Tag Archives: scripture

Passionate Living

I hate to admit it, but my twenties were more Carrie Bradshaw than Mother Teresa, not to compare my current self to Mother Theresa but you get the idea. I had my own group of girlfriends that would meet up for Sunday brunch and talk about the latest in our love lives. I had my own Mr. Big who was playing hard to get or maybe just playing. At the time I thought passion was going after a guy, leaving behind all inhibitions. I thought love was losing yourself in someone else. As I grow in maturity in Christ, and well, just plain maturity, I realize that passions are those things you would do regardless of pay, recognition, success, things that make you tick.

As you could probably tell from my previous posts I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me tick, and how that fits into my plans for the future, my destiny if you will. At times it seems it would be easier if God just told me His plan. Of course He does tell me in the little everyday things and through His Word, but as far as I know there’s no Book of Chelsea published in scripture.

I’ve narrowed down at least three broad areas that I’m passionate about. Thanks to my pastor who revealed a few things to me about my passion just yesterday.

One of my passions is creating. I made this dress for my niece last summer.

I made this dress for my niece.

In no particular order:

1. Creating – I love writing, sewing, paper crafts, photography, etc.

2. Teaching – It brings joy to my heart to see people learn, no matter their age.

3. Volunteering/giving – My parents were always giving of their time and resources, so I guess it is a learned passion.

Once you have narrowed down your passions you can take God’s Word in scripture and apply your passions to His commands. How can I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37) by using my passions? I can create things that reflect my love. I can learn and teach His Word and His ways. I can give to others of my time, words, and resources just as Jesus did in scripture. This is just one example of applying scripture to your passions.

As you do your daily activities and spend time with God this week ponder what your passions are and consider how they can be used to glorify God. Then ask God to reveal more about how He wants to use your passions.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Heavenly Father, thank you for the passions you put in each one of us. We confess to squandering our gifts at times, and ask that you help us to serve you by considering how we can use our passions to glorify you. We seek your will for our lives, and ask that you open our eyes to new possibilities. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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The Ultimate Search Engine

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Having lunch with a friend she suddenly breaks down in tears and reveals that her marriage is a sham, she’s in love with Mike in Accounting, and she’s going to ask for divorce. She asks you your opinion. Do you Google divorce lawyers, or do you look to God’s Word? Why is our culture more inclined to Google than to Bible?

I believe it was during an Alpha Course I heard Nicky Gumbel explain if you buy a luxury car with all the bells and whistles, but you never read the owner’s manual that is like going through life without reading and applying the Bible. The owner’s manual would tell you how to get the most out of your car, and give you instructions on how and when to perform maintenance and repairs. It is not simply a paper weight. If you never read the manual you would be operating at the bare minimum of what you could figure out through trial and error, hopefully without hurting someone. That actually sounds a lot like a life without God’s Word, fumbling through life trying things just to see if they work.

Actually the Bible has become just as convenient as Google now with websites like Bible Gateway. Yet even without going online, if we pray first and ask God to reveal the answer to our burning question often if we are persistent he will reveal the answer through scripture, vision, or words of wisdom from others. So next time you want to surf the web, try the Bible instead. You may be surprised what you find.

All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

– 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.                              – Joshua 1:8

Resolve to Resolve

This past Sunday my church continued it’s tradition of having a giving thanks service on the last Sunday of the year. Pastor Joseph sent out an email a day or two before prompting us to come prepared with what we wanted to share with the congregation. As I reflected I realized the thing I am most thankful for in 2013 is the breakthrough I had forgiving my dad. From the outside it might have appeared that my dad and I had a great relationship. My dad always hugs me, we go father-daughter dates, we tell inside jokes, but inside I held on to the times my dad hurt me. To be close to my dad meant the risk of reopening past wounds. In Spring 2013 I was home for a visit with my parents. What started out as a lovely day of kayaking ended in the reopening of my festering wound. Even though my dad had been calm and collected most of the day one little bout of frustration brought back thoughts of unforgiven arguments.

I’ve heard people say, and probably uttered the very words myself, “Why should I forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it?” The very definition of forgiveness implies that the pardon is undeserved. Through the gentle guidance and counsel of my pastor’s wife Marlin I was able to recognize that much of my physical and emotional pain stemmed from the grudges I held against my dad. Not only was I holding him in bondage but myself. To break the chains of unforgiveness would grant us both freedom, but I could not gain freedom without also granting him freedom. It is like a prison guard shackled to a prisoner. In order for him to be free he must also set the prisoner free. What a predicament!

In my pain and struggle to forgive, in my moment of desperation on that spring day, I went in my parents’ guest room, opened my Bible, and prayed. I don’t remember exactly what I prayed, but when I came out I slowly ate my dinner in silence and let the Holy Spirit stir within me. Afterward I knocked on my dad’s bedroom door, “Can I come in?” I sat next to him on the bed and tried pouring out my heart in my own heartfelt words, but it didn’t seem to sink in to him how hard this conversation was for me. Finally I looked him in the eyes, I had no words to speak and yet my lips spoke, “Dad, you know the Bible front to back. You know the men of the Bible are remembered not for being perfect, but for being changed. I don’t want you to be remembered as a man who wouldn’t change.” I’ve never seen a tear come to my dad’s eye before that day except maybe one other occasion, but I like to think I saw a tear that evening. After our conversation I had to leave to make the trek back to the Bay Area. It hurt to leave it like that, but as I drove home I heard the song “Changed” by Rascal Flatts. I knew God had already begun His work in my dad’s heart, but just as importantly He had begun His work in my heart. Not only has my dad been changed, but we have both been set free.

Due to privacy I didn’t want to reveal what exactly I forgave my dad for, but I do want to clarify it was typical father-daughter stuff, nothing major. However I do want to stress that God wants us to forgive even the harshest of hurts.

My Aunt Wanda told me to watch the video clip below. She was very moved and inspired by this man’s ability to forgive. I hope you are too.

Is there someone deserving or, more importantly, undeserving who you need to forgive? Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to help you start. It’s the best New Year’s resolution. I guarantee it.