Reflecting on Your Life and Service

How have you taken the time to reflect on your lives and walk with Christ? We need to consider the direction we are headed. I need to do this in my life, too. Remember how I have lived and loved Christ. While I may lack strength at times, I have chosen to serve Him.

Such reflection will keep us encouraged and energized in our faith. We have been given the amazing opportunity to come and experience our Mighty God through His Gospel! Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior, has arrived and will save us. What is stopping us from accepting Him and surrendering our lives?

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the LORD as a reward. It is the LORD Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24, NIV

Image: Cristian Newman (Unsplash)

Friendships in Seasons {POTF}

15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, 17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me 18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord’s mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well (1 Timothy 1:15-18, WEB).

This is a place in Scripture, which can comfort many of us. We all go through times, where friends can opt to leave us. And, it is a hard thing to experience. . . but this Scripture offers hope. The hope is found through our Lord Jesus Christ! He is our Provider.

While friendships do change over time, let’s choose to realize the Lord is able to give us people to “do life” alongside.


You might be going through a “friendship drought” right now. Hang in there, dear reader. Keep relying on the Lord and praying for Him to bring you friends who are choosing to follow Him – who can help you along your way. Dive deep into your friendship with the Lord Himself, and stay connected to your Church family – even when the relationships don’t seem to be there or anywhere. He is working.


How does this passage teach us about friendships?

1… Remember those who have chosen to stay, when everyone else has moved on.

2… Not only do we need to remember these friends, we need to pray for our friends.

3… Choose to be a friend who stays with others in the valleys of life. Choose to be a friend who stays and is there to help refresh others in the midst of their trials.

When facing our own trials, it can be difficult to be there for another who is going through their own storm. It is possible, but requires due diligence. The best way to “be there” is use technology to check on friends, ask how we can specifically pray for them, or send them an uplifting song we come across.

4… Take some time and search your own heart. How have you wrestled with feeling ashamed of someone or their trial? Paul was blessed with a friend who intimately knew our Lord Jesus – and wasn’t ashamed of his friend’s circumstances. Being unashamed helped Paul’s friend to be emotionally available.

5… Put effort into pursuing friendships. I am not talking about taking ourselves on a mission trip to contact everyone we have ever met. I am talking about practical ways to dive in a bit more to cultivate deeper friendships. This means choosing to focus on one or two friends, praying for them, and learning how to be more selfless (focused on them, versus dominating the conversation) – so we can be there for them.

Each of these things are designed to help our relationships. But something must happen first. We need to make our friendship with our Lord Jesus our top priority. Allow Him to refresh you, so He can give you all that is needed to be there for others.

In Him,

Signature

December Goals

It is a little late, but “better late than never”.

Do {Daily}

  • Continue to work on choosing allergy free vegetarian dishes.
  • Exercise, while listening to limitations.
  • Keep reading and studying the Word of God (Bible).
  • Welcome silence, to create a prayerful environment.

Learn

This month, my heart’s goal is set on Titus. I need to learn and apply Titus 2:5.

In the book of Titus, we are reminded of God’s greatness and how He wants us to live out our faith in our lives (see 2:3-5).

For this month, I want to lean on the Lord and learn how to serve within the walls of my family’s home. This is done as I keep up on housework (dishes, laundry, picking up, decluttering) – trying to give God my best in this area.

“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God (Titus 2:4-5, NLT).”

Read

My hope is to keep reading each day. While I have many books to choose from, I am going to limit my goal to a few specific books.

  • In the Middle of the Mess (Sheila Walsh)
  • Loved Baby (Sarah Philpott)
  • Connected (Erin Davis)

Also, I want to keep reading and soaking up the truths from the book of Psalms.

Be

If there was one word for this month, it would be “effective”. I want my life to count. Through eating better, exercising, and trying to stay focused on the Lord by living out His Word, I want to make a difference in my health, family, and life.

Dear friend, what are some of the things you hope to focus on doing or being for the month of December?

Image by Tim Gouw.

In Christ,

Signature

{Summer} Psalm – 4

I want to talk with you all about Psalm 4. Pull out your Bible, and read it for yourself before we get started. I will wait…

. . .

. . .

The Beginning

Stand before the Lord in awe, and do not sin against him. Lie quietly upon your bed in silent meditation (vv. 4; TLB). From this day forward, offer to God the right sacrifice from a heart made right by God. Entrust yourself to the Eternal (vv. 5; VOICE).

We are taught to sit quietly, self-reflect, and worship God. We have to spend time, where we soul search, and come to God in absolute awe of who He is. This is what quiet meditation {one-on-one time with the Lord} does.

Soul Searching Reflection

Out of all aspects of this Scripture, this is the part I need to wrestle with. Because, I am not good in living out this part.

This is my humanity shows itself in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I am horrible with silence, especially when in bed. I generally always have Netflix or music playing as background noise, to have volume, when silence is actually what I need.

With Christ, I can begin to live out this Scripture and allow it to impact my life. It is by faith, that I begin to live it out.

This is the passage I need to:

  • Reflect on.
  • Pray about.
  • Allow into my heart.
  • Allow to further God-given transformation.

The Latter

Lord, many are asking, “Who will make us successful?” Lord, may you do good things for us. Fill my heart with joy when the people have lots of grain and fresh wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep. Lord, you alone keep me safe (vv. 6-8; NIrV).

God redefines success for us. While we may not have this world’s version of success, we are given the better prosperity through our great God. In this passage, we see specific words that can only be understood through the context of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Apart from Christ, we will never experience any of these things. This is why we need Jesus Christ as our Savior and Companion!

Featured image by Ruthson Zimmerman.

Job 14-20; Psalms 16-20

Assigned Reading for January 7-8: Psalms 16-20; Job 14-20

We can call this, “the lost weekend”.

Psalms –

I absolutely loved my journey, as I went from Psalm to Psalm on Sunday. I won’t share all of my thoughts on these Psalms, but will share a few…

Chapter 16 – In this psalm, we are able to see what it looks like to pray for God to keep us safe. The good news is, we can use this prayer as a model to help us pray for God’s protection over our lives. We can have this kind of confidence in God, and find ourselves delighting in God and His people – despite struggles.

Chapter 17 – Our aim ought to be to cry out to God, and allow His steps to be the outline for our own steps – so we are letting Him lead. Friends, let’s become doers of the Word. This was a heartfelt cry to be near to God, heard by God, and to hear and experience our great God.

Chapter 20 – I absolutely love this psalm. Out of habit, this is one of the Scriptures I tend to read and write out as I wait in doctor’s offices. It is just a very comforting psalm, and offers peace and hope. It begins with human distress and ends with the greatness of our God. God is the One who enables us to rise even when we have fallen down on hard times.

Job –

In chapters 14-20, we see Job speaking to his friends that are called “miserable comforters”. Job reminds his friends that they would likely have a different tone if they had been in his place. His friends continue to tear down him and show themselves as accusers.

Job is struggling and shamed by all and …. holding onto the truths that he does know.

A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed (Job 14:5).

You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made (Job 14:15).

They feel but the pain of their own bodies
    and mourn only for themselves (Job 14:22).”

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth… I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes… How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)

He knew: God determines our days, God calls and longs for us, and that he felt pain that had to be mourned. While we face our own difficult days, we need to learn from these Scriptures – and hold to what we know is true about God.

May this be our goal too –

“yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure (Job 16:17).

When we face deep struggles, our faith is revealed for what it is. There is no pretending, because the mask comes off. Others see us as we truly are.