The living great stories is the heart of the Storyline concept. Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, creator of Storyline and its concepts, stresses that we all have the potential to live great stories just like our favorite heroes, whether those be like Esther, Moses, Joseph or Luke and Leia in Star Wars. In our story, we are the main character and we “need to know who we are, what we want, what conflict we will need to engage and then we must take action.” Wow, I first thought. Who I am? Uh. Hi, my name is Kristel Morris. You can call me KrisTALL, if that helps you remember WHO I AM. No, actually, there’s a better way to figure this all out. Miller elaborates, “live a page-turner of a life that is unique to you. Life can be full of meaning. Live with passion. I can’t believe God would give me a life to give ONLY mostly of myself.” Likewise, stop comparing yourself to others was another bell that ceremoniously rang throughout the conference, and many times I felt like it was speaking just to me. You may be at the stage in your life where “figuring out who you are” is checked-off on your bucket
list or you are still following the treasure map, but my guess is that it is the latter. Above all answering “who did God wire me to be?” at least with a couple bullet points is a start.
I’m going to do the worst thing for English teachers to see, and mine would be ashamed of me. I’m going to only address characters knowing who they are, and not the rest of what characters do for their stories. I honestly, truly feel that I will be sharing more with you about this and I don’t want to reveal all just yet. In closing, I now know that we all have stories. We might not all want to write about them, but God wants you to share yours. Bob Goff, author of Love Does, put it this way, “Jesus didn’t play it safe. We’re not trying to get safer – we’re trying to get better.” Who may get better because of your story?
When I consider the scripture to use for the closing headline, I often look to current Bible studies I’m involved in or devotionals I have. For this month’s, I used this same scripture written on the page titled “October” of
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. Yet, in the words “burden” and “rest,” I am also referencing the book we are studying in Ladies’ Bible Class on Tuesday mornings,
Crock Pot Living in a Pressure Cooker World by Terry Butler Copeland.
Copeland’s book is about the stress in our lives; the tension-creating, panic-inducing, imbalance-creating upset that sometimes causes high blood pressure, “hypertension, ulcers, migraine headaches, and even heart disease” (27). The author argues that in order to overcome stress, we must be vigilant and seek out rest with God. She even points out that many Christians believe that because there is no closing “And there was evening and there was morning, the ____ day” in the Genesis account, for the seventh day, that means that God’s rest has never ended, and we as Christians can look forward to someday sharing the rest He now enjoys (19). Sounds wonderful!
Whether you believe this argument or not, one thing is for certain. Jesus will take all of your stress and burdens if you just call out to him. His arms are open wide, ready to take you in his loving embrace.
I was watching my girls jumping on our trampoline, the youngest playfully chasing the oldest, both giggling as little girls do. The late afternoon sun caressed the tops of their heads, highlighting the slight red they inherited from me, my mom, my grandmother. Then they collapsed in a bounce and were tangled in hugs, but all the while happy, still enjoying the other’s company.
This moment reminded me of growing up with my sister, the joyful times, the silly times, the times we even needed the other for comfort and support. It also reminded me of my sister-in-law, Brooke, for her generosity. If she and my brother-in-law Jarod hadn’t given us the trampoline, and thought about our children using it, this memory would be obsolete.
I know, however, that not everyone has had a sister to experience these kinds of memories. How lucky we all are to have our Sisters in Christ then! This September and for much of the Fall Quarter, we will have many chances to strengthen ourselves in who we are supposed to be as these sisters.
We have a wonderful opportunity to learn how to best minister to them, both within the church and in our community, on Wednesday nights; Tuesday Ladies’ Bible Class will focus on slowing down; there are celebration events for Highway 80 Rescue Mission Women’s and Children’s; and we have several more get-together events for all-aged sisters!
Please don’t miss out on gathering together with us. You are important, we love you, and Jesus loves you!
This month’s newsletter has been difficult to write for me. Despite praying for writing inspiration, I’ve felt like a force of interception has been upon this mission. When I have had the opportunity to sit down and work on this opening welcome to you, either something would go immediately awry with my children, making me abandon the task for yet another day, or the words would just not come.
Interest in the upcoming Summer Sunday Bible Class unit, focusing on spiritual warfare, has made me more keen on looking for situations that may be the devil and his army trying to thwart my mission. I would think that if I’m trying to reach you, and I end up with nothing to say to you, then certainly Satan would consider that a victory. Even as I write now, a little voice is telling me, “none of this ramble is good enough for a newsletter, just push DELETE, and type HAPPY JUNE EVERYBODY and be done with it!” I’m going to keep it though…you can e-mail me and tell me what you thought of my decision!
From previous experience, I know to expect an increase in the spiritual warfare (maybe there will be less to read from me come July)! Jokes aside, God’s word tells us we can have confidence in Him and not fear no matter what the devil’s schemes are. All we need is His full armor as described in Ephesians 6:10-17.
I pray this month that you consider attending our Summer Sunday Bible Class series. We all need to know Who we are really up against. Please pray for the men who will be teaching us and their families. They’ll need it!