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Posts Tagged ‘faithfulness’

 

Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference_ Does my life really matter_ You matter in every area and during each season of every ordinary day. (1).png

Seventy-five pages populated the Amazon queue after I filled in the search box, “books about God and purpose.”

Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference? Does my life really matter? How can changing diapers, or shuttling children from one event to another, or moving out of active mothering and into an empty nest change lives?

Books line self-help sections of libraries and hit best-seller lists in the Christian market as eager buyers scramble to discover their purpose. But, the Father has scribed his purpose for us in his love letters and in the palms of his son’s hands

Remember Our Position

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (MSG)

The verses above are a key component to the Christian’s calling. They almost serve as a checklist in my own life.

If God was looking for a “somebody”, he wouldn’t have chosen me. I was a premature baby born to teen parents following a shotgun wedding. After a few short years of marriage, they divorced and life swung from one chaotic, abusive event to the next under the hand of my stepfather. But, God? He wiped it all clean. Gave me a fresh start through the wounds that pierced his own son’s flesh. And, now, because of Him I remember my position and humbly bow at the foot of the cross shouting, “Amen! You have rescued me, Jesus.

When you called my name, I heard you. May I remember the beauty and joy of my humble position.” Can you relate to these verses, as well? How do you see yourself in them?

Remain Faithful

“My Child is an Honor Roll Student” stickers adorn bumpers, Christmas letters share the latest news about elaborate trips and accomplishments, and we splash reality as we’d like others to perceive it on social media. Pride can be difficult to defend against, but it is our enemy. Perhaps that is one reason we’re to remember our humble position. Not only that, but scripture exhorts us not to chase after more. More doing. More being. More proving.

Instead, 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 exhorts us to remain faithful.

“Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.” (NLT)

Remain.

In today’s high-paced, look-out-for-number-one, keep-up-with-the-rat-race-society, not many of us do well with just, well, remaining. But, remaining doesn’t mean “not doing”. It means continuing to be faithful in all situations–no matter the task. Whether we’re cooking one more casserole or scrubbing another dirty dish. Whether we’re driving to work again in rush hour traffic with a fussy toddler in the car seat. Whether we’re leaning across the table at the retirement home wiping our father’s chin as he asks once more, “Now, who are you?”

Remaining faithful to the calling to love God and to love others is more difficult than it seems.

Receive Power Through Prayer

Paul, Silas, and Timothy passionately addressed the Thessalonians about the power of prayer and its impact on their lives. Consider these words, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Calling is not solely about an avocation, although it may involve one’s job. But, it is about the acts of service we are prompted to do for others. It the quickening of our spirit in response to God’s; when we sense him moving our hearts to respond to a hurt, a need, a situation. When we’re burdened to pray, give, weep, love. Those are the moments we become and live more like Christ—glorifying Him. Only through the power of prayer can we accomplish his work and fulfill his calling.

While Amazon may list seventy-pages of books about God’s purpose for our lives, the Bible outlines his purpose for all people. He sent Christ that all might be saved! But, we already know him and are meant to love the world as Christ. We are the workers, scattering seeds of hope in every area and during each season of our ordinary lives.

God will use each of his beloved daughters if we hold to the three truths about God’s calling on our lives.

1) Remember our Position

2) Remain Faithful

3) Receive Power Through Prayer

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

 

Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and woman who believes there is hope for healing from the most difficult situations.

Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them. Her work has been featured by MOPS, Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and several other publications. You can meet regularly with Tammy online at her blog

tammykennington.wordpress.com or get a free copy of her e-book Moving From Pain to Peace: A Journey Toward Hope When the Past Holds You Captive

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Love each otherLife seemed to take a wrong turn when her younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. Together, they relocated to Manhattan where some of the best treatments were available–far from the slower-paced, small town in Colorado. Physically distanced from family and friends and immersed in a world of sterile hospital rooms and uncompromising statistics, loneliness became an cloying companion.

Unwilling to foster an ongoing relationship with isolation, a determined                   twenty-something dialed the suicide hotline. She told the soothing voice on the other end of the line about her desperation. She spoke of a sense of worthlessness. Then, she explained the reason for the call.

Ready to break the chains of loneliness, Daniel Hernandez offered to step away from her own pain by embracing the stories belonging to others. For two years, Daniel volunteered as a voice of comfort and encouragement to the desperate and disillusioned, the hurting and the hopeless.

Is it possible loneliness is your unsolicited sidekick, as well? Does isolation invade the space of healthy relationship in your life ? Are you, perhaps, even coddling loneliness because of its familiarity? Or, when you look at others with the eyes of Christ do you notice the lonely ones? They are everywhere–hoping someone will take a moment to smile…engage…love like Jesus.

Today, I’m issuing a challenge. Friend, whether you are lonely or not–will you allow your struggle in the now to motivate you toward investing in someone’s tomorrow? You don’t need to be the voice on one end of a hotline to make a difference. Just take one simple step–invite a neighbor for coffee, ring up an old friend, plan a date night with your husband.

Let’s break the chains of loneliness.

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woman-570883_1920I vividly remember standing beneath the wooden doorframe of my bedroom–terrified of the imagined evil lurking in the five inches of space beneath mattress and covers. I stood motionless…weighing the options. The risks? Certain punishment if I refused to quickly locate myself beneath the warmth of sleep-inducing blankets or—to my impressionable mind—possible capture by whatever monster or boogie man lurked beneath the confines of a seemingly innocent piece of furniture.

At the tender age of four or five, Shadow had become a thing of nightmares and illusory power.

Too often, though, it seems our fear of Shadow follows us into adulthood. While disguised in more grown-up form, we still tremble at its existence and our thoughts are filled with untrue or unfulfilled imagery that leads us from a place of comfort into the obscure illusion of “What If?”

The “What If’s” come in many shapes and may be different for each of us.

What if…my husband leaves me?

 What if…my child dies?

 What if…I’m really never happy?

 What if…this wound refuses to heal?

 What if? What if? What if?

 

Oh, dear One, the Shadow of What If is—and always has been—a robber of joy and imitator of truth designed to obscure the Light of Hope. We fight each dark pursuer—out of breath and in need of relief. Somehow, we’re certain a jab or swing in the Shadow’s direction will ensure some sort of relief. So we listen to Oprah…read books by Dr. Oz…try the newest diet trend…anything to help us battle the dark, elusive threat that is our greatest Fear.

But in so much of the struggle we rely on ourselves—forgetting the promises of scripture. Psalm 23 reminds us that even when we’re surrounded by a darkness so deep it casts death’s shadow, He is there! Even in the most frightening of times or the loneliest moments he guides…protects…comforts. He is the one who will manage our struggles and wage our battles.

Our futile attempts at Shadow boxing can cease. No more useless jabbing or dodging. Let’s give the battle to the Champion of hearts and souls—the giver of life, conqueror of death, and victor over sin and its effects.

 Suggested Scripture and Questions for Reflection

Read Psalm 23.

What dark valleys has God guided you through already? If your journey is taking you through a place filled with Shadows are you relying upon the Shepherd—or self? I know I struggle with this–vacillating back and forth.

As a gentle reminder to yourself about God’s abounding faithfulness and protection, reread Psalm 23. This time, replace each “me” with your name and “my” with the pronoun “her”.

A David Psalm (MSG)

23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

 

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