Practical Ways to Honour God in the Workplace

If you’re in the workplace, you know how tricky it can be to share your faith. That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about with my guest, Paige Clark. Paige will share her experiences and insights on being a Christian witness amidst the challenges and opportunities that come up in professional settings. For many of us, our work environment can be a space where faith often takes a back seat, overshadowed by the demands of daily tasks and corporate culture. Continue to read as I share with you Practical Ways to Honour God in the Workplace.

And don’t worry if you’re listening to this and you’re not in the workplace, this conversation is still relevant because the truths we share can be applied to any scenario we have an encounter with non-Christian people.

So stick around as we share the ways in which we can bring our faith into our work lives and serve as a positive influence on those around us.

Listen to the episode:

Timestamps:

00:00- Integrating Faith and Professional Responsibilities
03:53- Faith in the Workplace
07:01- Responding to Controversial Lifestyle Pictures
08:48- The Benefits of Working in a Company That Aligns with Your Values
08:51- Exploring the Line Between Gossip and Being Informed 
11:56- Showing Jesus Through Everyday Actions
18:44- Exploring the Power of the Holy Spirit in the Workplace and Beyond
18:46 Finding Balance and Blessing in Your Career
22:16- How God Can Use Us in Our Current Situations
23:25- Finding Identity in Christ, Not in Career
29:39- The Quiet Quitting Movement
29:42- Work-Life Balance and Setting Boundaries

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Practical Ways to Honour God in the Workplace

Meet Paige Clark

I live in Arizona, in a suburb outside of Phoenix. I’ve lived here for now 10 years, and am originally from California. For my job, I like to say I have many hats. When people ask me what I do, I say how long do you have? Because then I can tell you everything that I actually do.

But for my regular full-time job, I work in marketing as a social media manager for a tech company. I also teach marketing on the side, have one-on-one clients, and I’m also a writer.

I publish a magazine every quarter, and I have a podcast.

Today we’re actually talking about faith in the workplace. I’m sure you’ve noticed this, but more and more it’s hard to be to show your faith just because of the circumstances we live in this day and age.

Navigating Workplace Culture as a Christian

Can you talk maybe a little bit about how Christians can live out their faith while balancing the culture of a workplace that really tries to discourage Christians to show their faith?

I think it depends on a few things. Do you work from home or do you work from the office? Do you commute? Do you not commute? How long is your commute? And what industry do you work in?

Because the answer to that question changes radically depending on what industry you work with, which is crazy.

My first job was at a Christian university, so it was very much accepted to demonstrate my faith. And then I entered the tech space, it was hard.

It’s becoming more and more prevalent. It’s not necessarily a corporate attitude, but it’s more so the prevalence.

It’s more of the individual attitude where you get put into situations and you’re thinking, OK how does God want me to respond to this? What is the Christian way to respond to this problem?

I ran into this issue and I still don’t have the right answer. I had a colleague of mine ask me if I wanted to see pictures of their controversial lifestyle. It put me in a really awkward situation because friendly Paige say, of course, let’s see what you did this weekend. I want to know all about it.

But then also I struggle with this part of me that is also very grounded in my faith and I go, OK how would Jesus respond in this situation? How is Jesus asking me to respond in this situation?

I don’t know the right answer. I never got an answer on that and maybe the answer is going to come some other day.

But through this experience, God has helped me take a minute and ask God for wisdom.

I can say: God, I don’t know what the right answer is here and I’m not going to say anything until you show up and you tell me what to do and that might result in me not saying anything at all.

A picture of a woman sitting on the ground with her legs crossed with a laptop on her lap. She is looking up and has a huge smile on her face. Under the picture are the words, Practicle ways to honour God is the workplace. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Christian culture depends on the company you work for


Being able to share your faith at work really does depend on the industry, but also the company you work for.

My husband is a marketing director and he really likes his company because they’re family based company.

Even though maybe his pay is a little bit lower, he doesn’t have to worry that he’s going to be pointed out as a Christian and affect his ability to work well in the company.

So for him, that’s a huge benefit because he doesn’t have to face these scenarios every day. Ones where he might worry he’s going to lose his job because of the way he handles these sorts of things.

His values align a little bit more with this company. But that wasn’t necessarily something he was looking for when he started the job. It’s just something that he’s learned as he’s been on the job.

But it’s one of the reasons why he stays is because he really loves it and they do really treat him really well. But he also doesn’t have that fear of showing his faith more at work.

So it’s understanding that there is going to be a cost if we decide to stay somewhere or leave somewhere.

So for my husband, He can be with a different company that would probably pay him twice as much as he is being paid now, but the cost would be his freedom and his faith versus his current cost. But for him, it’s worth it because of that freedom.

It’s not just about what you say, but how you act

Faith isn’t so just about what you say in the workplace, but how you act. One thing that I talk about on the podcast, is gossip.

I think I was very ill-prepared for the workplace and the gossip that happens in the workplace.

I would argue to say gossip in the workplace is worse than gossip in high school.

We need to critically ask these questions and be aware of what is going on and then go to God about it because ultimately the Bible says do not gossip, watch your tongue.

But what does that mean in the workplace? What is the line between gossiping and being informed?

These types of scenarios bring up many blurry lines there.

But in the workplace, it’s not so much about what you say, it’s about how you act. If people know you as the gossiper in the workplace, they might see that and might not see Jesus. And I think that when we are able to just show Jesus, I think that changes people’s approach to us a lot more.

If you are spending time with the Lord and you’re pursuing him and your relationship with him, then those things will naturally flow out.

Because I remember at one job – I’d be around my coworkers and they would swear and right away they’d look at me and say, oh, I’m so sorry. And I never said anything about their swearing.

But, I think they realized just by being around me, what my values were. I did have to say swearing makes me feel uncomfortable or I don’t like it.

And so I think there are some things that we just naturally do, that people sense and observe that we don’t necessarily need to be loud about. We can just naturally let it flow out of us and then people do see the difference.

A picture of a woman sitting at a desk in an office, working on her computer.

Balancing Faith and Perception

And I struggle with balancing that line between being holy and other people thinking that I had an attitude of being “holier than thou”.

In College, I had some friends that thought I was snobbish because of my faith. So they started hiding things from me.

Some of my best friends lied to me about stuff because they felt that they couldn’t come to me with those things.

And so it’s hard for me because I want my humanity to show, but I also want Jesus to show up even more.

And at work, do I cuss every now and then? Yeah, that’s just authentically me. But then how can I show up in love and in Jesus and be included in the conversations where Jesus needs to show up?

When people talk with me, when people are with me, I want them to feel heard and see where they’re at.

And then it’s just those real indications of how we act and how we show Jesus through those situations.

For some people, it’s having to cross on your cubicle or saying- I’ll be praying for you.

The Delicate Balance of Sharing Your Faith

I always like to drop little Nuggets. When people ask me- what are you doing this weekend?

I have two options for how I can answer that. I can say I’m volunteering or I’m volunteering at my church.

Those land very differently. And sometimes I found myself kind really comfortable doing that.

Because I would be self-censoring that. It’s not trying to brag, I’m not trying to show off. My co-worker asked me what I’m doing. For me, every other week I’m volunteering.

It’s letting people know that if they have questions about the church or if they need prayer about something, they can come to me about that if they need to.

And I think it’s so situational, and I think that’s partly why it’s hard to have very specific answers because it can depend on the environment or even the person that you’re talking to.

Each person at your work might have different standards or they might approach something really differently.

We are the only Jesus they see

One of the things I try to do is be different than what people think they think Christians are. — stick with me.

My brother-in-law and his wife aren’t saved. The only thing they know about Christianity is what they see in the news. And Christians don’t look good in the news these days.

So, I try to give them a different picture of what Christianity is.

And it’s not standing on my soapbox. It’s not shoving it down the throat.

It’s showing kindness, generosity, support, and all those things.

These should all be naturally flowing out of me because of my relationship with Christ.

What is a “good witness”

When I was younger, I thought I knew what it meant to be a good witness. I thought it mean all these things that just add up to good works.

But the older I get, the more I realized that my witness is about getting to know God, and being in a relationship with him, and letting it naturally flow out of me.

I don’t necessarily need to try and do it.

But then, I also need to be intentional in those conversations to say the words church or I’ll pray for you.

Those things help grow those relationships to then maybe have a discussion in the future. I want to make that relationship positive.

A picture of Anne Markey facing the camera. Next to her picture are the words, My witness is about getting to know God, being in a relationship with Him, and letting it naturally flow out of me.

Getting to know your neighbours

Another example- I live in a brand new community and so everyone in the community, nine times out of 10, they’re from out of state. They didn’t move from Arizona to another spot in Arizona. They moved from a different state, Nebraska, Ohio, and Minnesota, just to name a few.

They’re new and they’re not connected. Most of them don’t have family here. And so things that I’m doing is dropping little bread crumbs to let them know who I am and what I’m about.

And so that shows up for Easter when I shared my church’s information and I said, if you’re looking for a place to go to Easter, you’re welcome here.

I think it just shows people what I’m about. I’m just merely opening the door. And I think that if we’re dropping those bread crumbs, people are able to come and eat when they’re ready.

We are different

One of the things my daughter noticed is the difference between her and somebody who doesn’t follow the Lord in Jr. High because it is so completely evident.

It’s the same thing in the workplace. Since we’re full of the Holy Spirit, I think people sense it.

Tw that we’re different even without us saying or doing anything, just because their inner spirit knows that our spirits aren’t the same.

My husband and I joke around because we try to take different scenarios to know more non-Christians and see if we can encourage them.

The example that we think about is: before we had our eldest child, we went to prenatal classes. We assumed some participants in the class would be non-Christians. We decided we wanted to be intentional and see if we could make relationships with different couples.

And of course, the one couple we felt more connected to, we learned a few weeks later that they were Christian. To me, this shows how our spirit knows their spirit. It’s not because they even said anything or they did anything. It’s just that we share The Holy Spirit and we could sense it in each other.

No wonder we got along – we’re family.

A picture of a woman sitting at a desk in an office, working on her computer.

Should work be a mission field?

One other thing I want to say about faith in the workplace is I feel like there’s this misunderstanding that in order to practice your faith and be a good servant of the Lord, you need to step into using work as a ministry, and that is the furthest thing from the truth.

What I’m learning, especially through the conversations about faith in the workplace, is that God can have you in the position you’re in so that He can give you blessings in other areas of your life.

So it’s not so much so that you have to be in the absolute perfect situation but being able to do more with your time, do more with your money, or be home more.

Certain jobs may give you the ability to work from home and have more time with your family, and your church. It may give you more vacation time.

I’ll give you an example.

When I was in my first job I was commuting 80 miles round trip a day. So it was about an hour and a half each way of a drive. It was killer. It nearly killed my body and my soul like it was terrible.

What happened when I was doing that though was I had zero energy to pour out myself into my church community. I didn’t want to go anywhere on Sunday because I spent. On Saturday and Sunday because I didn’t want to go out of the house because of my long hours.

I wanted to be in my beautiful house. I didn’t want to be in the world because I’d been in the world for the past five days.

Then, when I moved jobs, my job was closer to my house. This magic thing happened, and I suddenly had enough energy and enough vibrancy for other areas of my life.

And it wasn’t necessarily that that job was the end all be all. It was fulfilling for what it was, but it wasn’t my ultimate calling.

What it did was allow me to grow closer to my husband, allowed me to settle us a little bit more in our house. It allowed me to get more plugged in with my church community. It allowed me to know my neighbours a little bit more.

The new job allowed me to have blessings in other areas of my life, and it wasn’t just about my job.

God can use you wherever you’re at, but also He may have you where you’re at, so you get blessings in other areas of your life.

A picture of Paige Clark facing the camera. Next to her picture are the words, God can have you in the position you're in so that He can give you blessings in other areas of your life

Our jobs don’t need to be our ministry

I have this discussion a lot with my husband as well. He has been in some jobs when they weren’t fulfilling and they were hard. In those times, he was more engaged in church.

But he has the opposite problem now where he really loves his work and so he doesn’t have tons of time for ministry, but he really does feel that the Lord is using this job for him to make a positive impact in that job.

I think it can be either or even both. Tb itself doesn’t necessarily need to be ministry.

We can just live our Christian lives and whatever comes in will come out naturally. The blessings will be in other areas or the Lord’s placed you in that position to be that Christian influence.

Not every single thing we do needs to be a ministry.

The tendency to over-spiritualize things

There’s the tendency to over-spiritualize things. I think that what we should do and what we actually do are probably very different.

But we should always go to God with our request and seek His guidance in our path and life.

I also believe that God is incredibly sovereign and He is going to make His way happen whether or not you choose to take the job, and whether or not you decide to step out in boldness.

Yes, he’s calling you to do that. And yes, you should do that when the Holy Spirit is moving you. But I think that there might be shame or guilt around.

Doing or not doing something because we might not have a clear answer. Does God want me in Job A or Job B? God is still sovereign and there’s nothing you can do to screw up God’s plan.

It’s about How you do a job

My husband and I worked with our youth group ministry for a couple of years. And so we would get to know these kids in high school.

And so you would see them in grade 11/12 thinking about what to do next.

Most of these kids wanted to know what to do. What program should I apply for? What should I be when I grow up?

As graduation came closer their anxiety would increase.

And I would say to them: no offence, but whether you become a doctor, lawyer, nurse, or Carpenter. It’s not about what job you have, it’s about how you’re doing that job for Him (God).

Just giving them that peace, their anxiety went down because it then no longer about making “the wrong choice”.

It just became about whatever choice you make, do it for the Lord.

Do everything for The Lord

And that is such a good reminder for any situation that we’re in.

Whether we do job A or job B. If we’re not getting a specific direction, then it’s not about the job anymore. It’s about how we’re doing that job right.

And one other big thing I learned in these conversations is just to do your job with excellence.

We are meant to reflect Jesus in this world. We’re here to give our all.

Finding Identity in Christ, Not in Career

And I want to draw a really distinct line: just because we give something our all doesn’t mean it is our all.

I find a lot of people have this mindset towards their work that it’s always about what your next step was.

What’s your next step? What ladder are you going to climb? What’s your next goal? What’s your career goal?

My career goals have nothing to do with this job, sorry. This is not why God put me on this earth. And I find it might just be corporate culture. It might be the company culture that you’re at that makes you cling to this idea of always having to be thinking of what’s next.

But my identity is not wrapped in that. My identity is in Christ. My identity is Christ alone, and my career aspirations are whatever he wants for me and my career.

When we started this at the top of the podcast, you asked me what I do. Well, I have my nine-to-five. Do I enjoy it? Yeah, I love my job, love my team. Is it what I’m meant to do on this earth? No, not at all. It’s to support my family and get a paycheck and to be able to have a roof over my head. And that’s OK.

For anyone who needs to hear this, that is okay to collect a paycheck from work.

Do I still do my job with excellence? Yes, do I still put all my effort into my job? Yes.

Do I get my value from my job? No, I get my value from the one who sets my value.

A picture of Paige Clark facing the camera. Next to the picture are the words,  My career goals have nothing to do with this job, sorry. This is not why God put me on this earth. And I find it might just be corporate culture. It might be the company culture that you're at that makes you cling to this idea of always having to be thinking of what's next.

The Impact of Job Loss on Your Identity

I think that’s such a good reminder because my husband actually has lost his job more than a few times. In that process, it’s easy to see how you can completely lose yourself in your work and the identity you have in that job.

Losing your job can be hard because it’s such a big part of your life. So if you’re if your identity is in what you do- then if you lose that.

Once you lose that, it’s so easy to lose faith and lose direction and even any of those things because of where your identity is.

I talk about this not just in our jobs, but as a mom, and as a wife. If my identity is in my children- when they leave, I’m gonna be lost.

So I work on having my identity in Christ, because everything around me may change, but God doesn’t. He is the only thing that is permanent.

That mindset shift isn’t just helping to have a good work-life balance, but it also protects you in case you lose that job or it’s time to move on. Then you don’t spiral because your identity isn’t wrapped up in it. It’s such a good way to protect yourself spiritually and emotionally in all those different areas.

A picture of a women sitting at her desk in front of her computer. She has a phone in her hand and is looking at the camera with a huge smile on her face.

The Purpose of the Quiet Quitting Movement

You saw this conversation come up a lot with the whole “quiet quitting” movement.

For those who might not recognize that term, quiet quitting is not about people just abruptly quitting their jobs, but rather it’s the idea of this generation who will only go until expectations are met.

For example:

If their job is from nine to five, they’re out at 5 PM. They’re not checking their email or Slack or anything like that. They’re done at five.

On the other side, there are those who believe that you need to push harder and be more dedicated, going the extra mile, and striving for excellence.

These two opposing views created a divide, with some asserting their independence while others insisted on excelling at work.

As I observed this, I found myself in a position where I didn’t have to have a strong opinion about these matters because

  • God’s opinion is my opinion, and I don’t have to have an opinion about everything, which is part of the quiet quitting movement.
  • I realized there is a middle ground—a balance between doing your job with excellence and not allowing it to consume your entire life.

In an ideal scenario, this movement aimed to address toxic workplaces where people weren’t responding in a healthy way.

Advice for people starting a new job

If anyone is about to start a new job, I would give this advice: set your boundaries early and firmly.

If you don’t establish those boundaries from the beginning, others will assume they don’t exist.

So, if your boundary is, for example, not checking your phone from 6 PM to 7 AM, communicate that boundary clearly.

It’s okay to express these personal boundaries and limitations. Just say, “Hey, I have set this boundary for myself.”

Of course, it depends on the nature of the job, but if you establish and reinforce your boundaries consistently, people will respect them, and you can move forward in that way.

A picture of a women sitting at a table outside. There is a computer on the table and the women is talking on the phone while writing in a notepad.

Following The Lord’s example

I think sometimes as Christians, we feel obligated to be all things to all people, to always be kind and say yes because we think it’s the only way to serve the Lord well.

Guilt often plays into this dynamic.

However, if we examine Scripture closely, even Jesus himself had boundaries. He would separate himself from the crowd to spend time with the Lord and find rest.

Despite his followers sometimes not honouring those boundaries, He still took deliberate steps to separate himself.

What happened with COVID and technology is that when you’re always at home with tools like Teams, Slack, and Messenger, people feel like they have access to you because you’re working from home. It becomes easy to work all the time and remain connected.

But learning the balance between work and personal life, and setting those boundaries, doesn’t mean we’re going against our faith if we decline to answer an email at 8 PM.

It doesn’t make us bad Christians because we have healthy boundaries.

We can still give our all to our jobs while maintaining those boundaries.

Finding this balance is challenging because, as you said, it depends on the job and the work we do.

But ultimately, it comes down to why we do it, how we do it, and who it’s for. I feel like this is a topic we could discuss all day, but we’ve already been here for a while.

Connect with Paige

So you’ve mentioned your podcast a little bit, but if people want to know more about kind of what you share and what you do, where can people find you?

People can find me on my website. On all social channels or you can subscribe to my podcast.

Thank you so much and if you enjoy the show. Please share this podcast with a few of your Christian friends so that we can get bigger and more impactful guests on the show.

Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll catch you next week on the next episode.

Hope During Times of Struggle: How to Rely on God

Life is full of ups and downs, and there are moments when we find ourselves facing immense challenges and difficulties. It is during times of struggle that we often yearn for a glimmer of hope to guide us through the darkness. In the midst of our trials, one constant source of unwavering support and strength is our faith in God. Continue to read as I share how to find hope during times of struggle.

The episode:

Timestamps

00:00- Exploring Faith and Resilience: A Conversation with Carmen James”
02:15- Reflection on Growing Up in the Nazarene Church and Finding Faith in Adulthood
_:__:__ Reflection on Finding Faith After a Difficult Marriage and Cancer Diagnosis
09:36- Rediscovering God’s Priorities
_:__:__ Finding Faith in the Face of Cancer
14:10- Faith, Hope, and Overcoming Cancer
19:57- Exploring Faith-Based Support During Cancer Journey
25:58- Faith and Overcoming Adversity
30:39- The Power of Scripture in Healing and Encouragement
36:27-  A Reflection on Faith and Miracles
38:38- Trusting the Lord and Cancer Treatment
40:28- Experiencing God’s Presence During Cancer Treatment

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Hope During Times of Struggle: How to Rely on God

Have you ever noticed that spiritual growth only comes through trials?? I know for me, the times I grow the most in my walk with God is when I’m facing hard things. This is also true for my guest today.

Her name is Carmen, and in this episode, Carmen shares her journey through battling cancer and the profound lessons she learned along the way. Carmen’s story is one of resilience, faith, and the incredible power of community.

Throughout her trials, she discovered a deep trust in God that carried her through the darkest moments. In today’s conversation, we delve into her experiences, the transformative healing she underwent, and the role that prayer played in her journey.

Carmen’s story proves that even in the face of unimaginable difficulties, it is possible to find strength, joy, and purpose.

Carmen’s journey reminds us that our greatest battles can become the catalysts for profound personal growth and transformation. Join me as we dive into Carmen’s inspiring tale, exploring the invaluable lessons she has learned and the wisdom she gained from her encounters with both darkness and light.

So continue reading as we discover how unwavering faith in God can help us navigate the unknown and embrace the healing journey with grace.

Meet Carmen

I was born and raised in the Nazarene church. I grew up in a very strict home. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.

My dad was very big into our church, and very much lived out. His faith has been a tremendous role model for me through the years.

But like a lot of kids, I didn’t grow up loving church. When I went off to college and was obviously out on my own. You know at that age you you’re just exploring the world. You’re out from underneath your parent’s roof and their rules. And my rules at that point didn’t include church and I really started to drift.

Church was not a priority. A relationship with God was not a priority.

I wasn’t in the word of God. I could give lip service because I’d had years of going to church, but going to church is not the same thing as being in a real relationship with the Lord.

And so I got into young adulthood and married, and he was Catholic.

I made that conversion to Catholicism, did that for about 10 years, and learned a lot, but it just wasn’t for me. After our divorce, I continued in the Catholic Church for a very short time and my second husband’s father was well shall we say an atheist.

And so that presented a lot of challenges in our marriage and how I wanted to raise the kids. And I often found myself going to church alone and trying to take three small kids by myself and it was a real struggle and I gave up. I gave in.

And that marriage ended 10 years later.

And so at that point, I was in a space where I felt like I need to get back to church. And so I went back to more of a Protestant church like I was raised in and fell in love and started taking my children because I wanted my children to have that base right.

The person who I’m married to now was not going to church at that time and I just didn’t let that deter me. But what I found over the years was it did start to impact me.

A picture of Anne Markey and Carmen James. Above their names and pictures are the words, Hope during struggle. How to rely on God to thrive amidst cancer diagnosis.

The Importance of being equally yoked

We’re told in the Bible to be very careful about being unequally yoked.

I truly believe that people become like the five people that we spend the most time with. And that impacted me and I found myself again, once again drifting away from church.

So Long story short, five, 5 and a half years ago I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma stage 3, which is a blood cancer.

For those of you who know nothing about that disease, that illness, that type of cancer, you hear the words incurable when you sit with that oncologist. And that dropped me to my knees. It was a big wake-up call because God had been pursuing me.

Jesus had been pursuing me, and the bells and whistles were going off on the dashboard of life.

I was just choosing to ignore and live my life the way I wanted to live on my terms. And that diagnosis brought everything to a screeching halt. It literally.

My world crashed. It was turned upside down.

In that moment, I realized that I was not in control and that someone else was calling the shots for real and had delivered me something to which I wouldn’t be able to figure a way out.

Because I’m a firstborn. A type A personality, very driven, a control freak if you will, up to that point. And this diagnosis would be the one that I would find myself on my knees begging the good Lord.

The word of God does not return empty

I love hearing testimonies of how as a kid you got to know the Lord and that it wasn’t wasted. Yes, you drifted a little bit, but because of that solid foundation, you went back to it.

I know that as a mom I always worry about whether or not we are teaching them the right things.

But it’s just an encouragement to remember that training our children in The Lord can produce fruit now and/or in the long rung.

Even if they make wrong choices, it’s not wasted. God can still redeem it and can still use it and can still, bring them back.

A Father’s example

The interesting thing behind this is my dad was diagnosed with the same cancer 12 years prior and so I watched my dad walk in faith, never wavered, and really took a hard-line position that he was going to do the aggressive chemo route and that he was going to stand in faith and believe for his healing, believe for his miracle.

He was not willing to claim the word incurable because my dad believed that The Lord is the great physician and if He wants to heal me He will. And if He doesn’t heal me here, He will heal me on the other side.

So it rocked our world when we got the news that Dad was sick and we were shocked. When this sort of thing happens, you start to ask: How did we get here and were there signs that we missed along the way?

At one point I was heartbroken and scared that I would lose my dad. And my dad said, Carmen, I’m going to tell you something right now. Don’t cry. Don’t waste your tears. I’m good. My eternity is secure. And I’m good. If the good Lord calls me home today, I’m good. Waste no tears. I’ve lived a great life.

Do I want to go in this moment? No. But it’s up to God and we have no control. So I will do my part and I will do the treatment.

But if the answer is still no and he takes me home, we’re good. We’re at peace.

And I remember thinking – wow, I’m not at peace and I’m not good with this.

And I wondered why would my God do this to my dad. He was so active in his church and volunteered and, he was always the first one to jump up and volunteer.

When the church was raising money for a project, my dad would stand up and commit thousands of dollars. And I would look at my mom and she would have this like look of horror on her face because she was like, we don’t have that money. She didn’t know where that was coming from, but that was what I learned. Faith and action. And I’m thankful for that. Because as I walked that journey with Dad, little did I know 12 years later, that was going to be me.

Carmen’s Cancer Journey

I underwent the same aggressive chemotherapy that my dad did. I lost all my hair. I was deathly ill.

At that time, I was an entrepreneur trying to run a book of business. So I have no guaranteed paycheck.

I needed to work and I was scared to death. I also recognized that God has already prepped the stage. And I already had a great example of faith.

Now did that great example make it super easy for me to go through that process? 100 % no.

In fact, I had to work through the stages of grief. I had to take my own journey in it and let it play out.

In the 1st 24 to 48 hours of reality really sinking him for me, I remember sitting at the kitchen table. My husband came home from work and sat there bawling. And my husband like, what’s going on?

And I’m like, I am just so angry at God right now. Look what happened to my dad. And now it’s happening to me and this isn’t fair. And why me? And you know the whole- what did I do to deserve this?

I had this anger that just spewed out at me and I remember who I needed to get that out.

I needed to work through that and process all of that if I was going to move forward. And I let the dust settle and I didn’t linger there.

I would say within a day or two I was out of that pit and I was like going to rise up and kick cancer to the door.

Using the pain for glory

But what I would say is there were moments in the six months of chemo and being very sick and trying to hold on to my business. I never ever blamed God, but there were moments when I didn’t see how any good can come from this.

Here’s what I know today, 5 and a half years– I received a phone call that my dad would battle cancer again.

I could not believe what I was hearing and that was hard. But I was like, oh, my gosh, we just, it just feels like we came up for air and we’re going to get hooked under yet again.

Praise God he would come through for my dad yet again. My dad is still here, he’s in his eighties, and he has now beat cancer twice. And what I have come to realize is 2 of the clients in my Virtual Wellness coaching program have found out that they have cancer as they’ve been a part of my program.

And I have one right now who’s about to battle breast cancer for the second time. We have Bible study on Monday nights over Zoom and this particular client has been very active in my Bible study. She nearly lost her husband last year. She’s been through so much. So as a tribe, we call ourselves a tribe. We’re devastated by the news. But we’re not going into battle asking for the victory. We are going into battle proclaiming the victory.

Don’t be afraid to express your feelings to God

The Bible tells us the story of when Lot lost everything. He had these extreme emotions.

And so we see it in scripture.

But then when it comes to our own personal journey and we have these feelings of anger and feelings of things being unfair, I find that most Christians get really uncomfortable with those feelings.

Because you’re not allowed to be angry with Go. I’ve always felt like you like its OK, be angry but go to God with that anger. Express it and get it out on the table. Tell Him.

And so I love that you shared that you share how it’s messy. Our feelings and our faith aren’t always linear, and kind of get muddied up.

But I love that you were able to move. Out of that, into a space where you know you were trusting God through the process and then being able to use that experience to then encourage others.

God trusts us with the story

God trusts us with the story, right? He can’t trust everyone with incurable cancer.

He can’t trust everyone with breast cancer for the second time. But He’s entrusted us because He knows. That we will use that story and He will use it for our good in His glory if we allow it.

And I have been very open, very vulnerable, very raw, very real with my clients about this entire journey, very transparent.

One of the Bible verses that early on in my cancer journey really stuck out for me is from the book of Esther. And that the verse about perhaps, perhaps you were creative for such a time as this.

And in the moment I remember thinking, well, that really sucks. You mean to tell me that’s what this is all going to boil down to, that I was created for this? I mean, what good is going to come from this? What I can tell you is what I’m so passionate about. God has made it very real, the calling on my life. And who and what is my mission field?

And these women that I get to do life with and I get to be their Wellness coach. That’s my assigned mission field.

And I have watched God move inside my client’s lives. I have watched God show up.

When COVID hit, I was in a gym as a personal trainer. So basically all I did was give people great workouts. When COVID hit, I had a choice. At that moment, I prayed about it and I had a certification as a Wellness coach. But I had not used that certification.

God opened the door for me to be able to have an income, to still be able to have a job, because I could move my clients online, turn my business upside down, and go from just personal training to giving my clients workout, faith-based spiritual component, a nutrition component, a stress management component.

We talk about sleep. We talk about work-life balance, which is where I found myself when I had the cancer diagnosis. I wasn’t living in alignment with God’s priorities and there was no number work, life, balance. It was all about work.

My clients get to see me walk that out in real-time. And it’s one thing to sing a song about faith, you know, I’m always reminded of that song, Oceans.

That was such a popular song at the time I was diagnosed with cancer. I know that song because I would sing it and sob. That was my victory song, if you will because I felt like God was taking me into the deep where my feet wouldn’t touch on purpose so that I would become so dependent on him.

And when we’re never called to the deep, we don’t know the definition of faith. We can sing about it till the cows come.

But when you’re fate, when your feet don’t touch the bottom of that ocean and you have to lean on him and not yourself, that is the game changer.

Trials test your faith

I grew up in a Christian home and I thought I had faith. When you face those hard things, it’s the rubber hitting the road.

And this is when you have to decide: is this real?

And I remember for myself, it’s like I could spend all my time angry or frustrated or questioning or anything like that. But if I really believe that God is who He says He is.

I have to choose to trust.

And so it’s always these points where you have that choice.

You have the choice to say no, I don’t know what God is doing, but I trust Him.

Or it’s really a whole bunch of baloney.

But I know that it’s in those hard moments where you see Him so much stronger. That builds your faith.

Why is it the hard things that help us grow? I don’t actually want to go through all those things.

But then on the other side, it’s seeing how the Lord carried me through. He helped me grow. I understand so much more. And so there are these benefits, even though it’s sometimes a circus or a gong show or just a lot of ridiculousness.

We are the proof of God’s existence

If we’re not entrusted with the story and we don’t live it out, how will others really even know God exists?

Because if we can just be cured by modern medicine, which I know God uses medicine why am I doing this if we can just do it without him.

No one’s ever going to believe that He exists or that He is sovereign and that He is in control and He has the bigger picture.

We are the miracles.

When people say to me, I’ve never seen a miracle, I tell them “you’re looking at one”.

God knew that His strong-willed child needed something that would reguire me to need Him.

In the Bible, wasn’t it Paul who had the thorn in the flesh and He kept going back and asked God to remove it. Please remove this. Please take it. And God’s like, no, I’m not taking that away.

Why? Because it creates dependent on him.

Midset is life changing

I’ve learned a lot about mindset. I’ve learned a lot about the battlefield of the mind because that’s where the battle is won or lost.

In most things in life and the enemy very early on. When I was not rooted and grounded in the word of God, when I did not know my identity in Christ, when I did not understand love, not your life, even unto death.

I’m not here for me. I’m not here to just get married and have kids and be glam on run a business and make money and go on vacation.

I’m here to serve him.

He’s not here to serve me.

Standing of the Word of God

I love how practical scripture can be and how it becomes so real in certain circumstances.

When I was younger, I would read scripture and ask, what do you mean? I would think, this makes no sense, and how is this possible?

And then you go through an experience, it clarifies to truth of The Bible.
We know that the word of God can come in and give us life.

How did Scripture help you in your journey?

I’ve shared this story before on a couple of other podcasts. At the time that I was diagnosed with cancer.

I was in a gym, and the gentleman who owned the gym that I was renting space from, he’s a Christian. He’s now an associate pastor at a local church. 1 morning I was sick that morning. I didn’t feel like I look good. and he met me at the door and put his arm around me and he spoke scripture over me and he prayed over me and he did that more than once.

It was a game-changer for me. He was the reason I started going back to church.

God does put the right people in the right places for us. And encourages us.

He was the reason that I got back in my Bible, that I really got back in a relationship with the Lord because he ministered to me every day and he believed in me and he spoke life over me when others were not.

God puts the right people in place

When you hear incurable and people aren’t educated, sometimes they say things that mean and they’re devastating.

He was that one person that would speak the word of God, pray the word of God, and stand in the gap. And it was amazing and I’m thankful for that because. That was life-giving, life-changing.

That was God who put that person right there when I needed them the most. And I really have prayed that God would give me those same opportunities to pay that forward for others to be the one who speaks. Life stands in the gap, intercedes and walks out of the difficult.

And I was so thankful that God put him there.

The Peace of God will wash over you

We read about, you know, and the peace of God will wash over you. And that was going through my mind when you were saying that it doesn’t even necessarily need to be a specific scripture, just the opening of God’s word and speaking it out loud and speaking it over people can bring people peace.

I think sometimes people want to do this, but ask what scripture and you can get hung up on, What do I say? What do I do. Instead of just being, saying- I’m just going to speak whatever words, whatever scripture the Lord tells me to and let God bring the peace.

It’s not about magic words

I was that person early on who I googled healing scriptures. And I’m obsessed. I printed them all off. I started putting them on index cards.

I started trying to memorize them because that was me trying to take control. That was me thinking there must be this magic formula that by praying the right words or memorizing enough scripture that God was going to love me enough that He’s going to come through.

It was never about that.

The other thing that I’ve really learned since then is we don’t have to pray some big, laborious, perfect prayer when it comes to healing because it isn’t about that.

It’s about do we believe, Do we have faith? Do we understand our identity in Christ? And who God is and what He’s capable of.

But then also recognizing there are no perfect words and it doesn’t matter how much we memorize or we could drone on in prayer for 20 minutes. If there’s healing, it’s because God’s organs that God gets the glory. God does the healing.

It isn’t because 10 people laid hands on you and prayed over you. Even though we realizethe Bible tal ks about that. I’m not negating that. I’m simply saying sometimes we get hung up on that.

We worry, did I say the right words. We worry that if we say the wrong words they don’t get healed.

We can also think wedon’t have the magic scripture to give you.

At the end of it all, God knows our hearts. He knows.

It’s not about OUR faith

I want the formula. I want The Lord to just tell me what specific steps do I need to take so that my kids get saved. Lord, tell me the specific steps I need so that …fill in the blank.

You can have the most amount of faith and say all the right things and do all the right things and the Lord still chooses not to intervene.

I remember this instant in the last year at our church. Within the span of one week, two different girls got diagnosed with the same cancer.

The church gathered around both and poured the oil and prayed and laid hands on them both. And one was healed miraculously. She went to hernext appointment and it was gone.

And then the other one walked through the cancer journey.

And I wondered why this one and not this one?

And I know the mom must have been thinking the same thing and it was kind of hard to watch.

We did all the same things, and the results were very different.

But they both walked the road that the Lord had put in front of them. And both of them gave the glory to God.

And thankfully, the second one is now in remission.

That tought me that it’s not about what we do, and what we say. It’s about the Lord. And it doesn’t take a magic verse. It’s just trusting the Lord for His plan, even if we don’t know what that is or agree with it.

Praying through the pain

Carmen had six months of treatment and the oncologist said we’re going to do something called our CHOP. And for anybody who’s been through cancer, you know our CHOP is literally the most aggressive cancer protocol out on the market today and it’s.

It, you know, it knocks you. I mean, I would literally get home and I spend the next 24 hours literally beside the toilet on the bathroom floor, face down, like help me survive, like just get me through the next 24 hours. It was debilitating.

In those moments, I did pray a lot.

I had this one moment when I was walking the hospital floor, I rounded that corner with an IV pole and in the blink of an eye I saw that sun setting and I felt the Lord put his arm around me. And I knew at that minute He was walking that hall with me. His presence was so real.

I just knew he was right there beside me and we would get through it one way or the other. We were going to get through this. I mean, I didn’t know if the kid, if the chemo would work, but I knew he was there. I absolutely knew He was present.

Struggles can take various forms – whether it’s battling an illness, facing financial hardship, navigating through broken relationships, or dealing with the loss of a loved one.

It is during these moments that our faith can be tested and our hope can waver.

However, by seeking a deeper connection with God, we can find solace and renewal even in the midst of adversity.

1 simple trick to help children count their blessings

As a mother living in North America, I know we are blessed and have so much to be thankful for. 

But my 3 kids don’t seem to understand the privilege they experience and complain about everything. 

A few years ago, the complaining was non-stop about everything and I knew something had to change. 

We started immediately and implemented a few things that helped our children count their blessings.

The art of complaining

My children regularly complain about their food. To help them see how much food we have and waste, I wanted them to see how others aren’t as fortunate. 

The kids were too young to volunteer at a homeless shelter, so we turned to YouTube and showed our children videos of people experiencing famine. 

The images were raw, but they got the point across. The kids could see how so many people don’t have enough food for one meal a day-  let alone 3 meals a day and countless snacks. 

This image has a title and a grid with 3 images. The title is, 1 simple trick to help children count their blessings. Each of the 3 pictures are of happy kids playing together.

1 simple trick to help children count their blessings

When our kids exhibit behaviour we need to address, the first thing we do is pray about it. 

Then, we turn to the Focus on the Family and their Kids of Integrity family devotion series. 

This time, I printed the lesson on gratitude and went through it with the kids. 

I read the stories, looked through the scriptures and asked the guided questions. 

This resource was easy to use and applicable to the different ages of my kids. 

I find fighting behaviour with scripture is a great way to give the kids a Biblical view of how The Lord wants us to act. 

Ending the day with grateful hearts

Nighttime always brings out anxiety in my kids. They focus on things they can’t control which leads to more anxiety and fear. 

To help them, I encourage my children to focus on things they can be thankful for. 

Their response is they have nothing to be thankful for. 

I then encourage them to thank God for their hair, then their sight and so on. 

Then I tell them that if they are still feeling anxious, they can start thanking The Lord for every toy and piece of clothing they own. 

This exercise helps them see how many things they have to be thankful for, and it helps their minds shift from being anxious to being thankful. 

These moments have helped my children count their blessings.

Verses about Thanksgiving

  • 2 Corinthians 4: 13-15 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
  • 1 Chronicles 16: 8-10 Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
  • Philippians 4: 4-6 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

In the beginning was the Word, and The Word became flesh

One reason I love reading The Bible is for its word pictures and uses of literary devices. Today, we will explore the idea: In the beginning was the Word, and The Word became flesh. What does it mean? What can we learn? Come study The Bible with me as we learn these truths.

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Join me as I go inside one of the Bible study workbooks I’ve created and show you exactly the process I go through to dig deeper into scripture. 

These workbooks were created so that you do one day every day of the week or sometimes five to six days in a seven-day week. But instead, we’re going to take it slow and we’re going to do one day per week for the next couple of weeks.

Following a daily, or weekly bible study workbook is a really good way to dig into God’s word. 

Bible study can be as simple as taking a few minutes every day and answering some questions. 

So the workbook that we’re going to be going through is this one is called. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. It is free for you right now to use, so if you don’t have your copy, fill out the form below this paragraph. The workbook will go straight to your inbox. You can then print it off and join me as we go through it together. 

Verse to Read Today

John 1:14 and the word became flesh. And dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth.

In the beginning was the Word, and The Word became flesh

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Bible Study Questions & Answers

1. Who came to Earth to be among us? 

I like repeating things that the Bible says, word for word. So we’re going to say: the word became flesh. 

2. What does it mean when it says: the word became flesh

The Bible uses “The word” as another name for Jesus the son of God. Jesus came down from heaven to earth as a man. 

To rephrase the saying Jesus came down in the flesh. 

The Christian Growth Hub

3. Whose glory was revealed? 

The rest of this verse says the glory of the only begotten of the father. So the only begotten talks about children, and that this has the only begotten. 

So this is the only son that God has. Jesus, we’re going to say God’s only child. Jesus. 

Related Blog Posts

How does Jesus differ from other gods? 

When you read this question, you’re not gonna find a direct answer in the verse that you read. But I want you to take a minute and to think about the other religions that you know about and to think about just one or two things.

That tells you that Jesus is different from other gods. The first thing that comes to mind is that most other gods don’t have children, or if they have children, it’s not their children who are doing all the work. 

Other gods don’t have kids. And then if they do, the kids aren’t the ones doing the work. It’s usually these other gods that do the work and take all the credits.  

This question really makes it so clear this special relationship between God the Father and his son. And that this differs from any other gods that I’ve heard about.

And like I said, there are many religions out there with many gods. So maybe I’m wrong and there are. But for me this relationship. Is really different and completely stands out for me just again. 

This is a reminder that God came down from heaven onto the earth. Which is also very different from other religions. 

Example:

In Islam, it’s a prophet who came down. Another example is some Mormon churches, they talk about prophets that came to Earth and lived a good life.

Whereas in Christianity, God himself came to Earth. And so we can see here just how amazing this piece of the gospel. 

God had sent prophets in the Old Testament. He sends a bunch of prophets to spread the word they don’t listen to them. The people of Israel don’t listen. And so then God sends his own son. God himself comes down to Earth to be with us here, and to live a life like we have, which is amazing to me. And it’s just really encouraging.

Just to take a few minutes and to think about God’s relationship with His son. And Jesus’ willingness to come and to be on Earth and to save us. It’s incredible. 

What have you learned today?

I want you to think of one thing that really you either learned or that stuck out to you. 

Today I’m going to be really thinking about how God himself came to Earth and that special relationship between God and his son. And so I’d love for you just to take a minute. And to think about one thing that stood out for you.

In the comments, I would love for you to tell me what stuck out to you today. Maybe you’ve learned something, maybe a verse just got a new perspective for you. Maybe something really just jumped off the page and stuck in your mind. Or maybe a word. It’s just being repeated in your brain and so whatever that is, I’d love for you to share in the group and the comments below.

A quick Bible study tip for you

Always look for who so who wrote the book, who’s talking and who is the author or speaker talking to. Sometimes when you read Scripture, we assume that the author is speaking to everybody at all times.

This is not always the case, so we want to make sure that we understand who’s speaking and who’s the audience.

It’ll give us just a much richer understanding of what scripture is saying.

Do you want more?

Do you want to read your bible more consistently? Do you want to know how to study the Bible on your own and know how to apply it to your life? 

You are a Christian woman who is dedicated to living a life for Christ. You want to read your bible every day, but sometimes you get distracted or are too tired to collect all the resources you need. 

It can be hard to figure it out on your own. 

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about The Christian Growth Hub

The Christian Growth Hub is an online, monthly membership focused on helping Christian women read the Bible, understand it, and apply it to their lives. 

The Christian Growth hub helps you in your faith by: 

  • Providing monthly Bible reading plans so you never have to think about what you’re going to read in the Bible next
  • Giving you on-demand training on how to understand the Bible and new monthly training on how to apply the Bible to a particular area of your life. 
  • Connects you to an online community to give you encouragement, support, and accountability

There are so many more features. Click here to learn more about them, and see what The Christian Growth Hub offers.

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3 Steps to having Time With God

One of my biggest struggles in life is having a daily time with God. In this post, I give you 3 simple steps to having time with God.

Every year, I would make a new year’s resolution to spend more time with God. And Every year I would fail.

My biggest obstacle was myself. I just made it too complicated.

I thought I needed lots of time and I needed to be . So, I let those things get in my way.

I failed to realize that I was letting all those things get in between me and God.

Don’t overthink it

The biggest thing that has helped me overcome my struggle was to not overthink things.

All I need is a few minutes and a bible.

Yep, it’s that easy.

Related Posts

3 Steps to having time with God

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To read more about this, read this blog post: How to create a Quiet Time with God

Do you want more?

Do you want to read your bible more consistently? Do you want to know how to study the Bible on your own and know how to apply it to your life? 

You are a Christian woman who is dedicated to living a life for Christ. You want to read your bible every day, but sometimes you get distracted or are too tired to collect all the resources you need. 

It can be hard to figure it out on your own. 

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about The Christian Growth Hub

The Christian Growth Hub is an online, monthly membership focused on helping Christian women read the Bible, understand it, and apply it to their lives. 

The Christian Growth hub helps you in your faith by: 

  • Providing monthly Bible reading plans so you never have to think about what you’re going to read in the Bible next
  • Giving you on-demand training on how to understand the Bible and new monthly training on how to apply the Bible to a particular area of your life. 
  • Connects you to an online community to give you encouragement, support, and accountability

There are so many more features. Click here to learn more about them, and see what The Christian Growth Hub offers.

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What is God’s purpose for your life and how to find it

The search for God’s purpose for our lives can be a long and difficult process. The Bible is a guidebook that can help us along the way. It can assist us in the steps we need to take to obey and honour God through the way we live our life. Let’s take some time and see God’s purpose for your life and how to find it.

How to Find God’s will for your life 

As a Christian, my desire is to know God and His will for my life. 

The best place to start is by reading the Bible. It is God’s direct word to us. In it, He tells us who we are, how to get saved, and how to live a life that will glorify Him. 

To learn more about finding God’s will, read the blog post 9 things you should do to know God’s will

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God’s purpose for your life

Even though I have known God for so long, there are still some things that I am working out and some questions that I ask God.

One question that I have found myself asking repeatedly is: what will you have me do and God, what’s next?

So maybe you are wondering about something similar. Maybe you have made the decision to follow Christ and you are wondering what to do next.

Today I want us to discover God’s purpose for your life. There is the specific will of God and the general will of God. Since I can’t know everyone who reads this blog, I can’t speak to the specific will of God in your life, but I can share  3 things that Jesus wants every Christian to do.

1. God’s purpose for your life: Love the Lord

The First thing God wants from us is to love Him and to love others.

Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ ”

Jesus wants us to Love Him—with every single part of ourselves—heart, soul, strength, and mind – that means that every single part of us needs to be loving Him.

When we Love God- it spills into our lives and helps us do the next part of the verse- Love your neighbour as yourself.

People like to take care of themselves. We feed, cloth, and bathe ourselves. We also don’t cause ourselves pain or hurt. We don’t call each other names. We keep the best for ourselves.

Since these are some of the ways we love ourselves, then loving others means giving people food, water, and clothing. It means that we share with them our toys, house, food, etc.

Take some time to think about the things you do to love others and love the Lord. When we love people like ourselves, we give them a small picture of how much God loves them.

2. God’s purpose for your life: Tell Others about Him

The second thing that God wants us to do is to share all this awesome news that we have.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

This verse makes it clear that we need to share with others Who God is and what He has done.

Some ways we can tell others about God:
  • Tell people what you know about God—this week we have learned so much about God—so when you go home and your parents ask you what you learned- it’s a perfect opportunity to tell them what you learned about God.
  • Invite them to places and events that share who God is- bible study, church, church events, dinner with other Christians 
  • Become a missionary– tell people about God on a full-time basis at home or in another part of the world. There are many opportunities all over the world to share about God.

 

3. God’s purpose for your life: Remember Him

The third thing that Jesus wants us to do is to remember Him.

 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

In the old testament, the people of Israel had a short memory of God’s power. God had led them out of Egypt and showed his power through the plagues. But as soon as the Israelites faced a new barrier, they complained and asked why The Lord was doing this. 

As a child, I was so confused about how the Israelites could see God’s miraculous power one day, and wonder where He was the other. But, as I grew up, there have been many times I have forgotten who God is and what He could do. I let the circumstances doubt my salvation and God’s love for me. 

Because we are so apt to forget Him, He tells us we need to remember Him. He wants us to remember that He died, that He rose again, and that He is coming back one day.

Many churches will have a service once a week that is called The Lord’s supper. This is where people can share about who God is and what He has done and remind each other about His goodness. Other churches pass the bread and wine once a week or once a month.

Why is it important to remember Christ?

As mentioned earlier, if we forget who God is and what He has done then we might become worried, and afraid.

But, when we remember God – who He is and what He has done- then we will have joy, peace, security, hope, and so on. When we remember what God has done, it gives us confidence that He can do it again.

When our oldest daughter was 2 years old, my husband lost his job. At the time we were worried and afraid—so we turned to God and trusted that He would provide for us and He did—so when my husband lost his job again a few years later—we knew God would provide for us again because we remembered He had provided for us the first time.

When we trust God during hard times and see Him work- it’s easier to trust Him with the smaller things- so it’s important to remember all the ways God loves you and provides for you. It helps build a strong foundation of trusting God.

Our lives are a gift from God. How will you live yours?

Do you want more help to know God’s purpose for your life? 

I just shared with you 3 things God wants every Christian to do. This is a great first step in knowing God’s purpose for your life. But maybe you are already doing those things and you are ready to know more. 

Well, I have something that can help. The Grow in Trust Course is a 3-day virtual event to help Christian women stop feeling lost and discover God’s plan for their lives so they can be free to love God and pursue His will. Click here to learn more. 

5 steps to Hearing God’s Voice

It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t know if you’ve heard God. You feel like God has gone silent, but that is probably not the case. God is always speaking and listening. We are not listening or we don’t realize how God is speaking to us. Here are 5 Steps to hearing God’s voice.

A picture of a woman with her hand towards her ear. Under the picture are the words, 5 simple steps to hearing God's voice. www.onedeterminedlife.com

5 Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

1. Identify God’s voice

It is hard to hear a voice when you don’t know who it belongs to. The first step in hearing God’s voice is knowing what it sounds like.

In 1 Samuel 3, God was calling out to Samuel, but he didn’t recognize who it was. Once Eli told Samuel who was calling him and what to say, Samuel responded to God. “And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

At first, Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice. He had to be told who was speaking to him and how to respond. One he knew, he was willing to sit and listen. 

By experience, you can learn to recognize God’s voice when He speaks and to confidently respond to what He says. 

How can we be sure what we are hearing is actually of God?

If you think God is speaking to you, ask Him to confirm so as you study and meditate on the Bible, as you’re alert to the circumstances you encounter, or as you experience the Holy Spirit’s impressions in your mind.

2. Be still before God

It is impossible to hear something when you are always hearing noise around you. When we become preoccupied with the things of the world, we can often miss God’s voice because everything else is taking up our attention. 

We live in a 24 h/day world. We have immediate access to news, updates, and entertainment at all times. When we get bored, the first thing we do is reach for our phones.

We don’t take the time and sit still before God.

The word of God encourages us to stand still in His presence. 

Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Psalm 62:5-6 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

3. Expect that God will speak to you

We may be in an exciting time where we have access to the Bible in our home language, but that doesn’t mean that we are always hearing what God is saying to us. 

We have to expect and believe that God speaks to us. We have to make the extra effort to listen and to see what God is saying to us.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

4. Recognize that God communicates in many forms

You may have heard that God speaks to us through the Bible and prayer, but did you know He has other ways to communicate with us? 

He talks to us through:

  • Prompts in our mind and hearts: Isaiah 30:21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
  • Other people: Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.
  • Through our circumstances: Acts 16:6-7 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them

God is always there communicating with us; we just need to pay attention.

5. Pray for a greater ability to hear God’s voice

It’s often tempting to try to do things on our own or go our own way. Through many years of following God, I’ve learned that I may not understand the road He guides me down, but He knows and I can trust Him. 

There are many things we will never understand and The Lord encourages us to come to Him and ask for wisdom. 

  • James 1:5-6  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

If we don’t root ourselves in Christ and who He is, we won’t have an anchor and we will jump from one belief to another and won’t have any stability. 

  • Psalm 37:23-24  The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Need more help? 

I just shared with you 5 steps to hearing God’s voice. But, maybe you have already done all those things and need more help. Or, you haven’t done any and feel lost- not knowing what to do first. 

Well, I have something that can help. The Grow in Trust Course is a 3-day virtual event to help Christian women stop feeling lost and discover God’s plan for their lives so they can be free to love God and pursue His will. Click here to learn more.

3 common mistakes keeping you from discovering God’s will

The realization that your relationship with God isn’t what you want it to be can feel discouraging. You might look at your life and wonder why you’re feeling lost and why you can’t apply God’s truth to your life. Today we’re going to go over 3 mistakes keeping you from discovering God’s will for your life. 

You are at a crossroads in your life, and you want to know which direction to go or, you are trying to hear God but aren’t sure what to listen for. 

I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

It’s a scary feeling, but know that there’s always a way to improve and start turning your spiritual life into what you want it to be.

Over and over again I see the same mistakes Christian women make when trying to follow God’s plan for their lives.

A picture of a woman looking up with her hand on her forehead. Above the picture are the words, 3 mistakes keeping you from discovering God's will for your life. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3 mistakes keeping you from discovering God’s will

1. They listen to other voices instead of God’s 

In today’s world, people are surrounded by so many voices. We have thousands of voices that are shouting at us to listen to them. Unfortunately, many of the voices distract us from hearing God’s voice.

Taking the time to know who God is and how He speaks to us is one of the most important things you can do to help you grow in your desire to follow God. 

If you need more information, be sure to check out Stephanie Isaac’s presentation: How to Hear God’s Voice: 5 simple steps to learn how God speaks presentations!

2. Lack the faith to take a step of faith 

It’s hard to take a step of faith. You may not see the outcome, but you know you need to take that step. However, you are afraid of the unknown, and you are afraid of going forward not knowing what you are getting into. 

You need the confidence to take each step by faith. 

To help you take those steps, be sure to check out Stephanie Miller’s presentation called Living Out Your Calling Once God Has Revealed It To You. 

3. They don’t know what steps to take next 

Maybe you are a seasoned Christian, and you know how God speaks to you but you are not sure what steps you should take next. You have biblical answers but need help to apply the truth you know to your life. 

Take some time to learn what area in your life you want direction in and find a presentation that can help you grow in that area. 

Some suggestions are a presentation from Lori Armstrong called Cultivating a Joyful Heart, and Alicia Michelle’s presentation called How to Use the Bible + Brain Science to Better Manage Your Emotions. 

Choose 1 and take action

Look back at the 3 mistakes keeping you from discovering God’s will that we went over, and choose the one that is currently affecting you the most, and take action on it!

And for a lot more help with discovering God’s plan for your life, I have something that can help. The Grow in Trust Course is a 3-day virtual event to help Christian women stop feeling lost and discover God’s plan for their lives so they can be free to love God and pursue His will. Click here to learn more.

We’ve got 18 experts lined up and ready to teach you everything from discovering God’s call for your life, God’s plan for the family, hard times, and more! Click here to grab the recordings from The Grow in Trust Summit today!

 

14 Lies we believe about reading The Bible

Even though I grew up in a Christian home, starting to read The Bible on my own felt intimidating. It looked so big and I told myself that I could never read the whole thing. The Devil wants nothing else than for people to NOT read The Bible. His biggest tool is making us believe lies about the Bible. So, today, I want to share with you 14 lies we believe about reading The Bible, and some facts to prove they are lies.

14 Lies we believe about reading The Bible

1. It’s too hard to understand:

There are many Bible versions out there and some are harder to understand. Like the King James Version. It uses words we don’t know and are not used to.

But, there are other versions out there that are very easy to read and understand.

We have been reading The New King James Bible to our children since they were young, and they can understand many of the verses and the large themes in The Bible.

2. I don’t have time to read it

The truth is that nobody has time for Bible study unless they make the decision to do so. You are not a victim of your situation, despite what the world would have you believe. The pace of our lives is much more under our control than we may be aware of. And we never have too much time for the things that are most important to us. NEVER!

Make a weekly commitment to Bible study and choose a time each day to work toward your study objectives as a way to overcome this lie. However, be careful that your weekly commitment doesn’t exceed what you can finish in a single sitting. 

A picture of a person sitting in a field with a blanket over their lap and a closed Bible in their hands. Above the picture are the words, 14 lies we beleive about reading The Bible. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. The Bible isn’t true

this is a lie that we see everywhere we look. But, when we take a look at who is saying that, we realize that it’s coming from people who have not read and studied God’s word.

I have a whole video and blog post that shares proof The Bible IS the word of God and that it IS TRUE!  

4. You already know it, so don’t read it.

I have read The Bible many times. Each time I read it, I find a new truth, or it speaks to me in a different way. Passages I think I know, I go back too and realize I missed a detail. Or time and experience give me a new perspective on truths I know.

The Lord is so large and deep and endless. The Bible is just the tip of the iceberg. We will be spending eternity learning about God, who He is and so much more! 

A picture of a table that has a laptop, cup, and blanket. Over that image are the words The Lord is so large and deep and endless. The Bible is just the tip of the iceberg. Anne Markey, www.onedeterminedlife.com

5. It’s boring. So don’t read it.

I thought this when I was young. I would listen to the Bible being read to me and feel so bored. But, as an adult, I see how scripture is knit together and how the whole book covers themes and truths.

I also have many years of proof behind me- my experience tells me God’s word is alive and that The Lord brings me exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it regardless of what passage I’m reading in His word. 

6. I’m not smart enough for Bible study

Ladies, this is a big one for us. The enemy doesn’t fight fairly, and he enjoys giving us a false sense of security. And using lies like this one to keep us imprisoned in a spiritual wasteland is one of his most successful tactics! We need to develop the skill of Bible study. Time and practice are necessary.

And I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend everything we read in the Bible. Because doing so would imply that we are able to fully appreciate God’s glory. Never read the Bible on your own to overcome this lie. Find some reliable believers to read The Bible with you through.

Find people you trust to ask questions. For me, it’s my dad. He has read so many books and has studied so much! I can trust his answer to any of my spiritual questions.

 

7. You need to understand Greek and Hebrew to know what it really means.

It’s easy to believe we need to understand Greek and Hebrew to know what The Bible says. This lie then makes us think we shouldn’t bother reading it.

I’m sure knowing the ancient texts helps in certain contexts as we know that some things just don’t translate.

For example: Greek has at least 4 different words for love when we only have 1. In that instance, it’s helpful to go back to the Greeks.

But, we live in a world where translators have done the work for us! They have translated it so we can understand it. 

8. It’s contradictory.

So don’t read it.” The truth is the opposite. Many people who search scripture to fund proof of contradictions step away without understanding the opposite.

There is nothing in scripture that contradicts itself. It all works together so beautifully- it’s a masterpiece. 

A blue and yellow background with text that says, There is nothing in scripture that contradicts itself. It all works together so beautifully- it’s a masterpiece. Anne Markey, www.onedeterminedlife.com

9. The Bible isn’t relevant to my life

The Bible was written many years ago, it’s a big, confusing book, and occasionally the stories seem so archaic. Although we must all overcome these challenges, the Bible remains relevant in spite of them. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness,” according to 2 Timothy 3:16.

Because of this, we can be sure that the Bible has a lot to say about living in the twenty-first century. You won’t like this, but here’s how to defeat this lie. However, in my experience, the only means of dispelling this lie. 

10. Experts disagree on what it means.

So, don’t read it.” The Christian church, no matter what denomination, agrees with 90 percent of the Scripture message. Or even more.

11. The Bible is outdated

Not for our modern times. So, don’t read it. I find it quite the opposite. In Songs of Solomon, there is a verse that says nothing is new under the sun. And it’s true.

There is nothing going on in the world today that has not accrued before. The Lord, knowing this, wrote The Bible to be relevant to any person during any age they live in. I find so much wisdom for me and my family in navigating this uncertain world.  

The Bible is extremely practical. I’ve written a few blog posts that share so much practical wisdom that has lasted the test of time.

12. The Bible is just a bunch of rules

So, don’t read it.” The Old Testament does hold a bunch of laws. But when you look at those laws, it was to keep the Israelites clean, healthy and in good relationships.

There is so much wisdom in some of those laws. The New Testament also tells us that we need to law, to show us how much we can’t follow it on our own and how sinful we really are.

That we ALL need a saviour. The Law actually points us to Christ as He is the only one who lived a perfect life. 

13. No one with intelligence reads the Bible anymore

Only religious fundamentalists and extremists. So, don’t read it.” Some of the smartest people on the planet–including scientists and professors and philosophers read and love the Holy Bible. And they are some of the sanest people on the planet.

14. I don’t need to study The Bible

I don’t know if anyone else finds this lie difficult, but I certainly do! My entire life has been spent as a Christian. I’ve been in the church for more than 35 years. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover several times, and worked in ministry most of my life. I’m fine! I don’t require a daily schedule for Bible study.

This lie has its roots in self-sufficiency and pride, two vices I personally struggle with quite a bit. The issue is that we were not made to live independently, but rather in constant reliance on our Creator.

Do we ever really outgrow the need to spend regular time in the Bible? Never. I find myself so much more emotionally “unstable” when I don’t read my Bible often. 

I know that Bible study can be intimidating. I also know that you may feel you don’t have the time, or you don’t know where to start. I get it. 

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

7 Myths about Studying The Bible

Do you have myths about studying The Bible? As a Christian who grew up in a Christian home, I often take The Bible for granted. I have a hard time accepting that people may not believe The Bible is the word of God and are intimidated by what they hear about The Bible and studying The Bible. Continue to read as I dispel 7 myths about studying The Bible.

7 Myths about Studying The Bible

1. You need special tools to study The Bible. 

There are many Bible study tools out there that make Bible study easier. But, they are NOT needed to study The Bible.

All you need is The Bible and the help of The Holy Spirit. A pen and paper are handy to write things down, but they are not necessary. 

2. Only Pastors and leaders should study The Bible

Spiritual leaders SHOULD study The Bible because they are teachers and examples to others. You should not teach what you don’t know. 

But, all Christians should learn how to study The Bible. 

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 17:11

Spiritual leaders are just people. They sometimes make mistakes.

It is our responsibility to test what a preacher says against scripture. We can’t do that if we are not spending time in God’s word ourselves. 

A picture of a couple sitting a table together whith a Bible open in between them. Above The picture are the words, 7 myths about studying The Bible, www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Group Bible studies are not necessary 

We can sometimes assume we can study the Bible on our own. We might believe that we don’t need to study the Bible with others because there are so many materials (both print and online) readily available to us.

Reading the Bible in a group has many benefits! 

The insight and wisdom of other believers, however, is one of the primary ways that God utilizes the Bible in our life, and it is lost when we exclusively study the Bible on our own.

Because the Bible can be complex and layered, there are truths we can overlook while studying it on our own.

When we study the Bible with others, it helps us see more of it than we would if we were studying it alone.

Being in the Word together is one of the many advantages of assembling with God’s people. When Paul instructs Timothy,

“Until I arrive, commit yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching,” he emphasizes this.

1 Tim. 4:13

We should seek out chances to spend time with other believers studying the Bible, whether that be in a small group, adult education class, or some other setting, in addition to giving great attention to the Word being preached on Sunday mornings.

If that sounds like something you want to do, check out The Christian Growth Hub.

4. Bible study takes a lot of time.

Most of us have busy schedules that are full. We feel pressure from difrent commitments that fight for our time and attention. This includes family, work, education, church, and relationships, and others.

Because we believe it takes a large amount of time to study the Bible, it might feel like one more item we don’t have time to for.

Most of us have access to more time than we think. Take into account how much time many of us spend using our phones, checking social media, or watching TV. 

If we really don’t have time to study the Bible, God’s Spirit is still able to use even short periods of time (even as little as 10-15 minutes) to help us understand who God is.

5. You require a difficult procedure.

Some methods for learning the Bible involve a lot of steps and are quite intricate and difficult. These techniques can be beneficial for exploring the depths of Scripture.

However, it is not necessary to be that way. Jesus provided us with instructions on what to concentrate on when reading the Bible. He answered when asked what the Bible’s greatest commandment was:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matt. 22:37–39

According to Jesus, everything in Scripture in some way relates to loving God or loving our neighbour. So one very simple method for studying the Bible is asking good questions that help us to see the very things that God wants us to see in Scripture.

There are simple Bible study methods you can use to dig into scripture. Start with those and see how it changes what you know of scripture and how you approach it.

6. Bible reading is the same as Bible study

Reading The Bible and studying it is quite different. They are both useful, but are used for different functions and are used in different contexts.

You can read this blog post to learn more about the differences. 

7. The New Testament is more important than the Old Testament. 

The Old Testament is 3/4 of the Bible. The Old Testament is the major context for understanding the New Testament. New Tribes missions, a missionary organization. Once the missionaries have learned the language and trust in a village they start giving Bible Lessons. They start in Genesis. The Old Testament holds so many truths that give us a good understanding of what then happens in the New Testament. 

I know there are many myths about reading the Bible. I also know that you may want to learn more and get some amazing Bible teaching.

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

What does it mean to live for The Glory of God?

Are you looking for ways to live for the glory of God? In this episode, I talk to Gina Habig about how to glorify God in our daily lives. Gina shares her journey of realizing that following rules and striving to please God through our own efforts aren’t enough, and how the Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life that pleases Him. Discover how to overcome “religion guilt” and focus on pointing people to Christ and His example. Stick with me as I share practical ways to serve and love others in a way that points to God’s glory.

What does it mean to live for The Glory of God?

Are you looking for guidance on how to live a life that glorifies God? In this podcast episode, Anne Markey and Gina Habig share their personal experiences and insights on how to live for the glory of God.

In this episode, we talk about:

– How to avoid guilt and shame caused by not following rules and laws

– How to teach kids about having a personal relationship with God

– The importance of understanding the full gospel and having faith in it.

Hi and welcome back to the Christian Minute podcast. My name is Anne Markey and I am joined today by a guest. Her name is Gina Habig. Welcome to the show.

Meet Gina

Tell me about your background and how you first came to know God.
I remember at age 4, coming to my mom and asking her to pray with me. I don’t think I really understood the gospel till I was 30 years old.

So 26 years later, I felt like I finally understood that Jesus didn’t just give me a ticket to heaven, he gave me a new life, a new desire to want to serve him.

I think a huge piece of that was not understanding The Holy Spirit and how He empowers me to live a life that pleases God.

Instead, what I thought is, I got the ticket to heaven, and I’m not going to hell. However, I have to work really hard and kill myself to please God. Not that I could earn salvation, but more of never wanting to feel like I was on God’s bad side.

I saw him as an angry parent. I think that corresponded with my upbringing.

I was brought up in a very strict Baptist home where it was very much rule-based and everything was centred around the church and their culture. And so I thought I had to constantly continue to earn my way to God’s happiness. But I didn’t see it anymore. I didn’t really see it as I was earning salvation.

The Role of Guilt in Christian Living

I think when you’re younger, you really try to follow all those rules. But then you realize you feel guilty because you can’t follow all the rules.

Nowhere in the scripture does it say we actually have to read our Bible every day. The Bible tells us to meditate on scripture and tells us how good it is for us to do.

But, when we’re not measuring up, I think the devil does a really good job of making us feel guilty and telling us we’re horrible Christians, God doesn’t want you like all these things.

And so it’s this mix of The church conversation, but also the devil taking advantage of those things and like keeping us down and guilty and ashamed and all those things.

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Pointing people to Christ

The piece we could mention is the picture of being pointed to Christ as being the one who did it all.

When people would sit down with me and go over Colossians 3, they would skip chapters one and two, which tells me who Christ is.

They would just tell me, stop sitting, stop doing this. But how do I do that in my own strength? I can’t.

And so that’s the I think a big piece of it is- are we pointing that person to Christ, or are we pointing them to more obedience and laws?

The downfall of toxic purity culture

I’ve seen exactly what you’re talking about because I think about the purity culture in the nineties. It was exactly this. It was very rule-based. It was very demoralizing and none of it was pointing us to Christ.

It was all very much teaching us that if you do one thing, then you’re completely ruined. It was just a really bad framing of this conversation.

And I find like one of the things I’ve noticed lately is it has shifted. These days, I see so many people talking about why it’s bad to have sex outside of marriage. Pointing it back to Christ and sharing that the church is a symbol of the bride and the groom.

We never gave me the God piece. You just told me that it was bad and that it would ruin me.

And so I think, when we’re telling our kids, we have to give them that God piece.

Otherwise, I think you missed that personalization.

As a mom, I’m trying to be a lot more conscientious about sharing why and how something they do has an effect on their relationship with God. Asking, how does God fit into this scenario?

What does Glorying The Lord mean?

When I think of glorifying the Lord, I think the first thing is defining glory.

Glory is not something that can be added, it’s something that already is. And that’s what the Bible teaches about God’s glory, is that it’s inherent to him. So things like His reputation, and being reverent to Him.

In Isaiah 6:1-4 when the heavenly creatures are saying holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole Earth is full of his glory. Well, why did they not say holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of His Holiness? Why do they not say that? Well, because they were describing what glory really was, and it’s the purity, it’s the majesty of who God is.

God has to be connected to uplifting who He is. And I think the first thing that we do is understand the full gospel and believe in the full gospel.

Then of course repentance, and then continuing faith.

And then lastly, it goes into practice things like loving others and depending on God and trusting in Him.

Glorifying in The Lord’s discipline

When we glorify in The Lord’s discipline we become more like Him.

This is what The Lord says in Romans 8:28-30. He is going to be bringing us to full glorification by making us into the image of God. But that doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

And even if we look at the life of Christ, we see that He learned obedience. Jesus had to learn how to walk in the way even though he was 100 % God and also 100 % man, he still had to fulfill all righteousness by living a life that we could never live.

He was the model of what it meant to glorify God and we look to his life to see how it’s demonstrated.

But I think a lot of times it becomes more of a performance. And I think this is dependent on the motive of the person.

Our motives matter

Some of that could be like it’s glorifying if we serve in the church, it’s glorifying to help the poor, it’s glorifying to discipline our all that’s glorifying.

But what is the motivation?

I can look good and people can go, oh look at so and so is a good Christian mother?

No, if it’s not pointing to God, it’s not glorifying him.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

Psalm 19:1-2

The heavens declare God’s glory- it points people back to God, not itself.

We are to shine the spotlight on the person of God because He is already full of glory. So we’re not adding to his glory. We can’t. But we can lift up his glory, or at least like, point towards his glory and also, focus on his glory instead of ourselves, our works, our abilities and all those things.

Steps to shifting our thoughts and actions to glorying God

I’m not going to mention who this is because I don’t recommend this author. But I will say, I read a book that was very good and very biblical. I needed to be confronted that nothing I could do could ever please God in the same way that Christ please God.

And so the book basically contrasted what God says is good and what you think is good. And that blew me away because that confronted me at the core of my problem.

I needed to realize that Christ’s work was not only good enough to get me to heaven but was good enough for me to rest him and to stop running this hamster wheel.

So my twenties were just this hamster wheel of running around looking for this Bible study, going to this conference, thinking there’s a special secret I have not found. And there was. It just was the gospel.

The spirit led me that long so that I can have something to share with someone else.

I got married very young and just thought all my problems would go away since I met a completely different, like my husband’s upbringing.

He saw more of the gospel and I saw more of the loss. And he’s five years older than me, so he’s not much older than me. You just happen to see something a little something different, which was great because God used that to teach me to get me to realize, I needed to be in the word and I need to stop seeking some kind of special answer.

God redeems lost time

Even though you got saved, younger and didn’t really make it personal until your thirties. That time in between can feel like lost time.

But what I love is that the Lord still redeemed it.

To Him, it’s not lost time because you’re using it to encourage other people and put the spotlight back on Him.

I think sometimes we can get trapped in this idea of like, I’ve lost all this time. I haven’t made the most of my time and have that guilt.

Whereas in realizing that I’m not perfect, I may have some lost time, but God can still redeem that time and use it for his glory.

And I always think that that’s amazing.

When we think of the children of Israel and how much time they lost, how much of their story do we learn from because of that?

So God can use all these things for His glory because of who He is. And all we have to do is shift that mindset.

Is it sad that I lost that time?

Sure! But I don’t need to sit in that sadness. I can use it to encourage other people.

The Lord can use our husbands to help us grow

I think the Lord has an amazing way of using marriage in our spouses to show us different pieces of himself.

My husband grew up in a non-Christian home. And the organizations that he got saved through were very much relationship-based and had a different way of looking at things.

And so learning from each other in our marriage and figuring out how we take both sides of what we learned now and apply it to the way we raise our children and the priorities that we have in our life.

1 Year Bible reading plan

The purpose of the law

When you understand the gospel, you’re no longer enslaved to the law. The law kills. And so in Christ, the law is still important.

But the law is our schoolmaster. It is to instruct us.

It is not to kill us and the Israelites.

They were to see through the law that they needed a saviour.

That was the whole purpose of the law.

That’s, where the Pharisees went wrong. They kept thinking the more laws I do, the more spiritual I am.

And God is saying, no. The law is to show you can never keep my law perfectly. This is to show you how holy I am. And how much you need me to save you completely.

And that’s what the prophets kept telling them. But they still didn’t get it.

It’s all about coming right back to the gospel, coming right back to who God is, His character and how that shapes the way we think about our relationship with Him, and other Christians.

I think we can have this impact by sharing more about who God is and bringing it back to Scripture.

When you understand the gospel, you’re no longer enslaved to the law. The law kills. And so in Christ, the law is still important.

But the law is our schoolmaster. It is to instruct us.

4 steps you can take to live for the glory of God

Step 1: Get to Know God

The first thing is- if you don’t know the gospel you don’t know Christ.

That would be the first step is to get to know who your saviour is because you can’t live if you don’t know who He is and what He has done for you.

So that’s the first thing. Read the book of John maybe. And I would read it in conjunction with one of the Synoptic Gospels because then you can see more of the movements of Christ’s life because we know John is evangelistic, so you see it pointing to the Saviour and then the other gospels.

You see more of the everyday life of Christ and how his ministry actually was carried out.

Step 2: Find a mentor

The second step I think would be to get with a mentor. Find someone in your church that can walk you through the steps of what it means to be a Christian through the example of their life and through the scripture.

I think sometimes we focus too much on books and there are some great books that I’d recommend, but make sure it’s Bible based and it’s expositional to scripture.

Step 3: Spend time with God regularly

Find a time- in your day, and your week when you can be in God’s word.

There’s no law about you must do it at a certain time of day. Find a time in the day that works for you.

I know for one of my friends when all her kids are napping is the time she does it. And they all go down and she goes in the word, and that’s like clockwork to her. But she’s made it a priority because she knows she can’t live without it.

So find that time.

You don’t have to make it difficult. You don’t need to read three or four chapters a day. Start slow and don’t go past the point that you can’t understand anymore.

And I’m a big believer in reading through scripture if you haven’t done it and start in Genesis and just go and get a commentary if you need it or get a study Bible if you get stuck in Leviticus because we all get stuck there and then study.

What I mean by the study is to pick a book and go verse by verse. Very slowly and go over and over and over until you get it. That’s how I think the practice starts.

And then the spirit is going to lead you.

1 Year Bible reading plan

A simple tip to start reading God’s word

One of the things that I did at a camp growing up, was have morning staff devotions. And one of my favourite things was reading the same book every morning for a week.

And so you’re reading the entire book of Galatians every day for like 7 days.

And then all you’re doing is just talking about the different things that just popped out.

And then you start seeing connections and you start seeing how the word of God is alive and moving because, on day two and three and four and five, you see new things even though you’ve already read this book like 4 different times.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be just super simple. It doesn’t have to be an hour, 2 hours, or 10 minutes. It can be one minute, 2 minutes, or 3 minutes.

It’s about the quality of time with God, not the quantity.

It’s an active choice to continue to learn more and seek more.

Step 4: do everything for God

Make sure what you’re doing is connected to Christ. I’ll give one example because I say this example a lot.

So let’s say you have a neighbour and she needs help. She is a widow. She needs you to help her clean her house.

So if you’re going to clean her house, but it’s not connected to Christ, meaning you’re just doing it to say I did my Christian duty or to feel better or to think you’re more holy, then you got a problem.

That’s kind of the test that I always kind of ask myself, okay, why am I doing this?

Am I doing this for my praise? Or am I doing this for the praise of God?

And so I’m very careful when I get involved in things. I don’t go out to church and get involved in 40 things because those things might be good, but they’re not. If I’m not doing it to point the person or the people who are going to receive that to Christ, I’m not living for the glory of God.

It’s not on your list of things to do

When we’re doing those things, glorifying God will become more like it’ll just happen because we’re seeking the Lord.

I don’t think we need to necessarily add one more task. Thinking- now I have to glorify the Lord.

Glorifying the Lord happens naturally when we’re spending time with Him and doing the things He’s called us to do.

When we do that, then glorifying the Lord is just a really amazing byproduct of those things.

How to connect with Gina

Share with us where people can connect more with you, and how they can find you and get to know you more.

My goal is to help women to study the Bible and to connect it to the context of the gospel in Christ.

You can connect with me on my blog, and Instagram.

I’ve been taking Bible classes, and now I want to give the information to people so they don’t sit there with four or five books and go, I don’t know where I’m going.

If that’s something that’s interesting to you and please reach out to me.

My website is also standing on foundations.

7 Age-Appropriate Ways to Explain Prayer to Children

Teaching children about prayer is a beautiful opportunity to introduce them to the concept of talking to God, seeking guidance, expressing gratitude, and finding comfort in Him. Here are 7 age-appropriate ways to explain prayer to children. 

7 Age-Appropriate Ways to Explain Prayer to Children

1. Talking to God

Help your children understand that prayer is like having a conversation with God, just like talking to a dear friend or a loving parent.

Encourage them to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with Him, knowing that God listens and cares about every detail of their lives.

2. Seeking Guidance

Explain to your children that prayer is a way to seek God’s guidance and wisdom.

Teach them that they can ask God for help when facing difficult decisions or when they need guidance on how to handle specific situations. Encourage them to pray for clarity and direction.

A picture of a young boy with his head down and his hands claspt together in prayer. Above the image are the words 7 age-appropriate ways to explain prayer to children

3. Expressing Gratitude

Teach your children to express gratitude through prayer.

Help them recognize the blessings in their lives and encourage them to thank God for His love, provision, and the people and things they appreciate. Encourage them to cultivate a heart of gratitude through prayer.

4. Finding Comfort

Explain to your children that prayer is a source of comfort and reassurance.

Let them know that when they feel sad, scared, or worried, they can turn to God in prayer and find peace in His presence. Assure them that God is always there to listen, comfort, and provide strength.

5. Simple Prayers: 

Encourage your children to pray using simple and age-appropriate language.

Teach them that prayers can be as simple as saying, “Thank you, God,” or “Help me, God,” or “I love you, God.”

Emphasize that God values their sincere and heartfelt prayers, no matter how simple or short.

6. Pray Together

Create opportunities for your family to pray together. Praying as a family helps children see the importance of prayer in their daily lives.

You can have designated prayer times, such as before meals or bedtime, or incorporate prayer into your daily routines.

Encourage your children to take turns leading prayers, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings to God.

A picture of 2 children with their eyes shut and their hands together. They are both praying. Next to the pictre are the following words,  Encourage your children to take turns leading prayers, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings to God.

7. Model Prayer

Be a role model by praying in front of your children.

Let them observe your own conversations with God, witnessing how you seek His guidance, express gratitude, and find comfort.

When children see prayer as a natural part of their parents’ lives, it becomes more accessible and meaningful to them.

Conclusion

Remember, explaining the significance of prayer to children takes time and patience. 

Each child may understand and embrace prayer differently, so adapt your explanations to their age and developmental level. 

Through your loving guidance and nurturing, you can help your children cultivate a lifelong relationship with God through prayer, enabling them to experience His love, guidance, and comfort in their lives.

In the comments below, share your favourite way to explain prayer to children. 

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