Tasting Real Joy

Photo by imagerymajestic taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by imagerymajestic taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Has your obedience become conditional? Your view of God distorted? Do you draw near when life is great or you need aid but run and hide when reveals His God’s coaching-training side?

Romans 12:1 calls us to worship God with our whole selves, which means laying all we are on the altar, as a living sacrifice. The problem with living sacrifices is, they have a tendency to crawl off when things get too hot. I thought of this analogy, spoken by a pastor over a decade ago, when I read author Anita Higman’s devotion. As you read her thoughts on what is necessary to obtain a healthy Christian life, prayerfully consider the areas you’re tempted to withhold from God’s sovereign hand. Ask Him to help you release everything, your fears, struggles, anxieties, pride–whatever is getting in His way, so He can mold you into His beautiful masterpiece.

Tasting Real Joy by Anita Higman, author of Summer’s List

I’m a tea fan supreme, and a lover of chocolate, but when I discovered chocolate tea I have to admit I was not inspired. I’m either in the mood for tea, or I have a craving for chocolate. We humans have a way of compartmentalizing our lives.

I’m sure in my spiritual journey I’ve done a more profound version of that same partitioning. I keep God near when I’m in the mood for His healing touch, His blessings, His tender mercies in my life, and yet I want to disconnect from Him when He’s offering a growth experience that might be painful or when He’s showing me a transgression that requires nothing less than repentance. It’s hard for me to mingle these two seemingly incongruent attributes of God or to even acknowledge them. But I also know that His ways are not our ways.

We may never need to endure the blending of two dissimilar culinary flavors as tea and chocolate, but a mingling and

Photo by holohololand taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by holohololand taken from freedigitalphotos.net

embracing of all of God’s powers is required for a healthy Christian life. It’s the only way for us to taste real and lasting joy. It’s the only way to live the kind of life that really matters spiritually—so that when our great hour comes we can hear those precious words that we long to hear from our Savior, “Well done, my faithful servant.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!…  Matthew 25: 21 (NIV)

Lord, may I always welcome not just your attributes that I am comfortable with, but the parts of you that love justice and truth and a pure heart.

***

5_016Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, traveling to exotic places, and brunch with her friends.

Please check out Anita’s latest novel, Summer’s List, through Moody Publishers. Feel free to drop by her website at www.anitahigman.com or connect with her on her Facebook Reader Page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnitaHigman. She would love to hear from you!

Summer’s List:

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.Summer's List front cover

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer’s List is a simple delight.

livingbygracepic.jpJoin us at Living by Grace as we talk about releasing our expectations, resisting compartmentalized worship, and surrendering our whole selves to Christ as He molds us into His masterpieces. How do you tend to react when in a period of molding, stretching, waiting or teaching? What are some ways you work to keep your heart pliable? Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.

In other news… for my local friends:

Join me on June 21st as I talk about living with an open hand and the life-changing power of grace.

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Then (this one’s for my writing friends) join me at the downtown Omaha Public Library, on Thursday evening, June 25th as I talk about ways to build your platform and advance your God-given calling. Find out more HERE!

And while we’re talking writing, consider spending a few days with me this summer in Atlanta where I’ll be teaching and speaking at the Christian Authors Guild Atlanta Conference. Best part? Shannon Taylor Vannatter and Edie Melson will be there! Yay! I hear Jennifer Hallmark will, too. Find out more and register HERE!

If you’d like me to come speak at your missions or women’s or mother’s group event, or if you’d like to learn more about Takin’ it to the Streets, an Omaha Metro ministry serving the working poor and homeless, contact me at jenniferaslattery (at) gmail(dot)com.

Oh, and I almost forgot, there’s still time to get entered into the Amazon give-away to win one of four copies of my debut novel, Beyond I Do! Find out more and enter HERE! Read a free, 36-page excerpt HERE!

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