Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: following Jesus (Page 3 of 3)

Fighting Against the Current

“Don’t just follow the stream and go downstream, anybody can do that. Dead things go downstream. It’s alive things that have to fight against the current,” Max McLean

Pastor Tom Brunner preached a great sermon on Sunday, “Help For Growing Up”. It was the first in his series, “Why Survive When You Can Thrive in 2015?” Nope, not going to a new church, we were on vacation. His message hit a chord with me as he encouraged his congregation to grow like Jesus. In order to do that we have to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who as a young man was found sitting in the synagogue while his parents looked for him. (Luke 2:41-49) Growing up like Jesus rather than just growing old involves

  • Listening and asking questions v.47
  • Living a  three dimension rather than one-dimensional which focuses on self, or two-dimensional, where the relationship is political and a trade-off i.e. ‘if you do something for me, I will do something for you.’ I want to live a three-dimensional life, where the hub of my life is centered on God my heavenly Father.
  • Taking responsibility for my own growth in Jesus. I want to live a purposeful life, grow in Christ, forge ahead.

The message came to a close with the question:

In this new year, how can I grow in Jesus? How can I grow to be more like Jesus? Too look more like him?

To grow takes effort. To look like Jesus and be conformed to his image will involve forging ahead, swimming upstream. I want to fight against the current of what is popular, comfortable and looks like the world.

I can’t stop thinking about Kara Tippetts. We are friends because we are sisters in Christ, but we’ve never officially met in person and I can’t recall how I came upon her blog many months ago. I did a review of her book, The Hardest Peace, where she recounts her story, a story of cancer. Today, Kara is dying, but she is dying well. She is swimming against the current of self-pity, doubt, and joyless living. Her focus is on pleasing her Savior today in the days God has given her. I can’t tell her story better than she does on her Facebook page and blog. She is choosing life today. She is choosing joy and love today. Isn’t that what we’re all promised? Today? (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-17)

Today will we choose to not follow the world but the Savior of the World?

Dusty Women~~Amanda

Months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want model so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5

I wanted a catchy title other than God’s Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we’re from but where we’re going?

I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.

I caught up with Amanda earlier this summer drinking lattes’ with great conversation. She returned last December from a two year commitment with SIM and I wanted to hear all about it. We didn’t get around to my Dusty Women questions because I wanted to hear her back story of her faith walk and how she ended up in Kenya. One question I did ask which she didn’t hesitate in answering.

“What would you say to your 16 year old self? to which she replied…

“You’re not getting married tomorrow, so boys don’t matter.”

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Describe yourself in 5-7 words.

Christ-following, loyal, compassionate, silly, baker, photographer, dreamer     

Amanda, briefly describe your walk of faith.

I grew up in a Christian home and placed my trust in Jesus when I was just four years old. Unfortunately, as passionate as I was in the beginning, my faith soon wavered under the stress of trying to fit in. I tried to live both worlds, the good little Christian girl at home and at church, and the “cool” kid at school. It didn’t work so well. Because of these problems at school, I was home-schooled for a few years in high school. Best decision ever. God really met me at my low point, and re-dedicating my life to Him, I found the strength I needed to face the every day, to realize that I cannot live for both God and man (Galatians 1:10). Although I have since had many moments of people-pleasing, God has shown me time and again that He is all-sufficient, and all-surpassing in worth. And because of the great love that He has shown me, even in all my sin, I now have the opportunity to serve Him and testify to His goodness in Kenya.

What does God’s Word mean to you?

God’s Word is life: it is the very breath in me, my daily bread, strength for my weary soul, water in a dry and thirsty land, an ever-present help in times of trouble, joy and peace in the midst of chaos, the greatest Love Story ever written.


Briefly explain your work as a short-term missionary.

Since my job was to capture and tell the stories in Kenya, it is hard to pick just one. One of my favorites, though, is the time we had the opportunity to interview a woman who had taken in over eighty IDPs (Internally Displace Peoples from the conflict near the coast of Kenya). She and her family provided shelter, food, clothes and school fees at the expense of their own comfort, their own bills to pay, trusting that God would provide. I was so encouraged by her, her faith and willingness to give it all away for the sake of the gospel. After recounting how they had completely depleted their savings and watched God provide for their needs, she said it reminded her that “If I take care of God’s business, he takes care of mine.” And then she said “I will never get tired of serving Jesus, even when it hurts.” What a great reminder! No matter what we face, God is in control, and since “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17), everything we have is God’s anyway, so why not give it back to Him willingly. Besides, if we are more valuable than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, whom God has fed and clothed, how much more will He do so for us! (Matthew 6) “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)                                 

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