Thursday, March 19, 2015

Slice of Life Story Challenge and Spiritual Journey Thursday - What I Know For Sure - Be Brave

Doubling up today!
     It's Day 19 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers.  I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.)
I also look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us! For the past couple of months, we've been writing around the One Little Words of our little community.  Feel free to join us on Thursdays if you'd like.  Let me know at @muellerholly.
This week we are writing about Teresa Winterstein's OLW, BRAVE

The Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan


"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." - 2 Timothy 1:7

     A couple years ago, our associate pastor taught a class based on Francis Chan's book, The Forgotten God.  We read the chapters, watched the videos, and had discussions.  The book's main message is that the Holy Spirit is often forgotten and even feared.  Our churches and Christian lives are often based on living within our comfort zones, relying on our own human strength, and underestimating or ignoring what we could do if we truly invited the Holy Spirit into our lives.
    The video above is based on chapter 2 of the book, and it makes me laugh.  Not because I think it's so funny (it is), but because I can feel the uncomfortable truth of it.  I DON'T want to know the truth, necessarily.  I don't really want God to take over my life.  I got it, God.  Don't mess it up.  I'm living a pretty cushy life right now, and I like it.  I don't really want to be all that brave.
   To fully give control over to God is risky and radical, isn't it?!  It means I have to let go and let God do what He wants to do through me.  It could mean I need to get out of my comfort zone, my perfect plans, my timidity.  I want to go to the beach, not a third world country.  I want to sleep in, not get up early and go to the soup kitchen.  I want read a book, not help someone clean up their yard.  I want to relax on a Sunday afternoon and skip the committee meeting on planning upcoming classes.  I want, I want, I want....
     The spiritual gifts class I teach just finished up last Sunday.  The excitement (and sometimes confusion) of participants uncovering and clarifying their gifts and passions is exciting,  but I also detect a little fear.  It makes people a little nervous to know God gave them these gifts and passions for a reason, and they are not to be squandered.  Not that they don't want to use them - the participants took the class, after all, because they're hungry to learn more about what God wants from them and are already doing great things - but most people don't feel equipped to do what God might send them out to do if they follow Him unconditionally.  But that's the beauty of the Holy Spirit.  God gives us the Holy Spirit to equip us.  To make us brave and capable.  Fearless.  Equipped.  We don't have to be afraid of that.
     What I Know For Sure: God created us to be brave and courageous.  We are not to sit on the sidelines, comfortable and passive.  He gave us His power through the Holy Spirit.  All we have to do is surrender.  He will do the rest.  Be brave!
     One more left!  If you would like to explore the spiritual aspects of your One Little Word, we would love to write about it!  Just let me know!
MARCH 26th: Mary Hill's OLW, EXERCISE



  1. After reading your words, I feel empowered!!! I feel like I want to conquer the world! :) I love how words can do that. You have brought the word BRAVE to life here, Holly! Thank you!

  2. You are so right about God wanting us to be brave. We are here to face the fears and move forward through them with courage. Thanks for rounding us up this morning. There were some early birds today. It helps me to be brave when I have this community of faith with me.

  3. I appreciate the honesty of your post. You mentioned not wanting to know the truth, because what it may ask of you. This is such a powerful conflict we face in our spiritual journey - wanting truth, and yet fearing it at the same time. I have been thinking about how God makes me stronger as I persevere through challenges. How he equips me for more. And sometimes I honestly think - but I don't want more! I'm at max capacity!
    Your words encourage me in many ways - partly knowing of spiritual siblings across the world going through the same struggle, and partly because they remind me of our Father who is unveiling his plan, and that I get to be a part of it.

  4. It is so hard to relinquish control of our lives, but yet, that is exactly what God wants us to do. We must be brave and have faith that He knows what is best for us when we ourselves do not.

  5. Holly, I don't know how I missed this link-up, but I didn't know you were writing about each other's words. What a great, great idea! How'd I miss that?

    At any rate, my Maddie (5) is learning how to be brave. That's our mantra. I have a whole new way of thinking about it now after reading your post!

    1. Dana - we'd LOVE for you to join us! We started writing about our own spiritual journeys last summer, and then when One Little Words started to be chosen in Jan., we started writing about the spiritual aspects of our OLWs on Thursdays. It's been really wonderful! We only have one more week left of OLWs, and then I pick other theme topics after that. But we'd love to keep the OLWs going! :-)

  6. So many wise words in this post, Holly. I can identify with the feeling of not wanting to get out of our comfort zones. Your paragraph ... I want, not... struck close to home. It is scary to let go. Thank you for these words: "God created us to be brave and courageous." You post got me thinking when I needed to get started on my post.

  7. "God gives us the Holy Spirit to equip us. To make us brave and capable." That is so TRUE! Yet we so badly wan to remain in control instead of relinquishing control to God (who knows so much more than we do). Thank you for the reminder of the Holy Spirit's job--to guide and equip us!

  8. True surrender takes bravery and trust. I can relate to Francis Chan talking about the stakes being higher with family. Braving through that to listen to what the Spirit is asking grows faith for certain. Feeling ill-equipped is usually when I know I am getting closer to what I am called to do because then I can't get in the way with my desires, but it is clear God provides and works through my life to accomplish his will. Thank you for the emboldening reminders.

  9. I know what you mean about not always wanting to know or wanting to move out of our comfort zone.

    I love the word "brave".

    Since our kids started school, we have prayed scripture from Joshua for them as they go out the door...Be strong and courageous. Never terrified or discouraged. God is with you wherever you go.