Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | October 24, 2007

When you pray…

This morning I woke up with a conviction from the Holy Spirit about my prayer journal.  It led me to a passage in the Bible that I have read several time but that somehow escaped me yesterday.

Matthew 6:6 says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “.

So, to honor the word of God, I will not be sharing my prayer journal, but keeping it privately and posting here every few days about other things in my faith walk.  I could have just deleted yesterday’s post completely but I thought that perhaps sharing how the Holy Spirit works in our lives actively to remins us of God’s truth might be an example that others might find valueable.

We are tremendously blessed that our Counselor speaks to us all the time.  It’s whether or not we listen that can make all the difference in the walk of a believer.

Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | October 22, 2007

she’s back… sort of

Hello, old friends and new! 

For those that found their way to my blog over the past couple of months, I apologize for the lack of new posts.  As I lamented when I first began the blog, life tends to inevitably get the way.  That statement has been a glaring understatement when for me over the past few months.  I have experienced the death of my father, the sharing of ihghly disturbing news from my sister regarding the circumstances of my own birth, some saddening realizations about my own marriage, and a challenging transition while taking on what amounts to 3 new jobs at one time.  Needless to say, posting here became a low priority.

But, as God has led me these past couple of weeks closer and closer to him through these challenges, I have found a desire to begin journaling my prayers to him.  So, while I may not be making many of the posts that I had orginally planned for this blog over the next few weeks, I will be posting my prayer journal in hopes that others might comiserate, share, or grow from something that God is taking me through on this incredible journey.  Please feel free to drop me a comment and/or share about your journey as well.  Love to you all.

In Him,

an oikouros woman

Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | June 25, 2007

five

 

We know that all scripture is God-breathed; the bible also tells us that it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.  Many of us put this concept into practice in our relationship with other sisters and with our children.  But often we fail to realize that the most vital way we can live out this scripture in our own life.

The bible is God’s user manual for human life.  It contains all the guidance, instruction, and values we need to navigate and walk by faith in this world.  In Ephesians, Paul encourages believers to put on the full armor of God, including the belt of truth (scripture), which will help us stand firm in our faith.

The only way the word of God can benefit us is if we make it a priority to learn it, know it, and internalize it.  That can be tough, especially for those of us who have trouble with memorization.  While we should make it our aim to read from or meditate on the word of God daily, in addition to that, much power in lives can be gained from memorizing scripture so that we can call it to our minds in time of challenge or struggle.  There is also great power in speaking the word of God out loud.

Scripture can help us renew our minds and navigate our way through daily life challenges.  So instead of memorizing random scripture, I created a system for myself that empowers me in various areas of my life and simultaneously helps me memorize scripture.  It’s a win/win. 

I call it ‘the 5′.  Basically if there’s an area of my life in which I am feeling challenged or convicted or an area in which I simply want to grow in, I use this system. 

Step 1 – Search

I begin by searching the Bible for scriptures that relate to that topic.  In addition to my bible itself, I use a few other helpful tools including a topical bible, biblegateway.com, and Google search.  As I locate scriptures that speak to my spirit regarding this subjects, I write them down in a notebook that I keep for this purpose. 

Step 2 – Narrow

Once I have located about 10 or so relevant scriptures, I narrow them down by picking one for each of the following five categories: 

Truth – a scripture that tells a specific truth about God, who he is,  his nature, or the relationship between God an man  

Reality – a scripture that speaks to how that truth manifests itself in my life or circumstances 

Obstacle – a scripture that addresses the obstacle(s) or challenge(s) to accepting and living out that reality 

Action – a scripture that provides specific direction or suggested action(s) for how to overcome that challenge 

Glory – a scripture that speaks to how God can be glorified through that action(s) 

If you look at the progression of the scriptures, it kind of comes full circle.  The last scripture brings us to glorifying our father which we are called to do because of who he is, his holy nature, and our relationship with him through Christ.  That, if you back, is the ‘truth’ where our first scripture starts.  

Step 3 – Write

Once I have chosen the five scriptures, I write them down in a few places.  I write them in my journal, on a note card I carry around with me.  I also write a sticky note or type a version I can print out and post somewhere in my house like on the fridge or on my desk.  This way I can read them often and keep them fresh in my mind. 

Step 4 – Meditate

I try to think of the scriptures often as I go throughout the day.  I meditate on the underlying meanings and how I can put them into practice in my daily life.  I turn the words over in my head often.  The more I think about them, the more and deeper insights I get. 

Step 5 – Recite

Whenever I feel specifically challenged or tempted by sin in that particular area, from either memory or my written versions, I recite the scriptures out loud.  I find that speaking the words out loud, rather than just thinking about them or reading them, makes them much more powerful at a moment of weakness, frustration, or uncertainty.  

That’s it.  Pretty simple once you get into the swing of it.   

If you’d like, you can read some of the 5′s that are really helping me with some current challenges in my life:  renewal, weight-loss, house-cleaning. 

Hope this system or the ideas will spark some new insights and growth in your own ‘oikouros’ journey!

Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | June 18, 2007

renewal

renewal   (rĭ-nōō’əl)  – noun – the conversion of wasteland into land suitable for use of habitation or cultivation

Trying to get the to the root of what needs to happen on the inside of me in order for me to continue to move forward on my oikouros journey rather than continuing to take steps backward.

In physics, and in life, whenever something is unable to move forward it is due to some obstacle.  I would say the same is true for our walk as disciples.  for me, it usually comes down to one of the following mental obstacles:

1.  I rerun in my mind the pains and mistakes of my past

2.  I forget the power of my salvation

3.  I forget who I am in Christ

Those are pretty major obstacles.  So I asked myself, “how do I eleimate the obstacles?”  the answer is… I can’t!  I can’t eliminate the completely because, as of the last time I checked, I am human.  Thoughts of my past may occasionally slip into my mind; the day-to-day concerns of life will often push the thought of the cross from the forefront of my mind, and I will sometimes feel like a helpless sinner.  But it’s what I do with these thoughts that should separate my life as a disciple from that of a non-believer.

The bible teaches us that at the moment we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, God lifted us out of our own sinful life (though Adam) and placed into the life of Christ.  What was once ‘wasteland’ became a ‘land suitable for habitation and cultivation’.  God can do nothing with our old life.  But onces we are renewed, he can come and dwell in us and do awesome things through us.

We have a new life through Christ, but the fact is that we are still here in this world.  In John 17, Jesus prayed not that we would be taken from this world, but that we would remain here as proof to nonbelievers that God sent Jesus Christ to this earth.  How in the world can we do that if we think, behave, and live as no different that the world?  We can’t.

And I believe that this is why the church as a whole has become powerless and stagnant in our society.  So many of us accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and then stop there.  Religion them becomes a part of life rather than Jesus Christ becoming LIFE ITSELF.

The fact is that while we are indeed saved by grace alone and through salvation are made new, we can’t live victorious lives and we can’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives unless we are in a constant state of renewal.  We must constantly be putting off our old selves and putting on Christ.

I dug in the word and found some scriptures that really speak to that renewal is us.  I wrote them as a series of professions that can help me pass through those mental obstacles.  Professing the word of God in our minds and out loud is so powerful.  These scriptures really spoke to me and seem to naturally flow from one to the next and as I profess they them one by one in order they take my mind from a place of weakness to a place of strength in God.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  

2 Corinthians
If I am in Christ, I am a new creation.  The old has gone.  The new has come.  

Ephesians 4:22-24
Put off my old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of my mind.  Put on my new self, created to be like God in true righteousness.  

I Corinthians 2:16
I have the mind of Christ  

Romans 12:2
I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Then I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good pleasing and perfect will.

So, whenever you feel trapped by your past or stuck in your present, remember…. Christ made us new but we need to put on that renewal everyday and in every circumstance.

Let’s live our our RENEWAL… no more wasteland!

Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | June 6, 2007

detour

well… it has been over a week since my exciting announcement about my new journey.  I was so hyped about what I felt God beginning to do in my life.  Sounded awesome, didn’t it?

But if you notice, not a single post since then.

Why?  The exitement wore off and real life set in.

In past my past, that is exactly the reason why I didn’t finish anything I started.  I am being totally transparant here.  I am human and just got so focused on the day-to-day craziness that I let it sweep me away from the direction I know that I know that I know that my Lord Jesus Christ is leading me.

But I am here today to say that I refuse to let that happen.  OK, so I took a little detour on my journey.  But I am back on the path now. 

And I am even going to step out on the line and ask for you to help me with my accountability.  If you don’t see any posts here for a few days, please shoot me an email and tell me to get my behind in gear! … blog@oikouros.net

Thank all you sisters in advance for helping me stay on the oikouros path!

Posted by: reactsrevolutionary | May 25, 2007

beginning

this is not an easy day.  today is the day I force myself to actually start this journey.  that is a major step considering I have spent all of my life waiting, thinking, planning, weighing, and contemplating it.  today is the day that I allow God full access to my life, to allow him to transform me from the inside out.  

i have been a Christian for over two years now and I have been growing by leaps and bounds in my faith.  but I have always senses, even before I was a Christian, that there was a special plan for me life.  I spent much of my life seeking out and trying to formulate that plan for myself.  finally I have come to an understanding of just how wrong that thinking was.  there is a plan for my life, but it is not mine.  it is God’s.  and from today forward, I want to get myself out of God’s way and let his plan take shape. 

i know it is going to be the biggest challenge of my life to die to myself on a daily basis.  hence, this blog.  perhaps if I channel my thoughts, ideas, struggles, and triumphs along this journey into a daily journal, it will not only help me remain focused on Him but also help others who may be traveling or considering traveling this same road.  so, as I go and grow, I invite you to join me on my journey.

what is the destination?  God has revealed to me through some specific words of scripture, some life circumstances, and some other believers, that this entreprenuroial, career-minded, creative, intellectual, indepdent woman should transform my life to become an “oikouros”.

ok, so you have no clue what that is.  neither did I a few weeks ago.  but now, that word has come to embody everything that I want to become.  click here to discover the meaning of this word. 

the way I see it is this journey will involve being willing to grow in my relationship with God, my relationship with myself, and my realtionships within my family, the body of christ and the world. (matthew 22:36-40)

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