On Honor and Prayer

We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers.
We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith,
your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

All of chapter 1 in 1 Thessalonians is absolutely beautiful. I read it and got all teary-eyed. Paul is writing to this group of believers in the church of Thessalonica. He, Silvanus, and Timothy were welcomed into this group with open arms of gratitude and joy. This group was teachable and humble toward the gospel and receptive to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Paul, as someone of influence and authority in this church’s life, spoke of them and to them with such grace and love and encouragement. It made me begin to think about the spheres in my life where God has given me influence and authority. How do I use my words in those spaces? How do you?


To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!


The Shalom of God

About a month ago, I started meeting with a random mix of people who had been studying Hebrew, the Torah, and Jewish culture. I have always been interested in Jewish traditions and have learned about it at a very surface level. I was so grateful that a few of my friends shared with me about this group. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

This year has been a little hard. It hasn’t been my normal hard where I have crazy natural, tangible circumstances to deal with. This year has been more of a spiritual fight. I tell people that I don’t normally attribute much to the enemy, but he for sure has come for me this year. Much of the time I feel as though he is winning.

This battle has been playing out in my thought life like never before. As my birthday approaches, I am feeling a shift coming. It’s interesting because it falls right before the beginning of the Jewish new year. This gathering together with believers who are digging into the depths of the Torah and how Jesus actually lived has definitely helped to usher in this shift I’ve been sensing.

Honestly, I have been wading in a lack of peace. I have felt such unrest and discontent and a bit doubtful in several areas of my life. It’s not a super fun space to be in.

At our basic definition of the word, peace is quiet or a lack of disturbance. In Hebrew, words have such deeper meanings than we have translated them to mean. Peace is the word Shalom, but it goes far beyond our idea of peace. Peace is actually only a small part of true Shalom.


To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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