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B Moments, self care

Love Yourself the Way Christ Does

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about self care.

I had this thought as I was at an event at Moody Church in Chicago earlier this week, and we were graced by the presence of gospel heavyweight Marvin Sapp. He said something in his interview that really grabbed me. He said that you can’t be anything to someone else until you are everything to yourself.

This hit me because as much as I want to be of service to God and to be used in His service, I certainly don’t always treat my body with kindness and respect. Whether I’m putting myself through too much stress, not exercising on a regular basis, or not eating healthily, I sometimes fail to care about my body as Christ would.

What I realized while I was sitting there is that when I dishonor my body in that way—whether it’s through food, or stress, or lack of rest—I am damaging one of God’s instruments, and I surely don’t want to do that. I want to be used in God’s service.

Therefore, as I reflect on self care, I’m going to cling to these words: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, love yourself the way Christ does.

B Moments, Holy Spirit

Prepare for a New Season with the Holy Spirit

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: John 14:26 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about preparing for a new season.

Recently, I talked about the seasons changing and how we can sometimes feel as though we’re living between two seasons. This made me think about the proof we have that we are preparing for a new season.

For example, I live in Chicago, so in a few short weeks, I’ll be preparing for the fall season. My closet will be proof of that as I begin to move my winter garments and boots to the front of my closet while my summer clothes and open toe sandals fade to the back. If anyone were to walk into my closet, they’d see proof that I’m preparing for the fall season.

In the spiritual realm, we also have to have proof that we’re preparing for a new season. What I occasionally lose sight of (but was recently was reminded of) is the importance of inviting the Holy Spirit into our journey, especially when we’re embarking on something new or are on the cusp of change.

Sometimes, we forget to seek the Holy Spirit, but Jesus teaches us in John 14 that the Holy Spirit is sent as our Counselor, one that will never leave us and who leads into all truth. So, while we may get caught up in the newness of a new beginning itself, we might end up losing sight of what is actually important.

The next time you feel you are on the cusp of change or something new, invite the Holy Spirit in and remember these words: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember the Holy Spirit.

B Moments, will

Press Toward the Center of God’s Will

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.

We are wrapping up our series on the distinction between an adventure and a quest. If you’ve been listening, you’ll remember that an adventure is about you while a quest is about something greater than yourself, where your journey leads you to helping others and you are redefined in the process.

Sometimes we resist embarking upon a quest because we are fearful. This reminds me of one woman’s account of being in the center of God’s will. The woman runs a nonprofit here in Chicago where she works with children who live in some of Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods.

Once, I heard an interview with the woman where she was asked whether she was frightened to serve in at-risk neighborhoods. Her response had such a profound impact on me that I will never forget it.

She said that she knew deep in her heart that God had called her to do this work and that as long as she stayed in the center of His will, she felt safe and protected. In other words, the safest, most fulfilling, most rewarding place for her was in the center of what He was calling her to do.

What do you believe God is calling you toward today but you haven’t fully committed to? Instead of being in the center of His will, you may still be dancing around the edge. Yet the closer you move to the center of what He is calling you to do, the closer you’ll be to the most rewarding place.

Be encouraged to move from the outskirts and closer to the center as you cling to these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, keep pressing toward that center.

B Moments, adventure

Embrace Your Quest, Not Your Adventure

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about the difference between a quest and an adventure.

Recently, I was listening to a great nonprofit organization here in Chicago develop its theme for its annual benefit. During the meeting, someone asked what the difference is between a person being on a quest and on an adventure. I thought this was an interesting question, so I decided to listen further.

As Pastor Carter explained the difference, I was captivated by his explanation. He said that a quest is about something greater than yourself, where your journey leads you to help others and you are redefined in the process.

An adventure, on the other hand, is mostly about you. If you’re on a quest, there is no turning back. If you could turn back, you’d be on an adventure.

When I heard this pastor’s analysis, I thought about how the apostle Paul was on a quest. He tells us in Philippians 3:12 that he will keep working toward that day when he is finally all that Christ Jesus saved him for and wants him to be.

As you embark upon a brand new year, is your life about a quest, or are you just on another adventure? As you answer that question, cling to these words: “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, embark upon your life’s quest and never look back.

B Moments, season

Savor the Joys of This Season

B Moments, season

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about being in between seasons.

I live in Chicago, and this is the time of year that feels as though we are living in between winter and summer. One day, all the signs will indicate that summer is right around the corner: the skies are blue and the temperature hovers around 60 or 70 degrees. Yet, the next day will be gloomy and barely 40 degrees.

Summer is so close that I can almost smell it in the air, but it’s still not here. It makes me wonder how much more of this I can take.

The same phenomenon presents itself in the seasons of my personal life. When I am not absolutely content with the present, I consistently struggle with staying in it. I’m often preoccupied with new beginnings and a new season and a new door opening. It ends up being almost impossible to appreciate what the current season can offer me.

As we know, each moment creates the next. If my current moment is filled with a lot of anxiety and anticipation, I’m only continuing to create more of that.

Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of finding joy in the present. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of that.

The next time we have one foot in today and the other in tomorrow, let us cling to these words: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, savor the moment, knowing that tomorrow is on its way.

B Moment, center

Stay in the Center of God’s Will

B Moment, center

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about what it means to stay in the center of God’s will.

A short time ago, I heard a woman being interviewed about her experience mentoring kids. She had started an after-school program for kids living in some of Chicago’s at-risk neighborhoods, and she was explaining her work to one of the interviewers.

One of the topics the interviewers touched on was whether or not she was sometimes afraid to go into these dangerous neighborhoods. However, she answered that she knew, deep in her heart, that God called her to the work, and her work was God’s will for her life.

She told the interviewers that as long as she stayed in the center of His will, she felt safe and protected.

I am also reminded on this Good Friday about how Christ faced being in God’s will, even with some of the most difficult challenges. For example, he was on a journey with the disciples, and they were trying to encourage him to eat.

However, he let them know that he had food they didn’t know about. He told them that his nourishment came from doing the will of God, and from finishing God’s work.

It is clear that God will sometimes put us in circumstances that are not always easy because accomplishing His will is not always easy. Yet the call is upon us to do His work and to finish His work.

So on this Friday, let’s celebrate and be grateful that Christ finished his assignment, and be inspired by these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, allow your mind and heart to stay in the center of God’s will, despite how difficult it sometimes may be.

b moments, compassion

The Need for More Compassion

b moments, compassion

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 7:12 (ESV)

This morning I am feeling that there is a growing need for more compassion in our society. Recently it was reported that Chicago hit the devastating milestone of five hundred homicides in 2016 – a figure that breaks my heart especially, because Chicago is my home city.

I was talking just the other day with a girlfriend who works a couple of days a week at one of the community-based organizations working to help first-time offenders get their lives back on course.  One day she started talking to one of the men there just out of the blue.

She said that they engaged in conversation for almost an hour. “It really seemed like I was just talking to a man about his life’s journey and some of the pitfalls of his journey. It did not seem like I was talking to a criminal per se,” she told me.

After talking with him and learning more about his story, the man said to my friend, “Even though I’ve been with this organization for a while, you are the first person who has taken an interest in me to understand my story.”

This reminded me of when Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”

The Words that I use to teach me are, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 7:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection because others also desire to be inspired.

So today, take a moment to share just a little more compassion wherever you are.