Let Your Faith Take a Turn

The neat thing about faith is that it is always taking turns.  If you ever feel it stop moving, it is time to stop and let it move.  I’m in a moving season.  My faith has started to take a turn.  It’s like standing in front of an IMax screen and getting ready to step inside.

Part of what leads me to move has to do with friendships, the words I read, quiet moments.  Funny enough, exhaustion that brings me to spend most of day laying on the couch also brings my faith to move.

I’ve been writing a book about time.  As I have been wrapped up in my thoughts about time and eternity, I am being moved by what time really means and how that meaning ought to drive how we live life.

Emily P. Freeman shared an article by Ed Cyzewski about the contrast between a salvation moment and a life long conversation with God.  We are converted throughout our lives as we learn what it is to abide and to receive the life and transformation that God slowly brings. It’s not that we have a ticket that we can either protect or lose. It’s that God’s passionate love is pursuing each of us right now, and we can choose to either abide in it or go about our own business. 

We can abide in Him or we can go about our own business.  It may feel like an easy answer to choose to abide in Him.  It’s an easy Yes.  But in the hundreds of little choices you will make today, will you choose to abide in Him?  The decision is easy, the action point is harder.

I’m reading a book called Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.  She tucks in a few lines that speak to my thoughts on time and how it plays into our long term life.  What if the [bible] passage you are fighting to understand today suddenly makes sense to you when you most need it, ten years from now?  It has been said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten.  Are you willing to invest ten years in waiting for understanding?

I think we are meant to live like there is no time.  We are meant to live and move and breathe in a place and a space of depth.  Where we are not lassoed in by time constraints, judgmental time lines or frozen by time.  I think we were meant to live in the light of eternity.  Where there is no time.

 

Becoming Less Linear

Today, I am thinking about who I am Becoming in a different light.  My standards are often so linear.  I think about beginnings and ends.  Time lines from A to B.  Getting there with successes and stumbles along the way.  Getting there with a point in time, or end, in mind.

God put the word Becoming in my heart.  Along with truths like Becoming doesn’t end.  We have a God that knew our names before time.  He had a plan for each of our individual lives before we came into existence.  His Word brought us into time, and His calling will bring us out of time.  To Him.  We don’t stop Becoming.

What I am learning as a person: I am learning to work hard to reach excellence in the weeds of my life.  But not to such a degree that I miss the gift of timelessness when it comes to Becoming.

Verse:  Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 4:13-15

Deep Thought:  While there are stops and goes in this present time.  While there is death and life as we know it.  While linear makes sense right now.  There is no end to Becoming.  He knew us before time, He knows us as we experience time and He will know us in eternity where there is no time.  And, in my view, even in Heaven, we will be Becoming.

Quote: God fulfills the dreams He give us, but not in the way we expect.  God works through death and resurrection.  Your dream almost dies but then God makes it alive again.  Shake off the snakes and keep going.  Sermon notes from Pastor Doug Sauder’s message of August 16, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: My friend Letty V is shaping me.  I describe her by real, seeking and honest.  She is known at the office as Queen Velazquez.  She is known at Sports Ministry as prayerful and strong.   I’ve seen her hit a wall, kick the dust of her shoes and keep trucking.  I’ve seen her walk hard in storms.  She always keeps the wind at her back.  I’m honored that her faith impacts mine.  Helping me grow.  Helping me remember grace, and helping me remember the ins and outs of who I am.  Thank you Letty.

My Prayer to You: Father, help us see beyond A to B.  Help us see how good You are and that You have graciously put no restraint on grace and growth in our lives. Help us see eternity where we will finally understand timelessness. Help us believe and speak and share with others to Your glory.  Amen.

Written By Sasha Katz

Unconsumed

My pursuits to be unconsumed by the daily grind require more transition than I expected.  Master of the calendar takes more than a book and a week.  Deciding on calendar design requires fighting a few longstanding opponents.  My opponents are the invisible kind, i.e. pressure, coming up short, being tired, pushing too hard, forgetting what I am made of.  What does your invisible opponent look like?

Even though I scheduled hard with a lot of heart.  Last week was somewhat of a bomb.   I simultaneously got hit with 1) the middle school snake schedule, 2) working till 9pm at least twice, 3) sleep escaping me and 4) missing two important meetings due to the failure of my calendars to sync.  My mom even asked me about the disconnect between my writing about time and my life last week. So, again, I consider time and the arrangement of it.

What I am learning as a person: I am learning that the silly little phrase Forgive Yourself can actually have meaning.

Verse:  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Deep Thought:  My shortage of strength, time, wisdom and peace is filled in by His love, creativity, vision and sacrifice.  I don’t know how He fills in my angst, worry, exhaustion and missed marks.  But He keeps doing the refill straight into my heart.  I am reminded to let God be God and let me be me led by Him.  Maybe it takes a book, a week and Him giving me a few more shots at mastering time.

Quote: …as Christ followers living under the ever-flowing fountain of God’s love, our hearts should be so filled with His daily kindness, and love, that we should have the resilience not to be angered or provoked when the most minor irritations of life come our way . . . Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 5)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: If you need to understand forgiveness, there is no better practical, but also deep application of it than in Chapter 5 of Bill Hybels book Simplify.

I also am learning a thing or two about brevity that is sweet and lingering in Shauna Niequist’s Savor, Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are.

My Prayer to You: I pray that we would resist being consumed by our daily grind.  Instead that we would seek the presence of God to lead us to the hours of our day.  I pray for us to be prepared to fight battles to remove the invisible opponents hacking our efforts and hindering our journey.  I pray for us to be prepared to forgive ourselves for coming up short.  I pray for us to believe that we can try and try again until we have mastered the skill of designing hours.  Beside God.  Who promises to never leave or forsake us.  Amen.

Written by Sasha Katz

Deciding the Design

Today, I consider time.  The arrangement of when something will happen.  Time is also continued progress.  For it to be both, we have to be intentional and creative, and looking upward.  I find myself in the open space of figuring out what that looks like for me.  I’m in the patches rather than the whole quilt.  But since I already know you also aspire to be the Proverbs 31 woman, you know how important the patches are to completing the whole quilt.  There is so much joy in deciding on the design of the patches while God takes care of the progress.

What I am learning as a person: Leaning away from building the components of my life.  Leaning towards the presence of Christ.  In this miraculous transition, I am seeing more fully who I am and what my life can be about.  If I miss this birth in me, I think I miss living in the center of His will for my life – – which is not fully about the daily grind, but pursuing what makes my heart beat with pleasure for Him.

Verse:  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46

Deep Thought:  I know so little.  But I am capable of so much with Him.  I want to be more intentional, but also a blank slate for Him to write on.  Churning in me is the connection between intention, God’s creativity and time.  My current journey is to work out the tension between my deliberate action and use of imagination towards the time God has given me.  It feels very right, potentially beautiful and worthwhile.

Quote: It’s a beautiful thing when passion and pay align, allowing you to do something you love and be well paid.  If this is your situation, thank God on your knees every day, because you are living the dream.  Very few people ever experience the perfect balance between passion and pay.  It is one of life’s rare and precious blessings.  Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 4)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: Simplify by Bill Hybels because he is helping me grab hold of the time I have and guard it for the things to which He has called me and for purposes for which I have been created.  Yes!  – – sigh/breathe/relief – – there is freedom here.

Love Does by Bob Goff also has shaped me. If you are a parent, you really have to read Chapter 20, Ten-Year-Old Adventures and Chapter 10, The Interviews.  It will ignite you to be alive with your kids and to aspire to make everlasting memories with them.  Reading this book gives me something very high to aim for!

Consider reading this recent post from So Beloved.  She gave me peace as I opened my day today.

My Prayer to You: I pray that the bit I shared with you today will begin to set in as a patchwork quilt in your soul.  I pray that you will allow your thoughts to take you to the components of your life: your family, faith, work.  Your community.  Your qualities and desires.  God purposefully imbedded your uniqueness into your soul.  I pray that you would consider your time.  Allow God’s creativity to work out the hours of your day.  Your commitments.  Your priorities.  I pray that you would not miss living in the center of His promising will for your life.

Written by Sasha Katz

The True, Eternal Time Keeper

imageBy AbbyA

Time.  There have been times in my life when I planned ahead.  I planned for who I would be and in what time of my life I would be “her.”  I planned for things like becoming a Supreme Court Justice and for being a stay at home mom.  I planned for a wedding before I had a date.  I planned for walking the red carpet in a very, large fancy dress to a charity gala in which I had raised a lot of funds.  I remember planning to be famous when I was four – – I insisted on wearing a night gown to school fancying myself to be different, and therefore, famous.  I planned on famous again when I was twelve making my brother take a video of me ballet dancing – – of course, the video would capture the priceless dancing of the young woman before her upcoming fame.  I always had something quite big in store for myself.  But in the deepest part of my heart, I often felt very small.

Time.  It is the planning ahead that minimizes the ups and maximizes the downs of this life.  I will have you know that I am neither a Supreme Court Justice nor a stay at home mom.  It is the planning ahead that later causes us to “discover” we have fallen short, taken a wrong turn or missed the mark altogether.  I have never worn a large, fancy dress anywhere (except to prom).  The calculation of time judges our understanding of our successes and failures.  And, finally, I am not famous.  The circling of numbers measures you.  It measures you.  How are you holding up under the weight of time?

Time.  The digital glow that gets you up.  The tick tock that pushes you out.  Alarm dings for when to leave, who to call, where to meet.  Married by thirty?  Boy and girl?  Keep trying.  Either way, get it done by thirty-five.  Did you have them potty trained by two? Were they reading by five?  Mortgage to pay by the tenth.  Kids to pick up by three.  Mouths to feed by six.  Work begins, work ends.  Client I missed?  Who can I text while I am waiting in line?  Grocery list?  Who will I call to set plans straight?  Efficient or not.  Behind or ahead.  You’re middle-aged by forty.

Time.  Feeling quite small under its suppression?  Mind you, it’s temporary.  There is a time not too far ahead of this temporal place.  Eternity.  Where there is no time.  Where a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day.  Where we arrive as the completed “her” without any planning ahead.  Where we wear large, fancy dresses and are quite famous in His eyes.  Where the depth of the mind and the sweetness of the soul replace the ticking of the clock.  Where we will be thriving in the light rather than striving in the shadow of time.

Time.  If you can catch the “what you planned” without fine sieving it through the net of time, you will find a few jewels.  You will find that you may have attended a gala event in lovely navy pants for a cause in which you raised some money.  You will find that God did not plan for you to be a Supreme Court Justice, but a lawyer and a very good mom.  You will find that feeling quite small is a reminder of the very big unfailing love that the Father has for you.

Time.  You will find that planning ahead is a journey in which time is not a marker or a judge.  You will find that planning ahead is about subject matter and substance.  It is about building a life and not a list.  It is about establishing principles and surrendering failures.  It is about coming home after being far away.  It is about a map that takes on many forms, but always brings you home.

Time.  This time I have with you.  I want to draw with you a map where the points of interest are subject matter and substance.  It is for the woman wearing many hats who desires a map that brings her home.  You will find this map to cover both the what we do and who we are.  It will change the way you plan ahead.  It will appeal to our familiarity with the temporal but set our minds on the true, eternal Time Keeper.  Love to you until next time.