August 18, 2017

Inspiration, Creativity, and Using Your Talents

I watched a webinar with Michael Hyatt a while back about writing and getting published, and something he said stuck with me: "Inspiration doesn't show up until you do. Be consistent." Tolkien said it another way: "It's the job that's never started that takes the longest to finish." And here's how my boss, Becky Robinson, says it: "The magic happens when you show up." Another way to think of it is: creativity breeds creativity. The more you write (or design, or implement, or whatever your hobby is), the easier it will become. In other words, as difficult as it is for creative-types to acknowledge, art requires discipline. You have to show up consistently to make progress toward your [...Read More]

Lessons from the Wildflowers

One of my favorite Christian allegories is Hinds' Feet on High Places, the story of Much-Afraid and her journey across the mountains and into the High Places. It's a story I enjoy reading every few years, as it encourages me with the reminder that I am not alone in this journey through life: my Shepherd is always with me, always interceding on my behalf, and He has a purpose in every dark thing He calls me to walk through. I recently started reading it again and came across this short section, in which Much-Afraid and the Shepherd are discussing the unexpected beauties hidden deep with the forest -- beauties which most people never even saw. Here's part of their conversation (emphasis [...Read More]

No Second Chance in Heaven

"Once in heaven, you and I will not have a second chance to... move the hand of God through prayer to heal a hurting soul, share Christ with one who can be saved from hell, care for the sick, give a cup of water to the thirsty, comfort the dying, invest money to aid the helpless, rescue the unborn, further God's Kingdom, open our homes, and share our clothes and food with the poor and needy. If we really believed that what we do with our money and possessions -- and everything else -- will have an irreversible effect on eternity, wouldn't we live differently?" -- Randy Alcorn, Managing God's Money (affiliate link) [...Read More]

Wherever you are, be all there. (News Edition)

    "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”  Jim Elliot     Next week my husband and I will be enjoying a crazy fun family get-together! It's his side of the family, the ones who got me enjoying the Muppets. :) Anyway, I'll be unplugging for most of the way, so I can be "all there" and truly enjoy our time together. I've got some posts scheduled, and will probably jump on once a day to check email, but if you don't hear from me... that's why! And now, some giveaways and highlights from the past week:   Book Giveaway from Jana's 3 Dresses You may have heard about Jen Hatmaker's book, "7: [...Read More]

Love loves unto purity.

George MacDonald was a pastor and author in the late 1800s. He penned a volume called Unspoken Sermons in 1867. This is an excerpt from one of those sermons, "The Consuming Fire" {emphasis mine}: "Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy. For if at the voice of entreaty love conquers displeasure, it is love asserting itself, not love yielding its claims. It is not love that grants a boon unwillingly; still less is it love that answers a prayer to the wrong and hurt of him who prays. Love is one, and love is changeless. For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of [...Read More]

That One Needful Thing

"The... believer must understand that he has no power of his own to maintain his spiritual life. No, he needs each day to receive new grace from heaven through fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer, or a superficial reading of a few verses from God's Word. He must take time quietly and deliberately to come into God's presence, to feel his weakness and his need, and to wait upon God through His Holy Spirit to renew the heavenly light and life in his heart. Then he may rightly expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout all the day and all its temptations" (Andrew Murray, emphasis mine). How can we hope to know God, rather than just know about God, [...Read More]

The Disciple a Slave

"From the teaching of Jesus we learn that slaves are not greater than their master; neither are they privy to the master's plans.They are accountable to the master for how they use his resources, even in his absence. They are also liable for how they treat their fellow slaves and are subject to considerable punishment if they are unmerciful to others. Slaves are expected to obey and honor their master without complaint, though the faithful slave will be honored for his diligent service. Moreover, slaves can expect to be treated by outsiders the way their master is treated. If the master is treated with contempt, slaves should expect their treatment to be no better. Jesus also used slave [...Read More]

True Christianity

"True Christianity is not about adding Jesus to my life. Instead, it is about devoting myself completely to Him - submitting wholly to His will and seeking to please Him above all else. It demands dying to self and following the Master, no matter the cost. In other words, to be a Christian is to be Christ's slave" (Slave, John MacArthur). Have we tried to turn Christianity into a religion that's all about us, rather than all about Christ? It should not be about making us feel good or bringing us success; rather, true Christianity is about pleasing God and bringing honor to Him. We are His slaves, His property, for Him to do with as He will. We belong to Him. Are we living so that others can [...Read More]

Abide in Christ

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). "Abide in me, and I in you" (John 15:4). Notice the verbs in these two verses - come and abide. And then notice who is to do these actions. Christ calls out to us to come to Him for rest, and He calls to us to abide in Him for fullness of life. We are the ones who need to go and abide. He may call us for a lifetime, but until we consciously choose to do something about it, His call is meaningless to us. These commands are ours to obey. And why don't we obey these commands? Some may fear that this constant abiding is not within their reach. And yet if we make the first few steps, [...Read More]

Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences

Allow me to preface this post by saying that I do not celebrate "Halloween" or "Reformation Day" or any such "holiday" on October 31. However, I do think it profitable to spend some time considering the events of this day in 1517, and if it happens to fall on October 31, so be it. This is when I felt the tug of the Spirit to share it. Many of you know the Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences as the Ninety-Five Theses, which Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. Relevant to these Theses is some background information regarding the practices of the Roman Catholic Church during that time: The Castle Church in Wittenberg, [...Read More]