Are You a Grown-Up?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16

It’s the goal of Christian life to grow up and become more and more like Christ.  This is true of the Church, Christ’s body, and also for each of us as individuals.  I’m currently reading a book (is anyone out there surprised?) called And Then We Grew Up by Rachel Friedman.  It’s not Christian, but it made me think about this topic.  When Rachel was a youngster, she played the Viola and was very good.  She even went to a summer camp specifically geared toward music and other creative arts.  She dreamed of becoming a professional musician, but in college she became so anxious about performing that she quit.  Years later, as a writer she decides to investigate other children who went to the same camp to see how and if they fulfilled their creative potential.

Here are some of the things she learned about growing up and becoming a successful adult, along with my comments about how we can use them as we follow the pilgrim path.

  • Self- discipline — if you want to be good at something, you have to put in the hours.  Some studies say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become very proficient at an activity.  If applied to Christian living, sitting in church for an hour a week won’t cut it!
  • Balance — Rachel found that some of her classmates gave up the idea of an artistic career when they found it impossible to lead a balanced life — home, friends, children– and still succeed.  As Christians, we’re not called to neglect our families, friends and jobs.  This means that at different seasons of our life, we’ll do different things in the church.  When I had children, I was on the altar guild — a job that allowed me to do the work on my own schedule, and alone.  Later as they grew older, I could serve on the Council, attend more Bible studies, etc..
  • Flexibility–the first career path some of Rachel’s friends tried didn’t always work out.  We need to be willing to try different ways to serve, study and pray until we find the one that fits our personality and schedule.
  •  Know yourself— (this goes with the comment on flexibility).  The more we know about our own aptitudes and temperament, the better we’ll be able to decide what to do, how to study, when to pray — sometimes this comes through trial and error (flexibility) but we can help that along by taking a Spiritual Gift Assessment or using other similar tools.
  • Take risks–sometimes we must be willing to step out in faith and take a risk.  This could mean being willing to feel foolish the first time we pray out loud, committing more than we can easily afford to a worthy ministry, or trying out a task that feels a bit scary
  • Find a companion — it helps to have a friend to work with us, encourage us and help us.  In the church this should be a no-brainer.  We are meant to be one body and do our part, not all the parts of Christ’s work on earth.
  •  Maintain focus — God called us to be faithful, not successful.  If you’re doing the right thing, the thing you love, worldly standards of success become less important.

This one’s not in the book, but for Christians:

  • Depend on Christ — He is our strength and our God.  We can’t accomplish anything without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Are you on the way to fulfilling your potential in God’s Kingdom?  Have you grown up yet?

For more posts on maturing as a Christian, see these:

Becoming More Saintly

Bearing Fruit – A Book Review

Clearer and Clearer

 

Open Door Living- Book Review

A book on Christian hospitality that is well-written and would make a great gift. The cover is designed beautifully, includes a ribbon marker and an inscription page.

There are entertaining ideas, craft ideas, menus and decorating ideas

All of which can be used to transform your home into an entertaining mecca

The book includes a lot of low cost ideas, guest ideas and conversation starter.

 

It is s good book for those that entertain and I would give it 4 stars

I have received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

Sick of Me – Book Review

Wow, once again Whitney Capps has walked us on a journey of self discovery – NOT, The path she takes us on is one that leads straight to God and how we, as a society, focus on what can I do to make myself better instead of allowing God to make us better.

There are 11 chapters in the book that very easily lead from one plane of discovery about our missteps to another.

I could probably write a review much longer, but I will not. I will tell you to buy the book and read it for yourself,

Best quote: “I spent most of my Christian life doing the right things so that other people will think the right thing about me.”

I do not think I need to say anymore. I give this book 4 Stars.

I have received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

Heroes – A Book Review

The author, Bill Delvaux, takes us on a journey of the steps to true manhood.

 

He explains that true heroes are not about physical strength, loud talk, or big bank accounts. Instead, he walks us through the journey that develops a small boy into a true man that is an indication of Biblical manhood not cultural manhood.

 

There are 13 chapters that explain the succession of heroes in a young mans life, ranging from superheroes to modern day leaders.

 

This book explains how true men that exhibit true Biblical manhood transcend the typecast roles of masculinity that keep them within cultural boundaries and walk where Jesus did.

 

The book was a good read and the author had very good points on his position. He was able to use Bible verses to back up the importance of a true development into manhood and not a fictional development.

 

I give this book a 4 star rating and suggest it to all who have young men in their lives to help them see what a true hero is.

 

 

I have received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

Prepared for Eternity

The mission statement of our church is from the founding principles of St. Paul’s, now almost 200 years old:

“It is our wish that here old and young will be edified, encouraged, animated and prepared for eternity.”

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have picked up the fact that I am big on discovering and using our spiritual gifts.  I came across a quote this morning in my daily devotional that explains how doing this prepares us for eternity.

“We are taught to believe of the Blessed, that they ‘serve Him day and night in His temple’, that ‘His servants shall serve Him.’  And this must be with powers and endowments developed in harmony with higher worlds, so that all the tastes, the desires, the affections, the artistic powers, the intellectual gifts, which belong to each individual, each with his own special capacities, trained and developed and exercised in spiritual modes of life will be suited to that higher world, where they dwell in the presence of the Almighty God, and the ‘Lamb who is in the midst of them.’  The activities of a condition of life such as we cannot yet conceive, we shall enter upon, if fitted for it, trained for it, by the exercise of our gifts during our life in this world;  we shall be like weapons in the Hand of God, ready for what service He may will.

Thomas Thelluson Carter (1801-1901)

Wow!  Isn’t it amazing that serving God here on earth not only helps others, it prepares us for an eternity of service with Him.  Don’t be like the servant who buried his talents.  Take a risk and use your gifts.  You’ll reap everlasting benefits.  Are you ready?

Spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit

What are the Spiritual Gifts?

Let Your Spiritual Gifts S–T–R–E–T–C–H You

 

Peacemaker or Peacekeeper?

We all know that as Christians, we are to be peacemakers, don’t we?  After all, as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes:

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God”  Matthew 5:9

However, I’ve always been a bit puzzled by this exhortation from 1 Peter:

“They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:11

 

How do you pursue peace?  The word “peace” makes us think “passive”  while “pursue” is active.  How do those two ideas mesh together?  Doesn’t being “peaceful” or peace-loving” simply mean abstaining from conflict?  Keeping our controversial opinions to ourselves?   Allowing others to have their way?

Well, there’s a time and place for those things.  We’re called to be forgiving, and if possible, Unoffendable.  We should look for the best in others, and let go of petty irritations.  However, a book I am currently reading (for all who wander by Robin Dance–I’ll be reviewing it later) has opened my eyes to the difference between peacemakers and peacekeepers.  We can keep the peace (often falsely) by avoiding, or we can find true peace by engaging.

Often we settle for “keeping the peace” when something upsets us by staying quiet or deciding to avoid the “offender.”  True reconciliation is found when we “pursue peace” by talking it out and trying to understand the person with whom we disagree.  In her book, Robin tells a personal story of a person who called her about a remark she had made — this person found that Robin did not mean the statement in the way she understood it.  Problem solved!  Peace was made.  If Robin’s friend had not decided to pursue peace, the situation could have festered, resulting in a broken relationship or worse.

Of course, in making peace, we should not approach one another confrontationally, or with anger.  We should keep an open mind, willing to listen and understand.  If we are in the wrong, we must do what we can to apologize and make things right.

God, through his Son, Jesus, is the ultimate peacemaker.  Instead of leaving us in our sins, He confronted the separation between us, doing all that was necessary for reconciliation.  If we are indeed His children, we must follow His example.  So, actively pursue peace — don’t just keep the peace, make peace!

 

 

 

Younique by Will Mancini–Book Review

First of all, two warnings!

  1.  Don’t imagine this book to be a quick read
  2.  Don’t imagine you will be only reading a book

The subtitle of this book by Will Mancini is “Designing the Life that God Dreamed for You.”  In essence, it is a very detailed method of evaluating your life, talents, interests, personality, dreams, etc.  and coming up with a plan …. or plans… for 90 days, 3 years, and more.  Of course, there are times for review and revision along the way.  A yearly retreat is recommended, as well as quarterly “how am I doing” check-ups.

There is a wealth of good information and advice, and many interesting exercises for the reader to try.  I did a number, and if you are interested to can refer to these other posts:

L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values

Bulls Eye!

Some of them were definitely interesting and informative.  It did encourage me to think about and articulate some short and longer term goals for different areas of my life.

Here’s my issue with the book:  many people will find it too time consuming and difficult to work through.  Mancini was an engineer at one time and it shows.  He has created a tool that covers just about every facet of life.  For example, at one point he says about an exercise:

“…. name four primary roles for each of your four storylines, then define three secondary roles for each primary role …. In the end, you’ll have forty-eight roles that together describe the manifold ways you relate to the world.”

I’m very motivated when it comes to self discovery, but 48 roles just felt too daunting to contemplate!

The book also in many places directs you to resources and courses available at http://willmancini.com Some of the resources can be downloaded for free, others you must pay for.  This made me feel that the book was designed to sell me additional products.

VERDICT:  I give it three stars.  If you are person who is motivated and interested in detailed planning, it may be right up your alley — but it’s not for most.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/younique-P005796358

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255