Creation Groans.

With so much going on in America right now, my husband and I have been deeply concerned and convicted with how the Church is handling it. While we don’t have all (or even most) of the answers, we do have commands that come straight from God’s word. He alone is the authority and He alone give authority. Today while I am thankful for our government and those that God has placed in power, I cannot help but mourn those whose lives are being torn apart. I cannot help but remorse over the College students who are being detained at various airport all over the world because of their race or religion. Several students who have been ‘vetted’ and been approved are questioning whether they will get to continue their education simply because of where they were born. My heart is breaking for our neighbors who don’t know what will happen next.

Know that you are not alone. You are loved by the King of Kings. You have been created for a purpose. You are not alone.

 

The following is by Guest Author: Tyler Bowman.

I cannot reconcile my mind with this great fear that we American Christians have for our modern-day Samaritan neighbors. I cannot agree with the laughter, mockery, and derision that we show for those who are hurting and cry out on our nation’s streets for justice, regardless of whether I agree with them.

I am convicted by the rampant hypocrisy we show when we use the name of our Savior as a weapon to attack the positions of others but neglect to show His hope and love as we are called to do, yet then we cry oppression when the world pushes back against our hopeless rhetoric.

I am reminded with every protest, every strain and conflict in our nation, of Paul’s words in Romans 8, where “all creation groans” for the revelation of the sons of God and also for the renewal of all things. However we have come woefully short of showing people the hope that we have for that restoration. We force them to wander aimlessly and chase some ethereal, unknown sense of justice rather than show them the Light that we have been given, and then we laugh at them and torment them for not knowing.

So I ask you to pray for me to be more intentional with love for each other and for the world, as our Savior was and as I have struggled to be. I ask that you pray for God’s church in America, for there is a desperate need for us to be seen as reflections of Him and not as agents of hatred. And I will pray for you also.

 

HNY!

Well, here we are again at the break of a brand spanking new year. So full of potential, full of what if’s and full of I sure hope nots. Tonight as I was reflecting (daydreaming if you will) about what I hope this year brings, I decided to take a look back at my resolutions from last year and see how I did. Thankfully I wrote them all down last year, you can read the whole post by clicking here.

Let me start off by saying while I technically did keep a few of these resolutions, I did not always (read almost never) keep them well.

Resolved– To spend more time in prayer

  • I did spend more time in prayer this year! But I need to become more consistent and intentional with my prayers. I’ve become a little more comfortable with praying in groups, so I can definitely tell I’m growing- slowly yet surely!

Resolved– To study scripture for fun, not because I have to

  • Tyler and I started reading through the Bible when we got married, then we would get side tracked and busy. We’ve only made it through Numbers thus far, which isn’t great, but we’re still bug fixing and will hopefully be better about it this year. I did, however, just pick up my bible one day and start reading. I’ve read through ~4 books on my own (in the OT no less)! I know this isn’t huge, but it is a huge start for me. Even if I’m not studying it, I am reading it. Even if I’m not consistent in my reading it, I enjoy it. Small Victories are still Victories!

Resolved– To do whatever will bring the most glory to God

  • How do you even measure this?? Will add this to my list of questions  to ask when I get to Heaven one day. 🙂

Resolved– To treat my body and mind like a temple of God

  • Ehhhhh…. I’m still taking my anxiety/depression meds and have started figuring out what some of my triggers are. I still spend way too much time getting lost down the rabbit hole of social media, but I did read more last year! After a very frank discussion with my doctor about things, I have started eating better as well. It’s slow going, obviously, but I am starting to get healthier every day! I even started walking to work when it wasn’t quite so cold (although this week that I’ve been off it’s been in the 50s. Arkansas, what in the world??)

Resolved– To be a living sacrifice, to keep my eyes on God and not myself

  • Definitely still need to work on this one.

Resolved– To be a good example to the young ladies and gentlemen in my life

  • Sometimes I think I’m awesome at this, but the majority of the time I’m a hot mess and feel like such a failure. I do know that I have tried my best to show the kids in my life love and to make sure they know that I’m proud of them! So, still a work in progress I suppose.

Resolved– To walk through life with others and not keep them at arm’s distance

  • Getting a LOT better at this! I am so thankful for the many wonderful and godly friends that have been placed into my life over the last year (or many years). I have walked with them through Joy and Pain this year, and they have done the same for me. Special shout out to my church mom Shannon, she is just good for the soul and is  easy to talk to. Even about things I normally wouldn’t share with anyone. So thank you Shannon, for being my non-family person this last year!

Resolved– To not let the busyness of life get in the way of living

  • EPIC FAIL! I saw this great quote at a local eatery last week “Stop the Gratification of busy”. I’m adopting that as my new motto this year! Seriously though, I’m going to work on being the best steward of the time and gifts God has granted me, even if that means saying no sometimes.

 

“I pray that this year God continues to push me outside of my comfort zone and continues to make me rely on him. I pray that He allows me to share my story with others and to create authentic relationships. I pray that your resolutions go deeper than they ever have before. I pray that God uses me. I thank God for the struggles of the past year because I have never felt closer to Him. I will praise Him even when storms come because that is where Jesus shines through. I could never handle this on my own and I praise Him for being in the dark, stormy, valley with me.

I pray that in 2016 God’s love will shine and his grace and mercy will be apparent. I pray that you are changed even if it means wrestling with God. I pray we see 2016 as the best year yet no matter what happens- that we see God’s hand in everything, good and bad.”

 

  • Isn’t it funny how we pray things that sound nice but usually don’t actually mean them. God definitely answered last year’s new year prayer, in very big and not always happy ways.  2016 brought even more struggles and storms with it, but God also answered that his grace and mercy be apparent. I’m not sure how 2016 changed you, but I know it changed me, for better and for worse.

 

Now for 2017:

2017 has the potential to be a big year for the Bowman household! Tyler will (hopefully) graduate with his PhD, I’ll get to go on my first trip overseas to help with an English camp, we will probably be moving once Tyler gets a job, and Benson may just have a little brother or sister (if I can ever talk Tyler into that Mini Pig!) With all that and so much more on the horizon, I wanted my resolutions to be something attainable, but also something that I would still have to work at.

Resolved– To not let the busyness of life get in the way of living.

Resolved– To finish reading the Old Testament.

Resolved– To be more intentional in my relationships with others. To be a better friend and be more vulnerable and open with those in my circle of influence.

Resolved– To show God’s love on everyone I come in contact with (even the stupid ones).

Resolved– To look for opportunities to practice hospitality and show God’s loves in tangible ways.

Resolved– To treat my body and mind like it’s God’s temple.

Resolved– To have a specific time for prayer every week.

Resolved– To support Tyler in wherever he chooses to go next; To make a home there.

Resolved– To read more! (Goal= 20+ books!)

 

 

2017 ready or not, here we come!

 

*Shoutout to google images for the awesome banner!