Faith

Faith Quote

“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.”
(Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

Faith. Trust. Confidence. That’s what we’re exploring this week in lots of ways. I hope you’ll join me.

Following,
Ginger

Reminder

You are seven days into 2013. If the newness is already wearing off and, like me, you find that your anxiety list is doubling in size…

May I encourage us all to just stop?

Before to-do lists and guilt-trips take over your thought life-

Before “should have done that better” and “I need to be doing more” creep in-

Before your prayer list is filled with fear, worry, stress, and panic-

Stop.

Faith believes that God can and God cares. A teacher on my trip to Israel shared that tidbit and it has become something of a mantra. When my faith leaks out and I find myself overwhelmed by the size of the waves, I ask myself: What am I not believing? Either I don’t believe He can or I don’t believe He cares.

faith

27 After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

28 They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them,“Do you believe I can make you see?”

“Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.”

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.30 Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! (Matthew 9:27-31, NLT)

Faith believes that God can.

13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:13-14, NLT)

Faith believes that God cares.

In the midst of your story today, He sees, He hears, He knows. He can and He most certainly cares.

“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”

– Elisabeth Elliot

Following and learning,
Ginger

Transitions

But in faith Abraham left everything – his home and family – and went to the land the Lord would slowly grant him.”

Abram [Abraham] who did not always wait, obey, or trust – is chosen to have more descendants than the sands in the sea. This man from Ur was selected out of everyone on the planet of that time to receive THE PROMISE. So why Abram?

Genesis 12:4 suggests an initial answer: “So Abram left.” Perhaps one answer is simply, “Because he’d go.

All God told Abram about his ultimate destination was that He would show it to Him. In other words, “The only way you’re going to find it is to walk with Me. When we get close, I’ll show it to you.”

And He did.

“So Abram built an altar to the Lord.” [Genesis 12:7]

The Patriarchs, Beth Moore

Could the same be said of you?

Why use this girl?

“Because she’d go.”

We’re talking transitions this week.

Following,
Ginger

Reflection

Movies are a part of our culture and life.  There’s no denying it.  And just like everything else in current world, you have limitless choices when it comes to the films that you watch.  I’ll be honest, I don’t choose movies based on the rating letter.  I’m more apt to choose based on critical reviews.

Regardless of what causes you to make a decision, I wanted to provide some reflection questions that can help us evaluate in light of the quote I mentioned a few weeks ago.  “There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.” (Madeleine L’Engle)

1. Repeatability
-Can the film be viewed multiple times with profit or enjoyment?
-Usually character-driven movies score higher on this than plot-driven movies.

2. Significance
-Does the film treat an important subject in a substantial way?

3. Impact
-Mind: Does the film change the way you think or the way you understand something?
-Emotion: Does the film affect you viscerally?
-Behavior: Does the film change the way you live?

4.  Longevity
-Will people still be watching this film in years to come?

Viewed through this particular way of thinking, what are some movies that have influenced your faith?  What are some of the films that keep you thinking even after the credits stop rolling?  Here’s my list, and I don’t think any of them were from a Christian production company.

Top 10 influential movies – films that still keep me thinking.

10.  Hotel Rwanda
9.  Dead Poet’s Society
8.  The Spitfire Grill
7.  Shine
6.  Babette’s Feast
5.  Life is Beautiful
4.  Chariots of Fire
3.  Schindler’s List
2.  The Shawshank Redemption
1.  To Kill A Mockingbird
 
What movies challenge you?  Which of those would make your top five or top ten list?  How do you select the movies that you watch?  
 
Following,
Ginger

Baby Steps

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:27-31

Yours truly.

I love watching home movies. In fact, I think my brother, sister, and I have most of our home movies memorized and we often quote our childhood selves in conversation! One of my favorite clips happens to be from when my sister was first learning to walk and I was almost four years old. My dad was the one holding the video camera and my sister keeps stepping out to walk to my mom. I keep running around my sister in circles trying to be “helpful.” I hold out a little teddy bear to her and keep yelling in my strong southern twang, “Come get your bear! Come get your little bear!” Throughout the short clip, my mom wears a smile on her face. She’s reaching towards my sister with arms open wide ready to catch her if she stumbles.

What you won’t see on the video is my mom getting upset with my sister when she falls. That wouldn’t make any sense! She was just a baby. My mom was so excited for her to even take one step on her own!

Look back up at the passage of scripture we are reading today. The disciples had been out on the lake in the middle of the night when they see a figure coming out towards them on the water. Thinking they’ve seen a ghost they cry out in fear. But it isn’t a ghost at all, it’s Jesus and he says to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!”

Peter decides to do just that, to take courage. “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus tells him to come! Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus on the water! Peter is living a miracle. But soon, Peter loses his focus and he starts to get scared because of the wind and the waves from the storm. Peter starts to sink. But don’t worry – this isn’t the end!

My favorite part happens next. Jesus doesn’t look down at Peter in anger or let him sink. The Bible says that immediately Jesus reached out and took his hand. Peter was learning to take steps of faith and Jesus was there to catch him when he fell.

Remember how my mom stood with a smile on her face and her arms open wide for my sister? Jesus looks at you with love, and He’s asking you to take steps of faith every day! Even when we fall, He still loves us enough to reach for His hand and set us on our way again!

Following,
Ginger

P.S. Read Ephesians 3:16-19 and then pray that you would know God’s love that is so deep and so wide!