Taste Your Words

“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” – Anonymous

Words are powerful. They have the power to bring life or the power to bring death to a soul. We have all been victims of careless words. I still remember a day on the school bus when I overheard a couple of boys “grading” houses and property. My house was not worth anything in their eyes; only my dog had value. Those words were not said directly to me, but they had an impact. I was self-conscious and felt like I was somehow less of a person because my earthly dwelling was not good enough in their eyes. We have all used our words — whether intentionally or unintentionally — to tear someone down. Years ago, I had a coworker who drove me crazy. It was easy to gossip about her with another coworker. I never would have spoken those words to her face, yet I freely tore her down behind her back. My words were certainly poisonous and soul-killing.

Words also have the power to build up and heal. I can think of times when I’ve said something encouraging to one of my children and have seen their faces light up with joy. It doesn’t have to be something profound, just a simple statement can show others that you love and care for them. Thanking your spouse for her hard work for your family, telling your child that you are proud of him, telling a coworker that they did a great job on a project you were working on together  – these are all simple examples of how an appropriately chosen word can bring life to a tired or hurting soul.

The authors of Proverbs knew of the power of words. This book is peppered with wisdom on how to use words to build others up. At the Whitehouse Campus this weekend, Chad Schramm spoke on a proverb that emphasizes the power of words by encouraging us to add value to the lives of others through your words.

Proverbs 16:24
Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

My kids love honey. We occasionally give them a spoonful of honey when they have a cough. It’s amazing how one kid coughing can quickly become four kids coughing when honey is involved. The same can be generalized to our words. When we say something kind to one person, others want to be near us. Our words should be used to add value to the lives of others, not to tear them down. As the quote at the beginning states, “Taste your words before you spit them out.” If they are sweet like honey, let them pour out; if they are bitter, keep them to yourself.

 

Questions:
How often do the words you say to others bring life? How often do they bring hurt?

Do you speak life-giving words to yourself?

 

Next Steps:
The next time you are tempted to say something negative, stop and think about how your words will be received. If they do not bring life, keep them to yourself. Make it a point today to say at least one nice thing to those closest to you.

 

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for giving me constant reminders through your Scripture on the power of my words. Thank you for giving me vivid examples of how what we say affects others. Help me to use my words to build others up. Help me keep silent when my words will tear others down. Amen.


This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie Mabus is a writer with the LivingItOut Bible Study. She has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her four young children.


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Your Words Have Weight

There is a gift we each possess that holds immense power. While this gift has no physical dimension, it’s weight and impact are indelible. It’s something we all value but most of us treat far too casually. When used as God intended, this gift can provide help, healing, and happiness. But used recklessly, as it too often is, the same gift has the potential to wound both the deliverer and recipient alike.

I am, of course, referring to the gift of words. We’ve all experienced the power of words – for good and bad. In times of trouble, well-chosen, loving words can soothe our souls. But used in anger or with arrogance, words can be divisive and destructive.

In this special week of the Adventure(Us) series, each of CedarCreek’s five campuses brought to the stage three guest speakers who devoted 10 minutes each to examining Proverbs that can guide and strengthen our relationships. At the Perrysburg Campus, Sarah Bucher, Senior Director of CedarCreek Kids, unpacked the meaning of Proverbs 18:21.

 

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

 

As Welsh minister and author Matthew Henry wrote in his epic Bible commentary, Proverbs 18:21 reveals that “a man may do a great deal of good, or a great deal of hurt, both to others and to himself, according to the use he makes of his tongue.”

Sarah further observed that because our words carry weight, we should choose to wait.

If you’ve ever engaged in “heated fellowship,” you have surely given voice to emotions that would have been better kept to yourself. In these moments, we know we are crossing the line, but the desire to “make our point” overwhelms our better judgment. Words we would never dream of uttering when we are clear-minded roll off our tongues with neither mercy nor restraint.

The Bible is filled with references to the wisdom of respecting the power of our words – and equally respecting the power of silence. As an example, Proverbs 21:23 advises, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.”  And, Proverbs 15:4 further states, “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Of course, waiting and “holding your tongue” is much easier said than done, particularly when we are emotional. However, God implores us to love one another and use his gifts for good. The gift of words provides a daily opportunity to do just that in our relationships.


Questions:

Do you too often speak before you think? If so, how can you be more mindful of the weight of your words?

 

What steps can you take to ensure that you consider the impact of your words before speaking?

 

Next Steps:

Make a concerted effort this week to consider the weight of your words before speaking. Be thoughtful in your conversations and look for opportunities to measure your words before giving voice to them.

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me to appreciate the gravity and impact of my words – for good and bad – and to use the gift of spoken communication with the caution that it merits. Provide me the wisdom to use care when I speak and even greater care in knowing when to stay silent.  Amen.


This post was written by Todd Romain. Todd enjoys sharing life with his wife Jessica and their family and serving at CedarCreek. He is a communications director at Owens Corning and enjoys reading, writing, music, and sports in his spare time.


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Anger Begets Anger, But Gentleness is Fruitful

My husband and I just went on a weekend trip to Chicago. We quickly noticed the large crowds of people walking and many cars struggling to turn at intersections because of the pedestrians exercising their right-of-way to cross the street. There wasn’t a single time we crossed a street without hearing a driver somewhere honking his horn at another driver or a pedestrian. We couldn’t help but laugh when we heard this because usually the person in the car being beeped at had no choice but to wait. The beeping only spread the anger and frustration. I can only imagine how living there and being exposed to that constant stress would change your tolerance for anything in your way—literally and figuratively. From our outsider perspective, the collective anger seemed warranted but at the same time extremely fruitless.

This weekend, Seth Oswald spoke at the South Toledo Campus and shared that a great response often begins with gentleness. Just as the anger begot more anger in Chicago, gentleness can generate more gentleness and can allow growth in a relationship.

 

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

 

Let’s apply this to our social media world. It’s easy to hide behind a computer to tell someone “how we really feel.” We do it for the sake of making our perspective known or to try to change someone’s mind on an issue. We may even do this when trying to get someone to understand Christianity. We justify our bluntness as our defense of the faith, but God doesn’t need defending; he wants more people to have a relationship with him. Usually when we share our point of view with this harshness, the reader recognizes the negativity before comprehending the message. No matter how good your point is, it will not be received. If, however, you take a more gentle approach, focusing on loving the person first, he or she will be more open to hearing the message you are trying to convey.

 

Questions:
Have you experienced the contagiousness of someone being gentle in a situation that normally triggers anger? What did that gentleness accomplish?

 

What is your go-to response? Are you quick to anger, or do you tend to take a more gentle approach?

 

Next Steps:

If you are finding yourself thinking or saying (or posting) something out of anger, take a moment to close your eyes and think of the effect it may have. Will it be helpful to anyone, or will it cause harm? Take note of where you naturally tend to lead with your emotions and be mindful of the effect your words may have.

Also, when online, picture yourself as standing right in front of whomever you are speaking to. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t be willing to say in person.

 

Prayer:

Dear God, when I feel strongly about something, the emotions I have are intense and sometimes hard to control. Help me to realize the effect my words can have. I know I can’t do this without you, so I ask your Spirit to lead me down a path of gentleness, showing your love and grace instead of my unrestrained anger. Amen.


This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a former nurse who is now embracing her role as a stay-at-home mom. She is married and has a daughter and a son. She loves writing for this team, and feels she grows a great deal through writing and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.


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Reinforce Your Foundation

My father was a cement mason. As a young child, I spent many weeknights accompanying him as he prepped his “extra” jobs. I cherish the memories of the time we spent together, riding in his pickup truck, windows down, singing at the top of our lungs while my dog howled. I remember how hard he worked, doing most of it on his knees. More importantly, I remember the lessons he patiently taught. He showed me how to build a strong base. To build the strong, concrete foundation he wanted, which he patiently spent time working on, he used quality materials, measuring carefully the components needed to mix the concrete. He used extra effort to get the smooth yet strong result he desired.

It took me several years, but I finally realized that ample time, quality materials, and extra elbow grease applied not only to building a foundation for a house but also to building any relationship. A strong relationship with a spouse, child, good friend, or God requires a foundation built with quality time and extra effort!

Last weekend, West Toledo’s Jason LaPorte spoke on Proverbs 5:18 and how it applies to our relationships. Jason pointed out that if something rocks your foundation, reinforce it.

One way we can reinforce our relationships is by learning the other person’s love language. Gary Chapman, in his book The Five Love Languages, talks about the different ways people prefer to give and receive love: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. Learning their love language, which is kind of like the extra elbow grease and quality materials discussed above, will help you communicate love in a way they understand and appreciate. This type of reinforcement is great in all friendships, but especially in marriage.

Proverbs 5:18
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.  Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Questions:
If the foundation to one of your relationships gets rocked, how would you reinforce it?

Next Steps:  
Choose a relationship that you are struggling with and put in extra time and effort this week to help prevent it from crumbling. Learn their love language!

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, teach me to build strong foundations. Help me to put in the time and effort to prevent my relationships from crumbling. Thank you for being my strong foundation. Amen.


This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study, a Lead Mentor Mom for Momentum, and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education and has served on a public-school board and currently serves on a charter school board. She is married with 3 grown children—two whom are married—and two grandsons.


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Need a Wake-Up Call?

As we continued our series, Adventure(Us), this past weekend, our church stepped into a new idea that was fun and adventurous. Each campus had three speakers teach live for 10 minutes, totaling 30 minutes of teaching. Thus the name “3 in 30.”

For this week’s LivingItOut, each day we will focus on a proverb from the book of Proverbs and the bottom line from one of this weekend’s talks. Today’s study focuses on the proverb and bottom line from South Toledo’s speaker Jasmine Walbom.

Proverbs 6:6-11
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
7 Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
8 they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

I’ve never described myself as a sluggard or a lazybones. I have also never described myself as apathetic and disinterested (which are synonyms found in my thesaurus). However, as I read synonyms for “apathetic” and “disinterested,” a nerve was struck: disengaged; inattentive. Now this verse was hitting home.

As Jasmine pointed out, sometimes we need to give our relationships a wake-up call.” If you have been the sluggard in your relationships, if you have been disengaged and inattentive, then a wake-up call is exactly what your relationships need.

When we look at this proverb, we see it isn’t only about the ant being industrious (and A.D.D.). We also discover God gave the worker ant its drive to store up good things for winter as soon as spring emerges.

Our relationships have seasons, too. Namely, spring could represent a new, budding friendship while winter is a mature, comfortable relationship. Summer could be those carefree college days, and winter is graduation and entering the “real” world. Or, spring could be great times and winter the breakup of a friendship.

If we want to know how to be a friend, or if we want to avoid being lonely or feeling as if we are not making a difference in another person’s life, the ant is the animal we should look to.

I have not prepared for the winter in my relationships because I have not been storing up good things with my friends and investing in them. The spring and summer of my friendships are those happy memories when the groundwork was laid for anything the world could throw at us. This is the foundation that will get us through thick and thin – t o g e t h e r . We have survived the winters because our friendship is real and solid and strong. But as I searched my soul, I discovered the Lord used Jasmine to give me an honest look at my friendships. I needed a “wake-up” call. I am the disengaged, inattentive one. My friendships have survived these decades because my friends have been the proverbial ants! So, take some advice from Jasmine and Proverbs 6:8: “… yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers food at harvest.”

Give your relationships a “wake-up call” and consider being the ant, lazybones.

Questions:
Are you the ant or the sluggard?  Be honest.

Is there one friendship you need to work on?

Is someone else the ant?  Thank him/her!

Next Steps:
Should you discover one relationship you need to invest in, start today.  Drop a card in the mail, as I did, and get those communication lines open. Pray for that friend. Reach out and thank the ant in your life!

Prayer:
God, we love you and appreciate the love you have given us in friendship with you and your Son, Jesus. Your gift of friendship with others is a blessing we sometimes take for granted.  Help me to store up good things for my friendships to thrive, and when tough times come in my friends’ lives, help me to have laid the framework to help them through. Thank you for your word which is truth for every aspect of life.  In your name I pray, amen.


This post was written by Julie Roehl. Julie loves God’s Word and CedarCreek and is so very grateful for the love and grace of Jesus. She enjoys grammar, traveling, and tennis. She is married to John, and they are blessed with 7 children.


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Pouring Into Others

I had our first child at age 32 after a fun career in international business. Accordingly, my sole priority became being “the perfect mom.” Only homemade organic food for that boy (he preferred hot dogs and ice cream). Only the most wholesome videos (he’d rather play pretend shooting games). And, Bible stories and prayers at bedtime (he actually loved these). My motivation was to “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV).

Needless to say, however, even with these God-pleasing motives firmly in place, I didn’t always feel refreshed at the end of the day. The definition of “refresh” is give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate, but sometimes I didn’t feel refreshed at all, just discouraged and exhausted.

So, what is God really saying when he promises that our generosity of time, resources, and finances to refresh others will in turn lead to our own refreshment?

Proverbs 11:25
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Perhaps we need to redefine what prosper and refreshing means. It doesn’t mean you will walk around feeling like you just walked off a cruise ship after a week away in the Caribbean. As Ben mentioned this weekend, to prosper means to grow fat, and to be refreshed means to be watered, satiated, or satisfied.

I saw this principle played out in another season of my life when my husband received the diagnosis at age 62 that he had early onset Alzheimer’s disease, God gave me the grace and determination to walk those last six years of degeneration with him without wavering. Because God watered and satisfied me as I poured into my husband, we had more good days than bad; and for every circumstance, problem, and decision, God sent us the people we needed to keep us safe and my husband happy. We were blessed in abundance.

As we end this week’s study, I encourage you to be at peace in your service to others. God has a plan for them. It’s our job to trust him!

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

 

 Questions:
Why do you pour yourself into loving and helping others?

How does that reason line up with God’s teaching in today’s lesson?

Next Steps:
If you are new to the idea of serving and the least bit curious, check out GrowthTrack, a four-week experience where you will learn about the spiritual journey and how God has wired you. Talk with your campus staff for more information.

Prayer:
My sweet Lord and Father, thank you for saving me from myself and filling me with a desire to invest in others in your name. Please continue to grow me in my relationship with you. Amen.


This post was written by Martha Preckler. Martha loves Jesus and growing closer to him every day. She loves serving on the Sparkle Team and Greeter Team, as a Landing Leader, GrowthTrack hostess, and fill-in writer for LIO. Martha is the grateful mother of two grown sons and one daughter-in-law. Both sons are good writers, but one is a published urban fantasy writer and self-proclaimed grammar dictator, which he swears he picked up from his mother. She has been a Toledo Business Journal contributor, speech writer, as well as creator of dozens of promotional pieces for seniors’ events and programming offer by the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.


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Time for a Refill

This week, we have looked at what it means to be generous and how that can enhance our lives in so many ways. The important thing to remember is that none of this is possible without God. We want to do these things, of course! But, as we read yesterday in Luke, do we want that to include someone hurting us? I don’t want to be nice to that person! And, do we really want to give up all of our stuff? I mean, maybe something I haven’t worn in a year and a half, but if it’s cute ….

On our own, no matter how hard we try, strive, and have great intentions, something will go wrong because we are human. This is why we need Jesus. We want to be good and generous and refreshing to others, but does it have to be so hard?

If we are going to pour good into others, we need to focus on what is going on inside of us. We can do this by connecting with God daily and allowing him to refresh us. Allowing God to fill us with his Spirit makes it possible for us to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus uses this exact metaphor in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Without that personal connection, all we do is pour out, and that eventually becomes very draining. Despite our good intentions, we become bitter and resentful, or just plain worn out. In this passage Jesus goes on to say that when we choose to remain in the Father’s love, he will give us everything we need and that he actually chose us and anointed us to bear this fruit.

John 15:9-17 
9 “have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”

Growing closer to God and learning to trust is how we can receive from him. It is how we are filled up. Merely trying to be a more loving, patient, joy-filled person may work for a while, but to truly become more of those things requires a deep relationship with God.

 

Questions:
How can a deeper relationship with God create a more generous life?

Next Steps:
If you haven’t already blessed the person you were asked to think of yesterday, spend some time with God asking him how he would have you bless that person.

If you already did something for someone, spend some time with God reflecting on how it made you feel.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for choosing me to bear this fruit. Help me to remain in you so that I will be refreshed enough to be a blessing to others. Help me to stop striving and start trusting you to create this fruit in me. Amen.


This post was written by Kelda Strasbourg. Kelda is a grateful member of the LivingItOut writing team. She has a love for Jesus and desire to help others find that same love. She has her own business and a border collie named Emily.


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Freely Generous

Proverbs 11:25    
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

When you read the first half of that proverb, what do you think? “The generous will prosper ….” What does it mean to be generous? The Google dictionary says: (of a person) showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected. That’s good, isn’t it? We’d all like to be thought of as generous. It is a character trait that we hold in high regard.

What does it mean to be prosperous? Again, the Google dictionary offers one definition: successful in material terms; flourishing financially. Well, that’s good too, right? Who doesn’t want to flourish financially? But what does this proverb mean? It seems as though the two are incompatible in this day and age. Is the proverb saying that if we are generous, we will prosper materially? Television preachers love to camp out on this idea. You will hear them asking you to “sow a seed” into their ministry, thus “guaranteeing” God’s material blessing. I attended a service once where the preacher said that God had put Psalm 139 on his heart, so he felt that the seed would be multiples of $139. Really? Well, who am I to question what God says to another person? It just doesn’t seem to ring true with the teachings of Jesus.

Luke 6:29-30 
29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.

Does that sound like prosperity to you? I think it sounds like freedom. I think it sounds like what you have, you’ve received from God. Sure, you may think you earned it – but only through the gifts and talents God gave you, only by the place of your birth and the family into which you were born, through no choice of your own. Good or bad, those circumstances along with the gifts God gave to you have made you who you are today. When we give generously, we hold those gifts with an open hand. They are not ours to keep; they are ours to give away. Freedom comes when you are not a slave to your stuff. Generosity allows us to give what we’ve been given, and that freedom brings prosperity. This prosperity is not necessarily financial prosperity. It is a prosperity of the spirit, freedom from the encumbrances of stuff!

I have gone on many mission trips to Central America. First-timers are always amazed at how happy the people of these developing countries are, especially since they have so little in the way of those things we deem necessities for a comfortable existence. They are also typically amazed with their host family’s generosity. Because these families often have so little, they tend to appreciate all the gifts God has given. They jump at the opportunity to bless others as they have been blessed. They are the people I picture when I read this proverb because they get it. “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).


Questions:
Have you been blessed by someone else’s generosity? How did that feel?

Who do you think you could bless with your generosity? Will this bring freedom to you?

Next Steps:
Look around your life and find someone whom you could bless through your prosperity. This is not always money. It can be a service, a gift of time, a note of appreciation. Be creative!

Prayer:
Father, I can never repay what it cost you to purchase my freedom, but I know I can bless others with all you have given me. Help me to hold those gifts with an open hand that allows me to be generous. Then I can prosper in and enjoy the depths of your love. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live,  and in your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63: 3-4).


This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook.


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Be a Fountain, Not a Drain

When you hear “refreshing,” what comes to mind? Watermelon on a summer’s day? Ice cream after a long walk? The air conditioning in your car after a day at the pool with four kids? How about a good, clean, corny joke from a co-worker? A riddle from your 6-year-old who has no front teeth? Refreshing can mean different things to each of us, but we can all agree that it is a blessing to be physically and mentally refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25    
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

I married a refreshing man. He has refreshed my mental state of mind since we were dating. He used to say that when he woke up in the morning, he asked himself, “What can I do for Julie today?” Now, he refreshes me physically with a foot rub or time for a nap. He has always taken over our seven kiddos when coming home from work so I could go shop, meet a friend, or wander around aimlessly for an hour. Jack is the most refreshing person in my life. He always makes me laugh. Actually, he always makes everyone laugh. He is genuinely interested in other people’s lives. He is a giver, a fountain of fun. He is never draining, but pours himself into whatever task he has before him or whichever person is with him. He even makes the bank teller’s day better! He is an example of how being generous is one of the ways we can move our relationships from monotonous to adventurous.

This weekend, Ben shared this principle: As I pour _________ into you, ___________ pours into me. This principle tells us that whatever it is that you choose to pour into others, that is what you will get back. If I pour nothing into you, nothing pours back into me. If I pour anger into you, anger pours back into me. If I pour encouragement into you, encouragement pours back into me. Jack is an example of someone who chooses to pour love, encouragement, and generosity into others.

Do you know someone like this? Maybe YOU are that person: someone who inspires us to look at the bright side, the glass as half full, the positive way God uses circumstances, the rainbow after the rain.  We are called to BE that person, for our own sake. The proverb above is a statement of fact, a promise that he who refreshes will himself be refreshed.  As counterintuitive as that may sound, I know for a fact that Jack gets charged up by making someone’s day.

In the end, to be refreshing is to allow the world to see GOD, to notify the world through the light of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, that he is real, alive, and at work in each of us. And, that God loves each of us because we are important. Allow God to use you today to refresh a co-worker, friend, or family member. As you choose to refresh others, you choose adventure over monotony.


Questions:
Can you think of a refreshing person in your life?

Have you ever thanked them for the impact they have on you?

What are you pouring into others?

Next Steps:
BE A REFRESHER!  It is a CHOICE.  Find someone today to refresh.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for sending refreshing people into our lives. Help me to be that refresher. Lord, would you open my eyes to see the person who needs refreshing? Show me the act of kindness I can do so that you might be known. Help me to be your fountain. Forgive me for draining or grieving another. Thank you for your Spirit who refreshes my soul. Amen.


This post was written by Julie Roehl. Julie loves God’s Word and CedarCreek and is so very grateful for the love and grace of Jesus. She enjoys grammar, traveling, and tennis. She is married to John, and they are blessed with 7 children.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Memory Verses
Weekly Discussion
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Moving Past Monotony

Morning comes, and I open my eyes. I find my way through the dark bedroom and head across the hallway and down the stairs, careful not to wake the children. Once downstairs, I spend a little time in my favorite chair reading in the quiet of the morning hours. It’s never enough time though. Soon, someone will be calling on me to help them out of bed. Sure enough, I hear “Dad!” I head back upstairs and grab my kids to bring them down for breakfast. I suggest oatmeal because it is what they like, and it’s what they eat day after day. It’s always oatmeal!

My wife finishes her morning workout and comes upstairs, greeting us with hugs and kisses. She takes over and finishes getting the kids ready for school. I head back upstairs to get ready for the day.

Fast forward through the day; its work, home, dinner, playtime with the kids, and then we put them back in bed. Most likely the day ends with my wife and I falling asleep on the couch as we attempt to finish that must-watch Netflix series.

Each day for us really looks the same. The next day ends up not resembling a next day at all. It’s just the same day again.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with routine. Having structure and routine is good for us. In our routine though, we can find ourselves stuck in a place of monotony. Ultimately, it affects those we do life with, leading to monotonous relationships. We find our relationships with co-workers, friends, and family stuck on repeat.

This weekend, Ben Snyder defined monotonous as lacking variety, dull, tedious and repetitious. While we have a tendency to become monotonous, we want adventure in our lives, and we crave adventurous relationships.

So, how do we move relationships from monotonous to adventurous? That’s what this next series, Adventure(Us), is all about. Together we will learn that we have a choice, a chance to choose our own adventure. We will be looking at principles from the Bible’s book of Proverbs. Each proverb shares a truth that is an invitation to trust God in our relationships.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.

Adventure calls us to trust and to be willing to take risks and try out new ideas. Are you ready? Are you willing?

 

Questions:
Would you describe your relationships as monotonous or adventurous?

If your relationships are stuck, are you ready for adventure?

Next Steps:  
Write down what the current reality of your most important relationships look like. Reflect on the ways you would like to see those relationships change and be more adventurous. Journal about those changes.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you that you have made me for relationship, and that you desire my relationships to be life-giving. You designed it that way, and you have equipped me with your Word to have meaningful relationships. Help me to be a risk-taker and to choose adventure over monotony. Amen.


This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Memory Verses
Weekly Discussion
RightNow Media