past few weeks. My Summer goal was to not cancel appointments and to keep on. I wasn’t able to keep appointments, once June hit.

My physical body is just so done right now. I am holding on, but it is just… tired and worn. I want Summer to be over with, but I am reminded that. . . There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven… (Ecc. 3:1).”

We will go through seasons in life, that we have to fight — in order to get through. Life with chronic illness is like this. Some weeks, we have to give our all (and then some) to get through the things that are sent our way.

Friends, let us run to Christ Jesus with whatever we have to offer. When we are knocked down, we are out of our routine often times. Some times, we can barely muster up the courage to bathe or fix ourselves something simple to eat.

Jesus Christ wants to be our Source of strength to help us carry on.

My routine has been thrown out the window right now. Every time I stand up, my blood pressure dramatically drops, heart rate rapidly increases, lightheadedness, and nausea. Lately, my difficulties aren’t in standing alone. The symptoms can move forward, even with sitting up. Life definitely has a way of throwing us into difficulty, but what are we going to do with that difficulty? What are we going to do when we are thrown off our routine?

My last entry offered some things to run toward during our trials. Worship music, an audio Bible, prayer are all good things. But we have to come up with a “new routine” for those heavy trials days. Each of us are going to run toward our generous God in different ways during this time. It won’t all look the same way. Some of us are going to find it difficult to concentrate to read our Bible’s, but we will be able to reach out to Christ-loving friends to pray over us and to share with us His eternal truths.

I have found it really hard to have my quiet time with Jesus, while I am out of routine. My body is flaring and making it hard to do much. I haven’t done it today, but I tend to gravitate toward listening to the audio Bible. That is my Bible “study” time right now. It isn’t my usual way of being with the Lord, but it is good.

Just remember: God sent His Son Jesus Christ to love and carry us through these things. He is worthy, and will carry us. He can restore broken things, so we can keep pressing into Him.

Feature image by Kelly Neil.