Struggle for Perfection

Struggle for Perfection

Each week I am excited to share hope to those who are struggling by interviewing people who can vulnerably share what they have gone through and how God has seen them through. Today my guest is Michelle Rabon of Displaying Grace and author of Holy Mess: What it means to be a woman radically changed by the gospel. She encourages women to walk with Jesus through the messes of life.

This week on By His Grace we talk about the Struggle of Perfection. You can find that podcast episode here: Striving for Perfection Please Welcome Michelle Rabon author of Holy Mess: What it means to be a woman radically changed by the gospel


The Struggle of Perfection 

By Michelle Rabon

Martha heard that Jesus was coming and suddenly she set to her work. She busied herself with tasks that would surely please Christ when He came into her home. She wanted it all to be perfect before His sandals crossed the threshold of her house.  

Her heart to please Him wasn’t wrong, but it ultimately became the very distraction that kept her from sitting at His feet and hearing the truth He had to offer. Christ came to offer freedom from the burden of the law, the weight of perfection, and the yoke of sin. He did not come that we might remain in a furious state of trying to earn His love and grace. 

I love how the Message version articulates Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Getaway with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 

It was as if this is what He was trying to help Martha understand when she came in furious about her sisters lack of help. Martha was worried over so many things that in the end didn’t matter. 

Our desire for perfection blinds us to beautiful opportunities to rest in Christ.

I wrestle with perfection, maybe I always will. I want things to be right, I want to please the people in my life and make them happy. But the truth I need every day is that I can rest in Christ, even when things don’t go right, or fall apart. I can lean on Him when even my best efforts fall short. 

The enemy wants us running after our own efforts more than Jesus, He wants us discouraged because he knows our efforts will always fail us. Mine certainly do. 

I need the truth that whispers, I am enough for you. Click To Tweet

We cannot truly attain perfection, nor can we get it all right – no matter how hard we work. Martha learned that there was something better on the other side of striving, it was resting – true rest in the Gospel alone. 

We must learn this too, the struggle of perfection seeks to keep us with busy schedules, but malnourished spiritually. When we rest in the finished work of the cross, the sufficient power of Christ who paid the price for our sins, and when we seek His will above our own, we will begin to see a light at the end of our struggle. We will rest as Mary did at the feet of Jesus and leave the things that can wait alone. 

Michelle is a Minister of Musics wife and mom of three. She just released her first book and Bible study Holy Mess and blogs regularly at www.displayinggrace.com.
 
 
Her goal above all else is to encourage women to thrive in their walks with Jesus and share the beautiful Gospel of Christ. When she isn’t writing or teaching Michelle loves reading, spending time with her family, creating art, and drinking coffee. 
 

This week we celebrated freedom on July 4th in America, but our true freedom comes when we walk in the fullness of Christ! Let’s celebrate the freedom of overcoming in Jesus.For a limited time only!!! You can claim a copy of The Struggle is Real: But So is GodThe Struggle is Real: But So is God Bible Study on sale for only 9.99 for the book and 4.99 for the e-book!!!

Thanks so much for joining us today! If you enjoyed this post then you may also like How to Trust God When Yo Battle Anxiety and Ginger Harrington: Graves Diseases and Anxiety Struggles.

Much Love,

 

 

 

 

 

Misty Phillip

How to Trust God When You Battle Anxiety

How to Trust God When You Battle Anxiety

In our modern fast-paced society anxiety is on the rise, and it can be crippling. I first addressed this topic on By His Grace with Jodi Howe in Episode 3 on Conquering Anxiety. In that episode, we discuss how to cope with anxiety as a Christian. Jodi shares strategies she uses for coping with anxiety, and the importance of listening to the Lord’s wisdom instead of the world’s wisdom.

Anxiety isn’t just an emotional condition, many times there are physiological reasons behind anxiety. This week’s guest on By His Grace Ginger Harrington shares her diagnosis of Grave’s Disease and her struggle with anxiety, and how God used this health crisis to grow her faith. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear more of Ginger’s story, and what God revealed to her in the process.


How to Trust God When You Battle Anxiety

By Ginger Harrington

It’s the uncertainties that keep me up at night.

Years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, a hyperthyroid autoimmune disease. I didn’t have time to be sick.

I didn’t matter.

Plunging down the drop of a thyroid-induced roller coaster, blood pressure and adrenaline flooded my system and it was months before I felt anything close to calm.

It was months before my hands stopped shaking.

Months before I slept more than an hour a night.

Sometimes God allows us to face challenges so that we can act on our faith on a deeper level.

If you struggle with anxiety, consult your doctor or meet with a counselor to address the cause of your challenge. It’s also important to explore the faith component of dealing with fear. There comes a time when it is not enough to talk about trusting God.

Sometimes God allows us to face challenges so that we can act on our faith on a deeper level. Click To Tweet

When doubt pounds against belief, we can experience God in a new way as He provides for needs, gives comfort, and infuses strength. These are proofs of God’s goodness in the face of need.

In the struggle, victory is found one choice at a time.

God encouraged me with these words as I meditated on Isaiah 26:3:

When you are anxious, your emotional attention is on the problem rather than fixed on Me.  When you look at the storm, the storm is what you will see. When your mind is stayed on Me, you will know the perfect peace that grows out of trusting me and is evidence of My Presence within you. I AM your peace.” (NASB).

When you experience worry or anxiety, consider these truths: 

  1. Faith is a gift of God, not some secret power we must somehow manufacture on our own (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  2. Focus on the power of God rather than the presence of a problem (Matthew 6: 27-14).
  3. Don’t let the hard days keep you from finding strength and comfort in God’s word (Psalm 94:18-19).
  4. Seek out supportive friends. Don’t isolate yourself when anxiety robs you of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  5. Not every moment is good, but believe God is good in every moment (Psalm 103:1-5).
  6. The more secure we are in the love of God, the more we trust His Heart even in the difficulties and disappointments of life. (Psalm 73:26).

God used my struggle with autoimmune disease to put a little grit into my faith, teaching me that my feelings cannot define my faith. I might feel fear, but the choice to rely on God is my path to peace. Never discount small, brave acts of faith that spur you to go on rather than give in.

Especially in our toughest experiences, holiness and peace are found in each small-but-significant choice to trust God . . . one more time.

-Adapted from Holy in the Moment.

Discover more practical ways to experience wholeness and life-change through a deeper relationship with God in Ginger’s award-winning book, Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life (Abingdon Press). Read a free chapter. Get your free gift of  Summer Soul Refresh: 31 Simple Ways to Restore Your Soul, available now at GingerHarrington.com.

A Selah-Award finalist, Ginger Harrington is the author of Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life, as well as the publishing director for the non-profit organization, Planting Roots: Strength the Thrive in Military Life. As a dynamic speaker, Ginger helps women learn practical ways to experience wholeness and healing in Christ.

 

Connect with Ginger on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. Join the Holy in the Moment Community, a private Facebook group to engage with book content and celebrate our moments together.

The Technology Struggle with Screen Time

The Technology Struggle with Screen Time

Video games, social media, television, and computer screens dominate our lives! The struggles with technology and screen time are real! My guest today is Doug Smith author of [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires, and How You Can Break Free.

Please welcome Doug Smith to By His Grace, and you can listen to the podcast we recorded here:Struggling with Screen time


The Technology Struggle with Screen Time

by Doug Smith

I’m grateful for Misty’s invitation to share with you today. Misty’s new book title captures the journey of faith with profound simplicity: The Struggle Is Real: But So Is God. For many of us, few struggles are more real than those we fight over technology.

If we’re not fighting our own screen-based battles, we’re struggling with a spouse who devotes too much time to a glowing rectangle. Or we’re wrestling with our kids’ tendency to care more about their virtual lives than their homework, chores, or real-world time with family and friends.

In my years of research — not only as a tech industry professional, but also as a man, husband, and dad to four girls — I’ve learned the chilling reason our struggles with screens are so real. The industries behind our devices intentionally make their content distracting, habit-forming, and addictive. We’re all watching, clicking, swiping, buying, or playing because they’re so good at exploiting our natural psychological weaknesses.

By enticing us to spend 6, 8, 10, even 12 hours a day enthralled by an endless barrage of apps, games, videos, posts, tweets, or memes, they’re stealing what’s most valuable to us: our attention, our time, and ultimately, our very lives.

For many of us, few struggles are more real than those we fight over technology. Click To Tweet

Many people throw in the towel when they feel overwhelmed by the struggle. It’s just too hard to fight against the onslaught of billions of screens. They’re too exhausted for one more fight with their son over Fortnite, or for another argument with their daughter about Snapchat.

And on our own, the struggle is overwhelming.

But God. But God. The Bible overflows with defeat-to-victory stories where the impossible was turned into reality by But God. David cried out to God, saying “My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). Jesus’ disciples were hopeless after He was crucified, “But God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30). The world was without eternal hope, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love … made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

God makes all the difference. When we invite Him into our struggle by surrendering everything to Him, He gives us all we need to overcome (2 Peter 1:3-4).

The surprising answer is that we often surrender to the wrong thing. We surrender to the struggle by giving up, instead of surrendering to the One who can help us overcome whatever is holding us back.

What can you do to become more intentional with your life than the industries who want you to waste your life on their platforms?

Here are four ways to get started:

First, choose to hope in God. Don’t give up. Hope sometimes comes from telling ourselves truths like David did. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him” (Psalm 43:5).

Second, learn the strategies used to keep us hooked on our screens. Find out how techniques such as autoplay, like buttons, and loot boxes are designed to manipulate us. Let that knowledge embolden you to break free.

Third, discover your God-given purpose. You and your family are here for so much more than to live as data-slaves of the most powerful corporations in the world. When you’re walking in your purpose, no screen will be able to pull you away from it.

Finally, cultivate Biblical practices that fill you with God’s presence so you can fulfill His calling on your life. When you integrate timeless spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, worship, and silence, your thoughts and actions will be shaped by God’s Spirit instead of the screen-saturated spirit of our age.

Yes, The Struggle Is Real: But So Is God. Apply that truth to the struggles over the screens in your life today, and find a freedom you may never have known before.

Doug Smith offers an insider’s perspective on the impact of technology, informed by over two decades of web programming experience and a lifetime of Bible study. He’s a popular speaker, mentor, and author of [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires, and How You Can Break Free. Doug is gratefully married to fellow author, Lyneta, and the couple is blessed with four wonderful daughters. Find out more at http://thatdougsmith.com and http://unintentionalbook.com.

 

 


By His Grace Podcast exists to help you make sense of the struggles of life by examing things through a Biblical Perspective. Please let us know how we can pray for you!

Much Love,

Misty Phillip

3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling

3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling

Struggles come in all shapes and size some big, some small, but everyone has struggles unique to them. However, there are common struggles we all share. For instance, my youngest son graduates next year from high school and is thinking about his future. What he should do for work, where he should go to school, should he go to community college or go off to a University? When we have conversations with him about this it usually ends with us telling him to pray about and seek God. The truth is he may plan to go in one direction, but God may lead him in a completely different direction.
 
This week on the podcast I interviewed Eric Nevins host of the Halfway There Podcast: Eric Nevins: Struggle to Find Your Calling We talked about the struggle to find your calling, how God sometimes plants you somewhere that doesn’t make sense, and His grace to not waste that time. Today Eric shares his wisdom with us on the blog. Please welcome Eric Nevins.
 

 
3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling
by Eric Nevins
 
“Well, I’m off to waste another day of my life,” I thought as I rumbled down the road to my office. Nine years after graduating with a seminary degree and trying multiple avenues to enter various other professions, I was still working at a bank doing work that felt meaningless. Wasn’t there more to life than this, especially if I felt called to ministry? Turns out the answer was yes, and for the time being no.
 
Here are three things I learned to do from a twenty-year struggle to find my calling:
 

Cultivate contentment

 
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that the first step to struggling with your calling well is to cultivate contentment but I’m here to tell you it’s true. A lack of contentedness will rob you of the opportunity to enjoy the season of life you are in.
 
For example, I once had the best job in the world and didn’t know it. In college, I worked as an in house security guard at a small benefits firm. This place was amazing. We had 24-hour access to all the soda, juice, and yogurt you could ask for. Lunches were free and leftovers plentiful. Any time of day you wanted food, it was not far off. The work required me to be available at the door to let the appropriate people in and to make a check of the doors every so often. That was it! The rest of our time was spent on the internet, reading books for school, and wading knee deep in theological waters with my coworkers.
 
When they outsourced our jobs I raged but really I was mourning. You never know what you had until it’s gone especially if you do not actively appreciate what you have at the time. Wherever you are, even if you feel hopelessly stuck, look for one good thing every day and let them build up to increase your contentment.
 
 

Get great at whatever you can

 
Work habits have a tendency to build on one another and develop into skills. For example, I spent over 10 years in the abyss known as customer service. Yes, I worked in a call center for over a decade. I still cannot believe it myself. Many days were full of boredom while saying the same thing over and over again. I started to think of my job like Name That Tune and go so good at it that I could tell what the customer needed within a few words. I never imagined that I was developing a skill of listening behind the words, developing an ear for tones that told me more was going on. I couldn’t have known that later I would use this skill to create a podcast that I love and has helped many. But it has.
 
 

Keep an eye toward the future

 
This one is so important. Even if you don’t know what your calling is or had some failures in what you thought was your calling, keep dreaming. Why? Because you never know what will catch on and capture your heart.
 
After graduating from seminary, I started a blog about Christians and politics, everything you’re not supposed to talk about. I quickly realized that I didn’t have as much to say as I thought but was able to get books from publishers. One of those books changed my life and convinced me that telling stories was more powerful than telling people what to think about complex issues. Years later, that conviction would lead me to start a little podcast called Halfway There that now has hundreds of thousands of downloads.
 
Life is a series of events and experiences that all stack on one another. If you’re having a hard time finding your calling ask the Lord, try everything, and don’t give up.
 
Eric Nevins is the host of Halfway There, founder of Christian Podcasters Association and author of 8 Day Experience, a collection of short, contemplative Bible studies design to go deeper with the Lord.
 

Thanks for visiting By His Grace today! You also enjoy posts from other recent guests like Cheyenne BellKatie M. Reid, or Kate Battistelli. If you are struggling to make sense out of life you may want to check out my newly released best selling Bible Study.

The Struggle is Real: But so is God Bible Study is a 6-week journey through the Bible that will:

Equip you with empowering wisdom.

Help you grow spiritually by claiming God’s promises as your own.

Teach you how to declare scripture over yourself to strengthen your inner being.

Show you how to conquer challenges by activating God’s Word in your life. 

Grab your copy of The Struggle Is Real: But So is God Bible Study. Perfect for a summer or fall Bible Study. For personal study or with a small group.

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

Dealing with the sudden loss of your spouse can be tricky, especially when you have small children. On episode 22 of By His Grace  Podcast, I interviewed Cheyenne Bell about coping with the unexpected loss of her husband.

Listen to that episode By His Grace Podcast: Cheyenne Bell.

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day, and today Cheyenne shares some practical ways to celebrate Father’s Day with your children after your husband is gone. Please welcome Cheyenne Bell to By His Grace.


Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

by Cheyenne Bell

After losing my husband suddenly in October of 2017, one of the hardest truths to swallow is the knowledge that my kids will grow up without such a beloved and important figure in their lives. That burden is even more heavy on my heart as my little family came up on our first Father’s Day without their daddy. I began to dread a day that used to bring us joy as we showered my husband with love and gifts, but now, even though we still had all this love to give him, he was no longer here to receive it. I realized I had to be proactive about making Father’s Day a day of joy, despite our loss…but how?

My kids are not the only children in the world without a father to celebrate on Father’s Day. Whether a child has lost their dad through death, divorce, or abandonment, Father’s Day can be hard on many kids and their moms or guardians. I don’t believe that ignoring the day is the right answer. For me, I chose to celebrate the day by honoring my husband’s memory and his legacy of love and reminding my kids daily of what a treasure they were to him. Here are some ways that I found can help kids honor their daddies, even in their absence.

Whether a child has lost their dad through death, divorce, or abandonment, Father's Day can be hard on many kids and their moms or guardians. Click To Tweet

Activities Dad Would Have Loved. Take your kids out for a day filled with “daddy activities.” For us, I take my kids to a movie, or grab dinner at Chipotle, then have ice cream for a treat. Their dad would’ve loved all of these things! You don’t have to go out or spend money to engage in “daddy activities,” though. You can easily have fun at home doing things your kid’s dad would have loved: puzzles, video games, grilling, building something, cooking. Talk about their dad a lot while you do all of these things. Keep his spirit front and center throughout these fun activities!

Celebrate Other Father Figures. My children are extremely lucky to have awesome uncles (actual and designated) and two amazing grandfathers in their life. Even though they are not a replacement for their dad, these men have stepped into Daddy’s shoes with grace and strength of character. They deserve to be recognized as father figures in my kids’ lives and we will celebrate them as much as we would have celebrated Daddy on Father’s Day.

Write Letters to Dad. While my kids are not quite old enough to write a letter to Daddy yet, this is a great way for older kids to honor their absent dad. Not only will this activity give kids an opportunity to express their love for their dad, it will also give them a chance to process feelings they have been experiencing since the loss of their father. Assure your child that you will not read the letter if that is their wish, but encourage them to “speak” freely to their Dad and tell him how much he’s missed. Follow up with lots of snuggles and encouragement.

Visit Dad’s Resting Place. If your child’s father has a final resting place, Father’s Day might be a good day to visit. Bring flowers, a letter for Daddy, or just yourselves. Spend time talking about their dad and remembering him, or telling them about him if they never had the opportunity to know him themselves.

Volunteer. Father’s Day would also be a good day to give of your time and energy for those less fortunate. If your kid’s dad had a favorite charity or a cause dear to his heart, find a way to get your kids involved with that cause for the day.

Grieve Together. Despite the way you decide to honor the absent dad in your kid’s life on Father’s Day, it will likely be an emotionally trying day for you and for your kid. Allow yourself and your child to grieve freely. There is nothing wrong with allowing your child to see your sadness. In fact, it may help your kid process his own grief by watching you process yours. Give yourself and your child permission to feel the sadness of the day, but also encourage him to remember the good times as well. Grieving together will be a source of healing and comfort for you both.

Father’s Day will never be the same for our family, nor should it be. There will always be a hole where there was once an amazing, loving, gregarious, kind, thoughtful man who loved us more than his own life. As much as we wish we still had him in our lives, we know that he is rejoicing in Heaven and we will see him again someday. Until then, we will honor him and his life whenever we can, especially on Father’s Day.

Cheyenne is a writer and blogger with a slight obsession for old homes and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in Buda, Texas with her amazing children, Aislin and Hawkins.

 
 

Thank you for visiting By His Grace today! While you are here be sure to check out other By His Grace Podcast episodes that help bring hope to the struggles we face in this life.

 
Much Love, 
 

Misty Phillip

Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Please welcome Katie M. Reid to By His Grace this week. On the podcast, we discussed the struggle between Law vs. Grace. As a Martha type-A get it done kinda gal, Katie has had a life-long struggle with law vs. grace. After spending years of trying to earn her place with God, Katie learned to enjoy her place in God’s Kingdom, as a daughter, not a slave.

You can listen to that episode here Katie Reid: Law vs. Grace.


Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

by Katie M Reid

I am not a quitter. By God’s grace, I have been called a finisher. 

But, I’m done. This get-it-done gal is giving up spiritual gymnastics.

To explain further, tag along with the Ghost of Sixth Grade Past, and enter the bustling gym, packed with girls sporting a colorful array of leotards—a gymnastic meet is in full swing. A lean gymnast is in the middle of a compelling floor exercise, her choreography synced to the latest 80’s pop song. Now, divert your eyes away from the natural talent to the pear-shaped sixth grader, in the wedgie-inducing leotard (okay don’t think too much about that last part).

What I lack in talent, I make up for in determination. Inspired by Mary Lou Retton, my 12-year-old self approaches the balance beam, for a springboard spilt mount to start things off and….I fall off the beam, again and again. I try so hard to nail a flawless routine that I topple under the pressure. 

It was my first and last gymnastic meet. 

Dismounting the Beam

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was four, pumping my little legs on the swing, declaring my faith to the heavens with a simple melody. But as I grew, my childlike faith morphed into try-hard faith, where I worked to keep up appearances and avoid missteps and embarrassing situations, like ill-fitting leotards. 

I knew I was saved by grace, yet I acted like it was all up to me to earn a perfect score. When I failed to live up to my holier-than-thou standard, I felt like God was distant and angry. When I felt good about my efforts, I stood tall—puffed up and pleased with myself for hitting the mark. 

This tiring ping pong match of discouragement and pride did a number on me. 

Then, a few months before my 40th birthday, God invited me to quit what I had worked so hard to grasp. 

He showed me that I didn’t have to perform for His love, it was already mine, in Christ. I didn’t have to leap and twist my way into His favor, because Christ had died to gift it to me. Click To Tweet

I could get off the balance beam and stop trying to measure up because Jesus had made a way when I felt short.

 

Call It Quits

Friend, you are invited to call it quits too. You are invited to exchange your sin for Jesus’ sufficiency, your legalism for His lavish grace. Stop wearing yourself out trying to prove yourself, and instead, run into His loving arms that were outstretched on the cross to prove His love for you, once and for all.

Spiritual contortions are not required to wow this judge. Jesus already earned the perfect score, so whether you fall or fly, you are a champion. The gift of grace isn’t like getting a participation ribbon for showing up, this is like getting an Olympic gold medal for existing. 

You receive what you don’t deserve and it seems unbelievable. You receive pardon for guilt, favor for failures, forgiveness for sins. On one hand it’s ludicrous and the other it is overwhelmingly good news. 

It’s like offering a lump of coal at a gift exchange and receiving a ten-carat diamond ring in return. Although the ring is valuable and breathtakingly beautiful, you are embarrassed to take it. It is so lavish and you feel so lacking. Yet there is nothing left to do but allow yourself to enjoy the gift. And sometimes doing so is the hardest “to do” of all. 

If you have accepted the gift of salvation then relish in what is true:

•Jesus’ performance determines your worth.

•His good work leads you to right standing with God.

•God’s pleasure with you is directly correlated to His Son’s finished work on the cross.

God, help us not to add to or take away from that which is perfectly wrapped in human flesh, provided by You, with love. 

Jesus: Grace Incarnate.

We don’t have to strive to receive that which has been gifted. We receive salvation, through faith, and we enjoy it. We don’t have to earn it, pay it back, or promise to be flawless. Click To Tweet

The beam of Jesus’ love supports us. His grace is strong enough to hold us. His open arms offer what we can’t ever obtain on our own. 

Grace is not just a pleasantry. Once grasped, it is truly a lasting motivator to live set apart—pure and holy, for the Lord’s glory. It doesn’t mean we will never struggle or sin after receiving it, but we are changed by it, and we are freed from legalism, through it.

Consider yourself invited to quit spiritual gymnastics too. Get off the balance beam and sync up to God’s love, as you leap and twirl to some fantastic 80’s music. 

 

Katie M. Reid is a speaker, singer/songwriter, and author of Made Like Martha. She holds a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and has been published on: Focus on the Family, LightWorkers, Proverbs 31, TODAY’s Parenting Team Blog, and For Every Mom. Katie is a fan of musicals and cut-to-the-chase conversations over tea. Katie lives with her husband and five children in the middle of Michigan. She and her husband host “Stop! Hammock Time” on Facebook, to encourages couples to get closer and grow deeper. Subscribe to katiemreid.com to receive resources to help you walk free and live out your God-given purpose.

 

 


This week I kicked off the online study for The Struggle is Real: But So is God. I am so excited to gather with women from across the country to dig into God’s Word online and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! There is still time to join us. We meet at 8 PM CST on Tuesday evenings in The Struggle is Real Online Bible Study Group for a Facebook Live.

So excited to gather women from across the country to dig into God’s Word and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! Grab your copy of The Struggle is Real: But So is God on Amazon today and come join the fun!

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Bungee Jumping with God

Bungee Jumping with God

I can’t wait for you to meet my brave beautiful friend Kate Battistelli this week on By His Grace Believing God-Sized Dreams!! Author and speaker Kate Battistelli and I have an incredible conversation about choosing to believe God for the impossible. Please welcome Kate to the blog today!


Bungee Jumping with God 

By Kate Battistelli

Have you ever gone bungee jumping? I’m a complete chicken and in the natural realm, there is no way on this earth you will ever catch me strapping up and stepping off a ledge. My common sense doesn’t trust the equipment or the guide. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. People make mistakes, amiright???

But common sense, when it comes to God, will always try and contradict the still, small voice deep in my spirit. Every time…every stinkin’ time.

Do you ever get those wild thoughts, those ridiculous impressions or giant glimpses of the future and think, no way, that can’t be for me in fact, it’s completely crazy and I don’t live in crazy town.

However, if you’re like me you sometimes let those thoughts marinate a bit and think …what if? Just what if God is directing me and it’s not just me being hormonal or menopausal or a hundred other excuses I could give for not taking a risk and daring to dream? What if God wants me to step out in faith when I can’t see the end from the beginning? It’s super easy to brush those thoughts away because usually, they will require us to make a change and choose to abandon our comfort zones. And admit it, we all crave comfort. We don’t like stepping off ledges into the unknown.

I don’t like change. Change in behavior, change in environment, change in attitude. Okay, I admit it, I like the predictable parts of life. I like writing my lists and checking them off. But I’ve learned over the years God is anything but predictable! God wants each of us to live by faith, not by certainty.

Here are some basics I’ve learned about faith:

  • If you can see it, it isn’t faith.
  • Common sense is the enemy of faith.
  • Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it.
  • Faith is spiritually discerned
  • Faith asks us to believe in the impossible

(And those are just the easy ones!)

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

No wonder more of us don't take God at His word. It makes us uncomfortable. It disrupts our perfectly planned routine. It forces us to face our fears and often, it completely defies common sense. Click To Tweet

So, here’s what I’ve learned after traveling with God for more than thirty-five years:

  1. If you can see it, it isn’t faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s like a shadow that your prayer and belief and vision put substance to. Faith is actual substance and true evidence but you can’t see or touch it, you can only apprehend it. Faith alone knows that the “not yet” eventually turns into the “will be.” It’s assurance that what we’re hoping for will really and truly come to pass. Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it. (Luke 17:5)

 

  1. Common sense is faith’s enemy because it’s…common. It shuts down the supernatural in our lives. What starts as a shadow, an inkling, or a knowing deep inside, causes your common sense to rise up and try to shut it down. Faith is unique, unusual, exotic, dangerous and courageous because it takes courage to act on the unseen, to bungee-jump into God’s miraculous plan and throw caution to the wind! Most of us will never take God up on His offer to step into adventure with Him, to walk into the unknown and plunge with Him into the place where dreams are born.

 

  1. Faith is a gift. I remember telling God years ago, I don’t just want faith–I want GREAT FAITH! I wanted to believe for gigantic things for myself, my daughter, my husband. Let me tell you when you pray that prayer, God answers and it’s not always in the way you hoped. I thought He would make me more spiritual but He used it to humble me. He caused me to depend on Him in ways I never imagined but He’s proved over and over that He is enough. He’s still humbling me and reminding me that:

 

  1. Faith is spiritually discerned. My natural man and spirit man are at odds and I won’t be able to figure it out with my intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I don’t know and come to Him as a child.

 

  1. Faith asks me to believe the impossible. Could you believe for a miracle of divine healing or provision for a desperate need? Do you believe your child has a phenomenal future ahead of her or that your life can leave a lasting impact on others? Paul teaches us to “…call those things that are not as though they are.” romans 4:17. Don’t you just love that about God? It sounds so easy but it drives me to my knees!

You can’t figure this out with intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I know and come to Him as a child because children are able to believe anything is possible. I’m learning to walk in faith day by day, sometimes moment by moment, hand in hand with God. On the hard days my prayer simply becomes, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Our faith will be tested; you can take that to the bank. How else can you develop faith unless God gives you something to have faith for, knowing He’s the only one who can provide it? He has to test us in our faith journey and here’s why:

Faith is just a doorway. A doorway into trust.

And that, dear friends, is the ultimate goal. Knowing and trusting every day that He has your best interests at heart.

If I were to really go bungee jumping, I’d want to be absolutely certain that the person in charge knew what he was doing and had taken all the proper safety measures. As I stepped out on the edge of the cliff, you better believe I’d be praying the cords were tight and the harness fastened correctly before I took that bungee plunge. Holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut I’d count to three and jump. So far, my Father has always been there to catch me. And I’m certain He always will.

What about you? Are you willing to step out into your incredible future? Will you risk everything, jump and trust the cord will hold?


Kate Battistelli is the author of The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? I know this book and her story will encourage you to step out on the water and walk in radical obedience to God!

Kate is a wife to Mike, and an author, speaker, and former actress/singer. She is the mother to Grammy award-winning Contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli. Kate has faced all kinds of trials throughout her life from having an abortion, ectopic pregnancy and struggling with infertility. She has also struggled with anxiety and nocturnal seizures, but through it all, she is keenly aware of God’s continual presence in her life. For more information visit: Kate Battistelli

 

 

Misty Phillip

Book Review: The Logic of God

Book Review: The Logic of God

“God wants us to know Him personally and live out our faith day by day in meaningful ways, but the noise, chaos, clutter, and busyness of life so often overwhelm that we find it difficult, if not impossible.” -Ravi Zacharias

The Logic of God by Ravi Zacharias is an invitation to know God more deeply, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review it. I firmly believe we all have a worldview or a lens in which we view the world. What we believe and what we believe about God matters! It affects every area of our life and those within our sphere of influence.

“For the Christian this is where the battle must be fought, for no worldview suffers more from the loss of belief in God than the Christian one. And unless the “logic” of God – the evidence has provided us of His existence – is defended, I sought after, is fully engaged with our hearts and minds, every essential of the Christian faith will be deemed illogical and untrue, thereby making them unworthy of rational assent “- Introduction to The Logic of God

According to CARM – Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, Worldview is defined as:

“A worldview is a set of beliefs and assumptions that a person uses when interpreting the world around him.  A worldview deals with issues like . . .

1. What are we?
2. Were we created or did we evolve?
3. What is our purpose in life?
4. Does God exist?
5. From where do we derive our morals?
6. Are there moral absolutes?
7. Why is there suffering in the world?

 

All people have a worldview.  Some believe in God, and others do not.  Some affirm evolution, and others do not.  Some believe there are absolute morals, and others do not. Some worldviews are more refined than others, but all people have them because all people have a set of beliefs through which they view the world.”

What we believe matters! I have a Biblical Worldview and so everything in my life filters through that lens. I also believe in the sufficiency of scripture. We see this concept clearly illustrated in Psalm 19:7-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

John MacArthur on the sufficiency of scripture states,

“God’s Word is sufficient to meet every need of the human soul as David verifies frequently in his psalms. Psalm 19:7-14 is the most comprehensive statement regarding the sufficiency of Scripture. It is an inspired statement about Scripture as a qualified guide for every situation. Scripture is comprehensive, containing everything necessary for one’s spiritual life. Scripture is surer than a human experience that one may look to in proving God’s power and presence. Scripture contains divine principles that are the best guide for character and conduct. Scripture is lucid rather than mystifying so that it enlightens the eyes. Scripture is void of any flaws and therefore lasts forever. Scripture is true regarding all things that matter, making it capable of producing comprehensive righteousness. Because it meets every need in life, Scripture is infinitely more precious than anything this world has to offer.”

He goes on to say,

“It is significant that one of the biblical names of Christ is Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6). He is the highest and ultimate One to whom Christians may turn for counsel, and His Word is the well from which we may draw divine wisdom.”

Ravi Zacharias clearly lays out similar principles in his devotional book The Logic of God.

 

“At the very heart of Christianity, Jesus is the image and the incarnation of the invisible God – the one who came to live among us to show us God’s love, perfection, and grace. And this reality changes everything” – Ravi Zacharias, The Logic of God

Book Description:

We all have doubts that challenge our faith. We wonder whether the Bible still matters, or whether God is truly as loving and personal as we hope. In his first ever devotional, The Logic of God, apologist Ravi Zacharias offers 52 readings that explain how and why Christianity, the Bible, and God are still relevant, vital, and life-changing for us today. To all our dilemmas Ravi says, “I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds.”

With a remarkable grasp of biblical facts and a deep understanding of the questions that trouble our hearts, Ravi tackles the most difficult topics with ease and understanding. But The Logic of God is more than intellectual; it is also personal, offering thoughtful wisdom on:

when Jesus draws especially near you

the deep ray of hope found in God’s Word

how God transforms disappointments

why prayer matters

how genuine peace is possible

making sense of suffering

Ravi makes profound biblical truth easy to understand. And if your life is busy, this book is designed for you! It addresses 52 topics that you can read over the course of one year or slowly digest at your own pace. Each entry includes a Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps.

When you're struggling with questions and doubts, confused, curious, or just want a clearer way to express your faith The Logic of God has answers that satisfy the heart and the mind. Click To Tweet

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Logic of God and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know God more deeply and walk closer to Jesus! Each of these 52 devotions begins with a scripture, and a short devotional thought followed by reflection questions and personal application to strengthen your faith.

Enter to win a signed copy of The Logic of God By Ravi Zacharias here:  The Logic of God Giveaway

Much Love, 

 

 

Misty Phillip

It Riles People

It Riles People

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Shontell Brewer to this space. Shontell has a radical on fire heart for God. Radical obedience to God may look different than you think and it may shake some people up. My prayer for you is that she challenges you to live this one life with purpose loving and serving an audience of one!

Be sure to check out the podcast we recorded! Shontell Brewer: Teacher and Anti-Trafficking Advocate

Please welcome Shontell Brewer to By His Grace today!


It Riles People 

by Shontell Brewer

Ever been accused of riling things up?

I have.

Try choosing a ministry other people aren’t on board with. Try pointing out heavy truths of slavery and oppression taking place on the streets of your town. Try moving to a state or a city or a neighborhood that people don’t quite understand. Try selling all of your stuff and giving it away. Try walking to a church in your neighborhood and calling those in the pews your “people” whether or not that church has the coolest VBS and worship program. Try leaving your church to spend your Sundays in a different way. It riles people.

Everyone wants an explanation. Suddenly people are huddling in close to you wanting the inside skinny on why you’re really leaving. Simply stating that God is doing something with you isn’t enough. Don’t even try it. Well, try it. And good luck with it. It riles people.

Suddenly, everyone feels they are closer to you than he or she ever truly was. You can’t quite remember becoming close enough with them for this conversation. They don’t say it, but they mean, “I know you aren’t around gossiping, but obviously you will tell ME.” They are riled.

You find yourself at a birthday party and people want to hash it out. They are riled. People pull you out of service and need to know if something happened. And to that we should always be able to say, “Yes.”

Yes. God is at work here. Prepare to be riled if you aren’t in cahoots with his plan. And be ready to be a lone reed if you are. Click To Tweet

Every day and every minute you are trying to stand before God and hone in on his still small voice. You want nothing more than to lock eyes with The One Who Calls You. You find your grasp is a white-knuckled fist upon his robes. And you are low and humble and crying more days than not.

In the end, do you know what you will discover?

You need to know that when people get riled up it is much more their issue and much less your problem. You aren’t riling anyone, actually. What is happening is the Holy Spirit is about you, and rather than meet that with support, their fear jumps up. And then rather than meet their fear with grace, we sometimes find that we are afraid of that very thing they are talking about. And if we aren’t careful we begin to reverse the work God is doing in us.

We are no longer out on the waves, eye to eye with Jesus and his deep grace. We are swimming back to shore, walking up to our chair in the corner, and pulling a towel over our face to block out what we left and what we are now missing. It’s a sham.

That fear? It’s a sham. God says, “Grace abounds in deepest waters. Join me. Look in my eyes and feel my heartbeat in time with yours. This is when your doubt subsides and you are strong in me. This is how you know me. Most importantly, this is how others will know me- when they watch you.”

So rile them up, my friends. Look them all straight in the eye and stand firmly in your calling.

Just watch what God can do with that.

Shontell Brewer is a writer on her blog Nonsense At Its Finest. By day she works as a classroom teacher, and weekends are mostly spent as an advocate for the steadily growing anti-trafficking movement in Nevada. As a licensed pastor, she speaks around the country to youth, mothers, and churches. A wife for over twenty years, she and her husband have spent most of that time raising five kids. Together the family runs a monthly outreach in their home: a come as you are dinner called Taco Tuesday. Keep up with her day to day nonsense, books, and speaking engagements on Instagram. Her book, Missionary Mom, was released fall of 2018.


Hope you enjoyed hearing from this week’s guest and look forward to introducing you to Kate Battistelli!

My last few weeks have been busy attending the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference and with the launch of The Struggle is Real: But So is God. It debuted at number 1 in Adult Christian Education on Amazon, but more importantly, people’s lives and hearts are already being changed!

The Struggle Is Real, But So Is God is a

6-week

journey through the Bible that will:

Equip you with empowering wisdom.

Help you grow spiritually by claiming God’s promises as your own.

Teach you how to declare scripture over yourself to strengthen your inner being.

Show you how to conquer challenges by activating God’s Word in your life.

#thestrugglebiblestudy

It is available for sale on Amazon.

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

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