rachel lovingood

Find out more about Rachel by reading some of her thoughts. If you enjoy or are inspired by her personal devotions, consider inviting her to speak at your next event.

31.1.07

American Idol or Burma?

I just received a break point from Chuck Colson, www.breakpoint.org,about a group of Christians in Burma who are being systematically wiped out by their governing forces. It's terrible to think about that kind of persecution happening in our world today, but the sad fact of the matter is that it is true and that's not the only example.

The thing that challenged, and convicted me, is where Chuck says "Much of what is done in places like Burma is made possible because the world's attention is diverted. Tyrants count on our being more interested in American Idol than in genocide when they formulate things like the Burmese "Program." Ouch. I have to ask myself, when was the last time I paid much attention to what is going on around the world? Or "Am I really more concerned about what's happening on American Idol, which I watched last night, than I am in the lives of believers facing persecution?" Now, I'm not suggesting that we all boycott popular TV shows, but maybe we need to pull our heads form the sands of American idyllic living and pay attention to what is going on elsewhere. We can pray, we can study issues and petition our political leaders and we can be a voice. Not to mention that we can be even more thankful than ever for the freedoms we enjoy here and work to make sure that they are taken away from us, because, we can't fool ourselves that we are immune.

Check out Chuck's daily program on www.breakpoint.org. He always says things on current issues that can stimulate thought and you can subscribe for his email to come free to your inbox.

7.11.06

Election Day

It's election day and I am so relieved. Living in Tennessee with a hotly contested senate race means that we have been inundated with campaign ads and phone calls. One commercial convinces you that this man is the one for the job while the very next ad describes how that same man is a liar and will ruin our country. They are all different and yet there is one thing that is the same with these commercials and radio spots- at the end there is a tag line that says " I'm ______________ and I approved this message."

Hearing that phrase over and over got me thinking about how my life is a message to the world about who God is. As Christians, we are called to live our lives as imitators of Christ and in such a way that we are a positive witness to people around us. If I want people to know I'm a believer and I have a relationship with Jesus, then everything I say and do reflects on Him.

As I make decisions and have conversations throughout my days, am I choosing to live in such a way that is consistent with what I believe and the Bible instructs me to live? Can I honestly say "I'm Rachel Lovingood and I approved this message" about my life today? or better yet, would Jesus Himself approve the message of my life?

Because like it or not, our lives are a testimony and an advertisement to the world....will they want what we've got???

16.10.06

Forget something?

I went to play tennis the other day with my team and things were going great...until it started getting hot. I reached up to serve the ball and got a whiff of something not too pleasant. Imagine my shock when I realized that the unpleasant smell was me. I must have forgotten to put on any deodorant that day. How did I forget an item that important to me, and my friends?

Now, I might not have noticed the oversight if it hadn't gotten so hot and I hadn't exerted myself to the point of sweating. I thought back to my morning and realized that I did some things out of order and in the process of getting out the door, I missed a vital part of my preparation.

Sometimes I do the same thing spiritually...I get busy or distracted with things in the morning and overlook my quiet time and I may not notice until the heat turns up and I start to react in the flesh instead of under the control of the Holy Spirit...I need to be as disciplined about my spiritual preparation each day as I am about my hygiene...maybe more so!

What about you? DO you ever leave the house unprepared in the morning without taking time to commit your day to the Lord and ask Him to be in control?

Romans 8:6 says "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace"...are you living today in the Spirit?... it's your choice

25.9.06

4 views of God?

I was recently challenged to read a newspaper article in USA Today about findings from a new religious survey conducted by Baylor University. Now, the article was long, but the information was really interesting. One of the main conclusions found by sociologists who studied the results was that how a person views God more accurately predicts that person's values and politics than things like denomination or political affiliation.

One of the things that struck me when I read through the four different labels used to describe God and how Americans see Him, was that I can't find one word to accurately convey who He is in my life. I happened to be doing a Bible study this week on Daniel and we were just at the place where King Nebuchadnezzar calls Daniel in to interpret his second dream and although 30 years had passed since Daniel accurately described his first dream, interpreted it, and then Daniel's 3 friends were thrown into the fiery furnace but not burned and Nebuchadnezzar saw with his own eyes those three guys and one more that was "like the son of God" walking around in the fire but not even a hair of their heads was singed....Nebuchadnezzar still didn't 'get it' when it came to God. He still wanted to think of the Most High God on his own terms, to box Him in and label Him just like the other gods of that day...very sad....and yet don't we try and do the same thing sometimes? When we label God as this or that to better understand Him in our finite minds?

It's great that the researchers and sociologists are understanding how people's view of God powerfully affects everything else about their lives but to me it also should be a wake up call for those of us who seek to know Him as He truly is and to call Him friend to be about the business of sharing about a God who is love and acceptance and forgiveness and justice and peace and so much more, with those who may have a limited view of who God is and what He wants to do in our lives. If someone asked you those questions from the survey or watched the way you live your life, would they label God as Authoritarian, Distant, Benevolent or Critical according to your answers or actions? It's an interesting thought and maybe a challenge for you and me to live in such a way that someone watching can see an accurate picture, or at least more accurate, of the God of the Universe- Jehovah...who has more facets to His personality and character than I can ever hope to know and understand, but how much faith would I have in a God who was what I made Him to be or one that fit into a little box that I could control?

What about you? How do you see God? Can you label Him with just one word? Does it really describe who He is or just who you can handle Him being? Think about it, because your view of God will impact all the other decisions that you make today and every day...even the secular world agrees with that.



rachel lovingood

6.9.06

Confessions of a hair don't

Someone complimented me on my hair today and although that is unusual, it wouldn't necessarily be worthy of commenting on except that it took me back a few months to when I went to see my hairdresser. I sat down and she began to comb out my overgrown, overdue for something hair. I watched in the mirror and was compelled to actually apologize to her for how bad it looked. My hair was completely hideous and it was all my fault. The dark brown roots, liberally sprinkled with gray, hung down a few, ok several, inches and below all that, frizzy, outgrown and what could only be called, brassy, blonde hair straggled past my shoulders in every direction.

"How did it get this bad?" I wondered, "I mean, I know I've been busy and I had a foot injury, and we moved into a new house, but those are no excuses for the shape my hiar was in. What started outas few highlights to brighten my face, had morphed into a completely fake blonde lower half of my hair. And though there is nothing wrong with highlights or hair color in general, I have to wonder if I do the same thing spiritually. Maybe I try to gloss over something in my life instead of dealing with it and then I "highlight" a few fake attitudes and spray into place some trite phrases so that people will be impressed by the 'spiritual do' I'm sporting when what I really need to do is get to the root of the problem and let God deal with my stuff, gray and all.

That day, we decided to go back to my natural hair color, minus the gray, and just sprinkle in a few highlights for emphasis-to bring out what God had already given me. Come to think of it, isn't that what we all need to do? spiritually speaking...work with what God has given us, use the positives and negatives for His glory--let people see and know the real us? and of course the greatest lesson of all---don't wait too long between those hair appointments!

Out of my comfort zone

This whole world of internet blogs is way out of my comfort zone. I talked with a girl today who even suggested me creating a My Space account and all i could think of was "At my age"...my kids would probably die...but i have enjoyed reading other people's blogs and even though the name 'blog' is about the ugliest word i can think of, it may be good for me to do some things that push me out of the norm and routine of my everyday life...after all, doesn't God continually challenge us to do things He commands no matter how uncomfortable they may be?

not that I think of blogging as a command form the Lord but more like if I practice doing things that are not the norm then when He does ask me to step out in obedience, maybe I will be more ready ...and of course, i can know that obedience will have its rewards, blogging, I'm not so sure about...