Browsing Tag:

biblical truth

the practice of internal wonder

Posted in faith

Internal stillness takes practice. It is the fruit of hiddenness — a life that’s lived looking at God, a life of wonder in Him — and it needs to be cultivated. Sara Hagerty, Unseen

Do you ever feel tempted to make your relationship with God about appearances or productivity?

It can sometimes happen unknowingly, and the mindset shift can be stealthy. It sometimes happens under the guise of church activity or mentorship, even bible study and service.

God continues to bring the story of Mary and Martha in Luke to my mind.

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Martha, perhaps busying herself with tasks she had deemed more important than gazing at Jesus. She might have even had that internal warring going on many of us can relate to: so many people in my home, it needs to be clean…. I need to appear productive and making things happen…. I wonder what that person is thinking about me… These things need to be done first, then I’ll listen to Jesus.

Can you relate?

I can.

The tendency to believe the lie that work done for God is more important than my friendship with and love for Him.

But I think a greater truth is that our unseen time with Him is what makes all the difference.

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heart drops, vulnerability, and being seen

Posted in faith, inspiration

The other night was a women’s ministry event complete with good food, laughter, and creativity. The speaker’s bread and butter was the ministry of relationships.

Her recent book is all about listening well, loving those in front of you, and relationships. She told of her new favorite practice, listening for heart drops.

The definition of a heart drop is (in Karen’s words): When a person, either directly or in a subtle way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness. It could even be a simple preference or “like” of theirs, such as their most-loved high-maintenance coffee drink or a favorite sports team.

I sat next to a only-known-for-a-year-but-love-dearly friend and told her in between dinner courses how overwhelmed I have been feeling lately.

A few days later, I opened up to the girls in my small group, friends (and they families) I have come to admire, trust, and love. I was honest about where I’m struggling and my raw emotions about my current situation.

They pointed me to Jesus and Scripture, but also were bummed with me.

They reminded me that they love me, and committed to pray for me.

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the heart behind my words

Posted in faith

I can be an overtalker. An anxious rambler. I sometimes fear awkward silences, and I can hardly let an uncomfortable situation sit.

There’s a frantic urgency to overreach with my words, to extent an apology or clarifying statement or burst of emotion.

I’ve known this to be true throughout my life, but lately it’s been flashing bright like Vegas Neon. And truthfully, I’m bothered by it.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21

I’m disturbed by my fear of discomfort in a conversation. I’m weary from my need to explain myself completely and entirely, to cover all my bases, to fix a situation immediately.

I wonder about pride, and how it could be a root issue here: the need to be sure I’m understood, the desire to make sure I’m not seen as wrong or confused or behind the curve.

Once I get going, words like a garden hose rush from my lips. Usually resulting in regret or self-doubt or disappointment, sometimes condemnation before Holy Spirit catches me.

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making choices like Jesus would

Posted in faith

Thanksgiving week this year was full. Full of family, laughter, conversations, shooting guns, being outside, delicious food, a few tears, lots of grace.

I was driving out to my parents’ house asking Father for help. God, please give me wisdom and discernment in my choices. Bless our families with good quality time and rich conversation. Be honored by our words and actions and thoughts. In His goodness, He gave me a visual.

Two sisters, different personalities. Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet while busy bee Martha is frazzled and distracted.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” v. 41-42

The greatest possession is close fellowship with the Lord as our ‘portion’ in life, says the ESV Study Bible. “It will not be taken away from her” — neither now to help Martha in the kitchen, nor for all eternity.

And Father said, stay at my feet, stay close, rest and trust Me. 

Instead of feeling like my mind is distracted and frazzled and busy like Martha, trying to please everyone and make the perfect choice.

Jesus was a man who lived on this earth. He walked, talked, overcame, felt physical needs, spent time with other humans. He valued close fellowship with his Father.

“Jesus came to reveal God to us. He is the defining word on God—on what the heart of God is truly like, on what God is up to in the world, and on what God is up to in your life. An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence. To know him as he is, is to come home. To have his life, joy, love, and presence cannot be compared. A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness. To be mistaken about him is the saddest mistake of all.”

To experience him and learn about him and know him is transformative.

God is cultivating in me a longing to know Jesus like I know my best friend or my husband.

To wonder about him when doing mundane tasks. To imitate how he speaks to both friends and strangers. To prioritize life as he prioritized life. To learn how he responds well in tricky situations. To love him by my service. To listen to him. To learn his mannerisms and tendencies. To know his heart.

I’m reading a book by John Eldredge called Beautiful Outlaw, about Jesus and his personality. All the quotes in this post are found in the book. It’s an interesting read.

He woos, he confronts, he delivers, he heals, he shoots straight, and then he uses intrigue. He lives out before them the most compelling view of God, shows them an incredibly attractive holiness while shattering the religious glaze.

I’m learning it this way… Holy Spirit is God in us; He is companion, wisdom, comfort, guide, and more. Jesus is our example for life; He lived a life that pleased God. Jesus is our brother to learn from. God is Father; He is creator, judge, powerful.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality. Your humanity, and your life. This is the reason he came. Anything else is religion.

I sometimes underestimate the power of knowing Jesus as if he was a physical person in my life today. I sometimes underestimate the stories of the Bible.. passages that tell of his expressions, his words, his way of being, his view of the world.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality.

Forgive me, Father. Thank you, for sending Jesus to live perfectly and die sacrificially.

pure in heart

Posted in books, faith

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

Thanks to my mother-in-law, I have recently discovered T.W. Hunt. He died on December 11, 2014. “T.W. Hunt met Jesus yesterday,” Southwestern President Paige Patterson said in a Dec. 12 statement. “It was a meeting of a faithful servant and his Lord, to be sure. But in a sense, it was just a reunion of old friends, because few men ever walked with God like Enoch and T.W. Hunt. via

Just to give you a clue what kind of man he was. A servant of the Lord. He wrote a handful of great books, and I just finished The Mind Of Christ.

It’s one of those books that you can’t put down because the Father is using it to renew your mind and ignite a fire in your soul. But also one you want to re-read and sit with for a few months. There will probably be a handful of posts with my reflections and learnings from this book.

In one chapter he talks about each beatitude. He writes, “the first four are keys to God’s heart. There we learn of God. The second four are the keys to expressing Christ.”

If we reserve a part of our heart for some earthly affection that separates us from God or takes precedence over God, we are not pure. All the loves of our life are related to and spring from our love for God. Being pure in heart does not require a perfect performance. Rather it requires our giving our whole selves to the Lord. T.W. Hunt

This is both challenging and beautiful to me. How about you?

It doesn’t require a perfect performance, but a mindset shift, a giving of my entire self to God and His Kingdom work. A choosing of divine affections over earthly affections.

It’s letting our passion and love and freedom and joy spring from our relationship with Him.

Lord, help us be devoted completely to You. Prune away the things that are fighting for our love. Give us eyes to see You.