This is the landing page for the 31 day series Seeking the Kingdom. This series is focused on finding glimpses of God's Kingdom in the ordinary and everyday moments of life. Below are all of the posts from the series.
Day 1: Seeking the Kingdom: Series Introduction
Day 2: Repent, For the Kingdom Is At Hand
Day 3: His Kingdom Endures
Day 4: Our Crumbling Kingdoms
Day 5: Do Not Be Anxious About Your Life
Day 6: Seek First God's Kingdom
Day 7: Everywhere the King Is, There Is the Kingdom
Day 8: God's Kingship Changes Everything
Day 9: The King Is Not Far From Each of Us
Day 10: Like a Grain of Mustard Seed
Day 11: Citizens & Ambassadors
Day 12: What Ambassadors Do
Day 13: Who Are the Citizens of the Kingdom?
Day 14: The Character of Citizens
Day 15: Glimpses of the Kingdom
Day 16: The King of My Life
Day 17: The King of My Time
Day 18: The King of My Time (Part 2)
Day 19: God's Kingdom Come
Day 20: A Great Treasure
Day 21: A Treasure Worth Everything
Day 22: A Treasure Worth Gaining
Day 23: Connections Between Jesus and the Kingdom of God
Day 24: God's King of the World
Day 25: King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Day 26: We Need a Real King
Day 27: From Rebel to Servant of the King
Day 28: Glimpses of the Kingdom
Day 29: Enemies of the King
Day 30: The Kingdom of Light
Day 31: Still Seeking the Kingdom
Every October I take part in a 31 day writing challenge with other bloggers called Write 31 Days. Bloggers that participate focus on one topic for the month of October and write everyday for 31 days. This is my third year of doing a series in October. For those of you that are new to this blog, the previous series that I've written are faith > fear and Confessions of a Creative Christian.
I'm delighted to share that for this October, I will be spending 31 days focusing on finding God's kingdom in the ordinary and everyday in a series called Seeking the Kingdom.
Join me on October 1 as I begin this new series and to learn more.
I was thinking the other day about how the friendship between Elizabeth and Miss Clara in the movie War Room is a great example of discipleship. While the film's primary message is the power of prayer and intercession, the film has a strong focus on discipleship. I thought about sharing about the principles of discipleship found in War Room, but then I found that a blogger from The Overflow Blog already wrote a great article highlighting the principles of discipleship found in the film.
The writer of the article, Allision Whisler, highlights these 5 principles:
Read the post to learn more about these principles: 5 Discipleship Principles to Learn from War Room
I'd also recommend watching the film too, as it gives a great example of discipleship and the power of personal prayer, which is a topic that this blog will focus on coming up in the next two weeks. Stay tuned to find out what I've got cookin' for the blog in October.
This week's links are all about God's Word, which is a spiritual feast that I don't partake in as often as I would like. Enjoy some links that encouraged me to delight in God's Word more and that I hope will encourage you.
Treat Yourself To The Voice of God - David Mathis
God's Word is a treat and a delight that we often don't take enough delight in.
You Need To Hear Directly From God - Knowable Word
Two analogies for why we need to hear from God daily and spend time reading the Bible
How Does God Speak to Me Today - Tim Challies
"The conclusion is that the Bible speaks to us today. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today in the Bible. The Son speaks to us today through the Holy Spirit in the Bible. If he doesn’t, if he doesn’t actively speak to us, the whole letter to the Hebrews is a waste of time; it’s just a history lesson. But, of course, that can’t be. The Bible is not just about what God has said, but what God is saying."
Helping You Delight In God's Word - Erik Raymond
A tip to help you take delight in God's Word and remember what you read.
The Morning I Heard The Voice of God - John Piper
"It has increased my love for the Bible as God’s very word, because it was through the Bible that I heard these divine words, and through the Bible I have experiences like this almost every day."
Something beautiful happens when August tip toes into September. Long, hot summer days draw to a close and give way to the shorter brisk days of fall. Technically speaking, fall does not begin until September 22nd, but the first day of September usually announces fall's impending return with the smell of pumpkin spice lattes.
I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the original pumpkin spice latte, but there's just something about the smell of pumpkin spice and the thought of pumpkin everything that brings me joy. In fact, today I made pumpkin mac and cheese for dinner and pumpkin pop tarts for dessert. The taste and smell of pumpkin brings back a lot of memories of beautiful fall days, and it makes me praise God for making something so delicious and with "smelly-goodness".
As I've been thanking God for pumpkin and pumpkin spice and the return of a such a beautiful season, I stumbled upon an article called "Thank You Jesus for the Smell of Pumpkin Spice." If you too like the smell of pumpkin spice, you will enjoy reading this article about how our sense of smell can lead us to worship God.
"I was struck by the significance of smell to the human experience. God created our bodies not to restrict us, but to allow us to experience him and his creation physically as well as spiritually. No wonder so many church traditions include an aspect of the olfactory experience in worship or contemplation. Do this to remember me, Jesus says, over the table. We smell, we taste: yes, Lord, we remember. With our whole selves, we remember."
Check out the rest of the article: Thank You Jesus for the Smell of Pumpkin Spice
We can find glimpses of God's grace in something as simple as being able to smell wonderful smells. Want to find glimpses of God's grace and kingdom in the ordinary and everyday? Subscribe to receive new posts from this blog via email below.
Today marks three months of being married to Brandon. Let me just say that we've learned a lot in three months of marriage. Not a day goes by that we're not dependent upon God's grace to love and care for each other as Christ has cared for us. August was filled with a lot of lessons in regards to marriage, so here are five things that I learned and I'm still learning and some wedding photos in the mix:
God's Grace is Sufficient
Paul says it best in his second letter to the Corinthians:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9
Paul shares this with the Corinthians in regards to his own weaknesses and how Christ's power is made perfect in our weaknesses. Marriage definitely brings out and reveals my weaknesses and the weaknesses of my husband, but God's grace is sufficient for us. When I'm struggling emotionally and trying to help Brandon understand what's going on in my head, God's grace is sufficient for my weakness. I don't have to worry about Brandon judging me or not understanding, because God understands and helps me in my weakness.
Marriage Is A Slow Death To Self-focused Living
From all of the books that I've read, I know that marriage is more about holiness than happiness. Happiness is a byproduct of growing in holiness or Christlikeness. However, you can know something in your head but not get it in your heart. I needed to be married to understand that loving a spouse takes a lot of love, which means choosing to love that person more than myself, which takes sacrifice, which means a slow death to myself.
There have been a number of times this past month where I have been given a choice: do what I want to do or lay my preferences aside to love my husband. I could be reading a book and Brandon might ask if I would play a game with him. I could ask him if I could keep reading my book and play a game later or I could set it aside to play a game with him. Playing a game with my husband cares for him, but sometimes playing a game comes at the expense of giving up what I wanted to do.
Jesus says it best when he shares with his disciples:
Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be a slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom of many.
Two of Jesus' disciples asked Jesus if they could sit on his left and right when he would take his throne in glory. Jesus tells them in Mark 10 that those places are reserved for others. Jesus then teaches the disciples about who is the greatest in God's Kingdom. The greatest is a servant. Jesus is the greatest, because he came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus didn't come to be served but to serve.
I learn more about the character of Christ when God calls me to seek to serve my husband over being served by him. Marriage is helping me to slowly die to my self-focused living and to live to serve others as Christ gave his life to serve others.
Communication Is Hard Work
I've never had to communicate so much with one human before. That might sound humorous, but it's so true! It took marrying Brandon and needing to communicate about everything to make me realize that an area of weakness for me is communicating. I either withhold sharing things with Brandon or I share everything all at once and leave my husband not knowing how to care for me from there. I'm learning more and more that communication is hard work, but good communication helps married couples strive towards understanding and knowing each other in order to love each other and work as a team.
You Don't Need To Go To Africa + Adopt 14 Children to Serve The Lord
I finished reading the book Kisses from Katie in August. It was an encouraging and a discouraging read at the same time. I felt encouraged in finding ways to obey the Lord's command to care for the poor and needy, and I felt discouraged in that I'm not caring for the poor and needy in the capacity that Katie is.
To explain: Katie shares in her book how the Lord sent her to the country of Uganda and as she obeyed Him and sought to love and care for others, the Lord brought many people into her life to love as the hands and feet of Christ. She even ends up adopting fourteen daughters... as a nineteen year old! It's encouraging to hear about what the Lord did in her heart and how her obedience led to loving those she never dreamed she would know and love.
But I wrestled through guilt while reading this book. I would put the book down after finishing a chapter and think, "Why am I not in Africa adopting children and ministering to the poor and needy?"
I would share these feelings with Brandon, and he would lovingly remind me that the Lord has not called us to Africa or to adopt 14 children. At least not yet. But he has called us to campus ministry, and God's Word does call us to care for the poor and needy around us. I don't need to go to Africa or adopt 14 children to serve the Lord. I'm just called to be faithful to what God's called me to right now, and one thing is loving and caring for my husband, which means not running off to Africa and adopting 14 children.
I'm Thankful To Be Married To Brandon
I wake up thinking this every morning; how thankful I am that I get to love, serve, care for, and help my husband. For better or for worse. Marriage is hard work, but it's worth it! It's worth it every time, because with each passing month of being married to Brandon, I learn more about how Jesus Christ loves and cares for me for better or for worse. Knowing the love of Christ for broken and messy sinners, makes me want to love Brandon in my broken and messiness and his broken messiness too!
We've got a long way to go and many more months, years, and lessons ahead. We don't know what the Lord has in store for us, but I'm glad that I get to live life and grow to be more like Jesus with this man.
Our wedding photos were taken by our friend Alyssa Eckhart.
You can explore more of her work at alyssaeckhart.com
What did you learn in the month of August?
Or what have you learned about marriage?
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Welcome! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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