Category Archives: Faith Life

Does God play fair?

The past few months I’ve been using a Harmony of the Gospels (a chronological blending of all four biographies of Jesus) to get a more panoramic view of Jesus life. Today I was reading about the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus execution.

I am amazed at how willing the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing council) were to violate their own laws of justice in order to convict Jesus. Here are a few of their own laws they broke (there are many more):

  • They arrested Jesus at night
  • They accepted the assistance of a betrayer
  • They convicted him without the agreement of two witnesses
  • They didn’t individually pole the members of the council for their verdict.

They simply wanted Jesus dead.

They didn’t care about playing by their own rules.

They wanted what they wanted.

What a stark contrast to the way the God of the Universe was willing to submit himself—in the person of Jesus—to his own rules, even to the point of a gruesome death at the hands of His own creation. It was a price He was willing to pay out of the vast ocean of His love for humanity.

Eugene Peterson, in The Message, has rendered Philippians 2:5-8 this way:

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. 

Thank you Abba that you are just. How ironic that at times we humans accuse you of being unfair! I am so grateful that I can trust you completely to rule over the universe with justice and over my own personal circumstances with compassion. Jesus, please rule over my heart!

 

 

Are you needing a dynamic speaker to take life experiences and integrate them into teachable life lessons for your upcoming event or retreat?  Email Donna at info@donnacarter.org to learn more about how you can Kick the Boring out of your event!  Located in Calgary, Alberta but is available to travel anywhere to share kicking strategies!

Boredom Buster

Where are you kicking boring out of your life?

Things were NOT boring in the office as boxes were opened and the smell of new books filled the air.  How exciting to now have a copy in our hands!  Stacks of boxes full of boredom busting ideas are ready to be shipped out to women who are wanting to work on creating a fulfilling life and legacy of joy, meaning and love.

And as you read your copy we’re getting curious………

Boredom Buster for a boring life

New release just unpacked!

 

Get rid of a boring summer!

The colourful cover of the new book!

We’re curious about where you are reading your book?  Is it joining you on holidays?  Are you soaking up the sun while learning how to think big and travel light?  Do you read a chapter during your lunch break?

WHERE are you when you’re learning how to kick boring out of your life?

We would love to see where you read (and how you relax!) and what you’re learning!  Post a photo of where you are with your copy of Kick the Boring Out of Your Life and hashtag it #kickboringout so can see where you are this summer!  Kick the Boring Out of Your Life is hitting the bookstores just in time for the August long weekend! Get started on kicking the boring out of your life and order your copy right here!

Boredom buster

Enjoying the shade, an iced tea and Kick the Boring Out of Your Life! #kickboringout

Boredom buster

Kicking the boring out while on the beach! #kickboringout

helping hand

How much can you lift?

Learn to LIFT

Our lives can become extremely superficial without our permission. How does this happen? For some people the feeling of insignificance, of being void of the ability and personality to redemptively influence others that holds them back. We look at our little collection of gifts and knowledge and think, what can I possibly do to make a lasting difference? For some people all that stops them is knowing how.

So I want to lay out a strategy so simple, every single person can do it, and do it successfully. Are you ready? Here it is.

Lift others up

Lift.

Lift others up.

Be a lifter!

 

 

Lift is a simple acronym for a four part strategy you can employ to become a lover/lifter of the people in your world. You have a unique sphere of influence. I can’t lift the people in your world. You can’t lift the people in mine. That why God needs us all involved.

look around youL stands for look.  Simply look around you. Notice your hair stylist’s mood, your co-worker’s expression, your child’s teacher’s body language. Look. And if, when you become aware of who is in your world, you realize you have no significant relationships with people who don’t profess faith in Jesus, then you need to redefine your sphere of influence. You need to get out of your Christian bubble and engage the world.

 

intercede for othersOnce we reorganize our lives so that we have lots of contact with non-Christians, we can began to pray for them daily. That’s the second letter in our acronym. I is for intercede. We can pray for the needs we know they have. We ask God to use those needs to draw their attention to their greatest need: their need to know God. We ask God to open our eyes to ways we can practically express our true friendship to them—and for opportunities to share the truth of the story of Christ.

My friend and mentor, Helene, taught me the value of writing down the names of the people God brought across my path in a prayer journal and asking God to give me insights into their lives, their needs, and show me how to pray for them intentionally and intelligently. I did this, and as I prayed for my friends, I became far more aware of opportunities to express Jesus’ love to them practically.

Friend others around you

F is the third letter in lift. It stands for friend. I’m using “friend” as a verb here, meaning to show my friendship in practical ways: bringing meals when people are sick, offering to host baby showers, helping with a move, inviting them out for coffee, letting them know I was praying over their children and job situations… This decision to friend is a choice to get involved. It’s not a short term project, but a long term commitment to a genuine relationship.

I aim to make one intentional contact each week to friend someone. I’ve discovered it really doesn’t take that much time. It just needs to be on my radar. If I’m going to make one meal, it’s not much harder double the recipe and make two. If I’m going to shovel one driveway, I might as well get a really good workout and shovel two. (Then I can actually save time by skipping the gym!) I can write cards or emails during tv commercials or when I am waiting for a ride. One way to be very intentional about friending those we pray for is to set a weekly budget for that purpose. Maybe it’s only enough for one latte or Timmy’s per week, but the thought that goes into bringing someone a coffee makes that person feel noticed, accepted and valued. Maybe you love to give flowers or you could take a co-worker for lunch after a tough morning at work. Only our imagination and initiative limit the possibilities.

People are watching us, looking for ways to authenticate what we say we believe.

What good is it dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing and you say, “Goodbye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (James 2:14-17)

Our deeds authenticate our faith. Our representation of Christ in the world, saying what he would say, loving as he loves and doing what he would do that draws people to him like bees to begonias. People don’t really care if Christianity is true if they don’t see that it is good. That instead of bringing division and criticism into the world, it brings help and hope.

Where do we get the idea that to represent Jesus well, we have to have it all together? In my experience, it has been those times when I have been broken and vulnerable when my life has had the biggest impact on others. Often those are the times when our friend’s questions come bubbling to the surface and we are invited to talk about the Hope that is within us.

The talk about JesusT in lift is for talk. This isn’t about trying to shoehorn a memorized gospel presentation into a casual conversation about gardening. “So speaking of planting sweet peas, have you ever heard of the four spiritual laws?” It’s about honestly answering questions that arise out of the authentic quality of your life and your faith.

 

 

You can do this!

Look for people in your world who don’t know God.

Intercede for them and your interaction with them

Friend them by loving and serving them in genuine relationship

Talk about your faith in Christ when they ask questions

LIFT - look, intercede, friend, talk

Are you needing a dynamic speaker to take life experiences and integrate them into teachable life lessons for your upcoming event or retreat?  Email Donna at info@donnacarter.org to learn more about how you can Kick the Boring out of your event!  Located in Calgary, Alberta but is available to travel anywhere to share kicking strategies!

how to get out of a boring life

Sneak peek of a new book to read this summer 2015!

A new book for summer 2015!

New book for 2015

Kick the Boring Out of Your Life – Released August 1, 2015.

My new book is in the delivery room of Harvest House hospital! It will hit book stores and Amazon August 1. I am excited about sharing what God has taught me in the past few years about Leveraging Pain, Travelling Light and many other things. I hope the following teaser gets you excited too…

In the fray of the frenetic pace we keep, it’s difficult to even care about priorities—let alone keep them in the right order. Many people are like the naïve bride who spends hundreds of hours planning the perfect wedding. She gives her attention to each sequin, napkin, and ribbon but fails to prepare for the marriage itself. Six months after the last of the confetti has fluttered to the ground, she gazes at her beautiful wedding album. Everything in the photos is literally perfect—except that she is standing next to Mr. Wrong. She got what she’d set her heart on—a perfect wedding. What she realizes too late is that her heart was set on the wrong thing.

I hate the thought that I could spend my life like a small child at Christmastime who unwraps a shiny new toy and then discards it to play with the wrapping paper. I don’t want to become so distracted by the temporary that I disregard the treasure. I need clarity to know what demands on my time, money, and energy are worth saying yes to and which ones should receive a resounding no.

How can I find the heart of what I want to live for? Who am I, and what am I about? If I’m a Jesus follower, I need to figure out how to distinguish the cluttered, claustrophobic life I’ve become accustomed to from the panoramic one God calls me to. Could “zooming out” help me identify what is important? Could a broader perspective help me find a life I can get excited about?

 

 

Are you looking for a new book to read this summer 2015?

Watch for Kick the Boring Out of Your Life to hit bookstores and Amazon on August 1, 2015!

David and Goliath valley

Adventures with God

Adventures with God

We stood on the hill top and envisioned David’s brave confrontation with the giant in the valley below. When the dirt beneath your feet is the same dirt that powdered the combatant’s feet, the previously mythic becomes very material.Adventure with God

At our leader’s invitation, Randy and I spoke on the precipice of that hill to our Israel tour companions about our thoughts gleaned from 1Samuel 17. We shared how we can “bank” faith compounded on our previous adventures with God—That we should take risks to right wrongs that are offensive to Him—And we are free to be ourselves as we respond to God’s assignments with the unique set of strengths and limitations we own.

“We also stand off against an enemy who would have us believe we are merely skinny kids. The reality is that we, in our mortality and humanity are outmatched. But the realities that were true for David are true for us. This means we too are responsible to live with awareness of what is going on around us and taking responsibility for it.” 

After our devotional, one of our team approached us weeping. She thanked us for speaking especially to her. She said, “I have allowed fear to control me my whole life! We prayed with her that God would use the picture of this valley and her internal vision of David’s dual to help her trust God with her fear and grow her faith. Then I picked up a small smooth stone and gave it to her. “Let this be your Ebenezer- your monument to help you remember this moment, this picture and this prayer.

“The Ebenezer stone represented a fresh beginning, a reversal of course for God’s people. It also said something important about God: his mercies are everlasting; his covenant is forever.”~ from the website Another Think-One Christian’s View of Postmodern Life

The trip to Israel was life-changing for every one of us. It will enrich our teaching and my writing in countless ways. For this woman, it meant beginning again with fresh faith and the awareness that she doesn’t have to be the hero of her own story. God already is.

 

Christian women's speaker Donna Carter

The Truth about Broccoli – Isaiah 55

The Truth about Broccoli – Isaiah 55

I prefer eating fruit to vegetables, but I know that veggies contain inportant fibre and nutrients that my body needs. I trust that nutritionists know what they are talking about when they tell me to eat my broccoli. broccoli-DSC_1445I have faith that if I do what I am told, the vitamins and minerals in those healthy foods will, over time, nourish my body’s systems and provide them what they need to flourish.

I have never finished my grapefruit and suddenly felt its vitamin C surging through my body. I’ve never had a swig of milk and suddenly felt the calcium reinforcing my bones. I take it on faith that those things are happening.

Isaiah 55:10 says, “The rain and the snow stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow producing seed…and bread for the hungry…It’s the same with my word. I send it out and it aways produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

rain-water-falling-enjoy

It is comforting to know that my spiritual nutrition is doing its work as long as I am faithfully in God’s word. It is making me stronger and wiser and more resilient.

Are you in the Word?1058605_60297588

 

Are you learning and obeying?

             If so, your growth is assured. Take it with a generous helping of faith.

Isaiah 55

A prayer for myself- Isaiah 55

A prayer.

I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s oldie but goodie Higher Ways taken from Isaiah 55:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts…

And my ways are far beyond anything you can imagine.”

God’s thoughts are all-encompassing. They include past, present and the eternal future. They include everyone and everything he created. His thoughts are absolutely pure; in harmony with his character.cloudy-sky-14499-2560x1600

By contrast, my thoughts are short-sighted. My idea of long-term is saving money for retirement. Seldom am I thinking about saving souls from a desolate eternity. I am incapable of an entire train of thought untainted by self-interest- let alone objectively taking into account the environment, the people of every nation and the generations that will follow me.

My prayer today is that God will infiltrate my thoughts, making me more reflective and responsible. Maybe that’s your prayer too.

A Beautiful Promise

The past few years my dear friend has gone through very rugged terrain with her child. I watch helplessly as her Mother’s Heart breaks time and time again.

Let me re-phrase: I feel helpless and yet I know my prayers for her and her family are heard and held by our Abba Father. He cares for her even more than I do and loves her lamb even more than she does.

In fact, he makes this beautiful promise in Isaiah 40:11:

lamb drawing promise

 “He will feed his flock like a shepherd.

He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them   

close to his heart.

He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”

 

I love this promise.

God understands the Mother’s Heart.

He formed it out of his own Great Heart.

Yet unlike us, he is absolutely unlimited in his capacity to love, forgive, and even shape the circumstance he knows will draw a child back to  his mother’s arms and his own. Is your heart breaking over a child who is determined to wander away from the green meadows God has for her? Know that your prayers matter. They are heard and held. God is at work, whether you can see it or not. He holds your lamb to his heart and leads you gently as you wait and weep.