Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

I Want to Be Weird!

I love listening to music and I love to sing.  In fact, I sing out loud quite often in the comfort of my own home or car just because it feels like the right thing to do at the moment.  My family thinks that I’m weird for shamelessly belting out off-key tunes.  Sometimes the off-key tunes are intentional and sometimes they’re not, but it doesn’t matter, because I’m having fun singing and my family is having fun heckling me.  All is well!

I love reading just as much as I love singing and while I have a handful of long-term favorite authors, my new favorite is Craig Groeschel.  His books tend to have catchy titles, but beyond the propaganda, you’ll find some excellent advice on how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

The prevalent piece of advice in his book titled Weird is to, “Do what few do in order to get what few have”, rather than the more popular, “Do what most do to get what most have”.  I want to do what few do and have what few have, so that I can spend eternity where few go.  I want to be weird!

The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 to “enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”.

So how does that translate into daily actions?  In my case, it means:

  • Not doing what other parents do if it means sacrificing my Biblically-based parenting beliefs in exchange for “normal” children. 
  • Not keeping silent my love for God.  Sure, many of my Facebook friends aren’t Christians, but that doesn’t keep me from openly praising Him.  I will not deny Him before others.
  • Sharing my testimony with others – even the uncomfortable parts that some tend to keep tucked away in their subconscience and wouldn’t dare tell anyone.
  •  Tuning out what’s popular and instead, tuning in to Him more.
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I’ve never had a problem being weird, but this particular brand of weird is pleasing to God and I want it like I want nothing else!  Each day brings a new opportunity to be even more weird than I was the previous day.  How many people do you know would be brave enough to admit that they want an increased portion of weird?

Are you weird?  Share your comments.

CC

Striving to be God weird!

Too Tired to Worship?

 

My weekly routine includes Sunday morning service and Sunday school and Wednesday evening worship and prayer.  I love being in His house and in the presence of other believers.  Only sickness and distance have kept me from a Sunday morning service, but Wednesday evenings are another story.

Don’t get me wrong!  Worship and prayer are top priorities in my world, but I do get tempted – and admittedly give in – to being too tired to drag myself into service on Wednesday evening.  If I were to guess a percentage for attending mid-week service, I’d say I’m somewhere in the ballpark of 70% and, to me, that’s not good enough.

God is never too tired to hear me worship Him.  He is never too tired to hear my prayers.  He is never too tired to meet me wherever I am.  So why is it so easy for me to be so dismissive of my need to shut out the world and hear whatever message He has prepared for one of our pastors to deliver?

Today was one of those days when staying at home was incredibly tempting.  Sometime this afternoon, I began to feel utterly exhausted.  I started trying to make myself feel better about staying in for the night.  For every reason that I had for staying home,  I had a response to make it seem OK.

 

“If I can muster up enough energy to go to church, I will, but if not, it’ll be OK – right?”

“I deserve to relax, so I will stop stressing about missing just one night.”

“If I stay home, I’ll just do my own personal Bible study and spend time in prayer.” 

“It’s just one service.  What’s the harm?”

 

The harm is that had I given in to the enemy’s attempt to keep me from being in the presence of other believers, I wouldn’t have experienced a wonderful message of how we function better when we practice the ABC’s of growing deeper in our walk with God.

 

Accountability – I am not in this world alone and the choices that I make have an impact on others.  An accountability group helps to keep us on track.  Christ-centered accountability groups are small groups of people whose main goal is to grow deeper in a relationship with Him while holding one another accountable for each member’s actions.

Belonging – We all have the need to belong and getting into a small group satisfies that human desire.

Caring – We have a natural tendency to want to care for others who are in need.  Small groups tend to give care and receive care whenever needed.

Tonight’s scriptural focus was Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  (NIV)

I am glad that He helped me resist the enemy’s attempt to keep me at home tonight.  I am happy about not keeping my children from their personal experiences at church tonight.  I am excited about being a member of the body of Christ!  I am on fire about being able to “do” life with other believers who know, care for, and love me as I do them.

I have never regretted going to church and being amongst other believers; there always seem to be a message that is tailor-made for me.  I have, however, regretted staying at home, running a silly errand, or spending my Wednesday evenings doing something far less fulfilling.

Praise Him for leading me out of the my house and into His!

CC

What Is Your Life’s Purpose?

We all exist, but do you ever wonder why?  Do you ever wonder about your purpose in life?  Lately, I’ve felt a strong pull to help people.  This desire is nothing new, but it’s stronger than it’s ever been.  Sure, my corporate job allows me to help people with issues of marginal importance; however, I feel a tug to go out into the world and have face-to-face encounters with people and learn how best I can serve their needs.  But I don’t just want to help anyone; I want to help people who have broken faith, finances, relationships, and spirits. 

My experiences testimonies have shaped me into a different person than I was in the past.  I’m still changing and  I’m still learning, but God has shaped me into someone that I never imagined I’d be.  His grace has changed me. 

I believe with all my heart that I can make a positive difference in the lives of others.  I’ve always helped people informally, but I now feel as if I can replace what I do for a living with something that will help other people build or rebuild their lives.  I feel compassion toward others.  Significant compassion.  Webster’s defines compassion as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”.  A recent Bible study message touched on this very topic.  Was it a sign?  I’m not sure.  I just feel like my purpose is not to sit on the sidelines when there are people in the world who want and need the kind of help that I long to give.  I want to do more than pray for others.  I want to be the hands and feet of God; doing for others what they can’t do for themselves.  For now, I am praying for discernment and for God’s guidance, because above all else, I want to do His will.

Has God revealed your purpose in life?  If so, did you follow what he was telling you to do?

Let’s chat!

Free Christian Downloads

In this, or any economy, a penny saved is a penny earned, so why pay more?  The coupon craze of late has taken the country by storm, but one bargain shopping term has always garnered loads of attention: FREE!!!

Download FREE audiobooks from ChristianAudio.com!  With over 400 FREE titles available for download daily, there’s something for everyone.

This month’s featured FREE audio book of the month is Joni Eareckson Tada’s A Place of Healing.

 

 

 

 

 

Product Description from ChristianAudio.com:

In this eloquent account of her current struggle with physical pain, Joni Eareckson Tada offers her perspective on divine healing, God’s purposes, and what it means to live with joy. Over four decades ago, a diving accident left Joni a quadriplegic. Today, she faces a new battle: unrelenting pain.

The ongoing urgency of this season in her life has caused Joni to return to foundational questions about suffering and God’s will. A Place of Healing is not an ivory tower treatise on suffering. Its an intimate look into the life of a mature woman of God.

Whether readers are enduring physical pain, financial loss, or relational grief, Joni invites them to process their suffering with her. Together, they will navigate the distance between God’s magnificent yes and heartbreaking no and find new hope for thriving in between.

Enjoy your FREE downloads and pass along this good news (pun intended)!

Love to all!

CC

Lenten Season

Today is Ash Wednesday and I’m excited about the start of Lenten season.  For the first time ever, I’ve decided to give up something, but not for the sake of just giving up something.  I’m doing it in honor of the One who died on a cross to wash away my sins. 

Sacrificing something (which I will not discuss here) for such a great cause makes me feel great about what I’m doing and motivates me to not miss what will be sacrificed for a few weeks.  I may end up realizing that I don’t need it in my life after all!

I’m looking forward to spending my extra time getting more in touch with God by reading His word more often, studying devotionals, praying, and listening to what He has to say to me.

My church puts on a passion play this time of year.  (If you’ve never attended a passion play anywhere, I urge you to do so.  It might just change your life!)  I have tickets to see the production on Good Friday and I can’t wait to see it!  Hearing the story of Jesus is always a reminder about how great God’s love is for all of us…even those of us who feel that we’re too broken for Him.  God heals all wounds and accepts ALL of His children.

Get to know him this season!

Proverbs 16:9

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

What does this verse mean to you?  Are you open to allowing the Lord to determine your path in life?  Or, are you insistent upon giving your plan its all?

I’ve lived life both ways, and let me tell you, walking with our Holy Father as the guide for my steps is the best way to live!  In the past, my heart knew the Lord, but I didn’t follow Him.  Does that make sense?

I’m much more obedient these days, even when I don’t know what the outcome may be.  He is faithful and that is more than enough for me.

Let’s chat.

Love to all!

CC

Are You Content?

Merriam-Webster defines content simply as “satisfied“.  While the apostle Paul was imprisoned, he wrote a series of letters to other believers.  Many of his letters contained directives on how to live a life that is pleasing to God.  Yes, even Christians need to be reminded to exhibit Christ-like behaviors.  In one prison stint, Paul wrote to the members of the church in Phillipi about contentment with one’s circumstances.

11 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:11-13

Put yourself in Paul’s shoes for just a moment.  If you were imprisoned, particularly during the era of imprisonment without television, radio, three meals/day, and access to showers and exercise equipment such as what is available in modern prisons, would you have the same attitude as Paul?  Would you be content about being beaten?  Would you be joyful regardless of your circumstances while still giving praise to God?

Now, think about your current circumstances.  Are you joyful about your relationships – even hopeful about ones that seem shattered?  Do you praise God for the shelter and food available to you?  What about gratefulness for access to the Internet on which you’re reading this blog?  Are you grateful for these things?  Are you content with what you already have and for who you are, or do you wish you were someone else, with other talents, in a different body, with a more superior mind?

Let us not confuse contentment with a lack of motivation, but even more, don’t be overly eager to block the blessings of God, because His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

So, I ask again: Are you content?  Let’s discuss!

Love to all!

CC

This discussion was inspired by the topic discussed on my Sunday school class this morning.

I Love Jesus!

I love Jesus!  I love being in His presence, I love talking to Him, I love the peace that the Holy Spirit showers upon me, and I love that Father God showed me mercy that I did not deserve.

In a few hours, I will go to church to worship in His house with hundreds of like-minded Christ-followers.  The highlight of each week is attending Wednesday evening prayer service and Sunday’s sermon and Bible study.  Looking forward to tomorrow’s message!

Love to all!

CC