Writing Down Your Faith Story

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Building Legacies, Equipping Disciples | 0 comments

 

Photo/KarenJordan

Write down for the coming generation what the LORD has done, so that people not yet born will praise him (Ps. 102:18 GNT).

Writing down my own faith story changed the course of my life.              

During the process of applying for seminary, my husband Dan and I were required to write our faith stories.

I struggled with that assignment, What can I say? I went to church all my life? I remember getting baptized, when I was about nine years old . . . how boring!

But that’s pretty much what I wrote in my story. [Well, without the "how boring" part!]

Reflection. Later, I began to worry about what I had written. Dan had written about his life-changing faith experience. And I remembered what a difference that change had made in his life. He seemed to find peace and direction, as he began to study the Bible and seek God for direction in his life.

Research. So, I began to think about what it really meant to follow Christ. I knew a salvation experience had to be more than just going church and trying to do the right thing. So, I began to read some Christian books, including the Bible.

Revelation. As I read one passage in Galatians, the words seemed to jump off the page, right into the middle of my heart. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me . . .” (2:20 NLT).

But I didn’t sense the Spirit of Christ in me.

Repentance. I’m not sure what I said, when I finally got honest with God about my faith—or rather my lack of faith. But I knew that Jesus had said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17).

No lightning flashed; no thunder roared. But from that moment on, I sensed God’s peace within me.

Photo/KarenJordan

Have you recorded your faith story? 


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Have You Read “First Hired, Last Fired” by Anita Agers-Brooks?

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

First Hired, Last Fired: How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market

I posted a brief review of First Hired, Last Fired: How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market by Anita Agers-Brooks on the StoryWriting Studio today. Here’s a preview.

Facing some difficult decisions or people?

How do you hold on to your integrity and your faith in our culture today? Wish you had a second chance to approach a difficult situation in the past? What if you discovered a new way to prepare for challenging situations in the future.

Anita Brooks

Anita Brooks

Read more of my review of Anita Brooks book, First Hired, Last Fired, here, 

Have you read Anita’s book, First Hired, Last Fired? What stories and principles from her book helped you?

 

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Overwhelmed?

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014 in Building Legacies, Equipping Disciples | 0 comments

Photo/KarenJordanI’m blogging today at the WordServe Water Cooler. Here’s a snippet of that article. 

Buried beneath a mountain of paperwork? Paralyzed by some impending deadlines? Dreaming of a week on the beach?

I considered a “real job” until I read the job description: “Ability to work independently and multitask.”

I love to work independently. But I tend to hyperfocus most of the time. And I struggle with multitasking all of the time. So, I passed on that job opportunity.


I’m not so sure multitasking works well for my daughter Tara, either.
She seems frustrated at times when I call as she prepares dinner—holding a screaming baby, listening to a whining preschooler, dealing with two squabbling little boys, and talking on the phone, all at the same time.

I can’t even concentrate on my writing projects at times with dishes in the sink or a hamper of dirty laundry waiting on me. And if the phone rings, I lose focus completely. Then, when I start worrying about all the details of my life, writer’s block paralyzes me.

Revelation … Read more here. Graphic/WordServeWaterCooler

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Dealing with Procrastination?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in Equipping Disciples | 1 comment

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I haven’t posted much on my blog lately, maybe this will explain why. It’s not an excuse—just trying to be real.

My online dictionary defines a “procrastinator” as someone who put things off till another day or time, deferring action or delaying. It illustrates this definition by saying that we can “procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.”

So I must ask this question: Lord, am I a procrastinator?

I never thought this term described me. But I know that I tend to compulsively overcommit to more than I can reasonably handle most of the time. Do you?

In reality, I know that I am NOT a “procrastinator.” This word does NOT define me. But I DO seem to be tempted to put things off from time to time. And I sense that some opportunities available to me right now may be lost forever if I don’t address this issue in my life.

Maybe I’ve fallen prey to this condition because of my age, burnout, or health issues. But I don’t think I need any negative self-talk right now, shaming me because I have this problem. So, I must seek what God’s Word says about this issue.

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Mother’s Day and Monday Morning Reflections

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Building Legacies, Encouraging Spiritual Stories, Equipping Disciples | 0 comments

Photo/TaraRoss

 

Today, I shared a couple of Mother’s Day thoughts on two other blogs. So, I wanted to share those posts with you and an update on my blog revisions. 

Blog revision. I’m still working on my blog and website revisions. But I plan need to continue adding new posts here, so I can keep in touch with you during that process.

So, be sure to subscribe for my posts via email and leave your comments! I love hearing from you!

Now, for a look at my posts today on The StoryWriting Studio and A Common Bond.

Photo/KarenJordanThe StoryWriting Studio“Surviving Mother’s Day Blues” 

How did Mother’s Day go for you this year?

A time of joyful celebration? Or a mixture of bittersweet memories?

Mothers’ Day often brings a mixed bag of emotions for me. Even though it’s been several years since my mothers’s death, Mothers’ Day still brings some melancholy moments for me. [Read more hear.]

Photo/DanJordan

A Common Bond“If I Could Go Back in Time”

“If I Could Go Back in Time” (A Common Bond)

“If you could go back in time … what would you do differently?”

My friend, Mary Larmoyeux, asked this question on her grandparenting blog, Grand Connection. She explained, “Sometimes I wonder what I would do differently if I could somehow turn back the hands of time and be a young mother again … knowing what has taken me decades to learn.” Mary also asked her readers, “What would you do differently as a young mom … knowing what you now know.” [Read more here.]

Does it help for me to post links to my other online work on this blog? If that will help you find me online, I will start posting those links regularly here. Let me know what you think, okay?

Photo1/TaraRoss
Photo2/KarenJordan
Photo3/DanJordan

 

 

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Mother’s Day: Remembering Mother

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Building Legacies | 6 comments

Photo/BurnelleAllenBarnesBaizeWhen I arrived at Mother’s doorstep, I heard loud wails and intense sobbing inside. I recognized my mother’s voice, so I opened the door and rushed in without knocking. Mother sat on the edge of her rocking chair with her hands covering her face.

My sister, Cathy, frowned and shrugged her shoulders as our eyes met. She sat next to Mother on a stool, tissues in hand, ready to provide whatever comfort she would accept.

“Mother?” I hurried across the room and embraced her.

“She’s been like this all day,” Cathy explained as she fought back the tears.

Some undiagnosed disease was destroying my mother’s mind. Confusion and darkness ruled her thoughts. And as I knelt down to hug her, she melted into my arms.

“Mother, are you afraid of dying?” I felt her fear surrounding us.

“No…of living!” she cried.

Mother had faced death before and survived. But a few years earlier, when her heart failed during surgery, Mother caught a glimpse of the horror of dying without any assurance of heaven. Mother said that the darkness and horrific ordeal terrified her and forced her to face the emptiness of her faith. Afterward, she discovered the missing link in her spiritual life—Jesus Christ.

As Mother faced her terminal illness, fear and doubts flooded her consciousness again. Would Jesus provide an answer to alleviate her fear this time? Could she really trust Him to be with her as she walked through the valley of her impending death?

I couldn’t save Mother from her disease, but I could choose to trust the Lord to walk with us all through it. As God reminded me of His promises, I recalled God’s faithfulness through the years. And as we walked though Mother’s last days, God once again provided all that we needed.

Sitting with my mother on her sofa one day near the end of her journey, I noticed her eyes fixed on the high ceiling in her townhouse.

“What do you see, Mother?”

“Heaven,” she responded without changing her expression.

Shocked by her answer, I asked, “What does it look like?”

“Huge,” she sighed.

What a perfect description of Heaven, I thought.

Mother remained silent after sharing her vision of heaven with me, until she whispered with her final breath, “I’m home.”

© 2008 Karen Jordan All Rights Reserved
Photo/Burnelle Allen Barnes Baize

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Awakened: The Lazarus Project

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Equipping Disciples | 0 comments

As I prepared to celebrate Easter, I received another invitation from Ron Benson to join The Lazarus Experiment on Facebook. I hope you’ll consider this 40-day challenge with me. Thanks again, Ron!

… Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:33 NIV)

The Lazarus Experiment by Ron Benson 

Everyone needs a do-over.

Resurrection is the ultimate do-over. But Jesus didn’t need to reset his moral compass. He didn’t resolve to do better the second time around–the first time was perfect in every way. Resurrection for Jesus didn’t mean a do-over.

That’s why I tend to relate so much to Lazarus’ walk out of the tomb. Imagine being given a new life. One you didn’t expect. One you never saw coming. One you didn’t earn. All grace. That’s the Lazarus experience.

… ask yourself the question: What would Lazarus do? Post-dead, second time-around, grace-empowered Lazarus–what would Lazarus do? And then do it.

It’s the experience we share if we have put our trust in Christ. We were dead and now we’re alive. Every single day is a gift of new life. A life we didn’t expect. A life we never saw coming. A life we didn’t earn. All grace. So how do you live that life? I mean – really live it?

The Lazarus Experiment is an adventure in new life. A few years ago the church I serve decided to set aside the forty days between Easter and Ascension Day to live like Lazarus. We did one intentional thing every day for forty days that celebrated new life in Jesus. Instead of giving something up (as in Lent), we added something everyday–something that Lazarus might do on the other side of the pit.

The Lazarus Experiment resulted in a living story, taking its own course as the participants shared their choices and experiences. God used the Facebook group to build friendships, heal wounds, encourage faith, and make distinct differences in people’s lives. I wrote an article about The Lazarus Experiment here.

We’re doing it again, and you’re invited along on the journey. Head over to the Facebook group, The Lazarus Experiment, and join the group. Live like you just woke up to Jesus calling your name. Call it your do-over.

Ron Benson loves life, but often finds himself living as if he were a dead man. He is grateful to a loving family who keeps him awake, and to a church that reminds him how to really live. He writes and pastors from Freeland, Michigan.

Photo1/KarenJordan
Photo2/RonBenson

Have you taken the 40-day Lazarus Experiment challenge? Please share your Lazarus Experiment experiences with us and leave your comment below. We’d love to hear from you! 

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