Pondering 

  Today is Day 3 of #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent  Holy Yoga devotional.

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 🙏🏻

Reposting @thaliasoulcare ‘s words because it rings so true. 

Pondering definition: to reflect and hold close the truths that are most dear.  

To let the reality of God’s love and mercy and rest sink deep into our souls. This is so hard to do amidst the rush and chatter of life. Pondering is done in quiet. In stillness.

May you find some quiet, still moments to ponder His love for you today. ❤️💕🙏🏻

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Preparing Our Hearts for Advent | Day 1

  

[Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.] ~ Wikipedia.com 16th November 2015

Today is Day 1 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga challenge, hosted by a dear friend @mandajoy1979.  When I first got tagged, I have to admit, I gave this little thought, thinking “Ok, another challenge?  Didn’t we just finish one a couple of weeks ago? hmm..I’ll probably give this a miss.  Don’t have time.”

Today, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, photos of those who are participating popped up.  Each post has its own devotional by the Holy Yogi participating.  One that stood out the most was from @valariskiness.  She’s pregnant and she’s participating.  Naturally, I went back to the pic that I was originally tagged in.  This time, I read the post properly and the words sunk in.  “PREPARE OUR HEARTS FOR ADVENT.”

Immediately I felt a sense of guilt.  Guilt for not supporting my friend who was hosting. Guilt for saying, “I don’t have time for this.”  I mean, if I don’t have time to prepare my heart for my Saviour, then where are my priorities?!

Most importantly, the Holy Spirit moved me.  It reminded me that it’s not about the guilt.  We are blameless through Him.  It’s not the guilt that triggered that camera shot here.  It is the Spirit moving my heart…preparing my heart for the celebration of our Saviour’s coming.

I tell you what, there is nothing more defining than to have spent this time of reflection and devotional today.  I can’t wait to spend the next two weeks dedicating time for this devotional and reflection.  THIS is what HOLY YOGA is about.  It’s Jesus.  And it’s REAL.

You Heard It. Stop Compartmentalising Your Life …

  Possibly one of the hardest challenges for the modern-day 1st world Christian is to stop compartmentalising his/her life. By that, I mean that we live a Christ-like way of life within our comfortable circle of church friends. And the minute we step away from the comfort of those brothers and sisters, we enter into the world without the same boldness that we have amongst our church friends. Why do we do that?

Inherently, I suspect it is our fear of rejection. 

Humans are built to be in community, regardless on where you land on the extro-intro-version scale. Isolation and abandonment is the one of the worst forms punishment. Hence why we fear rejection and isolation. And in this modern, secular world (or city that I) that we live in, being outwardly Christian may mean you risk the abandonment or isolation.  

Personally, I haven’t experienced much ‘abandonment’ per se. That would be a strong word to use. However, have I been faced with awkward situations where my faith has been questioned and I was compelled to stand on the opposing side of a spiritual view with a good friend? Most definitely. 

Did that make me uncomfortable? Absolutely.

Did I fear judgement from my friends who do not follow Jesus, even though I know the only judgement I should fear is God’s? (Especially those who are like, “Comon’, Jo. You? Christian?”) Yup, sometimes I still do. 

Did that make me waver and live a ‘compartmentalised’ life, where I only speak of the Gospel to my family in Christ whom I am comfortable with? Yes. Often. 

Nonetheless, over time that ‘often‘ became a constant nemisis and shame for me . Openly taking up Holy Yoga as ministry work has been a huge step forward for me. As a results of this,I have observed five important phenomenons:

1. With practise comes more strength and steadfastness

By living out Word and Deed in every aspect of your life through God, He powers you with strength. By law of the 10 thousand hour rule; by practising, it gets easier. There is absolutely NO reason to live a compartmentalised life. Do it afraid and with courage from Him. 

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is by the power of God that brings salvation to those who believe, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.” Romans 1:16-17

2. People can’t actually repel Christ-likeness. So, don’t be discouraged to live out Word and Deed.

What I’ve learnt over the years is the Truth of salvation. Jesus’ teachings cannot be faulted. If only I can be more like Him! People love Jesus-like people. People are just attracted to kind, compassionate, loving, patience people.  Folks, why would we be afraid to live out a life that others love and frankly, need?

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬

3. Good friends will appreciate that you practise what you preach. There is no false pretence. 

One of the worst things you can do IS TO COMPARTMENTALISE your life. Either you believe you have been saved by Grace and live it out in joy or you don’t. It is counter productive to be selective in who you rejoice with. Live it out! Spread the Good News! 

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” ~‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

4. Your non-Christian friends will respect you and come to an acceptance. (so long as you remember that you don’t dial the call from God! They will be called in His time. Don’t annoy your friends by playing God. Just pray for them.)

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” ~ ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

5. When all of the above is established and becomes the norm, there will be a sense of true liberation. Pleasing God is a command and He will protect us on our journey. Stop compartmentalising your Christian life today! Make your every day a ministry life. 

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” ~‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

May this encourage you to seek Him. It’s not an easy road but it is a joyous and deserving one. The gift of salvation is precious. Be thankful. 

Be. Very. Thankful. 

How to overcome challenges? Well, consider them ‘gifts’ and ‘joy’ | Holy Yoga Class

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3 (NIV)

The focus of my Holy Yoga class today was to embrace challenges in life as a ‘gift’ that builds us and develops us. When you stretch your muscles and work them hard, they tear. And it hurts both during the stretch and during the recovery. But they rebuild themselves; stronger, ready to carry more weight… This applies to our lives as well. Thank God for this gift and His design. 

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Purpose vs Call in Life vs Calling

 Is there a difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and Calling?

As we prepare ourselves for the Holy Yoga Ministry, our first session focussed on establishing the difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and our Calling.

This session was led by Brooke Boon, founder of Holy Yoga.  She highlights the importance of understanding and differentiating the 3.

For those of you who are also interested in how we can articulate this differentiation, have a go first! Below is my version as part of my reflections from my first Holy a Yoga class. 

So, what is the difference?

Our Purpose – To glorify God, to do all things in His honour and praise Him. 

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. – Exodus 9:16

To have a relationship with God and do all things in His glory. To glorify Him. 

Our Call in Life – The Divine invitation to embrace salvation.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, – Ephesians 1:7  

Not to be confused with our ‘calling’, our call in life is accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour and following His walk in life. No one can make this ‘call’ other than our King above; or through His chosen authorities. God’s dominion alone. We do nothing here but simply ‘respond’. We do not have any dominion over others’ acceptance of Christ but to serve our calling and walk with Christ. 

Our Calling – Serving Him and surrendering into God’s authority. The Christian walk.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, – Ephesians 4:1-2

This is our serving, or our response to our Call in Life. Our calling is our expression of glorifying of God and doing His work as he pleases.  It is the Hebrew answer, “Hineni” meaning “Here I am”.  God’s calling may not always be obvious if you have not encountered His revelation. But trust in Lord and do everything in the name of Christ, for that can be your simplest form of fulfilling your calling.

Amen? Amen. 🙏🏼