Posts Tagged With: Bible

Hidden Ah-Ha’s: Doing a Great Work

I’m a big fan of routine. It keeps me on track, moving forward and constantly stretching for my goals while seeking God in the process.

But sometimes my daily routine gets a little bit too… routine.

You know what I’m talking about. Those days where you get out of bed and while you KNOW you should be thankful to have another opportunity to experience life on this earth, but instead you really feel kinda meh. Blah. Gah.

Whatever nonsense word you want to use, you are feeling it.

Just like it says in the movie Office Space: “Somebody has a case of the Mondays.”

Although my “Mondays” can strike any day of the week.

Not everyday is exactly the same, but for the sake of our sanity (and household functionality), our family MUST have some semblance of routine.  But occasionally the routine of “Wake up, get dressed, dress baby, quiet time, feed baby, feed self, do dishes, put supper in the crock pot, do assigned weekly chore, put baby down to nap, try to blogorcatchuponimportantmommystuff, baby wakes up, change baby, etc, etc”  makes me a bit weary.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder… Does my work REALLY matter?

That’s when I need a sweet little reminder from this Hidden Ah-Ha of the Bible:

“I am doing a great work. I cannot come down.”
~Nehemiah 6:3 NIV

Here’s a little background on this verse to really make it hit home. Nehemiah is nearing the completion of the wall that God has instructed him to rebuild. His enemies (naturally) don’t want him to complete it. In fact, they want him dead. (Yikes.) But Nehemiah is well guarded, so they can’t just attack and take him out. Instead, they try to distract and  lure him down from the top of the wall.

But Nehemiah replies with this practical and Godly come back: “I am doing a great work. I cannot come down.” 

Touche, Nehemiah. And he’s right. Although building the wall seems somewhat routine and very labor-intensive, he was called to do this work by God. And anytime we are called to do something for God, it is far from insignificant or routine.

Nehemiah kept at this wall-building for 52 straight days. Amidst distraction, exhaustion, and threats from his enemies, he persevered. Why? Because he WAS doing a great work. A work from God, not just to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, but to restore the people of Israel.

Think about your own life and what God has called you to do. Although it might look routine on the surface, it’s a great work for the Lord. And we cannot come down. Consider…

Every diaper changed… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every crockpot meal prepared… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every email sent for work… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every budget updated… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every grocery trip made… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every sinkful of dishes washed… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every pair of socks matched… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every blog post published… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every yard mowed… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every nose wiped and tear dried… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every encouraging word said to a stranger… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Every prayer prayed… We are doing a great work and can’t come down. 

Yes, my friends. We are ALL doing a great work. And we cannot come down.

Do work,
SGK

“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3 KJV

PS: What great work have you been called to do today? Let’s encourage each other… Leave a comment below!

A Great Work (Samsung S3/iPad: 1280x1280, 1024x1024)

Thanks Lizzy Lee via Flickr for this great pic!

Categories: Hidden Ah-Ha's | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Hidden Ah-Ha’s: The One Who Called You…

Life. Ain’t. Easy.

Can I get an AMEN? Anybody? So yeah, life on this earth ain’t easy. And that is probably the understatement of the decade.

Maybe it’s just the culture that we live in, but there is so much freakin’ pressure. Every where you look, there’s a Pinterest dream of a home where everything matches and only costs a dime, a housecleaning chart or recipe shared on Facebook sure to make your life a fairytale.  It’s all bigger, better, faster, cuter, cheaper, neater…

GAH. There’s just so… much… pressure! 

Welcome to the first week of our Hidden Ah-Ha’s of the Bible verses. For the next few weeks (months??) we will be looking verses that are in The Word, are totally awesome, but you may not have ever REALLY grasped onto before.

This week we start with my life verse, one of my absolute favs, found in 1 Thessalonians 5:24~

“The One who called you is faithful and He will do it.”

Just take a moment to let that sink in… The one who called you is faithful and He will do it. What an incredible promise! I’m encouraged just thinking about it!

A bit of context/background… This verse is found near the end of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. It’s pretty simple: he is giving some final instructions and encouragement before he signs off.

Cool, huh? (Sidenote: This is why I love God’s word. It was encouraging thousands of years ago… And still encourages us today. Talk about a true treasure to hold onto. Legit.)

Now. Let’s dig a little deeper and add some additional application to it.

God calls us to A LOT of things in this life… Perhaps some are permanent roles to fulfill: Parent, spouse, friend, employee, sibling, son/daughter, co-worker, neighbor, minister, etc, etc.

Others calls might seasonal: Leading a club or cause, volunteering with a ministry at church, playing on a sports team, you name it.

Still other calls involve ourselves: Work out, pay bills, maintain the house, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Oh. And let’s not forget what we are called to do as Christians: Love others, spend quiet time with the Lord, pray, encourage, help, build up, learn, grow. And rest. (RIGHT.)

Are you overwhelmed? Good. That’s what I was going for.

Just kidding. This post is not to overwhelm you. But instead it is to bring attention to the challenges of living on this earth. Sometimes it seems as if God is calling us to A LOT all at once. Seriously, as an army wife, mama and minister, there are times that my heiferish self just wants to put a hand on my hip, look up and say “REALLY, GOD? REALLY?” (I wouldn’t recommend this. Thou shalt not backtalk the One who give you, um, everything. But that’s another post.)

So when we are feeling up to our eyeballs, in, well, life, there’s some great news. The one who calls you is faithful and He WILL do it.

This verse doesn’t say He might do it. Or He will think about it. Or He wants you to give it a shot on your own before He gets involved.  It says He WILL do it. If God calls you to it, He will help you through it. (That should be on a bumper sticker. I’d definitely put on my car.)

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The one who calls you is faithful and He WILL do it.  How. Awesome. Is. THAT?!?

God is with us every step of the way to answer the call(s) He has placed on our lives.

HOWEVER… This does not mean that it will be easy (darn) OR that He will allow us to do everything that WE want to do.

Which goes back to my original point of our culture putting so much pressure on us to be that Superstar Mama or Pinterest Homemaker of the Year.  Yes, He wants us to experience full, abundant life– But He never meant for life to be a hurried, flustered stressful existence. We (most of the time) bring that on ourselves.

So today, as we embrace this beautiful hidden Ah-Ha from 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it,” let’s consider some of the following thoughts…

1. If you are currently feeling overwhelmed by the God-calls in your life, how can you lean on this promise to help you through? Where do you see God working TODAY?
2. Can you clearly draw a line between the loving expectations that God has for you versus the expectations you (or others) have placed on your life? Do it… Then embrace those God-calls and release the world-calls. (FREEDOM!!)
3. How does this promise encourage your heart? I always welcome feedback… Comment below!

Dear reader, no matter WHAT you are facing today as you answer continue on your God-called path, please take heart and remember… The one who calls you is faithful… And HE. WILL. DO IT!

All my prayers and encouragement to you.

He is Faithful,
SGK

“The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” ~1 Thessalonians 5:24 MSG

Categories: Hidden Ah-Ha's | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Hidden Ah-Ha’s: Starting out Popular

So, I have to admit that I wasn’t really “popular” in high school. (Shocker, right? You would think that with my love of inky pens and new school supplies, I woulda been a shoo-in…)

Honestly, I didn’t really want to be popular.  Because even in a high school graduating class of 18 (yes, 18!) people, the popular kids always seemed to be dealing with more trouble than their “social status” was worth. (Sidenote: Nothing against the popular kiddos, especially if that included you. 🙂 )

I was friends with pretty much everyone but sure wasn’t fashionable or the party gal or the most entertaining. (Heck, I’m still none of those almost 10 years later. Ha.)

After a while, though, the “popular crowd” would usually lose some of their… um, popular-ness.  Maybe it was because someone new moved into town or we all went our separate ways after graduation. Nowadays, those individuals are still valued and loved (as they should be) but people’s love for them has deepened in a new, rich kind of way.

So here’s my point. (You knew I would get to it eventually…) The idea of the “popular crowd” relates to our new Monday series here at 7 Days Time: The Hidden Ah-Ha’s of the Bible.

Today, we address the “popular crowd” of Bible verses before we dig into our hidden, less well-known ah-ha verses.

The “popular crowd” of Bible verses are just that– popular… You know ’em, you love ’em, you probably even have them on a sign in your living or on a bookmark in your journal.

They are incredibly powerful and remind us of God’s love. The popular verses, just like ALL verse in the Bible, are inspired AKA “God-breathed.”

And I couldn’t very well skip over some of the classics before we embark on our Hidden Ah-Ha treasure hunt next week.

Think about some of your favorite verses. Oftentimes, folks share the following as their favs:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Again, these verses are very powerful, very important, very loving and certainly must be acknowledged.

But they are only the beginning.

In the coming weeks, we are going to be digging much deeper into His Word, searching for verses that aren’t necessarily on bumper stickers and signs in our living room. We will discover hidden gems of the most wonderful Love Story ever written.

Take time this week to think about some of the more popular verses, perhaps some of them listed above.  Which one(s) is/are your favorite? And what are you most looking forward to in this new series? Any hidden ah-ha verses you want to see included in the new series?  Don’t be shy– comment below.

So grab your tea/coffee/soda/beverageofchoice, get into some comfy clothes… and get ready to explore some of the beautiful Hidden Ah-Ha’s of His Word.

Hidden in Him,
SGK

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12

Treasure Island Archive 10

Get ready to go on a Treasure Hunt for Truth.
(Photo via adplayer @Flickr)

Categories: Hidden Ah-Ha's | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Series Intro: Bible Verses~ Hidden Ah-Ha’s!

I love AH-HA moments.

I have them randomly throughout my day. Some happen when I am messing with my blog online (oh, THAT’S how that widget works…) Or sometimes when I’m doing dishes (Seriously, just a couple of weeks ago I discovered that the bottom of our bottle brush comes off to wash the bottle nipple… It only took me 4 months to figure that out. DUH.)

But most often, my greatest AH-HA moments happen when I am at church or immersed in His Word.

So, for the next undetermined number of Mondays here at 7 Days Time, we will be working through a new series that I am calling “Bible Verses: Hidden Ah-Ha’s!”

Lightbulb

Dontcha love it when the lightbulb FINALLY comes on? AH-HA!
(Photo via Cliff Blibrey @ Flickr)

Here’s the idea… I have been (and will continue to be) praying about some of the most helpful Bible verses I have found throughout the Word. However, these verses aren’t usually the ones found painted on a sign in a Christian bookstore or engraved on a bracelet. Instead, they are the hidden gems that when you read it, God flicks that switch in your heart and it’s like “AH-HA! Now I get it!!”

A few things to know about this series. First, ALL verses in the Bible are vital and important. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  With this in mind, we certainly aren’t discounting the “major” or “popular” verses that we all know, love and possibly memorized or sang about in our days of youth. Instead, this is to take us deeper into His word, and possibly provide a few fresh AH-HA’s for all of us. 

Secondly, I am NOT a well-versed theologian nor do I know everything about Scripture. (Relatively certain THAT isn’t going to happen til I get to heaven… or Jesus comes back. Whichever happens first.) But I am going to be approaching this prayerfully and potentially doing some cross-referencing, perhaps shedding new light on verses that you might not have known existed in the first place. (At least that’s my hope. Really, it’s gonna be up to Jesus.)

Finally, know that it really doesn’t matter what version of the Bible you have… as long as it is legit Christian, ALL versions are God’s word. I use everything from New International Version (my primary source) and sometimes supplement it with The Message (my major daily Bible is an NIV/MSG parallel, because sometimes, I really don’t GET what the Bible is saying til I dig deeper.) But you can use whatever version you are comfortable. (Might I recommend Bible Gateway as a fast and productive source?)

I’m excited about this series… and looking forward to what God reveals to us as a community of believers over the next several weeks (months?)

And although this is just the first week as an intro, I want to share a recent AH-HA moment I had when reading my baby girl a few pages out of her “Jesus Storybook Bible.”   It describes the Bible in a new, fresh, easy to understand way… (In case any of you out there are scared out of your mind/intimated by Scripture like I used to be just a few short years ago…) Here’s what it said…

“No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves His palace, His throne- everything- to rescue the one He loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life. You see, the best thing about this Story is– It’s true.”

Now, if that doesn’t get you fired up about this series, I don’t know what will. (My heart is pounding. Is it next Monday yet??)

I am hopeful that there will be a lot of AH-HA moments to be had as we walk through this experience together. But first, I would LOVE suggestions of your “life verses” or any Bible AH-HA moments you have had… because this series is flexible, and I would love to learn and explore right along with you! Please leave your suggestions for Scripture or AH-HA moments in the comments below.

Buckle up, my friends. And get ready to discover those Hidden Ah-Ha’s!

Ready and Waiting Expectantly,
SGK

“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~Isaiah 40:5 NIV

Categories: Hidden Ah-Ha's | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Book of Rationalizations

So… What’s your favorite book of the Bible?

If you have been a Christian longer than a day, more than likely someone has asked you this question… (Or maybe that’s just what my nerdy Jesus self talks to my friends about…)

Regardless… Have you thought about it lately? What IS your favorite book?

Some might say any of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) because it tells the epic story of our Lord and Savior. Other’s might really dig on Psalms or Proverbs, because it is ancient wisdom/encouragement/songs that apply to us even today in 2013. Yet others could mention Philippians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians and the like due to the super cool insight that Paul is throwing down.

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My favorite book?

First and Second Rationalizations.

Wait a second…

Good catch there. “Rationalizations” aren’t books of the Bible– but friends, you better believe it, I sure find myself turning to them more often than not.

Now, this is not an original Sharita idea… Bret Pyle of Blackaby Ministries International mentioned this as an illustration at a conference I was attending– but the concept of a “Book of Rationalizations” in our Christian walk has stuck with me ever since.

Webster’s definition of rationalization is as follows:

Rationalization~ to ascribe (one’s acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

In plain English, to rationalize is to make excuses that kinda sorta seem to be related to the issue/topic at hand… but really aren’t.

If you think about it, we probably rationalize in many areas of our lives, not just our walk with Christ. We say that since we parked a little farther away from the Wal-Mart door, that we can have an extra big slice of chocolate cake for dessert that night. Uh, nice try. Or we rationalize why we yelled at our husband/kids/the innocent check-out person by deciding that we were just having a bad day and they provoked us/deserved it. Again, no bueno.

When it comes to walking with Jesus, our “Book of Rationalizations” is probably referenced more than we think. We decide to sleep in on Sunday instead of getting up and going to church by telling ourselves that “One Sunday won’t matter” or that “Sunday is the day of rest, Jesus would want us to sleep.” (Kind of a stretch, don’t you think?)

We skip out on our quiet time saying that we are too busy and that we plan to do our “Jesus duty” by commenting on someone’s Facebook status “praying for you!” Or we say that because we are participating in a church event tomorrow, that is like spending time with God so we don’t need quiet time.

Or we cut our tithe short, saying that “This month I ‘need’ <you fill in the blank with the ‘need’ here> … God wants me to be happy/knows I ‘need’ it, so it won’t matter this time, right?”

Sigh.  Oh our rationalizing brains. Gah.

Today’s post is not to condemn or make you feel guilty– not at all. But just to bring awareness. I still do it sometimes… or at least I catch myself trying to rationalize my action until I hear God clearing His throat…. “Ahem… Sharita… yeah, how bout you try that again?”

Mmmkkk, God. Sorry. My bad.

Instead of spending our time in the Book of Rationalizations, we can spend our time in the REAL word of God. The more we do that, the better we come to know Him, and the less we desire to rationalize our way through walk with Christ.

In what areas of your life do you find you rationalize the most? How can we as Christ-followers avoid the enemy’s trap of rationalizing our way through life? If you are feeling bold… comment below!

Be encouraged, my friends. Most (if not all) of us struggle with this issue of rationalizing our actions. It’s human nature. But we can cling to the truth that if Christ is in us and we seek Him with all our heart, our actions are sure to follow.

And THAT my friends, is a book you will never want to put down.

Reading between the lines,
SGK

“We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.” ~Proverbs 21:2 MSG

Categories: attitude | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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