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  • Dec 12
    MOPS Oakhurst

Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

I love Matthew 11:28-30 in the The Message Bible, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” What great advice when life feels overwhelming.

John Ortberg asked at a gathering of nearly 3000 pastors and their wives how we answer when we are asked, “How are you doing spiritually?” 

Ortberg said, “When I was asked that, I’d normally give a run down on my quiet time. Remember at church camp when your spirituality was determined by how seriously you took that concept. But I know now that I can be spending quiet time and not necessarily be drawing any closer to God-just going through the motions to look good to the Christians around me.”

His words made me realize that if I focus on my performance it puts me in that place of being a human doing and that is precisely what the above verse is encouraging me to avoid. Ortberg then said that he got some insight from Dallas Willard, one of the great thinkers and philosophers of the faith. Willard said, “I inventory how I am doing by asking these questions:

Am I easily irritated?

Am I easily discouraged?”

That made me realize that it’s not how spiritual do I look, or am I checking things off my Christian to-do List. It’s what I going on inside of my heart that determines how I really am doing.

When I find myself answering yes to either of these questions, I need to take inventory and see if what I am doing is from the Lord or my own idea. If it is from Him, it may be difficult, but I’ll feel His peace.

We can ask this question every time: Is this an ill-fitting trip I am laying on myself or is this from God? If we can spend quiet time at His feet, He will show us His agenda and we can learn “the unforced rhythms of grace and learn to live freely and lightly.”

Please check out my new author page on Amazon. You can find my page by searching for my name in “Books” on My sister and I will be publishing our new book, Tech-Pecked or Tuned In: Finding God in A Digital World in January 2020. So the publisher decided it’s high time I created this page.


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