Posts Tagged With: obedience

Pobody’s Nerfect (Repost)

When I was a pre-teen, I spent a few days every now and then working in a little country store back home. Jeanie’s was a tiny place with two booths and a menu that consisted of cold sandwiches or fried food. She also kept in stock the “necessities” for life, including milk, eggs and toilet paper. (Which was really convenient since the nearest town with a “real” grocery store was 20 miles away.)

On the cash register hung a sign with words I remember to this day:

“Pobody’s Nerfect.

It made me laugh. And still does. I love the irony of switching the first two letters to emphasize that true, nobody is perfect… even the maker of the sign. (I love ironic humor, just FYI.)

You are a beautiful creation... perfectly imperfect... a work in progress... you have everything you need to fulfill your purpose... don't dilute yourself for any person or any reason... you are enough... be unapologetically you.

Source: Deeplifequotes via flickr

Every now and then, that idea of “Pobody’s Nerfect” pops into my head. It resurfaced in my brain last week during my quiet time with the Lord.

I was reminded that nobody on this earth is perfect. Jesus was the only perfect man, the rest of us are kind of messed up. (Can I get an AMEN?)  I’ve noticed that so many people don’t want to follow the call that God has placed on their life because they don’t feel that they will able to do it perfectly.

Newsflash: They are right. They won’t be able to do it perfectly. But God doesn’t ask for perfection. He asks for obedience.

Let me give you an example. Say that I begin my daily work out…perhaps a run. Sometimes, I just have off days. Why, I have no idea… Maybe it starts raining, or I can’t find my pace or I didn’t sleep well the night before. At that moment, I have a choice.  I can do something and be obedient to the call of trying to get my body in shape, or not even attempt it because I know it’s not going to be perfect.

If I acted on only the things I could do perfectly, let me tell you what people… I would probably never get out of bed. I wouldn’t blog. I wouldn’t exercise. I wouldn’t minister to people. The list goes on and on.

Here’s the deal. God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. Think to yourself for a moment: What is God calling you to right now? What’s stopping you? Is it your fear of not being “perfect?” How can you turn to the Lord to ask for help? I would love to hear your feedback… Leave a comment below!

Please remember, my sweet readers… God isn’t asking for perfection. He just wants obedience. He made you and He knows how flawed our flesh can be. He also loves you, has called you and knows first hand that when it comes to the population of the world that “Pobody’s Nerfect.” But… We ALL can be obedient.

I’m pobody, I’m nerfect,
SGK

“And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.” ~James 3:2 (MSG) 

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Why there are Bookshelves in My Dining Room

I am so thankful for the wide variety of random gifts and talents God has so generously given me.

I can write. (Well, at least let’s hope, or this 400+ blogging website is a real issue.) I can sing-ish. And I can even auctioneer. (I’m serious. Maybe I will do a vlog of that someday just for fun?)

But one gift I do not possess? The gift of design when it comes to coordinating a room/decor.

Seriously, up until our current home, I called my design “randomly eclectic.”

I just threw things on the wall, sat furniture wherever I though it would function most productively and left it at that.

But this time, this house… it was going to be different.

And I have to say… I did put a lot more thought (and prayer) into how things were organized, what colors we painted some of the walls and where we hung our decor. But when you are in ministry, there’s usually not a lot of extra cash lying around to go all out and buy things that coordinate and look amazing.

I’m not complaining. I like our home. I really do. But when people come over, I think they are confused as to why there at bookshelves in the dining room.

bookshelves dining room 2

The placement of these shelves was (shockingly) unintentional, but has worked out in our favor. Although not necessarily as “Wow, those really bring the room a scholarly look” or “Oh hey, that is totally feng shui.”

Really, I just put them there because I didn’t want my husband to have to carry both huge shelves plus a couple dozen boxes of books upstairs. And we didn’t really have room in our office since it also doubles a guest room with a twin bed. And I was impatient and wanted to get it organized immediately upon our arrival so I chose a room that we weren’t going to paint.

However, God has really shown me that it WAS intentional on His part.

I am so thankful that these bookshelves are in my dining room, and wholeheartedly believe it was God’s idea. First, it’s a cool (albeit sneaky) witnessing/encouragement tool. People come over, see a book they would like and DING… They borrow it and get a little dose of Jesus.

Cool, right? It gets better.

Since these bookshelves are in my dining room, I walk by them dozens of times a day… And in the past couple months, many rather profound epiphanies have erupted from seemingly innocent books just chillin on the shelf.

Example: My husband and I were praying about leading a home group this semester for church and we wanted to use some challenging but unique curriculum. One day I’m walking by the shelves and BOOM… Out of nowhere, the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan catches my eye. I read it a couple years ago and it literally changed my life.

And guess what? We are now leading a home group studying “Crazy Love.”

On another occasion, my worn-out new mama self walked by and KA-CHOW! A book about sleep training that I had received from a good friend yet never read jumped out at me. Interestingly enough, just a couple of days before I was stressing about how to get baby girl to nap somewhere other than on me (or in someone’s arms) with a semi-predictable schedule.

Now baby girl has given this mama a new freedom of two semi-predictable daily nap times and a legit bedtime routine. Seriously changed my life. (Sidenote: Why had I never legitimately heard of sleep training before? For real, people.)

Anywho, here’s the moral of the story… I firmly believe that God can work through anything, anyone, anytime. It wasn’t just my lack of motivation that landed those bookshelves in my dining room. God knows that some of those books are incredible tools for my walk with Him and our life as a family. If they were hidden upstairs in the office, I would see them probably once a week, not dozens of times a day.

He is the one who prompted us to leave those bookshelves right where they landed, a couple of feet from out kitchen table, although we didn’t know it at the time. He had it planned from the start. He is a creative God who knows how we listen and how we learn.

And that, my friend, is why there are bookshelves in my dining room.

Reading and Succeeding (For Jesus),
SGK

“I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants…” ~Psalm 85:8

PS: How does God creatively speak to you or encourage you in your life? Be bold and comment below!

Bookshelves dining room 1

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Everyday Jesus: Across ALL Generations

Welcome to another installment of our “Everyday Jesus” series… How are you liking? If you are digging it, let us hear it!!  I am privileged to host my friend Meghan today as she share’s her heart (and ministry) for Christ’s love across all generations. Read. Enjoy. Comment. Be blessed! 🙂 

Thankful for Jesus in the Everyday,
SGK

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And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 9: 34-36

We simply cannot be Christ followers without the death of our old selves and a rebirth into His new life. If we don’t shed the old life like a snake coming out of it’s skin, we will be burdened with too much baggage to follow Him freely. So why do so many of us try to do things our own way? Why do we procrastinate truly giving our whole life to Him? Are we afraid to pick up our cross or are we just too numbed by our immersion in the world? I mean, do we even believe – really believe– that what Jesus says is true?

I am involved in a growing ministry at my church, which is appropriately named “Young Adults”. Our mission: to develop adults who will forsake the world to follow Jesus. Here. Now. Today. Because true life does not come from graduation, work, family, or a mortgage.

Maybe you’ve heard of this growing area of ministry in the Church? Just in case you’re not clear on what defines a “Young Adult”, we are students, workers, and young marrieds in the church who are in between the high school and grown-up gap. I like to refer to us as the “lost generation” because our age group hasn’t always been specifically addressed by the Church. However, there has been an influx of young adult ministry growth as churches realize how crucial it is to be vitally connected to the Body during the time in life when our most important decisions are being made (i.e. – Deciding our major, diving into the workforce, considering who to marry, and solidifying morals and values).

Our group of believers gathers on Friday nights to get in the presence of our Savior. We do this through a shared meal, fellowship, worship, prayer, & Biblical and Spiritual discussion. Our time of exalting Christ and coming together in authentic, uplifting community is essential to who we are becoming in Christ. With competing messages bombarding us daily, we will build our foundation on what we are immersed in. Community brings us strength. Together, we move toward the prize of knowing Him in unity, accountability, and support.

We must decide today if we will choose the world or Jesus Christ. There’s no use in trying to live in a muddled, half-hearted combination of the two. We are strong as a group, and are able to move towards that goal of knowing Him more fully as we come together sharpening one another as iron sharpens iron. My hope is that we will influence each other to fall more and more in love with Jesus Christ so that we are able to freely choose Him in all circumstances.

So will you (yes, you) choose Jesus today? Will you cling to what you have and what you know or will you forsake everything to follow Him?

My prayer is that young adults would awaken and choose true life! Let us not be a generation who gives our life away to “things” rather than the one true King. Let us lay down every single one of our idols and give Him the reigns of our whole life! Oh, I pray that we will not be a generation who waits for “real life” to begin or who live in complacency. I pray that Jesus would meet us here & now!

Join with me in encouraging the Young Adults in your church and in your community to stand up and own their faith with passionate belief!

meghan headshot

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Meghan Stewart is the Young Adults Director at Christ Community Church in Columbus, Ga. She is a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and devoted follower of Christ. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys health-wise cooking and baking, running, reading, and spending precious time with her husband, Mason, and cat, Jake. She is basking in the joy of her salvation and loving every day that God blesses her with!

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Everyday Jesus: Under His Umbrella

Remember my good friend Meghan? Well, she’s back with us again today to share another incredible story of how she encountered Jesus in everyday life. This recount is just as powerful as her last testimony– so I pray that it not only inspires your heart but also motivates you to move in the name of Christ! 

Covered by Christ, 
SGK 

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God has recently impressed on my heart how He is my covering. I’m counted as blessed because I get to take shelter in him. He’s showing me how He longs for me to come under His protection and allow Him to shield me from damaging elements in this world. If I seek shelter in Him, He will guide me to do things that I once feared. Under this protection, He’s also teaching me to step out of my comfort zone.

This is a story about when those two things combine.

umbrella

I recently encountered a woman who was not protected from the elements. She was standing at a bus stop on a busy road, in the pouring rain, with no umbrella, and I could see that her fancy hair-do was slowly melting.

(I’m sorry to say it, but) My first reaction was just the thought, “Man, that really stinks! I bet she put a lot of effort into her hair and make-up this morning and now they’re both getting ruined!” Can you tell I was having a grumpy day?

And my second thought was (slightly better), “Oh, maybe I should pray for her. That would nice.”

I was actually going to drive off just feeling pity for her when God nudged me to look down and notice the (hardly used) umbrella on the floor by my passenger seat.

That’s when God spoke and reminded me, “Dear {Meghan}, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that {you} really have it? For instance, you come upon a {woman on the side of the road} and say, “Good morning, friend! {I’ll pray for you! Hope your hair doesn’t go flat!} Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and {drive} off without providing so much as a coat or a {umbrella} – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense” (James 2:14-17).

Oh goodness, I was a bit intimidated when I realized that God wanted me to actually pull over and offer it to her! It’s not that I treasured the umbrella or anything, but I was intimidated to actually have contact with her and act on my faith. What if she rejected me? What if she thought I was some creep-o?

But could I let myself be guilty of trying to talk the talk without walking the walk? What good would my prayers for her be if she was still getting rained on?!

I knew that I had to listen to the nudge and pull over. So I did just that. I pulled over to the side of the road, rolled down my window, and called out to her. It was really inarticulate, but I was able to get her attention and she actually walked over to my car.

So I timidly said, “It’s raining! You look like you could use an umbrella, and I’ve got one that I never use. So… would you like it?”

She looked shocked and at first denied it. But I insisted, and she said, “ Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! For real? I can’t believe it! Thank you!” She was truly flabbergasted, and the light of joy on her face shone through the rainy day haze around us.

All because I gave her a measly umbrella.

But really, I think she was touched because I saw her. I saw her need, and I listened to God long enough to do something about it. I was able to show her that in this crazy busy world, there is someone who cares about her, and yes, even about her hair-do. I made sure to let her know that the “someone” was God.

So what can you do today? How can you put the love into action? Do not be content to sit back and let your faith grow lazy. Will you settle today for merely talking the talk, or are you willing to go out on a limb and walk the walk as well? Trust me, God has powerful things in store if you will trust Him and put your faith into action.

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meghan headshotMeghan Stewart is the Young Adults Director at Christ Community Church in Columbus, Ga. She is a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and devoted follower of Christ. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys health-wise cooking and baking, running, reading, and spending precious time with her husband, Mason, and cat, Jake. She is basking in the joy of her salvation and loving every day that God blesses her with!

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Everyday Jesus: Even from the Other Side

Today I am so incredibly blessed to introduce you to a Soli Deo Gloria Sister, Jenn. She actually hosts the Soli Deo Gloria (To the Glory of God Alone) sisterhood link-up each week– and lemme tell you what, it’s a powerful experience. Be sure to share the love with her both here at 7 Days Time and over at her place as she shares a little piece of her heart and what it means to experience Jesus… Everyday! 

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JennFergoutsidebible

I was incredibly afraid of taking them to another funeral.  I was afraid to watch them bury yet another great-grandparent.  I was afraid that they would fail to see the hope and the life and concentrate solely on the deadness, on the vacant body, on the loss.

But Mama Gal, or Mrs. Mavis to some, she didn’t plan to go out without reminding everyone for whom she lived.  And how can you instruct people to talk about your faith without imparting the hope that comes with the name of Jesus Christ?

The preacher extolled Mama Gal’s bible reading.  He held up clippings and pictures that she kept in her large-print bible.  He read some of her notations and shared some underlined verses.

And the mind of my eight year-old daughter absorbed all the hope she could as her eyes filled with tears.

It was a whirlwind trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, and soon as she got to her room, Abby took out her glittery Bible and opened the front cover.

Jennferginsidecover

You see, the preacher said Mavis spent a lot of time reading Romans and so Abby decided she would too.  And so she wrote herself a reminder.

You see, the preacher said Mavis wondered if the current generation really could have faith amidst all the pain and suffering of this world.  And so, Abby would wonder this, too.

You see, the preacher said Mavis believed the Bible spoke the truth and that she couldn’t wait to glory with her Lord up in Heaven.  And so, Abby decided she would believe this, too.

You see, the preacher said everyone who Mavis held dear was recorded somewhere in her Good Book.  And so, Abby recorded her names, too.

Even from the other side, Mavis taught her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren something the day she was laid to rest:

Read the Word.  Believe it.

It will be a glorious day to be with the Lord.

It’s okay to wonder, especially about the hard questions.

Hold your family dear.  Pray for them often.

Making Jesus part of our everyday life isn’t just about us.  It’s about all those watching us.  We have the opportunity to show how an authentic, challenging, loving, hard, glorious relationship with Christ is the best thing ever.  Even if we are already in the grave.  Jesus uses our lives no matter if we are here on earth or up in Heaven.

Let’s make each life, each day, count. Who knows?  Perhaps something you write in your Bible today will transform the life of your eight year-old great-granddaughter.

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JennFergpicJen Ferguson is passionate about Jesus and walking in community with sisters in Christ to better know Him and make Him known to the world.  While there are many facets to her life, she actively tries to live without labels so to live in the fullness of who God created her to be.  She will encourage other women to do the same as she speaks and writes for His glory.  She lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband, two little girls, and her running partner, Hank the Cow Dog.  She blogs at Finding Heaven and you can find her on Facebook at the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

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Everyday Jesus: A Comfort Zone Emergency…

I love hanging out/talking to/learning from authentic folks who have eyes (and a heart!) for Christ. My dear friend Meghan is one of those awesome folks– and she sure has a great and powerful story to share with you via today’s edition of Everyday Jesus. Hope you are ready for this, because it sure moved me in more ways than one! 

Moved by His Majestic Love, 
SGK

PS: Be sure to share the love with Meghan by leaving your feedback and comments below.

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Have you noticed that God is never really too concerned with leaving us where we feel comfortable? Nope. He’s just not concerned about that at all.

Throughout the Bible, God is shown stretching His people, calling them out of their places of comfort, calling them to be bold and to walk out into the unknown for His purposes. Our God called Abraham away from his home, asked Moses (a man with a speech impediment) to be a very vocal leader, and had the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years. He called shepherds to be kings, called men to walk on water, and still calls his followers to trust in Him daily.

I don’t know about you, but I really like to be comfortable. Especially when it comes to sharing my faith. Maybe there’s something in the water, but I’ve noticed that even the boldest Christians will often grow timid when it comes to sharing their faith with strangers.

And God is not satisfied with that. He recently helped me to tackle my fear of getting out of my comfort zone in a place where I least expected Him to show up.

emergency entrance

My husband and I were leaning against the wall in the emergency entrance of a local hospital one late and rainy Georgia night, waiting to pick up two friends who were rushed to the ER after their car accident. Honestly, by that point in the evening, I felt pretty burnt out and tired. I found that the only way to keep my mind from going to negative places (I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was actually trying to not linger on thinking about how few people in the ER had insurance and how much that would cost the government…I know, not nice…) was to zone out completely and turn numb to the many people in pain before me.

All of a sudden, my husband asked me if I was praying for Jesus to come into that place. Um… no, far from it!

I was sadly in a place where I didn’t even feel capable (or worthy) of approaching the throne of grace and getting into a spirit of prayer. But his sweet words convicted me, and, at a loss for words, started to pray, “Jesus…Jesus…Jesus” – there truly is power in His name.

Suddenly, I felt convicted to put my prayer into action. This is NOT the kind of thing that I would normally do. Like I said, I’m often quite timid about approaching strangers and sharing my faith, but God called me to be bold for Him, and then He even revealed exactly who He wanted me to pray with. Not for, but with.

I think that I actually started shaking as I realized that I had to go and actually talk with someone!

I noticed a girl who was writhing in pain in the entrance to the ER. Her mother had come inside to beg the receptionist to let her daughter be seen urgently because she was in much pain, but there was nothing that the receptionist could do. I saw both daughters of Christ, one in excruciating pain, the other burdened with anxiety, fear, and frustration.

Oh God, how many times have I been burdened by the enemy? And how many times have you sent people alongside me to lift me up? In this moment, I realized the human neediness for God’s gracious provision. How could I turn down my role in this?

So I made a choice and let God lead me out of the glass sliding doors towards the two. I simply asked the mother if I could pray with them, and to my surprise she reacted with excitement! I asked the girl her name, but she couldn’t look up into my face. As I sat down next to her and wrapped my arms around her, placing my hand where she was feeling pain her mother and I launched into prayer for her, asking God for His healing presence.

I don’t know that God’s intention was to totally heal the girl physically as much as it was to bring His light and warmth into that place where so many were numb from pain or apathy. After we finished, the girl was able to look up, and she was no longer moaning or writhing in pain. I was able to see her face and affirm her beauty to her. Her mother was so full of thanks and joy after our short time together, and I truly believe that God was able to change the trajectory of her night.

But lo and behold, God changed me in that instance, too. He changed my heart and my thoughts and my will. He allowed me to be sensitive to His voice, to follow His commands, and to be a part of what He’s doing in my city, even if it was on a small-scale. God cares not about the quantity of what we do, but with what quality our heart goes forth where He calls.

Praise and glory to our good Father who is able to heal the sick, cover over a multitude of sins, and redirect an independent soul like me towards His Kingdom’s purposes!

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meghan headshotMeghan Stewart is the Young Adults Director at Christ Community Church in Columbus, Ga. She is a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and devoted follower of Christ. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys health-wise cooking and baking, running, reading, and spending precious time with her husband, Mason, and cat, Jake. She is basking in the joy of her salvation and loving every day that God blesses her with!

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Everyday Jesus: The “Bread” of Life

Welcome to another glorious guest post in our Everyday Jesus series! This week, my friend Christy shares a very cool and powerful God-encounter with us about how a simple stop at a restaurant was part of a much bigger encounter with Christ. Here’s to Him being our Bread of Life! Show dear Christy some love both here and over at her place 🙂 

Rejoicing Daily, 
SGK 

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As a churchgoer, I was always taught to “pray without ceasing,” but I can’t say that I honestly understood that phrase until a few years ago. More or less, I began to understand that if I was in constant communication with God, and I listened for His answers to prayer, instead of just giving Him my list of needs, The Spirit would guide me throughout my day and, in a sense, He would speak to me.

Now, listening to The Spirit is still a relatively new concept to me; so when He told me to go to Panera one fateful day last August, I was a little skeptical. Thankfully, I obeyed.

Mind you, there is really nothing that I love on Panera’s menu (and I almost always prefer Starbucks to the big P when it comes to coffee and workspace) but on this particular day, there was something inside of me that just knew I had to grab my keys and speed on over for a cup o’ chai… STAT!

bread

Fast-forward ten minutes to me in Panera, watery chai in hand, plopping down into one of the worn, leather chairs by the door. I tried to do some work, but quickly realized there were no outlets and my computer battery was dead. Frustrated, I slinked down in my chair, and glanced around. People watching would have to do, for a bit.

Looking ahead, my eyes fell on the twenty-something girl with ringlet curls excitedly talking at the table across from me. She sat with a friend, and I could tell by their conversation (which I eavesdropped on for quite a while) that they loved The Lord.

Being new to town, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I needed friends, and these two seemed like prime candidates; however, if I admitted that I’d been eavesdropping on their conversation, I wasn’t so sure that they’d want to hang out with me… if you know what I mean. Then I remembered! “Wait! The Spirit! He told me to come here. That’s what this is about! I think Jesus might be arranging me some friendships in this city!”

Leaping out of my chair, I made my awkward approach… “Hey! I know this is weird, but I’m Christy.  I’ve been listening to your conversation and I think we need to be friends…” and the rest was history.

Today, I’m writing only one room away from my curly-haired, Jesus freak of a roommate, Sarah (whom I met at Panera!) It blows my mind to think about how many of my current friendships can be traced back to this one, Spirit-prompted trip to a bakery. What if I’d quenched The Spirit and gone to Starbucks instead? Well, I probably would have completed my work, but I shutter to think about the people I now know (and love) that would have been absent from my life if I’d made a different decision.

I could have missed out on a church family, a roommate, a boyfriend, and a whole lot of spiritual growth! My life wouldn’t be the same today had I done what made SENSE, and ignored a seemingly random desire to go to a restaurant that I historically disliked. God works in mysterious ways, and it does my heart good to see how His fingerprints were all over my cup of chai that day.

Of course, the point of my story is not that I did something right, or that I deserved the precious gift that Jesus gave to me in the form of a roommate. It is exactly the opposite. I deserve only death, yet Jesus chose to give me abundant life in Him, which includes good, sweet gifts on earth.

And on the days when I feel like God isn’t near, when I wonder if I’ll ever have a God sighting again, I am thankful to have tangible evidence that He speaks (to me) and He gives (to me) and He loves (even me).

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I am of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

I am holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)

His Grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion. (Philippians 1:6)

The Spirit of God, that raised Jesus from the dead, lives inside of me. (Romans 8:11)

I know all of this to be true. Especially when I look at Sarah, whom Jesus introduced me to at Panera.

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christy headshotChristy is a kindergarten teacher at Campus Clubs in Macon, GA. She hopes to begin the graduate program for education at Georgia College and State University this summer. In the meantime, she is enjoying her new friends in Macon, and learning to joyfully see Jesus in all of life’s little things. You can keep up with Christy via her personal blog Life as A Bike. 

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If we are Called… Be Brave (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
Greetings all!

It’s that time again– yeppers, it’s Five Minute Friday time. At the end of each “work week,” I link-up with Lisa-Jo Baker for this writing exercise of glory. She gives us a prompt. We write for five minutes. Without over thinking. Simply free and uninhibited.

I never know what is going to happen. (But these precious words from God rarely disappoint!)

So let’s get started and see what Jesus has to say via my fingertips today…

PROMPT: BRAVE

Andddd GO! 

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Brave. Courageous. Daring. Hopeful.

No matter how you spell it– really it all boils down to faith. Because with faith– all things are possible– and we can brave the scariest of storms with Jesus at our side.

Because the one who calls you is faithful and HE will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24.)

If we are called to move to a new place… Be brave, knowing that Christ is with you.

If we are called to get married… Be brave, building your marital foundation on Him with the knowledge that He IS the solid rock.

If we are called into parenthood… Be brave, embracing the fact that none of us really know what we are doing at the beginning, but God will give us the wisdom and discernment we need to love and care for our little ones.

When we are called to share the gospel… Be brave, confident that He will show up and give you the words to say.

Friends, take heart and know that when we are called to (you fill in the blank here) we can be brave– ultimately by being faithful to the one who called us in the first place.

STOP!

In what life situations do you find yourself needing to be brave? How can you always make sure you fall back on your faith?

Be brave, my friends. Cling to the truth that He is sovereign over all and the One who calls you is faithful and He WILL do it!

Finding courage in Christ,
SGK

“I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.” ~Isaiah 48:15 NIV

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When a Dive Attempt… Bellyflops (Five Minute Friday)

5…6…7… and 8…

Oh hey. Sorry, didn’t see ya there. I was just doing my finger calisthenics and warming up for my weekly Five Minute Friday Finger Sprint with our friend Lisa Jo.

Five Minute Friday

Here’s how it works. Lisa Jo gives us a prompt. Then we write for five minutes whatever profound (or not-so-profound) thoughts comes to mind. No excessive editing or overthinking. Just going with the flow, writing then linking up in our FMF community.

Enough chit chat. Let’s get started.

Todays prompt: DIVE

And GO!

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I’ve always admired them. Their rehearsed, graceful form… The simple, smooth way they slice through the water… It didn’t matter if it was at our local pool growing up or on TV at the Olympics– I’ve always wanted to learn to dive. Gracefully.

That’s the kicker– gracefully. Now, if you have known me for more than 14 seconds, you will know there is nothing graceful about me. Entertaining, perhaps. Graceful? Not so much.

I remember those early days of my youth at swim lessons where the lifeguards would instruct me on proper form– where my hands should go, how close to stand to the water… Then (allegedly) how to just dive right in with all of the elegance and grace of an Olympian.

Alas, I have never been able to achieve that feat. Sure, it’s been a hot minute since I have even tried to dive and I know it’s possible… but most often, I end up belly flopping.

When it comes to our walk with Christ, we might not get it perfectly right the first time. Or the second time. Or the 5o0th time.

But just like diving, we can keep on trying.

I personally believe that God is pleased that we are striving to be obedient– even on the days when we fall short and belly flop. I wholeheartedly believe that He is pleased we are even getting in the water.

Our form might not be perfect. We might never be at level of a high-flying Olympic diver when it comes to following Christ. But don’t stop getting in the water, even when your well-intentioned dive bellyflops. Because for whatever grace we lack in our walk… His grace is enough.

STOP!

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That might perhaps be me… Before I “graduated” to bellyflopping in the big pool…

So… are you a diver or bellyflopper? In what Jesus situations do you find yourself bellyflopping most often? How can we stay motivated to keep getting in the water– no matter what? I always LOVE to hear from you– feel free to comment below!

Oh, one more thing– Regardless of your dive/bellyflop status– let me know how I could pray for you today.

Blessings in our Bellyfloppiness,

SGK

“But you continue boldly in my Name; you never once denied my Name, even when the pressure was worst…” ~Revelation 2:13 (MSG) 

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

One is Enough: A Personal Reminder

You never know… your ONE act of love might be more than ENOUGH to change someone’s life.

Ministry is HARD. Heck, who I am I kidding– LIFE is hard!! And exhausting. And confusing. Yet depending on how we live our lives– it can be incredibly rewarding.

As I was driving to work yesterday, my heart was heavy… My Facebook ministry page was ticking me off, because FB decided to start filtering who sees what posts. Which means sometimes only 10% of followers will see these posts unless I literally PAY to promote it.

But I digress. SIGH.

I was thinking… “Lord, does this really matter? What am I working for? Is it worth it?”

Suddenly, God reminded me of a post I wrote last May with a flash of this statement…

“SHARITA… ONE. IS. ENOUGH.”

So today, I wanted to remind myself (and you, if you happen to be in a similar place!) that when it comes to following Christ and loving others… ONE IS ENOUGH. Here is our lil reminder… Enjoy!

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Husbands can be pretty useful creatures. They are great jar-openers, heavy lifters, huggers, patience-builders, grillers, laugh-inducers, Jesus-leaders, eye-roll-causers… You can probably add a few of your own to this list.

Mine, in particular, is a great perspective-keeper.

My beloved helps me to keep things in perspective. He is a great big-picture thinker. (A skill that I sometimes lack.) My type-A firstborn personality lends to me wanting to do BIG things… but He always keeps me grounded and encourages me to keep a clear focus.

Let me give you an example. Several weeks ago when we were first contacted by the Fort Benning Bayonet to do a story on our Factor of 7 Latte Love,  I was super-duper excited. Wow!! The Fort Benning Bayonet wants to do a story on the 7 Days Time ministry?!!? SUH-WEET!

I obviously told them YES. But before you could say “Make it a Grande,” either my fleshy-firstborn self or The Enemy (or a combo of both) snuck into my head. I blurted out my thought to Brandon. “I don’t want to get too excited. I mean, will it REALLY make a difference?”

That sweet man of mine raised an eyebrow, lovingly put his hand on my arm and said, “Sharita… if only one person reads that article and is moved by it… Then one is enough.”

Touché, husband. Touché.  Talk about keeping perspective.

ONE IS ENOUGH. That is powerful. So we went ahead with the story, pressing forward for Jesus. And in typical God-fashion, the Lord went above and beyond.

I know for a fact that AT LEAST one person was impacted by that article. I won’t get into details, but we received an incredible heart-wrenching prayer-request email from a soldier due to that article. I did some research and as far as I can tell, The Bayonet prints somewhere (ish?) between 22,000 to 26,000 copies on a weekly basis. Granted not all of them are read… but does it really matter?  ONE IS ENOUGH.

7 Days Time Ministry has been up and running for 88 days. That is about 7,603,200 seconds. With each article, prayer, blog post and comment… God is at work. If a single person has been positively impacted by this ministry, then it has been a success. One is enough.

But great news… We worship a God of abundance– and He is blessing this ministry abundantly. PRAISE JESUS!  The Latte Love Factor of 7 post inspired a ministry follower to do the same thing in her home town in Minnesota… She took $107 and bought/coffee lunch for the patrons who came through the line, even when here family finances weren’t exceptionally abundant  at the time. Mandy’s mission of Helping Hands & Burgers for Babies reached her goal of over $2500 to purchase a table for the preemie benefit in Fort Worth. That soldier who emailed us to share his story and now my husband and I continue to pray for him.

One is enough, folks. You CAN make a difference right where you are. Starting NOW. Pray for God to reveal to you how He has called you to share His love. We don’t have to change the world by spending a bajillion dollars or quitting our jobs to enter ministry full time. We just need to be obedient– and Jesus will do the changing.

I don’t know where this ministry is headed tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now. But if this ministry has impacted just a single person, then I shall leave you with the words of my beloved husband: “One is Enough.” YOU can do the same!!

Praising The ONE who IS Enough,
SGK

“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” –1 John 3:18 (GNT)

PS: How is Christ working in your life? Is He calling you to share His love? We would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below.

PSS: Have you been moved by this ministry? If so, subscribe via email at the top of the right sidebar to receive daily posts to your inbox. To learn more about how to make a difference in small (or big) ways in the name of Jesus, check out the updated Factor of 7 tab at the top of this page. Oh, and don’t be shy about commenting and/or sharing this ministry with your friends via Facebook, Twitter etc. Remember… ONE IS ENOUGH! May God bless you abundantly 🙂

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Addendum for today… Turns out the article in the Bayonet about this ministry DID make a difference… We were able to minister to several folks in ways that we couldn’t have possibly imagined or sought out in our own strength. Wow. Thanks, Jesus. YOU ROCK.

Categories: blessings, challenge, change, Christ, Factor of 7, giving, humility, husband, Lesson, little things, ministry, obedience, servant evangelism, serving | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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