- “Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them. ” ― John Calvin
I once had a professor explain the important principle of variety to my class like this: “Can you imagine only ever eating just American food? You get to experience root beer floats, hotdogs, apple pies, barbecue ribs, grits, green bean casserole, and the like. Now, that would be good for a time. A lot of that food is very tasty. But you would be missing out on SO MUCH! If your taste buds, your pallet, never had the opportunity to try an Italian cannoli, a Thai chicken crepe, or a bold taste of curry and flatbread, what a tragedy that would be! God made our taste buds to be able to experience and enjoy so many different things. There are so many delicious foods out there, and they all taste so differently! We need to try Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Irish, and English dishes. You don’t know what you’re missing”. The same is said in music, you can’t just listen to one kind! You will miss out on so much beauty! Please realize that the same goes for our minds. If we are just educated in one area, how foolish we are! God has made our minds so incredibly complex! We have the ability very early on in life, and throughout our years to understand a vast array of subjects. He encourages us to read all sorts of biographies, stay up to date on current events! Let’s do it!
God created emotions as a good thing, though they have been defaced by the fall and easily distorted by sin. It is through emotion that we can experience God’s presence and through emotion we are created in his image. Oh how God emotes! When our emotions are rooted deeply in the gospel and with eternity in mind, we are reflecting our savior! It’s only when we let them control us, get out of hand, or uproot them from the gospel when they turn from reflection of holiness to antithesis of holiness.
My friend Marjorie likes to call Spiritual Disciplines “Means of Grace” because she thinks the word discipline has a negative connotation, and things like reading scripture, praying, and fasting, are privileges! I am constantly reminded of how powerful the Word of the Lord truly is. Often times I forget, as I speed read through the Old and New Testaments trying to get through the Bible in a year so I can pat myself on my back and consider my devotional life “good” for the year. But I miss so much of what I could be gleaming! I don’t take time to meditate or really digest what is going on. What a foolish thing to do! How can it penetrate my heart and life, if I don’t even let it penetrate my mind? Colossians 3:16 tells us to let scripture lives in our hearts to make us wise, but I know at the pace I am currently reading, that cannot happen. So I have one of two options. I can either allow more time for my reading in the morning, so that I can truly digest what I am reading, or I need to lessen the quantity of Scripture each morning so more can soak in.
(p.s. I don’t know why, but I really like this little picture of flash reading!)
I love mission statements! I think everyone should have one! They are always being tweaked as you travel though different stages of life, but here is mine for now:
MISSION: Guiding young women into holiness, and promoting the importance of biblical higher education.
PHILOSOPHY: The first part of my mission is to be constantly involved in mentoring women younger than me, encouraging the pursuit of a holy lifestyle and a pure consecrated mind. The second, I feel passionately about educating young men and women to think through the lens of Scripture. Before sending them in into their vocations, there needs to be a focus of preparing them to articulate the gospel in word and deed to all they come in contact with.
Joy-I truly believe my positive disposition is a gift from the Lord. I think He has given me the ability to see all silver linings, and have true joy even in the midst of heart ache. No matter how many things are going wrong, there are still things that are going or can go right. I pray this joy is contagious and reflects the joy of the Father.
Speaking-I love being in front of people. Whether that is class presentation, talent show, or missions trip summary, I receive energy from a crowd listening to me. And with the privilege to talk to teenagers about the blessing of a biblical higher education, I feel very fulfilled.
Encouragement– I think it I very easy to see good in people. Even in unbelievers I can see how they are made in the image and likeness of God. It is a privilege in my life to be able to call out those positive things I see in people and encourage them.
Serving/Hosting-Joy floods me when I can make someone feel at home. Brew them a cup of joe, or serve them hot dinner-I take delight in the gift of hospitality.
I think it is of great benefit to evaluate your mission, philosophy, and spirit gifting every once in a while! I hope you are able to take some time to do this for yourself, you job, or maybe your family! Blessings on you! 🙂
On my desktop I have a running list of projects from various people and departments at my place of employment who have asked me to work on something. From script outlines, to event planning, creative writing, contacting people, and organizing information-there is a bit of everything on that excel document. Why? Because I can’t say no. I think Andy Stanley hit the nail on the head when he explains that “often the reason we won’t say no is that we are afraid. We fear disappointing people. We fear being passed by. We fear missing out on a good opportunity” . I know these are my thoughts. “I can do this!” i think, “This is my chance to do something great!” or, “I don’t want to let _______ down; no one else has time to do it”. Sometimes these thoughts are valid, but many times, I need to put my pride to death and explain why I can’t/shouldn’t do something. I need to believe the truth that “Refusing to say no eventually robs a leader of his ultimate opportunity–the opportunity to play to his strengths”.
But what if many of these opportunities ARE playing to my strengths? When is okay to keep on saying yes, thinking one of these moments may be your “Goliath” moment?
I think the answer to this question (and many questions like it) is simple: pray. Only through prayer can you quit the addiction of believing “I can do all things through myself who strengthens me” and cling to the promises of the fact that our High King has equipped you with many gifts! He will allow the Holy Spirit to deliver you peace when you wrestle with figuring out how and when to use them.