Two Headed Calf

I’m really just posting this here so I can find it later.
It really reminds me that when we consider others odd or out of the ordinary, it’s very possible that they just see more than we do. And they don’t deserve our gawking and pointing.
I’m thankful today for that reminder.

Worship Not Just For Sundays

Photo by picjumbo.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-click-pen-on-open-book-210660/

Video of this message available HERE.

What if you went in to your boss one day and said something like, “I plan to always be your employee, but I only intend to come in to work on Mondays.” How long do you think you’d be able to keep your job? As crazy as that sounds, how many of us do the same thing to God?

If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are someone who has giving your life to God. We live that life in a faith community with other believers that we call ‘church’. Since the church meets primarily on Sunday mornings to worship the Lord, we might get the idea that this is the time to worship. But the Bible calls us to live a life of worship – a life that is always devoted to serving, loving, and uplifting God. Romans 12:1, from the New Century Version, reads this way:

So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.

‘///≥.

We desire to have God’s mercy all the time, not just on Sundays. The flowing of God’s grace and mercy into our every day lives is a signal that we should be offering up thanks to God every day. Not in a ‘worship service’ as much as just in our every day decisions, interactions, family time, and work ethic. Paul calls this being a ‘living sacrifice’ – entirely devoted to living for the God who saved us and loves us without end. 

Just like we wouldn’t tell our employers that we only intend to work one day per week, or we wouldn’t tell our parents that we were only their children one day per week, so also we wouldn’t look to our Heavenly Father and suggest that we can get by with only thinking about Him once per week. So what are some ways we can offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices?

– Spend some time in prayer every day / Spend some time in Scripture every day

– Watch for ways to encourage and help others in the name of Jesus every day

– Turn away from any sins that are hanging on in your life every day

– Try to be aware of His presence in your life and thank Him for your blessings every day

Whether you have thought about things like this as ‘worship’ before, or not, remember that this is a “spiritual way for you to worship” – and it’s not just something we do on Sundays. 

Book Review: Leadership Alone Isn’t Enough

Leadership Alone Isn’t Enough: 40 Devotions to Strengthen Your SoulLeadership Alone Isn’t Enough: 40 Devotions to Strengthen Your Soul by Dan Reiland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dan Reiland has written such an encouraging book for church leaders in LEADERSHIP ALONE ISN’T ENOUGH. I found this book very refreshing in my faith and encouraging in my walk with the Lord among His people.

Dan has served in church leadership for more than forty years. This is his fourth book. He blogs regularly at danreiland.com.

In this book, each chapter is easy to read, has insights that are important, and a question to contemplate. I appreciated that each chapter begins with a Scripture (indexed in the back for easy reference). A bonus in this book is a set of prayers for leaders at the end.

I pretty much emptied my highlighter in this book, there is so much wisdom here. This book is written from the perspective of warmth, friendship, and wisdom. I really felt like I was in the room with Dan, a wise friend, who was sharing what he had learned with me personally. That’s a strong gift, when it comes to writing.

Below are a few of the many thoughts that I highlighted:

“I need God to fill the gaps and shore up the limitations of my perspectives with his peace.”

“God may define success, or failure, differently than you do.”

“Ultimately, your confidence as a leader is found in Christ, but there is a part you own as well.”

“Trust lives more in the natural realm… When you trust God, you prepare to your best ability, pray like crazy, teach biblical truth boldly, and then trust God with the results.”

“The more genuine your humility, the less aware of it you are, and the more your leadership takes on the quality of a servant.”

“Ask the Holy Spirit to bring strength in those moments to create peace over panic and clarity over confusion.”

“Yet even though leaders are often surrounded by people, they regularly confess to feeling alone.”

“Ask God to help you in one area at a time, and consider giving someone in your life permission to walk alongside you for accountability and encouragement.”

“There is power in reading, knowing, understanding, internalizing, meditating, and memorizing scripture because the Holy Spirit can use those disciplines to strengthen you and help you escape temptation.”

“God lavished grace on you and desires that you generously give it to others as well … when it comes to how you treat people, it’s rare that you will take grace too far.”

I highly recommend this book to church leaders. I am so grateful for Dan Reiland’s work. I’m sure I will return to it often.

View all my reviews

Keeping Straight Paths

Photo by Tobi

I think very few people know how to read a map any more. Maybe this has become a lost skill. I remember unfolding a map and tracing the path I wanted to take for a trip. The biggest skill was getting the map folded back up the way it started out. I was never very good at that. And the truth is I’ve never been very good at keeping my path straight on my own. I need help. 

Nowadays GPS on my phone directs me when I’m on a trip. I often tell Maggy, “Trust the GPS”. There have been times when I started to second guess that philosophy. One time I remember driving through some farm land on a barely paved road in Texas. I was afraid of being totally lost and only having a cow to ask for directions! But then I came to a crossroads, and after a few turns ended up exactly where I was going and right on time. Another time I was trusting the GPS across some roads in Alabama when I lost cell signal and just had to drive a bit until I got a signal again. GPS isn’t flawless, but it’s an awesome helper. It even ‘redirects’ when I take a wrong turn. 

You might not realize it, but God has been our GPS all of our lives. 

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:6

When we do not pay attention to God, we usually get off track. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get us back on track. During those times we experience regret and guilt that we didn’t acknowledge the directions that God had given us. 

The world is off-track, isn’t it? The crime, pain, suffering, aggression, and harm that people do to one another is far from how God calls us to live in Christ. It’s easy to point at the world around me and notice how things are going wrong. But what about my life? Am I acknowledging God in all of my ways? Am I seeking His will, His input, His teachings? If I am, then He can make my paths straight. I can be sure I’m on track when I’m listening to His guidance. If we can help you hear his directions more clearly, please get in touch. 

Who’s Dealing With Anxiety?

Photo by Kelly L

Who’s Dealing With Anxiety? Everyone

Anxiety is a word we hear often these days – because so many people are struggling with it. We know there are different kinds of anxiety, some of which disrupt our lives.  It can be characterized by panic, sleep issues, racing thoughts, and more. One article I read suggested that about 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder in their lives, making it one of the most common mental health conditions in our country. There is no shame in seeking mental health help for feelings of anxiety that are out of control – so do that if you suffer from that kind of anxiety.

On a lower level, there is a type of anxiety that is commonly called worry. If you don’t have an overwhelming anxiety disorder, you certainly know what it means to worry. There are so many things that trigger the restlessness, distracting thoughts, and focus on the things that can go wrong. We worry about our children, our finances, our marriages, our work … anything we are concerned about can morph into a sense of worry.

Apostle Paul had many things he could be worried about. He was in prison, but not for a crime. He wanted to be out sharing the gospel, but was in chains. On his heart were many churches and Christians who he knew needed his help and encouragement. So he had a lot to worry about, but he wrote something that should help us in stressful times.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

He encourages us to turn to God when all of the concerns of life are weighing us down. In his writings, the Bible tells us what to do with our anxiety, our worry: Present your requests to God, and we do that along with thanksgiving. 

When we are dealing with worry, it may seem an odd time to be thankful – but shifting our attention to our blessings and the things for which we are grateful reminds us that God is present, he hears, he is moved by our prayers, and he loves us. That may not answer every question we have, but it does give us a pathway forward. 

Who’s dealing with anxiety? Everyone. Who needs to pray and be thankful? Everyone. When should we start? How about now!

Resource: https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/types-of-anxiety