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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist

 

 

 

 

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


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TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

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I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.


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Curb Shopping at Christmas

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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I have been feeling a bit Scrooge-ish lately and haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem until I found myself curb shopping in my neighbor’s trash last week.   It’s excess y’all.  We are a people who can put our excess to the curb without a thought…most of the time to make room for more.   Tis the season of excess.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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In stark contrast, I have observed a different kind of curb shopping taking place in Cambodia, my future home.  I have seen a man hand-cutting a certain kind of grass in the front of businesses in order to  feed his ox.  I have seen an older woman pulling a cart, stopping at every trash heap looking for cardboard to sell.  I have seen beggars sitting on curbs, and girls with baskets hoping someone will buy their boiled snails.  My daughter observed a tiny girl, perhaps six, struggling with a buggy much bigger than her, going from house to house searching for cans to recycle.  A daily struggle to survive for some.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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Back here in Texas, I have a gorgeous tree, I have spent lots of money on gifts,  I watch the holiday shows, I attend parties,  I meet up with family, I eat scrumptious food…all in excess.  I celebrate in a cheery little bubble that floats high above Bethlehem.   Sometimes I glance down lovingly at the manger as I float through the holidays, but to be honest, I am trapped in cultural distractions that steal my focus.  The cultural noise of excess drowns out His holy birth.  I have put Jesus to the curb while making room for meaningless diversions.   My Scrooge-ish mood feels a little like guilt.

So this year I will line up behind the wise men with my gift for the baby Jesus.   I will bow before Him and ask Him to make me more like Him.  To open my eyes to suffering.  To warm my heart to the helpless.  To cleanse my desire for material possessions and replace it with a desire to love Him more.  To fill me.  Then I will be ready to serve.   I don’t have much to give, but I do have me.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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+Closeup picture of my Christmas tree

++Picture of the treasure I found on the side of the road

+++Picture taken in Cambodia during the water festival

++++Picture taken of the Christmas decorations outside The Woodlands Pavilion.  We were on our way to a concert by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.

 I am not paid to endorse any products or ads on Sanctified Tourist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted. God can take anything and create meaning y'all.


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How God Used my Clumsy Streak to Share a Story of the Brokenhearted

Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted.   God can take anything and create meaning y'all.

I sat down with a good book and two of my homemade soft tacos for lunch yesterday.   My first yummy bite was surprising and jarring.  The investigation that followed led to a horrifying discovery (see picture).  shard of glass  How did glass get in my taco?

If you decide to follow my blog you will quickly find out that I believe God is a God of stories, a God of parables, a literary genius, who uses the unfolding happenings of our lives to teach us deep personal truths if we are willing to keep in step with His Spirit.

Back to the glass.  I have been having a bit of a clumsy streak lately.  Y’all,  within 24 hours I broke  two large serving bowls and the glass in a large display frame where two panes of glass were pressed up against themselves to showcase a see through type picture.  All three times the glass shattered everywhere and had to be gingerly cleaned up so as not to cut anyone.  Little did I know that some of the glass escaped into my cabinet and undetected into the skillet I used to cook taco meat.

Surely there is a spiritual  story to be learned from all this broken glass.

The Drop

Someone I love had her heart dropped and broken recently.  She came to find out that after two years of marriage her young husband had been having an affair with a woman at work.  She was willing to forgive, but he was unwilling to reconcile, so they divorced.  Her heart shattered.

The Cleaning

Those that have been smashed by evil have been left with sharp edges, and it is sometimes a slow, painful process to help with cleanup.   Sometimes the ones closest to the broken can get cut and bloody even after gentle handling has been applied.  Sometimes after much time has passed, and the room has been swept, a tiny piece might still be discovered by a bare foot on the kitchen floor, or may have bounced undetected into a bowl used later for taco meat.

The Mending

At some point in the cleanup process, the ones helping realize that the pieces will never go back together the way they were before.  They are helpless in the face of such great suffering.  So they prayerfully box up the fragments and hand them to our Father, the God of comfort.  It will take a miracle…the pieces are so tiny…it seems so hopeless…

YAHWEH, King of Kings, Lord of Lords

His specialty is broken hearts.  And once those pieces are held in His hands,  fused backed together by the heat of His love, they will be a work of art.

Broken glass and a clumsy streak led to a powerful story of the brokenhearted. God can take anything and create meaning y'all.

 

Blessings, Alice

Picture:  This is the double frame glass that I broke.  I used Pic Monkey for the scripture and my title.    The shard in the taco was about 1/2 inch long.

 Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.


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5 Spiritual Lessons I Learned from my Mother on the Day my Father was Murdered

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.

My father, Ken, was a small business owner with his shop located three blocks from our home.  My dad would walk to the shop every morning with his lunchbox, and made the trip home after closing up every evening.  We could expect him about five minutes after he locked up. One day he didn’t come home.

So my mother and little brother, ten years old at the time, hopped in the car to go and check on him.  What she found was a nightmare.  My father had been robbed and shot multiple times by two teenagers.  My sister and I waited for what it seemed like an eternity for our mother to come home…not knowing…nervously creating scary scenarios in our minds…but nothing could compare to the truth.

My mother, Jean, was about to put her faith into action in front of her children, and I will never forget the spiritual lessons I learned that day.

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.

Worship When in Trouble

The first lesson I learned was that in great trial and suffering, we must WORSHIP.  Please picture the scene in my living room as my mother gathered her chicks around her after she finally came home.  In trying to perform CPR on my father, she was covered with the life blood of her husband.  It was evidence of a woman, desperately willing the love of her life to live. It was at that moment she led her children in prayer.  Scripture says that after Job got news of the death of all of his children that he fell to the ground in worship.  Job 1:20.  The bottom line is this.  My mother was so used to worshiping God day in and day out, that when the day of evil arrived, she knew right what to do.  I will ever, never forget her leading me to the throne of God on  that day.

Forgive Enemies

The second lesson I learned on that day was that when  brutally wronged, we must FORGIVE.  Even before the two teens were caught, she was feeling pity for them and urging her children to forgive.  One boy was eighteen and tried as an adult, he was killed in a home invasion after he was released.  The other boy was sixteen, just one year older than I was at the time.  He served his sentence and was released.  My mother was in grief for the parents of these boys, and for the boys themselves.  Later in life she longed to find the younger boy and let him know he was forgiven, and to make sure he was right with God.  Scripture says that you will be forgiven by God the exact same way that you show forgiveness.  Matthew 6:14-15 So be generous.

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.Be Thankful

The third lesson I learned from my mother is that even in tragedy we must be THANKFUL…thankful that my mother and brother were not in the shop at the moment Satan entered the teens…thankful that the robbery was over by the time they came to check on dad.  I could have lived the rest of my life as an orphan.  There is always something to be thankful for, you just need to look.  Scripture say that thankfulness, along with your petitions and requests to God, bring about the peace that passes all understanding.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Church is Family

The fourth lesson I learned from my mother that day was to gain strength from the CHURCH.  Scripture says that Jesus walks among the lampstands, the churches,  and I can vouch for that. Revelation 2:1 My fifteen year old self saw Jesus send the beautiful bride of Christ  to hold our hands, comfort us, feed us, pray with us, to mourn with us, and to be our family.  Jesus was walking among His church  that day and in the days that followed.

One Moment Can Define a Life

The last lesson I learned from that day was learned in hindsight…that ONE MOMENT of tragedy borne with the dignity and grace of the Spirit, could define your walk with God for the rest of your life, and that could just be the point.  Go deep with me y’all… ONE MOMENT.  Just think of the power behind that thought.  Remember Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola while ministering in Africa?  Kent never ceased giving honor to God during his trials.  What about Steven, the first of Jesus’ followers to be killed?  He steadfastly served God even as he was being stoned. On the other hand, I remember a funeral where the spouse of the deceased disparaged God because He didn’t behave as He was expected to during the illness of the loved one.   ONE MOMENT…  to keep in step with the Spirit or to not.  If you are called by God to live though one moment of evil, like my mother,  this moment just may define the rest of your life.  Shine brightly for the world to see, because that just might be the point.

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.

Later in life, my mother wrote booklets of encouragement that she passed out to everyone, even strangers.

The day of evil happened for me when I was fifteen and my daddy didn't come home from work one day. Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my mother on the day my father was murdered.

Her words have power considering the life she lived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings, Alice

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.