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Flourishing Under God's Grace

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#31 questions #4

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Our question this week turns us back to the spiritual aspect of our life. I have heard our lives described as a three-legged stool. The physical, spiritual and emotional foundations or legs of our life. If any of these fail the stool with tip over. And I find that all three require constant attention to ensure balance and growth.

Our question is, In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

Make progress, Moving Forward. We should all strive to make that forward progress especially spiritually. As I learned in a Bible Study years ago, you are either spirialing up or spirialing down. There is no middle ground, no status quo.

There are many spiritual disciplines. Prayer, Bible study, worship, fasting, tithing; to name a few. You may identify others. I would ask you to pray and ask the Lord where He would want to teach you the most this year. He may surprise you. But I'm sure if you follow His lead and put in the work, He will reward you greatly.

I would love to read your answers. Please comment on this post or email [email protected]

Be Blessed!!!

 

#31 questions #3 FAMILY

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

#31 questions #3 Family

What is the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

I could offer a plethora of answers. But, for me, I think it all comes back to T-I-M-E! Spend more time with my family. This could include set aside special dates with my hubby and shopping with my nieces. I'm not sure what special thing to do with my nephews except maybe feed them! They like good food!

This will be the first summer in our Family Lake House and I think we are all looking forward to relaxing by the lake together. Granted, sometimes all of this togetherness tries your patience a bit. But, perhaps we will all learn to forget some things of the past, practice the gift of forgiveness and try a little harder to simply accept each other for who we are, warts and all. So I pray, earnestly, that our T-I-M-E together will be good and gracious. Less grumbling, more games. Less pride, more play. Less roughness, more relaxing. More love and laughter. More GOD in our house!

I pray we would understand the importance and specialness of FAMILY. Investing that ONE thing into your family is worth it, WELL worth it!!!

Love Ya Bridges' Fam!

#31 questions #3 Family

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

#31 questions

Our question this week turns our vision from the heavenlies and gets our thoughts more down to earth. Our Pastor mentioned this very thing this morning as he admonished us for being so busy. He suggested to parents that they didn't have to keep their kids so busy and so involved to the point that it degraded their family time. He stopped himself from getting on that particular soapbox saying that the Holy Spirit would quicken the individual spirit's of parents who know that they need to slow down a little. So here is the question...

What is the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

My husband and I do not have children but we still have FAMILY. We have each other, and even within our home there are some things we could do to improve our "family life." We have nieces and nephews. I'm sure there are some things we could do to foster our relationships with them to be even closer (after all, someone has to look after us in our old age and it's them!). We have parents and siblings that we could always try harder with. Much to consider. How about you? What is that ONE THING that you could be more intentional about to improve the life of your family? Maybe think in the direction of "SUBTRACTION" instead of "ADDITION".

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Guest post- God-Possible

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Today I have invited a fellow writer to comment on the God-possible in her life. Please welcome Robin Steinweg.


It’s God-Possible to Do Your Dream! By Robin Steinweg

Twenty-seven years. That’s how long I’ve been failing to accomplish the impossible. Every January I pray and resolve: This is it, Lord. This is

the year I organize the house! I’ve read dozens of books on it. I’ve prayed—Help! I’ve tried different systems. One of them nearly worked, but

life intervened. Life always intervenes, always has and always will. Babies, home-educating, I had surgery or got sick, my parents got ill…


The harder I tried, the more my house became a black hole for things. But this year I realized a truth. God dreamed the universe, broke the

dream down into six days, and evaluated His work: it was good. I’m pretty sure He can help me with my little corner of His universe. I finally

embraced the advice of my goal-setting-guru/mentor/friend Kathy Carlton Willis. Dream big, divide it into manageable bits and date the bits.

A job like this is overwhelming. But I can go through one bookshelf in a day and give away what I don’t need or could borrow from the library.

In two months I’ll have gone through them all. Even if I take twice as long, it’s more than I’ve accomplished before. Why not bless someone

with the clothes I don’t wear? If I miss an item, it’s easily replaced. I can go through one drawer in a day. In fact, I finished my clothes within a

week, and removed twelve garbage bags to give away (embarrassing to admit). Now my clothes are in one closet plus my bedroom, and

there’s still one empty drawer. The thing is, now that there are fewer items, they almost organize themselves. All these years I’ve been doing

it backward. More shelves, more storage bins—eventually we’d need a bigger house with higher ceilings! Far better to open the flood gates,

bless others, keep less—and be able to access what’s kept. Dream big. Divide your dream into manageable bits. Date the bits. It’s God-

possible to do your dream! 

#31 questions #2-God-possible in my life

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

#31 questions

What one, humanly impossible thing will you ask God to do for you this year?

As I contemplate that question, I am taken back to my reading Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker.” I highly recommend this book if you

haven’t already read it. It will encourage you to expand your thinking and dreaming. He asks, “How Big is Your God?” and I know that my

God is SOOOOOOOO BIG that He can easily handle more than I could ever ask of Him. In fact, in Ephesians 3:20, He says that He will do

IMMEASURABLY MORE than we could ever think of even in our wildest dreams. Hmm, so when is the last time you dreamed? Not at night,

but consciously dreaming with your eyes wide open? Or has the day-to-day ground the dream right out of you? Pray and ask God to open

your ability to dream about those things that are beyond your current situation and way of thinking.


As for me, I could list some things that normally don’t seem so humanly impossible. However, these have seemed impossible to complete or

come to fruition in my life. So I am asking God to complete these things this year. I also am working on a certain project which takes me into

an unknown world. The world of publishing, editors, and book proposals. I will need the hand of God in His Divine connections and Divine

favor to see this dream become reality. I hope to have some exciting announcements for you some time this year! Lastly, I will add that I will

continue to pray as I do every year regarding our Women’s retreat. I and my ministry partner and the ministry team pray that God Will come

and do what only He can do. We can plan the event, take care of every detail, and carry out every intention with perfection, but if God doesn’t

speak to the hearts of the women and inhabit the atmosphere with His presence we may as well be having a PTA meeting. God must do the

Immeasurably More than we could ever ask or imagine, in a supernatural way, as only He can, in order for the retreat to achieve it’s purpose

of bringing the women to a point of decision and leaving with their hearts encouraged. We are not humanly capable of orchestrating that kind

of heart change. So come Lord Jesus, come. We dream of transformed lives and elevated hearts, for NOTHING is impossible with You.

#31 questions #2-God-possible

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (1)

     #31 questions #2 What is the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

     In other words, how are you dreaming BIG this year? What do you want God to do that even scares you to ask?

     We seem to live in a day-to-day world of doing only what is possible for US to accomplish. Many of us live by a “to-do” list, a schedule and

a calendar. I fear that many of us also live in survival mode. We are so overbooked that in our free time, if we can just get the groceries

home, food cooked and laundry done (maybe not put away but just washed and dried) then we are at least surviving. Where is the margin for

the God-possible; impossible for us, possible only with God. I invite you to make room for the God-possible. Grasp a dream that is infinitely

bigger than you. Grasp a task that if God isn’t in the mix and if He doesn’t cause all things to work together for your good and His glory, well,

it just won’t happen. Take a moment to ask God to give you a peek outside of a life of survival mode and into revival mode and I’ll bet you will

see a glimpse of your glorious destiny.


     God, we want to go big or go home! What is the humanly impossible thing that You want to show yourself mighty on our behalf?


Trusting God in the God-possible,

Dana

#31 questions Enjoying God

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

     Earlier last week I posed the first of 31 questions that we will be thinking through over the next 31 weeks. Remember, we are on this journey

together. I have to answer these questions as well. But I feel that traversing through this exercise will indeed reap great spiritual benefits. I

asked, “What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?” Notice I didn’t ask about the knowledge of God, the

worship of God, the talking to God, the obedience of God. Granted, one could argue that focusing on any one of these areas would in turn

increase enjoyment of God. But I think in a world that tries to complicate the steps of living a Christian life, I wonder, when have you really

just simply ENJOYED GOD? It seems we are constantly asking Him something, complaining to Him, fighting the flesh in order to obey Him,

but when do we just throw our heads back with a Holy laughter while enjoying God’s presence.

     I can tell you when I really began to enjoy God. 9 years ago I joined a small group of women in making a yearly pilgrimage to the Cove in

January. In fact, I'll be headed up there this weekend with the Sistas. In that intimate setting, I was encouraged to worship with creative reckless abandoned. At any moment, we may be on our knees, on our faces, jumping up and down, dancing, waving banners, singing, crying

or laughing; all in the context of praise, worship and conversation with our Father and Savior. I could sense the angels dancing with us and

Abba Father and Jesus laughing and clapping and enjoying our praise. I have also had similar times of enjoying God while walking the

beach, hiking a trail or playing with a happy baby. My answer to this question of increasing my enjoyment of God is two-fold. I will attempt to

see God in the simplicity and beauty of everyday life. And this next verse describes the second way I intend to enjoy God. Hebrew 6:18b

from The Passion Translation, “And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength

and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time- an unshakable hope!” I will purposely “run into

his heart to hide myself in his faithfulness” as much as I can.

     If you are stumped in answering this question for yourself I have a suggestion. I will say that I think I got a jump on this question last year

when I found The Passion Translation Bible by Dr. Brian Simmons. I spent the summer slowly reading his translation of Psalms and I can say

my enjoyment of God increased incredibly during this time. Get your copy www.thepassiontranslation.com


Enjoying God on this day,

Dana

Moving Forward & Flourishing 31 questions

Posted on January 11, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Flourishing and Moving Forward in 2015

Near the end of 2014, I read a great article by Don Whitney that challenged me. He posed 31 questions to consider about life in the New

Year. His questions were simple and deep all at once and I’d like to take time to consider each one in order to bring about changes that are

needed in my life. But I found the task of considering all 31 questions quite daunting. I think that in the beginning of the year, many of us try

to implement too many changes all at once. It’s very difficult to make several changes all at one time and we usually fail and quit. May I

propose another strategy? Why don’t we look to make small, incremental changes weekly or monthly? I will be asking you only one question

per week. That gives you a week to consider the question, pray about it and really meditate on it. Sometimes you can answer the question

immediately. But you may find that a more realistic answer lies at the end of more time, prayer and consideration. Then I suggest that you

make a plan for any changes that need to be made. You may write a reminder on your calendar several months away that would address this

plan. The goal is not to make all of these changes in one month or even in the next 31 weeks. Instead, the goal is to implement changes little

by little throughout the year. Then you can concentrate on one change at a time and perhaps have greater success. I hope you’re on board,

at least for some of the questions and for the changes in which you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you to move forward. Question 1. What’s

one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God? Please share your thoughts. You may help someone else in Moving

Forward with God and Flourishing in 2015!



What's your WORD?

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

What’s your WORD?

 

What are you talking about, you may ask? Your WORD, your focus WORD for the year.

 

If you could focus on and study one WORD and in return allow God to bring more of that WORD into your life, what would it be? Peace, joy, love, compassion, fun, laughter, contentment, goodness…the list could go on infinitely. What do you feel you need more of? Or maybe what do you need a deeper understanding of how God shows us your WORD?

 

My WORD for the year is HOPE! As I have begun studying for a talk that I’m giving at our Women’s Retreat at the Cove, I am learning more about HOPE. God has revealed more of Himself through the revelation of the deeper meaning of my word, HOPE. I have seen how HOPE is used in scripture. And almost daily, I have seen my word HOPE used in a song, a poem, a conversation or a visual sign (like cute jewelry or home décor). Each time I see my word, I am reminded to continually HOPE in God and that He has given me a HOPE that anchors me and will never change. I could write more about HOPE, but I’ll save that for the retreat!

 

So, my challenge to you today is to pray about your WORD! Ask God what He wants to show you this year. Then search the scripture for your WORD and synonyms for your WORD. Study the concordance to find more meaning, the original Greek and Hebrew meanings and cultural relevance for those scriptures and your WORD. www.Blueletterbible.org is a great reference website to find all of this information.

 

Next comes the fun and exciting part! Be on the lookout for how God shows you your WORD every day and journal it in a journal, planner or calendar. You will be amazed when you look back on a week, a month and at the end of the year just how much God was speaking to you about your WORD. And you will also be amazed of how much of that WORD has seeped it’s way into your heart. Imagine an entire year of discovering more of Christ through focusing on one simple WORD.

 

So, will you accept this challenge? Find your WORD! And please share with us what God leads you to choose.

 

Discovering more of Jesus and growing in HOPE,

 

Dana

PS: All ladies are invited to join our Women’s Ministry for our Retreat at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove for our 2 night retreat. Feb 27-Mar 1, 2015. For more info email me at

[email protected] or [email protected]

Glorious Impossible

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Glorious Impossible

 

You may know the song “Glorious Impossible.” Our choir sings it as the finale of our Christmas program every year. It’s become our tradition. Every year, despite having sung this song literally hundreds of times, it always gets to me at least once.

 

It’s a wonderful worship song about the birth of Christ and how this virgin birth is the Glorious Impossible. Jesus is the Glorious Impossible. A Holy Spirit conceived, God DNA formed, God but human, from the realms of Heaven but now walking this earth, Savior. The Messiah. And not just for some, but for all who would believe. You really cannot wrap your head around such statements, although this one man did fulfill ALL of the prophecies written about the coming Messiah (nearly a statistical impossibility). To believe, you really have to wrap your heart around this child, yet King.

 

We sang it Sunday morning and I could feel it coming. My heart started beating faster, the lump in my throat grew bigger, you know the one, the one that comes and seems to swell right before you break out in a waterfall of tears. It is incredibly difficult to sing and cry at the same time, nearly impossible. Usually, I get caught up in the worshipfulness of the song. We repeat over and over, at the top of our lungs, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Glorious Impossible.” But this time I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit speak to my heart and He said, “You have the Glorious Impossible implanted into you too.”

 

I knew what He meant immediately. Purpose. The small seeds of hopes and dreams implanted in my heart. Indeed, a Holy Spirit conceived, God DNA formed, from God to human, on earth as it is in heaven seed of PURPOSE. Those things that I can only dream of. Those things that seem so out of reach and even, impossible. But God says, those are the Glorious Impossible things inside of you, for with Me, ALL things are possible. Ephesians 3:20-21 in the Message Bible says, “God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

 

Think about Mary. God spoke a word to her and a dream was implanted in her womb. She knew nothing about being pregnant, birthing a baby or raising this baby. She wasn’t even joined in marriage yet. She was ill prepared, not connected, and in the wrong place without any resources. Furthermore, what would people think? For no one else had heard the words that the Angel spoke to her, except her. Talk about naysayers and gossips! Talk about lonely.

 

We are just like Mary. God speaks things to us that are too big for our imaginations. He implants dreams and purpose and destiny into our wombs. And usually we find that we know nothing about the direction He is taking us in. We don’t yet have the connections to the right people. We find ourselves discontented with where we are because we know there is somewhere else that we are supposed to be going. And, well, what would people think if they knew that I have the audacity to even think that I could really walk in my God given destiny. Trust me, that kind of thinking usually makes you not only stand out from the crowd, but you may get pushed out of the “crowd” as well. And again, like Mary, you may find yourself lonely and overwhelmed, yet fully confident in the GOD that spoke those words.

 

But when God says,” You have the Glorious Impossible inside of you”, you can feel His wrap-around presence engulf you and encourage you on to do the next steps, to do the hard things, and to depend on Him to show you the way and make the connections that will take you on to the purpose for your life.

 

So as I wait, and wait and wait for the next steps in my Purpose Journey toward Destiny, I am encouraged and I worship. I say to the Lord just as Mary did, “Be it unto me. I am your servant.” I hope you do too. Open up that dream to the One who implanted it in you in the first place. Ask Him to resurrect the Glorious Impossible in your spirit.

 

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Glorious Impossible.”

 

God can and will do the Glorious Impossible through those who simply say, “What’s next Lord? What’s next?”


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