Today we are continuing our Fruit of the Spirit series. Throughout the last 7 shows, I have gotten to interview guests about each Fruit of the Spirit as listed in (Galatians 5). Together we have heard stories of how God cultivates each fruit, or gift of grace, in our hearts and lives. On this episode, I have my friend and fellow blogger Abi Craig of Joy in My Kitchen joining us to share the reason God cultivates a heart of gentleness in us and how He can cultivate a gentle spirit through us.
Abi is a blogging full-time, homeschooling momma to five whom God has given the perfect storm at home where she can learn and practice the art of gentleness. Abi shares honestly about the work gentleness requires but also the fruit that God gives in response to our efforts.
For many of us, becoming a Christian and joining a church is a lot like getting invited to a country club.
We sign up on a little card, are handed instant “community” within the group and are even given a calendar full of all the ways to become involved.
We receive a place at the table of doing, serving and attending. We meet up for regular gatherings that make us feel good, feel loved and feel accepted.
Yet, despite the all-inclusive aspects of this new life, something is missing. Something is lacking.
After years of attending, doing and serving, we find that we don’t know Jesus more intimately than we did that first day we prayed and asked Him into our lives.
Christmas, birthdays, and just because of visits from your favorite people. Gifts are such a sweet way to receive love from others, and if you are a gift-giver, you know the joy that comes from finding the perfect gift for someone.
However, with all that we receive, we can quickly have more stuff than our homes can hold.
Add in kiddos, and by the time preschool hits, you often have more clothes, more kids’ meals toys, and more battery-operated gadgets than you have want.
After seasons of getting more and more, “more” becomes the expectation and “enough” never arrives, for us and the ones in our home.
How, then, can we welcome the gifts and generosity of others while keeping the “more” monster from taking up residence in our hearts and home?
By creating space.
By creating need.
By creating opportunity for generosity and gratitude.
On today’s show, as we continue our Fruit of the Spirit series, I have my friend Tami Hayhoe joining us to share her story about how God has proven Himself faithful and, in turn, how He has taught her to walk faithfully.
Apart from Christ, we cannot demonstrate unwavering faithfulness; any faithfulness in our stories are a testament to the faithfulness of our God.
With that in mind, listen in as Tami shares her story of walking through difficult seasons of marriage, raising children as a single parent at times and even moving to a new country. Her story is lined with marks of God’s faithfulness and will provide hope for those enduring incredibly hard seasons.
You see her.
In your Instagram feed. Writing another book. Up on a stage. Traveling the globe and doing work that seems to be changing the world.
Meanwhile, you are stuck paying bills and budgeting. Carpooling and folding laundry. Hustling but not getting anywhere fast.
Your life feels far from extraordinary. Yours lacks influence, and your work seems unimportant in comparison to what she, and others like her, are doing.
People all around you seem to have megaphones and microphones, and you are simply standing among the masses: a speck in a sea of insignificance.
You’ve heard the saying that it is better to give than to receive, but today I want to challenge you that the opposite may actually be true.
Not because the saying isn’t biblical (it is) but rather to reveal if your “gift of giving” may hinder your ability to receive.
Our culture loves to pride itself on how capable we are, how much we give to others and how good we can be. But, if we take in account Scripture and especially the teachings of Jesus, then we are faced with the reality that it may not about what we give, but instead what we receive.
We are once again diving deeper into understanding the Fruit of the Spirit and today marks our sixth show in this series. My guest this week is Wendy Willard of FIT Nicaragua.
I have been watching the work of FIT for the last year and over and over again, I have seen the provision of the Lord for this ministry and the families involved in so many ways.
As I considered the story of this ministry, I kept coming back to the word “good.” That God is good. That God is a good Father who provides. That God gives good gifts to His children.
When you’re walking down the street in a group, and you pass by a blind beggar, what do you do? If it’s me, I avert my eyes and keep walking.
But what if that beggar knew your name and, as you passed by, he kept shouting your name louder and louder. Would you stop then?
Honestly, I have no idea what I would do, but three of the four Gospels in the Bible tell us what Jesus did.
In (Matthew 20, Mark 10 and Luke 18), Jesus is just outside of Jericho and as a crowd follows him and passes by a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the man asks what is going. When Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is near, he begins to call out, trying to get Jesus’ attention.
People tried to shush the beggar, telling him to stop and be quiet. But Bartimaeus would not stop. He knew that he might never get this moment again, so he called out louder and louder until he found himself shouting the name of Jesus.
‘Tis the season for wish lists and gift giving. And all around the interwebs, you can find ways to fill both needs.
However, even throughout the year, each of us has an additional wish list that we aren’t necessarily sharing with others; almost an unspoken wish list, if you will.
Things that even money can’t buy. Heart level things.
Like the mending of a hurtful relationship with your mother or father. Or the opportunity to finally quit your job and pursue something you love. Or the relentless longing for a child to fill your heart and home.
We may gather round dinner tables or smile across the church aisle over the next few weeks as if all is merry and bright, but deep down, many of us are wishing for something far more grand than a beautifully wrapped present under a tree.
Today marks our halfway point in our Fruit of the Spirit series. I have gotten the chance to interview some incredible women along the way, and each woman has shared how God cultivates each gift of grace in our hearts and lives.
In this episode, we are speaking on the Fruit of the Spirit of Kindness. I invited my friend, Camille Cates, to join me today because in her personal journey and her work with Healing Hearts, as a biblical counselor and in serving with youth, she has had the opportunity to walk through incredible hurt and pain and see God’s kindness heal hard places.