Crushing Your Kingdoms – 31 Days

crushing your kingdomsWe all do it.

We set goals, we aim high. We create bucket lists and reach for the stars.

We attempt to set up our own little kingdoms with little ol’ me on the throne.

We may pin things to our Pinterest boards to build up our kingdom. Perhaps we cook and clean and decorate the “perfect” house.

We may work long hours, using a career, to create our kingdom.

It’s possible we’ve decided the kingdom must happen through our children and we bow to their every whim and desire to give them the perfect childhood we didn’t have.

In the quiet hours, late at night, when the house is still and you’re not able to sleep, that’s when you can be honest with yourself. Your attempts to build a kingdom are wimpy at best. If anything, you’ve created a sandcastle kingdom, but a strong wave will knock it down.

For the month of October, I will be joining a couple thousand bloggers in #write31days. Each day in October, we’ll look at why we set up our own kingdoms, which kingdoms needs to be crushed, and whose kingdom we should be building (hint: the Lord God).

You can come back to this page anytime to get links to all the posts in this series.

Is there a kingdom you immediately thought of while reading this? Let me know in the comments and it may make its way into the series. Also, if you’re visiting from #write31days, let me know so I can visit your blog!

Day 1:   Wanting our own way
Day 2:   Four lessons from a flood
Day 3:   Before the Throne of God
Day 4:   Counting blessings & revealing messes
Day 5:   Sit in the hard places
Day 6:   Stop building on sand
Day 7:   Praying for grace
Day 8:   Put on the new self
Day 9:   Reflections on glory
Day 10: Idol Factories
Day 11:  Appearance isn’t everything
Day 12:  My best guess
Day 13:  The Words of Others
Day 14:  Hear our hearts cry out
Day 15:  King me
Day 16:  Theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Day 17:  Let your light shine
Day 18:  Even still
Day 19:  Christ is king over Ebola
Day 20:  Though you ruin me
Day 21:  What others are saying
Day 22:  You are here – a brief recap
Day 23:  God’s grace is greater than my sin
Day 24:  How dare you?
Day 25:  Ears to hear and eyes to see
Day 26:  Four kingdoms (root idols)
Day 27:  Where your brokenness bring you
Day 28:  When longing for approval
Day 29:  How to crush your kingdoms
Day 30:  Seeking the True Kingdom
Day 31:  Continually crushing

bold_crushing

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Where is the Joy?

Welcome back to Five Minute Friday. The general idea is to receive a prompt word and write about it for 5 minutes. No major editing, no fixing things to make the perfect post. It’s about writing.

This week, I left it really raw. It was one of those words that I wanted to overlook, but I stepped up to the challenge to write anyway. What follows is a rough estimation of how my brain works. I like where we finally ended up, but the getting-there was H-A-R-D. Disclaimer: I went way over 5 minutes, but you’ll see why.

This week, the prompt is Joy.

————

The clock is ticking… The meter’s running… 

And I sit and try to figure out what in the world I could say about joy.

|    |    |    |    |    ← the cursor keeps blinking at me.

The Bible is filled with promises of joy. The 2nd fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace…

But I don’t feel it. Life is hard sometimes and my joy seems to dissipate like morning fog as the sun rises.

Nope. No.

I don’t remember a joyful moment today.

And I wrestle with how that balances with the people who are bubbling over with joy so much of the time.

I remember how, just before Christmas, a friend had a really exciting thing happen in her family. She couldn’t contain her joy (rightfully so!). One day she shouted on Facebook, “JESUS IS SO GOOD!”

At the time I was working through Advent, preparing to greet the Christ-child anew in celebration of his birth. My heart was raw, wounded, and sore. I mulled over her triumphant shout, happy for her, aching for me. It struck me at the time, that while I couldn’t shout in joy that God is good, I could still whisper it in pain. I could sob it in prayer.

Jesus is so good.

God even used that to allow me to encourage a few other people during the Advent season, to shyly show a tiny window of my pain so that someone else’s day would be brightened. There was a quiet joy in that.

Joy God is good

Back to today. A joyless day? God is still so good.

But my heart aches. God is so good.

And today’s problems will still be here tomorrow. He is good.

But I just want to scream out my frustrations! Jesus is so good!

joy.

Today is the first day of spring. We’re between the two holidays of Christmas and Easter. The joy at the manger to the joy of the cross. You see that now, right? The sorrow has a bright side. God is so good. He orchestrates everything for good, for His glory.

The joy of today is that even on a hard, exhausting, stressful day, God is so good.

Joy!

————

You can read more of this week’s Five Minute Friday posts here – Joy.

I’m linked up with:

Five Minute Friday       

The Greatest Rescue Story You Can Share

Do you get chills when you hear a great rescue story? This tale is no sad, in-the-arms-of-the-angel kind of story. It even has the unique use of a smartphone to speed the story to it’s exciting conclusion.

Isn’t that remarkable? Why do stories like this inspire us?

Sonia at Copyblogger has broken it down from a storytelling standpoint. Storytelling has proven effective for marketing or to share about your non-profit organization (shout out to our old friend, Dan Portnoy!). Too often, however, we are so quick to share absolutelyuselessinformation.

What does it mean for us as Christians? We are sitting on the greatest rescue story ever. We are not just watching from the sidelines. We are the ones being pulled away from danger. Are we telling our stories?

In Psalm 40:9-10, David says,

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

What has God done for you? Is your story being told? Do the people around you know that you’ve been rescued from darkness? Have you shared recently with a friend about how God brought you back from death to life?

Have I?

Karis Church is starting a By Name initiative for the next seven weeks. We’re being asked to commit to pray for one person in our life and then look for ways to connect and share the gospel with that person. The timing has been incredible for me as nudges to pray salvation prayers for people have come at me from multiple directions.

It’s frankly convicting and a little scary.

Psalm 40:5 says,

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

David proclaimed God’s wondrous deeds. It’s our turn to share the gospel. It’s time to tell the world our amazing rescue story.

Is there someone for whom you can pray and share your story?

~~~~~

I’m walking through the Psalms with Steph at Everyday Awe:

By Name

Day 31: A Prayer For The Road

Dear Lord,

You are our Healer – bring healing to the sick, wounded and dying. Give peace and patience while we wait. Heal also the mind that is sick.

You are our Sustainer – give us strength when we feel that we cannot go on. Fill us with what we need, when we need it.

You are the God who sees me – remind us of your presence when we feel so alone. Show us the plan you have for us, so we won’t be tempted to find our own way. (more…)

Day 30: Continue To Pray For Others

Need Prayer I

Photo Credit: Matt Carman (Creative Commons)

Are you ever afraid to pray for someone? You don’t think you have a powerful enough prayer for it to be answered? That if the request isn’t answered it means you failed somehow?

Or you want to pray with someone but are afraid you won’t have the right words to say or that you’ll sound silly?

It’s a little like Julie Andrews in Sound Of Music, when she forgot the younger boy’s name: “God Bless What’s-his-name!”

I’ve felt that way at times this month. (more…)

Day 11: When Life Comes First

10.11.12 – the day that life happened and blogging did not.

  • My husband had to go to the ER last night. He’s much better today, thankfully.
  • I have a funeral to attend tomorrow of a beloved member of our faculty. I am looking forward to hearing his life celebrated, though we are so sorry to have lost him.
A powerful light shines in the dark.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With what is left of Today, this day that was full of the joys and sorrows of life, (more…)

31 Days of Prayer for the Hurting

Join me during the month of October as I take on The Nester‘s 31 Days challenge and commit to blog each day this month on…

Over the course of the month, I will be posting prayers for various needs. Many of them tie in to someone I know personally who is struggling (Don’t worry, friends, I will use discretion and respect privacy). Some of them will be my own personal struggles. Others are just issues that I care about.

Each week look for prayers on these topics: (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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