Comfort Zones Are Misleading

Can I please, pretty please, have a moment of silence?

I am officially blogging again.

…And the crowd goes…YAY!!!

Don’t give me that look. 

It is hard sitting, staring at a blinking cursor. Your desk covered in ideas but none will render enough clarity to warrant a blog post.

…Sigh…

Now that I got that out of the way… :o) I want you to consider comfort zones.

Comfort Zone | Dana Pittman

What is your initial reaction? 

Lessons Learned in Your Storm

...storms come...storms go...

Peter and the disciples are in a boat at sea. They jumped in the boat pumped!

They witnessed Jesus feeding more than five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Can you imagine the awe and laughter from the men as they made their way across the sea with their personal souvenirs (the remaining food) as evidence of such a wonderful evening?

Storms of Life | Dana Pittman

I can hear them talking over one another recounting the story again, as if they all had not witnessed the same miracle. But the joy of their very special picnic was quickly pushed aside as a bad storm disrupted their cheerful banter.

The men would weather this storm for many hours. The waves crashing into their boat. The winds nearly overturning them under its force. Yet they had no choice but to endure since they were too far out to return to the shore.

What would they do? 

Let Go and Let God

...it is the unknown that stops me...

I sat in the church on a hard wooden pew leaning as close to the rail as I could get, as if it would help me hear her better. She preached about Paul and his thorn.

Let Go and Let God | DanaPittman.com

Thorns.

I know a lot about them. Physical thorns, mental thorns…imposed thorns, self-imposed thorns. But as I tried to focus I couldn’t shake knowing Paul prayed three times for God to remove his thorn and each request was denied

Firm Footing [Day 16]

God gives us all we need pertaining to life and godliness. He gives us His wonderful promises in which we take on His divine nature. What could be greater than this?!

These things are given to us. So, why do I need to build my faith?

Why, do I need to make every effort to act upon what I believe?

These questions are answered in the final verses of today’s passage.

The Passage

Read the passage: 2 Peter 1:3-11 (ESV, NIV, and NLT). Pick one or all. You can also pull out your bible and read it.

Firm Footing

As a quick recap, Wednesday we learned God gives us all we need pertaining to life and godliness. Yesterday, we learned that we should build on our faith. Today, we will see the results of having those seven faith building actions alive and active in our lives.

The passage tells us these qualities keep us from being “ineffective or unfruitful” and when we lack them our perspective is altered. These qualities keep us from falling.

The inner transformation God is doing is manifested externally through our actions. Making every effort to be a believer who has faith and “good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love” keeps us from stumbling. Because we are living what we believe.

“[F]or in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2 Peter 1:11 NASB)

The Wrap Up

God gives us all we need but we strive towards growth to confirm our calling. And that confirmation comes from our fruitfulness.

This is it for 2 Peter 1:3-11. I believe this walkthrough should get us thinking further about our fruitfulness for the kingdom. Lord’s will, I’ll “see” you tomorrow with Part 3 of Shattered.

God bless.

Your Spiritual Midwife Dana Pittman

Consider this: Are you actively building on your faith?

31 Days of the Word with Dana Pittman | 2015

(Click HERE to view all the posts.)

7 Faith Building Actions [Day 15]

Did you know there are ways we can build on our faith?

The English Standard Version (ESV) version of 2 Peter 1:3-11 says “make every effort to supplement your faith…”.

Other versions say:

  • Complementing your basic faith (MSG)
  • Applying all diligence (NASB)
  • Make every effort (NIV)

Today I planned to enumerate the qualities we use to build on our faith but instead I want to share this passage in three different translations. I hope reading it in the different translations will help us to better understand how we are to live what we believe and it should be active and growing, remembering it does not occur apart from the Christ.

The Passage

Read the passage: 2 Peter 1:3-11 (ESV, NIV, and NLT). Pick one or all. You can also pull out your bible and read it.

7 Faith Building Actions

So here we go, there are 7 Faith Building Actions we can engage in to help us increase in our fruitfulness. I will link to the versions online and I’m adding emphasis to help us isolate the actions shared in verses 5-7.

English Standard Version (ESV)

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

New Living Translation (NLT)

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The Message (MSG)

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.

The Wrap Up

Have you ever experienced being in “the zone”?

I have.

It’s like a perfect space where circumstances, preparation and your current efforts marry to create a sweet spot. I think we can live life in this sweet spot. It is not perfection, per se. But it is for a moment almost effortless because all the moving parts in life are moving together.

God gives us all that we need pertaining to life and godliness through knowledge of Him and we are encouraged to supplement our faith. Thus, building on what we believe.

In relation to this sweet spot, He gives us all things and as we grow we learn more about Him. And in that sweet spot we get to experience who we are in Him.

Tomorrow, I’ll conclude this passage with why these qualities—virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love—are so important.

Until then. God bless.

Your Spiritual Midwife Dana Pittman

 

Consider this: Have you ever considered this thought of “supplementing your faith”? Are you seriously pursuing these actions in your life?

 

 

31 Days of the Word with Dana Pittman | 2015

(Click HERE to view all the posts.)

Faith Demands

 

Faith demands that at some point you must jump.

We can dance around it.

We can wait for the infamous “perfect moment”.

But at some point you must take that leap of faith.

Count…3…2…1

JUMP!

What Gives You Life?

My silence has lingered longer than expected. But in my absence I birthed my dream.

I feel excited, scared, vulnerable, impassioned…alive.

I am now in a space of wondering: What’s next? Thus, the time away was extended.

My silence came to a shrieking halt after reading most wonderful post. The writer said:

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center” cite=”Shauna Niequist”]“What’s so sad is that when women fail to take their lives seriously, nobody wins.”[/pullquote1]

This one line could have been the full post. In this one sentence I felt she captured the width and depth of my experience for most of the year. She penned a sentence which echoes the ache in my heart for women and the story of my evolving life.

You see, in my time of silence I hosted my first away retreat. This, beloved, has been a desire of mine for a really (really) long time.

It has haunted me for many years.

It has taunted me for many years.

The longer I waited the farther is seemed to get away from me, which brought heartbreak, doubt and my resolve that “this will never happen”.

But never say never my friends.

God hears the very whispers of our hearts, the cries of our soul. I have seen Him move every obstacle. I have witnessed the impossible rendered powerless in His path.  And even the trivial, smallest detail was acknowledged.

I pray that this retreat is one of many more to come. It helped me to see what gives me life and how important it is for each of us to live.

You can define “live” as your purpose, your passion, your dream, your authentic life, etc.

Define it as colorful, boldly or simply as you’d like. But define it. And don’t stop there…you must live it.

Don’t brush it aside. Don’t wait for later. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

Because it’s in the living that lives are changed. The world is changed. And we need you and all the beautiful gifts God has blessed you with.

Now is the time to be the victors. Winning is a choice.

 

[pullquote4 align=”center” variation=”teal”]For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. 1 John 5:4[/pullquote4]

 

Made to Last

Day 8 of 31 Days of Audacious Faith...

I watched “42” this weekend. The movie is based on a few years in Jackie Robinson’s life as the first Black man to enter Major League Baseball. It was amazing.

31 Days of Audacious Faith with Dana Pittman

Mr. Robinson said “God built me to last” when confronted with the impending challenges. This thought triggered a few memories….

The Cost of Fear

For much of my professional career I found myself being the only female and mostly the only person of color. Around lunch tables, dinner parties and the like it was always…interesting.

People were kind. People smiled. Yet I always felt like I had something to prove. I had to show I belonged. I had to show I was worth their time and efforts.

31 Days of Audacious Faith [Day 4]: My Journey to the SCORRE Conference

I shared my plan to chronicle “My Journey” this month. That was vague. I know.

“My Journey” this month is (and has been) eventful as I prepare for the SCORRE Conference. The thought of attending this conference seemed insurmountable. But I wanted to go. I believe (and believed) something special is awaiting me. If only I could get my bottom in one of those seats.

By God’s grace and favor it is happening. I’m still in awe. And I was floating on Cloud 9 (wherever that is…) until they emailed our pre-conference survey.

All of the wind was knocked out of me. My heart started racing. I tried to take deep breathes but it didn’t help.

I share an office with my husband. While I huffed and puffed trying to slow my nerves, he asked “Are you okay?”

No! I wanted to scream. But how could I. I asked for this, prayed for it and even asked others to do the same.

What is wrong with me? I thought.

An Answer to Live By by Dana Pittman

Fear.

Plain and simple.

The “what ifs” flooded my mind. Minutes passed and I began to repeat:

[pullquote1 align=”center” variation=”teal” textColor=”#000000″]”But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:7-8][/pullquote1]

I continued until I could no longer hear my heart beating in my ears.

My mini-episode reminds me of what it means to live a life of audacious faith. My Spirit knows more than my mind can comprehend. Yet as I write this post, I don’t fully know the plan. By the grace of God I pray to make leaps and bounds until I know that I know that I know I’m pressing into all that God has for me.

It won’t be easy. I don’t require an easy path. But I pray for one made straight by God.



[pullquote4 align=”center” variation=”silver” bgColor=”#c9cbe0″ textColor=”#000000″]Thank you for visiting Day 4 of 31 Days of Audacious Faith. Follow the entire series by visiting daily or subscribing. (See all of the posts here.) I pray you’ll be blessed. [/pullquote4]


31 Days of Audacious Faith with Dana Pittman