Archive of ‘A Year Of Devotion’ category

Victory Is Found In Him

By Laura Ferguson

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What battle are you fighting today? Is it with your kids, your spouse or your employer? Maybe it’s with yourself. The biggest battle I have ever fought (and still fight) is with myself. The war zone is my mind and the weapons of choice from the attacking side usually take the form of comparison, perfectionism and gluttony. Gluttony is a hard one to admit, isn’t it? It’s like the taboo sin because it paints that unattractive picture that anyone associated with fitness or Christianity would not want hanging over their heads. But that’s me. Take it or leave it.

Psalm 44:3 in the NIV says,

“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You loved them.”

I try and I try to convince myself of the truth that I know, but the battle rages on. I try to eat healthy and exercise control in many areas in my life (as gluttony can have its way with so much more than food), but I always end up “failing”. When I read Psalm 44 it clicked for me:

I will never win this battle with my own devices.

The only way there will be a flag of victory flying high over my heart and head is if I “let go and let God”. He brings the strength, the truth and the mercy. And not because He owes me anything but just because He loves me.

Wow.

Whatever your battling today, dear one, just let it loose into His hand. That is quite literally the only way you will see victory, and He is good to come through on His promise.

laura pink

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

Wildly Liberating

By Brooke

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“Jesus: ‘Ah, but what about you? Who do you say that I am?’ Peter: ‘God’s Anointed, the Liberating King.'” -Luke 9:20 (the Voice)

Disclaimer: Here is my promise to you. Not every post I write will be heavy and burdensome. Some may be because that’s life. But for the most part, because of who God is, we will always end up taking His yoke upon us, which is light.

Day 3 and here is what I know. Rest takes time to acclimate to.

Whenever there is a shift in the speed, cadence or momentum of a thing (or an entire life) it can take some time to readjust. The problem (as I see it) is when there is not appropriate time or space for a shift to happen.

Here is what I mean. EVERYTHING changes and we keep on keeping on. At a pace that is no longer appropriate for the reality of our experience and existence. I think that is called survival.

So God clears space.

We don’t know what to do with the space so we fill the space, often times with the “usual” things God has just delivered us from, in order that we can continue to operate from a familiar place. Even though it no longer serves the season of our lives, it’s comfortable and it allows us the delusion of managing (uh hum…controlling) life.

Either God is who He says He is, or He is not. If He is, we can trust Him even when everything in us screams to take the bull by the horns and get to work.

New seasons take time to acclimate to. New seasons invite sobriety. New seasons require dropping the pin and relinquishing control of outcomes. It seems almost irresponsible, doesn’t it?

That, or wildly liberating.

brooke

 

 

 

 

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

Rest or Insignificance?

By Brooke

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“God selected the common and the castoff, whatever lacks status, so that He could invalidate the claims of those who think they are significant.” -1 Corinthians 1:28 (the Voice)

Today is the first day of my sabbatical. It is 6am and I have already checked my work email 4 times. Four. Times.

How am I doing?

It turns out everyone at work is taking this sabbatical thing pretty seriously. I have no new emails requiring anything of me. No voicemail’s I’ve put off until today. No last things that I need to wrap up.

Nobody is asking for my input on pressing matters or how to navigate personal or professional differences. Practically our entire staff at Holy Yoga is new and they seem to be doing just fine without any direction from me.

This morning, sabbatical feels less like rest and more like insignificance.

The definition of an idol is, “something that consumes you while in pursuit, disappoints you when you have it and devastates you when you lose it.” Could it be that Holy Yoga, while a good and fruitful pursuit, has become something of an idol for me?

I think I have allowed the roles I have played as wife, mother, founder, daughter, and friend to define me more than the truth of who God says I am.

I suppose the sobering truth is that the first order of business for this season of rest is addressing my deep need to contribute in order to feel significant.

So for today… this is my question of the King.

Do I really matter to people or projects or You, God, if I don’t bring something to the table?

brooke

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Forgetting What Is Behind

By Laura Ferguson

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“One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven-ward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.” -Philippians 3:13-15

Forgetting, an action word, implying that it is done again and again and again.

Paul isn’t saying “One thing I did, I forgot what was behind…” He says, “One thing I doforgetting what is behind”. It takes work to forget our past. Whether the sins were our doing or someone else’s, it’s impossible to forget, once and for all, things that have so deeply wounded us and most-likely contributed to who we are today. Paul was all too familiar with this.

Straining, again an action word, implying that not only will we need to forget again and again and again, but that the act of doing so will be a struggle again and again and again. The definition of “strain” is to exert to the utmost.

Forgetting who we were or the sins of our past will require us to be “exerted to the utmost”. There won’t be a time that this will come “easily”, but it is something that is absolutely necessary. We press on, through the pain, over and over, so that we may find ourselves all the closer to the goal of winning the prize for which God has called us heaven-ward in Christ Jesus.

While this is difficult, and we know it must be done repeatedly, it is what we ought to do if our deepest desire is to know and live out the fullness of Christ Jesus here while we wait to be called to eternity in Heaven.

Today, let this be an encouragement to you. We are all in this same place, as Paul was along with so many others before us, of needing to gird up and press on through the pain of the past, believing that the liberated life in Heaven that awaits us is worth all of the effort. He is so good and the struggle and strain is not in vain. Believe that today.

laura pink

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

Welcome to the Unknown

By Brooke

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“From now one I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you…This is what the Lord says– your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”-Isaiah 48:6,17(NIV)

I woke up today literally hearing the Lord’s voice say, “welcome to the unknown.”

Welcome to the unknown. Um…thanks but I much prefer the known.

See, I have routines and expectations that keep my life in appropriate “order”. No matter what role I am in, I know what is expected of me. I am wildly proficient at wearing whatever hat is required of me. I am a master at making sure that what needs to get done, gets done and gets done well.

In other words, knowing is my drug. It keeps me exactly where I need to be–in control.

If I know what you need, I can give it.
If I know your expectation, I can meet it.
If I know your desire, I can become it.

I am addicted to knowing because I am incredibly afraid of not being wanted and eventually being abandoned. I have used the crutch of knowing my entire life to keep myself proficient at becoming whatever anyone needs so that I am, well… “necessary”.

To you.

To the project.

To the movement.

To the household.

To relationship.

To God.

The unknown is the place where my performance and striving cease. Where the truth of my identity as a beloved child of God begins to take shape. Where the lie that I have to perform for God in order to be loved by Him is deconstructed and where what I profess on my lips actually becomes the true beat of my heart.

“Welcome to the unknown”, He whispers.

Yes, Lord. To the unknown.

 brooke

 

 

 

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

A Season of Change

By Brooke

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This summer I am doing something new. A something new that is unusual for me and makes me really uncomfortable. Mostly because this “something new” is not my idea. It’s God’s idea, and if I am honest I much prefer living in accordance with what I think is best for me.

On June 15th, I will begin my first ever sabbatical. I will step aside from my work with Holy Yoga for a four month period to um….rest. Rest? I am not sure what that is, but that is what I have been called to.

Rest.

And rest feels wildly fear filled.

By definition, a sabbatical is a “sabbath or any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training”. It sounds luxurious, doesn’t it? It sounds free and exhilarating and full of possibility….except if you find yourself, like me, completely dependent on a role or your contributions to give you your value and worth.

So this, friends, marks a bit of a turning point in our time together. If you will still allow me into your lives for brief moments on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, we will journey together into the unknown. Into why God takes even the really great things in our lives away for a period of time to expose what we really believe about who He is and who we are in relationship to who He says He is.

We serve a good God, friends.

brooke

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

Our Daily Hunger

By Laura Ferguson

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The other day I was driving and praying, crying out to God yet again because my mind had traveled the worn path of comparison and I was fed up. Again. We always have our “things”–the places we are prone to go in the dark spaces of our hearts and minds. Satan gets a lot of credit for this, and rightly so, but in my car on that particular day I felt the Holy Spirit give a little different insight into the situation at hand.

“Give us this day, our daily bread.”-Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

I came to realize that it’s “daily” for a reason. Every day, my soul will hunger. While the real longing is for Christ, my body (mind included) is sinful, and so the hunger for Christ may often be confused with a hunger for “those friends” or “that body” or “that child”. How many of us have heard that when we think we are hungry, our bodies are more than likely actually in need of water, we just tend to confuse the two and go after the food? Might this be the same thing? The hunger is for Living Water but we are going after food that never satisfies.

Isn’t this why Jesus said that I am to ask Him for bread, for Truth and life and freedom, daily? That every day I will find myself hungering my way back to lusting after things that aren’t mine, when what I really need is the bread that my Savior has to offer? I think satan tries really hard to get us down and keep us there, and in comes defeat and failure and all of their siblings to keep us low and full of shame for seeking fulfillment in all the wrong places yet again. There is a certain type of liberty (a really, really great type if you ask me) in realizing that we will need to come back here every. single. day. That my heart will hunger for community and fellowship, and that if I am looking in all the wrong places I will always feel full of shame.

So today, might I encourage you to take some time with the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, and let Him fill you up in those places where the hunger seems insatiable? He knows we need Him to fill these voids daily. He isn’t disappointed that we can’t just “figure it out”. He has a storehouse of bread readily available for each one of us, and it’s just enough for today.

laura pink

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

Prodigal Daughter

By Brooke

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I’m reminded of my Father’s faithfulness today as I sweetly recall how He gathered up His robe and ran to me on the banks of the Ganges. How after coming to my senses and returning to myself, He didn’t delay. He came with the robe, the ring, and the sandals for my very dirty and worn out feet.

Some prodigals go home and some go to India.
Both are met by the scandalous grace of a Father so exuberant that His beloved has returned. God, our Father will not stop the party…even if we don’t feel worthy. Because the truth is we are not. But by His grace alone He restores to us our worth and weight in Him.

“But the father said to his servants,  ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.   For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”– Luke 15:22-24

I’m celebrating today the mercies that come from waiting for Him. Being reconciled to Him, and being welcomed back into a kingdom with a very undeserved celebration.

An encouragement for my fellow prodigals today… Come back to your senses. To yourself. To who you are in Christ. Anchor yourselves in His identity. God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness.

brooke

 

 

 

 

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

A Light-Bearer of Christ

By Brooke

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Salt and light. City on a hill. Light of Christ. Our Creator God made us to be light bearers. To shine hope, truth, joy and grace throughout a dark and lost world.

Here’s what I know about His light—in order to be a light bearer we have to be a light dweller. To dwell is to abide and to abide is to have everything you need without striving for more. In Christ, we are all invited to be light bearers because God, through Christ, has invited us to abide and dwell in His light.

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.”-Genesis 1:1-4 (NIV)

God separated the light from the dark. He sets apart the things that reflect His glory. He draws those “set-apart” things into Himself in order that they know that He is good and that in Him, they are good. There is nothing you did to turn yourself from darkness into light. He alone is able to make the transformation, and He alone chooses who to transform.

Today, can I ask you a blunt question? Where are you striving to be of “greater light”? What works are you giving all of yourself to in order to radiate that which He has already given to you in the gift of the Holy Spirit? What would happen if you were to just let Him lead and radiate through you, transforming the deepest parts of your heart in the process, and trusting that He has supplied all you need to be the brightest He’s called you to be? I can assure you that what would happen would be the molding of a true Light Bearer of Christ. Confident and content in all He is doing in your life right here today.

brooke

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.

The Rebuke of the Righteous

By Laura Ferguson

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Are you easily offended? There is something about us that causes us to jump to battle stance when someone approaches us with a rebuke or, if you’re like me, even a gentle correction.

It’s hard to be told you are in the wrong.

But what about when it is coming from a trusted brother or sister in Christ?

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let a righteous man strike me–that is a kindness; let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.”-Psalm 141:3-5 (NIV)

You see, we will never always do everything right. There will be times when those around us will need to correct us in love. It might be firm and it might be gentle, but it will happen. I assure it. The only One who never needed correcting was Christ Himself, and we are so not Him.

Knowing that this is a reality, what can we do? Well, we can do as the Psalmist did here and ask the Lord to keep watch over our tongues. To set a guard over our mouths, so that we can refrain from saying words that do harm.

We can also prostrate ourselves in such a way that the correction that will come is received with a spirit of gladness and gratitude. To be anointed with oil on your head is to set aside as blessed and called for the cause of Christ. With that being the case, I would rather be rebuked and called out of my sin so that God’s blessing and calling may remain over my life.

So as you go forward today, this week or even this month, remember that the rebuke of a righteous man or woman is yet another opportunity to remember that God has called you out for something greater. What a blessing it is to not be left to our sin.

laura pink

Interested in becoming a Holy Yoga Instructor? Click here to begin your Holy Yoga story.