Category Archives: Sunday Rewind

Sunday Rewind: June 9, 2013 Focus

Two great lessons yesterday: Fruits of the Holy Spirit & Why We Worship (Click to listen).

The fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) are a result of living a Spirit-filled life.  If we look at the example of a fruit tree, we can easily tell what type of tree it is by the fruit it produces.  The is true for us as Christians as well.  We are known by our fruit, Jesus says (Matthew 7:15-20). 
We discussed the first 3 Fruits of the Spirit, this week. Love, Joy, and Peace.  Wow – what a list, just right there!  Couldn’t we all use more of this fruit in our lives?
One of the many things I’ve learned in my “Upper Room” Bible Study class is that the way we define words is key to our understanding and application. <I’ll blog about this in the future>

Often our culture and life experiences define words for us. This can skew how we look at Scripture or apply it to our lives.

Love is a great example.  Stop for a second and think about what pops in your head when you hear the word ‘love’.
Maybe a spouse, or a child. A feeling, a longing. Or maybe passion or a great love story comes to mind.
But its so much more than that, right? But hard to put your finger on, exactly. Well in our class we came up with this list:
     – sacrifice
     – commitment
     – amazement
     – nurturing and protection
     – agape
     – unconditional
We also talked about what love is NOT – and how its often misused and twisted.  It’s not just an emotional high, or a desperate longing (lust), or really extra liking something.
We then discussed if we are showing the unconditional fruit of love in our lives.
This can be a tough one… and a good example of this was brought up in that we are called to love our enemies (can you name a few?).
Some other good points to ponder from class:
– Put your name in 1 Corinthians 13, do we live up to this being true? (i.e. Crystal is patient, Crystal is kind…)
– We will always be in a constant battle as our flesh struggles with the good the Holy Spirit is doing in us
– Joy: doesn’t mean happy, but it is a condition of being.  It is rooted in the ability to look ahead to the eternal and not the present circumstances.  It’s origin is in the Godhead, and a relationship with God is essential as it is found in being a recipient of grace (Greek word for joy is chari (spelling?) which is a description and reference to God’s grace.)
– Peace: quiet, stillness, trust. Comes out of resting in a relationship with God.  There is chaos happening all around us, which is the opposite of peace.  As Christians, we have to trust in the ability of God to bring about order in our lives when all we can see is chaos (Colossians 1:15-17).
Shalom: has a deeper root than just peace.  It means may God be with you, and may nothing be missing and nothing broken.  We need to realize that our perspective may be that things are missing and things are broken, but in God’s perspective we have all that we need and we can rest in this peace.  (wowzer is this one a challenge!!!)
“Strong’s Concordance defines it’s meaning as ‘completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord‘”- Jeff’s Jottings
LOTS of good things to ponder from class – I could write at least 5 more blog posts just from this one lesson. And I might do so at some point in the future. But – the one topic that kept coming up OVER and OVER in our class and in Pastor Jeff’s sermon:

Focus.

Where is our focus?

Is it on our present day situations? On a task we need to complete? On something in our past? Future?
Maybe its on our job, or our finances, a loved one, or even on working on Church stuff.
I have to be honest with you.  Yesterday, I was struggling to focus on what I hearing in class and in the sermon.  My mind was going crazy! If it wasn’t for the fact that I made a commitment to write this post today, I don’t think I would have taken the time or mental energy it took, to write down the notes I needed to write this post!
See, I was helping coordinate 2 events right after church – and one was REALLY up in the air! (Let’s just say I’m not sure I ever want to try to get the guest of honor to a surprise party again – wow can that be tough!!!!)
Over and over again though the point that kept coming up was how important keeping our eyes focused on our relationship with God is to everything in life.

If we want love – we’ve got to focus on the real meaning of love – and that is only found in Jesus. (1 John 4:8)

If we want joy – our focus has to be to be on eternity and the grace we’ve been given through Christ death on the cross.
If we want peace – we have to focus our eyes beyond the chaos that surrounds us to the One who is able to calm the storm, and who has promised to always be with us, trusting that good will come from the chaos surrounding us (Romans 8:28).
Pastor Jeff’s sermon was about the results of our focus being in the right place: Worship.
It’s not just about showing up Sunday morning, singing a few songs and listening to a message and then going on our way.
Worship is about celebrating all the things God has done for us! Celebrating his love for us, the grace He’s given, and the chaos He is going to bring us out of!!!
But do we live there?  Is our focus on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are seeking to live out a relationship with us?
 Or is our focus on our jobs? Money? Family? The news? Politics? Health concerns? Our house or car?
So many things can and ARE stealing our focus off the ONE thing we should be focusing on.

God.

Because of God we can rest in the assurance of Shalom: that God is with us (Matthew 1:22-23), and that nothing is missing or broken in our lives that God hasn’t intended to use for our good is some way (Romans 8:28).

We may not see it, and we may not like it, but God’s promises are true, so we can rest in it.

 And when we allow ourselves to focus on Shalom – then we can truly worship and celebrate all that God has done for us!
So that’s the wisdom I gleaned from reflecting on yesterday’s messages.  It honestly does take some time to rewind Sunday and process it all!  But I’m glad I did – because in the very midst of the chaos I’m sitting in I need to focus on Shalom!
Shalom to you! May God be with you, and may nothing be missing, and nothing broken!
Did God give you some wisdom in your own Sunday Rewind?  I’d love for you to share!
Thanks Michael Dales for Photo!

Sunday Rewind for June 2, 2013: Wisdom

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 I’ve decided to devote Mondays to a rewind of what I’ve learned on Sunday.

I don’t know about you, but for me Sundays are busy. Great, but busy.  I often find myself on overload from all the great information I’ve heard, read, learned, studied, etc., from Sunday.  I want to carry it into my life and practically apply it.

But honestly, much of the time, Monday comes, and the busyness of everyday “normal” life happens, and I forget a lot (if not all 🙂 ) of what I’ve heard.  Which of course means I don’t get around to applying much of it to my life!

So, here goes, my first Sunday Rewind.  And boy was it a doozy for me – and a confirmation that the Lord is leading me to write this blog, and to do a Sunday Rewind post (so I don’t forget it all!).

The overall theme for the day: Wisdom.

Generally we start our Sundays with a Bible Study at church.  Our class is currently studying the Holy Spirit.  We’ve been going through the New Testament Scriptures on the Holy Spirit, and examining them one (or a few) at a time.

Yesterday’s Scripture was 1 Corinthians 12, and was talking about Spiritual Gifts. I volunteered to read it out loud for the class.

            “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,”

– 1 Corinthians 12

Our teacher stopped me there – and I was very glad he did!

Have you ever just had your breath taken away by Scripture? Where you knew God was speaking directly to you through His Word? (If not – I encourage you to keep reading the Bible – He will!)

I was very glad for the break in reading here.  I needed a minute to grasp the full measure of the weight of this. Wisdom is a Spiritual Gift, given by the Holy Spirit – for the common good.

As I’ve started this blog, I’ve debated over many names (in fact this is the 3rd blog I’ve created in the last month).  I needed to find a short, easy to remember name, that encompassed who I am and what I wanted (and am being led) to write about.

Not an easy task for anyone I’m sure. And every “good” name I came up with – someone else had already come up with and already registered – drats!

I spent a lot of time praying about it. And brainstorming, but nothing seemed to fit. Until one day, as I went to put my dog outside, I had it.

            Wisdom Seeking Mommy

I went immediately and checked to see if it was available.  It was! I registered it, but still wasn’t sure.

I’ve battled with it back and forth. I though it was great and perfect, and then thought it was too long and stupid, and arrogant, and …. (see the battle here – I’m told I’m not the only one who has these battles in their brain. I blog about this soon!)

But in the end – I know that this was not an invention of my own mind, but a whisper from the Holy Spirit. And it actually describes me pretty well – I am seeking wisdom – for myself, for my family, and to glorify God.

I’ve prayed for wisdom daily as long as I can remember. I’m not sure why or when I started, but its just always been a part of my daily conversation with God.

Lord, give me wisdom…

By my inquisitive nature, I’m always seeking knowledge.  I love to learn – but there is such a difference between knowledge and wisdom! And wouldn’t you know it – both my Sunday school class AND the sermon discussed the difference between the two.  <Listen to the sermon here: Hidden Heroes – Week 4>

I love seeing the Holy Spirit work a message between 2 men, who have no idea what the other is planning to talk about! It happens often – and is such a testimony to the working of the Holy Spirit in all of our lives!

So what did I glean from a Sunday full of talk about wisdom?

Wisdom requires knowledge, but having knowledge does not mean you have wisdom.  Knowledge is the how in things, wisdom is the why.  Wisdom also requires action.  If I know the how, and maybe even the why, but I fail to put my knowledge into action, what’s the purpose in it? That’s not wisdom.

I’ve gained a lot of knowledge over the years. I still desire to learn more.  But I want to grow deeper than just the facts.  I can tell you a lot of facts about bees, honey, gluten, health, child-rearing, learning, psychology, and a host of other things I’ve studied.

But what good is any of it without wisdom? How will it help me or you, or anyone if we don’t put it into action and make it apart of who we are and what we do.  It’s God’s gift to us to change us into who He’s designed us to be.  And it’s available as a gift of the Holy Spirit!

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

That is the pursuit of this blog: To Seek Wisdom in Everyday, Ordinary life, for the Common Good of All.

Share with me what wisdom  you learned this Sunday by leaving me a comment!

Check back next Monday for more Sunday Rewind – or subscribe below to get posts in your email.

Photo Credit: Sharon at Art ~ 4ThGlryOfGod