Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 31: Friendship, Sisterhood and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's Day 31. I kinda can't believe it.  May 31st is finally here and this is the last post of the series.  It's been exhilarating, tiring, gratifying, hard, refining, and amazing.  For those of you whom I've met just because of this series, I hope you'll continue on the journey of walking through life with me.  Now that I don't have to blog every.single.day, I will have time to get to knowYOU better.  That is exciting.

Jen FinalI can't think of a more perfect day to end this, on a Tuesday, surrounded by my Soli Deo Gloria sisters.  I have been so grateful for your support and your encouragement. I'm not sure I could have done it without you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you choose to leave a comment today, I would love to know how I could have made the series better.  I'm planning to use parts of what I have written here for the class I'm teaching at my church in the fall.  I would cherish your feedback.  Any help would be amazing.

Which brings me to the final day's thought about hearing God's voice:  There is a reason why God has made us social creatures.  There is a reason why we live in communities.  He has given us the gift of friendship and fellowship and I believe that those relationships can bring so much fruit into our own individual lives.  I believe that our communities can enable us to better hear God's voice in our own individual lives.

Through the power of God:

We sharpen each other.
We confirm each other.
We affirm each other.
We can hold each other accountable.
We are strength in the face of weakness and devastation.
We are tangible examples of God's love.
We are forgivers.
We are helpers.
We are interceders.

God works through us every day to reach out and touch someone else who needs it.  His glory and character can be revealed through us -- our testimony and witness is a powerful tribute to the awesome God that has created us.

There is a reason Jesus says,

"Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them."
Matthew 18:20
I believe that Jesus is with us when we are by ourselves. I simply think that in this verse He encourages us to form relationships and to trust that He is working within them to enrich us and His people.

Challenge:  Think about how community influences your life.  Where is God leading you to grow?  Or, in some cases, focus more on one than another for a season?

25 comments :

  1. Yea sisterhood! And yea for Matthew 18:20 (given in the context of conflict resolution, by the way, if you check out the whole chapter). Sometimes, if it weren't for that one admonition alone, I would bury into my hole and avoid community altogether, out of yucky fleshiness. I'm grateful that Jesus point-blank said "you will find me when you seek me among other people" (my paraphrase). Otherwise, I might allow my fears and insecurities to wall me up behind a sharp, crystalline bubble through which I can see out but not reach out. Living exposed is harder, but definitely better.

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  2. Such a good challenge for me. Sometimes I'm a loner...well, most times. I've been working on that. I do what to partake of the community God has blessed me with.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  3. So grateful for community in my life and for this blogging community, too. Thanks for hosting us Jen. And congrats on completing a 31 day series . . . strong work.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  4. Jen,

    Best part of the 31 days? The challenges, your writing, the things you would push me to see (and hear!) in my own life. Thank you.

    Worst part? I struggle doing anything for days at a time. I know you don't care if I read daily or not, but I wanted to, and I struggled to keep up. I would like a month of the same theme, and then you stay on a more normal blogging schedule for slackers like me!

    And that's my two cents. Love you, girl.

    ps 2 months-ish. . .whoot, whoot.

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  5. Jen! I have loved this series! And I beleive deeply in the power of community, if it wasn't for community I don't know how I would have functioned over the past few years. So thankful for you and SDG and all the community you provide!

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  6. This looks like it was a wonderful series!

    How I am challenged to grow in community right now is simply in stepping out of my comfort zone and out of being too busy to notice anyone else. Like my blog post addresses, but in other ways too. Just reaching out more to friends, family, strangers...may my eyes and heart be open.

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  7. The blog post I just wrote and links up also deals with community, but from the aspect of community in our nation. It's something I struggle with now as I feel my Grandpa is my community and I have no energy for anyone else. But, when I was truly living in community before it was beautiful and my relationship with God grew as a direct result.

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  8. It's very hard to be a Christian without the support and encouragement of a community of brothers and sisters. Our community, Ligaya ng Panginoon (Joy of the Lord)here in the Philippines, is part of a community of several communities around the world, The Sword of the Spirit. The founding prophecy given to this community is that we will be a bulwark. And that's important, because we face a powerful enemy, a defeated enemy yes, but this enemy knows our secret weaknesses, and likes to deceive!

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  9. Jen,you did a fabulous job with this series. I wouldn't change a thing. In fact, I'm planning on going back through and catching some of the points I missed! I love this last point. Community is such an important way for me to hear God's voice. My women's Bible study is especially important in this area. Yes, we sharpen one another--and round off each other's rough edges as we rub up against each other every day.

    Love to you!

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  10. Hi Jen:

    I've been coming here for a couple of weeks to read and I'm linking up for the first time today.

    I hope that in sharing a part of my testimony, others will be encouraged through tough times.

    Blessings & joy,
    Joan

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  11. I agree completely; community is so important. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer and had emergency surgery, we were awed by our circle of friends and family who loved us. They encouraged, supported, cried and prayed with us. They blessed my life and I hope I do the same for them.

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  12. This was an incredible series. I pray you are refreshed as you have refreshed others.

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  13. Jen, it has been a privilege to walk through this series with you. I am so glad that Sandy brought us together in this way. I look forward to getting to know you better now that we're DONE!!! :) You've done a fantastic job!

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  14. I wouldn't change anything. Those who sit under your teaching will be blessed and will learn.

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  15. Love your "we's" Jen and your talk of community. The only thing I'd change is my commitment to coming over EVERY one of the 31 days! (I didn't do as well reading as you did writing...)But it's been a blessing.

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  16. Hello Jen,

    Thank you for your thoughts. My church's Women's Ministry is in the midst of planning a retreat and we all felt exploring the need for community was an appropriate theme. Thus, what you write today resonates with our meeting last night!

    By the way, enjoyed your post at Our Journey Home!

    Sincerely,
    Rain

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  17. I'm really sad that I missed this series with all the craziness of wrapping up preschool. But I love your challenge for today. It is exactly what God has been speaking to my heart for days now. I have such a tendency to withdraw when things are difficult and He is asking me to trust Him and put myself out there. Last night I was thinking on this and it made me physically sick it stressed me out so much! You want to know the irony - I crave community and am fearful of losing it. Now figure that one out!

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  18. Thank you Jen, for posting every day this month and joining me in this series. You are a real trooper, and you have blessed me more than you know.

    Love,
    Sandy

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  19. Jen -
    Your post today would be perfectly complemented by an incredible song called "Better Together" by Christian singer/songwriter Ronnie Freeman. Oh how we need each other!
    Blessings on ya!!!
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight.com

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  20. Jen,

    Congrats! You did it!

    Our pastor speaks so much about growing and learning together in community. It's so true!

    I appreciate this community, and thanks again for sharing on Our Journey Home!

    -Mel

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  21. I believe that our communities can enable us to better hear God's voice in our own individual lives.
    So agree with that statement of yours: we confirm each other, encourage, validate our feelings. Especially when we are all driving to deepen our relationship with the Lord, I really believe He makes us of one mind.

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  22. You did it! 31 posts in 31 days. Thank you for being obedient as it blessed many ladies. I loved it. So many good things. And to end on community. I loved your list on what we do for one another.

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  23. I am SO thankful and grateful for all of my blogging community! Now I am praying to find a few women around me where I will settle so that I can have some flesh around me:) Love ya Miss Jen:)
    xo

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  24. Jen this has been a wonderful adventure!Three cheers for finishing well and being so inspiring!

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