To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to learn those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives… remembering always that the foundation precept of Zeta Tau Alpha was Love, “the greatest of all things.”

02-05-18

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FEBRUARY!

Today, we had fam dinner at Crepes paulette in Bentonville which is my FAVORITE! I couldn't really care less about football but I am glad that the Eagles won, and lastly I really hope we still have a SLIM chance for snow. A few days off in the snow would be a blast :) How was your weekend?

For now:
1. Four Fun Things
2. Learning to see
3. Tweets
4. How to be unbelievably happy
5. Season of Lent


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1. peachy clean!
2. Beth did this DIY eyelash dye and it looks SO good!
3. A year in photos by the New York Times. Seriously breathtaking, I teared up...
4. Did you know you can turn your mac laptop on night shift? I keep it on constantly because if it ever comes off the blue light instantly hurts my eyes. Click on your sidebar of notifications and scroll all the way up.


Learning to See

By Scott Erickson

I heard once that all that spirituality is is learning how to SEE ... Inwardly and outwardly.
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I ask for eyes to see. To see this wild world as something not to escape from but to commit to. To see my body as not something to compare to others but to use to contribute others. To see my inadequacies not as something that dismisses me but as a main ingredient in my unique voice. To see the other not as someone in my way of wholeness but the very vehicle to receive wholeness. To see God not as something I need to appease but as the very depth of Being that whispers in silent moments "you are my beloved, in whom I am already pleased."
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Lord, I don't know how to change my sight. I don't even really know what I need to change it into. All I can offer in my unknowing is my desire for eyes that see.... and my simple trust that that desire is enough.


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How to Become Unbelievably Happy

Written by Jon Bloom

When have you been least motivated by selfish ambition and laziness and lust and self-righteousness? When has the fear of man, the general cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches wielded the least influence over you (Matthew 13:22)? When have you felt the most capacity to love others and the most concern for perishing unbelievers, the persecuted church, and the destitute poor?

In other words, when has your life been most characterized by holiness?

I can tell you when. It’s when you’ve been most in love with Jesus. It’s when you’ve been most full of faith in his promises so that you live by them. It’s when his gospel has been most meaningful and his mission has been most compelling, so that they dictate your life’s priorities.

In other words, you’ve been most holy when you’ve been most happy in God.

Holiness is fundamentally an affection issue, not a behavioral issue. It’s not that our behaviors don’t matter — they matter a lot. It’s just that our behaviors are symptomatic. They are the outworking of our affections in the same way that our behaviors are the outworking of our faith (James 2:17).

 

For many Christians, holiness has largely negative connotations. They know holiness is a good thing — because God is holy — and it’s something they should also be — because God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:441 Peter 1:16). But they think of holiness primarily in terms of denial, as sort of a sterile existence. In fact, God’s holiness is something they tend to fear more than desire.

This is understandable, especially if the teaching they have received has emphasized behavioral holiness over affectional holiness. The Old Testament has a lot of very serious things to say about holiness. When Yahweh called Moses (Exodus 3:10) and delivered the people of Israel, it is clear his holiness was nothing to be trifled with. It was lethal if it was ignored or neglected (Exodus 19:12–14). Also, eight, arguably nine, of the Ten Commandments are prohibitions: “You shall not . . . ” (Exodus 20:1–17). Reading through the requirements in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the overall emphasis we get is the rigor that was required to maintain holiness before God and the warnings given if it wasn’t.

God’s Mercy in All His Prohibitions

 

But while that impression of holiness is understandable, it is very wrong. Holiness is neither dominantly denial, nor is it sterile purity. We need to remember why God instituted the rigorous moral and ceremonial laws: “in order that sin might be shown to be sin” (Romans 7:13).

All the prohibitions and all the warnings are all mercy, because God wants us to know what our biggest problem is, how deep it goes (Romans 7:15–18), its horrific consequences (Colossians 3:5–6), and how hopeless we are to make ourselves holy (Romans 7:24), in order to point us to the glorious solution he has provided to our biggest problem (Romans 7:25Romans 5:6–10).

God only emphasizes our unholiness, our sinful state, so that we can escape its grip and its consequences — and know the full joy of living in the abundant, satisfying goodness of God’s holiness. We must understand the nature and seriousness of our disease in order to pursue and receive the right treatment. But, remember, the diagnostic tool’s job is to emphasize the nature of the disease more than the essence of health.

What Holiness Is Really Like

 

If we want to know the essence of the health of holiness, we need to look elsewhere, like Psalm 16:11: “In your [holy] presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” That is what holiness is really like: as much joy and pleasure as we can contain for as long as is possible — which, because God grants it, is forever.

Do you see it? Holiness is not a state of denial, characterized by abstaining from defiling thoughts, motivations, and behaviors. True holiness is a state of delight. And the more true holiness we experience, the fuller our joy and greater our pleasures!

Holiness is fundamentally an affection issue, not a behavioral issue. This is only emphasized by the fact that all the Law and the Prophets — all the prohibitions and warnings pertaining to our behaviors, the height of holiness — are summed up in the greatest commandments to love God with all we are and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37–40). Holiness looks most like the delight of true love. And if we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments — meaning that when our affections are really engaged, our behaviors naturally follow (John 14:15).

To Be Holy, Seek Your Greatest Happiness

 

God is supremely holy. And God is supremely happy (1 Timothy 1:11). God is love (1 John 4:8). And he is all light with no darkness (1 John 1:5). All that is good, all that brings true, lasting joy, and all that is truly, satisfyingly, eternally pleasurable comes from him.

And we are to be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:16). So, to pursue holiness, we must pursue our greatest happiness. Who has delivered us from our bodies of indwelling, sin-induced death? Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24–25)! Our unholy sin disease has been given a cure in the cross. We no longer need to fixate on the diagnostic tool of the law. Now, in pursuit of holiness, we aim primarily at our affections, not primarily at our behaviors. For behaviors are symptomatic of the state of our affections. What is a delight to us ceases to be a duty for us.

So God’s call to move “further up and further in” in holiness is an invitation to joy! Your fullest happiness ends up being the “holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).


Lent is the span of time in the church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday commemorates the beginning of Jesus’ 40-day fasting and temptation in the desert, and Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the grave after his crucifixion.

Lent, then, is generally observed as a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing their hearts for Easter.

If you have never done a bible study, or have done many, these listed below are incredible resources:

1. She Reads Truth Lent 2018 (non-denominational)
2. Blessed is She Lent 2018 (catholic)
3. This is Jesus - a study of Matthew
4. God of Creation - I just really like Jen Wilkin so this is next on my list.
5. Seamless - if you crave a more comprehensive, overarching understanding of the Bible and how it all beautifully weaves together


have a great week. text me w any questions, recs, anything!
xo
Sarah Burger

02-13-2018

01-31-18