Tag Archives: Body of Christ

Sunday Worship

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What an amazing day of worship.  I’m thankful for a body of believers and relationships that stand the test of time.  This weekend was a long, hard weekend of grieving for my former church.  I’m glad I was able to be there during this time.

It was good to see friends I hadn’t seen in a long time even though it was under difficult circumstances.  I’m thankful for the way the Gospel was shared multiple times throughout the weekend.  The raw emotions that were shared kept it real.  Life is hard, and it may not get easier on this side of heaven.  We need words of truth.  We need hope.

It’s hard to figure out how to keep walking through life when something like this happens.  We need others to walk alongside us.  We need the body of Christ to remind us of truth.

I don’t have answers for the “why” questions, but I do know that God is faithful and that He promises to be with us as we continue to live in this broken world. I’m thankful that He hears me when I cry and that He walks beside me.  I’m thankful that this world is not the end.  I’m thankful for the hope that we have of a future with Him.

Where do you run for comfort?  Where do you run when it seems like there are no answers? Do you run to our Savior or do you try to survive on your own?

Monday Moment

Today I’m thankful for a new week.

I’m thankful for the joy that comes from watching students get excited about learning. It makes me wonder can I help to facilitate this joy more often?

 

sunset trees

I’m also thankful for….

-Fall weather and beautiful colors

-Full moons (I might have to remind myself of this as the week goes on and there’s a full moon and Halloween:)  They are so beautiful though!  Thanks God for your gorgeous creation.

-Friends who keep me accountable and encourage me to pray often

-God’s Word that reminds me that my hope is certain and it comes from Him not from my circumstances

-Family who listens to and encourages me daily

-The body of Christ

-God’s presence with me all the time

What are you praising God for today?  I’d love to hear!

 

 

 

Satisfied Saturday: a Funeral, a Wedding and the Body of Christ

Here it is Saturday evening, and I sit here satisfied.  Last night as I thought about my schedule today, I began to dread the long day.  I had a funeral and a wedding on the schedule for today.  Both were things that I wanted to go to, but I was a bit worried about my tiredness since I was still getting over the flu.

Tonight, however, I’m thankful!  During both events, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.  His faithfulness to a couple who had been married over 60 years.  His faithfulness to that family as they are now mourning their mother, their grandmother, their great grandmother.  I pray for her husband who, with his wife, has modeled a life of joy for years and years.  I pray for comfort and joy for him in these new circumstances.

I’m thankful for the pastor who preached about God’s peace and about how God is present with us now even as we miss this dear woman.  We can and should grieve our loss but also find strength and hope in God’s presence as we continue on to live our life for Him for as long as He has us on this earth.

I’m also thankful for God’s faithfulness in the body of Christ.  I’m thankful when the body of Christ works the way God designed it.  Tonight I got to reconnect with some dear friends who I spent years in ministry with.  We got to celebrate one of those couple’s son’s wedding.  What a joy to watch him lead worship with his wife.  What a joy to see how God continues to work in people’s lives even when we don’t see each other often anymore.  It made me stop and remember how much I learned about the body of Christ through these believers.

I’m praising God for the way that He works through the people in our lives to point us to Himself.  I’m satisfied in His faithfulness.

Thankful Monday

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“Great are the works of the Lord.  They are pondered by all who delight in the Lord.”  Psalm 111:2

So another school year has started for me.  I started the day with great positive thoughts and ended it feeling more stressed. Sometimes days (or weeks) just don’t go way I plan!

As I began to think about posting my Monday Moment of Joy, I was having a hard time coming up with thoughts that made sense. 

Then I read those words from Scripture.  “GREAT are the works of the Lord.”  I began thinking….”what are the works of the Lord?”  Psalm 111 then says “They are pondered by all who delight in the Lord.”  So I was reminded that the act of remembering and pondering God’s great works can give me joy.  

So, today I’m just going to make a list – a list of God’s great works.  Why don’t you help me make that list?  Feel free to comment and add to the list of God’s great works.  

Then let’s ponder those together!  It will help to put our focus back on Him instead of on our circumstances.

-He saved me.

-He showed me His grace in sending Jesus to die for my sins

-He loves me with an amazing love.

-He gave us His Word.

-He gave us the body of Christ to encourage and sharpen us.

-He gave me a family that loves me and is always there for me.

-He made me unique with gifts and talents that He allows me to use for His glory. 

-He gave me a job that I love with a team that I love.

-He knows me inside and out and yet He loves me anyway.  

-He gave me friends that help point me to Himself.

-He takes care of His people over the ages.  Remember all those times that Israelites walked away from Him or grumbled against Him?  He forgave them over and over and continued in relationship with them!  He does the same for me!

-He left the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

What else?  There are millions more of His great works!  Let’s ponder them together.  

There’s peace when we are still and think about Him!

August Already???

a stream right next to our campsite

 

Can you believe it?  Is it really August?  I feel like it’s still spring and all the craziness that comes with getting ready for school to end.  But, no, summer is now almost over (or maybe it is over for you:(, and I’m wondering what I’ve done with it.  Yes, I taught Extended School Year, and I did some family things.  I also helped out some friends who were under the weather,  but today the stress came back in full force.

Funny thing is that at first the stress did NOT come from thinking about all the things I need to do for school to start.  It came from feeling like my “me” time is almost gone.
Many of those books in my summer pile still sit on the bookshelf.  My summer bucket list never even got made this summer.  My deep cleaning list still sits on the counter with nothing crossed off.  I started feeling like I was missing out on all those fun summer things we as teachers look forward to.   I was frustrated because “after all that hard work, I deserve to have fun during the summer!”  
Then I went out to lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in months.  We ended up talking about ministry and the body of Christ.  I started to remember that it’s not all about ME!:).  
My plan when I got home was to start on that deep cleaning list.  By the time I got home, however, I had begun to stress about school again. We haven’t officially started yet, but I have started to get emails. (Do you remember before email when we didn’t know what was happening until school actually started?:)
 I became very anxious about some changes that “may” be happening this year.  I sat on the couch and started thinking about how bad things could be.  I began to pray and asked God for joy in the midst of changes.  I sat in His presence for awhile.  I then got up and start cleaning.
As I cleaned I listened to a recording of a Sunday School lesson from another church.   The first words I heard from that recording were “Is anyone here anxious today?”  I think I laughed out loud!    Hmm…yep this was meant for me today:).  He was talking about the end of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.  
Listen to these words.  “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, ENCOURAGE your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”  (verse 16-17 NIV)
The verses before 16 and 17 talk about us being called to Him.  We can find peace in the fact that we are part of His family.  He loves us and gives us strength for the things that He has called us to do.
 I don’t know about you, but I do feel like teaching is my calling.  I really don’t want to do it haphazardly or  just to get through the day.  I want to do it joyfully because He has called me there.  (I just have to remember that’s what I want:). 
What about you?  How are you feeling about school starting?  Are you anxious?  Are you tired of all the politics and all the changes?   Are you overwhelmed by all the things you know you want to get done but won’t?  
My prayer is that we will, instead, be overwhelmed with what God has done for us and how much He loves us.  He can give us hope, so let’s choose JOY this August. 

Finding HOPE by moving towards PEOPLE

Today, we’re going to look at how moving towards PEOPLE in the body of Christ can help us find HOPE during the joyful times and during the dark times in our life.

When you’re in pain, do you usually want to be around people or would you rather hide out somewhere by yourself?

We’ve already talked about how we have to start living in a new kind of way. We have to be HONEST  about our pain AND believe God’s truths-particularly the truth that He is OMNIPRESENT– to help us move through the pain. Many times, when we’re in the midst of pain, we can’t take hold of God’s truths without the help of other people.

Who do you have in your life? Who do you trust? Can you think of 5 people that you trust? Write their names down in a journal. Think about your family, your friends, your coworkers, your youth leader, people at church, neighbors, teachers, etc.

I’m going to ask you to take a risk and share some things with at least one of them. Remember when we talked about how we each have a story?  We need to share those stories with each other. God has put us in the body of Christ for a reason. He knows that we need each other!  We need to be connected with people who can
share truth with us and who can help us move towards hope.

Remember God has also given us a story to tell.

Get out that journal again and that cup of coffee.  Take some time to think through your life story.

Who are the characters in your story?

What’s the setting?

What’s the problem or conflict? (There might more than one).

What are some resolutions you’ve seen? (Are you still waiting for resolution for some things?)

You might want to focus on the last few days or weeks or months, or you may want to go back further than that. Create a plot diagram or a just write down the answers to those questions.  You can draw pictures too if you’d like.

Then think about……

How have the CHARACTERS in your life impacted you? How have the people in your life made a difference to you?

Name ONE PERSON who has made a large impact on your life. Also tell HOW they have made a difference in your life.

How have YOU made a difference in someone else’s life?

What do you LOVE about your story?

What do you HATE about your story?

Now, take a minute to think about God’s story. Even though His story is much bigger than yours, guess what? Although He is the King of the Universe, He has YOU in the palm of His hand.  Your story fits into the bigger story of God’s story.

Sometimes we can’t see where our story is going, but He knows and He has a plan that is much bigger than our plan. Take a minute to think about how big God is. Can you even fathom it? There are more than 7 million people on this planet, and yet He has the whole world in His hand. He knows each person, and He has control over each and every one of those people’s stories-that includes YOUR story. He knows what is best for you, AND He has the power to make sure the best happens.

How do you think your story fits into the bigger picture of God’s story?

How have you seen God at work in your story?

NOW, here’s your challenge.  How much of your story have you shared with those people you listed before?   Some of us don’t like to share our stories with others.  Now the truth is that we don’t have to share our story with everyone we meet, but remember that God has put us in fellowship with others for a reason. He knows that we need each other people.   What part of your story do you think you could share with one of those people?

Think about those same people. How much of THEIR story do you know? Which one of those people do you feel comfortable asking more about their story?

Hope

Stay tuned for a preview of a new booklet geared towards teens who are dealing with hopelessness or grief.  The booklet walks through the acronym HOPE that I’ve described below-putting the finishing touches on it now!

Honesty

Name what you’re feeling.   Name your sin. Think about your story-where have you been?  Where are you now?  Where do you hope to go?

Omnipresence

Remember God’s constant presence with you. He promises to NEVER leave us!   Thank Him that your story is a part of His bigger story.

People

Move towards other people in the body of Christ.  We need each other!  Listen to them.  Be honest with them.  Ask for help.  Allow others to remind you of God’s truth.

Eternal Perspective

Remember that this world is not all there is.  Christ died for us so that we could live eternally.  2 Corinthians 4

Hope in the Journey

Enjoy this free bookmark:)

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HOPE-bookmark-a-reminder-to-hope-in-Christ-823517

In those tough times, I need to remember to….

Be HONEST with my feelings.
Trust in God’s OMNIPRESENCE.
Move towards other PEOPLE in the body of Christ and
Live with an ETERNAL perspective.

Enjoy your weekend!