12×12 Challenge: Day 11 (January 5th)

Day 11 begins with Romans 12 in the New International Readers Version: Click HERE to read!

Word(s) for Day 11: Leave Room for GOD…

  • In your mind, so that you can be transformed… Leave Room for GOD.
  • In your body, so that you can be used in the work of God’s Church… Leave Room for GOD.
  • In your schedule, so that you will be available whenever someone is in need… Leave Room for GOD.
  • In your heart, so that you can feel the pain and joy of others… Leave Room for GOD.
  • In your response to the challenges and attacks of others… Leave Room for GOD.
  • In your attitude toward yourself and all of God’s creation… Leave Room for GOD.

Much of the world has no vacancy when it comes to giving the Spirit of God room to move within our lives. Much of the world relies on a very small vocabulary: Me. Myself. Mine. Today, do the opposite. Leave Room for GOD!

Prayer:

Humbly I bow in Your Presence today, Lord, asking You to fill the space inside of me with MORE than me… I ask You to fill me to overflowing with YOU! Create space in me for Your grace to take root; water the seeds of faith in my heart with Your love. Remind me not to hit back when I’m wronged, but to remember Jesus and trust You to know what to do. In Your kindness, show me that I’m not all that but don’t let me forget that You ARE. Through me on this day, overwhelm the world with the unexpected & opposite behavior of someone who is learning to Leave Room for GOD. Amen.

12×12 Challenge: Day 8 (January 2nd)

Day 8 begins with selections from Romans 12 in The Voice translation: Click HERE to watch!

Word(s) for Day 8: Despise Evil. Pursue Good.

In order to despise evil, we must first admit that evil exists. Evil is real and exists in opposition to what is good. Until we are willing to see things as they are we will be unable to do anything about it. Paul teaches that we should despise evil – abhor it. Separate ourselves from it. Stop making excuses for it. Instead, we are to pursue that which is good. Chase after it! Align ourselves with what is from God – as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.

Prayer:

Good and gracious God, I believe that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Where good and love exist, I believe You can be found. Give me eyes to see You in the good that I find in the world and in the people You’ve created. By Your Spirit’s power and presence, please also help me to recognize evil and be willing (and able) to call it what it is. More than labeling, though, enable me to take action for the good against the evil in this world. When evil is found in my own life and choices, may I seek Your forgiveness and repent and follow You. When evil is evident in the world and people around me, may I choose to stand for what You’ve taught me is right, trusting in Your protection and clinging for dear life to Your Truth. Put my willingness to love authentically to work in Your Kingdom today. Amen.

12×12 Challenge: Day 2 (December 27th)

Day 2 begins with video & audio of Romans 12: Click HERE to watch!

Word(s) for Day 2: Be Transformed

Perhaps today’s words are part of God’s Be-Attitudes for believers (you know… Be Still. Beloved…). Many of us have been programmed to default to the Do Not’s of the Christian faith, yet Paul is teaching here that God Himself is DOing; we are simply to BE. Be His. Be Open. Be Willing. Be Changed.

Prayer:

Powerful and Holy God, I believe that You alone have the ability to transform and renew. I confess that I hold onto the lies I’ve been told – the ones that say I’ve got the power to change myself – and I admit that I need You to re-write that script in my head today. And tomorrow. And in the year to come.

I’m so drawn to the doing that to simply BE and to allow You to DO is more than difficult for me. Open my ears to Your Spirit’s wisdom-whisper today as You speak Your Words – Be Transformed – over me. Amen.

HIJACKED by the SPIRIT

Just a few of the Tuesday girls!

There goes another Tuesday morning Bible study…

13 women armed with coffee cups (correction: 12 coffee cups, one tea cup) and Bibles were once again hijacked by the Holy Spirit.

This phenomenon, happening with increasing frequency, takes the entire circle of women in my living room on one WILD ride through a full range of emotions and subjects and stories that would make the faint of heart… well, FAINT.

Don’t get me wrong! We come into each session with a shared objective – to cover the assigned material of our current study – but as the conversation begins and the very real needs of the group emerge, our agenda is often hijacked for a GREATER ONE.

Sometimes there are CONFLICTS that need to be resolved, or at least understood so that we can move on (strained relationships with difficult family members; run-ins with people who try to derail our attempts at loving those on the fringes; threats made by our own selfish nature that are at war with the Spirit of generosity God wants to fill us with).

Sometimes there is COMFORT that needs to be shared (when we’re losing our homes to the bank; losing our kids to addictions; losing our minds to menopause; losing our loved ones to cancer; losing our focus to the mind-numbing busy-ness and noise of the world around us).

Sometimes there is COMMUNITY that needs to be built (reminders that we’re NOT ALONE, that we are part of something greater than our own tightly wound bundle of nerves & needs; opportunities to realize that we have something the others NEED and that we can’t be faithful AND continue to keep it to ourselves!)

This week’s hijacking was marked by TEARS, answered (and unanswered) QUESTIONS, hysterical GIGGLING and moments of awkward SILENCE. Climbing off of the ride and into the study at hand, we realized almost simultaneously that what we had already experienced/wrestled with/discussed WAS the topic of this week’s chapter.

The “lesson” had begun – it just looked so much like our real lives that we hadn’t even noticed.

Romans chapter 12 begins with these words:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (the Message)

God’s plan is likely NOT going to look like what YOU have in mind for today, and trading in your ordinary life for a God-crafted one probably isn’t for the faint of heart…

It’s RISKY!

It’s CHALLENGING!

It’s even a bit UNNERVING!

But go ahead – give up your NORMAL for His distinctively COUNTER-CULTURAL and make like a Girl Scout (be PREPARED)!

A Spiritual hijacking is coming your way, and it has YOUR NAME written all over it.

 

Special thanks to Barbie, a Tuesday morning gem, who used this phrase to describe our women’s group to a friend.