Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Glorifying God

you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:20.

Everything I do in the last week, I have had to ask myself... How are you glorifying God in this moment? When I am sitting in the drive thru at Chick-Fil-A, I can't help but ask myself Am I glorifying God right now? Yesterday I was devouring a delicious quesadilla from Salsarita's and I kept feeling ashamed. I wasn't glorifying God in any way by eating that.

"I have the right to do anything," you say - but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right do do anything" - but not everything is constructive.
1 Corinthians 10:23

Every morning I have a traffic filled 45 minute drive to work. I rarely get above 45 mph the entire drive. I have the right to listen to a crappy radio morning show that talks about nothing constructive. I have a right do o that, but it isn't beneficial. I am so thankful that I have seen this 45 minute drive as a blessing. I am growing closer to God in this drive. I am using this drive to its fullest. I am listening to a devotional, praying to God, or just being silent to hear from Him.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that is may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Today at work, a co-worker called my classroom to complain about something. I didn't even want to hear her complaint because I could easily be roped into complaining. I bit my tongue because there is no way to glorify God through gossip. I should have hung up the phone and not listened to her complaints. It is so hard to work with 15 other woman and not get roped into gossip. I do not want to be a part of it.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

So, to you...
Are you glorifying God in all that you do? You get one life on Earth. Do not waste the opportunity that you have here to live out your purpose. God has called you to do something amazing for His kingdom. Are you doing it? Are you serving at your church to glorify God, or to please someone? Make sure all of your motives are right. Make sure you are glorifying God in everything that you do. You don't have time to waste on this Earth.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Favor Fast 5:11

I meant to blog every day about the fast every day. But, after day one I was really tired and crashed every night before I had the opportunity to share my heart with you.

So, I will give you a brief synopsis of what went on for the second through fifth day.

Day Two: I was feeling alright, so I went on to attend boot camp. Boot camp was good. My trainer was on day two of the fast as well, so she knew how I was feeling. She was lenient on me, but I worked as hard as I could. It felt good. I reflected on the favors of my family. I am truly blessed by my family. My parents and I have not always got along, we have come such a long way, I love it! I am so thankful to have the family that I have.

Day Three: I still had the headache. I spent the entire car ride to work praying for the people who were fasting, and praying for revelation in all areas of my life. I love having 45 minutes of forced quiet time, where I have the option of listening to a crappy radio show, or praying to my Father. :-) I went out with a friend, and came home to sleep for 11 straight hours. I was more tired than I thought.

Day Four: I was great on day four. I had slept for eleven hours, how could I not be great? I spent my commute thanking the Lord for his favors in my life concerning the fast. How was I able to tackle working with 9 two year olds, school, and boot camp on only juice and water? Only through favors of the Lord. I attended boot camp. I was able to do less this time, but I still did the best I could. Jumping up and down in any form made me light headed.

Day Five: This was the second hardest day of the fast. I knew that the end was in sight, and just wanted to eat. I had a Valentine's party in my classroom, so I had the opportunity to serve my class some delicious foods, watch them eat it, clean up there mess and not enjoy a bit of it! I was so excited for after work because we had a special event at Blakeney. For the leaders of the church, they pre-screened the documentary This is How We Change the World. It was incredible. I got to church early enough to take a picture with Pastor. A long time ago, he came around and hugged every eTeam member that had arrived, and that was a special moment. It was cool to take a picture with him! :-) I am so honored to be under his leadership. I am so thankful that the core family decided to make that leap of faith and move to Charlotte knowing no one to start a church. Emily, Matt and I went to Amelie's to enjoy a delicious first meal in five days, well for me at least. I am so thankful to have Emily as a friend.

So, reflections on the fast. God is so good to me. I have so much to be thankful for. My life revolves around food way too much. It is sad to think how much my life revolves around food. I hope that this experience opens my eyes and changes that. I realized how little I leaned on God in all areas of my life. I had to depend on His strength in me to complete this fast. It was an amazing feeling to feel as if I had nothing but Him. I hope that I do not go back to my old ways now that I can eat again.

I am so thankful for the challenge from Pastor Steven to fast for five days. I am thankful that I accepted, and was able to experience the challenges of fasting. I am thankful that several of my team members jumped on board with me, as well as my trainer. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to fast alongside Kelly Draddy, Abby Wilson and all of the Matthews campus.

Monday, February 7, 2011

5:11 Favor Fast Day 1

Elevation Church had its fifth anniversary this weekend. It is amazing to look back at the things that have happened to Elevation in five years. God has had His hand on Elevation since before it was Elevation Church. I am so thankful to be a part of this move of God. Pastor Steven felt as if he felt God calling him to fast going into this anniversary. Elevation is calling the fast the 5:11 favor fast. 5 to symbolize five years, 11 to symbolize 2011, as well as 5:11 to symbolize Luke 5:11.

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.
Luke 5:11

Pastor Steven is fasting for eleven days. He is an amazing man. He has encouraged all of Elevation to fast for five of the eleven days. Today is day one for me!

Reflection on day one:
Day 1 was very hard. I never realized how much of my day revolved around food. I typically make a Starbucks run at 7:50am, eat breakfast with my class at 8:45, eat lunch with my class at 11:45, go to lunch (Panera/Qdoba/Chick-Fil-A) at 12:30, eat snack with my class at 3:15, munch on something on the way home and eat dinner around 6:30. What a difference today!! I had juice and water today. I drank over 140 ounces of water today and less than 700 calories.

The devil was on attack today. He did not like knowing that this fast was going to pull me closer to God. I spent 15 minutes yelling at my boss about something small and petty, an hour crying because of frustration, hunger and a headache, I complained about my headache constantly, I complained about hunger constantly, and spent a good amount of time being bitter toward a coworker. How terrible? The devil was trying to get me down. I just spent about an hour with my door shut, radio off, computer off and PHONE OFF, alone with God. I am so thankful for God.

I spent today being a terrible person. I was not grateful toward God once. I showed Him no glory in my behavior today. But, He still loves me. I am so undeserving of His love. I am thankful for it, but very undeserving.

I want to take the next five days to evaluate different areas that God has placed favor in my life. Today, I wrote down eleven different favors God has placed in my life through Elevation Church. These are in no particular order.
  1. Through Elevation Church I was able to step outside of my shopping addiction and learn how to give back to God what he gave me until it hurts.
  2. Through Elevation Church, for the first time in my life, I have had a challenge. I have something to work toward and a reason to strive to be a better person.
  3. I have learned how to step out of my comfort zone; how to follow a call God has given me (and have strength in Him even if it doesn't go my way)
  4. Through Elevation Church, I have learned (and am continuing to learn) how to be a strong Christian leader in all areas of my life.
  5. I have learned the meaning of salvation, Christ's love for me, and how to love others like Christ loves me.
  6. Being under the leadership off Kelly Draddy and Abby Wilson. Such an amazing favor. I am so thankful to be lead by them that it brings tears to my eyes. They have so much faith in me. I am so thankful for them.
  7. See my brother come to Christ.
  8. Learn what it means to be the Church.
  9. Having people believe in me and expect me to rise to my full potential.
  10. I have been able to step outside of regular attendance and serve others. Serving others is such a glorious thing. I am so grateful for the opportunity to greet first time eKidz families EVERY Saturday.
  11. Learn the meaning of audacious faith and believing God for the impossible.

Writing that list brought tears to my eyes, typing that list brought tears to my eyes, and reading that list brings even more tears to my eyes. God has placed so much favor in my life. More favor than I am deserving of. I do not thank God enough for what He has done in my life.