Be Strong and Courageous-The New Year Has Much to Offer You

As we progress through this first month of the New Year it is so easy to quickly get discouraged with all the things that we want to accomplish.  We have goals and dreams for our family, our future, our relationships; and yet we know that we need to continually rely on God to lead and direct us.  The problem is so often that we want a nice road map to follow, a well defined strategy that will get us to our destination. But I was reminded this week that even though goals, planning and strategies are good and very effective, life does have a way of throwing us curve balls from time to time and can make our progress seem meaningless.  This is where we need to gain courage.  We need to take a step back from what might try and overwhelm us or hinder our progress forward and draw strength from God and others.  This is what Joshua was facing when he was about to take the place of Moses.  Moses was getting old, and was told by God that he wasn’t the one to lead the Israelites into the promise land, but it would be Joshua instead.  Now Joshua had a big task before Him but was reminded by Moses in Deuteronomy and by God in the book of Joshua to “be strong and courageous” and not to fear because God will go with him and be his constant help.  Later on in chapter 23 of Joshua we see Joshua now encouraging his leaders who are about to carry the torch with the same  words, reminding them of God’s constant present and faithfulness in victory.  The bottom line is that we are all called to do great things, we are called to not only live for God but make his power, might and goodness known by being a testimony of His faithfulness in our lives.  This is what Moses spoke to Joshua from his own experiences.  Then Joshua spoke it to his future leaders who would take his place because he had seen the faithfulness of God for himself also.  As Christians our greatest gift that we can give is to strengthen one another by speaking encouraging words that build up and launch another forward in what God would have them do.  You may think that there is no one to encourage you, but there are voices all around us; some in books, some on social media.  We are surrounded by constant noise, so find what brings you up higher, strengthens you and then find a way to strengthen others.  It’s why I write.  To encourage others in their walk with Jesus and one another.   It’s rather simple, but effective.  And I think that is the way it is suppose to be. Jesus said his yolk is easy and his burden is light.  He was never stressed out trying to do what heard from the father, he just did it. So be strong and courageous in whatever the Lord is calling you to do.  If you don’t know what he might be asking, a great book by one of my favorite authors might help. It’s called “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins, and it talks all about our calling and how to have courage to live it out. We are all on a journey, and we all have choices everyday to live our life’s purpose.  I guess Joshua could have said no, but he was strengthened and encouraged that when God goes with him, things will always work out. So I charge you and myself today “Be strong and Courageous, do not be terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you”  He will protect you and keep you safe, but you must choose to believe that you have something worthy of giving away.  God has given us all gifts, talents and abilities, but it’s up to us and our free will to decide to use them.  We need God at our side at all times, and he promises to never leave us our forsake us.  So take his hand and live the adventure that he has called you to live.  It won’t always be easy, and it will be the difficulties that will build ones resolve, but he will always see us through. He has begun a good work in each of us, and he is faithful to complete it.  Be blessed and encouraged today as you seek and follow His voice in your life.  It’s going to be a great year as we move forward into all that God has called to do and become for His glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Hate Me for My Holiness

The Holiness movement has come under fire at different times
in history for being misunderstood on many levels.  We have been seen as overly pious, as being a
people who don’t sin, who claim perfection, and who are holier than thou.  These are all extremes; they are all misinterpretations,
and exaggerations of who we are.   Like every other Christian out there, we are imperfect people who are in need of the saving and sustaining Grace of God.
Theologies are mixed across the board, even in a single denomination
where you would hope to find some sense of unification on a theological or
doctrinal position. This semester as I have learned much of the history and
polity of the denomination that I am now a part of, it has been clear that the
differences and tensions remain, and it has become clear that if anything, we
can agree to disagree, and learning to differentiate between the ‘essentials”
and “non-essentials” of the Christian faith.
I for one, never expected to be a part of denomination, but God had done
works in me that lead me on that path.  I
fell in love with a certain doctrine, and God used that to allow me to be
continually formed into the person He wants me to become for the plans and
purposes He has for my life.  I’m saying
all this b/c I was reminded today how far as a Christian faith we have come,
and how far we have to go.  Hopefully we
are becoming fuller of the Grace of God as we grow in our knowledge and
understanding. Hopefully that Grace is transforming us into Christlikeness, or
some would say holiness.  It’s not the
wording, but the life lived out of what you claim.  I don’t expect people to understand
everything I believe and the doctrines that I hold true, for many of them are “non-essential”
and/or denominational specific, but I do expect people to see me transformed, I
do expect them to see the light of Christ that hopefully is radiating out of
me. I do expect them to understand that I am not perfect, and have many shortcomings
that God is working out in my through my own growth.   I am far from arriving, and so is everybody
else.  Whether you call it holiness,
Christlikeness, Living Surrendered, or anything else, the truest resemblance of
it is answering the question “how is Christ made know through my life?”  How does my life radiate Christ?  Is it radiating Christ?  Do I long to be made into His image?  Do I surrender all, and say “Lord, I’ll go wherever
you send me?”  Am I willing to come to
the cross, or go down to the altar and say yes, I am in  great need of your help, I do fall short, and
I am not perfect?” , I am willing to be the vulnerable for Christ?  Is that too, not what He prayed in the
garden, “not my will, but yours be done?”
That to me is true Holiness of Heart; when our lives show our weakness,
and in that weakness He is made strong.
It is living in the overflow of realization of what He did for us, on
the cross, at the empty tomb, and in our own lives.  It is taking that and applying it to our
lives and the lives of others.  It is
moving out of Love, for the sake of Love, becoming less so that He can become more.   It loves others in the name of Jesus because
we realize that is all that we have to give.
It is out of a heart of such gratitude and love for Jesus that we can’t
help to not move his mission forward of sharing in The Good News.  We can’t help but be moved by those who are hurting
and hungry, by those who are desperate for something more.  This is the heart of Jesus, of true
Christlikeness; of Living Surrendered, and Yes, this is Holiness.  So don’t hate me because I fell in love with
the doctrine of Holiness, I understand we may never see eye to eye on our
theologies, but the true test of  a true
Christian is their changed, and sold out lives for the causes of Christ in our
broken world in desperate need for hope and healing.  This is the call of Christ, the call of
holiness, to self-sacrifice and servant hood that is birthed out of a
transformed life and a realization of what God has done for you.  Are you living it? Does it burn deep within
you to see not only yourself changed but to give the hope of Jesus to others in
your own lives?  I pray that we all will
keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to do in us only what He can do.  I pray that we will unite around the
essentials of our faith, allowing it to bring new growth to each of us and let
the non-essentials be.  There will always
be room for debates and differences, but my hope is that when people see us,
they truly will know that we are Christians by our love, a love that Has
radically changed us, taken us higher with Christ, and launches us forward with
a burning desire to share and see others experiences that same transformational
power in their own lives.  This is my prayer
and part of my own calling into
ministry, and I pray it would deeply burn in you as well. God bless.

Worship???

 This morning  my professor for CotN History and Polity posted his thoughts on his Sunday worship experience, and being an unquenchable worshipper myself, I had to chime in with my two cents.  Now there is MUCH MORE I could say on this topic since it is hard-wired into my DNA, but I think my quick reply get’s to the heart of the matter.  Not sure who else may chime in to this discussion, only time will tell, but if I can, I will try to add their contributions to the discussion to the “comments” section of this post. 

Professor: This morning I was in a church service in which we probably spent about five minutes singing a song that, I kid you not, went something like this:

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord
I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

It honestly never got into any more depth than that.

REALLY?  Nearly two thousand years to plumb the depths of God’s love, and this is what we come up with?

 My Reply:   Well, that song’s been around awhile, but yes, I do see your point, it is kind of shallow now that I sit back and really think on it.  I think it just goes to show how we in America have “cranked out” our worship songs to be another one hit wonder, something that the rest of the world can do with ease.  It’s no wonder that the church is in the shape it is in because of superficial songs like these, it pretty much reflects a superficial un-genuine faith.  I don’t mean to sound harsh, but one of my biggest rants has always been people’s superficiality and lack of real transformation in their lives that they claim to be a believer.  My pastor has said again yesterday, that when the world sees Christians just trying to get by, complaining, ect it’s not very attractive, who wants that kind of Christianity. This is not to say that we don’t have bad days, but we must choose a better outlook on our lives in Christ than what we often settle for as our lot in life.  We have huge power in Jesus and too often we do not live in it, because I don’t believe that we really believe in it. It’s easy to say, but much harder to live out when you really get a hold of it. But then too, if we claim sanctification, or even at least a new life in Christ, than we do hold that power.  Sadly, we don’t live in it.  I think if we really did, we would see a church that was much different and closer to an Acts 2 transformation.     Makes me glad to know that I am in a house of worship where all we do is to strive to give Him our best worship, it’s our main focus, to come together, to lift him up, to enter his presence, to be touched by his love, and to be reminded of the power that we do hold. Songs like this will never allow us to enter into that, they are just skimming the surface of what could be. 

God Is With Me

I’ve been wanting to blog for some time now on both of my blogs, but this summer has been so crazy for me there just wasn’t anything I knew how to really say.  Things have been going so fast; I started at a new seminary, while at the same time, finishing up at the one I was enrolled in; and now I sit and wait for grades to get posted at one, while in the  middle, and about to begin more course work in the other.   I got to go to a sister campus of my new seminary this past month, and sit with my fellow students for a week-long module, and dive into the book of Jeremiah, and continue to watch God orchestrate it all; opening up my mind to learning and illumination, while making some new friends on the journey.  He opened doors for me this summer, starting with getting a new car, which I needed for my long commutes to school and church.  While at school, God provided a place for me to stay  in the future with a friend of the family living a mile straight down the road from where my classes will be one week a semester, so this way, I can stay close, in someone’s actual home that I know, and not a smelly hotel. (currently, it’s a 2 hour drive that I would have to make).  God continued to show me signs that he is with me, as I would see birds soar through the sky, reminding me that I will soar on wings like eagles; as he continues to grow me and keep me safe, as he allowed care for my daughter while I was away, and just gave me a continued peace that I am in the center of His will for  my life.  Not everything is smooth sailing;  I have a lot of loose ends that I don’t know how to tie, but God see’s this too, and as I surrender it all to him daily, I know that He will continue to light my path as He has thus far. I have seen His mighty hand move consistently as I have taken this step of faith out of the boat and into many unknown waters, and He continues to calm the raging seas around me, that grow my faith and my love for Him more everyday.   I guess it’s all part of the adventure, and God will work it out as He see’s fit, and I’ll just continue to trust, walk in peace and obedience and know that I know that He’s in control.  So maybe this post is a little bit of rambling, but I thought it good to  write something.  I’ve learned so much this first year is seminary and I know God has a plan to do something with me; so I will just press on toward the goal, so that one day he will smile and say “well done”.  Peace and Coffee.  Robin

Reminded of my Dependance on Independance Day: Life Lessons from Exodus 4

I’m currently reading “Dying to Lead, Sacrificial Leadership in a Self-Centered World” by Robert McKenna for my servant leadership class.  In chapter 7 it recalls the story of Moses and God in Exodus 4:10-13, and Moses reluctantly to speak and lead the people.  I like how the book paraphrases God’s words to Moses:  “Who gave man a mouth” Is there any chance that the creator of the mouth could work with the ineloquent mouth of Moses? God seems pretty sure that he can provide for Moses. The author goes on to say that deep down you probably are aware that you don’t have what it takes to lead anyone or anything, but the creator of the mouths has the power to keep you moving toward his agenda.   That is some good news, and a huge weight off my back.  It’s pretty easy for me to try and get ahead of God if I’m not thinking on having a mindset of surrender and trust.  I’m constantly being reminded of this as I journey through seminary.  There are challenging class discussions, books I don’t understand, and struggles in the Word at times.  Talk about mind stretching.  But it always seems to bring me back to the feet of Jesus where it all began.  I’ve figured out that this is a journey with God, and that He’s still the Pilot.  I look back at the conversation in Exodus 4 and am reminded that God will develop in me what He will, He will guide my understanding, He will allot the time needed and He will encourage me along the way as I surrender and obey.  This holds true for every area of my life, such as motherhood as now my daughter has climbed up on my lap for some attention.  I was reminded of God’s leading again yesterday as I sat with a new family that I had just met, who had openly shared many of the challenges of their life and current circumstances.  The husband joked “hey aren’t you glad you sat next to me” realiziing how much he was loading on, which I jokingly replied back something like ” hey, I’m a seminary student, it’s great practice”.  But in all seriouness,  I’ve learned to listen to others more intently and not be quick to give a “fixing” answer, but to help them to maybe re-frame the situation throug a causual conversation.  Again, here is a delicate balance of showing genuine concern for others without getting sucked into their issues; funny, now that I type this, the subject of boundaries came up in the discussion last night.  I think that is one of the reasons Jesus spent so much time in prayer because he was constantly dealing with people’s issues and we all know how draining that can be.  He knew He had to get filled up by and be completly dependent upon God to be able to really help people, and the same is true for us.  I can’t image what that must have been like for Jesus who, wherever he went, people sought him out for some type of healing.  It has been a great reminder for me, from this past week, when one of my Pastors’s reminded me that we can never fully serve others unless we are filled up by the love of Christ, and it is through that love that we can love others.  Going back to this family last night, there were other family members there with kids, and you could tell they needed some extra TLC.  I had a bag of toys and food that we ended up sharing with them.  The parent’s kept apologizing for the kids, but I simply said “it’s just food” and when I had walked away for a minute to get some water, I had come back to a report that my daughter was sharing the grapes with the other kids, and I reminded her that we area being like Jesus when we do that, it was a beautiful, teachable moment indeed, and one filled with grace and love for others. I didn’t share the food out of trying to “look good” but because my heart went out to these people; it’s what Jesus would have done, and I know it’s what he wanted me to do.  I guess the point in all my rambling here is this:  The more I decease the more He increases, and the more I am filled up by His love, the more room I give him to work, the more I surrender the more He reminds me on my utter dependence on him.  It’s so God-like, as I was celebrating my independence yesterday on the 4th of July; God used it to remind me of my utter dependence on him.  Today as I recalled last nights events my heart cried out for this family and their relatives, and once again God reminded me that my job is to love and pray for them, and he’ll do the rest as I obey.  Thank you Jesus for this great lesson of your love and reminder of your power that you work through us.  Thank you for bringing so many new people in my life and helping me to relate and love them in the way that you would.  Help me to continually lean on you and be filled up by your love so I am able to give it away to those who need to be strengthened by the hope that you give.  I love you and trust you and surrender in all things right now to you, and I am excited to see what you will do through your people as we live to bring you glory through our obedience, fully aware that it is only through the power of your loves that fills us up, that we have the indescribable privilege to be used by you.  In Jesus Holy Name I pray all these things forth, Amen!

Caught Between Truth: The Central Paradoxes of Christian Faith.

       I am reading the above titled book by Barry L Callen for my Theology class.  I am only in the middle of the second chapter and am blown away by how much depth is brought to light.  It begins in the preface with pointing out the dangers that the church today is in.  The church, at least here in the West is struggling to find its prophetic voice and is on the verge of paralysis by trying to cater to a post-modern, drive through style way of Christianity. It seems today, that, while acknowledging the importance of being relevant, there is a great mystery, coupled with our Bibles, full of paradoxes that many do not want to easily accept.  It is the age-old problem, or tug of war between faith and reason, between mystery and science.  The one thing I have been reminded of over and over again is that paradox and mystery have to be accepted as a part of our Christian faith.  There are always going to be unanswered and misunderstood truths about God for the very reason that God is a mystery.  Paradoxical? Absolutely.  The quicker we are to accept the truth of mystery in our faith, the better off we are going to be, because we will finally be able to give faith a chance to be faith itself.  Faith is always in order and humility is always required.  So many times people want a simple “yes or no” answer, but the truth lines in “yes and no”.  It is both, and it is a large part faith and the mysteries of God that our human minds cannot fully grasp.  We need to have knowledge, to think on God, to seek to understand who he is, but we must accept that we will never fully grasp some of the deeper truths our minds desperately seek and long to have answers to. Callen states that in the pursuit of knowledge and truth we often lack the authentic transformation that God longs to do within in each one of us (my paraphrase).  This is so true, and one of my on-going rants that I have harbored on my other blog  many a time.  Nothing has broken my heart more than seeing the lack of transformation in the lives of a Christian.  It’s the same as the old cliché’s “actions speak louder than words”, or “people don’t care about how much you know until they see how much you care”.  Being transformed from the inside out by a living and relational God is what the world wants to see.  (I digress, but it’s an essential point).  The Bible is full of paradoxes, and Christians, in seeking to understand and be transformed by the truth have got to come to terms with this.  We can all sit here till next week and argue the Bible, but we need to take a step back and look at the larger story that God is trying to engage us in, only then will transformation happen. Let me just leave you with a few quotes to chew on:

“There is no alternative.  Ambiguity, paradox, and mystery and inevitable for those seriously pursuing wisdom in a distinctly Christian context”

“When Christians simplify the theological content of their faith to that which they fully understand and control, they are living more in their own reality than in God’s.”

“The Christian task is not to provide easy answers to every perplexing question; it is to make us ever more aware of a gracious and wonderful mystery, the mystery of God. Rather than an object of our knowledge, God should be the cause of our wonder (Ps. 8:1).”

“Christians today must be able and willing to orchestrate the paradoxes of human experience and divine revelation into a full gospel that really is the truth.”

“The call to Christian believers is to embrace “ignorance”, realizing that the human‘s lot of not knowing anything for sure enables the knowing of everything by faith.  Here, in the great humility lies wisdom.  The ultimate in life is not a math problem to be solved.  It is standing in awe, unsure,  yet very sure, thinking of words like” amazing grace”, pondering in unknowing and still rejoicing in the fullness of catching a glimpse of God who is known in Jesus Christ.”

“Interpretation of the Bible is often a delicate and disputed business.  A little humility is a good thing.”

“Loyalty to tradition means not primarily the acceptance of formulae or customs from past generations, but rather the ever-new, personal, and direct experience of the Holy Spirit in the present, here and now.” (Bishop Kallistos).  Thus, the Christian life, beyond being a set pattern of believing, is to be a way of life and a way of prayer.

My Call to Seminary and a Life Vocation of Ministry

As I was clearing off piles of mess from my kitchen table, I pick up my entrace exam for seminary and began to re-read it.  It helped to remind me how far I have come, and to see the continued path that God is laying out for me.  It’s so exciting to be on this adventure, and I thought I’d share it with you all today.  May it bless you and encourage you to walk in surrender and obedience in every area of your life.  Like I said the other day, it’s so awesome to be used of God and it’s so exciting to see what he’s going to do next.  Come and join the adventure!  It’s so worth it!

     Throughout my spiritual pilgrimage, one Bible verse has been at the core of every season of my life.  It is this verse that has grown me into the surrendered, obedient woman of God that I am today; and it has been a constant reminder in every thing that the Lord leads me to do; no matter how big or small.  God continually reminds me, “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10  It is this verse that allows me to trust and obey God in every area of my life, and to desire Christ-likeness to flow out of every part of me for the glory of God.  It is through this act of obedience that I am applying to seminary.  It is through the surrender and stillness that I will be at peace during this application process;  “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Phil. 1:6  So it is here, that I invite you to learn of my walk with Jesus and how he has formed my faith up to this point to live the adventure of becoming more like Christ as I take every step in faith and obedience to the will of The Father in my life.  May you be blessed and renewed in your faith as I share mine. 

      My spiritual walk with Christ began as a young child who was raised in the Catholic faith.  Early on, I knew that there was always more of God that I was trying to tap into; a relationship with Him; but the ritualistic traditions of the Catholic Church, along with its stricked catechism and doctrines seemed to keep me far from finding him.  I continually strived for more of him by becoming involved in a few different Catholic youth movements, where I not only was a participant, but where I began to serve in different areas of their yearly retreats.  It is here also, that I received my first Bible, and desired to know more of Gods word; but since the Catholic Church does not teach on the use of personal Bible study for communion with God, I was once again feeling as though I had to fend for my self when it came to my faith.    The time during my youth and into my early 20’s was very rebellious and filled with worldly cares, but God never left my side, and would continually nudge me to come back to him.  He finally led me to a local Christian outreach ministry, getting my attention through the music and worship style; and it was through this group of people God would work his miracle of salvation in my life.  It was here that the Bible finally became real to me.  Being along side other believers, I grew in my faith, learned and began to use my spiritual gifts, and truly embraced the community of people and pastors that I was growing along side of, and where I eventually got plugged into the church that I have been attending ever since; Church of the Open Door in Elyria, OH.  As I became an active member of the church, God would allow me one more hard fall away from his will, to bring me into true surrender and to finally experience the awesome presence of God in my life.  Today, my walk with God is filled to overflow with his presence, his peace, and my continued commitment to surrender and obedience to His will.  He is not just my savoir or my closest friend, but he is the very life blood and breath that keeps me alive in every way, and whose spirit keeps me humble and seeking to become a mirror image of the likeness in Christ in everything that I do. 

     From an early age; as noted above, I have always had a persistent desire to serve in some capacity in Christian ministry.  As I have grown in my walk, the spirit has continually burned a deep desire within me to do more of The Lord’s work here on earth; and  I have learned and understood ministry to be “simply loving, serving and healing people in the name of Jesus” (Jim Mindling; Senior Pastor of Church of the Open Door).  Put another way, we are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.  Our task is to be the most radiant image bearers for Christ that we can possible be, and to be his hands and feet, and go where he sends us.  As God continually calls us, he strengthens us and forms us into Christ-likeness; empowering us with His Spirit so that we can be sent out to serve and be holy representatives for the glory of God, sharing the good news of the gospel with the lost, meetings the needs of the less fortunate and building up the kingdom of God here on this earth.  In John 15:5 Jesus reminds us that apart from him and the work of the Holy Spirit in us we can do nothing.  It is this constant renew of our selves through abiding and remaining in Him that we live surrendered and accomplish His will in this world.     

     As a member of Church of the Open Door, I have consistently strived to serve and use my spiritual gifts of servant-hood in every way that I can.  I have attended and led Bible studies, participated in the Evangelism Explosion program, been involved in life groups over the years, and currently involved in the church’s prayer team and Women’s Advisory Board; as well as facilitating an online forum for single moms, volunteering when needed, and as the Spirit leads me to do so in different needs of the church and the local community  I understand that our changed lives in Christ, and our desire to do ministry must push through the brick and mortar walls of a physical building and overflow into our homes, community, nation and world.  This is no small task to move a congregation from the comfort of their pews, but it must be done if we are going to truly minister for the cause of Christ. 

     My motivation for preparing for ministry has and always will be to obey God and live out His will for my life.  The strength that I find to continue the call that God has placed on my life and in my heart is consistently renewed daily through prayer, time spend in His word and worshipping him in adoration through music and living a life that is pleasing to him in every way. When I think of obedience and a life of servant-hood toward God many scriptures come to mind.  1 Peter 9 states that “ But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you would declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”.  Being chosen, belonging to God, to declare his praises is what living out the glory of God in our world is all about.  It is this call that we all have, but again, as we find in scripture that “many are called but few are chosen” Mathew 22:14.  It is this call to sanctification of holiness that few truly grasp and proceed on in true Christ-likeness.  For those of us who do hear obey and are chosen; a new life, and a new adventure in Christ begins.  It does not take away the hardships that we face in a fallen world, but it empowers us with the Holy Spirit that we are more than conquerors for the cause of Christ in this world. 

     So with all of this being said, I hope that you will see that my hearts desire is to be used by God and to bring glory to his name here on earth.  I expect my preparation in seminary to not only be challenging but completely life changing, and I look forward to being able to represent your seminary in this world with the call God has placed on my heart.  Thank you for your consideration in my attendance to your seminary, and I prayerfully hope that I will soon be a part of your call to Christ’s’ obedience as well.

For The Love of Survey's-Not

Oh survey’s!  Do you know what I’m talking about?  It’s where you take either a chapter or a section of a chapter of the Bible and dissect it to pieces.  I understand why we are doing this; it’s so we can see the text for what it is, for who it was written and how we apply it today.  (That is the super-short version).  There are different approaches to dong a segment survey and just about the time we think we’re on the right or partial track to getting this, Wham, it get’s changed  up, and there is something new to be learned.  It’s not that it’s hard, as in difficult to comprehend, although it can be, since much of the terminology is new for most of us, but we are swamped with information on the form and technique.  So far, I’ve been doing pretty good with this, but still have a lot to learn.  Perhaps if I get some time (yeh, right), I’ll post a little more  on this journey of Bible survey  I am on.

Second Semester

I haven’t blogged over here since last semester and now I’m already approaching the 6th week of my second semester.  This semester has somewhat of a different feel than what I had expected and experienced last semester.  I mean really,it’s only my second one, but there seems to be a bit more of a disconnect online than  there was last time.  So I have been praying for God to renew my Spirit or something.  I just think I have a lot of stuff I am trying to sort out so I am a bit pre-occupied myself and perhaps that is taking away my focus somewhat.  I’ll be going on vacation in about another week so I am hoping the change of atmosphere will also recharge my batteries and help me to become more engaged in what I am doing.

Encouraging Holy Living

Today, I had to answer a class forum question on Holiness.  The question asked how your life should reflect holy living in front of a watching world.  This has been a never-ending theme in my journey, and one I am sure will keep re-occurring being at a Wesleyan Seminary; go figure!  One thing that God keeps dropping in my ear is that I can’t change myself or anyone else for that matter; it’s the job of the Holy Spirit.  That takes a load off.  I just want to encourage you, wherever you are to strive for holiness.  Maybe it’s just my theology coming out here, but I guess it can’t hurt. I wanted to share my forum response with you so that maybe it will encourage you where ever you are.  Please also  keep me in your prayers,  I am just in a really hard waiting season with God, yet trying to be content where I am and see the blessings in the present. 

I have read much  on the topic of holiness and find myself attracted to books and resources on the topic.  I have continually learned that I must lead a life of Holy living by example.  By how I act, what I do or choose not to do.  I get really frustrated at the apathy and lukewarmness in our christian culture today, and am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on how I can use my gifts to be a part of the solution and not add to the ever growing problem.  I am trying to find people to network with and hold me accountable, so that I can live a life of purpose and respect.  Bottom line, is leading by example.   Get the filth out of your life, read and discipline yourselves in spiritual disciplines, and be on  fire for Christ in every area of you life. Shine. It’s what we’re made for. I found an interesting site that I wanted to share. Perhaps it will be a help to you, or someone you know. There are also a few books this guy wrote that really look interesting. Much of the site deals allot with the issues of sexual immorality and pornography, but the link below has to do with Holy living and some testimonies of the books that he has written on the topic.  Blessings, Robin
 
http://www.purelifeministries.org/holy-living