Tag Archives: Romans

21. my discipleship group and the power of prayer

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2.42

I love my discipleship/accountability group and I could not imagine going weeks (or years as I had been before) without those strong relationships; relationships where we can disagree, hash it out and know that it we will still be okay moving forward. I’m okay with them confronting me about my stuff even when I may or may not want to hear it at the time; even when I don’t realize it’s there.

And it’s because of Jesus’ use of those relationships that he’s forming me into the woman God intended me to be and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I met Rick first, back in the fall of 2005, while I was away at college. I had just started my sophomore year and, having fallen in love with the local church I attended, I wanted to find a way to get more involved. I had been involved in a campus ministry but didn’t feel connected or part of a community; not the way I did when I was at that church.

That September, I received a postcard in the mail about a new college ministry that would be starting up at my church. They were looking for singers, musicians and others interested in being on the leadership time and after “chewing on it” for a few days, I emailed Rick and got my foot in the door. We met that November during one of the bands’ first meetings.

I met Holly shortly after and although our friendship at the time didn’t have the depth then as it does now, I’ve enjoyed going into those deeper waters with her, knowing that Jesus will keep us afloat the further we drift out as long as we remain in him.

It’s been nine amaznig years since and Rick has become more than just my pastor. He’s one of my best friends and a pretty stand-up guy (minus all the teasing I get). It’s been an immense blessing to watch God work through him in the lives of those his touches as well as knowing that I can get a solid, truth-filled answer or opinion if I weret o seek one out.

The same goes for Holly and I met her shortly after. She’s intense and in my face when it comes to most things and while there are moments when I want to kick her out of my apartment or walk away, I love her. It amazes me how a person can frustrate and move you at the same time. Only out of the love and grace of Jesus Christ is that possible.

In this last year, we made the decision to start meeting at least once every three weeks to discuss more deeply what God’s been doing in each of our lives, seeking out truth together, and being the iron that sharpens another (Proverbs 27.17).

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12.2

We’ve devoted ourselves to one another to learn from Jesus’ teaching and from those of his God-inspired followers (Paul, Peter, John, etc.). We’ve devoted ourselves to fellowship and community with one another and just last night, we talked about what that should and will look like in our church. We sometimes enjoy food or coffee together, partaking in the elements of communion with the rest of the body and we always pray for one another, sending sporadic notes of encouragement throughout the week/month.

Combining this with my relationship with Jesus, I’m being transformed from the inside out. I’ve seen the evidence of this my life, which is now, so much fuller.

I am so grateful for those who have chosen to partner with me and God in helping me become the woman he created me to be…especially when they have to call me on my junk when it shows.

Accountability goes a long way, as does love, truth spoken in love and a large dose of grace when it comes to these relationships.

Rick and Holly – I’m so incredibly thankful for you and I pray that God also enriches your lives with blessings, not earned by these actions, but because you are his children, my brother and sister, too.

6. the work of God in my life

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12.1-2

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Tough we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come! The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5.16-17Transformed WIP

I’ve written before on the changes God has been doing in my heart – excerpts below are taken from a posting on August 7, 2013 (found here):

“…I used to think that my story didn’t matter; that it paled in comparison. I was raised in a Christian home. I was practically born saved, or so I thought. I’ve discovered that is not how faith and following [Jesus] work. It’s a personal choice. I met Him when I was four, on my mother’s lap during a bedtime story and have encountered Him numerous times since…”

And each time has left me changed in some way, shape or form. I’m becoming like the One I spend the most time with…and will continue to as long as I am intentional about how I spend my time. Do I spend it wisely, including Him in each moment or do I compartmentalize my life, separating all things “churchy” from the rest of it? No. Not anymore.

You can picture a weighted scale or a pie chart, trying to map out how life should look with Jesus as your #1 source of ALL THINGS….but…

I’d rather picture a tall glass vase, which resembles my life, full of rocks in all sorts of shapes and sizes, resembling my own distinct interests and giftings. Add water (resembling Jesus). You’ll see how it gets into every nook and cranny and covers all things. That’s how a life crazy about Jesus should look.

I strive for excellence under the standard of grace…I’m not perfect and I fail, every day, but by His grace, I can get back up and love Him even more deeply than before. I don’t deserve it, God knows it, but He chooses to clothe me in His unending, incomprehensible love, grace and mercy. And one day, I will attain perfection…but not until He completes the work He came to do (both in me and in this world).

“…there came the faintest stirring of hope, the smallest increase of strength and the urge to break free…I feel it in every fiber of my being…[this entire year] has been a season of growth for me…I went from not being certain…to being certain of so many things…my dreams are changing.”

My life is changing.

“…God has been transforming my heart and my mind – [breathing truth where it didn’t exist before] – He has been shining His glorious light into the dark, cob-web-covered corners of my life and giving me the ability to see those areas with eyes of mercy and grace. He’s teaching me…”

To be kind to myself

To forgive myself

To forgive, period

To love myself

To see myself the way He does

I recently attended an evening of worship with one of my favorite Christian artists, Meredith Andrews. Something happened at that event…a stirring with in my heart, so deep it rattled my soul, and a sudden calm following by an emotion I cannot name. My heart accepted some truth in that moment, even though I don’t currently know exactly what that truth was, and I’m okay with that. I’m learning to trust Him and in His goodness.

“…Transformation isn’t something that we can do ourselves. Even among the pressures of this fallen world [and life in general], we must choose to be still and allow God to do what only He can do. We allow Him to renew our minds daily through His Word [by spending time in prayer and hanging out with Him on a daily basis]. It doesn’t happen overnight and there will be periods of waiting. The struggle is necessary for my development and strength of what God has called me to in His story. ..”

I am so very thankful for the work He’s been doing in me and will continue to do in me. Here’s to continuing on this amazing adventure He’s sent me on.