Sometimes here in the office we stumble upon doing random things which make our days that much sweeter - singing at the top of our lungs, collecting tree logs so that Nicole can make coasters for the office, or even just surprising one another with breakfast!
Just the other day I played a game called 21 Questions with one of our ministry team members. I’m the inquisitive type so this is one of my favorite games to play! All it consists of is asking about a thousand random questions and receiving answers to each one. As I asked questions, it was quite interesting to hear the answers that revealed her heart. The deeper the questions the more deeper the answer.
Growing up I was ALWAYS the inquisitive one. Maybe some of you can relate. Questions upon questions used to fill my mind and I just had to ask. People! Places! Things! Answers were all at my fingertips and all I had to do was ask. Sign me up!
As I consider our Creator and how He has been very intentional in the way He knit each and every one of us together, it excites me to hear and learn more about each of His children. I have found that when I am most stressed, most introspective, and in my own head, something that invigorates me is to find a friend to learn more about. This helps me not only to be relieved from my own thoughts but also to gift someone with the experience of sharing a piece of their story.
How much deeper would our relationships, the knowledge of each other, and the world around us be if we became a bit more intentional in asking more questions?
How big is your family?
What is your family’s culture like?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
How many languages do you speak?
How is your heart today?
I want to encourage you to find a friend, co-worker, spouse, or even a stranger and ask them a question today. It doesn’t have to be very deep (it can be if you desire!) but make it a question that only benefits you by growing your knowledge and understanding of them. You will be amazed at how the Lord uses this simple act to expand your view of His world and His people . . .
. . . .and also the joy that it brings.
In His love,
Changing our circumstances is sometimes out of our control. There are relationships that you pray would mend; a second report from doctors that bear the same disheartening news you wish would change; a mishap at work that you wish could be undone. The list could go on.
But there is definitely good news. We can change one important variable.
A friend recently asked me to name all the bad that happened to me that day. I didn’t hesitate. I had a good size list to rattle off. She smiled and listened. By her smile alone I knew she was up to something so I abruptly finished pretending that was it. But between you and I, I had at least a few more items to bring to the table.
She then asked me to name the good things that were within the bad I had just mentioned. I had to stop, change my perspective and really think about it. They slowly came to mind and began to replace the negative I was so focused on. Well, I guess my day wasn't so bad after all! I should have known this was a trick question that I blindly waltzed in to!
Honestly, I’m so glad I did.
I didn’t realize how often I so quickly focused on the wrong things. What a difference my day could have been if my perspective was different!
There’s a hymn that was sung in church a few weeks ago. It’s called 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus'. Do you know it? A simple hymn whose chorus goes like this . . .
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Think about it.
. . . and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Strangely. I love how that word was written in to the lyrics. it bears so much truth. When I focus on my own ability and power to change a situation, I am easily defeated. Easily! But when we focus on Christ, our problems begin to fade. We have no earthly explanation to give those looking on because the problem is still there, except that it’s only because of Christ! He provides us with peace, reminding us that His glory is sufficient, His grace is sufficient . . .
. . . He is sufficient.
Changing perspective and keeping our focus on Him isn’t always automatic. We are given an opportunity each day to renew and transform our focus and thoughts (Romans 12:2). When you feel you’re drowning in a sea of your own thoughts and circumstances redirect your focus on Christ.
Until next time,
Oh, do we have exciting news to share with you today!
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We are looking forward to this event! Here's the information again so that you may add it to your calendar, set reminders on your phone, or tuck it in to your back pocket. :)
WHEN: March 24th at 7pm
WHERE: Concord Church, 6808 Pastor Bailey Drive, Dallas, TX 75237
REGISTRATION: Begins February 10th. Sit tight and don't worry, we'll remind you when the day arrives! We will have a link right here on our site to register. You won't have to look far!
This event is free but registration is required.
Whether you live in the DFW area or not, you are more than welcome to attend. We are looking forward to seeing YOU there. Don't forget to spread the word!
Sometimes a storm seems like anything but a privilege. But have you ever stopped to consider how God intends to grow not only ourselves but also others through each storm? God has every intention on getting us to our destination but as we journey through difficult times, we can be used by Him to help someone else along the way.
Enjoy today's vlog!
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If you've dealt with a stronghold, you know the grip it can have on a life and the destructive path it creates. On this month's The Chat, Priscilla talks with Janie Burkett-Harrision who, during her teenage years, struggled with bulemia, anorexia, drugs and alcohol. It led her down a path that resulted in a 40-year prison sentence at the young age of 22. Janie openly shares her story of the redeeming, transforming, love of Christ in her life.
Enjoy the behind-the-scenes chat below with Janie and be sure to share your "one word" (you have to watch the video until the end!) in the comments below.
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BE SURE to check out the 2-part episode of The Chat with Priscilla, Unshackled: A Chat on Freedom from Strongholds, for much, much more on Janie's story. You don't want to miss it!
Happy New Year sis!
So glad to be in 2015 with you.
My holiday season was FULL to say the least (same as my belly). There was no shortage of family gatherings, gift openings, laughter, carbs, sugar and napping. Actually, the carbs and sugar were the reasons why I needed to nap. Or maybe I should call it a "coma". Seems more accurate. I ate myself into that delightful and yet miserable state of overindulged fullness. So, basically, this was "me" all of December:
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Without a doubt, the highlite of the season was gift giving. Receiving was a treat too but nothing like the thrill of giving. Since I was a little girl my family has had the tradition of buying gifts for another family. I've carried that tradition over to my own. So, each year my boys shop for some other children. They each pick two or three things (that they'd personally like to have) for the purpose of giving it away.
This year, we shopped for two beautiful boys much the same age as my own. My sons carefully selected some fun things - nerf guns, remote control helicopters, skateboards - and then we took the wrapped gifts to their house several days before Christmas. I loved watching my sons experience the thrill of GIVING gifts for the holidays. While Jerry and I took time to get to know the single mother raising them and to shower her with gifts as well. I hope it's a tradition that my boys will value enough to continue when they have families of their own.
My favorite gift to give this year was a gift card to the grocery store. The mom of these two young men told me that she loves to cook and that her growing sons love to eat. I enjoyed getting a chance to help her get the groceries she needs.
What was your favorite gift to give for the holidays?
Guess what today is!! Yes, yes, it is the last day of the year . . . BUT . . . it is also the birthday of someone super-duper special. Super-duper!
Today is Priscilla's birthday, ya'll!
You most certainly have my permission to have a cupcake in celebration of her 25th birthday. :) She doesn't look a day older, right?
We want you to know that we love you so much, Priscilla!!! There aren't enough exclamation marks to properly express it. I know all of us at Going Beyond and our readers, too, are so very thankful for your heart for ministry, your desire to serve the body of Christ, and your love for proclaiming the Word . . . and your love for us all!
Praying today will be a day filled with rich memories as you begin another year!
- Going Beyond Team
To each of you, our friends from all around the world . . .
We are so very thankful for the reason we celebrate this day!
So thankful for our LIVING Christ!
We pray each of you have a wonderful, memory filled Christmas.
With great love,
The Going Beyond Team
The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is never a disappointment. People running to the mall for last minute shopping and cramming half-wrapped presents under the tree just in time to open them. The panting and anxiety of standing in line at the airport security checkpoint, praying your flight has been delayed because you are cutting time so close. So many thoughts and emotions running rampant as you do your best just to make it home in time to celebrate with family for the holidays . . .
. . . and then you arrive.
To see the faces of the ones that you love makes the hustle and bustle worthwhile. Who would imagine withstanding hours in long lines would seem like such a success? A victory!
Spending time with family members, reminiscing of times past and creating memories new allows the holiday rush to fade. Anxiety exits, peace enters. It’s the time you spend enjoying what you are meant to enjoy and celebrating what this season is all about . . .
. . . Christ, Our King.
We pray you have a wonderful Christmas, sisters! We love you fiercely, and He loves you more!
- Going Beyond Team
They are tricky things. Ideals that you cultivate and nurture then tuck in the recesses of your heart and mind. And often you don't know you have them until they are unmet. Then reality carves out a new road that is nowhere near the beaten path your expectations had forged long ago. It leaves you disappointed and maybe even a tad resentful if you aren't careful.
I have expectations. Most of which I didn't know existed . . . until they didn't materialize. Like, for example, as a new wife I was certain that I'd save my poor husband from the barbarianism of being a single man and that he'd be eternally grateful for my delightful and detailed homemaking. But, the fact was (and still is) that he was better at making scrumptious meals (sans recipes) and far more meticulous in cleaning than I'll ever be. So, I still do most of the cooking around here . . . but his meals are better. And cleaning, well yes, I still clean . . . but his cleaning is just . . . cleaner.
And as a mother, I had visions of fresh baked bread being served up at least 2-3 times a week. But a couple kids with flour allergies have made the time in between loaves widen.
And, I dreamed of walks.
When we moved out to the country, I had mental pictures of long walks along winding paths where bluebonnets grow and birds sing. I thought the five of us would stroll hand-in-hand and talk about the beauty surrounding us. It would be peaceful and fulfilling.
But . . . I have boys. They want to take a stroll with their mother just about as much as they want take a bath in the evenings. (Which, FYI, means that they abhor it.) Smelling flowers and watching the cows in the adjoining pasture was far more entertaining when they were under 3 years old and I'd push them in a jogging stroller during my run. Now, they want to scooter or skateboard or ripstick. They want to ZOOM as fast as possible past all of the things I wanted us to gaze at and admire and use as an opportunity for learning.
So, I could force them to hold my hand (horror of all horrors) and stroll with me. Or . . . I can modify my idealistic expectation for now.
So, after many exhausting years of trying to make my reality fit into the narrow box of my expectations, I'm learning to relax and release. Fresh bread only gets baked twice a month. Our pantry is better organized by my husband than me. And I walk really fast, past the flowers and chirping birds, staying keen and alert for oncoming cars as my boys wiz around on skateboards and scooters.
Their smiles are broad and bright, their eyes wide and happy. And I realize . . . that it's still pretty ideal after all.
Bless you today,