Keep it Humble Part 4: I Like to Move it!

did your last week’s challenge/life application go? Did you give honor to those
in high rank i.e. every believer? Was it difficult? I’d love for you to share
about that in the comments or email me privately.
week, we’re moving on. With two challenges under our belt, it’s time to step it
up. Literally. But if you’d like to catch up:
Keep it Humble Part 3
look at Romans 12:11 “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;” NKJV
verse before that is about showing genuine affection to our brothers and
sisters in Christ.
want to look at this verse in the KJV because I like the wording. Here it is:
slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
does this apply to us in the context of humility, in keeping it classy i.e.
break down the words in the Greek and then put them together for richer meaning
and application:
at the Greek word for slothful. Oknēros. It means, sluggish,
slothful, backward.
Oknēros comes from the root word: okneō to
delay, hesitate
Bible has several things to say about being sluggish and slothful. Let’s peek
at just a few scriptures.
they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land,
and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful
to go, and to enter to possess the land.” Judges 18:9
verse comes right off the end of the twelve spies getting a good look at the
land God promised to them. Promised Land. It was a place that flowed with
abundance and it was a gift God wanted them to have. They had work to do to get
it. They had to partner with God. Trust Him to go before and fight their
battles, but they were going to have to do a little sword raising themselves. We too have to raise our swords–the Word of God–to fight, but Jesus Christ has
gone before us!
two out of the twelve wanted to go in. Joshua and Caleb. “Let us not
hesitate! Let us not delay! Let us not move backward, but go in and take what
rightfully belongs to us.”
and I have “land” to possess. Dreams to fulfill. Promises given to us
by God. Family members who need saved, reconciliation, freedom from sin,
weakness and addictions. Don’t delay. Don’t hesitate! Go in. Raise your
“sword” and possess what God has already given. ALREADY.
what does that word business mean? In the KJV, the word is diligence.
Not lagging in diligence.
 That word (business/diligence) in the Greek is
spoudē and it means earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or
striving after anything; to give all diligence, interest one’s self most
comes from the root word speudō which is probably strengthened by this
Greek word: pous, pronounced pooce, meaning a foot, both of men or
beast; often in the orient, one put his foot on vanquished; of disciples
listening to their teacher’s instruction are said to be at his feet
minute I read this phonetically and read the definition, I made a connection.
Have you?
essence, Stop pussy-footing around!

Donna Pyle, I think this is your cat! For real. 
 The definition of pussyfoot is “to
refrain from committing oneself; to avoid making a definite decision or stating
a definite opinion because of fear, doubt, etc.
that exactly what the Israelites did? Pussyfooted around and never got to see
their Promised Land, never had the chance to live out the God-given promise.
Fear. Doubt. Uh, yeah, giants lived in the land. But God is much bigger than a
giant. And He had already promised them. He is faithful to keep His word.
often have you missed out on God’s promises and blessing because of
pussyfooting around?
look at one more example of being slothful/sluggish and then we’ll connect it
to staying humble, if you haven’t already.
much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of
the hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18 KJV
it is in an easier translation:
of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands
the house leaks.” NKJV
 Obviously if you don’t keep maintenance on
your home, it’s going to leak and decay.
what about your spiritual home? “Or do you not know that your body is the
temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
your own?” NKJV 1 Corinthians 6:19
happens when you become slothful with that? Same thing. Prepare to decay and
leak if you aren’t caring daily for your home. Feed it. Part of maintaining a
healthy functioning home is renewing daily in the Word. We learn to imitate
Christ through His Word. We learn humility through knowing Him.
let’s go one step further and finish out Romans 12:11.
in spirit, serving the LORD.”
back to loving with zeal what is good. Remember the first part of this passage,
“abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Fervent means to
love with zeal what is good and serving the LORD, it means in a good sense, to
yield obedience; to be a slave, serve, do service; devoted to another to the
disregard of one’s own interests
we, as His disciples, sit at His feet (studying His Word), bank on Him asking
us to serve. Sometimes, it may seem like too much. Too hard. Too exhausting.
Too big. Giant-sized. We may entertain the idea of pussyfooting around, thanks
to fear and doubt and etc.
we are commanded to not be lazy, hesitant or to delay. We are to serve with
fervor–with zeal and love for what is good (and what God asks of us is always
good) and we are to serve the LORD in this manner. To yield to obedience,
devoted to Him and not our own interests. To think of others first.
this, my friends, will humble us. The fact that God wants us to fulfill our
destinies–that He’s even mapped out a wonderful destiny for each of us alone
should drop us to our knees in humility–He wants us to do incredible things
for others. It’s humbling.
 Love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil and
cling to what is good. Give honor to those who have been bought with a price
and see them through the blood of Christ. And stop pussyfooting around, raise
your sword, slay giants. Don’t hesitate.
it! Move it!
the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the
Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be
discouraged.’” Deuteronomy 1:21
the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not
leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Life Application: This week I challenge you to find ways to serve in your local body, to serve another believer in Christ. And I challenge you to spend time daily in your Word, in order to maintain your spiritual home. If God has been nudging you to obey in a certain area…move it! This week! Today!
Prayer: God, we love you. We thank you for gracing us daily with the opportunity to sit merciful at your feet to learn, to be filled with Holy Spirit as we search your treasure trove of scriptures and as he guides us into all truth. It is a privelege to daily serve you. Give us the strength, help us to cast off all fear and doubt–to settle into the peace of knowing that you go before us. You are faithful to accomplish everything that concerns us. You never leave us or forsake us. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. May our hands never be idle, never lazy. But alert. Full of zeal, passion, and gratitude. And may we be humbled as we serve you wholly. In Jesus’ name, amen! 
do you think serving others promotes humility?

PS I’m over at the amazing Married…with fiction blog today talking about my critiquing services and common mistakes I see. Come on over and say hi! And if you need someone to partner with you, see my critiquing/editing page!


Working Hard for the…

You immediately thought money, didn’t you? You know you did. 

Working hard for…the Lord! 

On Wednesday, we’ll unpack this verse using the KJV translation. Here it is for you to meditate on or post to your Pinterest board:

“…not slothful in business, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord…”

I’ve kept it short you so you can have a couple minutes to worship before moving on to your next blog post! I love this song by Kari Jobe. I love the lyrics even more.

Do you ever find yourself lagging in serving the Lord? Why do you think we lose our zeal? How do you think we can rekindle the fiery passion that used to burn?  The video below hints at our lesson on Wednesday and how to serve with zeal, not lagging. 

Faith Readers Group Review: My Stubborn Heart

How can you go wrong with a great romance novel, caramel apple spice cake and coffee? Exactly. You can’t. 

We kicked off the evening with prayer and dug into Becky Wade’s discussion questions. Some peeps might think romance is hokey and fluff, but I think this book led us to some of our more meatier discussions.

Topics like losing loved ones whether through illness, sudden tragedy and even suicide. We talked about how the hero in this book differed in the way he handled his wife’s death than the hero in the last book we read. 

We discussed our experiences of God telling us “no” to something we desperately wanted and what happened during the season of our life after than tough two-letter word.

We laughed and we choked up.

Out of 5 stars, My Stubborn Heart came in at 4.5! Here are few comments made about the story:

“I don’t normally like romance, but this heroine was funny in a quirky way, so I liked it.”

“I really like the older couple and their antics.”

“I don’t know the heroine thought there’s someone for everyone. I don’t believe that’s true.”

“I got so angry when the story didn’t go the way I thought it should. She finished well, but I liked how not only could the characters not see what God was doing, we couldn’t see what He i.e. the author was doing and I felt that frustration.”

(Jess here–there’s a lesson in that above statement. I don’t know if Becky Wade intentionally meant for that spiritual meaning to weave through the storyline, but God did.)

“I really liked the hero, he wasn’t the stereotypical jock.”

In response to that statement it was said: “Well anyone who will quit their career when it’s at its peak, doesn’t have an ego problem.”

Here’s a peek at My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade:

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating
relationships, and in need of an adventure. When Kate’s grandmother asks
Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house
she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Yet, she discovers a different kind of project upon meeting
the man hired to renovate the house.  Matt Jarreau is attractive and
clearly wounded — hiding from people, from God, and from his past.  Kate
can’t help but set her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back
into the light… whether he likes it or not.
During her childhood in California, Becky frequently
produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays
almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy
ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.
Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and
Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that
Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published
three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for
several years to care for her kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly
for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian
romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.
These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up
with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing
tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa
watching TV with her husband.
Do you read romance novels (inspirational or otherwise)? 
Why or why not?

Keep It Humble Part 3: All in the Family

Remember that old show All in the Family? Didn’t you just want to slap Archie Bunker half the time? Talk about lack of respect toward, well…anyone! 
We’re working on
keeping it classy, i.e. humble. Last week, you were challenged to spend one
week, just one, abhorring what is evil and clinging to what is good.
Did you do it? Did
you have to give anything up that didn’t line up with God’s thoughts? I did.
Did you meditate on
the scriptures I included with the post? Any particular one stick out to you?
(You can share that in the comments believe if you want.) You can read the last
two parts in the series, just click on them.
It feels good to
please the Lord, doesn’t it?
We’re unpacking
Romans 12:9-21 over the next few weeks. Today we’re going to camp on verse 10.
“Be kindly affectionate
to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one
another;” NKJV
note, this verse is talking about how believers should interact with other
The Greek
word for “Be kindly affectionate” is philostorgos
which means prone to love, affection of parents/children, but it comes
from a root word that will help us give the meaning a deeper richness.
Philostorgos comes from the root word, philos. You may recognize this word from a
Bible study or from your pastor’s preaching in regard to phileo love. Friendly
affection; one of the bridegroom’s friends who on his behalf asked the hand of
the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and
celebrating the nuptials.
BFF kind
of love. Think about who you chose as your maid/matron of honor or who you/your
husband chose as a best man.
I like to
call friends who are like family, fremily.
This word
means to cherish one’s kindred.
What makes
us family, fremily, kindred?




Like our
biological siblings, we don’t choose who becomes part of our family. But we do
love them.
And how we
treat them, means a lot to our Father. A lot to our Bridegroom, who chose each
one before the foundation of the world. He put copious amounts of thought into
each member of our family, including you. Including me. And He expects us to
get along. And not just get along…
honor giving preference to one another.”
break down each one of these words to grasp the whole meaning. Otherwise we
can’t apply it, and if we aren’t going to apply God’s Word to our lives, why
even read it in the first place? We’re wasting our time. No?
The Greek
word for honor is timē and it means a
couple of things. And the first will seem odd, but we’re going to see it in a
Ready for
a valuing by which the price is fixed; of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought
or sold
This is
where we say, “Um…????”
It also
means, honour which belongs or is shown to one;
of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he
holds; deference, reverence
This Greek
word, timē, is found 43 times in the
Greek concordance of the KJV. I’d think we should pay attention to it, yes?
Let’s look
at a few of them to pull these two definitions together. I want you to get this
way down deep!
the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put
them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.” Matthew 27:6 KJV
ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we
bestow more abundant
honour;  and our uncomely parts
have more abundant comeliness.” 1 Corinthians 12:23
our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having
given more abundant honour
to that part which lacked:” 1 Corinthians 12:24
We are to
love our brothers and sisters in Christ and revere them. Each of them. Even the
ones that you don’t connect with well. The ones who at the last meeting still
have questions that make no sense and you just want to get home. The ones who
buck and kick at every single change the leadership makes. The ones who spread
rumors about you, slander your name, intentionally try to hurt you. The ones in
the limelight and over 400 ministries and love everyone to know it. The ones
who struggle. The ones who seem to always need one more prayer, one more word
of encouragement. The ones who suck the life out of you.
The ones
who are easy for you to slip by because they’re quiet and fade into the
background. The ones who will talk your ear off if you don’t hide or pretend to
be engrossed in a conversation with someone else. The ones who will nag the
stew out of you to volunteer for a program/ministry you do not feel you should
do (but they never care because if it’s important to them it should be on
everyone’s top priority). The ones who remind the whole world how important
they are and how much they tithe.
The ones
you pour into regularly and ignore your counsel. The ones who never call you by
the right name and you’ve known them ten years. The ones that reject you, let
you down, ignore your heart, overlook you, pass you by, call you only when they
need a favor or for you to lead a ministry, take credit when you’ve done all
the work, make decisions you know are wrong, never make you feel welcome or a
part of the team, forget you…
The ones
who aren’t quite easy to love.
Because they hold a high rank. Based on the price paid for them by the
precious blood of Christ.
And when
you can see them through the blood of Christ, through the price paid for them
to be in the family, then you can humble yourself to love them, to revere them,
to hold them in the high honor they deserve.
expect it to be easy.
But expect
it to be attainable.


preference to one another.”
The Greek
word for preference is proēgeomai and it
means, one going before and showing the way as
an example of deference
What does
deference mean?
submission and respect.”
We can’t
wait for the uneasy to love and show us some respect. We can’t play the ‘I’ll
withhold from you if you withhold from me’ card.
We are to
lead each other by example, showing respect and humbly submitting.
I wonder
if we loved without hypocrisy and showed our fremily respect simply based on
the high rank they hold through the price Jesus paid–His blood–if that
wouldn’t do something inside us.
If maybe
that wouldn’t humble us? Just to show them respect is humbling, don’t you
Life Application: This week, add to your
clinging to what is good, respecting and honoring believers who are uneasy to
honor and love. Find one thing that you can do to show reverence to on of your
God-given fremily. Maybe send them a note of encouragement (pray about who and
what scripture you need to write). Maybe you need to suck it up and ask
forgiveness for your uncomely behavior this week. Eeek! Could you offer to
watch a couple of bratty kids so the woman who rarely speaks to you can have a
few hours to herself? Can you take someone who flaunts their money to lunch and
pay for it? Figure it out. Find a way to show respect. Cling to what is good.
Love without hypocrisy. And I will too.
Prayer: Sweet One, we love you and adore you.
Humble us. Cut away our pride–whatever it may be. Remove our selfishness.
Remind us of your selflessness–all the times you lost sleep to minister to
multitudes and even in your sleep was awakened to comfort and calm fears. How
exhausted, Jesus, you must have been if you could sleep through storms. Never
really having a place to lay your head. This week, help us to be selfless and
see the needs of those who are simply hard for us to honor, respect, and love.
Give us spiritual eyes to see the price paid for them, to see their worth. Show
us this week what we can do to love and who we can bless and then keep
distractions from getting in the way of humbling ourselves and following
through. We seek to honor you. For your glory. For a kingdom that never ends.
In your precious name, Jesus, we ask this. Amen.


Let’s get some dialogue going: Did you do last week’s challenge? Did
you give something up? You don’t have to say what it was, but a simple
“yes” will do, and share how it did or didn’t change your