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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

12
Mar

(in)couraged to mend :: week three


What a beautiful group of women we are journeying with! I’m so thankful for a community brought together by God.

I read from Luke 8 the other day. The part where Jesus was speaking to a large crowd gathered, and was told His mother and brothers wanted to see Him, but couldn’t get close because of the crowds. Verse 21 says, “Jesus replied, ‘My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.'”

Friends, I love the fact that because we are believers of God’s Word, we are bound together as family through it. What a beautiful community indeed!

This week I’m sharing my thoughts on chapters 5-8. I couldn’t wrap my head around a way to summarize the four chapters as a whole, so I’ve decided to share a little of my thoughts on each.

The Scarlet Cord:

“Essentially, she believed in God more than she feared for herself.” It’s the story of Rahab, a least likely heroine. She was imperfect, immoral, improper. A castoff and sin-filled woman with a controversial story. And proof that anyone can find redemption!

God hand-picked Rahab to play a vital part of His lineage. She most likely didn’t know at the time her faith-actions would be talked about even today, but what if fear had taken over? What if she didn’t find herself worthy to be part of His great story?

But God chose her for His story. And Rahab didn’t let her soiled life of sin prevent her from believing in the One True God and she was greatly blessed for the faith she possessed.

What if we too, let go of all fear from our sin-laden pasts. What if we decided to believe in God more than we fear for ourselves?

Our God IS the God of redemption. I believe with every fiber of my being there is nothing that cannot be redeemed in this life. Our God desires to redeem His people.

Flee and Don’t Look Back:

It’s true … I will never read this story again without thinking of the “salt shaker!” :)

Why friends do we insist on “looking back?” Piggy-backing on the previous chapter’s message … God desires to redeem our lives and situations. If we have our past on repeat, how can He bless our future?

God desires for us to move forward in our stories. Lot’s wife, this nameless woman, left a legacy of looking back. Our God desires for us to leave legacies of looking forward, giving Him glory with our stories.

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

Honeysuckles and Fireflies:

My heart was filled with joy as Angie shared these images — word-stories — of her neighbor boy. A boy who had no tangible equipment to play the game … yet “he had everything he needed for the perfect game.” And, “the ability to see the whole thing in a way I never could.”

Why do we need to have exactly the right equipment, the right temperature, the right crowd … why does everything have to be just right in order for us to “play the game.”

Angie says what God needs from us, “is the sweat rolling down {our} neck and a heart that believes He can use you.”

I once heard Beth Moore say something that’s been pivotal in my relationship with God … “Do you believe IN God? Or do you BELIEVE God?” Once I made the choice to simply believe … my life’s been forever changed.

Us, Not Me:

Comparison. Jealousy. Competition.

God has created each of us with uniquely different gifts. He’s also fully equipped us with what He’s called us to do. He needs many servants for His kingdom, not just a few “chosen” ones. We are all called. We all contribute in our own unique way.

Let’s not snuff out our specific callings with comparison, jealousy, and competition.

Instead let’s, as Angie suggests, “show everyone what true, Jesus-filled love looks like.”

######

What is the thing from your past that you fear will keep you from God?

Do you ever rewrite history?

What do you admire about someone else’s relationship with the Lord?

Whose life can you pour into today?


 

Here’s the reading schedule …

 February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque

February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise

March 7 – Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie

March 14 – Chapters 9-12 :: Denise

March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque

March 28 – Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie

April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque

April 11 – Chapters 23-25 :: Denise

April 18 – Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie

April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Concluding Thoughts

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!



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7 Responses to “(in)couraged to mend :: week three”

  1. […] Tracie is hosting our study on her […]

  2. “Why do we need to have exactly the right equipment, the right temperature, the right crowd … why does everything have to be just right in order for us to ‘play the game.'”

    Oh, I love this! Even in terms of the writing life … it’s so easy to get caught up in wanting a newer laptop, a better camera, a bigger audience … when none of those things are truly essential to writing well.

    Thank you for these beautiful words today, Tracie. Simply beautiful.
    Denise J. Hughes recently posted..Mercy on a Mountaintop . . . Part 4

  3. […] recently read a beautiful book on forgiveness by Tracie Stier-Johnson that held a quote I’ll forever […]

  4. Jen Lawrence says:

    I love the book so far. The Lot chapter particularly resonated with me as well as the reminder to not compare ourselves with others in our faith walk. Thank you for sharing!
    Jen Lawrence recently posted..Magazine Monday

  5. […] March 7 – Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie […]

  6. […] March 7 – Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie […]

  7. […] March 7 – Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie […]

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