Shepherding + Obedience

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Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

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Struggles | Verse | Faith {POTF}

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in quite a struggle. One that’s harder to attempt explaining, especially with messed up health vitals.

Anyway, today’s quiet time got off to a late start. Several hours late. But, I did get to my #OneGoal, which is to just come nearer to the Lord. To have my purposeful quiet time, where I meet with my Beautiful Savior.

Today, I am addressing a problem I have. I don’t do well with “pouring out my heart” before the Lord. I am not sure why. I mean, He is with me 24/7. He knows me. He sees the hurting going on, behind closed doors.

So today was about my struggles. It was a time of giving voice to my inward struggles – the one I want to pretend is invisible and emotionally painless. But it does hurt. It hurts when I arise, and my heart rate shoots up to mid 100’s with a low blood pressure. It hurts when I stand again and become so dizzy, tricky to stand  without falling over, weak, and wondering if I will make it to the bed in time. It hurts. And, it is life affecting. What’s more, it is soul affecting.


Our Memory Verse –

Earlier this week, my heart just wanted to know how to survive this “flare up”. I just wanted to know how to hang onto my faith during this time of struggling on multiple levels. And today, I found my answer to the “hanging on” part of things.

Which leads me to our memory verse – 1 Timothy 1:19

“You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences (CEV).”

Friends, let’s keep digging into our Bible’s and pouring out our hearts to our Risen Lord. He is listening. He is waiting for us to open that door, and allow Him to come in.

Keep drawing near, and allowing your faith in Jesus Christ to progress – even when life gets hard. Keep reaching out for His hand, and allow Him to catch you.


Our Mini – Study

I invite you to join me in 1 Timothy. We will be reading 1:1-7. After my time of “collapsing” at our Savior’s feet, I opted to do a bit of bullet point note taking. As we start 1 Timothy, we are met with key points from Titus. The Lord is boldly speaking to us, friends.

Nuggets of Truth –

(A) Friends, Jesus Christ is our Savior and place of hope. Let’s choose to really know and experience Him for ourselves! Because, Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior is what makes the difference in our lives. Remember His planted grace, mercy, and peace!

More than better circumstances, we desperately need to draw nearer and enter into this beautiful relationship we can have with our Savior Jesus Christ! He alone is what makes the difference.

(B) Remain obedient to the Lord, wherever He sends you. Trust God, knowing He’s working, and choose to obey Him. Teach His Bible based truth. Spread the Gospel and the love only He can give! Keep on loving others. This is our ultimate goal!

(C) Avoid controversies, and promote the Lord and His Work – not what is “trending” in your environment or social media feeds.

[Don’t] pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith (1 Tim. 1:4, CSB).

Friends, it’s all worship. Even if we can’t open our Bible’s, even if we struggle to move, let’s just keep making movement toward our Risen Lord. Even if it’s imperfect and seems infantile compared to where we were two years ago. Just keep reaching out for Him and spend your heart in worship. It’s all meaningful. Time spent (energy too) with our Lord Jesus is never wasted!

Our eight week journal is still available on Amazon (& other online stores) for $6.25! Along with many other Bible study journals ranging from Ephesians to Matthew 4-7 to the beautiful Psalms of Ascent. Be sure to check ’em out, and help support Gracefully Overcoming.

Learning with you,

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COME As You Are, Friend!

Friends,

Welcome to Gracefully Overcoming! This blog started out, mainly just as an outlet to the things I was going through in my life. However, it has turned into much more. This has become a beautiful place to seek the Lord with friends – near and far. While this blog begun out of chronic illness, it is wholly about seeking the Lord Jesus with whatever we have to offer.

. . . Even our messes is absolutely acceptable offering to our great God!

Just Come, Friend!

“Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19-20, NCV).”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, NASB).”

“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit–O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject (Psalm 51:17, NET).”

In the Scriptures, we are reminded that we can just come. We don’t have to wait until our lives are picture perfect and oh-so-neat to meet (or even better experience) our gracious God. He is yearning to be with us, and allow us to see this new and abundant life He has created for us. While sin has messed up things, they are not beyond repair – because we have our amazing Savior Jesus Christ who has come to repair everything. All we have to do is come.

Maybe, you aren’t uber excited about doing a Bible study right now. I wasn’t either, but the Lord awoke that spiritual desire today when I began my time reading through Titus. So just know, the Lord will meet you. Wherever you are, the Lord will meet you.

Let’s just come and realize our deep need for our Savior Jesus Christ!
Let’s invite Him into our broken (and often messy) lives, and wait to see how the Lord will transform us, our circumstances, and entire lives.

 

The biggest thing we need, as believers, is to get closer to the Lord Jesus. Whether it is through this study or another one, the ultimate goal has to be just that – to get as close as you can to the Lord.

This weekend, I want for us to begin praying about possible goals. Rather, goal.

What is one goal you can set, to help you get closer to Jesus these next eight weeks?

Because God has wired us differently (personality, interests, etc), that goal is going to look differently for each of us. Now I am setting aside a separate post specifically to talk about goals, but I am not talking about a year long goal. You may have one. You may have five. If you do, I think that is fantastic! My goals never seem to stick, so my one goal I am fixed on – is to sit quietly before the Lord.

Just think about these next eight weeks. What is ONE goal you can set that will draw you nearer to the Lord?

There are a variety of ways to get involved in our Bible study. You can find an eight week journal on Amazon to use for this (or another) study. Also: You can follow my Facebook page. Or even join the women’s small group to dig deeper into this Bible study!

In Him,

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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?

Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

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I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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