Chazown – Your Reason for Living

I confess, I haven’t finished my journey through Chazown.

Chazown is a Hebrew word meaning vision. Chazown is an online resource produced by LifeChurch.tv to help Christians discover God’s vision for their life.  Through an in-depth six step process, followed by related resources Groschel leads participants to discover the reason that God created them. Do you ever wonder, “Why me?”

I do. I know a lot of other women who do. Many of us think there must be something more, we must be missing something big, something we’re supposed to do. Do you believe you can figure that “one thing” out? How would it change your direction (your perspective, even) of your own life, if you knew the one thing you were meant to do.

I have learned so much already. I found purpose in whole seasons of my life that had once appeared to be wasted pain.

Imagine, reasons for loneliness, reasons for failure, reasons for people and places and a path through the past that led you to right here.

In step 4, Groschel has you write a purpose statement. At the first of June, before I began this journey, I would never have written something like this. Honestly, I probably couldn’t have put any purpose statement together. I’m so excited. What I am learning has fueled me with courage to take on somethings I’ve been afraid to do because now I understand that they are a part of God’s purpose for me. And His purposes never fail.

FIND YOUR CHAZOWN. 

Is. 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; and it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

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Perspectives of Pain and Perfection

Is happiness dependent on whatever life throws our way or do we have a say in the matter? We can find peace amongst chaos, contentment despite limitations, and joy even in our lowest moments. It all comes down to Perspective… Craig Groschel in his recent series on Philippians

Everyone is blinded by their own perspective. Perspective is the angle at which you view something. A pauper views a sandwich and shelter as the essence of life. A king views those same principles of sustenance as bland and ordinary, nearly an assault to his majesty. Before I lived in Georgia, I believed that Oklahoma was humid. An athlete views a difficult workout as a challenge and something to be mastered, a couch potato views the same drills as agony and next to death. Do you see where I am going?

Recently I brought you some stories about the persecuted church. After a few days of reading about the physical abuses that Christians in Nigeria and Egypt were enduring, we read about discriminative abuses against Christian businesses in the United States. I am not diminishing the pain of the Christian businesses, but put in perspective, what is endurance?

I am going somewhere with this (:

Craig Groschel has convicted me on many occasions through his online sermons at LifeChurch.tv, but his series on perspectives has been very humbling. I’ve begun to consider the privilege of pain. “Count it all joy, my brothers when you encounter various trials,” says James, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”            (James 1)

Like the example above, my own pain, in perspective seems minimal and sometimes petty. But my Father knows the testing that my faith requires in order to perfect me. Be it struggles in my marriage, the constant humbling need to destroy my personal idols of food and fitness, loneliness, feelings of failure or any other hurdle that God places in my path in the future, He is intentional.

Intentional. Intentional and repetitive. As He is known to do, God has been echoing this one message in my life from various angles. I am also preparing to lead a Beth Moore Bible study in my home. God chose the book of James this time. As I read through the first chapter, I was skewered by the passage I quoted above…

For you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.

That’s what I want. I want to be perfect, clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness, perfectly and contentedly reliant on Him for all my salvation and life. That’s going to require a change in my perspective – a new perspective on my own good works, my own sin, my own struggles and my own forgiveness of others. I hope you find the LifeChurch.tv catalogue of sermons effective for your own training in righteousness. Start with the series on Perspectives.

June – Here We Come!

Confessions first: the first two weeks of this month are going to be hard for me to be present. MY BABY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!! I already told you that – and I am spending the first 2 weeks of June between Texas and Kansas with all three of my sisters, my parents and close friends. My gracious hubby is releasing me from my wifely duties to play big-sister again for a little while. Honestly, he’s probably glad he’s not coming along until the wedding day because I will be a giddy, girly, sobby mess the whole time.

To hold myself accountable, I’m submitting to you a rough draft of our June plans here at Predatory Lies.

Your’s truly has been the victim of many lies.

John 8:31-32 … So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

BUT

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I could write this whole post in Bible verses, but that’s cheating (: I promise you that I have submitted these hands and this keyboard to the work and glory of Jesus- who is the truth.

This month I will share several sources of truth that God has used to save my life, encourage my growth in righteousness and keep me in the truth. Lucky for you, each of these resources has an online presence, so I will provide links and details about what aspects of each resource ministered to me the most. I will spend one week on each source. To be fair, I am constantly learning more from these ever-growing resources. I will do my best to highlight all they have to offer, how you can take advantage of them and how you can give back.

For the first week of June, we will take a close look at an online, Christ-centered, freedom ministry called: Setting Captives Free.

Week two, we will look at Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, and the Flag Page, ministries by Pastor Mark Gungor.

June 21-24 boasts the annual Hungry For Hope conference, hosted by Finding Balance. I’ve spoken much about this ministry before, but I’ve barely scratched the surface.

And for the final week of June, I will try to select only three days worth of valuable, truth-filled resources available at Lifechurch.tv.  Wish me luck. There is a fairly recent book and online experience called Chazown, by Craig Groschel. Maybe if I focus on that resource I can limit myself (:

I’m so excited, Friends. As I re-explore some of these ministries, I know I will be blessed as much as you. I do plan to offer some of the books and CDs that these ministries produce as giveaways throughout the month. So make sure you’re chattering here in the “comments” section!

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified youd to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption,e the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:10-14

If One is Good, Two is Better, or is it?

“God doesn’t want what we have. He doesn’t want what we have to have us.”

Craig Groschel

Once again I am amazed at the repetitiveness of our great God. Once again, I worry that He is only repetitive with me, because I’m hard headed. Over a month ago, I decided to tackle this Project 333 . Since then, I picked up a book that my mom has been after me to read for a long time. A dear friend of her’s recommended it from the depths of despair in her own life. She said that second to the Bible, this book had done more for her spiritually than any other resource. Then my mom said the author wrote much like I do, so I had to check it out. I highly recommend it, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. 

“…if I’m fearlessly blunt – what I have, who I am, where I am, how I am, what I’ve got – this simply isn’t enough. Does [God] not want me to be happy?” page 14

Then, a couple night ago, I needed some holy background noise, so I pulled up a LifeChurch.tv  sermon on my IPhone. Pastor Groschel is doing a series on “better” – letting go of the good in order to exchange it for God’s better – actually  God’s best.

All of these sources have been chasing me. Like curiosity being hounded by a frightening idea – I want to escape and to experience this notion: less of what I think I want, less of what I believe will make me happy in order to embrace the promised happiness of my heavenly Father. It is antithetical to my world. I’m bombarded by desire. Not a moment passes that I don’t admire someone else’s …, hanker for more …, envy another’s perfect …, dream of a better …, crave the extra or lust after the extreme.

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.” pg. 15

I wonder, do I cause much of my own anxiety because I am convinced that my life should be better? Because I am always lusting after a forbidden tree even while I have the whole garden in front of me? I wonder, would I have enjoyed yesterday more if I hadn’t been planning today?

I have spent much of this week culling through my closet. I know that I can live with less. I know, in my head and heart, that I don’t need this many options. But you have no idea how hard it is to select which options I want to keep. Just saying that makes me realize how spoiled I am – I even get to chose my options!

In the same sermon that I mentioned above, Groschel told of family “give away” parties. They set a goal of 200 items each. There are 8 people in their family – that means they gave away 1600 things! Imagine the reduction of chaos? the exponential space? the freedom of movement? the high of austerity (relative austerity).

I began by going through my closet. I also confessed that led to the accumulation of a couple new things (:

In tandem with that sentiment, I’m setting a goal of giving away one item a day for a year. I live near a Goodwill drop off location, so it shouldn’t be too hard to walk to the bin and relieve myself of one excess item everyday.  Will you join me?

Yesterday, I asked what is the first thing you think of when asked what you can’t live without. Now, I want to know, what can you give away? How will you do that?