“This has been the best school year yet!” my daughter exclaimed. I was glad to hear it, because I knew the reality of hardship that she had chosen not to focus on.
It’s challenging for a mother to let go of an injustice that has befallen her child. Bullying is an epidemic, and it’s not limited to physical harm. The mental torment that some children receive in the classroom can distract them from learning, and lead them to question the very core of their self worth.
Moms can make a big difference in how their kids cope with bullying by listening to them and repeating to them the truth about who they are. But the most powerful weapon in the war against the bullying is prayer.
Father, we praise You for our children. Each one is crafted differently by Your creative hand. Every child carries a piece of Your purpose in his or her heart. They have taught us a knew depth of love, and helped us to grow closer to You.
Thank You for trusting us to take care of these precious souls. We are grateful to be mothers, and thankful beyond belief that You have blessed us with the privilege of watching them grow into the people You made them to be.
“The follower of Jesus could be summed up in three words: adjusting to freedom.” Chad Bird, “Upside-down Spirituality.”
In a society hyper-focused on achievement, Chad Bird begs us to consider ourselves failures. Each chapter of “Upside-down Spirituality challenges readers to consider if failing at certain aspects of our self-attainabilities are the key to genuinely living out our faith in Jesus Christ. One such stretch of the mind is to consider the possibility that “not every altar sits within a sanctuary.”
The book is broken up nicely into three sections, “Ourselves, “Our Lives,” and “Our Churches,” each with three easy to read and realistically life-applicable chapters. This book was a quick read because of it’s intriguing content and extremely encouraging relatability. Bird writes on Christianity from a real viewpoint. One of real life failures and trials, triumphs and achievements. He points out we often compartmentalize our faith, instead of letting it permeate every aspect of our lives and the people that border them. “Don’t build walls and dig moats,” Bird suggests, “Build bridges. Be active. Be engaged. Be fully present.”
I highly recommend this book to all Christians. It challenges us to remember and retain the basic principles of our faith and reminds us to that to die to self is to grow closer to Christ. And then, we find out who we were really meant to be …more than we ever could have dreamed.
“Everywhere we go, we swim in a pool of religious assumptions. It’s unavoidable. It’s inevitable. It’s challenging. But it’s not the end of the world.” Chad Bird, “Upside-down Spirituality.”
Recently, at a worship concert, one of the leaders welcomed the crowd to feel free to worship as we felt comfortable. For many, that meant hands in the air. For others, eyes closed. Still more clapped, sang along, and few sat at all throughout the entirety of the experience. What is it about being in a big group that frees us to worship louder and bigger than we sometimes may at church on
Also, I am more comfortable worshiping in my car than in church. Why is it easier belting out my favorite worship songs in my car with the volume drowning me out than in my row amidst my church family? Am I doing it wrong?
Loud in the car or quiet in the row, He doesn’t care, as long as we’re there in His presence. The church activates when it leaves the building, and whether we’re in our car, have buds in, or stand alongside others at a worship concert, God loves it all.
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
Deliverance doesn’t come with an overnight guarantee. We can’t click it or pick it out of a line up, and it doesn’t always look the same for me as it does for you.
The dictionary definition of deliverance is “the act of delivering someone or something: the state of being delivered; especially: liberation, rescue.” We often think of countries that need to be vindicated, people suffering from famine who need food, or others that need to be rescued form afflictions or abuses. And we should most ardently pray and take action to deliver others from oppressive circumstances.
But there is a second part to the definition that struck a chord God has been speaking into my life about distorted thoughts, shame, and boundaries. It reads like this, “something delivered; especially: an opinion or decision (such as the verdict of a jury) expressed publicly.” What if the opinion we hold of ourselves is sometimes the very thing we need to be delivered from? The critical pressing of modern-day life may threaten to distract and strip us of our Christly identity, a past decision may haunt us—even though it happened so long ago that we’re the only one still able to re-play it. An unjust outcome… tarnished reputation… failed attempt… whose perspective are we filtering our throughs through?
Greed, “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed” (Merriam-Webster), can creep in the back door of our hearts and quickly take over our well-intended desires to live generously in the love and peace of Christ.
“Greed is condemned by Scripture as contrary to the purposes of God” (Dictionary of Bible Themes, #5870). We’ve been warned that the devil is a liar and that he’s shifty, but we cannot blame him for all of our inclinations to give in to temptation. Before it expands to corrupt our foundation, here are ten signs we are being controlled by greed.