"On her tongue is the law of kindness..."

"On her tongue is the law of kindness..."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Feeling a little convicted...

Recently, there's been a huge conviction in my life. A couple weeks ago Pastor Bill was speaking about how when we invite individuals to church we are essentially inviting them to live our life - and what we've been living in front of them, oftentimes, is what will either draw them in or push them away. The weight of that is intense as you begin to think that how you speak, how you act, how you drive, how you park your car and order your food, how you respond when you're angry - all of these things are being noticed. Not only noticed, but will either present a case for or against an individual within your sphere of influence giving God an opportunity in their lives.
Of course we aren't perfect, but how we reflect Jesus is just that - we're a reflection of Him. In some cases, we might be the only reflection someone sees.
In Hebrews 13:1 it says, "Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]." Why? Because we're meant to carry that character of God. We're meant to be His representative, literally showing the world and exemplifying His Word on the earth. Yes, it's a lot of weight, and it's nothing we can do in our own strength. But as we spend time with God, as we read His Word and allow it to seed itself in our hearts, we begin to take on His nature; we begin to have understanding and discernment in situations; we begin to treat others not as how they appear or in accordance with how they may treat us or others, but we treat them with love. Because love is the nature of God. There are a lot of hurting people; individuals going through things that we can't even imagine, and someone truly caring for them - despite their beliefs, despite their sexual orientation, despite their gender or race, despite how they dress or where they're from - will mean more to them then you can imagine when it comes from a place of love.
You are a living testament as to whether or not God is real. As to whether or not His Word is true. As to whether or not someone you know, meet, or come across, will think to themselves, "maybe I'll give God a chance" simply because you showed love to them without judgement, without criticism, and without hesitation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year's Resolution and Challenge

I'm not normally one for making resolutions - I don't like the idea of people only getting the intention of making changes to their lives once a year. I'm more of a monthly resolution girl - when you feel inspired to make a change, go for it! However, I have succumbed and here are my 2012 resolutions:

1. Be in the best shape and health of my life. Starting November 29th, 2011, the husband and I have been working out 4-5 times a week and changing our eating habits. With that being said, we want this to be a lifestyle change for us and not something that simply passes by. It has been difficult at time to organize our lives around the new changes, but it's something that requires us to put ourselves first in terms of our health: yes, it's easier to grab fast food or cook a meal that is made of processed food, but it's better for us in the long run to make healthy choices and take a little more time. It's forced us to slow down.

2. Focus on those in my life and challenge myself to be intent in pursuing friendships and relationships with the individuals in my life. I've thought of the individuals in my life who I truly admire and why, and it's usually something small: they ask how I'm doing and are genuine, they write thank you notes and are considerate of others. Small things; big difference.

3. Forgive always and quickly. Don't allow offenses any place in my life. It's so easy to allow others and their choices to affect our lives in terms of how we feel, what we think, and how we respond, but we are only in control of ourselves and we're responsible for our actions always. Forgiving others allows a freedom to have free reign in our lives - it releases others from our expectations of them that they failed to meet and allows us to love them unconditionally.

4. Pay attention. It is so easy for me to be proud of my ability to multi-task. I can do so many things at one time, it's true; however, I lose the enjoyment of my progress and success when I focus on how much I can do and not on what I'm actually doing. This year, I intend to focus and pay attention more.

5. Read a book each month. One of the reasons I loved being in college is that I loved learning, and I still do. I loved reading books for different classes, and after graduation I was so excited with all my free time that I put reading aside for a while. Well friends, it's time for reading to make a comeback this year.

These resolutions may be a little vague (not highly detailed in their intention) but that's the way I like them to be. I want to look at these resolutions a year from now and see progress in my life. I don't want another checklist of items to accomplish by a certain date - I want a progressive change to take place in my life over the course of this year. I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be pretty amazing.