Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Power of the Cross

The Power of the Cross
By Suzie M.

When was the last time you experienced the power of Jesus?  As I sit here tonight reflecting on an amazing week I am amazed by our Almighty God!
Tonight I got to be the hands and feet of Jesus!  I love serving others.  Oh I didn’t want to go tonight.  I really wanted to stay home with my family especially since I had been gone almost every night this week. I should have known this was just the deceiver’s way of trying to keep me from sharing God’s love to precious girls.  But I did go.
I volunteer with a special ministry.  It is called We are Cherished and we go out to strip clubs and give gift bags to the girls and love on them and encourage them to come hang out at the “house” and support them as much as possible.  There is an outreach once a month.  I don’t go every month but I went this month and God rocked my socks off!
The praise and worship time before we go out is amazing in and of itself.  Then we head out in two teams to Dallas and Fort Worth, loaded down with hundreds of gift bags.  We walk boldly through the front doors of the clubs and ask for the manager and usually he takes us back and then we get to work.  We pass out the gift bags and give out hugs and talk to the girls, encourage them to call the number on the card and come to our support group on Wednesdays.  This entire evening in covered heavily in prayer, it is highly organized and God is totally in control.
Tonight I had a divine appointment with one girl.  Before we went into this particular club I was really nervous so I prayed for our team going in, for peace and boldness and for God to open the doors for us.  We got out of the car and immediate peace washed over me.  We were in the dressing room and this particular girl came running in to us and was so excited to see us.  She has been there every time WAC has come.  She started crying and couldn’t stop hugging me!  I immediately bonded with her and we talked and talked and hugged.  She wants out of this industry so bad, she knows Christ as her Lord and Savior but she needs the money.  We talked about her walk with the Lord, her boyfriend, getting out and knowing that God loves her and wants her to return to Him and His ways.  I got in the car and prayed for her and just cried tears of sorrow for her.  I felt genuine love for her.  Even while I was inside talking with her I told her only God could give me the love that I felt for her at that moment.
We went on to several more clubs, left lots of gifts and prayers. Even in the places where we couldn’t get in and actually talk to the girls I know God is already doing His amazing work.  I told the other women I was with as it pertains to some of the clubs we couldn’t get into, I said we are making baby steps but Jesus is making Giant Steps.
The power of the cross was felt and seen this night.  The peace we had the doors that were opened, the hearts that were softened and knowing that by God using us to bring the gifts to the door He would take it from there and redeem his precious children.  Words cannot even describe the power, peace and love that was felt and seen which you know is only from God.
You see, it doesn’t matter what you have done or where you are.  You are a child of God, you are made in His image and He loves you with an everlasting love.  He wants all of His children to return to Him.  The bible tells us Jesus is our shepherd and even if one has wandered away, He will go after them.
Have you wandered away?  Come back home.  There will be a huge celebration in heaven just for you!  You mean everything to Jesus!  He gave His life just for you.  You don’t have to pay him back, you just need to believe in Him, trust His love and forgiveness. 
Turn from your ways, ask God to forgive you for your specific sin(s) and don’t go back.  He’s patiently waiting for you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
By John and Staci Elderege

Are you feeling run down, confused, and spent?  Are you struggling to find your place in Christian life and where you fit in and what you are supposed to do?  Do you need an “Ah Ha Moment” book to read?  Then this is the book for you!  So read on our fellow bookworms!
“Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life?
Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul.
The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman, a woman who is truly captivating.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Friday Focus

The Sky is the Limit for making your home a Haven
"You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 30:13
What’s the Atmosphere in your Home? Is it peaceful? Is it a safe place? Is there a special, quiet place to be alone with God?
Try making a point to start each day with soft, kind voices and soft inspiring music. I like having either something yummy smelling in the oven or a candle burning on the breakfast bar as the kids come to the kitchen to eat before school. I love putting my phone on a speaker dock playing the Pandora station, Maranatha Singers is a nice, soothing mix of praise music (playing not very loud).
Set the climate of your home to be a peaceful environment.  It’s a great way to combat stress and chaos to start the day in a sweet mood!

Book Club: 7

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Q and A

Q and A
By Amy Gentry
Q: I know Jesus CAN help me, but how do I know Jesus WILL help me when I pray?
A: There is an example of this in scripture.  The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)  How can you believe but have unbelief?  I think it comes down to 2 factors:
·         Believing God’s promises, moving the head knowledge into heart knowledge—When I am actively reading God’s Word every day, expecting to hear from Him, His promises come alive in my heart.  “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)
·         Choosing to trust that the LORD is faithful— Not trusting in my faithfulness, but His.  “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scattering Seeds

Scattering Seeds on Halloween…Be The Light

 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV

Soon there will be thousands of children dressing up in costumes and seeking out as much candy as they can fit into their bags.  This presents a wonderful opportunity to all Christian homes that desire to reach these young souls for Jesus Christ.

Each year my family puts together a “Good News Treat” to share to those who come knocking at our door.  This year it is a treat bag.  Last year I simply taped a small copy of John 3:16 on bags of pretzels.

Our children are under constant attack for their attention.  A staggering number never go to church and their parents never tell them about Jesus.  We can make a difference by simply being obedient to the command of Christ to “Be the Light”.

Challenge:  This year “Be the Light” to the children in your neighborhood.

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Matter of the Heart

A Matter of the Heart
By Amy Gentry

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…”
Song of Songs 2:16

From boy meets girl to homecoming and prom dates.

Have you given any thought to the dating parameters for you own children. When I was growing up the magic age was 16.  But aren’t we tempted to start the whole male/female thing a lot earlier than that.  On a play date we see 2 toddlers holding hands and trip over our purse trying to reach our iphone to snap a picture to post on our Facebook wall for all to ohh and ahh.  Then our little sweetie gets into elementary school and has a BFF who is the opposite sex – I can hear “…sittin’ in a tree k.i.s.s.i.n.g…” ringing in my ears.  During the middle school years, the “dating” begins, although they never actually go out on dates.  Finally, in high school, group dating then one on one car dates.  What has your little precious gained through this process?

Unfortunately, the whole process could be counterproductive.  What happens is our children make heart connections to person after person and they give pieces of their heart away, little by little.  Eventually they find “the one” and enter into a marriage without a whole heart, because parts of it have been given away one by one.  The bible says, “…not to awaken love until the time is right.”  (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4)

Have we lost sight of why our children date?  What should dating for a Christian teen look like?  These are questions that you and your husband need to define early.  But make sure that all parameters are made with the goal of guarding you child’s heart, not from a place of not trusting you child or their date.

The goal of guarding your child’s heart –

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.”
Song of Songs 7:10

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Menu Monday

Praying with Confidence

Praying with Confidence
By Amy Gentry

I’ve had ADD tendencies for years; I call it the ‘attention span of a gnat.’  For the longest time, I struggled to pray.  I would begin praying in bed at night but fall asleep, I would begin praying then get sidetracked by a sound the washer/dryer was making, I would begin praying while writing my to-do, I would begin praying and then….. do the 9 million other things that in that very moment had vast importance.
FRUSTRATION!!!  I felt like Paul, the things I wanted to do I didn’t and the things I didn’t want to do I did.  I wanted to talk to God and be all there for the entire conversation.
Like I had done many times before, I developed an ADD coping mechanism:
·         STEP 1- I had to use a Daily Bible reading schedule from The One Year Bible, I read a portion from the old testament, new testament, psalms and proverbs everyday (www.oneyearbibleonline.com).  

·         STEP 2- I had to realize that when I was reading God’s Word, He was speaking directly to me.  Some of it did not apply to what was going on currently in my life but other parts were spot on.  What He meant for me, He would illuminate through His Holy Spirit.  “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

·         Step 3- I began to pray those scriptures back to God.  When I am praying scripture back to God, I can pray with confidence. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)  When I pray scripture I am coming into agreement with God on HOW He wants me to pray for a particular situation!!!  OK. BUT HOW? --Pray a scripture by quoting it- meditate on it while you are reading, reciting, or writing that verse.   --Pray a scripture in your own words for a particular situation inserting your name or the names of your loved ones.  --Pray about a situation that is brought to mind when you read a certain passage.
Although my prayer life is not perfect, I have personally seen a “180” in the content of my prayers.  I no longer feel like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.   God gives me direction every day, without fail, on how He wants me to pray.  I feel that I am now better equipped with the tools that I needed to keep me focused on God and not the dryer buzzer.
CHALLENGE:  Seek God’s face by praying back to Him scripture every day. It is THEN you will see the powerful force of God’s Word moving in your life. Through your obedience you will be walking in victory.
Going Even Deeper: Pray the scriptures OUT LOUD – even a whisper.  Speaking God’s Word back to Him is powerful.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Friday Focus

Being a parent is not for the weak!

Parenting takes intentional choices and being purposeful with our words and actions with children. Just as the Lord lovingly corrects us, we are to instruct/correct our little ones without shame or anger.
Increase your parental strength by using biblical and positive words in your instruction. For example: “Obey Mommy,” “Honor daddy,” “Be truthful,”…you get the idea, the words we use are powerful; the same words that your child will read in scripture.
Pump up the positive in your parenting starting today!!!

Book Club: 7

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seeing Through HIS Eyes

Julie Holt is a ministers wife, a mother to three, foster mom and has ministered in a variety of capacities. She is passionate about serving the Lord with her life and loves to encourage others in their relationship with Christ.
Seeing Through HIS Eyes
By Julie Holt
One of my favorite things about summer is summer camp. There are so many blessings that come with being able to send our kids to a Christian camp, where they learn about Jesus and are discipled by college students. But there is one blessing that stands out above the rest.

On the last day of camp, there is a special ceremony where the counselors verbally affirm each of their campers. Throughout the week of camp, these counselors have watched the kids in their cabin and observed their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and gifts-who God has made them to be. They then bring out three “character qualities” of each child, describing their uniqueness. The counselor encourages and affirms each child in front of the cabin and parents, and presents them with a certificate as a spiritual reminder.
As I watched the ceremony unfold this past summer, I began to question what kinds of things I value and affirm in my children. Is my emphasis on having an organized and tidy room, or on serving others in love? God began to show me that I praise my children more for external things, rather than for what God is doing inside of them, the unseen and eternal. If I truly value what God values, then those things will be brought to the forefront. Consider this passage:
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to me...””
Matt. 26: 6-10 NASB
The disciples are clearly bothered by this woman’s stewardship. Using their “logical” and humanistic thinking, they point out the excessive waste of money by this woman. In reflection, I found myself thinking the exact same thing! What a waste! Just think of all of the children who could have been fed with that money! But Jesus calls this action a “good deed.” He valued her worship over the value of the money she “wasted.”
It is easy for us as parents to affirm things that are external, for example, good behavior, good grades, scoring in a soccer game, and the list goes on.  But are these not same types of things that the world affirms in our children. Everyone wants their child to be smart and successful. How does this set us apart as those sanctified by Christ?  If the world affirms these external characteristics…who affirms their self-control, the application of scripture, or the fruits of the Spirit? Who praises our children when they put themselves last or pursue what is eternal?
My desire as a parent is to value what God values in my children. I seek to focus on the things that He is doing in them and who HE is making them to be rather than what the world deems is good in them. May our prayers be for God to give us the eyes and wisdom to see the hearts of our children and to affirm and encourage the eternal things that He is doing in them.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18 NIV
Challenge:  Have a special dinner (or breakfast) and affirm each child. Tell them how you have seen them grow in Christ in recent months.  Use the phrase, “I see Christ in you when...”  Discuss sanctification and how the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Purposeful Pinteresting

Any night can be a date night.
This Date Night Jar is a brilliant idea!
Thanks to Jennifer at Life in the Green House for sharing how she made this for her husband,
you can make one too.  You could even do different color paper if you don't have craft sticks.
Each color represents a different type of date (and each color is explained on the tag)
and the white sticks were used as fillers.
Red sticks have more expensive dates on them that require planning.
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Dinner at a fancy restaurant
  • Hotel stay for the night
  • Auburn home game and away game
  • Concert and dinner (his choice)
  • Concert and dinner (my choice)
  • Weekend away
  • Couples Massage
Dark pink sticks have "at home" dates:
  • Chopped Challenge (like the television show on FoodNetwork)
  • Fondue and Almost Famous
  • Takeout and board games
  • 1,000 piece puzzle and pizza
  • Football game and nachos
  • Popcorn and a chick-flick
  • Crosswords and breakfast for dinner
  • Make a dessert together
  • Friday Night Lights marathon
  • Homemade pizzas and an Italian movie
Light Pink dates have things to do away from home but are less expensive than the red and don't require as much planning.
  • Dinner and a movie (my choice and his choice)
  • Laser tag and go carts
  • Mexican night at Cocina Superior
  • Drive-In date
  • Dessert only date
  • Window shopping for the house
  • Bowling
  • The Melting Pot
  • Coffee Date 
For a huge list of 52 date ideas for an entire year visit Alison at Oopsey Daisy. Another great website for really fun ideas is The Dating Divas

Monday, October 15, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
By Stephanie H.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Many of us have heard the story of the Good Samaritan, but we may have it a little confused. The “neighbor” it would appear, was the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who was beaten and left for dead (Luke 10:30). But in the end, Jesus says the Good Samaritan who helped this man "proved to be the neighbor" (Luke 12:36-37).
All through the Bible Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor.  Who is our neighbor?  The real question is: Who am I & Who are you?  Am I a good neighbor?  Am I someone that would stop and help a stranger like the Good Samaritan or do I only help my close friends and family?  Who does GOD want me to love?  Everybody, just like Him!
The Holy Spirit has been working on my heart about the school my kids go to.  I have struggled getting to know parents at the school because most conversations I would have with them would be so foreign and I just didn’t know how to relate.  I tried several times, several different ways, but it was not happening.  I did not think I was better than them or in any way too good for them.  I just struggled knowing how and where I belonged.  Finally, I asked The Lord to show me ways that I could be a blessing, feel more plugged in at the school and develop some friendships with other parents.
I am now seeing that He has been laying the foundation this whole time.  He has been knocking my socks off with so many blessings.
He guided a conversation today with a mom that I had never met. Turns out we live in the same neighborhood and our 2 boys are the same age.  We were both looking for the same thing and the Lord placed us both in the teacher work room today working on a project together.  God is so good!
We shouldn’t focus on works…we should focus on the fact that the people we come in contact with are real people, with real lives and a real story.  You never know what the people you encounter may be going through and God may need you to be the one to speak life or a word of encouragement to them.  Just listen!  God will do the rest.
God created us all as equals.  It does not matter how successful, how much money you have, how big your house is, how beautiful you are, where you are from, what religion you are or aren’t.  God loves us the same.  We are all created in His image.
Challenge:  Be on the lookout for ways that you can be a good neighbor to people around you.  Take time to listen to people around you…it may be a cry for help.  Will you prove to be the “neighbor?”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Harvest Bark

Featured Recipe by Jenn Vaught
Fall Harvest Bark

1 pkg of CandiQuik in Vanilla
1 pkg of Snyders Snaps pretzels
1 pkg of Brachs candy corn
1 aluminum baking sheet or cookie sheet
Parchment paper or Crisco

1.    Line a pan with parchment paper or spread thin layer of Crisco on bottom and sides of pan.
2.    Follow instructions on candy pkg for melting options. I like CandiQuik because it comes with its own melting pan for the microwave.
3.    Spread melted candy in pan evenly.
4.    Add pretzels. (I like Snyders Snaps because they look like little bales of hay for fall.)
5.    Fill in empty spaces with candy corn.
6.    Let set in fridge for about an hour.  Break off pieces when ready to serve.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to Enter a "Mary" Season with Faith and Grace

How to Enter a “Mary” Season with Faith and Grace
Written by Kim Slater

Losing a job can be a life-changing event. For Jill Monaco, founder of Jill Monaco Ministries, an unemployment status opened doors for God to bless her in ways she never imagined.

After working in ministry for nearly a decade, 2012 began with Jill sensing a need to update her resume. A few months later, she was let go from a director position in an artist program she had built from the ground up.

The following Sunday, Jill was sitting in weekend services when she felt a prompting to “give your severance.” She felt an incredible amount of peace as she processed the words. After confirmation from a trusted pastor, Jill gave away a substantial amount of money, taking her out of her comfort zone and stretching her faith in new ways.

Keenly aware that she barely had enough money to pay one month’s bills and no job prospects, she bravely wrote the check. To her amazement, it was mere minutes from dropping the offering at the church that God began to move in her life. “The same day I gave the church my check, I got a call offering me a contract job,” Jill said.

The six-month contract eased Jill’s financial concerns, and she enjoyed the summer believing a permanent job would be coming in the fall. As the months passed, it became painfully clear no job offer was coming. Jill made a choice to exercise extreme faith.

“Instead of giving into fear, I made a choice to praise Him,” Jill said. “God knew my heart and knew I was scared. I made a decision to trust.” I cried out to God saying, “I don’t understand, but I trust you are going to do a good work.” God listened to Jill as she wept and laid her fears down at His feet. “God told me to walk in faith because I didn’t need to know what was going to come,” Jill said.

One of the many lessons Jill learned that summer was that God is faithful with finances. “He made provision for seven times more than what I gave,” Jill said. She witnessed many expressions of God’s love in this season. From a friend who called and said God wanted her to send Jill new running shoes to receiving a check from someone who was led to bless her with $700.
Another revelation Jill discovered was that seasons definitely change. It became apparent that she was being transitioned to a “Mary Season”. “It was like Jesus was in my house waiting for me to sit at his feet, but I was busy being a Martha,” Jill recalls. “I was looking for a job, networking, and doing all the things I felt I was supposed to do as a responsible, unemployed person. But, God wanted me to rest.”

During this time of rest, Jill took long walks with Jesus, spent time in prayer and delved deeper into God’s word. Some of her realizations included:

• If I get anxious or feel overwhelmed it's my flesh. Stop, drop and pray.
• If I can't do everything on my to-do list, then my list is wrong.  Ask God how to reschedule or what He wants me to do.
• I will no longer push myself so hard that I leave His rest. Say no to people more.

Admitting that she needed the summer to achieve complete rest, Jill saw this eye-opening revelation as a gift. “I learned working 60-80 hours a week for four years is not a season,” Jill said. “It is insanity, it's not sustainable, and it's not God's idea of ministry.” 

Jill’s biggest blessing came when God said, “Jill, you were faithful in building a ministry for someone else, now I trust you to build your own.” Ever obedient, Jill spent the summer researching, setting up and building what is now, Jill Monaco Ministries. She has always been passionate about helping people believe God’s word and defeating lies of the enemy, but she didn't know how to make that a full time ministry. Jill now sees that hoping and believing is pure joy! “I'm walking in such faith now that I've seen miracles,” Jill said.  “I've seen the sick healed and witnessed God’s answers to prayers.”  

During the time that Jill was out of work, she experienced healings of her own. As the wounds slowly faded, Jill made room for God's revelations. The biggest gift Jill received was realizing how much she loves people. “I didn't know that was going to be the fruit of this season,” Jill said. “I can listen to someone and see the best in them. When they are down, I see the brokenness through God's eyes and have compassion.”

As a result, Jill turned compassion into action – using her ministry to help bring freedom to individuals in need. “Most of the time, brokenness comes from a lie someone believed and a decision they made to protect themselves.” Jill shared. “Those are the enemy’s strategies, so I speak to the lies and replace them with God's truths. I see people as God sees them and speak God’s love over them.”  

Inexplicably, when Jill thought about getting her resume together, she began praying for her new boss. She looked up at me with a smile and sweetly said, “I didn’t realize then that my new boss would be God.”
To read more about Jill Monaco, visit her online at www.jillmonaco.com.
All of the information contained in the interviewee's personal blog may or may not necessarily reflect the theological views of www.titus2women.org

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Club: 7

The Friday Focus

Your Man and Unconditional Respect

Patience is where love meets wisdom. And every marriage needs that combination to stay healthy. –
The Love Dare
Do your words, attitude, body language and facial expressions give your man the respect he requires by God’s design? Doubting or nagging him, by questioning his authority, intelligence or choices we push him away and/or crush his spirit.
The old saying, “Behind every great man there is a great woman” is very, very true! Our affirmation and look of approval will send him soaring and fill him up like a helium balloon, destined to fly!
P.S. Same goes for your sons, of all ages!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Haunting of Our Pasts

The Haunting of Our Pasts
By Carri Pratt

I believe that every person has a time in their life they would like to re-live.  For some of us it is simply a misspoken word or maybe it is a case of buyer’s remorse.  However, some of us have very painful memories from our past that is haunting us on a daily basis.  It hurts to remember our poor choices and to look around and see how our current lives are affected by those choices.  

“For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.”  Psalm 51:3 NLT  How do I deal with the repercussions of those memories?  Sometimes I feel as though I am drowning in a sea of self pity and remorse; I literally cannot breathe and tears stream down my face from the agony.  At those times life seems hopeless.  I ask, ‘can God ever forgive me for what I have done?’  That is the voice of Satan in my head prompting me to question God’s goodness.  The Bible always has the answer to my questions, and John comforts me with his reassuring words, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (HCSB)

Reading further we see in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that Paul throws us a life-line, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
There came a point in my  life, after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that I repented and accepted His gift of grace and mercy over my past.  I can allow Jesus Christ to free me from the bondage that I have experienced.  “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1 (HCSB)
Whatever it is that I might be holding on to is just not worth it.  God can use my past to bring Him glory and to bring me joy!  I must guard my thoughts every day.  I need to ask God to help me fight the temptation.  Philippians 4:7 tells us, “And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God knows us.  God created us and knew in
advance every choice we would make and He still loved us!
He is waiting for us exactly as He is portrayed
in the parable of the lost son in Luke 15,
“. . .this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
 he was lost and is found!’
So they began to celebrate.”
Choose Joy!

Challenge:  The thought of giving up our past might be more than we can bear.  Take a leap of faith and allow God to take your past and use it for His glory.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monthly Ministry Focus

Are you a mom who deeply loves her children and longs for them to grow up to be loving, confident and successful? Do you fear that influences outside your control will steal their hearts? You are not alone.

Fern Nichols is a mom just like you. When her sons entered junior high, she had the same apprehensions. But overriding those fears was a deep trust that God, and only God, could protect and keep her children. Only God could change the lives of friends and coaches and teachers. She knew that if moms gathered together to cry out to God for the needs and concerns of children and schools, that He would not only hear those prayers, but answer them.

Fern called like-minded moms who gathered each week to pray for their children and school, and thus began the first Moms In Touch group, now called Moms in Prayer. What started so simply in 1984 has grown into a worldwide community of praying moms in every state and in more than 140 countries around the world.
We invite you to browse our site, learn more about us, and discover the most important gift you can give your children: your prayers.

Moms in Prayer International is:
  • Two or more women who meet regularly to pray for their children, their schools, their teachers and administrators.
  • Mothers, grandmothers or anyone who is willing to pray for a specific child and school.
  • Moms who believe that prayer makes a difference.
A nonprofit, donation-supported ministry in 140-plus countries.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Temple, God's Dwelling Place

My Temple, God’s Dwelling Place by Jenn V.

I Corinthians 6:13b & 15a & 19 (NIV) (13b) Our bodies were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.  (15a)  Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?  (19) Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body.

I love Maxine!  So honest in her insight!  Talk about transparency!  But seriously, in my Bible reading for the past few months, the Word has been talking about “the temple” and I always kind of ignored all of that talk until this year, when I started reading The One Year Bible.  I have started wondering if there was a correlation to the Old Testament talking about rebuilding the temple of Israel (where God resided at that time) and our own bodies where the Holy Spirit now resides.  Then I read the above scriptures in 1 Corinthians today and it answered my question.
Do I need to make a conscience decision on taking care of my body “the new temple” like the Israelites were called to do?  They failed often, like I have.  Like in the Old Testament, I work on it then I stop, then I work on it and stop.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, like the whole last 10 years of my life!!!  The Bible does talk about physical training being of value.  1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV) says “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Whether that be exercising regularly, eating right, reading scripture, praying, going to church, taking vitamins or going to the doctor, we are responsible for the caretaking of our spiritual bodies as well as our physical bodies.  The Israelites cleaned out their temple and took out all the old idols that were left there because of wrong living.  Shouldn’t we be doing that too?  Being careful of what we are putting inside our stomachs and not just in our minds and spirit?
I’m not saying we can’t eat a cookie anymore, but maybe being more purposeful in taking care of ourselves and being more mindful.  Giving in to our fleshly desires all of the time is living in excess, gluttony, greed.  Taking care of our bodies as a temple and God’s dwelling place is a symbol of conquering those pesky desires and rising above.  Exodus 25:8 (NIV) “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”      
CHALLENGE:  If you have been neglecting your temple, (like me!) pray about recommitting to rebuild it and ask for God’s favor and strength.  Ask him to bring people into your lives that can mentor and help you.