Tag Archives: devotional

All Kinds of Awesomeness

I am a guest blogger on my dear friend, Danielle’s blog today! Some of the images are being weird, so I uploaded the article I wrote to this post as well…thanks for including me in your blog, Danielle!

**************************************          I’ve been stewing recently.

Stewing and chewing on some truth, to be exact.

The *amazing* woman (whom I met as a junior in college and 2 years later, after I moved to Charlotte, had as my my mentor and boss, was honored to have as one of my bridesmaids, and is now a treasured friend-whom I love from afar as I watch her love her Lord, hubby, and 3 precious boys. That was way too wordy of an explanation, but you get the picture.) and I were on the phone Sunday evening.

It wasn’t long before we got deep. Which I love. (I am actually really bad at just small talking…whoops!) Somehow, we began talking about our reputations, images and the ungodly value placed on other people’s opinions of us. Not to mention our OWN opinions of ourselves!

She was telling me about her friend, who had recently spoken some great words of truth to her… and those same words resonated very deeply in my own soul… so what were those words? They went a little something like this…

“You know, often I see you get frustrated, anxious and mad whenever something seems to be threatening your awesomeness.”

*Deep breath*

“Any time the boys, or your husband or even you do something that messes with how awesome you want to be/think you are/you think others think you are, it really brings out frustration, anxiety or anger.” (I’ll insert in here, just for fun, manipulation also!)

We continued our conversation, but I kept re-playing “…threatens your awesomeness” in my mind.

That next morning, I was driving to meet with a student and I was flustered by how disheveled our house was and how long my to-do list had become. I was on the verge of frustration when I hit some traffic that would cause me to be late. Grumbling ensued.

At that same moment, the CD changed songs and the all-so-familiar song, “Give Me Jesus” came on. You know the one,…”Give me Je-e-e-sus, give me Je-ee-sus, you can have all this world, but give me Je–sus. ” Immediately, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart and I knew that if I were to sing the song that was ACTUALLY in MY heart it would sound a little more like, “Give me Je-e-e-sus, give me Je-ee-sus, Give me Jesus, a clean house, nothing left uncrossed off my to-do list, a successful day at work, no traffic and yes, of course, Je-ee-sus.”

I was exposed for what the true passion of my heart was at that moment…and it wasn’t God’s awesomeness…it was my own. I wanted to have it all together. I wanted to be accomplished. I wanted to be comfortable. I wanted to have an easy life. I wanted to approve of first-born, Type A, self. I, I, I, I wanted to be awesome. (Mostly just in my own eyes! I don’t care as much about other people’s eyes as I used to…is that better? I think it might actually be far worse? Haha.)

Anyway, it was cool to see how the Lord merged truth+my sinful heart in a beautiful moment of grace. I practiced “spiritual breathing” the way I was taught in college. I exhaled the yuck and inhaled God’s love and forgiveness by “calling it sin against the Father, calling it forgiven in Christ, and calling on the Holy Spirit to change you.”

My soul was instantly refreshed by the awesomeness of our Great God…but I will say, it’s been a week of moment-by-moment decisions to focus on God’s awesomeness vs. my own or lack of my own.

Thankfully, there IS a sense of awesomeness that we are infused with when we become believers! Dig into Ephesians 1 this week for some nuggets of how God credited his awesomeness to us when we were made new in Christ.

Success Syndrome

I can’t believe that school year has come and is almost gone!

At the end of each semester we look back with thanksgiving at what God’s done in our midst. We also evaluate areas in which we’d like to push forward.

Yesterday, my awesome boss (who has resigned and we are so sad), led us in this devotional/evaluation time that I compiled for some of our students and that I thought I’d like to share.

Perhaps you too can steal away to evaluate your life and ministry. Maybe your ministry is to a household of diaper-wearing kiddos, a corporate office, a neighborhood or church. Regardless, I think these thoughts taken from “Liberating Your Ministry from the Success Syndrome” can prove helpful in our walks with God.

Who comes to your mind first when you think of a successful person?

Who comes to your mind first when you think of a successful person in ministry?

Numbers 20 (Moses’ success and failure in God’s eyes)

Instead of judging our success based on human, results-driven philosophies let’s ask ourselves…

What does God think?

1. Faithfulness in Faithfulness.

This year, were you conscientiously obedient and faithful to His Word in regards to your life and ministry?

Was I faithful to work hard in what God’s called me to?

2. Faithfulness in Serving.

This year, was I a servant to the students I was ministering to?

Was I a servant to my team?

3. Faithfulness in Loving.

This year, did I love God first?

This year, did I love others more than myself?

4. Faithfulness in Believing.

This year, did my attitude reflect that I actually believe what I say I believe about God?

“Did your life and ministry reflect that you believe that Jesus is the sustainer of every atom, the goal of creation, and the lover of our souls who died for us?”

5. Faithfulness in Holiness and Purity.
Was your personal holiness and growth in Christ the most important thing in your life, or an afterthought?

“What my people need most from me is my own personal holiness.” Robert Murray Mcchenne.

6. Faithfulness in Prayer.

Did you spend time asking God to show up in your life and ministry, or was this an afterthought?

7. Faithfulness in Attitude.

Was the basic attitude toward your life, ministry and students positive or negative?

As you think of this list, were you mindful of these things in life and ministry this year?

(These things vs. other things, such as #’s & results)

Are you personally (and we corporately) willing to do these things in obscurity?

(Unnoticed, no accolades, no numbers or results–Galatians 1:10—pleasing God vs. pleasing man.)

Thoughts to Fight:

“I have crap to do. THIS stuff slows me down and won’t help my life or my ministry.”

“I don’t have time for this.”

Truth: God’s success criteria are not in opposition to hard work and efficiency. Its God’s standard. Not ours.

Questions to Ask:

Why does my heart resist?

Why do I look to numbers and things other than this list to form my criteria of success?

How can Christ’s power be made perfect in my weakness?