Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finding Joy in All Circumstances

Its not as easy as it sounds is it? I think that when we’re talking about being joyful its not always what we might immediately think of. Happiness and Joy are two very different things. Believe it or not you can be joyful without being happy and vice versa. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes based on circumstance where as joy is a state of being, you can be joyful even on the worst of days if you choose to be. God says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 to “rejoice always”, this however is not always an easy command to follow. How do you find joy when you’re missing your boyfriend, family and friends? How do you stay joyful when you’re overwhelmed with school work or stressed out about finances or when you come to a time of suffering in your life? Well thats just it…I’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t hold on to joy by our own power, we need to ask Christ to renew in us a joyful heart even when we don’t feel like being joyful. Maybe this is a lot of rambling but i mean it to be an encouragement to you that you can find true peace and joy in Christ and that no matter what you’re struggling with He can replace your heavy heart with a joyful one :) I love you guys, God Bless! Sincerely, Sarah

Live it Out

Romans 12:9-13 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. This is a verse that I have been starting every day with the past few weeks. I’ve been praying and asking God to help me live this out everyday in my relationships with my friends and my family and I know that I still fall short every day but I know that God honors us when we ask Him to help us become more Christ like. I want to encourage and challenge you all to take these verses to heart and focus on one or two sentences each day specifically, and maybe even commit these verses to memory. There are so many things to take away from these verses that are applicable to our every day lives and I believe to be areas in which we can always use improvement. I love you guys and I hope you find this scripture passage as challenging and encouraging as I have! Keep Shining His light! Love Always, Sarah


Patience is one of the things in my life that I struggle with immensely. I am not a patient person by any stretch of the imagination, I get frustrated easily and often times overreact. I am very aware that this is an area of my life in which I struggle and it is something that I have to constantly lay at the feet of God and ask him to change my attitude and my heart, and give me patience in all my relationships and in all that I do. As Christian women we ought to be seeking to reflect God in our lifestyles. The Bible speaks often to Patience as one of God’s many qualities. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. If God can be so patient with me as a sinner and with all of us than I certainly ought to be able to be patient with others. And the Bible specifically calls us as believers to be patient. Galatians 5 lists patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit, which are all characteristics that should be evident in the life of a believer. Of course the standard of patience is one that I will always fall short of but is one that I will continue to pursue as I strive to grow more in faith everyday and although I know that allowing God to transform our hearts is not always an easy or enjoyable process it is a necessary one. The Bible speaks about patience in many different places but one that has always stood out to me is found in Colossians 3:12-13 which says "Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." I'll leave you with that verse and with this reminder to be patient with yourselves as well :) “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them– every day begin the task anew.” ~ Francis de Sales In Christ, Sarah

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A reminder to the girls: God loves you, find your identity in him

I made her...she is different. She is unique.
With love I formed her in her mother's womb.
I fashioned her with great joy.
I remember with great pleasure the day I created her.

I love her smile. I love her ways. I love to hear her laugh
And the silly things she says and does.
She brings me great pleasure. This is how I made her.

I made her pretty and not beautiful.
I wanted her to search out her heart and learn that
it would be ME in her that would make her beautiful...
And it would be Me that would draw others to her.

I made her in such a way that she would need me.

I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be...
Only because I need for her to learn and depend on Me.
I know her heart. I know that if I had not made her like this,
She would go her own chosen way
And forget Me...her Creator.

Because I love her, I have seen her broken heart...
and the tears she cried alone.
I have cried with her and had a broken heart too.

Many times she has stumbled and fallen alone...
Only because she would not hold my hand.
So many lessons she's learned the hard way
because she would not listen to My voice.

So many times I have sat back and sadly
watched her go her merry way alone...
Only to watch her return to my arms,
sad and broken.

And now she is Mine again.
I made her, and I bought her...
Because I love her.

I have to reshape and remold her
To renew her to what I planned for her to be
It has not been easy for her or for Me.

I want her to be conformed to My image.
This high goal I have set for her...

Because I love her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Verse to Commit to memory

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
-Jude 1:24-25

Lessons of Love and Service at Gordon

In his book The Four Loves C.S. Lewis says, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable”. After our unit on love I am convinced that there is a valid connection between love and living out that love through service. Loving those around you is about investing in them by any means possible. Our investment in this case is our time. Time is an investment that shows someone that you truly care. You are willing to set aside your activities and take a break in your busy schedule to do something that is for their benefit and not your own. Although I believe that somewhere along the line serving others becomes a greater benefit to the servant than to the one who is being served. Service teaches us to look beyond ourselves and beyond our sheltered lives to a community and world of people who are hurting and for whom we have the opportunity to serve as reflections of Christ’s love for them. That type of learning can’t be done in the classroom and that is why I feel it is an important aspect of our education at Gordon.

We read 1 Corinthians 13 in our Great Conversation class and some of the attributes that stood out to me is that love is supposed to be patient and kind and is not supposed to be arrogant. Those are all things that are so crucial when it comes to service and our service learning projects give us the chance to live out those aspects of love. If we look to a section earlier in the chapter we see even more about the importance of love in our actions. In verse 3 it says, “ If I give away all I have…but have not love, I gain nothing.” Our attitude towards our service should not be centered around the class or our grade but around love because if love is not our aim then none of what we do is truly worthwhile.

There are so many other reasons to participate in service that reach far beyond it being an investment in humanity or an expression of love, although those are both wonderful reasons to serve. I would say that the most important reason to serve is to become more like Christ. Our Lord humbled himself and came to Earth as a servant to his people to redeem them, minister to them, love them and serve them. Our Savior was the ultimate example of servant hood. In John chapter 13 we see the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. In this day it was the servants who were to wash the feet of their masters and their guests. This was not a pleasant or enjoyable task. You have to understand that the disciples and Jesus walked everywhere and all wore sandals, their feet at the end of their journey would have been covered in dust and dirt and yet there our Lord knelt providing us with the perfect guide for selflessness. He also tells us that in Matthew 25:40 that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we have done for him.

Providing an opportunity to teach love in a personal way that cannot be taught in the classroom and that extends to the people outside of our sheltered Gordon community is what our service-learning component is all about. It gives us the opportunity to be examples of Christ to those who don’t see or experience that type of love and service everyday. And I should hope that along the way each of us discovers the joy that can be found in the process of serving others.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God calls us to do hard things.....

This is a list that my small group and I came up with at Bible study a few years ago when we were talking about being in the world and not of it and how the things that it takes to be different are really really hard sometimes. Its definitely a challenge to me. Since today is the day of prayer I thought it would be a good day to put out a challenge to myself and to all of you to do hard things!

1. happiness is easy. joy is hard
2. going is easy. staying is hard
3. gossip is easy. holding your tongue is hard.
4. immodesty is easy. modesty is hard.
5. lies are easy. honesty is hard.
6. silence is easy. speaking up is hard
7. judgment is easy. acceptance is hard.
8. frustration is easy. letting it go is hard
9. talking is easy. praying is hard.
10.watching a movie is easy. reading your Bible is hard.
11.spending is easy. tithing is hard
12.ignoring is easy. overcoming is hard.
13.friendship is easy. love is hard
14.distraction is easy. focus is hard.
15.stubborness is easy. compromise is hard.
16.secrecy is easy. confession is hard
17.pride is easy. humility is hard
18.amazement is easy. praise is hard.
19.jealousy is easy. gratefulness is hard.
20. complaining is easy. thankfulness is hard
21. exclusion is easy. inclusion is hard.
22. hanging out is easy. having fellowship is hard.
23. going with the flow is easy. having a higher standard is hard.
24. making a decision is easy, but making a good decision is hard.
25. acting is easy. living it out is hard.