Armor of God Study: Truth

Recently I was invited to attend a new class at church.  I immediately started crying and jumping up and down while shouting yes at the top of my lungs.  Well that's what I was doing on the inside anyways.  Can you tell I have been starved for adult interaction of late?

As soon as the initial excitement wore off I began to wonder what this class would be about.  I soon learned that we would be doing Priscilla Shirer's The Armor of God study.  Immediately I groaned thinking "not Ephesians 6 again...I wanted to learn something new!" Cue God snickering.

I am just starting week 2 and already this study has rocked my world.  I have notes and markings on every single page so far.  This week the study brought to light a huge disconnect in my life that I had never seen before. 

Read this excerpt from Ephesians 6:14-18a:

"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication."
  
Priscilla (I am doing her study so now we are on a first name basis obviously) asked us to note the order in which the armor is listed.  It is the order in which a soldier would have dressed.  It was important that a soldier first fasten his belt to stabilize his core before adding the rest of the armor.  

What does this mean for me? It means I need truth as my foundation to support righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the spirit.  My life has spent chasing peace and faith thinking that if I obtained them then truth would fall into place, but I need truth first.

It's like a pyramid.  Each level needs to be stable in order to support the next layer.  Truth is the base of my pyramid.  If I don't have truth nothing else will stand.  I tend to look at what's ahead and what's behind, but now I am looking at what is in front of me.  I am going to focus on building this foundation of truth so that all these other things can be added to it.  What's your favorite way to build truth?

Oh and if it is not abundantly clear already I highly highly highly recommend The Armor of God Study! It is deep.  It is serious.  And it is good.  #ArmorOfGodStudy

When You're Not Called to the Monastary

 From the title of this post you may come to the conclusion that I am Catholic.  I'm not.  I grew up in a new age community and became a part of the protestant community as a teenager (that's another story).  My entire life I have been intrigued by monasteries (even before I really knew what they were).  Captivated by these people who live their lives set apart.  People who live intentional simple lives.  People who live in quiet community.  People who serve.  People who give their whole life to a relationship with God.  In short it's this introverts idea of happily ever after.

As a small child I used to think "too bad I'm not Catholic I'd be a great nun." When I was a teenager I read about Sister Madonna Buder a nun who completes in triathlons.  How cool is that?! As a young adult I came across articles about monasteries, such as Our Lady of the Rock, that are working dairy farms.  (I'm obsessed with dairy farms).  Recently I have been obsessed with the nuns of Nonnatus House from the tv series Call the Midwife.  Nuns who serve their communities as midwives? Yes please!

Inevitably I always come back to the fact that I am NOT called to be a nun.  I am NOT called to live in a monastery... at least not currently ;) .

I AM however called and set apart by God.  But I struggle with what this life is suppose to look like.  What MY life is suppose to look like.  And you know what I don't have the answers right now, which makes the title of this post slightly misleading... sorry (especially to those of you brought here by google).

This past week I returned from the IF Gathering's Local Leader conference (which was fabulous and I may or may not get around to writing about).  A big IF phrase is "IF God is real, then..." Currently I am seeking the second clause to the sentence "IF I'm not called to the monastery, then..."  I currently have no idea what is going to be written in that second clause.  That's scary and exciting.

Have you ever been captivated by something good instead of the best thing for you?

Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” 
-Charles Spurgeon