Have You Seen? {March 24, 2019}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

GRC is a Christian organization dedicated to enabling global workers for Christ to thrive! We exclusively serve those sent to minister cross-culturally by providing preventative and restorative care to strengthen their well-being in life and ministry. 

GRC is offering group sessions for global workers. Led by licensed counselors, these intimate groups meet on a variety of topics for 6-7 weeks over video. They are designed as group process, not therapy groups. There will be an educational component and include opportunity for group discussion and reflection. 

Topics include:
Boundaries – Men
Boundaries – Women
The Cry of the Soul
Preventing Burnout
Help Me Help Others

Registration ends 3/31/2019

Learn More: godspeedresources.org/spring-groups

Last Week’s Theme: Transformation 

A More Complicated Story  by by Laura Cerbus—”When I look at the stories of Scripture, a different pattern emerges. In the life of Abraham, patron saint of all us wanderers, the courage to follow God’s call to a foreign land does not preclude backsliding. Abraham’s fear of Pharaoh and Abimelech wins out, and his lies selfishly risk both Sarah’s purity and also the future of God’s promise. He acquiesces to Sarah’s faithless proposition to sleep with Hagar. These sins are not at the beginning of his walk with God, all coming before his receiving of God’s covenant, his faithfulness to Lot, and his sacrificing of Isaac. Rather, they are scattered in between these acts of great faith for which the book of Hebrews praises him, and for which we remember him. Clearly, a life of following Jesus does not always mean only upward progress.”

Falling In Love With Scripture Again {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”What started out as sort of a secret dare to myself to compete with my brother became the year I fell in love with Jesus. It became the year I moved from a surface understanding of Scripture to soaking up encouragement and receiving the Holy Spirit’s challenges as I read. The Bible became so much more to me that year. Fast forward many years, two degrees from Bible colleges that required specific classes in things like hermeneutics and spiritual disciplines, and a very challenging first term overseas. My time with the Lord felt like sitting down with a boss to receive my marching orders for the day, nothing like an intimate encounter with the God who loved me. So I stopped reading the Bible, stopped having a quiet time like I had done for decades.”

A Great Resource for Your Journey  by Sarah Hilkemann—”Sherri Dodd, Advance Global Coaching’s CEO, first heard the words “life coach” back in 2002 after twenty-two years of serving overseas in Europe. It immediately resonated with her ministry style and she thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if cross-cultural workers could have a life coach?” She moved overseas at a young age and sometimes wondered if she was doing it right, doing enough. During her years in Norway and Germany, she watched many workers come and then give up, not because they weren’t called or weren’t good people, but because they didn’t have enough emotional and spiritual support. Sherri initially spent sixteen months training to be a life coach, focusing on people she met in her speaking ministry, but her heart was always for overseas workers. The journey wasn’t easy, however, and she spent four years wrestling with God, telling Him all the reasons why coaching cross-cultural workers probably wouldn’t work. God continued to impress the idea on her heart. After much prayer, she surrendered.”

Just Before the Sunrise by Erin Rain Gautier—”My husband and I have been living through the first stages of metamorphosis as we prepare to uproot our life and move to Japan. Most of you have already been through this process: the scattered boxes full of memories and books and favorite summer dresses, the blend of definite times and actions paired with lack of solid ground, and the tides of emotion in continual ebb and flow. Without a doubt, the months leading up to our move date have been more spiritually transformative than almost any before. It has been anything but smooth sailing. In a few weeks’ time, everything suddenly crumbled. Our visas were not going to be sponsored, our housing fell through, and the colleague we have been in contact with invited us to walk away altogether if we needed. In the midst, I was struggling through health issues and diagnoses that affected daily my diet, mood, and rhythm of life.”

Transformed by the Sculptor {The Grove: Transformation} by Laura Bowling–”Many of us love watching the transformation of people or spaces. In an hour or less we see an outdated hair style and ill-fitting clothes replaced with perfectly styled hair and a trendy outfit. Or we watch a disorganized, cluttered home turned into a home with exceptionally organized closets and an impeccable pantry. And while we know the actual transformation takes far longer than an hour, we tend to forget that most of the messy, stressful parts of the transformation are edited out. Life transformation is far less like a TV show and far more like a sculptor transforming a piece of stone into a piece of art. The initial cuts a sculptor makes in a piece of stone are called rough cuts. Large chunks of stone are carefully removed in order for the stone to be transformed into a work of art. After the rough cuts are made, the sculptor begins to make smaller changes to the stone as the sculpture continues to take shape.”

From Around the Web

When Letting Go Means Finding Joy

Choosing Joy in the Transient Life



Finally, God Never Sends Us Where He Hasn’t Been

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

In her book Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton says, “Simply put, prayer is all the ways in which we communicate and commune with God. The fundamental purpose of prayer is to deepen our intimacy with God.”

As we walk this journey together as sisters in the Velvet Ashes community, we want to grow in this intimacy. We want to grow in the ways that we pray, the ways we commune with our Father.

This week we are talking about prayer, opening up about our individual experiences, but it’s so much more than just conversation. We are going to pause at the end of the week to pray together. We invite you to come and share what is on your heart, your joys and sorrows, your longing and fulfillment, the things that feel trivial and the things that weigh heavy. We invite you to join in this communal prayer time by responding to those who share, writing out your prayers or simply letting that person know you lifted them up.

What have you been learning in this season about prayer? Do you have a favorite prayer spot in your home, neighborhood or city? Share your thoughts with us on Instagram this week with the hashtag #VelvetAshesPrayer.  

Are you registered for Velvet Ashes’ Online Retreat? Experience an incredible, life-giving spiritual retreat right where you are. It’s coming soon! 

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