At a time of year when we roll out all sorts of ambitions and plans of things we hope to do, hope to be, and hope to accomplish; the teacher of Ecclesiastes (a veteran in life-changing plans and projects himself) reminds us that these things are destined to be fleeting, unless we find our motivation and comfort in knowing God and being known by him.
2018 has been such an amazing year, and we are so in awe of all that God did this year. As we move into 2019, we are so grateful for each and every one of the Propel women who read the articles, learn from Propel Sophia, engage with us on social media, lead and join chapters, attend events, subscribe to our newsletter, and share Propel with their friends.
Tis the season for candles and school concerts, crowded shopping malls and (incomplete) grocery lists. Braved with intentionality, December concedes few holy moments for considering the birth of God. Still, the holy moments are fewer than we wish—the hassles, despite our planning and preparation, more frequent. December dumps us into January with exhausted resolutions to abandon franticness.
When I think of getting to the next level, whether that mean in a relationship, or finding a relationship, or in a career, or in our spiritual lives, or even our health and well-being, I begin by remembering there are only two systems known to humans as to how to make it happen. But there is a big difference in the two. One of them always fails, and the other one is the one that works.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but now that I’m in my thirties, I reflect on the passion I had for Jesus in my youth with fondness. The whole world was ahead of me as I planned my future - every bright and shiny promise in my Bible highlighted in yellow pen and emphasized with a big exclamation point.
Around the holidays, anxiety keeps us awake at night. Family or marital conflicts are heightened. Financial burdens overwhelm us. Health struggles can be especially discouraging. And on top of it all, there are so many competing voices speaking into our lives, trying to rob us of true joy.
The question of when to stay and when to leave a church is complex. It does not have a one-size-fits-all formula. Although there are clear reasons to leave—such as abuse, or a church’s departure from basic historic Christian beliefs—church members exit their churches for a myriad of other reason - some valid, and some less so.
I put my faith in Jesus as a teenager, and soon came to realize that my own sense of wanting to put the world right was in fact an echo of God’s deeper call for justice. God will finally put the world to right when Jesus returns, but until then, I needed to have confidence in what I couldn’t yet see (Hebrews 11:1) and lean into doing justice and loving mercy. Here. Now.
“I just feel so guilty,” my friend shared, and all I could do was nod in agreement. Both of us have a long track record of wanting to be the helper–willing to make an extra meal, pick up the slack, watch someone’s kids, stay up late to finish a project—but both of us have a hard time receiving that kind of sacrificial help from others. What’s worse is that the need for help has only increased with time, even though our time-management strategies have gotten that much better.
I bust through plateaus by changing direction, asking for fresh vision, and choosing to see the staleness as an invitation from God to know him on a new level. Take the dry spot has a sign to go deeper. I’ve compiled a few ways you can freshen up your time in the word when it is feeling robotic. Dig in and enjoy the process.