Community: The Time’s Now

Friends and readers,

I have a wee little announcement to make. For a long time, I have talked about the need for community. The passion for companionship with like-minded followers of Jesus Christ – is something that can drive many of us. It can influence our decisions and lead the way in our lives.

For my own life, I have felt the intense longing for companionship and seen how this longing can drive me the wrong direction if I am not careful. Even so, I have seen how we treat “needing community/companionship” as though something is terribly wrong with us.

The Bible teaches us about the truth. In the Gospel, we see humans with a sinful nature come to know they need Jesus Christ. In learning about our need for a Savior, we learn also about our need for His beloved Church.

We need one another.

We aren’t capable to live our Christian life on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, those who are experiencing the Gospel and His powerful transformation.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we were made for community. And so, I am pursuing a new avenue in connection with this blog.

With that said, my announcement: I have made an online small group for my blog readers and myself to draw near to Jesus together, pray together, search the Scriptures together, and stay encouraged despite circumstances – together!

I want to invite you into a closed Facebook small group. Only God knows the outcome of such a step in faith. But, willfully I come and invite you all to join me too in our online small group. Don’t worry about the “what if’s” or “possibly not keeping up”. I invite you to come and join me. Let’s “do life” together, and just enjoy Jesus Christ – our Savior!

On Monday, we begin a four week Bible study on the book of Philippians. As someone who struggles in her quiet time, I invite you to join me as we dive into Scripture at our own pace and support one another in our walk with the Lord.

In Him,

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The Sanctification Process

Ohhh my friends, I have missed you all so much!!! While I am still on my break, or Sabbath if you will, I wanted to just take a few moments to write you all.

This time away is needed, yet difficult. While difficult, this is the season of life where I will reap the greatest of spiritual blessings.

It is a time of deepening the relationship I have with my heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ – my Savior – the One who rescues me and keeps me safe regardless of my outward circumstances.

My Own Testimony

Today, I have been thinking on a transformative piece of Scripture from the book of Titus. I wanted to share just a bit of that with you all.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us.

But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit. . .

In this passage, I am reminded of the amazing change I am given through our Rescuer Jesus the Christ. The Lord has taken me so far from the person I used to be. It has been a long journey. But, it is one declaring His glory, goodness, and power.

As I think back over my life, I can honestly say I was the “Poster Girl” for Titus 3:3b – where it says:

“We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

I don’t know the specifics of how the Lord did it, but I do know He absolutely did a mighty work – taking me from this person with much hate and anger

. . . to someone who is learning she has been handpicked and profoundly loved by the God of the universe. Which changes everything for my life.

Solely God’s Work

As I continue to walk with my Jesus – with our Savior Jesus, I am able to surrender more and more of me to my gracious Father so my soul has room for the eternally good gifts of God!

This is God’s work, and nothing we can claim as our own. He is working out everything for His ultimate good – and showing me the abundant life He wants to give His people. And it all starts with drawing near to our King Jesus Christ!

He is very generous and able to transform our entire lives – as we make the choice to follow Jesus for ourselves and see what He has in store for our lives. He has a beautiful life in store for us, but the key is willfully seeking to know Jesus Christ for ourselves.

Blog Sabbath-ing

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me (John 15:4).

And as I think on these truths, this time of Sabbath makes the most sense. This is a season of deepening the relationship I have with God through His Son Jesus Christ. This is a season of meeting and walking with Jesus for myself. This is a season of being sanctified and even “pruned” for His glory.

God is doing so much in this season of my life. While the time away is difficult, it has eternal purposes. I just need to keep remembering the undeniable sacredness of this time with Jesus.

If lacking in the blogging department means a more intimate relationship with Jesus without distractions, then, it is forever worth it. As I focus on intimacy with Christ, I am being amazingly changed!

The difficulties of taking this time away, are eased by knowing the good eternal work our Lord Jesus is doing inside of me. As I learn to enjoy this time, He is preparing me for whatever the future has in store.

Forever His,

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31 Proverbs to Light Your Path {Blogging-For-Books}

31 ProverbsIt’s no secret that Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite Bible study teachers. I have reviewed several of her books, including her last devotional – which is much like this one.

Today, I am here today to joyfully share with you her new book. 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path is a devotional that meets us where we are, and walks us through specific proverbs found in the Bible.. The Lord has much to share with us, as we draw near.

We are invited into beautiful conversations about God’s life altering truths and their power. While we are met with God’s truth and learn what it looks like to apply them in our lives, we are given a special section at the end of each devotion – that might make the most difference in applying the devotional truths immediately.

In “One Minute, One Step,” we are urged to take the time to remember these special God-given truths and consider what it means for our own lives. It is by God’s absolute grace that we can hear His truths and allow the Lord to change our lives through them.

There are 31 Proverbs placed in this book that can radically change our lives. And, friend? It is simply the beginning. Jesus has so much He wants to share us, as we sit here in community with Him and each other. Let’s seek out our sweet Lord and take this gift we have been given.

My Story –

One night a few weeks ago, I found myself awake in an insomnia moment. After realizing “Okay, I am not getting to sleep,” I finally got up and grabbed my reviewer’s copy of this God initiated book and just kept reading.

I couldn’t stop, and truthfully I didn’t want to. The more I read, the more the Lord spoke to me – filling my soul with His truth!

As I continued to read, the sweetness of the Lord and His comfort washed over me. I just sat and continued reading as one day turned into seven days, and so on. That night, I made many notes, highlights, and even followed up on a specific urging the Lord placed on my spirit.

Friends, the Lord can use this book to speak to us. As we are being changed by the truths and our relationship with our great God through His Son Jesus Christ, He will change others. Our job is simply to be obedient.

For a long time, it was hard for me to read the Proverbs – because there are many transformative truths (“How do I remember them all?”). All we have to do is begin with one proverb, and start there.

Let’s allow Liz Curtis Higgs, to be our friend who shows us how the Lord is helping her apply His truths.

God can definitely use this devotional to speak to His people. Friends, let’s meet up, share our brokenness, and open up our hearts to His truth. The Lord will meet us wherever we are.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sabbatical 2017 –

Hi friends!

I am currently on a sabbatical from the blogging world for the next few months (well, aside from book reviews). Honestly as resistant as I can be, this season of life is more needed than I could say.

Ways to stay connected, while I am away –

  • Gracefully Overcoming’s Facebook page is going through a study of its own. From now until Christmas, we are studying Psalm 119. Yes, that extremely long Psalm, you might have meant to study at some point.
  • And if that doesn’t grab your attention, Indoor Outreach is going through the book of Luke.

Feel free to pray for me, as I go through this season. I am loving my time away, but miss you all tremendously! Maybe, we can stay semi-connected on Facebook. =)

In Christ,

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Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?