I pray that I would experience beautiful moments. Not post them. Not even take a picture of them. Just capture them in my mind. Remember them. I pray that I would remember the exquisite beauty in the mundane. The wonder of what is happening right here in front of me. In my very ordinary life. I'm praying these things for you too. Could it be that maybe the most important moments are the ones that aren't documented? The conversations that aren't recorded? The sunsets that aren't photographed? The kitchen dance parties that aren't videoed? The flitting in-between moments that you can't capture? Could it be that disconnecting is precisely how we'll reach deeper connection?
This post is rooted in years of questions and doubts about whether or not I was truly following the “calling” of the Lord on my life. I pray that the words I share are encouraging to you. “We are all tempted to want to do something important, but who are we to say what is important and what is not? Every person we engage is an eternal soul and every moment is one that can be leveraged for the sake of your spiritual growth and for the sake of the Gospel.”
We serve a God who is in the business of redeeming every single painful and heartbreaking moment for a grand and glorious and eternal purpose. And what a beautiful thing it is to be able to trust in the fruit that He is growing in us because of this light and momentary suffering.
There are a few cautions that we should keep in mind when it comes to celebrity pastors, at least for the Christians who are not members of those famous pastor’s churches. So to the people that belong to churches led by ordinary pastors like me, I would say this:
This poem by Mabel Williamson, a missionary to China, is a much-needed encouragement to lay down our notions of our "rights" in this world and praise God for the privileges we have in Christ.
Yes there is freedom in financial peace, but there is even more freedom in trusting God fully whether your bank account is empty or full. Yes there is a benefit to having a retirement fund so that you can serve God freely after you stop working, but there is even more benefit to sacrificially and regularly giving of what you have, whether your gifts are large or small. In the act of open-handedly holding your finances before God, you are invited to a level of trust and intimacy with Him that is so incredibly beautiful.
What could be more encouraging than to know that apart from Christ we are literally nothing? The things we are striving for and hustling for will ultimately fade away like a mist and nothing will remain but the eternal Kingdom of God. Praise the Lord!
The lies of social media make us believe that marriage will fill you with joy and that you will be free from the insecurities, frustrations, and sins that you struggle with now. It's so easy to long for marriage to fill a desire for intimacy or purpose. But let me tell you, if you are longing for marriage to meet a desire for intimacy, you will be disappointed.
Last week I wrote a blog on sexual sin. In that post I highlighted the depth of God's grace. Grace that meets us even in our deepest sin. At the same time (and by that I mean while holding on to that understanding of the grace and goodness and mercy of God) we must also actively pursue repentance with every ounce of our being. So what does it meant to repent?
The Lord is good and gracious in everything that He does, including the times when He walks us through seasons of deep suffering. We can see His goodness and grace even in the deep suffering because it leads us to trust Him and know Him more. It serves to shape us more into the image of God. It helps us to see the temporary nature of the world and the lasting satisfaction found in God.
I know this is a topic that we don't really talk about. It's a topic that I, even though I have been a regular church-goer for all 26 years of my life, didn't hear mentioned in the church even once until a few years ago. It seems that in most churches, sexual sin is considered one of the "darker" or "worse" sins, so we don't talk about it, we keep it in the dark. But I'm going to talk about it here because I believe that Satan works in the darkness.
I drop a load of heavy grocery bags on the kitchen counter and walk out the front door to grab the last of the bags. I look back over my shoulder at our two-year-old puppy as he tilts his head at me, asking me (in his adorable dog-way) where I'm going. "Sit....... Stayyyyy," I say. These are daily words in the Bowerman household as we try to train Chief, our adorable rescue pup.
My mind has been restless lately. It's felt too busy and too full. Thoughts, worries, fears, frustrations, questions, doubts. They've been bumping around in my head and I'm sensing the need to take a step back.
Many of you have been asking for updates so I channeled my [nonexistent] video editing skills to make a short documentary of our first few weeks in Denver: featuring the bipolar weather of Colorado (snow and toboggans one day and sunshine and shorts the next!), our exploration of new local food joints, and enjoying the mountains and sunsets of Colorado.
I'm familiar with the pang of goodbyes and the packing of boxes. Life has been full of change for me, so trust and commitment has always been a little difficult, while change and newness feels natural. But during the last three and half years in Birmingham, the Lord slowly but surely helped me to let my heart put roots down in people and places and it has been the most terrifying but also the most joyous thing in the world.