• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • 1:27 Rewards

User Archives: Lisa Allen

  • When Change is Hard

    Posted on September 13, 2013 by Lisa Allen

    Lisa Allen

    "Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time." Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NLT)

    There's a cluster of photos in my living room that I love. They've been there for almost 20 years and tell our family's story: pictures of my kids' first steps, vacations, and graduations. The other day as I was dusting, our son's baby photo caught my eye. Well, not so much the picture, but the old frame around it.

    Though our furniture and décor tastes have changed in 20 years, our picture frames haven't. So I decided to give my photos a facelift by swapping the old frames with up-to-date ones.

    When I placed the almost 20-year-old photo in the new frame, the picture took on a whole new look. Though the photo didn't change, the reframing altered how I viewed it.

    Redecorating brought to mind a season in which God did some serious work in my own life. Life changes caused me to put a "new frame" around my calling, so I could view this time with God's perspective, not mine.

    You see, I had felt sure God called me to minister to women. Whenever I had the opportunity to do so, my heart overflowed. Though my days were often long and complicated, I somehow felt more energized by serving in my calling.

    Over time, however, doors in women's ministry at my church were closing. These transitions were healthy and good for the church, but they left me feeling like part of my dream and calling had died.

    I prayed for God to show me His will and sensed He had something on the horizon, but I couldn't see any tangible open doors to serve with women at my church. It turned out, He had other plans for me. Plans that helped me see this season, not as one of letting go and sadness, but of exciting new opportunities and joy.

    God stretched me beyond my comfort zone. Instead of serving women locally, He called me to serve globally in Burundi, Africa. Though this wasn't my "sweet spot" in ministry, my leadership abilities grew by leaps and bounds. Not only that, but with my free time, I took classes in a totally new profession which allowed me to help women in a fresh way. I learned and absorbed everything I could.

    Perhaps you are facing a season of change and would be encouraged by some "reframing" and a fresh perspective. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has made everything beautiful "for its own time." God has designed our lives into beautiful seasons, but there is a time limit on each one.

    Some seasons are wide-open doors for our passions and calling … and some seasons are closed doors when God asks us to grow spiritually, professionally, relationally, or maybe emotionally.

    A question that helped me in the season of waiting for my dream of working with women was, what does this time make possible? For every season, God has a purpose for us. During mine, closed doors made continuing education possible. Closed doors allowed me to travel to Africa twice. Closed doors helped me grow by ministering in a different culture.

    What about you? Do you feel like you are in a closed-door season? Ask God what this new time makes possible for you. Join a Bible study. Serve at a school. Mentor a young person. Pursue a dream. Take a class to help you develop professionally. These are all new frames you can put around this season of change.

    Father, thank You for the rhythm You have woven into our lives. I am grateful for this past season and recognize that You have made it beautiful in Your time. I am grateful for the upcoming season and ask You to give me a confident expectation. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there anything in this season causing you fear or anxiety over the transition? Write a Bible verse on a note card and tuck it in your car, on your windowsill or your clothes dryer to remind you about God's perspective on this new season.

    Ask God what this new season makes possible for you, and then take action!

    Power Verses:
    Daniel 2:21, "He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding." (ESV)

    Ecclesiastes 3:1, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Lisa Allen. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Ecclesiastes, Change

  • Progress or Procrastination?

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Lisa Allen

    Lisa Allen

    "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)

    Unhealthy habits had crept their way into my life. At first it was only occasionally, but then it became easier to stay home rather than head to the gym. I turned a blind eye to how much sugar I was eating. And dinner from a drive-through became more convenient when I was in a rush.

    After a few months in this downward spiral, I knew it was time to reintroduce healthy habits. But then the excuses started: I know I should work out, but this just isn't a good time for me ... I have two trips coming up and then there's that birthday dinner for my friend this weekend. And everyone knows that Mondays are the best day to start a good habit!

    This pattern of thinking gives me permission to eat unhealthy foods and put off exercise. Somehow I justify that I will ultimately be more successful if all the conditions are perfect for me to improve my health. Perhaps it's my selfish nature that screams, "I want what I want when I want it." The truth is, if I know I should take steps toward healthier choices, then my response should simply be to ask myself, "What can I do today?" and then do it. I don't have to have a plan for a month or even a week ... only today.

    As I've observed this pattern of procrastination within myself, I find when faced with a desire and necessity to make a change for the better, sometimes I wait until I can do it perfectly before I'm willing to begin. Scripture tells us though "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

    I don't know about you, but I struggle with feeling that perfection is unreachable, so I push my goals to the back burner.

    We wait to start consistent quiet times until we feel like getting up earlier. We wait to clean our house until there is a convenient weekend. We wait to join a small group until our schedules open up. We wait to begin a healthier lifestyle until the holidays are over.

    Taking that first step is the hardest and yet most important step. Even a baby step toward a goal is better than staying in place. Aiming for progress rather than perfection can be quite freeing. So, I can't run a marathon. But I can lace up my sneakers and go for a walk. And while my home isn't in spotless, I can wipe down the counters and put away the piles of laundry around my living room. Yes, there are still dishes in the sink, but I have to start somewhere, right?

    God is teaching me that I can make progress in the midst of less-than-perfect circumstances. While I still want to do things with excellence, a friend once told me I need to be willing to "take a B instead of an A+" on some things in life, and that helps bring perspective when excuses start to rise up. Plus, I'm learning to overcome my tendency for excuses by telling myself imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination.

    There may never be a perfect time to get organized, eat less sugar, and workout more. However, we have to begin somewhere. The perfect place to start is where we are today.

    Father, You know me so well, and I confess to You I've been avoiding obedience by waiting for things to be easier, better and more convenient. I recognize this as disobedience and ask You to forgive me. Give me the strength to focus today on this area of obedience. Let me know that You are providing all I need to take this step today and tomorrow, as I continue this journey with You. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What area of procrastination are you wrestling with? Whatever it is, choose to take one step toward your goal. Share it with your spouse, friend or mom and ask them to help you live this truth: "Imperfect progress is better than perfect procrastination."

    Power Verses:
    Ecclesiastes 7:8, "The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride." (NIV)

    Proverbs 31:27, "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Lisa Allen. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Ecclesiastes

2 Item(s)

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...