Enduring Understanding

Testimonies of a Christian and lessons learned on the journey. Psalm 119:2

A New Year’s Prayer

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Dear Reader,

It has been a LONG while since I have posted, but I would be remiss in not saying a final word before the year is out. Perhaps this year has been difficult for you and with 2017 moments ahead of us, you feel glad to have 2016 lay in the dust of the past. Yet, your strength has been sucked out of you and your hope depleted and you don’t have much anticipation or enthusiasm in stock for the New Year. Well, my friend, I get it. Here’s a New Year’s pray for you that I hope helps you keep on keeping on and not let the struggle we call life, get the best of you. Happy New Year!

A New Year’s Prayer

Precious Lord, I call out to you. Hear my humble cry! Lord, I am worn and tattered from the experiences of this past year. I thank you God for your keeping grace, which has allowed me to come this far. I thank you for allowing me to be refined, but not destroyed. I thank you that you have answered prayers this year. I thank you for prayers where I have yet to receive a resolution that you have kept me in my waiting. I thank you for lessons and character you have revealed to me this year in those around me and myself. I thank you for this year that has shaped me and for your presence, which is steadfast and that guides me. In the midst of a world full of darkness, doubt, unbelief and apathy, Lord help me to forge ahead. Lord help me to not grow weary in doing good and let my hope and faith rise and not succumb to apathy or complacency. Lord let me grow in wisdom and discernment. Lord let this New Year be a year where I give you all the glory and all I do be guided by your hand and your love. I pray that my friends and family be kept in good health and that my body is strengthened to do the work you called me to do. Let every place where I step my foot be reclaimed territory for the kingdom and let the walls of your cities be rebuilt. Let me be an ambassador for your love, oh God, and an instrument of your peace. Let me fulfill each day’s purpose and each assignment you give me this year. Lord because I am your child, I will lack nothing I need this year. I rise above any situation that intends to defeat me because I am more than a conqueror. I can do all things this year with your power, which strengthens me. Lord your peace will anchor me and keep me still. I pray that I catch each moment of beauty and grace that you give me. I pray that all that was lost to me in this past year, including my hope, be restored. Lord let me focus and seek after you with my whole heart and operate out of a Christ like mind. Lord because it pleases you, show me mercy this year and favor. And most of all Lord, I ask that you abide in me and open my heart to know all the love you have for me and in turn I will show your love and light to the world wherever I go. I thank you for every day you give me this year.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hope Was Born in a Barn

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A short thought for my dear readers! Enjoy!

Hope was born in a barn!  Not that long ago we celebrated Christmas and the birth of Jesus.  There seems to be a season that we celebrate this special gift and then we stop.  However, such a special gift like Jesus should not be celebrated just on one day.  One of my favorite rappers, K-Drama, has a song called All Year Long about celebrating Christmas all year long.  So with that in mind, I continue reflecting on the Christmas story.

I think about such a small baby boy who could fit in your arms and how his presence changed the world.  I think about his humble beginnings.  I think about the words my pastor said Christmas day about keeping vigil (keep watch, keep awake) for joy and hope in the world and to see Christ in our midst.  My pastor said that Christ brought joy and hope that BREAKS the darkness. I remember that his name Emmanuel means God among us!  My favorite online pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church shared in his Christmas message that the Holy family never gave up, even in dark times. Pastor Steven shared that when we have hope that hope leads to trust.

This January as everyone is pushing to realize old and new dreams, I encourage you, as I encourage myself to feed your hope.  Keep your dreams alive! Keep praying, keep hoping, keep learning, keep growing and keep moving forward.  Even Jesus had humble beginnings. He was born in a stable with other animals, nothing fancy, nothing worth stopping at for a city tour.  And yet, from this small seed, grew new life, grew a boy, who became a man that saved the world!  Your dream may be small, they may be “nothing fancy”, but let it grow.  Letting your small seed grow may inspire others. But most importantly it will delight your heavenly Father as you move toward His plans for you.  Let us all be on the come up this year and let our little light become a fire that all can see! Read more…

A Psalm of Hope

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself in the midst of a struggle. This is a psalm I wrote to cope with frustrations, but also reminding me of the God I serve. I pray that it encourages you.

 

Oh God, you have hidden me from man!  You make me to be quiet in the face of my inner turmoil.  I cannot be comforted by others words nor does my heart understand the wait. Yet God, you will keep me.  You will sustain me.  You will not forget your servant.  Though I have failed you time and time again, you accept my remorseful heart and lift me up out of my condemnation.  You will not forget my name though you take your time to call it out loud.  When you call me I will come running and I will rejoice for you will remember your servant.  You will sing over me and rejoice with me.  I know full well that I belong to you and that the enemy cannot take me.  You have fought the darkest waters and saved my drowning soul.  You love your servant though your voice is quiet.  Oh God I call out to you in my tears, do not forget me here!  If it is not my time to come home to you, make my waters here sweet.  Let there be dancing and singing.  For I know that I do not deserve the honor, but oh God that you would elevate an unworthy servant for your namesake! Your glory would be my claim to righteousness. I AM your beloved.  I am your daughter and your body.  You cannot forsake your hands or your feet and I walk this life for you though at times, it may be a painful crawl.  I look to you to be my rescue.  You will rescue me from my doubt, my own fleshly desires, my sins and my fear. Lord I will call to you and you will come swiftly for you hear my prayers.

The Truth About “The Promise”

Reflection on God’s Promise

His Love is Better Than Wine

I’m in a prayer group for women who are standing on the Lord’s promise to bring them the man He has chosen for them. Wow, just typing that first sentence makes me feel super vulnerable! I never want people to think I’m “thirsty” or “weak” in this area, but I’m finding the balance with being transparent about my own struggles. I’ve been super encouraged by this group, which consists of women over 30 who are married, divorced and single (never married). The married individuals are requesting prayer for their marriages, because, well, marriage is hard. Whether married or single, we are all brought together with this one desire: to receive God’s promises for our lives.

There are so many scriptures in the Bible that speak on this topic. God wants to bless His children. He LOVES to give them good gifts. And whatever our status in life is, whatever lot…

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A Babe Was Born, Did You Miss It?

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One prayer that I frequently pray for myself is: “God help me to see you move today in my life or someone else’s.  God don’t let me miss you today!”

Today in church was a pretty typical service, except that it really wasn’t.  The strange thing is that I guarantee you most people missed it.  We went through the typical things -singing the songs, reading the scriptures, praying for people in need, getting a word from the pastor…and then the closing song.  The closing song was a pretty ordinary song, (so much so that I don’t remember the words or what it was even called).  However, there was a gentleman in the very back row with his wife so moved by the song, and the Christmas spirit, that at the end of the song he shouts “Hope was born!”  Now it wasn’t so loud that people on the other side of the church would hear it, but it was loud enough that those in rows close to him were startled, except, dear reader, for me.  Read more…

Are We There Yet?

Originally Written 2013

I thought I would share some thoughts on the front lines of this thing called life.  A challenge that I’m continually faced with is learning patience. I have been in graduate school for the past three years studying the art of counseling.  It has seemed like an eternity although those around me have said the time has flown.  As this season closes and a new one begins, I’ve found myself STRUGGLING.  Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a planner and I am comfortable with familiar people and routines.

I know I’m a counselor, but I do not like change!  And please don’t add change with a waiting period.  And please, please don’t say that there will be change, a waiting period and say things will be ambiguous.   This is a recipe for me to lose my mind!!!  Currently I have been tested with all three things.  Oh the horror!  As I get closer to my new season, I have been so anxious the past few weeks, and the enemy in the form of doubt had entered the building.  I wondered would I really be able to offer the future kids I will work with, the counselor they need?  Many of my new clients have been through so much.  What do I say?  They need a “real” counselor, not lil ol’ me!  Will the kids like me?  There are so many new people to get to know and I’m feeling overwhelmed.  I almost cried at the fear that was rising in my body. Read more…

Turning 32

With exactly a month to go to my 33rd birthday I thought I would post an article I wrote for my church in 2014.  Yes I know that’s quite the head start! Can you tell I’m excited about 33?  LOL! Dear reader, I love to celebrate birthdays and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this one.

TURNING 32

  • How I see me: long-winded, sleep-challenged, friend, and unorganized
  • How the Zodiac sees me: passionate, obsessive, unyielding and resourceful
  • How God sees me: creative, wonderful (Psalm 139:14), radiant (Philippians 2:15), and chosen (John 15:16)

A few years ago I hit the big 3-0. I was flooded with questions about how I felt. Was I scared to turn 30? Did I feel like life was slipping through my hands? Was I nervous to turn 30 and still be single? Many women shared with me how they would be 29 forever or that it was all down hill from here. Read more…

Lessons in Waiting

Dear reader, I will spill the beans…I am single and 32 years old.  The years after my college graduation have been hard and I have struggled in waiting for God’s timing to be married.  That said, in the last few years I have found a peace and contentment with my singleness.  THEN, God told me to start praying for my future husband and preparing myself for marriage.  I was excited when I first started praying.  Hello future hubby, here I come! And now I continue to pray, prepare and……waitRead more…

The Name of My Blog

Well dear reader, I FINALLY got my “About” page finished.  Yeah! I wanted to share the section about how my blog got it’s name for those who are curious.  To read the full “About” page you can click here.

Take care,
egal

The Name
Lots of blogs have cool and catchy names, but why would I pick a name like Enduring Understandings? A while back I had an amazing opportunity to work at a school in Colorado called Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center.  It is an alternative high school and one thing the staff focused on teaching students when I was there was Enduring Understandings. The idea is that each class has a curriculum and concepts that students will need to master to complete the class.  However, each class should have a lesson or two that will endure/last long beyond the class.  The lesson should be something meaningful that a student will remember long after high school graduation.  Something that will endure.  When I got to thinking about a title for my blog I thought about how all the things God as Rabbi (teacher) has taught me.  They have been helpful tests and lessons that have lasted long beyond the moment that He taught me.  My hope is that my testimony on this blog will be lessons that will help you understand yourself and understand God better and that will endure.  I pray that you will run this race strong! My hope, dear reader, that your own journey will bring you closer to the Eternal Teacher because that is the best lesson learned.

And because I’m a teacher at heart, below are some definitions and scriptures.  Lol! There are lots of scriptures to talk about enduring and the power of a believer’s testimony, but here are two to think on.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.

  • Enduring understandings are statements summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom. They synthesize what students should understand—not just know or do—as a result of studying a particular content area.
  • The word “curriculum” began as a Latin word which means “a race” or “the course of a race” (which in turn derives from the verb currere meaning “to run/to proceed”).
  • Testimony: The statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court; evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof; open declaration or profession, as of faith. From the Latin meaning to function as a witness.

Paying the Cost of Staying in the Past 

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Today a dear friend was celebrating her birthday. I was looking forward to spending time with her and celebrating her victories. Since it was a special occasion I decided to go all out.  Now in my world, that means eye shadow and lip gloss. Lol! I had laid out my clothes the night before because I am time challenged and I really wanted to be on time for the festivities. Today I took my shower, got my shirt on, did my “make up” and agonized over which flip-flops said “birthday fun”. By this point I knew I was cutting it close with my time. But I breathed a sigh of relief as I looked at the time. Whew! I got the hard stuff over, now just to put on my shorts and I was good to go.

Well dear reader, you may be anticipating this, but this is where the plan fell apart. Read more…

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