LIFE GIVING » christianblog
How faith saved this girl from death"God's splendor is tale that is told...without a sound, without a word, without a voice being heard, yet all the world can see its story."- Psalm 19:1, 3-4 TPT
Vast open skies glittered with stars splashed like paint flicks and a moon so yellow, so round, so perfect called my anxiety filled heart to be still. Warm Summer wind kissed the pale and bruised of my skin, and the cool water whispered a sense of peace my broken soul longed for.
The lake night was the night my heart wanted to plunge into the water’s glistening depths, where the pain of life would no longer be felt. Where the voices in my head that spoke of my rubbish existence and my used state, which was of no worth to anyone, would forever be silenced.
As I gazed at the splendor of the sky, vibrant life energy stirred up by creation was alive and awake and beckoning me to seek the face of a God I wasn’t sure existed, let alone would care for someone as broken and messy as me.
I cried out…
The lake night, the night that was intended to end my life awakened me instead to a very present God. A God who was gently speaking to me without a sound, and was guiding me in and through all things, and somehow, despite the mess and the deep dark hole that I had kept on digging, He was here now, inviting me to seek His face.
The splendor of creation was awakening this wretched girl who was soul numb and dying inside, to the glorious presence of Jesus and entwining my heart to a grander story. His creation was designed to wake us up to Him.
For the last seventeen years, God has been waking me up through His creation, breathing truth words into my soul. Beckoning me to walk this wild faith life that invites us to live wide-awake, and it has happened as His truth words whispered in the midst of living the ordinary everyday life.
I have woken up to the truth that early morning cuddles and silly songs with young ones are holy work.
My soul has come alive as the sun kisses the sea and bounces brilliant colors across the sky or when I've held my baby boys for the first time… and in these moments I've discovered you can’t help but worship Him profoundly and purely.
I come alive where trust is tested, and dreams are shattered, and life doesn’t have the perfect Instagram post because He is with me and He is faithful.
I have experienced authentic relationships over cups of hot tea, long talks, and prayer that leads to healing and restoration because I'm no longer numb and afraid inside.
I now understand that the work God has entrusted to us is the way in which He touches the world through us, where people encounter the face-to-face with God… and it's beautiful.
These life experiences with creation, humanity, and brokenness have been used to wake me up and by His grace, grow my soul into who God created me to be.
That’s what life is meant to do; it becomes the God-at-work, groundwork within that teaches us how to work with and walk with Jesus in the everyday ordinary, waking us up to His presence alive and at work within and around us. It’s like leaven permeating every part of our soul, enlarging and expanding the kingdom of God within us, teaching us, gracing us in our fumbling and stumbling to live into and be the fragrance who He created us to be. We become part of the story He is telling the world.
The invitation to wake up is not just for the select few; it’s for every single one of us. Messy and broken, rich or poor, fatherless or famous, each of us is invited to wake up and live into this wide-awake life with the Creator of the universe. As we live awake, it changes us, it changes the way we see and experience the world around us, and it wakes us up to the grander story being told… His…
If you'd like to learn more about this WILD FAITH Click Here
THE SACRED SLOW: A HOLY DEPARTURE FROM FAST FAITH
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11, The MSG
A large part of me has been searching for a book like THE SACRED SLOW: A HOLY DEPARTURE FROM FAST FAITH my whole life... I come from a fast paced, high energy, high doing, experience seeking culture and it is its own kind of messy beautiful... It has transformed me, pointed me towards Jesus and has been exactly what I needed for a season, yet my life was missing something...
There was an unsettled emptiness...
A loneliness in the midst of the crazy busy...
And a thirst that was seemingly unquenchable...
My soul was weary and tired...
My soul needed rest and restoration...
Where would I find it?
How do I walk with, get away with and keep company with Jesus the way He invites us to in Matthew 11?
Was it space?
Did I need to be quiet more?
Wasn't I being still enough and how do I BE stiller with young children and a crazy schedule?
You get tired just trying to keep up with slowing down! Right?!
Within the pages of The Sacred Slow, Dr. Alicia Britt Chole invites us to journey daily with Jesus into a slower paced, authentic, sustainable and soul rested life where religion is stripped away and you can truly experience the richness, beauty, and fullness of life walked with Jesus.
Through a series of short devotional style nuggets of spiritual gold, Dr Alicia aquatints our hearts with the truth and then mentors us to live into these truths through a series of exercises designed to help you recover your life, to work with and walk with Jesus every moment of your day and to teach you how to take a real rest.
I believe with all my heart that the fruit of choosing to live out these ancient truths found in the pages of THE SACRED SLOW and participating in the given exercises has not only be fruitful in my life but will overflow into my children's lives and the generations to come.
Fresh courage and strength have been imparted to me through the wisdom, spiritual practices, and Dr. Alicia's heart to see us all be mentored by Jesus every day of our lives.
How incredible is it to have a book like this, a book filled with 30+ years of mentoring experience and knowledge at our fingertips, at very little cost, for the everyday journey of life!
You can grab your copy of THE SACRED SLOW: A HOLY DEPARTURE FROM FAST FAITH here.
Why not check out some of DR Alicia's teaching over at DAY STAR Television here -THEN SINGS MY SOUL
How to be brave enough to sit at the feet of Jesus
How long has it been since you soaked in the daily presence of God?
Since you slowed down so much so that instead of busying yourself to serve Jesus, you simply sat at His feet, loved on Him and learned from Him?
Have you been afraid of what others might think? Afraid of being 'unproductive' when there is so much to do? Me too...
There is a beautiful story found in the book of Luke, chapter 10 and here we meet two sisters, Mary and Martha...
I imagine Martha as a busy woman. I see her with an honest desire to serve those in her world with great love and care as she cleans and prepares a meal. I think her love language might be acts of service. She’s a home entrepreneur, sassy, brave, bold and seemingly can handle whatever comes knocking at her door… even the Son of God. Yet, Martha somehow misses what is most important… she is simply too busy.
Gosh, I feel her burden and pain…
Too busy to lean into what is of most value in the treasured moments God gifts to us in this very short space of time in all eternity.
Mary chose what was better…
She chose what was of greatest value right now. She chose what would bear the most fruit in her life; she chose what would help her to live freely and lightly in the days to come.
Jesus was here, present, ready and willing to teach Martha things of great value, things that would help her become the woman He created her to be, to help her see what truly matters in life and how to tend generously to those things. How to find sacred in the seemingly silly...
Martha was consumed by worldly pressures of hospitality…
Mary knew what was of more value.
Mary knew that the word Jesus would speak and would become her “foundation words, words to build a life on.”
She leaned in and learned how to, “…work the words into her life,”
Mary would come to know that sitting at the feet of Jesus was not wasting time, but it was a place she would learn to be, “…like a smart carpenter, who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river bursts it’s banks and crashed into the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last.” – Luke 6:48 (MSG)
Mary chose what was better…
She knew what she valued most; she knew how to prioritize what was most important right now. She threw custom and schedule out the window and tended to what was of greatest value.
How many times do we forget this way of living?
How many life lessons do we miss because our schedules and to do lists are so jam-packed we don’t have time or space to look and see what is of greatest value in the moments we are in?
A couple of weeks ago I sat in the Tuscon Botanical Garden, a stunning space of beauty in the middle of the Arizona Desert. I had scheduled a day of rest after a busy book tour and thought what better place to find rest than in a garden. So I moved slowly through the space, I took time to look at, explore, read and smell all the sights and then I sensed God ask me to sit still on the dusty, stone bench seat. I sat under a tree, out of the dry Arizona heat and looked around for a short while, I breathed deep and went to go.
I sensed Him asking me to linger longer…
So I went and sat again…
This time I just sat and looked around, allowed my eyes to linger over everything. I was still. Be still the bible says, be still…
Right then my eyes became truly open, I saw small creatures I would never have seen if I hadn’t been still long enough and right there I became even more aware of how stillness opens our eyes, it helps us to see what we’d never have seen even meandering slowly through that space.
Right there, in the middle of the Arizona Desert, I was working the Word of God into my life and almost instantly seeing the fruit of that. Being still allowed me to be grounded... aware that God was present and holding all things together... being still helped me to know God as the One who holds all things and is in all things.
Work Jesus' words into your life
Mary had chosen to work Jesus’ words into her life as she sat at His feet…
Martha was missing it…
Jesus longed for her to enter in...
Pride perhaps got the better of her...
There He revealed truths and teachings that would help her to live in the fullness of all this gift of life has to offer…
Mary was learning how to walk with and work with Jesus…
There she’d learn the unforced rhythms of grace… the ability to live freely and lightly in His presence…
“learn from me…” He whispers
“…for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls…”
Learn from Me…
Learn from Jesus…
Lean into all he has to say, all he has to teach us…
Work His words into your life...
Then you will find REST for your souls.
"Listening to and learning from Jesus guides us to find rest for our souls." (See my article over at Enliven women for more on this).
Not everyone will understand your choice
Martha didn’t quite understand how sitting at the feet of Jesus would be the better choice. She didn’t see that the time spent learning from Him would benefit her more than a clean house and a meal prepared right now, in this moment of time. She lived by the, “It needs to be done now” mantra, instead of learning to take the time to listen to and learn from Jesus. She allowed outside pressures to scream louder than her inward yearnings.
He was there right now, in their home…
The Word made flesh…
Martha pushed time with Him aside to be in the kitchen… to get the stuff that needed to get done, done.
Martha failed to realize that taking the time now with Jesus would benefit her life greatly for the days ahead. She failed to see that learning His teachings while He was readily available would set her up for that life of rest. It would teach her how to live freely and lightly in her daily walk with the Lord.
You are invited to sit at His feet
The beauty of this picture is that when Martha complained, Jesus still beckons her to come to learn with them too. Yes, He is pretty blunt, but there is no judgment but an open invitation to drop what she is doing and to choose what is of greater value.
What about you?
Are you taking the time to prioritize scheduling in spending time at the feet of Jesus daily?
Are you coming to Him to learn how to live freely and lightly in your daily?
What can you do today to prioritize some time in your week to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him?
But SO worth it!
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