Archive - September 10, 2015

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No Exclusions

No Exclusions

The last 10 weeks working our way through Ephesians has flown by.  It has been fun to chat with so many people both online and in person about what God has revealed to each of us as we have dug deeper.  My trust in the character of the Father is deeper now than it was when we started together.  My prayer is you are different too. 🙂

It has been so much fun on this journey with Kristan and others, so I wanted this next season to be an adventure along side others as well.  Since I love the Women’s Community at Vineyard Cincinnati and they are studying both Seamless by Angie Smith and Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore, I am going to dive into those as well.

I’m not exactly sure if I’ll keep the same schedule, so make sure you sign up on the right to receive an email with any new posts.  Then pick up one of the studies above, grab your Bible, and believe we won’t look the same at the end of this time together.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
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What stood out to me…

In high school, I was betrayed by an ex-boyfriend with a lie that would ultimately tear my best friend at the time and I apart. As I stood in the kitchen at my grandma’s house and begged her to let me transfer schools, I couldn’t imagine at the time anything being more devastating.

Fast forward a few years to college. I was planning a wedding, working 30+ hours per week, and finishing my degree in education. I felt overwhelmed and wondered how I would manage to keep it all together.

More years than I want to count later, our family has endured the exhaustion of newborn babies, the heartbreak of miscarriage, and the inexplicable grief as we have buried several loved ones.

Life happens, and it doesn’t matter what stage we are in.  Many of us would love to go back a decade or two and tell our younger selves we didn’t even know what stress is yet, but at the time, we wouldn’t have believed the older versions we have become.

It seems Paul knew we would all experience adversity. He doesn’t list any exclusions for age or stage of life, just the statement we would in fact have our struggles.  When we did, we would need to be reminded of next steps to take; steps to push forward and move ahead with grace and mercy.

A few weeks ago, Kristan reminded us on her blog: “whenever you see the word ‘therefore,’ it is your job to figure out what it is “there for.” Everything in verses 13-20 of Ephesians 6 is a rubric to remind us of our assignment in our current struggles.

No endeavor is too small, no battle is insignificant.

Whatever we face today, there is a Christ-centered action we can take to protect our mind and hearts and move forward.

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For Monday, read our final entry, Ephesians 6:18-24

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