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Slow Down

A Reflection by Stacy Bick

On my walk today, as I pulled at my dog Esther’s leash to hurry her along, I heard the Lord speak. “Slow down,” He said in a soft, gentle voice. He sweetly urged me to stop and live in the moment. To take in all the beauty of the creation around me. I saw the marvelous sky – how He creatively designed the clouds in rows as if they were rolling waves. Then, as I looked to my right, I saw a cloud in the shape of a heart.

Had He put that there for me in that moment knowing I was looking, paying attention?

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Ericka Goss: “Prayer”

Okay, I’ll say it…

I’m a daddy’s girl.

As a kid, I always had a really wonderful bond with my dad. He was kind of my idol — who I wanted to be when I grew up. He was always loving, always giving. We used to say that he would give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it.

My relationship with God first started because of what I saw in my dad’s life. Praying to my heavenly Father felt so natural…  so hopeful. Connecting wasn’t hard.

Besides that, my dad and I are two of a kind. I inherited his ability to worry about pretty much anything. I also inherited his eyes, his love of action movies and his inability to admit when he’s fallen asleep in front of people.  

It’s safe to say that growing up, we were always very close. I felt like I could share anything and everything with him. And typically I would.

When I was 18 I made a big move — not only leaving the house I grew up in, but also the state, my family, and the only world I had ever known. The only communication I had with my family was through phone calls.

Another thing you should know about my dad and I: we’re terrible at phone calls. My mom, however, has been blessed with the ability to talk to anyone and everyone for hours on end about pretty much anything. For example, she once had an hour long conversation with the phone operator while trying to call my dad at work. Yeah, I don’t know how she managed that…

When I moved out though, it’s safe to say that my mom was sort of my lifeline to my family back home. She always made the effort to call me and drag me into a conversation that would slowly turn into hours of recounting the day’s details. My dad, however, was more aloof. Occasionally my mom would pass him the phone and we would stumble through a one-worded conversation that normally would last no more than 5 minutes. Then we’d hang up. Naturally, I started calling my mom more and my dad less. Continue reading Ericka Goss: “Prayer”

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Venerating Jesus

I’ve touched on in the past how I believe there is a massive reformation movement taking place right now within the Body of Christ. By God’s grace we are correcting a ton of theological and practical errors we have been making for a very long time, learning to better and more consistently express the true heart of the Gospel. God’s House is being reconstructed and it is starting to look drastically different than it did just a few decades ago.

As the reformers of our generation continue this work of reconstruction, we need to avoid developing our own set of structural errors to replace the previous ones. One such erroneous approach that I have found some reformers to be taking is to undermine the unique glory and honor that is due to Jesus Christ. The logic goes something like this;

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Give In to His Pull

God is SO good. It’s insane.

That said, sometimes it is easy for us to underestimate just how insane His goodness is. Heartache, distractions, hurry, and insecurity can all keep us from seeing the full scope of how gloriously good and kind and present God is in our lives. That’s where spiritual disciplines come in.

Spiritual disciplines, if done free of a motive of compulsion and performance-orientation, can be so enriching. They open our eyes to the wonder and awe of the beauty that is God-with-us. They help us savor life and squeeze all the juice out of it. They help us more fully “taste and see that HE IS GOOD.” Continue reading Give In to His Pull

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worship = life

God is doing so many beautiful things in the Body of Christ in our generation. To name just a few,

He is expanding our understanding of the Kingdom and giving us a deep passion for justice on the earth.

He is teaching us to live more missional, befriending and reaching the lost as a lifestyle rather than an activity.

He is calling us all deeper into community and intimate relationships, beyond the rugged individualism that we once equated with normalcy.

He is enlightening our minds and giving us the privilege to be more thoroughly educated in the area of theology than possibly any previous generation.

He is exploding a movement of intercessory prayer throughout the nations, through which He is calling all people groups into the Harvest.

He is returning us to our roots, giving us a restored value for the great and wide Tradition that the mothers and fathers of our Faith have passed down to us.

And He is releasing waves of wild creativity that get us out of our comfortable boxes — both in the form of supernatural gifts and in artistic expression.

     There is just so much forward movement happening right now.

Something that I think is most especially characteristic of what God is doing in our generation though is simply returning His Bride to her first LoveAnother way this could be said is that God is making worship the fabric of all that we do. Continue reading worship = life