Merry Christmas from Fully Alive Life Coaching

Christmas can be festive and fun for some. It can be stressful and depressing for others.
In the busyness  of the holiday season, take some time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. God Bless, He is good!

Advertisements

Can You hear Him?

Right after an amazing display from God himself, Elijah is in a crisis. In 1 Kings chapter 18, God proved himself to be the only true God against Baal. Not only did God of Elijah merely show up, it was pure mockery of an absent Baal. Elijah leads the way with faith. After watching the poor prophets take up half of the day crying out to Baal, Elijah prepares his altar with three times as much water around the alter. And in a matter of moments upon praying to God, the entire altar is set ablaze and even all of the water is dried up! Talk about an amazing sight! Then Elijah, guided by God’s power and command slaughtered the prophets of Baal. 

The contrasts between 1 Kings 18 and 1 Kings 19 are sharp and startling. Earlier, Elijah is bold and courageous, victoriously facing all kinds of odds with the chapter concluding, “the hand of the Lord was on Elijah.” Elijah experienced God’s supernatural strength to do the extraordinary. But in chapter 19, we find Elijah fearful, running scared, exhausted, depressed, and wanting to die.

In the section before us we see the cause of the change in Elijah. King Ahab tells the notorious Jezebel what Elijah had done. She reacts with vengeance and threatens Elijah’s life. Elijah runs for his life down to Beersheba in the desert in the southern most part of Judah. Leaving his servant, he continues another day’s journey further into the desert, crawls under a scrubby tree and, in deep depression, asks God to let him die.

It is in this state of spiritual depression that we find Elijah. Elijah’s depression is the result of a “perfect storm”—the convergence of several common causes. The first factor is what we might call unrealistic expectations. Re-read 19:4 – “I’ve had enough” means “That’s the last straw—I can’t take any more.” It is easy to get in trouble by letting legitimate spiritual desires turn into expectations that go beyond what God actually promises. This happens most often by expecting that key people in our lives will make good decisions about God. Of course we desire that they do this, and we pray to this end. But God has never promised that our desires or prayers (or even God himself) will overturn people’s free will. I have been devastated by expecting family members to turn to Christ—only to suddenly harden again and back away. I have counseled Christian friends about their wrong attitudes, watched my counsel sink in—only to see them revert back to the same wrong attitude. When things like this happen, they are bound to make us sad because we care about them. But when we base our emotional security on people’s choices rather than God’s faithfulness, the result is serious depression.

It is at this very time when Elijah most needed his support most, that he left himself totally isolated  (juniper tree; cave). But it is here where he meets God again. He is waiting to hear from God in BIG ways….(let’s read):

1 Kings 19:11-13 (HCSB) “11 Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
James 1:19 (NASB) “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”

After a very eventful season of life where God showed Himself in big ways, Elijah just needed to rest and hear God in a small still voice, in a gentle whisper. This ties into the series of self-care. Especially as Christians, we must rest. We must be able to hear God in all of our business and busyness. We must take time to truly meditate and listen to God’s voice. If we are on top of the world or if we are depressed. If we are stress and busy or bored and feel meaningless. In all situations, we need to build on our strong foundation and cornerstone, which is our relationship with God. He is our strong tower. 

Capacity for love

The more we love God,

the more we learn to love our Christian brothers,
the more we love God and our brothers,
the more capacity we have to love our lost friends,
the more we learn to love our lost friends,
the more capacity we have to love even strangers we have never met.
It all starts though with our love for God and builds from there!

REFUEL your relationship with God

I’m reading the book Refuel by Doug Fields…
And I am enjoying this help and practical book.

I love how Doug writes the same way that he speaks. His personality is the same even in his writing, not a lot of authors can (or even try) to express the same sense of humor in writing that they use in their real verbal life.

So far the book has been very helpful. It has confirmed a lot of thinks I have been thinking about, doing, and teaching about myself personally. I hope Doug does not mind me spilling the beans, but the approach to connecting with God is really simple. First we must STOP, then BE QUIET, and MAKE A CONNECTION WITH GOD.

There are a lot of things in our lives that we live that keep us busy, a lot of times we use this busyness as an excuse for not finding time for God. The issue is not our busyness but it is easy to use that as the excuse really our priorities are flawed or we are not managing our time properly to truly live out our priorities.

So Doug tells us to STOP…even for just a few minuets or seconds through-out the day and recognizing God as Lord. Put Him first, seek Him, pray, and read the Word of God….

but the first step of STOPPING can be difficult because of the lives that we live. Stopping does not mean giving God the left overs, we must STOP because if we really want to make a connection with God we must surrender all of our attention to Him. He uses an illustration of getting gas. We cannot fill our car up with gas while it is still moving or even running….we have to STOP the car before we can connect to the pump.

Servanthood Evangelism

“People are more than twice as likely to allow a person to share their faith when evangelism is combined with simple acts of servanthood.”

Servanthood Evangelism is intentionally sharing Christ by modeling Biblical servanthood.

The great ideas for servant evangelism are numerous!

Check out this website for some ideas!

Here are some thoughts:

Walk the streets of the community offering to change burnt out light bulbs for free and share the light of Christ

Change the batteries of fire alarms because of the love of Christ

pass out free water at a sporting event

Do a gas buy down…for a few hours at a gas station offer to pay the station .25 for every gallon pumped in 2 hours. The gas station sells the gas 25 cents cheaper, the customers are happy and you get a chance to talk to the customers about why you are doing this!

Bake cookies for visitors and visit them. The principle is do not just invite the community to come to your church, instead bring the church and love of Christ to them!

Community-driven: cook food for or mow grass for a particular community or a particular set of families, no strings attached.

Do not participate in a “church sports league,” do participate in a community/open/secular league.

People will ask “why are you doing this?”

This is the essence of servant evangelism and this is the opportunity to share the Gospel and God’s love!