Free to Fly

Flying by Faith on the Sturdy Wings of Truth and Love

First of Twelve Extraordinary Women: Eve, Mother Of All Living

WHO IS WOMAN AND WHY WAS SHE CREATED?

She was the crown of God’s creation. The mother of all living.

Adam was refined dirt; Eve was a glorious refinement of humanity itself. She was a special gift to Adam. She was a necessary partner who finally made his existence complete-and whose own existence finally signaled the completion of all creation.” ~John MacArthur {Twelve Extraordinary Women}

Before Eve was created, God made Adam from the dust of the earth. He breathed life in him and gave him this commission:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:15-18

Woman was created to be Man’s helper. {This might offend some women at first, and might puff up a man’s pride, but please keep reading and you will see the intrinsic value of a helper!}

To say that the value of each gender has become muddied in our world is an understatement. The significance of God creating each of us in His image, as male or female according to His pleasure and purpose can not be weighed. If we don’t believe we are each a masterpiece fashioned by His loving hand, made with significance and purpose, we lose perspective and flounder in confusion through life.*
*This is not to say that one without a spouse is incomplete, because God completes us when we are single.

“Like a violin without a bow or a lock without a key, man was incomplete without woman.” ~Sharon Jaynes {What God Really Thinks About Women}

In working alongside my husband for years on remodeling projects and in parenting, there is no shadow of doubt that I have what he is missing and he has what I am missing. And together we make quite a team when we are not being selfish. :)

HPIM2056

The fact that God anesthetized Adam, and took a rib from his side to create Eve speaks of her “fundamental equality “with Adam. The relationship, the value  of each gender is side-by-side. She was “in no way inferior, but a spiritual counterpart  and intellectual co-equal  and in every sense a perfect mate and companion to Adam”. ~J.M.

To know this enables us to embrace the plan God has for us in the roles He has called us to as women, to be helpers , life-givers and nurturers. To know this also enables men to appreciate and embrace theirs as protector, overseer and provider.

God desires for us to honor Him in who He has created us to be, trusting His wisdom and love, we can live out our lives in contentment.

Helper: The word holds a place of great honor. Ezer -It is derived from the Hebrew word used of God and the Holy Spirit. David wrote, “O Lord, my helper.” Psalm 30:10 and Moses wrote, “My father’s God was my helper.” Exodus 18:4

With that, who can diminish what we’ve been created for and what strength we have as women!?!

Think about this: Without women, there would be no children. Without children, life would cease to exist. I think that is why scripture says woman is the glory of man. :) 1 Corinthians 11:7

 

SATAN, TEMPTATION, SIN AND A CURSE:

We are all, whether we know it or not, influencers of others. We all impact people’s lives for generations. All of us.

I don’t know about you, but with a responsibility that heavy, I want to have an accurate compass!

For years I’ve struggled to gain an accurate picture of God. I’ve thought of Him sometimes as a stern Father, light on fun and heavy on perfection. Or a sly Teacher who held things just out of reach, like holding a carrot before the horse, but never letting it take a bite. In trials, I thought I had to find some kind of key to open the door of blessing.

Those wrong thoughts about God are precisely the lies Satan and Eve were dancing around together that day the devil slithered up to Eve to steal her innocence away. Like always, Satan came to Eve in disguise. Snakes were friendly before the fall. Eve didn’t have a reason to feel cautious at that time.

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Genesis 3:1-7

HERE is what God REALLY said to Adam before Eve was made: 

“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

  • Satan suggested uncertainty to Eve. (Did God actually say…?)
  • Satan blatantly opposed God’s word. (You will not surely die!)
  • Satan twisted the meaning of scripture. (What God really means is He is holding out on you keeping something from you. He is stingy.)
  • Eve exaggerated the rigors of God’s one restriction. (and you must not touch it)
  • Eve softened God’s decided tone and the severity of His warning. (lest you die, instead of you will surely die)

Satan still uses the same tactics with us.

OUR DILEMMA AND GOD’S SOLUTION-A GREAT GIFT:

Satan’s name means “To Separate”. He came to sever relationships between us and God. In doing so, he severed relationships among us all. The result of sin is pain, strain, sickness, division, death, perversion and all manner of misery. Adam and Eve, in agreeing with Satan turned their back on God.

He appealed to man’s desire to be like God. (To be equal to God rather than being submitted to His authority as God) Satan succeeded in binding us all in chains of shame. You know the story: Eve gave the fruit to Adam, Adam ate, and afterward they were afraid, and hid, and sewed fig leaves to cover their shame.

Before Adam and Eve fell into temptation, there was no evil. No awareness of evil. It truly was all good.

Satan came between us and God. He separated us with sin.

Romans 5:18-19  As  representative of all of humanity when God put him in charge of his creation, Adam is credited with original sin.

And humanity was left with a huge dilemma.
We’ve been separated from God and fig leaves are inadequate to redeem our relationship.
We need a sufficient covering in order to be near Him.

He is perfect. We are not. We need a new representative. One who will not sin, who will follow God to death if necessary.
And it was necessary. Hebrews 9:22
And He did. 2 Corinthians 5:21
And that is the gospel-good news!
Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.
Our Redeemer Lives!

One thing I took away from this week’s study that was not addressed specifically, but I saw through the responsibility laid on Adam for our sin, even when Eve was the first one to take a bite, was the fact that everyone who is given authority by God will be giving an account before Him in the judgement when rewards are handed out.  {2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 16:27; James 3:1; Hebrews 13:17}

So when we embrace our role as helper, we are helping others stand before God on judgement day receiving their rewards if they lived to honor God. We also will give an account for our own obedience and those we’ve been entrusted with to oversee and will be rewarded according to how we helped and how we managed what God gave us to care for.

If you are reading along, I know this week’s lesson was packed full, but please leave a comment with one or two things you took away from this week’s study. And also how I could be praying for you. :)

 

Trust~This Is Where The Healing Begins {Join Us Again At #TheLoft Link-Up}

As I approached the house, the dense stench of cigarette smoke hit me like that gust of wind on the forefront of a storm that has more-than-once turned my patio umbrella inside out. The smell nearly gagged me- it was so potent.

I was on a mission. Our church had a call from a woman who was cut off from her home, renting a place of her own, she had nothing but discount beds with no bedding. And her clothes.

I whispered a prayer. “Help me Lord.” Image-1 (3)

Her heart and head and body plagued with brokenness, 42 years old with a collection of bad choices by herself and others in her past. Unable to work. We had gathered love-gifts, and I was delivering.

A man helped me carry the things in, about the same age as the woman, he was well-built and had a certain tenderness in his eyes. Boyfriend of a friend…I found out another day he was not tender as he appeared. Two days after I met him, he was in jail. {I trust as an answer to prayer since I learned he had threatened bodily harm to one of the women. I pray he will meet the One who loves his soul}

I leaned in to listen with questions, and concern. She was obviously desiring her home to be ‘better looking’ in apologizing for the state of the carpet, but was grateful and hopeful in sharing what she would like to do there. Her voice- twenty years older than her age, her body was gaunt; frail-looking. She told me her best friend, she found homeless, was now living there too. So she called her name, but no answer. Several times. Still no answer. Peeked inside her bedroom door and it was empty. Walked to the back of the house and came back, “She will be out soon”.

Ten years younger, her friend’s story is even more painful to hear. Her life riddled with death of loved ones to suicide and disease and laden with abuse and mental illness in her family of origin. And she herself-struggling with a backlash of agoraphobia from her losses. One story after another created a knot deep in my gut. My heart was heavy as I sat on the arm of the sofa with my hand on her shoulder. Tears stifled.

I embraced her with both arms and prayed for Jesus to make Himself known, to restore to her what the enemy-thief has stolen. Tears flowed. {John 10:10}

I prayed for protection, for healing and for transformation. I prayed for hope. I prayed for salvation.

She told me she had prayed the day before. She didn’t know how to pray but she just said something like, “Help me Jesus.” And here I was. Jesus with skin on. {But Jesus, please show me HOW to help her! ~and~ I can do all things through You.}

“How do you know Jesus?” I asked.

“He was with me when I was a little girl taking care of my mom and sister. He never once left me.”

I’m speechless trying to wrap my mind around her reality. A sharp contrast to mine.

She wants her own children back. All three have different fathers and in the care of others since the suicide of her boyfriend two and a half years ago.

I left that day with that smoke-smell in my hair…wondering ‘how many?’ How many people are living below real living? Not really living but merely surviving life? And right around the corner? The USA is a mission field. I don’t need to go to Haiti. {something I have wanted to do} Here are needs as deep and disturbing as any across the sea. Here we need Jesus to do His mighty miracles of delivering, healing, restoring and binding up wounds. I trust the fragrance of  Christ that I brought to their house remained with them…

As I think over the tangled messes that sin has left in their life-and restoration? It feels impossible. But God. I know Him. I know what He has done in my life. In others’ lives. With Him all things are possible. I pray for God’s grace to pour out, for the resurrection power of Jesus to break the chains of deception and destruction and to lift these ladies to their feet from ashes. And all the others from broken homes. All the school children who go home every day not to a place of refuge, but of pain and disfunction. We know they are there.

They need us who know the source of Life. They need us to intercede for them, pray and ask for opportunities to sow blessings into their lives. To offer hope. Offer grace. Lets hold together to hope that our communities will be healed by the power of Jesus!

Jesus, please rescue and heal them! The power of the truth of your mighty love will set them free as it has for me. You are amazing… Show your power Lord!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

This is a repost from February 2013. Since I met the people in the story, I lost track of one who was heavily involved in drugs, deception and criminal activity, the man was jailed for drug related charges. I’ve been able to maintain contact with the other woman and I’m happy to report that I’ve seen God work powerfully in her life. She was raped a year after I met her and after having many pressure her to abort, she refused and now has a beautiful little girl. Our contact has been sporadic due to the transitions in my own life limiting me, but I am excited to report that she and her little girl seem to be thriving and she seems to be trusting the Lord increasingly. (Although still surrounded by lost, broken people and circumstances) She has also had restoration with her middle son. And occasional contact with her youngest son. Please pray for continued healing and growth in her relationship with Jesus.

Now it’s time to link-up at #TheLoft with your post about Trust!
Add Your Link Here:

 

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

Another Link-Up at #TheLoft

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

About #TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

This Week’s Topic: “Trust” (Opening another can of worms here, but let’s go there anyway~ wink. Is trust hard for you? Why or why not? What area are you struggling to trust God in? What have you learned about trust? The floor is open!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Best Practical Tip” (What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Or given? What one thing do you want to make sure you pass on to your children, friends, or family? It can be about homemaking, marriage, relationship with Jesus, anything… :) )

Link-up by clicking here for my post: Trust~This Is Where The Healing Begins

 

Twelve Extraordinary Women ~Intro~ {An Online Book Study}

“Christianity, born in a world where Roman and Hebrew cultures intersected, elevated the status of women to an unprecedented height.” ~John MacArthur

In our place and time in history, our experiences in life have only given us an inkling of the common degradation of women in the world and over the course of time. Usually it is from story, theatre, or travel that we have opportunity to taste the reality of the burdensome oppression, and often horrific bondage experienced by women.

Living here in America, and after the shifts that have taken place in our history, we know little personally of the magnitude of the devaluation of women through time and around the globe.

Increasingly in a general sense, our culture has viewed women as valuable. We see women in more prominent positions, and given greater honor than any other time in history.

And yet, I wonder even today, if what appears to be improvement is still somewhat of an illusion.

And I wonder if the ground that we seem to have gained has really brought contentment to women. Or has it instead put more pressures on us? Pressure to perform, accomplish, and pursue accolades. Not that those are bad things in and of themselves, but at what price? At what cost to our physical and mental health, to our families and to our society?

As we increasingly value women, has it resulted in wholeness and satisfaction? Do we not still fight feeling small in our souls? And fight many other battles as well?

We still seem to carry a heavy burden of discontent.

Healthy families are foundational for a strong society, but it seems families have become so broken that women are carrying extremely heavy loads of responsibility-especially single moms.  And being consumed by responsibilities obliterates the support structures of time together for encouragement, training in life-skills and even generally enjoying life together. No wonder there seems to be a domino-effect of overwhelmed women!

This very well may not be true of you. Perhaps you have a good job, a healthy, well-functioning family, finances, time to go on vacation and to have your neighbors over for dinner. And if that is the case, wonderful! But it is increasingly rare. At least from my vantage point.

In the intro to Twelve Extraordinary Women, we read of how God exalts women in the Bible to a place of high honor. Jesus restores dignity that the world has continually stripped away from women. And more, there is contentment to be had. It is found in knowing that God has created us in His image and has given us His Son.

We can get so used to hearing some phrases that they lose their impact, so I am repeating that:
We need to hear this in our heart:

We are made in the image of God! And He has given us His Son. The Gift that empowers us to really live. John 10:10

Image-1 (2)

Over the next 11 weeks on Wednesdays we will be growing in our knowledge and understanding of how deeply valued women are to God and how our lives are valuable to others and to society as a whole. If you are reading along, please join in conversation in comments. It is in our time together where we really learn as God reveals truth to our hearts.

Today I will leave you with this quote from the book intro:

“Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women or discourages the right use of women’s spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about “gender equality”; it’s about true feminine excellence. And this is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance.” ~John MacArthur

Next week: “Eve: The Mother of All Living

No Need To Duck or Punch: What To Do When People Have An Agenda For You

“He (God) can do anything He wants any way He wants but, as a general rule, holy passion is a better guide than human pressure.” ~Beth Moore

You’ve heard the term for the fear-dodging duo: Fight or Flight

I would guess most of us also lean toward one of the two F words when we are faced with out-of-control circumstances.

Fighters will seek to control the Flighters.
Flighters tend to bow to or run from the Fighters.

It’s like one is a Rooster and the other a Rabbit. Rooster and Rabbit
{Photo/Painting credit: Creative Thursday by Marisa}

Roosters fight. These are the more dominant personalities.
Rabbits flight. These are the more docile personalities.

It is important to know there are two general personality types and reactions if you desire to discern your response to control-ers if you are Rabbit, or your desire to control if you are Rooster.

I tend to be a Rabbit.

One day (many more than one) but on this one certain day, one Ms. Rooster, who was facing her own limitations called me and left a message on my phone while I was busy up to my long fuzzy ears packing for a move. Ms. Rooster was under pressure and naturally thought of me to take some of her pressure off, so when I listened to the message, it described the problem and then with an authoritative voice, told me what I needed to do.

Me and my fuzzy ears scrunched down, ducking from the weight of what I was told to do. I turned off my phone and went on a bike ride. (I realize the image of a Rabbit on a bike is a bit off, but bear with me.) Panic-prayers, not sweet ones were reverberating from my fuzzy soul toward heaven, my anxiety alleviated slightly by exertion on pedals and repetitive words playing in my head, “I’m not the Savior”, “I’m not the Savior”. {And in the back of my Flightful mind, I was going to run straight away from that relationship and never go back, I was.}

Alternating between my repeated phrase “I’m not the Savior” were opposing phrases: “You should. There’s no reason you can’t. She wont like you anymore. God will be mad at you for not helping her. ETC . . . ”

Bullying voices seeking to enslave me to the task which I did not have in my shriveled little heart to do. I should recognize it by now: The imposition of a law seeking my soul, threatening condemnation if I did not obey it.

As I pedaled, I prayed. I prayed a lot. And then reason kicked in. Not human reason, but Spirit reason. Reality really.

God said, “What have I given you to do Rabbit?”
And I stated my mission.
God said, “Whose mission does Ms. Rooster want you to carry out?”
“Hers”

I remembered that I’d been given an assignment of my own, and then I could see that Ms. Rooster had her appointed tasks and though I sympathized with her predicament, the fact that I was struggling to bear up under my own meant that I was not the one that would save the day for her.

In this revelation, I found release from the pressure.

The freedom to say the simple, short (and quite profound) phrase, “I’m sorry,  no.”

Suddenly then, like a pin in a balloon, the pressure left.

And it still took me three days to be okay with saying ‘no’.

I bet you are wondering how Ms. Rooster responded to my no, aren’t you?

Gracious. Perhaps with my suggestions of other names she could call on gave her the idea that my day’s load was as heavy as hers.

Since that day, I’ve been talking to other rabbits who have this wee problem, and telling them that they only need to be about the task that God gives them. And He gives freedom to say, “I’m sorry,  no.”

Linking up for a potluck at #TheLoft
The Loft Link Up
Add Your Link Here:

 Loading InLinkz ...

We’re Having a Pot Luck at The Loft

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

Hello Loft buddies! This week is an online version of pot-luck. {Who doesn’t like variety?} Just link up the post of your choice and surprise us with the yummy when we visit!

About #TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (Periodically, we’ll have a “potluck.” This is a blogging version of bring-your-own-dish. So pick a post and link up any post you want to share with our community!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Trust” (Opening another can of worms here, but let’s go there anyway. Is trust hard for you? Why or why not? What area are you struggling to trust God in? What have you learned about trust? The floor is open!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

 Loading InLinkz ...

A Christian’s Weapon: The Word of God * Join Us At #TheLoft

It is time to hang out and chat at #TheLoft again.
The Loft Link Up This week’s topic is “Fighter Verses”.

Share which scriptures you use often to stand strong in your faith or as you pray for and encourage others.

{If you are a subscriber, please click over to the blog by clicking on the title to view scriptures without having to look them up. This post is a Bible Study. I pray you will be encouraged by it!}

* * * * * * *

As followers of Jesus, we are not promised a walk in the park, though often we get to enjoy sweet times of peace and refreshment in this life. But those times are ‘holidays’.

In reality, we are also assured of trouble {John 16:33}, persecution {2 Timothy 3:12}, testing {James 1:2-4} and thankfully, along with them: victory. {Isaiah 54:17}

Promised Victory. That is the encouraging part. :)

Ephesians 6:10-20 reminds us that the life of a follower of Jesus is war, and that we have been given armor to stand strong. The word STAND is used three times in these ten verses. It signifies that it takes more effort  to STAND than our default to ‘coasting along’ in life.

Our objective is this: To stand firm in our faith.

We’ve been given armor to assure our victory. 1 John 5:4 

The ONLY way we will FAIL to STAND (other than not engaging in the battle) is by unbelief in the love and power of our Savior, Jesus.

Jesus, who is the Living Word of God—> He makes the Word come to life in us. {John 1:1-2; John 15:7}

The Word of God

The helmet, the boots, the breastplate and the belt are protective. The shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (The Word of God) are in our hands. Our faith extinguishes the fiery darts shot at our souls by the accusing enemy {Revelation 12:10}, and the sword pierces deception with truth. {John 8:32}

One of the most valuable things we can do is eat the Word of God. Read it, memorize it, meditate on it. {Psalm 1:2-3} It is LIFE. {Matthew 4:4} It is Victory in this life. It is your anchor in a stormy world. {Hebrews 6:18-19} It is your answer for every question. {James 1:5} It is healing for your heart. {Isaiah 61:1}

And if you need more encouragement to spend time in God’s Word, please read Psalm 119. It is penned by King David, considered by God to be the man after His own heart. It is all about life and victory by faith in God’s word.

Here are the verses for me that, if it were possible, I’d have worn out because of how often I use them in prayer and in encouraging myself and others.

  • Romans 8:28 {I am called by God, therefore He works all things for good in my life-same with all who believe}
  • Romans 8:1 {I am no longer condemned because of faith in Christ-when I sin, I repent and receive forgiveness instantly}
  • Romans 12:1-2 {I am all in and live by faith, being spiritually minded}
  • Romans 8:31-32 {God is on my side, and will provide all my needs}
  • Isaiah 54:17 {My inheritance is secure, and my victory sure}
  • Psalm 138:8 {God is perfecting the things that concern me}
  • Zechariah 4:6 {I accomplish nothing in my own strength-it is only by the Spirit of God that I do anything of eternal significance}
  • Galatians 2:20 {When I am afraid to do something God asks me to do, I remember that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me ~see again Romans 12:1~}
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 {When I don’t feel like doing something I know I should do}

Precious friends, there are so many more passages that I use on a regular basis in encouragement and in prayer. I see prayers answered so often! Few gifts are as precious as seeing God work; as seeing ‘mountains move’. {Matthew 7:7; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24}

* * * * * * *

Which are your your favorite, well worn scriptures? Which ones do you find yourself going back to again and again? Tell us what spiritual warfare looks like for you and how you use God’s Word to be victorious. We look forward to learning from each other!)

{{Next Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (Periodically, we’ll have a “potluck.” This is a blogging version of bring-your-own-dish. So pick any post you want to share with our community and link it up here!)}}
Join us again at #TheLoft Link-up!!!
1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

Add Your Link Here:

 Loading InLinkz ...

Twelve Extraordinary Women

I’ve discovered increasingly as I’ve taught Bible Studies, God’s amazing LOVE for women and how His love grants us an exquisite dignity.

And I see generally, that we live far below who we really are as His beloved daughters.

We struggle to believe in our value because we struggle against inner perceptions and cultural impositions on our perceptions.

Only the artist’s heart knows his own work intimately. The strokes of the paint brush, each determined by the vision within the heart of the artist.

As we live our lives on earth, we live a process of learning who we are, and who our Creator is.

Our view of God is determined by many factors and it seems a large degree of our pursuit in life is to learn the truth of who God is and who He created us to be.

Life is like a treasure hunt. One I’ve become increasingly zealous for, and as an encourager, passionate about helping others see who God is and how valuable each of us are to Him.

You know the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. A man is shown what his town would be like had he not lived there. Every life has great impact on so many others and on society.

Your one life. And mine.

Our lives intersect other lives and our investments reap either life or death here on earth. What we choose to think on and how we act matters. We reap what we sow. And we sow based on our perceptions of ourselves, God, others and life. We live according to how we view the world. Often called our “worldview”.

I believe it is imperative to know the truth of Who God is and who we are in Him in order to live the fullest life.

This fall, I will be teaching through the book “Twelve Extraordinary Women” by John MacArthur. After devouring his first book in the two book series, entitled “Twelve Ordinary Men” (about the twelve men chosen by Jesus as his disciples), I knew this would be a valuable study. 

Twelve Extraordinary Women

So I am inviting you to “join” my class if you are interested. You can order the book linked above and we will do a chapter a week starting this Sunday. Each week after I meet with the ladies in my class, I will write a recap here on the blog and you can join me in conversation in the comments. My goal will be to post my recap on Wednesday.

Also: Happy Labor Day! I’m off to do some painting now. (walls not canvas) :)

 

Dear God, Please Make Me Funny, And Even If You Don’t, Thank You For Funny People

The Loft is open, come on up!

#TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post.

Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Something Funny”(Laughter is good medicine and after this week’s topic, we all need a belly laugh. Or as one co-host put it, we need to spit in our coffee. Tell us a funny story, share a funny quote, post a funny picture or video, crack a funny joke. Just be careful with that coffee because this is going to be good :) )

***************************************************************************

{{{My “Something Funny” Post}}}

I have not been given the humor-gift within myself, but am so grateful for the gift of it in my family. Sometimes I ask the Lord to make me funny. And occasionally I surprise myself when something comes out of my mouth that makes people laugh.

And mostly I’m okay with that.

So this week I am relying on the others at #TheLoft for that, and linking you to my “Funny” board on Pinterest where I have collected a few things that cause me to LOL – Like this:


Monday madness

 

 

 

 

 

**************************************************************************

Next Week’s Topic: “Fighter Verses” (What are some of your favorite, well worn scriptures? Which ones do you find yourself going back to again and again? Tell us what spiritual warfare looks like for you and how you use God’s Word to be victorious. We look forward to learning from each other!)

Add Your Link Here:

 Loading InLinkz ...

Hungering, Thirsting, Aching For More-When Every Life Experience Feels Incomplete

Standing in the barn’s loft overlooking the barn yard, spring was time for lambs at my future in-law’s farm. We were watching dozens of little ones, grey and white cotton-covered bodies and black leg-warmers. They were playing king-of-the-hill, kicking both hind legs to the side as they pounced downward from atop of the mound of dirt.

They were so adorable, I just wanted to hold one. To somehow know them better through a connection. Dale gathered one in his arms and brought it to me. I held out my own arms to receive the bundle.

lambs

Photo credit: Suffolks New Zealand

It was nothing like I had anticipated. Wiggly, gangly, kicking frantically, I just set the darling thing down. Disappointed that it had not lived up to my expectations-there was no holding it.

I remember that day and that experience often as I take in a sunset over the ocean or a scenic mountain view, and hold an inner desire to engage somehow more deeply than through my eyes, my skin. I hunger to hold the moment forever or at least take it home with me somehow. Beach in Florida IMG_0241 image[5] Kathy Schwanke Free to Fly-5

There are those perfect nights on my deck, sun sparkling on the water as it sets. The birds sing in the distance, a palpable tranquility.

The moment’s create deep longing in my soul. For more.

Daily I find within unfulfilled longings. A desire for something seemingly unattainable. And I’m guessing it’s universal. Do you know what I’m talking about?

I often find I thirst for my relationships to be deeper. I’m sad at ‘good-bye’ and ‘good-night’.

I am extremely grateful for my family and friends… I enjoy my times with them tremendously. But underlying all is a longing for more.

And I know what it is: This inner ache, the insatiable inner longing is longing for the Creator of it all. I want God.

I enjoy art. I love watching a plays, visiting art galleries. But more satisfying is meeting the producer, the actors and the artists- because there is a story behind every creation. I always want to ask, “What caused you to create this?” I want to know the heart behind the art.

Revelation of the Creator’s heart gives completeness to my experience of His art.

Yes, I know that’s what it is: This longing . . . It is a hunger for God. It is a desire so intense, so constant, that it beckons me to continue to seeking to know Him.  I long for Heaven where I will know completely. What  a Day that will be!

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT

« Older posts

© 2014 Free to Fly

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑