Tuesday May 26th, 2015: Intently

Devotions

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a good weekend and enjoyed their memorial day. 🙂 I went to Playa Carrizalillo on Sunday with my sister (insert heart-eyes emoji.) It was so beautiful. The crystal clear water, breeze, perfect sand, and blazing sun were a perfect combo. The only negative part of this little adventure was since I’m terrible at putting on sunscreen and I have THE WORST splotchy sunburn. I look so goofy. 😦 BUT here’s a few pictures from our weekend adventures. 🙂

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Fruit smoothies before the Rock Walk

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Beautiful views from the Rock Walk

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I’m not coming home

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Playa Carrizalillo

So I can add sunscreen fail to the long list of things I’ve leaned in Mexico. Since I’ve been in Mexico, and I don’t have a international cell phone plan, I’ve had to learn how to not rely on my phone so much. I only have Internet when I’m on wifi (which isn’t very often). So there is a lot of time during the day that I’m without my phone. Because of this I’ve noticed just how much time I’ve had to have meaningful conversations. I’ve noticed how much I truly listen to what people are saying to me. So it’s got me thinking about how good of a listener I think I am (key word think.)

I would consider myself a good listener; I mean most of us would. But as I began to think about past conversations I’ve had they usually include many, “What,” “Say that again,” “What did you say.”

When you read about Jesus’ life one of the most noticeable things about Him, was his ability to be engaged with people. I mean He knew everything that people were thinking but it never stopped Him from slowing down to listen to their needs.

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10: 27 NLT

Focus on “Jesus looked at them intently and said.”

How often do we complain that we don’t have enough time to spend extra time with that girl God has put on your heart to mentor? How often do we say, “I’m so busy,” “I’ve just been so busy,” “No one understands how busy I’ve been.” And y’all, I’m right there with you! I’m in the busiest season of my life. I get it! Heck, I’ve said all those phrases at least three times a day for like 6 months. But it’s not okay.

The next statement I’m about to make may offend some, it offends me, but it’s true. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but how well do we steward that time? Do we spend countless hours watching YouTube videos, trolling Facebook, liking endless photos on Instagram, or watching mindless TV? I know for a fact that 100% of the time, I do not steward my time well. This causes me to try to do multiple things at once. I rarely turn off my phone and unplug to simply lend an ear to someone.

Intently means: with earnest and eager attention.

Jesus was a very busy guy. His time was short. He knew it, but he always made time for people. He always made time to stop to listen, heal, weep, and have community. Just because we are busy people who are addicted to our cell phones, does not mean we can neglect this vital aspect of the Christian life. We just can’t.

So to close this I want to challenge you to unplug. Please intently listen to people. Jesus never let a “lack of time” get in the way of this. You may miss a few pictures but I promise those deep conversations will have more of an impact on your life than thousands of mindless hours on the Internet.

In Christ,

Hannah

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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 Also, here is an interesting BuzzFeed Video about a few people who give up their phone for a week.

Tuesday November 25th, 2014: Briana Chambers Two Are Better Than One

Devotions

Happy Tuesday! I’ve been at my grandmas for a few days just relaxing and it’s been so nice! Everyone needs a break every once in a while. 🙂 A few weeks I asked my friend Briana Chambers to write a little something for my blog and here we are! Briana has one of the biggest hearts and I’m truly blessed to call her a friend!

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(Sorry Briana I had to post this!)

Community- “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.”

I bolded the last part of that definition because of it’s significance. There are so many varying personalities in this world full of people, but if nothing else, one thing we all have in common is our heritage. Where we came from. Who created us—our origin. And that’s how we create a community—by forming relationships with all types of people. In fact, we’re wired FOR relationships! The first thing in the Bible God declared bad was loneliness! Genesis 2:18 says it is NOT good for man to be alone; so Eve was the solution. And what Eve represented was a relationship. We’re MADE for each other. However, everyone benefits from relationships. Specifically, in three ways..

#1: We learn accountability

Galations 4:9-10        

“Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

Having a council of close companions to rely on and seek wisdom from is GOOD. Better yet, it’s encouraged! Being accountable to others shows responsibility and maturity. Watching each other’s backs is crucial. We are called to support everyone—especially those we’re in relationship with.

#2: We learn / gain wisdom

Often times different personalities and perspectives can teach us things we never would have thought of. For example, look at the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John were four different men, with four different personalities, and four different perspectives. Yet, the exact same story was written of in their books. How cool is that? We read about the same Gospel, just from multiple vantage points. What an awesome opportunity to look at the same thing from a different angle! Learning means changing the way we look at things so that we can become more aware of what we’re looking at.

#3: We learn about Christ

To study man is to study God. He made us in His image and set us apart. His handiwork is seen in all of creation. When we examine the creation we realize that the characteristics of Christ are imprinted into all He’s made. Looking at the positive traits of our friends or family members reminds us that we have them because Christ has them. He gifted us with different things: honesty, patience, love, gentleness, kindness, etc.. All of these traits can be traced back to where they originated: Christ. However, every single one of those traits is made perfect in Him! We can also see Christ in our negative traits—our weaknesses. When we are afraid, anxious, or impatient, Christ can be seen shining through us giving us the strength we need to carry on. WE are made strong in Christ.

To sum it all up, God is intentional with who He has placed into our lives. We need not to worry when the Creator of the Heavens and Earth holds our lives in His hands. We are cared for beyond measure. The people in our lives are there either because we need them, they need us, or both! We should praise God that He would think of every detail of our lives. The only way to repay His immense goodness is to give the entirety of our lives over to Christ to use and make beautiful. Community prospers when our relationships thrive. We have the choice everyday to ignore others or acknowledge them. So what will you choose to do to benefit your community?

 Thanks again to Briana for sharing this post!

Follow Briana on Twitter @baby_bri03 

Oh and here’s a candid of Briana and I at homecoming two years ago 🙂

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Friday September 26th, 2014: Rediscovering the Art of Lost Friendships

Favorite Fridays

Happy Friday! I am so excited for this weekend! Tomorrow is my homecoming dance and I’m so excited. Keep up with me over the weekend on Instagram to see my dress. 🙂 Today I am sharing a sermon I heard a few weeks ago. Kirby, youth pastor, is doing a sermon series about friendships right now and it’s really hitting home. When I heard this sermon I immediately thought about sharing it here. This podcast is the intro to the series but it also defines what a true friend is. I hope you enjoy this sermon as much as I did! Also check out the other sermons in the series on the podcast channel.

Thanks for reading.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/friending-rediscovering-lost/id334853871?i=319122153&mt=2