Since coming back from Montana, I have really felt that I have needed to focus on a couple areas of my life. Mainly I had a realization that my faith is shallow. While we were at the ranch in Montana, there was chapel twice a day which was really great. The preacher was amazing - I didn't agree with everything he said, but he was very solid in what he was saying. Two major takeaways that have stuck with me are that God doesn't need us but He chooses us anyway. The second is that Christ needs to be my higher affection. These two ideas have really burrowed their way into my heart and challenged me to find ways of deepening my faith and my understanding of who God is and who I am.
So a season of discipline - to get my mind, heart, will, emotions, spirit under His control.
The first area is physical discipline. To accomplish this I joined Weight Watchers to learn more about taking my physical desires under control and being a good steward of my physical health and body.
The second area is in finances. Some of you know that I have had a significant amount of credit card debt accumulated over the years for a variety of reasons. For several years now I have made it a goal to become credit card debt free but haven't been able to quite manage it. However, in about two months, I will send in a final payment and be done with it. Since I don't want to fall back into that pit, I am going to be taking Crown Financial this fall to learn more about what God has to say about money and finances and become a good steward of the financial gifts He has given me.
The last area of discipline I wanted to focus on was spiritual, but I wasn't really sure how to go about it. I realize that I need and want some accountability in this area simply because I know my weaknesses in really following through. So I thought about joining a small group at church, but I didn't know which one would be the best one (we have over 70 - interest groups, bible studies, speciality groups, etc.). On Friday, one of my pastors approached me and asked me if I would be interested in helping co-lead one of the groups called Holy Spirit Encounter. It is an introductory course into who the Holy Spirit is, why people talk about Him, what roles He plays, what the gifts of the Spirit are and living a Spirit-filled life. Although our church is affiliated with Assemblies of God, we are very non-traditional in the approach we take, so this kind of group is a safe, non-threatening and frankly non-weird way to examine the Holy Spirit. I said yes and am excited to see an opportunity open up for me that "forces" me to be disciplined in study. I cannot be a leader in my own strength, but must continually look heavenward for wisdom and humility.
I'm looking forward to this time of growth and am excited to see how God is going to use me, not because He needs me, but because He chooses me.