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Feeling Like a Third Party to Your Email?

November 25, 2016

 

 

Can I ask you a personal question?

Ever feel like a third party to your own email?

Maybe the question isn’t all that personal, but it’s what I’ve been feeling lately. I open my inbox and a dam breaks as I watch a flood of emails load one after another. They’re addressed to me, but it doesn’t feel personal. I’m not talking about work email, I’m talking about personal email. It’s becoming impersonal. Can you relate?

These people emailing me?

They’re not uninvited guests. I’ve subscribed. I’ve Followed. Some offer encouragement and others offer discounts on items or courses that would benefit me. That’s not a bad thing. But I can’t do it all or buy it all. That doesn’t mean I won’t later, just not now.

So what do we do?

  • Unsubscribe to posts we never open
  • Set a time to open emails, then delete or take action
  • Try interacting and change the one-way street to a two-way street

I went through my emails a couple of weeks ago and determined which ones I never read. Nothing personal, I just don’t have time to read them all. First, I unsubscribed. Then I entered the name of the company or blog in the search field and deleted all their emails all at once. That cleaned up the clog-up and freed needed space.

After all, I don’t love that message “cannot take photo there’s not enough available storage” while trying to take a pic of one of the grandkids attempting a soccer goal. A-nnoy-ing.

That last tip of changing the one-way street to a two-way?

Comment. Share thoughts. Interact. Even the most introverted of introverts can comment without leaving the couch. Once you narrow down the focus, you can become a more willing participant.

We can ditch being a third-party spectator by being a first-party communicator.

Those famous, well-known, too-important-to-have-time-for-me people? They are people. They have struggles, doubts, dreams, flesh and blood. Step out and comment. Even if they don’t respond, they’re probably reading their comments. True, someone may manage their comments for them, but show up anyway. Show up and get in the conversation.

You may be pleasantly surprised. It may be easier than you think to communicate with that someone who has encouraged, inspired, and influenced you. They need to hear that too. Because sometimes even they wonder if anyone is listening. Numbers don’t talk, people do.

We can translate this from cyber life to real life, but that’s another post.

So simplify your life. Unsubscribe or take part in your subscription. Take action one way or the other and you’ll find the effort rewarding.

When we change from a third-party to a first-party, that two-way street can propel us to that place we subscribed to be.

Same is true with our faith. We have our own measure but we have to participate. Stepping out in faith is showing up when we make a commitment. What we have to say can encourage others.  But let’s choose our commitments and communities wisely, including whom we follow and subscribe to. Pay attention to what they’re saying because their views and values can change.

My most important subscription? I subscribe to follow Jesus and He never changes and He doesn’t need my email address. He’s the famous One, but not too famous for me. Or you.

We don’t have to be a slave to our email. We can take control.

I’m taking first-party action in regards to my email. How about you?

 

What Is Walking Deeper All About?

August 24, 2015

Hello!

I’m glad you’re here.

Whether you are new to this blog, or are already a subscriber,

I wanted to share my heart with you today.

Walking Deeper is all about encouraging, equipping, and engaging women to walk deeper in faith, and in relationship with Jesus Christ. Walking Deeper is about community.

We are finding encouragement through God’s Word, and using our spiritual gifts and talents to make a difference in the world.

We all have a sphere of influence. God places us where we are for a reason.

God knows us personally, and He is calling us to know Him.

I typically write blog posts two or three times weekly, sharing about common joys and challenges we women face every day. I encourage your comments, because you may share what someone else needs to here.

I blog about:

  • Spiritual encouragement for family life, work life, and just plain life
  • Ways to overcome the overwhelming through God’s Word
  • Difficult seasons and circumstances, and how God carries us through
  • Relevant ways to apply truth to our every-day lives
  • Encouraging ways to use spiritual gifts to share God’s truth with others

On the About page, you’ll find info and pictures of ministry life, home life, and links to blog posts most popular with Walking Deeper readers.

You can check it out by clicking here

May you be blessed beyond measure, and if you have some time, let’s do coffee.

In Him,

Doris

 

 

Fearless Faith and a Five-Dollar Bill

August 21, 2015
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As a young wife and mom who worked full-time, hectic schedules and finances were a huge challenge. I’ll never forget the morning when my faith and the gas tank both dipped below “empty.”

Running behind schedule as usual, I somehow managed to get the kids off to school on time, and then head to work. I could feel my heart palpitating as I tried unsuccessfully to ignore the amber fuel light glaring at me.

How long had the warning light been on?

I had no clue, so I prayed God would help me get to my destination. I did well trusting Him for the first three miles or so, then panic set in. I allowed my fear to wash over my faith.

I felt like a faith-failure as I drove to the gas pump. Sure, the car needed gas, but have you ever been on empty, when your bank account was empty too?

I’m guest posting on (in)courage today, and you can read the rest of my post here http://www.incourage.me/?p=172597

Sign up here to receive free daily encouragement from the writers of (in)courage, right in your inbox!

 

3 Ways to Fight Feeling Alone in the Crowd

August 8, 2015

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd?

Standing in a roomful of people, your deodorant quits, as you imagine everybody noticing nobody is talking to you.

You awkwardly move about the room, attempting to jump into conversations like a competitor in a double-dutch competition.

You wind up alone in a corner, sipping punch so your hands have something to do. At this point, you’re either feeling invisible, or that people are staring right at you, as if your hair’s on fire.

Maybe you’ve never experienced this scenario, but I have a feeling some are saying yes, how did you know?

I know, because it’s happened to me.

Perhaps you haven’t experienced that, but you’ve experienced this:

That friend’s family who thinks you don’t measure up, or that promotion you didn’t get, or that guy who stood you up, or that parent who bases your value on a letter grade.

Let’s keep it real, those things cut deep, don’t they?

Those events can make the value meter hit bottom.

But hear me, we’ve got to trade those lies about our value for the truth.

The truth is, we’ve been lied to by the enemy of our soul.

He magnifies our insecurities, until we feel like something we’d scrap off the bottom of our shoe.

He tells us we don’t belong, and we believe it.

Because when we focus on ourselves, we’re not focusing on God.

What if we flipped the coin, turned the tables, chose truth?

What if we stood in a room where nobody is speaking to us, and made it missional?

Instead of trying to jump into conversations, how about we start a new one?

Yes, with the other women in the room nobody is talking to.

We were born for community, God created us that way; and we don’t need to wait for an invite.

And when we believe we are of little value, what we’re really saying is this: God has created something of little value.

I don’t agree with that, do you?

So next time we’re tempted to believe who we aren’t, let’s go to the Word to confirm who we are.

Here’s just one passage of many:

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11-14

Popularity is man-made.

Let’s be confident women in Christ, who know our value comes from God.

That’s the kind of woman everyone wants to be around. Not because we’re all that, but because we’re all His.

So next time we find ourselves feeling alone in a crowd,

let’s commit to:

  • Standing confidently, knowing we are where we are for a purpose and a plan
  • Becoming acutely aware of other such wallflowers and create a bouquet
  • Remembering this post, and that you are not alone

Will you join me in this commitment, and stop drinking punch in the corner?

Does Church Make You Cringe?

August 3, 2015

Do you know people who cringe just hearing the word church?

Maybe it’s a friend, a family member. Or maybe it’s you.

Because for many, the church has been a source of hurt; all those hurt feelings, the pain of church splits, a place filled with cliches and cliques.

That whole hypocritical thing, yes it happens.

But church is more than pot-lucks and sitting face forward.

We are missing it if we attend out of guilt or feelings of obligation. I’m sure some would agree, we need to lose those misconceptions we may have grown up believing.

It was never meant to be a box we check off, or a to-do list item we scratch through.

When we are in Christ, we are the church; it’s not about a building or service we attend, it’s about a body of believers-a family.

And that body needs to hang out and connect.

It’s true, we don’t gain salvation through church attendance, yet let’s not miss that God calls us to gather together.

We are called to gather in a place where babies need arms to hold them, and widows need friends to hug them, and the young need to see how the old have come through it.

Connections are made, and we are fed by the Word, and our spirit is renewed to face a new week in the world.

Because let’s face it, the world can be hard to face.

True, God is always with us, but he’s given us the gift of each other.

We can’t underestimate the importance of believers gathering together to encourage one-another.

We could spend our whole life looking for the perfect church body, but sadly we’d die before finding one; because we’re not perfect, but…

For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14

And maybe it’s not supposed to be about us feeling we belong, but about us being the one to encourage someone else that they do.

We are family.

Let’s not be that family member who never shows up.

Let’s get to that family reunion and worship and pray together.

If we truly believe God directs our steps, then He will lead us where to worship in unity, and where to serve in community.

Lord knows we can’t all fit into one building.

And that’s a good thing.

Because we need to be that city on a hill;

And a city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Let’s let our light so shine before men, so the Father will be glorified.

Can I get an Amen?

Need to know how to be adopted into the family of believers? Check out the Meet Jesus page on this blog.

When the World Would Have Us Shaking in Our Boots

July 27, 2015

Have you heard the news?

The world would have us shaking in our boots, and I’m not big on cliches, but this one truly fits.

I know you don’t need details, because you’ve heard it all too. There’s no sugar-coating evil.

There are times when it hits us head-on. As a bank employee for almost thirty years, I’ve been through two bank robberies.

In the first robbery, I was the teller who emptied the drawer and apologized to the robber when I didn’t have the large bills his note requested.

During the second one, I sat in the lobby at a desk behind glass, watching the event unfold, surreal, as men with guns stormed the innocent.

We’ve been through trauma, we’ve seen evil first-hand. But evil isn’t new. It’s been around a good long while.

In John 7:7 Jesus said this to His brothers:

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

The world we live in hates the truth. When we walk in truth, share the truth, stand up for the truth, we’re going to face some haters too.

But we need not fear and we need not cower, because after Jesus said that, Jesus said this:

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

And we can say this:

So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6

And this:

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

So let’s put on our boots, because we need not shake in them. We can walk confidently as children of God, and boldly say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear.

And instead of shaking in our boots when the world goes crazy, let’s kick up our heels and dance with Jesus, because He has overcome the world.

Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps, He’ll take the lead, because He is The Way.

Who Will You Invite?

July 17, 2015

I think we might be spoiled.

Flowing water from faucets, lights by flipping a switch.

I don’t like to admit I take things for granted, but honestly, I kind of do. It’s not that I’m not thankful,

it’s just that blessings I routinely receive can slip under my thanksgiving radar. Do you find that to be true?

Things like flushing toilets, and setting the air at the optimum temperature.

In a moments notice and without warning, we can lose those conveniences we feel our life depends on.

Water pipes break, fuses blow out, storms come through.

During our many hurricane adventures in Florida, we’ve lost power for up to ten days; talk about roughing it. The “it will be fun like camping” experience wore off after day two.

We did buy a generator, but that requires gasoline, and whipping out a debit card doesn’t work when the power goes out.

It comes down to this: Security. Have we placed our security in the conveniences of life?

Because we need not worry if the power goes out, or if we run out of gas, or if the water goes off. Because our living water never shuts off, and His light is always shining. God meets our needs. He replaces food that spoils and He gives us light by fire.

Our true security is in the Lord, and He doesn’t send us a monthly bill. Can I get a hallelujah?

The living kind of water flows freely and it’s free, and it quenches thirst like nothing else can.

And we want to shout it from the rooftops, don’t we?

Yet, we can become overwhelmed with all the thirsty people out there.

But we need not be overwhelmed about a thirsty world bigger than us, because it’s not bigger than God.

Let’s be overwhelmed by His amazing grace, and His faithfulness. When we ask in prayer, He will direct our steps and give us the words.

So we have this conversation. We share how our life has changed, how we’ve been made new, and from our heart flows rivers of living water, and when they ask us how, that’s when we tell them this:

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37

Jesus spoke of the Spirit, whom all those who believe in Him will receive. We tell them it’s free, but it came at great cost.

And we invite them to the Kingdom, and tell them the Parable of the Marriage Feast in Matthew 22.. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And we can lead them to the water, but we can’t make them drink. The Holy Spirit will do that work, so remain calm. And If they choose thirst, we have not failed because we are not God.

So the Spirit and the bride say come; all who are thirsty, come.

I love that kind of teamwork, don’t you?

Do you struggle with sharing your faith? Share your thoughts…

Choosing a Circle of Friends?

July 10, 2015

Choices.

We make them every day, even when we don’t realize we are choosing.

Growing up, I hovered between circles of friends. It may sound amazing, being friends with everyone, but instead it proved challenging.

The challenge? These circles didn’t interlock like the Olympics symbol.

No, these circles were spread apart like the wheels on the bus. They went round and round in and of themselves, but their molecular structure kept them apart. Can you relate?

What I didn’t realize, was when I chose to hang with one circle, I was choosing not to hang with the others. I didn’t see it that way, but they did.

We tend to label groups and the people in them, don’t we?

Most labels are based on behaviors, or status, or intelligence. So in essence, we judge.

We need to peel off the labels, and cleanly.

Not like when we peel off price-tags on a gift, where remnants of the sticky part still remains.

And what about those inside the circle? They’ve made that choice. They are solid in their circle. Unlike those of us who tend to hover on the outside.

I didn’t want to choose, but by not choosing, I was choosing. I hope that makes some kind of sense, and by now you may be nodding your head. You hovered too.

Either that, or you’re scratching your head, but stay with me.

It’s similar when it comes to walking by faith. We can’t serve two masters, either we’re all in it with God, or we’re not. We can’t have one foot in the circle of truth, and the other in the circle of the world.

Because we are to be in the world, but not of it.

But we’ve done that, haven’t we? To feel a part of a circle, to feel accepted we dip a toe back into the circle of the  world.

But things are not always what they seem. We may think the world means toxic places and toxic people. We may think it means toxic behaviors like addictions, promiscuity,  gossip….

We may not realize, when we choose doubt, worry, fear of the future,  greed, pride…

we’ve stepped back into a worldly perspective.

We may not realize,

that when we choose all of that, we’re not choosing all of Him.

So there’s a choice to be made. Do we choose Jesus? Do we choose joy, and peace, and freedom?

He tells us, doesn’t He?

Not to fear.

Not to doubt.

Not to worry.

Oh we of little faith, let’s choose God.

And it’s okay to feel like an apple in a roomful of oranges.

We will at times, not because we don’t belong, but because we are called to be set-apart and holy. Those aren’t labels or vehicles to allow us to judge, those are the goals we pray everyone will break free of circles and run towards.

The choices we make today can impact our future, in both small ways and eternal ways.

It’s not always easy to choose right, and it’s not always easy to choose wise, and we need the Holy Spirit to be that compass of reason within us.

Let’s pray for strength to make God-honoring choices.

Then we can smile at the future, because He promises us one.

Filled with hope.

And besides,

strength and dignity look much better on us then that dress in the window at Macy’s.

We shouldn’t be striving to push into circles, we should be striving to widen the circle of the family of God.

It’s by no accident the earth is round.

Let’s choose to smile at the future, shall we?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you know Jesus? If you’d like to know Him personally, confess what’s heavy and ask Him into your heart today. To find out more about who Jesus is, open the Bible and check out the book of John. Don’t have a Bible handy? Go to www.biblegateway.com and find the Word of truth and resources to help you dig deeper and walk deeper with Jesus.

See the Meet Jesus page on this blog,  and make that life-changing choice of the eternal kind.

~ We are on this joyful journey together. Let’s smile.

Are We In?

July 8, 2015

Be still

Time.

We say it moves too fast, we say it moves too slow.

At times we want to rush God, don’t we?

We want to rush answers to prayers, and agendas, and plans. We may feel nothing is happening, and our works are fruitless, and our prayers are bouncing off the sky.

Yet, God tells us to be still, and know that He is God. He has all the answers and He knows when the time is right, because it’s not our time, it’s His.

We may feel we’re standing still, but we’re all on a moving sidewalk of sorts. God’s plans for us keep moving forward, and we need only trust in Him.  His promises are true.

So if you’re feeling discouraged and growing tired of the mundane, remember this:

Stay the course, and hold tightly to faith. Nothing is mundane when God is in it. The question is, are we?

And isn’t faith the substance of things hoped for? And isn’t faith the evidence of things not seen?

Never lose faith, and never lose hope, because prayers become tangible when we surrender; and time never stands still even when we do.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Now how about that fruit?

The grocery store has ruined us. We can walk in the door, head to the produce department, and ripened fruit is in abundance; we just need to reach for it.

Fruit at our fingertips, and the only challenge? Getting that darn plastic bag to open so we can get our fill.

No planting, no watering, no nurturing, no waiting. We are a spoiled bunch.

We want to see immediate fruit, don’t we?

We want that loved one saved, that ministry to bloom, that plan to come together, like now.

But spiritual fruit takes time. The planting, the nurturing, the green, and then the sweet.

And even while we wait to taste the sweetness of that fruit, God will confirm.

He will confirm if what we are doing is right in-line, or if what we are doing is wasting time.

He will help us discern the difference. And we can taste and see that the Lord it good. Now that’s sweet.

It’s time to pray big.

It’s time to believe big.

It’s time to work the harvest.

It’s time to look forward in great anticipation, not for the fruit that might come, but for the fruit that will come.

It’s time for the faith that pleases God, because it is impossible to please Him without it.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

God births through us the plans, the dreams, the visions for what He chooses to accomplish,

and He has chosen us to carry them, labor through them, and in His time, He delivers them forth.

And let’s not fret over the baby-steps,

Because isn’t it that first step that always wows us?

From that first step of wow, to that sprint towards the awe, it’s our obedience that brings the blessings of the fruit.

It’s time we step out in obedience, and it’s time we step into that great adventure in faith.

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!    Psalm 46:10

So the question is, are we in?

We’ve All Been that Woman

July 5, 2015

I love bicycles with baskets, and freshly cut flowers,

scented candles, and freshly baked breads.

How about you?

But beautiful things aren’t always what they seem, are they?

Candles burn away, and bicycles get rusty.

Bread gets moldy, and cut flowers dry up and wither away.

They have no life; they have no roots.

So how important are roots? We refer to where we came from, our heritage, as our roots.

Let’s not forget that children are a heritage from the Lord, and we are His children.

When our roots go deep in Jesus, we will not wither away; we will not be a dried up memory pressed in a book,

we will be written in one…

The Lambs Book of Life.

Because before were well-women, we were that woman at the well.

So as a tree planted by the water, lets extend our roots to the living water of the gospel. There, we will not fear when life heats up, and we will not be anxious when seasons of drought come; because this well will never dry up.

When we extend our roots to the living water, our soul will be refreshed and our life will yield fruit. 

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.   Jeremiah 17:8 NASB

Jesus came to quench our thirst, so we can dip our cups and thirst no more.

We have all been that woman at the well.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

When did Jesus meet you at the well?