Sunday, January 8, 2012

Live Dead Challenge: Conclusion of Week 1

As I reflect on a week worth of the Live Dead Challenge, it has been a great week!  I have been able to be pretty consistent with my time and ability to keep up with the daily challenges.  That's not to say that I have been perfect, but I have definitely committed myself to more extravagant with Him.  This has taken the form of quiet prayer, reflection, reading, and listening to him and his word.

Each day has brought about it's own insight into my life.  Listening is one great example.  I am reminded a lot by those around me that I wasn't naturally gifted with the ability to listen well.  This is not simply the case with those who I spend much of my time with, but it also pertains to my relationship with God.  Historically, I have not taken the time to listen to Him.  What I have found in several days of taking the time to listen to him and his wishes, I have experienced great clarity on some issues and relationships that I have felt confused about in the past.

Living a simple life and understanding expectations are also lessons which were learned this week.  These are also both areas in which I historically struggle.  While I feel that I try to keep things relatively simple at times, let's face it, in this day in age, a biblical sense of simple is much different than ours.  And realistically I'm about as bad at this as it gets.  I rarely say no to anything, which may make life simple for others, but more complicated for me and my relationship with my God and my family.  At the end of the day, He says that our relationship with Him must be first, followed by our family.  Everything else comes after that.  Unfortunately, I can't say that historically these have been my priorities in life.

Understanding expectations from my spiritual relationship and those around me is also something that I need to work on.  I've been blessed with so many opportunities, time, talents, and relationships that I often expect much more than I should.  I often expect things to come easy, but I must remind myself that anything worth having will not come easy or without pain, no matter what part of life we are talking about.

Finally, integrity in speech is paramount.  I'm extremely guilty of not thinking before I speak and I've committed to doing just that as I move forward.

I've always been a huge believer that our society doesn't teach enough self reliance.  Our younger generations are being taught that it is almost always someone else's fault and that everything should be handed to you.  Today, a local pastor had a great sermon on moving through your personal spiritual journey and one thing that I took to heart is that if we are truly going to ever become God centered, we have to be accountable for our own spiritual growth.  It is not up to anyone else to help me grow spiritually.  There are a lot of options out there to assist me on my spiritual journey, but at the end of the day, it is MY responsibility.  I have to say that over the recent months that I have taken it upon myself to grow my personal faith that I couldn't agree more with Pastor Tommy's statement.  Is it up to us to find Him and get close to Him.  Heaven is a choice.  He gives us the roadmap, but it's up to us to follow it.

Obviously my passion is for orphans and those less fortunate.  One of my favorite scriptures from this week is Matthew 9:37-38

"'The harvest is so great and the workers are so few,' he told his disciples.  'So pray to the one in charge of the harvesting, and ask him to recruit more workers for his harvest fields'"

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